A qualitative method for the spatial and thematic downscaling of land-use change scenarios

Sophie Rickebusch, Marc J. Metzger, Guangcai Xu, Ioannis N. Vogiatzakis, Simon G. Potts, Maria Teresa Stirpe, Mark D. A. Rounsevell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Assessing the potential impact of future land-cover changes on habitat quality requires projections with a fine spatial and thematic resolution. The former is usually addressed by downscaling methods, often at the expense of the latter. We present a new, rule-based method to downscale land-use change scenarios to the landscape level while keeping a large number of land-cover classes (CORINE level 3). The method relies on the interpretation of European scenario storylines, the observation of past land-use changes, high-resolution regional data and expert knowledge.

The results give a landscape-level transposition of the scenario storylines which reflects the local conditions. The method has a number of advantages, such as its potential application in dialogues with policy-makers and stakeholders. Possible further developments include automating the rule-based selection to overcome the current limitations of this method in terms of spatial extent. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-278
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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