Landscape Ecology

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 185–199

An agent-based approach to model land-use change at a regional scale

Authors

    • Department of Environmental SciencesWageningen University
  • Peter H. Verburg
    • Department of Environmental SciencesWageningen University
  • Arnold K. Bregt
    • Department of Environmental SciencesWageningen University
  • Arend Ligtenberg
    • Department of Environmental SciencesWageningen University
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10980-009-9380-6

Cite this article as:
Valbuena, D., Verburg, P.H., Bregt, A.K. et al. Landscape Ecol (2010) 25: 185. doi:10.1007/s10980-009-9380-6

Abstract

Land-use/cover change (LUCC) is a complex process that includes actors and factors at different social and spatial levels. A common approach to analyse and simulate LUCC as the result of individual decisions is agent-based modelling (ABM). However, ABM is often applied to simulate processes at local scales, while its application in regional studies is limited. This paper describes first a conceptual framework for ABM to analyse and explore regional LUCC processes. Second, the conceptual framework is represented by combining different concepts including agent typologies, farm trajectories and probabilistic decision-making processes. Finally, the framework is illustrated through a case study in the Netherlands, where processes of farm cessation, farm expansion and farm diversification are shaping the structure of the landscape. The framework is a generic, straightforward approach to analyse and explore regional LUCC with an explicit link to empirical approaches for parameterization of ABM.

Keywords

Land-use/cover changeDecision-makingAgent-based modellingRural regions

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009