Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 1095–1112

Evaluating the spatial uncertainty of future land abandonment in a mountain valley (Vicdessos, Pyrenees - France): Insights from model parameterization and experiments



European mountains are particularly sensitive to climatic disruptions and land use changes. The latter leads to high rates of natural reforestation over the last 50 years. Faced with the challenge of predicting possible impacts on ecosystem services, LUCC models offer new opportunities for land managers to adapt or mitigate their strategies. Assessing the spatial uncertainty of future LUCC is crucial for the definition of sustainable land use strategies. However, the sources of uncertainty may differ, including the input parameters, the model itself, and the wide range of possible futures. The aim of this paper is to propose a method to assess the probability of occurrence of future LUCC that combines the inherent uncertainty of model parameterization and the ensemble uncertainty of the future based scenarios. For this purpose, we used the Land Change Modeler tool to simulate future LUCC on a study site located in the Pyrenees Mountains (France) and two scenarios illustrating two land use strategies. The model was parameterized with the same driving factors used for its calibration. The definition of ’static vs. dynamic’ and ’quantitative vs. qualitative (discretized)’ driving factors, and their combination resulted in four parameterizations. The combination of model outcomes produced maps of the spatial uncertainty of future LUCC. This work involves adapting the definition of spatial uncertainty in the literature to future-based LUCC studies. It goes beyond the uncertainty of simulation models by integrating the uncertainty of the future to provide maps to help decision makers and land managers.


Land use Land cover Scenario Model Mountainous reforestation Land abandonment Land management 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEODE UMR 5602 CNRS -UT2JUniversité Toulouse Jean Jaurès, Maison de la rechercheToulouse CedexFrance
  2. 2.Dynafor UMR 1201 INRA/INPT-ENSATEcole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de ToulouseCastanet-Tolosan CédexFrance

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