Sustainability Science

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 39–52 | Cite as

Development of land-use scenarios using vegetation inventories in Japan

  • Kikuko ShoyamaEmail author
  • Takanori Matsui
  • Shizuka Hashimoto
  • Kei Kabaya
  • Akiko Oono
  • Osamu Saito
Special Feature: Original Article Future Scenarios for Socio-Ecological Production Landscape and Seascape
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Feature: Future Scenarios for Socio-Ecological Production Landscape and Seascape


Changes in land use and land cover (LULC) have major effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Land change models can simulate future trends of ecosystem services under different scenarios to inform the actions of decision makers towards building a more sustainable society. LULC data are essential inputs for predicting future land changes. It is now possible to derive high-resolution LULC maps from satellite data using remote sensing techniques. However, the classification of land categories in these maps is too limited to sufficiently assess biodiversity and ecosystem services. This study aims to develop land-use scenarios, using an appropriate LULC map, to enable assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services at the national scale. First, we developed an LULC dataset using vegetation inventories based on field records of vegetation collected throughout the country in the periods 1978–1987, 1988–1998 and 1999–2014. The vegetation maps consist of over 905 vegetation categories, from which we aggregated the most prevalent categories into 9 LULC categories. Second, we created a business-as-usual scenario and plausible future scenarios on the land use change maps using the Land Change Model tool. In the process of developing the model, we considered key drivers including biophysical and socio-economic factors. The results showed some key land changes as consequences of intensive/extensive land-use interventions. These derived scenario maps can be used to assess the impacts of future land change on biodiversity and ecosystem services.


Land-use scenarios Land-use change Vegetation Ecosystem services Socio-ecological systems 



This research was funded by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (S-15 “Predicting and Assessing Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services” (PANCES), Ministry of the Environment, Japan). We also thank for helpful comments of anonymous reviewers and members of “Assessing land use functions for sustainable land management in Asia countries (CRRP2016-04MY-Zhen)” funded by Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of SustainabilityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of EngineeringOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Agriculture and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Integrated Research System for Sustainability ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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