Reconciling food, fiber and energy production with biodiversity conservation is among the greatest challenges of the century, especially in the face of climate change. Model-based scenarios linking climate, land use and biodiversity can be exceptionally useful tools for decision support in this context. We present a modeling framework that links climate projections, private land use decisions including farming, forest and urban uses and the abundances of common birds as an indicator of biodiversity. Our major innovation is to simultaneously integrate the direct impacts of climate change and land use on biodiversity as well as indirect impacts mediated by climate change effects on land use, all at very fine spatial resolution. In addition, our framework can be used to evaluate incentive-based conservation policies in terms of land use and biodiversity over several decades. The results for our case study in France indicate that the projected effects of climate change dominate the effects of land use on bird abundances. As a conservation policy, implementing a spatially uniform payment for pastures has a positive effect in relatively few locations and only on the least vulnerable bird species.
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1 Rationality is not a necessary condition, as Train 2009 (Chap. 2, p.14) explains: “The derivation assures that the model is consistent with utility maximization; it does not preclude the model from being consistent with other forms of behavior. The models can also be seen as simply describing the relation of explanatory variables to the outcome of a choice, without reference to exactly how the choice is made.”
2 In the European Common Agricultural Policy, a significant amount of agri-environmental schemes are payments depending on land use. Since 2007, the French government has taken over an acreage payment of 76 euros by ha and by year for pastures. Our stylized payment is close to a rather ambitious version of this, doubling over the payment.
3 The high proportions of change (− 1/2 both for S3 and S4 relatively to S1 and S2) are somewhat surprising but have to be put in perspective in terms of acreages. They represent respectively 50,000 and 110,000 ha where the differences for pastures are around 550,000 ha between scenarios. The differences in urban areas are nevertheless sufficiently marked to highlight a competition for space between urban and pastures, and between urban and conservation. The low opportunity cost of pasture is probably the reason for this result.
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This research has been founded by the FRB (Fondation de Recherche sur la Biodiversit) and GDF–SUEZ through the MOBILIS project. R. Chakir also acknowledges the financial support from French Agence Nationale de la Recherche through the ModULand project (ANR–11–BSH1–005). The authors also acknowledge volunteer ornithologists, French Ministry of Agriculture (Service de la Statistique et de la Prospective), IGN, INRA InfoSol, and Mto France for the production of data that allow such work. We are grateful to Laurent Terray, Christian Pag and Julian Boé for the regional climate scenarios, Vincent Badeau for the development of the 8km soil data set and Christophe François for his assistance in the use of climate and soils data sets.
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Ay, JS., Chakir, R., Doyen, L. et al. Integrated models, scenarios and dynamics of climate, land use and common birds. Climatic Change 126, 13–30 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1202-4
- Integrated models
- Land use
- Incentive policy
- Common birds