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A grazing model for simulating the impact of historical land management decisions in sensitive landscapes: Model design and validation

Thomson, Amanda M.; Simpson, Ian A.. 2006 A grazing model for simulating the impact of historical land management decisions in sensitive landscapes: Model design and validation. Environmental Modelling & Software, 21. 1096-1113. 10.1016/j.envsoft.2005.05.008

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Abstract/Summary

This paper reports the construction and testing of a historical environmental simulation model, Búmodel (bú: Icelandic – farm estate or enterprise). The model permits the investigation of historical grazing management under variable environmental conditions in Iceland through the prediction of spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation biomass and utilisation. Input parameters of the model are environmental, livestock and management variables from historical and archaeological sources. Process sub-models were constructed using contemporary Icelandic data. Validation of the model was based on an independent, published grazing experiment and demonstrated that Búmodel-predicted utilisable biomass values and biomass intake values fall within ±1 standard deviation of observed values. Búmodel provides a validated representation of linkages between environmental and management elements in a historical grazing system. It incorporates key issues of spatial and temporal scale, data quality, model validation and the inherent stochasticity of landscape change over historical periods. In doing so, it enables researchers interested in past landscapes to investigate the flexibility of the historical Icelandic grazing systems within the constraints of climate and vegetation cover, and provides a framework and methodology that can be applied to other historical extensive livestock-based agricultural systems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.envsoft.2005.05.008
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
CEH Sections: _ Biosystems Dynamics
ISSN: 1364-8152
Additional Keywords: spatio-temporal model, historical landscapes, grazing management, Iceland, domestic livestock, utilisation, validation
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Mathematics
Date made live: 14 May 2008 09:27
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2927

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