Projecting land use transitions at forest fringes in the Philippines at two spatial scales

P.H. Verburg, A. Veldkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents two applications of a spatially explicit model of land use change at two spatial scales: a nation-wide application for the Philippines at relatively coarse resolution and an application with high spatial resolution for one island of the Philippines: Sibuyan island, Romblon province. The model is based on integrated analysis of socio-economic and biophysical factors that determine the allocation of land use change in combination with the simulation of the temporal dynamics (path-dependence and reversibility of changes), spatial policies and land requirements. Different scenarios of near-future developments in land use pattern are simulated illustrating the effects of implementing spatial policies. Results from the coarse scale model with national extent mainly serve to identify the overall pattern of land use change and 'hot zones' of deforestation. The detailed application provides more insight in the pattern of land use change and its consequences for ecological processes. The use of the results for environmental assessments is illustrated by calculating spatial indices to assess the impact of land use change on forest fragmentation. It is concluded that spatially explicit modeling of land use change yields important information for environmental management and land use planning. The applications illustrate that the scale of analysis is an important determinant of the model configuration, the interpretation of the results and the potential use by stakeholders. There is no single, optimal, scale for land use change assessments. Each scale enables different types of analysis and assessment: applications at multiple scales therefore give complementary information needed for environmental management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-98
JournalLandscape Ecology
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • tropical deforestation
  • information-system
  • satellite data
  • cover change
  • patterns
  • model
  • policies
  • landscapes
  • scenarios
  • markets

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