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The assessment of vegetation management in ESAs: the development of a computer system - BD0324

This study will aim to develop a computer modelling system to predict effectiveness of ESA management prescriptions at the farm scale. An expert system will be built to allow policy makers, ESA advisors or land managers to predict what vegetation will occur following implementation of specific land management regimes as well as to foresee the time-scale for any change in vegetation. The modelling system will consist of 4 components: 1. Vegetation Suitability Model. This will be an extension of an extant, validated modelling system based on the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) developed to predict likely vegetation communities in the River Tyne catchment; 2. Vegetation Dynamics Model. This will predict the rate at which vegetation changes from one type to another and will be built around a suite of robust, generalised linear models which relate the rate of change from one plant community type to another, to the environment and management. Multivariate simplifications of the environment-management information will be used as predictor variables where they prove to be the most suitable descriptors of community change; 3. Colonisation Model which will analyse the extent to which a change in management is successful in creating the desired vegetation. Where the target vegetation type is not present locally, spatial distribution of other communities will become important in determining whether or not the community will develop. This component will comprise a spatial and seed bank model that integrates life-history strategy information with a spatial sub-model that incorporates local and regional habitat data; and 4. User-friendly Graphical User Interface. The expert system thus developed will be used in a Windows environment on a portable PC and will be mouse and button driven, relying on a suite of menus to present information and model outputs.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1997

Cost: £90,039
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Newcastle
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship