Title Land-Cover and Land-Use Change in the Southern Yucatan Peninsular Region (LCLUC SYPR): Spatially Explicit Probability Approaches for Modeling and Projecting Deforestation and Land Conversion Linked to Remotely Sensed Imagery
 Collaborators B. L. Turner II (Clark University)
 Keywords tropical deforestation, agricultural change, modeling, integrative assessment

LCLUC-SYPR, a multi-funded, interdisciplinary project, seeks to understand the human and biophysical dynamics of deforestation and agricultural change and to advance spatially explicit modeling of these changes. SYPR economists, ecologists, and geographers investigate these
changes since the 1960s that include the addition of major infrastructure, significant population growth, changes in tenure laws, a plethora of development projects, and establishment of a Mexico's largest biosphere reserve and a complementary archaeo-ecotourism program. The project addresses the land changes through a reconstruction of international and national policy shifts affecting the region, a 200+ household survey focused primarily on six villages (ejidos) distributed throughout the region, studies of forest structure and function, including successional dynamics, and a 40-year, remote-sensing based assessment of land-cover change. GPS instrumentation links the surveyed households and other study sites to remotely sensed imagery.

Using the data generated and understanding gained from this work, the
LCLUC-SYPR project will create a detailed history of change linked to
socioeconomic and environmental causes and responses, and develop
spatially explicit modeling techniques that explain these changes and project them into the short-term future. Econometric models, grounded
in household decision-making, explore semi-market and -subsistence
behavior in explaining land-use/cover change. Markovian-based models
use remotely sensed data to calculate land-use/cover change, enhanced by
the addition of biophysical and socioeconomic information. Bridging
these two approaches is a third spatially explicit, regional, integrated
assessment model that draws on recent advances in artificial intelligence to leverage research in decision making, institutional analysis and ecology. The pros and cons of the three modeling approaches under different conditions will be articulated.

Organizations participating in this work are:
George Perkins Marsh Institute (Clark University),
Harvard Forest (Harvard University),
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Mexico)

 Related Links http://earth.clarku.edu/lcluc/ (LCLUC-SYPR)
http://lcluc.gecp.virginia.edu/ (NASA-LCLUC)
http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu (Harvard Forest)
http://www.ecosur.mx/ecosur.htm (ECOSUR)