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University of Melbourne (2014)

Evaluation of climate based uncertainties in agricultural land-use suitability analysis


Titre : Evaluation of climate based uncertainties in agricultural land-use suitability analysis


Université de soutenance : University of Melbourne

Grade : Masters Research thesis 2014

Résumé partiel
In the evaluation and study of natural resource management and planning there is a necessity to take long-term views of how land-use will evolve over time and when. Land-use, in an agricultural context, is an important determinant of the range and current capacity of the land and potential future purposes across rural and regional Australia. Changes to the system in light of external influences, such as climate change, is already dictating changing land use in some regions. One key line of land-use evaluation is the analysis of agricultural land-use suitability in a current timeframe, as well as into a projected future time. Suitability is the evaluation of how well the qualities of a given unit of land match the prerequisites of a specific type of land cover or use. The determination of what areas of land are deemed suitable can be complex and is principally determined through simulated computer models. One commonly used methodology is multi criteria analysis, which in itself makes use of a variety of modelling techniques. One such method uses the analytical hierarchy process as a decision support system for the modelling of land-use suitability. In the modelling of agricultural land-use suitability, for any given practice, three main biophysical factors data inputs are needed – soil type and form, climate conditions and landscape factors. However, methods of describing and evaluating land-use suitability can have inherent levels of uncertainty that can be found either in the data inputs or in knowledge inputs into the land-use suitability model. Analysis of these uncertainties is rarely undertaken, or applied in any decision making processes. This paper aims to assess the land-use suitability outcomes, of several agricultural commodities, for differing types of climate-related uncertainties within an applied land-use suitability modelling framework, across the Gippsland Region of Victoria, Australia. The focus will be upon three agricultural commodity land-uses ; perennial ryegrass, blue gum and potato. For knowledge based, or subjective based uncertainties, a weight sensitivity analysis on the overlay weights within the analytical hierarchy process will be performed. Boundaries based on change points will be defined and spatially represented. This is done for climatic inputs for current and projected future timeframes. For data based uncertainties, climate variability will be analysed and used as bounds of uncertainty. The potential influences this may have of the end product land-use suitability output will be evaluated and spatially represented.

Mots clés : uncertainty ; land suitability ; agriculture ; AHP ; sensitivity ; variability


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