Inderscience Publishers

Land use change and the multifunctional role of agriculture: a spatial prediction model in an Italian rural area

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Land use and cover change are very complex phenomena, based on relationships among environmental, social and economic factors. Moreover, its analysis could be highly valuable for predicting the effects of land use change and for planning a policy intervention able to steer agricultural activities towards sustainability. We implemented a spatial prediction model of agricultural land use changes using a Bayesian-based procedure (Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence). This model focuses on the probability maps of changing in a Tuscan area, as derived from the land use change tendency shown in Corine Land Cover (CLC) 1990 and CLC 2000. The social characteristics of the farmer (age, educational level), farming system and farm structure characteristics based on past agricultural census data are taken into consideration. The multifunctional contribution each land covers option is then derived.

Keywords: corine land cover change, Dempster-Shafer theory, multi-functionality, rural abandonment, agricultural land use change, Italy, spatial prediction models, sustainability, sustainable agriculture, fuzzy logic, arable crops, sustainable development

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