Urban Planning


Landscape Ecology


Oasis classification

Land use scenarios


Landscape modelling and land use scenarios

Objectives: Integrated socio-economic and ecological evaluation of the land use system, modelling of land use scenarios and development of recommendations for sustainable management strategies.

Contact Person: Prof. Dr. Andreas Bürkert and Prof. Dr. Eva Schlecht, Institute of Crop Science, University of Kassel, Germany


Scientific staff: Dr. Katja Brinkmann, Dr. Uta Dickhoefer, Dr. Eike Luedeling

Study area: Three selected villages at Al Jabal al Akhdar

Duration: 2008-2009

The results of the disciplinary studies of Agriculture and Landscape Ecology provide the foundation for a spatially explicit landscape model, which describes and explains the system’s functioning. Data incorporating the physical conditions, land use, working activities, products and produced values are combined and transformed, resulting in aggregated data, economic and ecological indicators and descriptors. Within a GIS, the terrain, land uses, soils and vegetation were analysed and combined with supplementary and non-spatial data. The three main parts of the model are:

  • Field module: Calculation of the horizontal and vertical nutrient fluxes at the field level
  • Household module:  Analysis of social and economic aspects of crop and livestock agriculture.Important spatial economic indi-cators include, for example, the site related yield potential of annual and perennial crops, the working time and fertiliser input. Non-spatial economic criteria like the whole household income and the economic risk are calculated in consideration of all household activities and products.
  • Landscape module: Integrated socio-economic and ecological evaluation of the three oasis systems with the assessment of the rangelands and the suitability of site to agriculture use

Overview of the landscape model with the different modules
(Green = Spatial modelling, Blue = non spatial economic modelling)

The modeling approach is used to create future landscape scenarios with different agricultural management strategies, including social and economic information’s. For the evaluation of the different scenario results and the changes when compared to the current situation, the economic and ecological indicators are depicted as an amoeba diagram.

The different management strategies of a scenarios, such as an enlargement of pomegranate cultivation,   an intensification of livestock production or the abandonment of land use as a result of decreasing population density, are evaluated in terms of sustainability, that is maintenance of productivity and income, and of biodiversity. A comparative analysis and evaluation of the scenarios is used to define recommendations for a sustainable regional development.