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An unified framework to integrate biotic, abiotic processes and human activities in spatially explicit models of agricultural landscapes

Abstract : Recent concern over possible ways to sustain ecosystem services has triggered important research worldwide on ecosystem processes at the landscape scale. Understanding this complexity of landscape functioning calls for coupled and spatially-explicit modeling approaches. However, disciplinary boundaries have limited the number of multi-process studies at the landscape scale, and current progress in coupling processes at this scale often reveals strong imbalance between biotic and abiotic processes, depending on the core discipline of the modelers. We propose a spatially-explicit, unified conceptual framework that allows researchers from different fields to develop a shared view of agricultural landscapes. In particular, we distinguish landscape elements that are mobile in space and represent biotic or abiotic objects (for example water, fauna or flora populations), and elements that are immobile and represent fixed landscape elements with a given geometry (for example ditch section or plot). The shared representation of these elements allows setting common objects and spatio-temporal process boundaries that may otherwise differ between disciplines. We present guidelines and an assessment of the applicability of this framework to a virtual landscape system with realistic properties. This framework allows the complex system to be represented with a limited set of concepts but leaves the possibility to include current modeling strategies specific to biotic or abiotic disciplines. Future operational challenges include model design, space and time discretization, and the availability of both landscape modeling platforms and data.
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Fabrice Vinatier, Philippe Lagacherie, Marc Voltz, Sandrine Petit, Claire Lavigne, et al.. An unified framework to integrate biotic, abiotic processes and human activities in spatially explicit models of agricultural landscapes. Frontiers in Environmental Science, Frontiers, 2016, 4, pp.1-7. ⟨10.3389/fenvs.2016.00006⟩. ⟨hal-02631415⟩

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