Land Use Change & Conservation
Land Use Change Impacts on Species and Ecosystem Services 2023-24
School Of Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 1
In more detail, the module will have a mix of theory and practice. Topics covered in lectures may include:
- land use vs land cover: importance and impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being;
- how to monitor ecosystem change (measuring fragmentation)
- direct and indirect drivers of change (e.g. socio-economic dynamics, geographical features)
- what are scenarios and models useful for? The importance of scenarios in policy at all levels.
- estimating impacts on biodiversity (e.g species ranges) and ecosystem services (e.g. water regulation)
'Real-world' examples will be presented and discussed via regular presentations by invited speakers from UK and international institutions.
Computer practices will use open software to analyse ecosystem change and its impacts, and topics may include:
- measuring landscape change: learn to find, access and process datasets available to study landscapes, including relevant fragmentation metrics;
- simulating future landscapes: using a freely-available model to simulate future landscape change under different scenarios;
- estimating impacts on biodiversity (species richness and abundance) and ecosystem services (carbon, pollination) using freely available software.
Computer practicals will help the students acquire the skills needed to conduct the group project.
- To analyze the nature of land use change and its direct and indirect drivers
- To critically evaluate and appraise different types of geographical evidence (for example, land use maps)
- To plan, design and execute a piece of rigorous research, independently and in group, including writing and reviewing a report
- To utilise and apply simple computer models for spatial analysis (e.g. GLOBIO, InVEST) of land use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services