Work Package 1

Disentangling the effects of land-​use, habitat fragmentation, climate change, and CO2 on ecosystem services

Lead: Lund, Sweden

WP1 uses the LPJ-​GUESS Dynamic Vegetation Model (DVM) to forecast 21st century shifts and tipping points in vegetation community structure throughout Europe, based on changes in the relative growth rates of dominant woody plant species.


  1. Forecast vegetation shifts on landscapes across Europe, at 1km spatial resolution, based on socio-​economic land-​use forecasts

  2. Incorporate dispersal ability and the effects of competition on the establishment of dispersing individuals

  3. Simulate ecosystem services: crop and timber yields, carbon sequestration, erosion-​control, and groundwater recharge

  4. Evaluate resilience and tipping points in the response of ecosystem services to climate change, habitat fragmentation and increasing CO2.


DVMs are an ideal tool with which to model the biogeochemical, hydrological and vegetation processes at the foundation of terrestrial ecosystems. Because DVMs model the mechanistic processes of ecosystem change, their predictions could be used to design land management strategies that would preserve vital ecosystem services. However, it has thus far been difficult to use DVM outputs to inform land management policy, because forecasts are too spatially coarse (e.g. 0.5°) to consider future changes in land-​use, e.g. agricultural conversion or abandonment, or urbanization. Moreover, DVMs have not historically considered dispersal limitations that will affect the rate at which vegetation composition changes. Our methodological advances address both these problems.

Contact:Casa Cordovil, 2º andar, Rua Joaquim Henrique da Fonseca, 7000 – 890 Évora 
phone: +351 266 759 350 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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