Generating Agricultural Landscapes for Alternative Futures Analysis: A Multiple Attribute Decision-Making Model
This paper describes the development of a multi-attribute decision model that generates depictions of the agricultural landscape for use in alternative futures studies. The fundamental assumption of the model is that changes in agricultural land cover are due to rational decisions made by an agricultural producer that are based on the attributes of the producer, the crops, and the field. The model first evaluates any changes in the land base due to conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses, and then uses field descriptions, crop characteristics, and the decision paradigm of an agricultural producer to determine the preferred crop for each field under a particular policy scenario. By cycling over the fields for each time-step in the simulation, future depictions of the agricultural system that respond to various drivers of change are generated. An example implementation of an alternative futures model is provided to show how this method can be used to examine alternative policy or management options.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2006