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Modelling the effects of climate change on agriculture

Agent-based land use modelling for management of biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture

The overriding aim of the project is to develop ecological-economic models for evaluating the implications of climate change for agriculture and agri-environmental policy.

These models will predict land use and future ecosystem services as affected by the decisions of thousands of individual land managers in a changing world. Given the large uncertainties posed by climate change we are also developing models for analysing and managing climate related risks.

Agent Based Modelling (ABM) is the central platform for developing the interdisciplinary research necessary for achieving these aims. Key advantages of ABM compared to other economic models, are the capacity to model decision making from the bottom up and flexibility in the modeling of land use change and ecosytem services in space and time.

Climate change is expected to affect Swedish agriculture in multiple ways, from grearer volatility in prices to changes in growing conditions and greater frequency of adverse weather events. We are investigating both potential mitigation opportunities within agriculture and adaptation strategies by agriculture to climate change, as well as the potential effects of different governance options, or lack of climate policy, on land use decisions and the future supply of ecosystem services.

Farmers’ responses to changing levels of ecosystem services In a new ABM we study interactions between a population of farmers in habitat management and predict the resulting ecosystem services. We find potential benefits to all farmers of cooperating to manage habitat at the landscape scale.

Could conservation of biodiversity mitigate agricultural risks? We have constructed a dynamic stochastic portfolio model for optimizing crop acreage and the stock of soil natural capital under multiple risks. The results shed new light on crop planning and soil management in the face of climate

Contact Ronggang (Leo) Cong, Ronggang [dot] Cong [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se, Phone: +46-(0)46-222 86 33

Involved researchers: Mark Brady (AgriFood Economics Centre, Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), Katarina Hedlund (Department of Biology, Lund University), Ola Olsson (Department of Biology, Lund University), Henrik Smith (Department of Biology, Lund University), Frank Wätzold (Environmental Economics, Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus)

Modelling the effects of climate change on agriculture in Sweden

The aim of this project is to investigate how climate change (and other environmental changes) will affect the potential for crop growth in Sweden in the future, and the role of land use for biogeochemical cycling and emission of green house and trace gases.

Climate change will, without doubt, have an important influence on agriculture in Sweden in the future. Effects beneficial to crops (such as longer growing seasons and elevated levels of CO2) will be set against the harmful effects (of e.g. variable precipitation, increase in pests and diseases and elevated levels of O3). Since the conditions will change for crops that are presently grown in Sweden, it might be favourable to introduce new crop species, better adapted to the future climate.

To be prepared for the future, the sum of these effects can be predicted by using mathematical models. Presently, there is a version for managed land of the ecosystem model LPJ-GUESS being developed, that is suitable to find the future prospects for agriculture in Sweden, as well as on a global scale.

Contact  Katarina Hedlund