Polytechnic Institute
of Bragança



CIMO - Mountain Research Center. See video HERE


IND_CHANGE - INDicator-based modelling tools to predict landscape CHANGE and to improve the application of social-ecological research in adaptive land management

Project Type
Nacional / Público
Financial Program
PTDC - Projectos em todos os domínios científicos
Global Funding Value
171550.00 €
IPB Funding Value
44367.00 €
Principal Investigator
João Carlos Martins Azevedo
Many rural landscapes are changing rapidly, with uncertain outcomes for biodiversity, landscape function and the corresponding landscape services. Therefore, monitoring and adaptively managing the drivers and consequences of landscape change while sustaining the production of essential resources have become research and policy priorities. Landscape change can have profound impacts on conditions, resources, values, hazards and services. Due to its synthetic, integrative nature, land use pattern and change analysis is at the core of ecological and environmental research. Ecological assessment and monitoring are nowadays important tools for the management and reporting on the condition of natural resources. The need for international standards has fostered the selection of essential indicators, from biodiversity and agriculture to water resources and rural development. Models of land use dynamics can support forecasts of ecological change under realistic social-ecological scenarios. Moreover, the integration of data and predictions for multiple indicators under common spatially-explicit computational environments can foster adaptive land management through web-based spatial decision-support systems, promoting communication and sharing in multi-user environments. An integrative view of the effects of pressures on multiple indicators across scales would support more consistent decisions by administration agencies and private stakeholders. The IND_CHANGE project is aimed to provide such an integrative view, by applying multiple modelling tools under a common theoretical and computational framework and from a spatially and temporally explicit approach. The focus will be on improving the existing capacity to accurately forecast responses of standard ecological indicators to landscape change under alternative management scenarios. This collaborative project involving scientists and stakeholders will address three sequential questions: (1) How fit are pre-existing data to inform on relevant indicators of socialecological change, and which are the key data gaps? (2) Which modelling frameworks are more suitable to predict and forecast estimates of such indicators under current and future conditions? And (3) Can integrative and collaborative computational tools improve and disseminate the application of model-based social-ecological research in adaptive land planning and management? IND_CHANGE will be conducted by experienced researchers in the study of biodiversity, landscape ecology, and environmental and social-ecological change. A consortium of five national research institutions led by CIBIO/ICETA (InBio Associate Lab) will be advised by three top international experts on social-ecological system analysis, spatial planning and natural resource management, and international reporting. Excellence training and mobility opportunities will thus be awarded to six young researchers who will be hired to support specific tasks. Two administration stakeholders will provide the context and requirements for developing and testing the new tools while ensuring post-project system sustainability. A stakeholder advisory commission with representatives from relevant regional administration and private stakeholders will also be organized.

Project Team

Project Partners

  • ICETA-Porto/UP - Instituto de Ciências e Tecnologias Agrárias e Agro-Alimentares - Porto
  • IPVC - Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo
  • UA - Universidade de Aveiro
  • UTAD - Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro