Simulating forest landscape disturbances as coupled human and natural systems

Michael C. Wimberly, Zhihua Liu, Aashis Lamsal, Terry L. Sohl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The global human population is projected to increase from 7.2 billion in 2013 to 9.6 billion in 2050 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2013). Increasing numbers of people and households are placing escalating pressure on global forests through demand for wood and other forest resources. In addition, the geographic expansion of human populations results in deforestation and subsequent conversion of forested areas to agricultural and developed land uses. These human impacts interact with changing climate and natural forest disturbances such as wildfires and insect outbreaks to create a complex system of interacting processes that drive forest dynamics and affect ecosystem services such as timber production, wildlife habitat water quality, and carbon sequestration. Spatial simulation modeling of forest landscape change is an important technique for exploring the potential outcomes of these interactions over large areas and long time periods. Landscape simulation models are widely used for reconstructing historical landscape patterns driven by natural disturbance regimes, projecting future landscape trajectories under alternative forest management scenarios, and conducting simulation experiments to examine how multiple processes and their interactions affect landscape patterns and trajectories of change (Wimberly et al. 2012).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSimulation Modeling of Forest Landscape Disturbances
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9783319198095
ISBN (Print)9783319198088
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


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