Quantifying Off-Site Effects of Land Use Change: Filters, Flows and Fallacies.

TitleQuantifying Off-Site Effects of Land Use Change: Filters, Flows and Fallacies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
Authorsvan Noordwijk M, Poulsen J, Ericksen P
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Start Page19
Pagination19 - 34
KeywordsBiodiversity, Filters, Fire, Lateral Flows, Scale effects, watershed functions
AbstractIn this paper we review how the relative importance of lateral flows and filter effects differs among a number of externalities, and the implications this has for research methods. If flows and filters are incompletely understood, policies maybe based on fallacies. Whereas ‘fire-breaks’ act as filters in the lateral flow of the high temperature pulse of a fire, smoke from land-based fires can be intercepted only by rainfall acting as a filter and the external impact of smoke is determined by the atmospheric conditions governing lateral flow and chemical transformations along the pathway. Causal relations in smoke and haze problems are relatively simple and may form a basis for designing policy interventions to reduce downwind damage. For biodiversity issues, landscape connectivity, the absence of filters restricting dispersal and movement of organisms, is increasingly recognized as an influence on the dynamics of species richness and its scaling relations. Biodiversity research methods can extend beyond the current descriptive stage into clarifying causal relations with a lateral flow perspective.