S9: "Scale-elevators": Scaling indicators and Scaling Issues in Quantitative Analysis of Land and Resource Management

Organised by: Martin Volk (UFZ Leipzig), Herman van Keulen and Frank Ewert (Wageningen University and Research Centre)

The consideration and transferability of processes, local conditions and assessment methods to different scale levels plays a central role in environmental sciences as well as in plan-ning practice. The main problem is the lack of general theories allowing the derivation of rules for regionalization. Thus, two fundamentally different research trends can be pointed out focusing on:

The cross-scale methods are usually used in soil sciences, or micro- to meso-scale hydrological simulations, with limited possibilities to transfer to larger areas. Thus, many environmental scientists prefer scale-specific simulations - but with a lack of suitable methods for scale transition. Currently, most of the studies in environmental sciences are concentrated on "scaling up" approaches, which are defined by the translation or extrapolation of information from small scales to landscape or regional scales. The inverse approach of "scaling down" approaches, which can be defined as the translation of information from larger to smaller scales, is less commonly applied in research (it is mainly confined to climatological topics, such as predicting landscape response to climatic change by means of global climate models). However, both approaches - "scaling down" and "scaling up" - are necessary and have to be combined in order to achieve an integrated environmental analysis for all spatial scales.

Main research questions/issues of interest are:

With respect to environmental modeling and assessment, the following questions need to be answered:

Sustainable management of natural resources requires a holistic approach, considering natural and socio-economic processes and relationships across scales and levels of organization. Such complex systems are difficult to model, following conventional approaches developed within the boundaries of discipline-oriented thinking which are often scale-specific. One of the key challenges is to generate, transfer and provide information across scales. Several methods for scaling information have been developed, but the differences among these and the associated advantages and limitations are not well understood. Particular problems emerge from the demand to perform simulations simultaneously for systems across scales and levels of organization. Such multi-scale analysis and modelling is not well understood. Available concepts propose model configurations, whose development and application is often constrained by the inherent complexity of processes and relationships to be considered. This requires integration of large numbers of modules, which complicates any interpretation of model results, apart from the difficulty to obtain the extensive number of parameters and input data required. Specific emphasis is on natural resource management in agro-ecosystems within sustainable rural development programmes.


In particular, the session aims to:

Contact: Dr. Martin Volk, martin.volk@ufz.de


Part 1, Monday 13:30 - 15:15

13:30. Model-based identification and scaling indicators of landscape processes: A review. Dr Martin Volk, Germany

13:45. Multi-scale analysis and modelling of natural resource management. Dr Frank Ewert, The Netherlands

14:00. A GIS-based framework to model farm and landscape scale indicators for sustainable rural development. Mr Tommy Dalgaard, Denmark

14:15. Spatial and Temporal Model Validation: Representing Landscape Properties and Processes across Scales. Prof Chris Renschler, USA

14:30. Localisation effects of land use change measures on hydrological models. Dr Sven Lautenbach, Germany

14:45. Predicting Impacts of Water Management in Coastal Zones by Hydraulic and Salinity Modeling. Dr Hoanh Chu Thai, Malaysia

15:00. Numerically Optimized Empirical Modeling of Highly Dynamic, Spatially Expansive, and Behaviorally Heterogeneous Hydrologic Systems with Examples. Mr Edwin Roehl, USA

Part 2, Wednesday 14:15 - 15:15

14:15. Multiscale fuel type characterization for the Mediterranean ecosystems of Southern Italy by using remote sensing data. Dr Rosa Lasaponara, Italy

14:30. Problems and errors in up- and down-scaling in environmental modelling for the policy scale. Mr Ulrich Leopold, Luxemburg

14:45. Impact assessment of ensembles of small reservoirs in semi-arid regions. Prof Nick van de Giesen, The Netherlands

15:00. Integrated assessments of climate variability and change for Australian agriculture - connecting the islands of knowledge. Dr Holger Menke, Australia