Evaluating agri-environmental schemes using a spatially explicit agent-based modelling approach

Schouten, M.A.H.; Polman, N.B.P.; Westerhof, E.J.G.M.; Opdam, P.F.M.


Networks of nature reserves are being proposed as a solution when the degree of fragmentation is considered to endanger the long-term persistence of species diversity. Agri-environmental schemes are supposed to make a positive contribution to these networks. The spatially explicit agent-based model presented in this chapter combines spatial dynamics in land ownership, land use and the importance of agri-environmental schemes in conserving biodiversity by capturing the heterogeneity of individual farms as well as their dynamics over time, in a spatially explicit landscape. The chapter evaluates the effects of two different agri-environmental policies at landscape level, and shows that agri-environmental schemes with flexible payments based on a spatial landscape configuration can be valuable for agri-environmental policy development.