Land use change and ecosystem services in Zona da Mata, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Through the ages, land use change in Zona da Mata of Minas Gerais in Brazil created a landscape characterised by a mosaic of fragmented forests, pastures and coffee fields. Agriculture expansion and retraction, public policies and social movements were important drivers for the present landscape and affected the provision of ecosystems services such as food, water, habitat quality, etc. This landscape configuration is however dynamic and it is therefore important to understand how land use changes influence the provision of ecosystems services. Such information is crucial for society and policy makers in order to better plan future actions. This study will conduct a temporal analysis of land use change (1986-2015), map these landscape changes, identify the main drivers of change and project future scenarios. In addition, the study will model and map the ecosystems services of the past, present and future, and point out trade-offs and synergies in these services. Finally, it will analyse in more detail the effects of land use change and of future climate scenarios on water dynamics and suitability of the landscape for coffee production.