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The Land-Use Change Analysis System (LUCAS) for Evaluating Landscape Management Decisions

Michael W. Berrygif - Richard O. Flammgif - Brett C. Hazen - Rhonda L. MacIntyre


Ecological dynamics in human-influenced landscapes are strongly affected by socioeconomic factors that influence land-use decision making. Incorporating these factors into a spatially-explicit landscape-change model requires integrating multidisciplinary data. In order to study the effects of land use on landscape structure in regions such as the Little Tennessee River basin in western North Carolina and the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, we have developed the Land- Use Change Analysis System or LUCAS for UNIX-based workstations. The map layers used by LUCAS are derived from remotely-sensed images, census and ownership maps, topographical maps, and outputs from econometric models. These map layers are stored, displayed, and analyzed using a public-domain Geographic Information System (GIS). Simulations using LUCAS generate new maps of land cover representing the amount of land-cover change so that issues such as biodiversity conservation, assessing the importance of landscape elements to meet conservation goals, and long-term landscape integrity can be addressed.

Brett Hazen (
Thu Jun 15 19:58:09 EDT 1995