Geoinformation in Environmental Planning


Project Information

TitleINNOVATE - Interplay among multiple uses of water reservoirs via innovative coupling of substance cycles in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems

Modelling land use change
FundingFederal Ministry of Education and Research
partnersProf. Dr. Ana Lúcia Candeias
Departamento de Engenharia Cartográfica da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)

Participation of 6 german and 7 brazilian project partners (
Duration01.01.2012 - 31.12.2016
Research AssociateDipl.-Geoök. Robert Koch
Project LeadProf. Dr. Birgit Kleinschmit


Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are subjected to current and future anthropogenic changes. The increasing energy and resource consumption, socio-economic development and climate change exert high pressure on the ecosystems especially in countries like Brazil. In order to meet this demand Brazil has constructed more than 600 hydropower stations during the last century. The construction of dams and reservoirs provides multiple water and land use. The different usages contain a high potential of conflict between various stakeholders. The INNOVATE project targets at a sustainable land and water management by using the example of the Itaparica reservoir. Since 1987 the Itaparica reservoir dams up the São Francisco River in a semi-arid area of northeastern Brazil. This hinterland is located in the biome Caatinga as the main vegetation type in the northeastern region of Brazil characterized by shrubland and thorny forests. The region is already affected by severe droughts periods. As one consequence the current scientific debate in Brazil is focusing on the possible impacts of climate and land use change on the semi-arid Northeast of Brazil.

The proposed project will develop a GIS-based method to model the consequences of land use change and climate change on biodiversity and carbon sequestration. We will establish an innovative approach, which combines species distribution modeling (MaxEnt) with remote sensing techniques to quantify and assess the complex effects of environmental changes on biodiversity. We analyze the current status of important key species for the biome (Caesalpinia pyramidalis, Anadenanthera macrocarpa, …) and simulate various possible developments of distributions for each single key species. First, the consequences of potential land use changes to the landscape pattern on a regional scale will be investigated. Then, the impacts of environmental changes on biodiversity for current status and future land use scenarios will be analyzed and evaluated. And finally, the potential of carbon sequestration will be quantified for current status and future land use scenarios. In close cooperation with our INNOVATE project partners we will use the local scale investigations (up-scaling) and the outputs of global scenarios (down-scaling) to optimize our spatial models. At the same time, we interact with the Scientific Coordination and Synthesis project GLUES on global models and scenarios during the entire process.