Dendoncker, Nicolas Rounsevell, Mark Bogaert, Patrick
Year of Publication:
45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Understanding mechanisms that drive present land use patterns is essential in order to derive appropriate models of land use change. When static analyses of land use drivers are performed, they rarely explicitly deal with spatial autocorrelation. Most studies are undertaken on autocorrelation-free data samples. By doing this, a great deal of information that is present in the dataset is lost. This paper presents a spatially explicit, cross-sectional, logistic analysis of land use drivers in Belgium. It is shown that purely regressive logistic models can only identify trends or global relationships between socio-economic or physico-climatic drivers and the precise location of each land use type. However, when the goal of a study is to obtain the best model of land use distribution, a purely autoregressive (or neighbourhood-based) model is appropriate. Moreover, it is also concluded that a neighbourhood based only on the 8 surrounding cells leads to the best logistic regression models at this scale of observation. This statement is valid for each land use type studied – i.e. built-up, forests, cropland and grassland.