Land Utilisation Capability Indicator

Overview

LUCI explores the capability of a landscape to provide a variety of ecosystem services, such as agricultural production, erosion control, carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, habitat provision etc. It compares the services provided by the current utilisation of the landscape to estimates of its potential capability, and uses this information to identify areas where change might be beneficial, and where maintenance of the status quo might be desirable. 

The following services are currently modelled by LUCI:

Service Method
Production Based on slope, fertility, drainage, aspect
Carbon IPCC Tier 1 - based on soil and vegetation
Flooding Detailed topographical routing of water accounting for storage and infiltration capacity as function of soil and land use.
Erosion Slope, curvature, contributing area, land use, soil type
Sediment delivery Erosion combined with detailed topographical routing
Water quality Export coefficients combined with water flow and sediment delivery models
Habitat (Approach A) BEETLE - Forest Research's cost-distance approach to dispersal, examines connectivity
Habitat (Approach B) Identification of priority habitat by biophysical requirements e.g. wet grassland
Tradeoffs/synergy identification Various layering options with categorised service maps; e.g. Boolean, conservative, weighted arithmetic

Background

LUCI is a second generation extension and accompanying software implementation of the Polyscape framework as described in: Jackson, B, Pagella, T, Sinclair, F, Orellana, B, Henshaw, A, McIntyre, N, Reynolds, B, Wheater, H, Eycott, A (2013) Polyscape: a GIS mapping toolbox providing efficient and spatially explicit landscape-scale valuation of multiple ecosystem services, Urban and Landscape Planning 112, 74-88.

The LUCI framework is designed to follow the following principles:

Practical Conceptual
Can be run using nationally available data; i.e. available everywhere so relevant to national spatial planning Operates at a spatial scale relevant for field and sub-field level management decisions
Modular - can embed other models & aspects can be embedded in other models (LUCI is a framework) "Values" features and potential interventions by area affected, not just area directly modified
Fast running to enable "real time" scenario exploration Addresses tradeoffs and searches for "win-win" solutions