Project properties

Title Land-use dynamics and ecosystem services in an agro-forest frontier in Mexico
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) FEM group: Madelon Lohbeck
FSE group: Lucas Carvalho Gomes
Advisor GRS group: Mathieu Decuyper
Examiner(s) Prof.Dr. F.J.J.M (Frans) Bongers
Contact info
Begin date 2019/11/01
End date 2021/01/01
Description This Msc thesis is part of the FOREFRONT program which focuses on agro-forest frontier areas. Agro-forest frontiers are the particularly dynamic borders between forested and agricultural land. The program aims is to link the landscape-transforming strategies of the various actors with landscape changes and resulting ecosystem services.
In this Msc project you will focus on the La Sepultura region in Mexico, this is a highly dynamic agro-forest frontier area where smallholder farmers depend on agriculture, timber and NTFPs and live adjacent to the La Sepultura biosphere reserve. Demand for agricultural produce and conservation interests are sometimes conflicting although synergistic landuses have also been developed. You will combine different sources of satellite imagery over time (landsat, google earth) with field data on land uses and ecosystem services to respond to the following question:
How has land use changed in the past decades and what are the consequences for balancing agriculture and conservation in the La Sepultura region in Chiapas, Mexico?

Methods: classifying land uses in different timesteps using Google Earth Engine, R, ArcGIS/ QGIS (this is designed as a desktop study although if there is keen interest it could be combined with fieldwork). (Spatial) statistics on trends over time in landuses and ecosystem services and evaluating trade-offs and synergies. Possibility of field visits for validation.

FOREFRONT research programme:

Population and forest dynamics/ Sustainable forest management/ Forest restoration and succession / Ecosystem services / Agroforestry/ Modelling / America's/ tropical zone
Used skills GIS, programming
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I;