Alessandro Gimona

Alessandro Gimona
James Hutton Institute

MSc, PhD

About

120
Publications
36,411
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Introduction
Senior Landscape Scientist. Assessing the consequences of land use and climate change and climate change ### Active projects are on multiple landscape benefits and trade-offs, mapping of key ecosystem services, and the development of interactive tools that facilitate decision and participation by experts and non experts. ### Interests: #EcosystemServices, #DigitalSoilMapping, #EO, #SpeciesDistributions, #Earth Observation, #LandUseChange, #SpatialPlanning, #Agent-Based Models ##
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
January 2001 - December 2012
Macaulay Land Use Research Institute

Publications

Publications (120)
Article
Full-text available
The Aichi 2020 Targets, under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), aim to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020, in order to ensure that ecosystems continue to provide essential services. Here we apply a social–ecological systems analysis to provide insight into the diverse system interactions that pose impediments to delivery of the Aichi...
Article
Full-text available
Context Humans structure landscapes for the production of food, fibre and fuel, commonly resulting in declines of non-provisioning ecosystem services (ESs). Heterogeneous landscapes are capable of providing multiple ESs, and landscape configuration—spatial arrangement of land cover in the landscape—is expected to affect ES capacity. However, the ma...
Article
Climatic change in the last few decades has had a widespread impact on both natural and human systems, observable on all continents. Ecological and environmental models using climatic data often rely on gridded data, such as WorldClim. The main aim of this study was to devise and evaluate a computationally efficient approach to produce new high res...
Article
Land degradation is a serious issue especially in dry and developing countries leading to ecosystem services (ESS) degradation due to soil functions' depletion. Reliably mapping land degradation spatial distribution is therefore important for policy decisions. The main objectives of this paper were to infer land degradation through ESS assessment a...
Article
Full-text available
Forest expansion can make an important contribution to the 2015 Paris Agreement, through offsetting Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. EU, UK and Scottish forest policy encourages substantial forest expansion. Unfortunately, policy is still inadequately informed by high resolution data, and often assumes a fairly homogenous landscape, uniformly suitab...
Article
Land degradation leads to ecosystem degradation, reducing ecosystem functioning and depleting ecosystems' resilience. The majority of factors linked to land degradation are closely related with the depletion of below- and above-ground stocks of organic carbon. Organic carbon stock is important for climate change mitigation and for restoring soil fu...
Article
IPCC scenarios rely on negative emission technology to keep the climate within safe limits, while the economy keeps growing. This is rather risky as the technologies we need do not yet exist at the right scale. Degrowth is an alternative that should be seriously considered.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The concept of ecological networks (ENs), has developed over the past 40 years with the broad aim of maintaining the integrity of ecological processes over landscapes and seascapes.Protected areas will have to adapt to land use change and climate change. This thinkpiece briefly reviews the evidence and suggests a way forward for the next few decade...
Presentation
Full-text available
The world faces many threats, the climate crisis has reached the top of the political agenda (COP26) and the recent COVID19 pandemic has raised awareness of the fragility of socio-ecological systems. The time is right to seek new opportunities to consider how to enhance resilience to environmental and societal shocks, as reflected in the SG ambitio...
Data
The world faces many threats, the climate crisis has reached the top of the political agenda (COP26) and the recent COVID19 pandemic has raised awareness of the fragility of socio-ecological systems. The time is right to seek new opportunities to consider how to enhance resilience to environmental and societal shocks, as reflected in the SG ambitio...
Preprint
Current estimates suggest that the world is on track for ~3°C of heating relative to pre-industrial levels by 2100. This is likely to bring great disruption to earth systems, leading to increased natural hazard risks, crop failures, civil unrest and population migration. There is, however, a high degree of uncertainty about the impacts that such ev...
Article
Peatlands are an important potential sink or source of carbon and play a significant role in climate change regulation. Understanding peatland as 3D-landforms is as important as mapping their spatial extent. The main aim of this work was to estimate a 3D representation of peat properties and assess the associated spatial uncertainty, to provide bas...
Preprint
We aim to 1) understand the synergies and trade-offs in ecosystem services generated by woodland expansion under alternative visions, and 2) understand how novel governance mechanisms could influence woodland expansion and ecosystem service provision. We simulate previously developed visions for woodland expansion within a spatially explicit agent-...
Article
Full-text available
The ecosystem services framework has now been embodied in policy and practice, creating the need for governance structures that allow science, policy and practice to come together and facilitate shared learning. We describe five years of progress in developing an Ecosystem Services Community of Practice in Scotland, which brings together over 600 i...
Chapter
Peatlands contain a large amount of the carbon stocks of the biosphere. Mapping the extent, locations and conditions of peatland at the landscape scale has implications for carbon inventories, conservation and ecosystem services assessments. Digital Soil Mapping provides a (geo)statistical framework to quantitatively model relationships between soi...
Poster
Full-text available
This project aimed to understand the likely impact of water quality on ecosystem services, including risk to health and food security (crops and fisheries) within a risk-based framework. Risk = Hazard * Vulnerability Hazard was derived as likely exposure to pollution, using available data on land cover; industry location ; fertiliser application; i...
Article
Peatlands offer a series of ecosystem services including carbon storage, biomass production, and climate regulation. Climate change and rapid land use change are degrading peatlands, liberating their stored carbon (C) into the atmosphere. To conserve peatlands and help in realising the Paris Agreement, we need to understand their extent, status, an...
Poster
Full-text available
In response to increasing flood risk across Europe, Natural Flood Management (NFM) represents a valid option to reduce flood risk alongside traditional techniques. The intensification of agriculture can increase the downstream peak discharge. However, downstream lands can benefit from upstream NFM measures and, at the same time, enhance several UN...
Article
Full-text available
Agent based models (ABMs) simulate actions and interactions of autonomous agents/groups and their effect on systems as a whole, accounting for learning without assuming perfect rationality or complete knowledge. ABMs are an increasingly popular approach to studying complex, spatially distributed socio-environmental systems, but have still to become...
Article
Mapping the extent and locations of peatland at landscape scale has implications for carbon inventories, conservation and ecosystem services assessments. The main aim of this paper was to model and map the extent of northern peat soils while taking into account its uncertainty, and in particular exploring: 1. the use of radar Sentinel 1 as alternat...
Article
Globally, peatlands provide an important sink of carbon in their near natural state but potentially act as a source of gaseous and dissolved carbon emission if not in good condition. There is a pressing need to remotely identify peatland sites requiring improvement and to monitor progress following restoration. A medium resolution model was develop...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The purpose of this technical report is to provide an update on work in the Strategic Research Programme (Work package 1.4.3) that is collating maps/spatial datasets on land use and ecosystem services for case study locations of Scotland’s two National Parks and Aberdeenshire River Dee. These maps have been produced through work on agricultural lan...
Presentation
Please go to this address: http://arcg.is/q08iX The Natural Assets Theme of the Scottish Government's Strategic Research Programme 2016-21 is concerned with identification, quantification and valuation of Scotland’s environmental assets, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Modelling and mapping of key indicators of ecosystem services is an esse...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The boundary between productive land and hill land in Scotland has moved over time, in response to climate and also to market demand. Scotland's climate is changing, and this will mean changes for those areas of Scotland that sit on the margins of productive agriculture. [...] The potential impact of climate change on marginal land was identified b...
Article
A spatial hidden Markov model (SHMM) is introduced to analyse the distribution of a species on an atlas, taking into account that false observations and false non-detections of the species can occur during the survey, blurring the true map of presence and absence of the species. The reconstruction of the true map is tackled as the restoration of a...
Article
Assisted colonisation, one form of species translocation, has been proposed as a tool for helping species to track suitable conditions in a changing climate. There are considerable practical challenges associated with it, including predicting where to place translocated individuals. This problem may be particularly big for small and immobile specie...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Background Climate change is predicted to have very substantial impacts on biodiversity, in some cases driving species to extinction when they are unable to track suitable climatic conditions. This is a particular threat for alpine species, given both the strong control on them exerted by climatic conditions and the increasing isolation of alpine...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
To improve the integration of policies that relate to land use, an interactive web-based tool was developed to explore how different scenarios are associated with multiple benefits, including the delivery of some key benefits from ecosystems, namely nutrient, and sediment retention, climate regulation, biodiversity, food production. In this study w...
Poster
Full-text available
Land and soil degradation are widespread especially in dry and developing countries such as Ethiopia. Land degradation leads to ecosystems services (ESS) degradation, because it causes the depletion and loss of several soil functions. Ethiopia's farmland faces intense degradation due to deforestation, agricultural land expansion, land overexploitat...
Article
Full-text available
The '4 per mille Soils for Food Security and Climate' was launched at the COP21 with an aspiration to increase global soil organic matter stocks by 4 per 1000 (or 0.4 %) per year as a compensation for the global emissions of greenhouse gases by anthropogenic sources. This paper surveyed the soil organic carbon (SOC) stock estimates and sequestratio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The demand for information on functional soil properties is high and has increased over time. This is especially true for soil organic carbon (SOC) in the framework of food security and climate change. The GlobalSoilMap consortium was established in response to such a soaring demand for up-to-date and relevant soil information. The majority of the...
Chapter
This chapter reports on an exercise in replicating the analysis of outputs from 20,000 runs of a social simulation of biodiversity incentivisation (FEARLUS-SPOMM) as part of the MIRACLE project. Typically, replication refers to reconstructing the model used to generate the output from the description thereof, but for larger-scale studies, the outpu...
Article
Though the importance of coppicing for the conservation of forest biodiversity is acknowledged, little is known about flora diversity and how it may be affected by the perceptions, constraints and regulations governing how loggers choose to exploit forest resources. Building on previous research on coppiced forests in the central Italian Apennines,...
Article
The demand for information on functional soil properties is high and has increased over time. This is especially true for soil organic carbon (SOC) in the framework of food security and climate change. The GlobalSoilMap consortium was established in response to such a soaring demand for up-to-date and relevant soil information. The majority of the...
Conference Paper
Soil plays a crucial role in the ecosystem functioning such as food production, capture and storage of water, carbon and nutrients. In this work we present an approach to spatially and jointly assess the multiple contributions of soil to the delivery of ecosystem services. We focussed on the modelling of the impact of soil on sediment retention, ca...
Article
Reliable spatially explicit information about soil is important for global environmental challenges. Soil texture is one of the soil most important characteristics as it drives several physical, chemical, biological, and hydrological properties and processes. Despite the importance, there is scarcity of information on soil texture, especially at th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report is in response to a request to develop a weight-of-evidence method to enable change in priority catchments to be recorded, understood, and interpreted in the context of catchment data. The report outlines the method for collecting and combining data to assess the effectiveness of the Rural Diffuse Pollution Plan that represents Scotland...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Soil plays a crucial role in the ecosystem functioning and the modelling of their contributions is fundamental especially in the context of climate change. In this work we present an approach to assess and map the multiple contributions of soil to the delivery of ecosystem services. In this work we integrated continuous 3D soil information derived...
Chapter
The Scottish Government wish to preserve the carbon stocks already stored or sequestered in both organic and mineral soils and see land-use change as one of the key drivers affecting storage of soil organic carbon (SOC). A key component to develop any strategy to maintain the existing carbon stocks is the quantification of these stocks both in term...
Chapter
Any model for digital soil mapping suffers from different types of errors, including interpolation errors, so it is important to quantify the uncertainty associated with the maps produced. The most common approach is some form of regression kriging (RK) or variation involving geostatistical simulation. Another way of assessing the spatial uncertain...
Article
Full-text available
Question: We compared active and abandoned beech coppices in terms of: (i) structural features (ii) total, understory and overstory plant diversity across spatial scales (iii) species richness of beech forest specialist species. Location: Central Apennines, Italy. Methods: We applied a multiscale approach, working at fine scale (management units) a...
Article
This paper presents an approach to downscaling of climate models based on a combination of Generalised-additive-models and geostatistics. The paper aims at increasing the usefulness of Climate Models by creating data sets with a spatio-temporal resolution appropriate for applications of environmental models at the management scale. Simulations of c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The issues of ecosystem services, flood control and its social and economic impacts rank among the most complex and difficult disciplines in environmental education. For an effective interpretation and education it is necessary to choose an appropriate teaching methods. This paper presents the game design and game use experience of a two interactiv...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat associations of farmland birds are well studied, yet few have considered relationships between species distribution and soil properties. Charadriiform waders (shorebirds) depend upon penetrable soils, rich in invertebrate prey. Many species, such as the Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, have undergone severe declines across Europe, despit...
Article
Full-text available
Here we provide the first analysis of activity patterns exhibited by spotted and melanistic colour morphs of the vulnerable guiña Leopardus guigna, in a forest landscape of southern Chile. Camera traps showed guiñas were mainly active at night (64% of photos). Melanistic guiñas were more nocturnal (82% of photos) than the more common spotted cats (...
Conference Paper
Even if the issue of cross-scale rural governance is being thoroughly discussed (Cash, et al, 2006; Cumming, et al, 2006; Termeer, et al, 2010), a directly related issue concerning the complementarities of governance instruments is arising. One main problem detected is the lack of coordination amongst such instruments that are, in fact spatially co...
Article
Full-text available
Context Habitat networks are often advocated as an effective measure for adaptation to climate change, while intensification of land use is a possible response to threats to food security. Objectives We examined the question of whether woodland networks are likely to help promote species range shift, and tried to disentangle the influence of land u...
Article
Snow cover and its monitoring are important because of the impact on important environmental variables, hydrological circulation and ecosystem services. For regional snow cover mapping and monitoring, the MODIS satellite sensors are particularly appealing. However cloud presence is an important limiting factor. This study addressed the problem of c...
Technical Report
Full-text available
1. Key Points • This report describes an analytical procedure aimed at ranking Notifiable Features in Scotland according to the risk posed to them by climate change. • As well as discussing the results of this ranking process, it looks at potential adaptive management approaches for the most highly ranked features within that list. • Different anal...
Article
Abstract The variation of soil properties down a profile is usually considered continuous. The aim of this study was to develop and test a methodology to model the continuous vertical and lateral distributions of SOC stocks in Scottish soils making explicit the modelling and spatial uncertainty of the results. A comparison with regression kriging a...
Poster
Full-text available
In cases where a dataset is not entirely filled, interpolation can be used to estimate its missing parts. This is achieved by fitting a GAM-geostatistical model with relevant covariates and performing Kriging or Gaussian simulations on the GAM residuals. For example, this has been used on data coming from MODIS, to estimate unavailable data due to...
Article
We have carried out an in-depth investigation into the effects of image compression on synthetic Probe for On-Board Autonomy – Vegetation (PROBA-V) scenes and Landsat-derived image tiles. The two image compression implementations used were the TER implementation and a bespoke implementation of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSD...
Chapter
Information regarding soil carbon across landscapes is critical for better soil and environmental management and for climate regulation and adaptation policy. Soil properties vary in space and time and the prediction of their variation is an important part of environmental modelling as it has to consider and communicate the inherent uncertainty of...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The objectives of the research project were: • to collate information about the ecology of ash and species which use ash and how they do so; • to assess how British woodlands might change as a result of the loss of ash; • to define a range of management scenarios which might be applied as a result of ash dieback, and to assess how these might affec...
Article
In environmental applications, the data have a large variety of resolutions carrying information at different scales. Various approaches have been used to include in models information from sources at different scales combining multi-resolution products in order to integrate the spatio-temporal variability of sub-pixel pattern. A methodology is pro...
Article
Full-text available
We report results from over 20,000 runs of a coupled agent-based model of land use change and species metacommunity model. We explored the effect of increasing government incentive to improve biodiversity, in the context of other influences on land manager decision-making: aspirations, input costs, and price variability. The experiments test the fo...
Conference Paper
Different statistical methods have been proposed for fitting the empirical quantitative function linking the soil information to the scorpan factors, while taking into account the spatial structure of the data . Regression kriging extends the methods of kriging and co-kriging and it has been further extended by the use of GAMs (Generalized Additive...
Article
Analysis and forecast of the spatial distribution and dynamics of soil are important elements of sustainable land management. Recent studies have noted that the most successful and promising approach to estimating soil properties continuously over time and space should include a combination of remote sensing and modelling. The aim of this paper was...