Nature-based solutions in brook catchments – Modeling land-use and its impact on terrestrial carbon pools.

  • L Timmer

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Nature-based solutions (NbSs) offer an opportunity to mitigate climate change. These NbSs are for example forests and wetlands and contribute to a more resilient landscape that is better prepared for extreme meteorological weather conditions (storms, floods, and periods of drought). These NbSs cause land-use change (LUC) but also offer regulatory services like the sequestration of atmospheric carbon.
This study models the changes in the landscape and applies carbon pool parameters that have been found in scientific literature to estimate the total carbon stocks. In a system analysis of the Dutch brook catchment the Aa of Weerijs in Noord-Brabant (147 km2, South of Breda, NL), spatio-temporal dynamics have been elucidated. To retrieve an accurate image of the landscape in 2050, the starting point is 1960 because after 1960 the landscape changed drastically. To elucidate the historical dynamics of stored carbon and the landscape, the situation of 1960 has been compared to 2010. For 2050, two scenarios are used. Firstly, a Technical-physical scenario (in which a business-as-usual situation is assumed) is considered). Secondly, a NbSs/wetlands scenario is considered (This is an environmentally friendly scenario).
The research question that is answered in this research is: What are the possible effects from land-use change on the terrestrial carbon pools in the Aa of Weerijs brook catchment in the different land-use categories for the timespan 1960 – 2050 when a technical-physical scenario and a NbSs/wetlands scenario is considered, and can the results be applied to other catchments?
The landscape in 1960 and 2010 is classified through topographical maps and ArcGIS. The prediction of the landscape for both scenarios in 2050 has been done with TerrSet 2020 Land Change Modeler from IDRISI in which the land-use classification maps from 1960 and 2010 served as input. There are four different carbon pools considered for seven land-use categories in 1960, 2010, and 2050.
A total carbon stock of 1.1 Mton has been found for 1960. In 2010, an increase in carbon stocks is assumed and the total carbon stock is 1.6 Mton. There is a clear trend in the landscape: increase of settlement area (+548 ha; +4% of the stream basin) and increase in tree nurseries (+1,301 ha; +8.9% of the stream basin). In the Technical-physical scenario for 2050, the carbon stock remains the same as in 2010. Increase of settlement continues (+645 ha; +4.4% of the stream basin) as does the expansion of the area of tree nurseries (+942 ha; +6.4% of the stream catchment area) and this is mainly at the expense of grassland (-1,301 ha; - 8.9% of the stream catchment area). In the NbSs/wetlands scenario, the total carbon stock is 1.8 Mton. The area of wetland compared to 2010 has increased (+778 ha; +5.3% of the stream basin) at the expense of grassland (-2,964 ha; - 20.1% of the stream basin).
This study presents an approach where a combination of tools - a land change modeler and ArcGIS -can be used for a rapid assessment of mitigating effects from climate adaptation measures. This offerswater professionals the opportunity to handle
Date of Award29 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJikke van Wijnen (Examiner) & Angelique Lansu (Co-assessor)

Master's Degree

  • Master Environmental Sciences

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