Working Hypotheses

  • Comparing the application of various simulation models in different study areas requires the international collaboration of solid research groups, each of which brings its own perspective and experience to the project.
  • In order to reach a conclusion about the goodness of fit of a particular model, it is essential to apply it to different data, scales and dynamics, hence the need to apply models to a wide range of study areas.
  • Although there are certain differences between the modelling of land use and cover change (LUCC) and the modelling of vegetation phonology in terms of the nature of the data and the objectives, they can both be addressed at the same time.
  • Implementation of the models must be based on a coherent reflexive process as regards the choice of parameters, given that the degree of fit of a model depends on occasions more on these parameters than on the model itself. Hence the need to compare various models and to standardize their application.
  • Modelling environmental dynamics requires a consolidated methodological set of validation techniques that can justify and support the results.
  • Only when the modelling procedures have been validated with global techniques (comparison with the real situation) can the prospective simulation of future scenarios be envisaged, as in this case only partial validation is possible (expert opinions, congruence of the results).
  • The simulation of different scenarios with the Horizon 2020 allows us to go beyond the threshold of basic methodological research towards a proposal that can be transferred to the field of territorial management and planning.


  • Compare the contributions of simulation models.
  • Advance in the modelling of land use and cover change (LUCC) and in the modelling of vegetation phenology.
  • Validate the degree of fit of the models according to the different parameters on which they are based and according to the environmental dynamics in the study areas.
  • Assess the complementariness of the models and integrate the most suitable functions according to the different stages.
  • Propose scenarios for Horizon 2020, as products that may be of interest in territorial management and planning.
  • Build an international network of work groups and create a collection of databases from different areas, whose modelling and analysis will enable us to significantly advance the current state of knowledge.
  • Broaden the thematic (environmental dynamics) and methodological (geomatic simulations) knowledge base, so as to encourage scientific reflection and criticism.
  • Assess the possibilities for generalization or transfer of the methodology and the results obtained.
  • Create products that can be used for teaching purposes at different levels of education.
  • Facilitate doctoral training.
  • Publish and facilitate the dissemination of the results in different media (online, scientific publications, congresses and workshops etc.).

Impact of the results

  • Scientific advances in the knowledge and skills required for the application of the most important models for simulating land use and cover changes (LUCC) and for the modelling of vegetation phenology.
  • The creation of a database and multiscale maps of the LUCC simulations for the different study areas in Spain, France and Mexico, amongst others, will enable the model to be applied in other areas and situations.
  • The obtaining of modelling maps of vegetation phenology in the Iberian Peninsula and Europe, which will be made available for the management of natural vegetation.
  • Advances in the methodological knowledge of the models will enable us to integrate functions in order to increase their productivity and will allow us to propose modifications or new means of validating the simulations.
  • The passing on of the methodological advances achieved in the project to other interested institutions that are developing and distributing LUCC simulation models.
  • The proposal of LUCC and vegetation phenology scenarios in Horizon 2020, which will provide support for decision-making in territorial planning.
  • The experience of going beyond the limits of pure research by encouraging the participation of local stakeholders and other agents in obtaining future scenarios as decision-making tools in territorial planning and environmental management.
  • The international dissemination of the results and conclusions thanks to the participation of researchers, research centres and interested institutions from countries such as Spain, France, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.