A conceptual model to assess the impact of anthropogenic drivers on water-related ecosystem services in the Brazilian Cerrado



Nature’s contributions to people, alternative scenarios, Nature Futures Framework, science-based policy, neotropical savanna, Forest Code, Soy Moratorium, Matopiba region


Abstract: The development of strategies that conciliate anthropogenic activities with nature conservation is becoming increasingly urgent, particularly in regions facing rapid conversion of native vegetation to agriculture. Conceptual modelling enables assessment of how anthropogenic drivers (e.g. land use/land cover change and climate change) modify natural processes, being a useful tool to support strategic decision-making. The present work describes a conceptual model to evaluate water-related ecosystem service provision under different land use scenarios in the Matopiba region of the Brazilian Cerrado, the world’s most biodiverse savanna and an agricultural frontier. Model variables were determined (direct drivers, indirect drivers, focal components and responses) and the Nature Futures Framework was consulted to incorporate socio-ecological components and feedbacks. Future scenarios were developed considering potential trajectories of drivers and governance responses that may impact land use in the region, including the possibility of full compliance with Forest Code and implementation of the Soy Moratorium in the region. The conceptual model and scenarios developed in the present study may be useful to improve understanding of the complex interactions among anthropogenic drivers, water-related ecosystem services and their potential repercussions for natural and social systems of the region. Governance decisions will be critical to maintaining the ecosystems of the region, the services it provides and the culture and tradition of the people historically embedded in the landscape. In acknowledgment of humanity’s dependence on nature, the importance of inverting the way scenarios are used is highlighted. Rather than using scenarios to measure the impacts of different policy options on nature, scenarios representing the desired outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystem services can be used to inform how policies can guarantee ecosystem integrity into the future.




How to Cite

Resende, F. de M., Denman, L. A. C., Selva, G. V., Campanhão, L. M. B., Nobre, R. L. G., Jimenez, Y. G., Lima, E. M., & Niemeyer, J. (2020). A conceptual model to assess the impact of anthropogenic drivers on water-related ecosystem services in the Brazilian Cerrado. Biota Neotropica, 20(1). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1726