Coupling land-use change and hydrologic models for quantification of catchment ecosystem services

S. G. Yalew*, T. Pilz, C. Schweitzer, S. Liersch, J. van der Kwast, A. van Griensven, M. L. Mul, C. Dickens, P. van der Zaag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Representation of land-use and hydrologic interactions in respective models has traditionally been problematic. The use of static land-use in most hydrologic models or that of the use of simple hydrologic proxies in land-use change models call for more integrated approaches. The objective of this study is to assess whether dynamic feedback between land-use change and hydrology can (1) improve model performances, and/or (2) produce a more realistic quantification of ecosystem services. To test this, we coupled a land-use change model and a hydrologic mode. First, the land-use change and the hydrologic models were separately developed and calibrated. Then, the two models were dynamically coupled to exchange data at yearly time-steps. The approach is applied to a catchment in South Africa. Performance of coupled models when compared to the uncoupled models were marginal, but the coupled models excelled at the quantification of catchment ecosystem services more robustly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-328
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Ecosystem services
  • Integrated modelling
  • Land and water
  • Model coupling


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