Ecological-Economic (Eco-Eco) Modelling in the River Basins of Mountainous Regions: Impact of Land Cover Changes on Sediment Yield in the Velicka Rijeka, Montenegro
Keywords:Eco-Eco modelling; IntErO model; Soil erosion; Velicka River basin; Land cover
This paper presents an Ecological-Economic (Eco-Eco) modelling using the Intensity of Erosion and Outflow (IntErO) model for calculation of sediment yield and runoff assessing the impacts of different land covers on soil erosion intensity. Calculations have been made for the Velicka River basin, which is one of 57 sub-basins of the Lim River in the Northeast Montenegro. Several different land use scenarios were then simulated in the model in order to find the optimal scenario of land use for intensive seed potato production. The results of Ecological (Eco-) analysis shown that the real soil loss under current conditions is 18148 m³yr-1. If seed potato production is introduced, the model calculated a soil loss of 20834 m³yr-1 as sediment yield. In order to balance the damage caused by the introduction of seed potato production we considered also the ecological measure of afforestation to reduce soil loss caused by seed potato production. The model calculated that afforestation would result in a decrease of sediment yield to 17886 m³yr-1. The results of Economic (-Eco) analysis revealed that the investment of €3,385 per ha for the establishment of the seed potato production will provide the income for the farmers of €15,000 per hectare annually. In parallel, we proposed the investment for the protection of the area (258 ha) with afforestation that amounts to €330,608 (€1,281 per ha), for the period of two years, with no other costs in the next decade. The research results demonstrate that the application of the Eco-Eco modelling, by using the IntErO model for studying the effect of soil erosion and possible land use for intensive seed potato production in the Velicka River Basin provides cost effective solutions for the benefit of the local population.
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