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eHabitat - Ecological Forecasting for Policy Making

With the scenario of climate change impacts on protected areas in mind, we have developed a web based tool for assessing potential environmental changes due to anthropogenic activities. In particular, the development of eHabitat as a modeling web service allows end-users to assess the likelihood to find equivalent habitats today or in the future, considering a virtual infinity of possible ingredients defining these habitats. The results can provide decision makers with useful information on the irreplaceability of the modeled habitats. The ability of eHabitat to be a component of any model chain and contribute to the Model Web, end-users can not only define their own thematic layers for input to the model using standards-based catalogues, but also chain the modelling service with others, typically those used for climate change forecasting. Because eHabitat is scalable and can integrate data ranging from remote sensing data to socio-economical indicators, the service offers a huge potential for multi-disciplinary modelling.

Fig 1. Conceptual design of eHabitat, a Web Processing Service (WPS) designed to compute the likelihood to find similar ecosystems using thematic maps selected by the end-users. eHabitat is conceived to view to potentially integrate a more complex processing chain as needed for forecasting, for example, the potential impact of climate change, deforestation scenarios or changes in agricultural policies on these habitats.