Investigation of multi-criteria decision analysis approaches for agricultural decision-making in southern Ontario
Land-use and land-cover change has significant impact on the Earth’s ecosystems and global carbon cycle, which calls for well-planned land management strategies. This study presented a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) for agricultural land-use allocation integrating environmental, social, and economic factors with human preferences. The agent-based modelling of agricultural land-use allocation shows that integrating a multi-objective decision analysis (MODA) of land amount allocation in land-use allocation will result in different land use allocation results from directly allocate land-use on fields. In addition to general land-use types of cropland, pasture, and woodland studied in MODA, a specific crop of corn was selected for site analysis with a multi-attribute suitability analysis based on soil, topography, and climate characteristics on potential sites and farmers’ opinions about relative importance of these criteria. This study reveals that land management on land with heterogeneity is important and human preferences and decision-making strategies have significant impact on LUCC.