The model is designed to analyse the effects of mitigation measures on the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), which is directly affected by ongoing land use change and has experienced widespread decline throughout Europe since the 1960s. As an input, we use two 4×4 km large model landscapes, which were generated by a landscape generator based on real field sizes and crop proportions and differed in average field size and crop composition. The crops grown annually are evaluated in terms of forage suitability, breeding suitability and crop richness for the hare. Six mitigation scenarios are implemented, defined by a 10 % increase in: (1) mixed silphie, (2) miscanthus, (3) grass-clover ley, (4) alfalfa, (5) set-aside, and (6) general crop richness. The model shows that that both landscape configuration and composition have a significant effect on hare population development, which responds particularly strongly to compositional changes.
The model aims at reproducing the evolution of the land-use in an agricultural territory at the plot scale. It enables to simulate the affectation of land-use, the crop rotation and technical operations for each plot of the different farms of the territory. It allows as well for crop farms to simulate the daily state of plots (sowed, plowed, harvested, biomass indicator). The model is used as an input for the water pollution model allowing to determine the flow of nitrate, phosphorus and suspended matter in the territory according to the landscape configuration.