Center for Landscape Resilience & Management (CLR)

Integrated biophysical modeling group assessing landscape ecosystems and their services with special emphasis on sustainability and resilience of  the global agriculture-, forest- and low carbon-energy sectors.

Biophysical modeling is the simulation of biological systems using mathematical formalizations of the physical properties of the systems. Such models are used to predict and project the influence of biological and physical factors on complex systems and form the basis for any detailed spatially explicit and integrated land use modeling at all scales. Forest and agricultural ecosystems represent a large majority of global land use and hence need particular attention by science which traditionally has been addressed by IIASA’s Ecosystem Services and Management Program (ESM). Over more than a decade, three back-bone models have been developed: a biophysical Global Forestry Model (G4M), a process-based global agricultural model (EPIC), and a techno-economic engineering model for the assessment of renewable energy systems (BeWhere) which is relying to a large extent on information provided by the other two models. ESM’s Center for Landscape Resilience & Management (CLR) is developing and applying this suit of models in a stand-alone or linked cluster to improve risk-resilient and sustainable management of land-based ecosystems by generating impact through policy-relevant research at multiple geographic scales. The center focuses on land-use by forestry, agriculture, the renewable energy sector and the management of other natural ecosystems at landscape level while expanding the Food-Water-Energy Nexus into the urban space.



The Center for Landscape Resilience & Management (CLR) BeWhere group aims to strengthen various aspects of the role played by the ESM research program in the climate and land use change-relevant community. More

Forest Ecology and Management (FOR) Group

The FOR research group deals with comprehensive biophysical modeling of forest dynamics and forest ecosystem services in the changing world at different temporal and spatial scale.  More

Agro-Environmental Systems (AES) Group

The AES research group seeks to improve our bio-geophysical understanding of the functioning of Agri-Environmental Systems. More


CLR head and ESM deputy director Florian Kraxner serves as guest editor on the Special Issue "Cool Forests at risk? The Critical Role of Boreal and Mountain Ecosystems for People, Bioeconomy, and Climate" in Forests and Open Access Journal (Impact Factor: 2.116) by MDPI.

The special issue covers selected articles from the IBFRA18 Conference, hosted by the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX), and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).

Failing to maintain and sustainably manage Cool Forests could put millions of livelihoods and indispensable ecosystems at risk and simultaneously, render the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and likewise the aims of the Paris Agreement unattainable.

The special issues focuses on transdisciplinary articles targeting new insights into a broad array of topics including: Cool Forests and climate change; Risk resilient and sustainable management of Cool Forests to contribute to the SDGs — also bridging to the Food–Water–Energy Nexus; innovative products contributing to a healthy bioeconomy; the generation of relevant new information through monitoring and citizen science; ecosystem services and their protection including forest restoration; forest-based negative emission technologies including afforestation and BECCS; marketing and social aspects; as well as new forest-related strategies and policies, their implementation and impacts.

Image: © forests \ MDPI 
Text: adapted from publisher website


Dr. Geza Toth, CEO of SDG Partners Ltd, visited the BeWhere team at IIASA on 7th August 2019.

During the meeting, CLR’S YSSP Tran Hoang Anh, from the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi and Agro Paris Tech, France, presented her summer project. Hoang Anh is adopting the BeWhere model to assess the optimal use of domestic agricultural residues to mitigate the emissions of the Vietnamese coal sector. She adopted future agricultural biomass yields derived from the EPIC model and developed a dynamic BeWhere version. As a funder of Hoang Anh’s stay at IIASA during the summer, Dr. Toth addressed different ways of developing the project further. Moreover, the meeting was also an occasion to discuss future collaboration steps, such as the application of the BeWhere model to derive cost-effective negative emission pathways for Vietnam and south east Asia.

Image: © David Andersson | ECOERA

JULY 2019

CLR’s Dmitry Schepaschenko to serve as guest editor for a special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292), a peer-reviewed open access journal about the science and application of remote sensing technology, and is published semi-monthly online by MDPI.

The Special Issue "Forest Biomass and Carbon Observation with Remote Sensing" aims at gathering contributions exploring remote sensing approaches to quantify woody biomass and carbon stocks in forests and woodlands. We encourage applications tackling issues of integrating ground and satellite data for calibration and validation of remote sensing-based biomass observations. Contributions dealing with various types of sensors (active and passive) and carriers (terrestrial, airborne, unmanned aerial vehicles, space-borne) or combinations are welcome. Applications of data collected by new instruments (GEDI, ICESat-2) or within the framework of recent biomass mapping approaches (e.g., GlobBiomass, Biomass CCI) and their integration with state-of-the-art research to track biomass variation in space and time are very welcome. The key role of biomass remote sensing in forest and vegetation modeling, biodiversity, and forest management assessment is going to be the focus of this issue as well.

Image: ©
Text: from publisher website

JULY 2019

Emil Fulajtar from Joint FAO/IAEA Programme: Nuclear techniques in Agriculture, UN office, Vienna, Austria visited on July 1, 2019. The purpose was to discuss possible EPIC-IIASA team contribution to IAEA publication on soil erosion in Africa with regional soil erosion estimates from the EPIC model, as well as to outline further collaboration in more general terms.


Soil erosion is an important driver of soil and land degradation in many regions of world. Part of FAO/IAEA Joint Programme activities is therefore oriented towards measuring soil erosion with radionuclides to support sustainable land management in sensitive areas. Recently, the EPIC-IIASA team provided a new set of global simulations for CIRCASA project assuming crop management scenarios which possibly could improve soil organic carbon content in soil via tillage intensity, crop residua management and introduction off-season cover crops.


New simulations also estimated soil erosion rates and rates of soil organic carbon lost with soil sediments globally. Estimated soil erosion rates were compared to soil erosion measurements by 137Cs radionuclide technique, including many regional studies done under the direct coordination of IAEA. EPIC-IIASA provided realistic estimates for many regions of world. Some areas where soil loss was highly overestimated were also identified, mostly in wet tropics. The possible reason is lack of knowledge on how local crop management strategies such as terracing could protect soil. Further integration of the knowledge from IAEA and their network of collaborators on long-term soil erosion rates and associated local soil management with EPIC-IIASA model could provide better basis for land use optimization in the target regions of the RESTORE+ project focusing on restoration of degraded land in tropical areas.

Image: © Krylon80 |

JUNE 2019

Jason Neff, director of The Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado (SILC), at University of Colorado (CU), Boulder, US visited between June 10 - 14 and worked together with EPIC-IIASA developer’s team on a joint paper aimed to introduce a prototype of a tool for localized farmers advice based on regional modelling results, on-fly EPIC simulations, and additional information provided by farmers via mobile apps. This work is mostly related to the LandPKS app development efforts at CU done within the wider frame of activity. This activity brings together many institutions from across the world including IIASA. The goal is to come up with scientifically sound tools for estimating the land productivity and potential land degradation for currently not used agricultural land or the land which is not used to its full potential.

A current case study on the site-specific farmers support prototype also involves the Crop Research Institute (CRI) in Prague, Czechia (Mikulas Madaras, deputy director). CRI provides their data from long-term experiments, mimicking the farmers inputs under optimal and sub-optimal conditions, which is important for developing and testing the algorithm under different scenarios of the data availability, as well as this is important for estimating the value of information provided by farmers.

Image: © Marcin Jucha | Dreamstime

MAY 2019

UNECE/FAO Forest Communicators’ Network – Annual Meeting
20-22 May 2019, Oslo, Norway.

The annual meeting of the UNECE/FAO Forest Communicators’ Network (FCN) took place on 20-22 May 2019 in Oslo, Norway. Hosted by the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, the meeting was attended by 28 participants from 9 countries and 14 organisations.

The objectives of the meeting were to exchange experiences on communicating effectively within and outside the forest sector and to gain new perspectives on communication through social media.

National communication experts presented best practice examples, all presentations together with material from the social media training are as well available on the meeting website. CLR Centre Head and ESM Deputy Program Director Florian Kraxner presented the “Cool forests at risk” conference which was held 17- 20 September 2018 in Laxenburg, Austria. The central goal of the conference was to inform science to develop transdisciplinary strategies for improved collaboration and communication while promoting the values of boreal forests for the climate, bioeconomy and people.

All presentations held at the meeting are available at the website.

The Annual Meeting Report can be accessed here.

Image: © UNECE/FAO 

Text adapted from UNECE/FAO 

CLR YSSP students of 2019

Choi, Yuyoung
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 714

García Velásquez, Carlos
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 647

Hu, Xikun
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 656

Liu, Zitong
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 649

Ovsepyan, Lilit
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 648

Pratama, Yoga
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 667

Schulze, Katharina
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 651

Smith, Gabriel
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 713

Tran, Hoang Anh
Research Assistant Ecosystems Services and Management

+43(0) 2236 807 639


CLR YSSP students 2019

CLR News

17 May 2019
New study maps symbiotic relationships in forests worldwide

Data collected from over 1 million forest plots reveals patterns of where plant roots form symbiotic relationships with fungi and bacteria. The study is the first proof of a new ecological law, and lends new insight into potential climate feedbacks.  More

17 January 2019

Successful “IBFRA18 - Cool Forests at risk?” conference and appointment of Dr. Florian Kraxner as IBFRA president  More

01 November 2018
Reducing US coal emissions through biomass and carbon capture would boost employment

Employing bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), would not only retain 40,000 jobs currently held as part of the US coal industry but would create 22,000 new jobs in the forestry and transportation sectors by the middle of this century, according to new IIASA-led research.  More

24 July 2018
IIASA signs MOU with Indonesia’s Institute Teknologi Bandung (ITB)

Researchers, scientists and experts from both sides will participate in the joint research project. IIASA will contribute its expertise on modelling while ITB makes their research Indonesia-specific.  More

05 July 2018
Biorefineries will have only minimal effects on wood products and feedstocks markets

A new report from researchers from IIASA, Luleå University of Technology (LTU), and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden has shown that more biorefineries, which produce biobased fuels and chemicals, will have only a small effect on the availability and pricing of wood products and feedstocks.  More

CLR Events

25 Sep 2019 - 27 Sep 2019
RESTORE+ Mid-term meeting

National stakeholders from Brazil, government representatives from Indonesia, as well as representatives of the broader ... More

20 May 2019 - 22 May 2019
FAO-UNECE Forest Communicator’s Network – Annual Meeting

Delegations from forty-two member States meet for the annual UNECE/FAO Forest Communicators' Network (FCN) More

29 Apr 2019 - 30 Apr 2019
2019 RESTORE+ Consortium Meeting - Progress and next steps

Two years after hosting the kick-off workshop of the RESTORE+ project in April 2017 at IIASA, the RESTORE+ consortium me... More

24 Apr 2019 - 26 Apr 2019
RESTORE+ at the 4th Open Science Meeting (GLP 4th OSM 2019)

Transforming Land Systems for People and Nature More

27 Mar 2019 - 29 Mar 2019
41st Session of the Joint ECE & FAO Working Party

Joint Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Working Par... More


For more news flashes from the past click the "more" button. 

Teaserimage credits © Shutterstock| DutchScenery|Lane V. Erickson|Ssuaphotos|FabrikaSimf

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Last edited: 08 August 2019


Florian Kraxner

CLR Center Head and Deputy Program Director

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 233

Juraj Balkovic

Research Scholar

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 385

Dmitry Shchepashchenko

Senior Research Scholar

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 453

Sylvain Leduc

Research Scholar

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 267

CLR at a glance


Steidinger B S, Crowther T W, Liang J, Van Nuland M E, Werner G D A, Reich P B, Nabuurs G, de-Miguel S, et al. (2019). Climatic controls of decomposition drive the global biogeography of forest-tree symbioses. Nature 569 (7756): 404-408. DOI:10.1038/s41586-019-1128-0.

Mandová H, Patrizio P, Leduc S, Kjärstad J, Wang C, Wetterlund E, Kraxner F, & Gale W (2019). Achieving carbon-neutral iron and steelmaking in Europe through the deployment of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Journal of Cleaner Production 218: 118-129. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.01.247.

Chen J, Gong Y, Wang S, Guan B, Balkovic J ORCID:, & Kraxner F (2019). To burn or retain crop residues on croplands? An integrated analysis of crop residue management in China. Science of the Total Environment 662: 141-150. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.150.

Lakyda P, Shvidenko A, Bilous A, Myroniuk V, Matsala M, Zibtsev S, Schepaschenko D ORCID:, Holiaka D, et al. (2019). Impact of Disturbances on the Carbon Cycle of Forest Ecosystems in Ukrainian Polissya. Forests 10 (4): e337. DOI:10.3390/f10040337.

Truong AH, Patrizio P, Leduc S, Kraxner F, & Ha-Duong M (2019). Reducing emissions of the fast growing Vietnamese coal sector: the chances offered by biomass co-firing. Journal of Cleaner Production 215: 1301-1311. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.01.065.

Xylia M, Leduc S, Laurent A-B, Patrizio P, van der Meer Y, Kraxner F, & Silveira S (2019). Impact of bus electrification on carbon emissions: the case of Stockholm. Journal of Cleaner Production 209: 74-87. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.10.085.

Harahap F ORCID:, Leduc S, Mesfun S ORCID:, Khatiwada D, Kraxner F, & Silveira S (2019). Opportunities to Optimize the Palm Oil Supply Chain in Sumatra, Indonesia. Energies 12: e420. DOI:10.3390/en12030420.

Folberth C ORCID:, Baklanov A ORCID:, Balkovic J ORCID:, Skalsky R ORCID:, Khabarov N ORCID:, & Obersteiner M ORCID: (2019). Spatio-temporal downscaling of gridded crop model yield estimates based on machine learning. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 264: 1-15. DOI:10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.09.021.

Song C, Pietsch S, Kim M, Cha S, Park E, Shvidenko A, Schepaschenko D ORCID:, Kraxner F, et al. (2019). Assessing Forest Ecosystems across the Vertical Edge of the Mid-Latitude Ecotone Using the BioGeoChemistry Management Model (BGC-MAN). Forests 10 (6): e523. DOI:10.3390/f10060523.

Patrizio P, Leduc S, Kraxner F, Fuß S, Kindermann G ORCID:, Mesfun S ORCID:, Spokas K, Mendoza Ponce A, et al. (2018). Reducing US coal emissions can boost employment. Joule 2 (12): 2633-2648. DOI:10.1016/j.joule.2018.10.004.

Mesfun S ORCID:, Leduc S, Patrizio P, Wetterlund E, Mendoza Ponce A, Lammens T, Staritsky I, Elbersen B, et al. (2018). Spatio-temporal assessment of integrating intermittent electricity in the EU and Western Balkans power sector under ambitious CO2 emission policies. Energy 164: 676-693. DOI:10.1016/

Mendoza Ponce A, Corona-Núñez R, Kraxner F, Leduc S, & Patrizio P (2018). Identifying effects of land use cover changes and climate change on terrestrial ecosystems and carbon stocks in Mexico. Global Environmental Change 53: 12-23. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.08.004.

Mendoza Ponce A, Corona-Núñez RO, Galicia L, & Kraxner F (2018). Identifying hotspots of land use cover change under socioeconomic and climate change scenarios in Mexico. Ambio 48 (4): 336-349. DOI:10.1007/s13280-018-1085-0.

Mandova H, Leduc S, Wang C, Wetterlund E, Patrizio P, Gale W, & Kraxner F (2018). Possibilities for CO 2 emission reduction using biomass in European integrated steel plants. Biomass and Bioenergy 115: 231-243. DOI:10.1016/j.biombioe.2018.04.021.

Krasovskii A ORCID:, Khabarov N, Pirker J, Kraxner F, Yowargana P, Schepaschenko D, & Obersteiner M (2018). Modeling Burned Areas in Indonesia: The FLAM Approach. Forests 9 (7): e437. DOI:10.3390/f9070437.

Schepaschenko D, Moltchanova E, Shvidenko A, Blyshchyk V, Dmitriev E, Martynenko O, See L, & Kraxner F (2018). Improved Estimates of Biomass Expansion Factors for Russian Forests. Forests 9 (6): e312. DOI:10.3390/f9060312.

Golub A, Fuss S, Lubowski R, Hiller J, Khabarov N ORCID:, Koch N, Krasovskii A ORCID:, Kraxner F, et al. (2018). Escaping the climate policy uncertainty trap: options contracts for REDD+. Climate Policy: 1-8. DOI:10.1080/14693062.2017.1422478.

Bruckman V, Haruthaithanasan M, Miller R, Terada T, Brenner A-K, Kraxner F, & Flaspohler D (2018). Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Development Strategies in Indochina: Collaborative Effort to Establish Regional Policies. Forests 9 (4): e223. DOI:10.3390/f9040223.

Wehkamp J, Pietsch S, Fuss S, Gusti M, Reuter W, Koch N, Kindermann G ORCID:, & Kraxner F (2018). Accounting for institutional quality in global forest modeling. Environmental Modelling & Software 102: 250-259. DOI:10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.01.020.

Kraxner F, Leduc S, Fuss S, Schepaschenko D, & Shvidenko A (2018). Sustainable forest-based bioenergy in Eurasia. Siberian Journal of Forest Science 1: 16-25.

Mesfun S ORCID:, Sanchez DL, Leduc S, Wetterlund E, Lundgren J, Biberracher M, & Kraxner F (2017). Power-to-gas and power-to-liquid for managing renewable electricity intermittency in the Alpine Region. Renewable Energy 107: 361-372. DOI:10.1016/j.renene.2017.02.020.

Xylia M, Leduc S, Patrizio P, Kraxner F, & Silveira S (2017). Locating charging infrastructure for electric buses in Stockholm. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies 78: 183-200. DOI:10.1016/j.trc.2017.03.005.

Patrizio P, Leduc S, Chinese D, & Kraxner F (2017). Internalizing the external costs of biogas supply chains in the Italian energy sector. Energy 125: 85-96. DOI:10.1016/

Xylia M, Leduc S, Patrizio P, Kraxner F, & Silveira S (2017). A future with electric buses? In: IIASA Institutional Evaluation 2017, 27 February-1 March 2017, IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria.

Campana PE, Leduc S, Kim M, Olsson A, Zhang J, Liu J, Kraxner F, McCallum I, et al. (2017). Suitable and optimal locations for implementing photovoltaic water pumping systems for grassland irrigation in China. Applied Energy 185 (Part 2): 1879-1889. DOI:10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.01.004.

Mesfun S ORCID:, Leduc S, Patrizio P, Yowargana P, & Kraxner F (2017). Spatio-temporal Assessment of Integrating Intermittent Electricity in the EU Power Sector. In: SEEP2017, 27-30 June 2017, Bled, Slovenia.

Kraxner F, Leduc S, Serrano Leon H, Fuß S, Patrizio P, & Yowargana P (2016). Expanding renewable energy within the Alpine ecological network. In: Alpine Nature 2030 Creating [ecological] connectivity for generations to come. Eds. Plassmann, G., Kohler, Y., Badura, M. & Walzer, C., pp. 93-97 Berlin: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). ISBN 978-3-00-053702-8

Pirker J, Mosnier A, Kraxner F, Havlik P, & Obersteiner M (2016). What are the limits to oil palm expansion? Global Environmental Change 40: 73-81. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.06.007.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313