Special Issue "Land Use Change Feedbacks with Climate"


A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Heiko Balzter
Holder of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, Centre for Landscape and Climate Research, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Bennett Building, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Website: http://www.le.ac.uk/clcr
E-Mail: hb91@leicester.ac.uk
Phone: +44 116 252 3820
Fax: +44 116 252 3854
Interests: land cover / land use change; spatial-temporal scaling; land/atmosphere interactions; data assimilation; synthetic aperture radar (SAR); SAR interferometry; SAR polarimetry; ground-based, airborne and spaceborne light detection and ranging (LIDAR); digital elevation models; carbon accounting; forest structure and biomass mapping; vegetation phenology; fire and burned area mapping

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land cover and land use influence the biogeochemical fluxes and the surface energy balance at the land/atmosphere boundary. Land use change can thus trigger biological, chemical, or physical feedbacks to the climate system via the atmosphere. In turn, climate change has begun to influence land use decisions as people are beginning to adapt to unavoidable global climate change in a warmer world with more weather extremes. Examples of such feedback processes are the urban heat island effect, the albedo feedback and the carbon cycle feedbacks. However, land use change is not only driven by climate change adaptation policies. It is influenced by a complex web of factors, including economic globalization, natural resource availability, commodity prices, regional infrastructure, social population demography and individual preferences, and government policies. Land is a limited resource and is becoming precious as the world’s population is growing. Multiple and often conflicting demands on land use mean that decisions have to be taken. The United Nations initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), for example, places a different demand on tropical forest land than the rising demand for biofuels and food products.
This Special Issue provides an interdisciplinary perspective on land use change at local, regional, national and global scales and how it feeds back to the climate system. It applies a range of modeling, remote sensing, socio-economic and other methods to the problem of human/environment interactions, driving land use change and its implications for future scenarios of climate change.

Prof. Dr. Heiko Balzter
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • land use change
  • land cover change
  • climate change
  • land/atmosphere interactions
  • land surface modeling
  • biogeochemical cycles
  • remote sensing

Published Papers (3 papers)

by  and
Land 2014, 3(3), 898-916; doi:10.3390/land3030898
Received: 9 May 2014; in revised form: 30 June 2014 / Accepted: 12 July 2014 / Published: 25 July 2014
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abstract graphic

by ,  and
Land 2014, 3(3), 850-873; doi:10.3390/land3030850
Received: 8 May 2014; in revised form: 14 June 2014 / Accepted: 15 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
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by  and
Land 2014, 3(3), 793-833; doi:10.3390/land3030793
Received: 5 April 2014; in revised form: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 22 July 2014
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Submitted Papers

Type of Paper: Article
Influence of Changes in Forest Cover on Climate of Two Areas in Europe: A High-Resolution Modelling Experiment
Authors: Myriam Montesarchio 1, Monia Santini 2,*, Guido Rianna 1 and Paola Mercogliano 1
Affiliations: 1Impacts on Ground and Coast (ISC) Division, Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Changes (CMCC), Lecce, Italy; E-mails: M.Montesarchio@cira.it (M.M.); g.rianna@cira.it (R.G.); p.mercogliano@cira.it (P.M.)
2 Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Division of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture, Forests and Natural Ecosystems (IAFENT), Viterbo, Italy; *E-mail: monia.santini@cmcc.it
Abstract: The aim of this study is investigating the possible influence of the forest cover change on the future climate at sub-regional scale. For this purpose, two sets of simulations are performed with the regional climate model COSMO-CLM at the high horizontal resolution of 3.8km, one on southern Italy and one on Romania. For each region of interest, the time periods investigated are 1971-2000 and 2015-2045: for the past time span, only the current forest cover is considered, whereas for the future period, also afforestation and deforestation scenarios are assumed besides considering stable the current forest cover. The mean and extreme values of surface air temperature and precipitation are examined. At first, a brief analysis of the differences induced by the climate change is performed; then, in order to assess the role of forest cover, a detailed analysis of the differences between the afforestation/deforestation simulation and the control one is carried out. Results show, in general, a decrease (increase) of the temperature and an increase (decrease) of the precipitation in the afforestation (deforestation) case, even though the local changes induced by a different forest cover can be estimated less relevant than those induced by the global climate change signal.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Exploring the Role of Spatial Targetting to Deliver Synergies between Climate Change Responses
Authors: Iain Brown * and Marie Castellazzi
Affiliation: James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK; *E-mail: Iain.Brown@hutton.ac.uk
Abstract: Land use patterns are the consequence of many inter-related and dynamic factors at multiple scales. Policy goals for climate change need to integrate with other land use priorities such as food security and provision of ecosystem services. This paper uses scenario analysis to explore how current land use patterns in Scotland may change through different future pathways based upon projections of climate change and socio-economic drivers. Firstly, the response to a changing climate is analysed through its implications for biophysical risks and opportunities based upon land capability concepts and the available choices for land use. Potential land use allocation is then assessed in terms of its implication for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other co-benefits in addition to its primary use. Current adaptive responses vary markedly between agriculture (mainly reactive) and forestry (often more anticipatory) and this acts to restrict synergies between land uses that could potentially deliver greater reduction in emissions. A more integrated climate adaptation/mitigation response that also managed potential land feedback mechanisms could be provided by improved spatial targetting of land use incentive schemes. Conclusions are drawn about the robust design of such schemes based upon the uncertainties inherent in the scenario analysis which suggest that a single land use optimisation goal is unviable.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Land Use Management: A Key Challenge to Climate Related Risk Reduction in Asia
Author: Rajib Shaw
Affiliation: Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan; Email: shaw.rajib.5u@kyoto-u.ac.jp
Abstract: Climate related hazards are increasing in frequency and severity, and its impacts are becoming more visible in recent years in Asia. The slow onset disasters like sea level rise and drought is also affecting both urban and rural areas. The impacts are not that visible, but in long run affect the lives and livelihoods of people and communities. On the other hand, due to increasing anthropogenic factors, people have started living in high hazard prone areas and becoming more exposed to the different types of hazards. In this paper, specific attention is given on the impacts of appropriate land use planning in risk reduction in both urban and rural areas in several Asian cities and coastal regions. The land use planning is not an isolated tool, it needs to be linked to other urban as well as regional governance issues. Thus, it is closely related to institutional dimension of the resilience indicators. The disaster resilient land use planning and management needs a balanced approach of implementation and monitoring of regulations, awareness raising of communities, and capacity building of professionals.

Last update: 25 July 2014

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