Land Systems and Global Change

A section of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Section Information

Land systems (including land-use systems) are complex social-ecological systems composed of interacting social and biological actors and terrestrial environments and the feedbacks among these components that shape the dynamics of Earth’s land surface across scales, from local landscapes to global commodity chains. Land system science aims to understand these complex two-way interactions towards informing more sustainable governance of Earth’s land, including efforts to adapt to, manage, and mitigate coupled changes in climate, biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, food systems, social systems (including economics and issues of power and inequality), new technologies, energy systems, water systems, and other interacting social and ecological dynamics that shape the future of Earth’s land.

As a transdiscipline, the tools of land system science are diverse and cut across the social and natural sciences and the practices of environmental governance. Research methods include remote sensing of land cover and land use and other approaches to social and environmental mapping and analysis, case studies of the causes and consequences of social and environmental change on the ground, metastudy and other approaches to knowledge synthesis, agent-based modeling of coupled social-ecological systems at landscape and regional scales, and regional and global simulations of coupled human-environmental interactions over time, including Earth systems modeling. Applied land system science investigates and informs the operations of land systems, including strategies for researching and negotiating tradeoffs and competing demands among diverse stakeholder populations, the governance of multifunctional landscapes, national and international policies and informal institutions governing land rights and access to land and other resources, commodity production and trade, conservation and restoration of native habitats, food system architectures at local, regional, and global scales, and global supply chain transparency and informed-consumer initiatives.

We invite authors to submit their articles to Land that help to advance scientific and applied understanding of the functioning and dynamics of land systems from local to global scales. Articles that meet these goals, including the development of new scientific methods and governance tools that help translate knowledge into action.

Editorial Board

Special Issues

Following special issues within this section are currently open for submissions:

Papers Published

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