Special Issue "Land Use and Food Systems Interactions in South America"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Luciana S. Soler
Website
Guest Editor
Earth System Science Centre (CCST), National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Sao Paulo, Brazil
Interests: land dynamics; spatial modelling; human-environmental interactions; food demand; nutrition security and social equity
Dr. Margareth Simões
Website
Guest Editor
Senior researcher at Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Professor at University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil
Interests: land use dynamics, environment planning, ecosystem services, ecosystem impacts, remote sensing, decision support system
Dr. Alessandra R. Gomes
Website
Guest Editor
Amazon Regional Center, National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Sao Paulo, Brazil
Interests: capacity building; knowledge transfer; land use/cover mapping; deforestation; selective logging; REDD+; SAR environmental applications; Amazon Basin
Prof. Dr. H. Ricardo Grau
Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Ecología Regional, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán - CONICET, Argentina
Interests: land use change; Latin America; Andes; subtropical Argentina; Chaco; Puna; forest dynamics; exotic species invasions; forest transition; land cover change - development relationships

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Land Use and Food Systems Interactions in South America” welcomes submissions of papers on land science from local to broad scales that address how chosen strategies of land use systems can help guarantee food security and improve nutritional requirements to a growing world population under or at risk of hunger and/or undernourishment.

The importance of South American land use systems in addressing regional and global food security lay on the fact that the continent, especially Brazil, holds the world largest land availability for agricultural and livestock production combined with climatic suitability. Despite that being a shared view by two institutions influencing food security—the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)—research and governmental experts at the country level´s indicate that South America can only achieve such an ambitious goal if substantial investments are done in agricultural subsidies, logistics as well as technology to improve yield gaps and developed countries´ external dependency of inputs. In this context, land prices at the national level and international food prices play also important roles in driving further land expansion in South America, which are all affected by the massive agricultural subsidies allocated by developed economic blocks like Europe and North America in their food and land systems.

On the other hand, environmental, social and health concerns regarding the impact of large scale agriculture and grazing in ecosystem services had brought to the scientific agenda dispute discussions that diets with less animal protein and more vegetables could diminish climatic pressures on land systems together with organic over conventional farming. Thus, inevitably the governance of land-food systems has to be a core drive enabling South American countries to address strategies to guarantee transnational food security and nutrition requirements. Such strategies enclose policies and innovations that tackle climate-smart farming (e.g., low carbon agriculture, agroforestry, REDD+, PES), co-production knowledge and participative governance. Discussions regarding the human dimensions of integrative land use systems (e.g., gender, aging, rural exodus, land distribution and conflicts), and whether/how such systems are able to meet food needs for low income population in South America and/or promote more sustainable and healthier diets are also welcome. Conversely, raised concerns about land demand aimed for large scale agriculture for food/feeding, competing or not with energy or fiber crops in the region, can also bring relevant contributions. We especially consider relevant discussions on land degradation and impacts on ecosystem services (e.g., water) by commercial farming, either under governmental subsidies and/or promoted by dominant socioeconomic groups whose responsibilities in generating a communal wealth to meeting food security SDGs must be addressed.

Dr. Luciana S. Soler
Dr. Margareth Simões
Dr. Alessandra R. Gomes
Prof. Dr. H. Ricardo Grau
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food security
  • land demand
  • climate-smart farming
  • dietary choices
  • climate change
  • REDD+
  • agroforestry
  • commodities
  • ecosystem services
  • South America

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Agricultural Expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado: Increased Soil and Nutrient Losses and Decreased Agricultural Productivity
Land 2019, 8(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8010012 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
While food and nutrition security are issues that national and international organizations are tackling, one of the central problems often overlooked is the essential role of soils in providing nutritious food. Soils are the base for food production and food security. However, the [...] Read more.
While food and nutrition security are issues that national and international organizations are tackling, one of the central problems often overlooked is the essential role of soils in providing nutritious food. Soils are the base for food production and food security. However, the majority of soils are in fair and poor conditions, with the most significant threats being erosion and loss of nutrients. In this study, we estimate the potential of soil loss, agricultural productivity loss, and nutrient loss for Brazil’s most important agricultural region, the Brazilian Cerrado, for the years 2000 and 2012. For this, we applied the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model integrated with a geographical information system (GIS) to estimate annual soil loss rate and agricultural productivity loss, and used total nitrogen and total phosphorus in soil to estimate the annual nutrient loss rate caused by soil loss. All model factors and data were obtained from the literature. The results show that agricultural expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado is increasing the area of severe erosion, occasioning agricultural productivity decrease and soil nutrient depletion. The annual soil loss rate increased from 10.4 (2000) to 12.0 Mg ha−1 yr−1 (2012). Agricultural productivity loss occurred in more than 3 million hectares of crops and silviculture in 2000 and in more than 5.5 million hectares in 2012. Severely eroded areas lost between 13.1 and 25.9 times more nutrients than areas with low and moderate soil loss rates. These findings show that government policy should be directed to ensure the sustainable use of soils, mainly in agriculturally consolidated regions of the Brazilian Cerrado. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Food Systems Interactions in South America)
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Open AccessArticle
Beef Cattle Production Systems in South Pantanal: Considerations on Territories and Integration Scales
Land 2018, 7(4), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7040156 - 12 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Pantanal is one of the largest wetlands in the world. In its southern portion, it hosts significant beef cattle ranching, having a herd of 4,832,200 head of cattle in 2016 (IBGE, 2018). Yet it presents intra-regional differences and complementarities. This article discusses such [...] Read more.
Pantanal is one of the largest wetlands in the world. In its southern portion, it hosts significant beef cattle ranching, having a herd of 4,832,200 head of cattle in 2016 (IBGE, 2018). Yet it presents intra-regional differences and complementarities. This article discusses such current territory definition, focusing on cattle ranching in Pantanal, considering its forms of occupation, agents, and its intra-regional flow of cattle. This recognition is essential for the identification of the arrangements developed in the territory, its temporal dynamics and spatial strategies, assuming different forms of interaction with the environment. In order to identify multiple livestock territories and their logics of action, data grouped into four dimensions were considered: (i) agents, (ii) product, (iii) space used, and (iv) flows and circulation, approached in different scales (farms, municipal and units of landscape floodplain/plateau). The analyzes show different forms of domination and territorial appropriation, continuous and discontinuous, permanent and temporary. Mapping of cattle territories in the South Pantanal identified a scenario of multiterritoriality. While maintaining its “nursery” profile, it presents more intensive arrangements with the rearing and fattening phases. New territorialities represented by external agents and the fragmentation of old properties has genereted a new mapping of the “used spaces” for cattle breeding and posed new challenges for the maintenance of the traditional cattle production systems in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Food Systems Interactions in South America)
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling Land Sharing and Land Sparing Relationship with Rural Population in the Cerrado
Land 2018, 7(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7030088 - 21 Jul 2018
Abstract
Agricultural expansion and intensification enabled growth of food production but resulted in serious environmental changes. In light of that, debates concerning sustainability in agriculture arises on scientific literature. Land sharing and land sparing are two opposite models for framing agricultural sustainability. The first [...] Read more.
Agricultural expansion and intensification enabled growth of food production but resulted in serious environmental changes. In light of that, debates concerning sustainability in agriculture arises on scientific literature. Land sharing and land sparing are two opposite models for framing agricultural sustainability. The first aims to integrate agricultural activities with biodiversity conservation by means of enhancing the quality of the agricultural matrix in the landscape towards a wildlife friendly matrix. The other model aims to spare natural habitats from agriculture for conservation. This work aimed to explore spatial evidences of land sharing/sparing and its relationship with rural population in the Brazilian Cerrado. A Land Sharing/Sparing Index based on TerraClass Cerrado map was proposed. Spatial analysis based on Global and Local Moran statistics and Geographically Weighted Regression were made in order to explore the influence of local rural population on the probability of spatial land sharing/sparing clusters occurrence. Spatial patterns of land sharing were found in the Cerrado and a positive association with rural population was found in some regions, such as in its northern portion. Land use policies should consider regional infrastructural and participative governance potentialities. The results suggests possible areas where joint agricultural activities and human presence may be favourable for biodiversity conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Food Systems Interactions in South America)
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