Special Issue "Interactions between Food Security and Land Use in the Context of Global Change"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. William J. McConnell
Website
Guest Editor
Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, Manly Miles Building, Room 218, 1405 South Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI 48823-5243, USA
Interests: sustainability; land-use and land-cover change; Africa; China; Nepal
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Andrés Viña
Website
Guest Editor
Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS), Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Interests: biodiversity, conservation biology, wildlife habitat modeling, land use/cover change, landscape dynamics, phenology, productivity, remote sensing
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the two-way interactions between food systems and land use change, including the implications for biodiversity and other ecosystem services. Land-use change is arguably the most significant driver of environmental change as it leads to many of the main areas of concern: loss of biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, soil degradation, and alteration of hydrological cycles. Land-use change is occurring worldwide due to human development dynamics. It ranges from whole-scale changes in land cover to changes in the intensity of cropping on a given site, as well as changes in the type of cropping, or from crop production to conservation. The nature of changes in the farming technologies and practices employed can differ substantially in their effects on carbon storage, biodiversity, hydrology, etc. Recognizing that the issues of food (in)security are of local relevance, driven by both local, regional and global forces, that changes in land use are local in character but some of the driving forces are regional or global in nature, that food systems are influenced by land use types and changes thereof and that some actions taken to ensure/improve food security influence land use and changes thereof, it is the objective of the work presented in this Special Issue is to increase scientific understanding of the dynamic spatial scale interactions between food security and land use in the context of global change, and the consequences of these interactions for climate, ecosystems and social systems, including their economic and cultural dimensions.

Selected Papers from Global Land Project 3rd Open Science Meeting (GLPOSM16): Interactions between Food Security and Land Use in the Context of Global Change: The Belmont Forum Perspective, will be published free of charge.

Prof. Dr. William J. McConnell
Dr. Andrés Viña
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.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Interactions between Food Security and Land Use in the Context of Global Change
Land 2018, 7(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7020053 - 18 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Increases in human population and per-capita consumption are putting enormous pressure on land resources. About 38% of the Earth’s land area is being used in agricultural production [1], with about half (ca. 31%) of the remaining land being under forest cover [2] and [...] Read more.
Increases in human population and per-capita consumption are putting enormous pressure on land resources. About 38% of the Earth’s land area is being used in agricultural production [1], with about half (ca. 31%) of the remaining land being under forest cover [2] and the other half being less suitable for agricultural production due to edaphic, topographic and/or climatic factors. Despite the fact that over the last three decades the world food production has doubled [3], about 1 in 9 people in the world is still undernourished [4]. This poses the global challenge of increasing food security without exacerbating serious environmental problems, such as loss of biodiversity [5], greenhouse gas emissions [6], soil degradation [7], and alteration of hydrological cycles [8], among many others. While these issues are of global relevance, we recognize that they are local in nature since their effects are felt locally, while the actions on the land are performed by local actors whose decisions are driven not only by global [9,10], but also by regional [11] and local [12] forces. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Climate and Agricultural Land Use Changes on UK Feed Barley Production and Food Security to the 2050s
Land 2017, 6(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6040074 - 29 Oct 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Currently, the UK has a high self-sufficiency rate in barley production. This paper assessed the effects of projected climate and land use changes on feed barley production and, consequently, on meat supply in the UK from the 2030s to the 2050s. Total barley [...] Read more.
Currently, the UK has a high self-sufficiency rate in barley production. This paper assessed the effects of projected climate and land use changes on feed barley production and, consequently, on meat supply in the UK from the 2030s to the 2050s. Total barley production under projected land use and climate changes ranged from 4.6 million tons in the 2030s to 9.0 million tons in the 2050s. From these, the projected feed barley supply ranged from approximately 2.3 to 4.6 million tons from the 2030s to the 2050s, respectively. The results indicate that while UK spring barley production will thrive under, and benefit from climate change, total land area allocated to barley production will ultimately determine self-sufficiency. Without expansion in the area of land and/or further significant increases in yields, the UK may face large deficits in domestic feed barley production and, for that matter, meat supply in the future. Hence, agricultural and food security policy needs to consider, principally, the effect of agricultural land use change on key crops, such as barley. Even though the UK can import feed barley or meat to address the deficits observed in this study, the question that needs to be addressed is where all that import will come from. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Global Hotspots of Conflict Risk between Food Security and Biodiversity Conservation
Land 2017, 6(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6040067 - 04 Oct 2017
Cited by 12
Abstract
The global challenges of food security and biodiversity are rarely addressed together, though recently there has been an increasing awareness that the two issues are closely related. The majority of land available for agriculture is already used for food production, but despite the [...] Read more.
The global challenges of food security and biodiversity are rarely addressed together, though recently there has been an increasing awareness that the two issues are closely related. The majority of land available for agriculture is already used for food production, but despite the productivity gains, one in nine people worldwide are classified as food insecure. There is an increasing risk that addressing food insecurity through methods such as agricultural expansion or intensification could lead to biodiversity loss through destruction of habitats important for conservation. This analysis uses various indicators of biodiversity at a global scale, including biodiversity hotspots, total species richness, and threatened and endemic species richness. Areas where high biodiversity coexists with high food insecurity or a high risk of agricultural expansion, were examined and found to mainly occur in the tropics, with Madagascar standing out in particular. The areas identified are especially at risk of biodiversity loss, and so are global priorities for further research and for policy development to address food insecurity and biodiversity loss together. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Soy Expansion and Socioeconomic Development in Municipalities of Brazil
Land 2017, 6(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6030062 - 14 Sep 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
Soy occupies the largest area of agricultural land in Brazil, spreading from southern states to the Amazon region. Soy is also the most important agricultural commodity among Brazilian exports affecting food security and land use nationally and internationally. Here we pose the question [...] Read more.
Soy occupies the largest area of agricultural land in Brazil, spreading from southern states to the Amazon region. Soy is also the most important agricultural commodity among Brazilian exports affecting food security and land use nationally and internationally. Here we pose the question of whether soy expansion affects only economic growth or whether it also boosts socioeconomic development, fostering education and health improvements in Brazilian municipalities where it is planted. To achieve this objective, we divided more than 5000 municipalities into two groups: those with >300 ha of soy (soy municipalities) and those with <300 ha of soy (non-soy municipalities). We compared the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Gini coefficient for income for these two groups of municipalities in 1991, 2000, and 2010. We made such comparison at the municipality level for the whole country, but we also grouped the municipalities by major geographical regions and states. We found that the HDI was higher in soy municipalities, especially in the agricultural frontier. That effect was not so clear in more consolidated agricultural regions of the country. Soy municipalities also had a higher Gini coefficient for income than non-soy municipalities. We concluded that soy could be considered a precursor of socioeconomic development under certain conditions; however, it also tends to be associated with an increase in income inequality, especially in the agricultural frontier. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficiency of Conservation Agriculture Production Systems for Smallholders in Rain-Fed Uplands of India: A Transformative Approach to Food Security
Land 2017, 6(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6030058 - 24 Aug 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
With challenges from global climate change, it is imperative to enhance food production using climate-smart technologies and maximize farm efficiency. Fifty-six households in Rudhiapada and Badamahulidiha, Odisha, India were selected to evaluate farmers’ efficiency using conservation agriculture (CA) cropping system practices. Data envelopment [...] Read more.
With challenges from global climate change, it is imperative to enhance food production using climate-smart technologies and maximize farm efficiency. Fifty-six households in Rudhiapada and Badamahulidiha, Odisha, India were selected to evaluate farmers’ efficiency using conservation agriculture (CA) cropping system practices. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) and regression analysis were used to estimate farmer efficiency and the determinants of yield. Conventional tillage with the local maize cultivar was compared to reduced tillage with improved maize cultivar and maize intercropped with cowpea. Badamahulidiha outperformed Rudhiapada in yields for all cropping systems. This could be attributed to lower input use and exposure to NGO training. The current efficiency level of farmers’ productivity was between 0.4 and 0.7. Inputs such as labor, seed, and fertilizers were found to be significant in increasing yield except for female labor and phosphate. This finding suggests conservation agriculture cropping system is female friendly. The conservation agriculture cropping systems improved maize yields by 60% to 70% when compared to conventional farming system. Combining conservation agriculture practices with improving efficiency of farmers in optimal use of the inputs can contribute substantially to productivity, thus enhancing food security and nutrition in the face of climate change in India and other tropical areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Modelling Approaches for Understanding Telecoupling: Global Food Trade and Local Land Use
Land 2017, 6(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6030056 - 23 Aug 2017
Cited by 17
Abstract
The telecoupling framework is an integrated concept that emphasises socioeconomic and environmental interactions between distant places. Viewed through the lens of the telecoupling framework, land use and food consumption are linked across local to global scales by decision-making agents and trade flows. Quantitatively [...] Read more.
The telecoupling framework is an integrated concept that emphasises socioeconomic and environmental interactions between distant places. Viewed through the lens of the telecoupling framework, land use and food consumption are linked across local to global scales by decision-making agents and trade flows. Quantitatively modelling the dynamics of telecoupled systems like this could be achieved using numerous different modelling approaches. For example, previous approaches to modelling global food trade have often used partial equilibrium economic models, whereas recent approaches to representing local land use decision-making have widely used agent-based modelling. System dynamics models are well established for representing aggregated flows and stores of products and values between distant locations. We argue that hybrid computational models will be useful for capitalising on the strengths these different modelling approaches each have for representing the various concepts in the telecoupling framework. However, integrating multiple modelling approaches into hybrid models faces challenges, including data requirements and uncertainty assessment. To help guide the development of hybrid models for investigating sustainability through the telecoupling framework here we examine important representational and modelling considerations in the context of global food trade and local land use. We report on the development of our own model that incorporates multiple modelling approaches in a modular approach to negotiate the trade-offs between ideal representation and modelling resource constraints. In this initial modelling our focus is on land use and food trade in and between USA, China and Brazil, but also accounting for the rest of the world. We discuss the challenges of integrating multiple modelling approaches to enable analysis of agents, flows, and feedbacks in the telecoupled system. Our analysis indicates differences in representation of agency are possible and should be expected in integrated models. Questions about telecoupling dynamics should be the primary driver in selecting modelling approaches, tempered by resource availability. There is also a need to identify appropriate modelling assessment and analysis tools and learn from their application in other domains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Sino-Brazilian Telecoupled Soybean System and Cascading Effects for the Exporting Country
Land 2017, 6(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6030053 - 21 Aug 2017
Cited by 28
Abstract
The global food market makes international players intrinsically connected through the flow of commodities, demand, production, and consumption. Local decisions, such as new economic policies or dietary shifts, can foster changes in coupled human–natural systems across long distances. Understanding the causes and effects [...] Read more.
The global food market makes international players intrinsically connected through the flow of commodities, demand, production, and consumption. Local decisions, such as new economic policies or dietary shifts, can foster changes in coupled human–natural systems across long distances. Understanding the causes and effects of these changes is essential for agricultural-export countries, such as Brazil. Since 2000, Brazil has led the expansion of soybean planted area—19 million hectares, or 47.5% of the world’s increase. Soybean is among the major crop commodities traded globally. We use the telecoupling framework to analyze (i) the international trade dynamics between Brazil and China as the cause of the increased production of Brazilian soybean since 2000; (ii) and the cascading effects of the Sino-Brazilian telecoupled soybean system for Brazilian maize production and exports, with attention to consequences on domestic prices, availability, and risks associated with climatic extreme events. Census-based data at state and county levels, policy analysis, and interviews with producers and stakeholders guided our methodological approach. We identified that the Brazilian soybean production decreased maize single crop production and accelerated maize as a second crop following soybean, a practice that makes farmers more vulnerable to precipitation anomalies (e.g., rainfall shortage). In addition, the two-crop system of soybean/maize pressures the Brazilian maize market when unexpected events such as extreme droughts strike and when this results in a failed maize harvest in the second crop, most of which is for domestic consumption rather than export. Our study suggests the need to incorporate the telecoupling framework in land use decision-making and understanding landscape changes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Scenarios of Vegetable Demand vs. Production in Brazil: The Links between Nutritional Security and Small Farming
Land 2017, 6(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6030049 - 25 Jul 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Dietary guidelines urge Brazilians to increase their consumption of raw vegetables. Yet key issues must be tackled by the government and civil society, not only to foster consumers’ appetite for healthier food, but more importantly to diminish the gaps between local demand and [...] Read more.
Dietary guidelines urge Brazilians to increase their consumption of raw vegetables. Yet key issues must be tackled by the government and civil society, not only to foster consumers’ appetite for healthier food, but more importantly to diminish the gaps between local demand and production, determined by food and land accessibility. We examine whether vegetable production in Brazil meets the demand to provide Brazilians the daily amount of fresh food recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). We developed demand scenarios in Brazil for 2008 and 2030, based on demand density maps built at the district level using production census surveys, household acquisition data, and population growth estimates. Results reveal an inherent inequality in vegetable consumption between the southern and central northern regions of Brazil that follows food insecurity regional indicators. Even in more urbanized regions and metropolitan areas, where the best balance between vegetable production and acquisition is found, simulated demand is far from WHO recommendations. A complementary discussion regarding land distribution and fresh food production supports our outlook on the weaknesses of existing rural policies for land reform and sustainable local fresh food production that directly affect demand and nutritional security. This work was the foundation to the Delivering Food Security on Limited Land (DEVIL) project in Brazil supported by Belmont Forum consortium. Full article
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