A land-use systems approach to represent land-use dynamics at continental and global scales

A.P. Letourneau, P.H. Verburg, E. Stehfest

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    63 Citations (Scopus)


    Most of the current global land cover datasets and global scale land-use models use a classification of land cover based on the dominant land cover type within a distinct region or pixel. Such a classification disregards the diversity and intensity of human influence on land systems. In this paper we propose a novel way of classification and modeling land-use using a classification based on land-use systems (LUSs) that represent specific combinations of human-environment interactions. A cluster analysis was used to identify and map these LUSs. The analysis accounted for population density, accessibility to market places, land-use/cover types and livestock densities. A conceptual framework was developed to model dynamics in LUSs accounting for both land cover and land management changes. LUSs changes were simulated based on changes in both local socio-economic and biophysical conditions and regional-scale changes in demand for agricultural products. The new land-use systems change model was used in the context of the integrated assessment model IMAGE.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-79
    JournalEnvironmental Modelling & Software
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • remotely-sensed data
    • cover change
    • agricultural land
    • costa-rica
    • model
    • validation
    • science
    • forest
    • sustainability
    • biodiversity

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