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Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era$
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Karen C. Seto and Anette Reenberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026901

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026901.001.0001

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Trends in Global Land-Use Competition

Trends in Global Land-Use Competition

(p.11) 2 Trends in Global Land-Use Competition
Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era

Eric F. Lambin

Patrick Meyfroidt

The MIT Press

This chapter identifies the main land-change trends and competitions in global land use. To produce commodities for global markets, additional land is required and demand competes for the most productive and accessible lands. There is less underutilized productive land than is generally assumed, and converting that land is always associated with social and ecological trade-offs. Current data provide no clear evidence in support of either of two competing views—a Malthusian and Ricardian view—on the global availability of productive land: Is there a finite stock of suitable land, leading to a strict competition between land uses, or will increases in the price of goods produced from the land make it economically feasible to bring marginal land into use? The main “friction points” in global land use are expected to be between forests and agriculture; urban land use and intensive agriculture; tree plantations and natural forests; bioenergy, feed crops, and food crops; and intensive cropland and extensive agriculture. Land changes are increasingly influenced by the multiple processes of globalization. Discussion concludes by identifying a key research questions for land-change science. Published in the Strungmann Forum Reports Series.

Keywords:   land-change competition, globalization, land-change trends, global land use, agriculture, forestry, bioenergy, land-change science

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