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Agricultural land is a widespread land-cover type globally, however agricultural land-use pressure on pristine areas will most likely increase in future due to growing food demands. Land remaining idle and suitable for cultivation is becoming a rare commodity. At the same time, agricultural land abandonment is also a widespread land-use change phenomenon.
Often underlying and proximate drivers of agricultural land expansion/abandonment are not clear, particularly due to the interplay of a mixed set of proximate and underlying local and distal drivers, for instance via teleconnections. There is a strong need to advance research to better understand such complex combinations of drivers.
It is also not clear what the impact of agricultural land expansion/abandonment and change in land-use intensity (i.e., multiple annual cropping, intercropping, application of fertilizers, crop rotation techniques, and irrigation) has on ecosystem services and human well-being. There is a further need for interdisciplinary studies within the socio-ecological framework: trade-offs, better understanding land sharing and land sparing options. Last, but not least, there is also a pressing need in advancing theoretical background knowledge of land system science to better understand non-linear, complex causal human–land cover linkages.
This Special Issue on "Understanding the Patterns, Drivers and Consequences of Agricultural Land Use Change and Land-Use Intensity" is dedicated to bring advances in Land System Science on better understanding the proximate and underlying drivers of land-cover change with regard to agricultural land expansion/abandonment and change of land-use intensity. We highly encourage interdisciplinary studies on agricultural land change which involve different techniques, such as remotely-sensed observations, land-use modeling, sociological and economic studies, as well as linkages with ecology. Works on advancing the theoretical background of Land System Science with the focus on agricultural change are also welcome.
With these issues in mind, we invite you to submit manuscripts about your recent research, as well as review papers, in line with, but not restricted to, the following topics (not limited):
Dr. Fabian Löw
Prof. Dr. Alexander Prishchepov
Dr. Florian Schierhorn