Land cover change or land-use intensification: simulating land system change with a global-scale land change model



Land-use change is both a cause and consequence of many biophysical and socioeconomic changes. The CLUMondo model provides an innovative approach for global land-use change modeling to support integrated assessments. Demands for goods and services are, in the model, supplied by a variety of land systems that are characterized by their land cover mosaic, the agricultural management intensity, and livestock. Land system changes are simulated by the model, driven by regional demand for goods and influenced by local factors that either constrain or promote land system conversion. A characteristic of the new model is the endogenous simulation of intensification of agricultural management versus expansion of arable land, and urban versus rural settlements expansion based on land availability in the neighborhood of the location. Model results for the OECD Environmental Outlook scenario show that allocation of increased agricultural production by either management intensification or area expansion varies both among and within world regions, providing useful insight into the land sparing versus land sharing debate. The land system approach allows the inclusion of different types of demand for goods and services from the land system as a driving factor of land system change. Simulation results are compared to observed changes over the 1970–2000 period and projections of other global and regional land change models.