Global Environmental Change (2013)
Turner II B L, Janetos A, Verburg P H and Murray A T
Vol 23, Issue 2, pp 395-397
Land systems (mosaics of land use and cover) are human environment systems, the changes in which drive and respond to local to global environmental changes, climate to macro-economy (Foley et al., 2005). Changes in land systems have been the principal proximate cause in the loss of habitats and biota globally, long contributed to atmospheric greenhouse gases, and hypothesized to have triggered climate changes in the early Holocene (Ruddiman, 2003). Land use, foremost agriculture, is the largest source of biologically active nitrogen to the atmosphere, critical to sources and sinks of carbon, and a major component in the hydrologic cycle (e.g., Bouwman et al., 2011). Changes in land systems also affect regional climate (Feddema et al., 2005; Pielke, 2005), ecosystem functions, and the array of ecosystem services they provide. Land systems, therefore, are a central feature of how humankind manages its relationship with nature-intended or not, or whether this relationship proceeds sustainably or not.
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