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Spatial modeling of agricultural land use change at global scale


  • Meiyappan, Prasanth
  • Dalton, Michael
  • O’Neill, Brian C.
  • Jain, Atul K.


Long-term modeling of agricultural land use is central in global scale assessments of climate change, food security, biodiversity, and climate adaptation and mitigation policies. We present a global-scale dynamic land use allocation model and show that it can reproduce the broad spatial features of the past 100 years of evolution of cropland and pastureland patterns. The modeling approach integrates economic theory, observed land use history, and data on both socioeconomic and biophysical determinants of land use change, and estimates relationships using long-term historical data, thereby making it suitable for long-term projections. The underlying economic motivation is maximization of expected profits by hypothesized landowners within each grid cell. The model predicts fractional land use for cropland and pastureland within each grid cell based on socioeconomic and biophysical driving factors that change with time. The model explicitly incorporates the following key features: (1) land use competition, (2) spatial heterogeneity in the nature of driving factors across geographic regions, (3) spatial heterogeneity in the relative importance of driving factors and previous land use patterns in determining land use allocation, and (4) spatial and temporal autocorrelation in land use patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Meiyappan, Prasanth & Dalton, Michael & O’Neill, Brian C. & Jain, Atul K., 2014. "Spatial modeling of agricultural land use change at global scale," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 291(C), pages 152-174.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:291:y:2014:i:c:p:152-174
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.07.027

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:climat:v:146:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-016-1791-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:zbw:espost:176543 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Si Mokrane Siad & Andrea Gioia & Gerrit Hoogenboom & Vito Iacobellis & Antonio Novelli & Eufemia Tarantino & Pandi Zdruli, 2017. "Durum Wheat Cover Analysis in the Scope of Policy and Market Price Changes: A Case Study in Southern Italy," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(2), pages 1-20, February.
    4. Xiaolin Ren & Matthias Weitzel & Brian C. O’Neill & Peter Lawrence & Prasanth Meiyappan & Samuel Levis & Edward J. Balistreri & Michael Dalton, 2018. "Avoided economic impacts of climate change on agriculture: integrating a land surface model (CLM) with a global economic model (iPETS)," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 517-531, February.


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