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The overall goal of the Land Systems Group is to advance the understanding of terrestrial social-ecological systems where humans interact with the environment through land use. We analyze the multiple repercussions of the changes in land use on human welfare, food production, carbon dynamics, and biodiversity, as well as the effects of socioecological changes on land use. We approach these issues through quantitative and qualitative assessments alike and combine approaches from social and natural sciences at different spatial scales.

Specifically, we work with spatially explicit methods that include econometric modeling, quantitative geography, crop growth modeling, remote sensing, data mining, and simulation modeling. The current geographic focus of the research group are the countries of the former Soviet Union, China, and Southeast Asia.



18 November 2021

New paper published in Biological Conservation

We show that agricultural production, protection of biodiversity, and maintaining carbon stocks can still be balanced in the Gran Chaco, one of the world’s largest tropical dry forests with high deforestation rates. However, rapid action is needed...

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21 September 2021

New paper published in Frontiers in Conservation Science

We quantify forest degradation, its dynamics and proximate causes for the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2002 to 2016. Our results highlight targeted interventions and policies that can help to reduce forest degradation but cautions that...

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14 July 2021

New paper published in Regional Environmental Change

Here we investigated how land use and climate changes impact soil organic matter content in the steppes of Russia and Kazakhstan. Using global dynamics vegetation models and several climate and land use scenarios, we find that the effects of land-use...

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