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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 May 2024

New Framework Addresses Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Dry Woodlands Through Contextualized Land-Use Planning

46 experts from different disciplines and regions identified key actors, threats, and conservation opportunities across tropical dry woodlands. The results allow for the recognition of the diversity of land-use actors and activities for socially and…

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18 May 2024

Deforestation Frontiers in Gran Chaco: Future Scenarios Highlight Urgent Need for Sustainable Land-Use Policies

Commodity agriculture spreads into tropical dry forests, eroding their ecological and social integrity. We studied historic land-system change and future scenarios for the South American Gran Chaco. Findings highlight urgent conservation planning to…

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A photo by Jan Huber | Unsplash

06 May 2024

Exploring the Interplay between Crop Rotational Diversity and Landscape Complexity

Using interpretable machine learning methods, we studied the relationship between crop rotation diversity, and landscape diversity including biophysical characteristics in Northeastern Germany. We reveal a spatial trade-off between crop rotations and…

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