- Journal Article
Abstract: Land use in the U.S. is driven by multiple forces operating at the global level such as income and population growth, yield and productivity improvement, trade policy, climate change, and changing diets. Future land use has implications for biodiversity, run-off, carbon storage, ecosystem values, agriculture and the broader economy. We investigate those forces in the U.S. and their implications from a multi-sector, multi-system dynamics (MSD) perspective focused on understanding dynamics and resilience in complex interdependent systems.
Historical trends show slightly increased grassland and natural forest areas and decreases in cropland. We project these trends will be intensified under higher pressures for agricultural land or reduced under lower pressures, with no evidence of tipping points toward larger agricultural land abandonment or deforestation. However, U.S. sectoral output and trade, fertilizer use, N2O and CH4 emissions from agriculture activities, and CO2 emissions from land-use change are substantially impacted under several land-use forcing scenarios.