Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Biogeography

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences | Geography Department | Biogeography | News | Land Systems Version 2 & associated Biodiversity Loss

Land Systems Version 2 & associated Biodiversity Loss

As part of our recent paper by Kehoe et al. (2017), we developed a global 1km land systems map that delineates between the major land use classes and includes low, medium, and intensive cropland and pasture. The map also includes natural areas suitable and not suitable for future cropland expansion.



Land systems represent the interface between the majority of human activities and the natural environment and consist of hierarchical categorical classifications that combine metrics of land cover, land-use intensity, and livestock density. We developed an updated global land systems map to utilize the most recent land-cover and land-use datasets available and in order to work at a finer spatial resolution than previously possible (from an original resolution of ~9.25 km2 to our 1km grid). We achieved this by following the decision tree classification of van Asselen & Verburg (2012) while using updated datasets. We compiled six datasets related to cropland extent, tree cover, urban and bare areas, livestock density, and yield gaps. To investigate biodiversity loss due to potential agricultural expansion, we included a biophysical crop suitability condition to the natural classes. 
We directly link these classes to the estimated biodiversity loss of expansion and intensification from a natural baseline (from now open access PREDICTs database), see Table 3-4 here


The map download is available here: https://box.hu-berlin.de/d/053f45f377/


Kehoe et al. (2017) Biodiversity at risk under future cropland expansion and intensification, Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 1129–1135 doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0234-3