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Measuring agricultural land-use intensity - A global analysis using a model-assisted approach

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Fader,  Marianela
IMPRS on Earth System Modelling, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Dietrich, J. P., Schmitz, C., Mueller, C., Fader, M., Lotze-Campen, H., & Popp, A. (2012). Measuring agricultural land-use intensity - A global analysis using a model-assisted approach. Ecological Modelling, 232, 109-118. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.03.002.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-F259-2
Abstract
Human activities such as research & development, infrastructure or management are of major importance for agricultural productivity. These activities can be summarized as agricultural land-use intensity. We present a measure, called the tau-factor, which is an alternative to current measures for agricultural land-use intensity. The tau-factor is the ratio between actual yield and a reference yield under well defined management and technology conditions. By taking this ratio, the physical component (soils, climate), which is equal in both terms, is removed. We analyze global patterns of agricultural land-use intensity for 10 world regions and 12 crops, employing reference yields as computed with a global crop growth model for the year 2000. We show that parts of Russia, Asia and especially Africa had low agricultural land-use intensities, whereas the Eastern US, Western Europe and parts of China had high agricultural land-use intensities in 2000. Our presented measure of land use intensity is a useful alternative to existing measures, since it is independent of socio-economic data and allows for quantitative analysis. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.