chapter  9
16 Pages

Synthesis,.Comparative.Analysis,.and.Prospect

This book has examined the issue of integrated analysis of spatial structure and spatiotemporal processes related to land use change in terrestrial coupled human environment systems. The consequences of land use change have been to transform a large proportion of the land surface of the Earth, and these changes are influencing the global carbon cycle, regional climate, water quality and distribution, and biodiversity through habitat loss.1 The book presents a number of case studies that include urban, wilderness, wet tropical forest, and arid desert-like environments, human population densities from high to very low, and those that demonstrate both direct and indirect human influences (Table 9.1). The case studies include several that focus on analysis of clearing of tropical forest environments (Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7; Table 9.1). These are environments of high significance to global carbon stocks, biodiversity, regional climate, and African, Asian, and South American economies.2,3 However, both intensive agricultural lands (Chapter 3; Table 9.1) and extensive grazing lands (Chapter 2; Table 9.1) are also covered, while specific attention is paid to the late 20th-century phenomenon of the rise of megacities (Chapter 8; Table 9.1).