chapter  12
35 Pages

[email protected]: Spatially explicit, biophysical land use in a computable general equilibrium model

WithKERSTIN RONNEBERGER, MARIA BERRITTELLA

Landuse is one of themost important links of economyandbiosphere, representing a direct projection of human action onto the natural environment. Large parts of the terrestrial land surface are used for agriculture, forestry, settlements and infrastructure. Among these, agricultural production is still the dominant land use, accounting for 34 per cent of today’s land surface (Leff et al., 2004), compared to forestry covering 29 per cent (FAO, 2003) and urban area which is taking less than 1 per cent of the land surface (Gruebler, 1994). On the one hand, agricultural management practices and cropping patterns have a vast effect on biogeochemical cycles, freshwater availability and soil quality; on the other hand, the same factors govern the suitability and productivity of land for agricultural production. Changes in agricultural production directly determine the development of the world food situation. Thus, to consistently investigate the future pathway of the economic and natural environments, a realistic representation of agricultural land use dynamics on a global scale is essential.