Monday, February 6, 2017

Consequences of Global Land Use

This article highlights the effects of the increasing demand for resources and land use on sustainability of our ecosystems. The unbalanced stability of the long term versus short term capacity of the biosphere to provide services is questioned by evidence of biodiversity loss, climate change, decreased air and water quality, and other instances directly related to the increased use of land. The environmental impacts of land use ranges globally, from changes in atmospheric composition to the extensive modification of the Earth's ecosystems.
Modern agriculture has been very successful in increasing food production, but it has also caused extensive damage to the environment. It has led to degradation of water quality in many regions, caused some degree of soil erosion, reduced fertility, and overgrazing in croplands across the globe. There is a chain effect with the loss of native habitats, which also affects agricultural production by degrading the services of pollinators. Confronting the global environmental issues of land use will require balancing the trade offs between our immediate needs as humans and maintaining our ecosystems so that they can continue to provide goods in the future.

Foley, J. A. et al. (2012, August 20). Global Consequences of Land Use. Retrieved February 6, 2017, from


  1. This seems like a very unique article, I would be interested in seeing a more localized map of the United States and have that compared to a 3rd world country to compare and contrast land use for farming.

  2. I know that in the very distant past, farmers would only work the land 3/4 years to help the land grow and sustain crop growth. I wonder if these maps can be altered to show how the land would age if that practice was still consistently held as I know in some areas this is upheld.

  3. This article provided important information regarding current land use practices and their negative effects on the environment. Did the article present any alternatives to these practices?