Land system science in Latin America: challenges and perspectives

In: Journal articles
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Boillat S ,  
Scarpa F M , Robson J P , Gasparri I , Aide T M , Aguiar A P D , Anderson L O , Batistella M , Fonseca M G , Futemma C , Grau H R , Mathez-Stiefel S-L , Metzger J P , Ometto J P H B , Pedlowski M A , Perz S G , Robiglio V , Soler L , Vieira I , Brondizio E S
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Land system science in Latin America: challenges and perspectives

Abstract: 

This article reviews the current status, trends and challenges of land system science in Latin America. We highlight the advances in the conceptualization, analysis and monitoring of land systems. These advances shift from a focus on the relationships between forests and other land uses to include a greater diversity of land cover and land-use types and the processes and interactions that link them. We then provide a biome-level typology of social-ecological land systems (SELS) as an approach to help connect local-level realities to regional processes and we discuss how this approach can help to design more socially inclusive land systems. We also discuss the increased role of distant socio-economic and ecological interactions that connect these SELS to global processes. Combined, these insights support a research agenda for land system science in the region that can develop more accurate and integrative monitoring of land change and their social and ecological consequences, better understand different stakeholder perspectives within a context of livelihood diversification, and encourage institutional feedbacks to govern land systems influenced by distant drivers.