Land-use choices: Balancing human needs and ecosystem function

Ruth S. DeFries, Jonathan A. Foley, Gregory P. Asner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

502 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conversion of land to grow crops, raise animals, obtain timber, and build cities is one of the foundations of human civilization. While land use provides these essential ecosystem goods, it alters a range of other ecosystem functions, such as the provisioning of freshwater, regulation of climate and biogeochemical cycles, and maintenance of soil fertility. It also alters habitat for biological diversity. Balancing the inherent trade-offs between satisfying immediate human needs and maintaining other ecosystem functions requires quantitative knowledge about ecosystem responses to land use. These responses vary according to the type of land-use change and the ecological setting, and have local, short-term as well as global, longterm effects. Land-use decisions ultimately weigh the need to satisfy human demands and the unintended ecosystem responses based on societal values, but ecological knowledge can provide a basis for assessing the trade-offs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-257
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume2
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

ecosystem function
ecosystem response
land use
ecosystems
climate cycle
land use change
biogeochemical cycle
civilization
soil fertility
timber
ecological value
crop
ecosystem
animal
biogeochemical cycles
habitat
need
biodiversity
climate
crops

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Land-use choices : Balancing human needs and ecosystem function. / DeFries, Ruth S.; Foley, Jonathan A.; Asner, Gregory P.

In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 2, No. 5, 01.06.2004, p. 249-257.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

DeFries, Ruth S. ; Foley, Jonathan A. ; Asner, Gregory P. / Land-use choices : Balancing human needs and ecosystem function. In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2004 ; Vol. 2, No. 5. pp. 249-257.
@article{57640afef39c4cfe88ae140bfbdad6a1,
title = "Land-use choices: Balancing human needs and ecosystem function",
abstract = "Conversion of land to grow crops, raise animals, obtain timber, and build cities is one of the foundations of human civilization. While land use provides these essential ecosystem goods, it alters a range of other ecosystem functions, such as the provisioning of freshwater, regulation of climate and biogeochemical cycles, and maintenance of soil fertility. It also alters habitat for biological diversity. Balancing the inherent trade-offs between satisfying immediate human needs and maintaining other ecosystem functions requires quantitative knowledge about ecosystem responses to land use. These responses vary according to the type of land-use change and the ecological setting, and have local, short-term as well as global, longterm effects. Land-use decisions ultimately weigh the need to satisfy human demands and the unintended ecosystem responses based on societal values, but ecological knowledge can provide a basis for assessing the trade-offs.",
author = "DeFries, {Ruth S.} and Foley, {Jonathan A.} and Asner, {Gregory P.}",
year = "2004",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1890/1540-9295(2004)002[0249:LCBHNA]2.0.CO;2",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2",
pages = "249--257",
journal = "Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment",
issn = "1540-9295",
publisher = "Ecological Society of America",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Land-use choices

T2 - Balancing human needs and ecosystem function

AU - DeFries, Ruth S.

AU - Foley, Jonathan A.

AU - Asner, Gregory P.

PY - 2004/6/1

Y1 - 2004/6/1

N2 - Conversion of land to grow crops, raise animals, obtain timber, and build cities is one of the foundations of human civilization. While land use provides these essential ecosystem goods, it alters a range of other ecosystem functions, such as the provisioning of freshwater, regulation of climate and biogeochemical cycles, and maintenance of soil fertility. It also alters habitat for biological diversity. Balancing the inherent trade-offs between satisfying immediate human needs and maintaining other ecosystem functions requires quantitative knowledge about ecosystem responses to land use. These responses vary according to the type of land-use change and the ecological setting, and have local, short-term as well as global, longterm effects. Land-use decisions ultimately weigh the need to satisfy human demands and the unintended ecosystem responses based on societal values, but ecological knowledge can provide a basis for assessing the trade-offs.

AB - Conversion of land to grow crops, raise animals, obtain timber, and build cities is one of the foundations of human civilization. While land use provides these essential ecosystem goods, it alters a range of other ecosystem functions, such as the provisioning of freshwater, regulation of climate and biogeochemical cycles, and maintenance of soil fertility. It also alters habitat for biological diversity. Balancing the inherent trade-offs between satisfying immediate human needs and maintaining other ecosystem functions requires quantitative knowledge about ecosystem responses to land use. These responses vary according to the type of land-use change and the ecological setting, and have local, short-term as well as global, longterm effects. Land-use decisions ultimately weigh the need to satisfy human demands and the unintended ecosystem responses based on societal values, but ecological knowledge can provide a basis for assessing the trade-offs.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84957636591&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84957636591&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1890/1540-9295(2004)002[0249:LCBHNA]2.0.CO;2

DO - 10.1890/1540-9295(2004)002[0249:LCBHNA]2.0.CO;2

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:84957636591

VL - 2

SP - 249

EP - 257

JO - Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

JF - Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

SN - 1540-9295

IS - 5

ER -