Quantifying gross vs. net agricultural land use change in Great Britain using the Integrated Administration and Control System

Tomlinson, Samuel J.; Dragosits, Ulrike; Levy, Peter E.; Thomson, Amanda M.; Moxley, Janet. 2018 Quantifying gross vs. net agricultural land use change in Great Britain using the Integrated Administration and Control System. Science of the Total Environment, 628-629. 1234-1248.

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Land use change has impacts upon many natural processes, and is one of the key measures of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystems. Agricultural land covers 70% of Great Britain's (GB) land surface and annually undergoes disturbance and change through farming practices such as crop rotation, ploughing and the planting and subsequent logging of forestry. It is important to quantify how much of GB's agricultural land undergoes such changes and what those changes are at an annual temporal resolution. Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) data give annual snapshots of agricultural land use at the field level, allowing for high resolution spatiotemporal land use change studies at the national scale. Crucially, not only do the data allow for simple net change studies (total area change of a land use, in a specific areal unit) but also for gross change calculations (summation of all changes to and from a land use), meaning that both gains and losses to and from each land use category can be defined. In this study we analysed IACS data for GB from 2005 to 2013, and quantified gross change for over 90% of the agricultural area in GB for the first time. It was found that gross change totalled 63,500 km2 in GB compared to 20,600 km2 of net change, i.e. the real year-on-year change is, on average, three times larger than net change. This detailed information on nature of land use change allows for increased accuracy in modelling the impact of land use change on ecosystem processes and is directly applicable across EU member states, where collection of such survey data is a requirement. The modelled carbon flux associated with gross land use change was at times >100 Gg C y−1 larger than that based on net land use change for some land use transitions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: land cover, carbon flux, greenhouse gas, agriculture, agricultural emissions
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 23 Feb 2018 11:54 +0 (UTC)

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