Limitations, challenges, and solutions to integrating carbon dynamics with land-use models

Tom P. Evans, Derek T. Robinson, Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Research efforts have combined land-use and land-cover change (LUCC) and carbon (C) dynamics to estimate the flux and storage of C under different land-use and land-management regimes (e.g., see Chapters 10 and 11). Ultimately, this research arena seeks to understand the C sequestration implications of different land-use change processes or futures. However, despite the need for simulation tools to produce robust predictions of C dynamics under different land-use and land-cover scenarios, there are relatively few models that integrate LUCC and C cycle dynamics. To be clear, many publications document the C balance of specific land-cover scenarios; however, there is an important distinction between modeling land-use change endogenously (such that it changes dynamically as a result of the modeled processes) and incorporating an exogenous land-cover scenario (with a prespecified set of land-cover data) in a C model. The integration of land-use and C-cycle modeling is necessary for several reasons, most notably for the development and implementation of climate change policy (see Chapter 8). National and international science communities have emphasized the need for integrating land-use and C dynamics (e.g., the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme [IGBP], Global Land Project [GLP], International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change [IHDP]; see Chapter 1); however, the C and LUCC modeling communities often operate as somewhat disparate fields of research. Development of international climate negotiations and treaties, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry (UNFCCC GPG-LULUCF), relies on current estimates of C pools and fluxes, as well as our expectations for how land-use change will influence C dynamics in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLand use and the Carbon Cycle
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Integrated Science, Management, and Policy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780511894824
ISBN (Print)9781107011243
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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