New cropland on former rangeland and lost cropland from urban development

The "replacement land" debate

Lisa Ann Emili, Richard P. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, a land use/land cover change analysis method was developed to examine patterns of land use/land cover conversions of cropland to urban uses and conversions of rangeland to cropland uses in the United States (US) Midwest region. We used the US 2001 and 2006 National Land Cover Datasets (NLCD) for our spatial analyses of these conversion trends. Our analysis showed that the eastern part of the Midwest, like prior periods, continued to experience losses of cropland to urban expansion but at a much more rapid rate, as this was during an expansion phase of the US real estate construction cycle. The period showed a very small net loss of cropland as the loss was being balanced by gains in cropland at the expense of rangeland lost in the western part of the Midwest. We refer to this rangeland to cropland conversion as "replacement land". We do not suggest by replacement that there is a signal in the system that interconnects the loss of a hectare of cropland to urban land by converting a hectare of rangeland to cropland, rather we highlight this spatial trend as it raises concerns about the environmental sustainability of agriculture in the western part of the region, as production is dependent on the use of irrigation and the already stressed High Plains aquifer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-674
Number of pages17
JournalLand
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014

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rangeland
urban development
replacement
land cover
land use
sustainability
irrigation
aquifer
agriculture
loss
land
trend
analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

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New cropland on former rangeland and lost cropland from urban development : The "replacement land" debate. / Emili, Lisa Ann; Greene, Richard P.

In: Land, Vol. 3, No. 3, 01.06.2014, p. 658-674.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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