Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Systems and Global Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 10423

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Interests: LUCC; regional sustainability; low-carbon emissions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Laboratory of Low Carbon Energy, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Interests: sustainable transformation pathways; inventory of carbon neutral technologies; climate change policy
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Interests: ecosystem services; SDGs; telecoupling; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land-based sectors play significant roles in carbon emissions and removals, including agriculture, forestry, other land uses, as well as land use and cover change (LUCC). More than 20% of carbon emissions globally are from land-based sectors. It is increasingly crucial to identify and model the relationship between land use sustainability and climate change, especially toward achieving the carbon emissions neutrality target or net-zero emissions goal. Based on the most recent Sixth Assessment Report released by Working Group Ⅲ of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the measures of land-use-relevant carbon emissions mitigation represent some of the most important options currently available. Land use sustainability ensures managed ecosystems and offers significant mitigation opportunities while delivering food, wood and other renewable resources as well as biodiversity conservation. Land-based sectors can both deliver carbon dioxide removal and substitute for fossil fuels, thereby enabling emissions reductions in other sectors.

Although the topic has been drawing increasing attention, especially in terms of carbon emissions, the linkages between land use sustainability and carbon emissions are not well identified. For example, exactly what proportion of carbon emissions are from land use? What are the proportions of carbon emissions from natural land-use change processes, human land-use activities or relevant energy consumption? What strategies can be used to mitigate the carbon emissions from land-based sectors, including agriculture and forestry? What measures should be taken when cooperating with other sectors in order to achieve carbon emissions neutrality? We are assembling this Special Issue to better answer these questions, and aim to analyse land use sustainability from the viewpoint of carbon emissions.

Original article and review article related to land use sustainability in the viewpoints of carbon emissions are welcomed.

Dr. Xue-Chao Wang
Dr. Weize Song
Dr. Yingjie Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • land use
  • sustainability
  • carbon emissions
  • carbon emissions neutrality
  • carbon source
  • carbon sink
  • climate change
  • agriculture
  • forestry

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 7439 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Patterns and the Development Path of Land-Use Carbon Emissions from a Low-Carbon Perspective: A Case Study of Guizhou Province
Land 2023, 12(10), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12101875 - 05 Oct 2023
Viewed by 805
Abstract
Land-use change and regional carbon emissions are closely related. In-depth research on the mechanism of land-use carbon emissions is conducive for clarifying the direction and focus of future low-carbon construction work. Carbon emissions calculation models were used to calculate total carbon emissions in [...] Read more.
Land-use change and regional carbon emissions are closely related. In-depth research on the mechanism of land-use carbon emissions is conducive for clarifying the direction and focus of future low-carbon construction work. Carbon emissions calculation models were used to calculate total carbon emissions in Guizhou Province and reveal their spatiotemporal distribution characteristics. The results were as follows. (1) The land-use structure of Guizhou Province underwent a significant change from 2009 to 2019, in particular with regard to cultivated and construction land. (2) Land-use carbon emissions in Guizhou Province were increasing annually, and this was related to urbanization, population density, and energy consumption. (3) There were spatial differences in the regional distribution of carbon emissions, their intensity, and carbon emissions per capita in Guizhou Province. Additionally, there were spatial clusters of cities with high or low emissions intensity. Therefore, there is scope for constructive proposals concerning sustainable land use and development, such as controlling the total amount and intensity of construction land, optimizing the structure of land use, managing the rational distribution of the population, constantly advancing the optimization of industrial structure, and improving the relevant policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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19 pages, 2080 KiB  
Article
Mechanisms of Forestry Carbon Sink Policies on Land Use Efficiency: A Perspective from the Drivers of Policy Implementation
Land 2023, 12(10), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12101860 - 29 Sep 2023
Viewed by 572
Abstract
Rapid urbanization has brought economic dividends to China, but it has been accompanied by inefficient land use. Meanwhile, the mechanism of forestry carbon sinks (FCSs) on land use efficiency (LUE) has not been sufficiently discussed in the context of the pursuit of “carbon [...] Read more.
Rapid urbanization has brought economic dividends to China, but it has been accompanied by inefficient land use. Meanwhile, the mechanism of forestry carbon sinks (FCSs) on land use efficiency (LUE) has not been sufficiently discussed in the context of the pursuit of “carbon neutrality” around the world. Based on the idea of the benefit–cost theory, this study investigated the impact of FCSs on LUE in 30 provincial-level regions (2006–2019) in China using the difference-in-difference model. The results showed that, first, via the mechanisms of public opinion (PO) and rewards and penalties (RP), FCSs could significantly improve the LUE in the regions, and that the former had a greater effect than the latter; second, the tests of the assumption of parallel trends showed that FCSs had a slower effect on the LUE under the PO mechanism than under the RP mechanism; third, the analysis of the LUE showed that the improvement in LUE mainly occurred in the eastern, central, and southwestern regions of China. The conclusions were as follows: (1) FCS is able to promote LUE via both the PO and RP mechanisms; (2) there is a lag in the promotion of LUE by FCS, and the lag is larger with the PO mechanism; and (3) there is spatial clustering in the promotion of LUE by FCS. In line with these conclusions, we propose policy recommendations to better exploit the policy effects of FCSs in three aspects, namely promoting the development of forestry carbon sink projects, improving the relevant mechanisms of FCSs, and improving the mechanisms of PO and RP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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12 pages, 1603 KiB  
Article
Preservation of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) through Ecosystems’ Soil Retention Services in China
Land 2023, 12(9), 1718; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091718 - 03 Sep 2023
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Soil erosion exerts a profound impact on the stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC), disrupting the carbon cycle and contributing to global warming. Through its role in mitigating soil erosion, the soil retention service of ecosystems holds the potential to stabilize and safeguard [...] Read more.
Soil erosion exerts a profound impact on the stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC), disrupting the carbon cycle and contributing to global warming. Through its role in mitigating soil erosion, the soil retention service of ecosystems holds the potential to stabilize and safeguard the SOC reservoir. This facet has yet to be comprehensively investigated. In this study, we quantified the preservation of SOC resulting from soil retention services in China, achieved by estimating both actual SOC erosion and potential SOC erosion using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). We find that (1) annually, SOC erosion in China amounted to 0.10 Pg C, primarily concentrated in croplands (47.8%), grasslands (21.2%), and barren lands (15.7%). Noteworthy hotspots emerged within the Soil and Water Conservation Divisions (SWCD) of key regions like the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the southwestern purple soil region (SW), and the karst region (KT). (2) The soil retention service curtailed the loss of a substantial 4.18 Pg C of SOC per year, predominantly attributed to forest ecosystems (66.1%). Hotspots of this preservation were clustered in the SWCD of the southern red soil region (SR), KT, and TP. These outcomes highlighted the critical role of soil retention services in preventing considerable carbon losses from terrestrial ecosystems. It significantly contributes to climate change mitigation and warrants recognition as an important nature-based solution in the pursuit of carbon neutrality. Forest ecosystems emerge as paramount in SOC preservation, which will be further improved with forest restoration. Beyond addressing soil erosion, future endeavors in soil and water conservation must equally address SOC erosion to comprehensively tackle carbon loss concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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15 pages, 661 KiB  
Article
Effects of Land Transfer on Agricultural Carbon Productivity and Its Regional Differentiation in China
Land 2023, 12(7), 1358; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071358 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
Facing the realistic threat of natural environment deterioration and frequent extreme weather, improving agricultural carbon productivity has become an objective requirement for achieving the goal of double carbon and for promoting the high-quality development of agriculture. As an important path toward improving land-use [...] Read more.
Facing the realistic threat of natural environment deterioration and frequent extreme weather, improving agricultural carbon productivity has become an objective requirement for achieving the goal of double carbon and for promoting the high-quality development of agriculture. As an important path toward improving land-use efficiency and promoting agricultural technological progress, land transfer has a potential positive effect on improving agricultural output and inhibiting agricultural carbon emissions. Based on the current situation of land transfer and the characteristics of agricultural carbon productivity in China, this study used the panel data of 30 provinces, from 2006 to 2019, in China to empirically test the relationship between land transfer and agricultural carbon productivity via the spatial Durbin model. The results show that (1) land transfer has a positive effect on agricultural carbon productivity; (2) agricultural carbon productivity has a spatial correlation, and the impact of land transfer on agricultural carbon productivity has a spillover effect; and (3) there are regional differences in the impact of land transfer on agriculture carbon productivity. Based on the results of the study, this paper puts forward policy recommendations from three aspects through which to optimize land transfer and enhance agricultural carbon productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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20 pages, 4224 KiB  
Article
Can Agricultural Productive Services Inhibit Carbon Emissions? Evidence from China
Land 2023, 12(7), 1313; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071313 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 831
Abstract
Reducing agricultural carbon emissions (ACE) is important for the sustainable development of agriculture. Agricultural productive services (APS), a novel form of agricultural technology extension, offer new avenues for promoting sustainable and green agriculture. The present study aims to explore the impact of APS [...] Read more.
Reducing agricultural carbon emissions (ACE) is important for the sustainable development of agriculture. Agricultural productive services (APS), a novel form of agricultural technology extension, offer new avenues for promoting sustainable and green agriculture. The present study aims to explore the impact of APS on ACE. In line with the aim of the study, the Kernel density, Moran’s I index, spatial Durbin model, and threshold regression model are employed. The findings reveal that APS demonstrate a significant inhibitory effect on ACE, reducing ACE not only within the region itself but also exerting a negative spatial spillover effect on other regions. Furthermore, a non-linear relationship between APS and ACE is observed, characterized by an inverted U-shaped curve with the arable land operating area serving as the threshold. Therefore, to fully harness the inhibitory effect of APS on ACE and to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable agricultural development, policymakers should vigorously develop APS, strengthen regional cooperation, and promote land transfer. Our research can help in understanding the impact of APS on ACE and to promote sustainable agricultural development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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23 pages, 3813 KiB  
Article
Carbon Emission Effects of Land Use in Chaobai River Region of Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei, China
Land 2023, 12(6), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12061168 - 01 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei, the main economic area in northern China, has seen significant changes in its regional economic and physical landscape as a result of the coordinated development strategy. Assessing the link between land use and land cover (LULC) change and carbon emissions in the [...] Read more.
Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei, the main economic area in northern China, has seen significant changes in its regional economic and physical landscape as a result of the coordinated development strategy. Assessing the link between land use and land cover (LULC) change and carbon emissions in the Chaobai River region, which represents the growth of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration, is crucial to achieve coordinated low-carbon development in this area. This study uses statistics from statistical yearbooks of Chinese provinces and cities along with land use change data to analyze the relationship between land use changes and carbon emissions in the Chaobai River region from 2001 to 2017 using dynamic land use attitudes and land use transfer matrices, combined with carbon emission factors based on the IPCC inventory method and carbon emission models for energy consumption. In addition, this study makes use of the LMDI model and geographical detectors to identify and assess the factors that influence changes in land use carbon emissions and the driving forces behind the regional differentiation of land use changes. The results show that: (1) The Chaobai River region’s predominant land use classes during the past 17 years have been agricultural land and construction land. In addition to the decrease in cropland and the increase in urban land, the land use patterns of other land classes also changed to a certain extent. (2) Carbon emissions from land use showed an increasing trend, from 6.1 × 106 tons in 2001 to 1.1 × 107 tons in 2017. (3) Carbon emission intensity, economic development level, land use efficiency, and construction land scale have a certain regularity in the evolution of carbon emissions, and economic development level has become the most important driving factor controlling the growth of land use carbon emissions. (4) Driving factors in different periods have different degrees of influence on land use change, among which socio-economic factors such as population density and GDP have the strongest explanatory power. In addition, the interactions of each factor mainly present a double factor enhancement. In the future, the Chaobai River region should be based on the coordinated development strategy and take the “double carbon” target as its guiding principle to promote the innovation of the regional development system and further achieve the optimization of the regional land use patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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25 pages, 4365 KiB  
Article
Prioritizing Tree-Based Systems for Optimizing Carbon Sink in the Indian Sub-Himalayan Region
Land 2023, 12(6), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12061155 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1225
Abstract
Land use of the sub-Himalayan region is not that intensive like the intensively land-managed region of Punjab, India. Land resources of the sub-Himalayas must be managed effectively for sustainable development by preparing carbon inventories and data banks. Such macro-level studies have not been [...] Read more.
Land use of the sub-Himalayan region is not that intensive like the intensively land-managed region of Punjab, India. Land resources of the sub-Himalayas must be managed effectively for sustainable development by preparing carbon inventories and data banks. Such macro-level studies have not been conducted yet in the present study area, and thus were conducted to suggest sustainable land use management options. To achieve the present study’s desired goal, 33 tree-based land uses were identified from forested and agricultural landscapes of the sub-humid tropical region of West Bengal, India. Stratified random nested quadrat sampling was adopted for the study. The SOC, biomass, and carbon accumulation significantly differed. Mixed forests had the highest soil primary nutrients and carbon stock. Positive correlations were observed between SOC, total standing biomass, litter production, and ecosystem carbon. The sequence of land uses based on carbon stock was mixed-species forest > sole tree species stands in a forest landscape > tea plantations > homegardens. This baseline information can be used for developing prediction models for future interventions towards sustainable land management. The study, however, could not estimate the carbon fluxes in and out of the systems due to the absence of detailed land use land-cover databases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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25 pages, 3068 KiB  
Article
Mechanism and Spatial Spillover Effect of New-Type Urbanization on Urban CO2 Emissions: Evidence from 250 Cities in China
Land 2023, 12(5), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12051047 - 11 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1441
Abstract
Exploring the effect of new-type urbanization (NTU) on urban carbon abatement is of great practical significance for promoting urban green construction and coping with the challenge of global climate change. This study used data from 250 cities in China from 2008 to 2020 [...] Read more.
Exploring the effect of new-type urbanization (NTU) on urban carbon abatement is of great practical significance for promoting urban green construction and coping with the challenge of global climate change. This study used data from 250 cities in China from 2008 to 2020 and constructed the NTU evaluation indicator system from five dimensions. We used classical panel regression models to examine the effects of NTU on urban CO2 emissions, and further used spatial econometric models of SEM, SAR, and SDM to identify the spatial spillover effects of NTU on urban CO2 emissions. The main results are that China’s NTU and CO2 emissions are generally rising, and NTU has a significantly negative effect on urban CO2 emissions, with an impact coefficient of −0.9339; the conclusions still hold after subsequent robustness tests. Heterogeneity analysis reveals that NTU’s carbon abatement effect is more pronounced in resource-based cities, old industrial areas, and cities with lower urbanization levels and higher innovation levels. Mechanism analysis shows that improving urban technological innovation and optimizing resource allocation are important paths for realizing urban CO2 emission reduction. NTU’s effect on urban CO2 emissions has a noticeable spatial spillover. Our findings provide policy makers with solid support for driving high-quality urban development and dual-carbon targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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18 pages, 6122 KiB  
Article
Bibliometric Analysis of the Research (2000–2020) on Land-Use Carbon Emissions Based on CiteSpace
Land 2023, 12(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010165 - 04 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
Carbon emissions are critical to climate change, and land-use change is an essential source of growth in carbon emissions. Research on land-use carbon emissions has become one of the hotspots in academic research. To explore the research hotspots and development trends of land-use [...] Read more.
Carbon emissions are critical to climate change, and land-use change is an essential source of growth in carbon emissions. Research on land-use carbon emissions has become one of the hotspots in academic research. To explore the research hotspots and development trends of land-use carbon emissions in the last 20 years, CiteSpace software was used to conduct a quantitative analysis of relevant literature. This paper was based on the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and Web of Science (WoS) database literature on land-use carbon emissions from 2001 to 2020. The scientific research cooperation network CiteSpace software, with keyword co-occurrence, clustering, and burst word detection, was used to systematically analyze the main research strengths, hotspots and frontiers and clarify the research progress. The research results are as follows: (1) the amount of literature and the depth of research on land-use carbon emissions have increased yearly. However, there is little cooperation between research institutions and scholars, and there is still a lack of large-scale and stable research teams. (2) At the research hotspot level, the English literature focuses on building models and theoretical frameworks to study the internal mechanisms and driving factors of carbon emissions and climate change. The Chinese literature focuses on achieving regional carbon emissions reductions and carbon cycle goals and optimizing a low-carbon economy, transportation and land-use structure. (3) Research frontiers and trends show that the English literature first explored carbon sequestration, organic carbon, and carbon accounting. In China, the research frontiers are gradually becoming focused on influencing factors, decoupling analysis, and the built environment. The study will strengthen the intensity and depth of global carbon emission research and provide a reference for improving global climate change, protecting ecology and balancing economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Sustainability from the Viewpoint of Carbon Emission)
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