About this Research Topic
Both the boreal and Arctic regions are facing substantial structural changes induced by accelerated warming causing a rapid northward shift of agricultural zones. Expansion and intensification of agriculture in the boreal and Arctic regions create multiple challenges as they i) threaten fragile ecosystems, ii) affect indigenous cultures, iii) change social systems, and iv) offer new income opportunities. Thus, strategies aiming to support agricultural expansion and intensification in the boreal and Arctic regions, including multiple nations, should consider the development and implementation of tailored and context-specific standards and policies.
Many governments already promote expansion and intensification of agriculture, but accelerated warming already exceeds the adaptation capacity of many agricultural systems in boreal and Arctic regions. Noteworthy current policies scarcely consider long-term impacts of land use and land-use change (LULUC) on biodiversity, carbon (C), and nutrient cycles as most of these policies target the achievement of short- and medium-term goals (e.g. food security and self-sufficiency). Thus, it is critical to maintain a balance between opportunities and risks at multiple spatial and temporal scales when supporting agricultural expansion and intensification in the boreal and Arctic regions.
This Research Topic aims to gather knowledge outlining the actual and potential impacts of agricultural expansion and intensification on:
i) Diversity of natural ecosystems and agroecosystems;
ii) C and nutrient cycles;
iii) Agricultural systems;
iv) Social structure, indigenous cultures, and local economies in the boreal and Arctic regions.
Additionally, assessments and analyses of related policies are welcome as gathered knowledge will assist agronomists, natural and social scientists, politicians, and practitioners developing sustainable management strategies and context-specific policies that are appropriate to ensure both agricultural development and environmental protection.
Reviews, research articles, and perspectives are all welcome for submission. The goal of each article is to stimulate a fruitful debate aiming to prioritize challenges and define goals that research, policy, and practitioners should consider in their work towards preserving and achieving sustainability.
Keywords: boreal region, Arctic region, sustainable agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, nutrient cycles, Social structure, agro-ecosystems
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.