About this Research Topic
The impact of land use change on biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions are well established and the subjects of much policy debate. The impact of landscape change on local food systems, however, is comparatively less studied. It is well known that the expansion of agriculture is a leading cause of tropical deforestation and has adverse ecological consequences. Recent research suggests that forest loss can also have adverse impacts on agricultural systems and human diets. Moreover, increased agricultural production takes place not only through the expansion of land under cultivation, but also through transformation of agricultural practices in the form of intensification of crops under cultivation and/or changes in cropping mixes and/or a reorientation of production from local use to export markets. All these changes will have an impact on local food systems and thus local diets, but what these changes are and how they vary with landscapes, types of changes, and other variables is not well understood. Particularly since many of these land use changes are justified by appealing to national food security, it is important to build up an evidence base of how such land use changes affect the diets of local communities living in these landscapes of change.
The aim of this Research Topic is to gather contributions from researchers across different disciplines who are researching the different impacts of tropical landscape change on local food systems and diets. The types of land use change are varied and can include: deforestation, agricultural intensification, rangeland degradation and many others. The range of disciplines may include: geography, ecology, forestry, nutrition, economics, agroecology, and remote sensing, among others. Articles can be original research, reviews, or synthesis papers. We anticipate that this special collection of papers will help to form a more comprehensive picture of this emerging field, help elucidate important patterns and the role of context in shaping them and suggest ways in which policy can address impacts of land use change on local diets and food systems.
Keywords: Local food systems, Tropical deforestation, Agriculture, Land use change, Local communities, Agricultural intensification, Rangeland degradation, Tropical landscapes