Opendata, web and dolomites


Developing middle-range theories linking land use displacement, intensification and transitions

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "MIDLAND" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 1348

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙498˙420 €
 EC max contribution 1˙498˙420 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-05-01   to  2021-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Land is a nexus for crucial societal and environmental challenges including food security, access to water, land degradation, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Development of solutions to balance these tradeoffs and synergies is currently hindered by the lack of theories explaining the conditions under which different pathways of land change occur and lead to different outcomes, integrating human and environmental aspects.

This project will develop and test integrated middle-range theories explaining the linkages between three of the major processes in land systems, i.e., (i) land use intensification and expansion, (ii) land use displacement and trade, and (iii) land use transitions or regime shifts. The work will focus on the emerging agricultural frontier of Southern African dry forests and savannas, which is a threatened and understudied region, and its linkages with distant places.

To overcome current limitations, the project builds on (i) experience in empirical, place-based studies, (ii) strong knowledge of social sciences and human-environment theories, (iii) rigorous inductive and deductive approaches to develop and test theories, and (iv) new ways to analyze linkages between distant social-ecological systems.

We will analyze: (i) The strategic field of actors’ coalitions, institutions and distant linkages in emerging frontiers; (ii) Links between land use displacement, leakage, and local land changes; (iii) Pathways of agricultural expansion and intensification in tropical landscapes; and (iv) The conditions for transformative governance of land systems to foster resilient landscapes that sustain ecosystem services and livelihoods. These results will then be integrated to move towards the next generation of land system science, which will be able to develop, test and be guided by theoretical models. This will contribute to more relevant insights for social-ecological systems broadly and for sustainability and other social and natural sciences.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Allison M Thomson, Erle C Ellis, HÉctor Ricardo Grau, Tobias Kuemmerle, Patrick Meyfroidt, Navin Ramankutty, Gete Zeleke
Sustainable intensification in land systems: trade-offs, scales, and contexts
published pages: 37-43, ISSN: 1877-3435, DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2019.04.011
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 38 2019-08-05
2019 Patrick Meyfroidt, Dilini Abeygunawardane, Navin Ramankutty, Allison Thomson, Gete Zeleke
Interactions between land systems and food systems
published pages: 60-67, ISSN: 1877-3435, DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2019.04.010
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 38 2019-08-05
2019 Darla K Munroe, Mateus Batistella, Cecilie Friis, Nestor Ignacio Gasparri, Eric F Lambin, Jianguo Liu, Patrick Meyfroidt, Emilio Moran, Jonas Østergaard Nielsen
Governing flows in telecoupled land systems
published pages: 53-59, ISSN: 1877-3435, DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2019.05.004
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 38 2019-08-05
2019 Jonas Ø Nielsen, Ariane de Bremond, Rinku Roy Chowdhury, Cecilie Friis, Graciela Metternicht, Patrick Meyfroidt, Darla Munroe, Unai Pascual, Allison Thomson
Toward a normative land systems science
published pages: 1-6, ISSN: 1877-3435, DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2019.02.003
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 38 2019-08-05
2019 Christoph Oberlack, Diana Sietz, Elisabeth Bürgi Bonanomi, Ariane de Bremond, Jampel Dell\'Angelo, Klaus Eisenack, Erle C. Ellis, Graham Epstein, Markus Giger, Andreas Heinimann, Christian Kimmich, Marcel TJ Kok, David Manuel-Navarrete, Peter Messerli, Patrick Meyfroidt, TomᚠVáclavík, Sergio Villamayor-Tomas
Archetype analysis in sustainability research: meanings, motivations, and evidence-based policy making
published pages: , ISSN: 1708-3087, DOI: 10.5751/es-10747-240226
Ecology and Society 24/2 2019-08-05
2019 Thomas K. Rudel, Patrick Meyfroidt, Robin Chazdon, Frans Bongers, Sean Sloan, H. Ricardo Grau, Tracy Van Holt, Laura Schneider
Whither the forest transition? Climate change, policy responses, and redistributed forests in the twenty-first century
published pages: , ISSN: 0044-7447, DOI: 10.1007/s13280-018-01143-0
Ambio 2019-08-05
2018 T.A. Gardner, M. Benzie, J. Börner, E. Dawkins, S. Fick, R. Garrett, J. Godar, A. Grimard, S. Lake, R.K. Larsen, N. Mardas, C.L. McDermott, P. Meyfroidt, M. Osbeck, M. Persson, T. Sembres, C. Suavet, B. Strassburg, A. Trevisan, C. West, P. Wolvekamp
Transparency and sustainability in global commodity supply chains
published pages: , ISSN: 0305-750X, DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.05.025
World Development 2019-05-04
2018 P. Meyfroidt, R. Roy Chowdhury, A. de Bremond, E.C. Ellis, K.-H. Erb, T. Filatova, R.D. Garrett, J.M. Grove, A. Heinimann, T. Kuemmerle, C.A. Kull, E.F. Lambin, Y. Landon, Y. le Polain de Waroux, P. Messerli, D. Müller, J.Ø. Nielsen, G.D. Peterson, V. Rodriguez García, M. Schlüter, B.L. Turner, P.H. Verburg
Middle-range theories of land system change
published pages: 52-67, ISSN: 0959-3780, DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.08.006
Global Environmental Change 53 2019-05-04
2017 Karl-Heinz Erb, Sebastiaan Luyssaert, Patrick Meyfroidt, Julia Pongratz, Axel Don, Silvia Kloster, Tobias Kuemmerle, Tamara Fetzel, Richard Fuchs, Martin Herold, Helmut Haberl, Chris D. Jones, Erika Marín-Spiotta, Ian McCallum, Eddy Robertson, Verena Seufert, Steffen Fritz, Aude Valade, Andrew Wiltshire, Albertus J. Dolman
Land management: data availability and process understanding for global change studies
published pages: 512-533, ISSN: 1354-1013, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13443
Global Change Biology 23/2 2019-05-04
2018 Angela Kronenburg García
Territorial Conflicts, Agency and the Strategic Appropriation of Interventions in Kenya’s Southern Drylands
published pages: 4156, ISSN: 2071-1050, DOI: 10.3390/su10114156
Sustainability 10/11 2019-05-04
2017 Yann le Polain de Waroux, Matthias Baumann, Nestor Ignacio Gasparri, Gregorio Gavier-Pizarro, Javier Godar, Tobias Kuemmerle, Robert Müller, Fabricio Vázquez, José Norberto Volante, Patrick Meyfroidt
Rents, Actors, and the Expansion of Commodity Frontiers in the Gran Chaco
published pages: 204-225, ISSN: 2469-4452, DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2017.1360761
Annals of the American Association of Geographers 108/1 2019-05-04
2018 Ruben Weesie, Angela Kronenburg García
From Herding to Farming under Adaptation Interventions in Southern Kenya: A Critical Perspective
published pages: 4386, ISSN: 2071-1050, DOI: 10.3390/su10124386
Sustainability 10/12 2019-05-04
2017 Patrick Meyfroidt
Mapping farm size globally: benchmarking the smallholders debate
published pages: 31002, ISSN: 1748-9326, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa5ef6
Environmental Research Letters 12/3 2019-05-04
2018 Robert Huber, Martha Bakker, Alfons Balmann, Thomas Berger, Mike Bithell, Calum Brown, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, Hang Xiong, Quang Bao Le, Gabriele Mack, Patrick Meyfroidt, James Millington, Birgit Müller, J. Gareth Polhill, Zhanli Sun, Roman Seidl, Christian Troost, Robert Finger
Representation of decision-making in European agricultural agent-based models
published pages: 143-160, ISSN: 0308-521X, DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.09.007
Agricultural Systems 167 2019-05-04
2018 Patrick Meyfroidt
Trade-offs between environment and livelihoods: Bridging the global land use and food security discussions
published pages: 9-16, ISSN: 2211-9124, DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.08.001
Global Food Security 16 2019-05-04

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