Monitoring the Sustainable Intensification of Arable Agriculture:the Potential Role of Earth Observation

Hunt, Merryn and Blackburn, Alan and Rowland, Clare S. (2019) Monitoring the Sustainable Intensification of Arable Agriculture:the Potential Role of Earth Observation. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 81. pp. 125-136. ISSN 0303-2434

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Abstract

Sustainable intensification (SI) has been proposed as a possible solution to the conflicting problems of meeting projected increases in food demand and preserving environmental quality. SI would provide necessary production increases while simultaneously reducing or eliminating environmental degradation, without taking land from competing demands. An important component of achieving these aims is the development of suitable methods for assessing the temporal variability of both the intensification and sustainability of agriculture. Current assessments rely on traditional data collection methods that produce data of limited spatial and temporal resolution. Earth Observation (EO) provides a readily accessible, long-term dataset with global coverage at various spatial and temporal resolutions. In this paper we demonstrate how EO could significantly contribute to SI assessments, providing opportunities to quantify agricultural intensity and environmental sustainability. We review an extensive body of research on EO-based methods to assess multiple indicators of both agricultural intensity and environmental sustainability. To date these techniques have not been combined to assess SI; here we identify the opportunities and initial steps required to achieve this. In this context, we propose the development of a set of essential sustainable intensification variables (ESIVs) that could be derived from EO data.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 81, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.jjag.2019.05.013
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2308
Subjects:
ID Code:
133909
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 May 2019 08:25
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
03 Dec 2020 05:51