Applications of the Telecoupling Framework to Land-Change Science


Jianguo Liu, Vanessa HullEmilio Moran, Harini Nagendra, Simon R. Swaffield, and B. L. Turner II

Journal or Book Title: Rethinking Global land Use in an Urban Era

Keywords: telecoupling; land-use, Strungmann Forum Reports

Volume/Issue: Chapter 7

Page Number(s): 119-139

Year Published: 2014


Over the past two decades, progress has been made in understanding and predicting land-use change in specifi c places, using frameworks such as coupled human-natural systems, coupled human-environmental systems, or coupled social-ecological systems. However, land-use change around the world is increasingly being driven by new agents and causes which emanate from distant locations, through forces such as trade, migration, transnational land deals, and species invasions. New conceptual frameworks are thus needed to account for such distant forces. This chapter applies a framework that explicitly takes distant forces into account in land-use change and builds on the concept of telecoupling (i.e., environmental and socioeconomic interactions among coupled systems over large distances). Telecoupling is a logical extension of coupled systems thinking; it draws insights from related concepts in different disciplines and serves as an umbrella concept to address and integrate various types of distant connections between coupled systems. The telecoupling framework includes fi ve major and interrelated components: coupled human-natural systems, agents, fl ows, causes, and effects. An overview of the telecoupling framework is presented and two examples (transnational land deals and species invasions) demonstrate the application of the framework to global land use. Finally, challenges and opportunities in understanding telecouplings and their consequences are highlighted and calls made for new directions in land-change research.

DOI: ISBN: 9780262026901

Type of Publication: Book Chapter


Karen C. Seto; Anette Reenberg

Publisher: MIT Press

Location: Cambridge, MA