Young Research Group

Impacts of the consumption of agricultural and forestry products

Globalization and industrialization have rapidly increased the distance between the production of agricultural and forestry products and their consumption. The impacts in producing systems move increasingly out of consumers’ sight. In our group, we analyze and evaluate such telecouplings (i.e. interactions of socio-ecological systems across large geographic distances) through consumption of agricultural and forestry products and their implications for land use, ecosystem services and biodiversity around the globe. We investigate these interrelations from a system perspective. Grounded in sociometabolic research, we advance existing and develop new approaches to study global interconnections. We base our analyses on global statistical databases, data analysis and modelling approaches, in order to map and quantify telecouplings in the land system. We highlight the dependencies of our economic system on ecosystems and their services all over the globe and aim to identify entry points to make the systems more sustainable.

Selected publications

Pendrill, F., Persson, M., Godar, J., & Kastner, Th. (2019): Deforestation displaced: trade in forest-risk commodities and the prospects for a global forest transition. Environmental Research Letters, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab0d41

Marques, A., Martins, I.S., Kastner, Th. et al. (2019):  Increasing impacts of land use on biodiversity and carbon sequestration driven by population and economic growth. Nature Ecology and Evolution, doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0824-3

Erb, K.-H., Kastner, Th. et al. (2018): Unexpectedly large impact of forest management and grazing on global vegetation biomass. Nature, doi; doi:10.1038/nature25138

Dalin, C., Wada, Y. Kastner, Th. And Puma, M.J. (2017): Groundwater depletion embedded in international food trade. Nature, doi: 10.1038/nature21403

Chaudhary, A., Carrasco, L.R. and Kastner, Th. (2017): Linking national wood consumption with global biodiversity and ecosystem service losses. Science of The Total Environment, 586, pp.985-994, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.078