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Landuse Management

Nowadays, production of food, energy and materials, and the related use of land and water account for crucial components and interactions in the Earth System. Increasing demand for agricultural and forest products due to future population growth and economic development but also climate change and ambitious mitigation policies such as bioenergy and avoided deforestation will add additional pressure on the land system.

In a joint activity with colleagues from Research Domain II, the landuse management group of Research Domain III aims at assessing future sustainable pathways for the landuse sector.


Core topics

  1. Estimates of greenhouse gas emissions (N2O, CH4, CO2) from agriculture and land-use change.
  2. The potentials, limits of global bio-energy production but also its trade-offs with other sustainability goals such as food security and biodiversity conservation.
  3. The role of forest conservation and afforestation for climate change mitigation.
  4. The significance of demand side based mitigation options such as changes in food demand patterns and habits for global land use patterns and land-use related emissions.
  5. The role of technological change in competing uses of land and water for food production, energy production, forestry and biodiversity conservation.
  6. The importance of economic development, population growth, food demand patterns and habits, trade and agricultural production technologies for global land use patterns and land-use related emissions.
  7. Impacts and damages of climate change on the agricultural and forestry sector.



Major tool and product of the group’s activities is MAgPIE (Model of Agricultural Production and its Impacts on the Environment), a global land and water use model. MAgPIE in connection with the dynamic global vegetation and hydrology model LPJmL provides a consistent link between economic development, food and energy demand in different world regions with spatially explicit patterns of production, land use change and water constraints. To assess macroeconomic, energy and climate policy feedbacks MAgPIE is linked to the ReMIND-R model that embeds a detailed energy system within a macro-economic intertemporal growth model and a climate system model that computes the effect of GHG emissions on global mean temperature. MAgPIE Mathematical Description


Alexander Popp (Group leader)

Jan Philipp Dietrich

Benjamin Bodirsky

Abhijeet Mishra

Miodrag Stevanovic

Florian Humpenöder

Ulrich Kreidenweis


Selected publications

  • Stevanovic M, Popp A, Lotze-Campen H, Dietrich JP, Müller C, Bonsch M, Schmitz C, Bodirsky B, Humpenöder F, Weindl I (2016): High-End Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Welfare. Science Advances 8(2) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501452
  • Kriegler E., Bauer N., Popp A, Humpenöder F., Leimbach M., Strefler J.; Baumstark L., Lavinia; Bodirsky B., Hilaire J., Klein D., Mouratiadou I., Weindl I., Bertram C., Dietrich J.-P., Luderer G., Pehl M., Pietzcker R., Piontek F., Lotze-Campen H., Biewald A., Bonsch M., Giannousakis A., Kreidenweis U, Rolinski S., Schultes A., Schwanitz J., Stevanovic M., Calvin K., Emmerling J., Fujimori S., Edenhofer O. (2016) Fossil-fueled development (SSP5): an energy and resource intensive scenario for the 21st century. Global Environmental Change. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.05.015
  • Dietrich J.P., Schmitz C., Lotze-Campen H., Popp A., Müller C. (2014) Forecasting technological change in agriculture - An endogenous implementation in a global land use model. Technological Forecasting & Social Change 1, 236-249
  • Weindl I., Lotze-Campen H., Popp A, Müller C., Havlík P.,Herrero M., Schmitz C. and Rolinski S. (2015) Livestock in a changing climate: production system transitions as an adaptation strategy for agriculture . Environmental Research Letters 10, 094021
  • Popp, A., Humpenöder F., Weindl. I., Bodirsky B., Bonsch M., Lotze-Campen H., Müller C., Biewald A., Rolinski S., Stevanovic M., Dietrich JP. (2014) Land use protection for climate change mitigation. Nature Climate Change 4, 1095–1098.
  • Lotze-Campen, H.; von Lampe, M.; Kyle, P.; Fujimori, S.; Havlík, P.; v. Meijl, H.; Hasegawa, T.; Popp, A.; Schmitz, C.; Tabeau, A.; Valin, H.; Willenbockel, D.; Wise, M. (2014): Impacts of increased bioenergy demand on global food markets: an AgMIP economic model intercomparison. Agricultural Economics. 45(1) 103-116.
  • Bodirsky BL, Popp, A., Lotze-Campen H, Dietrich JP, Rolinski S, Weindl I, Schmitz C, Müller C, Bonsch M, Humpenöder F, Biewald A, Stevanovic M (2014): Reactive nitrogen requirements to feed the world in 2050 and potential to mitigate nitrogen pollution, Nature Communications, 5, 3858, doi: 10.1038/ncomms4858.
  • Nelson, G. C., Valin, H., Sands, R. D., Havlik, P., Ahammad, H., Deryng, D., Elliott, J., Fujimori, S., Heyhoe, E., Kyle, P., von Lampe, M., Lotze-Campen, H., Mason d'Croz, D., van Meijl, H., van der Mensbrugghe, D., Müller, C., Popp, A., Robertson, R., Robinson, S., Schmid, E., Schmitz, C., Tabeau, A., Willenbockel, D. (2013): Climate change effects on agriculture: Economic responses to biophysical shocks. PNAS, 111, 9, 3274-3279.
  • Popp, A., Rose S K, Calvin K, van Vuuren D P, Dietrich J P, Wise M, Stehfest E, Humpenöder F, Page K, van Vliet J, Bauer N, Lotze-Campen H, Klein D, Kriegler E (2014): Land-use transition for bioenergy and climate stabilization: model comparison of drivers, impacts and interactions with other land use based mitigation options. Climatic Change. 123: 495-509
  • Smith, P., Haberl, H., Popp, A., Erb, K., Lauk, C., Harper, R., Tubiello, F., De Siqueira Pinto, A., Jafari, M., Sohi, S., et al. (2013). How much land based greenhouse gas mitigation can be achieved without compromising food security and environmental goals? Global Change Biology 19 (8): 2285-2302
  • Creutzig F., Popp A., Plevin R., Luderer G., Minx J., Edenhofer O. (2012) Reconciling top-down and bottom-up modeling on future bioenergy deployment. Nature Climate Change 2, 320–327
  • Schmitz, C., Biewald, A., Lotze-Campen, H., Popp, A., Dietrich, J.P., Bodirsky, B., Krause, M., Weindl, I. (2012) Trading more Food - Implications for Land Use, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and the Food System, Global Environmental Change, 22(1): 189-209.
  • Popp, A., Dietrich, J.P., Lotze-Campen H., Klein, D., Bauer, N., Krause, M., Beringer, T., Gerten, D., Edenhofer, O. (2011): The economic potential of bioenergy for climate change mitigation with special attention given to implications for the land system. Environmental Research Letters 6 034017
  • Popp A., Lotze-Campen H. and Bodirsky B. (2010) Food consumption, diet shifts and associated non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production. Global Environmental Change 20: 451-462

All publications

Research projects and community activities

  • Land use change: assessing the net climate forcing, and options for climate change mitigation and adaptation (LUC4C)

  • Advanced Model Development and Validation for the Improved Analysis of Costs and Impacts of Mitigation Policies (ADVANCE)
  • Low Climate Impact Scenarios and the Impliciations of Required Tight Emissions Control Strategies (LIMITS)
  • Contextualizing Climate Engineering and Mitigation: Complement, Substitute or Illusion? (CEMICS)
  • Visions of land use transitions in Europe (VOLANTE)
  • Global Assessment of Land Use dynamics on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Ecosystem Services (GLUES)

  • Enhancing Robustness and Model Integration for the Assessment of Global Environmental Change (ERMITAGE)
  • Impact Quantification of Global Changes (GlobalIQ)
  • 27th round of the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF27)
  • 30th round of the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF33)
  • Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP)
  • The Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP)

  • The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)

Master Thesis and internships:

You want to write your master thesis in the landuse group of PIK? Or you want to stay for a longer internship? Please have a look at our potential topic list and contact us!

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