Environmental Management

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 55-66

First online:

Economic Linkages to Changing Landscapes

  • Jeffrey M. PetersonAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University Email author 
  • , Marcellus M. CaldasAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, Kansas State University
  • , Jason S. BergtoldAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University
  • , Belinda S. SturmAffiliated withDepartment of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Kansas
  • , Russell W. GravesAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University
  • , Dietrich EarnhartAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, University of Kansas
  • , Eric A. HanleyAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, University of Kansas
  • , J. Christopher BrownAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, University of Kansas

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Many economic processes are intertwined with landscape change. A large number of individual economic decisions shape the landscape, and in turn the changes in the landscape shape economic decisions. This article describes key research questions about the economics of landscape change and reviews the state of research knowledge. The rich and varied economic–landscape interactions are an active area of research by economists, geographers, and others. Because the interactions are numerous and complex, disentangling the causal relationships in any given landscape system is a formidable research challenge. Limited data with mismatched temporal and spatial scales present further obstacles. Nevertheless, the growing body of economic research on these topics is advancing and shares fundamental challenges, as well as data and methods, with work in other disciplines.


Land use Thresholds Spatial scale Great Plains Climate Ogallala aquifer