Title of the symposium:

Integrating food systems into landscape research



Detail of organizer(s):

Details for each person that will be involved in running the symposium (the first one is responsible of the symposium):




Name: Maria
Surname: Garcia-Martin
Organisation/Affiliation: Universities of Göttingen and Kassel
Telephone: 0034 605552850
Country: Germany
Address: Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5 D-37073 Göttingen








Name: Tobias
Surname: Plieninger
Organisation/Affiliation: Universities of Göttingen and Kassel
Address: Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5 D-37073 Göttingen
Country: Germany





Name: Mario
Surname: Torralba
Organisation/Affiliation: Universities of Göttingen and Kassel
Address: Steinstraße 19 37213 Witzenhausen
Country: Germany




Symposium abstract

Landscape sustainability and sustainable food systems are closely related issues, but they have been treated separately in most of the scientific literature. While landscape research typically focuses on understanding the dynamics of changes and landscape actors, patterns, and functions at different spatial scales, research on food systems typically investigates activities ranging from production to consumption and including multiple environmental, social, political, and economic determinants.

With ongoing economic globalization, larger spatial distances and complexity increasingly characterize the value-chains of food. The nature of value chains across food systems differs considerably (e.g., between mass-market and niche products). Analysing these global value chains (i.e. networks through which enterprises organize across different places to produce, transform, distribute, and deliver a specific good) is therefore a central approach to the integration of food system and landscape studies.

The overall objective of this symposium is to present and discuss novel research approaches that investigate the role of food systems and value chains in landscape dynamics and sustainable landscape management. We particularly welcome contributions that:
–           Elaborate on the interrelations between food systems and landscape sustainability,
–           Assess ecosystem services trade-offs that food systems create in landscapes,
–           Link changes in food systems spatially to landscape changes
–           Study the effects of governance mechanisms such as certification on landscapes
–           Investigate movements toward sustainable food systems and landscape management



How your symposia will improve landscape ecology science?

Food systems are influential on land-use decisions and rural livelihoods, but landscape research does not consider these fully in its scientific paradigms. Landscape studies typically follow a place-based approach to analysing landscape change, without considering interconnected telecoupling processes. Food system analyses take a process-oriented approach (from production to consumption of food), but are usually not embedded in a local landscape context. In this symposium we bring together presentations that address landscapes and food systems as a critical link between distant places and processes as well as between different influencing factors of food and landscape quality, farming, forestry, ecosystem management, and socio-economic change. The increasing disconnection between society and nature is a fundamental societal challenge, and reconnection of people to the environment has become a central aim in the global sustainability agenda. We believe that food systems and landscapes are a crucial, but underutilized nexus for creating these connections and that both landscape and food system research will benefit from an in-depth understanding of these couplings.



Broad thematic areas


Broad thematic areas 1st choice: Socio-economic-ecological systems


Broad thematic areas 2nd choice: Biocultural landscapes