In the paper, Tilman and his collaborators explore different ways of meeting demand for food and their environmental effects. In essence, the options are to increase productivity on existing agricultural land, clear more land, or do a combination of both. They consider various scenarios in which the amount of nitrogen use, land cleared, and resulting greenhouse gas emissions differ.
“Our analyses show that we can save most of the Earth’s remaining ecosystems by helping the poorer nations of the world feed themselves,” Tilman said.
Christian Blazer, from the University of California Santa Barbara, collaborated with Tilman and Hill on the research. Belinda Befort, University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences, also contributed.
Source: University of Minnesota