Land use and resource management
Global threats to soil and water resources and their longevity and future availability under increasing human demand will be tackled simultaneously with research for increasing agricultural production. Research advances will deliver linked monitoring, mathematical modelling and forecasting of the integrated environment and agriculture production system from soil profile, to field and regional scale. The capability of geospatial ground-based and remote sensing of environmental conditions in real time will link dynamically to computational simulation of environmental processes for the real-time forecasting of ecosystem functions and services. This methodology will deliver the capability to design and operate land management for intensified food production. Land management for intensification of agriculture will be integrated with other land uses and will aim to deliver enhanced environmental services in addition to food production.
Current University of Sheffield strengths are leadership of international research into Earth’s critical zone (CZ), the thin surface layer of the planet from the treetop to bedrock. The CZ science framework emphasizes the biophysical linkages between flows and transformations of material, energy and genetic information that propagate the impacts of changing climate and land use throughout the critical zone. These linkages must be understood and managed as an integrated environmental system in order meet the growing demand for biomass and clean water without environmental damage that harms the future capacity for production.