Variable: Land

Land includes terrestrial surface, subsoil, and underground features. Land is a critical resource for both its economic and cultural value (Zelinsky 1973). Indicators of this variable include ownership patterns (public or private), cover (pervious versus impervious surface), use (agriculture, forestry, residential), and economic value.

Changes in land use are measured in change in number of hectares/land cover or land use type. Such changes often follow restricted and predictable trajectories, as forested land is altered to agricultural or urban uses (Turner et al. 1990).

Land ownership powerfully influences many social institutions (sustenance and commerce are examples), and changes in land use often are reflected in altered hierarchies of wealth, power, and territory through shifts in land tenure and property rights.

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