Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Land Use Science
For an Article Collection on
Land Systems and Infectious Disease
31 July 2023
Land Systems and Infectious Disease
Human and animal health are connected to global change in numerous ways and infectious diseases crystallise many of the connections through their association with land use. Direct connections, such as between land use and pathogen, or vector and reservoir habitat, have been extensively studied. Indirect pathways between land management and pathogens are less well understood, in particular when land management and farming systems connect multiple places. Livestock feed trade and use across continents illustrate how livestock feeding practices connects to land demand in distant land and may result in spatial reorganisation of animal production. The effect of connections across food and goods production and human movement across continents, regions, urban and rural landscapes must be examined more broadly in the context of infectious diseases. As has been indicated in the context of Ixodes tick-borne diseases in temperate areas, complex interactions connecting pathogens, vectors, host and susceptible humans must be examined in the light of forest and wildlife management, possibly requiring researchers to address contradicting objectives such as rewilding, human-nature contact, and vector-human contact decrease. Species colonising new landscapes such as cities are also of interest. Overall, there are still knowledge gaps related to the potential for disease (re-)emergence in the context of global change, in particular in its land use change and land management dimensions.
Land system science examines the complexity underpinning land management decisions. In particular, it highlights that decisions often reflect trade-offs between criteria that vary in preference and importance among stakeholders, resulting in a diversity of land use trajectories. The health consequences, especially indirect, of these trajectories have been sparsely examined, and disease ecologists have often not considered the broader implications of their findings in terms of land management, including, potentially, disease induced feedback on land use. A reinforced dialogue between both fields would help fulfill the promise of One Health to promote sustainable development and health for humans, animals and the environment. This is especially true if the operationalization of findings is pursued in a diversity of contexts and for a diversity of stakeholders.
We aim to gather articles that explore how land system science can broaden the understanding and mitigation of the risk of infectious disease. Articles could be a scoping or systematic review, an empirical study, including fine-scale, or a conceptual paper, and can cover any region of the world or infectious disease with a connection to land. Land system science has highlighted the need to consider factors affecting individuals, groups and institutions and their interactions at various levels in ways that may not have been considered in infectious disease ecology, including in the context of telecoupling. Reflections on the impacts of various modes of land use, food production, conservation and other relevant topics in the broader context of sustainable development and infectious disease control are welcome. This article collection aims to identify new connections and strengthen the evidence basis between land system science and infectious disease ecology that benefit both fields as they strive to provide meaningful research.
Sophie Vanwambeke is a medical geographer, who graduated with a PhD in Science (geography) in 2005 in UCLouvain. She is a professor in the School of Geography and Earth & Life Institute in UCLouvain. Her research focuses on the geography of health, in particular infectious diseases, as a manifestation of spatial interactions between human societies and their environment.
All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo a full peer-review; the Guest Advisor for this collection will not be handling the manuscripts (unless they are an Editorial Board member). Please review the journal scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.
The deadline for submitting manuscripts is July 31, 2023.
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All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo desk assessment and peer-review as part of our standard editorial process. Guest Advisors for this collection will not be involved in peer-reviewing manuscripts unless they are an existing member of the Editorial Board. Please review the journal Aims and Scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.