Conflicts between satisfying the growing global demand for food and energy and simultaneously preserving natural ecosystems have spurred renewed debate about how to optimise future land use. This study reviews the role of forests and forest management within these proposed land-use strategies and reveals that discussions about future management of forest and agricultural lands take place largely exclusive of one another. Based on these results, a land-use concept is proposed in which sustainable agricultural intensification is paired with land-use diversification as a risk reduction strategy and complemented by productive restoration and compensation payments for forest conservation. Improving afforestation and agroforestry practices on degraded lands and investigating effects of diversification on the landscape scale are identified as important objectives for future interdisciplinary research. Considering forests as part of a comprehensive land-use portfolio will be vital in order to help strengthen links and ease conflicts between forest and agricultural land uses.
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