An analysis of methodological and spatial differences in global cropping systems models and maps. Global Ecology and Biogeography

Agricultural practices have dramatically altered the land cover of the earth, but the spatial extent and intensity of these practices is often difficult to catalogue. Information on the distribution and performance of specific crops is often only available through national or subnational statistics. Recently, however, there have been multiple independent efforts to incorporate the detailed information available from statistical surveys with supplemental spatial information to produce a spatially explicit global dataset specific to individual crops. While these datasets provide decision makers with improved information on global cropping systems, the final global cropping maps differ substantially from one another. This study aims to explore and quantify systematic similarities and differences between four major global cropping systems products and the subsequent implications for analyses dependent on those models.