What is direct land use, or direct land use change?

Direct land use, or direct land use change, refers to land already used for a specific purpose (for example, growing food) and whose future use will achieve the same result. The term “direct land use change” might be used for a situation in which a field was being converted from corn-for-ethanol to switchgrass production, as in both cases the land would ultimately be used to grow crops for biofuel production. “Indirect land use” or “Indirect land use change”, on the other hand, refers to land whose ultimate purpose is essentially changed from its previous use. An example would be a forest land that was cleared for the cultivation of biofuel crops.
Andrew R. Moss, SARE Fellow, University of Maryland