Land-use models and integrated assessment models provide scenarios of land-use and land-cover (LULC) changes following pathways or storylines related to different socioeconomic and environmental developments. The large diversity of available scenario projections leads to a recognizable variability in impacts on land ecosystems and the levels of services provided. We evaluated 16 projections of future LULC until 2040 that reflected different assumptions regarding socioeconomic demands and modeling protocols. By using these LULC projections in a state-of-the-art dynamic global vegetation model, we simulated their effect on selected ecosystem service indicators related to ecosystem productivity and carbon sequestration potential, agricultural production and the water cycle. We found that although a common trend for agricultural expansion exists across the scenarios, where and how particular LULC changes are realized differs widely across models and scenarios. They are linked to model-specific considerations of some demands over others and their respective translation into LULC changes and also reflect the simplified or missing representation of processes related to land dynamics or other influencing factors (e.g., trade, climate change). ... mehrAs a result, some scenarios show questionable and possibly unrealistic features in their LULC allocations, including highly regionalized LULC changes with rates of conversion that are contrary to or exceed rates observed in the past. Across the diverging LULC projections, we identified positive global trends of net primary productivity (+10.2 % ± 1.4 %), vegetation carbon (+9.2 % ± 4.1 %), crop production (+31.2 % ± 12.2 %) and water runoff (+9.3 % ± 1.7 %), and a negative trend of soil and litter carbon stocks (−0.5 % ± 0.4 %). The variability in ecosystem service indicators across scenarios was especially high for vegetation carbon stocks and crop production. Regionally, variability was highest in tropical forest regions, especially at current forest boundaries, because of intense and strongly diverging LULC change projections in combination with high vegetation productivity dampening or amplifying the effects of climatic change. Our results emphasize that information on future changes in ecosystem functioning and the related ecosystem service indicators should be seen in light of the variability originating from diverging projections of LULC. This is necessary to allow for adequate policy support towards sustainable transformations.