Agricultural systems are complicated by both the efforts to produce food and protecting biodiversity. Intensive agriculture is the main reason for the decline in agro-biodiversity across the world. Land sparing and land sharing have been important land use strategies in maintaining a balance between food production and biodiversity conservation. The former advocates the improvement of farm environments and therefore expected to be a wildlife-friendly landscape. However, the latter proposes that the land should divide into two categories, one for intensive land utilization, the other one for biodiversity conservation. Thus a debate has risen as to which approach was better for biodiversity. In this review, we highlighted the benefits and limits of the two land use strategies and the effects of each on biodiversity. Furthermore, the factors were discussed, which guided the choice towards any of the land use strategies, including plant species sensitive to intensive farming, landscape-specific conditions, landscape scale/structure and socio-economic factors. On this basis, the resourceful application of the two land use approaches in future agriculture development was proposed. This included: 1) designing agricultural landscape structure suitable for local circumstances, e.g., yield potential and conservation of endemic species; 2) promoting sustainable agricultural intensification and enhancing the management of "spillover effects" to increase the recovery ability of the ecosystem; and 3) developing intermediate approaches or mixtures of land sharing and land sparing at different spatial scales, e.g., planting trees on farms in intensive agricultural areas.