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Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 8 (August 2011), Pages 1090-1301

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment and Examination of Economic Aspects of Precision Weed Management
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1114-1135; doi:10.3390/su3081114
Received: 15 April 2011 / Revised: 1 July 2011 / Accepted: 8 July 2011 / Published: 27 July 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1069 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this research is to investigate plant production sustainability, the economical requirements, risks, and identify threshold levels to switching on, or off precision weed management techniques in Hungarian growing and sales conditions; taking into consideration that the implementation of precision technology
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The aim of this research is to investigate plant production sustainability, the economical requirements, risks, and identify threshold levels to switching on, or off precision weed management techniques in Hungarian growing and sales conditions; taking into consideration that the implementation of precision technology can be justified also by its role in the reduction of environmental load, which would create a harmony between individual usefulness and social utility. A simulation model has been developed to investigate the return of extra investments, along with the risk of this return in relation to the soil type, weed coverage, and the sales price. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Longitudinal Study on the Carbon Emissions of a New Residential Development
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1170-1189; doi:10.3390/su3081170
Received: 23 June 2011 / Revised: 26 July 2011 / Accepted: 26 July 2011 / Published: 4 August 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Buildings account for nearly 50% of all greenhouse gases globally. While this has been widely recognized, the GHG mitigation strategies have traditionally concentrated on reducing the use phase emissions, as over 90% of the emissions are generated during the use phase according to
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Buildings account for nearly 50% of all greenhouse gases globally. While this has been widely recognized, the GHG mitigation strategies have traditionally concentrated on reducing the use phase emissions, as over 90% of the emissions are generated during the use phase according to several studies. However, two current developments increase the importance of the construction phase emissions and the embodied emissions of the building materials. Firstly, the improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings directly increase the relative share of the construction phase emissions. Secondly, the notification of the temporal allocation of the emissions increases the importance of the carbon spike from construction. While these perspectives have been noted, few studies exist that combine the two perspectives of the construction and the use phase. In this paper, we analyze the implications of low-carbon residential construction on the life cycle emissions of a residential area with a case study. Furthermore, we demonstrate that when the temporal allocation of the emissions is taken into account, the construction phase emissions can hinder or even reverse the carbon mitigation effect of low-carbon buildings for decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Structuring an Efficient Organic Wheat Breeding Program
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1190-1205; doi:10.3390/su3081190
Received: 8 June 2011 / Revised: 26 July 2011 / Accepted: 2 August 2011 / Published: 5 August 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (2335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Our long-term goal is to develop wheat cultivars that will improve the profitability and competitiveness of organic producers in Nebraska and the Northern Great Plains. Our approach is to select in early generations for highly heritable traits that are needed for both organic
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Our long-term goal is to develop wheat cultivars that will improve the profitability and competitiveness of organic producers in Nebraska and the Northern Great Plains. Our approach is to select in early generations for highly heritable traits that are needed for both organic and conventional production (another breeding goal), followed by a targeted organic breeding effort with testing at two organic locations (each in a different ecological region) beginning with the F6 generation. Yield analyses from replicated trials at two organic breeding sites and 7 conventional breeding sites from F6 through F12 nurseries revealed, using analyses of variance, biplots, and comparisons of selected lines that it is inappropriate to use data from conventional testing for making germplasm selections for organic production. Selecting and testing lines under organic production practices in different ecological regions was also needed and cultivar selections for organic production were different than those for conventional production. Modifications to this breeding protocol may include growing early generation bulks in an organic cropping system. In the future, our selection efforts should also focus on using state-of-the-art, non-transgenic breeding technologies (genomic selection, marker-assisted breeding, and high throughput phenotyping) to synergistically improve organic and conventional wheat breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding for Sustainable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Collaborative Plant Breeding for Organic Agricultural Systems in Developed Countries
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1206-1223; doi:10.3390/su3081206
Received: 31 May 2011 / Revised: 19 July 2011 / Accepted: 27 July 2011 / Published: 10 August 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (2648 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Because organic systems present complex environmental stress, plant breeders may either target very focused regions for different varieties, or create heterogeneous populations which can then evolve specific adaptation through on-farm cultivation and selection. This often leads to participatory plant breeding (PPB) strategies which
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Because organic systems present complex environmental stress, plant breeders may either target very focused regions for different varieties, or create heterogeneous populations which can then evolve specific adaptation through on-farm cultivation and selection. This often leads to participatory plant breeding (PPB) strategies which take advantage of the specific knowledge of farmers. Participatory selection requires increased commitment and engagement on the part of the farmers and researchers. Projects may begin as researcher initiatives with farmer participation or farmer initiatives with researcher participation and over time evolve into true collaborations. These projects are difficult to plan in advance because by nature they change to respond to the priorities and interests of the collaborators. Projects need to provide relevant information and analysis in a time-frame that is meaningful for farmers, while remaining scientifically rigorous and innovative. This paper presents two specific studies: the first was a researcher-designed experiment that assessed the potential adaptation of landraces to organic systems through on-farm cultivation and farmer selection. The second is a farmer-led plant breeding project to select bread wheat for organic systems in France. Over the course of these two projects, many discussions among farmers, researchers and farmers associations led to the development of methods that fit the objectives of those involved. This type of project is no longer researcher-led or farmer-led but instead an equal collaboration. Results from the two research projects and the strategy developed for an ongoing collaborative plant breeding project are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding for Sustainable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Adaptability of Wheat Cultivars to a Late-Planted No-Till Fallow Production System
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1224-1233; doi:10.3390/su3081224
Received: 12 July 2011 / Revised: 3 August 2011 / Accepted: 3 August 2011 / Published: 10 August 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (252 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Washington, over fifty percent of the wheat produced under rainfed conditions receives less than 300 mm of annual precipitation. Hence, a winter wheat-summer fallow cropping system has been adopted to obtain adequate moisture for winter wheat production. Current tilled fallow systems are
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In Washington, over fifty percent of the wheat produced under rainfed conditions receives less than 300 mm of annual precipitation. Hence, a winter wheat-summer fallow cropping system has been adopted to obtain adequate moisture for winter wheat production. Current tilled fallow systems are exposed to significant soil degradation from wind and water erosion. As a result, late-planted no-till fallow systems are being evaluated to mitigate erosion concerns. The objective of this study was to evaluate current cultivars under late-planted no-till fallow systems to identify whether current breeding schemes in tilled fallow systems could select productive cultivars in late-planted no-till fallow systems. Thirty cultivars were planted in a split-plot design with fallow type as the main plot and genotype as the sub-plot. Fallow types evaluated were a tilled fallow system and a late planted no-till fallow system. Data were collected on heading date, plant height, grain volume weight, grain yield, and grain protein content. Analysis of variance was conducted on data across locations. Results were significant for all traits except for grain protein content. The late-planted no-till fallow system headed 16 days later was 5 cm shorter, yielded 36% less, and had a grain volume weight 3% less than the tilled fallow system. The lower yield and grain volume weight potential is hypothesized to be due to the 16 day delay in heading date leading to warmer temperatures during grain fill and a shorter duration. In order to breed wheat to be highly productive under a late-planted no-till fallow system, directly selecting in this system for early spring growth and earlier heading dates will be essential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding for Sustainable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle A Carbon Consumption Comparison of Rural and Urban Lifestyles
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1234-1249; doi:10.3390/su3081234
Received: 4 May 2011 / Revised: 23 July 2011 / Accepted: 8 August 2011 / Published: 16 August 2011
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable consumption has been addressed from different perspectives in numerous studies. Recently, urban structure-related lifestyle issues have gained more emphasis in the research as cities search for effective strategies to reduce their 80% share of the global carbon emissions. However, the prevailing belief
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Sustainable consumption has been addressed from different perspectives in numerous studies. Recently, urban structure-related lifestyle issues have gained more emphasis in the research as cities search for effective strategies to reduce their 80% share of the global carbon emissions. However, the prevailing belief often seen is that cities would be more sustainable in nature compared to surrounding suburban and rural areas. This paper will illustrate, by studying four different urban structure related lifestyles in Finland, that the situation might be reversed. Actually, substantially more carbon emissions seem to be caused on a per capita level in cities than in suburban and rural areas. This is mainly due to the higher income level in larger urban centers, but even housing-related emissions seem to favor less urbanized areas. The method of the study is a consumption-based life cycle assessment of carbon emissions. In more detail, a hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) model, that is comprehensive in providing a full inventory and can accommodate process data, is utilized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Emergency Managers Confront Climate Change
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1250-1264; doi:10.3390/su3081250
Received: 18 July 2011 / Revised: 12 August 2011 / Accepted: 15 August 2011 / Published: 19 August 2011
PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Emergency managers will have to deal with the impending, uncertain, and possibly extreme effects of climate change. Yet, many emergency managers are not aware of the full range of possible effects, and they are unsure of their place in the effort to plan
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Emergency managers will have to deal with the impending, uncertain, and possibly extreme effects of climate change. Yet, many emergency managers are not aware of the full range of possible effects, and they are unsure of their place in the effort to plan for, adapt to, and cope with those effects. This may partly reflect emergency mangers’ reluctance to get caught up in the rancorous—and politically-charged—debate about climate change, but it mostly is due to the worldview shared by most emergency managers. We focus on: extreme events; acute vs. chronic hazards (floods vs. droughts); a shorter event horizon (5 years vs. 75–100 years); and a shorter planning and operational cycle. This paper explores the important intersection of emergency management, environmental management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. It examines the different definitions of terms common to all three fields, the overlapping strategies used in all three fields, and the best means of collaboration and mutual re-enforcement among the three to confront and solve the many possible futures that we may face in the climate change world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle An R&D Management Framework for Eco-Technology
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1282-1301; doi:10.3390/su3081282
Received: 28 April 2011 / Revised: 14 July 2011 / Accepted: 16 August 2011 / Published: 24 August 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although research and development (R&D) affects new value-added creation, including that related to environmental aspects, there is little literature dealing with the integration of R&D management and eco-value. Here, eco-value of technology is defined as the advantage of environmental competitiveness in the market.
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Although research and development (R&D) affects new value-added creation, including that related to environmental aspects, there is little literature dealing with the integration of R&D management and eco-value. Here, eco-value of technology is defined as the advantage of environmental competitiveness in the market. This paper proposes a framework of R&D management of eco-technology (RDMOET), consisting of: (1) future research for sustainability; (2) making an original eco-theme portfolio and roadmap; (3) gap analysis and implementation of new eco-themes; and (4) eco-value evaluation. (1) and (4) are new processes compared with conventional R&D management. Through practice at the Corporate R&D Center of Toshiba Corporation, the usefulness of the proposed framework is verified from the viewpoint of not only technological eco-innovation, but also that of organizational learning for environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Environmental Sustainability)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Defining Terms for Integrated (Multi-Inter-Trans-Disciplinary) Sustainability Research
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1090-1113; doi:10.3390/su3081090
Received: 19 May 2011 / Revised: 11 July 2011 / Accepted: 18 July 2011 / Published: 26 July 2011
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Our contemporary social and ecological problems, including climate change, peak oil and food security, necessitate solutions informed by multiple backgrounds that singular disciplines seem unable to provide, and possibly, are even incapable of providing. The increasing occurrence of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary (MIT)
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Our contemporary social and ecological problems, including climate change, peak oil and food security, necessitate solutions informed by multiple backgrounds that singular disciplines seem unable to provide, and possibly, are even incapable of providing. The increasing occurrence of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary (MIT) research projects speak to the recognition of that necessity. But as the literature and our own experiences bear out, just calling a project “beyond disciplinary” or integrated does not necessarily yield the intended outcomes or make progress toward alleviating the hurdles of bridging disciplines. Here we examine the distinctions between three categories (multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary) of integrated research and offer reflections on how sustainability researchers can categorize their research to improve common understandings. Full article
Open AccessReview Enhancing Sustainability of Cotton Production Systems in West Africa: A Summary of Empirical Evidence from Burkina Faso
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1136-1169; doi:10.3390/su3081136
Received: 13 June 2011 / Revised: 13 July 2011 / Accepted: 20 July 2011 / Published: 28 July 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Africa has been hesitant to adopt agricultural biotechnology, lagging behind global trends over the past decade. One exception is Burkina Faso, a West African country that commercially released 125,000 ha of Bt cotton in 2009. Bt cotton may serve as a working example
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Africa has been hesitant to adopt agricultural biotechnology, lagging behind global trends over the past decade. One exception is Burkina Faso, a West African country that commercially released 125,000 ha of Bt cotton in 2009. Bt cotton may serve as a working example of how African countries can enhance sustainability using modern, science-driven technology to increase production levels while reducing input use and energy consumption. This paper reports the potential impact that Bt cotton can have on sustainability in Burkina Faso’s cotton sector based by summarizing empirical evidence from previously published studies. Based on the summary of published data collected from six years of field trials and producer surveys, Bt cotton increased cotton yields by an average of 21.3% and raised income by $106.14 per ha. Using an energy balance model, the introduction of Bt cotton would also result in a 6.6% saving in energy use. The significant increase in productivity and economic returns could be the catalyst for Burkina Faso, and other African countries, to emerge from the decade or so of stagnation and regain their competitive stance in world cotton markets while providing environmental and social benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnology and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Benefits and Costs of Biologically Contained Genetically Modified Tomatoes and Eggplants in Italy and Spain
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1265-1281; doi:10.3390/su3081265
Received: 22 April 2011 / Revised: 22 June 2011 / Accepted: 12 August 2011 / Published: 22 August 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we assess the benefits and costs of introducing biologically contained genetically modified (GM) crops, with an application to the potential introduction of GM tomatoes and eggplants in Italy and Spain. Such crops possess both the standard beneficial GM traits, and
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In this paper we assess the benefits and costs of introducing biologically contained genetically modified (GM) crops, with an application to the potential introduction of GM tomatoes and eggplants in Italy and Spain. Such crops possess both the standard beneficial GM traits, and they prevent introgression of transgenes from GM crops to their conventional or wild relatives, thereby adding to the safety of their cultivation. As a result, coexistence regulations for these crops are less stringent than for crops without biological containment. The potential adoption of biologically contained GM tomatoes and eggplants is assessed in a cost-benefit framework for Italy and Spain. We conclude that biological containment has considerable potential benefits if policy makers are willing to loosen the restrictions on the introduction of these varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnology and Sustainable Development)

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