Open AccessArticle
The Politics of Land Use in the Korup National Park
Land 2017, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/land6010007 -
Abstract
Recently, the call to combine land change science (LCS) and political ecology (PE) in the study of human-environment interactions has been widely discussed by scientists from both subfields of geography. In this paper, we use a hybrid ecology framework to examine the effects
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Recently, the call to combine land change science (LCS) and political ecology (PE) in the study of human-environment interactions has been widely discussed by scientists from both subfields of geography. In this paper, we use a hybrid ecology framework to examine the effects of conservation policies on the environment and the livelihood of the people of the Korup National Park (KNP). Using techniques in both PE and LCS, our results show that conservation policies, politics, and population are the primary drivers of environmental change in the KNP. We conclude by arguing that a deeper understanding can be garnered by combining LCS and PE approaches to analyze and contribute to the people and parks debate. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Will Biodiversity Be Conserved in Locally-Managed Forests?
Land 2017, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/land6010006 -
Abstract
Recent decades have seen a rapid movement towards decentralising forest rights and tenure to local communities and indigenous groups in both developing and developed nations. Attribution of local and community rights to forests appears to be gathering increasing momentum in many tropical developing
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Recent decades have seen a rapid movement towards decentralising forest rights and tenure to local communities and indigenous groups in both developing and developed nations. Attribution of local and community rights to forests appears to be gathering increasing momentum in many tropical developing countries. Greater local control of forest resources is a response to the failure of government agencies to exercise adequate stewardship over forests and to ensure that the values of all stakeholders are adequately protected. We reviewed evidence of the impact of decentralised forest management on the biodiversity values of forests and conclude that special measures are needed to protect these values. There are trade-offs between shorter-term local needs for forest lands and products and longer-term global needs for biodiversity and other environmental values. We present evidence of local forest management leading to declining forest integrity with negative impacts on both local forest users and the global environment. We advocate greater attention to measures to ensure protection of biodiversity in locally-managed forests. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Land in 2016
Land 2017, 6(1), 5; doi:10.3390/land6010005 -
Abstract The editors of Land would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Vegetation Phytosociological Characteristics and Soil Physico-Chemical Conditions in Harishin Rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia
Land 2017, 6(1), 4; doi:10.3390/land6010004 -
Abstract
The objective of this study is to analyse the phytodiversity, distribution, herb biomass and physico-chemical conditions of the vegetation system in the context of communal continuous open grazing and enclosed grazing management practices in the Harishin rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia. A total of
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The objective of this study is to analyse the phytodiversity, distribution, herb biomass and physico-chemical conditions of the vegetation system in the context of communal continuous open grazing and enclosed grazing management practices in the Harishin rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia. A total of 58 herbaceous species and 11 woody species were recorded in the study area. Analysis of Importance Value Index for two management practices was represented by different combinations of species with varied dominance. The herbs’ diversity–dominance curve revealed a lognormal distribution in both managements practices. The overview of distribution patterns for most of the species layer showed contiguous growth and a clumped distribution pattern. Species diversity, richness, herb biomass, basal cover and soil physico-chemical attributes showed a distinct separation in relation to grazing management practices. Based on the findings, one can conclude that the establishment of enclosures has a positive impact in restoring rangeland vegetation diversity, distribution, in increasing herb productivity and in boosting soil fertility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrological Response to ~30 years of Agricultural Surface Water Management
Land 2017, 6(1), 3; doi:10.3390/land6010003 -
Abstract
Amongst human practices, agricultural surface-water management systems represent some of the largest integrated engineering works that shaped floodplains during history, directly or indirectly affecting the landscape. As a result of changes in agricultural practices and land use, many drainage networks have changed producing
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Amongst human practices, agricultural surface-water management systems represent some of the largest integrated engineering works that shaped floodplains during history, directly or indirectly affecting the landscape. As a result of changes in agricultural practices and land use, many drainage networks have changed producing a greater exposure to flooding with a broad range of impacts on society, also because of climate inputs coupling with the human drivers. This research focuses on three main questions: which kind of land use changes related to the agricultural practices have been observed in the most recent years (~30 years)? How does the influence on the watershed response to land use and land cover changes depend on the rainfall event characteristics and soil conditions, and what is their related significance? The investigation presented in this work includes modelling the water infiltration due to the soil properties and analysing the distributed water storage offered by the agricultural drainage system in a study area in Veneto (north-eastern Italy). The results show that economic changes control the development of agro-industrial landscapes, with effects on the hydrological response. Key elements that can enhance or reduce differences are the antecedent soil conditions and the climate characteristics. Criticalities should be expected for intense and irregular rainfall events, and for events that recurrently happen. Agricultural areas might be perceived to be of low priority when it comes to public funding of flood protection, compared to the priority given to urban ones. These outcomes highlight the importance of understanding how agricultural practices can be the driver of or can be used to avoid, or at least mitigate, flooding. The proposed methods can be valuable tools in evaluating the costs and benefits of the management of water in agriculture to inform better policy decision-making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Conservation Benefits of Tropical Multifunctional Land-Uses in and Around a Forest Protected Area of Bangladesh
Land 2017, 6(1), 2; doi:10.3390/land6010002 -
Abstract
Competing interests in land for agriculture and commodity production in tropical human-dominated landscapes make forests and biodiversity conservation particularly challenging. Establishment of protected areas in this regard is not functioning as expected due to exclusive ecological focus and poor recognition of local people’s
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Competing interests in land for agriculture and commodity production in tropical human-dominated landscapes make forests and biodiversity conservation particularly challenging. Establishment of protected areas in this regard is not functioning as expected due to exclusive ecological focus and poor recognition of local people’s traditional forest use and dependence. In recent years, multifunctional land-use systems such as agroforestry have widely been promoted as an efficient land-use in such circumstances, although their conservation effectiveness remains poorly investigated. We undertake a rapid biodiversity survey to understand the conservation value of four contrasting forms of local land-use, namely: betel leaf (Piper betle) agroforestry; lemon (Citrus limon) agroforestry; pineapple (Ananas comosus) agroforestry; and, shifting cultivation–fallow managed largely by the indigenous communities in and around a highly diverse forest protected area of Bangladesh. We measure the alpha and beta diversity of plants, birds, and mammals in these multifunctional land-uses, as well as in the old-growth secondary forest in the area. Our study finds local land-use critical in conserving biodiversity in the area, with comparable biodiversity benefits as those of the old-growth secondary forest. In Bangladesh, where population pressure and rural people’s dependence on forests are common, multifunctional land-uses in areas of high conservation priority could potentially be used to bridge the gap between conservation and commodity production, ensuring that the ecological integrity of such landscapes will be altered as little as possible. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Unexpected Interactions between Agricultural and Forest Sectors through International Trade: Wood Pallets and Agricultural Exports in Costa Rica
Land 2017, 6(1), 1; doi:10.3390/land6010001 -
Abstract
International market forces have played an increasingly important role in shaping land use dynamics through complex supply chains. In Costa Rica, the shift from a net loss to a net gain in forest cover was facilitated by forest plantations and the replacement of
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International market forces have played an increasingly important role in shaping land use dynamics through complex supply chains. In Costa Rica, the shift from a net loss to a net gain in forest cover was facilitated by forest plantations and the replacement of extensive cropland and pastures by export-oriented, high-yielding crops. However, agricultural intensification generated several feedbacks affecting forests. We analyzed the interactions between Costa Rica’s agricultural and forestry sectors associated with the use of wood pallets for commodity exports over 1985–2013. Wood pallets for growing agricultural exports created a demand for domestic tree plantations. The annual land demand for tree plantations to produce these wood pallets increased by 669%, reaching 17,606 ha in 2013 and representing 28% of the increase in demand for cropland for agricultural exports over 1994–2013. Wood supplied from plantations failed to fully substitute for wood from natural forests, only allowing for a relative substitution and preventing a major sparing of these forests. The dominant use of wood from plantations for production of low-value pallets de-incentivized investments in sustainable plantations. We showed that, beyond the typical interactions between agriculture and forestry through direct competition for land, international trade generated unexpected feedback where agricultural activities and supply chains affected forestry by triggering new demand and profound changes in forestry management. Land systems behave as complex systems, calling for integrated approaches to study the outcomes of forest conservation, reforestation programs, and development of land-based businesses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Greenhouse Gas Implications of Peri-Urban Land Use Change in a Developed City under Four Future Climate Scenarios
Land 2016, 5(4), 46; doi:10.3390/land5040046 -
Abstract
Present decisions about urbanization of peri-urban (PU) areas may contribute to the capacity of cities to mitigate future climate change. Comprehensive mitigative responses to PU development should require integration of urban form and food production to realise potential trade-offs. Despite this, few studies
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Present decisions about urbanization of peri-urban (PU) areas may contribute to the capacity of cities to mitigate future climate change. Comprehensive mitigative responses to PU development should require integration of urban form and food production to realise potential trade-offs. Despite this, few studies examine greenhouse gas (GHG) implications of future urban development combined with impacts on PU food production. In this paper, four future scenarios, at 2050 and 2100 time horizons, were developed to evaluate the potential GHG emissions implications of feeding and housing a growing urban population in Sydney, Australia. The scenarios were thematically downscaled from the four relative concentration pathways. Central to the scenarios were differences in population, technology, energy, housing form, transportation, temperature, food production and land use change (LUC). A life cycle assessment approach was used within the scenarios to evaluate differences in GHG impacts. Differences in GHG emissions between scenarios at the 2100 time horizon, per area of PU land transformed, approximated 0.7 Mt CO2-e per year. Per additional resident this equated to 0.7 to 6.1 t CO2-e per year. Indirect LUC has the potential to be significant. Interventions such as carbon capture and storage technology, renewables and urban form markedly reduced emissions. However, incorporating cross-sectoral energy saving measures within urban planning at the regional scale requires a paradigmatic shift. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Large-Scale Mapping of Tree-Community Composition as a Surrogate of Forest Degradation in Bornean Tropical Rain Forests
Land 2016, 5(4), 45; doi:10.3390/land5040045 -
Abstract
Assessment of the progress of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the safeguarding of ecosystems from the perverse negative impacts caused by Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) requires the development of spatiotemporally
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Assessment of the progress of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the safeguarding of ecosystems from the perverse negative impacts caused by Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) requires the development of spatiotemporally robust and sensitive indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem health. Recently, it has been proposed that tree-community composition based on count-plot surveys could serve as a robust, sensitive, and cost-effective indicator for forest intactness in Bornean logged-over rain forests. In this study, we developed an algorithm to map tree-community composition across the entire landscape based on Landsat imagery. We targeted six forest management units (FMUs), each of which ranged from 50,000 to 100,000 ha in area, covering a broad geographic range spanning the most area of Borneo. Approximately fifty 20 m-radius circular plots were established in each FMU, and the differences in tree-community composition at a genus level among plots were examined for trees with diameter at breast height ≥10 cm using an ordination with non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS). Subsequently, we developed a linear regression model based on Landsat metrics (e.g., reflectance value, vegetation indices and textures) to explain the nMDS axis-1 scores of the plots, and extrapolated the model to the landscape to establish a tree-community composition map in each FMU. The adjusted R2 values based on a cross-validation approach between the predicted and observed nMDS axis-1 scores indicated a close correlation, ranging from 0.54 to 0.69. Histograms of the frequency distributions of extrapolated nMDS axis-1 scores were derived from each map and used to quantitatively diagnose the forest intactness of the FMUs. Our study indicated that tree-community composition, which was reported as a robust indicator of forest intactness, could be mapped at a landscape level to quantitatively assess the spatial patterns of intactness in Bornean rain forests. Our approach can be used for large-scale assessments of tree diversity and forest intactness to monitor both the progress of Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the effectiveness of REDD+ biodiversity safeguards in production forests in the tropics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integration of ALOS PALSAR and Landsat Data for Land Cover and Forest Mapping in Northern Tanzania
Land 2016, 5(4), 43; doi:10.3390/land5040043 -
Abstract
Land cover and forest mapping supports decision makers in the course of making informed decisions for implementation of sustainable conservation and management plans of the forest resources and environmental monitoring. This research examines the value of integrating of ALOS PALSAR and Landsat data
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Land cover and forest mapping supports decision makers in the course of making informed decisions for implementation of sustainable conservation and management plans of the forest resources and environmental monitoring. This research examines the value of integrating of ALOS PALSAR and Landsat data for improved forest and land cover mapping in Northern Tanzania. A separate and joint processing of surface reflectance, backscattering and derivatives (i.e., Normalized Different Vegetation Index (NDVI), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Radar Forest Deforestation Index (RFDI), quotient bands, polarimetric features and Grey Level Co-Occurrence Matrix (GLCM) textures) were executed using Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier. The classification accuracy was assessed using a confusion matrix, where Overall classification Accuracy (OA), Kappa Coefficient (KC), Producer’s Accuracy (PA), User’s Accuracy (UA) and F1 score index were computed. A two sample t-statistics was utilized to evaluate the influence of different data categories on the classification accuracy. Landsat surface reflectance and derivatives show an overall classification accuracy (OA = 86%). ALOS PALSAR backscattering could not differentiate the land cover classes efficiently (OA = 59%). However, combination of backscattering, and derivatives could differentiate the land cover classes properly (OA = 71%). The attained results suggest that integration of backscattering and derivative has potential of utilization for mapping of land cover in tropical environment. Integration of backscattering, surface reflectance and their derivative increase the accuracy (OA = 97%). Therefore it can be concluded that integration of ALOS PALSAR and optical data improve the accuracies of land cover and forest mapping and hence suitable for environmental monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Land Use Change in Long Island Sound Watersheds Using Nighttime Light Data
Land 2016, 5(4), 44; doi:10.3390/land5040044 -
Abstract
The Long Island Sound Watersheds (LISW) are experiencing significant land use/cover change (LUCC), which affects the environment and ecosystems in the watersheds through water pollution, carbon emissions, and loss of wildlife. LUCC modeling is an important approach to understanding what has happened in
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The Long Island Sound Watersheds (LISW) are experiencing significant land use/cover change (LUCC), which affects the environment and ecosystems in the watersheds through water pollution, carbon emissions, and loss of wildlife. LUCC modeling is an important approach to understanding what has happened in the landscape and what may change in the future. Moreover, prospective modeling can provide sustainable and efficient decision support for land planning and environmental management. This paper modeled the LUCCs between 1996, 2001 and 2006 in the LISW in the New England region, which experienced an increase in developed area and a decrease of forest. The low-density development pattern played an important role in the loss of forest and the expansion of urban areas. The key driving forces were distance to developed areas, distance to roads, and social-economic drivers, such as nighttime light intensity and population density. In addition, this paper compared and evaluated two integrated LUCC models—the logistic regression–Markov chain model and the multi-layer perception–Markov chain (MLP–MC) model. Both models achieved high accuracy in prediction, but the MLP–MC model performed slightly better. Finally, a land use map for 2026 was predicted by using the MLP–MC model, and it indicates the continued loss of forest and increase of developed area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Historical and Current Niche Construction in an Anthropogenic Biome: Old Cultural Landscapes in Southern Scandinavia
Land 2016, 5(4), 42; doi:10.3390/land5040042 -
Abstract
Conceptual advances in niche construction theory provide new perspectives and a tool-box for studies of human-environment interactions mediating what is termed anthropogenic biomes. This theory is useful also for studies on how anthropogenic biomes are perceived and valued. This paper addresses these topics
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Conceptual advances in niche construction theory provide new perspectives and a tool-box for studies of human-environment interactions mediating what is termed anthropogenic biomes. This theory is useful also for studies on how anthropogenic biomes are perceived and valued. This paper addresses these topics using an example: “old cultural landscapes” in Scandinavia, i.e., landscapes formed by a long, dynamic and continuously changing history of management. Today, remnant habitats of this management history, such as wooded pastures and meadows, are the focus of conservation programs, due to their rich biodiversity and cultural and aesthetic values. After a review of historical niche construction processes, the paper examines current niche construction affecting these old cultural landscapes. Features produced by historical niche construction, e.g., landscape composition and species richness, are in the modern society reinterpreted to become values associated with beauty and heritage and species’ intrinsic values. These non-utilitarian motivators now become drivers of new niche construction dynamics, manifested as conservation programs. The paper also examines the possibility to maintain and create new habitats, potentially associated with values emanating from historical landscapes, but in transformed and urbanized landscapes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land Use and Land Cover Change in the Bale Mountain Eco-Region of Ethiopia during 1985 to 2015
Land 2016, 5(4), 41; doi:10.3390/land5040041 -
Abstract
Anthropogenic factors are responsible for major land use and land cover changes (LULCC). Bale Mountain Eco-Region in Ethiopia is a biodiversity-rich ecosystem where such LULCC have occurred. The specific objectives of this study were to: (i) determine which LULC types gained or lost
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Anthropogenic factors are responsible for major land use and land cover changes (LULCC). Bale Mountain Eco-Region in Ethiopia is a biodiversity-rich ecosystem where such LULCC have occurred. The specific objectives of this study were to: (i) determine which LULC types gained or lost most as a result of the observed LULCC; (ii) identify the major drivers of the LULCC/deforestation; and (iii) assess the approximate amount of carbon stock removed as a result of deforestation during the study period. Remote sensing and GIS were used to analyze LULCC. Landsat images acquired in 1985, 1995, 2005, and 2015 were used. Additionally, data from the Central Statistics Agency on cropland expansion, and human and livestock population growth were analyzed and correlations were made. The results showed that forest lost 123,751 ha while farmland gained 292,294 ha. Farmland and urban settlement expansion were found to be major drivers of LULCC. Aboveground carbon stock removed from forest and shrubland was more than 24 million tons. In the future, allocation of land to different uses must be based on appropriate land use policies. Integrating biodiversity and ecosystem values for each land cover as per the UN Sustainable Development Goal (UN-SDG) 15.9 may be one of the mechanisms to limit unplanned expansion or invasion of one sector at the expense of another. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accounting for the Drivers that Degrade and Restore Landscape Functions in Australia
Land 2016, 5(4), 40; doi:10.3390/land5040040 -
Abstract
Assessment and reporting of changes in vegetation condition at site and landscape scales is critical for land managers, policy makers and planers at local, regional and national scales. Land management, reflecting individual and collective values, is used to show historic changes in ecosystem
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Assessment and reporting of changes in vegetation condition at site and landscape scales is critical for land managers, policy makers and planers at local, regional and national scales. Land management, reflecting individual and collective values, is used to show historic changes in ecosystem structure, composition and function (regenerative capacity). We address the issue of how the resilience of plant communities changes over time as a result of land management regimes. A systematic framework for assessing changes in resilience based on measurable success criteria and indicators is applied using 10 case studies across the range of Australia’s agro-climate regions. A simple graphical report card is produced for each site showing drivers of change and trends relative to a reference state (i.e., natural benchmark). These reports enable decision makers to quickly understand and assimilate complex ecological processes and their effects on landscape degradation, restoration and regeneration. We discuss how this framework assists decision-makers explain and describe pathways of native vegetation that is managed for different outcomes, including maintenance, replacement, removal and recovery at site and landscape levels. The findings provide sound spatial and temporal insights into reconciling agriculture, conservation and other competing land uses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Short-Term Projects versus Adaptive Governance: Conflicting Demands in the Management of Ecological Restoration
Land 2016, 5(4), 39; doi:10.3390/land5040039 -
Abstract
Drawing on a survey of large-scale ecological restoration initiatives, we find that managers face contradictory demands. On the one hand, they have to raise funds from a variety of sources through competitive procedures for individual projects. These projects require the specification of deliverable
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Drawing on a survey of large-scale ecological restoration initiatives, we find that managers face contradictory demands. On the one hand, they have to raise funds from a variety of sources through competitive procedures for individual projects. These projects require the specification of deliverable outputs within a relatively short project period. On the other hand, ecologists argue that the complexity of ecosystem processes means that it is not possible to know how to deliver predetermined outcomes and that governance should be adaptive, long-term and implemented through networks of stakeholders. This debate parallels a debate in public administration between New Public Management and more recent proposals for a new approach, sometimes termed Public Value Management. Both of these approaches have strengths. Projectification provides control and accountability to funders. Adaptive governance recognises complexity and provides for long-term learning, building networks and adaptive responses. We suggest an institutional architecture that aims to capture the major benefits of each approach based on public support dedicated to ecological restoration and long-term funding programmes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Evidence for Biodiversity Conservation in Protected Landscapes
Land 2016, 5(4), 38; doi:10.3390/land5040038 -
Abstract
A growing number of protected areas are defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as protected landscapes and seascapes, or category V protected areas, one of six protected area categories based on management approach. Category V now makes up
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A growing number of protected areas are defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as protected landscapes and seascapes, or category V protected areas, one of six protected area categories based on management approach. Category V now makes up over half the protected area coverage in Europe, for instance. While the earliest category V areas were designated mainly for their landscape and recreational values, they are increasingly expected also to protect biodiversity. Critics have claimed that they fail to conserve enough biodiversity. The current paper addresses this question by reviewing available evidence for the effectiveness of category V in protecting wild biodiversity by drawing on published information and a set of case studies. Research to date focuses more frequently on changes in vegetation cover than on species, and results are limited and contradictory, suggesting variously that category V protected areas are better than, worse than or the same as more strictly protected categories in terms of conserving biodiversity. This may indicate that differences are not dramatic, or that effectiveness depends on many factors. The need for greater research in this area is highlighted. Research gaps include: (i) comparative studies of conservation success inside and outside category V protected areas; (ii) the contribution that small, strictly protected areas make to the conservation success of surrounding, less strictly protected areas—and vice versa; (iii) the effectiveness of different governance approaches in category V; (iv) a clearer understanding of the impacts of zoning in a protected area; and (v) better understanding of how to implement landscape approaches in and around category V protected areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Community-Conservation Conundrum: Is Citizen Science the Answer?
Land 2016, 5(4), 37; doi:10.3390/land5040037 -
Abstract
Public participation theory assumes that empowering communities leads to enduring support for new initiatives. The New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, approved in 2000, embraces this assumption and includes goals for community involvement in resolving threats to native flora and fauna. Over the last 20
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Public participation theory assumes that empowering communities leads to enduring support for new initiatives. The New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, approved in 2000, embraces this assumption and includes goals for community involvement in resolving threats to native flora and fauna. Over the last 20 years, community-based ecological restoration groups have proliferated, with between 600 and 4000 identified. Many of these groups control invasive mammals, and often include protection of native species and species reintroductions as goals. Such activities involve the groups in “wicked” problems with uncertain biological and social outcomes, plus technical challenges for implementing and measuring results. The solution might be to develop a citizen science approach, although this requires institutional support. We conducted a web-based audit of 50 community groups participating in ecological restoration projects in northern New Zealand. We found great variation in the quality of information provided by the groups, with none identifying strategic milestones and progress towards them. We concluded that, at best, many group members are accidental scientists rather than citizen scientists. Furthermore, the way community efforts are reflected in biodiversity responses is often unclear. The situation may be improved with a new approach to data gathering, training, and analyses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Landscape Composition on the Abundance of Laodelphax striatellus Fallén in Fragmented Agricultural Landscapes
Land 2016, 5(4), 36; doi:10.3390/land5040036 -
Abstract
The spatial distribution of crop and non-crop habitats over segmented agricultural landscapes could be used as a means to reduce insect pest populations. Seven land cover categories such as wheat, rapeseed, vegetable, water, built-up, paved road, and unsurfaced road were extracted from GeoEye
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The spatial distribution of crop and non-crop habitats over segmented agricultural landscapes could be used as a means to reduce insect pest populations. Seven land cover categories such as wheat, rapeseed, vegetable, water, built-up, paved road, and unsurfaced road were extracted from GeoEye satellite images dating from late May to late June of 2010. Three diversity metrics and three evenness metrics were estimated from the abovementioned land cover categories for quantifying the effect of landscape composition on nymphal and adult Laodelphax striatellus Fallén. The degree of correlation between the proportion of crop cover and adjacent spatial scales (r: 0.651–0.983) was higher than the correlation between the proportion of crop cover and nonadjacent spatial scales (r: −0.255–0.896). While the degree of correlation between diversity indices and abundance of L. striatellus decreased gradually when the spatial scales varied from large (>100 m radius buffer) to small (<100 m). Our study suggests that when using natural biological pest control and ecological engineering practices in the rural-urban fringes, the crop field’s width should be less than 200 m and increasing vegetation diversity within such a scale will be helpful to regulate the insect pests under a certain density. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Terrestrial Species in Protected Areas and Community-Managed Lands in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India
Land 2016, 5(4), 35; doi:10.3390/land5040035 -
Abstract
Protected areas (including areas that are nominally fully protected and those managed for multiple uses) encompass about a quarter of the total tropical forest estate. Despite growing interest in the relative value of community-managed lands and protected areas, knowledge about the biodiversity value
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Protected areas (including areas that are nominally fully protected and those managed for multiple uses) encompass about a quarter of the total tropical forest estate. Despite growing interest in the relative value of community-managed lands and protected areas, knowledge about the biodiversity value that each sustains remains scarce in the biodiversity-rich tropics. We investigated the species occurrence of a suite of mammal and pheasant species across four protected areas and nearby community-managed lands in a biodiversity hotspot in northeast India. Over 2.5 years we walked 98 transects (half of which were resampled on a second occasion) across the four paired sites. In addition, we interviewed 84 key informants to understand their perceptions of species trends in these two management regimes. We found that protected areas had higher overall species richness and were important for species that were apparently declining in occurrence. On a site-specific basis, community-managed lands had species richness and occurrences comparable to those of a protected area, and in one case their relative abundances of mammals were higher. Interviewees indicated declines in the abundances of larger-bodied species in community-managed lands. Their observations agreed with our field surveys for certain key, large-bodied species, such as gaur and sambar, which generally occurred less in community-managed lands. Hence, the degree to which protected areas and community-managed lands protect wildlife species depends upon the species in question, with larger-bodied species usually faring better within protected areas. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction: The Continued Importance of Smallholders Today
Land 2016, 5(4), 34; doi:10.3390/land5040034 -
Abstract
Smallholders remain an important part of human-environment research, particularly in cultural and political ecology, peasant and development studies, and increasingly in land system and sustainability science. This introduction to the edited volume explores land use and livelihood issues among smallholders, in several disciplinary
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Smallholders remain an important part of human-environment research, particularly in cultural and political ecology, peasant and development studies, and increasingly in land system and sustainability science. This introduction to the edited volume explores land use and livelihood issues among smallholders, in several disciplinary and subfield traditions. Specifically, we provide a short history of smallholder livelihood research in the human-environment tradition. We reflect on why, in an age of rapid globalization, smallholder land use and livelihoods still matter, both for land system science and as a reflection of concerns with inequality and poverty. Key themes that emerge from the papers in this volume include the importance of smallholder farming and land-use practices to questions of environmental sustainability, the dynamic reality of smallholder livelihoods, the challenges of vulnerability and adaptation in contemporary human-environment systems, and the structural and relative nature of the term “smallholder.” Overall these contributions show that smallholder studies are more pertinent than ever, especially in the face of global environmental change. Additionally, we argue that questions of smallholder identity, social difference, and teleconnections provide fertile areas of future research. We conclude that we need to re-envision who the smallholder is today and how this translates into modern human-environment smallholder studies. Full article