Special Issue "Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference"

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A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 40617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 886-2-33663467
Fax: +86 2 23686980
Interests: spatial statistics and modeling in environmental and ecological systems; applications of GIS and remote sensing in environmental and ecological systems; freshwater monitoring and modeling; optimal environmental monitoring network design; landscape ecology in land-use management and planning; ecohydrology; groundwater modeling; land-use planning and modeling; soil heavy metal pollution assessment; multiscale analysis in environmental and ecological systems; system dynamic modeling in environmental systems; ecosystem services; system dynamic modeling; optimization techniques
Guest Editor
Dr. Wan-Yu Lien

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 40617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 886-2-33663464
Fax: 886-2-33663464
Interests: impact, vulnerability and resilience assessment of water resources to climate change; environmental system analysis; reservoir operation and planning; water resources management; heuristic algorithms
Guest Editor
Dr. Yung-Chieh Wang

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 40617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +86 2 33663464
Fax: +86 2 33663464
Interests: landscape ecology and environmental assessment; ecology and ecological engineering; environmental fluid mechanics and water resources; constructed wetland simulation and system dynamic modeling; erosion behavior, sediment transport, and disaster control in riverine area; cohesive sediment physical properties and rheological characteristics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecosystems provide valuable functions and benefit to human beings and society. However, the human-environment interaction will directly or indirectly influence the ecosystems. The changing environment such as deforestation, hillside development or urbanization will affect the entire ecosystem. Besides, the different conservation strategies or environmental policies will result in threats to land use/land cover, human or environment, biodiversity, ecosystem, and ecosystem service supply. In order to sustain the provision of vital ecosystem services, information concerning the environment, ecosystem, environmental/conservation planning, or ecosystem service is important and necessary.

This Special Issue is comprised of selected papers from the Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference, which will be held in Taipei, Taiwan on 24–26 September 2014. The conference is focused on sustainable land use and ecosystem management, investigation of the vulnerability and resilience on critical lands, and development of modeling and analysis tools for land-use projects. Such discussions illustrate the connections with the environment, ecosystem, and ecosystem services. Papers selected for this Special Issue are subjected to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments and applications in the area of environment.

Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin
Dr. Wan-Yu Lien
Dr. Yung-Chieh Wang
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Environments is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • policy and management strategies for environment and ecosystem management
  • investigation of vulnerability and resilience on critical lands for ecosystem services
  • the connections and interactions among ecosystem services, environment, and environmental management
  • models and analytical tools for environmental management and ecosystem services
  • anthropogenic and urbanization impacts on ecosystem services
  • decision support systems for sustainable use of critical lands and ecosystem services

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Do Relocated Villages Experience More Forest Cover Change? Resettlements, Shifting Cultivation and Forests in the Lao PDR
Environments 2015, 2(2), 250-279; doi:10.3390/environments2020250
Received: 30 December 2014 / Revised: 2 June 2015 / Accepted: 5 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
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Abstract
This study explores the relationships between forest cover change and the village resettlement and land planning policies implemented in Laos, which have led to the relocation of remote and dispersed populations into clustered villages with easier access to state services and market facilities.
[...] Read more.
This study explores the relationships between forest cover change and the village resettlement and land planning policies implemented in Laos, which have led to the relocation of remote and dispersed populations into clustered villages with easier access to state services and market facilities. We used the Global Forest Cover Change (2000–2012) and the most recent Lao Agricultural Census (2011) datasets to assess forest cover change in resettled and non-resettled villages throughout the country. We also reviewed a set of six case studies and performed an original case study in two villages of Luang Prabang province with 55 households, inquiring about relocation, land losses and intensification options. Our results show that resettled villages have greater baseline forest cover and total forest loss than most villages in Laos but not significant forest loss relative to that baseline. Resettled villages are consistently associated with forested areas, minority groups, and intermediate accessibility. The case studies highlight that resettlement coupled with land use planning does not necessarily lead to the abandonment of shifting cultivation or affect forest loss but lead to a re-spatialization of land use. This includes clustering of forest clearings, which might lead to fallow shortening and land degradation while limited intensification options exist in the resettled villages. This study provides a contribution to studying relationships between migration, forest cover change, livelihood strategies, land governance and agricultural practices in tropical forest environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Urban Heat Island (UHI) in Relation to Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI): A Comparative Study of Delhi and Mumbai
Environments 2015, 2(2), 125-138; doi:10.3390/environments2020125
Received: 15 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4026 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The formation and occurrence of urban heat island (UHI) is a result of rapid urbanization and associated concretization. Due to intensification of heat combined with high pollution levels, urban areas expose humans to unexpected health risks. In this context, the study aims at
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The formation and occurrence of urban heat island (UHI) is a result of rapid urbanization and associated concretization. Due to intensification of heat combined with high pollution levels, urban areas expose humans to unexpected health risks. In this context, the study aims at comparing the UHI in the two largest metropolitan cities of India, i.e., Delhi and Mumbai. The presence of surface UHI is analyzed using the Landsat 5 TM image of 5 May 2010 for Delhi and the 17 April 2010 image for Mumbai. The validation of the heat island is done in relation to the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) patterns. The study reveals that built-up and fallow lands record high temperatures, whereas the vegetated areas and water bodies exhibit lower temperatures. Delhi, an inland city, possesses mixed land use and the presence of substantial tree cover along roads; the Delhi Ridge forests and River Yamuna cutting across the city have a high influence in moderating the surface temperatures. The temperature reaches a maximum of 35 °C in West Delhi and a minimum of 24 °C in the east at the River Yamuna. Maximum temperature in East Delhi goes to 30 °C, except the border areas. North, Central and south Delhi have low temperatures (28 °C–31 °C), but the peripheral areas have high temperatures (36 °C–37 °C). The UHI is not very prominent in the case of Delhi. This is proven by the correlations of surface temperature with NDVI. South Delhi, New Delhi and areas close to River Yamuna have high NDVI and, therefore, record low temperatures. Mumbai, on the other hand, is a coastal city with lower tree cover than Delhi. The Borivilli National Park (BNP) is in the midst of dense horizontal and vertical growth of buildings. The UHI is much stronger where the heat is trapped that is, the built-up zones. There are four small rivers in Mumbai, which have low carrying capacity. In Mumbai suburban district, the areas adjoining the creeks, sea and the lakes act as heat sinks. The coastal areas in South Mumbai record temperatures of 28 °C–31 °C; the Bandra-Kurla Complex has a high range of temperature i.e., 31 °C–36 °C. The temperature witnessed at Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport is as high as 38 °C. The temperature is nearly 37 °C–38 °C in the Dorai region in the Mumbai suburban district. The BNP has varied vegetation density, and therefore, the temperature ranges from 27 °C–31 °C. Powai Lake, Tulsi Lake and other water bodies record the lowest temperatures (24 °C–26 °C). There exists a strong negative correlation between NDVI and UHI of Mumbai, owing to less coverage of green and vegetation areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
Open AccessArticle Ecological Footprint of Biological Resource Consumption in a Typical Area of the Green for Grain Project in Northwestern China
Environments 2015, 2(1), 44-60; doi:10.3390/environments2010044
Received: 25 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 January 2015 / Published: 9 January 2015
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Abstract
Following the implementation of the Green for Grain Project in 2000 in Guyuan, China, the decrease in cultivated land and subsequent increase in forest and grassland pose substantial challenges for the supply of biological products. Whether the current biologically productive land-use patterns in
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Following the implementation of the Green for Grain Project in 2000 in Guyuan, China, the decrease in cultivated land and subsequent increase in forest and grassland pose substantial challenges for the supply of biological products. Whether the current biologically productive land-use patterns in Guyuan satisfy the biological product requirements for local people is an urgent problem. In this study, the ecological footprints of biological resource consumption in Guyuan were calculated and analyzed based on the ‘City Hectare’ Ecological Footprint (EF) Method. The EFs of different types of biological resource products consumed from different types of biologically productive land were then analyzed. In addition, the EFs of various biological resource products before and after the implementation of the Green for Grain Project (1998 and 2012) were assessed. The actual EF and bio-capacity (BC) were compared, and differences in the EF and BC for different types of biologically productive lands before and after the project were analyzed. The results showed that the EF of Guyuan’s biological resource products was 0.65866 ha/cap, with an EF outflow and EF inflow of 0.2280 ha/cap and 0.0951 ha/cap, respectively. The per capita EF of Guyuan significantly decreased after the project, as did the ecological deficit. Whereas the cultivated land showed a deficit, grasslands were characterized by ecological surplus. The total EF of living resource consumption in Guyuan was 810,941 ha, and the total BC was 768,065 ha. In additional to current biological production areas, approximately 42,876 ha will be needed to satisfy the demands of Guyuan’s people. Cultivated land is the main type of biologically productive land that is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
Open AccessArticle Land Conversion Dynamics in the Borana Rangelands of Southern Ethiopia: An Integrated Assessment Using Remote Sensing Techniques and Field Survey Data
Environments 2015, 2(1), 1-31; doi:10.3390/environments2010001
Received: 23 August 2014 / Accepted: 24 December 2014 / Published: 7 January 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (7309 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Conversion of rangelands into cultivated land is one of the main challenges affecting the management of rangelands in Ethiopia. In order to inform policy makers about trends in land-use conversion, this study examined the drivers, trends, and impacts of land conversions in five
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Conversion of rangelands into cultivated land is one of the main challenges affecting the management of rangelands in Ethiopia. In order to inform policy makers about trends in land-use conversion, this study examined the drivers, trends, and impacts of land conversions in five locations selected in the Borana rangelands of Southern Ethiopia. This study integrated survey interviews from agro-pastoralists, participatory appraisals, rainfall data, and remotely sensed satellite data from Landsat images taken in 1985 and 2011. Results indicate that there is a marked increase in cultivated land in some of the study sites while in the other sites there is a slight reduction. The bare lands increased in some parts of the study sites though there was slight recovery of grassland in some of the degraded areas. Settlement areas with permanent housing increased. Woodland vegetation decreased except on mountain escarpments where there were slight gains. The results further show that, during this period, bushland decreased while at the same time grassland increased. Shrub/grassland with seasonally flooded areas increased in the bottomlands. Inhabitants interviewed in the study areas perceived land use and land cover changes to be driven by interplay of recurrent drought, loss of pasture, food insecurity, and decline in income. Changes in policies that govern natural resources have influence the land use change in this area and the expansion of cultivation. Expansion of cultivation practices upon rangelands has resulting in significant loss of vegetation biomass and soil erosion, thereby precipitating rangeland degradation. The results provide comprehensive insights regarding the influence of internal and external drivers of land conversion that should be considered when making decisions for land use planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
Open AccessArticle Historical Image Registration and Land-Use Land-Cover Change Analysis
Environments 2014, 1(2), 181-189; doi:10.3390/environments1020181
Received: 26 August 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
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Abstract
Historical aerial images are important to retain past ground surface information. The land-use land-cover change in the past can be identified using historical aerial images. Automatic historical image registration and stitching is essential because the historical image pose information was usually lost. In
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Historical aerial images are important to retain past ground surface information. The land-use land-cover change in the past can be identified using historical aerial images. Automatic historical image registration and stitching is essential because the historical image pose information was usually lost. In this study, the Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) algorithm was used for feature extraction. Subsequently, the present study used the automatic affine transformation algorithm for historical image registration, based on SIFT features and control points. This study automatically determined image affine parameters and simultaneously transformed from an image coordinate system to a ground coordinate system. After historical aerial image registration, the land-use land-cover change was analyzed between two different years (1947 and 1975) at the Tseng Wen River estuary. Results show that sandbars and water zones were transformed into a large number of fish ponds between 1947 and 1975. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Influence of Nonpoint Source and Discharge Changes on Water Quality in a Tidal River Estuary Using a Three-Dimensional Model
Environments 2014, 1(2), 157-180; doi:10.3390/environments1020157
Received: 27 September 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
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Abstract
The change of nonpoint source and freshwater discharge as a result of land use change might affect the water quality in a river. In the current study, a coupled three-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality model was created and applied to the Danshuei River
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The change of nonpoint source and freshwater discharge as a result of land use change might affect the water quality in a river. In the current study, a coupled three-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality model was created and applied to the Danshuei River estuarine system and its adjacent coastal ocean. The hydrodynamic and water quality models were validated using observations of water surface elevation, salinity distribution and water quality state variables. The predictions of hydrodynamics, salinity, dissolved oxygen and nutrients from the model simulation quantitatively agreed with the observational data. The validated model was then used to investigate the possible effects of the nonpoint source and freshwater discharge changes at the upstream reaches on water quality conditions in the Danshuei River estuarine system. Three scenarios were investigated to predict the dissolved oxygen using model simulations. The simulated results indicated that increasing nonpoint sources at the upstream reaches degraded the dissolved oxygen under low flow conditions. However, increasing freshwater discharges at the upstream reaches would overcome the loadings of the nonpoint source, which would result in increasing the dissolved oxygen in the tidal river estuary. The model can provide a useful tool for developing management practices for nonpoint sources to protect the water quality in the estuarine system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Coastal Land Use Change on Shoreline Dynamics in Yunlin County, Taiwan
Environments 2014, 1(2), 124-136; doi:10.3390/environments1020124
Received: 23 July 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 30 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Located in the west coast of Taiwan, Yunlin County is considered as one of the most industrialized counties. The impact of land use on the coastal zone is significantly high. The main objective of this study is to analyze the impact of coastal
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Located in the west coast of Taiwan, Yunlin County is considered as one of the most industrialized counties. The impact of land use on the coastal zone is significantly high. The main objective of this study is to analyze the impact of coastal land use changes in Yunlin County between 1996 and 2011 on shoreline dynamics. Two sets of satellite images (SPOT and FORMOSAT-2) are used as major data sources, and all analyses are performed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques. Land use classification includes seven types. Their area changes and correlations with shoreline area changes are calculated. Results indicate that between 1996 and 2011, the Yunlin coastal zone has experienced substantial land use changes, with dramatic increase of industrial and residential area along with significant loss of sandy coast. For the last sixteen years, Yunlin shoreline has undergone both erosion and accretion position changes. However, accretion is more prominent and common in many places. The net shoreline change observed is an accretion area of 1.65 km2. Results also further reveal that area changes of agriculture, residential, abandoned and aquaculture lands have caused a negative impact on the shoreline, moving it landward. However, area changes of industrial land and the sandy coast have exerted a positive impact (shifting the shoreline towards the sea). This positive impact is mainly due to land reclamation projects and destruction of natural coasts. As such, this is not favorable for natural coastal environments. This study also clearly indicates that, human induced coastal land use changes do exist in Yunlin. These changes may have created long-term shoreline position shifts and significant impact on its coastal environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)

Other

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Elias, M.; et al. 2015. Land Conversion Dynamics in the Borana Rangelands of Southern Ethiopia: An Integrated Assessment Using Remote Sensing Techniques and Field Survey Data. Environments 2015, 2, 1–31
Environments 2015, 2(3), 385-387; doi:10.3390/environments2030385
Received: 27 July 2015 / Revised: 27 July 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 30 July 2015
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Abstract The authors wish to add the following amendments and corrections to their paper published in Environments [1].[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)

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