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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 10 (May-2 2019) – 278 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The drastic depletion of elephant habitats in the dry zone of Sri Lanka has led to intense [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Heterogeneity of Consumers’ Preferences for Corporate Social Responsibility Using the Best–Worst Scaling Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2995; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102995 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 819
Abstract
The promotion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important for achieving sustainability. The interest of stakeholders is one factor promoting CSR activities. Consumers are one of the major stakeholders. The aim of this study is to quantify Japanese consumers’ preference for 13 CSR [...] Read more.
The promotion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important for achieving sustainability. The interest of stakeholders is one factor promoting CSR activities. Consumers are one of the major stakeholders. The aim of this study is to quantify Japanese consumers’ preference for 13 CSR activities using the best–worst scaling (BWS) approach. We conducted an online survey in February 2015 and 633 individuals responded. Counting analysis and econometric analysis were used to analyze the BWS data. The results of the counting and MaxDiff analyses show that “Product safety and immediate recall in the case of defects” was identified as the most highly evaluated activity that makes respondents most strongly think that they want to buy a product from a company implementing the CSR activity. The results of the random parameter logit model and latent class model show preference heterogeneity. Some classes prioritize activities that do not generate a private benefit for them, such as environmental issues abroad and the working conditions of employees. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Antecedents of Consumers’ Intention to Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances: An Empirical Study Based on the Technology Acceptance Model and Theory of Planned Behavior
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2994; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102994 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
Personal consumption behavior has negative impacts on the environment, such as climate change and wasted resources. To eliminate the adverse effects, more manufacturers are producing environmentally friendly products and governments are encouraging residents to adopt energy-saving products. Among these products, energy-efficient appliances are [...] Read more.
Personal consumption behavior has negative impacts on the environment, such as climate change and wasted resources. To eliminate the adverse effects, more manufacturers are producing environmentally friendly products and governments are encouraging residents to adopt energy-saving products. Among these products, energy-efficient appliances are designed to save energy in everyday life. In this research, we focused on examining the antecedents of consumers’ acceptance of energy-efficient appliances. A combined framework of the technology acceptance model and the theory of planned behavior was used. The research was empirically tested using an online survey of 280 consumers. The study indicates that perceived ease of use had a significant impact on perceived usefulness; moreover, it positively influenced consumers’ attitudes. Subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and attitude significantly affected consumers’ purchasing intention. However, perceived usefulness did not have direct significant effect on consumers’ purchasing intention. Furthermore, we conducted a comparative analysis to further analyze the effect of consumers’ awareness of the China Energy Label on their purchasing intentions. Finally, insights and suggestions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conscious Consumption)
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Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Intention to Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture in the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve (Vietnam): A Combination of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and Protection Motivation Theory (PMT)
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102993 - 27 May 2019
Viewed by 1593
Abstract
Coastal communities living in the low delta areas of Vietnam are increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms and related natural hazards of global climate change. Particularly in the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve (RRDBR), farmers change the crop structure and diversify agricultural systems to [...] Read more.
Coastal communities living in the low delta areas of Vietnam are increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms and related natural hazards of global climate change. Particularly in the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve (RRDBR), farmers change the crop structure and diversify agricultural systems to adapt to the changing climate. The paper deals with a quantitative approach combined with behavior theories and surveyed data to analyze farmers’ intention to climate change adaptation in agriculture. Based on the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), seven constructs are developed to a questionnaire surveying 526 local farmers: risk perception, belief, habit, maladaptation, subjective norm, adaptation assessment, and adaptation intention. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is implemented to extract eight factors and to quantify the relationship between protective behavior factors with the adaptation intention of the surveyed farmers. Two bootstrap samples of sizes 800 and 1200 are generated to estimate the coefficients and standard errors. The SEM result suggests a regional and three local structural models for climate change adaptation intention of farmers living in the RRDBR. Farmers show a higher adaptation intention when they perceive higher climate risks threatening their physical health, finances, production, social relationships, and psychology. In contrast, farmers are less likely to intend to adapt when they are subject to wishful thinking, deny the climate risks, or believe in fatalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policy)
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Open AccessArticle
Framework for a Systematic Parametric Analysis to Maximize Energy Output of PV Modules Using an Experimental Design
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2992; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102992 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
Use of photovoltaic modules in buildings has been reported to be an effective tool in managing energy consumption. The novelty in the research herein is in a framework that integrates different performance parameters through the use of an experimental design to expect all [...] Read more.
Use of photovoltaic modules in buildings has been reported to be an effective tool in managing energy consumption. The novelty in the research herein is in a framework that integrates different performance parameters through the use of an experimental design to expect all variables via linear regression analysis. An emphasis is placed on making the method readily available to practitioners and experts in the area of renewable energy, using standard procedure and easily accessible software. This work empowers the decision-making process and sustainability through a parametric analysis of the installation of photovoltaic modules to increase their energy output towards nearly zero energy buildings. A case study of a group of photovoltaic modules is examined in four cities with different locations and climate data to validate the proposed framework. Results demonstrate that the installation of photovoltaic modules on the mounted roof is better than elevations, and the vertical installation of modules is the worst possible inclination to maximize the yielded energy. The impact of inclination is higher than orientation in influencing the energy productivity of photovoltaic modules. This work specifies integrating such modules mounted on roofs and elevations towards the equator line, by a proportion of inclination/latitude equal to 85 ± 3%, to maximize the energy output. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Drivers of Livelihood Diversification and Its Effect on Adoption of Sustainable Land Management Practices in the Upper Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2991; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102991 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1046
Abstract
Land degradation poses a major threat to agricultural production and food security in Ethiopia, and sustainable land management (SLM) is key in dealing with its adverse impacts. This paper examines the covariates that shape rural livelihood diversification and examines their effects on the [...] Read more.
Land degradation poses a major threat to agricultural production and food security in Ethiopia, and sustainable land management (SLM) is key in dealing with its adverse impacts. This paper examines the covariates that shape rural livelihood diversification and examines their effects on the intensity of adoption of SLM practices. Household-level data were collected in 2017 from 270 households in three drought-prone watersheds located in northwestern Ethiopia. We used the Herfindahl–Simpson diversity index to explore the extent of livelihood diversification. A stochastic dominance ordering was also employed to identify remunerative livelihood activities. A multivariate probit model was employed to estimate the probability of choosing simultaneous livelihood strategies, and an ordered probit model was estimated to examine the effect of livelihood diversification on the adoption intensity of SLM practices. In addition to mixed cropping and livestock production, the production of emerging cash crops (e.g., Acacia decurrens for charcoal, and khat) dominated the overall income generation of the majority of farmers. Stress/shock experience, extent of agricultural intensification, and agro-ecology significantly affected the probability of choosing certain livelihood strategies. Livelihood diversification at the household level was significantly associated with the dependency ratio, market distance, credit access, extension services, membership in community organizations, level of income, and livestock ownership. A greater extent of livelihood diversification had a significant negative effect on adopting a greater number of SLM practices, whereas it had a positive effect on lower SLM adoption intensity. Overall, we found evidence that having greater livelihood diversification could prompt households not to adopt more SLM practices. Livelihood initiatives that focus on increasing shock resilience, access to financial support mechanisms, improving livestock production, and providing quality extension services, while also considering agro-ecological differences, are needed. In addition, development planners should take into account the livelihood portfolios of rural households when trying to implement SLM policies and programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Sustainable Environmental Management)
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Open AccessArticle
How Does Financial Literacy Promote Sustainability in SMEs? A Developing Country Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2990; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102990 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1633
Abstract
Role of the knowledge-based resources in promoting sustainability in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is currently a topic of debate. Financial literacy has been identified as a vital knowledge resource for financial decision making, but insufficient attention has been given to how SMEs’ [...] Read more.
Role of the knowledge-based resources in promoting sustainability in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is currently a topic of debate. Financial literacy has been identified as a vital knowledge resource for financial decision making, but insufficient attention has been given to how SMEs’ financial literacy affects their sustainability. Drawing upon a knowledge-based perspective, peaking order theory and dual process theory, we constructed an integrated model to examine the impact of financial literacy, access to finance and financial risk attitude on SMEs’ sustainability. The sample included 291 chief financial officers (CFOs) of SMEs in Sri Lanka. The output of structural equation modelling revealed direct positive effects of financial literacy, access to finance and financial risk attitude on sustainability. Financial literacy also emerged as a predictor of access to finance and financial risk attitude. Moreover, access to finance and financial risk attitude were found to be partial mediators of the relationship between financial literacy and SMEs’ sustainability. Theoretical implications and practical implications for policymakers, industry practitioners and academics interested in promoting sustainability amongst SMEs are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Small-to-Medium Size Forest Enterprises on Rural Livelihood: Evidence from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2989; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102989 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
Small-to-medium-sized forest enterprises (SMFEs) offer numerous benefits to rural communities and society as a whole. Less attention has been paid to the sustainability of SMFEs in terms of improving the livelihood of rural communities. This study aims to assess the impact of SMFEs [...] Read more.
Small-to-medium-sized forest enterprises (SMFEs) offer numerous benefits to rural communities and society as a whole. Less attention has been paid to the sustainability of SMFEs in terms of improving the livelihood of rural communities. This study aims to assess the impact of SMFEs in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan, and evaluate their potential role in reducing poverty and promoting rural livelihoods. Primary data were collected from 350 household heads and analyzed using econometric methodologies: The ordinary least squares (OLS) and ordered logit model. Household income, a wealth index, and five capitals of sustainable livelihood have been considered to gauge the impact of SMFEs. The results of the study reveal that there is a strong positive association between SMFEs and improvement in a rural community’s livelihood. The results further showed that households engaged in SMFE-related activities earn 3% more income and possess about 24% more assets. These findings are robust for various dimensions of sustainable livelihood and show positive effects of SMFEs on livelihood assets. This study continues the discussion on several practical implications along with recommendations for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Firm Size and Sustainable Innovation Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Photovoltaic Potential of Mining Sites in Uzbekistan
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2988; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102988 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
The present study analyzed the potential of eight operational mining sites in Uzbekistan for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems: Sarmich, Ingichka, Kuytosh, Yakhton, Chauli, Sherobod, Chorkesar, and Tebinbuloq. A PV system with 1 MW capacity, which required a total of 4926 m [...] Read more.
The present study analyzed the potential of eight operational mining sites in Uzbekistan for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems: Sarmich, Ingichka, Kuytosh, Yakhton, Chauli, Sherobod, Chorkesar, and Tebinbuloq. A PV system with 1 MW capacity, which required a total of 4926 m2 of project land, was considered. The renewable energy analysis software RETScreen, developed by Natural Resources Canada (NRC), was used to calculate energy production, greenhouse gas reduction, and financial factors of the PV systems in the selected study areas. The iron mine Tebinbuloq in Karakalpak showed the highest potential, with annual electricity production of approximately 1685 MWh, equating to a potential reduction of approximately 930 tons of greenhouse gases. The economic benefit of the PV system in this mine was $2.217 million USD net present value with a project payback period of approximately 13 years. The results of precision checks of satellite- and ground-based solar measurements showed high correlations; hence, satellite-based data can be applied for solar project assessments where solar monitoring meteorological stations are not available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Land Plot Morphology Resulting from the Construction of a Bypass: The Example of a Polish City
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2987; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102987 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 643
Abstract
Road development projects are expansive and they exert a significant impact on the environment, landscape, spatial planning, and land management. In this study, we developed a research hypothesis that analysis of the shape factor of plots can be the basis for determining the [...] Read more.
Road development projects are expansive and they exert a significant impact on the environment, landscape, spatial planning, and land management. In this study, we developed a research hypothesis that analysis of the shape factor of plots can be the basis for determining the factors affecting the level of urbanization. This article evaluates changes in the spatial structure of plots resulting from the construction of a city bypass. The proposed method is based on a morphological analysis of plots located in the vicinity of the motorway lane. In the next steps, lines located at a distance of 400 m and 800 m from the beltway were determined and then shape indicators were determined for the plots cut by these lines. The analysis confirmed the change in the shape of the plots, along with the distance from the beltway. Plots located further from the bypass of the city had smaller areas and the aspect ratio was similar for plots intended for development. The proposed method allows us to identify spatial effects occurring after entering a suburban road. The method should be used at the design stage of the beltway and not at the stage of impact assessment after its construction. This will allow for maintenance of a coherent spatial policy at the interface between urban and rural areas. At the same time, the study of changes in the morphology of plots allows earlier identification of urban processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of R&D and the Control–Ownership Wedge on Firm Value: Evidence from Korean Chaebol Firms
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2986; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102986 - 26 May 2019
Viewed by 668
Abstract
Cases have been reported in which research and development (R&D) investment, the core activity for a firm’s sustainable growth, deteriorate rather than increase firm value. This study illuminates the cause of such cases in terms of the control–ownership wedge. How expensed and capitalized [...] Read more.
Cases have been reported in which research and development (R&D) investment, the core activity for a firm’s sustainable growth, deteriorate rather than increase firm value. This study illuminates the cause of such cases in terms of the control–ownership wedge. How expensed and capitalized R&D affect firm value are examined separately for cases in which the wedge is high and low. In an analysis of Korean chaebol firms, when the wedge is high, significant negative relationships appear between expensed R&D and firm value, while no significant relationship appears between capitalized R&D and firm value. When the wedge is low, expensed R&D does not show any significant relationship with firm value, while capitalized R&D shows significant positive relationships with firm value. This confirms, first, that in cases of high wedge, suboptimal R&D decisions are made, in which the manager can discretionally determine investment targets or projects. Second, this indicates that even in cases of low wedge, the positive relationship between R&D and firm value does not appear in expensed R&D. This study suggests that investors and regulatory authorities should pay close attention to the initial stage of R&D in firms with high control–ownership wedges for sustainable economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Credit Line Models for Supply Chain Enterprises with Channel Background and Soft Information
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2985; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102985 - 25 May 2019
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Credit lines have been widely adopted by banks to grant credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, there often exists a gap between the credit lines granted by banks and the actual funding needs of SMEs. In addition, existing credit line models [...] Read more.
Credit lines have been widely adopted by banks to grant credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, there often exists a gap between the credit lines granted by banks and the actual funding needs of SMEs. In addition, existing credit line models treat each SME as a stand-alone entity instead of considering it within its supply chain system. But an SME’s supply chain relations have a significant impact on its credit-worthiness. To offer banks a holistic assessment, this paper first constructs a base credit line model for SMEs by considering their supply chain background. Next, by accounting for the unique advantage of soft information processing in a supply chain context, we put forward an extended credit line model for supply chain enterprises with soft information. The base and extended credit line models proposed in this paper aim to reduce information asymmetry between banks and SMEs via the core enterprise in the supply chain, thereby helping banks to secure a sustainable source of profit at a lower risk level and SMEs to obtain more credit to support their sustainable growth. A case study is furnished to illustrate how the proposed models can be applied in practice and an empirical analysis further verifies their validity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Millennials’ Concept of Sustainability in the Food Sector
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2984; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102984 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1529
Abstract
The aim of this study is to analyze the perception of the meaning of sustainability in the food sector. A sample of 268 University students belonging to the Millennial generation was identified and a survey was carried out to assess the interaction between [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to analyze the perception of the meaning of sustainability in the food sector. A sample of 268 University students belonging to the Millennial generation was identified and a survey was carried out to assess the interaction between this kind of Millennials and food sustainability. Collected data were explored with descriptive statistics, followed by multivariate statistical techniques to get an integrated vision of relationships among the variables. Outcomes evidence four groups of Millennials with specific peculiarities, i.e., “Socio-Nature Sensitives”, characterized by a high level of attention for the socio-economic dimension and sustainable ways of food production; “Info-Supporter”, very sensitive to labeling and warranty systems; “Proactive-Oriented”, interested in innovative activities; “Indifferent Millennials”, assigning the issue in general a low level of importance. Results provide useful information and some contribution to public institutions and private stakeholders so as to implement new rules and new tools in the food sector, so as to reach the target of reducing waste and pollution. Substantial literature on interaction between Millennials and sustainability in the food sector has not yet been developed; the aim of this pioneer study is to offer some contribution to the debate among stakeholders on driving choices towards new consumption rules and production patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumption, Consumer Behaviour and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Forecasting the Short-Term Electric Load Considering the Influence of Air Pollution Prevention and Control Policy via a Hybrid Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2983; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102983 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 685
Abstract
Since 2013, a series of air pollution prevention and control (APPC) measures have been promulgated in China for reducing the level of air pollution, which can affect regional short-term electricity power demand by changing the behavior of power users electricity consumption. This paper [...] Read more.
Since 2013, a series of air pollution prevention and control (APPC) measures have been promulgated in China for reducing the level of air pollution, which can affect regional short-term electricity power demand by changing the behavior of power users electricity consumption. This paper analyzes the policy system of the APPC measures and its impact on regional short-term electricity demand, and determines the regional short-term load impact factors considering the impact of APPC measures. On this basis, this paper proposes a similar day selection method based on the best and worst method and grey relational analysis (BWM-GRA) in order to construct the training sample set, which considers the difference in the influence degree of characteristic indicators on daily power load. Further, a short-term load forecasting method based on least squares support vector machine (LSSVM) optimized by salp swarm algorithm (SSA) is developed. By forecasting the load of a city affected by air pollution in Northern China, and comparing the results with several selected models, it reveals that the impact of APPC measures on regional short-term load is significant. Moreover, by considering the influence of APPC measures and avoiding the subjectivity of model parameter settings, the proposed load forecasting model can improve the accuracy of, and provide an effective tool for short-term load forecasting. Finally, some limitations of this paper are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Environmental Regulation and Technological Innovation in the Employment of Manufacturing Enterprises: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2982; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102982 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
With the increasingly severe emission reduction pressures, it is an inevitable choice for China to improve the intensity of environmental regulation. At the same time, the impact of technological innovation on enterprise employment may lead to some new changes under the environmental regulation [...] Read more.
With the increasingly severe emission reduction pressures, it is an inevitable choice for China to improve the intensity of environmental regulation. At the same time, the impact of technological innovation on enterprise employment may lead to some new changes under the environmental regulation constraints. However, existing studies have not included environmental regulation into the theoretical framework of technological innovation and enterprise employment, nor has the influencing mechanism of environmental regulation and technological innovation in the employment of manufacturing enterprises been explored. This paper uses the panel data of listed manufacturing companies in the A-share market of Shanghai and Shenzhen from 2011 to 2017 to examine the impact of environmental regulation and technological innovation on the employment of manufacturing enterprises, and explore their influence mechanisms in a theoretical framework based the moderating effect model. The findings demonstrate the following: First, the technological innovation has a positive creative effect on enterprise employment. Second, the impact of environmental regulation on enterprise employment is significantly positive. Third, environmental regulation has a negative moderating effect on the impact of technological innovation on enterprise employment. Finally, the impacts of both environmental regulation and technological innovation on the employment of manufacturing enterprises are heterogeneous across enterprises due to differences in ownership structure, the degree of pollution, and technical density. Therefore, faced with the objective reality that environmental carrying capacity has reached or approached the upper limit, China needs to formulate a differentiated and diversified technological innovation system and environmental protection policy, improve the environmental innovation level of manufacturing enterprises, and form a green development model, which is of great significance for achieving high-quality development and stable employment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Innovation and the Effect of Employment on Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change Scepticism at Universities: A Global Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2981; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102981 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2253
Abstract
Scepticism about climate change is still a popular trend, despite the existence of scientific evidence that this phenomenon is taking place, and that it is influencing the lives of millions of people around the world. The aim of this paper is to assess [...] Read more.
Scepticism about climate change is still a popular trend, despite the existence of scientific evidence that this phenomenon is taking place, and that it is influencing the lives of millions of people around the world. The aim of this paper is to assess the extent to which existing scepticism at the university level is found. The methodology consists of a survey undertaken on a sample of universities around the world, in the context of which attitudes and perceptions about climate change are identified. A total of 237 questionnaires were received from 51 countries around the world. The analysis consists basically of descriptive statistics and an investigation regarding trends on scepticism and the geographical location of the universities. The study concludes by outlining some of the presently seen scepticisms and suggests some ways to address them via curricular innovation and initiatives engaging students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of Water Footprint for Major Agricultural and Livestock Products in Korea
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2980; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102980 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
The Republic of Korea is the only country classified with severe water stress among the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. Additionally, the self-sufficiency rate of grain in Korea is 27%, which is 1/3 the average of OECD member [...] Read more.
The Republic of Korea is the only country classified with severe water stress among the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. Additionally, the self-sufficiency rate of grain in Korea is 27%, which is 1/3 the average of OECD member countries. Because food cannot be produced without water, demand-driven water management of agricultural and livestock products applying water footprints is needed for food security. For this, this study estimates the water footprints of 42 agricultural products and three livestock products. Based on the results, the water footprint of the vegetables grown in facility such as a greenhouse is 7.9 times larger per ton than the footprint of the vegetables cultivated in the open field. Furthermore, the water footprint per ton of beef is about 4.2 times the average water footprint per ton of vegetables grown in facility. Based on the water footprint data of 45 agricultural and livestock products, the footprint of total agricultural and livestock products in 2014 is approximately 27.9% of the total domestic water resources consumed in Korea. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Nitrogen Application Rates of One-Time Root Zone Fertilization and the Effect of Reducing Nitrogen Application on Summer Maize
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2979; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102979 - 25 May 2019
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Improvement in fertilization methods, including the optimal matching of nutrient supply and root nutrient absorption by applying nitrogen (N) in the root zone of crop, is necessary to improve N use efficiency (NUE), maintain high stable yield cultivation of maize, and contribute toward [...] Read more.
Improvement in fertilization methods, including the optimal matching of nutrient supply and root nutrient absorption by applying nitrogen (N) in the root zone of crop, is necessary to improve N use efficiency (NUE), maintain high stable yield cultivation of maize, and contribute toward future environmental protection. The current practice of split surface broadcasting (SSB) of N is labor-intensive and the surface broadcasting causes a large amount of N to leach into the environment, yet it does not substantially increase maize yield. Root zone fertilization (RZF) has been identified as an efficient way to solve such problems. However, information on the appropriate amount of N fertilizer under RZF for summer maize remains limited. Therefore, in this study, a two-year consecutive field experiment was conducted during 2015–2016 in Anhui province, China, to investigate the effect of N rate and application method on grain yield, nutrient uptake, and NUE of summer maize. The method chosen is not only important to increase grain yield but also critical for reducing N rate and potential loss in the maize cropping system. The experiment comprised six N rates (90, 135, 180, 225, 270, and 360 kg N hm−2) and two N application methods in both 2015 and 2016. The two N application methods included SSB and one-time RZF. Results showed that grain yield of summer maize increased first and then decreased with the increase of N rate; however, when the N rate increased to 270 kg hm−2, the grain yield increased slowly or even decreased. Compared with SSB, RZF increased grain yield by 4%, and the effect of N on grain yield was mainly related to the number of kernels per ear and 1000-seed weight. One-time RZF increased N apparent recovery efficiency by 18% (7.2 percentage points) compared with SSB and also improved the N agronomic efficiency, N physiological efficiency, and N partial factor productivity. In the comprehensive consideration of yield target, NUE, and soil N balance, the optimal N rate for summer maize in the vertisol soil of Anhui province was 180–225 kg hm−2 for one-time RZF, which reduced N fertilizer by 14% compared with the SSB. Overall, one-time RZF has great potential for green and sustainable agriculture, and thus fertilization machines are worthy of development and application in maize cropping systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Water-Saving Potential of Subsurface Drip Irrigation For Winter Wheat
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2978; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102978 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
Groundwater plays a major role in agro-hydrological processes in the North China Plain (NCP). The NCP is facing a water deficit, due to a rapid decline in the water table because of the double cropping system. A two crop (maize and wheat) rotation [...] Read more.
Groundwater plays a major role in agro-hydrological processes in the North China Plain (NCP). The NCP is facing a water deficit, due to a rapid decline in the water table because of the double cropping system. A two crop (maize and wheat) rotation is required to balance the food supply and demand, which leads to an imbalance between evapotranspiration (ET) and precipitation. Thus, there has been a decline of about 1.35 m yr−1 of groundwater (Luancheng Agroecosystem Experimental Station (LAES), NCP) during the last 10 years. Lysimeter experiments were conducted under different irrigation treatments (flood, surface drip, and subsurface drip) to account for ET in the selection of a suitable irrigation method. Subsurface drip irrigation reduced ET by 26% compared to flood irrigation, and 15% compared to surface drip irrigation, with significant grain yield and biomass formation due to decreased evaporation losses. Grain yield, yield components, and above ground biomass were similar in subsurface drip and flood irrigation. However, these biomass parameters were lower with surface drip irrigation. Furthermore, subsurface drip irrigation increased the crop water productivity (24.95%) and irrigation water productivity (19.59%) compared to flood irrigation. The subsurface irrigated plants showed an increase in net photosynthesis (~10%), higher intrinsic water use efficiency (~36%), lower transpiration rate (~22%), and saved 80 mm of water compared to flood irrigation. Our findings indicate that subsurface drip irrigation can be adopted in the NCP to increase water use efficiency, optimize grain yield, and minimize water loss in order to address scarcity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Livelihood Vulnerability of Rural Indigenous Households to Climate Changes in Central Nepal, Himalaya
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2977; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102977 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Climate change and related hazards affect the livelihoods of people and their vulnerability to shocks and stresses. Though research on the linkages between a changing climate and vulnerability has been increasing, only a few studies have examined the caste/ethnicity and gender dimensions of [...] Read more.
Climate change and related hazards affect the livelihoods of people and their vulnerability to shocks and stresses. Though research on the linkages between a changing climate and vulnerability has been increasing, only a few studies have examined the caste/ethnicity and gender dimensions of livelihood vulnerability. In this study, we attempt to explore how cultural and gender-related aspects influence livelihood vulnerability in indigenous farming mountain communities of the Nepal Himalaya in the context of climate change. We applied the Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) to estimate household (social group and gender-based) vulnerability in farming communities in the Melamchi River Valley, Nepal. The results identified female-headed families, and those belonging to disadvantaged social groups as more vulnerable and in need of being preferentially targeted by policy measures. Higher exposure to climatic extremes and related hazards, dependency on natural resources, lack of financial assets, and weak social networking were identified as components that determine overall vulnerability. The study also visualizes complex adaptation pathways and analyzes the influence of gender and ethnicity on the capacities of households and communities to adapt to climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Green Transportation and Logistics Performance: An Improved Composite Index
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2976; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102976 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 976
Abstract
This article constructs an environmental logistics performance index (ELPI) for assessing the overall performance in green transportation and logistics practices of 112 countries. The index is measured by logistics performance index (LPI), CO2 emissions and oil consumption from the transport sector, using [...] Read more.
This article constructs an environmental logistics performance index (ELPI) for assessing the overall performance in green transportation and logistics practices of 112 countries. The index is measured by logistics performance index (LPI), CO2 emissions and oil consumption from the transport sector, using a range-adjusted measure (RAM) of the data envelopment analysis (DEA). ELPI effectively reflects the tradeoff between logistics efficiency and environmental protection in transportation. This article analyzes the impact of income and region on ELPI scores and discusses those countries’ reduction potential in oil consumption intensity and carbon intensity. The main finding of the research work is that ELPI is strongly correlated with LPI, and countries with high performance in LPI generally perform well in ELPI. Similar to the characteristics of LPI, ELPI is also closely related to income and region. During our study period, high income countries performed best, while Sub-Saharan Africa countries performed worst. However, some exceptions such as Venezuela, RB and Benin, indicate that the level of development of logistics performance and green transportation can outperform or lag behind their income or region group peers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Deciphering the Spatial Structures of City Networks in the Economic Zone of the West Side of the Taiwan Strait through the Lens of Functional and Innovation Networks
by Yan Ma and Feng Xue
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2975; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102975 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
Globalization and the spread of information have made city networks more complex. The existing research on city network structures has usually focused on discussions of regional integration. With the development of interconnections among cities, however, the characterization of city network structures on a [...] Read more.
Globalization and the spread of information have made city networks more complex. The existing research on city network structures has usually focused on discussions of regional integration. With the development of interconnections among cities, however, the characterization of city network structures on a regional scale is limited in the ability to capture a network’s complexity. To improve this characterization, this study focused on network structures at both regional and local scales. Through the lens of function and innovation, we characterized the city network structure of the Economic Zone of the West Side of the Taiwan Strait through a social network analysis and a Fast Unfolding Community Detection algorithm. We found a significant imbalance in the innovation cooperation among cities in the region. When considering people flow, a multilevel spatial network structure had taken shape. Among cities with strong centrality, Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Whenzhou had a significant spillover effect, which meant the region was depolarizing. Quanzhou and Ganzhou had a significant siphon effect, which was unsustainable. Generally, urbanization in small and midsize cities was common. These findings provide support for government policy making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Research on the Choice Behavior of Taxis and Express Services Based on the SEM-Logit Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2974; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102974 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 666
Abstract
With the development of Internet technology, online car-hailing is booming in China, which has profoundly affected people’s travel structures. In order to seek the sustainable development of taxi and online car-hailing services from the perspective of passenger mode choice behavior, the mechanism of [...] Read more.
With the development of Internet technology, online car-hailing is booming in China, which has profoundly affected people’s travel structures. In order to seek the sustainable development of taxi and online car-hailing services from the perspective of passenger mode choice behavior, the mechanism of passengers’ decision-making procedures and their travel mode choice behaviors were analyzed. To study the influence of latent variable factors on passenger choice behavior, this paper firstly designed a questionnaire, and a structural equation model (SEM) was established for the preliminary study of the relationship between the latent variables and the behavioral intentions using the online survey data. Then, the latent variables were introduced into the Logit model, setting up the SEM-Logit model to explore the mode choice patterns between taxis and online car services. The results showed that the SEM-Logit model with the latent variables is better than a general Logit model in terms of the model precision and hit ratio. Meanwhile, after introducing the latent variables, it was found that convenience, comfort, and economy factors have a significant influence on the model, and the explanatory power of the model increases accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in Public Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Expansion in Ethiopia from 1987 to 2017: Characteristics, Spatial Patterns, and Driving Forces
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2973; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102973 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Rapid urban growth in major cities of a country poses challenges for sustainable development. Particularly in Africa, the process of rapid urbanization is little understood and research is mostly limited to single cities. Thus, this study provides a comprehensive comparative analysis of the [...] Read more.
Rapid urban growth in major cities of a country poses challenges for sustainable development. Particularly in Africa, the process of rapid urbanization is little understood and research is mostly limited to single cities. Thus, this study provides a comprehensive comparative analysis of the growth and spatial patterns of urban development in the three major cities of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa, Adama, and Hawassa) from 1987 to 2017. Also, the applicability of diffusion and coalescence theory on the evolution of these cities has been tested. Remote sensing and GIS technologies were combined with spatial metrics and morphological analysis was employed to undertake this study. The result revealed that all the studied cities experienced accelerated growth in the urbanized areas, but the cities with a larger initial urbanized size were associated with lower expansion rates. Differences in extent and direction of expansion in each city were mostly related to physical features, urban master plans, and policies, with an increase in the irregularity and dispersion of urban growth, representing strong evidence of urban sprawl. The spatiotemporal analysis confirmed that the urbanization processes of Addis Ababa and Adama were consistent and Hawassa city diverged from expectations based on diffusion and coalescence theory. In general, large cities with strong economic growth in a country fail to effectively control the scattered nature of urban growth, thus requiring aggressive policy intervention. The approach used in this study permits a deeper exploration of urban development patterns and the identification of priority areas for effective urban planning and management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Does Sustainability Score Impact Mutual Fund Performance?
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2972; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102972 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1166
Abstract
Given that sustainable investing constitutes a major force across global financial markets, in 2016 Morningstar began reporting Morningstar Sustainability scores. We used the 2016, 2017 and 2018 scores to study the effects of socially responsible investments (SRI) on European equity fund performance. Sustainability [...] Read more.
Given that sustainable investing constitutes a major force across global financial markets, in 2016 Morningstar began reporting Morningstar Sustainability scores. We used the 2016, 2017 and 2018 scores to study the effects of socially responsible investments (SRI) on European equity fund performance. Sustainability scores impacted positively on performance, which was consistent with the idea that the mutual funds invested in companies with better scores generate better risk-adjusted and not-risk adjusted performance. We also tested the relation on mutual fund flows and risk. The sustainability score in the previous year is significant on the flows, so higher-rated funds receive a larger volume of funds. In terms of risk, the level of sustainability is negatively related to the value at risk (VaR) of the fund, supporting that higher scored mutual funds offer better protection against extreme losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Finance and Investment Related to Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Towards a Moral Compass to Guide Sustainability Transformations in a High-End Climate Change World
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2971; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102971 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1533
Abstract
High-end climate change (HECC) raises unprecedented challenges for the transformation of society’s governance arrangements. In such potentially dangerous situation, these challenges have profound moral—rather than only scientific, technical, or managerial—implications. Unfortunately, despite the growing recognition of the necessity for morally-grounded, urgent social-ecological reconfigurations [...] Read more.
High-end climate change (HECC) raises unprecedented challenges for the transformation of society’s governance arrangements. In such potentially dangerous situation, these challenges have profound moral—rather than only scientific, technical, or managerial—implications. Unfortunately, despite the growing recognition of the necessity for morally-grounded, urgent social-ecological reconfigurations in order to sustainably navigate the uncertain landscape derived from HECC, explicit moral guidance to support the transformation of governance arrangements is still lacking. This work, through the metaphor of a moral compass, proposes a normative tool to support an integrated assessment processes in order to confront the moral challenges and dilemmas in governance and thus favour sustainable transformations under conditions of HECC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Justice)
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Open AccessArticle
An Efficient Burst Detection and Isolation Monitoring System for Water Distribution Networks Using Multivariate Statistical Techniques
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2970; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102970 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 755
Abstract
Detection and isolation of burst locations in water distribution networks (WDN) are challenging problems in urban management because burst events cause considerable economic, social, and environmental losses. In the present study, a novel monitoring and sensor placement approach is proposed for rapid and [...] Read more.
Detection and isolation of burst locations in water distribution networks (WDN) are challenging problems in urban management because burst events cause considerable economic, social, and environmental losses. In the present study, a novel monitoring and sensor placement approach is proposed for rapid and robust burst detection. Accordingly, a hybrid principal component analysis (PCA) and standardized exponential weighted moving average (EWMA) system is proposed for WDN monitoring and management. In addition, the optimal sensor configuration is obtained using PCA, k-means clustering, and a sensitivity analysis considering the diurnal patterns and the noises of pressure and flowrate data in the WDN. The proposed system is applied to a branched WDN, and the results are compared to those obtained with conventional monitoring systems. The results show that the proposed system detected the burst occurrence regardless of noise size with a detection rate of 93%. Compared to conventional systems, the isolation ratio improved by 10%, indicating that the bursts were isolated more accurately. In addition, the corresponding sensor configuration was 40% less expensive than the conventional systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Terroir in Transition: Environmental Change in the Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese and New England Oyster Sectors
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2969; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102969 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 646
Abstract
Even as the concept of terroir becomes more salient in diverse cultural and national contexts, climate-driven environmental change threatens to alter the ecologies that contribute to the distinctive terroir of place-based products. Yet few studies examine how producers of terroir products perceive and [...] Read more.
Even as the concept of terroir becomes more salient in diverse cultural and national contexts, climate-driven environmental change threatens to alter the ecologies that contribute to the distinctive terroir of place-based products. Yet few studies examine how producers of terroir products perceive and experience environmental change. Our comparative case study addresses this gap, as we examine ways that changing ecological conditions will influence the emergent terroir of Wisconsin artisanal cheese and New England oysters. Drawing on in-depth interviews and a survey, we describe the environmental and sociocultural elements that Wisconsin artisanal cheesemakers and New England oyster farmers identify as characteristic of the terroir and merroir (terroir’s maritime adaptation) of their products. We then compare cheesemakers’ and oyster farmers’ perceptions and experiences of climate change. We find that both groups perceive climate-related threats to the terroir and merroir of their products, though each group experienced these threats differently. We argue that the ongoing constitution of terroir—which has always reflected a tension between nature and culture—will be further complicated by changing ecologies. We suggest that a generative understanding of terroir that emphasizes terroir’s sociocultural dimensions may help artisanal cheesemakers and oyster farmers mitigate some climate-related threats to their products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Usage of Recycled Technical Textiles as Thermal Insulation and an Acoustic Absorber
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2968; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102968 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
The sound absorption coefficient is a commonly used parameter to characterize the acoustic properties of materials. The fire performance of construction products has to be evaluated on the basis of their reaction to fire performance. The evaluation of the reaction to fire performance [...] Read more.
The sound absorption coefficient is a commonly used parameter to characterize the acoustic properties of materials. The fire performance of construction products has to be evaluated on the basis of their reaction to fire performance. The evaluation of the reaction to fire performance for the flammable construction materials which are in Class E reaction to fire is based on the ignitability test and the thermal test using the radiant heat source. For this study, nine types of STERED® products, which were made from the recycled automotive technical textiles, were chosen in order to evaluate their ability for sound absorption and the reaction to fire. The fire performance was evaluated on the basis of the relative mass loss in the radiant heat source test; the ignitability in accordance with ISO 11925-2, the possible appearance of flame, duration of flame, and the glowing during the single flame source test. The sound absorption of nine products was rated on the basis of the sound absorption coefficient and the noise reduction coefficient. The measurement was performed using the transfer function method in accordance with ISO 10534-2. From the nine tested types of STERED® products, the product Senizol AT XX2 TL 60 had the lowest mass loss at thermal loads up to 700 °C and it fulfilled the conditions for Class E reaction to fire. This product had the highest noise reduction coefficient of 0.81 and a high absorption coefficient for frequencies ranging between 500 Hz and 2000 Hz. The STERED® product Senizol AT XX2 TL 60, as well as Senizol AT 22 TL 50, Senizol AT 40 TL 25, Senizol AT XX4 TL 50 and Senizol AT XX4 TL 10 with a sound absorption coefficient α of between 0.80 to 0.95 and corresponding NRCs from 0.66 to 0.81, these STERED® products can be classified according to ISO 11654 into the sound absorption classes A and B. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Materials)
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Open AccessReview
Engaging Employees with Good Sustainability: Key Performance Indicators for Dry Ports
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2967; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102967 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
Dry ports have the potential to enhance the sustainability of transport systems, yet their introduction requires major changes to the current logistics chain. Further, emphasising sustainability goals and continued employee engagement can be a challenge when developing or implementing organisational change management programs [...] Read more.
Dry ports have the potential to enhance the sustainability of transport systems, yet their introduction requires major changes to the current logistics chain. Further, emphasising sustainability goals and continued employee engagement can be a challenge when developing or implementing organisational change management programs in dry ports. Key considerations include governmental requirements and compliance, investor expectations, as well as employee engagement; these factors may be conflicting. The top-down management approach supported by strong leadership, participative approaches and constant communication assists in achieving successful change management. Sound selection of key performance indicators (KPIs) provides a set of metrics to track and aid the change process. They serve as a unifying link between top managements’ sustainability goals and employees’ engagement. The initial findings of our research confirm that both port and terminal operators have a gap in their understanding of the importance of sustainability goals and environmental goals. This will have a flow-on effect of port and terminal operators not driving the right messages to their staff in their organisational change management programs. Based on a critical literature review, it has been established what might qualify as good sustainability KPIs for dry ports. An example of a dry port at the Port of Somerton has been included. As every dry port has different requirements and constraints, it is important to develop KPIs together with stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dry Ports and Sustainable Futures)
Open AccessArticle
Relationships between Riparian Vegetation Pattern and the Hydraulic Characteristics of Upslope Runoff
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2966; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102966 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 637
Abstract
Riparian vegetation plays a vital role in inhibiting soil and water loss, but few studies have quantified the relationships between vegetation spatial pattern and the hydraulic characteristics of upslope runoff. This study investigated how hydraulic characteristics (e.g., runoff coefficient, flow regime, flow resistance, [...] Read more.
Riparian vegetation plays a vital role in inhibiting soil and water loss, but few studies have quantified the relationships between vegetation spatial pattern and the hydraulic characteristics of upslope runoff. This study investigated how hydraulic characteristics (e.g., runoff coefficient, flow regime, flow resistance, and flow shear stress of overland flow) responded to differences in vegetation cover (15% and 30%), slope gradient (5°, 10°, 15°, and 20°), and vegetation pattern in the riparian zone along the lower Yellow River, China, based on landscape pattern analysis and a runoff scouring experiment with flow rates of 9 and 15 L/min and an experimental plot size of 1 m × 3 m. We found that runoff generation on shallow slopes was moderated by increasing vegetation cover, but that this moderating effect decreased on steeper slopes. The regime of overland flow switched from laminar and subcritical on the 5° slope (Fr = 0.56–0.87) to laminar and critical on the 10°, 15°, and 20° slopes (Fr = 1.02–2.18). Flow resistance increased with vegetation cover and flow rate and decreased with slope gradients, and it was larger on shallow slopes with high vegetation cover. Flow shear stress had a range of 1.42–3.55 N m−2, and it increased with increasing slope gradient, vegetation cover, and flow rate. The hydraulic characteristics of upslope runoff, especially flow resistance, were significantly related to vegetation pattern at both the landscape and class levels. Flow resistance was negatively related to patch density, and positively related to perimeter–area fractal dimension and connectance index. The influencing mechanism of landscape patterns on soil erosion processes is dependent on the landscape scale, since the relationships between flow resistance and some landscape pattern indices (aggregation index, effective mesh size, and splitting index) were opposite at the landscape level compared to the class level. We conclude that fragmented vegetation distributions reduce flow resistance, and that riparian vegetation could be managed to inhibit slope erosion by increasing flow resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion and the Sustainable Management of the Landscape)
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