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Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 1 (January-1 2023) – 890 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Smart buildings conserve energy and create a responsive, comfortable, and productive indoor environment for users and occupants. As a crucial component of smart buildings, the smart building management system (SBMS) should provide a wide range of functions and bring about the intended benefits upon successful deployment. This paper identifies salient SBMS attributes and explores key factors influencing building professionals’ intention to use the system in commercial buildings. Our findings show that intelligent building operations and safety and recovery readiness are two key dimensions of the SBMS. Additionally, structural equation model results indicate that changing the conditions affects the building professionals’ intention to use the SBMS through habit, hedonic motivation, and effort expectancy. View this paper
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26 pages, 4267 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Ecological and Economic Aspects of the Construction Schedule with the Use of Metaheuristic Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence
by Janusz Kulejewski and Jerzy Rosłon
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010890 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5804
Abstract
Construction projects play a vital role in shaping the built environment and have a significant impact on the natural environment and economies around the world. The decisions made during the planning and execution stages of a project can have long-lasting implications for its [...] Read more.
Construction projects play a vital role in shaping the built environment and have a significant impact on the natural environment and economies around the world. The decisions made during the planning and execution stages of a project can have long-lasting implications for its environmental and economic performance. It is, therefore, essential to consider these factors carefully and make informed decisions that align with sustainable development goals. One way to achieve this is by using metaheuristic algorithms and artificial intelligence tools to optimize and reconcile sustainable development and economic parameters in construction project scheduling. By doing so, one can improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the construction process, while also contributing to the well-being of the communities in which these projects are located. In this article, authors propose a new ecological indicator that can be used to evaluate the sustainability of construction projects and provide a case study to illustrate its application. The authors’ findings and conclusions highlight the importance of using advanced analytical techniques to optimize the sustainability and economic performance of construction projects and suggest potential avenues for future research. Full article
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18 pages, 5225 KiB  
Article
SWCNTs/PEDOT: PSS Coated Cotton for Wearable Clothes and Supercapacitor Applications
by Nujud Mohammad Badawi, Khalid Mujasam Batoo, S. Ramesh, K. Ramesh and Ahamad Imran
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010889 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3209
Abstract
Herein, we report single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT)/poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT: PSS) loading on the transparency and conductivity of pure cotton and systematically studied using a four-probe stack made of copper (Cu) which showed a surface resistance of 0.08 Ω/cm. Moreover, the treated cotton [...] Read more.
Herein, we report single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT)/poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT: PSS) loading on the transparency and conductivity of pure cotton and systematically studied using a four-probe stack made of copper (Cu) which showed a surface resistance of 0.08 Ω/cm. Moreover, the treated cotton cloth retained its maximum resistance even after three months. Surface morphology was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and elemental structure analysis was performed by energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), while the structural analysis was performed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques, confirming that there is a good dispersion of SWCNTs/PEDOT: PSS in the cotton sample. The composite cotton/hydrogel polymer/composite cotton achieved a specific capacitance of 212.16 F/g at 50 mV/s. Thermal properties were also investigated using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scale calorimetry (DSC). The low surface resistance and thermal stability show that cotton fabric can be a promising candidate for smart wearable textiles and modern circuitry applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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21 pages, 906 KiB  
Article
The Mediating Effect of Herd Behavior and Brand Attitude towards the Impact of Spokesman Credibility, Source Fit, and Online Word-of-Mouth on Purchase Intention
by Bo-Chiuan Su, Li-Wei Wu, Hongxi Lin and Chieh-An Lin
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010888 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4745
Abstract
Product endorsement has become a common marketing method. Many companies hire a famous person to act as the spokesman for the product and brand. They want to use the celebrity’s fame and attractiveness to promote their products and brands. However, is every celebrity [...] Read more.
Product endorsement has become a common marketing method. Many companies hire a famous person to act as the spokesman for the product and brand. They want to use the celebrity’s fame and attractiveness to promote their products and brands. However, is every celebrity suitable to be the spokesman for a product? In addition, in the era of advanced technology, whether the comments on the Internet and the credibility of the spokesman affect consumers’ purchase intention through herd behavior. And whether the credibility of the spokesman and the degree of source fit (the degree of fit between the spokesman and the product and brand) affect consumers’ purchase intention through brand attitude and heard behavior. To our best knowledge, no studies in the research literature have explored the relationships between spokesman credibility, source fit, herd behavior, brand attitude, online word-of-mouth, and purchase intention, where herd behavior and brand attitude are mediating variables. The research questionnaire was designed and distributed using an online questionnaire format, and the distribution period was from 6 April 2022, to 12 April 2022. In this study, a total of 203 valid questionnaires were obtained. According to the results, both online word-of-mouth and spokesman credibility had a significantly positive impact on consumers’ herd behavior, which will significantly increase consumers’ purchase intention. The credibility of the spokesman also had a significantly positive impact on consumers’ brand attitudes and, therefore, will significantly increase consumers’ purchase intention. Theoretical and managerial implications are provided. Full article
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19 pages, 6390 KiB  
Article
Power Quality Enhancement of Grid-Connected Renewable Systems Using a Matrix-Pencil-Based Active Power Filter
by Khaled Chahine, Mohamad Tarnini, Nazih Moubayed and Abdallah El Ghaly
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010887 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2702
Abstract
Power electronic converters are used for integrating renewable energy sources such as wind and photovoltaic into the grid. This integration gives rise to many challenges in power systems, especially regarding power quality. Indeed, integrated systems generate a non-linear current full of harmonics, which [...] Read more.
Power electronic converters are used for integrating renewable energy sources such as wind and photovoltaic into the grid. This integration gives rise to many challenges in power systems, especially regarding power quality. Indeed, integrated systems generate a non-linear current full of harmonics, which degrades power quality. Active power filters are usually used to compensate for these harmonics at the point of common coupling. In the control of active power filters, harmonics need to be extracted from the non-linear current. In this paper, the matrix pencil method―a model-based technique for estimating parameters of exponentially damped or undamped sinusoids in noise―is proposed to extract the reference signal in shunt active power filter applications. The performance of the proposed matrix pencil method is studied for current harmonic compensation and power factor correction under different modulation schemes and two DC links: an external DC voltage source and a capacitor. Using a capacitor for the DC link requires not only including a proportional-plus-integral controller to maintain a constant capacitor voltage, but also accounting for the loss current in the formulation of the matrix pencil method. Compared with the instantaneous reactive power theory and synchronous reference frame, results obtained from simulated data using MATLAB/Simulink under different loading conditions show that the proposed method corrects the power factor and affords a lower source current total harmonic distortion and fast response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power System Challenges toward Renewable Energies’ Integration)
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13 pages, 501 KiB  
Article
Towards Innovation Performance of the Hospitality and Tourism Industry: Interplay among Business Ethics Diffusion, Service Innovation, and Knowledge-Sharing
by Hongzhou Yuan, Ming Su, Justyna Zywiolek, Joanna Rosak-Szyrocka, Asad Javed and Zahid Yousaf
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010886 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3576
Abstract
This paper examines the direct relationship between business ethics diffusion and innovation performance. This study also investigates the mediating role of service innovation and the moderating role of knowledge-sharing between business ethics diffusion and innovation performance. This is quantitative research, and cross-sectional data [...] Read more.
This paper examines the direct relationship between business ethics diffusion and innovation performance. This study also investigates the mediating role of service innovation and the moderating role of knowledge-sharing between business ethics diffusion and innovation performance. This is quantitative research, and cross-sectional data were collected from hotels and tourism firms through adapted scales. The results show that business ethics diffusion and innovation performance are directly linked. Service innovation acts as a mediator between business ethics diffusion and innovation performance. Findings also demonstrate that knowledge-sharing moderates significantly between business ethics diffusion and innovation performance. Service innovation performs a crucial role in enhancing the innovation abilities of the hospitality and tourism industry. The current study shows that knowledge-sharing enhances the effects of business ethics diffusion on innovation performance. The theoretical model enlightens the critical role of business ethics diffusion in promoting a high level of service innovation among individuals to boost innovation performance for the hospitality and tourism industry. Full article
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17 pages, 4844 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Tensile Characteristics of Layered Carbonaceous Slate Subject to Water–Rock Interaction and Weathering
by Erqiang Li, Yanqing Wei, Zhanyang Chen, Paul Archbold and Brian Mullarney
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010885 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1814
Abstract
The transverse isotropy of rock masses formed by sedimentation is a common stratum environment in engineering, and the physical–mechanical properties can degrade due to water–rock interaction (WRI) and natural weathering, which potentially lead to the instability or collapse of tunneling, slopes and mining. [...] Read more.
The transverse isotropy of rock masses formed by sedimentation is a common stratum environment in engineering, and the physical–mechanical properties can degrade due to water–rock interaction (WRI) and natural weathering, which potentially lead to the instability or collapse of tunneling, slopes and mining. Taking the carbonaceous slate of the Muzhailing tunnel as the research object, two types of specimens, which include oven-drying (instant drying in oven after fabrication) and natural air-drying (static weathering for 60 days after fabrication) were prepared, respectively, after which Brazilian tests were carried out and the tensile properties were analyzed under the two conditions. The experimental results showed that the two kinds of carbonaceous slate all show brittle failure, but the mechanical response such as failure displacement and peak load is obviously different. The tensile strength of the specimens is significantly all affected by the bedding, while the cleavage failure patterns of the two kinds are affected to different degrees. The softening coefficient of the natural air-drying specimen is 0.11–0.13, which implies that WRI and natural weathering play a vital role in the course of rock failure but have little influence on the transverse isotropy tensile property of bedding. Moreover, the mechanisms of specimen failure subject to WRI and 60 days’ weathering were explained by the SEM technique, which analyzed the micro-components and observes the process of specimen deterioration due to physicochemical reaction, the gradual development of cracks and erosion by weathering. Full article
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24 pages, 9830 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Common Ground of Sustainability and Resilience in the Building Sector: A Systematic Literature Review and Analysis of Building Rating Systems
by Licia Felicioni, Antonín Lupíšek and Jacopo Gaspari
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010884 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3238
Abstract
Over the last ten years, due to the increase in frequency and severity of climate change effects, resilience in buildings has become a growing topic in the current global discussion on climate change adaptation. Designing both sustainable and resilient constructions would help to [...] Read more.
Over the last ten years, due to the increase in frequency and severity of climate change effects, resilience in buildings has become a growing topic in the current global discussion on climate change adaptation. Designing both sustainable and resilient constructions would help to face such effects; however, sustainability and resilience in design have been mostly treated separately so far. Since sustainability has been considered more than resilience, paying deeper attention to the latter is indispensable to reducing building vulnerability. The purpose of this article is to examine the commonalities between the sustainability and resilience of buildings using two different approaches: (i) a systematic literature review, taking into consideration a 10-year period for selecting records, and (ii) an analysis of five green building rating systems and five resilience rating systems and guidelines selected according to their popularity and number of certified buildings. There is an overlap in some indicators between the two domains at the building level, as shown by the results from both paths. These aspects could assist in considering sustainability and resilience from the very beginning of the design process. This will ensure that buildings may be designed more effectively by considering and enhancing the synergies between the two domains. This paper targets potential stakeholders who may be interested in including such an integrated implementation in their designs. Full article
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17 pages, 4216 KiB  
Article
Modeling and Complex Characteristics of Urban Subway Co-Opetition Network: A Case Study of Wuhan
by Yilei Pan, Mengying Chang, Shumin Feng and Dongsheng Hao
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 883; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010883 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
In this study, to explore the co-opetition (competition–cooperation) relationship between urban subway lines, we constructed three directed weighted subway models of a competition network, cooperation network, and co-opetition network based on the Space R model of a complex network. Taking Wuhan, China, as [...] Read more.
In this study, to explore the co-opetition (competition–cooperation) relationship between urban subway lines, we constructed three directed weighted subway models of a competition network, cooperation network, and co-opetition network based on the Space R model of a complex network. Taking Wuhan, China, as the research area, we established a Wuhan subway co-opetition network and analyzed the network’s complex characteristics. Through the analysis, we found that the competition network, cooperation network, and co-opetition network are all scale-free networks that present the characteristics of a high-clustering and short-distance small-world network. The co-opetition relationship between subway lines was mostly of a conventional type (55.56%) and unrelated type (41.67%), with only cooperative-dominant types found among the conventional types. The co-opetition effect between lines in the long-term network increased from 7.616 to 15.17, and the relationship strength of the competition and cooperation between lines increased significantly. The competition effect deflection angle of all subway lines in the network was found to be smaller than the cooperation effect declination angle. Additionally, all lines had a significant role in cooperation within the network, and cooperation played a dominant role in the co-opetition relationship. Full article
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10 pages, 1516 KiB  
Article
Influence of Rock Structure on Migration of Radioactive Colloids from an Underground Repository of High-Level Radioactive Waste
by Victor I. Malkovsky, Vladislav A. Petrov, Sergey V. Yudintsev, Michael I. Ojovan and Valeri V. Poluektov
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010882 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1562
Abstract
Studies of leaching of vitrified simulated high-level radioactive waste (HLW) evidence that most of actinides or their simulators enter leaching water in a colloidal form. In this paper, we consider a mechanism of colloid-facilitated migration of radionuclides from an underground repository of HLW [...] Read more.
Studies of leaching of vitrified simulated high-level radioactive waste (HLW) evidence that most of actinides or their simulators enter leaching water in a colloidal form. In this paper, we consider a mechanism of colloid-facilitated migration of radionuclides from an underground repository of HLW located at a depth of a few hundreds of meters in fractured crystalline rocks. The comparison between data of field and laboratory measurements showed that the bulk permeability of the rock massif in field tests is much greater than the permeability of rock samples in laboratory experiments due to an influence of a network of fractures in the rock massif. Our theoretical analysis presents evidence that this difference can take place even in a case when the network is not continuous, and the fractures are isolated with each other through a porous low-permeable matrix of the rock. Results of modelling revealed a possibility of mechanical retention of radionuclide-bearing colloid particles in the frame of rock during their underground migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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23 pages, 2956 KiB  
Article
Modeling and Simulation of Shared Electric Automated and Connected Mobility Systems with Autonomous Repositioning: Performance Evaluation and Deployment
by Taha Benarbia, Kyandoghere Kyamakya, Fadi Al Machot and Witesyavwirwa Vianney Kambale
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010881 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2193
Abstract
The boom seen in artificial intelligence in recent years has led to a revolution in the automotive industry. Numerous automakers around the world, such as Tesla, Toyota, Honda, and BMW, have achieved giant strides in the development of e-autonomous vehicles. Consequently, shared electric [...] Read more.
The boom seen in artificial intelligence in recent years has led to a revolution in the automotive industry. Numerous automakers around the world, such as Tesla, Toyota, Honda, and BMW, have achieved giant strides in the development of e-autonomous vehicles. Consequently, shared electric automated vehicle mobility (SEAVM) systems, which are a crucial part of future innovative transportation solutions, have attracted significant attention from the research community, particularly from a design perspective. However, the flexibility of shared automated mobility systems may lead to a self-operating technology issue (unequal distribution of vehicles), since users in these systems can pick up and drop off electric vehicles wherever they like. With this in mind, this paper addressed the issues of autonomous repositioning and the assignment of shared autonomous electric vehicle systems to balance a system’s network and fulfill its demand. Modeling, analysis and assessment of the system’s performance were carried out using stochastic Petri nets formalism, which included determining the average time areas were empty/congested and the number of unserved consumers, and estimating the redistribution service launch moment. Furthermore, many simulation scenarios were analyzed, including repositioning and without repositioning scenarios, in order to evaluate the efficiency of the model and to show the potential of using Petri nets as a probabilistic formalism approach for the modeling of e-automated mobility systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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32 pages, 5619 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Systemic Risk Scenarios and Stabilization Effect of Monetary Policy under the COVID-19 Shock and Pharmaceutical Economic Recession
by Hao Dong, Yingrong Zheng and Na Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010880 - 3 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2495
Abstract
The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) will cause turbulence in the pharmaceutical market and the stagnation of market liquidity, leading to a deep recession in the pharmaceutical economy. After the COVID-19 outbreak, the pharmaceutical economic recession and the rising pharmaceutical financial crisis caused by [...] Read more.
The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) will cause turbulence in the pharmaceutical market and the stagnation of market liquidity, leading to a deep recession in the pharmaceutical economy. After the COVID-19 outbreak, the pharmaceutical economic recession and the rising pharmaceutical financial crisis caused by the closure and control of the COVID-19 outbreak in China were important reasons for the accumulation of systemic financial risks in China. To realize the pharmaceutical economy and financial stability, this paper studies the weakening mechanism of the stabilization effect in systemic risk scenarios and analyzes how the evolution of systemic risk under the COVID-19 shock affects the stabilization effect of monetary policy. Under the COVID-19 shock, in the stage of falling China Financial Stress Index (CFSI), the systemic risk is relatively low, and the impact of traditional policy on macroeconomic stability is more significant; in the rising stage of CFSI, the systemic risk is relatively high, and the impact of traditional policy on macroeconomic stability is limited. This paper develops a Time-Varying Modified CRITIC weighting method and constructs a Time-Varying CFSI. This paper identifies systemic risk scenarios under the COVID-19 shock based on the Markov-Switching Mean Heteroskedastic Vector Auto-Regressive (MSMH-VAR) model and evaluates the stabilizing effects of monetary policy in different economic and financial regional systems (normal times and systemic risk scenarios). The results show that in normal times, loose monetary policy increases price levels, and tight monetary policy reduces price levels with a time lag. In systemic risk scenarios under the COVID-19 shock, the easing effect of policy on output growth is relatively small, and tighter policy increases output growth and prices in the short run and increases volatility in output growth and price levels in the long run. That is, under the COVID-19 shock in systemic risk scenarios, it is difficult to achieve stable growth and stable prices with monetary policy, and the stabilization effect is weakened. This paper focuses on the relationship between systemic risks, monetary policy, and output stability under the COVID-19 shock, analyzes the weakening of stabilization effects after the crisis, and expands the theoretical path of monetary policy stabilization and enriches the research scope of the new framework. Full article
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22 pages, 1977 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Sustainable Development of Macau, Based on the BP Neural Network
by Yue Huang, Youping Teng and Shuai Yang
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010879 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3196
Abstract
(1) Background: the rapid development of cities and the process of industrialization has improved the level of economic development for all humanity, accompanied by a series of problems, such as the waste of ecological resources and the environmental destruction. Macau has long been [...] Read more.
(1) Background: the rapid development of cities and the process of industrialization has improved the level of economic development for all humanity, accompanied by a series of problems, such as the waste of ecological resources and the environmental destruction. Macau has long been one of the regions with the most active economic activities. However, the phenomenon of economic recession, unreasonable land use, and frequent flood disasters have appeared in the past few decades, which violate the concept of sustainable development; (2) Methods: this paper uses the BP neural network model to evaluate the sustainable development of Macau; (3) Results: the weight ranking of sustainable development is: economic > social > ecological environment. A correlation analysis shows that ecology and economy have a significant negative correlation; (4) Conclusions: In Macau, economic growth is given priority while social and ecological environment development lags behind. Macau has problems, such as a unitary economic structure and a high population density. This paper advocates that investment in ecological protection should be increased, environmental resources should be optimized and saved, and the concept of sustainable development should be strengthened in the application of Macau’s urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospective Pathways to Architectural and Urban Sustainability)
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23 pages, 4718 KiB  
Article
Research on Coordination in a Dual-Channel Green Supply Chain under Live Streaming Mode
by Tianwen Chen, Ronghu Zhou, Changqing Liu and Xiang Xu
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 878; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010878 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
In this paper, we study the coordination issue in a dual-channel green supply chain with one manufacturer and one retailer. The demand in the traditional channel is assumed to be dependent on retail price, sales effort and green degree. Due to the characteristic [...] Read more.
In this paper, we study the coordination issue in a dual-channel green supply chain with one manufacturer and one retailer. The demand in the traditional channel is assumed to be dependent on retail price, sales effort and green degree. Due to the characteristic of live broadcast selling, the demand in the direct channel is assumed to be dependent on price and discount. On the basis of analyzing price, sales effort and green degree strategies in the supply chain under the centralized model, two decentralized models and two coordination models are presented. Moreover, we prove the feasibility of sharing the R&D costs of the green degree and sales effort costs of the advertisement (CS-GS) contract through bargaining problems achieving a win-win situation, but the revenue sharing and wholesale price (RSC) contract commonly used cannot efficiently coordinate the supply chain. Finally, numerical analysis is given to show the impacts of coordination contracts on the supply chain’s performance as well as the impacts of parameters on profits and decisions in the four models. It reveals that the CS-GS contract can not only help to improve the green degree and the price of the product, but also improve the profitability of all supply chain members. Full article
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16 pages, 1853 KiB  
Article
Facilitating Circular Economy Strategies Using Digital Construction Tools: Framework Development
by Kebir Mohammed Jemal, Marzhan Kabzhassarova, Ramazan Shaimkhanov, Dinara Dikhanbayeva, Ali Turkyilmaz, Serdar Durdyev and Ferhat Karaca
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010877 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3624
Abstract
The construction sector has undergone several transformations to address adverse environmental, economic, and social impacts. The concept of the circular economy (CE) has transcended into this domain to solve the needs of construction amid resource constraints. Furthermore, advanced digital tools are being implemented [...] Read more.
The construction sector has undergone several transformations to address adverse environmental, economic, and social impacts. The concept of the circular economy (CE) has transcended into this domain to solve the needs of construction amid resource constraints. Furthermore, advanced digital tools are being implemented across industries owing to the boost given by the fourth industrial revolution. This paper aims to develop a framework that investigates the effect of digital tools on CE implementation in the construction sector. The study is based on a three-step approach, where first, an initial framework design based on a systematic literature review was conducted. This is followed by framework optimization using semistructured interviews with experts and validation through a case study. This study resulted in the development of a new framework, which aims to investigate how advanced digital tools can be used in the construction sector to enhance CE implementation. The contribution of the present study is two-fold: (1) the integration (addressing existing research gap) of CE and digitalization concepts in the construction sector; (2) an investigation into the critical barriers, offering insights for construction practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Sustainable Built Environment: Trending Methods and Practices)
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19 pages, 1444 KiB  
Review
Nano-Microbial Remediation of Polluted Soil: A Brief Insight
by Shiva Aliyari Rad, Khatereh Nobaharan, Neda Pashapoor, Janhvi Pandey, Zahra Dehghanian, Venkatramanan Senapathi, Tatiana Minkina, Wenjie Ren, Vishnu D. Rajput and Behnam Asgari Lajayer
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010876 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3915
Abstract
The pollution of soil by heavy metals and organic pollutants has become a significant issue in recent decades. For the last few years, nanobiotechnology has been used to bio-remediate or reclaim soil contaminated with organic and inorganic pollutants. The removal of pollutants from [...] Read more.
The pollution of soil by heavy metals and organic pollutants has become a significant issue in recent decades. For the last few years, nanobiotechnology has been used to bio-remediate or reclaim soil contaminated with organic and inorganic pollutants. The removal of pollutants from industrial wastes is a major challenge. The utilization of nanomaterials is gaining popularity, which might be accredited to their enhanced physical, chemical, and mechanical qualities. The development of advanced nanobiotechnological techniques involving the use of nanomaterials for the reclamation of polluted soils has indicated promising results and future hope for sustainable agriculture. By manufacturing environment-friendly nanomaterials, the industrial expenditure on decreasing the load of pollution might be reduced. A potential emerging domain of nanotechnology for eco-friendly production and cost reduction is “green biotechnology”, alongside the utilization of microorganisms in nanoparticle synthesis. Full article
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18 pages, 5877 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Grafting on Morphological, Physiological and Molecular Changes Induced by Drought Stress in Cucumber
by Ömer Faruk Coşkun
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010875 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2520
Abstract
Drought is one of the most important abiotic stress factors affecting crop yields and qualities worldwide. One drought-sensitive plant is the cucumber, which has a high transpiration rate. Grafting is recognized as a promising approach to increasing tolerance to abiotic stresses in cucumber. [...] Read more.
Drought is one of the most important abiotic stress factors affecting crop yields and qualities worldwide. One drought-sensitive plant is the cucumber, which has a high transpiration rate. Grafting is recognized as a promising approach to increasing tolerance to abiotic stresses in cucumber. In this study, it is aimed to determine the rootstock that will prevent negative changes in some growth, physiological and genetic parameters of cucumber under drought stress and to determine the mechanism of the system. In drought stress conditions, leaf number values were found to be 6 on average in non-grafted plants and between 6–13.16 in grafted plants. Average leaf fresh weight values (7.56–9.84 g) obtained from grafted plants were higher than non-grafted plants (5.7 g). Leaf chlorophyll content (SPAD) values were found to be between 24.43 in non-grafted plants and 37.83–55.36 in grafted plants under stress conditions. Malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration values also decreased from 5.66 to 3.23–4.36 in grafted plants. It was determined that the genomic template stability (GTS) rate was 64.1% in the non-grafted treatment group. DNA polymorphisms detected by ISSR (inter simple sequence repeat) can be used as a biomarker system for the detection of genotoxic effects of abiotic stresses, such as drought. These findings suggest that grafting with drought-resistant rootstocks may improve drought tolerance in drought-sensitive cucumber genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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15 pages, 3833 KiB  
Article
The Removal of Tetracycline from Aqueous Solutions Using Peanut Shell Biochars Prepared at Different Pyrolysis Temperatures
by Zhichao Shi, Aowen Ma, Yuanhang Chen, Menghan Zhang, Yin Zhang, Na Zhou, Shisuo Fan and Yi Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010874 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2038
Abstract
The pyrolysis temperature strongly affects the properties of the peanut shell biochar, and influences its adsorption behavior and mechanisms for contaminant removal in aqueous solutions. In this study, peanut shells were pyrolyzed at 400 °C and 700 °C to prepare two biochars (PSBC400 [...] Read more.
The pyrolysis temperature strongly affects the properties of the peanut shell biochar, and influences its adsorption behavior and mechanisms for contaminant removal in aqueous solutions. In this study, peanut shells were pyrolyzed at 400 °C and 700 °C to prepare two biochars (PSBC400 and PSBC700), which were then characterized using scanning electron microscopy/X-ray energy spectrum analysis, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller, elemental analysis, X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The adsorption behavior of typical tetracycline (TC) onto the biochars was investigated, and the potential adsorption mechanisms explored. The results show that compared with PSBC400, PSBC700 has a larger specific surface area and pore volume and contains higher levels of carbon and ash, but shows lower O, N, and H content. The hydrophilicity and polarity of PSBC700 is lower, but its aromaticity is higher. Furthermore, the mineral content of PSBC400 is higher than for PSBC700. The functional groups differ between PSBC400 and PSBC700, especially those containing C and O. The Elovich and two-compartment adsorption kinetic models are a good fit to the TC adsorption processes on both biochars, but the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model provides better results. The theoretical maximum adsorption capacities of TC onto PSBC700 and PSBC400 are 33.4346 mg·g−1 and 26.4185 mg·g−1, respectively. The main adsorption mechanisms of TC onto PSBC400 are hydrogen bonding and complexation, and are closely related to the functional groups and minerals found in PSBC400. In contrast, the main adsorption mechanisms of TC onto PSBC700 are pore filling and the π–π interaction, and are mainly determined by the surface area and graphited carbon structure of PSBC700. In summary, effective biochar can be manufactured from peanut shell biomass and can be used to remove TC from aqueous solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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22 pages, 1832 KiB  
Article
Entrepreneurial Potential and Agribusiness Desirability among Youths in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
by Guy Simbeko, Paul-Martin Dontsop Nguezet, Haruna Sekabira, Mastewal Yami, Serge Amato Masirika, Krishan Bheenick, Deogratias Bugandwa, Dieu-Merci Akonkwa Nyamuhirwa, Jacob Mignouna, Zoumana Bamba and Victor Manyong
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010873 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3966
Abstract
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector remains for youth a key pillar for income creation. However, few are attracted by agribusiness despite stakeholders’ efforts toward engaging youth in agriculture. Therefore, this study examines the relationship between entrepreneurial [...] Read more.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector remains for youth a key pillar for income creation. However, few are attracted by agribusiness despite stakeholders’ efforts toward engaging youth in agriculture. Therefore, this study examines the relationship between entrepreneurial potential characteristics and youth desirability to start an enterprise in agriculture among 514 young people in Eastern DRC. This study revealed that youth in South Kivu have different entrepreneurship potential features and agribusiness desirability levels according to their gender and living area. Hence, the youth’s agribusiness desirability is motivated by an awareness of emerging agripreneurial activities, land ownership, parent involvement in farming activities as a role model, perceived agribusiness as an employment source, management-organizing and opportunistic competencies, market analysis, negotiating, and planning skills. Therefore, efforts to attract youth into agribusiness should focus on the use of media, the creation of awareness of available agribusiness initiatives in their area, and the setup of land policy. This is in addition to putting in place capacity-building programs on entrepreneurial and business skills through incubators, and the formalization of youth agribusiness groups that foster capitalizing experiences between new and accelerated agripreneurial enterprises, with the support of parents and financial institutions, focusing on gender sensitivity, in both rural and urban areas. Full article
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17 pages, 1534 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Intentions to Use Digital Mental Healthcare Content among University Students, Faculty, and Staff: Motivation, Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and Parasocial Interaction with AI Chatbot
by Daniel Y. Park and Hyungsook Kim
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010872 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 6472
Abstract
Depression is a worldwide health issue to which various physical, psychological, and social health problems are attributable. To address the issue through the promotion of digital mental healthcare content use, this study examines factors influencing people’s intentions to use the content, guided by [...] Read more.
Depression is a worldwide health issue to which various physical, psychological, and social health problems are attributable. To address the issue through the promotion of digital mental healthcare content use, this study examines factors influencing people’s intentions to use the content, guided by the technology acceptance model and uses and gratifications theory. A total of 278 students and faculty/staff members at a Korean university tried using a digital mental healthcare content (e.g., artificial intelligence chatbot content) called MyMentalPocket and completed a survey questionnaire associated with their perceptions of the content. Participants’ depression levels, perceived usefulness, and parasocial interactions emerged as significant and positive factors influencing people’s intentions to use MyMentalPocket. Female gender, younger age, and specific motives for depression-related digital technology use (i.e., communication and emotional support, information- and guidance-seeking, and habitual entertainment-seeking motives) emerged as significant and positive factors influencing parasocial interactions. Parasocial interactions and perceived ease of use emerged as significant and positive factors influencing perceived usefulness. The findings from this study imply the utility of AI chatbots as a way to help people, especially females and younger people with depression and interpersonal difficulties, to utilize and benefit from digital mental healthcare content for depression management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health, Well-Being and Sustainability)
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20 pages, 980 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Clothing E-Store Image on Intention Based on Search and Purchase Phases: From the Perspective of Sustainable Marketing
by Liyuan Jiang, Quanxi Li and Xiaoding Wu
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010871 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3785
Abstract
With the continuous emergence of global warming and excessive waste of resources, especially in the clothing industry, sustainable clothing has become a fast-moving consumer goods trend. As a necessity of life, clothing often sensitively reflects the fashion, the characteristics of the times and, [...] Read more.
With the continuous emergence of global warming and excessive waste of resources, especially in the clothing industry, sustainable clothing has become a fast-moving consumer goods trend. As a necessity of life, clothing often sensitively reflects the fashion, the characteristics of the times and, for young people, their lifestyle. Intelligent, cultural and sustainable clothing has become the mainstream development trend of the clothing industry. Based on the theory of reasoned action, this research takes online clothing stores as the research object and constructs the effect model between e-store image, consumer attitude and intention, and verifies the impact of e-store image on consumers’ intention in the two important stages of information search and purchase. By distributing online questionnaires to consumers of online clothing stores, 823 questionnaires were finally effectively recovered. The hypothesis was verified using a multi-statistical analysis and structural equation model. The findings showed that for young consumers, in the information search stage, the three dimensions of e-store image, which are information, atmosphere and convenience, positively affect consumers’ search intention. Meanwhile, in the purchase stage, the three dimensions of e-store image, which are enjoyment, uncertainty and service, have a significant impact on consumers’ purchase intention. Particularly, consumer attitude plays a mediating role between different dimensions and intentions. According to the constructed consumer attitude model, we should propose these sustainable marketing suggestions for online clothing stores: First of all, online clothing store operators should improve the atmosphere, convenience and information image of electronic stores, establish a sustainable image, and enhance young consumer’s identity. Secondly, using multiple marketing methods, we can establish an unimpeded one-to-one interaction with young customers through the current popular live broadcast marketing, improve the enjoyment of stores, more specifically implement marketing strategies, and strengthen the sense of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Marketing in China)
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11 pages, 7428 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Biodiesel Production Potential of Synechococcus elongatus and Anabaena Cyanobacterial Strain Isolated from Saline Water Using Different Media Composition and Organic Carbon Sources
by Jeevitha Parthiban and Ranjitha Jambulingam
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010870 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1702
Abstract
In the present study, Synechococcus elongatus and Anabaena, two cyanobacterial species were cultured using different media conditions such as ASN III, modified ASN III, BG-11, and BBM for the enrichment of biomass and lipid productivity. The experimental result clearly shows that BG [...] Read more.
In the present study, Synechococcus elongatus and Anabaena, two cyanobacterial species were cultured using different media conditions such as ASN III, modified ASN III, BG-11, and BBM for the enrichment of biomass and lipid productivity. The experimental result clearly shows that BG 11 was the efficient and cost-effective medium for both the isolated cyanobacterial species such as Synechococcus elongatus and Anabaena. The influence of organic carbon sources on biomass and lipid productivity of the selected cyanobacterial species were studied when cultivated in a BG-11 medium using different organic carbon sources such as sucrose, glucose, sodium acetate and glycerol under mixotrophic conditions. Based on the experimental results, the isolated cyanobacterial strain Synechococcus elongatus and Anabaena showed an enriching effect on lipid production under mixotrophic conditions, but whereas Synechococcus elongatus showed a significant effect three times greater lipid productivity compared with Anabaena cyanobacterial strain, by the addition of glycerol as a supplement to the culture media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy: Biodiesel Production)
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13 pages, 1656 KiB  
Article
Preparation of an Environmentally Friendly Rice Seed Coating Agent and Study of Its Mechanism of Action in Seedlings
by Jinfu Fang, Defang Zeng and Tian Xu
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010869 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1687
Abstract
Traditional rice seed coating agents (TRSCA) contain toxic components that pollute the environment and threaten human health. The use of safe, high-efficiency, and environmentally friendly seed coating agents is vital for environmental protection. We studied the production of a new, environmentally friendly rice [...] Read more.
Traditional rice seed coating agents (TRSCA) contain toxic components that pollute the environment and threaten human health. The use of safe, high-efficiency, and environmentally friendly seed coating agents is vital for environmental protection. We studied the production of a new, environmentally friendly rice seed coating agent and its mechanism at the seedling stage. We assess the difference in mechanism of action between the new seed coating agent and the representative TRSCAs on the market through laboratory and field experiments. Following the application of the new seed coating agent, bakanae disease was controlled at a rate of over 80.5% and insect pest feeding was controlled at a rate of 81%. More importantly, the LC50 value was 10 times higher than following TRSCA treatment. The coating agent can enhance the activity of plant protective enzymes (peroxidase [POD], catalase [CAT], and superoxide dismutase [SOD]) and the activity of rice seedling roots. The coating agent is antibacterial, disease preventative, deworming, safe, and environmentally protective, and results in the production of strong seedlings, suggesting it would be a good alternative to TRSCA. Our analysis found that the control effect of the seed coating on rice seedling disease was likely achieved by activating the plant protection enzymes (e.g., POD, CAT, and SOD). The effect of the coating agent on rice is likely achieved through increased root activity and the improvement of the rhizosphere micro-ecological system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farming 4.0: Towards Sustainable Agriculture)
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15 pages, 12061 KiB  
Article
Increasing Geoheritage Awareness through Non-Formal Learning
by Paola Coratza, Vittoria Vandelli and Alessandro Ghinoi
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010868 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
Non-formal learning can have a crucial role in increasing citizens’ literacy to geoscience providing the opportunity to raise the public profile of geology and geomorphology. Starting from these remarks, the project presented here is one of the first attempts, at national level, aimed [...] Read more.
Non-formal learning can have a crucial role in increasing citizens’ literacy to geoscience providing the opportunity to raise the public profile of geology and geomorphology. Starting from these remarks, the project presented here is one of the first attempts, at national level, aimed at achieving the territorial upgrading based on geoheritage enhancement. The project started thanks to a bottom-up input and involved the collaboration between scholars and local administrations and stakeholders for the valorization of a fluvial area within the Municipality of Castellarano (Emilia Apennines, Northern Italy). To achieve this aim of non-formal learning activities, based on the interpretation of the geoheritage, have been implemented. In fact, the investigated area includes valuable geological and geomorphological features which have been used, in the frame of the project here presented, to promote local geodiversity and geotourism. In particular, three geosites of regional significance were considered for the creation of EarthCaches, interpretative panels and guided excursions. Interpretative contents were designed to be educational, providing accurate but non-technical explanations. Attention was given in including illustrations playing an important role in the learning process. The results revealed that the implemented activities positively contribute to raising public awareness on the value of geoheritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GeoHeritage and Geodiversity in the Natural Heritage: Geoparks)
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12 pages, 1880 KiB  
Communication
Performance Measurement Systems in Continuous Improvement Environments: Obstacles to Their Effectiveness
by Flávio Cunha, José Dinis-Carvalho and Rui M. Sousa
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010867 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3262
Abstract
The implementation of an effective performance measurement system (PMS) is essential in organizations seeking continuous improvement and sustainability, especially in the context of Industry 4.0. However, a number of barriers/obstacles hampers this effectiveness. For example, the inclusion of performance indicators without practical use, [...] Read more.
The implementation of an effective performance measurement system (PMS) is essential in organizations seeking continuous improvement and sustainability, especially in the context of Industry 4.0. However, a number of barriers/obstacles hampers this effectiveness. For example, the inclusion of performance indicators without practical use, or presenting absurd results, are frequent in the industry, leading people to distrust and devalue such systems. The main research question in this study is: What are the main obstacles to effective performance measurement systems in organizations? These obstacles will be identified and categorized, and some conditions required to eliminate/mitigate them will be explored. A systematic literature review is carried out, according to the PRISMA methodology, to identify the most frequent factors referred to as obstacles to PMS effectiveness, due to their negative influence on the implementation, use or maintenance of these systems. This review resulted in the identification of 175 obstacles that were then classified into 19 types of obstacles divided into 6 categories, whose definition was inspired by the 6M approach usually associated with Ishikawa diagrams. Then, the relationships between the obstacles are explored and investigated in order to identify interdependencies that may further influence the effectiveness of the PMS. Solutions and methodologies that can help mitigate/eliminate their impact on PMS effectiveness are also identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Lean Production in Industry 4.0)
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25 pages, 450 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Good Agricultural Practices on the Technical Efficiency of Chili Production in Thailand
by Wirat Krasachat
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010866 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2672
Abstract
While recognition of the positive influence of good agricultural practices (GAP) on reducing negative externalities due to conventional farming and providing more export opportunities is growing, there is some doubt about the effects of GAP on the economic performance of chili farms. In [...] Read more.
While recognition of the positive influence of good agricultural practices (GAP) on reducing negative externalities due to conventional farming and providing more export opportunities is growing, there is some doubt about the effects of GAP on the economic performance of chili farms. In this regard, this study’s principal objectives are to assess the impact of GAP and to examine farm-specific and environmental factors regarding the technical efficiency (TE) of chili farms in Thailand. This study employed a stochastic meta-frontier input distance function to measure and explore the effects of farm-specific and environmental factors on TE using 2018 farm-level survey data from Thai chili farms. The sample of 100 farms includes GAP and non-GAP farms. The empirical results highlight three critical findings. First, there is confirmation that GAP positively influence the TE of chili farms. Second, family labor intensity and small farm size also positively impact the TE of farms. At the same time, completion of a technical training course positively affects the TE of non-GAP farms only. Finally, education, experience, training courses, and crop diversification negatively affect the TE of GAP farms only. Thus, policymakers need to focus on GAP adoption and farm-specific factors to promote the sustainable development of Thai chili farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Analysis of Environmental Goods for Policy)
35 pages, 13797 KiB  
Article
Hydraulically Disconnected Rivers in the Highlands and Southern Riverine Plain of S.E Australia
by Phillip G. Macumber
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010865 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
The rivers of south-eastern Australia flow within a complex meander tract (Coonambidgal Formation) formed by phases of Quaternary stream activity. Pumping tests, hydrochemistry and groundwater monitoring of the Campaspe, Loddon and Murray River Valleys show that for significant parts of their courses, the [...] Read more.
The rivers of south-eastern Australia flow within a complex meander tract (Coonambidgal Formation) formed by phases of Quaternary stream activity. Pumping tests, hydrochemistry and groundwater monitoring of the Campaspe, Loddon and Murray River Valleys show that for significant parts of their courses, the rivers and their associated strip aquifers form a single integrated hydraulic unit perched above and disconnected from the regional water table by an underlying aquitard developed at the top of a varyingly thick and temporally dynamic vadose zone. Loss to the regional aquifer is not restricted to the riverbed but covers the entire width of the Coonambidgal Formation aquifer, which is one or two orders of magnitude greater. River-bed flux is not a measure of net river loss. Through diffusion and dispersion from the overlying saturated zone, aquitard enhancement or development is augmented by chemical processes active towards the top of the vadose zone. Unlike river-bed clogging, chemical clogging of aquifers is progressive and permanent. Post-European instability in the studied groundwater systems has seen catchment wide groundwater rises of up to 0.25 m/y. or 25 metre over the last century. Under the pre-existing norm of deeper water tables, disconnected streams would have been more numerous with the present aquitards being a legacy of that regime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogeological Environment and Water Resources Research)
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15 pages, 7478 KiB  
Article
Land Surface Temperature Variation in Response to Land Use Modes Changes: The Case of Mefou River Sub-Basin (Southern Cameroon)
by Valentin Brice Ebodé
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010864 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1570
Abstract
Land surface temperature (LST) estimation at the river sub-basin level is crucial for developing land use planning at the basin scale and beyond. The main goal of this study was to analyze LST variations in response to land use mode (LUM) changes in [...] Read more.
Land surface temperature (LST) estimation at the river sub-basin level is crucial for developing land use planning at the basin scale and beyond. The main goal of this study was to analyze LST variations in response to land use mode (LUM) changes in the Mefou River sub-basin (Southern Cameroon) using geospatial techniques. To achieve this goal, we used Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (2000 and 2010) and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI)/Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) data for 2020. We also used air surface temperature data from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to validate the LST. Our results reveal that between 2000 and 2020, the Mefou watershed recorded significant changes in LUMs, which were mainly manifested by an increase in impervious areas (IAs) (buildings and roads (+10%); bare soils and farmlands (+204.9%)) and forest reduction (−31.2). This decrease in the forest was also reflected by a reduction in NDVI values, the maximum of which went from 0.47 in 2000 to 0.39 in 2020. Contrary to the forest area and the NDVI values, the LSTs of the investigated basin increased over the period studied. There is a strong negative correlation between LST and NDVI. In general, high LSTs correspond to low NDVI values. For the years 2000, 2010 and 2020, the links between these two variables are materialized by respective correlation coefficients of −0.66, −0.74 and −0.85. This study could contribute to understanding the impact of LUM changes on the local climate, and could further provide assistance to policymakers in regard to land use planning and climate change mitigation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability in Geographic Science)
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11 pages, 768 KiB  
Review
How Can We Stabilize Soil Using Microbial Communities and Mitigate Desertification?
by Faten Dhawi
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010863 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3929
Abstract
The desert, which covers around one-third of Earth’s continental surface, is defined as the harshest terrestrial environment and comprises a highly extensive biome of the terrestrial ecosystem. Microorganisms are key drivers that maintain the integrity of desert terrestrial ecosystems. Over the past few [...] Read more.
The desert, which covers around one-third of Earth’s continental surface, is defined as the harshest terrestrial environment and comprises a highly extensive biome of the terrestrial ecosystem. Microorganisms are key drivers that maintain the integrity of desert terrestrial ecosystems. Over the past few decades, desertification has increased owing to changes in rainfall patterns and global warming, characterized by land degradation, loss of microbial diversity (biocrust diversity), and multifunctionality with time. Soil stabilization is a geotechnical modality that improves the physiochemical properties of the soil. Biological modality is an emerging method that attracts the scientific community for soil stabilization. Enriching the soil with microorganisms such as some bacteria geniuses (Cystobacter, Archangium, Polyangium, Myxococcus, Stigmatella and Sorangium, Bacillus, Acinetobacter, Proteus, Micrococcus, and Pseudom) or Cyanobacteria (Oscillatoria pseudogeminata, Chroococcus minutus, Phormidium Tenue, and Nostoc species), and Lichens (Collema sps., Stellarangia sps., and Buellia species) might contribute to stabilizing the soil and mitigating desertification. In this timeline review article, we summarize the biological method of soil stabilization, especially focusing on the role of microorganisms in soil stabilization in the desert. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Desertification Control and Sustainable Land Management)
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13 pages, 2732 KiB  
Article
A Smallholders’ Mariculture Device for Rearing Seafood: Environmentally Friendly and Providing Improved Quality
by Tsang-Yuh Lin, Chung-Ling Chen, Yung-Yen Shih, Hsueh-Han Hsieh, Wei-Ji Huang, Peter H. Santschi and Chin-Chang Hung
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010862 - 3 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1849
Abstract
The aquaculture industry in Taiwan grosses more than USD 1.1 billion annually; however, it also generates considerable waste discharge (causing eutrophication in estuarine and coastal waters) and heavy groundwater withdrawals (causing land subsidence in coastal areas). Many aquaculture facilities using earth ponds are [...] Read more.
The aquaculture industry in Taiwan grosses more than USD 1.1 billion annually; however, it also generates considerable waste discharge (causing eutrophication in estuarine and coastal waters) and heavy groundwater withdrawals (causing land subsidence in coastal areas). Many aquaculture facilities using earth ponds are affected by benthic algae, resulting in an earthy odor, and fixed-cage farms are difficult to relocate during cold weather events. In this study, we tested small-scale (~15 ton) mobile cage tanks for the nearshore rearing of white shrimp and grouper in the Yung-An district of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. At the conclusion of the mariculture experiment, the content of free amino acids in shrimp and groupers reared in our mobile tanks surpassed that in animals reared locally in traditional earthy ponds. In a blind taste test involving 42 volunteers, groupers reared in mobile cage tanks were deemed more palatable than those raised in ponds. Our results demonstrate that small-scale mobile cage tanks are a feasible approach to the sustainable rearing of high-quality shrimp or fish. Note that wastewater from the mobile tanks is easily diluted by seawater, thereby reducing the likelihood of eutrophication in coastal regions. The proposed system could also be used for recreational fishing activities to increase income for smallholders of fishermen and/or aquaculture farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and Sustainable Food Production)
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21 pages, 6994 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Assessment of Sampling Ratios Using Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for Landslide Predictive Model in Langat River Basin, Selangor, Malaysia
by Siti Norsakinah Selamat, Nuriah Abd Majid and Aizat Mohd Taib
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 861; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010861 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1789
Abstract
Landslides have been classified as the most dangerous threat around the world, causing huge damage to properties and loss of life. Increased human activity in landslide-prone areas has been a major contributor to the risk of landslide occurrences. Therefore, machine learning has been [...] Read more.
Landslides have been classified as the most dangerous threat around the world, causing huge damage to properties and loss of life. Increased human activity in landslide-prone areas has been a major contributor to the risk of landslide occurrences. Therefore, machine learning has been used in landslide studies to develop a landslide predictive model. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the most suitable sampling ratio for the predictive landslide model in the Langat River Basin (LRB) using Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs). The landslide inventory was divided randomly into training and testing datasets using four sampling ratios (50:50, 60:40, 70:30, and 80:20). A total of 12 landslide conditioning factors were considered in this study, including the elevation, slope, aspect, curvature, topography wetness index (TWI), distance to the road, distance to the river, distance to faults, soil, lithology, land use, and rainfall. The evaluation model was performed using certain statistical measures and area under the curve (AUC). Finally, the most suitable predictive model was chosen based on the model validation results using the compound factor (CF) method. Based on the results, the predictive model with an 80:20 ratio indicates a realistic finding and was classified as the first rank among others. The AUC value for the training dataset is 0.931, while the AUC value for the testing dataset is 0.964. These attempts will help a great deal when it comes to choosing the best ratio of training samples to testing samples to create a reliable and complete landslide prediction model for the LRB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability in Geographic Science)
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