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Land, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2022) – 139 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The world is urbanizing faster than any time before, making it increasingly important to understand and model urban growth patterns. Fractal geometry, as a universally seen signature of urban form and socioeconomic function, has supported advancements in replicating real-world patterns in urban simulation models. Our review and bibliometric analysis of applications of fractal geometry applied to urban planning shows an apparent gap between technical research and the community of planning, with most research on fractal and planning published outside the planning literature. The current primer is aimed to bridge this gap. We also address evidence on normative findings around fractal cities—whether and how cities’ fractal form can support good planning. View this paper
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22 pages, 11787 KiB  
Article
Machine Learning Techniques for Estimating Hydraulic Properties of the Topsoil across the Zambezi River Basin
by Mulenga Kalumba, Edwin Nyirenda, Imasiku Nyambe, Stefaan Dondeyne and Jos Van Orshoven
Land 2022, 11(4), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040591 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2048
Abstract
It is critical to produce more crop per drop in an environment where water availability is decreasing and competition for water is increasing. In order to build such agricultural production systems, well parameterized crop growth models are essential. While in most crop growth [...] Read more.
It is critical to produce more crop per drop in an environment where water availability is decreasing and competition for water is increasing. In order to build such agricultural production systems, well parameterized crop growth models are essential. While in most crop growth modeling research, focus is on gathering model inputs such as climate data, less emphasis is paid to collecting the critical soil hydraulic properties (SHPs) data needed to operate crop growth models. Collection of SHPs data for the Zambezi River Basin (ZRB) is extremely labor-intensive and expensive, thus alternate technologies such as digital soil mapping (DSM) must be explored. We evaluated five types of DSM models to establish the best spatially explicit estimates of the soil water content at pF0.0 (saturation), pF2.0 (field capacity), and pF4.2 (wilting point), and of the saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) across the ZRB by using estimates of locally calibrated pedotransfer functions of 1481 locations for training and testing the DSM models, as well as a reference dataset of measurements from 174 locations for validating the DSM models. We produced coverages of environmental covariates from various source datasets, including climate variables, soil and land use maps, parent materials and lithologic units, derivatives of a digital elevation model (DEM), and Landsat imagery with a spatial resolution of 90 m. The five types of models included multiple linear regression and four machine learning techniques: artificial neural network, gradient boosted regression trees, random forest, and support vector machine. Where the residuals of the initial DSM models were spatially autocorrelated, the models were extended/complemented with residual kriging (RK). Spatial autocorrelation in the model residuals was observed for all five models of each of the three water contents, but not for Ksat. On average for the water content, the R2 ranged from 0.40 to 0.80 in training and test datasets before adding kriged model residuals and ranged from 0.80 to 0.95 after adding model residuals. Overall, the best prediction method consisted of random forest as the deterministic model, complemented with RK, whereby soil texture followed by climate and topographic elevation variables were the most important covariates. The resulting maps are a ready-to-use resource for hydrologists and crop modelers to aliment and calibrate their hydrological and crop growth models. Full article
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14 pages, 3573 KiB  
Article
Accuracy Assessment of the Building Height Copernicus Data Layer: A Case Study of Bratislava, Slovakia
by Daniel Szatmári, Monika Kopecká and Ján Feranec
Land 2022, 11(4), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040590 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2436
Abstract
High buildings have generally changed the morphology of cities in recent decades, and they have a significant impact on multiple processes in the urban area. Building height is one of the criteria for urban land cover classification in local climate zone delineation and [...] Read more.
High buildings have generally changed the morphology of cities in recent decades, and they have a significant impact on multiple processes in the urban area. Building height is one of the criteria for urban land cover classification in local climate zone delineation and urban heat island modeling. The European Union’s Earth observation program Copernicus aims to achieve a global, continuous, autonomous, high-quality, wide-range Earth observation capacity. One of the most recent Urban Atlas layers is the Building Height 2012 (BH2012) layer released in 2018, which consists of a 10 m resolution raster layer containing height information generated for core urban areas of the capitals of the EEA38 countries and the United Kingdom. This contribution aims to present the accuracy validation of the BH2012 data in Bratislava using the Slovak Basic Database for the Geographic Information System (ZBGIS). To compare the two datasets, four different tests were performed for the following group of landmark buildings: (i) with area > 100 m2, (ii) in Urban Atlas classes with soil sealing > 10%, (iii) with height > 50 m, (iv) with area > 1 ha. The results demonstrate the effect of the building’s area and compactness on the vertical accuracy of the BH2012 Copernicus data. The greater the building’s area and compactness, the smaller the difference between its height value in BH2012 and ZBGIS. The Urban Atlas class 11100 Continuous Urban Fabric (soil sealing: >80%) recorded the lowest vertical accuracy. The BH2012 database provides sufficiently accurate data for primary planning analyses of public administration bodies and various stakeholders who need to obtain information on the nature of a locality for development activities and small-scale environmental analyses. However, for detailed studies focusing on the quality of life in cities at the local level, more precise identification of the building height is recommended. Full article
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19 pages, 2662 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems: Themes of Public Perception—A Case Study
by Bridget Thodesen, Berit Time and Tore Kvande
Land 2022, 11(4), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040589 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6488
Abstract
Climate adaptation measures address the challenges that densification and climate change impose on the urban environment. Sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) constructs include the introduction of natural elements, such as riparian buffers, vegetative filters, rain beds, water spills, watermark filters, retainers and dams, [...] Read more.
Climate adaptation measures address the challenges that densification and climate change impose on the urban environment. Sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) constructs include the introduction of natural elements, such as riparian buffers, vegetative filters, rain beds, water spills, watermark filters, retainers and dams, and are an integral part of these climate adaptation measures. SUDS are commonly undertaken at a municipal level in Norway but, unfortunately, the implementation of SUDS projects has lagged behind expectation. Norway is a normative and egalitarian society, where public resistance to local projects is a factor in the delayed adoption of SUDS. That is why a greater understanding of public perceptions and priorities is needed to build consensus and support for these climate adaptation measures. This research looked at the Blaklibekken SUDS case study in Trondheim, Norway. A cross-section of interviews with the municipality and users was undertaken to establish themes within local perceptions of the project. Themes of environmental benefit, child-related activities, maintenance of the site and funding were established to provide a better understanding of public expectations and what aspects of the project correlated with public acceptance or resistance. This work provides a starting point for further research to establish public ‘themes of interest’ that can provide decision makers greater insight into public priorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Bioclimatic Designs to Enhance Urban/Rural Resilience)
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23 pages, 6880 KiB  
Article
The Multifunctionality and Territoriality of Peri-Urban Agri-Food Systems: The Metropolitan Region of Madrid, Spain
by Nieves López-Estébanez, Carolina Yacamán-Ochoa and Rafael Mata-Olmo
Land 2022, 11(4), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040588 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2558
Abstract
This paper addresses the Multifunctional and Territorialised Agri-Food Systems (MTLAFS) in areas of direct urban influence, focusing on the metropolitan region of Madrid. MTLAFS are contextualised as alternatives to the hegemonic global model of mass production and consumption. They are created by combining [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the Multifunctional and Territorialised Agri-Food Systems (MTLAFS) in areas of direct urban influence, focusing on the metropolitan region of Madrid. MTLAFS are contextualised as alternatives to the hegemonic global model of mass production and consumption. They are created by combining two conceptual and theoretical bodies of knowledge that share many elements: the study of Local Agri-Food Systems (LAFS), a critical approach to agri-food economies and the re-territorialisation of agri-food systems. The paper analyses the factors that negatively affect the resilience of LAFS and it describes re-territorialisation strategies that enable MTLAFS to be built. By using a multi-criteria methodology to identify agri-environmental and food governance indicators, the research identifies and describes the characteristics that allow the case studies selected in the region of Madrid to be classified as MTLAFS. This has been carried out by gathering the main discussion points on the fractures and relocation strategies that accentuate the vulnerability or, on the contrary, enhance the resilience of the cases analysed. The paper concludes with some recommendations for strengthening the socio-ecological resilience of MTLAFS by using the systemic basis provided by the agro-urban project. This agro-urban project brings together different public policies, governance tools, territorial and food planning, as well as agrarian practices anchored to each specific territory. All these agrarian practices contribute to the configuration of an alternative territorial agri-food model that ensures food security and a shift towards the sustainable development of our planet. Full article
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16 pages, 4927 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Evolution and Future Simulation of Agricultural Land Use in Xiangxi, Central China
by Hui Xiang, Yinhua Ma, Rongrong Zhang, Hongji Chen and Qingyuan Yang
Land 2022, 11(4), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040587 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1906
Abstract
Researches on agricultural land use would help the stakeholders to make better decisions about agricultural resources. However, studies on agricultural land have been lacking. In this context, Xiangxi was chosen as a typical region, and five indicators (Kernel Density, change importance, etc.) and [...] Read more.
Researches on agricultural land use would help the stakeholders to make better decisions about agricultural resources. However, studies on agricultural land have been lacking. In this context, Xiangxi was chosen as a typical region, and five indicators (Kernel Density, change importance, etc.) and two models (gray forecasting model and GeoSoS-FLUS) were used, to explore the spatio-temporal evolution trends and simulate the future scenarios of agricultural land use. The results were as follows: (1) Xiangxi was dominated by agricultural land, and nearly 50% of total extent was forestry land. Extent of agricultural land decreased by about 56.89 km2 or 3.74% from 2000 to 2018; (2) The density of each agricultural land in the study area had considerable spatial heterogeneity, and showed a main trend of shrinkage, especially in the south regions; (3) In 2030, the spatial pattern and composition of agricultural land in Xiangxi will maintain the existing status, while both of the area and proportion of agricultural land will decline, with a loss of 241.34 km2 or 2.85% decrease from 2000. Nevertheless, the study believed that the slight shrinkage of the agricultural land in Xiangxi is in line with the objective law. At the same time, the study suggested to strengthen the scientific management and rational utilization of agricultural land, with emphasis on arable land and fishery land in the south, especially the administrative center. Full article
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19 pages, 2680 KiB  
Article
Does Network Externality of Urban Agglomeration Benefit Urban Economic Growth—A Case Study of the Yangtze River Delta
by Jinliang Jiang, Zhensheng Xu, Jiayi Lu and Dongqi Sun
Land 2022, 11(4), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040586 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2165
Abstract
Scholars have conducted a large number of empirical studies on agglomeration externalities and network externalities at the urban scale, but there are relatively few studies at the urban agglomeration scale. For the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), analyzing the impact [...] Read more.
Scholars have conducted a large number of empirical studies on agglomeration externalities and network externalities at the urban scale, but there are relatively few studies at the urban agglomeration scale. For the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), analyzing the impact of network externalities and agglomeration externalities on urban development can provide academic references for the integrated development of urban agglomerations. The results show that: (1) From 2000 to 2010, the average GDP growth rate of the cities in the YRD region showed a rapid growth trend but began to slow down after 2010, showing an outward spatial distribution pattern. (2) From 2000 to 2020, the growth rate of Shanghai’s investment in cities in the YRD showed a downward trend and an outward spatial diffusion. The growth rate of investment within the YRD showed a slowing trend from 2000 to 2015 and increased after 2015, showing a spatial distribution from northwest to southeast. From 2000 to 2020, the growth rate of investment from other cities in China to cities in the YRD showed a continuous upward trend, and spatially formed a distribution characteristic from northwest to southeast. (3) The growth of internal investment in the YRD and that of other cities across China can accelerate urban economic growth, and the growth of internal investment in the YRD has a greater role in promoting economic growth, indicating that the “agglomeration externalities” and “network externalities” at the urban agglomeration scale both can promote urban economic growth, but the effect of the “agglomeration externalities” within the urban agglomeration is more obvious. (4) The growth of investment in the core city Shanghai does not play a significant role in the long-term economic growth of cities in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Sustainable Development of Yangtze River Delta, China)
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15 pages, 2308 KiB  
Article
The Early Effect of Black Land Protection Plan in Northeast China on Industrial Pollution Using Synthetic Control Method
by Zhipeng Tang, Wenming Song and Jialing Zou
Land 2022, 11(4), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040585 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2033
Abstract
This study used relevant industrial pollution emission data collected between 2004 and 2020 in northeastern China. It utilized the synthetic control method (SCM) and used entire county-level areas within the scope of the typical black land protection as the experimental group. Thirty regions [...] Read more.
This study used relevant industrial pollution emission data collected between 2004 and 2020 in northeastern China. It utilized the synthetic control method (SCM) and used entire county-level areas within the scope of the typical black land protection as the experimental group. Thirty regions in China (excluding Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan), including the three non-black land areas of Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Inner Mongolia, and the other 26 entire provinces were taken as the control group. We studied whether the Outline of Black Land Protection Plan in Northeast China (2017–2030) (BLPP) has reduced local industrial pollution emissions since it was issued in 2017. The study found that implementation of the BLPP reduced industrial wastewater and sulfur dioxide emissions in black land areas significantly. Between 2017 and 2020, local industrial wastewater production decreased by 29.3% compared to the period without implementation of the outline, while industrial sulfur dioxide decreased by 12%. These results remained robust under the placebo and difference-in-difference (DID) tests. This once again showed that implementation of the outline had a significant effect on reducing industrial pollutant emissions in the black land area of northeastern China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eco-Environmental Effects of Urban Land Use)
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22 pages, 22986 KiB  
Article
Derivation Method of Architectural Asset Value Enhancement Zones in South Korea
by Donghwa Shon, Seungbum Kim and Nahyang Byun
Land 2022, 11(4), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040584 - 16 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1597
Abstract
In June 2014, South Korea enacted a law to systematically preserve and utilize architectural assets to strengthen national competitiveness through the enhancement of architectural culture. An architectural asset value enhancement zone (AAVE) can be designated for an area in which a unique spatial [...] Read more.
In June 2014, South Korea enacted a law to systematically preserve and utilize architectural assets to strengthen national competitiveness through the enhancement of architectural culture. An architectural asset value enhancement zone (AAVE) can be designated for an area in which a unique spatial environment has been created, centered on excellent architectural assets or in which architectural assets are densely concentrated. However, five years after the law was promulgated, while 14 local governments had completed basic investigations of architectural assets, only three had been designated as AAVE zones (as of March 2020). This is because the criteria for non-Hanok architectural assets are unclear, making it difficult to specify the scope of designation. This study aims to present and verify a methodology for deriving more effective AAVE zones. After establishing the criteria for architectural asset candidates, densely populated areas across the country were identified using GIS. Subsequently, a methodology was derived to classify candidate areas for the enhancement zone, based on the locations of these densely populated areas and designated/registered cultural heritage sites. The effectiveness of the methodology was reviewed through an actual area analysis, which indicated that the methodology is highly applicable to AAVE zones. Full article
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18 pages, 1884 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Rural Resilience in a Tea Town of China: Exploring Tea Farmers’ Knowledge Production for Tea Planting, Tea Processing and Tea Tasting
by Xudan Lin, Hong Zhu and Duo Yin
Land 2022, 11(4), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040583 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2768
Abstract
Rural areas have undergone visible transformations in recent decades. It leads to some ecological problems. Enhancing rural resilience is necessary in the face of these changes. However, previous literature often ignored the roles of indigenous actors in this process. Consequently, we conduct participant [...] Read more.
Rural areas have undergone visible transformations in recent decades. It leads to some ecological problems. Enhancing rural resilience is necessary in the face of these changes. However, previous literature often ignored the roles of indigenous actors in this process. Consequently, we conduct participant observation and in-depth interviews to explore the process by which local farmer knowledge is produced in Fenghuang, a rural area that concentrates on the tea industry in China, and how this process contributes to the agriculture resilience of individual and rural areas. We find that local knowledge is a dynamic composition of daily practice highlighting the nature of adaptability in farmers’ pursuits. Such knowledge is found to be constructed, exchanged, and then reshaped into a new and heterogeneous form that involves a mix of scientific forces and local practices, building a solid basis for individual and rural resilience. In addition, both sustainable agriculture and successful market promotion can be achieved by knowledge production. In this way, the meaning of “place” is reconstrued, morphing from a barren and backward rural area to a green and unique land with idyllic beauty. This metamorphosis offers belongingness to tea farmers and imposes on them the responsibility to contribute their efforts to the land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic Agriculture in East Asia: Land-Livelihood Interactions)
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24 pages, 4424 KiB  
Article
Classifying New Hybrid Cooperation Models for Short Food-Supply Chains—Providing a Concept for Assessing Sustainability Transformation in the Urban-Rural Nexus
by Katrin Martens, Sebastian Rogga, Jana Zscheischler, Bernd Pölling, Andreas Obersteg and Annette Piorr
Land 2022, 11(4), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040582 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3042
Abstract
In response to the negative effects caused by structures of the dominant agricultural system and new market opportunities, increasing food supply structures have re-emerged in the urban-rural context of industrialized countries in recent years. These food supply structures often accompany new forms of [...] Read more.
In response to the negative effects caused by structures of the dominant agricultural system and new market opportunities, increasing food supply structures have re-emerged in the urban-rural context of industrialized countries in recent years. These food supply structures often accompany new forms of hybrid cooperation models, including actors and institutions that have not shared resources previously. They form new alliances for sustainable transformation in the agri-food sector. Simultaneously, discourse has arisen in science and practice about the sustainability potential of such hybrid cooperation, referring to a lack of critical systematization and the necessity for creating an assessment concept. From the latter, one could draw conclusions about the transformative potential of such cooperation models and their potential to serve as blueprints for other regions. In this conceptual paper, a classification approach derived from social enterprise literature is elaborated, extended, and evaluated, to design a classification of new hybrid cooperation models that allow comparisons between regions and are sensitive to their dynamics. We show in an application how the classification approach, considering the dimensions “actors”, “resources”, and “actions”, serves to discover patterns in the development of short food-supply chain practices, identifying individual transition paths and, thus, making statements about their sustainability and challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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18 pages, 1793 KiB  
Case Report
How Does Maize-Cowpea Intercropping Maximize Land Use and Economic Return? A Field Trial in Bangladesh
by Ayesa Akter Suhi, Shamim Mia, Salma Khanam, Mehedi Hasan Mithu, Md. Kamal Uddin, Md. Abdul Muktadir, Sultan Ahmed and Keiji Jindo
Land 2022, 11(4), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040581 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2677
Abstract
Cultivating multiple crops together can provide numerous benefits, including improved soil health and crop yield. The objective of our study was to determine the optimum planting techniques in intercropping systems, and to maximize their benefits by mitigating competition for resources such as land, [...] Read more.
Cultivating multiple crops together can provide numerous benefits, including improved soil health and crop yield. The objective of our study was to determine the optimum planting techniques in intercropping systems, and to maximize their benefits by mitigating competition for resources such as land, space, light interception, and nutrition. The performance of successively planted maize (Zea mays L.) grown with cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) was evaluated with a field trial in Bangladesh. The treatments in our study were: (a) sole maize, (b) sole cowpea, (c) crops sown simultaneously, and (d) crops sown with different time lags (1, 2, and 3 weeks) between the maize-sowing and cowpea-sowing dates. Data on the crops’ physiological parameters were recorded. These included light interception, leaf area index (LAI), Soil Plant Analysis Development (SPAD), harvest index, and yield. Simultaneously, canopy coverage was measured using camera-based photo analysis. In addition, an economic analysis of intercropping maize with soybean or cowpea was conducted using gross margin analysis and benefit-cost ratio. In our results, the below-canopy photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was significantly higher in intercropping treatments when maize was sown three weeks after cowpea. In contrast, the LAI value of the maize and cowpea was significantly greater when sown on the same day than in other intercropping treatments. As a result, the maize yield reduced when intercropped with cowpea. This reduction maximized when both species were sown simultaneously due to higher competition for resources, including nutrients and light. Intercropping was more beneficial in terms of land equivalent ratio than both sole cropping of maize and cowpea, especially when maize was planted three weeks later. However, this benefit was not retained when calculated as maize equivalent yield since the contribution of cowpea was small in the overall maize yield, suggesting the importance of the relative economic value of the component species. Among all treatments, the lowest maize equivalent yield (6.03 ± 0.14 t ha−1) was obtained from sole cowpea, and the largest land equivalent ratio (1.67 ± 0.05) was obtained from intercropping with maize sown three weeks after cowpea. This treatment provided a net income of USD 786.32 ± 25.08 ha−1. This study has shown that together, maize–cowpea intercropping with a temporal niche difference of three weeks may be a better option for sustainable crop production in Bangladesh, maximizing land use. However, it may not provide a significantly greater maize equivalent yield and economic return. Full article
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17 pages, 1424 KiB  
Review
A Review on Carbon Source and Sink in Arable Land Ecosystems
by Xiaochen Liu, Shuai Wang, Qianlai Zhuang, Xinxin Jin, Zhenxing Bian, Mingyi Zhou, Zhuo Meng, Chunlan Han, Xiaoyu Guo, Wenjuan Jin and Yufei Zhang
Land 2022, 11(4), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040580 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3875
Abstract
Arable land ecosystems are among the most important terrestrial systems. The issues of carbon sequestration and emission reductions in arable land ecosystems have received extensive attention. Countries around the world have actively issued policies to manage arable land ecosystems. At present, more than [...] Read more.
Arable land ecosystems are among the most important terrestrial systems. The issues of carbon sequestration and emission reductions in arable land ecosystems have received extensive attention. Countries around the world have actively issued policies to manage arable land ecosystems. At present, more than 100 countries have made carbon neutralization target commitments. Various arable land management measures and arable land planting strategies have important impacts on the carbon storage of arable land ecosystems. Research on arable land carbon is of great significance to global climate change. This study attempts to investigate the problems and deficiencies in the current research by summarizing a number of studies, including the main methods for the quantitative research of carbon sources and sinks as well as the influencing factors in these ecosystems. In this study, it is found that due to the differences of climate patterns, soil properties and management practices in arable land ecosystems, the factors affecting carbon sources and sinks are of great heterogeneity and complexity. Generally, variations in natural factors affect the carbon balance in different regions, while human management measures, such as irrigation, fertilization and the degree of agricultural mechanization, are the leading factors causing changes to carbon sources and sinks in these ecosystems. In addition, there are still great uncertainties in the evaluation of carbon sources and sinks in these ecosystems caused by different estimation models and methods. Therefore, emphasis should be placed on model parameter acquisition and method optimization in the future. This review provides a scientific basis for understanding carbon sources and sinks in arable land ecosystems, enhancing their carbon sink capacity and guiding low-carbon agriculture on arable land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arable Land System Resilience and Sustainable Use-Ways and Methods)
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23 pages, 1742 KiB  
Article
Community Acceptance of Nature-Based Solutions in the Delta of the Tordera River, Catalonia
by Andrea Nóblega-Carriquiry, Hug March and David Sauri
Land 2022, 11(4), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040579 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2396
Abstract
Much has been debated regarding the environmental and economic aspects that conform the pillars of sustainability in nature-based solutions (NbSs). However, the social implications are lagging behind in both theory and practice. NbSs are not inherently socially and environmentally just and they might [...] Read more.
Much has been debated regarding the environmental and economic aspects that conform the pillars of sustainability in nature-based solutions (NbSs). However, the social implications are lagging behind in both theory and practice. NbSs are not inherently socially and environmentally just and they might not work for or benefit everyone. On the contrary, they may lead to unequal environmental tradeoffs influencing therefore community acceptance. This research explored the different levels of community acceptance of NbSs in the Tordera delta (Catalonia) through structured interviews and Q-methodology with representative stakeholders. It pretended to contribute to more just NbS discussions by identifying variables of community acceptance through a socio-environmental perspective. The results exposed existing socio-economic and socio-spatial differences that cause unequal co-benefits and tradeoffs among stakeholders of the area. Three distinctive discourses were identified: (1) NbSs as an opportunity to re-naturalize the river; (2) the possibility of NbS implementation if aligned with the current socio-economic structure of the delta; and (3) the belief in a hybrid NbS future, combining grey infrastructure and NbSs. Building on those results and discussions, the paper reflected on a restructuration of the delta’s governance through further collaborative processes to seek a more socio-environmentally just and inclusive NbSs in the area. Full article
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16 pages, 2325 KiB  
Article
Identifying Key Environmental Factors for Paulownia coreana Habitats: Implementing National On-Site Survey and Machine Learning Algorithms
by Yeeun Shin, Suyeon Kim, Se-Rin Park, Taewoo Yi, Chulgoo Kim, Sang-Woo Lee and Kyungjin An
Land 2022, 11(4), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040578 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1648
Abstract
Monitoring and preserving natural habitats has become an essential activity in many countries today. As a native tree species in Korea, Paulownia coreana has periodically been surveyed in national ecological surveys and was identified as an important target for conservation as well as [...] Read more.
Monitoring and preserving natural habitats has become an essential activity in many countries today. As a native tree species in Korea, Paulownia coreana has periodically been surveyed in national ecological surveys and was identified as an important target for conservation as well as habitat monitoring and management. This study explores habitat suitability models (HSMs) for Paulownia coreana in conjunction with national ecological survey data and various environmental factors. Together with environmental variables, the national ecological survey data were run through machine learning algorithms such as Artificial Neural Network and Decision Tree & Rules, which were used to identify the impact of individual variables and create HSMs for Paulownia coreana, respectively. Unlike other studies, which used remote sensing data to create HSMs, this study employed periodical on-site survey data for enhanced validity. Moreover, localized environmental resources such as topography, soil, and rainfall were taken into account to project habitat suitability. Among the environment variables used, the study identified critical attributes that affect the habitat conditions of Paulownia coreana. Therefore, the habitat suitability modelling methods employed in this study could play key roles in planning, monitoring, and managing plants species in regional and national levels. Furthermore, it could shed light on existing challenges and future research needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Forest Management)
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30 pages, 7272 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Contributions by Transportation Features to Urban Economy: An Experiment of a Scalable Tree-Boosting Algorithm with Big Data
by Changju Lee and Sunghoon Lee
Land 2022, 11(4), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040577 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2705
Abstract
Previous studies regarding transportation impacts on economic development in urban areas have three major issues—the limited scope of analysis mostly with the change of property values, the exclusion of smart transportation systems as features despite their potential for urban areas, and stereotyped approaches [...] Read more.
Previous studies regarding transportation impacts on economic development in urban areas have three major issues—the limited scope of analysis mostly with the change of property values, the exclusion of smart transportation systems as features despite their potential for urban areas, and stereotyped approaches with limited types of variables. To surmount such limitations, this research adopted the concept of Big Data with machine learning techniques. As such, a total of 67 features from main categories, including the change of business, geographical boundary, socio-economic, land value, transportation, smart transportation, sales, and floating population were analyzed with XGBoost and SHAP algorithms. Given that the rise and fall of business is a major consideration for economic development in urban areas, the change in the total number of sales was selected as a target value. As a result, sales-related features showed the largest contribution to the rise of business, among others. It was also noted that features related to smart transportation systems obviously affected the success of business, even more than traditional ones from transportation. It is thus expected that the findings from this research will provide insights for decision-makers and researchers to make customized policies for boosting economic development in urban areas that are a major part of the urban economy to achieve sustainability. Full article
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28 pages, 3702 KiB  
Article
Incentives for Palm Oil Smallholders in Mandatory Certification in Indonesia
by Eusebius Pantja Pramudya, Lukas Rumboko Wibowo, Fitri Nurfatriani, Iman Kasiman Nawireja, Dewi Ratna Kurniasari, Sakti Hutabarat, Yohanes Berenika Kadarusman, Ananda Oemi Iswardhani and Rukaiyah Rafik
Land 2022, 11(4), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040576 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5310
Abstract
The Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) is a mandatory certification for palm oil plantations based on compliance with Indonesia’s regulations. Its implementation has been slow, particularly for independent smallholders that face problems of complicated requirements, limited capacity, and limited funding. Meanwhile, limited incentives [...] Read more.
The Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) is a mandatory certification for palm oil plantations based on compliance with Indonesia’s regulations. Its implementation has been slow, particularly for independent smallholders that face problems of complicated requirements, limited capacity, and limited funding. Meanwhile, limited incentives are in place, either in the form of premium prices, ease of regulation, or funding. This article aims to elaborate on the role of incentives and their options in supporting the acceleration of ISPO implementation to ensure and improve the market access of smallholders. It identifies ways to develop incentives to facilitate the acceleration of ISPO certification and alternative financing sources available to support this. The method of this research is based on qualitative methodology using a literature review, policy document analysis, and in-depth interviews with informants from the government and smallholders. The analysis of this article shows that incentives are needed in the form of funding, regulatory measures, technical assistance, promotion, and rewards for good practices to provide better facilitation and financial support for the regulatory compliance in the legal, managerial and financial aspects of the ISPO. These incentives target government and smallholders. Implications for enabling these incentives include the improvement of government coordination, improved understanding of challenges faced by smallholders, and adoption of innovative approaches to manage financial resources, which are crucial to facilitate smallholders’ capacity and organizational improvement. Full article
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25 pages, 3271 KiB  
Review
Ecological Grassland Restoration—A South African Perspective
by Clinton Carbutt and Kevin Kirkman
Land 2022, 11(4), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040575 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6773
Abstract
The principal drivers of Grassland Biome conversion and degradation in South Africa include agricultural intensification, plantation forestry, urban expansion and mining, together with invasive non-native plants and insidious rural sprawl. This biome is poorly conserved and in dire need of restoration, an ecologically [...] Read more.
The principal drivers of Grassland Biome conversion and degradation in South Africa include agricultural intensification, plantation forestry, urban expansion and mining, together with invasive non-native plants and insidious rural sprawl. This biome is poorly conserved and in dire need of restoration, an ecologically centred practice gaining increasing traction given its wide application to people and biodiversity in this emerging culture of renewal. The pioneering proponent of restoration in South Africa is the mining industry, primarily to restore surface stability using vegetation cover. We noticed a historical progression from production-focussed non-native pastures to more diverse suites of native species and habitats in the restoration landscape. This paradigm shift towards the proactive “biodiversity approach” necessitates assisted natural regeneration, mainly through revegetation with grasses, using plugs, sods and/or seeds, together with long-lived perennial forbs. We discuss key management interventions such as ongoing control of invasive non-native plants, the merits of fire and grazing, and the deleterious impacts of fertilisers. We also highlight areas of research requiring further investigation. The “biodiversity approach” has limitations and is best suited to restoring ecological processes rather than attempting to match the original pristine state. We advocate conserving intact grassland ecosystems as the key strategy for protecting grassland biodiversity, including small patches with disproportionately high biodiversity conservation value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grassland Restoration)
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18 pages, 3077 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Spatiotemporal Integration Evolution of the Urban Agglomeration through City Networks
by Dan Su, Xiaoqian Fang, Qing Wu and Yu Cao
Land 2022, 11(4), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040574 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2053
Abstract
Regional integration is a global trend and an integrated region consists of different cities of different sizes and functions, against which researching their organized structure is an important issue when discussing regional coordinated development. So, we construct the city networks, among which cities [...] Read more.
Regional integration is a global trend and an integrated region consists of different cities of different sizes and functions, against which researching their organized structure is an important issue when discussing regional coordinated development. So, we construct the city networks, among which cities and their linkages are regarded as nodes and connections, to explore the spatial characteristics of a region and evaluate the integration level. The Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration (YRDUA) is taken as the study area. For city nodes, this paper first evaluates the cities’ qualities comprehensively based on the multidimensional indicators during the rapid cities’ developmental period from 2005 to 2019. For city linkages, the interactions between different cities are then assessed by the improved gravity model. Then, the city networks consisting of city nodes and their linkages are constructed and analyzed by the social network analysis to deeply understand the orientations and relationships of cities in an integrated region. The results show that the developmental pace of different cities is imbalanced. The overall network of the YRDUA is relatively compact of the city-pair linkages forming the overlapping structure from primary to secondary axes, and different cities have specific functions. However, some small cities do not reach a mutual connection with big cities and face the risk of social resource outflow. In conclusion, attention to the existence of latent hierarchy should be paid to avoid the marginalization of small cities, especially under administrative intervention. The findings can enrich research on cities′ relationship and integration level of the YRDUA, and the specific characteristics of spatial organization paralleling with the leading development of the YRDUA can provide the reference to other regions under the strategy of national regional coordination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Sustainable Development of Yangtze River Delta, China)
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16 pages, 845 KiB  
Article
Integrating IPAT and CLUMondo Models to Assess the Impact of Carbon Peak on Land Use
by Han Wang, Yujie Jin, Xingming Hong, Fuan Tian, Jianxian Wu and Xin Nie
Land 2022, 11(4), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040573 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2231
Abstract
China’s growth plans include a carbon emission peak policy, which is a restriction that indirectly impacts land use structure. In this study, we simulate different paths for achieving policy objectives, and explore the linkages between those paths and land use change. The IPAT [...] Read more.
China’s growth plans include a carbon emission peak policy, which is a restriction that indirectly impacts land use structure. In this study, we simulate different paths for achieving policy objectives, and explore the linkages between those paths and land use change. The IPAT model was used to simulate the carbon emissions generated from a natural development scenario, an ideal policy scenario, and a retributive carbon emission scenario in China from 2020 to 2030. The simulation results were incorporated into the CLUMondo model as a demand driver to simulate the land use change in 2030. The results show that carbon emission peak policy can somewhat reduce carbon emissions and increase building land in a regulated way. However, the policy may also lead to a short-term surge in carbon emissions, a reactive expansion of arable land and building land. This may reduce losses in economic development when carbon emissions are limited, but does not achieve the integration of social, economic, and ecological goals. This study links the carbon emission peak policy with land use change and provides a fresh perspective on the Chinese government’s carbon reduction policy. Full article
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21 pages, 4164 KiB  
Article
Linking Land Use and Plant Functional Diversity Patterns in Sabah, Borneo, through Large-Scale Spatially Continuous Sentinel-2 Inference
by Leon T. Hauser, Joris Timmermans, Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia and Peter M. van Bodegom
Land 2022, 11(4), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040572 - 13 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1973
Abstract
Global biodiversity losses erode the functioning of our vital ecosystems. Functional diversity is increasingly recognized as a critical link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Satellite earth observation was proposed to address the current absence of information on large-scale continuous patterns of plant functional [...] Read more.
Global biodiversity losses erode the functioning of our vital ecosystems. Functional diversity is increasingly recognized as a critical link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Satellite earth observation was proposed to address the current absence of information on large-scale continuous patterns of plant functional diversity. This study demonstrates the inference and spatial mapping of functional diversity metrics through satellite remote sensing over a large key biodiversity region (Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, ~53,000 km2) and compares the derived estimates across a land-use gradient as an initial qualitative assessment to test the potential merits of the approach. Functional traits (leaf water content, chlorophyll-a and -b, and leaf area index) were estimated from Sentinel-2 spectral reflectance using a pre-trained neural network on radiative transfer modeling simulations. Multivariate functional diversity metrics were calculated, including functional richness, divergence, and evenness. Spatial patterns of functional diversity were related to land-use data distinguishing intact forest, logged forest, and oil palm plantations. Spatial patterns of satellite remotely sensed functional diversity are significantly related to differences in land use. Intact forests, as well as logged forests, featured consistently higher functional diversity compared to oil palm plantations. Differences were profound for functional divergence, whereas functional richness exhibited relatively large variances within land-use classes. By linking large-scale patterns of functional diversity as derived from satellite remote sensing to land-use information, this study indicated initial responsiveness to broad human disturbance gradients over large geographical and spatially contiguous extents. Despite uncertainties about the accuracy of the spatial patterns, this study provides a coherent early application of satellite-derived functional diversity toward further validation of its responsiveness across ecological gradients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Bio- and Geo-Diversity and Landscape Changes)
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15 pages, 2375 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study on Farmland Circulation between Plains and Mountainous Areas in an Arid Region: A Case Study of Zhangye City in Northwest China
by Xingyuan Xiao, Luxiang Shang and Yaqun Liu
Land 2022, 11(4), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040571 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1598
Abstract
Farmland circulation is essential for agricultural scale management. Due to rapid urbanization and industrialization, a large number of rural laborers have migrated to cities, resulting in accelerated farmland circulation. Revealing the farmland circulation in different geographical environments is conducive to efficient farmland management [...] Read more.
Farmland circulation is essential for agricultural scale management. Due to rapid urbanization and industrialization, a large number of rural laborers have migrated to cities, resulting in accelerated farmland circulation. Revealing the farmland circulation in different geographical environments is conducive to efficient farmland management but remain largely unknown. To this end, based on the questionnaire survey data and statistical data of Zhangye City, we compared the features of farmland circulation between plains and mountainous areas, and used the binary logistic regression model and other methods to analyze the main factors affecting differentiated farmland circulation at the plot level. The main circulation modes and proportions in the plains were leasing (54.4%), exchange (22.4%), and subcontracting (16.2%), while the single leasing mode in mountainous areas accounted for 89.5%. The scale management units of more than 33.33 ha accounted for 6.48% and 30.72% in plains and mountainous areas, respectively. The proportion of circulation periods exceeding 5 years were 28.13% and 2.23% in plains and mountainous areas, respectively. The factor of “degree of farmland fragmentation” positively affected (p < 0.01) the farmland circulation in plains areas but negatively affected (p < 0.01) that in mountainous areas. The “farmland circulation price” promoted (p < 0.01) farmland circulation in both plains and mountainous areas. Whereas the “actual water diversion” (p < 0.01) and “river source water” (p < 0.05) only had varying degrees of negative impacts on farmland circulation in plains areas. Decision makers should practice management measures such as regulating farmland circulation behavior, formulating reasonable farmland circulation pricing models, and integrating farmland to promote the circulation and efficient use of farmland. Full article
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25 pages, 1874 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Role of Contiguous Farmland Cultivation and Adoption of No-Tillage Technology in Improving Transferees’ Income Structure: Evidence from China
by Ruishi Si, Yumeng Yao, Xueqian Zhang, Qian Lu and Noshaba Aziz
Land 2022, 11(4), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040570 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1916
Abstract
Seasonal alternations of extreme weather such as continuous drought and rare rainstorms significantly influence farmers’ adoption of agricultural technologies. Compared with traditional tillage, no-tillage technology has more advantages to cope with extreme weather. It is hypothesized that the cultivation of contiguous farmland is [...] Read more.
Seasonal alternations of extreme weather such as continuous drought and rare rainstorms significantly influence farmers’ adoption of agricultural technologies. Compared with traditional tillage, no-tillage technology has more advantages to cope with extreme weather. It is hypothesized that the cultivation of contiguous farmland is still minimal in spite of the transference of farmland on a large scale in China, which ultimately halts the adoption of no-tillage technology and influences the income of households. The current study used 793 farmland transferees’ data from Shaanxi, Gansu, and Ningxia provinces of China to explore this phenomenon empirically. By employing the endogenous switching regression model, the study revealed that contiguous farmland significantly promotes the adoption of no-tillage technology and positively influences households’ agricultural and non-agricultural income. Meanwhile, the moderating effect of the stability of farmland rental contracts is explored. Further, it was also found that education level, organizational participation, relationship networks, and information acquisition channels influence the income of transferees who opt for no-tillage technology. The study further revealed that if a transferee who opts for no-tillage technology switches to traditional technology, their agricultural and non-agricultural income will decrease by 0.2893 and 1.6979 ten thousand yuan (RMB), respectively. In contrast, if a transferee who opts for traditional technology then switches to adopt no-tillage technology, their agricultural and non-agricultural income will increase by 0.1919 and 1.3044 ten thousand yuan (RMB), respectively. Conclusively, the current study’s empirical findings offer policymakers possible guidelines to devise strategies and encourage transferees to opt for no-tillage applications to increase their families’ income. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Land Production)
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22 pages, 40264 KiB  
Article
Nature-Based Solutions for the Sustainable Management of Urban Soils and Quality of Life Improvements
by Slaveya Petrova, Iliana Velcheva, Bogdan Nikolov, Nikola Angelov, Gergana Hristozova, Penka Zaprjanova, Ekaterina Valcheva, Irena Golubinova, Plamen Marinov-Serafimov, Petar Petrov, Veneta Stefanova, Evelina Varbanova, Deyana Georgieva, Violeta Stefanova, Mariyana Marhova, Marinela Tsankova and Ivan Iliev
Land 2022, 11(4), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040569 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
The rehabilitation and restoration of land-based ecosystems is a key strategy for recovering the services (goods and resources) ecosystems offer to humankind. The use of nature-based solutions (NBSs) to restore degraded soil functions and improve soil quality can be a sustainable and successful [...] Read more.
The rehabilitation and restoration of land-based ecosystems is a key strategy for recovering the services (goods and resources) ecosystems offer to humankind. The use of nature-based solutions (NBSs) to restore degraded soil functions and improve soil quality can be a sustainable and successful strategy to enhance their ecosystem services by working together with the forces of nature and using well-designed measures that require less maintenance, are more cost-effective, and if constructed in the right way may even be more effective over long periods because nature’s forces can increase the structural efficiency. In this study, we aimed to (i) evaluate the bioremediation capacity of some grasses and their suitability for lawn planting in settlements (in residential and non-residential areas, along roads, etc.) and (ii) propose technological solutions for their practical application in an urban environment. Emphasis was placed on the potential of some perennial grasses and their application for the bioremediation of polluted urban soils, including perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb), and bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.). A case study from the city of Plovdiv (Bulgaria) is presented, together with an effective technological solution for the establishment of urban lawns and the roadside green buffer patches. Full article
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18 pages, 2254 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impact of Science in the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
by Mariam Akhtar-Schuster, Lindsay C. Stringer, Graciela Metternicht, Nichole N. Barger, Jean-Luc Chotte and German Kust
Land 2022, 11(4), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040568 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3694
Abstract
In 2013, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) established a science–policy interface (SPI) to address Parties’ need for demand-driven, timely, interdisciplinary science and technical knowledge to tackle problems of desertification, land degradation and drought. Since then, a comprehensive assessment of the [...] Read more.
In 2013, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) established a science–policy interface (SPI) to address Parties’ need for demand-driven, timely, interdisciplinary science and technical knowledge to tackle problems of desertification, land degradation and drought. Since then, a comprehensive assessment of the SPI’s impacts on policy decision-making has been lacking, despite perceptions that the SPI is vital to the Convention’s success. Addressing this gap, this paper evaluates whether the SPI and its processes and outputs have provided the necessary scientific and technological knowledge and advice to Parties to support timely, evidence-informed decision-making. It applies an analytical framework to assess performance metrics, considering associated documents and evidence of societal relevance and social quality. The findings indicate that SPI outputs have improved implementation of the UNCCD since 2015, particularly in the context of Sustainable Development Goal Target 15.3. SPI outputs have supported scientific cooperation between the Convention and its strategic partners while enhancing its science and technology profile in line with Article 16 and Article 17. The findings indicate that further formalization of the SPI’s status within the UNCCD is vital to improve its functions, undertake its work, and enable the UNCCD to maintain its global lead in providing knowledge and advice on combating desertification, land degradation and drought. Full article
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17 pages, 1554 KiB  
Article
The New Dominator of the World: Modeling the Global Distribution of the Japanese Beetle under Land Use and Climate Change Scenarios
by Francesca Della Rocca and Pietro Milanesi
Land 2022, 11(4), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040567 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2703
Abstract
The spread of invasive species is a threat to global biodiversity. The Japanese beetle is native to Japan, but alien populations of this insect occur in North America, and recently, also in southern Europe. This beetle was recently included on the list of [...] Read more.
The spread of invasive species is a threat to global biodiversity. The Japanese beetle is native to Japan, but alien populations of this insect occur in North America, and recently, also in southern Europe. This beetle was recently included on the list of priority species of European concern, as it is a highly invasive agricultural pest. Thus, in this study, we aimed at (i) assessing its current distribution range, and identifying areas of potential invasion, and (ii) predicting its distribution using future climatic and land-use change scenarios for 2050. We collected species occurrences available on the citizen science platform iNaturalist, and we combined species data with climatic and land-use predictors using a Bayesian framework, specifically the integrated nested Laplace approximation, with a stochastic partial differential equation. We found that the current distribution of the Japanese beetle was mainly, and positively, driven by the percentage of croplands, the annual range of temperature, habitat diversity, percentage of human settlements, and human population density; it was negatively related to the distance to airports, elevation, mean temperature diurnal range, wetlands, and waters. As a result, based on current conditions, the Japanese beetle is likely to occur in 47,970,200 km2, while its distribution will range from between 53,418,200 and 59,126,825 km2, according to the 2050 climatic and land-use change scenarios. We concluded that the Japanese beetle is a high-risk invasive species, able to find suitable conditions for its colonization in several regions around the globe, especially in light of ongoing climatic change. Thus, we strongly recommend strict biosecurity checks and quarantines, as well as regular pest management surveys, in order to reduce its spread. Full article
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17 pages, 777 KiB  
Article
The Dysfunctional Rental Market in Portugal: A Policy Review
by Luís Mendes
Land 2022, 11(4), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040566 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3760
Abstract
In Portugal, due to the rental market’s inability to respond to the constant mismatch between supply and demand over the course of decades, things have become increasingly residual and dysfunctional within the scope of the homeownership market. Through analysis of various laws and [...] Read more.
In Portugal, due to the rental market’s inability to respond to the constant mismatch between supply and demand over the course of decades, things have become increasingly residual and dysfunctional within the scope of the homeownership market. Through analysis of various laws and legislative changes over the last century, as well as the participant observation acquired by the author’s two-and-a-half years of experience as a stakeholder in the sector, this paper aims to review rental policies in Portugal and the multiple impacts they have had on reproducing various weaknesses in the rental market. The paper concludes with some policy recommendations that advocate how government action is decisive in shaping housing and rental policy, establishing a legal and regulatory framework able to transmit credibility, stability and security to the contractual forms between supply and demand, in keeping with an effective right to housing through affordable renting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Housing Market)
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17 pages, 3689 KiB  
Article
System Design for Detecting Real Estate Speculation Abusing Inside Information: For the Fair Reallocation of Land
by Yeon-Jin Sim, Jeongmin Kim, Jaehyeon Choi and Jun-Ho Huh
Land 2022, 11(4), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040565 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1776
Abstract
In March 2021, a case of speculation that abused private internal information came to light, which involved a group of public officials from the Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH), and has since been labeled the ‘LH Scandal’. In this scandal, land was [...] Read more.
In March 2021, a case of speculation that abused private internal information came to light, which involved a group of public officials from the Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH), and has since been labeled the ‘LH Scandal’. In this scandal, land was misappropriated as a means of creating fraudulent values, instead of returning it to marginalized people in real need of residential space. As a result of this, preventive measures for similar cases have become warranted. Consequently, related laws have been passed, but this is only expected to show its effect as a follow-up response, therefore requiring a preemptive response plan. In this paper, we will propose a conceptual framework that can detect speculation that abuses private internal information, enabling a preemptive response, utilizing outlier detection and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) methods. The system is designed to create a database (DB) with private inside real estate information, which is linked to another DB with a list of outlier-detected areas that can potentially indicate speculation, and then the system confirms any speculation by comparing the two DBs accordingly. Once a speculation case is confirmed, the system automatically reports the case to the investigative agency. By using this system, we expect to detect hidden speculation cases already committed, as well as speculation cases in real-time. Ultimately, we hope to protect the original purpose of redevelopment and the construction of new towns (housing/retail mixed-use zones), redistributing available land on behalf of marginalized people, who are lacking in residential space, by raising the utility of land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Based Land Solutions and Big Data)
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21 pages, 2147 KiB  
Article
Ecosystem Stability Assessment of Yancheng Coastal Wetlands, a World Natural Heritage Site
by Peng Tian, Luodan Cao, Jialin Li, Ruiliang Pu, Yongchao Liu, Haitao Zhang and Caiyi Wang
Land 2022, 11(4), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040564 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2181
Abstract
By evaluating the stability of coastal wetland ecosystems, health conditions of regional ecosystems can be revealed and the sustainable development of coastal wetlands can be promoted. Coastal wetlands have been scarcely involved in present ecosystem stability evaluation studies, these being performed with relatively [...] Read more.
By evaluating the stability of coastal wetland ecosystems, health conditions of regional ecosystems can be revealed and the sustainable development of coastal wetlands can be promoted. Coastal wetlands have been scarcely involved in present ecosystem stability evaluation studies, these being performed with relatively simple evaluation data sources. Therefore, in this research, a comprehensive and representative ecosystem stability evaluation index system was constructed by using the pressure-state-response model and multi-source datasets from perspectives of internal and external environmental changes of the Yancheng coastal wetlands, Jiangsu, China. The analysis results indicated that: (1) The ecosystem stability of the Yancheng coastal wetlands was at an early warning stage, and all segments except the Binhai segment (relatively stable) were in an early warning state. (2) In the criterion layer, the Dafeng District and the whole Yancheng District were faced with the highest pressure, followed by the Dongtai, Xiangshui and Binhai segments, successively. The Sheyang segment reached the highest state level, followed by the Binhai, Xiangshui and Dafeng segments in succession. (3) In the factor layer, the whole Yancheng District was faced with high resource and socioeconomic double pressures, with a poor water quality state and relatively low environmental pressure; favorable soil, biological and landscape states; and positive response to wetland protection. Various factors varied from county to county. (4) In the index layer, the ecosystem stability of the Yancheng coastal wetlands was significantly influenced by the invasion of alien species, change rate of natural wetland area (D32), change rate of artificial wetland area, increment of aquafarm area, intensity of fertilizer application and coverage of dominant vegetations. The novel significance of this research lies in enriching global coastal wetlands ecosystem stability evaluation investigations by providing a typical case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection, Management and Restoration of Coastal Ecosystems)
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16 pages, 2611 KiB  
Article
Reconfiguration of Cultural Resources for Tourism in Urban Villages—A Case Study of Huangpu Ancient Village in Guangzhou
by Liying Lin, Desheng Xue and Yi Yu
Land 2022, 11(4), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040563 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2849
Abstract
In the course of China’s rapid urbanization, rural places are brought into urban areas, forming semi-urbanization. These semi-urbanized sites suggest a dual urban–rural structure in their form and management. With the slowing down of urbanization, the Chinese government adopted heritage tourism to boost [...] Read more.
In the course of China’s rapid urbanization, rural places are brought into urban areas, forming semi-urbanization. These semi-urbanized sites suggest a dual urban–rural structure in their form and management. With the slowing down of urbanization, the Chinese government adopted heritage tourism to boost the local economy. Local historic buildings and cultural resources were regenerated and restored in this process. This paper aims at examining the role of heritage tourism in blurring the boundary of rurality and urbanity, boosting local economy, and revitalizing the areas with cultural-led development. In this paper, we analyzed the Huangpu Ancient Village’s regeneration process. We argue that the Huangpu Ancient Village integrates local historical and cultural resources to boost the local economy, simultaneously adopting urban renewal and rural revival strategies. This paper contributes to the body of literature addressing villages in urban areas, breaking the duality of urbanity and rurality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Transformation under Rapid Urbanization)
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17 pages, 2667 KiB  
Article
Land Degradation Neutrality: State and Trend of Degradation at the Subnational Level in Mexico
by Itzel Arroyo, Virginia Cervantes, Víctor Tamaríz-Flores and Rosalía Castelán
Land 2022, 11(4), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040562 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2148
Abstract
Identifying degraded lands and degradation trends is essential to determine measures that contribute to avoiding, reducing, and reversing the rate of deterioration of natural resources. In this study, we assessed the state and trend of degradation in Ixtacamaxtitlan, Puebla, Mexico, by determining the [...] Read more.
Identifying degraded lands and degradation trends is essential to determine measures that contribute to avoiding, reducing, and reversing the rate of deterioration of natural resources. In this study, we assessed the state and trend of degradation in Ixtacamaxtitlan, Puebla, Mexico, by determining the spatial and temporal changes of three indicators, Land Cover (LC), Land Productivity Dynamics (LPD), and Soil Organic Carbon (SOC), during the period 2000–2015, using global data proposed by the Convention to Combat Desertification for the implementation of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). The results showed increases in croplands (6.89%) and a reduction in grasslands (9.09%), with this being the transition that presents the most significant extension in the territory. The LPD is the indicator where the most deterioration was observed, and due to negative changes in LC, SOC losses were estimated at more than 7000 tons in the study period. The proportion of degraded land was 19% of approximately 567.68 km2 of Ixtacamaxtitlan’s surface. Although the municipality presents incipient degradation and only a tiny part showed improvement, identifying areas with degradation processes in this work will favor degradation monitoring and the adequate planning and application of restoration measures in the local context to promote the path towards LDN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Degradation and Sustainable Land Management)
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