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Land, Volume 11, Issue 5 (May 2022) – 172 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Corral del Veleta cirque (3150 m), Sierra Nevada, houses relict glacial ice and permafrost in a process of degradation. Located in the Southwestern Mediterranean, it is where the southernmost glacial witnesses of the Little Ice Age in Europe are found, originating from the glacier that developed at the head of the Guarnón valley. Their evolution has been monitored over the period of 2001–2019 using geomatic and geophysical techniques applied to the morphogenic dynamic of a rock glacier. The results obtained reveal a progressive shrinkage in underlying frozen bodies and significant changes in the modeling of the rock glacier. All of this is associated with climatic variability in the Sierra Nevada high mountains since the end of the 1980s, particularly in the snowfall and thermal regimes. View this paper
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14 pages, 2199 KiB  
Article
Designing Policy Mixes to Address the World’s Worst Devastation of a Rural Landscape Caused by Xylella Epidemic
by Antonio Lopolito and Edgardo Sica
Land 2022, 11(5), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050763 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1433
Abstract
The socio-economic consequences of the Xylella fastidiosa epidemic represent a global problem that can only be addressed through tailored, local solutions. The selection of public interventions is not a trivial task for policy makers, as they must weigh many different interests (e.g., private [...] Read more.
The socio-economic consequences of the Xylella fastidiosa epidemic represent a global problem that can only be addressed through tailored, local solutions. The selection of public interventions is not a trivial task for policy makers, as they must weigh many different interests (e.g., private profit, ecosystem services, usability, preservation and growth of real estate value, amenities, and land protection). The present paper addresses this challenge by building participatory scenarios based on “fuzzy cognitive maps,” with the aim of identifying effective, acceptable, and efficient policy mixes to address the Xylella epidemic. The work investigates the case of southern Salento (Italy)–an olive production area at the epicentre of the global Xylella outbreak–to identify the most suitable actions for regenerating the landscape. To this end, the most efficient policy mixes are determined according to three possible policy perspectives, which provide different weights for effectiveness and acceptability. The results show that the proposed methodological approach may assist policy makers in coping with multifaceted policy challenges. Full article
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27 pages, 7045 KiB  
Article
Integrated Planning and Implementation of a Blue-Green Architecture Project by Applying a Design-Build Teaching Approach
by Friederike Well and Ferdinand Ludwig
Land 2022, 11(5), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050762 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2941
Abstract
Blue-green architecture (BGA) describes buildings and open spaces that combine nature-based and technical systems of vegetation and urban water management. This creates positive effects on the urban climate, public health, biodiversity, and water balance. In this study, a design strategy for BGA is [...] Read more.
Blue-green architecture (BGA) describes buildings and open spaces that combine nature-based and technical systems of vegetation and urban water management. This creates positive effects on the urban climate, public health, biodiversity, and water balance. In this study, a design strategy for BGA is applied and evaluated on a practical project. The project consists of an interdisciplinary course in which students of architecture and landscape architecture designed and implemented a BGA for a school garden in Munich, Germany. The students worked in an interdisciplinary planning team in which they took on different roles and responsibilities (blue/green/integration). As a result, the design was put into practice by their own hands and a nature-based system was built. The greywater from the school garden is now treated in a constructed wetland and, in combination with rainwater, feeds into a redesigned pond. Biodiversity was increased and a contribution to the environmental education of the pupils was made. The students demonstrated high learning success. Finally, the design strategy for BGA was positively evaluated using a design-based research approach and additional points were added for future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Green and Blue Infrastructure in the View of Global Warming)
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14 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Governing the Metropolis: An International Review of Metropolitanisation, Metropolitan Governance and the Relationship with Sustainable Land Management
by Niamh Moore-Cherry, Carla Maria Kayanan, John Tomaney and Andy Pike
Land 2022, 11(5), 761; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050761 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3050
Abstract
Recent research has identified the potential of the metropolitan scale, and indeed metropolitan bodies, in achieving greater coordination and more effective land-use management. In this paper, we have undertaken a systematic scoping review of the English-language literature (2014–2019) on metropolitanisation and metropolitan governance, [...] Read more.
Recent research has identified the potential of the metropolitan scale, and indeed metropolitan bodies, in achieving greater coordination and more effective land-use management. In this paper, we have undertaken a systematic scoping review of the English-language literature (2014–2019) on metropolitanisation and metropolitan governance, with a view to understanding the potential relationship with more sustainable land management. Our scoping review identified several dominant trends within current research on metropolitanisation and metropolitan governance illustrating the complexity between sustainable land management and issues of territorial politics, resourcing, and power relations. The centrality of collaborative working relationships in supporting sustainable land management is identified, yet collaboration and effective metropolitan scale governance is not always an easy task or readily implemented. The paper identifies a series of challenges and concludes that while there is general consensus that the metropolitan arena may be an appropriate scale through which to support more sustainable land management, there is no agreement on the mechanisms to enable this. Steering and more strongly directing metropolitanisation processes through either formal metropolitan governance structures or other tools could provide a potential approach but will require significant adaptation in power and funding structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Governance of Land Use)
21 pages, 1239 KiB  
Article
Urban Sensory Gardens with Aromatic Herbs in the Light of Climate Change: Therapeutic Potential and Memory-Dependent Smell Impact on Human Wellbeing
by Izabela Krzeptowska-Moszkowicz, Łukasz Moszkowicz and Karolina Porada
Land 2022, 11(5), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050760 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3531
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze urban sensory gardens containing aromatic herbs in terms of the plants used in them. The analysis considered the impact of climate change, particularly of higher temperatures, which may affect the character of contemporary urban gardens. [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze urban sensory gardens containing aromatic herbs in terms of the plants used in them. The analysis considered the impact of climate change, particularly of higher temperatures, which may affect the character of contemporary urban gardens. The study was planned primarily in the context of the gardens’ therapeutic significance to their users. An important part of the work was to analyze how particular aromatic plants are perceived and received by the inhabitants, using the example of one of Poland's largest cities, Kraków, to assess whether they can have an impact on the inhabitants’ positive memories and thus improve their well-being. Initially, the plant composition of gardens located in Poland that feature aromatic herbs was analyzed. This was followed by a survey and an analysis of therapeutic gardens using the Trojanowska method as modified by Krzeptowska-Moszkowicz et al. The plant composition analysis of sensory gardens featuring herbs demonstrated that vulnerable plants in the Central European climate are being introduced to urban sensory gardens. In terms of major aromatic plants, it was found that almost every respondent reported the existence of scents that had some form of essential significance associated with personal memories. Considering the important sensory impact of water elements in therapeutic gardens, as well as problems related to the acquisition of drinking water or water used in agriculture or horticulture, the paper also addresses this topic. It was found that the city dwellers who filled in the questionnaire strongly preferred the introduction of more ecological solutions in the gardens related to water use—to collect and use rainwater, e.g., for watering, instead of piped water. Full article
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15 pages, 37439 KiB  
Article
Research on the Measurement Method of Benchmark Price of Rental Housing
by Hao Xi, Lin Tang and Changchun Feng
Land 2022, 11(5), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050759 - 22 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2075
Abstract
China’s rental housing market has just started to develop in recent years. It is relatively imperfect and lacks a clear reference for the pricing of rents, which is not fully transparent. A study on the rent formation mechanism of rental housing has policy [...] Read more.
China’s rental housing market has just started to develop in recent years. It is relatively imperfect and lacks a clear reference for the pricing of rents, which is not fully transparent. A study on the rent formation mechanism of rental housing has policy implications for the construction of a guiding price for the rental housing market and the establishment of a reference basis for the pricing of subsidized housing. Referring to the definition of a benchmark land price, we use data from Beijing to innovatively introduce the concept of benchmark rent. Based on hedonic price theory and the driving factors of benchmark rent, a system of indicators is constructed to explore the mechanism of influencing factors at meso and micro levels on the benchmark rent of market-based rental housing. After LaGrange and robustness tests, it is found that the spatial error model (SEM) is more suitable for benchmark rent determination. We conclude that benchmark rents are affected by spatial relationships caused by spatial heterogeneity and dependency, and that there is significant spatial variation in the factors affecting market-based rental housing benchmark rents. The determination of the benchmark rent can be used as a guiding signal for the market, as a clear signal expectation for the market, government, and tenants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Housing Market)
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19 pages, 7260 KiB  
Article
Consistency and Accuracy of Four High-Resolution LULC Datasets—Indochina Peninsula Case Study
by Hao Wang, Huimin Yan, Yunfeng Hu, Yue Xi and Yichen Yang
Land 2022, 11(5), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050758 - 22 May 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2208
Abstract
Open and high-temporal- and spatial-resolution global land use/land cover (LULC) mapping data form the foundation of global change research and cross-scale land management planning. However, the consistency and reliability of the use of multisource LULC datasets in specific regions need to be quantitatively [...] Read more.
Open and high-temporal- and spatial-resolution global land use/land cover (LULC) mapping data form the foundation of global change research and cross-scale land management planning. However, the consistency and reliability of the use of multisource LULC datasets in specific regions need to be quantitatively assessed. In this study, we selected the Indochina Peninsula as the research area; considered four datasets: LSV10, GLC_FCS30, ESRI10, and Globeland30; and analyzed them from four dimensions: the similarity of composition type, the degree of category confusion, spatial consistency, and data accuracy. The results show that: (1) the land composition descriptions of the different datasets are consistent. The study area is dominated by forest and cropland, supplemented by grassland, shrubland, and other land types. (2) The correlation coefficient between datasets is between 0.905 and 0.972; the spatial consistency of datasets is good; and the high-consistency area accounts for 77.87% of the total. (3) The overall accuracy of LSV10 is the highest (83.25%), and that of GLC_FCS30 is the lowest (72.27%). The accuracy of cropland, forest, water area, and built-up land is generally high (above 85%); the accuracy of grassland, shrubland, and bare land is low (below 60%). Therefore, researchers must conduct validation for specific regions and specific land types before using the above datasets. Our findings provide a basis for selecting LULC datasets in related research on the Indochina Peninsula and a reference method for assessing the reliability of multisource LULC datasets in other regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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16 pages, 28160 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Changes in Urban Land Use and Efficiency Evaluation in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau from 1990 to 2020
by Shujing Fu, Xuexia Zhang, Wenhui Kuang and Changqing Guo
Land 2022, 11(5), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050757 - 22 May 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau has seen decades of changes in land use/cover as a result of urbanization and regional planning policy. Research on the efficiency of social development aids in the pursuit of social and environmental sustainability. Based on CLUD and socioeconomic statistical data, [...] Read more.
The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau has seen decades of changes in land use/cover as a result of urbanization and regional planning policy. Research on the efficiency of social development aids in the pursuit of social and environmental sustainability. Based on CLUD and socioeconomic statistical data, this study systematically analyses the spatiotemporal evolution characteristics of urban land use in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and evaluates its social development efficiency from three perspectives—the holistic, the municipal, and urban hierarchy—by using indicators such as the Moran index, land use efficiency, and urban expansion speed and proportion. Results show that the urbanization rate climbed from 21.26% to 54.95%, and the area of urban lands increased from 201.93 km2 to 796.59 km2 from 1990 to 2020, with urban lands expanding from the Lanzhou–Xining City Area to the central and south of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. The holistic urban land use efficiency grew from 1.14 to 1.53, while the UPD decreased slightly from 1.44 to 1.31, and the UED increased steadily from 1.40 to 12.97 per decade. Moreover, we should pay attention to the rational allocation of land in human, social and ecosystem terms to comprehensively improve the quality of urbanization across the plateau. Full article
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18 pages, 2979 KiB  
Article
Exploration of Informal Farmland Leasing Mode: A Case Study of Huang Village in China
by Tingting Fang, Yuefei Zhuo, Cifang Wu, Yihu Zhou, Zhongguo Xu and Guan Li
Land 2022, 11(5), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050756 - 21 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2137
Abstract
How to effectively promote the large-scale and market-oriented farmland leasing process in China is one of the most important practical issues concerning the current academic circle and decision makers. However, restricted by the current situation of rural social development, farmers’ spontaneous and informal [...] Read more.
How to effectively promote the large-scale and market-oriented farmland leasing process in China is one of the most important practical issues concerning the current academic circle and decision makers. However, restricted by the current situation of rural social development, farmers’ spontaneous and informal farmland leasing is still widespread. Exploring the long-term evolution characteristics of informal farmland leasing at the village scale is of great significance for optimizing the process of farmland leasing, perfecting the farmland leasing market, and promoting moderate-scale farmland management. Therefore, based on field survey data from the whole village and social network analysis methods, this research conducted a detailed empirical study on the characteristics, development process, and consequences of informal farmland leasing behavior in a traditional rural society in central China. The results show that with the development of time, the scope of informal farmland leasing in Huang village has been expanding, of which more than 70% of the farmland in 2020 was leased among acquaintances. Farmland leasing among acquaintances is becoming a trend toward informal farmland leasing in some villages. At present, 13 large-scale households lease 73.9% of the total area of farmland leasing in Huang village. The informal farmland leasing in the village has basically formed a centralized circulation pattern with the villager group as the core, which can promote moderate-scale farming to a certain extent. However, there are also problems, such as the ability of a simple internal leasing mode to resist external risks is limited. The findings may be helpful in rethinking China’s farmland leasing policy and provide useful insights into the multifaceted rural sustainability of other similar traditional villages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Rural Sustainability)
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27 pages, 7043 KiB  
Article
The Spatiotemporal Non-Stationary Effect of Industrial Agglomeration on Urban Land Use Efficiency: A Case Study of Yangtze River Delta, China
by Hangang Hu, Lisha Pan, Xin Jing, Guan Li, Yuefei Zhuo, Zhongguo Xu, Yang Chen and Xueqi Wang
Land 2022, 11(5), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050755 - 21 May 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2743
Abstract
All over the world, Industrial agglomeration has become a key to improve the efficiency of urban land use and regulate the process of urbanization. Industrial agglomeration, as a universal economic geographical phenomenon, has been extensively studied, but few scholars have discussed the relationship [...] Read more.
All over the world, Industrial agglomeration has become a key to improve the efficiency of urban land use and regulate the process of urbanization. Industrial agglomeration, as a universal economic geographical phenomenon, has been extensively studied, but few scholars have discussed the relationship between industrial agglomeration and urban land use efficiency. Based on this, after classifying the type of agglomeration externalities, our study uses OLS and GTWR models to explore the complex mechanism of interaction between industrial agglomeration externalities and urban land use efficiency, especially the spatiotemporal non-stationary characteristics. We found that the impact of industrial agglomeration externalities on urban land use efficiency is significantly unstable in time and space, and the coexistence, substitution and aging mechanism of agglomeration externalities among different types were also observed. Our research can provide reference for city managers to formulate reasonable industrial policies and enterprises to choose the location. Meanwhile, our research has made some contributions to the academic research on urban land use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land Development in the Process of Urbanization)
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23 pages, 9269 KiB  
Article
Landscape, Memory, and Adverse Shocks: The 1968 Earthquake in Belìce Valley (Sicily, Italy): A Case Study
by Gianni Petino, Maria Donata Napoli and Mario Mattia
Land 2022, 11(5), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050754 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3300
Abstract
The interaction between humans and nature dramatically reveals the role of sudden and destructive events in the progressive and never-ending trend of depletion of the territorial dimension of the Belìce Valley (Valle del Belìce, Sicily, Italy). If on the one hand a tragic [...] Read more.
The interaction between humans and nature dramatically reveals the role of sudden and destructive events in the progressive and never-ending trend of depletion of the territorial dimension of the Belìce Valley (Valle del Belìce, Sicily, Italy). If on the one hand a tragic event, such as the earthquake of 1968, that destroyed towns and villages in the Belìce Valley, represented a moment of pain and suffering for local communities and their territories, on the other, more than 50 years after the event, we are able to shed light on the reaction to the earthquake effects through an in-depth analysis of the heritage of the physical and immaterial rubble. Our research is aimed at framing, through special geovisual tools, the paths of this rebuilding process and to verify whether the “new” interaction of humans and nature has reached an acceptable balance. After introducing the concept of landscape and investigating some local manifestations within the Belìce Valley, we tackle the technical question of re-photography as a powerful and quick method for observing the territorial changes that occurred after the earthquake. This approach is based on the collection of historical photographs and, subsequently, onsite activities for the creation of a contemporary archive of images. The method used for comparing the images was that of re-photographic overlapping, a useful technique to compare different moments of the history of a landscape and to analyze the effectiveness of the process of rebuilding. Finally, this analysis introduces us to a new perspective where in our opinion, it is possible to frame some features of the Belìce Valley and some more general aspects that are useful for other territories hit by destructive events and having to face choices related to the future of their communities. Full article
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19 pages, 2710 KiB  
Article
Carbon Emission Intensity Characteristics and Spatial Spillover Effects in Counties in Northeast China: Based on a Spatial Econometric Model
by Zhenjun Gao, Shujie Li, Xiufeng Cao and Yuefen Li
Land 2022, 11(5), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050753 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
Under the “double carbon” target, it is important to reduce carbon emissions in each region. Using exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA), the center of gravity method, and spatial econometric models, we analyzed the characteristics and spatial spillover effects of carbon emission intensity in [...] Read more.
Under the “double carbon” target, it is important to reduce carbon emissions in each region. Using exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA), the center of gravity method, and spatial econometric models, we analyzed the characteristics and spatial spillover effects of carbon emission intensity in counties in Northeast China from 2000 to 2020 and made recommendations to the government for more reasonable carbon reduction strategies in order to achieve sustainable development. The results were as follows: (1) Since 2000, the carbon emission intensity in Northeast China has increased after first declining, and the carbon emission intensity in the western and northern regions of Northeast China has increased faster than Northeast China’s average. (2) After 2000, the spatial aggregation of carbon emission intensity has improved in Northeast China. (3) Northeast China’s carbon emission intensity has a positive spatial spillover effect. Through the feedback mechanism, the growth in population size, the rise in economic development level, the level of industrialization as well as the rise in living standard, the land use structure dominated by arable land and construction land, and the increase in urbanization level in the region will cause the carbon emission intensity in the surrounding areas to increase. An increase in public expenditures leads to a decrease in carbon emission intensity in the adjacent area. (4) When the vegetation cover exceeds its threshold value, it can have a larger inhibitory influence on carbon emission intensity. To summarize, each county in Northeast China is a carbon emission reduction community, and policymakers must consider the spatial spillover effect of carbon emission intensity when developing policies. Full article
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20 pages, 4223 KiB  
Article
Research on the Response of Ecosystem Service Function to Landscape Pattern Changes Caused by Land Use Transition: A Case Study of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
by Yongqiang Liu, Shuang Wang, Zipeng Chen and Shuangshuang Tu
Land 2022, 11(5), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050752 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1738
Abstract
Land use transitions cause reconfigurations of regional landscape patterns which can further change the regional ecosystem service functions and its values, especially in environmentally fragile regions. Firstly, this paper theoretically examines the relationships between land use transitions, landscape pattern evolution and the responses [...] Read more.
Land use transitions cause reconfigurations of regional landscape patterns which can further change the regional ecosystem service functions and its values, especially in environmentally fragile regions. Firstly, this paper theoretically examines the relationships between land use transitions, landscape pattern evolution and the responses of ecosystem service functions in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Guangxi). Then, it explores the spatio-temporal evolution features of land use transition by using land use change matrices, examines landscape patterns by using the landscape pattern index, and studies ecosystem service value (ESV) by revising the coefficients of ESV per unit area. Finally, focus is placed on the empirical analysis of ESV responses to landscape pattern evolution caused by land use transitions in Guangxi. The results show that: (1) Guangxi has undergone an overall intensity-changing process of land use transition at a moderate rate during 1990–2010 and at a drastic rate during 2010–2018. In general, the area of construction land and waterbodies has increased, while forested land, grassland and farmland have decreased. Landscape fragmentation and heterogeneity are higher in the central area than that in the surrounding areas, while patch aggregation and connectivity show an opposite trend. Forested land patches are highly clustered, while grassland and farmland are fragmented and scattered and construction land patches tend to have aggregated. (2) The total loss of ESV has reached 20.56 billion RMB in Guangxi, and all areas’ single ESVs have decreased to different degrees during the past 28 years. Spatially, the ESV distribution shows a differentiated pattern of low in the central plain and high in the surrounding mountain regions which are mainly dominated by high-value zones. (3) The total ESV has significant positive correlations with the largest patch index (LPI), COHESION and the Aggregation Index (AI), and significant negative correlations with the Number of Patches (NP) and the Shannon Diversity Index (SHDI), while the correlation with the Landscape Shape Index (LSI) is not significant, indicating that the influence on ESV caused by landscape pattern evolution varies greatly. (4) The change of land area and multi-directional shifts among different land use types caused by land use transitions in Guangxi could both lead to the evolution of landscape patterns. Further, ecological service function responded obviously to the landscape pattern evolution in Guangxi, causing significant changes in strengthening or weakening of the ecological service function and its value. This systematic analysis should help coordinate the relationship of regional land use regulation, landscape pattern optimization and ecosystem operation in Guangxi or even China. Full article
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25 pages, 2696 KiB  
Article
How Land Transactions Affect Carbon Emissions: Evidence from China
by Longji Zeng, Yuandi Wang and Yajuan Deng
Land 2022, 11(5), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050751 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2007
Abstract
Land use change has become the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after fossil energy combustion. In the context of developing a low-carbon economy, it is important to study how to achieve energy savings and emission reduction by adjusting land prices, and transforming [...] Read more.
Land use change has become the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after fossil energy combustion. In the context of developing a low-carbon economy, it is important to study how to achieve energy savings and emission reduction by adjusting land prices, and transforming land trading methods and land use types. Utilizing a balanced panel dataset about 291 sample cities in China, during the period of 2010–2016, this paper divided land transactions into three dimensions: land transaction price, land transaction modes, and land transfer structure; then employed a fixed-effect model to investigate the relationship between land transactions and carbon emissions. On top of this, we further analyzed the moderating role of economic development level and emission reduction policy. This study found that land transaction price can significantly inhibit carbon emissions; the amount of land sold by auction and listing has a stronger inhibitory effect on carbon emissions than by bidding; the higher the transfer proportion of industrial land, the higher the carbon emissions, while the transfer proportion of residential land is significantly negatively correlated with carbon emissions; the moderating mechanism shows that the level of economic development and emission reduction policy can play a moderating role in the relationship between land transactions and carbon emissions, but the moderating effect of emission reduction policy is limited, only existing in the relationships between land transaction price, the amount of listed land, and carbon emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
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21 pages, 4483 KiB  
Article
Soil Slope Exposure Affects Physico-Chemical and Microbiological Properties in Soil Aggregate Size Fractions
by Tommaso Bardelli, Shamina Imran Pathan, Paola Arfaioli, Nadia Vignozzi, Sergio Pellegrini, Flavio Fornasier, Markus Egli, María Gómez-Brandón, Heribert Insam, Giacomo Pietramellara and Judith Ascher-Jenull
Land 2022, 11(5), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050750 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1870
Abstract
Slope exposure is known to affect soil biogeochemical processes in mountainous forest ecosystems, but little attention has yet been paid to its influence at a soil aggregate scale. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of slope exposure (north- vs south-facing slope) on the physico-chemical [...] Read more.
Slope exposure is known to affect soil biogeochemical processes in mountainous forest ecosystems, but little attention has yet been paid to its influence at a soil aggregate scale. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of slope exposure (north- vs south-facing slope) on the physico-chemical and microbiological properties of bulk soil and dry-sieved and water-stable aggregate size fractions in both organic (OF) and mineral (AE) horizons in an Italian alpine forest. The changes in organic carbon (OC) and nitrogen (ON) fractions were assessed together with a battery of thirteen enzyme activities involved in the main nutrient cycles. In addition, soil biological properties including microbial biomass (estimated as double-stranded DNA content), and microbial activity (assessed as the ratio between the extra-(exDNA) and intracellular (iDNA) fractions of the total soil DNA pool) were determined. The OF horizon at the north-facing slope was enriched in recalcitrant and insoluble OC and ON fractions and characterized by a lower microbial activity, as indicated by the higher exDNA/iDNA ratio with respect to the south-facing slope. On the contrary, exDNA and iDNA contents, microbial biomass, as well as most of the enzyme activities, reached higher levels at the southern exposure in the AE horizon. These exposure-effects were bulk soil- and aggregate size fraction-specific. Overall, lower values of the chemical and microbiological parameters were found in the water-stable fraction. Our findings indicate that slope exposure (and thus topography), soil horizon, and aggregate size distinctly influence soil OC dynamics in mountain ecosystems. Full article
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22 pages, 5297 KiB  
Article
The Trade-Offs/Synergies and Their Spatial-Temporal Characteristics between Ecosystem Services and Human Well-Being Linked to Land-Use Change in the Capital Region of China
by Mengxue Liu, Xiaobin Dong, Xuechao Wang, Bingyu Zhao, Hejie Wei, Weiguo Fan and Chenyang Zhang
Land 2022, 11(5), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050749 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2710
Abstract
With the rise of the strategy of Coordinated Development for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, it is necessary to evaluate the trade-offs/synergies of the survival environment and human well-being in Hebei, the capital region of China. However, existing methods cannot analyze and express trade-offs/synergies of [...] Read more.
With the rise of the strategy of Coordinated Development for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, it is necessary to evaluate the trade-offs/synergies of the survival environment and human well-being in Hebei, the capital region of China. However, existing methods cannot analyze and express trade-offs/synergies of two or more variables simultaneously. Therefore, this paper proposes a new framework to express the trade-offs/synergies among land-use intensity, ecosystem services, and human well-being. In this paper, we first identified the land-use intensity change and land-use transformation and evaluated ecosystem services and human well-being in Hebei from 2000–2015 under the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment framework. Then, the trade-offs/synergies of the three indicators were determined by GIS-based methods and MATLAB. The results show that land-use intensity and human well-being mainly present a synergistic relationship, while ecosystem services and land-use intensity mainly present a trade-off relationship, and ecosystem services and human well-being also present a trade-off relationship in Hebei during 2000–2015. In addition, some regional solutions to achieve sustainable development were proposed: region 1 needs to adjust land-use structure, region 2 needs to protect the ecological environment to improve the supply of ecosystem services, and region 3 needs to commit to improving the regional comprehensive human well-being. This study not only proposes a new framework for analyzing trade-offs/synergies of land use intensity, ecosystem services, and human well-being, but it also provides regional solutions for Hebei to achieve sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Land Use/Land Cover Change Modeling)
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20 pages, 2299 KiB  
Article
Microbiological Analysis and Metagenomic Profiling of the Bacterial Community of an Anthropogenic Soil Modified from Typic Haploxererts
by Pietro Barbaccia, Carmelo Dazzi, Elena Franciosi, Rosalia Di Gerlando, Luca Settanni and Giuseppe Lo Papa
Land 2022, 11(5), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050748 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2439
Abstract
This work aimed to characterize the microbial communities of an anthropogenic soil originating from application of pedotechniques to Vertisols in a Mediterranean environment. Bare soil profiles were sampled at three depths (0–10 cm, 10–30 cm, and 30–50 cm) and compared with the original [...] Read more.
This work aimed to characterize the microbial communities of an anthropogenic soil originating from application of pedotechniques to Vertisols in a Mediterranean environment. Bare soil profiles were sampled at three depths (0–10 cm, 10–30 cm, and 30–50 cm) and compared with the original soil not transformed at the same depths. The anthropogenic soils were characterized by a higher CaCO3 concentration (360–640 g/kg) than control soil (190–200 g/kg), while an opposite trend was registered for clay, where control soil showed a higher concentration (465 g/kg on average) than anthropogenic soil (355 g/kg on average). Organic carbon content was much higher in the untransformed soil. All samples were microbiologically investigated using a combined culture-dependent and -independent approach. Each pedon displayed a generally decreasing level with soil depth for the several microbial groups investigated; in particular, filamentous fungi were below the detection limit at 30–50 cm. To isolate bacteria actively involved in soil particle aggregation, colonies with mucoid appearance were differentiated at the strain level and genetically identified: the major groups were represented by Bacillus and Pseudomonas. MiSeq Illumina analysis identified Actinobacteria and Firmicutes as the main groups. A high microbial variability was found in all the three anthropogenic pedons and the microorganisms constitute a mature community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nature-Based Solutions)
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19 pages, 14790 KiB  
Article
Inference of Local Climate Zones from GIS Data, and Comparison to WUDAPT Classification and Custom-Fit Clusters
by Fadel Muhammad, Changkun Xie, Julian Vogel and Afshin Afshari
Land 2022, 11(5), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050747 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2780
Abstract
A GIS-based approach is used in this study to obtain a better LCZ map of Berlin in comparison to the remote-sensing-based WUDAPT L0 approach. The LCZ classification of land use/cover can be used, among other applications, to characterize the urban heat island. An [...] Read more.
A GIS-based approach is used in this study to obtain a better LCZ map of Berlin in comparison to the remote-sensing-based WUDAPT L0 approach. The LCZ classification of land use/cover can be used, among other applications, to characterize the urban heat island. An improved fuzzy logic method is employed for the purpose of classification of the zone properties to yield the GIS-LCZ map over 100 m × 100 m grid tiles covering the Berlin region. The zone properties are calculated from raster and vector datasets with the aids of the urban multi-scale environmental predictor (UMEP), QGIS and Python scripts. The standard framework is modified by reducing the threshold for the zone property impervious fraction for LCZ E to better detect paved surfaces in urban areas. Another modification is the reduction in the window size in the majority filter during post-processing, compared to the WUDAPT L0 method, to retain more details in the GIS-LCZ map. Moreover, new training areas are generated considering building height information. The result of the GIS-LCZ approach is compared to the new training areas for accuracy assessment, which shows better overall accuracy compared to that of the WUDAPT L0 method. The new training areas are also submitted to the LCZ generator and the resulting LCZ-map gives a better overall accuracy value compared to the previous (WUDAPT) submission. This study shows one shortcoming of the WUDAPT L0 method: it does not explicitly use building height information and that leads to misclassification of LCZs in several cases. The GIS-LCZ method addresses this shortcoming effectively. Finally, an unsupervised machine learning method, k-means clustering, is applied to cluster the grid tiles according to their zone properties into custom classes. The custom clusters are compared to the GIS-LCZ classes and the results indicate that k-means clustering can identify more complex city-specific classes or LCZ transition types, while the GIS-LCZ method always divides regions into the standard LCZ classes. Full article
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15 pages, 3599 KiB  
Article
Effects of Forest Harvesting Operations on the Recovery of Earthworms and Nematodes in the Hyrcanain Old-Growth Forest: Assessment, Mitigation, and Best Management Practice
by Hadi Sohrabi, Meghdad Jourgholami, Angela Lo Monaco and Rodolfo Picchio
Land 2022, 11(5), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050746 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1860
Abstract
The quality and performance of forest soil is closely related to the characteristics of the faunal community in the soil. Focusing on soil organisms can provide good indicators to choose the best soil restoration methods to improve the properties of degraded forest soils. [...] Read more.
The quality and performance of forest soil is closely related to the characteristics of the faunal community in the soil. Focusing on soil organisms can provide good indicators to choose the best soil restoration methods to improve the properties of degraded forest soils. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the effects of the tree litter of different species on the recovery of soil organisms (earthworms and nematodes) from skid trails over a 20-year period after harvest operations. For this purpose, three skid trails with different ages after harvest operations (6, 10, and 20 years), considering three tree litter treatments (beech, beech–hornbeam, and mixed beech) and three traffic intensity classes (low, medium, and high), were identified. The combination of treatments was carried out in the forest with three replications, and a total of 18 sample plots of 0.5 m2 were harvested to measure earthworms and nematodes. The results showed that 20 years after harvest operations, the highest values of earthworm density (5.72 n m−2), earthworm biomass (97.18 mg m−2), and total nematodes (313.65 in 100 g of soil) were obtained in the mixed beech litter treatment compared to other litter treatments. With decreasing traffic intensity from high to low, the activity of soil organisms increased, and the highest values of earthworm density (5.46 n m−2), earthworm biomass (87.21 mg m−2), and soil nematodes (216.33 in 100 g soil) were associated with low traffic intensity. Additionally, in all three litter treatments and traffic intensities, the epigeic ecological species were more abundant than the anecic and endogeic species. Key soil variables including water content, porosity, available nutrients, pH, total organic C, and total N were significantly correlated with earthworm density and biomass and soil nematode population. Litter management and addition to compacted soil can support the functional dynamics and processes of the soil and maintenance of the abundances and activities of the soil fauna. Full article
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16 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Impact of Relationship Governance and Third-Party Intervention on Farmland Transfer Rents—Empirical Evidence from Rural China
by Jia Chen, Jingwen Xu and Hongxiao Zhang
Land 2022, 11(5), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050745 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1561
Abstract
The marketization of transfer rent is an important symbol of the development of the farmland factor market. At present, the price formation mechanism of rent in China’s farmland market is not perfect. Based on the theoretical analysis starting with the post transaction cost [...] Read more.
The marketization of transfer rent is an important symbol of the development of the farmland factor market. At present, the price formation mechanism of rent in China’s farmland market is not perfect. Based on the theoretical analysis starting with the post transaction cost of leasers, this paper uses 1648 farmland transfer samples collected by the China Land Economic Survey (CLES) in 2020, and employs OLS, 2SLS and CMP methods to empirically test the impact of relationship governance on transfer rent and the role of third-party (including county and township governments and village committees) intervention on the change in relationship governance pattern and rent decisions. The results show that the close relationship between the two sides of transfer represents the strong relationship governance functioned by the constraints of the trust and reputation mechanism, which can reduce the post transaction cost. Additionally, the two sides play a game on this part of the transaction cost, making the transfer rent lower than the market price. Furthermore, the involvement of third parties such as county and township governments and village committees in the transfer has replaced the role of relationship governance in reducing transaction cost, and changed the relationship governance pattern of acquaintance society, which makes the transfer rent close to the market price. Full article
22 pages, 10436 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Pattern and Conflict Identification of Production–Living–Ecological Space in the Yellow River Basin
by Furui Xi, Runping Wang, Jusong Shi, Jinde Zhang, Yang Yu, Na Wang and Zhiyi Wang
Land 2022, 11(5), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050744 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2303
Abstract
Production–living–ecological space (PLES) is the main body of the optimization of the development and protection pattern of territorial space, and the spatial conflict in PLES reflects a struggle for ecological protection and socio-economic development in the process of spatial development and utilization. The [...] Read more.
Production–living–ecological space (PLES) is the main body of the optimization of the development and protection pattern of territorial space, and the spatial conflict in PLES reflects a struggle for ecological protection and socio-economic development in the process of spatial development and utilization. The Yellow River Basin is one of the most concentrated and prominent areas of spatial conflict of PLES in China. Therefore, clarifying the spatio-temporal pattern of PLES of the region and scientifically identifying the characteristics of its spatial conflict will significantly improve the efficiency of comprehensive utilization of spatial resources, promote the integrated and orderly development of resource elements in the basin, and eventually achieve the strategic goals of ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin. In this research, the CA–Markov model was applied to simulate the spatio-temporal pattern of PLES in the Yellow River Basin from 2010 to 2025, and the landscape ecology method was adopted to construct the spatial conflict of the PLES measurement model for identifying the spatio-temporal trends of conflicts and their intensity. The results reveal that, from 2010 to 2025, ecological–production space (EPS) dominates the PLES in the Yellow River Basin, as its total area remains stable amid fluctuations; living–production space (LPS) shows the most notable change, as it grows yearly along with urbanization and industrialization process of the region; the transition between ecological–production space (EPS) and production–ecological space (PES) is the most frequent, and the two also account for the largest area. Spatial conflict of PLES in the Yellow River Basin is mainly reflected in the encroachment of LPS on other PLES, concentrated in the regions from Hekou Town to the left bank of Longmen, Fen River, Shizuishan to the southern bank of Hekou Town, and Daxia River and Tao River in the Yellow River Basin. From 2010 to 2025, the space conflict composite index of PLES (SCCI) of most regions in the basin lies within 0.7, which is a stable or basically controllable level. Among the 29 tertiary water resource divisions in the Yellow River Basin, the SCCI of 15 indicate a major, decreasing trend. Full article
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15 pages, 3056 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Human Activities on Net Primary Productivity in a Grassland Open-Pit Mine: The Case Study of the Shengli Mining Area in Inner Mongolia, China
by Fei Yang, Jinyang Wang, Chengye Zhang, Jun Li, Huizhen Xie and Zeren Zhuoge
Land 2022, 11(5), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050743 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2166
Abstract
In grassland open-pit mining areas, net primary productivity (NPP) is mainly affected by climate conditions and human activities. The identification and assessment of the influence of human activities on NPP is important for mining production and the implementation of ecological restoration. In this [...] Read more.
In grassland open-pit mining areas, net primary productivity (NPP) is mainly affected by climate conditions and human activities. The identification and assessment of the influence of human activities on NPP is important for mining production and the implementation of ecological restoration. In this study, we explored the influence of human activities on the NPP in the Shengli mining area in Inner Mongolia, China by using the Carnegie–Ames–Stanford Approach (CASA) model and the Chikugo model, in which a calibration method was applied. An analysis of four representative years showed that the proportion of NPP induced by human activities reached 56.2%, that the percentage of pixels with an inhibitory effect on NPP was 99% in 2011 with the highest intensity of mining activity, and that these two values decreased to 11.9% and 69% in 2020, respectively, with the steady implementation of ecological restoration. Moreover, from the analysis of global and local spatial correlation, mining activities and ecological restoration aggravated and weakened the aggregation of NPP induced by human activities, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Land Systems and Global Change)
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17 pages, 4978 KiB  
Article
Local Residents’ Social-Ecological Adaptability of the Qilian Mountain National Park Pilot, Northwestern China
by Jing Li, Guoqiang Ma, Jinghua Feng, Liying Guo and Yinzhou Huang
Land 2022, 11(5), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050742 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
Protected areas are critical for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. In the last few years, there has been growing recognition of the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in the management of government designated protected areas, and thus their perceptions and adaptability [...] Read more.
Protected areas are critical for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. In the last few years, there has been growing recognition of the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in the management of government designated protected areas, and thus their perceptions and adaptability were paid much attention. Drawing on a survey of 487 residents in the Qilian Mountain National Park Pilot of Northwestern China, this study used the adaptive analysis framework to study the adaptability of local residents. The main contribution of this paper is to select a typical social-ecological system to study the adaptability of local residents, and using Elinor Ostrom’s Social-Ecological System framework to analyze the adaptability mechanism. The results show that different types of residents had different adaptability to environmental change. People whose income mainly depends on work salary with a small part of herding have the highest level of adaptability, while people whose income mostly comes from farming with a small part of herding have the lowest level. This result is related to people’s living location, as people living in the core zone and buffer zone of the reserve mainly earned from grazing, and people living in the experimental zone and peripheral zone earned mainly from outside work. Moreover, people living in the core zone and buffer zone are mostly elders and ethnic groups, while people in the experimental zone and buffer zone are Han people. To improve management effectiveness and to avoid conflict between local residents and managers, this paper suggests that more attention should be paid to these who have lived for a long time in the core zone and buffer zone. They are the most vulnerable groups and show low adaptability in almost all domains. For the long run, education quality should be improved to decrease the population in the reserve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks and Protected Areas)
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17 pages, 908 KiB  
Article
A System of Indicators for Socio-Economic Evaluation and Monitoring of Global Change: An Approach Based on the Picos de Europa National Park
by Iván López, Rodrigo Suarez and Mercedes Pardo
Land 2022, 11(5), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050741 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 1972
Abstract
National Parks are spaces that are of great interest for evaluating and monitoring global environmental change as these parks encompass natural, cultural, and rural features, along with ecological processes, which are subject to social or economic changes that are much more difficult to [...] Read more.
National Parks are spaces that are of great interest for evaluating and monitoring global environmental change as these parks encompass natural, cultural, and rural features, along with ecological processes, which are subject to social or economic changes that are much more difficult to track outside of these spaces. To do this, it is necessary to have a sufficient set of data and indicators to monitor the effects of global change in the short, mid, and long term. The majority of indicators have been developed to monitor the bio-geophysical environment; socio-economic indicators of global change for National Parks are much more limited. The aim of this paper is to present a system of indicators for socio-economic evaluation and monitoring of global change for the Picos de Europa National Park. This park has two unique features: it has one of the two systems of socio-economic indicators developed for the Spanish National Parks, and it is practically the only one of Spain’s 16 National Parks with human populations living within its boundaries. Many of the indicators specifically developed for this park can be used for other national parks that have similar characteristics. Full article
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17 pages, 7794 KiB  
Article
Cross-Scaling Approach for Water-Flow-Regulating Ecosystem Services: A Trial in Bochum, Germany
by Zhehao Xiong and Yuncai Wang
Land 2022, 11(5), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050740 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1959
Abstract
Water-flow-regulating ecosystem services (ESs) determine the regulation of hydrological flows on the ground’s surface. A lack of water-flow-regulating ESs would cause environmental problems such as heavy rainfall runoff and urban water logging, leading to floods affecting well-being, especially in dense urban areas. Research [...] Read more.
Water-flow-regulating ecosystem services (ESs) determine the regulation of hydrological flows on the ground’s surface. A lack of water-flow-regulating ESs would cause environmental problems such as heavy rainfall runoff and urban water logging, leading to floods affecting well-being, especially in dense urban areas. Research on water-flow-regulating ES supply–demand relationships in urban areas is urgently needed to better support the management of urban surface runoff. However, matching the supply–demand relationships of water-flow-regulating ESs remains challenging. In this contribution, a cross-scale approach linking the supply–demand assessment of water-flow-regulating ESs on a macroscale and the evaluation of the constructed urban environment on a microscale was developed. The approach was applied in the city of Bochum, Germany, as a trial of bridging the “science–practice gap”. Our findings show that the supply–demand budget of water-flow-regulating ESs in Bochum exhibits an urban–rural difference and is also partially influenced by land cover transformations such as vegetation degradation. In addition, further assessment of the constructed urban environment confirmed the result from the assessment of water-flow-regulating ESs based on the understanding of the urban hydrological cycle in Bochum. To account for the mismatch in the supply–demand budget, we classified the typical superior and inferior forms of urban water-flow-regulating ESs through field research on the same extreme areas to summarize the operable optimization, enhancement, and protection suggestions for urban construction decision makers. Finally, the cross-scale approach was approved as a possible way to bridge the “science–practice” gap for water-flow-regulating ES research in urban areas. Full article
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16 pages, 2918 KiB  
Article
Estimating Road Mortality Hotspots While Accounting for Imperfect Detection: A Case Study with Amphibians and Reptiles
by Noah Hallisey, Scott W. Buchanan, Brian D. Gerber, Liam S. Corcoran and Nancy E. Karraker
Land 2022, 11(5), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050739 - 14 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2603
Abstract
Wildlife road mortality tends to aggregate spatially at locations commonly referred to as road mortality hotspots. Predictive models can be used to identify locations appropriate for mitigation measures that reduce road mortality. However, the influence of imperfect detection (e.g., false absences) during road [...] Read more.
Wildlife road mortality tends to aggregate spatially at locations commonly referred to as road mortality hotspots. Predictive models can be used to identify locations appropriate for mitigation measures that reduce road mortality. However, the influence of imperfect detection (e.g., false absences) during road mortality surveys can lead to inaccurate or imprecise spatial patterns of road mortality hotspots and suboptimal implementation of mitigation measures. In this research, we used amphibians and reptiles as a case study to address imperfect detection issues when estimating the probability of road mortality hotspots using occupancy detection modeling. In addition, we determined the survey effort needed to achieve a high probability of detecting large roadkill events. We also assessed whether vehicle travel reductions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions led to reductions in road mortality. We conducted surveys at 48 sites throughout Rhode Island, USA, from 2019–2021. In total, we observed 657 carcasses representing 19 of Rhode Island’s 37 native species. Of the 19 native species, eight species of frogs, four species of salamanders, four species of snakes, and three species of turtles were observed. We documented a reduction in roadkill density and the proportion of dead versus live amphibians and reptiles in pandemic years (2020 and 2021), but we were unable to link reductions in roadkill density to reductions in traffic volume. Our model results indicated that large roadkill events were more likely to occur on roads near wetlands and with low traffic volume and were more likely to be detected as daily precipitation increased. We determined that there was a low probability of detecting large roadkill events, suggesting that imperfect detection influences detection of large roadkill events, and many were likely missed during our surveys. Therefore, we recommend using occupancy modeling to account for the influence of imperfect detection when estimating road mortality hotspots. This approach will more effectively guide the implementation of mitigation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Protection and Habitat Management: Practice and Perspectives)
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25 pages, 4927 KiB  
Article
Stakeholders’ Perspective on Groundwater Management in Four Water-Stressed Mediterranean Areas: Priorities and Challenges
by Roberta Bonì, Pietro Teatini, Claudia Zoccarato, Carolina Guardiola-Albert, Pablo Ezquerro, Guadalupe Bru, Roberto Tomás, Javier Valdes-Abellan, Conception Pla, María I. Navarro-Hernández, Alper Elçi, Baris Çaylak, Ali Hakan Ören, Khaldoun Shatanawi, Alsharifa Hind Mohammad, Husam Abu Hajar, Tommaso Letterio, Roberto Genovesi, Hazem Hreisha, Qamar Al-Mimi and Claudia Meisinaadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Land 2022, 11(5), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050738 - 14 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4307
Abstract
Recent studies highlight the fragility of the Mediterranean basin against climate stresses and the difficulties of managing the sustainable development of groundwater resources. In this work, the main issues related to groundwater management have been identified from the stakeholder’s perspective in the following [...] Read more.
Recent studies highlight the fragility of the Mediterranean basin against climate stresses and the difficulties of managing the sustainable development of groundwater resources. In this work, the main issues related to groundwater management have been identified from the stakeholder’s perspective in the following four representative water-stressed Mediterranean areas: the coastal aquifer of Comacchio (Italy), the Alto Guadalentín aquifer (Spain), the alluvial aquifer of the Gediz River basin (Turkey), and the Azraq aquifer (Azraq Wetland Reserve, Jordan). This has been achieved by designing a methodology to involve and engage a representative set of stakeholders, including a questionnaire to learn their point of view concerning the current management of aquifer systems and their experience with the already available tools for groundwater resource management, such as monitoring networks and numerical models. The outcome of the survey has allowed us to identify both particular and common challenges among the four study sites and among the various groups of stakeholders. This information provides valuable insights to improve the transfer of scientific knowledge from the research centers to the authorities managing the groundwater resources and it will help to plan more effective research activities on aquifer management. The proposed methodology could be applied in other aquifers facing similar problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Water, Energy, Land and Food (WELF) Nexus)
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23 pages, 14106 KiB  
Systematic Review
Challenges and Innovations of Real Estate for Achieving Spatial Balance in Post-Disaster Countries
by Mounir Azzam, Valerie Graw and Andreas Rienow
Land 2022, 11(5), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050737 - 13 May 2022
Viewed by 2944
Abstract
While real estate is a significant pillar of stability among communities, it can also be the most vulnerable to disasters triggered by natural or man-made hazards, which cause the spatial dimension of metropolitan areas to be disturbed due to critical variables, such as [...] Read more.
While real estate is a significant pillar of stability among communities, it can also be the most vulnerable to disasters triggered by natural or man-made hazards, which cause the spatial dimension of metropolitan areas to be disturbed due to critical variables, such as land loss, societal collapse, and changes in population distribution resulting from refugee movements, which, in turn, affect properties, causing a fluctuation in terms of equality. In this regard, the precise monitoring of spatial imbalance is an eminent instrument for achieving socio-spatial sustainability via recovery strategies. This paper provides a systematic review of 96 studies in order to analyze the spatial challenges and innovations of real estate in the aftermath of disasters with realistic projections on five case studies—from Haiti, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and the United States of America—varying according to the type, size, and impact of the disaster, and real estate administrative arrangements. Through the review, the challenges embodied by the legal deficit and the multiplicity of real estate tenure systems in addition to the discrimination of access rights to real estate and the insecurity of property and, subsequently, forced migration movements are highlighted. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the spatial balance of real estate have been examined. Finally, real estate innovations are reviewed to investigate the extent to which real estate can promote the spatial balance of disaster-prone nations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions)
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25 pages, 11526 KiB  
Article
An Assessment of Geosites and Geomorphosites in the Lut Desert of Shahdad Region for Potential Geotourism Development
by Rasa Raeisi, Iulian Dincă, Seyed Ali Almodaresi, Magdalena Petronella (Nellie) Swart and Ali Boloor
Land 2022, 11(5), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050736 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2619
Abstract
In the fields of geology, economics, history, cultural studies, and ecology, tourism can be the basis for proper planning, for sustainable tourism management, and for economic development. The Dasht-e Lut is one of the most significant desert areas in Iran due to its [...] Read more.
In the fields of geology, economics, history, cultural studies, and ecology, tourism can be the basis for proper planning, for sustainable tourism management, and for economic development. The Dasht-e Lut is one of the most significant desert areas in Iran due to its exemplary desert patterns and world-famous landscapes, such as the kaluts and nebkhas landforms. Furthermore, it is the hottest spot in the world and can attract adventurous tourists, amongst others, from around the globe. The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the most suitable geomorphosites for better sustainable tourism planning using three methods of evaluating geotourism as proposed by Pereira et al., Pralong, and Reynard et al. The results show that the geomorphosites of kaluts, nebkhas, and Gandom Beryan had the greatest potential for different reasons. In addition to geosites and geomorphosites, the night sky was also demonstrated to have a high potential to attract tourists. Using the economic criteria of the Reynard method, all geomorphosites had similar scores. The familiarity of officials and tourism planners with the tourist capabilities of this region can lead to economic and cultural capacity building for the Indigenous people and the tourism industry. Full article
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18 pages, 4315 KiB  
Article
An Analysis Method of Quantitative Coupling Rationality between Urban–Rural Construction Land and Population: A Case Study of Henan Province in China
by Jiwei Li, Qingqing Ye, Weiqiang Chen, Xuesong Kong, Qingsheng Bi, Jie Lu, Enxiang Cai, Hejie Wei, Xinwei Feng and Yulong Guo
Land 2022, 11(5), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050735 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3191
Abstract
Scientifically measuring the quantitative coupling relationship between urban–rural construction land (URCL) and population and formulating URCL utilization countermeasures are needed for protecting cultivated land resources, intensive utilization of land resources, and sustainable socioeconomic development. This study proposed an improved transition process theory of [...] Read more.
Scientifically measuring the quantitative coupling relationship between urban–rural construction land (URCL) and population and formulating URCL utilization countermeasures are needed for protecting cultivated land resources, intensive utilization of land resources, and sustainable socioeconomic development. This study proposed an improved transition process theory of URCL and population and a coupling model of polar coordinates. Then, the coupling model was applied to Henan Province in China to analyze the coupling relationship between URCL and population, showing that the coupling relationship between URCL and urban–rural population (URP) in the province was unreasonable. However, the coupling rationality between rural construction land (RCL) and rural population (RP) had a significant improvement tendency. Furthermore, the coupling relationship between URCL and the population of prefecture-level cities in Henan province was analyzed, and the coupling model of polar coordinates proposed in this study achieved satisfactory results. Thus, compared with the commonly used Tapio’s decoupling model of elasticity, the coupling model further extends the concept of coupling analysis to the coupling type, coupling strength, and coupling rationality. The extension makes the measurement of the quantitative coupling relationship between URCL and population more scientific, comprehensive, and accurate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Land Socio-Economic and Political Issues)
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17 pages, 9925 KiB  
Article
Soybean Production and Spatial Agglomeration in China from 1949 to 2019
by Wenguang Chen, Bangbang Zhang, Xiangbin Kong, Liangyou Wen, Yubo Liao and Lingxin Kong
Land 2022, 11(5), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050734 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3575
Abstract
By mastering the spatial-temporal evolution of patterns of soybean production, a reference for optimizing a soybean production layout could be provided, ensuring food security. The variation coefficient method, and the comparative advantage and spatial autocorrelation models were used to analyze the spatial divergence [...] Read more.
By mastering the spatial-temporal evolution of patterns of soybean production, a reference for optimizing a soybean production layout could be provided, ensuring food security. The variation coefficient method, and the comparative advantage and spatial autocorrelation models were used to analyze the spatial divergence regularities of soybean production, sown area and yield, spatial-temporal changes in the comparative advantages of soybean planting efficiency and soybean planting scale, and the spatial agglomeration characteristics in China from 1949 to 2019. The results indicate that (1) from 1949 to 2019, soybean production and yield changes in China remained constant with a fluctuating upwards trend, and soybean sown areas hardly changed, yet experienced a sharp fluctuation. (2) The Northeast China Plain (NECP) was the main soybean-producing area, and its main position was strengthened. In contrast, the main soybean production position of the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain (HHHP) has declined. The Northern arid and semiarid region (NASR), the Sichuan Basin and surrounding areas (SBSR), the Middle-Lower Yangtze Plain (MLYP), and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau (YGP) became new soybean production growth poles. (3) The spatial distribution of soybean planting efficiency-related comparative advantages in China extended from northern China to the whole country, and the soybean planting scale-related comparative advantages proceeded through three stages: steady expansion, relative stability, contraction, and stabilization. (4) The spatial agglomeration of soybean planting efficiency-related comparative advantages has weakened, and the spatial agglomeration of the soybean planting scale-related comparative advantages exhibited a strengthening-weakening-strengthening-weakening process. Through our research analysis, we propose a policy resource to fully utilize the soybean planting efficiency-related comparative advantages in southern China (SC), promote grain-soybean rotation patterns in the HHHP and NECP, improve the soybean cultivation subsidy system, and build a soybean industry chain in the NECP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Land Use in China)
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