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Land, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2015) – 12 articles , Pages 255-540

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Article
Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production (HANPP) in an Agriculturally-Dominated Watershed, Southeastern USA
Land 2015, 4(2), 513-540; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020513 - 18 Jun 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3333
Abstract
Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) quantifies alteration of the biosphere caused by land use change and biomass harvest. In global and regional scale assessments, the majority of HANPP is associated with agricultural biomass harvest. We adapted these methods to the watershed [...] Read more.
Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) quantifies alteration of the biosphere caused by land use change and biomass harvest. In global and regional scale assessments, the majority of HANPP is associated with agricultural biomass harvest. We adapted these methods to the watershed scale and calculated land cover change and HANPP in an agricultural watershed in 1968 and 2011. Between 1968 and 2011, forest cover remained near 50% of the watershed, but row crop decreased from 26% to 0.4%, pasture increased from 19% to 32%, and residential area increased from 2% to 10%. Total HANPP decreased from 35% of potential Net Primary Productivity (NPP) in 1968 to 28% in 2011. Aboveground HANPP remained constant at 42%. Land use change accounted for 86%–89% of HANPP. Aboveground HANPP did not change despite the major shift in agricultural land use from row crop and pasture. The HANPP and land use change in Doddies Creek watershed reflects changing land use patterns in the southeastern US, driven by a complex interaction of local to global scale processes including change in farm viability, industrialization of agriculture, and demographic shifts. In the future, urbanization and biofuel production are likely to become important drivers of HANPP in the region. At the watershed scale, HANPP can be useful for improving land use decisions and landscape management to decrease human impact on the ecosystem and ensure the flow of ecosystem services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Function and Land Use Change)
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Article
Sensitivity Analysis of a Land-Use Change Model with and without Agents to Assess Land Abandonment and Long-Term Re-Forestation in a Swiss Mountain Region
Land 2015, 4(2), 475-512; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020475 - 08 Jun 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4148
Abstract
Land abandonment and the subsequent re-forestation are important drivers behind the loss of ecosystem services in mountain regions. Agent-based models can help to identify global change impacts on farmland abandonment and can test policy and management options to counteract this development. Realigning the [...] Read more.
Land abandonment and the subsequent re-forestation are important drivers behind the loss of ecosystem services in mountain regions. Agent-based models can help to identify global change impacts on farmland abandonment and can test policy and management options to counteract this development. Realigning the representation of human decision making with time scales of ecological processes such as reforestation presents a major challenge in this context. Models either focus on the agent-specific behavior anchored in the current generation of farmers at the expense of representing longer scale environmental processes or they emphasize the simulation of long-term economic and forest developments where representation of human behavior is simplified in time and space. In this context, we compare the representation of individual and aggregated decision-making in the same model structure and by doing so address some implications of choosing short or long term time horizons in land-use modeling. Based on survey data, we integrate dynamic agents into a comparative static economic sector supply model in a Swiss mountain region. The results from an extensive sensitivity analysis show that this agent-based land-use change model can reproduce observed data correctly and that both model versions are sensitive to the same model parameters. In particular, in both models the specification of opportunity costs determines the extent of production activities and land-use changes by restricting the output space. Our results point out that the agent-based model can capture short and medium term developments in land abandonment better than the aggregated version without losing its sensitivity to important socio-economic drivers. For comparative static approaches, extensive sensitivity analysis with respect to opportunity costs, i.e., the measure of benefits forgone due to alternative uses of labor is essential for the assessment of the impact of climate change on land abandonment and re-forestation in mountain regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agent-Based Modelling and Landscape Change)
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Article
Revealing Regional Deforestation Dynamics in North-Eastern Madagascar—Insights from Multi-Temporal Land Cover Change Analysis
Land 2015, 4(2), 454-474; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020454 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3877
Abstract
The north-eastern escarpment of Madagascar harbours the island’s last remaining large-scale humid forest massifs surrounded by a small-scale agricultural mosaic. There is high deforestation, commonly thought to be caused by shifting cultivation practiced by local land users to produce upland rice. However, little [...] Read more.
The north-eastern escarpment of Madagascar harbours the island’s last remaining large-scale humid forest massifs surrounded by a small-scale agricultural mosaic. There is high deforestation, commonly thought to be caused by shifting cultivation practiced by local land users to produce upland rice. However, little is known about the dynamics between forest and shifting cultivation systems at a regional level. Our study presents a first attempt to quantify changes in the extent of forest and different agricultural land cover classes, and to identify the main dynamics of land cover change for two intervals, 1995–2005 and 2005–2011. Over the 16-year study period, the speed of forest loss increased, the total area of upland rice production remained almost stable, and the area of irrigated rice fields slightly increased. While our findings seem to confirm a general trend of land use intensification, deforestation through shifting cultivation is still on the rise. Deforestation mostly affects the small forest fragments interspersed in the agricultural mosaic and is slowly leading to a homogenization of the landscape. These findings have important implications for future interventions to slow forest loss in the region, as the processes of agricultural expansion through shifting cultivation versus intensified land use cannot per se be considered mutually exclusive. Full article
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Article
How Land Concessions Affect Places Elsewhere: Telecoupling, Political Ecology, and Large-Scale Plantations in Southern Laos and Northeastern Cambodia
Land 2015, 4(2), 436-453; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020436 - 15 May 2015
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 4750
Abstract
Over the last decade considerable research has been conducted on the development and the impacts of large-scale economic land concessions for plantations in Laos and Cambodia. These studies have variously illustrated that concessions frequently result in serious negative impacts on local people and [...] Read more.
Over the last decade considerable research has been conducted on the development and the impacts of large-scale economic land concessions for plantations in Laos and Cambodia. These studies have variously illustrated that concessions frequently result in serious negative impacts on local people and the environment, often leading to dramatic transformations of landscapes and livelihoods. As important as this research has been, these studies have largely focused on the immediate impacts of the “enclosure” process associated with gaining access to land by investors. In this study we take a different approach, investigating the implications of large-scale land concessions in southern Laos and northeastern Cambodia with regard to places outside of actual concession areas, both within the countries where the concessions are located and beyond. These links have been referred to as “teleconnections” or “telecoupling”, and adopting a “telecoupling” approach allows us to focus on particular relations between land-use change in one location and land-use change elsewhere, either nearby or distant, as the result of large-scale plantation development, both during the early plantation development period, and later when plantations are productive. It also provides opportunities to engage with Land Change Science (LCS) through Political Ecology (PE). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Globalization, Telecoupling and Land Change)
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Article
Assessing Site Availability of Aspen and Northern Hardwoods for Potential Feedstock Development in Michigan: A Case Study
Land 2015, 4(2), 413-435; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020413 - 14 May 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2529
Abstract
The importance of wood and wood byproducts as biomass feedstocks is of increasing interest as a source of ethanol and electricity. Second generation woody feedstock sources in Michigan, e.g., hybrid poplar and hybrid willow (Populus spp.), and native forests, particularly aspen and [...] Read more.
The importance of wood and wood byproducts as biomass feedstocks is of increasing interest as a source of ethanol and electricity. Second generation woody feedstock sources in Michigan, e.g., hybrid poplar and hybrid willow (Populus spp.), and native forests, particularly aspen and northern hardwoods, are a potential source of woody biomass for these uses. This study provides a geographic information system (GIS) framework for assessing the current spatial extent of aspen and northern hardwoods) and their proximity to roads. Additionally, the potential for expanding the area of these feedstock sources based on pre-European settlement vegetation cover is assessed. Utilizing GIS technology to compile, edit and analyze available geospatial data (e.g., present day and pre-European settlement land use/cover, soils, road infrastructure, and land ownership) for counties located in the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula and northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan provides a robust framework for various management scenarios to be evaluated in a cost effective manner and foster better decision making. Full article
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Article
Landscape Epidemiology Modeling Using an Agent-Based Model and a Geographic Information System
Land 2015, 4(2), 378-412; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020378 - 13 May 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4595
Abstract
A landscape epidemiology modeling framework is presented which integrates the simulation outputs from an established spatial agent-based model (ABM) of malaria with a geographic information system (GIS). For a study area in Kenya, five landscape scenarios are constructed with varying coverage levels of [...] Read more.
A landscape epidemiology modeling framework is presented which integrates the simulation outputs from an established spatial agent-based model (ABM) of malaria with a geographic information system (GIS). For a study area in Kenya, five landscape scenarios are constructed with varying coverage levels of two mosquito-control interventions. For each scenario, maps are presented to show the average distributions of three output indices obtained from the results of 750 simulation runs. Hot spot analysis is performed to detect statistically significant hot spots and cold spots. Additional spatial analysis is conducted using ordinary kriging with circular semivariograms for all scenarios. The integration of epidemiological simulation-based results with spatial analyses techniques within a single modeling framework can be a valuable tool for conducting a variety of disease control activities such as exploring new biological insights, monitoring epidemiological landscape changes, and guiding resource allocation for further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agent-Based Modelling and Landscape Change)
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Article
Bring Back the Land”—A Call to Refocus on the Spatial Dimension of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform
Land 2015, 4(2), 355-377; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020355 - 30 Apr 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3451
Abstract
In this article, we argue that research on land reform in the nation of Zimbabwe has overlooked possibilities of integrating geospatial methods into analyses and, at the same time, geographers have not adequately developed techniques for this application. Scholars have generally been captured [...] Read more.
In this article, we argue that research on land reform in the nation of Zimbabwe has overlooked possibilities of integrating geospatial methods into analyses and, at the same time, geographers have not adequately developed techniques for this application. Scholars have generally been captured within the debate focused on the success or failure of the Zimbabwean land reform program, and have neglected to analyze what has occurred where during the process of “fast-track land reform”. To date, no extensive national dataset of land ownership change, and the effect of this change on land use planning strategies, has been developed within the scientific community. As a result, most publications, even very detailed and thorough ones, have been based on regional case studies, broad estimates, or on outdated, cross-referenced statistics. To overcome the lack of spatio-temporal data, we propose an analytic framework to map Zimbabwe’s fast-track land reform and its country-wide effects. It emphasizes the potential of geographic information systems and satellite remote sensing to provide an objective basis for future studies of the subject. Full article
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Article
Monitoring 60 Years of Land Cover Change in the Marathon Area, Greece
Land 2015, 4(2), 337-354; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020337 - 23 Apr 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3046
Abstract
This study deals with the landscape evolution reflected in the changes of land cover in the suburban area of Marathon, Attica, Greece. The study was based on remote sensing images covering the time period between 1945 and 2007. Several other types of data [...] Read more.
This study deals with the landscape evolution reflected in the changes of land cover in the suburban area of Marathon, Attica, Greece. The study was based on remote sensing images covering the time period between 1945 and 2007. Several other types of data were also used, such as a digital terrain model, historical orthophotos, vegetation maps, geological maps, cadastral maps and aerial photos. These types of data were used in order to create the spatial database for the classification/interpretation of land cover and to identify the land cover changes that occurred during the period in question. The results of this study showed significant land cover changes, especially for the land covered by forests and wetlands with a 47% and a 37% decrease, respectively. The spatial arrangement of the development of residential areas was partially predictable, while the occurrence of land cover changes due to retrogressive vegetation succession appeared rather idiosyncratically throughout the area initially covered by forest. Full article
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Article
Building Bridges across Sectors and Scales: Exploring Systemic Solutions towards A Sustainable Management of Land —Experiences from 4th Year Status Conference on Research for Sustainable Land Management
Land 2015, 4(2), 325-336; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020325 - 22 Apr 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2041
Abstract
Interacting land use demands and competing interests originating from fields such as agriculture, housing, mobility and nature conservation call for integrated governance approaches that incorporate disciplinary perspectives and arbitrate between them. The German research program “Sustainable Land Management” targets this challenge and provides [...] Read more.
Interacting land use demands and competing interests originating from fields such as agriculture, housing, mobility and nature conservation call for integrated governance approaches that incorporate disciplinary perspectives and arbitrate between them. The German research program “Sustainable Land Management” targets this challenge and provides an umbrella for a number of regional projects involving transdisciplinary system-oriented approaches to sustainable land use, connecting researchers and practitioners. This research note gives an insight into the experiences presented at the program’s fourth year status conference, held in October 2014 in Berlin. It focuses on cross-scalar and cross-sectoral approaches to governing urban-rural interdependencies of land use and scrutinizes debates on how to implement and disseminate project results. Full article
Article
Landcover Change, Land Surface Temperature, Surface Albedo and Topography in the Plateau Region of North-Central Nigeria
Land 2015, 4(2), 300-324; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020300 - 17 Apr 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3264
Abstract
This study assessed the change in some environmental parameters in the Plateau region of North-Central Nigeria (Barakinladi, Jos, and Kafachan environs) using the nexus of landcover change, land surface temperature, surface albedo, and topography. The study employed both remote sensing and statistical techniques [...] Read more.
This study assessed the change in some environmental parameters in the Plateau region of North-Central Nigeria (Barakinladi, Jos, and Kafachan environs) using the nexus of landcover change, land surface temperature, surface albedo, and topography. The study employed both remote sensing and statistical techniques for the period between 1986 and 2014 to analyze the dynamics between and within these environmental variables. In Barakinladi, the built up landcover change is highest (increasing from 39.53% to 47.59% between 1986 and 2014); LST ranges from 19.09 °C to 38.59 °C in 1986 and from 22.68 °C and 41.68 °C in 2014; and the albedo ranges between 0.014 and 0.154 in 1986 and 0.017 and 0.248 in 2014. In Jos, the built-up landcover occupied 34.26% in 1986 and 36.67% in 2014; LST values range between 20.83 °C and 41.33 °C in 1986 and between 21.61 °C and 42.64 °C in 2014; and the albedo ranges between 0.003 and 0.211 in 1986 and 0.15 and 0.237 in 2014. In Kafachan area, the built up landcover occupied 32.95% in 1986 and 39.01% in 2014. Urbanization and agricultural activities, including animal grazing, were responsible for the gradual loss in vegetation and increasing average LST and albedo. The results also revealed that changing landcover and topography have a relationship with surface albedo and land surface temperature, thereby impacting significantly on ecosystem services delivered by the natural system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Function and Land Use Change)
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Article
Agent-Based Models as “Interested Amateurs”
Land 2015, 4(2), 281-299; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020281 - 14 Apr 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4475
Abstract
This paper proposes the use of agent-based models (ABMs) as “interested amateurs” in policy making, and uses the example of the SWAP model of soil and water conservation adoption to demonstrate the potential of this approach. Daniel Dennett suggests experts often talk past [...] Read more.
This paper proposes the use of agent-based models (ABMs) as “interested amateurs” in policy making, and uses the example of the SWAP model of soil and water conservation adoption to demonstrate the potential of this approach. Daniel Dennett suggests experts often talk past or misunderstand each other, seek to avoid offending each other or appearing ill-informed and generally err on the side of under-explaining a topic. Dennett suggests that these issues can be overcome by including “interested amateurs” in discussions between experts. In the context of land use policy debates, and policy making more generally, this paper suggests that ABMs have particular characteristics that make them excellent potential “interested amateurs” in discussions between our experts: policy stakeholders. This is demonstrated using the SWAP (Soil and Water Conservation Adoption) model, which was used with policy stakeholders in Ethiopia. The model was successful in focussing discussion, inviting criticism, dealing with sensitive topics and drawing out understanding between stakeholders. However, policy stakeholders were still hesitant about using such a tool. This paper reflects on these findings and attempts to plot a way forward for the use of ABMs as “interested amateurs” and, in the process, make clear the differences in approach to other participatory modelling efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agent-Based Modelling and Landscape Change)
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Article
Translocation of Cd and Mn from Bark to Leaves in Willows on Contaminated Sediments: Delayed Budburst Is Related to High Mn Concentrations
Land 2015, 4(2), 255-280; https://doi.org/10.3390/land4020255 - 13 Apr 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2723
Abstract
Changes in the hydrology of sediments in tidal marshes or landfills may affect the uptake of metals in the vegetation. Leaf and stem samples of Salix cinerea (grey sallow) were collected during four consecutive growing seasons at six contaminated plots on a polluted [...] Read more.
Changes in the hydrology of sediments in tidal marshes or landfills may affect the uptake of metals in the vegetation. Leaf and stem samples of Salix cinerea (grey sallow) were collected during four consecutive growing seasons at six contaminated plots on a polluted dredged sediment landfill and one plot on an uncontaminated reference site. The first three contaminated plots were already emerged in the first half of the first growing season, while the other three were submerged in the first year, but became increasingly dry over the study period. Foliar and stem cutting concentrations for Cd, Zn and Mn increased on the latter three plots over the four years. Willow bark contained high concentrations of Cd, Zn and Mn. In two consecutive greenhouse experiments with willow cuttings from different origins (uncontaminated and contaminated sites) and grown under different soil conditions (uncontaminated and contaminated), we observed an important translocation of Mn from bark to shoots. In a third experiment with willow cuttings collected on soils with a range of heavy metal concentrations and, thus, with a broad range of Cd (4–67 mg/kg dry matter), Zn (247–660 mg/kg dry matter) and Mn (38–524 mg/kg dry matter) concentrations in the bark, high Mn concentrations in the bark were found to affect the budburst of willow cuttings, while no association of delayed budburst with Cd and Zn concentrations in the bark was found. We conclude that wood and, especially, bark are not a sink for metals in living willows. The high Mn concentrations in the bark directly or indirectly caused delayed or restricted budburst of the willow cuttings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Remediation of Degraded and Contaminated Land)
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