Next Issue
Volume 9, February
Previous Issue
Volume 9, December

Table of Contents

Land, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 31 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer landscapes in the Western USA often have uncertain histories [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Geospatial Data Approach for Demand-Oriented Policies of Land Administration
Land 2020, 9(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010031 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 268
Abstract
To develop the land administration sector, it is important to examine the difficulties faced and requests made by citizens. Accordingly, this study analyzes the Voice of Citizens data relating to land administration in an attempt to identify characteristics of civil complaints in the [...] Read more.
To develop the land administration sector, it is important to examine the difficulties faced and requests made by citizens. Accordingly, this study analyzes the Voice of Citizens data relating to land administration in an attempt to identify characteristics of civil complaints in the spatial sector that are unique to land administration. This research builds geospatial Database by combining civil complaint data and spatial information to the analysis of interest of the civil complaint area in order to identify the major keywords on the map. The analysis reveals that civil complaints relating to land administration pertain mostly to the operational methods and services of institutions in charge of the civil complaints, rather than to the ownership and results of land administration. These results indicate that response and operational methods must be determined prior to the administrative process relating to land ownership. This study further confirms that the civil complaints relating to ownership generally arose out of the mountainous and coastal regions, rather than cities. Going forward, this study could be used as reference material for determining policy priorities focusing, in particular, on the policy consumers’ utilizing data on civil complaints in terms of government policy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Land Use Change in the Major Bays Along the Coast of the South China Sea in Southeast Asia from 1988 to 2018
Land 2020, 9(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010030 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 270
Abstract
Bays are some of the core areas for marine economic development. The South China Sea coast is one of the most developed and dynamic places in the Asia-Pacific. In this study, we focused on the large bays surrounding the South China Sea. The [...] Read more.
Bays are some of the core areas for marine economic development. The South China Sea coast is one of the most developed and dynamic places in the Asia-Pacific. In this study, we focused on the large bays surrounding the South China Sea. The techniques of image segmentation and supervised classification as well as image interpretation were used to acquire land-use data of 41 bays from 1988 to 2018. Then, we quantified the intensity and pattern of land-use and land-cover change during the two periods. Plantation land was the dominant agriculture land type as well as the second land use type after natural forest. Agriculture land cover increased from 29.8% to 40.9% and the growth was driven by plantation expansion. Deforestation was serious, including both natural forests and mangroves. Natural forest cover decreased by 31.6% and mangrove cover decreased by 16.2%. The vast majority of forest loss occurred in Sumatra and western Kalimantan. Commodity-driven deforestation for plantations was the major reason for forest loss. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Characterizing the Landscape Structure of Urban Wetlands Using Terrain and Landscape Indices
Land 2020, 9(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010029 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 260
Abstract
Several studies have shown human impacts on urban wetlands. These impacts are mostly studied at broad scales, which may generalize and aggregate important information needed for landscape quantification or terrain analysis. This situation can weakly or inappropriately address the structure of wetland landscapes, [...] Read more.
Several studies have shown human impacts on urban wetlands. These impacts are mostly studied at broad scales, which may generalize and aggregate important information needed for landscape quantification or terrain analysis. This situation can weakly or inappropriately address the structure of wetland landscapes, thus affecting the assessment of the quantities and qualities of terrestrial wetland habitats. To address these issues for urban wetland dynamics, this study proposes the use of landscape and terrain indices to characterize the landscape structure of urban wetlands at a fine scale in order to assess its usefulness in contributing to wildlife sustainability. To achieve this goal, secondary terrain attribute data are integrated with an object-based satellite image classification at the wetland and watershed level. The result reveals a general swell in wetland coverage at the watershed level. Further analysis shows the size and shape complexities, and edge irregularities are increased significantly at the patch level but slightly at the watershed level. Terrain analysis further reveals a potential increase in wetness and decrease in stream power vulnerability for most of the major wetlands under study. These results suggest that terrain and landscape indices are effective in characterizing the structure of urban wetlands that supports socio-ecological sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Change Modelling)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
A Bibliometric Analysis on Land Degradation: Current Status, Development, and Future Directions
Land 2020, 9(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010028 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Land degradation is a global issue receiving much attention currently. In order to objectively reveal the research situation of land degradation, bibliometrix and biblioshiny software packages have been used to conduct data mining and quantitative analysis on research papers in the fields of [...] Read more.
Land degradation is a global issue receiving much attention currently. In order to objectively reveal the research situation of land degradation, bibliometrix and biblioshiny software packages have been used to conduct data mining and quantitative analysis on research papers in the fields of land degradation during 1990–2019 (data update time was 8 April 2019) in the Web of Science core collection database. The results show that: (1) during the past 20 years, the number of papers on land degradation has increased. According to the number of articles, it is divided into four stages: a low-production exploration period, a developmental sprout period, expansion of the promotion period, and a high-yield active period. (2) Land-degradation research covers 93 countries or regions. The top five countries in terms of research volume are China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia. China, the United States, and the United Kingdom are the most important countries for international cooperation in the field of land degradation. However, cooperation between countries is not very close overall. (3) Land degradation, degradation, desertification, remote sensing, soil erosion, and soil degradation are high-frequency keywords in the field of land degradation in recent years. (4) The research hotspots in the field of land degradation mainly focus on research directions such as restoration and reconstruction of land degradation, and sustainable management of land resources. (5) The themes of various periods in the field of land degradation are diversified, and the evolutionary relationship is complex. There are 15 evolutionary paths with regard to dynamic monitoring of land degradation, environmental governance of land degradation, and responses of land degradation to land-use change. Finally, the paper concludes that the research directions on land degradation in future include the process, mechanism, and effect of land degradation, the application of new technologies, new monitoring methods for land degradation, theory enhancement, methods and models of ecological restoration, reconstruction of degraded land, multidisciplinary integrated system research, constructing a policy guarantee system for the reconstruction of degraded land, and strengthening research on land resource engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN))
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mapping Land Cover Change over a 25-Year Period (1993–2018) in Sri Lanka Using Landsat Time-Series
Land 2020, 9(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010027 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Land use and land cover change (LULCC) are dynamic over time and space due to human and biophysical factors. Accurate and up-to-date LULCC information is a mandatory part of environmental change analysis and natural resource management. In Sri Lanka, there is a significant [...] Read more.
Land use and land cover change (LULCC) are dynamic over time and space due to human and biophysical factors. Accurate and up-to-date LULCC information is a mandatory part of environmental change analysis and natural resource management. In Sri Lanka, there is a significant temporal gap in the existing LULCC information due to the civil war that took place from 1983 to 2009. In order to fill this gap, this study presents a whole-country LULCC map for Sri Lanka over a 25-year period using Landsat time-series imagery from 1993 to 2018. The LandTrendr change detection algorithm, utilising the normalised burn ratio (NBR) and normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), was used to develop spectral trajectories over this time period. A land cover change and disturbance map was created with random forest, using 2117 manually interpreted reference pixels, of which 75% were used for training and 25% for validation. The model achieved an overall accuracy of 94.14%. The study found that 890,003.52 hectares (ha) (13.5%) of the land has changed, while 72,266.31 ha (1%) was disturbed (but not permanently changed) over the last 25 years. LULCC was found to concentrate on two distinct periods (2000 to 2004 and 2010 to 2018) when social and economic stability allowed greater land clearing and investment opportunities. In addition, LULCC was found to impact forest reserves and protected areas. This new set of Sri Lanka-wide land cover information describing change and disturbance may provide a reference point for policy makers and other stakeholders to aid in decision making and for planning purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Cover/Land-Use Changes in South and Southeast Asia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Land in 2019
Land 2020, 9(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010026 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 226
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Moderate Operation Scales of Apples Based on Output, Profit, and Unit Production Costs in the Shaanxi Province of China
Land 2020, 9(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010025 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 189
Abstract
In the Shaanxi province, small and scattered plots impede an increase in the efficiency of apple production. Developing a moderate operation scale is a proper tool to solve inefficiencies in apple production, as it enables improving the factor allocation efficiency, resulting in higher [...] Read more.
In the Shaanxi province, small and scattered plots impede an increase in the efficiency of apple production. Developing a moderate operation scale is a proper tool to solve inefficiencies in apple production, as it enables improving the factor allocation efficiency, resulting in higher yields, higher profit, or lower production costs. However, the moderate operation scales, based on output, profit, and production costs, may be different. This paper aimed to evaluate the moderate operation scale of apples from three perspectives of increasing yields and profits and reducing unit production cost. The study was based on survey data collected from 661 randomly selected apple farmers in eight counties of the Shaanxi province, China. The collected data were analyzed quantitatively by the input-output model, the net profit model, and unit production cost model. The findings show that: (1) The moderate operation scale oriented to increasing apple yields in the Shaanxi province should be 0.87–1.53 ha. (2) The moderate operation scale oriented to increasing the net profit of farmers in the Shaanxi province should be over 1.53 ha. (3) The moderate operation scale oriented to reducing the unit cost of apple production in the Shaanxi province should be 0.20–0.53 ha. The study provides evidence that policymakers should grasp the balance point and find the intersection of the operation scale based on output, profit, and unit production cost when guiding apple growers to carry out the moderate scale. We propose that 0.87–1.53 ha may be a suitable operation scale for apple production in the Shaanxi province at the current stage. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Gentrification through Green Regeneration? Analyzing the Interaction between Inner-City Green Space Development and Neighborhood Change in the Context of Regrowth: The Case of Lene-Voigt-Park in Leipzig, Eastern Germany
Land 2020, 9(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010024 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Green regeneration has become a common strategy for improving quality of life in disadvantaged neighborhoods in shrinking cities. The role and function of new green spaces may change, however, when cities experience new growth. Set against this context, this paper analyzes a case [...] Read more.
Green regeneration has become a common strategy for improving quality of life in disadvantaged neighborhoods in shrinking cities. The role and function of new green spaces may change, however, when cities experience new growth. Set against this context, this paper analyzes a case study, the Lene-Voigt-Park in Leipzig, which was established on a former brownfield site. Using a combination of methods which include an analysis of housing advertisements and interviews, the paper explores the changing role of the park in the context of urban regeneration after the city’s turn from shrinkage towards new growth. It discusses whether the concept of green gentrification may help to explain this role. As a result of our analysis, we argue that Lene-Voigt-Park has indeed operated as a trigger for structural, social, and symbolic upgrades in the growing city of Leipzig, but only in combination with real estate market developments, which are the main drivers of change. The concept of green gentrification does help to better understand the role of different factors—first and foremost that of green space. We also discovered some specifics of our case that may enrich the green gentrification debate. Leipzig serves as an example for a number of regrowing cities across Europe where green gentrification might represent a challenge. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Contextualizing Landscape-Scale Forest Cover Loss in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between 2000 and 2015
Land 2020, 9(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010023 - 16 Jan 2020
Viewed by 564
Abstract
Shifting cultivation has been shown to be the primary cause of land use change in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Traditionally, forested and fallow land are rotated in a slash and burn cycle that has created an agricultural mosaic, including secondary forest, [...] Read more.
Shifting cultivation has been shown to be the primary cause of land use change in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Traditionally, forested and fallow land are rotated in a slash and burn cycle that has created an agricultural mosaic, including secondary forest, known as the rural complex. This study investigates the land use context of new forest clearing (during 2000–2015) in primary forest areas outside of the established rural complex. These new forest clearings occur as either rural complex expansion (RCE) or isolated forest perforations (IFP), with consequent implications on the forest ecosystem and biodiversity habitat. During 2000–2015, subsistence agriculture was the dominant driver of forest clearing for both extension of settled areas and pioneer clearings removed from settled areas. Less than 1% of clearing was directly attributable to land uses such as mining, plantations, and logging, showing that the impact of commercial operations in the DRC is currently dwarfed by a reliance on small-holder shifting cultivation. However, analyzing the landscape context showed that large-scale agroindustry and resource extraction activities lead to increased forest loss and degradation beyond their previously-understood footprints. The worker populations drawn to these areas create communities that rely on shifting cultivation and non-timber forest products (NTFP) for food, energy, and building materials. An estimated 12% of forest loss within the RCE and 9% of the area of IFP was found to be within 5 km of mines, logging, or plantations. Given increasing demographic and commercial pressures on DRC’s forests, it will be crucial to factor in this landscape-level land use change dynamic in land use planning and sustainability-focused governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Landscape Ecology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Navigating between Tea and Rubber in Xishuangbanna, China: When New Crops Fail and Old Ones Work
Land 2020, 9(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010022 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Following the massive expansion of rubber plantations in China, considerable research has been conducted on the impact of these landscape changes. The general consensus is that there have been negative impacts on the environment and positive impacts on local economies. However, since rubber [...] Read more.
Following the massive expansion of rubber plantations in China, considerable research has been conducted on the impact of these landscape changes. The general consensus is that there have been negative impacts on the environment and positive impacts on local economies. However, since rubber prices dropped after 2011, the economic benefit to the local people is challenged and the impact on the local people and communities remains unclear. Using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, this longitudinal study investigates how the drop in rubber prices has affected a local community and the local people in Manlin, Xishuangbanna, China. It investigates local coping strategies and the importance of alternative income sources and shows how differentiated access to alternative lands creates increased economic inequality within the village when prices fluctuate. Three general coping strategies were identified amongst local rubber farmers: doing business as usual, changing rubber management practices, and stopping- or decreasing tapping frequency. Differences in coping strategies are linked to factors including access to alternative income sources and rubber perceptions. Moreover, households with access to tea land were found to have experienced negligible impacts of decreasing rubber prices as income from tea has increased more than income from rubber has decreased, leading to increasing intra-village economic inequality. We conclude that while this is a clear case of how income diversification is important for reducing livelihood vulnerability, it also shows that the large focus on rubber farming has created benefits in terms of improved infrastructure and connectivity that has helped expand the market for tea as well. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary
Sustainable Land Management, Wildfire Risk and the Role of Grazing in Mediterranean Urban-Rural Interfaces: A Regional Approach from Greece
Land 2020, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010021 - 14 Jan 2020
Viewed by 338
Abstract
Mediterranean regions are likely to be the most vulnerable areas to wildfires in Europe. In this context, land-use change has promoted land abandonment and the consequent accumulation of biomass (fuel) in (progressively less managed) forests and (non-forest) natural land, causing higher fire density [...] Read more.
Mediterranean regions are likely to be the most vulnerable areas to wildfires in Europe. In this context, land-use change has promoted land abandonment and the consequent accumulation of biomass (fuel) in (progressively less managed) forests and (non-forest) natural land, causing higher fire density and severity, economic damage, and land degradation. The expansion of Wildland-Urban Interfaces (WUIs) further affects fire density by negatively impacting peri-urban farming and livestock density. Assuming the role of grazing in controlling fuel accumulation in forests and non-forest natural land as an indirect measure of wildfire containment around large Mediterranean cities, our work focuses on the role of nomadic livestock, i.e., sheep and goats—the most abundant and traditional farm species in the area. The present study (i) investigates the relationship between fire frequency/extent and livestock decline at the regional level in Greece, (ii) explores changes over time in regional wildfire regimes, comparing Attica, a particularly vulnerable peri-urban region which includes Athens (the Greek capital city), with the rest of the country, and (iii) quantifies trends over time in livestock characteristics (population structure and dynamics) over a sufficiently long time interval (1961–2017) at the same spatial scale, with the aim to document the progressive reduction of nomadic livestock in peri-urban districts. A comprehensive analysis of statistical data, corroborated with a literature review, outlined the relationship between livestock decline over time and changes in specific wildfire characteristics at the regional scale, evidencing peculiar environmental conditions in Attica. In this region, a rapid decline of nomadic livestock was observed compared to in the rest of Greece, leading to a higher wildfire risk. The results of this study suggest that nomadic livestock contributes to sustainable management of peri-urban land, stimulating grazing that may prevent fuel accumulation in fringe woodlands. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Public and Private Sector Policies on Soybean and Pasture Expansion in Mato Grosso—Brazil from 2001 to 2017
Land 2020, 9(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010020 - 13 Jan 2020
Viewed by 538
Abstract
Demand for agricultural exports in Brazil has stimulated the expansion of crop production and cattle raising, which has caused environmental impacts. In response, Brazil developed public policies such as the new Forest Code (FC) and supply chain arrangements such the Soy and the [...] Read more.
Demand for agricultural exports in Brazil has stimulated the expansion of crop production and cattle raising, which has caused environmental impacts. In response, Brazil developed public policies such as the new Forest Code (FC) and supply chain arrangements such the Soy and the Cattle Moratoriums. This paper analyzes the effectiveness of these policies, considering the trajectories of agricultural expansion in the state of Mato Grosso in three years: 2005 (pre-moratorium and before the new FC), 2010 (post-moratorium and before the new FC) and 2017 (post-moratorium and post-new FC). Our analysis uses a detailed land use change data for both the Amazon and Cerrado biomes in Mato Grosso. In all the years considered, soybean expansion occurred in consolidated production areas and by conversion of pastures. Pasture expansion is influenced by existence of pastures nearby, by areas of secondary vegetation and deforestation. Our data and models show the effectiveness of public policies and private arrangements to reduce direct conversion from forests to crop production. However, our results also provide evidence that soybean expansion has caused indirect impacts by replacing pasture areas and causing pasture expansion elsewhere. Evidence from our work indicates that Brazil needs broader-ranging land use policies than what was done in the 2010s to be able to reach the land use goals stated in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Not Simply Green: Nature-Based Solutions as a Concept and Practical Approach for Sustainability Studies and Planning Agendas in Cities
Land 2020, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010019 - 11 Jan 2020
Viewed by 443
Abstract
The concept of a nature-based solution (NBS) has been developed in order to operationalize an ecosystem services approach within spatial planning policies and practices, to fully integrate the ecological dimension, and, at the same time, to address current societal challenges in cities. It [...] Read more.
The concept of a nature-based solution (NBS) has been developed in order to operationalize an ecosystem services approach within spatial planning policies and practices, to fully integrate the ecological dimension, and, at the same time, to address current societal challenges in cities. It exceeds the bounds of traditional approaches that aim ‘to protect and preserve’ by considering enhancing, restoring, co-creating, and co-designing urban green networks with nature that are characterized by multifunctionality and connectivity. NBSs include the main ideas of green and blue infrastructure, ecosystem services, and biomimicry concepts, and they are considered to be urban design and planning tools for ecologically sensitive urban development. Nowadays, NBSs are on their way to the mainstream as part of both national and international policies. The successful implementation of NBSs in Europe and worldwide, which is becoming increasingly common, highlights the importance and relevance of NBS for sustainable and livable cities. This paper discusses the roles, development processes, and functions of NBSs in cities by taking Leipzig as a case study. Using data from interviews conducted from 2017 to 2019, we study the past and current challenges that the city faces, including the whole process of NBS implementation and successful realization. We discuss the main drivers, governance actors, and design options of NBSs. We highlight the ecosystem services provided by each NBS. We discuss these drivers and governance strategies by applying the framework for assessing the co-benefits of NBSs in urban areas in order to assess the opportunities and challenges that NBSs may have. This way, we are able to identify steps and procedures that help to increase the evidence base for the effectiveness of NBS by providing examples of best practice that demonstrate the multiple co-benefits provided by NBSs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Role of Vegetation in the Morphological Decoding of Lisbon (Portugal)
Land 2020, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010018 - 11 Jan 2020
Viewed by 233
Abstract
In the academic context, especially in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism, urban form studies are assumed to be a vehicle for reflection on the built and unbuilt city. This essay aims to challenge the most common and stabilized morphological approaches [...] Read more.
In the academic context, especially in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism, urban form studies are assumed to be a vehicle for reflection on the built and unbuilt city. This essay aims to challenge the most common and stabilized morphological approaches in the city reading process, invoking vegetation and its role as an element of urban composition that is recurrently left out of it. Methodologically, this work uses the city of Lisbon to carry out a morphological characterization of different homogeneous areas based on a decomposition process of urban systems and elements. The article focuses on the reading of the public component of three homogeneous areas in Lisbon—Alfama, Avenidas and Alvalade—and specifically on the role of urban greenery as a systemic element of the formal or informal composition of the city. Through an initial systematization process reflects upon the formal attributes of vegetation and trees in particular, this research may contribute not only to the development of the discipline of urban morphology applied to the city of Lisbon but also to the acknowledgment of urban greenery as a contributor to the creation of specific, unique, and unrepeatable spaces within urban landscapes. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Effect of Land Use Change on Surface Runoff in a Rapidly Urbanized City: A Case Study of the Central Area of Beijing
Land 2020, 9(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010017 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 227
Abstract
The change in land use during the process of urbanization affects surface runoff and increases flood risk in big cities. This study investigated the impact of land use change on surface runoff in Beijing’s central area during the period of rapid urbanization from [...] Read more.
The change in land use during the process of urbanization affects surface runoff and increases flood risk in big cities. This study investigated the impact of land use change on surface runoff in Beijing’s central area during the period of rapid urbanization from 1984 to 2019. Land use maps of 1984, 1999, 2009, and 2019 were generated by image classification of Landsat images. Surface runoffs were calculated with the Soil Conservation Service curve number (SCS-CN) model. Correlation analysis was used to identify the dominant factor of land use change affecting surface runoff. The result showed that the variation trend of surface runoff was consistent with the trend of impervious land in Beijing’s central area, which increased during 1984~2009 and decreased during 2009~2019. Correlation analysis showed that changes in surface runoff were most strongly correlated with changes in impervious surfaces when compared with the correlation of runoff with other types of land use. The results of this study may provide a reference for city flood control and urban planning in fast growing cities worldwide, especially in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Understanding Landscape Influences on Aquatic Fauna across the Central and Southern Appalachians
Land 2020, 9(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010016 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 231
Abstract
For the success of aquatic conservation efforts, it is imperative for there to be an understanding of the influences multiple stressors across the landscape have on aquatic biota, as it provides an understanding of spatial patterns and informs regional stakeholders. The central and [...] Read more.
For the success of aquatic conservation efforts, it is imperative for there to be an understanding of the influences multiple stressors across the landscape have on aquatic biota, as it provides an understanding of spatial patterns and informs regional stakeholders. The central and southern Appalachians contain biodiversity hotspots for aquatic fauna. Therefore, we sought to create a comprehensive multimetric model that is based on the influence of abiotic factors on fish and aquatic macroinvertebrates that could predict watershed quality. Good spatial coverage exists for land use/land cover (LULC) and other physicochemical components throughout the region, yet biological data is unevenly distributed, which creates difficulties in making informed management and conservation decisions across large landscapes. We used boosted regression trees (BRT) to model a variety of biological responses (fish and aquatic macroinvertebrate variables) to abiotic predictors and by combining model outputs created a single score for both abiotic and biotic values throughout the region. The mean variance that was explained by BRT models for fish was 73% (range = 48–85%) and for aquatic macroinvertebrates was 81% (range = 76–89%). We categorized both predictor and response variables into themes and targets, respectively, to better understand large scale patterns on the landscape that influence biological condition of streams. The most important themes in our models were geomorphic condition for fish and water quality for aquatic macroinvertebrates. Regional models were developed for fish, but not for aquatic macroinvertebrates due to the low number of sample sites. There was strong correlation between regional and global watershed scores for fish models but not between fish and aquatic macroinvertebrate models. We propose that the use of such multimetric scores can inform managers, NGOs, and private land owners regarding land use practices, thereby contributing to large landscape scale conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Landscape Ecology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Hydrological Control of Vegetation Greenness Dynamics in Africa: A Multivariate Analysis Using Satellite Observed Soil Moisture, Terrestrial Water Storage and Precipitation
Land 2020, 9(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010015 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Vegetation activity in many parts of Africa is constrained by dynamics in the hydrologic cycle. Using satellite products, the relative importance of soil moisture, rainfall, and terrestrial water storage (TWS) on vegetation greenness seasonality and anomaly over Africa were assessed for the period [...] Read more.
Vegetation activity in many parts of Africa is constrained by dynamics in the hydrologic cycle. Using satellite products, the relative importance of soil moisture, rainfall, and terrestrial water storage (TWS) on vegetation greenness seasonality and anomaly over Africa were assessed for the period between 2003 and 2015. The possible delayed response of vegetation to water availability was considered by including 0–6 and 12 months of the hydrological variables lagged in time prior to the vegetation greenness observations. Except in the drylands, the relationship between vegetation greenness seasonality and the hydrological measures was generally strong across Africa. Contrarily, anomalies in vegetation greenness were generally less coupled to anomalies in water availability, except in some parts of eastern and southern Africa where a moderate relationship was evident. Soil moisture was the most important variable driving vegetation greenness in more than 50% of the areas studied, followed by rainfall when seasonality was considered, and by TWS when the monthly anomalies were used. Soil moisture and TWS were generally concurrent or lagged vegetation by 1 month, whereas precipitation lagged vegetation by 1–2 months. Overall, the results underscore the pre-eminence of soil moisture as an indicator of vegetation greenness among satellite measured hydrological variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Does off-Farm Migration of Female Laborers Inhibit Land Transfer? Evidence from Sichuan Province, China
Land 2020, 9(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010014 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 226
Abstract
With the feminization of agriculture, the role of women in the rural land transfer market is becoming increasingly important. However, at present, there is little research focusing on the relationship between the off-farm migration of female laborers and land transfer rates. Using data [...] Read more.
With the feminization of agriculture, the role of women in the rural land transfer market is becoming increasingly important. However, at present, there is little research focusing on the relationship between the off-farm migration of female laborers and land transfer rates. Using data on 1652 agricultural land plots owned by 232 rural households in Sichuan Province in 2014, IV-Probit (The Probit model of tool variable method is added) and IV-Tobit (The Tobit model of tool variable method is added) models were constructed to explore the relationships between off-farm migration and rural household land transfer (whether the rural households have land transfer-in and the area of land transfer-in by rural households) with consideration of gender. The results show that: (1) Off-farm labor migration has a negative and significant impact on rural households’ land transfer-in rates. Under the same conditions, the off-farm migration rate increased by 10%, the probability of transfer-in land decreased by 2.6% on average, and the transfer-in area decreased by 2.7 mu on average. (2) The off-farm migration of female laborers inhibited land transfer-in rates. For every 10% increase in female labor migration, the probability of land transfer-in decreased by an average of 2.1%, and the land transfer-in area was reduced by an average of 3 mu (1 mu = 667 m2 or 0.067 ha). However, the impact of male labor migration on farmers’ land transfer-in is negative and not significant. This study provides a novel, gendered perspective to understand land transfer-in behaviors in hilly areas, which can provide further information on off-farm labor migration and the rational allocation of land resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Soil Bund and Stone-Faced Soil Bund on Soil Physicochemical Properties and Crop Yield Under Rain-Fed Conditions of Northwest Ethiopia
Land 2020, 9(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010013 - 06 Jan 2020
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Research-based evidence on the effects of soil and water conservation practices (SWCPs) on soil physicochemical properties and crop yield is vital either to adopt the practices or design alternative land management strategies. Thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of about [...] Read more.
Research-based evidence on the effects of soil and water conservation practices (SWCPs) on soil physicochemical properties and crop yield is vital either to adopt the practices or design alternative land management strategies. Thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of about 10-year-old soil bund (SB) and stone-faced soil bund (SFSB) structures on selected soil physicochemical properties, slope gradient, barley grain yield, and yield components in the Lole watershed, in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia. The experiment consisted of three treatments: (i) fields treated with SB, (ii) fields treated with SFSB, and (iii) fields without conservation practices (control) with three replications at three slope classes. A total of 27 composite soil samples from 0 to 20 cm depth and barley grain yield samples from 27 locations were collected. The soil samples were analyzed for bulk density, soil texture, porosity, soil reaction, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorous, and potassium. Barley grain yield was analyzed using different agronomic parameters. The result indicated that SB and SFSB positively influenced the physicochemical properties of soils and barley grain yield. The interslope gradient between the successive SBs and SFSBs was reducing. Moreover, the untreated fields showed significantly lower barley grain yield, plant height, and straw biomass. Hence, SB and SFSB practices were found to be effective in changing slope gradient, improving soil fertility, and increasing crop yield. Therefore, this finding is vital to create awareness and convince farmers to construct SWCPs on their farmlands for sustainable land management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoring Degraded Lands to Attain UN-SDGs)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Biodiversity Impacts of Increased Ethanol Production in Brazil
Land 2020, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010012 - 03 Jan 2020
Viewed by 420
Abstract
Growing domestic and international ethanol demand is expected to result in increased sugarcane cultivation in Brazil. Sugarcane expansion currently results in land-use changes mainly in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes, two severely threatened biodiversity hotspots. This study quantifies potential biodiversity impacts of [...] Read more.
Growing domestic and international ethanol demand is expected to result in increased sugarcane cultivation in Brazil. Sugarcane expansion currently results in land-use changes mainly in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes, two severely threatened biodiversity hotspots. This study quantifies potential biodiversity impacts of increased ethanol demand in Brazil in a spatially explicit manner. We project changes in potential total, threatened, endemic, and range-restricted mammals’ species richness up to 2030. Decreased potential species richness due to increased ethanol demand in 2030 was projected for about 19,000 km2 in the Cerrado, 17,000 km2 in the Atlantic Forest, and 7000 km2 in the Pantanal. In the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest, the biodiversity impacts of sugarcane expansion were mainly due to direct land-use change; in the Pantanal, they were largely due to indirect land-use change. The biodiversity impact of increased ethanol demand was projected to be smaller than the impact of other drivers of land-use change. This study provides a first indication of biodiversity impacts related to increased ethanol production in Brazil, which is useful for policy makers and ethanol producers aiming to mitigate impacts. Future research should assess the impact of potential mitigation options, such as nature protection, agroforestry, or agricultural intensification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Pastoral Stone Enclosures as Biological Cultural Heritage: Galician and Cornish Examples of Community Conservation
Land 2020, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010009 - 02 Jan 2020
Viewed by 438
Abstract
The role and importance of a built structure are closely related to the surrounding area, with interest in a given area having a concomitant effect on the relevance given to the constructions it may hold. Heritage interest in landscape areas has grown in [...] Read more.
The role and importance of a built structure are closely related to the surrounding area, with interest in a given area having a concomitant effect on the relevance given to the constructions it may hold. Heritage interest in landscape areas has grown in recent times leading to a sound valorisation process. This connects with the recent concept of biological cultural heritage (BCH), or biocultural heritage (definition still in process), that can be understood as domesticated landscapes resulting from long-term biological and social relationships. Although pastoral enclosures (in large part dry-stone walling, whose construction has been recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2018) arise as traditional rural constructions linked with a way of life already disappearing, engaged local communities are recovering their biocultural value in terms of identity and positive conservation outcomes. In this sense, this article focuses on valuing traditional stone-built pastoral enclosures in two locations on the Atlantic coast of western Europe: Frojám (NW Iberian Peninsula) and Ladydown Moor (SW England). Findings concerning plant communities related to current or ancient pastoralism, and artefacts of built heritage are described, and an emphasis is placed on community engagement as a mechanism for conservation. The resilience of species-rich grassland communities is identified as a manifestation of biocultural heritage and an opportunity for habitat restoration. Finally, current trends and improvements in understanding of biological heritage and community conservation are addressed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Relationships between Land Management Scale and Livelihood Strategy Selection of Rural Households in China from the Perspective of Family Life Cycle
Land 2020, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010011 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 368
Abstract
Rural households are micro-organizational systems that are composed of different family members. Against a background of fragmented land patterns and massive labor migration in China, it is of great significance for the sustainable development of regional economies to explore the optimal selection of [...] Read more.
Rural households are micro-organizational systems that are composed of different family members. Against a background of fragmented land patterns and massive labor migration in China, it is of great significance for the sustainable development of regional economies to explore the optimal selection of livelihood strategies by rural households. Using a survey containing data from 8031 rural households from 27 provinces in China, this study analyzed the characteristics and spatial distribution trends of the land management scale, family life cycle, and livelihood strategy selection of rural households, and constructed Tobit econometric models to explore the correlations among these factors. The results show: (1) Rural households’ land management scale was primarily small-scale and, as it expanded, the proportion of the total cash income coming from agricultural activities increased. A relative majority of rural households were in the middle period of the family life cycle, and relatively few rural households were in the starting and empty nest periods. The proportion of the total cash income of rural households coming from agricultural pursuits while in the stable and the empty nest periods was relatively large, reaching 40.51% and 38.92%, respectively. In most provinces sampled, rural households’ livelihood strategies were non-agriculturally based, and the land management scale was mainly less than 0.67 ha. (2) Rural households’ land management scale positively correlated with their livelihood strategy selection. When other conditions remained unchanged, with every 1 ha increase in land management scale, the proportion of agricultural cash income in total family cash income increased, on average, by 3.7%. In comparison with rural households in the empty nest period, the proportions of agricultural cash income in the total family cash income of rural households in other family life cycles were relatively small. Specifically, for rural households in the starting, rearing, burden, stable, and maintenance periods, the proportion of agricultural cash income in the total family cash income decreased, on average, by 6.8%, 6.7%, 9.2%, 3.5%, and 16.3%, respectively. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Short Term Effects of Revegetation on Labile Carbon and Available Nutrients of Sodic Soils in Northeast China
Land 2020, 9(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010010 - 02 Jan 2020
Viewed by 323
Abstract
In response to land degradation and the decline of farmers’ income, some low quality croplands were converted to forage or grassland in Northeast China. However, it is unclear how such land use conversions influence soil nutrients. The primary objective of this study was [...] Read more.
In response to land degradation and the decline of farmers’ income, some low quality croplands were converted to forage or grassland in Northeast China. However, it is unclear how such land use conversions influence soil nutrients. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the influences of short term conversion of cropland to alfalfa forage, monoculture Leymus chinensis grassland, monoculture Leymus chinensis grassland for hay, and successional regrowth grassland on the labile carbon and available nutrients of saline sodic soils in northeastern China. Soil labile oxidizable carbon and three soil available nutrients (available nitrogen, available phosphorus, and available potassium) were determined at the 0–50 cm depth in the five land uses. Results showed that the treatments of alfalfa forage, monoculture grassland, monoculture grassland for hay, and successional regrowth grassland increased the soil labile oxidizable carbon contents (by 32%, 28%, 15%, and 32%, respectively) and decreased the available nitrogen contents (by 15%, 19%, 34%, and 27%, respectively) in the 0–50 cm depth compared with cropland, while the differences in the contents of available phosphorus and available potassium were less pronounced. No significant differences in stratification ratios of soil labile carbon and available nutrients, the geometric means of soil labile carbon and available nutrients, and the sum scores of soil labile carbon and available nutrients were observed among the five land use treatments except the stratification ratio of 0–10/20–30 cm for available phosphorus and the values of the sum scores of soil labile carbon and available nutrients in the 0–10 cm depth. These findings suggest that short term conversions of cropland to revegetation have limited influences on the soil labile carbon and available nutrients of sodic soils in northeastern China. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Methodological Approach for the Assessment of Potentially Buildable Land for Tax Purposes: The Italian Case Study
Land 2020, 9(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010008 - 01 Jan 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
According to Italian legislation for a particular type of real property—lands/areas subject to buildability, but not yet currently buildable—there is a problem related to their “qualification”, or whether or not they must be considered buildable for the purposes of their recurrent taxation. These [...] Read more.
According to Italian legislation for a particular type of real property—lands/areas subject to buildability, but not yet currently buildable—there is a problem related to their “qualification”, or whether or not they must be considered buildable for the purposes of their recurrent taxation. These potentially buildable (POBU) areas, that were previously zoned as “agricultural”, have been rezoned as “general urban planning instruments/regulations” (the General Urban Development Plans or variances, which regulate land governance), whose approval path has yet to be concluded. Their value—the taxable base underpinning their taxation—clearly depends on their qualification (whether or not they are considered buildable). This has produced, in recent years, several disputes between owners and local governments; the law did not give univocal solutions: Today (2019), there is a conflict of case law in relation to considering these areas as being building areas, as it is not clear what estimating procedures should be used. This article is thus based on the assumption that responding to the problems connected with taxing POBU areas must be considered separately from (overcoming, in this way, conflicting case law) the “virtual” qualification of agricultural or buildable area, but must instead, and more simply, be considered as the actual condition it is found in (likelihood of having building potential in the future), and therefore its limitations (present at the time of taxation) and the time necessary for the building to actually be built and not just “potential”. The approach proposed in this article thus offers a solution to the problem that has been raised, by modifying the current de jure approach (defining the moment when the building right is manifested) towards an assessment/appraisal approach (defining the value of the potentially buildable (POBU) area, in relation to its actual conditions). To implement this approach, a methodology—proposing an upgrade of the traditional analytic procedure for the assessment of transformation value has been structured in a way such that consideration may be made of the components characterizing the potentially buildable areas by means of appropriate assessment parameters that go towards forming these areas’ value: These are the market value discount rate of the POBU area in relation to the uncertainty and risk of reaching effective and concrete buildability, and the estimated time needed to complete the procedural path for making the area actually buildable. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Driving Factors of the Industrial Land Transfer Price Based on a Geographically Weighted Regression Model: Evidence from a Rural Land System Reform Pilot in China
Land 2020, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010007 - 01 Jan 2020
Viewed by 375
Abstract
More and more studies on land transfer prices have been carried out over time. However, the influencing factors of the industrial land transfer price from the perspective of spatial attributes have rarely been explored. Selecting 25 towns as the basic research unit, based [...] Read more.
More and more studies on land transfer prices have been carried out over time. However, the influencing factors of the industrial land transfer price from the perspective of spatial attributes have rarely been explored. Selecting 25 towns as the basic research unit, based on industrial land transfer data, this paper analyzes the influencing factors of the price distribution of industrial land in Dingzhou City, a rural land system reform pilot in China, by using a geographically weighted regression (GWR) model. Eight evaluation factors were selected from five aspects: economy, population, topography, landform, and resource endowment. The results showed that: (1) Compared with the traditional ordinary least squares (OLS) model, the GWR model revealed the spatial differentiation characteristics of the industrial land transfer price in depth. (2) Factors that have a negative correlation with the industrial land transfer price include the proportion of cultivated land area and distance to the city. Factors that have a positive correlation with the industrial land transfer price include the population growth rate, economic growth rate, population density, and number of hospitals per unit area. (3) The results of GWR model analysis showed that the impact of different factors on the various towns of different models had significant spatial differentiation characteristics. This paper will provide a reference for the sustainable use of industrial land in developing countries. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Agricultural Infrastructure Construction in China: Based on the “Participation of Beneficiary Groups” Perspective
Land 2020, 9(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010006 - 01 Jan 2020
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Agricultural infrastructure is a typical public good, and it plays an important role in rural development. The “participation of beneficiary groups (PBG)” system is encouraged by government to supply village level public goods in China. Based on micro survey data from the village [...] Read more.
Agricultural infrastructure is a typical public good, and it plays an important role in rural development. The “participation of beneficiary groups (PBG)” system is encouraged by government to supply village level public goods in China. Based on micro survey data from the village level in Jiangsu Province, this study analyzes the status of agricultural infrastructure construction and the promotion of PBG model and quantitatively analyzes the impact of different factors using an econometric model. The results found that the PBG model of agricultural infrastructure construction only accounted for 22.8% of projects, and the bottleneck was the challenge in raising funds at the village level; the total number of projects and the number of projects in the PBG model significantly increased with collective irrigation, and the farmland lease was found to hinder the promotion of the PBG model. The government should take measures to enhance farmers’ awareness of social trust, continuously improve the governance capacity of the village collectives, improve the role of village self-governance and social forces in agricultural infrastructure construction, and actively guide farmers and private enterprises to participate in agricultural infrastructure construction so that farmers can obtain more practical benefits. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Land Use/Cover Change in the Iberian Peninsula (1990–2012) at Municipal Level
Land 2020, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010005 - 23 Dec 2019
Viewed by 540
Abstract
This work analyzes the determinants associated with main land use/cover changes in the Iberian Peninsula during the 1990–2012 period using a decision tree model. Our main objective is to identify broad-scale patterns that associate the characteristics of geographic areas with the dominant land [...] Read more.
This work analyzes the determinants associated with main land use/cover changes in the Iberian Peninsula during the 1990–2012 period using a decision tree model. Our main objective is to identify broad-scale patterns that associate the characteristics of geographic areas with the dominant land use/cover change process based on CORINE Land Cover (Coordination of Information on the Environment) and defined in a previously published work. Biophysical, structural and socioeconomic variables were considered as potentially explanatory of the dominant change process at municipal scale. The resulting model allowed identification of a common pattern in Portugal and Spain (urbanization being highly associated to areas already densely populated in the previous period), but also some diverging ones. In particular, dominant trends in Portuguese territory appear to be highly determined by wildfire occurrence. In contrast, Spanish municipalities showed more diverse patterns, usually associated to biophysical determinants like average forest productivity or average terrain slope. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Contrasting the Effect of Forest Landscape Condition to the Resilience of Species Diversity in a Human Modified Landscape: Implications for the Conservation of Tree Species
Land 2020, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010004 - 22 Dec 2019
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Using landscape moderation insurance and Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis (IDH) as frameworks, this study assessed the response of local assemblage among different land use regimes (mean β-diversity), using the Jaccard dissimilarity matrix in contrasting Human Modified Forest Landscapes (HMFLs). The study was conducted [...] Read more.
Using landscape moderation insurance and Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis (IDH) as frameworks, this study assessed the response of local assemblage among different land use regimes (mean β-diversity), using the Jaccard dissimilarity matrix in contrasting Human Modified Forest Landscapes (HMFLs). The study was conducted at the relatively simplified Mafhela Forest Reserve and the complex Thathe Vondo Forest Reserve in South Africa. The patterns of overall β-diversity between HMFL and State-protected Indigenous Forests (SIF) were compared and the leading change drivers were then untangled. This study found that human disturbance affects mean β-diversity of local assemblages among land use regimes between the two HMFLs in an ecologically contrasting manner. The HMFL in Mafhela Forest Reserve had distinct local assemblages among land use regimes and did not conform to the expectation of IDH. On average, HMFL had the same average local species richness as SIF, mainly due to change in species composition (species replacement) induced by land use disturbance. Land use intensity gradient was the leading change driver to explain the overall β-diversity of the Mafhela Forest Reserve. The findings in the Thathe Vondo Forest Reserve were in contrast with the Mafhela Forest Reserve. Although on average the HMFL had the same local species richness as SIFs, this was mainly due to a trade-off of species gain in trees along the rivers and streams and species loss in Culturally Protected Areas (sacred forests) (CPA) as expected by IDH. The contrasting findings imply that the effectiveness of any alternative conservation strategy is context-dependent. The resilience of local assemblages and conservation value of HMFL depends on the condition of the overall forest landscape complexity and cannnot be captured by one theory, nor by one species diversity matrix (e.g., β-diversity or Richness). It thus demands the application of complementary theoretical frameworks and multilevel modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Landscape Ecology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Variable Forest Structure and Fire Reconstructed Across Historical Ponderosa Pine and Mixed Conifer Landscapes of the San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Land 2020, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010003 - 20 Dec 2019
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Late-1800s land surveys were used to reconstruct historical forest structure and fire over more than 235,000 ha in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer landscapes of the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, to further understand differences among regional mountain ranges and help guide landscape-scale restoration [...] Read more.
Late-1800s land surveys were used to reconstruct historical forest structure and fire over more than 235,000 ha in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer landscapes of the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, to further understand differences among regional mountain ranges and help guide landscape-scale restoration and management. Historically, fire-resistant ponderosa pine forests with low tree density and relatively frequent fire, the most restorable forests, covered only the lower 15%–24% of the study area. The other 76%–85% had dominance by mixed- to high-severity fires. Both ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer had generally pervasive, often dense understory shrubs, and ~20% of pine and ~50%–75% of mixed conifer forests also had high historical tree density. Intensive fuel reduction and mechanical restoration are infeasible and likely ineffective in the upper part of the pine zones and in mixed conifer, where restoring historical fire and creating fire-adapted communities and infrastructure may be the only viable option. Old-growth forests can be actively restored in the lower 15%–24% of the montane, likely increasing landscape resistance and resilience to fire, but mixed- to high-severity fires did also occur near these areas. This imperfect resistance suggests that fire-adapted human communities and infrastructure are needed throughout the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN))
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Outmigration and Land-Use Change: A Case Study from the Middle Hills of Nepal
Land 2020, 9(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010002 - 18 Dec 2019
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Outmigration has become a key livelihood strategy for an increasing number of rural households, which in turn has a profound effect on land management. Studies to date have mainly focused on migrant households, and there is limited literature on the differences in land [...] Read more.
Outmigration has become a key livelihood strategy for an increasing number of rural households, which in turn has a profound effect on land management. Studies to date have mainly focused on migrant households, and there is limited literature on the differences in land management practices of migrant and nonmigrant households. This article drew on a current study to explore how outmigration affects land management practices in the context of rapidly changing rural communities and economics in the middle hills of Nepal. The data were collected in Lamjung District in western Nepal using a mixed-method approach. We found that underutilization of farmland is a more prominent phenomenon than land abandonment, with rural communities moving to less intensive farming. Importantly, the increasing underutilization of farmland is not just occurring among migrant households. There are a range of complex factors which influence land-use decisions and the subsequent outcomes for landscapes. A high risk of food insecurity in Nepal is likely to be exacerbated if the current trajectory of underutilization and abandonment of farmland continues. A suite of policy tools that can be selectively applied depending on the local context may be more effective than broad-brush national policies in tackling the underlying causes faced by rural communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Land Abandonment: Patterns, Drivers and Consequences)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop