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Land, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2020) – 71 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Maintenance of agricultural drainage ditches can be difficult to optimize if farmers have no [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
A GIS-Based Multicriteria Index to Evaluate the Mechanisability Potential of Italian Vineyard Area
Land 2020, 9(11), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110469 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 383
Abstract
Planting criteria of new vineyards should comply with rational and sustainable criteria, taking into account the potential mechanisability of existing viticultural areas. However, an established methodology for this assessment is still lacking. This study aimed at analysing the parameters which influence the vineyard [...] Read more.
Planting criteria of new vineyards should comply with rational and sustainable criteria, taking into account the potential mechanisability of existing viticultural areas. However, an established methodology for this assessment is still lacking. This study aimed at analysing the parameters which influence the vineyard mechanisability, with the objective to propose a new mechanisability index. The mechanisability index proposed was based on GIS-analysis of landscape and management parameters such as mean slope, shape of the vineyard block, length-width ratio, headland size, training system and row spacing. We identified a sample of 3686 vineyards in Italy. Based on the above-mentioned parameters, vineyards were categorised by their level of mechanisability (l.m.) into four classes. Moreover, we analysed the correlation between l.m. and economic indicators (area planted with vineyard and wine production). Results showed that the main factors limiting the mechanisability potential of some Italian regions are the elevated slopes, horizontal training systems and narrow vine spacings. The l.m. showed a moderate positive correlation with the size of vineyards and the volume and value of production. The methodology presented in this study may be easily applied to other viticultural areas around the world, serving as a management decision-making tool. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gender Inequality and Symbolic Violence in Women’s Access to Family Land in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania
Land 2020, 9(11), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110468 - 22 Nov 2020
Viewed by 288
Abstract
We set out to unveil gender inequality with respect to women’s access to family land following the surge in tree-planting in selected villages in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Specifically, the study describes land-transaction procedures at the household level and shows how the [...] Read more.
We set out to unveil gender inequality with respect to women’s access to family land following the surge in tree-planting in selected villages in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Specifically, the study describes land-transaction procedures at the household level and shows how the lack of women’s involvement in such land transactions affect their access to and control over family lands. Gender inequality is portrayed in a variety of social and economic activities, with women being deprived of access to, control over, and ownership of land. Although the current land laws address gender inequalities pertaining to women’s access to, ownership of, and control over land, the impact of such reforms has been minimal. Drawing on Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic violence, we reveal how women suffer symbolic violence through traditional practices of land management and administration. Societies in the studied villages are strongly patriarchal, with men being dominant and women subordinate. In such a patriarchal system, women’s empowerment is urgent. Women require knowledge and awareness of the laws and regulations that affirm their rights not only to family lands, but also to participation in decision-making processes regarding family assets. We recommend non-oppressive approaches to natural-resource management. As such, we call for existing authorities at the village and district levels, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and legal bodies to promote gender equality in land-management practices. We also advocate dialectical communication between women and men in order to reveal and heal practices of symbolic violence, and enhance gender equality in respect of access to land and its control and ownership in villages in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Effective implementation of existing land laws and regulations that address gender inequality and associated violence is unavoidable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Women, Youths, and Land Tools or Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Viability of Vacant Farmhouse Market in China: A Case Study in Sichuan
Land 2020, 9(11), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110467 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Massive and rapid urbanization has led to population loss in rural areas, particularly in emerging and developing countries like China. As a result, houses in rural areas become vacant, and the house prices in cities, at the same time, skyrocket. While the research [...] Read more.
Massive and rapid urbanization has led to population loss in rural areas, particularly in emerging and developing countries like China. As a result, houses in rural areas become vacant, and the house prices in cities, at the same time, skyrocket. While the research on the vacant farmhouses market (VFM) is a pressing issue for sustainable urbanization and has profound policy implications in China, few empirical studies have been conducted on analyzing the willingness of house owners and urban residents to participate in the VFM and any influencing factors—as there is no such operating market in China. To bridge the research gap, we first conducted a questionnaire-based survey on rural households and urban residents with a random sampling method in six cities in Sichuan Province, China. A total of 571 valid samples, including 284 rural households and 287 urban residents, were obtained. Based on these survey data, we then used logistic regression to estimate the influencing factors on the willingness of house owners and urban residents in renting in/out or selling/buying vacant farmhouses. The results showed that: (1) more than 60% of rural house owners and urban residents are willing to participate in a potential VFM; (2) the main influencing factors of house owners’ willingness to rent out or sell their houses include the sociodemographic characteristics of farmers (e.g., age, household income) and characteristics of the vacant houses (e.g., distance to the main roads, the status of vacant houses), while the major factors that affect the willingness of urban residents to rent in or purchase vacant rural houses are the sociodemographic characteristics of urban residents themselves (e.g., occupation), the status of the potential houses, and the perceived housing market; (3) most farmers want a regulated platform for the vacant farmhouses; urban residents pay more attention to the good natural environment in rural areas and the infrastructure and public service levels of vacant farmhouses in rural areas. This study thus showed the necessity, feasibility, and potential challenges and barriers involved in establishing a VFM in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Developing a UML Model for the 3D Cadastre in Poland
Land 2020, 9(11), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110466 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 206
Abstract
The UML model of a land and building cadastre is defined in current Polish legal regulations. Its main part is the UML application schema that defines relationships between the main cadastral objects in sixteen diagrams. These objects—cadastral parcels, buildings and (independent) premises—are essentially [...] Read more.
The UML model of a land and building cadastre is defined in current Polish legal regulations. Its main part is the UML application schema that defines relationships between the main cadastral objects in sixteen diagrams. These objects—cadastral parcels, buildings and (independent) premises—are essentially 2D objects. Their relationships with other cadastral objects are compared and analysed in this paper. The UML model is built to supplement the application scheme of the traditional cadastral model with three new objects that are the equivalents of the main cadastral objects in 3D: ‘Cadastral Parcel 3D’, ‘Building Legal Space 3D’ and ‘Premises 3D’. Although the first two have been defined in earlier publications, this paper defines ‘Premises 3D’. Objects such as ‘Building Common Part 3D’ and ‘Building Part of Non-Extracted Premises 3D’ are proposed. The relationships among new 3D cadastral objects and objects of traditional cadastre are presented in three new diagrams. The authors propose that these new diagrams are added to the current cadastral model. It could be the foundation for building a future 3D cadastral model in Poland. In the authors’ opinion, the applied methodology may also be used in various legal systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Cadastre)
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Open AccessArticle
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Landscape Restoration: A Stocktake
Land 2020, 9(11), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110465 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 234
Abstract
With the increase in demand for landscape restoration and the limited resources available, there is need for economic analysis of landscape restoration to help prioritize investment of the resources. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a commonly applied tool in the economic analysis of landscape [...] Read more.
With the increase in demand for landscape restoration and the limited resources available, there is need for economic analysis of landscape restoration to help prioritize investment of the resources. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a commonly applied tool in the economic analysis of landscape restoration, yet its application seems limited and varied. We undertake a review of CBA applications to understand the breadth, depth, and gaps. Of the 2056 studies identified in literature search, only 31 met our predefined criteria. Three studies offered a global perspective, while more than half were conducted in Africa. Only six countries benefit from at least 2 CBA studies, including Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Vietnam, South Africa, and Tanzania. About 60% focus on agroforestry, afforestation, reforestation, and assisted natural regeneration practices. Only 16% covered all cost categories, with opportunity costs being the least covered. Eighty-four percent apply direct use values, while only 16% captured the non-use values. Similarly, lack of reliable data due to predictions and assumptions involved in data generation influenced CBA results. The limited number of eligible studies and the weaknesses identified hereinabove suggest strong need for improvements in both the quantity and quality of CBA to better inform planning, policies, and investments in landscape restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroforestry-Based Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Function of Allotment Gardens in an Attractive Location Based on the Example of Tri-City in Poland
Land 2020, 9(11), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110464 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 229
Abstract
Allotment gardens are quite common in many European countries. In particular, they are an important part of the urban space in Central and Eastern Europe. They served to improve the inhabitants’ physical and mental well-being during the communist period and relieved the family [...] Read more.
Allotment gardens are quite common in many European countries. In particular, they are an important part of the urban space in Central and Eastern Europe. They served to improve the inhabitants’ physical and mental well-being during the communist period and relieved the family budget thanks to their own crops. The article analyzes the functioning of allotment gardens in Poland based on the example of the Tri-City, with particular emphasis on allotment gardens in a prestigious, attractive location. Several research questions were asked regarding the change of the traditional function related to growing fruit and vegetables towards the modern function related to recreation and relaxation. A thesis was put forward that the attractive, seaside location of one of the allotment gardens on the border of Gdańsk and Sopot favors the dynamics of the changes in the function. New garden houses often resemble residential apartments in terms of comfort and function and are used for commercial rent during the summer, even though this is prohibited. In the study, the methods of a field query as well as a questionnaire survey and an in-depth interview were applied to check the state of the allotment holders’ knowledge on the applicable regulations regarding the functions of allotment gardens and their development, the size of garden houses and the rules of staying in the gardens, in particular living there. The questionnaire research and in-depth interviews were conducted at the beginning of 2020. The questionnaire research was conducted in February and March, and the in-depth interviews in May. The most pressing issues concerned the changing functions of allotment gardens and the perception of these changes by allotment owners who have gardens in a traditional form of cultivation. This study also allowed looking at possible neighborhood conflicts that may arise from a change in the function, in particular from the construction of houses with residential facilities, which encourages permanent residence in them, and sometimes subletting to tourists due to their attractive coastal location. The study helped to deepen the knowledge on the functioning of allotment gardens and transforming their functions into residential ones during the summer season. The obtained results show that nearly 60% of the surveyed respondents believe that seasonal occupation of allotment gardens should be allowed if their owners wish to do so. Most of the respondents encountered the problem of abnormal buildings and believe that the regulations in this respect should be followed. At the same time, they do not think that it is causing any problems for them. Conducting in-depth interviews, the information was obtained that the change of functions does not affect the existing, traditional users, and they mostly accept the changes taking place. Full article
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Open AccessLetter
Retrospective Analysis of Permafrost Landscape Evolution in Yakutia during the Holocene Warm Intervals
Land 2020, 9(11), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110463 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 197
Abstract
The observed global warming has significant impacts on permafrost. Permafrost changes modify landscapes and cause damage to infrastructure. The main purpose of this study was to estimate permafrost temperatures and active-layer thicknesses during the Holocene intervals with significantly warmer-than-present climates—the Atlantic (5500 years [...] Read more.
The observed global warming has significant impacts on permafrost. Permafrost changes modify landscapes and cause damage to infrastructure. The main purpose of this study was to estimate permafrost temperatures and active-layer thicknesses during the Holocene intervals with significantly warmer-than-present climates—the Atlantic (5500 years BP), Subboreal (3500 years BP) and Subatlantic (1000 years BP) optimums. Estimates were obtained using the ready-to-use models derived by G.M. Feldman, as well as mathematical modeling taking account of the paleogeography of the Holocene warm intervals. The data obtained were analyzed to reveal the regional patterns of warming impacts on different permafrost landscapes. The study results will be useful in predicting future permafrost changes in response to climate warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Permafrost Landscape)
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Open AccessArticle
The Contribution of Local Management to Biodiversity Conservation: An Analysis of Specific Cases in the Region of Madrid (Spain)
Land 2020, 9(11), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110462 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 215
Abstract
In line with the Urban Agenda for the EU, this article highlights the importance of local actions in the conservation of biodiversity, both through specific activities and by increasing the availability of information. As such, the policies and projects related to the conservation [...] Read more.
In line with the Urban Agenda for the EU, this article highlights the importance of local actions in the conservation of biodiversity, both through specific activities and by increasing the availability of information. As such, the policies and projects related to the conservation of biodiversity have been analyzed here at different levels and, in particular, the initiatives undertaken in the Madrid Region, Spain. Consequently, two cases are presented that demonstrate the role that local administrations can play in improving the biodiversity database, and hence, in the effective protection of areas of significant environmental value. First, we will examine the effects that creating an environmental inventory of vegetation, flora and landscape has had in Torrelodones. Second, among the more recent environmental policies implemented in the municipality of Madrid are those that resulted in the environmental recovery of the urban section of the Manzanares River. Both these actions demonstrate how local authorities can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity at relatively low expense and in line with EU guidelines. Notably, this occurred despite the fact that competences in environmental matters in Spain are not municipal. In this context, the paper reflects on the untapped potential of the General Urban Planning Plans (PGOU) in deep knowledge and sustainable and responsible management of municipal environmental values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urbanization Chaos of Suburban Small Cities in Poland: ‘Tetris Development’
Land 2020, 9(11), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110461 - 19 Nov 2020
Viewed by 315
Abstract
This paper investigates the phenomenon of spatial chaos in Poland resulting from urban sprawl. The phenomenon is particularly visible in the case of suburban small cities which, in contrast to cities in the EU-15 countries with similar populations, are expanding excessively, causing a [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the phenomenon of spatial chaos in Poland resulting from urban sprawl. The phenomenon is particularly visible in the case of suburban small cities which, in contrast to cities in the EU-15 countries with similar populations, are expanding excessively, causing a growth of urbanized areas exceeding several times the growth of their population. Suburbs of these cities increasingly resemble a badly played Tetris game. The selected study area consists of several cities in the Warsaw suburban zone where an increased dynamic of these processes can be observed. The paper presents detailed studies concerning the selected representative small cities. The morphology of urban tissue was studied as a marker of spatial order including: development intensity, street grid, plots parameters, presence of technical infrastructure, and distance from the functional city center. The analyses were performed based on cartographic archives, the data of the Central Statistical Office of Poland, topographic database and Kernel Density Estimation. ArcGIS ESRI and AutoCad software was used to present the study results. The conducted studies intend to diagnose the changes in the spatial layout in the context of the objectives of spatial order and sustainable development, and to define the indicators which should be taken into account in spatial planning documents drawn up for the studied areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conditions, Effects and Costs of Spatial Chaos)
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Open AccessArticle
The Huerta Agricultural Landscape in the Spanish Mediterranean Arc: One Landscape, Two Perspectives, Three Specific Huertas
Land 2020, 9(11), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110460 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 228
Abstract
The Huerta is recognised as one of the 13 specific agricultural landscapes in Europe, present in only three Mediterranean countries, namely Spain, Italy, and Greece. In the case of Spain, three areas fall within the established Huerta agricultural classification: the Huertas de Valencia [...] Read more.
The Huerta is recognised as one of the 13 specific agricultural landscapes in Europe, present in only three Mediterranean countries, namely Spain, Italy, and Greece. In the case of Spain, three areas fall within the established Huerta agricultural classification: the Huertas de Valencia, Murcia, and Vega Baja. While all of them share common landscape features, each Huerta has distinguishing singularities which are approached through two perspectives: firstly, the structural tangible elements, related to functional networks—water distribution, pathways networks, settlement patterns, and the agricultural production system; and secondly, the role of the intangible components—connotations of the word Huerta, water management, canal and path upkeep rules, and the administration of these territories. The analysis of the tangible elements and intangible components in the three Spanish Huertas shows these territories as complex and balanced systems that have historically counterbalanced the environmental drawbacks in one of the most arid European regions. Despite being a highly appreciated environmental and productive asset, these Huertas are under intense pressure from urban development in highly urbanized metropolitan areas. This study shows Huertas’ uniqueness through their historical role in the territorial planning and management strategies at the local level, finally depicting Huertas as a present strategical opportunity for reaching environmental goals in peri-urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Landscape Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Is There an Equivalence between Measures of Landscape Structural and Functional Connectivity for Plants in Conservation Assessments of the Cerrado?
Land 2020, 9(11), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110459 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Landscape connectivity can be assessed based on the physical connection (structural connectivity) or the maintenance of flow among habitats depending on the species (functional connectivity). The lack of empirical data on the dispersal capacity of species can lead to the use of simple [...] Read more.
Landscape connectivity can be assessed based on the physical connection (structural connectivity) or the maintenance of flow among habitats depending on the species (functional connectivity). The lack of empirical data on the dispersal capacity of species can lead to the use of simple structural measures. Comparisons between these approaches can improve decision-making processes for the conservation or restoration of habitats in fragmented landscapes, such as the Cerrado biome. This study aimed to understand the correspondence between the measures of landscape structural and functional connectivity for Cerrado plants. Three landscapes with cerradão patches in a pasture matrix were selected for the application of these metrics based on the functional connectivity of four profiles of plant dispersal capacity. The results showed divergent interpretations between the measures of landscape structural and functional connectivity, indicating that the assessment of biodiversity conservation and landscape connectivity is dependent on the set of metrics chosen. Structurally, the studied landscapes had the same number of cerradão patches but varied in optimal resource availability, isolation, heterogeneity, and aggregation. Functional connectivity was low for all profiles (based on the integral index of connectivity—IIC) and null for species with a low dispersal capacity (based on the connectance index—CONNECT), indicating that species with a medium- to long-distance dispersal capacity may be less affected by the history of losses and fragmentation of the Cerrado in the pasture matrix. The functional connectivity metrics used allowed a more robust analysis and, apparently, better reflected reality, but the lack of empirical data on dispersal capacity and the difficulty in choosing an indicator organism can limit their use in the management and planning of conservation and restoration areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Transformation and Changes in Land Use Intensity)
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Open AccessArticle
State-Customary Interactions and Agrarian Change in Ghana. The Case of Nkoranza Traditional Area
Land 2020, 9(11), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110458 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 232
Abstract
While agrarian change has been a recurrent theme in Ghana’s endeavor for economic development, questions on how land resources should be managed to ensure prompt attainment of economic growth remain unanswered. In Ghana, land is controlled by customary actors, while the state is [...] Read more.
While agrarian change has been a recurrent theme in Ghana’s endeavor for economic development, questions on how land resources should be managed to ensure prompt attainment of economic growth remain unanswered. In Ghana, land is controlled by customary actors, while the state is the custodian of agricultural policies. The need for interaction between the two actors to ensure that the envisioned economic gains from agriculture are attained is paramount. This paper asks questions on how land tenure issues are conceptualized in relation to agricultural policies and the interactions between state and customary actors on land management for agricultural development. The paper uses qualitative research methods comprising 17 key informant interviews and document analysis. Concepts of modernized property rights, ideal and new customary tenure served as the theoretical lens for analysis. The findings indicated that state actors vilify customary tenure by considering it inimical to economic development and requiring it to be replaced. Furthermore, new characteristics of commodification, privatization and professionalization within the new customary system are different from the ideal type customary tenure. The paper argues that a new customary tenure taking shape in the Nkoranza traditional area can be harnessed to bring together two seemingly opposing views on tenure management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Reforms from the Ground: Actor Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle
Bioenergy Potential and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Intensifying European Temporary Grasslands
Land 2020, 9(11), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110457 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 227
Abstract
Agricultural intensification is considered essential for meeting growing demand for food and biomass for energy purposes. Intensifying grasslands is under-represented, although it is a promising option given their large land area and relatively low management levels. This study quantifies the bioenergy potential from [...] Read more.
Agricultural intensification is considered essential for meeting growing demand for food and biomass for energy purposes. Intensifying grasslands is under-represented, although it is a promising option given their large land area and relatively low management levels. This study quantifies the bioenergy potential from intensifying temporary grasslands in Europe and the integral greenhouse gas emission effects in 2030. We first conducted a literature review of intensification options for European grasslands and then applied the environmental impact assessment model MITERRA-Europe to implement the key intensification option of using multi-species grass mixtures. The results showed that 853 kha (or 8%) of temporary grassland could be made sustainably available for additional biomass production. This can be translated into a bioethanol potential of 23 PJ yr−1 and an emission mitigation potential of 5.8 Mt CO2-eq yr−1 (if conventional grass mixture from surplus temporary grassland is used for energy) or 72 PJ yr−1 and 4.0 Mt CO2-eq yr−1 (if surplus temporary grassland is used for grassy energy crops). Although the bioenergy potential is limited, the key advantage of intensification measure is that it results in a better environmental performance of temporary grasslands. This makes it a key option for sustainably producing bioenergy in areas with high shares of temporary grasslands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Open AccessArticle
Planosol CO2 Respiration, Chemical and Physical Properties of Differently Tilled Faba Bean Cultivation
Land 2020, 9(11), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110456 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Soil tillage intensity influences the chemical composition of soil, the distribution of nutrients, and soil physical and mechanical properties, as well as gas flows. The impact of reduced tillage on these indices in faba bean cultivation is still insufficient and requires more analysis [...] Read more.
Soil tillage intensity influences the chemical composition of soil, the distribution of nutrients, and soil physical and mechanical properties, as well as gas flows. The impact of reduced tillage on these indices in faba bean cultivation is still insufficient and requires more analysis on a global scale. This study was carried out at Vytautas Magnus University, Agriculture Academy (Lithuania) in 2016–2018. The aim of the investigation was to establish the influence of the tillage systems on the soil chemical composition, temperature, moisture content, and CO2 respiration in faba bean cultivation limited by the semi-humid subarctic climate. On the basis of a long-term tillage experiment, five tillage systems were tested: deep and shallow moldboard plowing, deep cultivation-chiseling, shallow cultivation-disking, and no-tillage. Results showed that in conditions of plowless tillage systems, the content of precrops’ residues on the topsoil before the spring tillage was 5 to 15 times higher than in plowed plots. It undoubtedly was for the amount of available nutrients in the soil, soil temperature, and moisture content. Plowless and no-tillage systems could initiate an increase in the amount of available nutrients in soil. The highest concentration of chemical elements was found in no-tilled plots. So faba bean crops could largely increase the composition of potassium and total nitrogen and stabilized CO2 respiration from soil during one vegetative period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Tillage Systems and Conservative Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
From the Ground Up: Prairies on Reclaimed Mine Land—Impacts on Soil and Vegetation
Land 2020, 9(11), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110455 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 287
Abstract
After strip mining, soils typically suffer from compaction, low nutrient availability, loss of soil organic carbon, and a compromised soil microbial community. Prairie restorations can improve ecosystem services on former agricultural lands, but prairie restorations on mine lands are relatively under-studied. This study [...] Read more.
After strip mining, soils typically suffer from compaction, low nutrient availability, loss of soil organic carbon, and a compromised soil microbial community. Prairie restorations can improve ecosystem services on former agricultural lands, but prairie restorations on mine lands are relatively under-studied. This study investigated the impact of prairie restoration on mine lands, focusing on the plant community and soil properties. In southeast Ohio, 305 ha within a ~2000 ha area of former mine land was converted to native prairie through herbicide and planting between 1999–2016. Soil and vegetation sampling occurred from 2016–2018. Plant community composition shifted with prairie age, with highest native cover in the oldest prairie areas. Prairie plants were more abundant in older prairies. The oldest prairies had significantly more soil fungal biomass and higher soil microbial biomass. However, many soil properties (e.g., soil nutrients, β-glucosoidase activity, and soil organic carbon), as well as plant species diversity and richness trended higher in prairies, but were not significantly different from baseline cool-season grasslands. Overall, restoration with prairie plant communities slowly shifted soil properties, but mining disturbance was still the most significant driver in controlling soil properties. Prairie restoration on reclaimed mine land was effective in establishing a native plant community, with the associated ecosystem benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grassland Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle
Park, Fish, Salt and Marshes: Participatory Mapping and Design in a Watery Uncommons
Land 2020, 9(11), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110454 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 246
Abstract
The Franks Tract State Recreation Area (Franks Tract) is an example of a complex contemporary park mired in ecological and socio-political contestation of what it is and should be. Located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, it is a central hub in California’s immense [...] Read more.
The Franks Tract State Recreation Area (Franks Tract) is an example of a complex contemporary park mired in ecological and socio-political contestation of what it is and should be. Located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, it is a central hub in California’s immense and contentious water infrastructure; an accidental shallow lake on subsided land due to unrepaired levee breaks; a novel ecosystem full of ‘invasive’ species; a world-class bass fishing area; and a water transportation corridor. Franks Tract is an example of an uncommons: a place where multiple realities (or ontologies) exist, negotiate and co-create one another. As a case study, this article focuses on a planning effort to simultaneously improve water quality, recreation and ecology in Franks Tract through a state-led project. The article examines the iterative application of participatory mapping and web-based public surveys within a broader, mixed method co-design process involving state agencies, local residents, regional stakeholders, consultant experts and publics. We focus on what was learned in this process by all involved, and what might be transferable in the methods. We conclude that reciprocal iterative change among stakeholders and designers was demonstrated across the surveys, based on shifts in stakeholder preferences as achieved through iterative revision of design concepts that better addressed a broad range of stakeholder values and concerns. Within this reconciliation, the uncommons was retained, rather than suppressed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Green Spaces—An Underestimated Resource in Third-Tier Towns in Poland
Land 2020, 9(11), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110453 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 228
Abstract
Urban green spaces are frequently presented as being important for urban quality of life and urban development in general, but more detailed interpretations and discussions are typically confined to large urban centers, the so-called first- and second-tier cities. Not enough attention has been [...] Read more.
Urban green spaces are frequently presented as being important for urban quality of life and urban development in general, but more detailed interpretations and discussions are typically confined to large urban centers, the so-called first- and second-tier cities. Not enough attention has been paid to smaller urban units, the third-tier towns. The main goal of this article is to investigate the share and types of urban green spaces in five selected towns in Poland. We compare different sources of data based on satellite imagery and land-use maps with those used in public statistics, to check whether town authorities are managing all potential green spaces or only a selected part of them. We find that the predominantly used data, based on what is classified as “urban green space” for the purposes of public statistics, obscure the complexity of urban green spaces and focus on the narrowly understood formally managed public green spaces (which occupy 3.5–5.7% of town areas). Meanwhile, based on other sources, such as the national land-use map (BDOT10k), Urban Atlas, and satellite imagery (Landsat 8), what is considered to be green space turns out to cover 50–80% of the town area. The latter large numbers are associated with the predominance of arable land, grasslands, and forests, overlooked in any green space management practices based on data and definitions adopted for the purposes of public statistics. The situation found in our five case study towns resembles that identified in larger cities in Poland, and it exhibits the inadequacy of public statistics definitions and the related management practices, hindering the management of urban green spaces as an interconnected system of urban green infrastructures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Textuality of the Modernist Rural Landscape: Belgrade Agricultural Combine (PKB) as a Driver of the Urban Development of Third Belgrade
Land 2020, 9(11), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110452 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 261
Abstract
This paper considers the landscape as both a material and an ideological representation and starts from the assumption that spatial patterns arise as a result of the ideological imperative of the process that forms the landscape. The research takes on a historical-interpretative approach [...] Read more.
This paper considers the landscape as both a material and an ideological representation and starts from the assumption that spatial patterns arise as a result of the ideological imperative of the process that forms the landscape. The research takes on a historical-interpretative approach in the domain of architectural and urban studies, enabling in-depth qualitative exploration of the textuality and layering of the modernist rural landscape through a case study of the PKB Agricultural Combine as a driver of the urban development of Third Belgrade, the spatial framework of the left riverbank of the Danube in the administrative area of Belgrade. The research was conducted by chronologically interpreting primary sources, notably planning documents of different levels and scope, as well as studies, programs and development models for the urbanization of this territory. The research aims to decode the impact of socialist agrarian policy on the land-use in the wider metropolitan area of Belgrade, as well as the impact of the agricultural combine as a spatial, social, economic, environmental and political entity on the urban development process at different spatial levels. The research has identified four periods in the development of Third Belgrade: (1) Production of the Modernist Rural Landscape, (2) Establishment of the Self-Management Planning Framework, (3) Humanization of Environment, and (4) Post-socialist Transition and the Collapse of the Agricultural Combine. The paper demonstrates not only that environmental transformation cannot be separated from social transformation but also that they are in constant interaction and that their synergy has had a profound impact on the development of the PKB Agricultural Combine system in socialist conditions. The textuality of the modernist rural landscape confirms that an object-oriented approach is not enough to explore and interpret the landscape, but rather, we should look at the way it is socially produced through decoding the planning, institutional and policy frameworks determining the urban development of a territory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Transformation and Changes in Land Use Intensity)
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Open AccessArticle
Fruit Tree-Based Agroforestry Systems for Smallholder Farmers in Northwest Vietnam—A Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment
Land 2020, 9(11), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110451 - 17 Nov 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Rapid expansion of unsustainable farming practices in upland areas of Southeast Asia threatens food security and the environment. This study assessed alternative agroforestry systems for sustainable land management and livelihood improvement in northwest Vietnam. The performance of fruit tree-based agroforestry was compared with [...] Read more.
Rapid expansion of unsustainable farming practices in upland areas of Southeast Asia threatens food security and the environment. This study assessed alternative agroforestry systems for sustainable land management and livelihood improvement in northwest Vietnam. The performance of fruit tree-based agroforestry was compared with that of sole cropping, and farmers’ perspectives on agroforestry were documented. After seven years, longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.)-maize-forage grass and son tra (Docynia indica (Wall.) Decne)-forage grass systems had generated 2.4- and 3.5-fold higher average annual income than sole maize and sole son tra, respectively. Sole longan gave no net profit, due to high investment costs. After some years, competition developed between the crop, grass, and tree components, e.g., for nitrogen, and the farmers interviewed reported a need to adapt management practices to optimise spacing and pruning. They also reported that agroforestry enhanced ecosystem services by controlling surface runoff and erosion, increasing soil fertility and improving resilience to extreme weather. Thus, agroforestry practices with fruit trees can be more profitable than sole-crop cultivation within a few years. Integration of seasonal and fast-growing perennial plants (e.g., grass) is essential to ensure quick returns. Wider adoption needs initial incentives or loans, knowledge exchange, and market links. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroforestry-Based Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Attitude and Perception of Residents towards the Benefits, Challenges and Quality of Neighborhood Parks in a Sub-Saharan Africa City
Land 2020, 9(11), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110450 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Urban parks provide various environmental, socio-cultural and economic benefits, also called ecosystem services, as well as challenges. Urban park planning and management needs to consider the perception and attitude of people towards the benefits, challenges and quality of the parks. However, such information [...] Read more.
Urban parks provide various environmental, socio-cultural and economic benefits, also called ecosystem services, as well as challenges. Urban park planning and management needs to consider the perception and attitude of people towards the benefits, challenges and quality of the parks. However, such information is largely lacking for cities of Sub-Saharan Africa. The objectives of this study are to understand the perception and attitude of residents towards the benefits, challenges and qualities of neighborhood parks in a formal settlement area in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and to investigate whether these aspects are affected by the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents. Data were collected through a household survey (n = 398) and three focus group discussions. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests. The focus group discussion resulted in the selection of 18 ecosystem services (benefits) and five challenges. Supported by a very high response rate (96.6%), the household survey shows that respondents recognize the environmental, socio-cultural and economic benefits provided by neighborhood parks, but that the socio-cultural and environmental benefits are perceived as more important than the economic benefits. The socio-demographic characteristics of age, gender and education level were found to have no significant effect on perceptions or attitudes. The cost of managing neighborhood parks and the attraction of nuisance insects were the two most important challenges, respectively. The majority of respondents rated the quality of the existing neighborhood parks excellent or good, with the existing safety condition and the presence of high plant diversity receiving the highest number of high scores. The availability of park facilities was the aspect of park quality considered poor by the most respondents. This study highlights the importance of place-based studies for assessing the perceived benefits that attract people to use urban parks, as well as the challenges that deter use. One important lesson that cities in Sub-Saharan Africa could draw from the development and management of neighborhood parks in Addis Ababa is the vital importance of public participation in urban park development and management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Traditional Villages in China: A Multiscale Perspective
Land 2020, 9(11), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110449 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 247
Abstract
Traditional villages are important carriers of traditional cultural heritage, and they have strong historical, cultural, aesthetic and tourism value for all countries and the international community. In China, the number of traditional villages is currently decreasing each year, and the precious material and [...] Read more.
Traditional villages are important carriers of traditional cultural heritage, and they have strong historical, cultural, aesthetic and tourism value for all countries and the international community. In China, the number of traditional villages is currently decreasing each year, and the precious material and non-material heritage is at risk of disappearing in the process of urbanization. A comprehensive understanding of the spatiotemporal patterns of traditional villages on multiple scales has important significance in protecting traditional culture, revitalizing traditional villages and achieving sustainable urbanization. Therefore, the spatiotemporal characteristics of traditional villages at the city, province, and geographic zone scales are explored by a series of Geographic Information System(GIS)-based methods in this article. Specifically, the analysis units are multi-scale, the applied methods are multi-variate, and the identified patterns are multi-perspective. The results demonstrate that the distribution of traditional villages in China is unbalanced over space and time. Moreover, the different spatiotemporal distributions of traditional villages are sensitive to scales. These findings clarify differences in the corresponding geographic and environmental factors, the level of economic development and local policy support. We further suggest that exploring the effective and suitable modes of protection and rural development is necessary. The results of this article revealing the unbalanced spatiotemporal distribution of traditional villages can provide valuable suggestions and insights into alleviating regional inequality in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Determining Indicators Related to Land Management Interventions to Measure Spatial Inequalities in an Urban (Re)Development Process
Land 2020, 9(11), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110448 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Nowadays, urban sprawl, urban densification, housing shortages, and land scarcity are some problems that intervene in the practice of urban planning. Those specific problems are currently more than ever emergent because they imply the notion of spatial justice and socio-spatial inequalities. Hence, it [...] Read more.
Nowadays, urban sprawl, urban densification, housing shortages, and land scarcity are some problems that intervene in the practice of urban planning. Those specific problems are currently more than ever emergent because they imply the notion of spatial justice and socio-spatial inequalities. Hence, it seems necessary to promptly research and describe these from a new and different perspective. Thus, we consider the Institutional Analysis and Development to define a conceptual framework to assess spatial justice. We simplify it into a three-dimensional model (rule, process, and outcomes) in which a matrix of indicators applies on each level. We elaborate the indicators to measure spatial inequalities in an urban development project, for which the reason we refer to the egalitarian paradigm of spatial justice. While spatial inequalities raise questions about land management, we elaborate those indicators related to three land management interventions: the use, access to, and redistribution of land use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Livestock Grazing Efficiency Incorporating Grassland Productivity: The Case of Hulun Buir, China
Land 2020, 9(11), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110447 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 247
Abstract
Recently, improving technical efficiency is an effective way to enhance the quality of grass-based livestock husbandry production and promote an increase in the income of herdsmen, especially in the background of a continuing intensification of climate change processes. This paper, based on the [...] Read more.
Recently, improving technical efficiency is an effective way to enhance the quality of grass-based livestock husbandry production and promote an increase in the income of herdsmen, especially in the background of a continuing intensification of climate change processes. This paper, based on the survey data, constructs a stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) model, incorporates net primary productivity (NPP) into the production function as an ecological variable, refines it to the herdsman scale to investigate grassland quality and production capacity, and quantitatively evaluates the technical efficiency of grass-based livestock husbandry and identifies the key influencing factors. The results show that the maximum value of technical efficiency was up to 0.90, and the average value was around 0.53; the herdsmen’s production gap was large and the overall level was relatively low. Additionally, the lack of forage caused by drought was the key factor restricting the current grass-based livestock husbandry production level, and the herdsmen’s adaptive measures, mainly represented as “purchasing forage” and “selling livestock”, had a positive significance for improving technical efficiency. Based on this, expanding the planting area of artificial grassland, improving the efficiency of resource utilization, and enhancing the supply capacity of livestock products while ensuring the ecological security of grassland are effective ways to increase the production level of grass-based livestock husbandry in Hulun Buir. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Crowdsourcing LUCAS: Citizens Generating Reference Land Cover and Land Use Data with a Mobile App
Land 2020, 9(11), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110446 - 15 Nov 2020
Viewed by 412
Abstract
There are many new land use and land cover (LULC) products emerging yet there is still a lack of in situ data for training, validation, and change detection purposes. The LUCAS (Land Use Cover Area frame Sample) survey is one of the few [...] Read more.
There are many new land use and land cover (LULC) products emerging yet there is still a lack of in situ data for training, validation, and change detection purposes. The LUCAS (Land Use Cover Area frame Sample) survey is one of the few authoritative in situ field campaigns, which takes place every three years in European Union member countries. More recently, a study has considered whether citizen science and crowdsourcing could complement LUCAS survey data, e.g., through the FotoQuest Austria mobile app and crowdsourcing campaign. Although the data obtained from the campaign were promising when compared with authoritative LUCAS survey data, there were classes that were not well classified by the citizens. Moreover, the photographs submitted through the app were not always of sufficient quality. For these reasons, in the latest FotoQuest Go Europe 2018 campaign, several improvements were made to the app to facilitate interaction with the citizens contributing and to improve their accuracy in LULC identification. In addition to extending the locations from Austria to Europe, a change detection component (comparing land cover in 2018 to the 2015 LUCAS photographs) was added, as well as an improved LC decision tree. Furthermore, a near real-time quality assurance system was implemented to provide feedback on the distance to the target location, the LULC classes chosen and the quality of the photographs. Another modification was a monetary incentive scheme in which users received between 1 to 3 Euros for each successfully completed quest of sufficient quality. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether citizens can provide high quality in situ data on LULC through crowdsourcing that can complement LUCAS. We compared the results between the FotoQuest campaigns in 2015 and 2018 and found a significant improvement in 2018, i.e., a much higher match of LC between FotoQuest Go Europe and LUCAS. As shown by the cost comparisons with LUCAS, FotoQuest can complement LUCAS surveys by enabling continuous collection of large amounts of high quality, spatially explicit field data at a low cost. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Socio-Spatial Analysis of Land Use Dynamics and Process of Land Intervention in the Peri-Urban Areas of Bahir Dar City
Land 2020, 9(11), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110445 - 15 Nov 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
The contemporary urbanization and its implication to land use dynamics especially in the peri-urban areas are emerging as a cross-cutting theme in policy debates and scientific discourse. As most cities in developing countries, including Ethiopia, are experiencing continuous expansion of built-ups and dynamic [...] Read more.
The contemporary urbanization and its implication to land use dynamics especially in the peri-urban areas are emerging as a cross-cutting theme in policy debates and scientific discourse. As most cities in developing countries, including Ethiopia, are experiencing continuous expansion of built-ups and dynamic land use changes, monitoring and an in-depth analysis of the past, present and future predictions of these changes are important for a holistic understanding of the problem, its consequence, and to regulate proper land use intervention options. Thus, the main objective of this research is to assess land use dynamics and processes of land intervention in the peri-urban areas of Bahir Dar city using a socio-spatial analysis. It assesses to what extent the existing peri-urban land intervention processes and land use decisions are effective in combating and controlling unwanted land use changes. Primary socio-economic data were collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews; in addition, spatial data including Landsat and Sentinel imageries of 1993, 2001, 2011 and 2020 were utilized. Land use/land cover (LULC) classes were computed using the integration of spectral and object-based image classification techniques. The results signal that built-ups are expanding horizontally with unpredicted patterns. This is because the existing land intervention processes are lacking effectiveness to govern the spatial patterns of built-ups. The results further depict that processes of land use intervention do not only determine horizontal urban expansion but also determine the nature of people-to-land relationships, which involve both formal and informal processes. This creates haphazard, disputed and unregulated land use systems in peri-urban areas of Bahir Dar. The socio-spatial methodology applied in this research is effective in monitoring both the spatial and social dimensions of land use changes. The spatial results effectively demonstrate the dynamics of land uses; whereas, the social analysis supports understanding of the processes of land use interventions. In conclusion, monitoring processes of land use interventions are key policy and decision making directions to regulate and manage land use dynamics in the peri-urban area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
A Transparent and Intuitive Modeling Framework and Software for Efficient Land Allocation
Land 2020, 9(11), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110444 - 14 Nov 2020
Viewed by 393
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to better conserve biodiversity by improving land allocation modeling software. Here we introduce a planning support framework designed to be understood by and useful to land managers, stakeholders, and other decision-makers. With understanding comes trust and engagement, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research is to better conserve biodiversity by improving land allocation modeling software. Here we introduce a planning support framework designed to be understood by and useful to land managers, stakeholders, and other decision-makers. With understanding comes trust and engagement, which often yield better implementation of model results. To do this, we break from traditional software such as Zonation and Marxan with Zones to prototype software that instead first asks the project team and stakeholders to make a straightforward multi-criteria decision tree used for traditional site evaluation analyses. The results can be used as is or fed into an algorithm for identifying a land allocation solution that is efficient in meeting several objectives including maximizing habitat representation, connectivity, and adjacency at a set cost budget. We tested the framework in five pilot regions and share the lessons learned from each, with a detailed description and evaluation of the fifth (in the central Sierra Nevada mountains of California) where the software effectively met the multiple objectives, for multiple zones (Restoration, Innovation, and Observation Zones). The framework is sufficiently general that it can be applied to a wide range of land use planning efforts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Outmigration Drives Cropland Decline and Woodland Increase in Rural Regions of Southwest China
Land 2020, 9(11), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110443 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Rapid urbanisation in China has led to massive outmigration in rural regions, which has changed the regional labour force structure and can have various profound impacts as a result. This research used a case study in Southwest China to investigate how regional land [...] Read more.
Rapid urbanisation in China has led to massive outmigration in rural regions, which has changed the regional labour force structure and can have various profound impacts as a result. This research used a case study in Southwest China to investigate how regional land use patterns have been changed in the context of rural outmigration and assessed the resulting dynamics on local ecological environment. The key findings include: (1) The local land conversion process was mainly characterised by the conversion of farmland (−18.3%) to residential area (+268.3%) and woodland (+55.6%) during 2000–2018; (2) about 83.7% of area showed a statistically significant increase in the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), which was not due to human interference factors (e.g., afforestation). Correlation analyses showed that depopulation (R = −0.514, p < 0.01) and local mild temperature (R = 0.505, p < 0.01) could be the main contributors. Only 2.5% of the area had decreased NDVI and this was directly caused by human activities (e.g., urban area expansion). These results implied that vegetation improvement can occur in the context of depopulation and farmland reduction, which did not significantly threaten the local agricultural sector. It then could be a good choice to allow those high-slope and biophysically poor farmlands to undergo forest succession rather than cultivation. Farmers in Southwest China should make a full use of the existing low-slope arable land to curb the declining trend of local farmland amount, in order to meet the future challenges brought by urbanisation. Enhanced agricultural infrastructure, mechanised farming and guide from local government can help achieve this goal. This study provided new insights and more realistic scenarios for rural development in Southwest China. The research findings are expected to provide a better understanding to enable sustainable land use management in Southwest China. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Applying Geomorphic Principles in the Design of Mountain Biking Singletracks: Conceptual Analysis and Mathematical Modeling
Land 2020, 9(11), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110442 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 383
Abstract
Mountain biking, also known as singletracking, is an emerging sector in outdoor recreation activities. Experience shows that although bicycling is considered a low-impact activity, singletracking may have adverse environmental footprints. Here, we review and conceptually analyze the forces applied on singletracks, and implement [...] Read more.
Mountain biking, also known as singletracking, is an emerging sector in outdoor recreation activities. Experience shows that although bicycling is considered a low-impact activity, singletracking may have adverse environmental footprints. Here, we review and conceptually analyze the forces applied on singletracks, and implement mathematical modeling of these forces, for a range of climatic conditions and geographic settings. Specifically, we focus on the hydrological and geomorphic impacts of singletracking, and highlight the importance of applying geomorphic principles in their design. Also, we demonstrate specific measures for establishing singletracks on hillslopes and in ephemeral stream channels. We discuss how climate, topography, surface roughness, hydrological connectivity, and pedology determine the processes of water runoff and soil erosion on singletrack trails. Further, we demonstrate how riders’ behavior determines the rate of shearing, wearing, compaction, deformation, and rutting of the singletrack, as well as the expansion of physical damages to the track’s surroundings. These conditions and effects determine the durability of singletracks, with implications for maintenance requirements over time. The specific implications of the emerging sector of electric mountain bikes on singletrack durability are discussed. Insights of this paper will benefit landscape designers and land managers aiming to foster ecotourism and sustainable recreation opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services, Sustainable Rural Development and Protected Areas)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Vegetation Removal on Soil Erosion and Bank Stability in Agricultural Drainage Ditches
Land 2020, 9(11), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110441 - 11 Nov 2020
Viewed by 253
Abstract
Maintenance of agricultural drainage ditches can be difficult to optimize if farmers have no guidelines on where to target their maintenance efforts. A main concern is whether ditch banks will experience soil erosion or mass movement (failure). In order to help identify sites [...] Read more.
Maintenance of agricultural drainage ditches can be difficult to optimize if farmers have no guidelines on where to target their maintenance efforts. A main concern is whether ditch banks will experience soil erosion or mass movement (failure). In order to help identify sites that are more likely to experience soil erosion and/or mass movement, soil susceptibility to detachment was assessed in this study using a cohesive strength meter (CSM) and measurements of shear strength in unsaturated direct shear tests. The results showed that soil roots play an important role in stabilizing ditch banks against mass movement and in reducing the rate of soil detachment. A positive stabilizing effect was detected by CSM and confirmed by shear strength measurements. The conclusion is that native vegetation should be maintained on ditch banks, instead of being removed during maintenance work as is currently the case. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Cultivated Land Use Efficiency with Environmental Constraints in the Dongting Lake Eco-Economic Zone of Hunan Province, China
Land 2020, 9(11), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110440 - 10 Nov 2020
Viewed by 386
Abstract
The rapid urban and industrial development in China has put pressure on the limited cultivated land resources. In ecologically fragile areas, such as the Dongting Lake Eco-economic Zone, land pollution and waste emissions from agricultural production cause irreversible damage to cultivated land. Thus, [...] Read more.
The rapid urban and industrial development in China has put pressure on the limited cultivated land resources. In ecologically fragile areas, such as the Dongting Lake Eco-economic Zone, land pollution and waste emissions from agricultural production cause irreversible damage to cultivated land. Thus, a method to assess the sustainability of cultivated land use efficiency (CLUE) is explored. Using the panel data of 25 districts in the province from 2007 to 2017, this study incorporates agricultural non-point source pollution and carbon emissions into undesirable outputs of cultivated land. The SBM(Slack-based Measure)-undesirable model was applied to measure the spatiotemporal characteristics of CLUE under environmental constraints. This study finds that CLUE with environmental constraints is significantly lower than CLUE without environmental constraints, and the degree of the impacts of the constraints differs among regions. Second, from 2007 to 2017, the average CLUE of the province showed a downward trend in each year; this is due to the side effects of redundant inputs and undesired outputs. Third, in 2017, the CLUE of the Dongting Lake Eco-economic Zone was high in the west and low in the east, and the redundant inputs of CLUE were livestock, fertilizer, and pesticide. The study concludes by recommending some policies. Full article
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