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Environments, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2015) – 10 articles , Pages 435-623

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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Individual Level Satisfaction with Community Based Natural Resources Management: A Case of Five Communities in Namibia
Environments 2015, 2(4), 608-623; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040608 - 10 Dec 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2556
Abstract
Using a logistic regression model, this paper examines key factors that influence individual support for communal conservancies in Namibia. It tests the hypothesis that if individuals are compensated for their wildlife related losses, they are more likely to support community based wildlife management [...] Read more.
Using a logistic regression model, this paper examines key factors that influence individual support for communal conservancies in Namibia. It tests the hypothesis that if individuals are compensated for their wildlife related losses, they are more likely to support community based wildlife management projects. Data for this study were collected from 472 members of five conservancies in the Caprivi Region of Namibia. Respondents were selected through convenience sampling. The key findings are that receiving meat, activity during the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and being a member of a specific conservancy are the key predictors of satisfaction with the conservancy among the respondents. On the other hand, cash and jobs have no significant impact on individual attitudes toward communal conservancies. Based on these findings, the paper argues that the focus on incentives omits broader factors that motivate individuals to participate in community-based conservation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
United States Gulf of Mexico Coastal Marsh Vegetation Responses and Sensitivities to Oil Spill: A Review
Environments 2015, 2(4), 586-607; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040586 - 04 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2707
Abstract
The present review summarizes the literature on the effects of oil spill on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coastal vegetation including freshwater-, brackish-, and salt-marshes. When in contact with plant tissues, oil may have adverse impacts via physical and chemical effects. Oil may [...] Read more.
The present review summarizes the literature on the effects of oil spill on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coastal vegetation including freshwater-, brackish-, and salt-marshes. When in contact with plant tissues, oil may have adverse impacts via physical and chemical effects. Oil may also become detrimental to plants by covering soil surfaces, leading to root oxygen stress and/or penetrate into the soil where it becomes in contact with the roots. The affected vegetation may survive the impact by producing new leaves, however, an episode of oil spill may impose severe stress. Oil spills may lead to partial or complete plant death but in many situations plants recover by regenerating new shoots. Plant sensitivity to oil varies among species; plants from salt marshes appear to be more sensitive than freshwater species. In addition, sensitivity appears to be dependent on the oil characteristics and the quantity of oil being spilled, repeated oiling events, season of spill, greenhouse vs. field conditions, and plant age are among the many factors that interact simultaneously. Many aspects of coastal plant responses to oiling remain in need of additional research, including the possibility that differences in oil sensitivity may interact with changes in the environment, and contribution to additional wetland losses through coastal erosion. Environmental stressors such as drought and salinity may also interact with oil, leading to the observed changes in plant species community composition following an oil spill. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Does Previous Experience of Floods Stimulate the Adoption of Coping Strategies? Evidence from Cross Sectional Surveys in Nigeria and Tanzania
Environments 2015, 2(4), 565-585; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040565 - 20 Nov 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2856
Abstract
In sub-Saharan Africa, hydro-meteorological related disasters, such as floods, account for the majority of the total number of natural disasters. Over the past century, floods have affected 38 million people, claimed several lives and caused substantial economic losses in the region. The goal [...] Read more.
In sub-Saharan Africa, hydro-meteorological related disasters, such as floods, account for the majority of the total number of natural disasters. Over the past century, floods have affected 38 million people, claimed several lives and caused substantial economic losses in the region. The goal of this paper is to examine how personality disposition, social network, and socio-demographic factors mitigate the complex relationship between stressful life experiences of floods and ocean surges and the adoption of coping strategies among coastal communities in Nigeria and Tanzania. Generalized linear models (GLM) were fitted to cross-sectional survey data on 1003 and 1253 individuals in three contiguous coastal areas in Nigeria and Tanzania, respectively. Marked differences in the type of coping strategies were observed across the two countries. In Tanzania, the zero-order relationships between adoption of coping strategies and age, employment and income disappeared at the multivariate level. Only experience of floods in the past year and social network resources were significant predictors of participants’ adoption of coping strategies, unlike in Nigeria, where a plethora of factors such as experience of ocean surges in the past one year, personality disposition, age, education, experience of flood in the past one year, ethnicity, income, housing quality and employment status were still statistically significant at the multivariate level. Our findings suggest that influence of previous experience on adoption of coping strategies is spatially ubiquitous. Consequently, context-specific policies aimed at encouraging the adoption of flood-related coping strategies in vulnerable locations should be designed based on local needs and orientation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mercury Concentrations of Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) Vary by Sex
Environments 2015, 2(4), 546-564; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040546 - 11 Nov 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2959
Abstract
Patterns in relative differences in contaminant concentrations between the sexes across many species of fish may reveal clues for important behavioral and physiological differences between the sexes, and may also be useful in developing fish consumption advisories and efficient designs for programs meant [...] Read more.
Patterns in relative differences in contaminant concentrations between the sexes across many species of fish may reveal clues for important behavioral and physiological differences between the sexes, and may also be useful in developing fish consumption advisories and efficient designs for programs meant to monitor contaminant levels in fish. We determined skin-off fillet and whole-fish total mercury (Hg) concentrations of 28 adult female and 26 adult male bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) from Squaw Lake, Oakland County, Michigan (MI), USA. Bioenergetics modeling was used to quantify the effect of growth dilution on the difference in Hg concentrations between the sexes. On average, skin-off fillet and whole-fish Hg concentrations were 25.4% higher and 26.6% higher, respectively, in females compared with males. Thus, the relative difference in Hg concentrations between the sexes for skin-off fillets was nearly identical to that for whole fish. However, mean skin-off fillet Hg concentration (363 ng/g) was 2.3 times greater than mean whole-fish Hg concentration (155 ng/g). Males grew substantially faster than females, and bioenergetics modeling results indicated that the growth dilution effect could account for females having 14.4% higher Hg concentrations than males. Our findings should be useful in revising fish consumption advisories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicology of Freshwater Environments)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Impact of Intensive Horticulture Land-Use Practices on Surface Water Quality in Central Kenya
Environments 2015, 2(4), 521-545; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040521 - 06 Nov 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2966
Abstract
Rapid expansion of commercial horticulture production and related activities contribute to declining surface water quality. The study sought to understand the impacts on select rivers in Laikipia and Meru, production hotspots. The specific aims were (1) to identify prevailing surface water quality by [...] Read more.
Rapid expansion of commercial horticulture production and related activities contribute to declining surface water quality. The study sought to understand the impacts on select rivers in Laikipia and Meru, production hotspots. The specific aims were (1) to identify prevailing surface water quality by examining variations of 14 physico-chemical parameters, and (2) to categorize measured surface water quality parameters into land use types highlighting potential pollutant source processes. Water samples were collected in July and August 2013 along 14 rivers in the study area. The data were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis (DA). Principal components (PCs) explained 70% of the observed total variability of water quality, indicating a prevalence of heavy metal traces (cadmium, phosphate, and zinc). These were linked to the rigorous use of phosphate fertilizers and copper-based agrochemicals in intensive farming. DA provided four significant (p < 0.05) discriminant functions, with 89.5% correct assignment enabling the association of land use with observed water quality. Concentrations of dissolved solids, electro-conductivity, and salinity spiked at locations with intensive small-scale and large-scale horticulture. Understanding the impacts of intensive commercial horticulture and land use practices on water quality is critical to formulating ecologically sound watershed management and pollution abatement plans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Protected Area Monitoring in the Niger Delta Using Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing
Environments 2015, 2(4), 500-520; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040500 - 26 Oct 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2982
Abstract
Despite their importance, available information on the dynamics of forest protected areas and their management in the Niger delta are insufficient. We present results showing the distribution and structure of forest landscapes across protected areas in two states (Cross River and Delta) within [...] Read more.
Despite their importance, available information on the dynamics of forest protected areas and their management in the Niger delta are insufficient. We present results showing the distribution and structure of forest landscapes across protected areas in two states (Cross River and Delta) within the Niger Delta using multi-temporal remote sensing. Satellite images were classified and validated using ground data, existing maps, Google Earth, and historic aerial photographs over 1986, 2000 and 2014. The total area of forest landscape for 1986, 2000 and 2014 across the identified protected areas were 535,671 ha, 494,009 ha and 469,684 ha (Cross River) and 74,631 ha, 68,470 ha and 58,824 ha (Delta) respectively. The study showed annual deforestation rates for protected areas across both states from 1986 to 2000 were 0.8%. However, the overall annual deforestation rate between 2000 and 2014 was higher in Delta (1.9%) compared to Cross River (0.7%). This study shows accelerated levels of forest fragmentation across protected areas in both states as a side effect of the prevalence of agricultural practices and unsupervised urbanisation. The results show the need for government intervention and policy implementation, in addition to efforts by local communities and conservation organisations in protected area management across ecologically fragile areas of Nigeria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Change in the Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Greenhouse Gas Assessment and Compensation on Brazilian Low Volume Rural Roads Using CarbonROAD—The Santa Rosa de Lima Case
Environments 2015, 2(4), 489-499; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040489 - 23 Oct 2015
Viewed by 2638
Abstract
The “Santa Catarina Rural” is a Program co-funded by The World Bank for improvements on 1300 km of low volume rural roads on Southern Brazil. The pioneer project under the program was on the municipality of Santa Rosa de Lima, where the greenhouse [...] Read more.
The “Santa Catarina Rural” is a Program co-funded by The World Bank for improvements on 1300 km of low volume rural roads on Southern Brazil. The pioneer project under the program was on the municipality of Santa Rosa de Lima, where the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the road improvement activities as well as the regular traffic were assessed on an experimental basis using the CarbonROAD software application. Here, we show details of the CarbonROAD software application and the construction emissions assessment procedure as well as the mitigating effect of the plants used for compensation. It was found that most of the emissions come from the road improvement work. This includes earthworks, fuel for motor graders, bulldozers and other machines, and materials and gravel extraction, industrialization and transportation, etc. Only a smaller portion comprises regular road traffic. The accumulated emission balance shows that the carbon absorption is larger than construction emissions after just 15 months. The potential for price appraisal of the generated carbon credits is explored. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis of Waste Treatment Options for Food and Biodegradable Waste Management in Japan
Environments 2015, 2(4), 471-488; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040471 - 10 Oct 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4751
Abstract
Dealing with large-scale Food and Biodegradable Waste (FBW) often results in many logistical problems and environmental impacts to be considered. These can become great hindrances when the integration of solid waste management is concerned. Extra care is needed to plan such waste disposal [...] Read more.
Dealing with large-scale Food and Biodegradable Waste (FBW) often results in many logistical problems and environmental impacts to be considered. These can become great hindrances when the integration of solid waste management is concerned. Extra care is needed to plan such waste disposal or treatment services and facilities, especially with respect to the ecological impact. Decision-making with regards to the sustainable use of these facilities also involves tradeoffs between a number of conflicting objectives, since increasing one benefit may decrease the others. In this study a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is presented to evaluate different waste management options and their applicability in Japan. The analytical process aims at selecting the most suitable waste treatment option, using pairwise comparisons conducted within a decision hierarchy that was developed through the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). The results of this study show that anaerobic digestion should be chosen as the best FBW treatment option with regards to resource recovery. The study also presents some conditions and recommendations that can enhance the suitability of other options like incineration and composting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Cabbage with Minimized Pesticide Residues in Southern Benin
Environments 2015, 2(4), 449-470; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040449 - 01 Oct 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5317
Abstract
Cabbage (Brassicaceae) is one of the most frequently consumed exotic vegetables in Benin and also the most affected by insects. To meet growing food demand, farmers rely heavily on synthetic pesticides that are harmful for themselves, consumers and the environment. Integrated pest management [...] Read more.
Cabbage (Brassicaceae) is one of the most frequently consumed exotic vegetables in Benin and also the most affected by insects. To meet growing food demand, farmers rely heavily on synthetic pesticides that are harmful for themselves, consumers and the environment. Integrated pest management has been proposed as the means to improve vegetable productivity and quality in many developing countries. One approach is to substitute pesticides with physical barriers to insects, like nets. Here, we assess consumers’ perceptions about cabbage and their purchasing behavior towards cabbage that was produced using these nets in two major cities in Benin. Results indicate that consumers are aware of the health risks associated with intensive use of pesticides but were not able to recognize the quality difference between cabbage produced under nets from those using pesticides. All consumers were willing to pay a price premium for cabbage with minimized pesticides residues compared with conventionally produced cabbage, the average premium being 38%. Women, older, highly educated consumers and those able to distinguish cabbage qualities were willing to pay the most. We suggest that farmers will obtain higher prices if their production of cabbage with preferred characteristics is accompanied by an improved marketing strategy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change Preparedness: A Knowledge and Attitudes Study in Southern Nigeria
Environments 2015, 2(4), 435-448; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2040435 - 25 Sep 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2947
Abstract
Global climate change is projected to adversely impact freshwater resources, and in many settings these impacts are already apparent. In Nigeria, these impacts can be especially severe because of limited adaptive capacity. Understanding the knowledge and attitudes of current and future Nigerian decision-makers [...] Read more.
Global climate change is projected to adversely impact freshwater resources, and in many settings these impacts are already apparent. In Nigeria, these impacts can be especially severe because of limited adaptive capacity. Understanding the knowledge and attitudes of current and future Nigerian decision-makers is important to preparing Nigeria for climate change impacts. This paper examines the knowledge and attitudes of university students and government officials about the causes, effects, and priority given to climate change in Nigeria. Paper surveys were distributed to 379 study participants in Akwa Ibom and Lagos states of Nigeria. The findings reveal that approximately 90% of study participants believe that human activities are a significant cause of climate change, with no significant difference between ministry officials’ and students’ responses. Participants were less knowledgeable about the effects of climate change on Nigeria as a whole, but more aware of impacts relevant to Southern Nigeria, where study sites were located. Personal experience seemed to play a role in the knowledge and attitudes of respondents. Due to the varied climate of the country, campaigns to ensure comprehensive knowledge of climate change impacts to the entire country may be helpful. Full article
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