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Environments, Volume 6, Issue 5 (May 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The plant nutrient content in incinerated poultry ash makes it attractive for use as a fertilizer, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
MODIS-Based Investigation of Flood Areas in Southern Cambodia from 2002–2013
Environments 2019, 6(5), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050057
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 25 May 2019
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Abstract
In Cambodia and the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, floods commonly occur during the rainy season, and a better understanding of their spatio-temporal distribution is important for both disaster prevention and the improvement of agricultural production. This study investigated spatio-temporal flood inundation and land cover [...] Read more.
In Cambodia and the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, floods commonly occur during the rainy season, and a better understanding of their spatio-temporal distribution is important for both disaster prevention and the improvement of agricultural production. This study investigated spatio-temporal flood inundation and land cover change from 2002 to 2013 in the southern part of Cambodia using Terra satellite on-board Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images. The algorithm for flood inundation detection, WFFI (Wavelet-based Filter for detecting spatio-temporal changes in Flood Inundation) was used, and the parameters were modified to fit the present study. The estimated inundation areas were validated using eight Landsat images. In a comparison between the original and modified WFFIs, the modified WFFI (70–96%) exhibited better accuracy than the original WFFI (30–70%). Overall, the temporal change in the flood inundation area presented a decreasing trend, and a link to the in-situ observed water level showed a decreasing trend during the rainy season. Furthermore, the estimated flood inundation exhibited a significant delay since 2008. Based on the yearly land cover MODIS product, the permanent water body and wetland areas decreased, whereas the cropland areas increased. This was as a result of increased agricultural productivity. However, water shortage was the major obstacle to increasing agricultural productivity, and it also had a negative impact on aquatic ecology, such as fish spawning grounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Remote Sensing and GIS in Environmental Studies)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Groundwater Vulnerability in the North Aquifer Area of Rhodes Island Using the GALDIT Method and GIS
Environments 2019, 6(5), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050056
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
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Abstract
Salinization of coastal aquifer systems constitutes a major threat for groundwater. Especially areas with high population density due to increasing tourist activity may face severe problems. In this study, the GALDIT method was applied in the north side of Rhodes Island, Greece, in [...] Read more.
Salinization of coastal aquifer systems constitutes a major threat for groundwater. Especially areas with high population density due to increasing tourist activity may face severe problems. In this study, the GALDIT method was applied in the north side of Rhodes Island, Greece, in order to assess groundwater vulnerability to seawater intrusion. Hydrogeological data were elaborated in geographical information systems (GIS), and appropriate thematic maps were produced. The final vulnerability map was obtained from the combination of the thematic maps using overlying techniques. Based on the application of the GALDIT method, a zone up to 1000 m from the shore is characterized by medium to high vulnerability, while medium vulnerability characterizes the eastern part of the study area. Overexploitation of the aquifer, due to the intense touristic activity in Ialysos area, constitutes the main reason for groundwater salinization due to seawater intrusion in the study area. Consequently, planning of proper groundwater management and systematic monitoring of the groundwater reserves are of the utmost importance in order to solve existing problems and prevent future issues of salinization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quality and Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Poultry Litter, Biochar, and Fertilizer Effect on Corn Yield, Nutrient Uptake, N2O and CO2 Emissions
Environments 2019, 6(5), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050055
Received: 21 April 2019 / Revised: 18 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
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Abstract
Biochar holds promise as a soil amendment with potential to sequester carbon, improve soil fertility, adsorb organic pollutants, stimulate soil microbial activities, and improve crop yield. We used a hardwood biochar to assess its impact on corn (Zea mays) grain, biomass [...] Read more.
Biochar holds promise as a soil amendment with potential to sequester carbon, improve soil fertility, adsorb organic pollutants, stimulate soil microbial activities, and improve crop yield. We used a hardwood biochar to assess its impact on corn (Zea mays) grain, biomass yields and greenhouse gas emission in central Kentucky, USA. Six treatments included as follows: control (C) with no amendment applied; poultry litter (PL); biochar (B); biochar + poultry litter (B + PL); fertilizers N-P-K (F); and biochar + fertilizers (B + F). Biochar was applied only once to plots in 2010 followed by rototilling all plots. Only PL and fertilizer were applied annually. When applied alone, biochar did not significantly increase dry matter, grain yield, and N-P-K uptake. There was also no significant difference between the combined treatments when compared with PL or F applications alone. We observed a slight increasing trend in corn grain yield in the following 2 years compared to the first year from biochar treatment. Poultry litter treatment produced significantly greater N2O and CO2 emissions, but emissions were lower from the B+PL treatment. We conclude that this biochar did not improve corn productivity in the short term but has potential to increase yield in the long term and may have some benefit when combined with PL or F in reducing N2O and CO2 emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Visual Comfort Assessment in an Industrial Environment: A Case Study
Environments 2019, 6(5), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050054
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract
Air, water, soil, and light are important factors in the environment. Light is the only elementary part of life that has become an almost irreplaceable part of life. Because man is more connected with the interior, the task is to ensure that natural [...] Read more.
Air, water, soil, and light are important factors in the environment. Light is the only elementary part of life that has become an almost irreplaceable part of life. Because man is more connected with the interior, the task is to ensure that natural daylight in the interior is as high as possible. Industrial lighting is currently at a level that in many cases does not meet the requirements of legislation and standards. Optimal environmental conditions depend on the purpose for which the environment is intended. Since toplighting is largely involved in the overall lighting climate, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate the visual comfort in a selected industrial hall with two types of glazing at the saddle skylight. In the study, measured values in the hall were used as boundary conditions in the simulation program Radiance The program evaluated the visual comfort for two types of sky by the Guth VCP method. The results show that the use of diffuse glazing instead of simple wire glazing reduces the brightness and glare levels, but that people’s satisfaction with visual comfort is greater with wire glazing. Furthermore, the model of the hall can be used to calculate light conditions for other types of arches as well as to compare other types of skylights. An alternative to diffusing glazing could also be verified for side windows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Engineering II)
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Open AccessArticle
The Intention to Adopt Green IT Products in Pakistan: Driven by the Modified Theory of Consumption Values
Environments 2019, 6(5), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050053
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
Over the last decades, prompt economic growth and the resulting overconsumption has deteriorated the environment in an accelerated way. This environmental deterioration has prompted academicians and practitioners to study ecological consumption behavior. E-waste and energy consumption play a major part in this environmental [...] Read more.
Over the last decades, prompt economic growth and the resulting overconsumption has deteriorated the environment in an accelerated way. This environmental deterioration has prompted academicians and practitioners to study ecological consumption behavior. E-waste and energy consumption play a major part in this environmental deterioration, which makes consumer conscious regarding their consumption pattern. In this regard, the emergence of green Information Technology (IT) enables individuals to become involved in environmental protection and sustainability programs to reduce the negative impact of IT products on the environment. This study aims to investigate individual intentions to adopt green IT products in Pakistan by the theoretical foundation of the theory of consumption values (functional value, social value, epistemic value, emotional value, and conditional value). Whereas, an additional value, i.e., the religious value, is included in the model, due to its significant impact in green consumption behavior of individuals. Cross-sectional data is used to obtain a total of 536 valid questionnaires to test the hypothesis. The Partial Least Square Modeling approach is used to test the proposed model (variance-based SEM). The results infer that functional value, social value, epistemic value, emotional value, conditional value, and religious value have significant positive impact on the consumer intention to adopt green IT products. The reasons for the results and implications for the practitioners are discussed. Furthermore, directions for future research have also been suggested. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Does Quantification of Ecosystem Services Depend Upon Scale (Resolution and Extent)? A Case Study Using the InVEST Nutrient Delivery Ratio Model in Georgia, United States
Environments 2019, 6(5), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050052
Received: 19 April 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract
Modeling ecosystem services (ESs) intrinsically involves the use of spatial and temporal data. Correct estimates of ecosystem services are inherently dependent upon the scale (resolution and extent) of the input spatial data. Sensitivity of modeling platforms typically used for quantifying ESs to simultaneous [...] Read more.
Modeling ecosystem services (ESs) intrinsically involves the use of spatial and temporal data. Correct estimates of ecosystem services are inherently dependent upon the scale (resolution and extent) of the input spatial data. Sensitivity of modeling platforms typically used for quantifying ESs to simultaneous changes in the resolution and extent of spatial data is not particularly clear at present. This study used the Nutrient Delivery Ratio (NDR) model embedded in InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) for ascertaining the sensitivity of the outputs to three digital elevation models (DEM), two land cover datasets, and three precipitation grids for 57 watersheds located in Georgia, United States. Multivariate regression models were developed to verify the influence of the spatial resolution of input data on the NDR model output at two spatial extents (the state of Georgia and six physiographical regions within the state). Discrepancies in nutrient exports up to 77.4% and 168.1% were found among scenarios at the state level for nitrogen and phosphorus, respectively. Land cover datasets differing in resolution were responsible for the highest differences in nutrient exports. Significance (at 5% level) of spatial variables on the model outputs were different for the two spatial extents, demonstrating the influence of scale when modeling nutrient runoff and its importance for better policy prescriptions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Urban Ecosystem Services Quantification through Remote Sensing Approach: A Systematic Review
Environments 2019, 6(5), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050051
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
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Abstract
Urban ecosystem services (UES) is an essential approach to the development of sustainable cities and must be incorporated into urban planning to be able to improve humans’ life quality. This paper aimed to identify remote sensing (RS) data/techniques used in the literature in [...] Read more.
Urban ecosystem services (UES) is an essential approach to the development of sustainable cities and must be incorporated into urban planning to be able to improve humans’ life quality. This paper aimed to identify remote sensing (RS) data/techniques used in the literature in five years (2013–2017) for UES investigation and to analyze the similarity between them. For this purpose, we used the Scopus database of scientific journals, and a set of appropriate filters were applied. A total of 44 studies were selected, being 93.18% of them located in the Northern Hemisphere, mostly in Europe. The most common dataset used was the secondary data, followed by the Landsat family products. Land use and land cover (LULC) was the most common approach utilized, succeeded by radiometric indexes and band related. All four main classes (provision, regulation, supporting, and cultural) of ecosystem services (ES) were identified in the reviewed papers, wherein regulating services were the most popular modality mentioned. Seven different groups were established as having 100% of similarity between methods and ES results. Therefore, RS is identified in the literature as an important technique to reach this goal. However, we highlight the lack of studies in the southern hemisphere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fertilizer Efficacy of Poultry Litter Ash Blended with Lime or Gypsum as Fillers
Environments 2019, 6(5), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050050
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 27 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
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Abstract
Ash from power plants that incinerate poultry litter has fertilizer value, but research is lacking on optimal land application methodologies. Experiments were conducted to evaluate calcitic lime and flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) as potential fillers for poultry litter ash land applications. The [...] Read more.
Ash from power plants that incinerate poultry litter has fertilizer value, but research is lacking on optimal land application methodologies. Experiments were conducted to evaluate calcitic lime and flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) as potential fillers for poultry litter ash land applications. The ash had phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) contents of 68 and 59 g kg−1, respectively. Soil extractable P and K were measured in an incubation pot study, comparing calcitic lime to FGDG at filler/ash ratios of 1:3, 1:2, 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1. After one month, soils were sampled and annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) seeds were planted to investigate how plant growth and uptake of P and K were influenced by the fillers. Application of ash alone or with fillers increased soil extractable P and K levels above unamended controls by 100% and 70%, respectively. Filler materials did not affect biomass or P and K concentration of the ryegrass. A field study with a commercial spinner disc fertilizer applicator was conducted to compare application uniformity of ash alone and filler/ash blends. Overall, test data suggested that uniform distribution of ash alone or with fillers is feasible in field applications using a commercial fertilizer spreader. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Mutual Relationship between Protected Areas and Their Local Residents: The Case of Qinling Zhongnanshan UNESCO Global Geopark, China
Environments 2019, 6(5), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6050049
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
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Abstract
The relationship between humans and protected areas may contribute to the success of conservation efforts. The Qinling Mountains are significant to China and the rest of the world, and the Qinling Zhongnanshan UNESCO Global Geopark comprises eight distinct scenic spots with residential communities. [...] Read more.
The relationship between humans and protected areas may contribute to the success of conservation efforts. The Qinling Mountains are significant to China and the rest of the world, and the Qinling Zhongnanshan UNESCO Global Geopark comprises eight distinct scenic spots with residential communities. This study investigated the Geopark’s relationship between humans and protected areas by examining local residents’ incomes and land ownership characteristics. Data were derived from a questionnaire survey of 164 residents living in or near four of the eight scenic spots. Their individual and household incomes, requisitioned farmland losses and compensations, employment, and participation were analyzed. Most respondents were aged 30–70 years, and 90.9% were locally born and raised in the region. They tended to be self-employed in food catering or accommodation services within the Geopark or near its entrance. Reliance on the Geopark for their livelihoods was significant, because they worked full-time and earned a major share of their household incomes from Geopark-related employment. Fifty respondents reported that their farmland was requisitioned during the Geopark’s establishment. However, not all of them were financially compensated, and compensation was not equally distributed among those who received it. Reforming the complex top-down administrative system and developing an effective profit-sharing scheme for local residents are suggested measures for enhancing public satisfaction and knowledge about the Geopark, both factors that were low among the respondents. Increasing the local residents’ participation in Geopark activities is an important way to avoid conflict; increasing the number of job opportunities for local residents is proposed to achieve this goal. Full article
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