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Resources, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In urban areas, health externalities generated by air pollution represent a barrier to the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Future of Coastal Lagoons in Arid Zones under Climate Change and Anthropogenic Pressure. A Case Study from San Jose Lagoon, Mexico
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
In arid and semiarid zones, groundwater plays a key role in the ecology and availability of freshwater. Coastal lagoons in arid zones have great importance as a refuge for species of flora and fauna, as a source of freshwater, and for recreational purposes [...] Read more.
In arid and semiarid zones, groundwater plays a key role in the ecology and availability of freshwater. Coastal lagoons in arid zones have great importance as a refuge for species of flora and fauna, as a source of freshwater, and for recreational purposes for local communities and tourism. In addition, as environments under natural stress, they are suffering pressure from anthropogenic activities and climate change, especially in zones with intense touristic development as in the case of the Baja California Peninsula in northwest Mexico. In this paper, we analyze the future of a coastal lagoon impacted by climate change and anthropogenic pressures. We constructed a groundwater MODFLOW-SWI2 model to predict changes in freshwater–saltwater inputs and correlated them with the geospatial analysis of the distribution and evolution of the water body and surrounding vegetation. The methodology was applied to the San Jose lagoon, one of the most important wetlands in the Baja California peninsula, which had been affected by anthropogenic activities and endangered by climate change. According to our water balance, the deficit of the San Jose aquifer will increase by 2040 as a result of climate change. The water table north of the lagoon will drop, affecting the amount of freshwater inflow. This reduction, together with an increase of evapotranspiration and the sea-level rise, will favor an increase of mineralization, reducing the surface water and groundwater quality and in consequence affecting the vegetation cover. Without proper management and adequate measures to mitigate these impacts, the lagoon may disappear as a freshwater ecosystem. Results of this research indicate that the use of a groundwater flow model, together with a geospatial analysis provide effective tools to predict scenarios for the future of coastal lagoons, and serve as a basis for land planning, nature conservation, and sustainable management of these ecosystems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Sustainability of Pasta Production Chains: An Integrated Approach for Comparing Local and Global Chains
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
Major pasta industries have started to evaluate the environmental footprint of their productions exploiting both Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and, in some cases, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) methodologies. In this research, two different pasta production chains were considered: a “high-quality pasta” chain (referred [...] Read more.
Major pasta industries have started to evaluate the environmental footprint of their productions exploiting both Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and, in some cases, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) methodologies. In this research, two different pasta production chains were considered: a “high-quality pasta” chain (referred here as “local or regional scenario”), which follows traditional procedures in a Tuscan farm that uses only ancient wheat varieties; and a “conventional pasta” one (referred here as “global or industrial scenario”), in which pasta is produced using national and international grains, following industrial processes. An integrated methodology based on both an Environmental Impacts ANalysis (EIAN) approach and the LCA has been developed, analyzing five environmental compartments (i.e., soil, water, air, resources, climate change) and a total number of ten expected environmental pressures. As a result, the high-quality pasta chain shows a better performance in terms of risk reduction of soil degradation and agrobiodiversity loss, as well as the consumption of non-renewable resources; this is mainly due to the use of lower quantity of chemicals, a lower mechanization level in the agricultural phase, and the use of ancient grains. However, the conventional pasta chain prevails in terms of a more efficient exploitation of land and water resources, due to higher yields and the use of more efficient sprayers, and also in reducing noise emitted by the overall production equipment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Damage Compensation for Indigenous Peoples in the Conditions of Industrial Development of Territories on the Example of the Arctic Zone of the Sakha Republic
Received: 13 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
In the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, hereinafter SR, the Arctic zones are the original habitat of indigenous peoples, who can conduct economic activities only in undisturbed or lightly disturbed lands. From this point of view, the problem of compensation for losses of indigenous peoples [...] Read more.
In the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, hereinafter SR, the Arctic zones are the original habitat of indigenous peoples, who can conduct economic activities only in undisturbed or lightly disturbed lands. From this point of view, the problem of compensation for losses of indigenous peoples as a result of industrial development of territories is of particular relevance. At the same time, it is necessary to identify the main problems of indemnification of losses of the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North (ISNPN) during the industrial development of the traditional natural resource management territories (TNRMT). The study was conducted using historical, geographical, analytical, synthetic, and statistical methods. In the Arctic zone, the diamond mining, gold mining, and coal mining industrial facilities are located inside TNRM areas. In the near future, it is planned to revive the tin industry, develop oil and gas fields on the continental Arctic shelf, and develop the Tomtor Complex Rare-Earth Deposit. In 2010, a law of the SR was passed: “On Ethnological Expertise in the Places of Traditional Residence and Traditional Economic Activities of the Peoples of the SR”. To date, in the ethnological examination of SR, we have investigated 13 investment business projects. In the course of the investigation, it turned out that most of the comments from both experts and tribal communities concern the section of compensation for damages. The official methodology developed on materials from the polar regions of the western part of Russia cannot be extrapolated to the entire territory of the North, Siberia, and the Far East. It is necessary to develop regional methods for calculating losses of indigenous peoples, which regulate the interaction of subsoil users with the authorities and representatives of the clan communities engaged in traditional crafts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Improved Active and Reactive Control of a Small Wind Turbine System Connected to the Grid
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
This paper deals with the interconnection of a small wind turbine with the low voltage distribution grid and the implementation of an improved control scheme, which also serves educational purposes. Initially the subsystems—wind turbine, rectifying bridge, interleaved boost converter, three-phase inverter, interconnection inductors, [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the interconnection of a small wind turbine with the low voltage distribution grid and the implementation of an improved control scheme, which also serves educational purposes. Initially the subsystems—wind turbine, rectifying bridge, interleaved boost converter, three-phase inverter, interconnection inductors, lifting transformer, filtering capacitors—are investigated, in order to explain their selection, based on the LEMEC (Laboratory of Electromechanical Energy Conversion, Department of Electrical Engineering, UoP) educational policy. Afterwards, the three-phase inverter control scheme, which is responsible for controlling its input voltage (voltage of the DC Bus) and consequently the active power, as well as the reactive power injected into the grid (VQ control) is analyzed. This is accomplished through DQ transformation and PI controllers which are responsible for generating the appropriate reference signals, to generate the required Space Vector Pulse Width Modulation (SVPWM) pulses to drive the semiconductor switches of the inverter. In addition, it is explained how this particular control method can compensate reactive power in the grid, even in apnea, by automatically charging the DC Bus. Finally, simulation and experimental results are given to prove the proposed control method effectiveness. Full article
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Open AccessReview Sustainable Production and Consumption of Paper and Paper Products in Nigeria: A Review
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Paper as a consumer product offers a undisputed benefits to human society, and it has been proven to be critical in driving most sensitive needs of mankind—principally in areas of security, education, sanitation, and communication—and thus has been produced and consumed worldwide. Its [...] Read more.
Paper as a consumer product offers a undisputed benefits to human society, and it has been proven to be critical in driving most sensitive needs of mankind—principally in areas of security, education, sanitation, and communication—and thus has been produced and consumed worldwide. Its sustainable production and usage is one topic that has featured prominently in many discussion fronts and more often than not ends with recommendations for an alternative source of raw material, improvement in production procedures, and ecological concerns. Paper use is an ecological concern that has triggered many paper intervention actions around the world such as the Paper Task Force in USA, Sustainable Paper Alliance in China, and Paper and Beyond in Europe. In Nigeria, however, challenges associated with paper production, consumption, and economic prospects have not been adequately tackled. This is conspicuously evident in the huge volume of paper products imported annually into the country as a result of unsustainable local production. The cumulative impact of these issues reflect negatively on the Nigeria’s paper industry and spread indirectly to the entire country’s economy in terms of high capital freight spent on importation, volatile product price, and loss of employment opportunities. This work sought to review the challenges and opportunities associated with raw material sources, energy and water consumption, environmental pollution, paper consumption, and disposal of used paper products in Nigeria. The current review also advocated for wastepaper as a variant of raw material with a sustainable potential. Full article
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Open AccessLetter Life-Cycle Assessment of Adsorbents for Biohydrogen Production
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
Adsorbents are used to remove impurities such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide in the pressure swing adsorption process of biohydrogen production. These impurities are present in the produced gas along with hydrogen and often cause voltage reduction in fuel [...] Read more.
Adsorbents are used to remove impurities such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide in the pressure swing adsorption process of biohydrogen production. These impurities are present in the produced gas along with hydrogen and often cause voltage reduction in fuel cells and shorten the lifespan of catalysts. Zeolite A is a typical adsorbent, and more recently, hydroxyl aluminum silicate clay (Has-Clay) and Kanuma clay have been suggested as alternatives. We conducted a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of zeolite A, Has-Clay, and Kanuma clay, and evaluated their environmental impact based on the ReCiPe midpoint method. Kanuma clay had the least impact in all of the environmental categories. The largest contributions for zeolite A and Has-Clay were in the categories of climate change and fossil depletion. In the climate change category, production of 1 kg of Has-Clay and zeolite A was estimated to emit 17.142 kg CO2 eq and 2.352 kg CO2 eq, respectively. In the fossil depletion category, the values were estimated to be 3.999 kg oil eq and 1.039 kg oil eq, respectively. These LCA results will be useful in designing and using adsorbents in pressure swing adsorption processes to meet environmental challenges associated with sustainable biohydrogen production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Municipal Solid Waste as a Source of Electric Power Generation in Colombia: A Techno-Economic Evaluation under Different Scenarios
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
This work evaluates the techno-economic prefeasibility of waste to energy projects in Colombia using four different conversion technologies of incineration, gasification, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas. Three study cases were selected to represent typical urban centers in Colombia, which were namely Guayatá, Andes [...] Read more.
This work evaluates the techno-economic prefeasibility of waste to energy projects in Colombia using four different conversion technologies of incineration, gasification, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas. Three study cases were selected to represent typical urban centers in Colombia, which were namely Guayatá, Andes and Pasto. After feasible technologies were identified for each case, their energy recovery potential was calculated based on the mathematical models and publicly available information about the composition of the wastes produced in these three municipalities. A subsequent economic analysis was conducted by applying the incentives established in Law 1715 for projects involving non-conventional renewable energy sources. The cash flows produced by each technology in the three scenarios were evaluated to obtain the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), which was found to be influenced by the benefits of this legislation. However, the economic benefits were not significant in the small municipality of Guayatá. In turn, in Andes, a high electricity price (100 USD/MWh) would entail a positive IRR of 2.6%. In Pasto, which is the biggest city of the three, the maximum IRR of landfill gas and anaerobic digestion reached 13.59% and 14.27%, respectively. The results show that these types of projects can have positive economic results if tax and government incentives are taken into account. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Response of Mediterranean-Atlantic Saltmarshes to Sea-Level Rise
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 9 March 2019
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Abstract
Saltmarshes provide high-value ecological services and play an important role in coastal ecosystems and populations. As the rate of sea level rise accelerates in response to climate change, saltmarshes and tidal environments and the ecosystem services that they provide could be lost in [...] Read more.
Saltmarshes provide high-value ecological services and play an important role in coastal ecosystems and populations. As the rate of sea level rise accelerates in response to climate change, saltmarshes and tidal environments and the ecosystem services that they provide could be lost in those areas that lack sediment supply for vertical accretion or space for landward migration. Predictive models could play an important role in foreseeing those impacts, and to guide the implementation of suitable management plans that increase the adaptive capacity of these valuable ecosystems. The SLAMM (sea-level affecting marshes model) has been extensively used to evaluate coastal wetland habitat response to sea-level rise. However, uncertainties in predicted response will also reflect the accuracy and quality of primary inputs such as elevation and habitat coverage. Here, we assessed the potential of SLAMM for investigating the response of Atlantic-Mediterranean saltmarshes to future sea-level rise and its application in managerial schemes. Our findings show that SLAMM is sensitive to elevation and habitat maps resolution and that historical sea-level trend and saltmarsh accretion rates are the predominant input parameters that influence uncertainty in predictions of change in saltmarsh habitats. The understanding of the past evolution of the system, as well as the contemporary situation, is crucial to providing accurate uncertainty distributions and thus to set a robust baseline for future predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Management: Natural Resources and Human Interaction)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling Competition between Countries in the Development of Arctic Resources
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
The article is devoted to the approaches that can be applied in the distribution of Arctic resources between the main reference countries of this region. The objective economic nature of the problems that arise in this region makes it possible to characterize them [...] Read more.
The article is devoted to the approaches that can be applied in the distribution of Arctic resources between the main reference countries of this region. The objective economic nature of the problems that arise in this region makes it possible to characterize them as a competition of claims for a limited and potentially dynamically changing resource. At a formal level, this problem has a general nature and it is typical for many areas of modern economy. At the same time, it is impossible to deny its specifics, which imposes significant restrictions on possible methods of solution. In recent years, problems in the sphere of interstate cooperation under conditions of limited resources have significantly increased. In such a situation, scientific and practical research in the field of mechanisms for regulating the relations between the parties (economic entities) becomes interesting. In analyzing the mechanisms of distribution of limited resources, one can use the theory of cooperative games, mathematical models of resource rationing, as well as works on the study of problems of equitable distribution (s.c. Fair Divisions). In the framework of such tasks, the range of applicants for limited resources can be limited to countries or regions directly adjacent. The process can be include of “external players” who have sufficient investment potential. The subsequent development and analysis of the problems of regulating intercountry interaction are associated with mathematical formalization. Such formalization presupposes a description of the situation of competitive interaction between countries in the form of a stochastic cooperative game. An analysis of possible concepts for the solution of this game will lead to meaningful conclusions about specific schemes (mechanisms) of rationing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Comprehensive Development of the Arctic Territory)
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Open AccessArticle Geochemistry of Flood Waters from the Tar River, North Carolina Associated with Hurricane Matthew
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
Hurricane Matthew caused flooding in Eastern North Carolina that was categorized as a one in 500-year frequency event. Matthew was the second such event in less than 20 years, following Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The frequency of intense storms is projected to increase [...] Read more.
Hurricane Matthew caused flooding in Eastern North Carolina that was categorized as a one in 500-year frequency event. Matthew was the second such event in less than 20 years, following Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The frequency of intense storms is projected to increase for many coastal areas, including North Carolina, because of climate change. The goal of this study was to gain a better insight into the geochemistry of flood waters associated with major flood events. Water samples (n = 22) from the Tar River in Greenville, North Carolina were collected over a two-week period after Matthew moved across the state. Results show that total Kjeldahl nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, phosphate, and Escherichia coli concentrations and exports were significantly (p < 0.05) higher when the river was above flood stage relative to below. Isotopic analyses of δ15N and δ18O in NO3 in flood waters suggest that wastewater, possibly from sanitary sewer and confined animal feeding operation overflows, was the major source of nitrate associated with flood waters. Regulatory efforts to reduce nutrient loading to coastal waters may be complicated by contributions associated with intense storm events, given that such storms are becoming more frequent. Full article
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Open AccessViewpoint Spatially Integrated Social Sciences with Qualitative GIS to Support Impact Assessment in Mining Communities
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract
Spatially integrated social science is a broad term used to describe the integration of space and place in social science research using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It includes qualitative GIS approaches, such as geo-ethnology and geo-narratives, which combine qualitative social data with GIS [...] Read more.
Spatially integrated social science is a broad term used to describe the integration of space and place in social science research using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It includes qualitative GIS approaches, such as geo-ethnology and geo-narratives, which combine qualitative social data with GIS and represent an emerging approach with significant potential for facilitating new insights into the dynamic interactions between mining companies and host communities. Mine operations are unique in their complexity, both in terms of the dynamic and diverse nature of issues and the requirement to integrate knowledge, theories, and approaches from a range of disciplines. In this paper we describe the potential for spatially integrated social science using qualitative GIS to understand the social impacts of mining. We review current literature and propose a framework that incorporates quantitative and qualitative knowledge across social and biophysical domains within a multi-user approach. We provide examples to illustrate how our approach could support past, present, and future assessment of socio-environmental systems in large-scale mining. We conclude by discussing the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to support decision makers and local stakeholders in considering complex social and environmental scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How Spatial Analysis Can Help Enhance Material Stocks and Flows Analysis?
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract
Spatial information can be integrated into almost all fields of industrial ecology. Many researchers have shown that spatial proximity affects a variety of behaviors and interactions, and thus matters for materials stocks and flows analysis. However, normal tools or models in industrial ecology [...] Read more.
Spatial information can be integrated into almost all fields of industrial ecology. Many researchers have shown that spatial proximity affects a variety of behaviors and interactions, and thus matters for materials stocks and flows analysis. However, normal tools or models in industrial ecology based on temporal dependence cannot be simply applied to the case of spatial dependence. This paper proposes a framework integrating material stocks and flows analysis with spatial analysis. We argue that spatial analysis can help data management and visualization, determine spatio-temporal patterns-processes-drivers, and finally develop dynamic and spatially explicit models, to improve the performance of simulating and assessing stocks and flows of materials. Scaling in spatial, temporal, and organizational dimensions and other current limitations are also discussed. Combined with spatial analysis, industrial ecology can really be more powerful in achieving its origin and destination—sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Mathematical Model of Regional Socio-Economic Development of the Russian Arctic Zone
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
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Abstract
This work touches upon the tasks of describing regional socio-economic development. The nature of the considered problem indicates the fact that the only relevant tool here is mathematical modeling. In this paper, the application of mathematical modeling is considered for the problem of [...] Read more.
This work touches upon the tasks of describing regional socio-economic development. The nature of the considered problem indicates the fact that the only relevant tool here is mathematical modeling. In this paper, the application of mathematical modeling is considered for the problem of managing regional development. The results of calculations based on the regional dynamic model that passes through the hierarchy of instabilities (the correspondence of the same stationary points of the model to different parameters) are presented. These instabilities lead to increasingly complex structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Comprehensive Development of the Arctic Territory)
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Open AccessArticle Financial Development and Bioenergy Consumption in the EU28 Region: Evidence from Panel Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag Bound Approach
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper investigates the relationship between financial development and bio-energy consumption in the European Union (EU28) countries for the period from 1990 to 2013 through the panel autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach and causality analysis. The empirical results show that financial development shows [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the relationship between financial development and bio-energy consumption in the European Union (EU28) countries for the period from 1990 to 2013 through the panel autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach and causality analysis. The empirical results show that financial development shows a significant positive impact, at a 1% statistical level, on bio-energy consumption for the EU28 during the studied period. In developing countries, the financial market indicator affects bio-energy consumption outgrowth positively and significantly at a 1% statistical level. For developed countries, there is a positive influence of financial institutions and financial market indicators on bio-energy consumption growth at the 1% and 10% levels, respectively. The study concludes that there is a significant relationship between the consumption of bio-energy and financial development factors. The study provides recommendations that are useful when formulating policy related to energy consumption and the promotion of bio-energy consumption. Financial development and economic outgrowth show a significant influence on the outgrowth of bio-energy consumption at a 1% statistical level. Full article
Open AccessArticle Bioenergy Intensity and Its Determinants in European Continental Countries: Evidence Using GMM Estimation
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
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This study contributes to the existing literature by examining bioenergy intensity and its related factors in European continental countries (ECC). Through its focus on European continental (EC), this study extends the existing literature, which mainly covers nationwide studies. The current paper aims to [...] Read more.
This study contributes to the existing literature by examining bioenergy intensity and its related factors in European continental countries (ECC). Through its focus on European continental (EC), this study extends the existing literature, which mainly covers nationwide studies. The current paper aims to investigate the variables of bioenergy intensity in the ECC during the term 2005–2013, construct its economic variables, and evaluate the volume and significance level of the impact of each variable on bioenergy intensity. To successfully achieve this analysis, a generalised method of moments estimator (GMM) was designed for ECC. The estimated models show that available bioenergy for final consumption has a positive impact on bioenergy intensity in ECC. The largest influence on bioenergy intensity was evaluated for the annual growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), followed by the investment and referral that the scale and construction of this economic variable should be taken into consideration and applied as a precious bioenergy regulation and policy instruments for developing bioenergy intensity and efficiency. Full article
Open AccessViewpoint Potential of Renewable Energy Resources with an Emphasis on Solar Power in Iraq: An Outlook
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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This study presents an outlook on the renewable energies in Iraq, and the potential for deploying concentrated solar power technologies to support power generation in Iraq. Solar energy has not been sufficiently utilized at present in Iraq. However, this energy source can play [...] Read more.
This study presents an outlook on the renewable energies in Iraq, and the potential for deploying concentrated solar power technologies to support power generation in Iraq. Solar energy has not been sufficiently utilized at present in Iraq. However, this energy source can play an important role in energy production in Iraq, as the global solar radiation ranging from 2000 kWh/m2 to a 2500 kWh/m2 annual daily average. In addition, the study presents the limited current solar energy activities in Iraq. The attempts of the Iraqi government to utilize solar energy are also presented. Two approaches for utilizing concentrated solar power have been proposed, to support existing thermal power generation, with the possibility of being implemented as standalone plants or being integrated with thermal power plants. However, the cost analysis has shown that for 50 kW concentrated solar power in Iraq, the cost is around 0.23 US cent/kWh without integration with energy storage. Additionally, notable obstacles and barriers bounding the utilization of solar energy are also discussed. Finally, this study proposes initiatives that can be adopted by the Iraqi government to support the use of renewable energy resources in general, and solar energy in particular. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy Utilization Potential of Wheat Straw in an Ecological Balance—A Case Study of Henan Province in China
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Minimum volume of straw should be retained in collecting wheat straw in order to obtain sustainable agricultural biomass energy and measure the energy utilization potential of wheat straw when considering ecological balance. Based on relevant literature, this paper calculates the minimum, medium, and [...] Read more.
Minimum volume of straw should be retained in collecting wheat straw in order to obtain sustainable agricultural biomass energy and measure the energy utilization potential of wheat straw when considering ecological balance. Based on relevant literature, this paper calculates the minimum, medium, and maximum volume of wheat straw retention in various types of soil and designs three different scenarios of minimum, medium, and maximum wheat straw retention. Taking Henan province in China as a case, this paper calculates the potential of wheat straw for energy utilization using linear regression method and scenario analysis, with consideration of influencing factors such as the harvest coefficient and combustion ratio of wheat straw. The results show that the energy utilization potential of wheat straw in Henan province in 2020, 2030, 2050 are 13.77, 16.48, 22.54 million tons of coal equivalent (TCEs), respectively, in the minimum retention scenario, assuming that wheat straw is not directly used for combustion. Excessive straw left in the field causes resource waste and produces CH4 and other greenhouse gases. This paper finds that energy potential of wheat straw for energy utilization is limited when ecological balance is considered, however, it is beneficial to the sustainable development of crop biomass energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Resource Economics and Policy)
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Daneshgar, S., et al. Simulations and Laboratory Tests for Assessing Phosphorus Recovery Efficiency from Sewage Sludge, Resources 2018, 7, 54
Received: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Resources, Clean Resources, Future Resources)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Relationships and Sustainability Performance in Organic Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates and Sicily (Italy)
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Climate change, recurrent economic and financial crises and food security issues are forcing society to look at the increasingly widespread use of “sustainable” production practices. These are often translated into innovations for businesses that are not always easily achievable other than through specific [...] Read more.
Climate change, recurrent economic and financial crises and food security issues are forcing society to look at the increasingly widespread use of “sustainable” production practices. These are often translated into innovations for businesses that are not always easily achievable other than through specific investments. This work sets out to assess the sustainability performance of organic farms, which represent a sustainable production model in terms of values, standards, practices and knowledge on the ground. The research was carried out in two geographical contexts (the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sicily, Italy) which have certain environmental and socio-economic issues in common, particularly in productive sectors representative of organic agriculture. This was done with the help of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA, in the rest of the text) framework and social network analysis to study the sustainability performance of organic farms within non-structured local production systems in the form of formal enterprise networks that, on the contrary, operate with a recognized and common aim. The results demonstrate both their attainment of excellence and the existence of criticalities, thus, identifying routes to possible improvement. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Mandatory Recycling of Waste Cooking Oil from Residential and Commercial Sectors in Taiwan
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Waste cooking oil (WCO) has been considered a low-cost and renewable feedstock for the production of biodiesel and biobased products if it can be economically and efficiently collected and recycled. The objective of this case study is to review the scientific background of [...] Read more.
Waste cooking oil (WCO) has been considered a low-cost and renewable feedstock for the production of biodiesel and biobased products if it can be economically and efficiently collected and recycled. The objective of this case study is to review the scientific background of WCO recycling in the literature in connection with the regulatory and promotional measures in Taiwan under the authorization of a legal waste management system. Furthermore, the updated information about the on-line reporting WCO amounts in Taiwan is also analyzed to illustrate its significant increase in the recycling status of WCO officially designated as one of the mandatory recyclable wastes since 2015. Finally, an overview of available utilization of WCO as biodiesel, fuel oil, and non-fuel related uses is briefly addressed in this paper. It shows that the collected amounts of WCO from residential and commercial sectors in Taiwan significantly increased from 1599 tonnes in 2015 to 12,591 tonnes, reflecting on the WCO recycling regulation effective since 2015. Practically, the most important option for this urban mining is to reuse WCO as an energy source for the productions of biodiesel and auxiliary fuel. Other non-fuel related uses include the production of soaps/detergents, C-18 fatty acids, and lubricants. However, the reuse of WCO as a feed additive should be banned to prevent it from re-entering the food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underutilised Resources in Urban Environments)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Sustainability in Hospital Laundry: The Social, Environmental, and Economic (Cost) Risks
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
Personal and physical injuries are two of the most relevant costs to hospitals. Hospital laundries are sources of these costs due to the physical and health risks present in the clothes and the activities performed. Energy and environmental risk and infrastructure issues also [...] Read more.
Personal and physical injuries are two of the most relevant costs to hospitals. Hospital laundries are sources of these costs due to the physical and health risks present in the clothes and the activities performed. Energy and environmental risk and infrastructure issues also incur operational costs to these organizations and to the health system. This research analyzes the social, environmental, and economic risk in the hospital laundry process, through a multiple-case-study design. Data collection methods include interviews regarding three hospital laundry services in Brazil. The processes of these laundry services have a high consumption of resources (water and energy) and a substantial generation of solid and liquid wastes. Cost reduction actions include pooled laundry services and material substitution. There are also social and environmental risks, the most frequent being ergonomic, biological, and chemical hazards, and injures from sharp devices inadequately disposed. Hospital laundries need more sustainable operations, not only in the infrastructure, but also mostly in the awareness of leaders and teams about the importance of their engagements to resource management and waste reduction in laundry. It is opportune to convince professionals and users about changing habits that do not prioritize sustainability, especially its social and environmental aspects. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Assessing Bioremediation of Soils Polluted with Fuel Oil 6 by Means of Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to assess the bioremediation of soils polluted with fuel oil 6 (FO6) using diffuse reflectance (DR) spectroscopy in the visible and near infrared (Vis-NIR) electromagnetic spectrum. To achieve our goal, we determined the spectral signature of fuel oil 6 (FO6), [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the bioremediation of soils polluted with fuel oil 6 (FO6) using diffuse reflectance (DR) spectroscopy in the visible and near infrared (Vis-NIR) electromagnetic spectrum. To achieve our goal, we determined the spectral signature of fuel oil 6 (FO6), developed a calibration model to quantify the total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), and assessed the bioremediation in soils contaminated with FO6 and inoculated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Surface soil samples (SS) (0–30 cm depth) from uncontaminated Entisol soil from Termoesmeraldas Thermal Power Plant, Ecuador and quart sand (QS) samples were spiked with FO6 at a known contamination of 0.5, 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 wt.% on a gravimetric basis. A sample of contaminated Entisol soil was taken to isolate P. aeruginosa from a spill site located in Termoesmeraldas. P. aeruginosa was successfully augmented in a molasses medium. The results suggested that the C–H stretch combination overtone band around 2300 nm is the one that makes the significant contribution to the FO6 spectral signature and for the analysis of FO6 contaminated Entisols soil. The calibration model for QS samples and SS showed an excellent agreement with experimental data R2 = 0.9989 and R2 = 0.9968, respectively. The TPH at 0, 7, 14, 21, and 23 days after inoculation were found using a calibration model developed and the Unach hydrocarbon index (UHI). While the QS samples showed the lower recovery rate (13.6%), the Entisols SS showed the higher recovery rate (45.8%) in 23 days. The use of DR spectroscopy and determination of the FO6 spectral signature allowed the assessment of the bioremediation process of QS and Entisols SS samples. The results showed that DR decreased with increasing the FO6 concentration and soil properties affected the degree of biodegradation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle New Evidence of the Bangestan Geoheritage Resource in Iran: Beyond Hydrocarbon Reserves
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Iran boasts internationally important deposits of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons can be regarded not only as an exceptional energy resource, but also a geological heritage (geoheritage) resource. A new investigation of the Bangestan carbonate rocks from the Cretaceous age in the Fars Province has [...] Read more.
Iran boasts internationally important deposits of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons can be regarded not only as an exceptional energy resource, but also a geological heritage (geoheritage) resource. A new investigation of the Bangestan carbonate rocks from the Cretaceous age in the Fars Province has permitted to find several unique features and to assign these to six geoheritage types, namely sedimentary, palaeontological, stratigraphical, palaeogeographical, structural, and economic. The most important from these is the economic type that is ranked nationally. The Bangestan geoheritage is valuable for geoscience research, geoeducation, and geotourism, and this geoheritage is a subject of geoconservation. As these activities can bring some socio-economic benefits, this geoheritage has to be considered a true natural resource. Field studies have permitted to emphasize its appropriate manifestation in the Nowdan anticline (an area in the Zagros Mountains near the cities of Shiraz and Kazeroon), which is suggested as a geosite. Hydrocarbon-related industrial tourism and geotourism activities can be coupled for their mutual benefit. The Nowdan anticline geosite should be used for the purposes of tourism, but it requires some simple infrastructure building and involvement in excursion programs coordinated by a local museum or visitor centre. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Framework for the Development of Wetland for Agricultural Use in Indonesia
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Crop production needs to double to feed the world’s growing population. Indonesia, as the fourth most populated country in the world, needs to meet its food security challenge with a shrinking arable land area. Indonesia has over 34 million ha of swampland. The [...] Read more.
Crop production needs to double to feed the world’s growing population. Indonesia, as the fourth most populated country in the world, needs to meet its food security challenge with a shrinking arable land area. Indonesia has over 34 million ha of swampland. The scarcity of arable land in Indonesia means wetlands are likely to be converted to agricultural use. The challenge is to both profitably and sustainably do so. This paper presents a framework for developing wetlands for food production, which includes (1) the characterization of land and problem of development; (2) analysis of historical development and lessons learned; (3) technology development; and (4) optimization of development. We analyze each of the components and its relation to regional economic growth and lessons learned. For successful future wetland development, three factors must be considered: Land-soil-water characterization, landscape and land use design, and community development. This framework can be adopted by other tropical areas for the development of wetlands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Devising Mineral Resource Supply Pathways to a Low-Carbon Electricity Generation by 2100
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Achieving a “carbon neutral” world by 2100 or earlier in a context of economic growth implies a drastic and profound transformation of the way energy is supplied and consumed in our societies. In this paper, we use life-cycle inventories of electricity-generating technologies and [...] Read more.
Achieving a “carbon neutral” world by 2100 or earlier in a context of economic growth implies a drastic and profound transformation of the way energy is supplied and consumed in our societies. In this paper, we use life-cycle inventories of electricity-generating technologies and an integrated assessment model (TIMES Integrated Assessment Model) to project the global raw material requirements in two scenarios: a second shared socioeconomic pathway baseline, and a 2 °C scenario by 2100. Material usage reported in the life-cycle inventories is distributed into three phases, namely construction, operation, and decommissioning. Material supply dynamics and the impact of the 2 °C warming limit are quantified for three raw fossil fuels and forty-eight metallic and nonmetallic mineral resources. Depending on the time horizon, graphite, sand, sulfur, borates, aluminum, chromium, nickel, silver, gold, rare earth elements or their substitutes could face a sharp increase in usage as a result of a massive installation of low-carbon technologies. Ignoring nonfuel resource availability and value in deep decarbonation, circular economy, or decoupling scenarios can potentially generate misleading, contradictory, or unachievable climate policies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On the Spatial Dimension of the Circular Economy
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Abstract
The concept of a “circular economy”, in which material in society is regarded as “a transient phase in anthropogenic resource utilization”, is a growing topic for discussion. The primary motivations for supporting a circular economy include a reduction of environmental impacts and conservation [...] Read more.
The concept of a “circular economy”, in which material in society is regarded as “a transient phase in anthropogenic resource utilization”, is a growing topic for discussion. The primary motivations for supporting a circular economy include a reduction of environmental impacts and conservation of natural resources. Australia is a vivid example of a country whose large metal extraction capacity is not balanced as it has neither an extensive product manufacturing capability nor a large domestic market. Consequently, Australia must rely on the global resource network to achieve circularity and carbon neutrality. This work illustrates this situation with quantitative material flow cycles for Australian aluminum, nickel, copper, zinc, and stainless steel, and comments on the implications of the results for Australia and for circular economy prospects more generally. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Local Development: An Overview of the State of Knowledge
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Abstract
Since the eighties, the concern for sustainability has been increasing from several dimensions and depending on different socio-economic, political, geographical and cultural factors. In the last few years, local development has incorporated the concept of sustainability, as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable [...] Read more.
Since the eighties, the concern for sustainability has been increasing from several dimensions and depending on different socio-economic, political, geographical and cultural factors. In the last few years, local development has incorporated the concept of sustainability, as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals strategy, highlighting the relevance of this process. The purpose of this research is to show the state of the art of this subject, for what a bibliometric analysis has been carried out based on the two most important online databases: Web of Science and Scopus. This article identifies the latest trends that characterize the concept of sustainable local development, where resilience is the new perspective to include in the variables that influence the development of territories. The results show a positive trend in this field of research, with both the number of articles published and citations increasing exponentially in the last ten years. In addition, the analysis of keywords has shown a tendency towards terms such as resilience, rural tourism or ecological agriculture. In essence, the concept has reached such a point that it is necessary to establish new mechanisms that soften and even negate the economic disruption caused by globalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Economic Development: Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Participation in Community-Based Solid Waste Management in Nkulumane Suburb, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
After years of conventional approaches to solid waste management (SWM), in 2009, Bulawayo City Council adopted a non-conventional approach in the form of community-based solid waste management (CBSWM). The success of a CBSWM depends on the participation of members of the public as [...] Read more.
After years of conventional approaches to solid waste management (SWM), in 2009, Bulawayo City Council adopted a non-conventional approach in the form of community-based solid waste management (CBSWM). The success of a CBSWM depends on the participation of members of the public as well as private sector organisations. Yet there is no information documented about their involvement in such activities in the study area. This study provides an analysis of citizen knowledge, participation and their attitudes in SWM in Nkulumane suburb following implementation of a CBSWM project. Door-to-door surveys were undertaken in December 2017 and January 2018 during which interview-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from 375 randomly-selected households. Semi-structured interviews were also used to gather data from officials responsible for CBSWM. The study found that the CBSWM has not been successful in changing the waste disposal behaviour of citizens. It was also found that the community-based organisations (CBOs) have made no effort to implement alternative waste management practices of waste recycling and composting. Furthermore, lack of funds to improve waste infrastructure and infighting between the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Bulawayo City Council have undermined the principles of CBSWM. The study concludes by suggesting strategies that could improve CBSWM in developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enough Metals? Resource Constraints to Supply a Fully Renewable Energy System
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
The transition from a fossil fuel base to a renewable energy system relies on materials and, in particular, metals to manufacture and maintain energy conversion technologies. Supply constraints shift from fossil fuels to mineral resources. We assess the availability of metal reserves and [...] Read more.
The transition from a fossil fuel base to a renewable energy system relies on materials and, in particular, metals to manufacture and maintain energy conversion technologies. Supply constraints shift from fossil fuels to mineral resources. We assess the availability of metal reserves and resources to build an energy system based exclusively on renewable energy technologies. A mass balance of 29 metals embodied in renewable energy technologies is compiled in order to satisfy global energy demand, based on five authoritative energy scenarios for 2050. We expand upon these scenarios by modeling the storage capacity needed to support high shares of intermittent renewables (wind and solar). The metal requirements are then compared with the current demand and proven reserves and ultimate mineable resources. This allows us to distinguish between constraints related to renewable energy sources from those linked to technology mixes. The results show that proven reserves and, in specific cases, resources of several metals are insufficient to build a renewable energy system at the predicted level of global energy demand by 2050. The comparison between reserves and resources shows that scarcity relates sometimes more to techno economic supply than to raw material availability. Our results also highlight the importance of substitution among technologies and metals as well as the limited impact of recycling on the depletion of scarce metals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Forestry Practices Cost on Financial Performance of Forestry Investments
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
Understanding forestry practices cost is important for predicting the financial outcome of forest management activities. Assessing costs of practices that will be used in the future can be difficult and may result in over or underestimations of financial returns depending on the values [...] Read more.
Understanding forestry practices cost is important for predicting the financial outcome of forest management activities. Assessing costs of practices that will be used in the future can be difficult and may result in over or underestimations of financial returns depending on the values used. We used historic real average rates of cost change for the southern United States to assess changes in the values of several loblolly pine plantation management scenarios over time through the use of discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis. Additionally, we analyzed the impact of certain practices cost changes on the financially optimal number of thinnings and rotation age. Findings indicated that declining costs for herbicide site preparation could all but offset the increasing costs of other practices and that a relatively slight increase in timber prices would more than compensate for increasing costs. Also, increasing thinning costs could exacerbate the effects of low sawtimber prices, further decreasing the viability of regimes with multiple thinnings. In the face of stagnant timber prices, the use of operator-select thinnings, and herbicide site preparation could stabilize the long-term financial value of plantation management. Full article
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