Next Issue
Volume 30, UCAml 2019
Previous Issue
Volume 30, Priochem XV 2019
proceedings-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Proceedings, 2019, TERRAenVISION 2019

TERRAenVISION 2019

Barcelona, Spain | 2–7 September 2019

Volume Editors: Ioannis N. Daliakopoulos; Artemi Cerdà


  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Human activities have a grave impact on our Planet and jeopardize the wellbeing of future [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessAbstract
Identifying the Forest Surfaces Prone to Fire Ignition and Wildfire Spread in Metropolitan Areas; a Comparative Case from Western Balkans
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030001 - 25 Oct 2019
Viewed by 372
Abstract
Human activity combined with the dynamics of severe climate conditions are accepted the main drivers of wildfire events in the Mediterranean region. This fact is urging for further comprehensive research focusing on the wildland-urban interface (WUI) at metropolitan scale, at which the tension [...] Read more.
Human activity combined with the dynamics of severe climate conditions are accepted the main drivers of wildfire events in the Mediterranean region. This fact is urging for further comprehensive research focusing on the wildland-urban interface (WUI) at metropolitan scale, at which the tension between the cause and effect of wildfire is the highest. In this context, the study brings a comparative case between two metropolitan areas from Western Balkan countries, the forest lands of which are classified by their index of wildfire ignition probability (WIPI) and wildfire spreading capacity (WSCI). Originally, both indexing methods rely on a multi-criteria evaluation which considers simultaneously the geophysical, hydrometeorological and anthropogenic factors of the territory. All stages of the process are performed by utilizing QGIS software. First, the forest surfaces within the metropolitan zone of Tirana (AL) and Sarajevo (BH) are extracted from Urban Atlas land cover data being provided as an open source by Copernicus data portal (EU). Reference points grid (distance of 100m) overlapping with the forest surfaces serve as pivot points to which the relative values of each criteria are projected. Later the absolute values are normalized into 10 classes via Jenks natural break method. The class value of each criterion is introduced into the indexing equation multiplied by the unique impact factor being weighted via pairwise comparative method in Analytical Hierarchy processing. The majority of the workflow steps are automated via Graphical Modeler in QGIS utilizing open source spatial data, giving floor to further applicability of the method to similar cases. As a result, there are produced statistical and graphical information being useful for identifying wildfire prone forest surfaces within the metropolitan areas. Being applied into two different study areas, the results enable a comparative discussion and evaluation at regional scale. By utilizing open source software and data, this work contributes in the development of practical and re-applicable models of wildfire risk assessment promoting open access scientific culture. Finally, the study results successful in testing a rapid and cost free method for identifying the forest areas prone to wildfire ignition and spreading risk in metropolitan areas in support to disaster risk reduction agendas and sustainable Development Goals. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Implementation Challenges of Nature-Based Solutions: The Way forward?
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030002 - 28 Oct 2019
Viewed by 298
Abstract
The concept of nature-based solutions (NBSs) is widely addressed in the recent research agenda. [...] Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Nature-Based Solutions in an Urban Perspective
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030003 - 28 Oct 2019
Viewed by 361
Abstract
The traditional engineering approach to manage urban drainage is by combined or separated sewers. In urban catchments, drainage systems may include different types of storage and detention facilities to avoid flooding from heavy rainfall. However, during recent decades, alternative ways to manage floods [...] Read more.
The traditional engineering approach to manage urban drainage is by combined or separated sewers. In urban catchments, drainage systems may include different types of storage and detention facilities to avoid flooding from heavy rainfall. However, during recent decades, alternative ways to manage floods have evolved since traditional methods often harm the riverine ecosystems by pollution and erosion and increase the flood risk in the downstream extent of a catchment. Green spaces are important in urban areas for many different reasons: recreation, maintenance of biodiversity, city structure, cultural identity, environmental quality of the urban area, and as biological solutions to technical problems in urban areas. However, plans for urban green spaces often do not take into consideration the multiple purposes of green spaces and the relation between urban green spaces and water is only to a limited degree mentioned and discussed in such plans. Densification has become a dominating urban planning strategy, as many cities strive to reduce their negative, environmental impact. As a consequence of urban densification, the need for solid strategies to preserve, build, develop and ideally simultaneously increase the quantity (area) and quality of green and blue spaces (vegetation and surface water) in urban areas in a multifunctional manner increases. The combination of climate change adaptation, densification, pollution, the call for more green spaces, and a need to restore aging sewers, leads to strong interest in retrofitting of urban areas with nature-based solutions (NBS). Incorporation of NBS into decision-making and ways to handle integrative and multi-criteria aspects in the legal and organisational system are still to a great extent not done. The current regime for stormwater management, through piped drainage, is dominating and many cities face a lack of green spaces. Introducing more nature-based solutions is faced with barriers that are largely socio-institutional rather than technical. In this keynote session such barriers, as well as drivers, for wide-spread implementation of NBS, as well as data management strategies to help the implementation, are discussed. Based on transition theory, socio-technical transition towards wide-spread implementation of such measures were examined through interviews with municipal and water utility officials. Legal, organisational and financial changes are suggested. This keynote session also discusses urban, pluvial flooding and if NBS can be used as a strategy for resilient flood risk management. Spatial analyses of flood claims from insurance companies and the water utility company of Malmö are used to study how NBS impact flood risk. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
UAS Remote Sensing Products for Supporting Extraction Management and Restoration Monitoring in Open-Pit Mines
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030004 - 31 Oct 2019
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Accurate mapping of open-pit mine areas is a prerequisite for the efficient resource management of extractive companies, but also detailed mapping is a requirement for public administrations, especially regarding the monitoring of restored areas. In previous works, our team has contributed to a [...] Read more.
Accurate mapping of open-pit mine areas is a prerequisite for the efficient resource management of extractive companies, but also detailed mapping is a requirement for public administrations, especially regarding the monitoring of restored areas. In previous works, our team has contributed to a better knowledge of the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technologies for soil/vegetation restoration monitoring purposes, and in this work, we present a novel protocol to support combined interests of both private companies and governmental agencies. We introduce a case study in which we show the capability of multispectral sensors onboard of a low-weight multicopter to describe land cover typologies in restored areas (such as grass, scrubs, trees, topsoil and mine spoils) by applying remote sensing and GIS techniques. Moreover, we assess the capability of digital terrain models (Digital Elevation Model, Digital Surface Model, Digital Slope Model) derived from photogrammetric techniques, to provide useful and fast topographic information for the proper management of open-pit mine exploitation and restoration. By applying these techniques, we present a cost-effective workflow adequate to monitor land cover dynamics in restored areas, but also volumetric changes in stockpiles, waste dumps and extraction faces. This combined approach, supporting both environmental and industrial needs, aims to enhance the collaboration between sectors, establishing synergies, reducing costs by sharing knowledge, and adding transparency to their relation. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Use of Air-Based Photogrammetry for Soil Erosion Assessment
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030005 - 01 Nov 2019
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Water erosion affects all types of soils around the world at different intensities. However, in the tropics, water-based processes are the most important of the erosion processes and have received much attention in the last decades. Understanding and quantifying the processes involved in [...] Read more.
Water erosion affects all types of soils around the world at different intensities. However, in the tropics, water-based processes are the most important of the erosion processes and have received much attention in the last decades. Understanding and quantifying the processes involved in each type of water erosion (sheet, rill and gully erosion) is key to developing and managing soil conservation and erosion mitigation strategies. This study aims to investigate the efficiency of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry for soil erosion assessment, as well as to address some gaps in our understanding of the evolution of erosive processes. For the first time, we used a UAV-SfM technique to evaluate the relative contribution of different types of erosion (sheet, rill and gully sidewall) in gully development. This was possible due to the millimetric level of precision of the point clouds produced, which allowed us to evaluate the contribution of laminar erosion as a new component to gullies studies. As a result, it was possible to quantify sediment volumes stored in the channels and lost from the gully system, as well as to determine the main sediment sources. The UAV-SfM proved to be effective for detailed gully monitoring, with the results suggesting that the main source of sediments in the gully was mass movement, followed by rills and sheet erosion. Our findings support the use of UAV-based photogrammetry as a sufficiently precise tool for detecting soil surface change, which can be used to assess water erosion in its various forms. In addition, UAV-SfM has proven to be a very useful technique for monitoring soil erosion over time, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Role of Negotiation in Upstream-Downstream Flood Protection: Demonstration in Role-Played Flooding Game
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030006 - 06 Nov 2019
Viewed by 309
Abstract
Large river floods threaten intensively used urban areas across the world. Projections of IPCC expect such risks to increase in the future. To deal with flood risk along rivers water can be retained upstream at places where less damage is caused and more [...] Read more.
Large river floods threaten intensively used urban areas across the world. Projections of IPCC expect such risks to increase in the future. To deal with flood risk along rivers water can be retained upstream at places where less damage is caused and more vulnerable land (downstream) can be adapted to the flood risk (resilient cities). This catchment-oriented approach to flood risk management implies that upstream and downstream parties need to agree on where to store and where to adapt to floods. However, this approach implies that many diverse stakeholders (such as mayors, spatial planners, homeowners, etc.) enter the decision-making process, which influences efficiency of the measure selection. Measures in a catchment of a river are often related and influence each other—what happens upstream can have substantial effects downstream. In particular, when rivers cross administrative or national boundaries, these upstream-downstream effects become an issue of hydro-diplomacy. Upstream is usually not motivated to implement measures from which mostly only downstream profits. Therefore, negotiation is necessary to find agreement between upstream and downstream and to implement the most effective and efficient measure. The negotiation becomes more complicated if multiple upstream and downstream parties are involved. In this contribution, a role-played game that tries to better understand the dynamics of negotiations in multiple upstream-downstream relationships is introduced. The game will be played with real stakeholders (mayors and river basin managers) and the dynamics of negotiation will be explored in different scenarios based on the Cultural Theory of Risk. This way, the game allows to compare effectiveness of negotiation in different scenarios. Beside the different institutional settings, the players’ level of flood risk aversion will be tested. The aim is to demonstrate (play) the game during the session focused on games and experiments. The attendees take on roles of mayors and will play one scenario of the game. The game shows how negotiations may (and indeed should from an economic point of view) lead to a Pareto-improving situation, making some players better off without worsening a situation of any other player. The demonstration presents the setup of the game and leads to discussion about results of the negotiations. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Climate Change Adaptation Measures Are Economically Justifiable even under No Climate Change: Evidence from the South-Moravian Region
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030007 - 06 Nov 2019
Viewed by 304
Abstract
Climate change has a strong influence on agriculture and will continue to do so in the years to come. As a result, significant social costs are generated. These effects may be eliminated by implementing various types of adaptation measures. However, the measures are [...] Read more.
Climate change has a strong influence on agriculture and will continue to do so in the years to come. As a result, significant social costs are generated. These effects may be eliminated by implementing various types of adaptation measures. However, the measures are also associated with costs and it is necessary to evaluate whether generated benefits and prevented climate change costs outweigh them. This contribution studies economic impacts of climate change in agriculture in the South Moravian region in a period of 2017–2040. Four scenarios are analysed based on combinations of the following states of a world (i) climate change worsens the current situation or there is no change; (ii) adaptation measures are implemented or the status quo is maintained. The scenarios are modelled based on an anthropocentric approach using a modified cost-benefit analysis and the concept of ecosystem services. The economic analysis covers investment costs, operating costs, loss of profits due to decreasing production and other costs. The benefits side consists mainly of regulation services prevented loss (thanks to lower soil erosion or better water retention), improved air quality as well as external benefits such as higher biodiversity. Based on measures effectiveness and costs, expected net present social benefits were calculated for each of the scenarios. The results showed that implementing the measures is always profitable regardless of climate change. Under no shift in climate change the estimated social loss until 2040 is 6.6 billion CZK with no measures implemented. If the situation regarding climate change becomes more serious, the net loss rises to 9.5 billion CZK. However, the implementation of adaptation measures leads to positive outcomes and is associated with net social benefits of 2.1 billion CZK if it is necessary to battle climate change and to barely positive outcome when climate change does not accelerate. The analysis confirms that implementation of adaptation measures is profitable either way (especially if climate change becomes more serious) and can serve as an argument in political decision-making as these measures appear to maintain sustainability of agricultural land use. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Contribution of Ecosystem Services to Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030008 - 06 Nov 2019
Viewed by 484
Abstract
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2030 are established to address global challenges including environment and human well-being. The SDGs are interconnected and achievement of them requires consideration of the planet’s ecosystems and resources - land, water and air. Ecosystem services (ES) approach [...] Read more.
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2030 are established to address global challenges including environment and human well-being. The SDGs are interconnected and achievement of them requires consideration of the planet’s ecosystems and resources - land, water and air. Ecosystem services (ES) approach has a high potential for better planning, policy and decision making. Understanding how different ecosystems (e.g., forests, rivers, wetlands, grasslands) contribute to the social and economic benefits is critical to ensure the long-term biodiversity protection and sustainable use of ecosystems. A conceptual framework linking biodiversity and ecosystem condition (its structure and functions), and ES to human well-being has been well-established in EU by so called MAES process (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services) lead by the European Commission. The framework is applied in recent research studies and projects, as well as national MAES processes. Various methods are applied for MAES in terms to determine biophysical, economic and social values and to deliver integrated ecosystem assessment. Assessment of ES and trade off analysis shall provide a new perspective for land use planning and decision making at different administrative and spatial levels and in different sectoral policies. EU and national policies for instance on agriculture, fishery, forestry, climate should account the benefits provided by relevant ecosystems and to ensure that the values are not diminished but rather enhanced during the implementation of the policies. Terrestrial and water ecosystems are interconnected as land-based human activities creates pressure that impacts the conditions in water ecosystems and thus delivery of ES by rivers and lakes. For example, intensive agricultural land use produces food for people and income; however, the activity also most frequently causes problems with water quality and quantity in the catchment area and a loss of biodiversity. A risk of such trade-off shall be handled in policy development. Ecosystems also contributes to the resilience of communities by reducing the risk of natural hazards and mitigate adverse impacts. Regulating services such as flood control are substituting investments in flood protection ensured by forests, wetlands and grasslands instead of human built infrastructure. Appropriate land cover and land use shall serve as a basic flood protection measure. Natural processes are increasingly recognised to create new-type solutions that use and deploy the properties of natural ecosystems and their services in an “engineered” way. A wide range of measures called also as nature-based solutions provide another opportunity to work with nature towards global sustainability. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Geocomputing, New Technologies and Historical Analysis: Tools for a Changing Planet
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030009 - 06 Nov 2019
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Modern Earth Scientists need also to interact with other disciplines, apparently far from the Earth Sciences and Engineering. Disciplines related to history and philosophy of science are emblematic from this perspective. From one side, the quantitative analysis of information extracted from historical records [...] Read more.
Modern Earth Scientists need also to interact with other disciplines, apparently far from the Earth Sciences and Engineering. Disciplines related to history and philosophy of science are emblematic from this perspective. From one side, the quantitative analysis of information extracted from historical records (documents, maps, paintings, etc.) represents an exciting research topic, requiring a truly holistic approach. On the other side, epistemological and philosophy of science considerations on the relationship between geoscience and society in history are of fundamental importance for understanding past, present and future geosphere-anthroposphere interlinked dynamics. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Impact οf Pavement Distribution οn Hillslope Runoff ιn Peri-Urban Landscapes, Based οn Laboratorial Experiments
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030010 - 07 Nov 2019
Viewed by 286
Abstract
It is widely accepted that urbanization modifies the hydrological processes, increasing runoff and flood hazard. However, after decades of research, the magnitude of the impacts is not well understood. This is partially due to spatial-temporal differences in rainfall-runoff processes over complex landscapes comprising [...] Read more.
It is widely accepted that urbanization modifies the hydrological processes, increasing runoff and flood hazard. However, after decades of research, the magnitude of the impacts is not well understood. This is partially due to spatial-temporal differences in rainfall-runoff processes over complex landscapes comprising different land-uses, typical of peri-urban areas. This study aims to investigate the impact of different spatial patterns of pavement on surface runoff, under distinct weather conditions (dry vs wet). Inspired on urban cores observed in peri-urban catchments, 7 spatial patterns were investigated: 100% pavement, 100% pervious, and 60% pavement (and 40% pervious) under continuous placement located upslope or downslope, and under dispersed patterns with regular, irregular and linear distribution. Concrete blocks were used as pavement material, whereas pervious surfaces were simulated using either bare soil, 1.5 kg·m−3 with sandy-loam texture, or commercial natural grass carpets. The 13 configurations of pavement and pervious materials, pavement-soil and pavement-grass were simulated in the laboratory, in a 1.0 × 1.0 m2 flume, with 0.05 m soil depth and 9° slope. Three rainfall simulation experiments were performed for each spatial configuration. Each experiment comprises a set of four sequential storms with 50 mm·h−1 over 20-min, interrupted by 30-min intervals, to simulate dry and increasingly wet antecedent settings. Results show that runoff is driven by both spatial pattern and soil moisture. Runoff coefficients ranged from 70–81% in fully paved surfaces to 1.4–40% in bare soil and 0.2–3.8% in grass, exhibiting increasing values from dry to wet antecedent moisture conditions, especially in bare soil. Under dry conditions, continuous pavement generates more runoff if placed downslope than upslope (28% vs 5% with grass and 37% vs 33% with bare soil). Under wet settings, however, continuous pavement generated (i) higher runoff if associated with downslope than upslope bare soil (63% vs 52%), due to saturation-excess favored by cumulative rainfall and upslope runoff; and (ii) lower runoff if associated with downslope than upslope grass surface (33% vs 24%). When considering dispersed pavement, runoff increased from dry to wet conditions, ranging from 32% to 62% and 1.3% to 23% when distributed with soil and grass covers, respectively. Adequate urban planning based on spatial patterns that maximize runoff sinks over the landscape should be considered to enhance urban flood resilience. Grass (as other covers) has higher capacity to retain and infiltrate rainfall and runoff than bare soil, and may represent a nature-based solution to mitigate flood hazard in peri-urban areas. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Impact of Landscape Attributes on Surface Water in the Tiber River Basin (Central Italy)
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030011 - 07 Nov 2019
Viewed by 252
Abstract
River catchments are highly complex systems characterized by several properties such as self-organization, multi-scale variability, hydraulic and topographic gradients, patchiness and heterogeneity, resilience and a hierarchical structure. These features, coupled with several geomorphological, anthropogenic and climatic drivers, are expected to influence the surface [...] Read more.
River catchments are highly complex systems characterized by several properties such as self-organization, multi-scale variability, hydraulic and topographic gradients, patchiness and heterogeneity, resilience and a hierarchical structure. These features, coupled with several geomorphological, anthropogenic and climatic drivers, are expected to influence the surface water composition over different temporal and spatial scales. The knowledge of these complex interlinks plays a key role in both river basin management and predictability to potential pollution events. Nevertheless, due to the considerable amount of factors involved in the analysis, the unique combination of attributes characterizing each catchment and the lack of data at an adequate scale, it still remains unclear which of the environmental parameters have a major influence on the water chemistry. In this work, the hierarchy of the variability in the chemical composition of 160 water samples collected in 2017 throughout the Tiber River Basin, the largest catchment in Central Italy (17,156 km2), was explored. The results obtained by using advanced statistical methods, including the Compositional Data Analysis, highlighted different sources of variability linked to the geological (low variability) and anthropogenic origin (high variability) of the main solutes. Furthermore, for each sampling site, the corresponding watershed was calculated from the Digital Terrain Model using a Geographical Information System-based elaboration. The aim was to evaluate the relationships between the landscape morphological properties of the watersheds, such as elevation, drainage area, slope or other morphometric indexes and the physical-chemical parameters of the river waters on the basis of different geological and topographical settings of the basin. The outcomes proved to be particularly useful to discriminate between water chemistry mainly influenced by surface run-off processes and that affected by ground water circulation. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Slope and Groundwater Monitoring for 3D Numerical Modelling to Ensure the Structural Health of an Alpine Road Tunnel Crossing an Active Rock Slide
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030012 - 07 Nov 2019
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Railways and roads frequently cross natural corridors like alluvial plains and alpine valleys. Here, structures and infrastructures can be affected by natural hazards such as floods and landslides. In some cases, the design has disregarded the possible interactions between slope processes and linear [...] Read more.
Railways and roads frequently cross natural corridors like alluvial plains and alpine valleys. Here, structures and infrastructures can be affected by natural hazards such as floods and landslides. In some cases, the design has disregarded the possible interactions between slope processes and linear infrastructures. This work summarizes a 20-year long research comprising monitoring and laboratory data, field investigations and numerical modelling about an active 25-million m3 rock block slide threatening the serviceability of a highway tunnel in the Eastern Italian Alps, along the Tagliamento River Valley. The effectiveness of 3D geotechnical and hydrogeological numerical modelling calibrated on long-term monitoring datasets in planning countermeasures for landslide risk mitigation is demonstrated. A correlation between rapid snowmelt and/or extreme rainfall events and landslide activity is found. Moreover, monitored stream and spring discharges, together with seepage along the tunnel, appear to be strictly related to the displacements measured by GNSS and in-place inclinometers. In particular, the landslide accelerates once the threshold of 20 l/s in the tunnel seepage discharge is overcome. The continuous monitoring of specific electrical conductivity in five points allows tunnel discharge to be characterized identifying two type of groundwater circulation, one deeper and one perched, developing during extreme event. These facts clarify the role played by rainfall infiltration and groundwater flow in the fractured rock mass in promoting slope movements and damage in the tunnel lining. Based on these observations, two different 3D codes are used for groundwater flow simulation (FEFLOW by DHI-WASY) and stress and strain analysis (FLAC3D by ITASCA). The actual conditions of the slope and the possible countermeasures have been simulated. In FEFLOW, the Equivalent Porous Medium (EPM) approach is adopted with a model domain of 8-km2 including the landslide and the infrastructures. In FLAC3D, the properties of the sliding surface are reduced to simulate the wetting caused by the rising of hydraulic head in the fractured rock mass during the snowmelt or rainfall events. The 300-m long extension of an already existing T-shape drainage tunnel is analyzed. The simulated countermeasure work induces a lowering of the hydraulic head in the rock mass; consequently the reduced geotechnical properties have to be applied to a smaller section of the slip surface, resulting in a decrease of displacements. Even though the stabilizing effect is not definitive, mainly because of the volume of the unstable slope, the extension of the drainage tunnel reduces both the intensity and the duration of the water seepage into the tunnel with direct benefits for the tunnel serviceability. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Role Board Games as a Tool for Reconfiguration of Innovation Factors in Forest Ecosystem Services Governance
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030013 - 08 Nov 2019
Viewed by 421
Abstract
Forest ecosystem services (FES) are considered as public or common goods facing diverging individual and societal interests affecting the quality of ecosystems and well-being of the communities. This may result in overuse, degradation or unsustainable behaviour, as well as it can create also [...] Read more.
Forest ecosystem services (FES) are considered as public or common goods facing diverging individual and societal interests affecting the quality of ecosystems and well-being of the communities. This may result in overuse, degradation or unsustainable behaviour, as well as it can create also barriers for cooperation, economic profit and innovative business initiatives. The paper introduces the methodological approach which is applied within six different innovation regions (conceptualised as social-ecological systems) within the InnoForESt H2020 project. Each region uses innovative approaches in governance of FES and payments schemes. They are situated in Austria, the Czechia and Slovakia, Finland, Germany, Italy and Finland. All are characterised by manifold, sometimes diverging, FES, such as timber, recreation, regulation services or education. In order to get a better understanding of the role and the impact of key innovation factors for the regions, we have designed a behavioural [lab] experiment in the form of a Role board game (RBG). The proposed experimental game builds on Cardenas et al. (2013) and Castillo et al. (2011) as an interactive agent-based model arranging for repeated interaction and learning in real-world situations. It contributes to testing the effectiveness of incentives provision for the sustainable production of FES and the acceptance of such an intervention by FES communities (Kluvankova et al., in press). The game enables the adaptation to the specifics of each innovation region but at the same time it keeps the same internal experimental mechanism which will enable the comparison across the regions. The main question to be addressed by the RBG is: How to create conditions to enable innovations in forest management/governance for sustainable use and well-being in innovation regions under the diverging interest of FES users? We plan to test combinations of key innovation factors as preferred future scenario for sustainable FES provisions in regions, including fundamental policy interventions (e.g. strict regulation vs. payments for ecosystem services scheme), business incentives and external risk factors. RBG will allow testing stakeholders’ specific behaviour for resource use, and innovation activities, to create economic incentive, knowledge and social value. We argue that this will help to set conditions for successful development of policy and business innovations in innovations regions and to foster collaboration on FES provision for sustainability among stakeholders in a long term. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Small-Scale landslide Susceptibility Assessment. The Case Study of the Southern Asia
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030014 - 11 Nov 2019
Viewed by 280
Abstract
One of the prioritized project of the Belt and Road Initiative is the Silk Road Disaster Risk Reduction. The main aim of the project is to investigate natural hazards affecting Central Asia and Europe in order to understand their evolution and support the [...] Read more.
One of the prioritized project of the Belt and Road Initiative is the Silk Road Disaster Risk Reduction. The main aim of the project is to investigate natural hazards affecting Central Asia and Europe in order to understand their evolution and support the spatial planning related to the new infrastructures designing prevention and mitigation measures. The landslide susceptibility zoning is a common practice for land-use planning and environmental impact assessment. Considering the susceptibility as part of the hazard zoning work-flow, a multi-scale (multi-Tier) landslide susceptibility assessment has been carried out and the results are illustrated in this work. Starting from the continental (Tier 1) up to the regional analysis (Tier ≥ 2), the most susceptible areas have been defined to be exploited by successive zoning. Once the most susceptible areas at a regional scale are detected, the hazard zoning can be assessed. In the literature, the landslide susceptibility at continental or global scale has seldom been evaluated. The complexity of the analysis is strictly related to the extension of the study area: the smaller the scale, the higher the complexity of the analysis. Moreover, coordination issues between people and local governments, lack of data due to the absence of strategies for hazards and risk mitigation and data heterogeneity significantly affect the results and forces to find new and innovative solutions from the scientific point of view. In this framework, the Tier 1 landslide susceptibility of the southern Asia has been investigated. It represents the first application of the proposed approach. The results reveal a promising prediction capacity of the method which will be applied to the rest of the Belt and Road study area. The limits, and potentialities of a continental landslide susceptibility are here described. The uncertainty which affect the results of the Tier 1 assessment is mainly related to the lack of consistent data, especially, a global and reliable landslide inventory. However, the Tier 1 landslide susceptibility map has the role to give an overview of the entire study area and to provide the definition of the most landslides prone areas. The method adopted for the analysis is statistically-based and all the resources (software, libraries and data) are open-source. In order to support the reproducibility of the results, a new QGIS tool for statistical analysis has been developed. The Weights of Evidence method has been already implemented, whereas other methods will be coded during further activity. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Evolution of Green Areas in Europe—A Comparison Between Three Urban Areas
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030015 - 12 Nov 2019
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Urbanization is a continuous and dynamic process which has a direct impact on ecosystems and their services provided to human society. Restriction of green areas greatly accentuates urban ecological risks, having an immediate negative impact on their viability and sustainability, on life quality [...] Read more.
Urbanization is a continuous and dynamic process which has a direct impact on ecosystems and their services provided to human society. Restriction of green areas greatly accentuates urban ecological risks, having an immediate negative impact on their viability and sustainability, on life quality and population health. Increasing population density in urban areas leads to an increasing need for space. Parallel to the tentacular development of urban agglomerations, structure, architecture and design have changed, at the expense of green spaces. The development of urban areas in several European Countries (e.g., Romania, Portugal, Sweden, amid substantial demographic growth, it was made at the expense of green areas. Historical milestones of urban and peri-urban development are also key milestones in green space strategies, both in terms of development and conversion into different land-uses. This article investigates the evolution of green infrastructure in three distinct countries in Europe. In western Romania (Timisoara urban area and its neighboring peri-urban zones) we investigate the strong correlation with the evolution of urban development and the strategies developed for improving the life quality. In central Portugal, we analyze the dynamics of green infrastructures in a peri-urban catchment close to Coimbra city Centre, driven by long term urbanization. In Sweden (Malmö city), we study the history of blue-green infrastructures such as sustainable urban drainage over the past two decades and application of this in the physical planning. We will emphasize the main key milestones in green space strategies, similitudes and differences between three urban areas located in three different bio-geographical areas. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Transforming Degraded Smallholder Farmland into Multi-Functional Land Use Systems: A Case Study From Tanzania
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030016 - 12 Nov 2019
Viewed by 371
Abstract
In our research, we have studied smallholder farmers in degraded farming systems in Northwest Tanzania and have compared them with farm households who were trained in sustainable land management by a local Farmer Field School. Both groups of farmers were affected by severe [...] Read more.
In our research, we have studied smallholder farmers in degraded farming systems in Northwest Tanzania and have compared them with farm households who were trained in sustainable land management by a local Farmer Field School. Both groups of farmers were affected by severe environmental degradation and poor soil fertility, but trained farmers have transformed degraded farmland into fertile, multi-functional land use systems. In this presentation, we discuss the successes and failures of both groups of farmers and draw conclusions towards restoring degraded land use systems. Farmers without training cannot restore degraded farmland with traditional agricultural management alone and fail to produce enough food, fodder, biofuel, and timber to support the whole family. The reasons for their failure are manifold and include environmental and socio-economic dimensions, e.g., poor management of soils and farm waste, lacking adaptation to climate change, traditional gender roles, and the loss of knowledge and labour in HIV/AIDS-affected households. In comparison, trained farmers change nutrient management by using advanced composting techniques. They also cultivate a greater variety of crops and trees, introduce organic pesticide management, ease manure collection, construct vegetable gardens that are watered by drip irrigation in the dry season, change gender roles and communication structures. The main differences between both groups of farmers occur in food security, health status, education level, marketing, income generation, prosperity, and gender-related responsibilities. However, the full potential of organic farm waste being used as soil fertiliser is not exhausted, as human excreta is not integrated into nutrient management. Farm households who are most vulnerable to food security, e.g., female-headed and HIV/AIDS-affected households, need to get support in strengthening their socio-economic base before transforming the farm management. In conclusion, local Farmer Field Schools significantly contribute to restoring land degradation. To transform smallholder agriculture in Tanzania, a joint partnership with local governmental organisations could help farmers to escape poverty and become food secure (SDG 1 and SDG 2). Similar approaches could support smallholder farmers in East Africa, where they contribute to three-fourth of the agricultural production. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
A Smart Multi-scale and Multi-temporal System to Support Precision and Sustainable Agriculture from Satellite Images
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030017 - 12 Nov 2019
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Currently, the main goal of agriculture is to support the achievement of food security in a sustainable way through the improvement of use efficiency of farm resources, increasing crop yield and quality, under climate change conditions. Farm resources use improvement, as well as [...] Read more.
Currently, the main goal of agriculture is to support the achievement of food security in a sustainable way through the improvement of use efficiency of farm resources, increasing crop yield and quality, under climate change conditions. Farm resources use improvement, as well as the reduction of soil degradation processes, can be realized by means of high spatial and temporal resolution of field crop monitoring, aiming to manage the local spatial variability. In the case of high incomes crops, as the vineyards for high-quality wines, the monitoring of spatial behavior of plants during the growing season represents an opportunity to improve the plant management, the farmer incomes and to preserve the environmental health. However, because the field monitoring is an additional cost for the farmer, its diffusion is slow down and with it the achievement of sustainable agriculture. In the last decades, the satellite multispectral images have been widely used for the management of large areas, with a limitation in observation due to the pre-defined and fixed scale with relatively coarse spatial resolution, resulting in restrictions in their application. This paper presents a modified multiscale full-connected convolutional neural network (CNN) as a practical tool for pan-sharpening of Sentinel-2A images by UAV images. The reconstructed data are validated by independent multispectral UAV images and in-situ spectral measurements, providing a multitemporal evaluation of plant responses through a set of selected vegetation indices. The proposed methodology has been tested on plant measurements taken either in-vivo and through the retrospective reconstruction of the eco-physiological vine behavior, by the evaluation of water conductivity and water use efficiency indexes from anatomical and isotopic traits recorded in vine stem wood. Such a methodology, able to evaluate with high spatial and temporal resolution the plant responses, combining the pro and cons of space-borne and UAVs data, has been applied in a vineyard of southern Italy by analyzing the period from 2015 to 2018. The obtained results have shown a good correspondence between the vegetation indices obtained from reconstructed Sentinel-2A data and plant measurements obtained from tree-ring based retrospective reconstruction of eco-physiological behavior. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Degradation Assessment in Europe, A Review of Status, Interaction and Remediation
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030018 - 15 Nov 2019
Viewed by 281
Abstract
As soil formation is an extremely slow process, soil can be considered a non-renewable resource. Soils should thus be adequately protected and conserved to ensure that soil functions are not lost or diminished. Soil functions are, however, threatened by a wide range of [...] Read more.
As soil formation is an extremely slow process, soil can be considered a non-renewable resource. Soils should thus be adequately protected and conserved to ensure that soil functions are not lost or diminished. Soil functions are, however, threatened by a wide range of processes. Europe’s soil resources may continue to degrade due to changes in climate, land use and other human activities. The challenge is to prevent degradation and its adverse effects on soil functions and ecosystem services, and even improve the ability of soil to perform its functions. The soil degradation processes are complex and all parts of Europe are affected by one or more soil threats to some degree. There is a lack of knowledge on, a large uncertainty in, and lack of quantitative information on understanding the interrelationships between soil threats, soil threat and soil functions, and soil and ecosystem services. A major challenge in clarifying these relationships is how to integrate information and to analyse the key interactions. To bridge this gap, we have made an approach based on a review and expert knowledge to understand and describe those interrelations. This has been described in qualitative terms, and showed that the soil functions ‘biomass production’ is affected by almost all threats, whereas the threat ‘biodiversity decline’ has a major negative impact on all functions. It also showed that both soil biodiversity and soil erosion are more or less affected by almost all other soil threats. In the RECARE project, various prevention and remediation measures were trialed. Changes in manageable soil and other natural capital properties were measured and quantified, and a methodology to assess changes in ecosystem services was developed. Overall, the results showed positive on the impacts of the measures on ecosystem services. Although methodological challenges remain, the assessment served as an input to a stakeholder valuation of ecosystem services at local and sub-national levels. Although these activities are steps towards a soil remediation strategy, there is a need for further research on the mentioned issues in order to achieve an improved overview of existing information on soil degradation at the European scale, their interactions, and effects on ecosystem services. In addition, the lack of legally binding targets limits the impact that existing policies have on reducing soil threats and protecting soil function, although various EU policy instruments have shown positive impacts even in absence of binding targets for Member States. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Mercury Budget and Scenario Analysis for the Marano-Grado Lagoon, Using Modelling and Observations
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030019 - 15 Nov 2019
Viewed by 250
Abstract
The Marano-Grado Lagoon (MGL) is extensively contaminated by mercury (Hg) from local sources and long-term (500 years) tidally delivered inputs from the Idrija Hg mine (Slovenia) through Isonzo River suspended loads. Mercury-polluted coastal sites, often become sites of increased mercury methylation and act, [...] Read more.
The Marano-Grado Lagoon (MGL) is extensively contaminated by mercury (Hg) from local sources and long-term (500 years) tidally delivered inputs from the Idrija Hg mine (Slovenia) through Isonzo River suspended loads. Mercury-polluted coastal sites, often become sites of increased mercury methylation and act, in the long term, as secondary mercury sources for the Mediterranean Basin. Methylmercury (MeHg) produced upon Hg methylation bioaccumulates and biomagnifies in the trophic webs, and it is eventually transferred to humans via fish intake. We implemented a dynamic model released by US-EPA (WASP-Merc7) to the MGL (North Adriatic Sea, Italy) in order to assess the concentration of mercury species in water, sediment and particulate, and to quantify the mercury fluxes and budget within the lagoon itself and between the lagoon, the atmosphere and the Adriatic Sea. Furthermore, the model was used to simulate the mercury long-term dynamics to estimate the recovery time for Hg in lagoon sediment (about 600 years) and to explore future scenarios of climate change and rivers capping. Still several gaps exist in the knowledge on mercury species concentration and kinetics, the model results take also into account the major sources of uncertainty. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Multi-Source and Multi-Scale Platform for Quantitative Assessment of Shallow or/and Coastal Qater
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030020 - 15 Nov 2019
Viewed by 260
Abstract
Coastal waters are one of the most vulnerable resources that require comprehensive investigation in space and time. One of the key factors for effective coastal monitoring is the use of remote sensing technologies. Since the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) in 1978, a [...] Read more.
Coastal waters are one of the most vulnerable resources that require comprehensive investigation in space and time. One of the key factors for effective coastal monitoring is the use of remote sensing technologies. Since the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) in 1978, a long list of space-borne missions had been successfully launched. However, those missions are limited to coastal waters applications. Despite a large number of missions, the existing systems are still facing similar challenges as four decades ago. Spatial and spectral data reconstruction and recovery a high resolution (HR) imagery data from a low resolution (LR) imaging is a challenging task in many applications. The most promising technique in the field of digital image processing is known as Super Resolution (SR). Many techniques focus on reconstructing information at the sub-pixel level and dividing the original LR space into pixels corresponding to the HR space. Other methods assume that a series of LR images (in time) of a scene scanned from different perspectives (affine) will provide SR. Alternative methods use different data sources and proper image algorithms. In most cases, SR methods will perform a learning process in which the system will try to identify the inherent redundancy in the natural data in order to retrieve HR information from LR based on a spatial correlation between the original images. The learning process can be significantly efficient by using the Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). CNN submit to training through a large dataset that preserves the scene’s characteristics. The flexibility afforded by CNN is learning nonlinear relationships when reconstructing a spatial characteristic from an LR image to HR image. The main aim of this study is to identify spectral features related to the coastal water and inland water variations at different spatial and temporal scale and integrate them with a multi-scale information system. The main objectives of the study are developing of spatial-temporal-spectral fusion approach for multi-source data collected from the same geographical site; creating a new method for single image reconstruction from non-complementary information scene. The proposed method measures HR given LR by a downscaling process by turning HR into an LR. The deterministic process calculated using a Gaussian filter and by a photographic-focused distribution function. The correlation coefficient (at the LR-pixel level) used as an inverse ratio to upscaling. The proposed architecture is based on a three-convolutional network. In the first stage, the convolution is directly applied to the LR data, and then another sub-pixel convolution layer is subtracted to generate SR data from LR data through an upscaling process. This study performed in two sites, (1) a training site in Israel, (2) a test site in Germany. The training site is shallow seawaters around Oren River, Israel and the test site is Alfsee inland water in Germany. The results in both sites are SR imagery with full Sentinel 2 spectral resolution and spatial resolution of 0.3 m. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
LCIS DSS—An Irrigation Supporting System for Efficient Water Use in Precision Agriculture
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030021 - 18 Nov 2019
Viewed by 372
Abstract
The sustainable management of water resources is one of the most important topics to face future climate change and food security. Many countries facing a serious water crisis, due to both natural and artificial causes. The efficient use of water in agriculture is [...] Read more.
The sustainable management of water resources is one of the most important topics to face future climate change and food security. Many countries facing a serious water crisis, due to both natural and artificial causes. The efficient use of water in agriculture is one of the most significant agricultural challenges that modern technologies. These last are considered powerful management instruments able to help farmers achieve the best efficiency in irrigation water use and to increase their incomes by obtaining the highest possible crop yield. In this context, within the project “An advanced low cost system for farm irrigation support—LCIS” (a joint Italian Israeli R&D project), a fully transferable Decision Support Systems (DSS) for irrigation support, based on three different methodologies representative of the state of the art in irrigation management tools (W-Tens, in situ soil sensor; IRRISAT®, remote sensing; W-Mod, simulation modelling of water balance in the soil-plant and atmosphere system), has been developed. These three LCIS-DSS tools have been evaluated, in terms of their ability to support the farmer in irrigation management, in a real applicative case study in Italy and Israel. The main challenge of a new DSS for irrigation is attributed to the uncertain factors during the growing season such as weather uncertainty, and crop monitoring platform. For encounter this challenge, we developed during two years the LCIS, a web-based real-time DSS for irrigation scheduling using low-cost imaging spectroscopy for state estimation of the agriculture system and probabilistic short- and medium-term climate forecasts. While the majority of the existing DSS models are incorporated directly into the optimization framework, we propose to integrate continuous feedback from the field (e.g., soil moisture, crop water-stress, plant stage, LAI, and biomass) estimated based on remote sensing information. These field data will be collected by the point-based spectrometer and hyperspectral imaging system. Then a low-cost camera will be designed for specific spectral/spatial parameters (bound to the required feedbacks). The main objectives were: developing real-time Decision Support System (DSS) for optimal irrigation scheduling at farm scale for crop yield improvement, reducing irrigation cost, and water saving; developing a low-cost imaging spectroscopy framework to support the irrigation scheduling DSS above and facilitates its use in countries/places where expensive imaging spectroscopy is not available; examining the developed framework in real-life application, the framework will be calibrated evaluated using high resolution devices and tested using a low-cost system in Israel and Italy farms. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
How Different Natural Energy Sources Affect the Shallow Geothermal Suitability in Urban Areas: The South Africa Case Study
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030022 - 21 Nov 2019
Viewed by 311
Abstract
In recent years, the overall worldwide demand for energy has been increasing due to the constant growth of both global population and industrialization, which is particularly intensifying in emerging countries (China, India, South Africa, Brazil) and recently industrialized ones (i.e., Mexico, Turkey). In [...] Read more.
In recent years, the overall worldwide demand for energy has been increasing due to the constant growth of both global population and industrialization, which is particularly intensifying in emerging countries (China, India, South Africa, Brazil) and recently industrialized ones (i.e., Mexico, Turkey). In this framework, the exploitation of shallow geothermal energy through heat geo-exchange systems, as borehole heat exchangers (closed loop systems) or groundwater systems (open loop systems) coupled with a heat pump (Ground Source Heat Pump—GSHP), is really appealing, due to its versatility and energy efficiency. The heat exchanged with the underground, a reliable and green thermal energy source, is used mainly for heating and cooling of residential, industrial or commercial buildings and greenhouses. Several technologies are available and combinations with other local renewable energy sources are also possible, representing very interesting efficient and environmentally friendly solutions to be adopted in urban areas. The integration of different natural energy sources brings significant advantages, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions, the mitigation of the subsurface urban heat island effect, the minimization of electricity consumption. However, the underground suitability to low enthalpy geothermal systems is strictly related to the climatic, geological, hydrogeological, geothermal and thermophysical properties, typical of the area under investigation. The evaluation of these parameters allows to assess the amount of heat at disposal and the possibility to exchange it. On one hand, it is necessary to select and collect the data related to the factors that better characterize the ground behavior from the point of view of the heat exchange capacity. On the other, it is essential to integrate them in thematic maps created by Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, providing a preliminary evaluation of the territory suitability to geo-exchange and supporting the land use geothermal management both for closed and open loop systems. A preliminary representation of low-enthalpy geothermal resources suitability maps for Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, the three main urbanized cities of South Africa, representing the geological and climatic national variability of the country, is here presented. From a methodological point of view, these maps are created by assigning to each value of the descriptive parameters selected (i.e., lithology, type of aquifer, thermal conductivity, average annual air and ground temperature) a corresponding quantitative value, assessing its different attitude for thermal purposes. In this way, one of the first contribution to the suitability of geothermal energy resources in South Africa is obtained. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Scanning the Water-Centered Transversally Connected Natural Landscape Mosaics within the Metropolitan Area in Support of NBS for Urban Challenges
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030023 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 322
Abstract
This study presents an analytical method to identify the transversally connected natural landscape mosaics (TCNLMs) being in physical contact with the water surfaces of the territory at the metropolitan scale. It makes a comparative case between three Swedish cities; Helsingborg, Goteborg, and Malmo [...] Read more.
This study presents an analytical method to identify the transversally connected natural landscape mosaics (TCNLMs) being in physical contact with the water surfaces of the territory at the metropolitan scale. It makes a comparative case between three Swedish cities; Helsingborg, Goteborg, and Malmo utilizing Urban Atlas land cover geospatial data and QGIS software. Fundamentally, the analytical process is based on the physical relationship the natural surfaces have with the water surfaces. The assessment is based on the concept of “bands” instead of “buffer” zone in reference to water sources. The land cover surfaces in touch with water surfaces are categorized as band 1. The remaining surfaces that are adjacent with band 1, are categorized as band 2. Similarly, the remaining land cover surfaces can be classified into further bands. The reclassified patches by their band level, are introduced into an analytical process structured in three levels. First, the natural surfaces are filtered and the existing TCNLMs (public land) within the metropolitan area are identified. Second, the agricultural areas are joined with the natural surfaces in order to measure their impact in the enhancement of TCNLMs. At the third level, the method gives floor to the identification of potential artificial surfaces (private land), the naturalization/ restoration of which may extensively enhance the transversal connectivity of natural lands to water sources. The potential artificial and agricultural surfaces as private property are targeted as “private land for ecosystem services” especially for urban ecological issues and disaster risk reduction. The workflow of the study is structured in Graphical Modeler (QGIS 3), enabling easier reproducibility of the method to similar study areas. The results of the study show that the proposed method is useful in scanning the transversally connected mosaics of natural lands and their potential enhancement. Finally, it contributes to the development of GIS-based analytical methods in support of natural based solutions for metropolitan challenges. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Diagnosing Acute Oak Decline Using Ground Penetrating Radar
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030024 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) of trees. [...] Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Assessment of Potential Supply of Ecosystem Services in Coimbra Municipality
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030025 - 19 Dec 2019
Viewed by 215
Abstract
Land-use changes driven by human activities affect natural systems. Urbanization, forest monoculture and intensive agriculture are changing the functioning of many biotic and abiotic processes. This tends to decrease the ability of ecosystems to provide services, which leads to several problems particularly in [...] Read more.
Land-use changes driven by human activities affect natural systems. Urbanization, forest monoculture and intensive agriculture are changing the functioning of many biotic and abiotic processes. This tends to decrease the ability of ecosystems to provide services, which leads to several problems particularly in cities. This study investigates the ability of urban areas with great population and environmental pressures, to supply ecosystem services. The study was carried out in Coimbra municipality, through the assessment of regulation, provisioning and cultural services. The quantification of ecosystem services was based on the evaluation performed by experts familiar with the study area, through questionnaires. A total of 31 questionnaires were completed. The experts ranked the potential supply of 30 ecosystem services for the 33 existent land-uses. based on a qualitative evaluation: “strong adverse potential”, “weak adverse potential”, “not relevant”, “low positive potential” and “strong positive potential”. The qualitative evaluation was converted into a quantitative classification (−2, −1, 0, 1, 2). The values were used to develop an ecosystem services quantification matrix and to map the information in the study area, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Despite the limited ecosystem services provided by urban areas, agricultural fields and especially green spaces are relevant for the provision of resources essential for human survival and well-being. The methodology used in this work is still useful for the quantification of ecosystem services in cities with characteristics associated with the Mediterranean climate. This type of studies are important to (i) anticipate problems originated from the loss of ecosystem services, (ii) identify good and bad practices of land use changes, (iii) the role of connectivity in maintaining biotic and abiotic processes, and (iv) develop practices that promote the sustainable development of societies. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Management by Cover Crops in Vineyards for Climate Change Adaptation
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030026 - 19 Dec 2019
Viewed by 287
Abstract
The wine captures grapes’ variety nature and vinification techniques, but other aspects of soil, climate and terrain are equally important for the terroir expression as a whole. Soil supplies moisture, nitrogen, and minerals. Particularly nitrogen obtained through mineralization of soil organic matter and [...] Read more.
The wine captures grapes’ variety nature and vinification techniques, but other aspects of soil, climate and terrain are equally important for the terroir expression as a whole. Soil supplies moisture, nitrogen, and minerals. Particularly nitrogen obtained through mineralization of soil organic matter and water uptake are crucial for grape yield, berry sugar, anthocyanin and tannin concentration, hence grape quality and vineyard profitability. Different climatic conditions, which are predicted for the future, can significantly modify this relationship between vines and soils. New climatic conditions under global warming predict higher temperatures, erratic and extreme rainfall events, and drought spells. These circumstances are particularly worrisome for typical thin soils of the Mediterranean environment. This study reports the effect of permanent grass cover in vineyards to maintain or increase soil organic matter and soil moisture. The influence of natural and simulated rainfalls on soils was studied. A comparison between minimum tillage (MT) and permanent grass cover crop (GC) of the temperate grass Brachypodium distachyon was done. Water infiltration, water holding capacity, organic carbon sequestration and protection from extreme events, were considered in a sloping vineyard located in the south of Madrid, Spain. The MT is the most widely used cultivation method in the area. The tradition supports this management practice to capture and preserve water in soils. It creates small depressions that accumulate water and eventually improves water infiltration. This effect was acknowledged in summer after recent MT cultivation; however, it was only short-lived as surface roughness declined after rainfalls. Especially, intense rainfall events left the surface of bare soil sealed. Consequently, the effects depend on the season of the year. In autumn, a rainy season of the year, MT failed to enhance infiltration. On the contrary, B. distachyon acted as a physical barrier, produced more infiltration (22% increase) and fewer particles detachment, due to increased soil structure stability and soil organic matter (50% increase). The GC efficiently protected soil from high-intensity events (more than 2 mm min-1). Besides, soil moisture at 35 cm depth was enhanced with GC (9% more than tillage). On average, soil moisture in GC was not significantly different from MT. These effects of GC on soil conditions created local micro-environmental conditions that can be considered advantageous as a climate change adaptation strategy, because they improved water balance, maintained a sustainable level of soil organic matter, therefore organic nitrogen, all these factors crucial for improving wine quality. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil as a Basis to Create Enabling Conditions for Transitions towards Sustainable Land Management as a Key to Achieve the SDGs by 2030
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030027 - 20 Dec 2019
Viewed by 215
Abstract
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be grouped into three domains, the environmental domain, the social domain and the economic domain. These different layers influence each other; hence sustainable progress in the economic layer cannot be achieved without good progress in the two [...] Read more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be grouped into three domains, the environmental domain, the social domain and the economic domain. These different layers influence each other; hence sustainable progress in the economic layer cannot be achieved without good progress in the two other layers. To achieve the SDGs, transitions in the current system are needed and actions should be taken that support transitions and contribute to short term needs and long term (global) goals. Therefore, it is necessary to have knowledge of transitions and understand the different phases of transition. In this paper we discuss the key role of the soil-water system in these transitions and the achievement of the SDGs by 2030. The increasing pressure on land calls for multi-use of land and for the restoration of degraded land. Healthy soils and healthy land are the basic conditions for the successful implementation and realization of the SDGs. To enable a sustainable management of the soil and water system a transition approach is a prerequisite. In the X-curve used to describe transitions, soil and land stakeholders are given a framework, which provides perspective for action, specifically for science and governance stakeholders in each phase of the transition. This framework can provide the required intensive guidance to (i) analyze the impact of provided incentives, (ii) identify new reference points in the transition and (iii) stimulate transition catalysts, and (iv) innovate by testing cutting edge policy instruments in close cooperation with society. The key to make the necessary transitions and realize the SDGs by 2030 lies in the intensive guidance to combining initiatives, steering knowledge flows and continuously assessing the stage of the transition, in order to plan specific steps needed to progress in the transition framework. Both scientist and policy makers have an important role in this guidance. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
The Use of Analysis of Weather Types to Complete the Studies of Soil Erosion in Vineyards and Abandoned Areas
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030028 - 20 Dec 2019
Viewed by 254
Abstract
This presentation aims to quantify water and soil losses due to rainfall and specific soil management practices in combination with an analysis of which kind of weather type and rainfall event is able to cause specific surface flows and soil loss rates. As [...] Read more.
This presentation aims to quantify water and soil losses due to rainfall and specific soil management practices in combination with an analysis of which kind of weather type and rainfall event is able to cause specific surface flows and soil loss rates. As study area, we used the specific case of the sloping vineyards of the Montes de Málaga (South Spain). Two different plots were used: one cultivated area and poorly managed abandoned one. The in situ measures were conducted using sediment collectors to estimate sediment yield (g m−1) and surface runoff (L m−1) and an analysis of the weather conditions during each rainfall event using different meteorological sources. The weather types that generated the highest amount of rainfall on the studied area came from the western (32.6%) and southeast (28.2%) types. The less rainy weather type came from the south type (5.9%) and at the 500 hPa level. On the other hand, the heaviest rains came from the southwest (47.7%) and south (34.1%). As a first approach, it is confirmed that there is a bimodality in rainfall patterns. The results of soil erosion showed that there is a mixed mechanism depending on the state of the soil (vegetation cover, compaction, initial soil moisture), soil management (tillage, trampling effect and the use of herbicides) and the intensity of the surface flow, which is highly correlated to the total rainfall amount and intensity. In the poorly managed abandoned vineyard, the impact of the tillage in the past, the elimination of the vegetation cover to conserve the bare soil and its use as a grazing territory by cultivating barley, highly impacts on the generation of the highest erosive events. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
How Important Is the Number of Points and Plot Size for Estimating Soil Erosion in Vineyards?
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030029 - 20 Dec 2019
Viewed by 281
Abstract
Some issues remain still unclear in the studies related to soil erosion in vineyards: (i) the accuracy of the measures; (ii) the standardization of the procedures; and, (iii) the huge amount of viticultural areas that are not still measured. In this investigation, we [...] Read more.
Some issues remain still unclear in the studies related to soil erosion in vineyards: (i) the accuracy of the measures; (ii) the standardization of the procedures; and, (iii) the huge amount of viticultural areas that are not still measured. In this investigation, we will show research in a non-studied viticultural region using a standard procedure before tested in other vineyards (ISUM -Improved Stock Unearthing Method-), testing different plot sizes and a number of measures. We will estimate soil loss rates in the Tierra de Barros (Extremadura, SW Spain) using the graft union of the vines as a passive biomarker of the soil surface level changes and extra-measures in the inter-row areas. For this study case, for the first time, ISUM was applied to three inter-row and four rows in order to confirm how many points and transects must be measured. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Assessment of UV Filters and Parabens in a Small Portuguese Peri-Urban Catchment
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030030 - 20 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 253
Abstract
Increasing population and expansion of urban areas are often associated with degradation of aquatic ecosystems. Although water quality is a major concern for worldwide authorities, several emerging contaminants can threaten long term status of aquatic ecosystems and human health. UV filters are widely [...] Read more.
Increasing population and expansion of urban areas are often associated with degradation of aquatic ecosystems. Although water quality is a major concern for worldwide authorities, several emerging contaminants can threaten long term status of aquatic ecosystems and human health. UV filters are widely used in industrial products such as plastics, paints and coatings, to enhance their photo protective properties. Personal care products, such as shampoos, body creams, make-up and sunscreens, used in humans’ daily routine, also comprise a wide variety of chemicals, such as organic UV filters and parabens. Some UV filters are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Parabens prevent bacterial growth and extend products shelf-lives, but they can have endocrine disruption properties. Wastewater is a potential vehicle of UV filters and parabens to the aquatic ecosystems, where they tend to accumulate in suspended sediments. This study investigates the presence of organic UV filters and parabens in Ribeira dos Covões peri-urban catchment, in central mainland Portugal. The catchment has been deeply urbanized over the last decades, due to its proximity to Coimbra city center. Urban areas cover 40% of the catchment land-use and include several health services, such as a hospital, and a relatively large pharmaceutical company. Wastewater is piped and transported into a treatment plant (WWTP) located outside the catchment. The sewer system, however, is sometimes subject to failure, leading to leakages which affect local streams. In September 2018, fluvial sediment samples (0-3 cm depth) were collected in 10 sites across Ribeira dos Covões stream network. The freeze-dried sediment samples were extracted using an accelerated solvent extractor (ASE-350, DIONEX, Germany) method, and analysed for 17 UV filters, 5 parabens and 2 synthetic musks, using an Agilent UHPLC-MS/MS system operating with dopant-assisted atmospheric pressure photoionization (DA-APPI). The results show the presence of methylparaben (10.3 ng/g dw) at the catchment outlet. UV filters were found in sediments from several sites in Ribeira dos Covões. Compounds revealing highest concentrations were octocrylene, quantified in 8 of the 10 sampling sites and reaching 286.3 ng/g dw, and ethylhexyltriazone, quantified in half of the monitored sites in concentrations up to 67.7 ng/g dw. The largest number of compounds and with highest concentrations, were recorded in two stream sections that received wastewater, based on reports from local citizens about sewer pipe leakages. Wastewater contamination can represent a major problem for the good status of aquatic ecosystems in urban environments. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Projections of Mediterranean Freshwater Vulnerability in a Global Context and Emerging Adaptation Developments at the Local Scale
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030031 - 20 Dec 2019
Viewed by 228
Abstract
The Mediterranean region has experienced substantial changes over the centuries. Persistent
hydro-climatic trends have prevailed over the region and have particularly intensified during the
recent decades [...] Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Erosion in Endangered Chestnut Tree Farms of Rural Areas (Navezuelas, Cáceres, Spain)
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030032 - 20 Dec 2019
Viewed by 252
Abstract
The municipality of Navezuelas (Cáceres, Spain) is regionally known for the cultivation of chestnut trees on steep slopes, which form a landscape of bocage dominated by small farms (family property). Nowadays, this traditional system is endangered, on one hand, as consequence of ageing, [...] Read more.
The municipality of Navezuelas (Cáceres, Spain) is regionally known for the cultivation of chestnut trees on steep slopes, which form a landscape of bocage dominated by small farms (family property). Nowadays, this traditional system is endangered, on one hand, as consequence of ageing, depopulation and land abandonment, and on the other hand, due to the reduction of rainfall, tree diseases and changes in land management that are provoking land degradation processes little studied so far. Soil erosion is probably the most important process since farmers need to keep large patches of bare soil (particularly beneath the trees) in autumn in order to facilitate the collection of chestnuts from the ground. Therefore, the main goal of this research was to study soil erosion in chestnut tree farms aimed at verifying whether it is a remarkable process. To achieve this goal, 18 erosion plots (≈2 m2 in size) were installed to quantify soil and water losses in paired plots (open vs. tree) within a farm of 5 ha with chestnut trees planted in different times (1960s vs. 1990s). Total rainfall per event, runoff coefficient, the percentage of bare soil and tree cover and the concentration of sediments were quantified after each significant event in each plot during the whole hydrologic year 2017/2018. The results showed average values of bare soil above 50% during the harvesting (October–November) and above 40% in winter when sheep were introduced to eat the remains of the harvest. Tree cover followed a natural cycle of deciduous trees excepting an occasional pruning. Regarding soil erosion the highest rates were observed in open spaces within the part of the farm with younger trees (av. 57.1 g m-2 yr-1, range: 35.6–87.3 g m-2 yr-2) and the lowest one beneath the trees within the part with older trees (av. 3.4 g m-2 yr-2, range: 0.4–22.7 g m-2 yr-2). In fact, the highest single valued quantified was 67.2 g m-2 in an event of 37.5 l m-2 in October (≈100% bare soil). Obviously, these erosion rates were positively correlated with the runoff coefficient (r: 0.755, p < 0.001) that averaged 8.5% in the open spaces near the youngest trees. Our findings suggest soil erosion is not a problematic process yet in Navezuelas and confirm the protector effect of trees avoiding soil erosion. Nevertheless, they are only preliminary results measured during a relative dry year (626.9 l m-2, ≈60% out of a normal year). Full article
Open AccessAbstract
The Cocoon System: Ecotechnology for Ecological Restoration and Rainfed Agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030033 - 20 Dec 2019
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Ecological restoration projects of degraded natural areas or rainfed agriculture in the Mediterranean region, especially when they include the plantation of woody species, generally shown to be very expensive and inefficient, mainly due to the large number of leaks during the first summer [...] Read more.
Ecological restoration projects of degraded natural areas or rainfed agriculture in the Mediterranean region, especially when they include the plantation of woody species, generally shown to be very expensive and inefficient, mainly due to the large number of leaks during the first summer drought. Even in cases where support irrigation is carried out, medium-term mortality rates remain high, as root systems developed under irrigation conditions present superficial growth being more vulnerable to drought episodes. One of the current initiatives to address this problem is the so-called “Cocoon”. It is a 100% biodegradable device, built with recycled plant fibers. It is designed to reduce water stress for the planted seedlings during the first drought season, while also encouraging the development of a deep root system. This device has been successfully implemented in various countries around the world and in a wide range of different environmental conditions and objectives, from the restoration of areas affected by desertification to the recovery of agricultural uses in abandoned lands. Results after first summer drought demonstrate that Cocoon ecotechnology is working well, improving survival ratios and physiological state of the seedlings, despite its efficacy depends on the species and the environmental conditions of the site. Moreover, Cocoon is acting as refuge for some insects and could favor the growing of some commercially interesting fungi. In general, the perception of the agricultural and forestry owners, and the administrations involved, is very positive. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Mapping Invasive Rumex obtusifolius in Grassland Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030034 - 23 Dec 2019
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Rumex obtusifolius (R. obtusifolius) is one of the most common non-cultivated. [...] Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Land Management Impacts on Soil Water Erosion and Loss of Nutrients
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030035 - 23 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 299
Abstract
Humans are the driving factor of soil erosion and degradation. Therefore, sustainable land management practices should be developed and applied. The aim of this study was to determine land management impacts on soil properties, soil loss and nutrient loss in 3 different treatments; [...] Read more.
Humans are the driving factor of soil erosion and degradation. Therefore, sustainable land management practices should be developed and applied. The aim of this study was to determine land management impacts on soil properties, soil loss and nutrient loss in 3 different treatments; grass-covered vineyard (GCV), tilled vineyard (TV), and tilled hazelnut orchard (HO). The study area is located in Orahovica, Croatia (45°31′ N, 17°51′ E; elevation 230 m) on ~7° slope. The soil under the study area was classified as a Stagnosol. 8 rainfall simulations (58 mm h−1, during 30 min, over 0.785 m2 plots) were performed at each treatment where the next data were noted: ponding time, runoff time, and collection of overland flow. Soil samples were taken for determination of mean weight diameter (MWD), water stable aggregates (WSA), P2O5 content, and organic matter content. Analyses of sediment revealed concentrations of P2O5 and N. All three treatments had significantly different values of MWD (GCV 3.30 mm; TV 2.94 mm; HO 2.16 mm), while WSA and organic matter significantly differs between GCV and HO. The infiltration rate showed no significant difference between treatments. Sediment yield was significantly the highest at the TV (21.01 g kg−1 runoff), while no significant difference was noted between GCV (2.91) and HO (6.59). Sediments of GCV treatment showed higher concentrations of P2O5 and N, compared to TV and HO. Nutrients loss was highest in the TV (450.3 g P2O5 ha−1; 1891.7 g N ha−1) as a result of highest sediment yield, despite the fact GCV had the highest nutrients concentrations. Results indicate that land management (and/or tillage) affects soil properties and their stability. Even tough HO was tilled and had the lowest values of organic matter, WSA, and MWD, measurements were performed immediately after tillage where the plant residues reduced potential erodibility of the soil. Such results reveal that tillage should be avoided in vineyard and hazelnut production in order to prevent soil and nutrient losses. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Sustainable Development Goal in Using Ocean Current as a Renewable Resource
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030036 - 23 Dec 2019
Viewed by 227
Abstract
A meteorologist or climatologist analyses and explains the mechanisms responsible for the distribution of precipitation, as well as forecasting precipitation, with interest ceasing when precipitation reaches ground. An example of the difference between hydrologists and climatologists is how they view droughts. Climatologists consider [...] Read more.
A meteorologist or climatologist analyses and explains the mechanisms responsible for the distribution of precipitation, as well as forecasting precipitation, with interest ceasing when precipitation reaches ground. An example of the difference between hydrologists and climatologists is how they view droughts. Climatologists consider droughts to be periods with below than average rainfall, while hydrologists are concerned with how below average rainfall impacts on the hydrological system, such as shortages in surface or subsurface water supply, reduced soil moisture, low reservoir levels. In this research it is established fractal dimension with a classification system of wave phenome induced by wind that characterize atmospheric conditions, specifically those related to winter extra tropical storms and fair weather. Numerous classification schemes have been proposed to categorize atmospheric conditions in a variety of environments-however, since meteorological processes are inherently complicated, these are of necessity based on criteria that suit a particular purpose. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Education for Environmental Citizenship—Potential Key Tool for Enhancing the Implementation of NbSs
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030037 - 24 Dec 2019
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Climate change is expected to substantially alter temperature and precipitation regimes, leading to more intense and more frequent extreme rain events, droughts, reduced air quality and consequently negatively influences biodiversity and ecosystems. The importance of protecting and improving ecosystems for reducing disaster risk [...] Read more.
Climate change is expected to substantially alter temperature and precipitation regimes, leading to more intense and more frequent extreme rain events, droughts, reduced air quality and consequently negatively influences biodiversity and ecosystems. The importance of protecting and improving ecosystems for reducing disaster risk started to receive higher attention in the recent years after a long period of neglection. Nature-based solutions (NBSs) focus on working with nature and, in essence, aim at increasing the natural capital of the ecological systems. Implementation of NBSs requires extensive dialogue processes in order to ensure knowledge exchange and to “bring everyone on-board”. To be successful, NBSs must take into account the local socioecological systems, so that local and regional stakeholders are engaged in order to secure the thresholds of interventions that can effectively reduce the risks from climate change disasters. In addition, a successful implementation of NBSs also requires a strong environmental education. Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change. It helps people understand and address the impact of global warming, encourages changes in their attitudes and behavior and helps them adapt to climate change-related trends. Environmental Citizens, with their responsible pro-environmental behaviors, can act as promoters of NBSs through individual and collective actions, in the private and public sphere, in the direction of protecting and improving ecosystems and effectively reducing the risks from climate change disasters. Thus, Education for Environmental Citizenship (EEC) has a strong practical orientation including community engagement and public participation and therefore can be marked by teaching and learning approaches with remarkable contribution on enhancing the implementation of NBSs. This type of education also embraces systemic learning, understanding relationships being crucially important. This paper will use the model for EEC developed by COST action 16229 “European Network for Environmental Citizenship” (www.enec.eu) to propose an education framework for enhancing the successful implementation of NBSs. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Applicability of Remote Sensing Workflow in Kubernetes-Managed On-premise Cluster Environment
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030038 - 24 Dec 2019
Viewed by 417
Abstract
The acquisition, storage, and processing of huge amounts of data and their fast analysis to generate information is not a new approach, but it becomes challenging through smart decision-making on the choice of hardware and software improvements. In the specific cases of environment [...] Read more.
The acquisition, storage, and processing of huge amounts of data and their fast analysis to generate information is not a new approach, but it becomes challenging through smart decision-making on the choice of hardware and software improvements. In the specific cases of environment protection, nature conservation, and precision farming, where fast and accurate reactions are required, drone technologies with imaging sensors are of interest in many research groups. However, post-processing of the images acquired by drone-based sensors such as the generation of orthomosaics from aerial images and superimposing the orthomosaics on a global map to identify the exact locations of the interested area is computationally intensive and sometimes takes hours or even days to achieve desired results. Initial tests have shown that photogrammetry software takes less time to generate an orthomosaic by running them on a workstation with higher CPU, RAM and GPU configurations. Tasks like setting up the application environment with dependencies, making this setup portable and manage installed services can be challenging, especially for small-and-medium-sized enterprises that have limited resources in exploring different architectures. To enhance the competitiveness of the small and medium-sized enterprises and research institutions, the accessibility of the proposed solution includes the integration of open-source tools and frameworks such as Kubernetes (version v1.13.4, available online: https://kubernetes.io/) and OpenDroneMap (version 0.3, available online: https://github.com/OpenDroneMap/ODM) enabling a reference architecture that is as vendor-neutral as possible. Current work is based on an on-premise cluster computing approach for fast and efficient photogrammetry process using open source software such as OpenDroneMap combined with light-weight containerization techniques such as Docker (version 17.12.1, available online: https://www.docker.io/), orchestrated by Kubernetes. The services provided by OpenDroneMap enable microservice-based architecture. These container-based services can be administered easily by a container orchestrator like Kubernetes. After setting up the servers with core OpenDroneMap services on our container-based cluster with Kubernetes as the orchestrator engine, the plan is to use the advantages of Kubernetes' powerful management capabilities to help maximize resource efficiency as the basis for creating Service Level Agreements to provide a cloud service. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Monitoring of Carbon Sequestration in Iceland Using Remote Sensing Technology: An Overview of the LanDeg Project
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030039 - 24 Dec 2019
Viewed by 302
Abstract
The monitoring of restoration and forestation is essential to reduce future drought and flood risk as well as ongoing carbon sequestration projects in Iceland. This is especially relevant for Iceland’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2040. Such a monitoring can be done [...] Read more.
The monitoring of restoration and forestation is essential to reduce future drought and flood risk as well as ongoing carbon sequestration projects in Iceland. This is especially relevant for Iceland’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2040. Such a monitoring can be done by using the state-of-art remote sensing technology, using remotely sensed data and digital mapping approaches. The LanDeg project will use free Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) data to map soil degradation, restoration and ongoing forestation efforts to assess carbon sequestration. For this purpose, we will validate GIS and RS data analysis with field mapping of vegetation and soil cover in a restored area in southern Iceland. The validated GIS and RS analysis will be used to assess restoration efforts and trends in vegetation cover in the area. Subsequently, the changes in the vegetation cover will be used to assess the carbon sequestration rate. Based on these results we will identify best-restoration and carbon sequestration practices. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Negotiating Land for Flood Using an Environmental Citizenship Approach
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030040 - 24 Dec 2019
Viewed by 277
Abstract
Flooding is a wide-range natural hazard that noticeably damages property, people, and the environment. In the context of climate change, the integration of spatial planning with flood-risk management has gained prominence as an approach to mitigating the risks of flooding. Land use is [...] Read more.
Flooding is a wide-range natural hazard that noticeably damages property, people, and the environment. In the context of climate change, the integration of spatial planning with flood-risk management has gained prominence as an approach to mitigating the risks of flooding. Land use is regulated through various mixes of top-down laws, regulations and governance structures and sets of locally based practices that can vary widely across localities and contexts. These under-researched aspects can often make the difference between success and failure in implementing new insights and proposals for better nature-based and diverse technological solutions for flood storage. Generally, water management has first dealt with technical and hydrological issues before addressing land management, and then found implementation to be hampered by the lack of land management approaches. Land owners/users are often regarded as mere recipients of water management, not as key stakeholders. Most existing research initiatives on water-related risks focus on technical or hydrological aspects, forecasting, disaster management, or institutional governance aspects. Approaches for collaborating with private land users to realize mitigation and adaptation measures on private land are lacking both in theory and practice. The absence of dialogue tools and collaborative approaches, lack of access to integrated and high-quality information and technologies and tools to use information, are among the factors that impede this integration. Limited research has been conducted to develop a framework and to investigate the interplay between involvement, information and technologies in this integration. These shortcomings could be resolved through an integrated approach which can be based on the features and characteristics of an environmental citizenship. Based on the definition provided by ENEC, an environmental citizen has the necessary knowledge, skills, values, and beliefs to effective public participation and stakeholders’ engagement in solving controversial environmental problems and therefore to negotiate land for flood within a sustainable context. Starting from the definitions of environmental citizen and environmental citizenship, this paper will try to provide an approach for smoothening the process of negotiating land for flood as a key tool for mitigating the risk of flooding through sustainable cooperation with land users. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Effects of Vineyard Inter-Row Management on Soils, Roots and Shallow Landslides Probability in the Apennines, Lombardy, Italy
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030041 - 25 Dec 2019
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Cultivation of grapevines in sloping soils is very widespread all over the world, representing also a fundamental branch of the local economy of several hilly zones. Vineyards can be managed in different ways especially the inter-rows. These management practices may influence deeply soil [...] Read more.
Cultivation of grapevines in sloping soils is very widespread all over the world, representing also a fundamental branch of the local economy of several hilly zones. Vineyards can be managed in different ways especially the inter-rows. These management practices may influence deeply soil properties and grapevine root development. Therefore, this work aims to analyze the effects of different agronomical practices of inter-rows on soil properties, grapevine root systems and proneness towards shallow landslides. We focused on traditional agricultural techniques of tillage and permanent grass cover as well as the alternation of these two practices between adjacent inter-rows. The studied parameters were: (i) soil physical and hydrological properties; (ii) soil biodiversity; (iii) root density; (iv) root mechanical properties and root reinforcement; (v) probability of occurrence of shallow landslides. The research was conducted in several test-sites of the Oltrepò Pavese (Lombardy region, north-western Italy), one of the most important Italian zones for wine production in northern Italian Apennines. Among the examined soil properties, soil hydraulic conductivity was the most influenced one by different soil management practices. The absence of soil tillage allowed to increase superficial (first 0.2 m of soil) hydraulic conductivity, as a consequence of higher macroporosity and amount in organic matter. Within the soil biological features, soil microarthropod communities showed more complexity where permanent grass cover or alternation management of the inter-rows were applied. Regarding the features of the grapevine root system, vineyards with alternation management of inter-rows had the highest root density and the strongest root reinforcement, of up to 45% in comparison to permanent grass cover, and up to 67–73% in comparison to tilled vineyards. As a consequence, slopes with medium steepness (10–18°) were unstable if inter-rows of vineyards were tilled, while vineyards with permanent grass cover or alternation in the inter rows promoted the stability of slopes with higher steepness (> 21–25° for vineyards with permanent grass cover in the inter rows, 28–33° for vineyards with alternation). The results of this study yielded important information to establish effective management practices of vineyards such as conserving organic matter and reducing slope instabilities by a better development of the root apparatus. Possible land use managements acting as mitigation measures for shallow landslides susceptibility could be also implemented. This work was supported by the project Oltrepò BioDiverso, funded by Fondazione Cariplo in the frame of AttivAree Program. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Integrating Satellite Soil Moisture and Rainfall Data on a Data-Driven Model for the Assessment of Shallow Landslides Hazard
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030042 - 25 Dec 2019
Viewed by 300
Abstract
Shallow landslides are very dangerous phenomena, widespread all over the world, which could provoke significant damages to buildings, roads, facilities, cultivations and, sometimes, loss of human lives. It is then necessary assessing the most prone zones in a territory which is particularly susceptible [...] Read more.
Shallow landslides are very dangerous phenomena, widespread all over the world, which could provoke significant damages to buildings, roads, facilities, cultivations and, sometimes, loss of human lives. It is then necessary assessing the most prone zones in a territory which is particularly susceptible to these phenomena and the frequency of the events, according to the return time of the triggering events, which generally correspond to intense and concentrated rainfalls. Susceptibility and hazard of a territory are usually assessed by means of physically-based models, that quantify the hydrological and the mechanical responses of the slopes according to particular rainfall amounts. Whereas, these methodologies could be applied in a reliable way in little catchments, where geotechnical and hydrological features of the materials affected by shallow failures are homogeneous. Moreover, physically-based models require, sometimes, significant computation power, which limit their implementations at regional scale. Data-driven models could overcome both of these limitations, even if they are generally built up taking into only the predisposing factors of shallow instabilities. Thus, they allow usually to estimate the susceptibility of a territory, without considering the frequency of the triggering events. It is then required to consider also triggering factors of shallow landslides to allow these methods to estimate also the hazard. This work presents the preliminary results of the development and the implementation of data-driven model able to estimate the hazard of a territory towards shallow landslides. The model is based on a Genetic Algorithm Model (GAM), which links geomorphological, hydrological, geological and land use predisposing factors to triggering factors of shallow failures. These triggering factors correspond to the soil moisture content and to the rainfall amounts, which are available for entire a study area thanks to satellite measures. The methodological approach is testing in different catchments of 30–40 km2 located in Oltrepò Pavese area (northern Italy), where detailed inventories of shallow landslides occurred during past triggering events and corresponding satellite soil moisture and rainfall maps are available. This work was made in the frame of the ANDROMEDA project, funded by Fondazione Cariplo. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
The Perception of Stakeholders to Implement Nature-Based Solution for Flood Protection in the Balkans and in Iceland
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030043 - 26 Dec 2019
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Recent climate change observations and projections reveal an intensification of weather patterns, leading to severe floods and droughts in most parts of the world. The intensification of weather patterns could mitigate the effectiveness of flood protection infrastructures such as dams, levees and flood [...] Read more.
Recent climate change observations and projections reveal an intensification of weather patterns, leading to severe floods and droughts in most parts of the world. The intensification of weather patterns could mitigate the effectiveness of flood protection infrastructures such as dams, levees and flood channels. Numerous studies have highlighted the superior effect of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in order to manage and mitigate the hydro-meteorological risk generated by an intensified water cycle. In particular, Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) can prove to be efficient, sustainable and flexible solutions. NWRMs reduce flood events, mitigate flood damage and provide biological habitats for the conservation of local flora and fauna. Accordingly, NWRM should be implemented on a large scale throughout the river basins with the close involvement of local stakeholders and landowners. For this purpose, we assessed the perception of stakeholders and landowners of applying NWRM on private properties in four European countries (Iceland, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slovenia). Country-specific semi-quantitative questionnaires were created for representative watersheds in all four countries. The questionnaires took into account that floods are characterized by the country-specific precipitation, topography of the terrain and the nature of the watercourse. Therefore different NWRMs were recommended between the countries. Based on the preliminary analysis, we have concluded similar outcomes for all four states: Landowners want to cooperate with local communities and governments in order to adopt flood protection measures. They pointed to NWRM as equally important as an engineering-based solution, but they are not particularly willing to implement NWRM on their private lands. Landowners indicate that the government should have at least a 75% share in financing flood protection measures. The similarities of the results in the four countries reveal that a Pan-European perception might be generated by conducting similar surveys in other European countries. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Nature-Based Solution for Flood and Drought Risk Reduction in Southern Iceland
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030044 - 26 Dec 2019
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Ecosystems that are in equilibrium provide vital resources to local inhabitants, including protection from naturally occurring disasters. [...] Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Automatic Monitoring of a Community Backyard Composting Program
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030045 - 26 Dec 2019
Viewed by 305
Abstract
The increase of source-separation of bio-waste, largely represented by food waste, and their subsequent biological treatment, is essential in waste management strategy. Aerobic and biological composting of bio-waste is a process that requires experience and technical skills, thus backyard composting can be a [...] Read more.
The increase of source-separation of bio-waste, largely represented by food waste, and their subsequent biological treatment, is essential in waste management strategy. Aerobic and biological composting of bio-waste is a process that requires experience and technical skills, thus backyard composting can be a challenging task for the average household, with failed attempts often leading to its abandonment. Here we present the development of an integrated system including a low-cost sensor, a smart phone application, and a cloud-based service that can assist in backyard composting. The system builds on the composting-as-a-service concept. Installed in a waterproof capsule, the sensor monitors temperature at the core of the compost pile and transmits the readings to a smartphone application using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Based on compost temperature readings and a data feed of environmental parameters, a cloud-based service provides insight on the status of the composting process and advice for manual intervention. By supplying timely information for compost pile management, the system can increase the potential for producing a high-quality compost soil amendment and therefore the probability that backyard composting is adopted by the user. In the context of the backyard composting activity of the UIA A2UFood Project, the system is tested in a community of 100 households in Heraklion, Crete, and preliminary results are presented. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Modelling and Multi-Criteria Analysis of Anaerobic Digestion Process to Get Upgraded Methane from Bio-Residues in the City of Reykjavik
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030046 - 27 Dec 2019
Viewed by 264
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion of urban organic wastes, farming slurries or sewage sludge is a common practice in waste treatment plants. In the city of Reykjavik, the organic waste fraction constituted by 60% of biomass and 40% of food waste will be transformed by the [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion of urban organic wastes, farming slurries or sewage sludge is a common practice in waste treatment plants. In the city of Reykjavik, the organic waste fraction constituted by 60% of biomass and 40% of food waste will be transformed by the local waste company SORPA providing biofuel for up to 10% of the cars. Such measures belong to the 2018-2030 Climate Action Plan from the Icelandic Government. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Bio-waste to Bio-plastic (B2B): Production of Compostable Bio-Plastics from Food Waste
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030047 - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 667
Abstract
The degree of purity of materials recovered from municipal solid waste (MSW) depends mainly on the objective: the intended use of the recovered material and the cost to recover this material in its pure form, determined by the intensity of the effort and [...] Read more.
The degree of purity of materials recovered from municipal solid waste (MSW) depends mainly on the objective: the intended use of the recovered material and the cost to recover this material in its pure form, determined by the intensity of the effort and the technology involved. The Bio-waste to Bio-plastic (B2B) Project aims to develop an integrated separation process at the bio-waste source, focusing on Hospitality Units. The quality of the collected bio-waste will be upgraded by removing foreign bodies or even specific categories of food waste, or by adding bio-waste from other, more specialized, sources (e.g. bakery residues) to produce compostable bio-plastics through an optimal synthesis process. Compostable bio-plastics are high added value products, which justify an increase in the cost of the preceding processes. After examining the possibility of further source separation and its results, B2B will study the optimal collection and transport system which decisively affects many qualitative elements, testing and evaluating a relatively high-cost but highly effective solution, that of hand-sorting in order to optimize materials recovery. B2B will identify all the parameters of the production process of PLA monomers and (poly) lactic acid in relation to the quality characteristics of the raw material (bio-waste) collected from Hospitality Units. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of food waste (bio-waste) produced in Hospitality Units will then take place. All the above will be tested on a bench-scale unit that will allow their further study and their substantial improvement, as well as the extraction of realistic results. Finally, the effect of the end-product bio-plastic on the composting and anaerobic digestion of bio-waste will be examined. The expected results from the B2B implementation are an optimized source separation scheme for Hospitality Units, the identification of the appropriate method of upgrading the quality of residues collected for the purpose of bio-plastic production, and eventually an integrated process of converting bio-waste into a high added value product. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Impacts of Wildfires on Hydrological Ecosystem Services
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030048 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 267
Abstract
Forest and natural landscapes are usually considered to provide increased hydrological services over agriculture due to increased vegetation cover. Natural vegetation is expected to protect soils against erosion, regulate floods by increasing litter and soil water retention and decreased sediment yield. Afforestation is [...] Read more.
Forest and natural landscapes are usually considered to provide increased hydrological services over agriculture due to increased vegetation cover. Natural vegetation is expected to protect soils against erosion, regulate floods by increasing litter and soil water retention and decreased sediment yield. Afforestation is therefore used to control floods and prevent soil degradation, and water supplies are usually taken from forested watersheds. In the second half of the XXth century, agricultural abandonment in the northern rim of the Mediterranean led to extensive afforestation and renaturalization, and Mediterranean landscapes are now assumed to provide more hydrological services than before. However, Mediterranean forests are also prone to wildfires, which destroy the vegetation cover, changes soil properties with decreased soil water retention and create a highly mobile ash layer which can contaminate streams. These impacts temporarily negate the hydrological ecosystem services forests normally provided; and in regions subjected to frequent and recurring fires, it is possible that the long-term service provisioning is severely impacted. Nevertheless, forest management strategies ranging from emergency post-fire stabilization measures to structural landscape management can help mitigate these issues and prevent ecosystem service disruptions in fire-prone forests. This presentation will address this issue from a Mediterranean perspective, starting with an overview of post-fire impacts and consequences, and presenting results for a humid Mediterranean fire-prone area. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Testing the Use of Forest Soil δ13C Shifts as a Post-Fire Index for Soil Burn Severity Estimation
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030049 - 03 Feb 2020
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Due to the increasing number and virulence of forest wildfires recently observed around the world, the establishment of a simple, accurate and reliable index that would correctly evaluate the fire effects on soil quality as a support for a suitable forest recovery management [...] Read more.
Due to the increasing number and virulence of forest wildfires recently observed around the world, the establishment of a simple, accurate and reliable index that would correctly evaluate the fire effects on soil quality as a support for a suitable forest recovery management is becoming progressively more necessary. This objective is addressed here by using both δ13C isotope ratio mass spectrometry and traditional solvent fractionation methods (widely used to assess soil biogenic components or humus fractions) to quantify the temperature-induced changes in soil chemical and isotopic composition. Soil samples from the upper 5 cm layer of two Cambisols developed over granite under pine forest in the NW of Spain were heated in an oven under controlled conditions to attain moderate or intense soil burn severity levels by using two different temperatures (220 °C or 350 °C). Biochemical changes induced by the heating process appreciably differed according to the intensity of the temperature applied. Multilinear regression modelling not only showed a significant relationship between soil C isotopic signature shifts (Δsoil δ13C) with temperature increases but also revealed other key outcomes: i.e., >96 or >81% of its total variance can be predicted by changes in lignin or non-humified organic matter, respectively. Indeed, Δsoil δ13C explained by itself ≈60% of thermal variance, pointing to the aptness of using 13C shifts as a valid index for soil burn severity estimation in wildfires. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Potential Impacts of Agroforestry on Controlling Soil Degradation by Water Erosion in the Agricultural Lands of Foothills North-West of Dahra (Mostaganem, Algeria)
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030050 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 286
Abstract
Located in the North-West of Algeria, the foothills of Dahra are affected by the problems of water erosion where agricultural soils are under severe degradation due to the mismatch influence between a semi-arid climate and the prevailing cropping systems presenting a threat to [...] Read more.
Located in the North-West of Algeria, the foothills of Dahra are affected by the problems of water erosion where agricultural soils are under severe degradation due to the mismatch influence between a semi-arid climate and the prevailing cropping systems presenting a threat to sustainable rural development in the region. After a survey on the field, a localization and prioritization of different agroforestry systems (AFS) practiced, an overview bioclimatic and physico-chemical analyzes of soil has been made for comparison between systems. The results show that in the absence of systems with consistent vegetation cover, the foothills soils located on slopes even weak undergoing a harmful human activities have become the prey of rainwater. Given that it doesn't exist at agricultural exploitations level a miracle system for the development and the soils and water management, the association of trees with crops (AFS) allowed in certain situations to improve soils protection, their humidity, their fertility and the socioeconomic situation of farmers. As well, the analysis of statements on the tree resource of agricultural exploitations we has allowed to assess the agroforestry systems efficiency awaited, considering their inappropriate management. As the fight against water erosion is only an aspect of soils and water conservation, the agroforestry considered in its largest sense must contain at the same time, the control of water erosion by a permanent plant cover, the maintaining soils fertility and the biodiversity to ensure a sustainable foothills agriculture which depends on the maintenance of rural populations. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Diversifying Steep Slope Viticulture—Towards a Sustainable Intensive Agriculture?
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030051 - 23 Mar 2020
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Viticulture is a land use system with a high impact on the environment and the landscape due to the high input of energy and material for soil and plant management. Reducing the input would help to reduce both, the environmental and economic costs, [...] Read more.
Viticulture is a land use system with a high impact on the environment and the landscape due to the high input of energy and material for soil and plant management. Reducing the input would help to reduce both, the environmental and economic costs, and consequently, increase the sustainability of this crop production. In Germany, especially in the Mosel area, vineyards are also part of the cultural heritage and substantial part of the touristic appeal, especially those located on steep slopes with shallow soils developed on Devonian slate. Within the last decades, the economic sustainability of the vineyards and cellars have been on the focus, by applying land consolidation, increasing the use of machinery and rationalisation of plant protection by e.g. spraying pesticides with helicopters. However, the awareness of the consequences of this kind of high intensive viticulture has also lead to changes in some paradigms, especially regarding soil protection: greening of the lane and selective traffic of machines is becoming more and more widespread, and there is a slowly growing community of wine cellars applying organic production. A careful management of the vegetation within the traffic lanes, and recently the implementation of plants underneath the grapevines is meant to increase soil quality and to reduce the risk of erosion. Here, we will present the concept developed within the EU-H2020 project Diverfarming (H2020-RUR-2016-2/728003), where aromatic herbs (Thymus vulgaris, Origanum vulgare) have been planted underneath grapevines. The purpose is to suppress the growth of plants fostering diseases, to reduce soil disturbance and thus, to increase soil quality as well as to stabilize it against soil erosion. A holistic approach is adopted, as the analysis and monitoring covers plant growth, soil parameters up to product quality and a value chain analysis. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Use of Stable Isotope Techniques for Research of Diffuse Nitrate Sources in Groundwater
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030052 - 23 Mar 2020
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Nitrate leaching into groundwater is a serious issue in many parts of the world. Usually agricultural use of fertilizers is blamed to be the main source of pollution, but other human activities, like leaky or inexistent sewage systems can also be important in [...] Read more.
Nitrate leaching into groundwater is a serious issue in many parts of the world. Usually agricultural use of fertilizers is blamed to be the main source of pollution, but other human activities, like leaky or inexistent sewage systems can also be important in this regard. The aim of this study is to assess nitrate transport from soil to ground and surface waters with nuclear techniques. Two study sites were chosen—both featuring agricultural production in vulnerable areas of alluvial plains. Shallow groundwater below the surface is the main source of drinking water in both areas. Stable isotope techniques provide an innovative and unique methodology to trace and monitor the movement of nitrates (organic and inorganic) from the soil to ground and surface waters and to determine possible sources. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Transformation of Hotel Food Waste into Animal Feed: Two Operational Periods of the Food for Feed Pilot Unit
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030053 - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Food waste represents 25–35% of the European Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) [1], thus its diversion into innovative utilization streams is critical for sustainable waste management and the achievement of circularity. [...] Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Quality Characterization of Mediterranean Areas under Desertification Risk for the Implementation of Management Schemes Aimed at Land Degradation Neutrality
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030054 - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 395
Abstract
Soil is a key component of ecosystems as it provides fundamental ecosystem functions and services, first of all supporting primary productivity, by physical, chemical and biological interaction with plants. However, soil loss and degradation are at present two of the most critical environmental [...] Read more.
Soil is a key component of ecosystems as it provides fundamental ecosystem functions and services, first of all supporting primary productivity, by physical, chemical and biological interaction with plants. However, soil loss and degradation are at present two of the most critical environmental issues. This phenomenon is particularly critical in Mediterranean areas, where inappropriate land management, in combination with the increasingly harshening of climatic conditions due to Climate Change, is leading to significant land degradation and desertification and is expected to worsen in the future, leading to economic and social crisis. In such areas, it is of fundamental importance to apply sustainable management practices, as conservation/restoration measures, to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality. This approach is at the core of the LIFE project Desert-Adapt “Preparing desertification areas for increased climate change” which is testing a new framework of sustainable land management strategies based on the key concept that the maintenance of ecosystems quality is necessarily connected to economic and social security in these fragile areas. The project will test adaptation strategies and measures in 10 sites of three Mediterranean areas under strong desertification risk, Alentejo in Portugal, Extremadura in Spain and Sicily in Italy. We present the baseline data of soil quality analysis from 32 sites in the 10 study areas of the project. Key drivers of soil quality and quantity were identified and used as basis to select sustainable management strategies focused on the maintenance, improvement and/or recovery of soil-based ecosystem services, with particular attention to climate change adaptation and land productivity. The final objective of the project is to demonstrate, according to the LDN approach, the best adaptation strategies to recover degraded areas from low-productive systems into resource-efficient and low-carbon economies to preserve ecosystem quality and booster economy and social security Full article
Open AccessAbstract
SPECTORS Structure and Goals
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030055 - 07 Apr 2020
Viewed by 201
Abstract
SPECTORS—“Sensor products for enterprises creating technological opportunities in airborne remote sensing”—is a project on civil applications with drones lasting from Sept. 2016 to July 2020. The international cooperation project with more than 30 partners from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public sector as [...] Read more.
SPECTORS—“Sensor products for enterprises creating technological opportunities in airborne remote sensing”—is a project on civil applications with drones lasting from Sept. 2016 to July 2020. The international cooperation project with more than 30 partners from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public sector as well as research institutions is aiming at economic development in the Dutch-German border region. It is financed by INTERREG-V-A Germany-Netherlands, a strong economic development instrument being supported by the “European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)”. The partners of SPECTORS are mainly located in the Euregio Rhine-Waal. In order to achieve the politically motivated economic development goals of the European Union, the entire project is completely tailored to support SMEs in product innovation and development. This is achieved through interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary cooperation between Dutch and German partners. The project partners Oost NL and RheWaTech are advising the SMEs on developing appropriate business models for their intended innovations. The Business Model Canvas together with business and technology readiness level measures are tools to plan and reflect business. The project internal consultants meet regularly with collaborating SMEs and their potential customers to force the business development process. The continuous involvement of business consultants being part of the consortium leads to an improved target orientation in the research & development project. SPECTORS covers a wide range of civil drone applications, such as environmental and nature conservation, agriculture, surveying, hyperspectral remote sensing, surveillance, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The extensive cooperation over the last years has resulted in a cross-border competence network, which already provides many companies and users in the region with uncomplicated and direct access to the diverse applications of drones in the civil sector. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Monitoring Geomorphic Change and Catchment Sediment Production to Understand the Erosive Dynamics in a Gullied Channel by Means of High-Resolution DEMs
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030056 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Gully erosion in valley bottoms is a frequent process with negative consequences in the dehesa environment. Soil loss, decrease of soil and descend in biomass are among the negative aftereffect of gully erosion processes. Studies conducted in agrosilvopastoral systems described the dynamics of [...] Read more.
Gully erosion in valley bottoms is a frequent process with negative consequences in the dehesa environment. Soil loss, decrease of soil and descend in biomass are among the negative aftereffect of gully erosion processes. Studies conducted in agrosilvopastoral systems described the dynamics of gullied channels by means of fixed topographic cross sections or with low spatial resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). Currently, high spatial and temporal resolution DEMs can be produced with spatially distributed information due to the development of new systems, platforms and sensors. Additionally, the rainfall and sediment discharge could also be monitored. This control allows us to relate gully erosion with catchment hydrology. The goals are (1) to quantify the sediment budgets by the spatio-temporal distribution of erosion and/or deposition in the gullied channel, (2) to interpret the geomorphic processes driving erosion and deposition and (3) to analyze the relationship between the morphological change and the catchment runoff and the sediment load. The studied area is a gullied channel located in the SW Iberian Peninsula and developed over a recent sedimentary deposit. The channel reaches an extension of 1 km in length and 2 m in depth. The methodology included the following steps: (1) flying the same study area with different time periods using a fixed-wing small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) to capture high-resolution aerial images and surveying Ground Control Points (GCPs) using a GNSS, (2) Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry processing using the acquired images and the GCPs to produce high-resolution DEMs for each date, (3) Applying the DEMs of difference approach to estimate topographic changes and to quantify the sediment budget and finally (4) analyzing the relationship between rainfall events, discharge, sediment load and changes in the channel previously estimated. Resulting DEMs and orthophotographs showed a Ground Sampling Distance of 0.02 m with a georeferencing Root Mean Square Error of 0.03 m. A spatially variable threshold (to differentiate actual geomorphic change from noise or errors) was produced using a Fuzzy Inference System and considering photogrammetric errors, slope and vegetation as factors. The applied method proved to be suitable to interpret the geomorphic changes for the gullied channel. For the 2016–2018 period, the gully showed a positive balance indicating accumulation of sediments coming from the hillslopes of the catchment. It is the period with the highest rainfall when numerous events generated runoff. On the contrary, for the period 2018–2019 a total soil loss of −119 m3 was estimated. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Structural Shifts Caused by Land Management Practices
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030057 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Long-term agricultural practices have been shown to affect soil hydro-physical properties in multiple ways. They affect the stability and distribution of soil aggregates leading to changes in water retention, bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, and porosity. Aggregate stability is an indicator of the resilience [...] Read more.
Long-term agricultural practices have been shown to affect soil hydro-physical properties in multiple ways. They affect the stability and distribution of soil aggregates leading to changes in water retention, bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, and porosity. Aggregate stability is an indicator of the resilience of aggregates to external forces. Unstable aggregates can change rapidly under different land management practices and meteorological conditions. Μacro-aggregates (>250 μm) are formed more rapidly and are often more sensitive to management changes. Here, four different long-term experiments, run by the SoilCare Horizon 2020 Project partners, were sampled and analyzed, in order to evaluate the impact of different agricultural management practices in the water stability of soil aggregates and the fractions distribution. Different experiments selected, include control-conventional treatment and different treatments, which are considered soil improving. The treatments are about soil cultivation (conventional ploughing-control, zero tillage, minimum tillage, strip tillage, shallow tillage) and organic input (mineral fertilization-control, residue incorporation, farmyard manure) and are selected in areas with different climatic and soil conditions. Initial results indicate that treatments with less soil disturbance present more water stable aggregates (WSA) >250 μm and higher mean weight diameters (MWD), as well as the same trend following the treatments with increased organic input. According to Tukey’s Honest Significance test (p < 0.05), management practices are shown to have a significant impact on the WSA and MWD in most cases, but not all similar treatments in the different areas present the same results. The large macro-aggregates (>2 mm) seem to be greatly sensitive to soil cultivation, whereas the results for the small macro-aggregates (250 μm–2 mm) are controversial among the different tillage experiments. The different organic inputs seems to affect more the small macro-aggregates than the larger. The initial results indicate that the shifts in the soil structure cannot only be justified by the different management practices. The interrelationships and potential links with other soil properties like texture, bulk density, particulate organic matter and climate will be taken into account in further steps in order to understand the mechanisms behind the aggregation shifts. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Spatial Models Predictive of “Seca” Risk in Extremadura. Applications at Regional and Local Scale in Protected Natural Areas
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030058 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 256
Abstract
Rangeland (known as Dehesas or Montados) is a characteristic ecosystem of the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula that occupies approximately 3.5 million ha, representing the most important agrosilvopastoral system in Europe. Nowadays, this situation is changing, being under circumstances of threat due [...] Read more.
Rangeland (known as Dehesas or Montados) is a characteristic ecosystem of the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula that occupies approximately 3.5 million ha, representing the most important agrosilvopastoral system in Europe. Nowadays, this situation is changing, being under circumstances of threat due to different aspects that are causing degradation of holm oaks and cork oaks throughout the Iberian Peninsula. These problems are of various kinds, accentuating the disease or syndrome of seca, tree death caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi. For the development of death susceptibility models, maximum entropy algorithms (MAXENT) were used, often widely used in ecological niche models. In the development of models, a wide range of variables (dependents and predictive), both climatic or bioclimatic, geological or soil, vegetation and economic and geographical characteristics were used. The study was carried out at two scales, the Autonomous Community of Extremadura in its entirety, and another more specific work scale, such as seca focus in protected natural areas within the Natura 2000 Network. The regional model showed a total of 1,179,639 ha prone to be affected by this condition, among which, 383,339 ha showed a high potential risk level of seca presence. These models, carried out at local scale in 4 polygons selected within the Natura 2000 Network, showed more than 70% of the land surface studied as areas with risk of suffering seca. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Assessing Soil Crack Dynamics and Water Evaporation during Dryings of Agricultural Soil from Reduced Tillage and Conventional Tillage Fields
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030059 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 269
Abstract
Crack formation and development have been a general concern in agricultural science. Cracks contribute to soil aeration, aggregate formation, and easy root penetration. However, cracks accelerate soil desiccation, allow deep infiltration of pesticides/pollutants through preferential flow, and pollute the shallow water table in [...] Read more.
Crack formation and development have been a general concern in agricultural science. Cracks contribute to soil aeration, aggregate formation, and easy root penetration. However, cracks accelerate soil desiccation, allow deep infiltration of pesticides/pollutants through preferential flow, and pollute the shallow water table in Belgium. Cracks have mostly been studied in pure clay or in high-clay-content soil (Vertisol). Yet, in Wallonia, cracks were also present on silt–loam soil (Luvisol). This study tried to cover this gap by analysing crack dynamics and evaporation process, during drying kinetics of the Luvisol. Soils were collected directly from the agricultural field and processed on a small drying chamber in which an evaporation test took place. A ceramic IR emitter heated the chamber while sensors (DHT22) measured the temperature and relative humidity. A digital camera took photos of the soil surface at 30-min intervals. A balance and tensiometer were linked to a datalogger (CR800), and recorded the soil hydraulic properties (evaporation rate, etc.). Cracks were assessed from small samples (~5 cm × 1cm thick) and big samples (~20 cm size × 1.6 cm thick). Three treatments were considered, including disturbed soil, conventional tillage and reduced tillage. For big samples, results showed higher crack formation on disturbed soil > reduced tillage > conventional tillage, due to loose soil cohesion, soil organic content, soil aggregation, biological activities, and soil porosity. The soil evaporation rate was also greater in disturbed soil > reduced tillage > conventional tillage. Cracks opening exposed a large quantity of soil water to the atmosphere without it passing through the soil matrix. For small samples, the repetitive drying experiments increased cracks’ length and width, especially for the dense samples. The results indicated the presence of pre-existing (or micro-) cracks in the soil samples. Future study is needed to assess the presence of pre- (micro-) cracks in soil using X-ray microtomography. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Contamination by Pharmaceutical Pollutants: Adsorption of an Antibiotic (Amoxicillin) on an Agricultural Land
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030060 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Antibiotics are prescribed in human and veterinary medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases. They are also widely used for animal farming, aquaculture and agriculture. Antibiotics are not fully absorbed and metabolized and are therefore, often excreted unmodified. As sewage plants are not [...] Read more.
Antibiotics are prescribed in human and veterinary medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases. They are also widely used for animal farming, aquaculture and agriculture. Antibiotics are not fully absorbed and metabolized and are therefore, often excreted unmodified. As sewage plants are not equipped to remove these drugs from wastewater, antibiotics may be discharged into the environment and reach the soil in many ways. The pharmaceutical industry, hospital and municipal wastewater containing antibiotics may be used for irrigation and animal manure, whilst sewage sludge and biosolids are frequently used as fertilizers for agricultural lands. This allows antibiotics to contaminate soil, ground water and the entire food chain. The major concern about antibiotics in the environment is their contribution to the resistance development in human and animal pathogens that can lead to a serious threat to human health. There are several procedures that determine the fate of antibiotics in soil such as transport, leaching, plant uptake, photodegradation, biodegradation and adsorption. The adsorption of these drugs into the soil depends on its physico-chemical characteristics (Cation Exchange Capacity, pH, permeability, iron oxide content, etc.), texture, organic matter and climate conditions. However, the assessment of the literature shows that more studies need to be carried out on the occurrence, fate and risks associated with antibiotics in the soil. For this purpose, the adsorption of an antibiotic widely used in human and veterinary medicine (amoxicillin) in an agricultural soil was studied. This experimental study was carried out in order to investigate the influence of several parameters: the contact time, the initial antibiotic concentration, the pH and the temperature on the contamination risk of soil by adsorption. These experiments showed that the adsorption of amoxicillin in soil is rapid. For a liquid/solid ratio of 10 L/kg and an initial antibiotic concentration of 10 ppm, the adsorption equilibrium was reached within 20 minutes and the maximum amount of amoxicillin adsorbed was of 23 mg/kg. The adsorption kinetics were well described by the pseudo-first-order model and exhibited a three-stage intra-particle diffusion mode. The adsorption capacity of soil increased with the initial antibiotic concentration (from 10 to 100 ppm) and the relative adsorption isotherm (type II) was in accordance with the Guggenheim-Anderson-deBroer model. The adsorption of amoxicillin was improved in the acidic medium. The thermodynamic study showed that the adsorption of amoxicillin in soil was a physical process. The overall study shows that amoxicillin is a potential contaminant for soil. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Raindrop Influence on the Soil Surface
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030061 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 200
Abstract
Soil erosion through various water processes is a worldwide problem. This research is focused on raindrops’ impact on soil surfaces, which is generally considered the initial stage of the erosion process. Splash erosion monitoring was conducted across three experimental sites: Petzenkirchen, Mistelbach (Austria) [...] Read more.
Soil erosion through various water processes is a worldwide problem. This research is focused on raindrops’ impact on soil surfaces, which is generally considered the initial stage of the erosion process. Splash erosion monitoring was conducted across three experimental sites: Petzenkirchen, Mistelbach (Austria) and Prague (Czech Republic). At each site, the rainfall characteristics (intensity and kinetic energy) were measured by rain gauges and disdrometers, and the impacts on soils (soil loss, soil surface consolidation, changes in soil surface roughness) were evaluated. Several disturbed soil samples with an area of 78.5 cm2 were placed into splash cups prior to each event. The splash cup collects the soil particles that are splashed out of the sample area when a raindrop hits the soil surface. The collected sediment suspension is processed in the laboratory after each event to determine the lost soil mass. Ground photogrammetry was utilized to determine the surface consolidation of a sample caused by a given rainfall event. Results for more than 500 soil samples were included in this study. Relationships between kinetic energy, rainfall intensity and soil loss and consolidation were evaluated. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Link between Land Use and Flood Risk Assessment in Urban Areas
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030062 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 221
Abstract
The densification of urban areas has raised concerns over increased pluvial flooding. Flood risk in urban areas might increase under the impact of land use changes. Urbanisation involves the conversion of natural areas to impermeable areas, causing lower infiltration rates and increased runoff. [...] Read more.
The densification of urban areas has raised concerns over increased pluvial flooding. Flood risk in urban areas might increase under the impact of land use changes. Urbanisation involves the conversion of natural areas to impermeable areas, causing lower infiltration rates and increased runoff. When high-intensity rainfall exceeds the capacity of an urban drainage system, the runoff causes pluvial flooding in low-laying areas. In the present study, a long time series (i.e., 20 years) of geo-referenced flood claims from property owners has been collected and analysed in detail to assess flood risk as it relates to land use changes in urban areas. The flood claim data come from property owners with flood insurance that covers property loss from overland flooding, groundwater intrusion through basement walls, as well as flooding from drainage systems; these data serve as a proxy of flood severity. The spatial relationships between land use change and flood occurrences in different urban areas were analysed. Special emphasis was placed on examining how nature-based solutions and blue-green infrastructure relate to flood risk. The relationships are defined by a statistical method explaining the tendencies whereby land use change affects flood risk. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Challenges and Opportunities Facing Light Pollution: Smart Light-Hub Interreg
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030063 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Light pollution is a well-known problem because of its negative impacts on human health, flora, and fauna. From an ecological and engineering point of view, the literature states to consider the following aspects: (1) the light intensity; (2) the composition of the spectrum; [...] Read more.
Light pollution is a well-known problem because of its negative impacts on human health, flora, and fauna. From an ecological and engineering point of view, the literature states to consider the following aspects: (1) the light intensity; (2) the composition of the spectrum; (3) the time and duration of lighting to optimize the time of illumination with the available technologies; (4) the periods of lighting and the control cone; (5) the height and spacing between the light sources to optimize the space between the light sources, to reduce the flow of light and unnecessary energy consumption; (6) the environmental impact studies on-site; and (7) the analysis of real needs and less standardized approaches, examining the evolution of use and habits of light consumption. Accordingly, we want to present the SMART LIGHT-HUB (INTERREG) project, which pretends, during the next 3 years (2019–2021), to deliver smart lighting systems to reach the widest possible public, such as companies active in the relevant subject areas. We are setting up an R&D network in the Grande Région (Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and France) to facilitate the emergence of new collective solutions to needs that are not addressed in the private and public sectors, in terms of lighting. We are planning exchange workshops, which serve to complete the project, concerning the interested parties on the ground (public authorities, chambers of commerce and industry, local authorities, public–private sector, private companies, etc.) and external participants representing the final consumers. We also want to work on restoring a protected nighttime environment (i.e., continuous areas of “nocturnal/black corridors” for animals that cannot tolerate artificial light). Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Development and Preliminary Results from the Testbed Infrastructure of the DRIP Project
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030064 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 229
Abstract
Striving to tackle a common water resource scarcity problem, the Drip Irrigation Precise (DRIP) Project aims to develop a state-of-the-art integrated system that will optimize tree crop irrigation (Petousi et al. 2018). To this end, we have developed 5 free lysimeters measuring 3 [...] Read more.
Striving to tackle a common water resource scarcity problem, the Drip Irrigation Precise (DRIP) Project aims to develop a state-of-the-art integrated system that will optimize tree crop irrigation (Petousi et al. 2018). To this end, we have developed 5 free lysimeters measuring 3 m in height and 3 m in diameter, each with a total effective volume of ca. 20 m3. Lysimeters were planted with 5 10-year-old olive trees, including their root ball to a depth of 1 m, monolithically transplanted from the experimental olive orchard of the Hellenic Mediterranean University, Greece. The remaining volume was layered with soil from the same source and a gravel filter to allow leaching. Each lysimeter is equipped with IoT sensors relevant to the modeling of the soil-plant-water system; 12 measuring soil moisture, temperature, and electrical conductivity, and one measuring leachate flow. Additionally, meteorological parameters are monitored for the entire infrastructure. Sensors provide real time data to an on-line system, through a network of 15 telecommunication nodes that, together with an edge-gateway, form a local wireless 6LoWPAN mesh network, thus implementing a state-of-the-art Internet of Things (IoT) system. Experimental data collected from the lysimeters are used to model water movement using the HYDRYS 2D/3D model. Modeling output will be used for the development the commercial DRIP system, an advanced irrigation scheduler designed for the harsh conditions of the agricultural environment that utilizes feedback from environmental sensors for optimal irrigation. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
The Role of Fire in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030065 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 350
Abstract
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations do not mention Fire as a key factor in achieving an environmentally-friendly human society. This paper reviews the key aspects of the impact of fire that make it necessary to update the SDGs. Upon [...] Read more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations do not mention Fire as a key factor in achieving an environmentally-friendly human society. This paper reviews the key aspects of the impact of fire that make it necessary to update the SDGs. Upon reviewing the scientific literature, it was found that fire has been part of the Earth System for the last 400 million years, and that it is part of biogeochemical cycles. From a geological perspective, fire shaped the current Earth System. Humans have used fire in the last million years as hunter-gatherers, and the last Pleistocene period evolved with the presence of fire. Since the Neolithic revolution, humankind spread the use of fire, without which agriculture would not have progressed as it did. Fire is still used today as a tool to clear forests, scrublands and meadows in order to establish agriculture fields. To achieve the SDGs, we cannot ignore the role of fire. Fire should be present, as it is part of the geological cycle of the planet; it is part of rural culture and plays a key role in hydrological, erosional and biological cycles. We discuss the following issues related to fire in connection with the SDGs: (i) biota; (ii) soil properties; (iii) carbon cycle; (iv) sediment and water yield; (v) air and water pollution; and (vi) risk assessment. We conclude that: (i) fire is key to flora and fauna diversity; (ii) soil properties are temporally changed after exposure to fire; (iii) the carbon cycle is disturbed by fire, but the long-term impact can be a reduction in the CO2 content in the atmosphere; (iv) sediment and water yield are enhanced by forest fires, but only during the period of disturbance; (v) air and water pollution are ephemeral; and (vi) the risk associated with fire necessitates careful planning. Prescribed fires may be part of the solution, but there is a need to educate citizens on the role that fire plays. More research is necessary due to the diversity of the biomass and the complex history of fire on the planet. Fire is part of the Earth System and the SDGs should include it as a key element in their agenda. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Studying Land Use and Land Cover Spatial Patterns Distribution in Crete, Greece with Means of Satellite Remote Sensing
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030066 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 305
Abstract
Multi-temporal Land use and Land cover (LULC) monitoring is a crucial parameter for assessing an area’s landscape ecology regime. LULC changes can be effectively used to describe dynamics of both urban or rural environments and vegetation patterns as an important indicator of ecological [...] Read more.
Multi-temporal Land use and Land cover (LULC) monitoring is a crucial parameter for assessing an area’s landscape ecology regime. LULC changes can be effectively used to describe dynamics of both urban or rural environments and vegetation patterns as an important indicator of ecological environments. In this context, spatial land use properties can be quantified by using a set of landscape metrics. Landscape metrics capture inherent spatial structure of the environment and are used to enhance interpretation of spatial pattern of the landscape. This study aims to monitor diachronically the LULC regime of the island of Crete, Greece with the use of Landsat satellite imageries (Landsat 5, Landsat-7 and Landsat-8) in terms of soil erosion. For this reason, radiometric and atmospheric corrections are applied to all satellite products and unsupervised classification algorithms are used to develop detail LULC maps of the island. The LULC classes are developed by generalizing basic CORINE classes. Following, various landscape metrics are applied to estimate the temporal changes in LULC patterns of the island. The results denote that the diachronic research of spatial patterns evolution can effectively assist to the investigation of the structure, function and landscape pattern changes. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Comparison of Different Rainfall Erosion Estimation Methods for the Island of Crete
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030067 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Interactions between soil and rainfall plays a vital role in ecological, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles of land. Among those interactions, the phenomenon of rainfall induced soil erosion is crucial to the soil functions, as it affects the soil structure and organic matter content [...] Read more.
Interactions between soil and rainfall plays a vital role in ecological, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles of land. Among those interactions, the phenomenon of rainfall induced soil erosion is crucial to the soil functions, as it affects the soil structure and organic matter content that subsequently affects soil ability to hold moisture and nutrients. The erosive power of a specific rainfall event is regulated by its intensity and total duration. Various methodologies have been developed and tested to estimate the rainfall erosivity in different hydroclimatic regions and using different rainfall measuring timescales. Studies have shown that high temporal resolution measurements provide a more robust erosivity estimation. Nonetheless the sparsity and scarcity of such high temporal resolution data make the accurate estimation of rainfall erosivity difficult. Here, we compare different erosion power estimation methods based on different rainfall timescales for the island of Crete. Sub-daily (30-min) rainfall data based estimation is used as the basis for the assessment of a daily data based estimation methodology and two different methods that use monthly rainfall data. Modified Fournier Index (MFI) is incorporated in the study through different literature approaches and a regression equation is developed between rainfall erosivity power and MFI index for Crete. Results indicate that the use of daily data in the rainfall erosive power estimation is a good approximation of the sub-daily estimation, while formulas based on monthly rainfall data tend to exhibit larger deviations. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
FIRElinks. Fire in the Earth System: Science & Society
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030068 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
FIRElinks is a EU-spanning network of scientists and practitioners involved in forest fire research and land management with backgrounds such as fire dynamics, fire risk management, fire effects on vegetation, fauna, soil and water, and socio-economic, historical, geographical, political perception and land management [...] Read more.
FIRElinks is a EU-spanning network of scientists and practitioners involved in forest fire research and land management with backgrounds such as fire dynamics, fire risk management, fire effects on vegetation, fauna, soil and water, and socio-economic, historical, geographical, political perception and land management approaches. FIRElinks connect communities from different scientific and geographic backgrounds, allowing the discussion of different experiences and the emergence of new approaches to fire research. The main aim of FIRElinks is to power synergistic collaborations between European research groups and stakeholders with the objective to synthesise the existing knowledge and expertise, and to define a concerted research agenda which promotes an integrated approach to create fire-resilient landscapes, taking into account biological, biochemical and-physical, but also socio-economic, historical, geographical, sociological, perception and policy constraints. This is an urgent societal need due to expected further intensification and geographical spreading of wildfire regimes under Global Change. FIRElinks is composed of 35 European countries national representants (plus 10 non-EU countries members) and currently is registered 260 participants. Although based in the collaboration of scientists of different backgrounds and regions, the main objective is to share with stakeholders from different origins the past, present and future management of fire in agriculture, forest, scrub and grass lands. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessAbstract
Changes in Net Global Surface Water Area Since 1985
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030069 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Spatial and temporal characteristics of surface water resources (e.g., extension, connectivity, seasonality) are key elements in water allocation, climate and hydrological regulation, ecosystem functioning, and the food-energy-water nexus. Changes in surface water area due to losses/gains to land could strongly affect these processes [...] Read more.
Spatial and temporal characteristics of surface water resources (e.g., extension, connectivity, seasonality) are key elements in water allocation, climate and hydrological regulation, ecosystem functioning, and the food-energy-water nexus. Changes in surface water area due to losses/gains to land could strongly affect these processes on different scales. Previous findings on changes in the Earth’s surface water area are contradictory. Based on water–land year classification datasets, we estimated global surface water area changes between 1985–2000 and 2001–2015. We found a net global gain in surface water of 100,454 km2, attributable to a large net gain in seasonal water (83,329 km2) and a small net gain in permanent water (17,125 km2). In general, net changes were highly heterogeneous in space, with local exceptions of clear drying and wetting trends, e.g., the Aral Sea and Quill Lakes, respectively. These findings raise multiple questions as to why seasonal water gains dominate and how different intertwined drivers (e.g., hydroclimate and human-induced water–land use changes) shape the distribution of the Earth’s surface water. Understanding these long-term changes is essential to predicting water-related pressures and prioritizing management decisions. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Conciliating Traditional Green Manure Technique and Modern Precision Agriculture
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030070 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Currently the productivity of some European cropping systems is maintained artificially by increasing production factors like mineral fertilizers or pesticides in order to mask the loss of productivity resulting from soil quality degradation. Green manures are known as a good alternative to the [...] Read more.
Currently the productivity of some European cropping systems is maintained artificially by increasing production factors like mineral fertilizers or pesticides in order to mask the loss of productivity resulting from soil quality degradation. Green manures are known as a good alternative to the use of mineral fertilizers and pesticides. They are an important source of nitrogen and reduce significantly weed invasion. Nevertheless, the literature providing a precise quantification of total nutrients available for plants after incorporation of leguminous species cultivated in Portugal is scarce. This lake of knowledge’s makes farmers worried about hypothetic productivity loss, making them to use excessive complementary amounts of mineral fertilizer. Providing farmers with tools to calculated accurately the reduction of mineral fertilizer will increase their gain and avoid environmental pollution by nutrients lixiviation. Under the scope the international H2020 SoilCare project, a study was conducted during the winter and spring of 2018–2019 at Baixo Mondego valley in Central Portugal, where the main land use is the monoculture of irrigated corn. The nutrient uptake was determined for 5 species of legumes: pre-inoculated Pea (Pisum sativum L.); Yellow Lupin (Lupinus luteus), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense); Balansa Clover (Trifolium michelianum); Arrowleaf Clover (Trifolium vesiculosum) and a control (natural vegetation). For each treatment, we determined total dry matter yield for leguminous and weeds, macronutrients uptake (N and P Total, K, Na, Ca, Mg, S) and micronutrients uptake (Cu, Zn, Fe, Mn). Combining soil analyses, theoretical main crop needs in nutrients (short cycle grain maize) and mineralization rates, we calculated the precise amendment needed to obtain the expected yield of maize in what concerns the macronutrient. The production of total dry matter (leguminous and weeds) was very similar for the 5 treatments e.g., about 7 ton/ha. Nevertheless, considering leguminous production, the higher dry matter yields was obtain for the Arrowleaf Clover and the lower for the Red Clover respectively 5.5 and 3.5 ton/ha. The Macronutrient content (N,P,K) of the leguminous ranged between 22.9 and 28.0 g/kg for N, 2.4 and 3.1 g/kg for P and 12.1 and 31.5 g/kg for K. The Yellow Lupin presented the higher values of N, the clovers the higher values of P and K. The total quantity of macronutrients incorporated in the soil was in average 152 kg/ha for N, 20 kg/ha for P and 170 kg/ha for K with the higher quantities for Arrowleaf Clover. We considered a mineralization coefficient of 0.5 for N and 0.6 for P during the first year and a nutrient extraction of 280 kg/ha of N, 50 kg/ha of P and 245 kg/ha of K, for a production yield of 12 t/ha of corn grain. After correction of plant needs following the soil analyses results, we determinate an optimized fertilization rate of 180-40-0, were the green manure supplies about 35%, 25% and 100% of the NPK extraction of the grain maize. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
A Rainfall Simulator Laboratory Approach to Determine the Impact of Ash Depth on Runoff Generation and Soil Losses
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030071 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Ash cover the forest fire affected soil for some weeks or months and act as a key factor to determine the soil and water losses. Ash depth is researched here to determine how affect the soil detachment and the runoff generation. Seventy rainfall [...] Read more.
Ash cover the forest fire affected soil for some weeks or months and act as a key factor to determine the soil and water losses. Ash depth is researched here to determine how affect the soil detachment and the runoff generation. Seventy rainfall simulation experiments on paired 0.50 m2 plots (five plots with 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15- and 30-mm ash depth), and repeated one week later) under thunderstorms of 48 mmh-1 for one hour were carried out under laboratory conditions. In the first experiment, after the bed of ash was applied, the results show that ash depth determines the runoff rates as they reduce the discharge from 23.1% to 13.9%. The sediment concentration increased from 23.8 till 38.3 g L1, and the total soil erosion from 22.9 till 27.6 Mg ha1 y1. In the second experiment after the bed of ash was applied, the results show that runoff discharge was higher and moved from 43.2% till 55.33%. The sediment concentration increased from 13.8 till 18.9 g L1 and the total soil erosion slightly increased from 33.9 till 47.6 Mg ha1 y1. This research confirms that the fresh ash beds contribute to reduce the runoff losses and as deeper is the ash bed lower is the runoff discharge. However, the ash bed also acts as a source of sediments and as deep is the ash bed the runoff sediment concentration is higher. The soil erosion increased with the depth of the ash bed. After the simulated thunderstorms, the soils shown a reduction in their capacity to hold water due to the crust formation and runoff was enhanced. Sediment concentration is reduced due to the ash compaction and the final soil erosion rates increased as a consequence of the larger runoff discharge. This research demonstrates the highly dynamic response of the ash after the fire due to the wetting and drying processes after the thunderstorms. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Erosion as an Environmental Concern ... for Everyone?
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030072 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 253
Abstract
Nowadays, the scientific community is aware of the negative environmental impacts of soil erosion on ecosystem services. Soil erosion is one of the most important causes of land degradation because of its immediate influence of the most fertile topsoil parts. It is well-known [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the scientific community is aware of the negative environmental impacts of soil erosion on ecosystem services. Soil erosion is one of the most important causes of land degradation because of its immediate influence of the most fertile topsoil parts. It is well-known that questions related to who, what, why, where and when soil erosion causes negative impacts must be considered by stakeholders and policymakers. However, why do the Sustainable Development Goals tell anything about soil erosion? In this keynote, we will try to show the importance to develop tools which can be used to assess soil erosion to obtain convincing results for stakeholders and policymakers. According to this fact, we present some studies related to in situ soil erosion measures and assessments of human perception and economical approaches. We fully agree that these kinds of studies will greatly benefit the visibility, trust and diffusion of our results. What do you think about this question? Let me know your opinion. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Urbanization, Demographic Dynamics and implications for Land Resource Management in the Mediterranean Region: A New Step Ahead in Understanding of Regional Complexity
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030073 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 220
Abstract
While urbanization has been closely related to economic development and demographic change, heterogeneous patterns and processes of regional growth and change reflect the uneven distribution of urbanization, the subtle impact of demographic dynamics and the consequent implications for land resource management and environmental [...] Read more.
While urbanization has been closely related to economic development and demographic change, heterogeneous patterns and processes of regional growth and change reflect the uneven distribution of urbanization, the subtle impact of demographic dynamics and the consequent implications for land resource management and environmental sustainability. Differences in patterns of urban growth and change in a paradigmatic region such as the Mediterranean basin—often masked by statistics indicating a net increase in urban population—reflect regional divides in socio-demographic, economic and environmental variables. To better understand the impacts of these regional differences, interdisciplinary research should better link socio-demographic and economic patterns from the one side—and environmental dynamics from the other side—to urbanization and regional/local processes of change. Going from regional to local, multi-scale analysis of environmental change gives more opportunities to ascertain the combined effect of demographic dynamics on urbanization, evidencing the role of social transformations and the latent linkage with “hegemonic” concepts such as that of land degradation, which is intimately related with both socioeconomic dynamics and environmental sustainability. Reconnecting impacts of regional-scale socioeconomic change with local-scale ecological dynamics definitely contributes to an enriched knowledge of environmental histories, outlining how a study of differences under assumptions of non-linearity and complex system thinking is key to understand future socio-environmental trends in the study region. This contribution finally encourages studies within a multi-disciplinary arena, stimulating further literature reviews aimed at discussing these deserving issues—proposing new theoretical frameworks at the same time, with empirical approaches, comparative works and case studies providing the necessary, informed ground to science and policy. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Long Term Impact of Sludge Application in Maize Farm
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030074 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Intensification of agriculture worldwide has led to a growing awareness on their environmental impacts, namely on soil quality and long term impact on crop productivity. As a consequence, there is an increasing concern regarding best agricultural management practices and their impact on physical, [...] Read more.
Intensification of agriculture worldwide has led to a growing awareness on their environmental impacts, namely on soil quality and long term impact on crop productivity. As a consequence, there is an increasing concern regarding best agricultural management practices and their impact on physical, chemical and biological soil properties. In the Centre region of Portugal, maize is one of the most important arable crops and represents more than 32% of the cultivated area. Maize fields have been intensively managed under conventional practices, but increasing land degradation is leading farmers to adopt improved management practices, such as the application of composted sludge from urban wastewater treatment plants. This study aims to assess the long term impact of composted sludge application as soil amendment in maize cropping fields. The study was performed in Baixo Mondego, in central region of Portugal, largely devoted to agriculture and where maize is one of the most relevant crops. The study was performed in two study sites with similar soil and weather characteristics - one managed under conventional practices, with intensive application of fertilizers, and another field where a significant part of mineral fertilizers is replaced by composted sludge. Both sites use these agricultural management practices for more than 5 years. In 2018, two soil sampling campaigns were performed to assess the physical (texture and bulk density) and chemical soil properties (organic matter content, total nitrogen, total and extractable phosphorus, exchangeable cation (K+, Ca2+, Na+, Mg2+) and heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Pb, Zn and Ni)). Results show that composted sludge improves soil organic matter content (1.2% vs. 2.2%), total (2747 mg kg-1 vs. 1134 mg kg-1) and available phosphorous (821.85 mg kg-1 vs. 98.44 mg kg-1) comparing with conventional management practices. Higher contents of heavy metals, specifically Cu, Zn, Cd and Cr, were found in the field with sludge application than in the conventional one, which may represent a long term risk for soil contamination. Information regarding the long term impacts of best management practices on soil quality is relevant and should guide farmers and policy makers to attain agricultural sustainability. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Development of a UAV-Borne LiDAR System for Surveying Applications
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030075 - 23 May 2020
Viewed by 374
Abstract
A high-resolution UAV-borne LiDAR system with a Velodyne VLP16-Lite at its core was developed for surveying applications. The LiDAR unit was combined with a high-end IMU-GNSS solution for direct georeferencing (APX-15) and a single-board computer for data acquisition (2nd-gen. Intel NUC). Hardware and [...] Read more.
A high-resolution UAV-borne LiDAR system with a Velodyne VLP16-Lite at its core was developed for surveying applications. The LiDAR unit was combined with a high-end IMU-GNSS solution for direct georeferencing (APX-15) and a single-board computer for data acquisition (2nd-gen. Intel NUC). Hardware and software solutions were developed for system integration. Moreover, a mechanical mount for isolating the sensitive components of the system from the UAV’s high-frequency vibration was built and evaluated. System architecture and preliminary results were presented. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis revealed the system’s most important sources of error and suggested ways to overcome these. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Water Balance and Vegetation Dynamics in a Semi-arid Mediterranean Ecosystem
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030076 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 246
Abstract
Under arid conditions, where water availability is the limiting factor for plant survival, water balance models can be used to explain vegetation dynamics. [...] Full article
Open AccessAbstract
IoT (Internet of Things) Based Technology Help Regional Farmers Improve Their Agricultural Production and Effectiveness—Prototype from Technical University in Zvolen (Slovakia)
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030077 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 315
Abstract
In 2017, an interdisciplinary seminar “Drought in our Regions” was organized at the Technical University in Zvolen. The topic of the action was focused on problems with weather extremes and drought in agricultural sector. The seminar also included a survey of the real [...] Read more.
In 2017, an interdisciplinary seminar “Drought in our Regions” was organized at the Technical University in Zvolen. The topic of the action was focused on problems with weather extremes and drought in agricultural sector. The seminar also included a survey of the real needs of the participating farmers and foresters, which could be translated into practice through practical-oriented development and research at the Technical University of Zvolen. We have identified two pilot projects. In this contribution, we would like to present the one that concerns agro-meteorological support for agricultural production at Agro-Poniky company. The specificity of the Agro-Poniky farm is the diversity of landscape conditions (geomorphology) on the land they farm. Therefore, it often happens that weather conditions vary considerably across the farmed area. In such cases, inaccurate planning of agri-technical interventions in relation to the different weather patterns in the area could lead to economic losses in various forms (loss of time, reactive workload, unnecessary hours of operation, fuel, etc.). Because of this, a pilot project called AGROMET was launched by the Department of Natural Environment of the Technical University in Zvolen. The project is dedicated to on-line monitoring of weather conditions using IoT (Internet of Things) meteorological stations on farmed area. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Spectroscopy and Remote Sensing Techniques to Assess Active- and Post-Fire Effects
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030078 - 29 May 2020
Viewed by 307
Abstract
Fires were once a natural phenomenon that helped to shape species distribution, contributed to the persistence of fire-dependent species, and assisted the natural evolution of ecosystems. However, nowadays, most of the forest fires worldwide are not of natural causes. Therefore, wildfires have received [...] Read more.
Fires were once a natural phenomenon that helped to shape species distribution, contributed to the persistence of fire-dependent species, and assisted the natural evolution of ecosystems. However, nowadays, most of the forest fires worldwide are not of natural causes. Therefore, wildfires have received significant attention over the past few decades. Major ecological and policy changes were stimulated by historical frequency, extent, and severity of fires in the dry forests. These fires are important at both local to regional scales, as it might change the maintenance of landscape structure, composition, and function. Moreover, it affects pollutants, impacts air quality and raises human health risks. Many studies suggested using remote sensing data and techniques to assess fire characteristics and post-fire effects. Due to its ability to quantify patterns of variation in space and time, the remote sensing data are especially important to detect active fire extents at local and regional scales, mapping fuel loading and identify areas with long or problematic natural recovery. In the past few decades, the advantages of multi-temporal remote sensing techniques to monitor landscape change in a rapid and cost-effective manner, are reported in the scientific literature. Many studies focused on the development of techniques to evaluate and quantify fire behavior and fuel combustion. Yet the main contribution is recorded for spectral indices, e.g. the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR), the difference in the Normalized Burn Ratio between pre- and post-fire images (dNBR), and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), which are calculated by a simple combinations of different sensor bands, rely on spectral changes of the burning or burned surfaces. Numerous papers are focused on more advanced and very detailed spectral models of fuel and post-fire ash residues, mainly using laboratory spectrometers, e.g., Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR). However, many of the developed models are not applicable in the real world. In the current talk, we will present the most recent studies and scientific activities in the field of (1) active fire detection and characterization, using mainly hyperspectral ground and airborne technologies; (2) future space-borne applications on board of nano- and micro-satellites; (3) discuss the contribution of detailed and precise spectral models for post-fire ecological effects studies; (4) describe field assessment; (5) discuss management applications and future directions of fire-related remote sensing research. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Monitoring Cropping Systems: From Data Collection to Cloud Database Storage Using Open Source Software
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030079 - 01 Jun 2020
Viewed by 218
Abstract
Agricultural cropping systems and experiments include complex interactions of processes and various management practices and/or treatments under a wide range of environmental and climatic conditions. The use of standardized formats to monitor and document these systems and experiments can help researchers and stakeholders [...] Read more.
Agricultural cropping systems and experiments include complex interactions of processes and various management practices and/or treatments under a wide range of environmental and climatic conditions. The use of standardized formats to monitor and document these systems and experiments can help researchers and stakeholders to efficiently exchange data, promote interdisciplinary collaborations, and simplify modelling and analysis procedures. In the scope of the SoilCare Horizon 2020 project monitoring and assessment work package, an integrated scheme to collect, validate, store, and access cropping system information and experimental data from 16 study sites, was created. The aim of the scheme is to make the data readily available in a way that the information is useful, easy to access and download, and safe, relying only on open source software. The database design considers data and metadata required to properly and easily monitor, process, and analyse cropping systems and/or agricultural experiments. The scheme allows for the storage of data and metadata regarding the experimental set-up, associated people and institutions, information about field management operations and experimental procedures which are clearly separated for making analysis procedures faster, links between system components, and information about the environmental and climatic conditions. Raw data are entered by the users into a structured spreadsheet. The quality is checked before storing the data into the database. Providing raw data allows processing and analysing as each other user needs. A desktop import application has been created to upload the information from spreadsheet to database, which includes automated error checks of relationship tables, data types, data constraints, etc. The final component of the scheme is the database web application interface, which enables users to access and query the database across the study sites without the knowledge of query languages and to download the required data. For this system design, PostgreSQL is used for storing the data, pgAdmin 4 for database management administration, MongoDB for user management and authentication, Python for the development of the import application, Angular and Node.js/Express for the web application and spreadsheets compatible with LibreOffice Calc. The system is currently tested with data provided by the SoilCare study sites. Preliminary testing indicated that extended quality control of the spreadsheets was required from the system’s administrator to meet the standards and restrictions of the import application. Initial comments from the users indicate that the database scheme, even if it initially seems complicated, includes all the variables and details required for a complete monitoring and modelling of an agricultural cropping system. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Erosion on Mountain Trails in Eastern Iberian Peninsula
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030080 - 02 Jun 2020
Viewed by 255
Abstract
A review on trial erosion shows that soil erosion rates are one to three orders of magnitude higher than the ones recommended as sustainable. This is threatening the sustainable managements of mountain terrains, mainly in the popular hiking paths. The warm temperatures characterize [...] Read more.
A review on trial erosion shows that soil erosion rates are one to three orders of magnitude higher than the ones recommended as sustainable. This is threatening the sustainable managements of mountain terrains, mainly in the popular hiking paths. The warm temperatures characterize Eastern Spain in winter, which results in visitors from northern Europe to walk in the coastal land mountainous terrain. This increases the pressure to the currently highly visited most popular paths. We selected representative transects of the trails of Serra de Bérnia, Puigcampana, Penyagolosa, Montcabré, Serra del Sit, Aitana, Les Tres Creus, Caroig, Cupurutxo and Circ de la Safor. All the selected study sites have Limestone parent material, and a scrubland as vegetation cover and the selected slope angle ranged in average between 5 and 10%. The surveys showed that soil erosion rates measured with a topographical method range from 13 till 450 Mg ha−1 y−1. There is a clear relation between the number of users and the damage done on the trails; and we found that short cuts are the areas that contribute with fresh sediment. Rock outcrops are found in 34% of the measured trail sections and this is a good example how the complete soil can be lost as a consequence of recreational activities. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Soil Moisture- and Temperature-Induced Facilitation of Urban Endogean Fauna in Two Types of Shrub Hedges
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030081 - 02 Jun 2020
Viewed by 267
Abstract
As the most important type of public green space, parks are crucial for delivering a wide range of ecosystem services that contribute to the well-being of urban residents. Nevertheless, the criteria for selecting vegetation structure and composition within urban parks is often limited [...] Read more.
As the most important type of public green space, parks are crucial for delivering a wide range of ecosystem services that contribute to the well-being of urban residents. Nevertheless, the criteria for selecting vegetation structure and composition within urban parks is often limited to ornamental value. Here, park hedges of Pittosporum tobira (Japanese pittosporum) and Rhamnus alaternus (Mediterranean buckthorn) are compared for their effectiveness in soil temperature and soil moisture regulation in support of soil fauna, thus contributing to lifecycle maintenance, habitat, and gene pool protection ecosystem services. The adjacent hedges, located in the gardens of the Hellenic Mediterranean University, were monitored for soil moisture, temperature, and fauna for a period of 6 months. For each hedge, soil temperature and water at 5 cm below ground were measured (N = 3). Measurements showed that, during temperature extremes, soil under R. alaternus had a higher buffering capacity for temperature than that under P. tobira, staying over 2.5 °C warmer during cold periods and over 3.5 °C cooler during warm periods. During the dry season, R. alaternus also retained soil moisture with higher minimum (0.08 versus 0.04 m3/m3) and average values (0.11 versus 0.07 m3/m3) than under P. tobira. Berlese-Tullgren funnels and pitfall traps were used to capture endogean fauna and bigger invertebrates, respectively. Invertebrates extracted during 3 samplings were identified mainly at the level of order, with the most abundant taxonomic groups being slugs and seven arthropod taxa. The Shannon Index values revealed that the biodiversity of the fauna collected in pitfalls under R. alaternus was 1.2 times higher than that collected under P. tobira. Specimens from funnels were also more abundant, with soil under R. alaternus showing a biodiversity three times higher than that under P. tobira. Results indicate that, in arid environments, R. alaternus urban park hedges may offer additional ecosystem services compared to P. tobira by providing more sustainable biodiversity hubs. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
How to Value the Ecosystem Services Provided by a Field? Parallel Between the Indicators Used by Scientists and the Empirical Observations of Belgian Farmers
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030082 - 03 Jun 2020
Viewed by 210
Abstract
When it comes to assessing the agronomic and environmental performances of a cropping system, collaborative research with real farms can provide a lot of information that is not easily available when working in experimental plots. For example, this makes it possible to observe [...] Read more.
When it comes to assessing the agronomic and environmental performances of a cropping system, collaborative research with real farms can provide a lot of information that is not easily available when working in experimental plots. For example, this makes it possible to observe the long-term effects of certain farming practices or to evaluate the impact of the landscape surrounding a plot. This type of collaborative study involves a specific research methodology, particularly with regard to the choice of indicators and measurement methods that will be applied to the participants’ fields. In addition to the traditional criteria of relevance to the research question, scientific rigor and feasibility, the value that the indicators have for the farmers should be considered (Lebacq et al., 2013). The value an indicator has for a farmer can be deduced from various criteria: is the indicator understandable to him? Does he know any reference values that will allow him to interpret the results? Does he feel able to change the result via his agricultural practices? As part of a collaborative study on the agro-ecological nature of cropping systems applied by Belgian farmers, we conducted preliminary interviews with 20 future participating farmers. Our objectives were to assess the value farmers placed on the indicators usually used by scientists to measure the ecosystem services provided by a field, and to identify empirical measurement methods used by farmers to assess their performance on these same indicators. This poster presents, for each ecosystem service, the indicators usually used by scientists (Boerema et al., 2017) and, in parallel, the empirical measurement methods developed by farmers. For example, for the “stability of soil aggregates” indicator, some farmers told us they use a simplified test immersing fresh soil blocks in water, while others observe the soil particle load in water leaving their field after a storm, assess the amount of soil left under the beet cleaner during the harvest or wait for a heavy rain to walk in their fields and see how much mud gets stuck to their shoes. These results will serve as a basis in the continuation of our research for developing measurement methods that combine scientific rigorousness, proximity to the field and potential of appropriation of the results by participants. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
The A2UFood Project—Avoidable and Unavoidable Food Wastes: A Holistic Managing Approach for Urban Environments
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030083 - 04 Jun 2020
Viewed by 247
Abstract
Food waste is a stream with multiple social, economic, and environmental implications, generated throughout all the life cycle stages of food. Among these stages, in developed and top touristic destination countries such as Greece, the role of the hospitality sector (i.e., restaurants, hotels, [...] Read more.
Food waste is a stream with multiple social, economic, and environmental implications, generated throughout all the life cycle stages of food. Among these stages, in developed and top touristic destination countries such as Greece, the role of the hospitality sector (i.e., restaurants, hotels, catering, etc.) in food waste generation is particularly significant. Against this background, the A2UFood project introduces a holistic management scheme in the municipality of Heraklion (Crete, Greece), in which all aspects of reduction, reuse, and recycling of food waste are included. The project seeks to implement the circular economy concept into daily practice, through a series of actions which preserve natural resources, support local communities, and create new value chains. More specifically, the holistic management scheme of the A2UFood project progresses towards three innovative directions: (i) Surplus food of high quality, from hotels and restaurants, will be redirected to people in need, through the establishment and operation of the “2nd opportunity” restaurant; (ii) Food waste from the hospitality sector will be directed to bioplastic production units; and iii. Home and community composting will be promoted and supported, as an option for the management of household food waste. To achieve the goals of the A2UFood project, an Information Campaign (“Food Save Share”), training workshops-seminars, and two smart tools (i.e., the Digital Food Waste Prevention Tool and the Resource Management Food Tool, for households and kitchen managers, respectively) have been developed. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
The Challenge in Increasing Water and Soil Resources Resilience by Landscape Restoration: Examples from Southern Ethiopia and Iceland
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030084 - 13 Jun 2020
Viewed by 217
Abstract
Soil degradation and subsequent soil erosion is a major threat to vital ecosystem services, to food production, and finally to human societies. This threat is particularly imminent in subarctic Iceland and tropical Ethiopia. Both countries underwent large-scale deforestation in the past. Especially in [...] Read more.
Soil degradation and subsequent soil erosion is a major threat to vital ecosystem services, to food production, and finally to human societies. This threat is particularly imminent in subarctic Iceland and tropical Ethiopia. Both countries underwent large-scale deforestation in the past. Especially in Ethiopia, the demand for wood for cooking, heating, and construction is still high, inducing deforestation. On the other hand, Iceland solved the need for wood for energy purposes through the utilization of geothermal energy. Deforestation, overgrazing, and specific climatic conditions resulted in a high rate of soil erosion in both countries. In this study, the effectivity of restoration efforts is mapped in selected areas in Iceland and Ethiopia. Soil-water conservation (SWC) measures mapping was conducted in the Sidama zone and Halaba special district of southern Ethiopia, as well as in Thorlákshöfn, a municipality in southern Iceland. The Ethiopian study area is located in the Main Ethiopian rift valley. The Icelandic study area is in the Mid-Atlantic Rift. Degraded areas and applied SWC were GPS mapped in the field. The erosion agents in both countries are dominated by water erosion. In addition, Iceland has a high rate of soil loss due to strong wind erosion. In order to mitigate erosion, numerous SWC actions were implemented in both countries. In Ethiopia, indigenous SWC techniques have been applied since 400 BC, while the government-driven activities started after 1970. In Iceland, governmental soil reclamation programs started in 1907 through establishment of The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI). Usually, all the reclamation program actions involve the closing of reclaimed area for livestock and people so that natural regeneration accompanied by additional measures such as planting seedlings can take place. In Ethiopia, such an area is called an “Area Closure”. The land is owned by the community. The common problem in the restoration of Closure Areas lies in people not respecting the watershed divide. Hence, the approach to land degradation lacks a systematic approach covering the entire watershed. Another issue is the construction of the road and path network, which in many cases acts as ways of concentrate surface runoff. Degraded paths are frequently abandoned, and new paths are constructed. The main difference in Iceland from the Ethiopia case is land ownership, which is private in most cases. The land restoration began 50 years ago by sowing grass. Today the land is slowly being reforested. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Early Structural Changes of Constructed Soils in Bioretention Bed for Stormwater Infiltration
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030085 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 203
Abstract
Properties of constructed soils determine the functioning of nature-based solutions, such as stormwater bioretention beds. Water infiltration, colloid transport and heat transport in the soil layer are affected by changes in pore system geometry of the biofilter layer particularly due to the development [...] Read more.
Properties of constructed soils determine the functioning of nature-based solutions, such as stormwater bioretention beds. Water infiltration, colloid transport and heat transport in the soil layer are affected by changes in pore system geometry of the biofilter layer particularly due to the development of macropores and by clogging of pores by particles. The rate of alterations is often faster than in natural soils due to higher loads of particles as well due to frequent variations of the water content. In the presented study we assess the temporal changes of soil structure of biofilter layer of the experimental bioretention beds by conducting field-scale experiments and noninvasive diagnostics of soil cores. The aim is to relate changes in bioretention cell performance to the structural changes of biofilter soil. Two identical experimental bioretention cells were constructed in December 2017. The first bioretention cell collects the stormwater from the roof of the nearby experimental building (roof area 38 m2). The second bioretention cell is supplied from a tank using a controlled pump system, which allows generating of artificial rainfall-runoff episodes. The bioretention were planted in July 2018 by four perennial plants (Aster novae-angliae “Purple Dome”; Hemerocallis ‘Lemon Bells’; Euphorbia amygdaloides; Molinia caerulea). Bioretention cells are instrumented with water content probes, tensiometers, water potential meters. Outflow from the bioretention cell is monitored by tipping buckets. Small undisturbed samples were collected from the biofilter layer before and after the first vegetation season and examined by X-ray micro computed tomography (CT). Image analysis involved segmentation of the macropore network and calculation of the properties of the pore system. The analysis of X-ray CT imaging demonstrates the significant decrease of macroporosity during the first vegetation season. The outcomes of the research will lead to improved design and management procedures for and bioretention beds. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Family Farmers and Water Conservation: Learning Nature-Based Solutions as Human Based Solution
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030086 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 182
Abstract
Bringing up conservation awareness among key stakeholders is essential for water management and it requires motivation and dialogue in order to achieve local and global environmental sustainability. Water management and agriculture must be in agreement to guarantee current and future multiple uses of [...] Read more.
Bringing up conservation awareness among key stakeholders is essential for water management and it requires motivation and dialogue in order to achieve local and global environmental sustainability. Water management and agriculture must be in agreement to guarantee current and future multiple uses of water. This paper presents the role of outdoor education as a way for citizens to get involved in territory demands. This study-case of participatory monitoring of Macabu River Basin has been carried out since 2012 in Trajano de Moraes, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Firstly, a bibliographic review and search of historical documents offered the basis to the project “River Macabu in action: history, knowledge and life”. It was aimed at linking land use to water quality and involved students from nine different schools. The relationship between surface water and hydrologic cycle was observed through monitoring rainfall at nine pluviometers installed along 70 km of river length, and the water quality at eleven collection points. The project strategy focused on experiencing historical and geographic contexts and understanding the nature’s goods as a heritage of affective value before endowing it with economic one. The project was triggered after the agreement of various societal segments and an effective sharing for the adequacy of different ways of execution. In the first few months the farmers’ resistance to the project had been overcome as they were sensitized by relatives involved in it. After some time, most farmers got connected to territory and were able to understand the state of the river as an extension of their own choices. Then, conservation practices in agriculture became more frequent mainly in the upper part of the watershed acting as links between the urban and the rural population. The methodology developed in this project was acknowledged as a citizenship solution for water by “Market of Solutions” in the 8th World Water Forum held in 2018. The engagement of young people has been noticed in different forums such as the National Conference on Environment. The farmers’ practical knowledge associated to hands-on education and effective participation in actions for water management actions were considered fundamental to the citizens’ comprehension of the environmental conservation. The results showed the benefits from the farmers and their children’s involvement in the management of water and territory. The participation of family farmers in the River Basin Committees is considered highly relevant to the fulfilment of their legal role as core forums of the water management. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Effect of N:K Ratio and Electrical Conductivity of Nutrient Solution on Growth and Yield of Hydroponically Grown Golden Thistle (Scolymus hispanicus L.)
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030087 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 211
Abstract
As the demand for high-quality wild greens rises, due to their high nutritional, culinary, and medicinal properties, the potential overexploitation and excessive disruption of their natural habitats bring serious environmental problems to the foreground. However, new alternative cultivation techniques, such as hydroponic cultivation, [...] Read more.
As the demand for high-quality wild greens rises, due to their high nutritional, culinary, and medicinal properties, the potential overexploitation and excessive disruption of their natural habitats bring serious environmental problems to the foreground. However, new alternative cultivation techniques, such as hydroponic cultivation, could take advantage of rational water management, optimal fertilization management and climate adaptation, to produce high-quality wild greens, all year round. As an initial step to assess optimal hydroponic cultivation conditions for golden thistle (Scolymus hispanicus L.), in this study we evaluated the effect of N:K ratio and electrical conductivity (EC) in the supplied nutrient solution on plant growth, yield and phenology. Four nutrient solutions were applied with a low or a high N:K ratio (1.59 or 2.38 mol/mol, respectively) combined with a low or a high electrical conductivity (EC) level (2.2 and 2.8 dS m1, respectively) in a 2 × 2 factorial experiment set as a completely randomized block design with 4 blocks and 48 plants per block. Golden thistle seedlings were planted in plastic growth-bags of hydroponic perlite substrate in an open, drip-irrigated, soilless cultivation system. The experiment commenced in December 2018, in a plastic greenhouse at the campus of the Hellenic Mediterranean University, Crete, Greece. After four months of cultivation, the post-harvest analysis showed that the high N:K ratio significantly increased the fresh weight of leaf and edible tuberous root, whereas the tested EC levels in the nutrient solution had no impact on plant fresh weight. The experimental treatments did not significantly affect leaf chlorophyll concentration (SPAD meter readings), chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) or the number of leaves and the specific weight of the tuberous root of the plants. Our results indicate that wild golden thistle could be domesticated as an edible vegetable, and cultivated hydroponically at different seasons of the year using relatively low nutrient concentrations, thereby minimizing aquifer nitrate and phosphate pollution. A nutrient solution with a relatively high N:K ratio (here 2.38 mol/mol) is recommended for the hydroponic cultivation of golden thistle. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Placing Soil Information in the Hands of Farmers
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030088 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 216
Abstract
Adequate soil information to adapt fertilizer plans and support farmers’ yield ambitions is either hard to obtain or expensive, as it often requires soil sampling and analyses in a lab. AgroCares has developed two services, i.e., the Scanner and the Lab-in-a-box, that place [...] Read more.
Adequate soil information to adapt fertilizer plans and support farmers’ yield ambitions is either hard to obtain or expensive, as it often requires soil sampling and analyses in a lab. AgroCares has developed two services, i.e., the Scanner and the Lab-in-a-box, that place the knowledge of soil analysts and agronomists in the hands of the farmer in a quick, easy and affordable way. The obtained spectral image of the soil provided by the scanner is compared to data in the Global Soil Database; using machine learning regression models, the content of the soil sample is predicted based on its spectrum. The results are returned to the farmer as a soil status report. The Global Soil Database is developed country by country and starts by determining the number and location of the samples required to cover the full spectral range of the specific country using data such as soil type, land use, fertilizer and crop residue management, satellite crop development images, climate and elevation. These samples are then collected following protocols and shipped to the Golden Standard Laboratory in the Netherlands where they are analyzed using regulated, traditional wet chemistry techniques and scanned with the sensors of the Lab-in-a-Box (Mid-Infrared and XRF) and the Scanner (Near-Infrared). The reference values obtained in the GSL and the spectra for each sample obtained from the Scanner and the Lab-in-a-Box form the ground truthing data set required for the machine learning algorithms. Once all the soil data have been extracted from the spectral image, they are sent to the fertilizer module, where the different nutrients are allocated to soil fertility categories. These categories are used to establish the quantities in kg/ha of nutrients needed to reach the desired level of soil fertility. Using local nutrient crop uptake tables, the total nutrient requirements are calculated and converted into fertilizer recommendations that consider factors like nutrient loss after application and available fertilizer. The user then receives a full soil management report that includes the soil analysis results in classes of N, P, K, pH and organic matter with the Scanner, and in values of all macro- and micro- nutrients with the Lab-in-a-box. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Roadmap for the European Joint Program SOIL: Towards Climate-Smart Sustainable Management of Agricultural Soils
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030089 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 278
Abstract
Our planet suffers from humankind’s impact on natural resources, biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Intensive modern agriculture with inappropriate inputs of fertilisers, pesticides and fossil fuel –based energy has increasingly added to human pressure on the environment. As a key element of our natural [...] Read more.
Our planet suffers from humankind’s impact on natural resources, biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Intensive modern agriculture with inappropriate inputs of fertilisers, pesticides and fossil fuel –based energy has increasingly added to human pressure on the environment. As a key element of our natural capital, soils are also under threat, despite being essential to provide food, feed, fibre and fuel for an increasing global population. Moreover, soils play a key role in carbon, water and energy cycles, highlighting their importance for biomass provision and the circular bioeconomy. Evidently, these new and complex challenges cannot be resolved effectively with existing knowledge and experience alone. These challenges require scientific research, interdisciplinary collaboration and networking to find context-specific and tailored solutions addressing societal issues of our time and facilitating the adoption of these solutions. The most effective approaches are based on the involvement of multiple actors from science, policy, economy, civil society and farming that have the same goal, work on the same societal issue, but have complementing backgrounds, expertise and perceptions. The European Joint Programme (EJP) SOIL is a European network of research institutes in the field of soil science and agricultural soil management that will provide science-based advice to practitioners and policymakers, at local, national and European level. The EJP SOIL aims to align and boost research, training and capacity building through joint programming activities co-funded by the European Commission and national research programs. This will reduce current fragmentation and help to find synergies in order to make a leapfrog in research on good agricultural soil management in three main areas: climate change mitigation and adaptation, production capacity in healthy food systems, and environmental sustainability. By joint programming, training and capacity building, EJP SOIL will also take into account the need for effective policy solutions, as well as the socio-economic conditions of all stakeholders in the agricultural value chain. Thus, a key focus of the EJP SOIL is to build and strengthen a framework for an integrated community of research groups working on related aspects of agricultural soil management. As part of this effort, EJP SOIL will co-construct with stakeholders a roadmap for agricultural soil research. To develop a structured roadmap, EJP SOIL works with a version of the knowledge management framework of Dalkir (2005). The EJP version uses four compartments: (i) Knowledge development, (ii) knowledge harmonisation, organisation and storage (iii) knowledge sharing and transfer, and (iv) knowledge application. The four segments are part of a cyclic process to enhance the development and use of knowledge on agricultural soils. Knowledge development comprises assessing new knowledge needs to achieve the expected impacts of EJP SOIL. Therefore, by involving multiple stakeholders, knowledge gaps across Europe will be identified to work towards the adoption of Climate-Smart Sustainable Agricultural Soil Management (CSSASM). Within the knowledge sharing and transfer compartment, the capacity of scientists, advisors, policy makers, farmers and other stakeholders will be strengthened. EJP SOIL will work to support networks and co-creation of new knowledge with stakeholder groups, stimulating innovation in CSSASM. The knowledge harmonization, organization and storage compartment of the knowledge framework ensures linkages with all stakeholders to guarantee data harmonization and standardization. The last compartment, application of knowledge, will be facilitated by creating better guidelines, awareness and capacity for Climate-Smart Sustainable Agricultural Soil Management adoption and by strengthening science-to-policy processes at EU and Member State level. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Integration of Ecosystem Services and Green and Blue Infrastructures Concepts in the Land Use Planning Process: The Coimbra Case Study
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030090 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 303
Abstract
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) initiated in 2001 aims to assess the impacts of human pressure on ecosystem services (ES) and human well-being. Since then, the ES have been a worldwide concern, namely regarding to biodiversity loss and land use management (MA, 2005). [...] Read more.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) initiated in 2001 aims to assess the impacts of human pressure on ecosystem services (ES) and human well-being. Since then, the ES have been a worldwide concern, namely regarding to biodiversity loss and land use management (MA, 2005). The EU 2010 Biodiversity Baseline Report stated that 65% of habitats of EU importance were in an unfavorable conservation status, mainly due to anthropic activities over time (EEA, 2010). As a consequence, in 2011, the EU adopted the Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, requiring all Member States to actively work towards stopping the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2020, and to restore ecosystems. ES are particularly relevant in urban areas, where most population is concentrated and expected to reach almost 70% of the total population by 2050 (UN-DESA, 2018). Strategically planned urban Green and Blue Infrastructures (GBI) can be designed and implemented in cities to effectively provide a wide range of ES, relevant to address urban sustainability and resilience to climate change, and thus effectively contribute to stop and revert ES deterioration and loss. However, the integration of ES and GBI concepts into national, regional and local policies and plans, and their effectiveness to implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy, is still a major challenge. This paper aims to analyze the horizontal and vertical integration of the ES and GBI concepts in the Portuguese policies and land use planning, at national, regional and local levels, focusing on the municipality of Coimbra. Among the 19 documents analyzed, most of them are defined at national level (12) and 6 of them are defined at local level. At the regional level, only one single plan is available, although it is still not officially approved and published, despite started being prepared in 1991. This regional situation mirrors the current status of the Portuguese administrative levels, which was triggered by the negative result of the 1998 referendum on the regionalization process. This referendum prevented necessary changes in the administrative divisions, so that current regional divisions do not reflect the economic, demographic and cultural realities of the country, having been emptied of administrative powers. The analysis shows a strong integration of the ES and GBI concepts at the national level, but the vertical coordination shows that plenty of work needs to be done to fully embrace the ES and GBI concepts. This research was performed in the UrbanGaia project, funded through the ERA-net BiodivERsA 3 2015 call under grants BRAIN-be BR/175/A1/URBANGAIA-BE (Belgium); 01LC1616A (Germany); S-BIODIVERSA-17-17-1 (Lithuania), and BIODIVERSA/0008/2015 (Portugal). Full article
Open AccessAbstract
Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Pig and Cow Manure with a Solar Dried Mixture of Food Waste and Olive Mill Wastewater
Proceedings 2019, 30(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019030091 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Biogas production through anaerobic digestion is a well-established practice worldwide combining waste treatment and energy production at the same time. One of the challenges of this technology is to increase the yield of biogas production and secure the disposal of the effluent of [...] Read more.
Biogas production through anaerobic digestion is a well-established practice worldwide combining waste treatment and energy production at the same time. One of the challenges of this technology is to increase the yield of biogas production and secure the disposal of the effluent of anaerobic reactors. It is well known that various organic residues such as cheese whey, olive mill wastewater, as well as food waste from hotel units, could be combined with other materials (animal manures, sewage sludge, etc.) in order to increase biogas production through co-digestion. However, their high seasonal variation and high transport costs is a barrier for their use. Solar drying process can be a very attractive technology for volume reduction in order to decrease the storage and the transportation cost. Moreover using solar energy may well be an alternative solution for reduction of drying process costs. In this study, co-digestion of pig manure (PM) and cow manure (CM) with solar dried mixture of food waste (FW) and olive mill wastewater (OMW), named as biobooster, was studied in an attempt to improve biogas production of existing on—farms plants which co-digest manure with other farm waste. The effect of biobooster in biogas production was investigated using three lab-scale continuous stirred-tank reactors (CSTR) (3 L working volume) (D1–D3) under mesophilic conditions (37 ± 2 °C) with a hydraulic retention time of 20 days. Initially, all reactors were inoculated with anaerobic sludge originating from sewage treatment plant of the city of Heraklion, and contained 19.6 g/L TS, 10.8 g/L VS and 17.5 g/L COD. Three types of influent feedstock were utilized: D1: PM (95%) + CM (5%) (VSin = 33.58 ± 4.51 g/L), D2: PM (95%) + CM (5%) + Biobooster (1%) (VSin = 41.07 ± 7.16 g/L), D3: PM (100%) + Biobooster (1%) (VSin = 8.48 ± 0.87 g/L). The experiments showed that the addition of biobooster to pig and cow manure significantly increased biogas production by nearly 65% as value of 662.75 ± 172.50 mL/l/d compared to that with pig and cow manure alone (402.60 ± 131.89 mL/l/d). The biogas production in D3 reactor was 242.50 ± 56.82 mL/l/d. This work suggests that methane can be improved very efficiently by adding a small portion (20% increase of VS) of dried agro-industrial by-products in the inlet of digesters of existing on—farms plants. Full article
Back to TopTop