Special Issue "Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts"

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst

Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Dept. Sustainable Landscape Development, University of Halle, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +49 228 731 889
Interests: integrated land-use planning; participatory planning; impact assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue was inspired by the IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations) 8.01.02 Landscape Ecology conference "The Green–Blue Nexus". The topic addresses the conflict between provisioning services (biomass, food, fodder, etc. = the "Green") and regulating services (e.g., drinking water provisioning, irrigation water, flood and erosion control = the "Blue") in relation to other impacts on biodiversity and the supporting structures and key ecological processes that enable the supply of these services. Important drivers, such as climate and global change and their impacts on ecosystem functioning, processes, pattern, and services will be discussed and policy implications should be addressed in the papers.

Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Climate is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • ecosystems
  • societies
  • drivers
  • governance
  • land management
  • land use planning

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Cardamom Casualties: Extreme Weather Events and Ethnic Minority Livelihood Vulnerability in the Sino-Vietnamese Borderlands
Climate 2019, 7(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7010014
Received: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
In the wake of important economic reforms and an ongoing agrarian transition, non-timber forest products, most notably black cardamom, have emerged as significant trade options for ethnic minority farmers in the mountainous Sino-Vietnamese borderlands. Yet, after a series of harsh winters had already [...] Read more.
In the wake of important economic reforms and an ongoing agrarian transition, non-timber forest products, most notably black cardamom, have emerged as significant trade options for ethnic minority farmers in the mountainous Sino-Vietnamese borderlands. Yet, after a series of harsh winters had already crippled cardamom harvests in the 2000s, extreme weather in 2016 decimated the cardamom plantations of hundreds of farming households. Drawing from sustainable livelihoods, livelihood diversification, and vulnerability literatures, we investigate the multiple factors shaping how these harvest failures have affected ethnic minority cultivator livelihoods. Focusing on four case study villages, two in Yunnan, and two in northern Vietnam, we analyse the coping and adaptation strategies Hmong, Yao, Hani, and Yi minority farmers have adopted. We find that farmers’ decisions and strategies have been rooted in a complex ensemble of factors including their degree of market access, other livelihood opportunities available to them, cultural traditions and expectations, and state development strategies. Moreover, we find that in recent years the Chinese and Vietnamese states have stood-by as affected cultivators have struggled to reorganize their livelihoods, suggesting that the impacts of extreme weather events might even serve state projects to further agrarian transitions in these borderlands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Farmers’ Decisions on Risk Coping Strategies in Rural West Java
Climate 2019, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7010007
Received: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 5 January 2019
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Abstract
The impact of natural hazards on agriculture in Indonesia is becoming increasingly severe. Therefore, improving farmers’ capacity to undertake risk coping strategies is essential to maintaining their prosperity. The objective of this study was to investigate the determinants of farmers’ decisions on ex [...] Read more.
The impact of natural hazards on agriculture in Indonesia is becoming increasingly severe. Therefore, improving farmers’ capacity to undertake risk coping strategies is essential to maintaining their prosperity. The objective of this study was to investigate the determinants of farmers’ decisions on ex ante and ex post coping strategies in rural West Java, Indonesia. The study was based on a field survey of 180 farmers conducted in the Garut district from July to October 2017. The study used the protection motivation theory framework and applied three econometric models: binomial logit model, zero truncated Poisson regression model, and multinomial logit model. Most farmers (74.4%) adopted ex ante coping strategies. They were characterized as having higher risk aversion per capita expenditure and disaster experience, but lower discount rates and percentage of damage and locations in downstream and midstream areas. Coping appraisal perceptions were found to be important factors in the risk coping analysis. Four determinants of the decision on the number of ex ante coping strategies adopted were: per capita expenditure, land size, disaster experience, and access to financial institutions. The most common ex post coping strategy adopted by farmers was the middle-stress type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Solving Multi-Objective Problems for Multifunctional and Sustainable Management in Maritime Pine Forest Landscapes
Climate 2018, 6(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6040081
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Forest management based on sustainability and multifunctionality requires reliable and user-friendly tools to address several objectives simultaneously. In this work we present FlorNExT Pro®, a multiple-criteria landscape-scale forest planning and management computer tool, and apply it in a region in the [...] Read more.
Forest management based on sustainability and multifunctionality requires reliable and user-friendly tools to address several objectives simultaneously. In this work we present FlorNExT Pro®, a multiple-criteria landscape-scale forest planning and management computer tool, and apply it in a region in the north of Portugal to find optimized management solutions according to objectives such as maximization of net present value (NPV), volume growth, and carbon storage, and minimization of losses due to fire. Comparisons made among single- and multi-objective solutions were made to explore the range of possible indicators provided by the tool such as carbon sequestered, volume growth, probability of fire occurrence, volume of wood extracted, and evenness of harvesting in the management period. Results show that FlorNExT Pro® is a reliable, flexible, and useful tool to incorporate multiple criteria and objectives into spatially explicit complex management problems and to prepare sustainable and multifunctional forest management plans at the landscape level. FlorNExT Pro® is also suited to guiding and adapting forest management for uncertainty scenarios for the assessment of ecosystem services and fire risk, therefore playing an important role in the maintenance of sustainable landscapes in the south of Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Cold and Heat Island in the City of Bragança (Portugal)
Climate 2018, 6(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6030070
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
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Abstract
The thermal environment is an important aspect of the urban environment because it affects the quality of life of urban residents and the energy use in buildings. Urban Heat Island (UHI) and Urban Cold Island (UCI) are complementary effects that are the consequence [...] Read more.
The thermal environment is an important aspect of the urban environment because it affects the quality of life of urban residents and the energy use in buildings. Urban Heat Island (UHI) and Urban Cold Island (UCI) are complementary effects that are the consequence of cities’ structures interference with the local climate. This article presents results from five years of urban climate monitoring (2012–2016) in a small Portuguese city (Bragança) using a dense meteorological network of 23 locations covering a wide array of Local Climate Zones (LCZ), from urban areas to nearby rural areas. Results show the presence of both the UHI effect, from mid-afternoon until sunrise, and the UCI after sunrise, both being more intense under the dense midrise urban context and during the summer. Urban Green Spaces had an impact on both UHI and UCI, with an important role in cooling areas of the city during daytime in the summer. Other LCZs had less impact on local thermal conditions. Despite the small size of this city, both effects (UHI and UCI) had a relevant intensity with an impact on local climate conditions. Both effects tend to decrease in intensity with increasing wind speed and precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Changing Climate and Market Conditions on Crop Yield and Acreage Allocation in Nepal
Climate 2018, 6(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6020032
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
This study examines the impact of changing climate and product market conditions on crop yield and land allocations in Nepal. Zellner’s seemingly unrelated regression approach is used to estimate the acreage and yield functions. The potential impact of price endogeneity on estimated parameters [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of changing climate and product market conditions on crop yield and land allocations in Nepal. Zellner’s seemingly unrelated regression approach is used to estimate the acreage and yield functions. The potential impact of price endogeneity on estimated parameters is corrected using an instrumental variable method. The results show that farm input prices and output prices play a crucial role in determining acreage allocation. While the variation in daily temperature during planting season affects acreage allocations for all crops except wheat, the total precipitation is critical for upland crops, particularly for millet. Literacy rate and the number of rainy days significantly affect yield for most crops. Moreover, the rising winter warming is enhancing wheat and potato yields. The results also show that a ten percent decrease in the number of rainy days during the growing season is likely to reduce yields for rice, maize, and wheat by 4.8, 1.7, and 0.8 percent, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
Open AccessArticle Vulnerability Assessment of the Livelihoods in Tanzania’s Semi-Arid Agro-Ecological Zone under Climate Change Scenarios
Climate 2018, 6(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6020027
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
Despite the established literature on the vulnerability to climate change in various parts of Tanzania, it is worthwhile to assess the extent of this vulnerability of the peoples’ livelihoods and predict its future outcome. This is particularly important in the vulnerable ecosystems, that [...] Read more.
Despite the established literature on the vulnerability to climate change in various parts of Tanzania, it is worthwhile to assess the extent of this vulnerability of the peoples’ livelihoods and predict its future outcome. This is particularly important in the vulnerable ecosystems, that is, the semi-arid zones of Tanzania where the people’s livelihoods are highly attached to the declining local condition. The present study aims to assess the livelihoods vulnerability in Kongwa District, the semi-arid zone of Central Tanzania. In doing so, a wide range of methods were employed during data collection and analyses including surveys, informative interviews, discussions and observation. The study sampled 400 (≤10%) respondents during a survey. The Mann-Kendall Test with SPSS V20, Microsoft Excel and Theme content techniques were used for data analyses. The results indicate that climate stress has adversely impacted the quality of soil, vegetation, crop yields and intensified environmental degradation. Since most people depend upon the mentioned affected aspects, it is expected that also the level of livelihood vulnerability has elevated. Further, this situation has greatly contributed to increased poverty and thus, propagates the “tragedy of the common” to the available environmental resources. As a response to increased vulnerability, some farmers have abandoned thousands of hectares of agricultural farms that seemed to be less productive. Despite this, slight measures have been taken by both the government and other key stakeholders to limit vulnerability. The findings of this study provide a theoretical and practical basis for coordinating a sustainable man-environment relationship, ensuring the sustainability of the environment which is the major source of peoples’ livelihoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Analysis of Grape Production in the Face of Climate Change
Climate 2018, 6(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6020020
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Grape, olive, and wheat are traditional Mediterranean Basin crops that have immense cultural, economic, and ecological importance, and are the basis for producing wine, olive oil, and pasta and bread products. Of fruit crops, grape has the largest area and the highest economic [...] Read more.
Grape, olive, and wheat are traditional Mediterranean Basin crops that have immense cultural, economic, and ecological importance, and are the basis for producing wine, olive oil, and pasta and bread products. Of fruit crops, grape has the largest area and the highest economic importance globally. These traditional Mediterranean crop systems and related food products have global relevance, and yet globally, all regions with Mediterranean climate are especially vulnerable to climate change that threatens this Mediterranean bio-cultural heritage. However, how to analyze the complex tripartite ecological, economic, and social effects of climate change on these systems has been vexing and largely unexplored. Here we review how a bioeconomic approach using physiologically-based demographic models in the context of geographic information systems may be an important step in examining the complexity of these factors on grape. We show that with relatively modest data and funding, regional bioeconomic analysis of grape production under present weather and climate change is possible, and that management-relevant complexity can be included in a mechanistic way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
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Review

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Open AccessReview A Conceptual Framework for Vulnerability Assessment of Climate Change Impact on Critical Oil and Gas Infrastructure in the Niger Delta
Climate 2018, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6010011
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impact of climate change on the Niger Delta is severe, as extreme weather events have inflicted various degrees of stress on critical oil/gas infrastructure. Typically, assets managers and government agencies lack a clear framework for evaluating the vulnerability of these systems. This [...] Read more.
The impact of climate change on the Niger Delta is severe, as extreme weather events have inflicted various degrees of stress on critical oil/gas infrastructure. Typically, assets managers and government agencies lack a clear framework for evaluating the vulnerability of these systems. This paper presents a participatory framework for the vulnerability assessment of critical oil/gas infrastructure to climate change impacts in the Niger Delta context. Through a critical review of relevant literature and triangulating observational and exploratory data from the field, this paper has developed a conceptual framework with three elements: (1) a preliminary scoping activity; (2) the vulnerability assessment; and (3) mainstreaming the results into institutional asset management codes. Scoping involves the definition of research aims and objectives, review of prevailing climate burdens and impacts, exploratory investigation, screening for new (planned) assets and selection of relevant infrastructure. The emphasis on screening for planned infrastructure is to facilitate the incorporation of sustainable adaptive capacities into the original design of identified systems. A conceptual framework for vulnerability assessment is presented as a robust systematic iterative model for the evaluation of selected assets using an appropriate methodology. In this study, analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is applied while mainstreaming as part of the research framework is emphasised to aid commercial implementation from an expert-based perspective. The study recommends the use of other suitable methodologies and systematic approaches to test the flexibility of the framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems, Climate and Global Change Impacts)
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