Nature-Based Solutions for Climate and Environmental Change

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Forestry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (23 March 2023) | Viewed by 10796

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Prevention Sciences, University of Ferrara, Via Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: ecosystem services; land use change; ecology; green infrastructures; nature-based solutions; wetland ecology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Institute for Renewable Energy, EURAC Research, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Interests: urban forestry; ecosystem services; ecological modeling; tree ecophysiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The climate crisis and human pressures have triggered significant environmental changes, causing considerable risks to the health of ecosystems and people. Population growth and related effects, such as land consumption and alteration of ecological processes, demand reconsidering the planning and management of natural capital. Nature-based solutions (NbS) such as green (e.g., green walls and roofs, urban trees and parks) and natural infrastructures (e.g., forests, floodplains, wetlands) can increase resilience to climate impacts (i.e., heat waves, stormwater management), improve environmental quality (i.e., biodiversity, air pollution removal, soil remediation), and provide multiple other ecosystem services for society (e.g., physical and mental health). This Special Issue aims to provide an overview of nature-based solution applications to address climate and environmental change mitigation and adaptation. The purpose is to supply selected contributions on the management of natural capital and the evaluation of multifunctional ecosystem services, also considering possible trade-offs in the light of global changes.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Natural capital management and conservation;
  • Application of NbS in urban and natural areas;
  • Design and planning of green–natural infrastructures;
  • Assessment of multifunctional ecosystem services;
  • Effects of NbS on ecosystems and human health;
  • Ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies.

Dr. Mattias Gaglio
Dr. Rocco Pace
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Forests 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 2600 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

  • natural capital
  • nature-based solutions
  • green infrastructures
  • ecosystem services
  • climate change adaptation
  • ecosystem restoration
  • human health

Published Papers (4 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

20 pages, 3831 KiB  
Article
Assessing Potential Effects of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) on Water Ecosystem Service in the Interurban Micro-Watershed Río Torres, Costa Rica
by Aurorita Espinal-Giron, Laura Benegas Negri, Christian Brenes, Christian Birkel and Cornelis Prins
Forests 2023, 14(5), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14050937 - 3 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2516
Abstract
The implementation of green infrastructure (GI) as Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) generates positive effects on the water ecosystem service in an urban context. Practices such as bioretention cells, green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavements, and infiltration trenches contribute to treating large volumes of runoff [...] Read more.
The implementation of green infrastructure (GI) as Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) generates positive effects on the water ecosystem service in an urban context. Practices such as bioretention cells, green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavements, and infiltration trenches contribute to treating large volumes of runoff and providing safe spaces for populations living in highly urbanized areas. With the aim to simulate these effects, a hydrological modeling was carried out using the i-Tree Hydro Plus model, which quantified the runoff generated from precipitation events and effective transformations (NBS) to cope with runoff. Eight scenarios were developed: a baseline scenario, five future scenarios with green infrastructure, a scenario with increased tree coverage, and a scenario with increased urbanization. Our hypothesis is that NBS would reduce runoff and increase permeable flow. The analysis of the feasibility of implementing the modeled green infrastructures was carried out through consultation with local stakeholders in the micro-watershed. We found that bioretention cells decrease runoff by 5%, green roofs by 4%, rain gardens by 4%, permeable pavements by 4.5%, and infiltration trenches by 7.5% compared to the baseline scenario where runoff accounts for 32% of water balance flows. The scenario of increased tree coverage had a similar behavior to the baseline scenario, indicating that efforts in this alternative would generate a limited impact on the reduction of runoff. With increased urbanization, impermeable flow increases up to 78%, which would generate floods. Implementing NBS would be feasible since this type of initiative is included in the agenda of many regulatory instruments of urban planning in Costa Rica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Climate and Environmental Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 4735 KiB  
Article
Response of Understory Plant Diversity to Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Urban Forests in Beijing, China
by Xiangyu Meng, Shunxin Fan, Li Dong, Kun Li and Xiaolu Li
Forests 2023, 14(3), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14030571 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1840
Abstract
Understory vegetation affects the richness and stability of urban forest ecosystems. To investigate the influence of soil physicochemical properties on the diversity of understory plants in urban forests, this study used 30 urban forest communities in the Beijing Plain area as the research [...] Read more.
Understory vegetation affects the richness and stability of urban forest ecosystems. To investigate the influence of soil physicochemical properties on the diversity of understory plants in urban forests, this study used 30 urban forest communities in the Beijing Plain area as the research object and analyzed the correlation between understory plant diversity and soil factors by correlation analysis. Furthermore, pH, soil bulk density (SBD), total soil porosity (TSP), soil water content (SWC), soil organic carbon (SOC), soil organic matter (SOM), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), effective phosphorous (AP), and effective potassium (AK) were determined in this study. The Shannon diversity index (H’), Pielou evenness index (E), Simpson dominance index (C), and Margalef richness index (DMG) of understory plants were calculated. The soil nutrient contents and the understory plant diversity indices of the different community types showed significant differences. There was a strong correlation between soil properties and the diversity index of understory vegetation. SOM and SOC were the main factors affecting the Shannon-Wiener index, Pielou index, Simpson index, and Margalef richness index of the understory plants. We conclude that soil properties were one of the primary drivers of the formation of understory vegetation diversity. The results of the study can provide scientific guidance for the management of urban forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Climate and Environmental Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 3204 KiB  
Article
Spatial Prioritization of Ecosystem Services for Land Conservation: The Case Study of Central Italy
by Alessandro Sebastiani and Silvano Fares
Forests 2023, 14(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14010145 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2479
Abstract
Ecosystem services delivered by natural ecosystems are increasingly important for climate change adaptation and mitigation and play a huge role in biodiversity conservation. For this reason, the EU has the ambitious goal of protecting at least 30% of land by 2030. Member states [...] Read more.
Ecosystem services delivered by natural ecosystems are increasingly important for climate change adaptation and mitigation and play a huge role in biodiversity conservation. For this reason, the EU has the ambitious goal of protecting at least 30% of land by 2030. Member states are called to improve and expand the network of protected areas within the next few years; to do so, scientific studies aimed at identifying areas with high ecological value, as well as at defining best management practices, are highly needed. In this study, we used the InVEST suite of models to spatially assess three regulating ecosystem services, that is, carbon storage, seasonal water yield, and urban flood risk mitigation in three administrative regions of central Italy. Using overlay analysis, we found areas with the highest delivery in each of the considered ESs; based on these findings, we eventually proposed four new protected areas, which combine for 888 km2, that is, 2.73% of the study area. Interestingly, each of the newly proposed protected areas has somehow been discussed and hypothesized by stakeholders, but only one is presumably going to be part of the national network of protected areas within the next years. Hopefully, by prioritizing areas according to the production of ecosystem services, this study can be intended as a step towards the systematic inclusion of ecosystem services studies for enhancing the network of areas under national protection schemes and achieving the goal of protecting at least 30% of land in Europe by 2030. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Climate and Environmental Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 45880 KiB  
Article
Green in the City: Estimating the Ecosystem Services Provided by Urban and Peri-Urban Forests of Tbilisi Municipality, Georgia
by Levan Alpaidze and Joseph Salukvadze
Forests 2023, 14(1), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14010121 - 9 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2716
Abstract
Green spaces play a significant role in providing essential natural services to cities. This study aims to estimate Tbilisi’s green cover and identify the surface cover classes, volumes, and values of ecosystem services. The study area embraces the territory of Tbilisi municipality in [...] Read more.
Green spaces play a significant role in providing essential natural services to cities. This study aims to estimate Tbilisi’s green cover and identify the surface cover classes, volumes, and values of ecosystem services. The study area embraces the territory of Tbilisi municipality in its legal/administrative boundaries, which is equal to 502 sq. km. We use the i-Tree Canopy program (v.7.1) to identify the surface cover classes and quantify and price the ecosystem services provided by Tbilisi’s urban and peri-urban forests. The analysis includes the identification and distribution of the surface classes of the territory of Tbilisi, which is presented as follows: grass/herbaceous (38.71% +/− 1.36%), various impervious surfaces (approx. 21.18%), soil/bare ground (8.61% +/− 0.78%), trees/shrubs (28.55% +/− 1.26%), and water (2.95% +/− 0.47) surfaces. Analysis revealed the volumes of the removal of atmospheric pollutants, the annual removal of atmospheric carbon, and the total carbon stock fixed in the trees and shrub vegetation and provided the monetary values, expressed in US Dollars rounded per sq. km, of stored and sequestered carbon and pollution removal on the studies territory. The results showed that the annual removal of air pollutants (CO, NO2, O3, SO2, PM2.5 and PM10) totals 1227 tons or 2.444 t/sq.km. The average annual carbon sequestration by trees and other vegetation is 43.72 thousand tons (87.09 t/sq.km), with an approximate value of 8.22 million USD. The trees are storing 1097.9 kilotons of carbon (2187.95 t/sq.km) with its CO2 equivalent of 4025 kilotons. The estimated value of this service equals 206.4 million USD. This type of analysis of surface covers and ecosystem services has been performed in Tbilisi for the first time. The study revealed the significant magnitude and the great potential of “green benefits” provided by the urban vegetation to the city. It gives additional arguments for better utilization of this knowledge for advanced planning of the urban green infrastructure of Tbilisi for strengthening its sustainable and resilient development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Climate and Environmental Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop