Special Issue "Methodologies and Applications to Assess the Nexus between Agriculture, Environment and Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Pier Paolo Miglietta E-Mail
Department of Economics and Management, University of Salento, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: agri-food; water; environment; footprints
Guest Editor
Dr. Domenico Morrone E-Mail
Department of Management, LUM University, 70010 Casamassima, Italy
Interests: sustainability; green marketing; agri-food; energy
Guest Editor
Dr. Pierluigi Toma E-Mail
Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"
Interests: efficiency; productivity; quantitative methods; econometrics; operational research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The fields of nutrition, public health and sustainable agriculture have historically developed as distinct, non-overlapping disciplines. However, it is increasingly clear that public health dietary guidelines around diet cannot be met without a simultaneous focus on sustainable agriculture and food production.

Agricultural sustainability is essential for the continued viability of communities and territories. New innovations in agri-food production and land preservation are needed. Current approaches used for crop production, breeding, fisheries or silviculture need to be examined in the light of natural resource availability.

There is an urgent need for modifications in the primary sector firm management, so as to adapt to the changing socio-economic and climatic conditions, and to improve efficiency, productivity, and security. The aim, intended as a societal challenge, is to find a balance between the economic and managerial practices and the environmental, social and health needs.

This Special Issue seeks to demonstrate the important role that quantitative approaches can play for measuring sustainability. It is intended to propose strategies for approaching public health nutritional goals and thus enhance our ability to develop sustainable primary and food systems from environmental, economic and social perspectives.

Dr. Pier Paolo Miglietta
Dr. Domenico Morrone
Dr. Pierluigi Toma
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 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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • Primary sector sustainability assessment and management
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Footprint assessment
  • Resource use efficiency
  • Agricultural productivity
  • Agricultural economics
  • Agri-food quality
  • Agricultural sustainable policy
  • Environmental research
  • Water-food-energy nexus
  • Quantitative tools
  • Operations management
  • Food and drink environments
  • Nutritional quality
  • Food safety
  • Agriculture and health: production linkage
  • Agrochemicals

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Post-Adversities Recovery and Profitability: The Case of Italian Farmers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3189; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173189 - 01 Sep 2019
Abstract
Insurance represents one of the main instruments, together with other risk management mechanisms, to face the adverse effects produced by natural calamity that, despite their growing intensity and the enormous costs, are still perceived as “exceptional”. Risk management is an important part of [...] Read more.
Insurance represents one of the main instruments, together with other risk management mechanisms, to face the adverse effects produced by natural calamity that, despite their growing intensity and the enormous costs, are still perceived as “exceptional”. Risk management is an important part of farming, and it is a concern for those governments which aim at achieving their agricultural policy targets. In this context, crop insurance can also represent a financial mitigation tool for farmers to face climate change consequences. This study is focused on the Italian case analyzing the evolution of public support and its effect on risk management policy in agriculture. Our research, based on panel data regressions, provides two different levels of analysis. The first one evaluates how the reimbursed value issued by insurance companies in favor of agricultural firms, as recovery from natural adversities, affects farmers’ profitability. The second one evaluates how the reimbursed value is used in farm management. The results of the analysis demonstrating the significance of insurance variables and their positive effect on the profitability of the farms, represent a strong advance in the farm risk management field Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Olive Urban Forests Infected by Xylella fastidiosa: Impact on Microclimate and Social Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152642 - 24 Jul 2019
Abstract
This paper is devoted to the analysis of the impact of changes in olive urban forests affected by Xylella fastidiosa on ecosystem services. The focus is on microclimate and thermal comfort evaluated by two indices: the temperature of equivalent perception (TEP) and the [...] Read more.
This paper is devoted to the analysis of the impact of changes in olive urban forests affected by Xylella fastidiosa on ecosystem services. The focus is on microclimate and thermal comfort evaluated by two indices: the temperature of equivalent perception (TEP) and the predicted mean vote (PMV), which take into account both microclimate parameters and personal factors (heat resistance of clothing and human activity). The work has been carried out through (i) a qualitative analysis of the potential ecosystem services changes caused by temporary transition from olive groves to uncultivated soil, (ii) a study of the potential change of land use from monumental olive groves to other types of use, and (iii) a quantitative analysis on microclimate impact due to the loss of ecosystem services in two selected neighborhoods located in the Apulia region and chosen due to their proximity to the urban context. The analysis revealed that (i) direct effects on ecosystem services are principally linked with regulation functions and cultural services, (ii) a critical loss of cultural value of monumental olive groves occurred in the two neighborhoods, (iii) such a loss may lead to an increase of TEP and PMV, indicating a decrease of thermal comfort in the whole neighborhoods. Thus, it is necessary to plan the replanting policies of the use of the areas affected by X. fastidiosa not only in terms of agricultural planning but also in terms of landscape, urban planning, and human well-being. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Integrated Rice-Frog Farming on Paddy Field Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1930; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111930 - 31 May 2019
Abstract
Integrated rice-frog farming (IRFF), as a mode of ecological farming, is fundamental in realizing sustainable development in agriculture. Yet its production of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remains unclear. Here, a randomized plot field experiment was performed to study the GHG emissions for various [...] Read more.
Integrated rice-frog farming (IRFF), as a mode of ecological farming, is fundamental in realizing sustainable development in agriculture. Yet its production of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remains unclear. Here, a randomized plot field experiment was performed to study the GHG emissions for various farming systems during the rice growing season. The farming systems included: conventional farming (CF), green integrated rice-frog farming (GIRF), and organic integrated rice-frog farming (OIRF). Results indicate that the cumulative methane (CH4) emissions from the whole growth period were divergent for the three farming systems, with OIRF having the highest value and CF having the lowest. For nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, the order is reversed. IRFF significantly increased the dissolved oxygen (DO), soil redox potential (Eh), total organic carbon (TOC) content, and soil C:N ratio, which is closely related to GHG emissions in rice fields. Additionally, the average emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from soils during rice growing seasons ranged from 2312.27 to 2589.62 kg ha−1 and showed no significant difference in the three treatments. Rice yield in the GIRF and OIRF were lower (2.0% and 16.7%) than the control. The CH4 emissions contributed to 83.0–96.8% of global warming potential (GWP). Compared to CF, the treatment of GIRF and OIRF increased the GWP by 41.3% and 98.2% during the whole growing period of rice, respectively. IRFF significantly increased greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI, 0.79 kg CO2-eq ha−1 grain yield), by 91.1% over the control. Compared to the OIRF, GIRF decreased the GHGI by approximately 39.4% (0.59 kg CO2-eq ha−1 grain yield), which was 44.2% higher than that of the control. The results of structural equation model showed that the contribution of fertilization to CH4 emissions in paddy fields was much greater than that of frog activity. Moreover, frog activity could decrease GWP by reducing CH4 emissions from rice fields. And while GIRF showed a slight increase in GHG emissions, it could still be considered as a good strategy for providing an environmentally-friendly option in maintaining crop yield in paddy fields. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Associated with Leptospirosis in Domestic Cattle in Salakphra Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061042 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Leptospirosis found in cattle (Bos taurus indicus) has potentially increased in economic impact. The objective was to investigate the factors associated with leptospirosis in cattle in the protected area. We investigated the seroprevalence of leptospirosis in cattle in Salakphra Wildlife Sanctuary, [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis found in cattle (Bos taurus indicus) has potentially increased in economic impact. The objective was to investigate the factors associated with leptospirosis in cattle in the protected area. We investigated the seroprevalence of leptospirosis in cattle in Salakphra Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand. Serum was collected to investigate the seroprevalence by agglutination test and their associated factors. From a total of 513 samples, antibodies against Leptospira were detected in 92.2% of samples. Within a total of 42 herds, the serovar with the highest prevalence was L interrogans serovar Tarassovi (92.9%). Most leptospirosis was found in medium-sized herds with the highest concentrations in cattle farms close to cities (52.4%, p < 0.05). Seroprevalence was associated with herd size, raising pattern in the dry and wet seasons, grazing distance, number of years that cattle were kept in the farm, the introduction of new cattle into the farm, and keeping some pets in the farm. The results of the study suggest that keeping cattle in larger herds, raising pattern and distance, keeping period, and introducing new cattle and having pets impart potential risk of increasing leptospirosis exposure. These results indicate that cattle are important hosts of Leptospira in Thailand and may act as sentinels of Leptospira infection for wildlife and people in the protected areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Rural-To-Urban Migration, Influencing Factors and Development Framework: A Case Study of Sihe Village of Gansu, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050877 - 10 Mar 2019
Abstract
Farmers are the major participants in rural development process and their willingness to settle in urban areas directly affects the implementation of rural revitalization strategy. Based on Ostrom’s institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework, we analyzed farmers’ willingness to settle in urban areas [...] Read more.
Farmers are the major participants in rural development process and their willingness to settle in urban areas directly affects the implementation of rural revitalization strategy. Based on Ostrom’s institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework, we analyzed farmers’ willingness to settle in urban areas and its influencing factors by binary Logistic regression and cluster analysis of survey data of 190 rural households in Sihe village of Gansu Province of China. The results show that: (1) In Sihe village, farmers’ willingness to settle in urban areas was low in general and influenced by their neighbors’ decisions or behaviors. Households willing and unwilling to migrate to urban areas both presented significant spatial agglomeration. (2) The factors influencing farmers’ willingness to settle in urban areas were analyzed from six aspects: individual characteristics, family characteristics, residence characteristics, cognitive characteristics, institutions, and constraints. The main influencing factors were found to be age, occupation, number of non-agricultural workers in the family, household cultivated land area, annual household income, house building materials, degree of satisfaction with social pension, homestead and contracted land subsidies, income constraints, and other constraints. (3) Individual heterogeneity and difference in economic basis determined the difference in farmers’ willingness to settle in urban areas. Institutions and constraints played different roles in the migration willingness of different groups of farmers (Note: More details on the sample as well as further interpretation and discussion of the surveys are available in the associated research article (“Village-Scale Livelihood Change and the Response of Rural Settlement Land Use: Sihe Village of Tongwei County in Mid-Gansu Loess Hilly Region as an Example” (Ma, L.B.; Liu, S.C.; Niu, Y.W.; Chen, M.M., 2018)). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterizing Spatiotemporal Dynamics of CH4 Fluxes from Rice Paddies of Cold Region in Heilongjiang Province under Climate Change
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050692 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Paddy fields have become a major global anthropogenic CH4 emission source, and climate change affects CH4 emissions from paddy ecosystems by changing crop growth and the soil environment. It has been recognized that Heilongjiang Province has become an important source of [...] Read more.
Paddy fields have become a major global anthropogenic CH4 emission source, and climate change affects CH4 emissions from paddy ecosystems by changing crop growth and the soil environment. It has been recognized that Heilongjiang Province has become an important source of CH4 emission due to its dramatically increased rice planting area, while less attention has been paid to characterize the effects of climate change on the spatiotemporal dynamics of CH4 fluxes. In this study, we used the calibrated and validated Long Ashton Research Station Weather Generator (LARS-WG) model and DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model to simulate historical and future CH4 fluxes under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 of four global climate models (GCMs) in Heilongjiang Province. During 1960–2015, the average CH4 fluxes and climatic tendencies were 145.56 kg C/ha and 11.88 kg C/ha/(10a), respectively. Spatially, the CH4 fluxes showed a decreasing trend from west to east, and the climatic tendencies in the northern and western parts were higher. During 2021–2080, the annual average CH4 fluxes under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 were predicted to be 213.46 kg C/ha and 252.19 kg C/ha, respectively, and their spatial distributions were similar to the historical distribution. The average climatic tendencies were 13.40 kg C/ha/(10a) and 29.86 kg C/ha/(10a), respectively, which decreased from west to east. The simulation scenario analysis showed that atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature affected CH4 fluxes by changing soil organic carbon (SOC) content and plant biomass. This study indicated that a paddy ecosystem in a cold region is an important part of China’s greenhouse gas emission inventory in future scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Biochar Amendment on CO2 Emissions from Paddy Fields under Water-Saving Irrigation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112580 - 18 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The role of carbon pool of biochar as a method of long-term C sequestration in global warming mitigation is unclear. A two-year field study was conducted to investigate the seasonal variations of CO2 emissions from water-saving irrigation paddy fields in response to [...] Read more.
The role of carbon pool of biochar as a method of long-term C sequestration in global warming mitigation is unclear. A two-year field study was conducted to investigate the seasonal variations of CO2 emissions from water-saving irrigation paddy fields in response to biochar amendment and irrigation patterns. Three biochar treatments under water-saving irrigation and one biochar treatment under flooding irrigation were studied, and the application rates were 0, 20, 40, and 40 t ha−1 and labeled as CI + NB (controlled irrigation and none biochar added), CI + MB (controlled irrigation and medium biochar added), CI + HB (controlled irrigation and high biochar added), and FI + HB (flood irrigation and high biochar added), respectively. Results showed that biochar application at medium rates (20 t ha−1) decreased CO2 emissions by 1.64–8.83% in rice paddy fields under water-saving irrigation, compared with the non-amendment treatment. However, the CO2 emissions from paddy fields increased by 4.39–5.43% in the CI + HB treatment, compared with CI + NB. Furthermore, the mean CO2 emissions from paddy fields under water-saving irrigation decreased by 2.22% compared with flood irrigation under the same amount of biochar application (40 t ha−1). Biochar amendment increased rice yield and water use efficiency by 9.35–36.30% and 15.1–42.5%, respectively, when combined with water-saving irrigation. The CO2 emissions were reduced in the CI + MB treatment, which then increased rice yield. The CO2 emissions from paddy fields were positively correlated with temperature. The highest value of the temperature sensitivity coefficient (Q10) was derived for the CI + MB treatment. The Q10 was higher under water-saving irrigation compared with flooding irrigation. Full article
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