Innovative Research Approaches & Practices Towards Sustainable Land Management, Preservation & Restoration (Second Edition)

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Systems and Global Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2024 | Viewed by 3556

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Surveying and Geoinformatics Engineering, University of West Attica, 28 Ag. Spiridonos, Egaleo, 12243 Athens, Greece
Interests: geographic information systems (GIS); spatial data infrastructures (SDI); spatial analysis; cartography; human geography; physical geography
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Guest Editor

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Guest Editor
Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, BEYOND Centre of EO Research & Satellite Remote Sensing, 15236 Athens, Greece
Interests: geographic information systems (GIS); remote sensing; spatial analysis; natural environment; environmental hazards/disasters; water resources; climate change
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Guest Editor
1. Laboratory of Technology and Policy of Energy and Environment, School of Applied Arts and Sustainable Design, Hellenic Open University, 26335 Patras, Greece
2. Department of Technology Products and Services, NEURPUBLIC S.A., 18545 Piraeus, Greece
Interests: integrated water resources management; drought management; contingency planning; drought vulnerability; desertification vulnerability; composite index; water and land degradation
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Guest Editor
Department of Remote Sensing, Birla Institute of Technology Mesra, Ranchi 835215, Jharkhand, India
Interests: land use; land cover studies; pattern recognition; snow cover mapping; biomass estimation
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Guest Editor
Department of Geosciences, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA
Interests: spatial analysis; remote sensing; human–environment interactions; social sensing; deep learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable land management (SLM), focusing mainly on soil health, ecosystem and biodiversity preservation, resilience to natural hazards, and landscape remediation, is a crucial need and goal for modern societies as life on earth depends on it (human nutrition, clean water, habitat flourishment, economic prosperity, psychological and mental well-being, etc.). Land is the main recipient of climate change and environmental pressures (desertification, degradation, pollution, contamination, human life loss, famine, etc.), originating mainly from human activities (industrialization, urbanization, extensive and uncontrolled conventional farming, overuse of fossil fuels, etc.), constituting the need to counteract and respond to these challenges as a survival-level priority. An analysis by the Mission Board for Soil Health and Food and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission (EC) states that 60–70% of soils in the EU are in an unhealthy state. At the same time, on a global scale, the combined effects of climate change and land degradation may force approximately 700 million people to migrate by 2050. Land is a fragile resource that must be safeguarded for future generations.

In this light, both global and European initiatives, policies, and strategies are directly or indirectly linked to sustainable land management, preservation, and restoration. The global “One Health” concept links soil health to ecosystem health, food systems, and people. At the same time, most of the 17 SDGs, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 through the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, include the land environment and its ecosystem services (safe and nutritious food, water storage and purification, flow regulation, aquifer recharge, carbon capture, nutrient cycling, contamination and pollution reduction, biodiversity preservation, landscapes, cultural heritage preservation, greening of towns and cities, etc.)  in their core (e.g., SDG2: zero hunger; SDG3: good health and well-being; SDG6: clean water and sanitation; SDG15: life on land).

In parallel, in the EU, land is a leading area of Research & Innovation (R&I) and policy-making towards “Europe’s twin green and digital transition” as it is connected to a wide range of ongoing strategies and policies, including the Farm to Fork Strategy; the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030; the Climate Adaptation Strategy; the Zero Pollution Action Plan for air, water and soil; the Forest Strategy; and the Organic Action Plan, in addition to upcoming ones (New Soil Strategy, EU Soil Observatory, New Common Agricultural Policy, Circular Economy Action Plan, etc.).

Overall, integrated environmental and land management is a combination of scientific, political, and socio-economic practices and deals with the regulation of both the effects of human activities on the environment and the effects of the environment on humans. Thus, based on this framework, this Special Issue (SI) envisages becoming a unique reference point in the existing literature, as it will focus on presenting innovative and contemporary methodologies, techniques and tools, significant case studies, and thorough reviews, covering the widest possible range of integrated contemporary concepts presented in its title.

Original and high-quality research and review papers will be accepted from both stakeholders and researchers around the world, focusing on topics such as:

  •     Reducing land degradation relating to desertification and drought events;
  •     Conserving and increasing soil organic carbon stocks;
  •     No net soil sealing and increasing the reuse of urban soils;
  •     Reducing soil pollution and enhancing restoration;
  •     Preventing soil erosion;
  •     Improving soil structure to enhance habitat quality for soil biota and crops;
  •     Reducing the EU global footprint on soils;
  •     Increasing soil literacy in society.

Dr. Kleomenis Kalogeropoulos
Prof. Dr. Andreas Tsatsaris
Dr. Nikolaos Stathopoulos
Dr. Demetrios E. Tsesmelis
Prof. Dr. Nilanchal Patel
Dr. Xiao Huang
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. Land 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

  • land degradation
  • desertification
  • soil erosion
  • drought
  • ecosystem services
  • biodiversity
  • terrain evaluation

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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24 pages, 36011 KiB  
Article
Landscape Analysis and Coastal Planning: Ría de Arosa (Pontevedra, Spain)
by Carlos E. Nieto, Antonio Miguel Martínez-Graña and Leticia Merchán
Land 2024, 13(5), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050645 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Coastal areas are fundamental enclaves for economic and recreational development, attracting a large population worldwide. However, these factors have generated significant pressure on the coastal landscape, requiring territorial management strategies to protect and control its degradation. The coastal landscape, composed of abiotic and [...] Read more.
Coastal areas are fundamental enclaves for economic and recreational development, attracting a large population worldwide. However, these factors have generated significant pressure on the coastal landscape, requiring territorial management strategies to protect and control its degradation. The coastal landscape, composed of abiotic and biotic elements, plays a crucial role in human wellbeing and the conservation of the natural environment. This study focuses on the southeast area of the Ría de Arosa, on the western coast of Galicia, known for its unique geomorphological features such as estuaries. The main objective is to generate high-resolution thematic maps for territorial planning and conservation of the natural and cultural landscape. Using methodologies based on geographic information systems, various factors of the natural environment will be analyzed to obtain objective results, presenting cartography of landscape units, along with quality and fragility landscape maps. In addition, active strategies are proposed such as multiple land uses or the development of geotourism to preserve, exploit, and manage the landscape better. This work contributes to better understanding the vulnerability of the coastal landscape and provides practical tools for its sustainable management in a context of accelerated global change. Full article
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21 pages, 2689 KiB  
Article
Interpreting Different Narratives about Land Services and Land Use Economics of Common Agricultural Policy
by Jana Poláková, Jaroslav Humpál, Adam Svoboda and Josef Soukup
Land 2024, 13(5), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050620 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Since 2023, a new format of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been implemented in Europe. Market forces alone cannot guarantee land services, which can be described as flows of goods and services from ecosystems to human systems as functions of nature. Market [...] Read more.
Since 2023, a new format of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been implemented in Europe. Market forces alone cannot guarantee land services, which can be described as flows of goods and services from ecosystems to human systems as functions of nature. Market forces also cannot ensure food security everywhere and at all times, so deliberate measures should incentivize farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices and maintain necessary skills and resources. This study identifies, quantifies, and interprets four narratives that are typical in the approach to food security and the public debate about the land services in the CAP Strategic Plans: (A) provision of land services within the Pillar 1 economics; (B) small vs. large farms; (C) direct payments in comparison with rural development; and (D) choices by the old and new member states. Participatory processes, descriptive statistics, and partial component analysis were used in terms of the methodology. The key finding is that the importance attached to eco-schemes varies among member states, although a majority dedicate approximately 25% of the Pillar 1 budget to them. We showed that small-scale farming countries move resources from Pillar 2 to strengthen direct payments. In contrast, affluent countries with robust agricultural structures can afford to reinforce Pillar 2 rural development through transfers from direct payments. To support small-scale and medium farms, appropriate support requires a combination of several measures, including the sizable hectare payment in Pillar 1 and farmer-oriented agri-environmental measures. Full article
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17 pages, 8107 KiB  
Article
Change Patterns between 1993 and 2023 and Effects of COVID-19 on Tourist Traffic in Tatra National Park (Poland)
by Joanna Fidelus-Orzechowska, Magdalena Sitarz and Maria Król
Land 2024, 13(4), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13040516 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Tatra National Park (TNP) is one of the most popular national parks in Poland. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in the number of tourists visiting the Park each year from 1993 with a special focus on the COVID-19 period. [...] Read more.
Tatra National Park (TNP) is one of the most popular national parks in Poland. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in the number of tourists visiting the Park each year from 1993 with a special focus on the COVID-19 period. The main part of this study focused on tourist traffic data for the period from 1993 to 2023. Daily, monthly, and annual data were examined. The source of most of the data is park entry ticket sales. The largest number of tourists entering TNP in the period of 1993–2022 was recorded in 2021 at 4,788,788. Tourist traffic in TNP is concentrated on so-called long weekends in May and June. An examination of data from 2010, 2015, and 2021 shows that tourist volumes on the long weekend of 1–3 May be up to 40 times larger than those on other weekends in May. On the other hand, long weekends in June can attract eight times more tourists relative to the average other weekends in June. The number of tourists engaging in hiking, climbing, spelunking, and ski touring declined during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, the number of ski tourers in TNP in 2021 was about four times larger than the total between 2015–2022. Data on traffic patterns are key in designing, implementing, and measuring the efficiency of solutions for sustainable management for both the peak usage periods and future patterns in tourism. Full article
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19 pages, 2224 KiB  
Article
Green Manuring and Irrigation Strategies Positively Influence the Soil Characteristics and Yield of Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) Crop under Salinity Stress
by Antonio Sánchez-Navarro, Aldara Girona-Ruíz and María José Delgado-Iniesta
Land 2024, 13(3), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13030265 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 707
Abstract
This study shows the influence of soil salinity and irrigation dose on biomass production and its impact on some edaphic indicators and functions. For this purpose, an experiment was carried out in two representative soils from Murcia (SE Spain), one slightly saline (LS) [...] Read more.
This study shows the influence of soil salinity and irrigation dose on biomass production and its impact on some edaphic indicators and functions. For this purpose, an experiment was carried out in two representative soils from Murcia (SE Spain), one slightly saline (LS) and the other saline (S), where an oat–vetch green manure was intercalated between a spinach cycle and a coriander cycle; the latter being subjected to three different irrigation doses (deficient, optimum and surplus). Rapid response indicators (ECext, cations and anions in the soil solution, etc.) were monitored, as well as the material balances, in particular C and salts. Green manure and crop residues increased soil OC by 12.5% and reduced Na+ and NO3 concentrations. Total biomass production was also affected by salinity, both in oat–vetch, 35.9 and 31. 9 tm ha−1 in LS and S, respectively, and in the coriander crop, where the irrigation dose was decisive, obtaining around 29 tm ha−1 with the optimum and surplus doses and significantly lower amounts with the deficit dose: 20.4 tm ha−1 in LSD and 14. 0 in SD. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust the irrigation doses, since deficit irrigation significantly reduces production and the surplus does not lead to an increase with respect to the optimum, while also causing ions to leach to depth horizons, as is the case for NO3, Cl and Na+, with the consequent risk of contaminating the water table. Full article
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Review

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22 pages, 2490 KiB  
Review
Geoinformation Technology in Support of Arctic Coastal Properties Characterization: State of the Art, Challenges, and Future Outlook
by George P. Petropoulos, Triantafyllia Petsini and Spyridon E. Detsikas
Land 2024, 13(6), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13060776 - 30 May 2024
Viewed by 291
Abstract
Climate change is increasingly affecting components of the terrestrial cryosphere with its adverse impacts in the Arctic regions of our planet are already well documented. In this context, it is regarded today as a key scientific priority to develop methodologies and operational tools [...] Read more.
Climate change is increasingly affecting components of the terrestrial cryosphere with its adverse impacts in the Arctic regions of our planet are already well documented. In this context, it is regarded today as a key scientific priority to develop methodologies and operational tools that can assist towards advancing our monitoring capabilities and improving our decision-making competences in Arctic regions. In particular, the Arctic coasts are the focal point in this respect, due to their strong connection to the physical environment, society, and the economy in such areas. Geoinformation, namely Earth Observation (EO) and Geographical Information Systems (GISs), provide the way forward towards achieving this goal. The present review, which to our knowledge is the first of its kind, aims at delivering a critical consideration of the state-of-the-art approaches exploiting EO datasets and GIS for mapping the Arctic coasts properties. It also furnishes a reflective discussion on the scientific gaps and challenges that exist that require the attention of the scientific and wider community to allow exploitation of the full potential of EO/GIS technologies in this domain. As such, the present study also serves as a valuable contribution towards pinpointing directions for the design of effective policies and decision-making strategies that will promote environmental sustainability in the Arctic regions. Full article
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