Special Issue "Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity of Peri-Urban Landscapes"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Landscape Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 9891

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Dept. Sustainable Landscape Development, University of Halle, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
Interests: social–ecological system models; ecosystem services; impact assessment; participatory planning processes at urban and landscape scales; climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies; biodiversity trends and governance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Marcin Spyra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Sustainable Landscape Development, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4, 06120 Halle, Germany
2. Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Opole University of Technology, 45758 Opole, Poland
Interests: peri-urban landscape; governance; planning; urban open spaces; ecosystem services
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Nica Claudia Caló
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sustainable Landscape Development, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4, 06120 Halle, Germany
Interests: urban/peri-urban development; socio-economic analysis
Dr. HongMi Koo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sustainable Landscape Development, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4, 06120 Halle, Germany
Interests: land use modeling; land use scenarios; participatory approaches; ecosystem services assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, more than 50% of the global population live in cities, a percentage that is estimated to reach 68% by 2050 (UN, 2018). Urban transitions often take place beyond the urban administrative boundaries of the cities, extend across whole regions. This fosters the emergence of transitional peri-urban landscapes (PULs) represented by a mixture of diverse land uses/covers, diminishing agricultural or forest characteristics, and increasing urban peculiarities.  

The dynamic urbanization and peri-urbanization processes are endangering the sustainability of PULs. In many cases, the policies implemented in PUL and peri-urban project development come at the expense of nature, significantly affecting most of its main functions. This is particularly evident in contexts where the level of biodiversity is still relevant, and it can play a vital role in changing natural ecosystems. In particular, the biodiversity of PULs is becoming endangered due to the dynamic investments taking part in different parts of PULs. At the same time, because of the increasing number of peri-urban inhabitants, PULs are being characterized by a rising demand for various types of ecosystem services (ES), while ES-providing areas in PULs are diminishing. This situation is fostering ES and biodiversity trade-offs and causing a gap between ES demand and provision. Different ES deficit areas emerge constantly in PULs. ES and biodiversity are two components of peri-urbanization process that need to be carefully investigated.

For this Special Issue of Land, we invite authors to submit theoretical considerations and descriptions of practical case studies concerning ES and the biodiversity of PULs.

Specifically, we welcome papers discussing the following topics:

  • Assessment and valuation methods of ES in PULs;
  • ES and biodiversity trade-offs in PULs;
  • Methods to delimitate ES benefitting and providing areas in the extend of PUL;
  • Gaps between demand and provision of ES in PULs;
  • ES deficit areas in PULs.

Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst
Dr. Marcin Spyra
Dr. Nica Claudia Caló
Dr. HongMi Koo
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 2200 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

  • biodiversity
  • ecosystem services
  • peri-urbanization
  • peri-urban landscapes

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Role of Spatial Information in Peri-Urban Ecosystem Service Valuation and Policy Investment Preferences
Land 2022, 11(8), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081267 - 07 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 799
Abstract
The supply of ecosystem services and the benefits that peri-urban areas provide to society are increasingly being modeled and studied using various ecological, environmental, social, and economic approaches. Nevertheless, the different types and levels of demand, preferences, or values for ecosystem services that [...] Read more.
The supply of ecosystem services and the benefits that peri-urban areas provide to society are increasingly being modeled and studied using various ecological, environmental, social, and economic approaches. Nevertheless, the different types and levels of demand, preferences, or values for ecosystem services that different human beneficiaries have, often require information and econometric methods to account for human awareness or knowledge of the spatial underpinnings behind these processes, services, and benefits. Specifically, spatial information regarding the location of an ecosystem, its functions, and its services can play an important role in the value and support for policies affecting conservation of peri-urban ecosystems such as payments for ecosystem service (PES) programs. Such PES programs are policy instruments that promote the use of ecosystem services for resources management and conservation objectives. Therefore, to better address this understudied aspect in the landscape ecology and peri-urban ecosystem services modeling literature, we used an online, interactive, spatially explicit survey (n = 2359) in Bogotá, Colombia to evaluate the role of spatial information on investment and policy preferences for such programs. Using an econometric approach to account for respondents’ spatial literacy (i.e., spatial information) of peri-urban ecosystem services, we analyzed how knowledge of space affected an individual’s choices related to ecosystem services and the economic value of environmental and conservation policies. We found that, as spatial literacy increased, respondents were more likely to prefer that government invest in regulating ecosystem services, specifically water resources, and less likely to prefer investing in other ecosystem services. Although spatial literacy did not necessarily affect respondent’s actual willingness to pay (WTP) for these policies in the form of monthly monetary payments, it did influence the types of programs respondents cared about and the magnitude of resources they were willing to invest. Our findings suggested that increasing spatial literacy would change preferences for government spending but not an individuals’ WTP in contexts such as peri-urban areas and PES programs. Results could be used by landscape ecologists, conservation biologists, natural resource scientists, and environmental/ecological economists to better understand and design more efficient education, conservation, and management strategies to increase public engagement in peri-urban contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity of Peri-Urban Landscapes)
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Article
Quantification and Simulation of Landscape Anthropization around the Mining Agglomerations of Southeastern Katanga (DR Congo) between 1979 and 2090
Land 2022, 11(6), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11060850 - 05 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
In Southeastern Katanga, mining activities are (in)directly responsible for deforestation, ecosystem degradation and unplanned building densification. However, little is known about these dynamics at the local level. First, we quantify the landscape anthropization around four agglomerations of Southeastern Katanga (Lubumbashi, Likasi, Fungurume and [...] Read more.
In Southeastern Katanga, mining activities are (in)directly responsible for deforestation, ecosystem degradation and unplanned building densification. However, little is known about these dynamics at the local level. First, we quantify the landscape anthropization around four agglomerations of Southeastern Katanga (Lubumbashi, Likasi, Fungurume and Kolwezi) in order to assess the applicability of the Nature–Agriculture-Urbanization model based on the fact that natural landscapes are replaced by anthropogenic landscapes, first dominated by agricultural production, and then built-up areas. Secondly, we predict evolutionary trends of landscape anthropization by 2090 through the first-order Markov chain. Mapping coupled with landscape ecology analysis tools revealed that the natural cover that dominated the landscape in 1979 lost more than 60% of its area in 41 years (1979–2020) around these agglomerations in favor of agricultural and energy production, the new landscape matrix in 2020, but also built-up areas. These disturbances, amplified between 2010 and 2020, are more significant around Lubumbashi and Kolwezi agglomerations. Built-up areas which spread progressively will become the dominant process by 2060 in Lubumbashi and by 2075 in Kolwezi. Our results confirm the applicability of the Nature–Agriculture-Urbanization model to the tropical context and underline the urgency to put in place a territorial development plan and alternatives regarding the use of charcoal as a main energy source in order to decrease the pressure on natural ecosystems, particularly in peri-urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity of Peri-Urban Landscapes)
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Article
Half-Century of Forest Change in a Neotropical Peri-Urban Landscape: Drivers and Trends
Land 2022, 11(4), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040522 - 04 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
Neotropical forested landscapes have become agricultural areas and human settlements, causing forest fragmentation, land degradation, and habitat loss. Nonetheless, complex tree cover loss and recovery processes may occur even while urban areas expand. Biophysical, social, political, and economic drivers influence forest loss or [...] Read more.
Neotropical forested landscapes have become agricultural areas and human settlements, causing forest fragmentation, land degradation, and habitat loss. Nonetheless, complex tree cover loss and recovery processes may occur even while urban areas expand. Biophysical, social, political, and economic drivers influence forest loss or recovery over time. This study analyzes land-use change dynamics in urban and peri-urban landscapes in the western sector of Xalapa City between 1966–2018 and identifies the primary drivers that have played a significant role in deforestation and forest recovery processes. The main finding denotes the city’s expansion between 1966 and 2018, initially covering 8% of the study area and increasing to 27%. However, between 1966 and 2018, 15% of forest cover was lost in net terms, a finding ascribed to forest recovery in some abandoned areas. Social and biophysical variables significantly influenced deforestation and forest recovery trends, and few variables were singular to one process. The deceleration of forest loss and accomplishing tree cover recovery are possible in some urban settings. In this context, green urban and peri-urban landscapes become strategic to achieve more sustainable cities. Among other benefits, green areas provide landscape connectivity, temperature regulation, air quality improvement, noise dampening, and recreational areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity of Peri-Urban Landscapes)
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Article
Urban Infill Development: A Strategy for Saving Peri-Urban Areas in Developing Countries (the Case Study of Ardabil, Iran)
Land 2022, 11(4), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040454 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
The overall objective of this study was to investigate urban infill development policies as a good solution to counteract urban sprawl and protect the peri-urban area of Ardabil in Northwestern Iran. In this context, we used a mixed methodology (two quantitative methods). Landsat [...] Read more.
The overall objective of this study was to investigate urban infill development policies as a good solution to counteract urban sprawl and protect the peri-urban area of Ardabil in Northwestern Iran. In this context, we used a mixed methodology (two quantitative methods). Landsat imagery, including a patchy Landsat ETM+ for the year 2000 and a Landsat 8 for the year 2020, was used to map and assess land use to investigate sprawl and land-use change, and ArcGIS was used to investigate the potential for infill development in this city. The results show that between 2000 and 2020, 967 hectares of peri-urban land was lost to urban expansion. CA-Markov projections also showed that 452 hectares will be lost by 2030. The assessment of the city’s internal capacity for infill development showed that more than 999 hectares of land within the city are suitable to support this strategy and provide the land needed for urban expansion over the next decade. Finally, the study of the city’s master plan, which applies to all Iranian cities, discovered that there is a lack of adequate outlook regarding the amount of land available for future urban development, leading to misuse of urban land and urban sprawl in Iranian cities, suggesting that an infill development strategy could be a good way to address this issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity of Peri-Urban Landscapes)
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Article
Agricultural Transformation and Its Impact on Ecosystem Services and Human Well-Being in Peri-Urban Areas: The Case of Xi’an, China
Land 2022, 11(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010110 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1338
Abstract
There is a gap in understanding the relationships between the transformation of agricultural landscapes, ecosystem services and human well-being in the peri-urban fringe of major cities worldwide. In this paper, we use semi-structured interviews, perception surveys, social surveys and field mapping to examine [...] Read more.
There is a gap in understanding the relationships between the transformation of agricultural landscapes, ecosystem services and human well-being in the peri-urban fringe of major cities worldwide. In this paper, we use semi-structured interviews, perception surveys, social surveys and field mapping to examine linkages between agricultural and landscape transition, ecosystem services and human well-being in five sample villages in Xi’an metropolitan zone, China. The results indicate that: (1) Agricultural change has increased landscape fragmentation, with a shift from grain to more profitable horticulture and nursery production. The farming system is more diversified and exhibits a multifunctional character. (2) This transformation has had a significant impact on the character of the agroecosystem. (3) The agricultural transformation towards greater multifunctionality has increased the supply of ecosystem services, including tourism-related activities, potentially improving human well-being. (4) Different combinations of activities in the sample villages were evaluated with respect to a well-being index, indicating the importance of combining horticulture and tourism. (5) Linkages identified between agricultural transformation, ecosystem services and human well-being may have significant implications for potential approaches within future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity of Peri-Urban Landscapes)
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Article
Lifestyle Properties, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity Protection in Peri-Urban Aotearoa–New Zealand: A Case Study from Peri-Urban Palmerston North
Land 2021, 10(12), 1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121345 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1805
Abstract
Intensive agriculture and urbanization are putting pressure on natural capital in Aotearoa–New Zealand (NZ), with native ecosystems and water quality suffering degradation. As the population has increased, so development has pushed into the rural–urban fringe. Over the last 30 years, the number of [...] Read more.
Intensive agriculture and urbanization are putting pressure on natural capital in Aotearoa–New Zealand (NZ), with native ecosystems and water quality suffering degradation. As the population has increased, so development has pushed into the rural–urban fringe. Over the last 30 years, the number of lifestyle properties in NZ has increased dramatically. Many of these properties have been developed on some of NZ’s most productive soils, meaning a loss of provisioning services from this land. However, given their location, these developments present new opportunities for the enhancement and protection of other ecosystem services. This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study conducted on lifestyle block residents in peri-urban Palmerston North. The results showed that these residents have a good sense of environmental stewardship and a desire to plant native species, improve connectivity, and protect their land from the invasion of pests and weeds. These residents are also quite community-focused and protective of their special place. This creates an excellent basis from which to encourage greater collaborative action towards protecting and enhancing biodiversity and to put in place land management strategies that can enhance natural capital and assist in other ecosystem service protection serving to improve the landscape ecology of peri-urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity of Peri-Urban Landscapes)
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Review

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Review
Ecosystem Services Supply from Peri-Urban Landscapes and Their Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals: A Global Perspective
Land 2022, 11(11), 2006; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11112006 - 09 Nov 2022
Viewed by 746
Abstract
Peri-urban landscapes (PULs) play an important role in the supply of ecosystem services (ES), which support development and well-being in urban and rural areas. Understanding the impacts of policy actions on the supply of ES and how they might contribute to the achievement [...] Read more.
Peri-urban landscapes (PULs) play an important role in the supply of ecosystem services (ES), which support development and well-being in urban and rural areas. Understanding the impacts of policy actions on the supply of ES and how they might contribute to the achievement of a range of sustainable development goals (SDG) is a key challenge, especially for spatial planning. The aim of this article is to explore the links between the ES supply from PULs and how they support different SDGs from a global perspective. For this, we implemented a review of the literature oriented to identify (1) the most relevant ES provided by PULs at a global level, (2) how they support the achievement of different SDG, and (3) the type of policy interventions and actors related to PULs. We identified the supply of 17 different ES by PULs and a relationship to 12 SDGs. In 58% of the cases, the SDGs were related to two ES sections, where regulation and maintenance was dominant. Pure research was the main type of intervention, mainly at the municipal scale. Increasing the cooperation between science and policy and expanding the scale of analysis beyond municipal boundaries are critical aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity of Peri-Urban Landscapes)
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