Land: 10th Anniversary

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 87803

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Department Sustainable Landscape Development, University of Halle, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4, 06120 Halle, 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
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Guest Editor
Department of Geography & Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Connecticut, 215 Glenbrook Rd., Unit 4148, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
Interests: geographical information science and systems; cyberinfrastructure; land use and land cover; spatial data analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the journal Land (ISSN 2073-445X). Land is the only open access journal covering all aspects of land science and is thus a pioneering platform for publications on land system science. Land was accepted for coverage in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI—Web of Science) in 2019, starting from Volume 6, and received its first IF of 2.4293 for that year. Its 2020 IF is 3.395, ranking 57th out of 125 (Q2) in the category “Environmental Studies (SSCI)”. To date, Land has published 315 peer-reviewed articles that have been cited 10 or more times (data up to 11 October 2021). Our sincerest thanks go to our readers, authors, anonymous peer reviewers, editors, and all the people working for the journal in some way and who have joined their efforts with ours throughout the years. These achievements would not have possible without your participation.

To mark this significant milestone, we are launching a Special Issue entitled “Land: 10th Anniversary”. This Special Issue will include high-quality papers on topics within the broad scope of Land. It is our pleasure to invite you to contribute an original research paper or a comprehensive review article on a trendy or hot topic for peer review and possible publication.

We especially welcome research on:

  • Big data and AI-based analysis for sustainable agriculture;
  • Big data in sustainable utilization of soil and land resources;
  • Deep learning for land use or soil classification;
  • Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation;
  • Green infrastructure for ecosystem services and environmental justice;
  • Urban planning for carbon neutrality;
  • UN decade on ecosystem restoration (UN-DER);
  • Land degradation neutrality;
  • Climate change and renewable energies;
  • Sustainable land and natural resource governance;
  • Urban and biodiversity;
  • Integrative assessments and models for sustainable landscape development;
  • Landscapes, nature, and societal values;
  • Cultural landscapes and cultural heritage;
  • Landscapes and biodiversity—contributions of landscape planning to bio;
  • Landscape restoration—opportunities and threats from energy transition;
  • Landscapes and the UN SDGs—implications for sustainable landscape development;
  • Sustainable land science;
  • Biodiversity and land;
  • Big earth data for land science.

Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst
Dr. Hossein Azadi
Dr. Saskia Keesstra
Prof. Dr. Thomas Panagopoulos
Prof. Dr. Le Yu
Prof. Dr. Chuanrong Zhang
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.

Published Papers (30 papers)

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18 pages, 4338 KiB  
Article
How Can Tufa Deposits Contribute to the Geotourism Offer? The Outcomes from the First UNESCO Global Geopark in Serbia
by Marko D. Petrović, Dobrila Lukić, Milan M. Radovanović, Ivana Blešić, Tamara Gajić, Dunja Demirović Bajrami, Julia A. Syromiatnikova, Đurđa Miljković, Sanja Kovačić and Marija Kostić
Land 2023, 12(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020285 - 19 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1463
Abstract
The study focuses on the present state and the assessments of geotourism development of the two most representative tufa deposits in the Djerdap National Park—the first UNESCO Global Geopark in Serbia. The findings were designated through implementing the freshly upgraded methodology—M-GAM-1-2 based on [...] Read more.
The study focuses on the present state and the assessments of geotourism development of the two most representative tufa deposits in the Djerdap National Park—the first UNESCO Global Geopark in Serbia. The findings were designated through implementing the freshly upgraded methodology—M-GAM-1-2 based on an early modified geosites assessment model (M-GAM). To overcome the limitations of the previous model, the authors implemented additional enhancements and involved members of the local community (residents and authorities) in the study to comprehensively evaluate the observed sites. The outcomes revealed that the attitudes of all stakeholders should be taken into consideration in order to develop geotourism properly, additionally attract visitors, and preserve tufa deposits for future generations of locals and visitors. Moreover, geotourism at the observed sites can be one of the vital activities of the population, as well as a type of compensation for various limitations in the development, which are imposed by the regimes of natural and cultural heritage protection within the recently established UNESCO Global Geopark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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13 pages, 646 KiB  
Article
Trade-Off between Land Use Pattern and Technical Efficiency Performance: Evidence from Arable Crop Farming in Tunisia
by Bouali Guesmi, Ahmed Yangui, Ibtissem Taghouti and José Maria Gil
Land 2023, 12(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010094 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
Cereal, oilseed, and protein (COP) production is an important sector contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Tunisia. COP farms often diversify their production patterns to stabilize their income sources and spread production risk across crops. However, crop diversity may entail an inefficient [...] Read more.
Cereal, oilseed, and protein (COP) production is an important sector contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Tunisia. COP farms often diversify their production patterns to stabilize their income sources and spread production risk across crops. However, crop diversity may entail an inefficient use and management of resources to achieve the desired output. In addition, the COP sector still shows a low productivity level, depending on weather conditions in Tunisia. In this context, this study aimed to assess the relationship between the land use pattern and efficiency performance of farms. We used data envelopment analysis (DEA) in the presence of uncertainty based on state-contingent techniques. This approach has not previously been used to examine the links between crop pattern and efficiency. We found that specialized COP farms, on average, exhibited higher technical efficiency levels than those adopted mix cropping systems (83% and 60%, respectively), indicating an important margin to reduce inefficiency. Nevertheless, both diversified and specialized farms could reduce their inefficiency levels through more rational input use to attain the current level of production. Some practical implications were derived to target policy interventions to enhance agricultural productivity and resource use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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17 pages, 9048 KiB  
Article
Density, Diversity, and Design: Evaluating the Equity of the Elderly Communities in Three Measures of the Built Environment
by Zongni Gu, Xiaolong Luo, Yanru Chen, Xiaoman Liu, Chenrui Xiao and Yifan Liang
Land 2022, 11(11), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11111976 - 4 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1914
Abstract
Building an aging-friendly city is necessary, considering the unprecedented demographic shift of the aging population. It is necessary to study the built environment conditions surrounding the elderly’s residential areas. This study examines the density, diversity, and design (3D) features around the two typical [...] Read more.
Building an aging-friendly city is necessary, considering the unprecedented demographic shift of the aging population. It is necessary to study the built environment conditions surrounding the elderly’s residential areas. This study examines the density, diversity, and design (3D) features around the two typical elderly communities, which are community-based care and the nursing home. Then, the equity analysis is conducted from the social and spatial perspective. We use the 3D framework to measure the built environment around elderly communities. The essential features of an aging-friendly community are used to assess the built environment around the elderly communities. Moreover, we analyze the social and spatial equity of the elderly communities from the facility level and the town level. From the facility level, the 3D features of the elderly communities and the whole communities are compared to identify the social disparity among groups. From the town level, the average values of the 3D features are aggregated to each town, and then the attribute values of the towns are compared to reveal the spatial gaps and spatial mismatch areas. Results found that the spatial distributions of the 3D features around elderly communities present the center-periphery patterns. This study also found that a social disparity exists between the elderly communities and the whole communities. Moreover, there is a spatial mismatch between the diversity of facilities, road connections, and the number of elderly. Towns located in the fringe area are with a high number of elderly, but with a low diversity and road connections. The findings of this study can help planners and decision-makers to optimize the living facilities for old people and inform the gap in planning an aging-friendly city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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19 pages, 4974 KiB  
Article
Mapping Uncounted Anthropogenic Fill Flows: Environmental Impact and Mitigation
by Yuji Hara, Chizuko Hirai and Yuki Sampei
Land 2022, 11(11), 1959; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11111959 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2272
Abstract
Fill material flows created by land development earthworks are anthropogenic agents that generate massive energy use from their heavy loads. However, formal quantification of these flows has been neglected. We use Osaka Prefecture in Japan as a case study to quantify fill flows [...] Read more.
Fill material flows created by land development earthworks are anthropogenic agents that generate massive energy use from their heavy loads. However, formal quantification of these flows has been neglected. We use Osaka Prefecture in Japan as a case study to quantify fill flows and associated CO2 emissions. We collected data on fill flows, including fill generation and acceptance. We mapped these publicly uncounted fill flows and calculated the CO2 emissions from the associated energy use. We also simulated a scenario in which optimized shortest-distance matching is achieved between fill generators and acceptors. We estimated the current fill flows based on distance and weight and broke down the total by type of site and activity. We compared our estimates of current fill flows with estimates from our matching simulation and found the simulation could achieve an 8448 km reduction in flow length and a 5724 t-CO2 reduction in emissions associated with transportation. We discussed the implications of flexible matching, especially in different construction sectors, and the importance of continuous, spatially geo-referenced monitoring of these fill flows toward further environmental impact mitigation. The approach presented here could apply to assessing environmental loads arising from landform changes in other cities and lead to development of a new regional- and global-scale fill material science in the Anthropocene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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16 pages, 5607 KiB  
Article
Ecological Disturbance of Rural Settlement Expansion: Evidence from Nantong, Eastern China
by Peng Cheng, Yiyu Qin, Siyang Zhu and Xuesong Kong
Land 2022, 11(10), 1741; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11101741 - 8 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1576
Abstract
Rural settlements are undergoing a reconstruction process in the context of rapid urbanization, which has a significant impact on ecological land. However, rural settlements encroaching on ecological land (RSEEL) and its associated ecological effects have been widely ignored. This paper aims to accurately [...] Read more.
Rural settlements are undergoing a reconstruction process in the context of rapid urbanization, which has a significant impact on ecological land. However, rural settlements encroaching on ecological land (RSEEL) and its associated ecological effects have been widely ignored. This paper aims to accurately and quantitatively evaluate the ecological disturbance caused by RSEEL in China’s rapid urbanization areas. An ecological disturbance index combining changes in both the scale and fragmentation was applied in Nantong, Eastern China. Three types, including jump expansion, extension diffusion, and internal filling, were identified in RSEEL. The results show that the jump expansion type accounted for the largest proportion (58.39%) at the patch level, whereas the extension diffusion was the dominant type at the village level, and the internal filling type was the least common. RSEEL unexpectedly did not make ecological land more fragmented due to the preference for small independent patches in most encroachment cases; hence, the degree of ecological disturbance caused by RSEEL was low in most areas of Nantong. When the encroachment type of RSEEL was combined with the ecological disturbance degree, it was found that the ecological disturbance caused by the jump expansion type was higher than that of the other two types, and extension diffusion and low-level disturbance was the main pattern observed in villages. The findings will contribute to our understanding of the dynamic relationship between rural settlement and ecological land and provide valuable information for rural settlement reconstruction under ecological civilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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15 pages, 1479 KiB  
Article
Assessing Consumer Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Agricultural Landscape Attributes in Lithuania
by Lucia Rocchi, Anastasija Novikova and Bernardas Vaznonis
Land 2022, 11(10), 1620; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11101620 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1469
Abstract
Agricultural activities play an important role in shaping landscape, in particular, in Lithuania, where agricultural land accounts for more than half of the surface land. These landscape services are used by people as public goods, contributing to societal welfare. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Agricultural activities play an important role in shaping landscape, in particular, in Lithuania, where agricultural land accounts for more than half of the surface land. These landscape services are used by people as public goods, contributing to societal welfare. The aim of this study is to assess the value of agricultural landscape, identifying consumer preferences and willingness to pay for agricultural landscape attributes using the choice experiment (CE) method. The article analyses the agricultural landscape services and attributes the condition of which depends directly on the farming systems and practices applied. Four attributes of agricultural landscape were selected for the research: (i) scenic views; (ii) variety of flora and fauna species, (iii) recreational infrastructure and services, and (iv) objects of cultural heritage. The latent class approach (LCA) was used for analysis of heterogenous preferences among the Lithuanian residents. The findings provided quantitative information related to the demand for agricultural landscape goods, identifying a particular interest for the objects of cultural heritage, in relation to which the willingness to pay is particularly high. It is necessary to understand and analyse the preferences for agricultural landscape services with the purpose of improvement of the agricultural policy measures in order to change the farmers’ performance towards sustainability. The case study offers new empirical arguments for agri-environmental policy development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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19 pages, 5116 KiB  
Article
Remote Sensing-Based Prediction of Temporal Changes in Land Surface Temperature and Land Use-Land Cover (LULC) in Urban Environments
by Mohsin Ramzan, Zulfiqar Ahmad Saqib, Ejaz Hussain, Junaid Aziz Khan, Abid Nazir, Muhammad Yousif Sardar Dasti, Saqib Ali and Nabeel Khan Niazi
Land 2022, 11(9), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11091610 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2914
Abstract
Pakistan has the highest rate of urbanization in South Asia. The climate change effects felt all over the world have become a priority for regulation agencies and governments at global and regional scales with respect assessing and mitigating the rising temperatures in urban [...] Read more.
Pakistan has the highest rate of urbanization in South Asia. The climate change effects felt all over the world have become a priority for regulation agencies and governments at global and regional scales with respect assessing and mitigating the rising temperatures in urban areas. This study investigated the temporal variability in urban microclimate in terms of land surface temperature (LST) and its correlation with land use-land cover (LULC) change in Lahore city for prediction of future impact patterns of LST and LULC. The LST variability was determined using the Landsat Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) and the land surface emissivity factor. The influence of LULC, using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), the normalized difference building index (NDBI), and the normalized difference bareness index (NDBaI) on the variability LST was investigated applying Landsat Satellite data from 1992 to 2020. The pixel-level multivariate linear regression analysis was employed to compute urban LST and influence of LULC classes. Results revealed that an overall increase of 41.8% in built-up areas at the expense of 24%, 17.4%, and 0.4% decreases in vegetation, bare land, and water from 1992–2020, respectively. Comparison of LST obtained from the meteorological station and satellite images showed a significant coherence. An increase of 4.3 °C in temperature of built-up areas from 1992–2020 was observed. Based on LULC and LST trends, the same were predicted for 2025 and 2030, which revealed that LST may further increase up to 1.3 °C by 2030. These changes in LULC and LST in turn have detrimental effects on local as well as global climate, emphasizing the need to address the issue especially in developing countries like Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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20 pages, 5234 KiB  
Article
Temporal and Spatial Evolution Characteristics and Its Driving Mechanism of Land Use/Land Cover Change in Laos from 2000 to 2020
by Yu Zhang, Xiaoyu Niu, Yunfeng Hu, Huimin Yan and Lin Zhen
Land 2022, 11(8), 1188; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081188 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3128
Abstract
Land use/land cover change (LUCC) research is of great significance to land conservation and regional sustainable development. At present, there is a lack of research on the long-term timing of the change process and mechanisms of LUCC that accords with the national level [...] Read more.
Land use/land cover change (LUCC) research is of great significance to land conservation and regional sustainable development. At present, there is a lack of research on the long-term timing of the change process and mechanisms of LUCC that accords with the national level in Laos. Based on the Global Land-Cover product with the Fine Classification System at 30 m (GLC_FCS30) data set as well as economic and social statistical data, the authors analyzed the spatiotemporal regularity and driving mechanism of LUCC in Laos from 2000 to 2020 by using dynamic degree, flow direction analysis, principal component analysis, correlation analysis and other methods. The results show that: (1) Laos is rich in natural ecological resources. In 2020, the forest and shrubland areas accounted for 53.3% and 32.4% of the land area, respectively; (2) from 2000 to 2020, the rate of LUCC across the country continued to rise, and the integrated dynamic degree of LUCC was 14.4%. The change in impervious surfaces is the most drastic. The area of evergreen broad-leaved forest, evergreen needle-leaved forest and grassland continued to shrink, while the area of rainfed cropland, irrigated cropland, deciduous broad-leaved forest, shrubland, wetland and the water body continued to expand; (3) the LUCC process mainly occurred between forest, shrubland and cropland. The LUC with the largest transfer out area is evergreen broad-leaved forest (8.91 × 103 km2), and the LUC with the largest transfer into the area is shrubland (8 × 103 km2); (4) in the past 20 years, the LUCC process in Laos has been mainly affected by macro-socioeconomic development, agricultural development, and forestry development. The population is the key factor driving LUCC in Laos. This study can provide decision-making support for the rational planning and utilization of land resources in Laos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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21 pages, 3562 KiB  
Article
A GIS Plugin for Susceptibility Modeling: Case Study of Wildfires in Vila Nova de Foz Côa
by André Padrão, Lia Duarte and Ana Cláudia Teodoro
Land 2022, 11(7), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11071093 - 17 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1973
Abstract
Risk mapping is a crucial part of spatial planning, as it optimizes the allocation of resources in its management. It is, therefore, of great interest to build tools that enhance its production. This work focuses on the implementation of a susceptibility model for [...] Read more.
Risk mapping is a crucial part of spatial planning, as it optimizes the allocation of resources in its management. It is, therefore, of great interest to build tools that enhance its production. This work focuses on the implementation of a susceptibility model for different types of spatially distributed risk in a geographic information systems (GIS) Python plugin. As an example, the susceptibility model was applied to study the occurrence of wildfires in the municipality of Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal. The plugin was developed to simplify the production and evaluation of susceptibility maps regarding the available geographical information. Regarding our case study, the data used corresponds to three training areas, ten years of burned areas and nine environmental variables. The model is applied to different combinations of these factors. The validation, performed with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, resulted in an area under the curve (AUC) of 74% for a fire susceptibility model, calculated with the same environmental factors used in official Portuguese cartography (land use and slope) and with the optimal training area, years of information on burned area and level of land use classification. After experimenting with four variable combinations, a maximum AUC of 77% was achieved. This study confirms the suitability of the variables chosen for the production of official fire susceptibility models but leaves out the comparison between the official methodology and the methodology proposed in this work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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12 pages, 217 KiB  
Article
Crop Insurance, a Frugal Innovation in Tanzania, Helps Small Maize Farmers and Contributes to an Emerging Land Market
by Meine Pieter van Dijk
Land 2022, 11(7), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11070954 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1641
Abstract
A land market is emerging in Tanzania, triggered by initiatives to reform land legislation and modernize agriculture through frugal innovations, combining hybrid seeds and weather-based index insurance with the use of mobile telephones. The analysis shows that agricultural modernization can be a driver [...] Read more.
A land market is emerging in Tanzania, triggered by initiatives to reform land legislation and modernize agriculture through frugal innovations, combining hybrid seeds and weather-based index insurance with the use of mobile telephones. The analysis shows that agricultural modernization can be a driver for an emerging land market. Demand for land increases and because of the liberalization of land rights, land can be bought or leased, something the more successful farmers do. To assess the effects of crop insurance for maize farmers, a frugal innovation, a survey has been carried out in three regions. Two hundred farmers were interviewed using cluster sampling with the villages as sampling units and then selecting households per village. The rural transformation process, driven by innovation, started with the development of an ecosystem and land registration while allowing more private (commercial and non-commercial) initiatives. The triggers are frugal innovations. Crop insurance, combining existing hybrid seeds, with satellite images and mobile telephones, brings about a transformation process and pumps money into the land system. People noticing that hybrid maize works, if you have hybrid seeds, the complementary inputs, and an insurance policy, jump on the band wagon, which leads to more demand for land and contributes to an emerging land market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
19 pages, 3095 KiB  
Article
Temporal and Spatial Evolution Characteristics and Its Driving Mechanism of Land Use/Cover in Vietnam from 2000 to 2020
by Xiaoyu Niu, Yunfeng Hu, Zhongying Lei, Huimin Yan, Junzhi Ye and Hao Wang
Land 2022, 11(6), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11060920 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2558
Abstract
Research on the spatial distribution and dynamic evolution of land use/land cover (LULC) is the basis for land management and ecological protection. However, there is currently a lack of long-term analysis on the evolution of LULC on the national scale in Vietnam. Based [...] Read more.
Research on the spatial distribution and dynamic evolution of land use/land cover (LULC) is the basis for land management and ecological protection. However, there is currently a lack of long-term analysis on the evolution of LULC on the national scale in Vietnam. Based on the GLC_FCS30 dataset, this paper analyzed the temporal and spatial evolution of LULC in Vietnam from 2000 to 2020 as well as its driving mechanism using methods such as dynamicity, flow direction diagrams, principal component analysis, and multivariate stepwise regression. The results show that: (1) cropland, forest, and shrubland are Vietnam’s most important land-cover types. In 2020, the above three types of land area accounted for 34.77%, 32.36%, and 26.13% of the total land area, respectively. (2) From 2000 to 2020, the area of cropland and forest areas continued to shrink (−5.64%, −3.96%); the area of shrubland, water bodies, and other land areas expanded (+4.87%, +12.29%, +15.04%); and the area of impervious surfaces expansion was the most significant (+100.40%). (3) The integrated dynamic degree of LULC in Vietnam shows a spatial differentiation of high in the south, followed by the north, and lowest in the center. In the early period (2000–2010), the LULC rate of change in each region was rapid, while it gradually decreased in the later period (2010–2020). The most important LULC changes in Vietnam can be divided into two parts: (a) the mutual conversion of forest, cropland, and shrubland and (b) one-way conversion of cropland to impervious surfaces. (4) LULC changes in Vietnam are mainly affected by economic development and human activities, especially the GDP, population, and urbanization rate. There is no reliable statistical relationship between LULC and climatic factors. The results of this study contribute to the analysis of LULC processes in similar regions, and will also help the Vietnamese government strengthen national land management and planning in a targeted manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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16 pages, 5407 KiB  
Article
Growth Pattern of European Black Pine outside Its Current Natural Range: A Case Study in Portugal
by Alexandra Dias, José Louzada and Teresa Fonseca
Land 2022, 11(6), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11060794 - 27 May 2022
Viewed by 1641
Abstract
European Black Pine (Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold) is a fast-growing conifer, currently distributed in a fragmented pattern from western North Africa through Southern Europe to Asia Minor and is an economically important native conifer in Southern Europe. In Portugal, P. nigra populations are [...] Read more.
European Black Pine (Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold) is a fast-growing conifer, currently distributed in a fragmented pattern from western North Africa through Southern Europe to Asia Minor and is an economically important native conifer in Southern Europe. In Portugal, P. nigra populations are allochthonous, and were planted 50–90 years ago with plant material of unknown origin. This work intended to evaluate and investigate long-term radial growth characteristics of the species on the westernmost part of Europe, outside its natural range, in mainland Portugal. To achieve this objective, six planted stands located in the north and centre of the country were chosen, which were considered representative of the distribution of the species in the country and the most extreme south-western location in Europe. The height and diameter at breast height was measured and the general state of these stands was evaluated. Overall, no mortality was observed except in one site, where trees manifested poor growth. Sampling a set of 15 trees per site, was used to create a database for analysis of the radial development of the species. The 90 trees sampled, with ages ranging from 56–98 years, provided a database of 5308 observations of diameter-age pairs. The Schumacher function was tested for the description of radial growth and provided satisfying results in terms of the model fitness, allowing us to summarize general trends of diameter growth among sites. Complementary analysis of radial growth at a tree age of 50-yr was performed to assess for differences among populations. It was concluded that radial growth differs between sites, and two statistically different groups were identified, although no specific latitudinal or longitudinal gradients were found. The information on the identified growth patterns can be used for decision-making purposes when considering species selection in afforestation or reforestation procedures in the context of adaptive management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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19 pages, 7260 KiB  
Article
Consistency and Accuracy of Four High-Resolution LULC Datasets—Indochina Peninsula Case Study
by Hao Wang, Huimin Yan, Yunfeng Hu, Yue Xi and Yichen Yang
Land 2022, 11(5), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050758 - 22 May 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2177
Abstract
Open and high-temporal- and spatial-resolution global land use/land cover (LULC) mapping data form the foundation of global change research and cross-scale land management planning. However, the consistency and reliability of the use of multisource LULC datasets in specific regions need to be quantitatively [...] Read more.
Open and high-temporal- and spatial-resolution global land use/land cover (LULC) mapping data form the foundation of global change research and cross-scale land management planning. However, the consistency and reliability of the use of multisource LULC datasets in specific regions need to be quantitatively assessed. In this study, we selected the Indochina Peninsula as the research area; considered four datasets: LSV10, GLC_FCS30, ESRI10, and Globeland30; and analyzed them from four dimensions: the similarity of composition type, the degree of category confusion, spatial consistency, and data accuracy. The results show that: (1) the land composition descriptions of the different datasets are consistent. The study area is dominated by forest and cropland, supplemented by grassland, shrubland, and other land types. (2) The correlation coefficient between datasets is between 0.905 and 0.972; the spatial consistency of datasets is good; and the high-consistency area accounts for 77.87% of the total. (3) The overall accuracy of LSV10 is the highest (83.25%), and that of GLC_FCS30 is the lowest (72.27%). The accuracy of cropland, forest, water area, and built-up land is generally high (above 85%); the accuracy of grassland, shrubland, and bare land is low (below 60%). Therefore, researchers must conduct validation for specific regions and specific land types before using the above datasets. Our findings provide a basis for selecting LULC datasets in related research on the Indochina Peninsula and a reference method for assessing the reliability of multisource LULC datasets in other regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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21 pages, 1841 KiB  
Article
People’s Attitudes and Emotions towards Different Urban Forest Types in the Berlin Region, Germany
by Henry Lippert, Ingo Kowarik and Tanja M. Straka
Land 2022, 11(5), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050701 - 7 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2619
Abstract
In an era of urbanization, forests are a key component of the urban green infrastructure, providing multiple benefits to urban residents. While emerging forests on urban wasteland could increase the urban forest area, it is unclear how residents view such novel forest types. [...] Read more.
In an era of urbanization, forests are a key component of the urban green infrastructure, providing multiple benefits to urban residents. While emerging forests on urban wasteland could increase the urban forest area, it is unclear how residents view such novel forest types. In a comparative self-administered online survey, we assessed attitudes and emotions of residents (n = 299) from the Berlin region, Germany, towards forest types that represent transformation stages from natural to novel forests: (1) natural remnants, (2) silvicultural plantings, (3) park forests and (4) novel wild forests in wastelands. Respondents expressed positive attitudes and emotions towards all forest types, including the novel wild forest. Ratings were most positive towards natural remnants and least positive towards the novel wild forest. The indicated prevalence of non-native trees (Ailanthus altissima, Robinia pseudoacacia) did not evoke negative responses. Women and younger people were more positive towards the novel wild forest compared to other respondents, and men were most positive towards natural remnants. Place attachment was positively related to the park forest. Results indicate support for a wide range of forest types, including novel wild forests and non-native tree species, which can be used to expand urban forest areas and enhance opportunities for nature experience in cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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28 pages, 12330 KiB  
Article
Landscape Conservation Assessment in the Latin American Tropics: Application and Insights from Costa Rica
by Vassiliki Vlami, Carlos Morera Beita and Stamatis Zogaris
Land 2022, 11(4), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040514 - 1 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2637
Abstract
Landscape quality is an important aspect of conservation and sustainable development, yet holistic assessments of landscapes in the Latin American tropics are scarce. Here we employ an onsite survey across Costa Rica using the Landscape Assessment Protocol (LAP), a rapid assessment method, to [...] Read more.
Landscape quality is an important aspect of conservation and sustainable development, yet holistic assessments of landscapes in the Latin American tropics are scarce. Here we employ an onsite survey across Costa Rica using the Landscape Assessment Protocol (LAP), a rapid assessment method, to assess the conservation condition of landscape views. In a survey of 50 landscape view sites in different parts of the country, LAP’s 15 metrics (evaluation criteria) were effective in providing an index for landscape quality showing a gradient of degradation in response to various modern anthropogenic pressures. The response of the index over a variety of landscape types correlates well with the Human Footprint anthropogenic pressure assessment, an independent land degradation index. Urban and peri-urban landscape types showed the most degraded conditions relative to flatland, coastal, and upland types on all metrics. Despite certain subjective attributes, the assessment method seems effective in providing a quality condition index that may assist in quality characterization and in promoting participation in landscape interpretation, landscape literacy, and landscape-scale conservation initiatives, especially in a region where landscape views (scenic resources) are threatened by widespread land-use changes. Finally, recommendations are made for the further application and testing of LAP, specifically for use in the neotropics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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18 pages, 1182 KiB  
Article
Conflict Analysis of Physical Industrial Land Development Policy Using Game Theory and Graph Model for Conflict Resolution in Markazi Province
by Amir H. Aghmashhadi, Samaneh Zahedi, Azadeh Kazemi, Christine Fürst and Giuseppe T. Cirella
Land 2022, 11(4), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040501 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2350
Abstract
Industrial growth and development are among the integral components of economic development in developing countries such as Iran. Markazi province in the central part of Iran is one of the most prone areas for industrial progress due to its geopolitical location, proximity to [...] Read more.
Industrial growth and development are among the integral components of economic development in developing countries such as Iran. Markazi province in the central part of Iran is one of the most prone areas for industrial progress due to its geopolitical location, proximity to the capital and major cities, and access via Iran’s western corridor. Over the last few decades, the concentration of major industries in combination with a lack of environmental safeguards have led to major environmental concerns, such that the province’s industrial development faces serious challenges going forward. This paper analyzes how to resolve these challenges through strategic analysis of stakeholder interactions using a Graph Model for Conflict Resolution, i.e., a non-cooperative model of game theory. Results indicate that, from a strategic point of view, the main cause of the conflict is over physical industrial land development in Markazi province by way of rationality and organizational benefits from stakeholders. It was shown that the insistence from the Industry and Mining Organization on industrial development and the Department of Environment on the preservation of natural resources and the environment, on the one hand, and the prevention of their further destruction, on the other, have made it difficult to find a cooperative solution. The findings further unveiled that in a non-cooperative scenario (i.e., the current situation), the equilibrium point of the conflict is status 16 (i.e., among the 18 situations) and no unilateral progression from either party can be detected. Via the equilibrium point, if the current preferences of the parties cannot be resolved, the conflict will remain at a deadlock leaving the environment at risk of further degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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11 pages, 16705 KiB  
Article
Rainfall Erosivity Impact on Sustainable Management of Agricultural Land in Changing Climate Conditions
by Bořivoj Šarapatka and Marek Bednář
Land 2022, 11(4), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040467 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2085
Abstract
Soil is negatively affected by many degradation factors, of which soil erosion is the most serious, affecting soil quality, crop production, and environmental components. Soil quality is an issue dealt with in the New European Green Deal. In order to meet the set [...] Read more.
Soil is negatively affected by many degradation factors, of which soil erosion is the most serious, affecting soil quality, crop production, and environmental components. Soil quality is an issue dealt with in the New European Green Deal. In order to meet the set goals, it will be necessary to address soil degradation and water erosion in the agricultural landscape, and increase the area of green infrastructure within the landscape (e.g., fragments of woodland, windbreaks, and grassland). In this context, climate change is also expected to affect the frequency and intensity of torrential rainfall, leading to increased runoff, reduced infiltration, and greater soil loss. Therefore, in this study, we have elaborated the issue of agricultural landscape and erosion, looking at erosion control measures necessary in dealing with existing erosion processes in an intensively farmed area with chernozem soils, and compared these with scenarios assumed for 2050. In these future scenarios, the commonly applied agrotechnical measures will not suffice to keep soil loss at a tolerable level. In the future, it will be necessary to discuss a further reduction in the size of land blocks, with the inclusion of green infrastructure in the landscape. In addition to solving problems of erosion, this would increase diversity in the area and enable sustainable agricultural management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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21 pages, 4517 KiB  
Article
NDVI Threshold-Based Urban Green Space Mapping from Sentinel-2A at the Local Governmental Area (LGA) Level of Victoria, Australia
by Jagannath Aryal, Chiranjibi Sitaula and Sunil Aryal
Land 2022, 11(3), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030351 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 6982
Abstract
Obtaining accurate, precise and timely spatial information on the distribution and dynamics of urban green space is crucial in understanding livability of the cities and urban dwellers. Inspired from the importance of spatial information in planning urban lives, and availability of state-of-the-art remote [...] Read more.
Obtaining accurate, precise and timely spatial information on the distribution and dynamics of urban green space is crucial in understanding livability of the cities and urban dwellers. Inspired from the importance of spatial information in planning urban lives, and availability of state-of-the-art remote sensing data and technologies in open access forms, in this work, we develop a simple three-level hierarchical mapping of urban green space with multiple usability to various stakeholders. We utilize the established Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) threshold on Sentinel-2A Earth Observation image data to classify the urban vegetation of each Victorian Local Government Area (LGA). Firstly, we categorize each LGA region into two broad classes as vegetation and non-vegetation; secondly, we further categorize the vegetation regions of each LGA into two sub-classes as shrub (including grassland) and trees; thirdly, for both shrub and trees classes, we further classify them as stressed and healthy. We not only map the urban vegetation in hierarchy but also develop Urban Green Space Index (UGSI) and Per Capita Green Space (PCGS) for the Victorian Local Government Areas (LGAs) to provide insights on the association of demography with urban green infrastructure using urban spatial analytics. To show the efficacy of the applied method, we evaluate our results using a Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform across different NDVI threshold ranges. The evaluation result shows that our method produces excellent performance metrics such as mean precision, recall, f-score and accuracy. In addition to this, we also prepare a recent Sentinel-2A dataset and derived products of urban green space coverage of the Victorian LGAs that are useful for multiple stakeholders ranging from bushfire modellers to biodiversity conservationists in contributing to sustainable and resilient urban lives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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11 pages, 1434 KiB  
Article
Global Economic and Diet Transitions Drive Latin American and Caribbean Forest Change during the First Decade of the Century: A Multi-Scale Analysis of Socioeconomic, Demographic, and Environmental Drivers of Local Forest Cover Change
by David López-Carr, Sadie J. Ryan and Matthew L. Clark
Land 2022, 11(3), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030326 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3835
Abstract
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) contain more tropical high-biodiversity forest than the remaining areas of the planet combined, yet experienced more than a third of global deforestation during the first decade of the 21st century. While drivers of forest change occur at [...] Read more.
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) contain more tropical high-biodiversity forest than the remaining areas of the planet combined, yet experienced more than a third of global deforestation during the first decade of the 21st century. While drivers of forest change occur at multiple scales, we examined forest change at the municipal and national scales integrated with global processes such as capital, commodity, and labor flows. We modeled multi-scale socioeconomic, demographic, and environmental drivers of local forest cover change. Consistent with LAC’s global leadership in soy and beef exports, primarily to China, Russia, the US, and the EU, national-level beef and soy production were the primary land use drivers of decreased forest cover. National level gross domestic product (GDP), migrant worker remittances and foreign investment, along with municipal-level temperature and area, were also significantly related to reduced forest cover. This challenges forest transition frameworks, which theorize that rising GDP and intensified agricultural production should be increasingly associated with forest regrowth. Instead, LAC forest change was linked to local, national, and global demographic, dietary and economic transitions, resulting in massive net forest cover loss. This suggests an urgent need to reconcile forest conservation with mounting global demand for animal protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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12 pages, 2735 KiB  
Article
Detailed Soil Survey Field and Laboratory Data as a Critical Tool for Optimizing the Arable Cropping Capability Evaluation of a Representative Episaturated Soil Pedon in Greece
by Dionisios Gasparatos and Orestis Kairis
Land 2022, 11(2), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020182 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4032
Abstract
The objective of the present work is to contribute to the examination of the interconnections between soil classification/soil mapping and soil capability for agricultural use. A pedon scale analytical field along with laboratory data of an episaturated agricultural soil of Thessaly (Greece), allowed [...] Read more.
The objective of the present work is to contribute to the examination of the interconnections between soil classification/soil mapping and soil capability for agricultural use. A pedon scale analytical field along with laboratory data of an episaturated agricultural soil of Thessaly (Greece), allowed for the optimization of soil fertility class evaluation and its corresponding agricultural value. Specific soil properties, low chroma colors and the distribution of redoximorphic features within the soil profile (Fe-Mn concretions) revealed the presence of impermeable argillic horizons, resulting in a perched water table in late winter and spring. The evaluation of the soil pedon was carried out through the accurate parameterization and implementation of a technical soil classification system and a soil rating method, both of which are well known worldwide, and which use detailed soil survey data. The results confirmed the general principle that only by using detailed soil survey field and laboratory data can any technical soil classification system or soil rating method be adapted and properly applied. Both the classification system and the scoring methodology of the soil profile reached the same conclusion: characterizing the studied soil as of good potential for general arable cropping or as of fair agricultural value. This was achieved only by considering the phenomenon of episaturation, which emerged from the plethora of detailed soil survey data, guiding the classification system and the scoring methodology to produce reliability and represent real situation results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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14 pages, 998 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Key Feeding Technologies and Land Use in Dairy Sheep Farms in Spain
by María Teresa Bastanchury-López, Carmen De-Pablos-Heredero, Santiago Martín-Romo-Romero and Antón García
Land 2022, 11(2), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020177 - 22 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2361
Abstract
Familiar mixed dairy sheep farm is the most widespread system in the Mediterranean basin, in Latin America and in developing countries (85%). There is a strong lack of technological adoption in packages of feeding and land use in small-scale farms. To increase competitiveness, [...] Read more.
Familiar mixed dairy sheep farm is the most widespread system in the Mediterranean basin, in Latin America and in developing countries (85%). There is a strong lack of technological adoption in packages of feeding and land use in small-scale farms. To increase competitiveness, it would be of great interest to deepen the knowledge of how innovation was selected, adopted, and spread. The objective of this research was to select strategic feeding and land use technologies in familiar mixed dairy sheep systems and later assess dairy sheep farms in Spain. This objective was assessed by combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In the first stage, with the aim to identify and select the appropriate technologies, a panel of 107 experts in dairy sheep production was used. A questionnaire was applied to all of them with successive rounds using Delphi methodology. Later, these technologies were grouped by principal components analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA). In a second stage the technological results from a random sample of 157 farms in the Center of Spain were collected. The technologies selected were linked to the technological adoption level of the farms in Castilla la Mancha by a multiple regression model. Ten technologies were selected by the 107 experts. Four factors were retained by PCA that explained at 67.11% of variance. The first factor is related to feeding strategies, the second to land use for livestock production, the third to efficient management of land resources or ecoefficiency and the fourth to by-products use. The expert evaluation was grouped in three clusters using the Ward’s method and the squared Euclidean distance measure, where the second showed higher values in the adoption level of each technology. The multiple regression model explained the relationship between the technologies and the technological level of the farms (R2 73.53%). The five technologies selected were: use of unifeed (1), supplemental feeding (5), grazing (6), raw materials production (7) and sustainable use of water and soil (10). These ten technologies identified can be directly extended to small-scale dairy farms from other countries in the Mediterranean basin and Latin America. This technological selection was supported from the broad and diverse panel of experts used. Besides, five technologies identified by the quantitative model will be able to be taken into account for the development of public innovation policies. They are direct technologies and easy to apply on the farm and seeking increased viability through innovation vs. intensification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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9 pages, 1512 KiB  
Communication
Confronting the Issue of Invasive Native Tree Species Due to Land Use Change in the Eastern United States
by Brice B. Hanberry
Land 2022, 11(2), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11020161 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2140
Abstract
The increased abundance of historically rare native tree species is symptomatic of land-use change, which causes ecosystem regime shifts. I tested for an association between mean agricultural area, a proxy for land-use change, and native tree species. I first modeled agricultural area during [...] Read more.
The increased abundance of historically rare native tree species is symptomatic of land-use change, which causes ecosystem regime shifts. I tested for an association between mean agricultural area, a proxy for land-use change, and native tree species. I first modeled agricultural area during the years 1850 to 1997 and the historical and current percent composition of tree genera, along with the dissimilarity and difference between the historical and current composition, for the northern part of the eastern U.S. I then modeled agricultural area and current genera and species for the eastern U.S. and regionally. For the northeast, agricultural area was most associated (R2 of 78%) with the current percentage of elms and a diverse, uncommon “other” genera. For the eastern U.S., Ulmus, Juglans, Prunus, boxelder (Acer negundo), black cherry (Prunus serotina), and hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) best predicted agricultural area (R2 of 66%). Regionally, two elm and ash species, black walnut (Juglans nigra), mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), red maple (Acer rubrum), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), and American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) increased with agricultural area. Increases in historically rare and diverse species associated with agricultural area represent an overall pattern of invasive native tree species that have replaced historical ecosystems after land-use change disrupted historical vegetation and disturbance regimes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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23 pages, 4481 KiB  
Article
Protective Pathways: Connecting Environmental and Human Security at Local and Landscape Level with NLP and Geospatial Analysis of a Novel Database of 1500 Project Evaluations
by Nathan Morrow, Nancy B. Mock, Andrea Gatto, Julia LeMense and Margaret Hudson
Land 2022, 11(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010123 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4413
Abstract
Localized actionable evidence for addressing threats to the environment and human security lacks a comprehensive conceptual frame that incorporates challenges associated with active conflicts. Protective pathways linking previously disciplinarily-divided literatures on environmental security, human security and resilience in a coherent conceptual frame that [...] Read more.
Localized actionable evidence for addressing threats to the environment and human security lacks a comprehensive conceptual frame that incorporates challenges associated with active conflicts. Protective pathways linking previously disciplinarily-divided literatures on environmental security, human security and resilience in a coherent conceptual frame that identifies key relationships is used to analyze a novel, unstructured data set of Global Environment Fund (GEF) programmatic documents. Sub-national geospatial analysis of GEF documentation relating to projects in Africa finds 73% of districts with GEF land degradation projects were co-located with active conflict events. This study utilizes Natural Language Processing on a unique data set of 1500 GEF evaluations to identify text entities associated with conflict. Additional project case studies explore the sequence and relationships of environmental and human security concepts that lead to project success or failure. Differences between biodiversity and climate change projects are discussed but political crisis, poverty and disaster emerged as the most frequently extracted entities associated with conflict in environmental protection projects. Insecurity weakened institutions and fractured communities leading both directly and indirectly to conflict-related damage to environmental programming and desired outcomes. Simple causal explanations found to be inconsistent in previous large-scale statistical associations also inadequately describe dynamics and relationships found in the extracted text entities or case summaries. Emergent protective pathways that emphasized poverty and conflict reduction facilitated by institutional strengthening and inclusion present promising possibilities. Future research with innovative machine learning and other techniques of working with unstructured data may provide additional evidence for implementing actions that address climate change and environmental degradation while strengthening resilience and human security. Resilient, participatory and polycentric governance is key to foster this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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19 pages, 2542 KiB  
Article
Rapid Response Indicators for Predicting Changes in Soil Properties Due to Solarization or Biosolarization on an Intensive Horticultural Crop in Semiarid Regions
by Antonio Sánchez-Navarro, Raimundo Jiménez-Ballesta, Aldara Girona-Ruiz, Iris Alarcón-Vera and María José Delgado-Iniesta
Land 2022, 11(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010064 - 2 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3136
Abstract
Agriculture practices developed since the middle of the last century have led to the degradation of different resources and made it necessary to promote agricultural models that are less aggressive towards nature. Sustainable agricultural growth requires a more efficient use of land. An [...] Read more.
Agriculture practices developed since the middle of the last century have led to the degradation of different resources and made it necessary to promote agricultural models that are less aggressive towards nature. Sustainable agricultural growth requires a more efficient use of land. An experimental model was designed with four treatments in the Campo de Cartagena area (SE Spain): biosolarization with manure (BSM), biosolarization with brassicas (BB), solarization (S), and a pilot test (PT). The general objective was to determine by means of rapid response indicators the changes occurring in soil properties as a consequence of the implementation of these solarization or biosolarization practices and their influence on the quality and yield of a lettuce crop. The results show that there was no significant response in the physical and biological properties of the soil. Physicochemical properties such as pHw, and electrical conductivity (ECe), as well as chemicals such as total nitrogen (TN) and the content of some macro and micronutrients, can be considered as rapid response indicators. The highest yields (Yc) and highest commercial quality (Mc) of lettuce were obtained in the BB and BSM treatments (Yc > 23,000 kg ha−1; Mc > 413 g). These treatments resulted in biological NO3 sequestration and, in the case of BB, salt immobilization (ECe: 6 dS m−1). According to these results, BSM and BB can be recommended for sustainable agriculture and even as valid methods for the recovery of soils affected by salts and NO3. Our results should increase the feasibility of these techniques in semiarid areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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23 pages, 4946 KiB  
Article
A Geospatial Approach to Measure Social Benefits in Urban Land Use Optimization Problem
by Md. Mostafizur Rahman and György Szabó
Land 2021, 10(12), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121398 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2593
Abstract
Different conflicting objectives are used in urban land use optimization problems. The maximization of social benefit is one of the important objectives in urban land use optimization problems. Many researchers have used different methods to measure social benefits in land use optimization. Studies [...] Read more.
Different conflicting objectives are used in urban land use optimization problems. The maximization of social benefit is one of the important objectives in urban land use optimization problems. Many researchers have used different methods to measure social benefits in land use optimization. Studies show that there is no established method to measure social benefit in the urban land use allocation game. Against this background, this study aims to (a) identify the appropriate indicators as a measure of social benefit, and (b) propose a composite index to measure social benefit in urban land use optimization problems. Based on the literature review and expert opinion, this study identifies four indicators as a measure of social benefit. These are spatial compactness, land use compatibility, land use mix, and evenness of population distribution. Using the weighted sum approach, this study proposes a composite social benefit index (SBI) to measure social benefit in urban land use allocation/optimization problems and planning. The study suggests that spatial compactness is the most influential indicator to the SBI, but the most critical indicator is compatibility, whose 11.60% value reduction from 0.5 alters the decision of choice. Finally, the proposed method was applied in Rajshahi city in Bangladesh. The result suggests the potential of using SBI in the land use allocation problem. It is expected that the proposed social benefit index (SBI) will help the land use optimization and planning and will be helpful for decision makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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16 pages, 2548 KiB  
Article
Threat Ranking to Improve Conservation Planning: An Example from the Gediz Delta, Turkey
by Dilara Arslan, Kerim Çiçek, Ömer Döndüren and Lisa Ernoul
Land 2021, 10(12), 1381; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121381 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3059
Abstract
Mediterranean wetlands are among the most threatened natural areas. The needs and demands of an increasing human population are modifying land use and converting natural habitats into artificial areas. In order to combat these trends, effective conservation planning needs to provide clear, systematic [...] Read more.
Mediterranean wetlands are among the most threatened natural areas. The needs and demands of an increasing human population are modifying land use and converting natural habitats into artificial areas. In order to combat these trends, effective conservation planning needs to provide clear, systematic identification of threats to find sustainable conservation strategies. In this case study, we evaluated current threats in the Gediz Delta (Turkey) using a multi-method approach. First, we did a comprehensive literature review and stakeholder interviews to identify existing threats. We then did a complete survey of the Delta through intensive fieldwork. The threats were coded and ranked using the conservation standards. We used the threat ranking and field survey to map the most vulnerable areas of the Delta. The most commonly observed threats in the field were pollution and agriculture and aquaculture activities. According to the threat ranking, the most important threats are climate change and residential and commercial development. The habitats that are most at risk are agricultural grassland habitats. The results indicate a need to extend conservation actions in the inner part of the Delta. In addition, the multi-method threat ranking approach could serve as a model to improve conservation planning in other sites worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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16 pages, 1241 KiB  
Article
Calibration and Validation of AQUACROP and APSIM Models to Optimize Wheat Yield and Water Saving in Arid Regions
by Ahmed M. S. Kheir, Hiba M. Alkharabsheh, Mahmoud F. Seleiman, Adel M. Al-Saif, Khalil A. Ammar, Ahmed Attia, Medhat G. Zoghdan, Mahmoud M. A. Shabana, Hesham Aboelsoud and Calogero Schillaci
Land 2021, 10(12), 1375; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121375 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4373
Abstract
The APSIM-Wheat and AQUACROP models were calibrated for the Sakha 95 cultivar using phenological data, grain and biomass yield, and genetic parameters based on field observation. Various treatments of planting dates, irrigation, and fertilization were applied over the two successive winter growing seasons [...] Read more.
The APSIM-Wheat and AQUACROP models were calibrated for the Sakha 95 cultivar using phenological data, grain and biomass yield, and genetic parameters based on field observation. Various treatments of planting dates, irrigation, and fertilization were applied over the two successive winter growing seasons of 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. Both models simulated anthesis, maturity dates, grain yield, and aboveground biomass accurately with high performances (coefficient of determination, index of agreement greater than 0.8, and lower values of root mean square deviation) in most cases. The calibrated models were then employed to explore wheat yield and water productivity (WP) in response to irrigation and nitrogen fertilization applications. Scenario analyses indicated that water productivity and yield of wheat ranged from 1.2–2.0 kg m–3 and 6.8–8.7 t ha–1, respectively. Application of 0.8 from actual evapotranspiration and 120% from recommended nitrogen dose was the best-predicted scenario achieving the highest value of crop WP. Investigating the suitable option achieving the current wheat yield by farmers (7.4 t ha–1), models demonstrated that application of 1.4 from actual evapotranspiration with 80% of the recommended nitrogen dose was the best option to achieve this yield. At this point, predicted WP was low and recorded 1.5 kg m–3. Quantifying wheat yield in all districts of the studied area was also predicted using both models. APSIM-Wheat and AQUACROP can be used to drive the best management strategies in terms of N fertilizer and water regime for wheat under Egyptian conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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16 pages, 27436 KiB  
Article
Detection of Archaeological Surface Ceramics Using Deep Learning Image-Based Methods and Very High-Resolution UAV Imageries
by Athos Agapiou, Athanasios Vionis and Giorgos Papantoniou
Land 2021, 10(12), 1365; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121365 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4356
Abstract
Mapping surface ceramics through systematic pedestrian archaeological survey is considered a consistent method to recover the cultural biography of sites within a micro-region. Archaeologists nowadays conduct surface survey equipped with navigation devices counting, documenting, and collecting surface archaeological potsherds within a set of [...] Read more.
Mapping surface ceramics through systematic pedestrian archaeological survey is considered a consistent method to recover the cultural biography of sites within a micro-region. Archaeologists nowadays conduct surface survey equipped with navigation devices counting, documenting, and collecting surface archaeological potsherds within a set of plotted grids. Recent advancements in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and image processing analysis can be utilised to support such surface archaeological investigations. In this study, we have implemented two different artificial intelligence image processing methods over two areas of interest near the present-day village of Kophinou in Cyprus, in the Xeros River valley. We have applied a random forest classifier through the Google Earth Engine big data cloud platform and a Single Shot Detector neural network in the ArcGIS Pro environment. For the first case study, the detection was based on red–green–blue (RGB) high-resolution orthophotos. In contrast, a multispectral camera covering both the visible and the near-infrared parts of the spectrum was used in the second area of investigation. The overall results indicate that such an approach can be used in the future as part of ongoing archaeological pedestrian surveys to detect scattered potsherds in areas of archaeological interest, even if pottery shares a very high spectral similarity with the surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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19 pages, 5068 KiB  
Article
Forest Recreational Services in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic Stress
by Dastan Bamwesigye, Jitka Fialová, Petr Kupec, Jan Łukaszkiewicz and Beata Fortuna-Antoszkiewicz
Land 2021, 10(12), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121347 - 7 Dec 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3715
Abstract
Forest ecosystems provide numerous services and benefits to both humans and biodiversity. Similarly, urban forests services play a vital role by providing urban dwellers with recreational and leisure space, mental health relief, and meditation. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, many people [...] Read more.
Forest ecosystems provide numerous services and benefits to both humans and biodiversity. Similarly, urban forests services play a vital role by providing urban dwellers with recreational and leisure space, mental health relief, and meditation. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, many people living in the urban areas could benefit from the forest and park recreational services to relieve psychological stress due to lockdown rules. The study examined existing literature simultaneously; however, very few studies have presented the relationships between forest services’ role on COVID-19 stress relief. Furthermore, we examined forest visitors’ frequency at the Training Forest Enterprise (TFE) Masaryk Forest Křtiny in the outskirts of Brno City in the Czech Republic. The study collected data using a TRAFx infrared trail counter before the pandemic (2015–2018) and during the COVID-19 period (2021). As in other studies of the subject, we observed an increasing trend in forest visits during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2021, compared to the same months before the pandemic in 2016 and 2017. We recommend further research to focus on scientific analysis of the relationship between forest ecosystem services and COVID-19 stress and mental health. Moreover, given the spike in visitors during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2021 in March and April, our data provide evidence regarding the role of nature for relieving stress and supporting mental and physical health. Policy, decision-makers and medical advisors could use such data and study to guide future lockdowns and pandemic situations regarding nature and forest recreational use and importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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Review

Jump to: Research

21 pages, 2245 KiB  
Review
A Bibliometric Analysis on Smart Cities Related to Land Use
by María Teresa Bastanchury-López and Carmen De-Pablos-Heredero
Land 2022, 11(12), 2132; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11122132 - 26 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2206
Abstract
According to the World Bank, approximately 55% of the population lives in cities and a growing trend is expected in the future. Cities generate more than 80% of the world’s GDP, so accurate urban land management would favor sustainable growth, increasing productivity and [...] Read more.
According to the World Bank, approximately 55% of the population lives in cities and a growing trend is expected in the future. Cities generate more than 80% of the world’s GDP, so accurate urban land management would favor sustainable growth, increasing productivity and facilitating innovation and the emergence of new ideas. The use and management of public resources and the concern for cities to become increasingly smart are, therefore, of particular importance. To provide an overview and synthesize knowledge on smart cities in relation to land use, a bibliometric analysis was performed of 475 documents extracted from the Web of Science database, using the SciMAT and VOSviewer programs. Research papers published between 1 January 2000 and 8 September 2022 were considered. Three periods have been identified in which a tendency oriented to deepen in a broad concept of smart city has been evidenced. A growing interest in the topic under investigation has been found, expressed as an increase of the number of publications and research groups focused on the topic. The results of this analysis help to know the most relevant contributions published so far on urban land use in smart cities. This knowledge can help streamline decisions in urban land use in smart cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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