Special Issue "Drought, Land Use and Soil"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among other effects, recent climatic changes have increased the frequency and magnitude of droughts around the world. Long-term droughts have exacerbated water stress for vegetation, risking the productivity and functioning of agro-ecosystems. In terms of anthropogenic land-use, croplands, rangelands, and forestry lands are particularly susceptible to such droughts. Alongside this, mismanagement of extensive lands, with the resulting depleted soil quality, has accelerated land degradation processes. At the same time, judicious utilizing of conservation practices has alleviated the adverse impact of droughts, sustaining vegetation growth and geo-ecosystem functioning under the changing climatic conditions. Further, a wide range of restoration schemes has proved to be effective in reversing land degradation processes. This Special Issue is aimed at constituting a forum for discussing these topics, as well as additional topics pertaining to the interrelations of droughts, land-use, and soil.

Dr. Ilan Stavi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Afforestation and reforestation
  • Agroforestry and silvopasture
  • Deforestation and land clearing
  • Land restoration
  • Livestock grazing
  • Mixed land-use
  • Soil compaction
  • Soil erosion
  • Soil organic carbon
  • Soil salinization

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Quantification of Soil Losses along the Coastal Protected Areas in Kenya
Land 2020, 9(5), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050137 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1178
Abstract
Monitoring of improper soil erosion empowered by water is constantly adding more risk to the natural resource mitigation scenarios, especially in developing countries. The demographical pattern and the rate of growth, in addition to the impairments of the rainfall pattern, are consequently disposed [...] Read more.
Monitoring of improper soil erosion empowered by water is constantly adding more risk to the natural resource mitigation scenarios, especially in developing countries. The demographical pattern and the rate of growth, in addition to the impairments of the rainfall pattern, are consequently disposed to adverse environmental disturbances. The current research goal is to evaluate soil erosion triggered by water in the coastal area of Kenya on the district level, and also in protected areas. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model was exercised to estimate the soil loss in the designated study area. RUSLE input parameters were functionally realized in terms of rainfall and runoff erosivity factor (R), soil erodibility factor (K), slope length and gradient factor (LS), land cover management factor (C) and slope factor (P). The realization of RUSLE input parameters was carried out using different dataset sources, including meteorological data, soil/geology maps, the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and processing of satellite imagery. Out of 26 districts in coastal area, eight districts were projected to have mean annual soil loss rates of >10 t·ha−1·y−1: Kololenli (19.709 t·ha−1·y−1), Kubo (14.36 t·ha−1·y−1), Matuga (19.32 t·ha−1·y−1), Changamwe (26.7 t·ha−1·y−1), Kisauni (16.23 t·ha−1·y−1), Likoni (27.9 t·ha−1·y−1), Mwatate (15.9 t·ha−1·y−1) and Wundanyi (26.51 t·ha−1·y−1). Out of 34 protected areas at the coastal areas, only four were projected to have high soil loss estimation rates >10 t·ha−1·y−1: Taita Hills (11.12 t·ha−1·y−1), Gonja (18.52 t·ha−1·y−1), Mailuganji (13.75.74 t·ha−1·y−1), and Shimba Hills (15.06 t·ha−1·y−1). In order to mitigate soil erosion in Kenya’s coastal areas, it is crucial to regulate the anthropogenic disturbances embedded mainly in deforestation of the timberlands, in addition to the natural deforestation process caused by the wildfires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought, Land Use and Soil)
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Article
Tree Wind Breaks in Central Asia and Their Effects on Agricultural Water Consumption
Land 2019, 8(11), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8110167 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 972
Abstract
Across Central Asia, agriculture largely depends on irrigation due to arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. Water is abstracted from rivers, which are largely fed by glacier melt. In the course of climate change, glaciers melt down so that a reduced glacier volume and [...] Read more.
Across Central Asia, agriculture largely depends on irrigation due to arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. Water is abstracted from rivers, which are largely fed by glacier melt. In the course of climate change, glaciers melt down so that a reduced glacier volume and reduced water runoffs are expected to be available for irrigation. Tree wind breaks are one option to reduce water consumption in irrigated agriculture and build resilience against climate change. This paper therefore assesses the water consumption of major crops in Kyrgyzstan and adjacent areas, i.e., cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), corn (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in combination with tree wind breaks. Crop water consumption was assessed through the Penman Monteith approach. Tree wind break types investigated were single rows from poplars (Populus spec.) and multiple rows with understory vegetation by elm (Ulmus minor L.) and poplar, respectively. Tree water consumption was determined through sapflow measurements. The seasonal reference evapotranspiration (ETo) for field crops was 876–995 mm without wind breaks and dropped to less than half through multiple row wind breaks with understory vegetation (50 m spacing). Tree water consumption was 1125–1558 mm for poplar and 435 mm for elm. Among the wind break crop systems, elm wind breaks resulted in the highest reductions of water consumption, followed by single row poplars, at spacing of 50 and 100 m, respectively. However, elm grows much slower than poplar, so poplars might be more attractive for farmers. Furthermore, single row wind breaks might by much easier to be integrated into the agrarian landscape as they consume less space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought, Land Use and Soil)
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Article
Comparison of Satellite Soil Moisture Products in Mongolia and Their Relation to Grassland Condition
Land 2019, 8(9), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8090142 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1271
Abstract
Monitoring of soil moisture dynamics provides valuable information about grassland degradation, since soil moisture directly affects vegetation cover. While the Mongolian soil moisture monitoring network is limited to the urban and protected natural areas, remote sensing data can be used to determine the [...] Read more.
Monitoring of soil moisture dynamics provides valuable information about grassland degradation, since soil moisture directly affects vegetation cover. While the Mongolian soil moisture monitoring network is limited to the urban and protected natural areas, remote sensing data can be used to determine the soil moisture status elsewhere. In this paper, we determine whether in situ and remotely sensed data in the unaccounted areas of Southwestern Mongolia are consistent with each other, by comparing Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) first passive L-band satellite data with in situ measurements. To evaluate the soil moisture products, we calculated the temporal, seasonal, and monthly average soil moisture content. We corrected the bias of SMOS soil moisture (SM) data using the in situ measured soil moisture with both the simple ratio and gamma methods. We verified the bias-corrected SMOS data with Nash–Sutcliffe method. The comparison results suggest that bias correction (of the simple ratio and gamma methods) enhances the reliability of the SMOS data, resulting in a higher correlation coefficient. We then examined the correlation between SMOS and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) index in the various ecosystems. Analysis of the SMOS and in situ measured soil moisture data revealed that spatial soil moisture distribution matches the rainfall events in Southwestern Mongolia for the period 2010 to 2015. The results illustrate that the bias-corrected, monthly-averaged SMOS data has a high correlation with the monthly-averaged NDVI (R2 > 0.81). Both NDVI and rainfall can be used as indicators for grassland monitoring in Mongolia. During 2015, we detected decreasing soil moisture in approximately 30% of the forest-steppe and steppe areas. We assume that the current ecosystem of land is changing rapidly from forest to steppe and also from steppe to desert. The rainfall rate is the most critical factor influencing the soil moisture storage capacity in this region. The collected SMOS data reflects in situ conditions, making it an option for grassland studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought, Land Use and Soil)
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