Special Issue "Land Abandonment: Positive and Negative Effects on Soil Quality, Ecosystem Services, and Environmental Functioning"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ilan Stavi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Dead-Sea and Arava Science Center, Tamar Regional Council, Yotvata 88820, Israel
Interests: agro-ecosystems; food security; geo-ecology; land-use change; surface processes
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land abandonment is widespread around the world and encompasses different land-uses, such as orchards, croplands, and rangelands. Often, land abandonment stems from on-site degradation processes, such as extreme compaction, soil erosion, soil organic carbon depletion, or salinization/sodification. Such processes are likely to reduce the primary productivity of desired plant species or crops, or cause the succession or invasion of undesired vegetation species. Regardless, land abandonment may be related to changes in socio-economic and cultural preferences, and, specifically, to urbanization and related modifications in the labor market. An abundance of evidence indicates that land abandonment halts soil erosion and salinization, triggering the buildup of soil horizons and subsequently improving soil functioning and ecosystem health. At the same time, other evidence shows that land abandonment accelerates land degradation processes. The objective of this Special Issue is to demonstrate the complexity of the topic of land abandonment while highlighting the agro-environmental challenges and opportunities as well as related policy and socio-economic aspects.

Prof. Dr. Ilan Stavi
Dr. Manuel Pulido Fernández
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. 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 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agricultural policy
  • ecosystem services
  • hydrological connectivity
  • plant species richness and diversity
  • rural socio-economy
  • secondary succession
  • soil buildup
  • soil erosion
  • surface roughness
  • vegetation cover.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Estimation of Determinants of Farmland Abandonment and Its Data Problems
Land 2021, 10(6), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060596 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 280
Abstract
Abandoned farmland is particularly problematic in developed countries where agriculture has a comparative disadvantage in terms of effective use of land resources invested over time. While many studies have estimated the causes of these problems, few have discussed in detail the impact of [...] Read more.
Abandoned farmland is particularly problematic in developed countries where agriculture has a comparative disadvantage in terms of effective use of land resources invested over time. While many studies have estimated the causes of these problems, few have discussed in detail the impact of data characteristics and accuracy on the estimation results. In this study, issues related to the underlying data and the estimation of the determinants of farmland abandonment were examined. Most previous studies on farmland abandonment in Japan have used census data as the basis of their analyses. However, census data are recorded subjectively by farmers. To address this, surveys of abandoned farmland are being conducted by a third party, and the results are compiled into a geographic information system (GIS) database. Two types of datasets (subjective census data and objective GIS data) were examined for their estimation performance. Although the two sets of data are correlated, there are considerable differences between them. Subjective variables are compatible with subjective data, and objective variables are compatible with objective data (meaning that parameters are easily identified). Original data for analysis, such as policy variables, are compatible with objective data. In policy evaluation research, attention should be paid to objective data collection. Full article
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Article
Comparing Hydric Erosion Soil Loss Models in Rainy Mountainous and Dry Flat Regions in Portugal
Land 2021, 10(6), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060554 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Soil erosion is a severe and complex issue in the agriculture area. The main objective of this study was to assess the soil loss in two regions, testing different methodologies and combining different factors of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) based [...] Read more.
Soil erosion is a severe and complex issue in the agriculture area. The main objective of this study was to assess the soil loss in two regions, testing different methodologies and combining different factors of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) based on Geographical Information Systems (GIS). To provide the methodologies to other users, a GIS open-source application was developed. The RUSLE equation was applied with the variation of some factors that compose it, namely the slope length and slope steepness (LS) factor and practices factor (P), but also with the use of different sources of information. Eight different erosion models (M1 to M8) were applied to the two regions with different ecological conditions: Montalegre (rainy-mountainous) and Alentejo (dry-flat), both in Portugal, to compare them and to evaluate the soil loss for 3 potential erosion levels: 0–25, 25–50 and >50 ton/ha·year. Regarding the methodologies, in both regions the behavior is similar, indicating that the M5 and M6 methodologies can be more conservative than the others (M1, M2, M3, M4 and M8), which present very consistent values in all classes of soil loss and for both regions. All methodologies were implemented in a GIS application, which is free and available under QGIS software. Full article
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Article
Can Land Consolidation Reduce the Soil Erosion of Agricultural Land in Hilly Areas? Evidence from Lishui District, Nanjing City
Land 2021, 10(5), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050502 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 311
Abstract
The hilly areas of China have experienced soil erosion and are also typical land consolidation (LC) regions. Using the RUSLE model and the multiple regression model, this study evaluated the soil erosion of agricultural land and assessed the effects of LC on soil [...] Read more.
The hilly areas of China have experienced soil erosion and are also typical land consolidation (LC) regions. Using the RUSLE model and the multiple regression model, this study evaluated the soil erosion of agricultural land and assessed the effects of LC on soil erosion in Lishui District, a typical district in the Ning-Zhen-Yang hilly area. The soil erosion of agricultural land ranged from 0 to 385.77 t·ha−1·yr−1 with spatial heterogeneity due to the topography, land cover, and vegetation cover. Overall, carrying out LC reduced soil erosion due to the construction of protection forests, farmland shelterbelts, and different kinds of land engineering. Furthermore, the different types of LC had different impacts on soil erosion, where farmland consolidation resulted in more serious soil erosion than land development. Nevertheless, the potential risks brought by LC to soil erosion reduction could not be overlooked, and more attention should be paid to ecological environment protection during the process of LC. This study presents findings regarding the positive impacts and potential risks of LC for soil erosion reduction in agricultural land in hilly areas. Full article
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