Topical Collection "Land Systems in Transition: Challenges, Approaches, and Pathways for a Sustainable Development"

Editors

Prof. Dr. Ileana Pătru-Stupariu
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
1. Institute of Research of University of Bucharest, ICUB, Transdisciplinary Research Centre Landscape- Territory-Information Systems, CeLTIS, Splaiul Independenței no. 91-95, 050095 Bucharest, Romania
2. Department of Regional Geography and Environment, Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Bd. N. Bălcescu, 1, 010041 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: landscape ecology; modeling of landscape dynamics; landscape fragmentation; landscape planning; land use/land cover change and geographic approaches (nature and society)
Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Dept. Sustainable Landscape Development, University of Halle, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
Interests: social–ecological system models; ecosystem services; impact assessment; participatory planning processes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land and ecosystems are subject to increasing demands and pressures, and they are permanently in transition. Land system science and related research disciplines such as landscape ecology or social–ecological system research therefore explore the systemic properties of land systems to understand how resilient or vulnerable those systems are under future scenarios, which tipping points and emergence effects may occur, and how persistent or prone systems are to adapt and change when reacting to single or multiple drivers and pressures. Land system research supports the systemic understanding of human–nature interaction and contributes to identify pathways for sustainability.

Societal challenges and emerging topics increasingly force the development of inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches in which scientists and also actors from society cooperate on solutions for human wellbeing and a sustainable environmental development. 

This Series on Land Systems in Transition focuses on interdisciplinary approaches related to landscape ecology, landscape, analysis, modeling of landscape dynamics, land use/land cover change, and landscape planning. We invite authors to contribute to the topics mentioned above or focus on complementary topics such as climate change, biodiversity trends, and ecosystem service assessments. Contributions that explore links between these themes and look at nexuses in complex constellations and landscape governance, participatory approaches, and/or citizen science are also welcome.

Topic 2019–2021: Land systems in transition—between persistence and change

Topic 2022: Future landscapes—visions and missions

Topic 2023: Landscapes in a global context—drivers and pressures that connect and divide

Prof. Dr. Pătru-Stupariu Ileana
Prof. Dr. Christine Fürst
Collection 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 collection 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

  • Land use/cover change
  • Landscape persistence
  • Landscape planning
  • Ecosystems/environment behavior
  • Habitat loss
  • Driving forces
  • Changes
  • Governance

Published Papers (11 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020

Article
Sustainable Landscape Planning to Mitigate Wildlife–Vehicle Collisions
Land 2021, 10(7), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070737 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 615
Abstract
Road development, traffic intensification, and collisions with wildlife represent a danger both for road safety and species conservation. For planners, deciding which mitigation methods to apply is often problematic. Through a kernel density estimate, we analyzed 715 crossing locations and wildlife–vehicle collisions (WVCs) [...] Read more.
Road development, traffic intensification, and collisions with wildlife represent a danger both for road safety and species conservation. For planners, deciding which mitigation methods to apply is often problematic. Through a kernel density estimate, we analyzed 715 crossing locations and wildlife–vehicle collisions (WVCs) involving brown bears, lynx, wolf, red deer, roe deer, and wild boar in the Southeastern Carpathian Mountains. We identified 25 WVC hotspots, of which eight require urgent mitigation of existing infrastructure. Moreover, many of these hotspots are in Natura 2000 sites, along road sections where vegetation is in close proximity, animal movement is the highest, and driver visibility is low. Our study is the first in Romania to recommend practical solutions to remediate WVC hotspots and benefit sustainable landscape management. Full article
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Communication
Urban versus Rural? Conflict Lines in Land Use Disputes in the Urban–Rural Fringe Region of Schwerin, Germany
Land 2021, 10(7), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070726 - 10 Jul 2021
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Land use conflicts can present major obstacles to sustainable land management. An accurate understanding of their actor constellations and conflict lines is therefore crucial in developing tools for successful landscape governance. In this context, actors from cities and actors from rural areas are [...] Read more.
Land use conflicts can present major obstacles to sustainable land management. An accurate understanding of their actor constellations and conflict lines is therefore crucial in developing tools for successful landscape governance. In this context, actors from cities and actors from rural areas are often seen as typical opponents. Hence, the objective of this paper is to analyze the extent to which empirical conflict lines indeed run between urban and rural actors. We applied qualitative text analysis to examine 124 land use conflicts in the urban–rural fringe of Schwerin, Germany, which were identified through semistructured interviews with key land use actors in the region. Results showed that actors from the city and the rural fringe were on opposing sides in almost half of the conflicts. However, they were also frequently in conflict among themselves, and many actor constellations involved actors from other regions or administrative levels. In conclusion, the narrative of the urban–rural dichotomy appears in the empirical data but does not appropriately convey the complexity of the actual conflict lines. The findings of this paper therefore emphasize that it is important to empirically identify the actor constellations in land use conflicts rather than rely on preconceived ideas about typical conflict lines. Full article
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Article
Land Use Change, Urban Agglomeration, and Urban Sprawl: A Sustainable Development Perspective of Makassar City, Indonesia
Land 2021, 10(6), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060556 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Urbanization towards the expansion of the city area causes urban sprawl and changes in space use. Furthermore, urban agglomeration towards urban spatial integration causes a decrease in environmental quality. This study aims to analyze (1) land-use change and urban sprawl work as determinants [...] Read more.
Urbanization towards the expansion of the city area causes urban sprawl and changes in space use. Furthermore, urban agglomeration towards urban spatial integration causes a decrease in environmental quality. This study aims to analyze (1) land-use change and urban sprawl work as determinants of environmental quality degradation in suburban areas. (2) The effect of urban sprawl, urban agglomeration, land-use change, urban activity systems, and transportation systems on environmental quality degradation in suburban areas. A combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches is used sequentially in this study. Data obtained through observation, surveys, and documentation. The results showed that the expansion of the Makassar City area to the suburbs had an impact on spatial dynamics, spatial segregation, and environmental degradation. Furthermore, urban sprawl, land-use change, urban agglomeration, activity systems, and transportation systems have a positive correlation to environmental quality degradation with a determination coefficient of 85.9%. This study recommends the handling of urban sprawl, land-use change, and urban agglomeration to be considered in the formulation of development policies towards the sustainability of natural resources and the environment of Makassar City, Indonesia. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Land-Use Scenarios at a National Scale Using Intensity Analysis and Figure of Merit Components
Land 2021, 10(4), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040379 - 05 Apr 2021
Viewed by 699
Abstract
To address the impacts of future land changes on biodiversity and ecosystem services, land-use scenarios have been developed at the national scale in Japan. However, the validation of land-use scenarios remains a challenge owing to the lack of an appropriate validation method. This [...] Read more.
To address the impacts of future land changes on biodiversity and ecosystem services, land-use scenarios have been developed at the national scale in Japan. However, the validation of land-use scenarios remains a challenge owing to the lack of an appropriate validation method. This research developed land-use maps for 10 land-use categories to calibrate a land-change model for the 1987–1998 period, simulate changes during the 1998–2014 period, and validate the simulation for the 1998–2014 period. Following an established method, this study assessed the three types of land change: (1) reference change during the calibration time interval, (2) simulation change during the validation time interval, and (3) reference change during the validation time interval, using intensity analysis and figure of merit components (hits, misses, and false alarms). The results revealed the cause of the low accuracy of the national scale land-use scenarios as well as priority solutions, such as aligning the underlying spatial vegetation maps and improving the model to reduce two types of disagreement between the simulation and reference maps. These findings should help to improve the accuracy of model predictions and help to better inform policymakers during the decision-making process. Full article
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Article
The Importance of Low-Intensive Agricultural Landscape for Birds of Prey
Land 2021, 10(3), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030252 - 02 Mar 2021
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Low-intensive agricultural areas of Romania sustain high species diversity. Together with natural habitats, these areas are very important for European biodiversity. The ecosystem´s health is reflected in the predator status because of their position at the top of the trophic networks. The Common [...] Read more.
Low-intensive agricultural areas of Romania sustain high species diversity. Together with natural habitats, these areas are very important for European biodiversity. The ecosystem´s health is reflected in the predator status because of their position at the top of the trophic networks. The Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) is the most common bird of prey species in Europe. During the first survey census conducted in Eastern Romania (2011–2012 breeding seasons), 8.55–10.35 breeding pairs/100 square km have been counted. The Common Buzzard density varies between breeding seasons and with differences in habitat structure. Their density is positively influenced by the density of forest edge and Simpson diversity index of habitats but is negatively influenced by the total habitat fragmentation and mean daily temperature. According to this analysis, the selection of breeding territories by common buzzards is positively influenced by a heterogeneous landscape in an area with low-intensive agriculture and with large areas of open habitats made up of natural or semi-natural vegetation. Full article
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Article
Forest and Arborescent Scrub Habitats of Special Interest for SCIs in Central Spain
Land 2021, 10(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020183 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
The habitat of the several territories in Ciudad Real (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) are studued through the and mapping (scale 1:10.000) and vegetation analysis. The distribution and surface of the habitat presents in the Sites of Community Interest (SCIs), as well as pressures, threats, [...] Read more.
The habitat of the several territories in Ciudad Real (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) are studued through the and mapping (scale 1:10.000) and vegetation analysis. The distribution and surface of the habitat presents in the Sites of Community Interest (SCIs), as well as pressures, threats, trends, and state of conservation are described. These site contributes significantly to the maintenance or restoration at a favourable conservation status of a natural habitat type or of a species of community intesess.These specially protected areas are part of the Natura 2000 network. We discuss the diversity of forest habitats characterized by species of the genus Quercus L., focusing only on the plant communities in the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC of 1992, regarding the conservation of fauna and flora and habitats of interest owing to their endemic or rare character. Habitats and species must be studied in combination to ensure the maximum reliability of the results. We concentrate on habitats with low representation in the territory as a consequence of their rarity or endemicity. We study the following habitats of special interest: 9230—Mediterranean-Ibero-Atlantic and Galaico-Portuguese oak woods of Quercus robur and Quercus pyrenaica; 9240—Iberian oaks of Quercus faginea and Quercus canariensis; 9320—Thermomediterranean forests of Olea and Ceratonia (Iberian Peninsula, Balearic and Canary Islands); 9540—Mediterranean pine forests of endemic Pinus pinaster (Pinus pinaster subsp. acutisquama); 9560—Endemic forests with Juniperus spp.; 5210. Arborescent scrub with Juniperus spp. Full article
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Article
Using Landscape Change Analysis and Stakeholder Perspective to Identify Driving Forces of Human–Wildlife Interactions
Land 2021, 10(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020146 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Human–wildlife interactions (HWI) were frequent in the post-socialist period in the mountain range of Central European countries where forest habitats suffered transitions into built-up areas. Such is the case of the Upper Prahova Valley from Romania. In our study, we hypothesized that the [...] Read more.
Human–wildlife interactions (HWI) were frequent in the post-socialist period in the mountain range of Central European countries where forest habitats suffered transitions into built-up areas. Such is the case of the Upper Prahova Valley from Romania. In our study, we hypothesized that the increasing number of HWI after 1990 could be a potential consequence of woodland loss. The goal of our study was to analyse the effects of landscape changes on HWI. The study consists of the next steps: (i) applying 450 questionnaires to local stakeholders (both citizens and tourists) in order to collect data regarding HWI temporal occurrences and potential triggering factors; (ii) investigating the relation between the two variables through the Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA); (iii) modelling the landscape spatial changes between 1990 and 2018 for identifying areas with forest loss; (iv) overlapping the distribution of both the households affected by HWI and areas with loss of forested ecosystems. The local stakeholders indicate that the problematic species are the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the wild boar (Sus scrofa), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the grey wolf (Canis lupus). The number of animal–human interactions recorded an upward trend between 1990 and 2018, and the most significant driving factors were the regulation of hunting practices, the loss of habitats, and artificial feeding. The landscape change analysis reveals that between 1990 and 2018, the forest habitats were replaced by built-up areas primarily on the outskirts of settlements, these areas coinciding with frequent HWI. The results are valid for both forest ecosystems conservation in the region, wildlife management, and human infrastructures durable spatial planning. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2021

Article
How Do Natura 2000 Areas Intersect with Peoples’ Livelihood Strategies in High Nature Value Farmlands in Southern Transylvania?
Land 2020, 9(12), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120484 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 719
Abstract
The establishment of the Natura 2000 network in Romania constitutes a turning point for the policy on biodiversity conservation in this country. The presence of human communities in certain Natura 2000 areas determines complex interactions between social and ecological systems, particularly in the [...] Read more.
The establishment of the Natura 2000 network in Romania constitutes a turning point for the policy on biodiversity conservation in this country. The presence of human communities in certain Natura 2000 areas determines complex interactions between social and ecological systems, particularly in the case of High Nature Value farmlands that are assigned to this network of protected natural areas. A large part of Romania’s biodiversity depends on traditional farming systems that are under pressure from either agricultural intensification or land abandonment, which reflects socio-economic changes that have pushed rural households into developing new livelihood strategies. This paper explores the particular context of traditional rural communities from Southern Transylvania which is a High Nature Value farmland area largely included in the Natura 2000 network. We conducted an empirical analysis that focused on two main issues. The first was applying quantitative methods aimed at identifying the linkages between livelihood capitals and livelihood strategies of people living in Natura 2000 areas. The second was analyzing differences in local development levels which correlate with the share of territorial administrative units belonging to Natura 2000 areas. Our results are based on questionnaire and interview data collected from 40 rural administrative-territorial units within Southern Transylvania as well as on mapping land use changes using Landsat satellite images of 1985, 2003 and 2015. The results indicate that rural communities living in Natura 2000 areas turn to migration as an additional household strategy besides usual on-farm and off-farm activities, leading to rural shrinkage and farmland abandonment. Full article
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Article
Temporal Continuities of Grasslands and Forests as Patches of Natural Land in Urban Landscapes: A Case Study of the Tsukuba Science City
Land 2020, 9(11), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110425 - 31 Oct 2020
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Development has fragmented urban nature, and target sites for conservation strategies need to be those that have long maintained their original land cover in a clustered area. Additionally, continuously grasping changes from rural to urban as well as changes over decades after urbanization [...] Read more.
Development has fragmented urban nature, and target sites for conservation strategies need to be those that have long maintained their original land cover in a clustered area. Additionally, continuously grasping changes from rural to urban as well as changes over decades after urbanization is essential. Therefore, this study identified and investigated natural patches in urban landscapes, clarified actual management practices in the identified patches, and traced changes in land ownership and land cover during the past 130 years in the Tsukuba Science City, Japan. We first identified areas containing clusters of urban grasslands and forest patches that have existed since the 2010s. We then identified urban green space patches that since the 1880s have remained undeveloped after being agricultural landscapes, despite the rapid urbanization of the Tsukuba Science City since the 1970s. These patches of urban green space were mainly identified near rural communities, research institutions, planned development sites, and golf courses. The findings of this study highlighted the need for new policy implications through systematic arrangement of diverse conservation strategies to maintain urban green space patches. Further investigation is required to elucidate the ecosystem services provided by these remnant green patches. Full article
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Review
A Review of Changes in Mountain Land Use and Ecosystem Services: From Theory to Practice
Land 2020, 9(9), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9090336 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Global changes impact the human-environment relationship, and, in particular, they affect the provision of ecosystem services. Mountain ecosystems provide a wide range of such services, but they are highly sensitive and vulnerable to change due to various human pressures and natural processes. We [...] Read more.
Global changes impact the human-environment relationship, and, in particular, they affect the provision of ecosystem services. Mountain ecosystems provide a wide range of such services, but they are highly sensitive and vulnerable to change due to various human pressures and natural processes. We conducted a literature survey that focused on two main issues. The first was the identification of quantitative methods aimed at assessing the impact of land use changes in mountain regions and the related ecosystem services. The second was the analysis of the extent to which the outcomes of these assessments are useful and transferable to stakeholders. We selected papers through a keyword-driven search of the ISI Web of Knowledge and other international databases. The keywords used for the search were mountain land use change and ecosystem service. Quantitative approaches to ecosystem service assessment rely on suitable indicators, therefore land use/land cover can be used as an appropriate proxy. Landscape metrics are a powerful analytical tool; their use can increase the accuracy of assessments and facilitate the mitigation of specific phenomena, such as fragmentation or the reduction of core habitat areas. Mapping is essential: it is the basis for spatial analyzes and eases the interactions between stakeholders. Land use/land cover change is a temporal process, so both past and future approaches are meaningful. It is necessary to enhance information transfer from theory to practice. Increasing stakeholder awareness can lead to suitable management solutions, and, reciprocally, stakeholder feedback can help improve current assessment methodologies and contribute to developing new tools that are suitable for specific problems. Full article
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Article
Degradation of Coastlines under the Pressure of Urbanization and Tourism: Evidence on the Change of Land Systems from Europe, Asia and Africa
Land 2020, 9(8), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9080275 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1784
Abstract
The importance of studying coastal areas is justified by their resources, ecosystem services, and key role played in socio-economic development. Coastal landscapes are subject to increasing demands and pressures, requiring in-depth analyses for finding appropriate tools or policies for a sustainable landscape management. [...] Read more.
The importance of studying coastal areas is justified by their resources, ecosystem services, and key role played in socio-economic development. Coastal landscapes are subject to increasing demands and pressures, requiring in-depth analyses for finding appropriate tools or policies for a sustainable landscape management. The present study addresses this issue globally, based on case studies from three continents: Romania (Europe), Algeria (Africa), and Vietnam (Asia), focusing on the anthropogenic pressure resulting from land use/land cover change or urban sprawl, taking into account the role of socioeconomic and political factors. The methodology consisted of producing maps and computing and analyzing indicators, correlating geospatial and socio-economic data in a synergistic manner to explore the changes of landscapes, and identify the specific driving forces. The findings show that the pressure of urbanization and tourism on coastal areas increased, while the drivers and impacts vary. Urbanization is due to derogatory planning in Romania and Algeria, and different national and local goals in Vietnam. The two drivers determine local exemptions from the national regulations, made for profit. In addition to the need for developing and enforcing policies for stopping the degradation and restoring the ecosystems, the findings underline the importance of international cooperation in policy development. Full article
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