Special Issue "Mountains under Pressure"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Systems and Global Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rob Marchant
Website
Guest Editor
York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems, University of York, York, Y010 5NG, UK
Interests: tropical ecology; conservation; palaeoclimate; palaeoecology; fire ecology; modelling; management; sustainability
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Aida Cuni-Sanchez
Website
Guest Editor
York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems, Department of Environment and Geography, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5NG, UK
Interests: Tropical forest ecology; forest conservation; global environmental change; botany and ethnobotany; ecosystem services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Montane forests and alpine ecosystems are rich in biodiversity and endemism as well as being a large global carbon store. They are highly threatened by climate change, population growth and land use change. Mountains provide an ideal natural laboratory to investigate the evolution of social–ecological systems, and to assess the current challenges and opportunities that this past evolution has created. Mountains have been centres of past development and conduits for the spread of crops, populations and technologies. They were and remain a locus for cultural interaction, as manifested recently in many parts of the world at the local level through pastoral–agricultural–urban interactions over access to space and resources, particularly water. The relevance and impact of this Special Issue on mountains goes beyond academia, as practitioners and policy-makers need key information on the dynamics and changes in threatened ecosystems to help design and implement appropriate management strategies for sustainable mountain futures.

Prof. Dr. Rob Marchant
Dr. Aida Cuni-Sanchez
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

  • mountains
  • social–ecological systems
  • development
  • cultural interaction
  • pastoral–agricultural–urban interactions
  • water
  • conservation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
VegeT: An Easy Tool to Classify and Facilitate the Management of Seminatural Grasslands and Dynamically Connected Vegetation of the Alps
Land 2020, 9(12), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120473 - 24 Nov 2020
Abstract
Alpine pastures and meadows are agroecosystems of biological, cultural-historical, and economic importance that are undergoing profound imbalances and which are in a rapid decline due to changes in management and/or abandonment. The European Union is making efforts to protect this heritage and resource. [...] Read more.
Alpine pastures and meadows are agroecosystems of biological, cultural-historical, and economic importance that are undergoing profound imbalances and which are in a rapid decline due to changes in management and/or abandonment. The European Union is making efforts to protect this heritage and resource. However, the dialog among the different professionals in charge of studying and managing these agroecosystems needs to be as easy and comprehensible as possible for grasslands conservation/restoration actions to be successful. This research introduces VegeT, an easy-to-use tool to facilitate information transfer between botanists and practitioners responsible for providing guidelines for the correct management of mountain grasslands. VegeT is a Microsoft Excel® worksheet that allows the classification of seminatural grasslands and dynamically connected vegetation (shrublands and forests) of the Alps employing two ecological indexes: the index of nutrients (N) and the index of mowing tolerance (MV). VegeT was elaborated upon the floristic-ecological analysis of the vegetation of Taleggio Valley (Italian Alps) performed applying multivariate analysis techniques. From the analyses, it emerged that N and MV are the main variables on which to base a classification system of alpine mountain grasslands and dynamically connected vegetation able to facilitate the interpretation of floristic-vegetation data and to return useful information for management decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountains under Pressure)
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Open AccessArticle
Endangered Mediterranean Mountain Heritage—Case Study of katuns at the Kuči Mountain in Montenegro
Land 2020, 9(8), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9080248 - 28 Jul 2020
Abstract
The study gives an insight into the domain of seasonal mountain settlements for summer cattle grazing (katuns), characteristic for the mountainous areas in the Mediterranean basin. The area of the Kuči Mountain in Montenegro was chosen for the case study. The [...] Read more.
The study gives an insight into the domain of seasonal mountain settlements for summer cattle grazing (katuns), characteristic for the mountainous areas in the Mediterranean basin. The area of the Kuči Mountain in Montenegro was chosen for the case study. The area contains numerous characteristics exemplary for the topic—193 katuns with more than 2900 belonging housing and subsidiary objects. The presented results originate from the 3-year-long investigations, where the data obtained from archival documents were combined with those acquired through intensive field work and visits to each and every katun determined and documented within the area. The density of these settlements, as well as their architectural and constructional characteristics, show the high level of importance they had for the local population up until the last third of 20th century. Currently, changed sociodemographic trends rendered their intensive traditional use obsolete, but used building techniques, their internal organization and organic connection to the surrounding mountain landscape, have nominated them for important part of region’s historical heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountains under Pressure)
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Open AccessArticle
Land Functions, Rural Space Governance, and Farmers’ Environmental Perceptions: A Case Study from the Huanjiang Karst Mountain Area, China
Land 2020, 9(5), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050134 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Residents of rural areas live and depend on the land; hence, rural land plays a central role in the human–land relationship. The environment has the greatest direct impact on farmers’ lives and productivity. In recent years, the Chinese government carried out vigorous rural [...] Read more.
Residents of rural areas live and depend on the land; hence, rural land plays a central role in the human–land relationship. The environment has the greatest direct impact on farmers’ lives and productivity. In recent years, the Chinese government carried out vigorous rural construction under a socialist framework and implemented a rural revitalization strategy. This study was performed in a rural area of Huanjiang County, Guangxi Province, China. We designed a survey to measure rural households’ perceptions of three types of rural spaces: ecological, living, and production spaces. The survey was administered to 379 farmers, and their perceptions and satisfaction with Ecological–Living–Productive spaces were evaluated with the use of structural equation modeling. Analysis of latent and observed variables indicates that: (1) Farmers’ overall satisfaction with Ecological–Living–Productive spaces was moderate. The average satisfaction score for production spaces was lowest (2.881) while that for living spaces was highest (3.468) and that for ecological spaces was in between (3.351). (2) The three most important exogenous observed variables associated with living space satisfaction were house comfort > domestic water supply > domestic sewage treatment. The three most important exogenous observed variables associated with production space satisfaction were irrigation water > cultivated land quantity > cultivated land fertility. The three most important exogenous observed variables associated with ecological space satisfaction were garbage disposal > vegetation cover > flood and waterlogging. Based on the requirements of the rural revitalization strategy and the results of our analyses of rural households’ spatial perceptions, we propose corresponding countermeasures and suggestions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountains under Pressure)
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