Special Issue "Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 16482

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Michael Keith
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dr. ChengHe Guan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Urban Science and Policy, New York University Shanghai, Shanghai 200122, China
2. University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, UK
Interests: urban computation and analytics; low-carbon city; spatial computation and urban growth modelling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Jialin Liu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Shanghai Academy of Landscape Architecture Science and Planning, Shanghai 200232, China
2. Harvard China Project, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Interests: urban ecology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human activities have significantly disturbed the stability of terrestrial ecosystems. Of these, urban ecosystems in coastal wetlands are the most sensitive to human disturbances. Understanding the dynamics and sensitivity of coastal wetlands and urban green spaces, predicting their future development, finding solutions to environmental and land-use problems, and developing strategies for adaptation to the changing climate and human activities are critically important. For this Special Issue, we will describe how urban ecosystems of coastal wetlands and urban green spaces are dealing with climate change, human activities, and species invasion by using theoretical analysis, new research methods, observational data, and predictive modeling. We welcome papers based on fieldwork for case studies or comparative work, at different levels (single-point experiment, spatial analysis, and meta-analysis) and across different contexts.

Papers may address such topics as:

  1. urban growth simulation and coastal ecosystems;
  2. effects of post-pollution ecological remediation techniques on microbial communities of saltmarsh soils;
  3. the response of biological invasions to climate change;
  4. the intensity and mechanisms of fragmentation in alpine meadow ecosystems; and
  5. impacts of heavy metal pollution and land-use change on terrestrial ecosystems’ stability and resilience.

Prof. Dr. Michael Keith
Dr. ChengHe Guan
Dr. Jialin Liu
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • coastal urban ecosystem
  • urban growth and urban green
  • land-use change
  • climate change impacts
  • environmental pollution

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Urban Land-Use Type Influences Summertime Water Quality in Small- and Medium-Sized Urban Rivers: A Case Study in Shanghai, China
Land 2022, 11(4), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040511 - 01 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1057
Abstract
(1) Background: Small- and medium-sized rivers in urban areas are unique environments that serve as blue-green corridors for urban residents. The relationship between land-use types and water quality in these rivers provides important information for effectively addressing urban river restoration and pollution management. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Small- and medium-sized rivers in urban areas are unique environments that serve as blue-green corridors for urban residents. The relationship between land-use types and water quality in these rivers provides important information for effectively addressing urban river restoration and pollution management. However, not much attention has been paid on these small- and medium-sized rivers, especially in large urban agglomerations with dense river networks. (2) Methods: This study undertook a field investigation on 130 sampling small- and medium-sized rivers during the late summer and applied data-driven water quality index and landscape analysis techniques to evaluate the direct impacts of riparian land-use types on the summertime water quality in Shanghai’s small- and medium-sized rivers. Riparian land-use types were derived from OpenStreetMap (OSM) datasets, including industrial, commercial, residential, and green spaces. (3) Results: Residential and green space are located closer to these sampled rivers than industrial and commercial land types, suggesting a tentative link between anthropogenic activities and water quality. Further analysis concluded that urban resident settlements, characterized by specific land-use types, DMSP-OLS nighttime lights, OSM road density, and OSM river density, strongly affected the water quality at the sub-catchment scale. We further determined the critical radii for impacts of land use types on urban rivers. Industrial types may influence water quality within a maximum radius of 5 km, followed by green space (4 km), residential areas (3 km), and commercial developments (2 km). These mathematically and statistically computed radii provide updated visions for river health assessment. For a specific land-use type, the assessed water quality index will be biased by using an assessment area with a radius higher or lower than the above-estimated radii. The study also quantified the spatial extent and transmission efficiency of non-point source pollution in a super built-up area of central Shanghai. We observed that contaminants transported by river pathways can reach a larger area than those transported by roads. (4) Conclusions: The high-quality environments in small- and medium-sized rivers are tightly linked to riparian landscape patterns. It is therefore urgent to control domestic pollutions as part of the restoration of megacity’s urban rivers and grapple with the complex challenges of risks to water supply. This study elaborates the importance of integrating land-use planning and water-quality management to maintain the functions and services of small- and medium-sized urban rivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Article
Effects of Pig Manure and Its Organic Fertilizer Application on Archaea and Methane Emission in Paddy Fields
Land 2022, 11(4), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040499 - 30 Mar 2022
Viewed by 927
Abstract
Paddy fields account for 10% of global CH4 emissions, and the application of manure may increase CH4 emissions. In this study, high-throughput sequencing technology was used to investigate the effects of manure application on CH4 emissions and methanogens in paddy [...] Read more.
Paddy fields account for 10% of global CH4 emissions, and the application of manure may increase CH4 emissions. In this study, high-throughput sequencing technology was used to investigate the effects of manure application on CH4 emissions and methanogens in paddy soil. Three treatments were studied: a controlled treatment (CK), pig manure (PM), and organic fertilizer (OF). The results showed that the contents of Zn, Cr and Ni in paddy soil increased with the application of manure, but the contents of heavy metals gradually decreased with the growth of rice. The Shannon index and Ace index showed that the application of pig manure and organic fertilizer less affected the diversity and richness of soil Archaea. The results of community composition analysis showed that Methanobacterium, Methanobrevibacter, Methanosphaera, Methanosarcina and Rice_Cluster_I were the main methanogens in paddy soil after manure and organic fertilizer application. Soil environmental factors were changed after applied manure, among which total potassium (TK) and total nitrogen (TN) were the main environmental factors affecting methanogens in paddy soil. The changes of soil environmental factors affected the community composition of methanogens, and the increase of the relative abundance of methanogens maybe the main reason for the increase of CH4 emission flux. The relative abundance of methanogens and CH4 emission flux in paddy soil were increased by both pig manure and organic fertilizer application, and pig manure had a bigger impact than organic manure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Article
Soil Quality and Evaluation of Spatial Variability in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem in a Region of the Southeastern Iberian Peninsula (Spain)
Land 2022, 11(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010005 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2015
Abstract
In the last two decades, as the importance of soil has been recognized as a key component of any ecosystem, there has been an increased global demand to establish criteria for determining soil quality and to develop quantitative indices that can be used [...] Read more.
In the last two decades, as the importance of soil has been recognized as a key component of any ecosystem, there has been an increased global demand to establish criteria for determining soil quality and to develop quantitative indices that can be used to classify and compare that quality in different places. The preliminary estimation of the attributes involved in soil quality was made taking into account the opinion of the experts and our own experience in a semi-arid ecosystem. In this study, 16 soil properties have been selected as potential indicators of soil quality, in a region between Campo de Montiel and Sierra de Alcaraz (Spain): sand and clay percentage, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), soil organic carbon (OC), extractables bases of change (Na, K, Ca and Mg), cationic exchange capacity (CEC), carbonate calcium equivalent (CCE), bulk density (BD), water retention at 33 kPa field capacity and 1500 kPa permanent wither point (GWC33 kPa and GWC1500 kPa), coefficient of linear extensibility (COLE) and factor of soil erodibility (K). The main objective has been to develop an adequate index to characterize the quality of the soils in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem. The preliminary estimation of the attributes involved in soil quality was made considering the opinion of the experts and our own experience in semi-arid ecosystems. Two indicator selection approaches have been used to develop the Soil Quality Index (SQI) (total data set -TDS- and minimum data set -MDS-), scoring functions (linear -L- and nonlinear -NL-) and methods (additive -A-, additive weighted -W- and Nemoro -N-. The quality indices have been calculated, considering the properties of the soil control section (between 0 and 100 cm depth), using 185 samples, belonging to horizons A, B and C of 51 soil profiles. The results have shown that the election of the soil properties, both of the topsoil and subsoil, is an important help in establishing a good relationship between quality, soil functions and agricultural management. The Kriging method has been used to determinate the spatial distribution of the soil quality grades. The indices that best reflect the state of soil quality are the TDS-L-W and TDS-L-A should go as sub-indices, as they are the most accurate indices and provide the most consistent results. These indices are especially indicated when carrying out detailed or semi-detailed studies. However, the MDS-L-W and MDS-L-A should go as sub-indices, which use only a limited number of indicators, are best for large-scale studies. The indicators with the greatest influence on soil quality for different land uses and those developed on different rocks, using linear scoring functions, are the following: (Clay), (GWC1500 kPa) and (Ca). These results can also be expressed as follows: the best soils in this region are deep soils, with a clay texture, with high water retention and a neutral or slightly basic pH. However, the indicators with the greatest influence on soil quality, using nonlinear scoring functions, are: (OC Stock), (Ca) and (CaCO3). In other words, the most important indicator is the organic carbon content, which is not logical in the case of a region in which the soils have an excessively low SOC content (0.86%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Article
Effects of Urbanization on Landscape Patterns in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River Region
Land 2021, 10(10), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10101025 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
The middle reaches of the Yangtze River region (MRYRR) are China’s first trans-regional urban agglomeration, located in the center of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. The MRYRR is an important ecological reserve, and its land cover changes are affected by both socio-economic development [...] Read more.
The middle reaches of the Yangtze River region (MRYRR) are China’s first trans-regional urban agglomeration, located in the center of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. The MRYRR is an important ecological reserve, and its land cover changes are affected by both socio-economic development and geographical environment. In this paper, Landsat ETM/TM/OLI remote sensing images were used to monitor land use and landscape patterns from 1990 to 2015. Through supervised classification, land use transfer matrix, landscape pattern metrics and correlation analysis, the spatial-temporal patterns of land use change and its relationship with socio-economic in the study area were revealed. The results showed that: (1) the main land use types in the study area were cropland (CL) and forestland (FL), accounting for more than three-quarters of the study area. During the study period, built-up land (BL) increased, CL decreased, FL increased first and then decreased; (2) the BL expanded mainly by occupying CL and FL, and regional landscape pattern was gradually fragmented, with complex patch shape and increasing diversity and heterogeneity. Among them, the BL is gradually gathered, and the FL and CL are gradually fragmented; (3) in the past 25 years, the urbanization process in this region has been obvious, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased by 36 times. The socioeconomic variables were positively correlated with BL, orchard (OL) and Shannon diversity index (SHID), and negatively correlated with CL, Wasteland (WL), mean patch size (MPS) and contagion size (CONTAG). The results showed that the urbanization development has a great impact on the region, and the ecological protection task is still challenging. It is necessary to protect high-quality cropland and draw a red line for ecological protection. We should strengthen the construction of ecological corridors and ecological nodes to adapt to regional sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Article
Assessing Matching Characteristics and Spatial Differences between Supply and Demand of Ecosystem Services: A Case Study in Hangzhou, China
Land 2021, 10(6), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060582 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1549
Abstract
Ecosystem services (ESs) is a term used to describe the foundations of the well-being of human society, and several relevant studies have been carried out in this area. However, given the fact that the complex trade-offs/synergy relationships of ESs are a challenging area, [...] Read more.
Ecosystem services (ESs) is a term used to describe the foundations of the well-being of human society, and several relevant studies have been carried out in this area. However, given the fact that the complex trade-offs/synergy relationships of ESs are a challenging area, studies on matching mechanisms for ES supply and demand are still rare. In this study, using the InVEST model, ArcGIS, and other professional tools, we first mapped and quantitatively evaluated the supply and demand of five ES types (water yield, soil conservation, carbon retention, food supply, and leisure and entertainment) in Hangzhou, China, based on land use, meteorology, soil, and socio-economic data. Then, we analyzed the matching characteristics between the supply and demand of these ESs and analyzed the complex trade-offs and synergy between the supply and demand of ESs and factors affecting ESs. The results of this analysis indicate that although the ES supply and demand of carbon retention tended to be out of balance (supply was less than demand), the supply and demand of the other four ES types (i.e., water yield, soil conservation, food supply, and leisure and entertainment) were in balance (supply exceeded demand). Finally, the spatial heterogeneity of the supply and demand of ESs in Hangzhou was significant, especially in urban areas in the northeast and mountainous areas in the southwest. The supply of ESs was based on trade-offs, whereas the demand of ESs was based on synergy. Our results further show that the supply and demand of ESs in the urban area in Hangzhou were out of balance, whereas the supply and demand of ESs in the western region were coordinated. Therefore, the linkage of ES flows between this urban area and the western region should be strengthened. This innovative study could provide useful information for regional land use planning and environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Article
Analysis of Characteristics and Driving Factors of Wetland Landscape Pattern Change in Henan Province from 1980 to 2015
Land 2021, 10(6), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060564 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
The study of the temporal and spatial evolution of wetland landscapes and its driving factors is an important reference for wetland ecological restoration and protection. This article utilized seven periods of land use data in Henan Province from 1980 to 2015 to extract [...] Read more.
The study of the temporal and spatial evolution of wetland landscapes and its driving factors is an important reference for wetland ecological restoration and protection. This article utilized seven periods of land use data in Henan Province from 1980 to 2015 to extract the spatial distribution characteristics of wetlands and analyze the temporal and spatial changes of wetlands in Henan Province. Transfer matrix, landscape metrics, correlation analysis, and redundancy analysis were applied to calculate and analyze the transformation types and area of wetland resources between all consecutive periods, and then the main driving factors of wetland expansion/contraction were explored. First, the total wetland area in Henan Province increased by 28% from 1980 to 2015, and the increased wetland area was mainly constructed wetlands, including paddy field, reservoir and pond, and canal. Natural wetlands such as marsh, lake, and floodplain decreased by 74%. Marsh area declined the most during 1990–1995, and was mainly transformed into floodplain and “Others” because of agricultural reclamation, low precipitation, and low Yellow River runoff. The floodplain area dropped the most from 2005 to 2010, mainly converted to canals and “Others” because of reclamation, exploitation of groundwater, the construction of the South–to–North Water Transfer Project, and recreational land development. Second, the results of correlation analysis and redundancy analysis indicated that economic factors were positively correlated with the area of some constructed wetlands and negatively correlated with the area of some natural wetlands. Socioeconomic development was the main driving factors for changes in wetland types. The proportion of wetland habitat in Henan Province in 2015 was only 0.3%, which is low compared to the Chinese average of 2.7%. The government should pay more attention to the restoration of natural wetlands in Henan Province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Article
Spatial-Temporal Changes and Driving Force Analysis of Green Space in Coastal Cities of Southeast China over the Past 20 Years
Land 2021, 10(5), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050537 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1594
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to reveal the spatial-temporal change and driving factors of green space in coastal cities of southeast China over the past 20 years. A supervised classification method combining support vector machines (SVMs) and visual interpretation was used to [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to reveal the spatial-temporal change and driving factors of green space in coastal cities of southeast China over the past 20 years. A supervised classification method combining support vector machines (SVMs) and visual interpretation was used to extract the green space from Landsat TM/OLI imageries from 2000–2020. The landscape pattern index was used to calculate geospatial information of green space and analyze their spatial-temporal changes. The hierarchical partitioning analysis was then used to determine the influences of anthropogenic and geographic environmental factors on the spatial-temporal changes in green space. The results indicated that the total area of green space remained constant over the past 20 years in coastal cities of southeast China (1% reduction). The spatial change of green space mainly occurred in the area near the ocean and the southern region. 41.37% of forest land was transferred from cultivated land, while 44.56%, 41.83%, 43.20%, 46.31%, 41.98% and 40.20% of shrub land, sparse woodland, other woodland, high-coverage grassland, moderate-coverage grassland and low-coverage grassland were transferred from forest land. The number of patches, patch density, edge density, landscape shape index and Shannon’s diversity index increased from 2000–2015, and then decreased to the minimum in 2020, while largest patch index continued to decline from 2000–2020. The contribution of anthropogenic factors (0.53–0.61) on the spatial-temporal changes of green space continually increased over the past 20 years, which was also higher than geographical environment factors (0.39–0.41). Our study provides a new perspective to distinguish the impact of anthropogenic activities and geographical environmental factors on the change of green space area, thereby providing a theoretical support for the construction and ecological management of green space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Communication
How Land Use, Climate Change, and an Ageing Demographic Intersect to Create New Vulnerabilities in Hong Kong
Land 2021, 10(4), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040391 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
As extreme weather events seemingly increase in frequency and magnitude, we are accumulating evidence about how the intersection of circumstances creates vulnerability. The specter of elderly residents in Brooklyn, New York, trapped in their apartments for days due to flooding from the storm [...] Read more.
As extreme weather events seemingly increase in frequency and magnitude, we are accumulating evidence about how the intersection of circumstances creates vulnerability. The specter of elderly residents in Brooklyn, New York, trapped in their apartments for days due to flooding from the storm surge brought by Hurricane Sandy, provides us a troubling lesson. As vulnerability emerges from the confluence of multiple factors, changing social, natural, and other factors combine to create unimagined problems. Hong Kong is a case in point. The city has seen much of its new development occurring on reclaimed coastal land. At the same time, there has been a significant demographic shift as the city’s elderly population has been its fastest growing demographic. The social transition also means more elderly persons living alone. All of these produce conditions that render the population increasingly vulnerable to coastal flooding. Yet, there is not enough systematic effort, in major cities, at identifying these vulnerabilities. Hong Kong is emblematic of coastal cities the world over, in that it has yet to come to a full realization of such emerging risks. Future research must be able to analyze intersectionalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Article
Effect of Organic Fertilizer on Soil Bacteria in Maize Fields
Land 2021, 10(3), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030328 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1944
Abstract
Soil microorganisms play an important role in agricultural ecosystems, but their response to organic fertilizer application has not been thoroughly elucidated. Thus, high-throughput sequencing was used to investigate the responses of soil bacterial to organic fertilizer amendment (composted from pig manure) in the [...] Read more.
Soil microorganisms play an important role in agricultural ecosystems, but their response to organic fertilizer application has not been thoroughly elucidated. Thus, high-throughput sequencing was used to investigate the responses of soil bacterial to organic fertilizer amendment (composted from pig manure) in the field during the entire growth cycle of maize plants. Four treatments were studied: treatment with 2 kg·m−2 organic fertilizer application (OF_2), treatment with 4 kg·m−2 organic fertilizer application (OF_4), treatment with 6 kg·m−2 organic fertilizer application (OF_6), and a controlled treatment (CK) without fertilization. The results revealed that the bacterial richness in OF_2 was significantly lower than that of CK (p < 0.05). Soil eutrophication bacteria Bacteroidetes increased effectively in all fertilized soils, relative abundance in OF_2, OF_4, and OF_6 for the entire maize growth cycle was 68.00%, 71.40%, and 77.93% higher than that in CK, respectively. In addition, soil nitrobacteria (Nitrospirae, Nitrospira), were markedly decreased (p < 0.05) with fertilization amount. The relative abundance of the nitrogen-fixing genus Adhaeribacter in OF_6 was 209.28%, 72.8% and 35.66% higher than that in CK, OF_2 and OF_4 at mature stage. The pathogenic genus Flavolibacterium was significantly increased (p < 0.05) in fertilized soil at the seeding stage. The driving factor governing the variations of bacterial community in CK, OF_2, OF_4 and OF_6 were pH value, available phosphorus, available phosphorus, and chromium, respectively. The findings highlight that part of the soil functional or pathogenic bacteria population was susceptible to organic fertilizer application; and the driving factor of bacterial composition change was associated with the rate of fertilization. More targeted experiments are needed to enhance the understanding of functional bacteria and the synergistic effect of soil physicochemical property physical on soil bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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Article
Investigation of Dynamic Coupling Coordination between Urbanization and the Eco-Environment—A Case Study in the Pearl River Delta Area
Land 2021, 10(2), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020190 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1997
Abstract
The interaction between urbanization and the eco-environment is usually viewed as an effect–feedback framework. Its coupling system is composed of urbanization and eco-environment subsystems. In this paper, the coupling degree (CD) and the coupling coordinated degree (CCD) are used to reflect the coupling [...] Read more.
The interaction between urbanization and the eco-environment is usually viewed as an effect–feedback framework. Its coupling system is composed of urbanization and eco-environment subsystems. In this paper, the coupling degree (CD) and the coupling coordinated degree (CCD) are used to reflect the coupling interaction and coupling coordination between the urbanization subsystem and the eco-environment subsystem. Based on the dynamic relative quantities of urbanization and eco-environment data in the Pearl River Delta, CD and CCD values were calculated, and the spatiotemporal evolution trend of coordination was analyzed. The results show that (1) from 2000 to 2015, the nine cities in the Pearl River Delta had high CD values and CCD values. Though they had different performances in different periods, they were all in a coordinated class, including good coordination (GC), moderate coordination (MC), and bare coordination (BC). (2) In terms of temporal evolution, the coupling coordination between urbanization and the eco-environment in the entire Pearl River Delta greatly improved. (3) From the perspective of spatial distribution, the coupling coordination of the central region was higher than that of the peripheral regions, and that of the west bank of the Pearl River was higher than that of the east bank of the Pearl River. These results can help local policy makers enact appropriate measures for sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamic of Natural Ecosystems under Anthropogenic Disturbances)
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