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Special Issue "Land Use/Cover Drivers and Impacts: New Trends and Experiences from Asia"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hsing-Sheng Tai

College of Environmental Studies, National Dong Hwa University,No.1, Section 2, Da Shueh Rd., Shoufeng, Hualien 97401, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainability; environmental governance; social–ecological system resilience; common-pool resources governance; natural resources economics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

After decades of rapid socio-economic development, many Asian countries are in an era characterized by major socio-economic and political change. Modern trends are steadily causing significant land use/cover changes. Land over-use and under-use, among others, are novel phenomena that deserve more attention and deliberate scrutiny. Studies of these new trends may assist academic and public policy communities with forecasting future land use/cover change in Asian countries, as well as with addressing related issues.

This Special Issue of Sustainability will be comprised of papers that reveal novel empirical land use/cover related experiences from Asia. You are being invited to participate by submitting your relevant work consideration. Interdisciplinary approaches are highly welcome. Research topics that will be included include land use/cover drivers; mapping, remote sensing, and other new methods; trade-offs for land use and conflict, and their impacts on land change; ecosystem services and biodiversity; social and economic evaluation; governance issues of land and relevant environmental resources; social-ecological system resilience; and sustainability.

Prof. Dr. Hsing-Sheng Tai
Guest Editor

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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1700 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
  • Mapping and remote sensing
  • Ecosystem services and biodiversity
  • Social and economic evaluation
  • Sustainability
  • Governance
  • Social-ecological system resilience
  • Interdisciplinary research

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Analytical Frameworks to Investigate Land-Cover Regime Shifts in Dynamic Landscapes
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041139
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5885 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Regime shifts—rapid long-term transitions between stable states—are well documented in ecology but remain controversial and understudied in land use and land cover change (LUCC). In particular, uncertainty surrounds the prevalence and causes of regime shifts at the landscape level. We studied LUCC dynamics [...] Read more.
Regime shifts—rapid long-term transitions between stable states—are well documented in ecology but remain controversial and understudied in land use and land cover change (LUCC). In particular, uncertainty surrounds the prevalence and causes of regime shifts at the landscape level. We studied LUCC dynamics in the Tanintharyi Region (Myanmar), which contains one of the last remaining significant contiguous forest areas in Southeast Asia but was heavily deforested between 1992–2015. By combining remote sensing methods and a literature review of historical processes leading to LUCC, we identified a regime shift from a forest-oriented state to an agricultural-oriented state between 1997–2004. The regime shift was triggered by a confluence of complex political and economic conditions within Myanmar, notably the ceasefires between various ethnic groups and the military government, coupled with its enhanced business relations with Thailand and China. Government policies and foreign direct investment enabling the establishment of large-scale agro-industrial concessions reinforced the new agriculture-oriented regime and prevented reversion to the original forest-dominated regime. Our approach of integrating complementary analytical frameworks to identify and understand land-cover regime shifts can help policymakers to preempt future regime shifts in Tanintharyi, and can be applied to the study of land change in other regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land-Use/Land-Cover Change from Socio-Economic Drivers and Their Impact on Biodiversity in Nan Province, Thailand
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030649
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
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Abstract
The rate of deforestation declined steadily in Thailand since the year 2000 due to economic transformation away from forestry. However, these changes did not occur in Nan Province located in northern Thailand. Deforestation is expected to continue due to high demand for forest [...] Read more.
The rate of deforestation declined steadily in Thailand since the year 2000 due to economic transformation away from forestry. However, these changes did not occur in Nan Province located in northern Thailand. Deforestation is expected to continue due to high demand for forest products and increased agribusiness. The objectives of this paper are (1) to predict land-use change in the province based on trends, market-based and conservation scenarios, (2) to quantify biodiversity, and (3) to identify biodiversity hotspots at greatest risk for future deforestation. This study used a dynamic land-use change model (Dyna-CLUE) to allocate aggregated land demand for three scenarios and employed FRAGSTATS to determine the spatial pattern of land-use change. In addition, the InVEST Global Biodiversity Assessment Model framework was used to estimate biodiversity expressed as the remaining mean species abundance (MSA) relative to their abundance in the pristine reference condition. Risk of deforestation and the MSA values were combined to determine biodiversity hotspots across the landscape at greatest risk. The results revealed that most of the forest cover in 2030 would remain in the west and east of the province, which are rugged and not easily accessible, as well as in protected areas. MSA values are predicted to decrease from 0.41 in 2009 to 0.29, 0.35, and 0.40, respectively, under the trends, market-based and conservation scenarios in 2030. In addition, the low, medium, and high biodiversity zones cover 46, 49 and 6% of Nan Province. Protected areas substantially contribute to maintaining forest cover and greater biodiversity. Important measures to protect remaining cover and maintain biodiversity include patrolling at-risk deforestation areas, reduction of road expansion in pristine forest areas, and promotion of incentive schemes for farmers to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Changing Agro-Pastoral Livelihoods under Collective and Private Land Use in Xinjiang, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010166
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 30 December 2018
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Abstract
After the founding of P. R. China, land use in rural China was organized under two successive paradigms: state-directed collectivization from 1958–1984 (the Collective Era), and privatization after 1984 (the Household Land Contract Period, HLCP). Taking Nileke County of Xinjiang as a case [...] Read more.
After the founding of P. R. China, land use in rural China was organized under two successive paradigms: state-directed collectivization from 1958–1984 (the Collective Era), and privatization after 1984 (the Household Land Contract Period, HLCP). Taking Nileke County of Xinjiang as a case study, this research analyzed the livelihood changes of agro-pastoralists over the two periods using quantitative household livelihood assets—financial, physical, natural, human, and social capital—as indicators. Using annual series data of the five livelihood capitals, a comprehensive livelihood assets index (CLAI) was calculated by two-stage factor analysis. Higher CLAI scores meant better living and reduced poverty for agro-pastoralists. Quantitative results were validated and detailed with semi-structured household interviews. The results showed that CLAI slightly increased during the HLCP in comparison to the Collective Era, mainly due to increases in financial and physical capital. In contrast, natural and social capital showed downward trends, indicating that alleviation of poverty came at the cost of natural resources and social justice. Natural capital was the main contributor to agro-pastoralist livelihoods during the Collective Era, but diminished and was replaced by financial capital during the HLCP. Based on the findings, we put forward policy suggestions to improve community land management and sustainable livelihoods as part of future poverty alleviation efforts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Detecting Land Use Changes in a Rapidly Developing City during 1990–2017 Using Satellite Imagery: A Case Study in Hangzhou Urban Area, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3303; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093303
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
As one of the rapidly-developing mega cities in China, Hangzhou has experienced great land use change during the past three decades. By analyzing land use change in designated period, it is beneficial to understand urbanization process in Hangzhou, and undertake further urban management [...] Read more.
As one of the rapidly-developing mega cities in China, Hangzhou has experienced great land use change during the past three decades. By analyzing land use change in designated period, it is beneficial to understand urbanization process in Hangzhou, and undertake further urban management and urban planning. In this study, the land use change from 1990 to 2017 in Hangzhou urban area was detected by a method of supervised classification with Landsat TM images from 1990, 1997, 2004, 2010 and 2017, and analyzed by a Markov matrix. The results show that from 1990 to 2017, a great deal of rural areas transformed into built up areas in the Hangzhou urban area. Consequently, the urban area of Hangzhou increased eight times over the period from 1990 to 2017. This may imply that such a change should be directly related to the Chinese government policy, of which the main factor is rapidly-developing urbanization in China, such as in Hangzhou. Thus, it is believed that China’s land use change is going to be small in the following decades. This may indicate that China’s urban construction is slowing down, while its urban planning is being shifted from construction to management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Blue Carbon Storage Loss in Coastal Wetlands under Rapid Reclamation
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2818; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082818
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Highly productive coastal wetlands play an essential role in storing blue carbon as one of their ecosystem services, but they are increasingly jeopardized by intensive reclamation activities to facilitate rapid population growth and urbanization. Coastal reclamation causes the destruction and severe degradation of [...] Read more.
Highly productive coastal wetlands play an essential role in storing blue carbon as one of their ecosystem services, but they are increasingly jeopardized by intensive reclamation activities to facilitate rapid population growth and urbanization. Coastal reclamation causes the destruction and severe degradation of wetland ecosystems, which may affect their abilities to store blue carbon. To assist with international accords on blue carbon, we evaluated the dynamics of blue carbon storage in coastal wetlands under coastal reclamation in China. By integrating carbon density data collected from field measurement experiments and from the literature, an InVEST model, Carbon Storage and Sequestration was used to estimate carbon storage across the reclamation area between 1990 and 2015. The result is the first map capable of informing about blue carbon storage in coastal reclamation areas on a national scale. We found that more than 380,000 hectares of coastal wetlands were affected by reclamation, which resulted in the release of ca. 20.7 Tg of blue carbon. The carbon loss from natural wetlands to artificial wetlands accounted for 72.5% of total carbon loss, which highlights the major task in managing coastal sustainability. In addition, the top 20% of coastal wetlands in carbon storage loss covered 4.2% of the total reclamation area, which can be applied as critical information for coastal redline planning. We conclude that the release of blue carbon due to the conversion of natural wetlands exceeded the total carbon emission from energy consumption within the reclamation area. Implementing the Redline policy could guide the management of coastal areas resulting in greater resiliency regarding carbon emission and sustained ecosystem services. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessCase Report
Rapid Increase and Long-Term Slow Decrease in Soil C stock Due to Agricultural Development in Hokkaido Tokachi District
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4587; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124587
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
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Abstract
Soil properties and functions are dramatically altered by changes in agricultural land use. However, little is known about how ecosystem C stock and its partitioning change with deforestation for agricultural land use, especially in cold humid areas. In this study, we investigated how [...] Read more.
Soil properties and functions are dramatically altered by changes in agricultural land use. However, little is known about how ecosystem C stock and its partitioning change with deforestation for agricultural land use, especially in cold humid areas. In this study, we investigated how agricultural development influences temporal changes in soil C pools in upland crop fields using a paired-plot approach. Ten pairs of control forest and agricultural development plots (2 to more than 80 years) were selected with the same crop rotation under humid temperate climate in Northeast Japan. We detected a net gain in soil C during the first 2 years of agricultural land development under the flat field condition. This gain in soil C was caused by an increase in the light fraction soil C, which represents plant residue derived-C due to agricultural development. Agricultural development resulted in the loss of soil C in fields without manure application. There was no difference in the ecosystem C stock among soil types or with the amount of manure applied. Agricultural development resulted in a slow decrease in soil C storage, indicating a slow rate of C decomposition under cool climate conditions. Full article
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