Special Issue "Environmental Impacts under Sustainable Conservation Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Atanu Mukherjee
Website
Guest Editor
Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA 19530, USA
Interests: sustainable agriculture; biochar; soil chemistry; greenhouse gas emissions; soil health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

 

Conventional agricultural management practices often times adversely impact soil health, water quality, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Thus, sustainable, and organic agricultural practices are being implemented in order to sustain soil health, water, and air quality. Efforts are currently underway on practices such as no-tillage (NT), reduced tillage, cover cropping, composting, biochar addition, diversified crop rotation, and organic managements without usage of synthetic chemicals (fertilizer, herbicide) to improve environmental quality, sustain crop yield, and food security. A number of past studies indicate that soil health can be enhanced by sustainable, and organic management practices, however, data on water quality, and GHG emissions, especially under long-term studies, and in comparison to conventional managements are scarce. The special issue of “Sustainability” aims to seek research, and review papers that demonstrate environmental (soil, water, air) impacts of various on-farm, and in-field sustainable in contrast to conventional management strategies across the globe.


Dr. Atanu Mukherjee
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 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

  • sustainable agriculture
  • organic farming
  • biochar
  • no-tillage (NT)
  • reduced tillage
  • cover crop
  • soil health
  • water quality
  • greenhouse gas (GHG) emission
  • food security

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Investigating Bat Activity in Various Agricultural Landscapes in Northeastern United States
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1959; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051959 - 04 Mar 2020
Abstract
Bats are estimated to provide between $3.7 and $53 billion annually in ecosystem services in the U.S.A. Determining how bats use land for foraging is important in planning agricultural landscapes to increase their presence and role in insect pest control. A research project [...] Read more.
Bats are estimated to provide between $3.7 and $53 billion annually in ecosystem services in the U.S.A. Determining how bats use land for foraging is important in planning agricultural landscapes to increase their presence and role in insect pest control. A research project was established in 2016 and 2017 to determine bat populations and activity differences between different land use management systems. Bat activity was monitored in 10 conventionally and organically managed systems in the presence of, and at a distance from the tree line. Two acoustic monitoring devices were used to record ultrasonic echolocation calls of bats. Organic systems without tree line had 67% and 45% greater bat passes than conventional systems without tree line as detected by the two devices. However, the conventional system with tree line had 61% and 59% greater bat passes than organic systems, attributed to known roosting sites in the area. Mean bat passes of 73.4 and 30 were recorded respectively at 15 m and 46 m from the tree line, suggesting that bats prefer to forage near tree lines likely to have greater access to roosting, food security, and habitation. This study confirms the importance of tree lines in impacting bat activity in conformity with past studies that reported similar results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impacts under Sustainable Conservation Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Maize (Zea mays) Response to Anthill Soil (Termitaria), Manure and NPK Fertilization Rate under Conventional and Reduced Tillage Cropping Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030928 - 27 Jan 2020
Abstract
Soil fertility management has been described by many scholars as fundamental and a major hindrance to food production amongst smallholder farmers in the developing world. To counteract this challenge, some farmers have been reported to use anthill soil as analternative fertilizer to improve [...] Read more.
Soil fertility management has been described by many scholars as fundamental and a major hindrance to food production amongst smallholder farmers in the developing world. To counteract this challenge, some farmers have been reported to use anthill soil as analternative fertilizer to improve soil fertility for supporting crop growth. Against this background, a study was undertaken with the aim of ascertaining the effect of anthill soil application alone, cattle manure, and/or their combination with commercially available NPK fertilizer on the growth and yield parameters of three maize varieties under field conditions involving conventional (CONV) and conservation agriculture (CA) tillage systems. Results revealed that anthill soil alone (5000 kg/ha) or in combination with either manure (10,000 kg/ha) or half rate of commercially available fertilizer (NPKS: 10% N, 20% P2O5, 10% K2O, 6% S at 100 kg/ha) competed favourably in terms of response to growth parameters. Furthermore, pH and P levels changed significantly (p < 0.05) at harvest. We conclude that resource-constrained smallholder farmers in less developed countries utilizing anthill soil for fertility improvement purposes should judiciously apply it in CA planting basin structures compared with conventional methods, which appeared to be less effective and leads to sub-optimal yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impacts under Sustainable Conservation Management)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Soil Erosion on Biodiversity Conservation in Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Southeastern Nigeria
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7192; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247192 - 16 Dec 2019
Abstract
The impact of soil erosion on the conservation of biodiversity in Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Southeastern Nigeria was examined. Data were obtained through focus group discussions and plant species enumeration. Diversity indices of plant species were derived from quadrat analysis using Shannon Wiener’s [...] Read more.
The impact of soil erosion on the conservation of biodiversity in Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Southeastern Nigeria was examined. Data were obtained through focus group discussions and plant species enumeration. Diversity indices of plant species were derived from quadrat analysis using Shannon Wiener’s diversity index. Eighteen soil samples were collected from agricultural erosion sites in the study area and analysed in the laboratory. The results obtained were analysed using principal component analysis (PCA). The rotated component matrix of the soil properties, as well as plant and animal diversity indices from the PCA isolated three components that together explained 93.821% of the observed variation. The results show that bush clearing in the form of slash and burn, uncoordinated bush burning and harvesting of plant species are the activities that cause soil erosion in the study area. Agro-forestry, bush fallowing, reforestation and legislation on indiscriminate harvesting of plant species were recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impacts under Sustainable Conservation Management)
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