Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Assessing the effectiveness of sustainable land management policies for combating desertification : A data mining approach
Salvati, L. ; Kosmas, C. ; Kairis, O. ; Karavitis, C. ; Acikalin, S. ; Belgacem, A. ; Solé-Benet, A. ; Chaker, M. ; Fassouli, V. ; Gokceoglu, C. ; Gungor, H. ; Hessel, R. ; Khatteli, H. ; Kounalaki, A. ; Laouina, A. ; Ocakoglu, F. ; Ouessar, M. ; Ritsema, C. ; Sghaier, M. ; Sonmez, H. ; Taamallah, H. ; Tezcan, L. ; Vente, J. de; Kelly, C. ; Colantoni, A. ; Carlucci, M. - \ 2016
Journal of Environmental Management 183 (2016)3. - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 754 - 762.
Human pressure - Indicators - Mediterranean region - Multivariate statistics - Response assemblage

This study investigates the relationship between fine resolution, local-scale biophysical and socioeconomic contexts within which land degradation occurs, and the human responses to it. The research draws on experimental data collected under different territorial and socioeconomic conditions at 586 field sites in five Mediterranean countries (Spain, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco). We assess the level of desertification risk under various land management practices (terracing, grazing control, prevention of wildland fires, soil erosion control measures, soil water conservation measures, sustainable farming practices, land protection measures and financial subsidies) taken as possible responses to land degradation. A data mining approach, incorporating principal component analysis, non-parametric correlations, multiple regression and canonical analysis, was developed to identify the spatial relationship between land management conditions, the socioeconomic and environmental context (described using 40 biophysical and socioeconomic indicators) and desertification risk. Our analysis identified a number of distinct relationships between the level of desertification experienced and the underlying socioeconomic context, suggesting that the effectiveness of responses to land degradation is strictly dependent on the local biophysical and socioeconomic context. Assessing the latent relationship between land management practices and the biophysical/socioeconomic attributes characterizing areas exposed to different levels of desertification risk proved to be an indirect measure of the effectiveness of field actions contrasting land degradation.

Challenging conservation agriculture on marginal slopes in Sehoul, Morocco
Schwilch, G. ; Laouina, A. ; Chaker, M. ; Machouri, N. ; Sfa, M. ; Stroosnijder, L. - \ 2015
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 30 (2015)3. - ISSN 1742-1705 - p. 233 - 251.
land degradation - rainwater use - management - soil - efficiency - adoption - africa
In Sehoul, Morocco, the use of marginal land for agriculture became a necessity for the local population due to increased poverty and the occupation of the best land by new owners. Desertification poses an additional threat to agricultural production on marginal slopes, which are often stony and degraded. In a participatory process embedded in the EU DESIRE research project, potential sustainable land management measures were selected to address land degradation and desertification. Promising experiences with no-tillage practices elsewhere in Morocco had motivated the Moroccan government to promote conservation agriculture throughout the country. This combination of crop rotation, minimal soil disturbance and soil cover maintenance, however, had not yet been tested on sloping degraded land. Field trials of grazing enclosure combined with no or minimum tillage were conducted on the plots of two farmers, and trial results were analyzed based on stakeholders’ criteria. Results suggest that increased soil cover with barley residues improved rainwater use efficiency and yields only slightly, although soil water was generally enhanced. Soil moisture measurements revealed that no-tillage was favorable mainly at soil depths of 5cm and in connection with low-rainfall events (<20mm); under these circumstances, moisture content was generally higher under no-tillage than under conventional tillage. Moreover, stakeholder discussion confirmed that farmers in Sehoul remain primarily interested in animal husbandry and are reluctant to change the current grazing system. Implementation of conservation agriculture is thus challenged both by the degraded, sloping and stony nature of the land, and by the socio-economic circumstances in Sehoul.
Evaluation and Selection of Indicators for Land Degradation and Desertification Monitoring: Types of Degradation, Causes, and Implications for Management
Kairis, O. ; Kosmas, C. ; Karavitis, C. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Salvati, L. ; Acikalin, S. ; Alcala, M. ; Alfama, P. ; Atlhopheng, J. ; Barrera, J. ; Belgacem, A. ; Sole-Benet, A. ; Brito, J. ; Chaker, M. ; Chanda, R. ; Coelho, C. ; Darkoh, M. ; Diamantis, I. ; Ermolaeva, O. ; Fassouli, V. ; Fei, W. ; Feng, J. ; Fernandez, F. ; Ferreira, A. ; Gokceoglu, C. ; Gonzalez, D. ; Gungor, H. ; Hessel, R. ; Juying, J. ; Khatteli, H. ; Khitrov, N. ; Kounalaki, A. ; Laouina, A. ; Lollino, P. ; Lopes, M. ; Magole, L. ; Medina, L. ; Mendoza, M. ; Morais, P. ; Mulale, K. ; Ocakoglu, F. ; Ouessar, M. ; Ovalle, C. ; Perez, C. ; Perkins, J. ; Pliakas, F. ; Polemio, M. ; Pozo, A. ; Prat, C. ; Qinke, Y. ; Ramos, A. ; Ramos, J. ; Riquelme, J. ; Romanenkov, V. ; Rui, L. ; Santaloia, F. ; Sebego, R. ; Sghaier, M. ; Silva, N. ; Sizemskaya, M. ; Soares, J. ; Sonmez, H. ; Taamallah, H. ; Tezcan, L. ; Torri, D. ; Ungaro, F. ; Valente, S. ; Vente, J. de; Zagal, E. ; Zeiliguer, A. ; Zhonging, W. ; Ziogas, A. - \ 2014
Environmental Management 54 (2014)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 971 - 982.
region ne spain - tillage erosion - soil displacement - translocation - vulnerability - sensitivity - performance - vegetation - systems - impact
Indicator-based approaches are often used to monitor land degradation and desertification from the global to the very local scale. However, there is still little agreement on which indicators may best reflect both status and trends of these phenomena. In this study, various processes of land degradation and desertification have been analyzed in 17 study sites around the world using a wide set of biophysical and socioeconomic indicators. The database described earlier in this issue by Kosmas and others (Environ Manage, 2013) for defining desertification risk was further analyzed to define the most important indicators related to the following degradation processes: water erosion in various land uses, tillage erosion, soil salinization, water stress, forest fires, and overgrazing. A correlation analysis was applied to the selected indicators in order to identify the most important variables contributing to each land degradation process. The analysis indicates that the most important indicators are: (i) rain seasonality affecting water erosion, water stress, and forest fires, (ii) slope gradient affecting water erosion, tillage erosion and water stress, and (iii) water scarcity soil salinization, water stress, and forest fires. Implementation of existing regulations or policies concerned with resources development and environmental sustainability was identified as the most important indicator of land protection.
Evaluation and Selection of Indicators for Land Degradation and Desertification Monitoring: Methodological Approach
Kosmas, C. ; Karis, O. ; Karavitis, C. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Salvati, L. ; Acikalin, S. ; Alcala, S. ; Alfama, P. ; Atlhopheng, J. ; Barrera, J. ; Belgacem, A. ; Sole-Benet, A. ; Brito, J. ; Chaker, M. ; Chanda, R. ; Coelho, C. ; Darkoh, M. ; Diamantis, I. ; Ermolaeva, O. ; Fassouli, V. ; Fei, W. ; Fernandez, F. ; Ferreira, A. ; Gokceoglu, C. ; Gonzalez, D. ; Gungor, H. ; Hessel, R. ; Juying, J. ; Khatteli, H. ; Kounalaki, A. ; Laouina, A. ; Lollino, P. ; Lopes, M. ; Magole, L. ; Medina, L. ; Mendoza, M. ; Morais, P. ; Mulale, K. ; Ocakoglu, F. ; Ouessar, M. ; Ovalle, C. ; Perez, C. ; Perkins, J. ; Pliakas, F. ; Polemio, M. ; Pozo, A. ; Prat, C. ; Qinke, Y. ; Ramos, A. ; Riquelme, J. ; Romanenkov, V. ; Rui, L. ; Santaloia, F. ; Sebego, R. ; Sghaier, M. ; Silva, N. ; Sizemskaya, M. ; Soares, J. ; Sonmez, H. ; Taamallah, H. ; Tezcan, L. ; Torri, D. ; Ungaro, F. ; Valente, S. ; Vente, J. de; Zagal, E. ; Zeiliguer, A. ; Zhonging, W. ; Ziogas, A. - \ 2014
Environmental Management 54 (2014)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 951 - 970.
mediterranean conditions - aggregate stability - soil properties - rock fragments - organic-matter - vegetation - tillage - biomass - erosion - greece
An approach to derive relationships for defining land degradation and desertification risk and developing appropriate tools for assessing the effectiveness of the various land management practices using indicators is presented in the present paper. In order to investigate which indicators are most effective in assessing the level of desertification risk, a total of 70 candidate indicators was selected providing information for the biophysical environment, socio-economic conditions, and land management characteristics. The indicators were defined in 1,672 field sites located in 17 study areas in the Mediterranean region, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Based on an existing geo-referenced database, classes were designated for each indicator and a sensitivity score to desertification was assigned to each class based on existing research. The obtained data were analyzed for the various processes of land degradation at farm level. The derived methodology was assessed using independent indicators, such as the measured soil erosion rate, and the organic matter content of the soil. Based on regression analyses, the collected indicator set can be reduced to a number of effective indicators ranging from 8 to 17 in the various processes of land degradation. Among the most important indicators identified as affecting land degradation and desertification risk were rain seasonality, slope gradient, plant cover, rate of land abandonment, land-use intensity, and the level of policy implementation.
A structured multi-stakeholder learning process for Sustainable Land Management
Schwilch, G. ; Bachmann, F. ; Valente, S. ; Coelho, C. ; Moreira, J. ; Laouina, A. ; Chaker, M. ; Aderghal, M. ; Santos, P. ; Reed, M.S. - \ 2012
Journal of Environmental Management 107 (2012). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 52 - 63.
public-participation - decision-support - governance - comanagement - environment - bolivia - india - slm
There are many, often competing, options for Sustainable Land Management (SLM). Each must be assessed and sometimes negotiated prior to implementation. Participatory, multi-stakeholder approaches to identification and selection of SLM options are increasingly popular, often motivated by social learning and empowerment goals. Yet there are few practical tools for facilitating processes in which land managers may share, select, and decide on the most appropriate SLM options. The research presented here aims to close the gap between the theory and the practice of stakeholder participation/learning in SLM decision-making processes. The paper describes a three-part participatory methodology for selecting SLM options that was tested in 14 desertification-prone study sites within the EU-DESIRE project. Cross-site analysis and in-depth evaluation of the Moroccan and Portuguese sites were used to evaluate how well the proposed process facilitated stakeholder learning and selection of appropriate SLM options for local implementation. The structured nature of the process starting with SLM goal setting was found to facilitate mutual understanding and collaboration between stakeholders. The deliberation process led to a high degree of consensus over the outcome and, though not an initial aim, it fostered social learning in many cases. This solution-oriented methodology is applicable in a wide range of contexts and may be implemented with limited time and resources. .
The spatial differentiation of the land vulnerability in the Matlaq small catchment (Rabat region, Morocco) = La différenciation spatiale des comportements des terres dans le micro-bassin de Matlaq (Région de Rabat, Maroc)
Laouina, A. ; Coelho, C. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Chaker, M. ; Nafaa, R. ; Antari, M. ; Ferreira, A. ; Verzandvoort, S.J.E. - \ 2006
Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 143 (2006)Suppl.. - ISSN 0372-8854 - p. 127 - 141.
The land vulnerability varies in relation with the soil characteristics and land use.These relations were identified in a small catchment (70 ha) under dry cereals and grazing in Morocco (Rabat region). The hydrological response of the catchment was studied using field observation, rainfall simulation tests, soil moisture measurements and surface runoff modelling. Areas sensible to degradation were identified using terrain observations of vegetation cover, soil surface condition, soil type, land use type and land management, and phenomena of surface runoff and erosion as a function of the configuration of fields. The fields are vulnerable to soil moisture depletion and degradation (crusting, erosion) due to a missing vegetation cover, deficient organic matter management and inadequate tillage techniques. The study comes to recommendations with regard to vegetation cover, mulching and tillage in order to better exploit the autumn rains for crops and to reduce land degradation.
Dynamique de l'eau et gestion des terres dans le contexte du changement global, dans le bassin de Bouregreg (Maroc)
Laouina, A. ; Coelho, C. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Chaker, M. ; Nafaa, R. ; Fenjiro, I. ; Antari, M. ; Ferreira, A. ; Verzandvoort, S.J.E. - \ 2004
Science Planétaire - Sécheresse 15 (2004)1. - ISSN 1147-7806 - p. 65 - 77.
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