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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Influence of human activities on the activity patterns of Japanese sika deer (Cervus nippon) and wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Central Japan
Doormaal, N. van; Ohashi, H. ; Koike, S. ; Kaji, K. - \ 2015
European Journal of Wildlife Research 61 (2015)4. - ISSN 1612-4642 - p. 517 - 527.
agricultural landscapes - habitat selection - human disturbance - roe deer - land-use - forest - prefecture - behavior - density - damage
Human ageing and population decline in Japan are causing agricultural field abandonment and providing new habitats for Japanese sika deer and wild boar. These species have expanded their distribution and increased in abundance across Japan and are causing increased agricultural damage. Effective countermeasures must factor in the behavioural flexibility of sika deer and wild boar. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of hunting and indirect human activities on the activity patterns of sika deer in central Japan and compare these with previous findings on wild boar. Camera traps were used to observe activity patterns of both species and that of humans. Sika deer and wild boar were most active at night during the non-hunting season. Hunting activities significantly reduced sika deer and wild boar activity patterns. In the non-hunting season, nocturnal activity of sika deer increased with decreasing distance to settlement. A similar, but weak response was also observed for wild boar. This study suggests that sika deer and wild boar avoid humans and humandominated areas by being nocturnal. The recent introduction of night hunting might help to control wildlife populations, but monitoring will be necessary to confirm this expectation.
Mapping future changes in livelihood security and environmental sustainability based on perceptions of small farmers in the Brazilian Amazon.
Diniz, F.H. ; Kok, K. ; Hoogstra-Klein, M.A. ; Arts, B.J.M. - \ 2015
Ecology and Society 20 (2015)2. - ISSN 1708-3087 - 15 p.
fuzzy cognitive maps - mental models - settlement projects - climate-change - land-use - deforestation - conservation - cattle - cows
ABSTRACT Deforestation is a widely recognized problem in the Brazilian Amazon. Small farmers play a key role in this process in that they earn their livelihood by ranching and farming. Many studies have addressed the link between deforestation and livelihood strategies adopted by small farmers. Most have focused on advanced monitoring systems, simulation models, and GIS approaches to analyze the interaction of both dimensions, i.e., livelihoods and forest cover change. Although the current toolbox of methods has proved successful in increasing our understanding of these interactions, the models and approaches employed do not consider small farmers’ perspectives. On the assumption that local small farmers are agents of land-cover change, understanding how they perceive their own situation is essential to elucidate their actions. Our objective is to explore future changes in livelihood security and environmental sustainability as envisaged by local small farmers in the Brazilian Amazon. Previous livelihood cluster analysis of small farmers located in southeast Pará was integrated with fuzzy cognitive mapping to determine present perceptions and to explore future changes, using global scenarios downscaled to the local situation. Overall, system description differs only on details; all results indicate a strong trade-off between livelihood security and environmental sustainability in all livelihood systems, as identified by the small farmers. However, fundamentally different outcomes are obtained from the future analysis, depending on the livelihood strategy cluster. Achieving win-win outcomes does not necessarily imply a positive scenario, especially if small farmers are dependent on income transfers from the government to provide their livelihood.
Biomass is the main driver of changes in ecosystem process rates during tropical forest succession
Lohbeck, M.W.M. ; Poorter, L. ; Martinez-Ramos, M. ; Bongers, F. - \ 2015
Ecology 96 (2015)5. - ISSN 0012-9658 - p. 1242 - 1252.
plant functional traits - predict litter decomposition - secondary forest - land-use - biodiversity experiment - neotropical forests - tree productivity - species richness - carbon storage - leaf traits
Over half of the world's forests are disturbed, and the rate at which ecosystem processes recover after disturbance is important for the services these forests can provide. We analyze the drivers' underlying changes in rates of key ecosystem processes (biomass productivity, litter productivity, actual litter decomposition, and potential litter decomposition) during secondary succession after shifting cultivation in wet tropical forest of Mexico. We test the importance of three alternative drivers of ecosystem processes: vegetation biomass (vegetation quantity hypothesis), community-weighted trait mean (mass ratio hypothesis), and functional diversity (niche complementarity hypothesis) using structural equation modeling. This allows us to infer the relative importance of different mechanisms underlying ecosystem process recovery. Ecosystem process rates changed during succession, and the strongest driver was aboveground biomass for each of the processes. Productivity of aboveground stem biomass and leaf litter as well as actual litter decomposition increased with initial standing vegetation biomass, whereas potential litter decomposition decreased with standing biomass. Additionally, biomass productivity was positively affected by community-weighted mean of specific leaf area, and potential decomposition was positively affected by functional divergence, and negatively by community-weighted mean of leaf dry matter content. Our empirical results show that functional diversity and community-weighted means are of secondary importance for explaining changes in ecosystem process rates during tropical forest succession. Instead, simply, the amount of vegetation in a site is the major driver of changes, perhaps because there is a steep biomass buildup during succession that overrides more subtle effects of community functional properties on ecosystem processes. We recommend future studies in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to separate the effects of vegetation quality (community-weighted mean trait values and functional diversity) from those of vegetation quantity (biomass) on ecosystem processes and services. Read More:
Resource-efficient supply chains: a research framework, literature review and research agenda
Matopoulos, A. ; Barros, A.C. ; Vorst, J.G.A.J. van der - \ 2015
Supply Chain Management : an International Journal 20 (2015)2. - ISSN 1359-8546 - p. 218 - 236.
greenhouse-gas emissions - life-cycle assessment - food-production systems - carbon footprint - land-use - environmental assessment - conceptual-framework - manufacturing firms - energy efficiency - complexity theory
Purpose – The study aims to define a research agenda for creating resource-efficient supply chains (RESCs) by identifying and analysing their key characteristics as well as future research opportunities. Design/methodology/approach – We follow a systematic review method to analyse the literature and to understand RESC, taking a substantive theory approach. Our approach is grounded in a specific domain, the agri-food sector, because it is an intensive user of an extensive range of resources. Findings – The review shows that works of literature has looked at the use of resources primarily from the environmental impact perspective. There is a need to explore whether or not and how logistics/supply chain decisions will affect the overall configuration of future food supply chains in an era of resource scarcity and depletion and what the trade-offs will be. Research imitations/implications – The paper proposes an agenda for future research in the area of RESC. The framework proposed along with the key characteristics identified for RESC can be applied to other sectors. Practical implications – Our research should facilitate further understanding of the implications and trade-offs of supply chain decisions taken on the use of resources by supply chain managers. Originality/value – The paper explores the interaction between supply chains and natural resources and defines the key characteristics of RESC. Keywords Systematic literature review, Logistics and supply chain design decisions, Natural resource-based view, Resource scarcity, Resource-efficiency, Sustainable supply chains
Aggregation and organic matter in subarctic Andosols under different grassland management
Lehtinen, T. ; Gisladottir, G. ; Lair, G.J. ; Leeuwen, J.P. van; Blum, W.E.H. ; Bloem, J. ; Steffens, M. ; Ragnarsdottir, K.V. - \ 2015
Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B-Soil and Plant Science 65 (2015)3. - ISSN 0906-4710 - p. 246 - 263.
c-13 nmr-spectroscopy - soil microbial biomass - mediterranean conditions - structural stability - cultivated soils - farming systems - volcanic soils - carbon stocks - land-use - tillage
Quantity and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) affect physical, chemical, and biological soil properties, and are pivotal to productive and healthy grasslands. Thus, we analyzed the distribution of soil aggregates and assessed quality, quantity, and distribution of SOM in two unimproved and improved (two organic and two conventional) grasslands in subarctic Iceland, in Haplic and Histic Andosols. We also evaluated principal physicochemical and biological soil properties, which influence soil aggregation and SOM dynamics. Macroaggregates (>250 µm) in topsoils were most prominent in unimproved (62–77%) and organically (58–69%) managed sites, whereas 20–250 µm aggregates were the most prominent in conventionally managed sites (51–53%). Macroaggregate stability in topsoils, measured as mean weight diameter, was approximately twice as high in organically managed (12–20 mm) compared with the conventionally managed (5–8 mm) sites, possibly due to higher organic inputs (e.g., manure, compost, and cattle urine). In unimproved grasslands and one organic site, macroaggregates contributed between 40% and 70% of soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen to bulk soil, whereas in high SOM concentration sites free particulate organic matter contributed up to 70% of the SOC and nitrogen to bulk soil. Aggregate hierarchy in Haplic Andosols was confirmed by different stabilizing mechanisms of micro- and macroaggregates, however, somewhat diminished by oxides (pyrophosphate-, oxalate-, and dithionite-extractable Fe, Al, and Mn) acting as binding agents for macroaggregates. In Histic Andosols, no aggregate hierarchy was observed. The higher macroaggregate stability in organic farming practice compared with conventional farming is of interest due to the importance of macroaggregates in protecting SOM and soils from erosion, which is a prerequisite for soil functions in grasslands that are envisaged for food production in the future.
Institutional constraints for adaptive capacity to climate change in Flevoland’s agriculture
Mandryk, M. ; Reidsma, P. ; Kartikasari, K. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Arts, B.J.M. - \ 2015
Environmental Science & Policy 48 (2015). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 147 - 162.
land-use - adaptation - vulnerability - netherlands - management - variability - framework - barriers - policy - level
Institutional feasibility defined as the ability of institutions to support adaptive capacity, is an important aspect of climate adaptation, through its influence on the implementation of adaptation measures to climate change. The objective of this study is to create a framework for assessing institutional preconditions that enable or constrain climate change adaptation measures in agriculture and to apply the framework to a case study in agriculture. We adopted and modified the Procedure for Institutional Compatibility Assessment (PICA). Institutions in our framework are characterized by a set of crucial institutional preconditions (CIPs) and indicators linked to each CIP. CIPs refer to both institutional incentives and constraints for implementation of adaptation measures (here to climate change). We applied a combination of ranking and scoring techniques based on information from workshops, interviews and a literature review to assess institutional incentives and constraints for adaptation measures, together indicating the institutional feasibility of implementation of adaptation measures. We selected and assessed three adaptation measures relevant to agriculture in Flevoland, a province in the Netherlands: (1) improvement of water management and irrigation facilities; (2) relocation of farms; and (3) development of new crop varieties. The two main constraining CIPs for the implementation of the measures were found to be (1) heterogeneity of actors’ interests and (2) availability of resources. Based on the institutional feasibility analysis, the implementation of water management and improvement of irrigation facilities will potentially face fewer institutional constraints compared to the other two measures. We conclude that our approach proves applicable for institutional analyses of adaptation measures for current and future (climate) challenges at different levels of implementation, but that more applications are needed to test its validity and robustness.
Environmental drivers of human migration in drylands - A spatial picture
Neumann, K. ; Sietz, D. ; Hilderink, H. ; Janssen, P. ; Kok, M. ; Dijk, H. van - \ 2015
Applied Geography 56 (2015). - ISSN 0143-6228 - p. 116 - 126.
burkina-faso - northeast brazil - climate-change - land-use - drought - vulnerability - adaptation - dynamics - africa - management
It is widely accepted that environmental change can influence human migration. In particular, the environment plays a role in migration processes in drylands, in which environmental change—including increasing variability of rainfall, increasing frequency of droughts, chronic water shortage, and land degradation—can heavily influence migration. However, systematic large-scale studies of the relationship between environmental factors and human migration are rare, and a global, consistent picture of environmental drivers of migration is lacking. In this study, we sought to fill this gap by analysing spatial patterns of environmental drivers of migration in drylands by performing a cluster analysis on spatially explicit global data. In this analysis, we focused explicitly on precipitation, aridity, drought, land degradation, soil constraints, and availability of cropland and pastures as potential environmental drivers of migration in drylands. In addition, we linked the identified clusters to two observed hotspots of out-migration—Burkina Faso and Northeast Brazil—to gauge the cluster results. Our results show that environmental drivers can be grouped into eight distinct clusters, and we identified the most severe environmental constraints for each cluster. These results suggest that out-migration—both in absolute and relative terms—occurs most frequently in a cluster that is constrained primarily by land degradation rather than water availability.
Earthworm assemblages as affected by field margin strips and tillage intensity: An on-farm approach
Crittenden, S. ; Huerta, E. ; Goede, R.G.M. de; Pulleman, M.M. - \ 2015
European Journal of Soil Biology 66 (2015). - ISSN 1164-5563 - p. 49 - 56.
conservation tillage - land-use - soil - population - communities - diversity - abundance - systems - growth - term
Earthworm species contribute to soil ecosystem functions in varying ways. Important soil functions like structural maintenance and nutrient cycling are affected by earthworms, thus it is essential to understand how arable farm management influences earthworm species. One aim of arable field margin strips and non-inversion tillage is to enhance agrobiodiversity, however their influence on earthworm species assemblages remains unclear. In particular, on-farm studies conducted over multiple years that capture variability across the landscape are rare. The current study monitored earthworm species assemblages on 4 farms in Hoeksche Waard, The Netherlands, from 2010 to 2012. It was hypothesised that arable field margin strips (FM) and non-inversion tillage (NIT; a reduced tillage system that loosens subsoil at 30-35 cm depth) would have higher earthworm species abundances (epigeics and anecics in particular), soil organic matter, and soil moisture than adjacent mouldboard ploughing (MP) fields, and that earthworm numbers would decrease with distance away from FM into arable fields (MP only). FM contained a mean total earthworm abundance of 284 m-2 and biomass of 84 g m-2 whereas adjacent MP arable fields had only 164 earthworms m-2 and 31 g m-2. Aporrectodea rosea, Lumbricus rubellus, Lumbricus terrestris, and Lumbricus castaneus were significantly more abundant in FM than adjacent arable soil under MP. However, no decreasing trend with distance from FM was observed in earthworm species abundances. A tillage experiment initiated on the farms with FM showed that relative to MP, NIT significantly increased mean total earthworm abundance by 34% to 275 m-2 and mean total earthworm biomass by 15% to 51 g m-2 overall sampling dates and farms. L. rubellus, A. rosea, and L. terrestris were significantly more abundant overall in NIT than MP. FM and NIT positively affected earthworm species richness and abundances and it is noteworthy that these effects could be observed despite variation in environmental conditions and soil properties between samplings, farms, and crops. Higher top-soil organic matter and less physical disturbance in FM and NIT likely contributed to higher earthworm species richness and abundances. The anecic species L. terrestris (linked to water infiltration and organic matter incorporation) was more abundant in FM, but densities remained very low in arable soil, irrespective of tillage system.
Rapid assessment of historic, current and future habitat quality for biodiversity around UK Natura 2000 sites
Vogiatzakis, I.N. ; Stirpe, M.T. ; Rickebusch, S. ; Metzger, M.J. ; Xu, G. ; Rounsevell, M.D.A. ; Bommarco, R. ; Potts, S.G. - \ 2015
Environmental Conservation 42 (2015)1. - ISSN 0376-8929 - p. 31 - 40.
use change scenarios - land-use - aerial-photography - conservation - fragmentation - landscapes - dynamics - cover - area - grasslands
Changes in landscape composition and structure may impact the conservation and management of protected areas. Species that depend on specific habitats are at risk of extinction when these habitats are degraded or lost. Designing robust methods to evaluate landscape composition will assist decision- and policy-making in emerging landscapes. This paper describes a rapid assessment methodology aimed at evaluating land-cover quality for birds, plants, butterflies and bees around seven UK Natura 2000 sites. An expert panel assigned quality values to standard Coordination of Information on the Environment (CORINE) land-cover classes for each taxonomic group. Quality was assessed based on historical (1950, 1990), current (2000) and future (2030) land-cover data, the last projected using three alternative scenarios: a growth-applied strategy (GRAS), a business-as-might-be-usual (BAMBU) scenario, and sustainable European development goal (SEDG) scenario. A quantitative quality index weighted the area of each land-cover parcel with a taxa-specific quality measure. Land parcels with high quality for all taxonomic groups were evaluated for temporal changes in area, size and adjacency. For all sites and taxonomic groups, the rate of deterioration of land-cover quality was greater between 1950 and 1990 than current rates or as modelled using the alternative future scenarios (2000–2030). Model predictions indicated land-cover quality stabilized over time under the GRAS scenario, and was close to stable for the BAMBU scenario. The SEDG scenario suggested an ongoing loss of quality, though this was lower than the historical rate of c. 1% loss per decade. None of the future scenarios showed accelerated fragmentation, but rather increases in the area, adjacency and diversity of high quality land parcels in the landscape.
Temporal and spatial variability of urban heat island and thermal comfort within the Rotterdam agglomeration
Hove, B. van; Jacobs, C.M.J. ; Heusinkveld, B.G. ; Elbers, J.A. ; Driel, B.L. van; Holtslag, A.A.M. - \ 2015
Building and Environment 83 (2015). - ISSN 0360-1323 - p. 91 - 103.
klimaatverandering - temperatuur - perceptie - stedelijke gebieden - ruimtelijke variatie - variatie in de tijd - rotterdam - climatic change - temperature - perception - urban areas - spatial variation - temporal variation - air-temperature - street geometry - canyon geometry - climate zones - land-use - environment - areas - radiation - impact - fluxes
This paper reports on temporal and spatial variability of local climate and outdoor human thermal comfort within the Rotterdam agglomeration. We analyse three years of meteorological observations (2010–2012) from a monitoring network. Focus is on the atmospheric urban heat island (UHI); the difference in air temperature between urban areas and rural surroundings. In addition, we calculate the Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) which is a measure of thermal comfort. Subsequently, we determine the dependency of intra-urban variability in local climate and PET on urban land-use and geometric characteristics. During a large part of the year, UHI-intensities in densely built areas can be considerable, under calm and clear (cloudless) weather conditions. The highest maximum UHI-values are found in summer, with 95-percentile values ranging from 4.3 K to more than 8 K, depending on the location. In winter, UHI-intensities are generally lower. Intra-urban variability in maximum UHI-intensity is considerable, indicating that local features have an important influence. It is found to be significantly related to building, impervious and green surface fractions, respectively, as well as to mean building height. In summer, urban areas show a larger number of discomfort hours (PET > 23 °C) compared to the reference rural area. Our results indicate that this is mainly related to the much lower wind velocities in urban areas. Also intra-urban variability in thermal comfort during daytime appears to be mainly related to differences in wind velocity. After sunset, the UHI effect plays a more prominent role and hence thermal comfort is more related with urban characteristics.
Soil conservation through sediment trapping: a review
Getahun, M.M. ; Keesstra, S.D. ; Stroosnijder, L. ; Baartman, J.E.M. ; Maroulis, J. - \ 2015
Land Degradation and Development 26 (2015)6. - ISSN 1085-3278 - p. 544 - 556.
streamside management zones - forest riparian buffers - agricultural watersheds - grassed waterway - filter strips - loess plateau - land-use - semiarid environment - conceptual-framework - northern ethiopia
Preventing the off-site effects of soil erosion is an essential part of good catchment management. Most efforts are in the form of on-site soil and water conservation measures. However, sediment trapping can be an alternative (additional) measure to prevent the negative off-site effects of soil erosion. Therefore, not all efforts should focus solely on on-site soil conservation, but also on the safe routing of sediment-laden flows and on creating sites and conditions where sediment can be trapped. Sediment trapping can be applied on-site and off-site and involves both vegetative and structural measures. This paper provides an extensive review of scientific journal articles, case studies and other reports that have assessed soil conservation efforts and the sediment trapping efficacy (STE) of vegetative and structural measures. The review is further illustrated through participatory field observation and stakeholders interview. Vegetation type and integration of two or more measures are important factors influencing STE. In this review, the STE of most measures was evaluated either individually or in such combinations. In real landscape situations, it is not only important to select the most efficient erosion control measures, but also to determine their optimum location in the catchment. Hence, there is a need for research that shows a more integrated determination of STE at catchment scale. If integrated measures are implemented at the most appropriate spatial locations within a catchment where they can disconnect landscape units from each other, they will decrease runoff velocity and sediment transport and, subsequently, reduce downstream flooding and sedimentation problems
Modelling the influence of urbanization on the 20th century temperature record of weather station De Bilt (The Netherlands)
Koopmans, S. ; Theeuwes, N.E. ; Steeneveld, G.J. ; Holtslag, A.A.M. - \ 2015
International Journal of Climatology 35 (2015)8. - ISSN 0899-8418 - p. 1732 - 1748.
surface air-temperature - anthropogenic heat emissions - boundary-layer diffusion - tokyo metropolitan-area - urban canopy model - numerical experiment - time-series - data set - land-use - part i
Many cities have expanded during the 20th century, and consequently some weather stations are currently located closer to cities than before. Due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect, those weather stations may show a positive bias in their 2-m temperature record. In this study, we estimate the impact of urbanization on the temperature record of WMO station De Bilt (The Netherlands). This station has a long historical record, but the nearby city of Utrecht and its suburbs expanded during the 20th century. The temperature rise due to urbanization is estimated by conducting representative mesoscale model simulations for the land-use situation for the years 1900 and 2000. This is performed for 14 different episodes of a week, each representing a typical large-scale flow regime (Grosswettertypes) in both the winter and the summer season. Frequency distributions of these flow regimes are used to estimate an average temperature rise. We find that the model results with two rather different atmospheric boundary-layer schemes, robustly indicate that the urbanization during the 20th century has resulted in a temperature rise of 0.22¿±¿0.06¿K. This is more than a factor of 2 higher than a previously estimated temperature trend by using observed temperature records of stations close to De Bilt.
Water quality status and trends in agriculture-dominated headwaters; a national monitoring network for assessing the effectiveness of national and European manure legislation in The Netherlands
Rozemeijer, J.C. ; Klein, J. ; Broers, H.P. ; Tol-Leenders, T.P. van; Grift, B. van der - \ 2014
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 186 (2014)12. - ISSN 0167-6369 - p. 8981 - 8995.
flow route contributions - long-term change - surface-water - nutrient concentrations - temporal variability - groundwater quality - catchment discharge - fresh-water - land-use - phosphorus
Large nutrient losses to groundwater and surface waters are a major drawback of the highly productive agricultural sector in The Netherlands. The resulting high nutrient concentrations in water resources threaten their ecological, industrial, and recreational functions. To mitigate eutrophication problems, legislation on nutrient application in agriculture was enforced in 1986 in The Netherlands. The objective of this study was to evaluate this manure policy by assessing the water quality status and trends in agriculture-dominated headwaters. We used datasets from 5 agricultural test catchments and from 167 existing monitoring locations in agricultural headwaters. Trend analysis for these locations showed a fast reduction of nutrient concentrations after the enforcement of the manure legislation (median slopes of -0.55 mg/l per decade for total nitrogen (N-tot) and -0.020 mg/l per decade for total phosphorus (P-tot)). Still, up to 76 % of the selected locations currently do not comply with either the environmental quality standards (EQSs) for nitrogen (N-tot) or phosphorus (P-tot). This indicates that further improvement of agricultural water quality is needed. We observed that weather-related variations in nutrient concentrations strongly influence the compliance testing results, both for individual locations and for the aggregated results at the national scale. Another important finding is that testing compliance for nutrients based on summer average concentrations may underestimate the agricultural impact on ecosystem health. The focus on summer concentrations does not account for the environmental impact of high winter loads from agricultural headwaters towards downstream water bodies.
Interacting Regional-Scale Regime Shifts for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Leadley, P. ; Proenca, V. ; Fernandez-Manjarres, J. ; Pereira, H.M. ; Alkemade, J.R.M. ; Biggs, R. ; Bruley, E. ; Cheung, W. ; Cooper, D. ; Figueiredo, J. ; Gilman, E. ; Guenette, S. ; Hurtt, G. ; Mbow, C. ; Oberdorff, T. ; Revenga, C. ; Scharlemann, J.P.W. ; Scholes, R. ; Smith, M.S. ; Sumaila, U.R. ; Walpole, M. - \ 2014
Bioscience 64 (2014)8. - ISSN 0006-3568 - p. 665 - 679.
climate-change - marine biodiversity - ocean acidification - global fisheries - tipping points - amazon basin - land-use - impacts - deforestation - forests
Current trajectories of global change may lead to regime shifts at regional scales, driving coupled human-environment systems to highly degraded states in terms of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being. For business-as-usual socioeconomic development pathways, regime shifts are projected to occur within the next several decades, to be difficult to reverse, and to have regional- to global-scale impacts on human society. We provide an overview of ecosystem, socioeconomic, and biophysical mechanisms mediating regime shifts and illustrate how these interact at regional scales by aggregation, synergy, and spreading processes. We give detailed examples of interactions for terrestrial ecosystems of central South America and for marine and coastal ecosystems of Southeast Asia. This analysis suggests that degradation of biodiversity and, ecosystem services over the twenty-first century could be far greater than was previously predicted. We identify key policy and management opportunities at regional to global scales to avoid these shifts.
Hydrological services and the role of forests: Conceptualization and indicator-based analysis with an illustration at a regional scale
Carvalho-Santos, C. ; Honrado, J.P. ; Hein, L.G. - \ 2014
Ecological Complexity 20 (2014). - ISSN 1476-945X - p. 69 - 80.
amplifies flood risk - ecosystem services - water yield - vegetation changes - developing-world - global evidence - land-use - catchment - erosion - afforestation
Forests are among the most important ecosystems for the provision of hydrological services. These include water supply and water damage mitigation, in the dimensions of quantity, timing and quality. Although the hydrological role of forests is well documented in the literature, a conceptual framework integrating these three dimensions is still missing. In this study, a comprehensive conceptual framework to improve the assessment of hydrological services provided by forests was developed. In addition, the framework was tested by an illustration for northern Portugal, a region with both Mediterranean and Atlantic climatic influences. The TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) framework of ecosystem services was adapted to the relation between forests and water. Then, this new framework was complemented with a set of spatially-explicit indicators that quantify the supply and demand of hydrological services. In addition, the implications of the framework were discussed in the context of the social-ecological systems, using the DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impacts, and Responses) model. Finally, the framework and the indicators were illustrated for northern Portugal using the water supply (quantity) and soil erosion control as examples. Results show that the proposed conceptual framework is a useful tool to support land planning and forest management, adapting the provision of hydrological services to the regional biophysical and social conditions. The test of the framework across a heterogeneous region suggests that a spatially explicit combination of system property, function, service and benefit indicators can be an effective way of analysing and managing the supply and demand of the hydrological services. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Climate change effects on agriculture: Economic responses to biophysical shocks
Nelson, G.C. ; Valin, H. ; Sands, R.D. ; Havlik, P. ; Ahammad, H. ; Deryng, D. ; Elliott, J. ; Fujimori, S. ; Hasegawa, T. ; Heyhoe, E. ; Kyle, P. ; Lampe, M. von; Lotze-Campen, H. ; Croz, D.M. d'; Meijl, H. van; Mensbrugghe, D. van der; Muller, C. ; Popp, A. ; Robertson, R. ; Robinson, S. ; Schmid, E. ; Schmitz, C. ; Tabeau, A.A. ; Willenbockel, D. - \ 2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (2014)9. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 3274 - 3279.
international-trade - land-use - impact - cmip5
Agricultural production is sensitive to weather and thus directly affected by climate change. Plausible estimates of these climate change impacts require combined use of climate, crop, and economic models. Results from previous studies vary substantially due to differences in models, scenarios, and data. This paper is part of a collective effort to systematically integrate these three types of models. We focus on the economic component of the assessment, investigating how nine global economic models of agriculture represent endogenous responses to seven standardized climate change scenarios produced by two climate and five crop models. These responses include adjustments in yields, area, consumption, and international trade. We apply biophysical shocks derived from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's representative concentration pathway with end-of-century radiative forcing of 8.5 W/m(2). The mean biophysical yield effect with no incremental CO2 fertilization is a 17% reduction globally by 2050 relative to a scenario with unchanging climate. Endogenous economic responses reduce yield loss to 11%, increase area of major crops by 11%, and reduce consumption by 3%. Agricultural production, crop-land area, trade, and prices show the greatest degree of variability in response to climate change, and consumption the lowest. The sources of these differences include model structure and specification; in particular, model assumptions about ease of land use conversion, intensification, and trade. This study identifies where models disagree on the relative responses to climate shocks and highlights research activities needed to improve the representation of agricultural adaptation responses to climate change.
Implementing REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation): evidence on governance, evaluation and impacts from the REDD-ALERT project
Matthews, R.B. ; Noordwijk, M. van; Lambin, E. ; Meyfroidt, P. ; Gupta, J. ; Verschot, L. ; Hergoualc'h, K. ; Veldkamp, E. - \ 2014
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 19 (2014)6. - ISSN 1381-2386 - p. 907 - 925.
land-use - agricultural intensification - environmental services - avoided deforestation - shifting cultivation - developing-world - food security - carbon - payments - costs
Abstract The REDD-ALERT (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation from Alternative Land Uses in the Rainforests of the Tropics) project started in 2009 and finished in 2012, and had the aim of evaluating mechanisms that translate international-level agreements into instruments that would help change the behaviour of land users while minimising adverse repercussions on their livelihoods. Findings showed that some developing tropical countries have recently been through a forest transition, thus shifting from declining to expanding forests at a national scale. However, in most of these (e.g. Vietnam), a significant part of the recent increase in national forest cover is associated with an increase in importation of food and timber products from abroad, representing leakage of carbon stocks across international borders. Avoiding deforestation and restoring forests will require a mixture of regulatory approaches, emerging market-based instruments, suasive options, and hybrid management measures. Policy analysis and modelling work showed the high degree of complexity at local levels and highlighted the need to take this heterogeneity into account—it is unlikely that there will be a one size fits all approach to make Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) work. Significant progress was made in the quantification of carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes following land-use change in the tropics, contributing to narrower confidence intervals on peat-based emissions and their reporting standards. There are indications that there is only a short and relatively small window of opportunity of making REDD+ work—these included the fact that forest-related emissions as a fraction of total global GHG emissions have been decreasing over time due to the increase in fossil fuel emissions, and that the cost efficiency of REDD+ may be much less than originally thought due to the need to factor in safeguard costs, transaction costs and monitoring costs. Nevertheless, REDD+ has raised global awareness of the world’s forests and the factors affecting them, and future developments should contribute to the emergence of new landscape-based approaches to protecting a wider range of ecosystem services. Keywords Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation . REDD+ . Indonesia . Vietnam. Cameroon . Peru . Peatlands . Carbon stocks .Greenhouse gases . GHGs
Enhanced Input of Terrestrial Particulate Organic Matter Reduces the Resilience of the Clear-Water State of Shallow Lakes: A Model Study
Lischke, B. ; Hilt, S. ; Janse, J.H. ; Kuiper, J.J. ; Mehner, T. ; Mooij, W.M. ; Gaedke, U. - \ 2014
Ecosystems 17 (2014)4. - ISSN 1432-9840 - p. 616 - 626.
climate-change - food webs - humic substances - resource use - fresh-water - loch ness - land-use - carbon - ecosystem - phosphorus
The amount of terrestrial particulate organic matter (t-POM) entering lakes is predicted to increase as a result of climate change. This may especially alter the structure and functioning of ecosystems in small, shallow lakes which can rapidly shift from a clear-water, macrophyte-dominated into a turbid, phytoplankton-dominated state. We used the integrative ecosystem model PCLake to predict how rising t-POM inputs affect the resilience of the clear-water state. PCLake links a pelagic and benthic food chain with abiotic components by a number of direct and indirect effects. We focused on three pathways (zoobenthos, zooplankton, light availability) by which elevated t-POM inputs (with and without additional nutrients) may modify the critical nutrient loading thresholds at which a clear-water lake becomes turbid and vice versa. Our model results show that (1) increased zoobenthos biomass due to the enhanced food availability results in more benthivorous fish which reduce light availability due to bioturbation, (2) zooplankton biomass does not change, but suspended t-POM reduces the consumption of autochthonous particulate organic matter which increases the turbidity, and (3) the suspended t-POM reduces the light availability for submerged macrophytes. Therefore, light availability is the key process that is indirectly or directly changed by t-POM input. This strikingly resembles the deteriorating effect of terrestrial dissolved organic matter on the light climate of lakes. In all scenarios, the resilience of the clear-water state is reduced thus making the turbid state more likely at a given nutrient loading. Therefore, our study suggests that rising t-POM input can add to the effects of climate warming making reductions in nutrient loadings even more urgent.
Mapping and monitoring High Nature Value farmlands: Challenges in European landscapes
Lomba, A. ; Guerra, C. ; Alonso, J. ; Honrado, J.P. ; Jongman, R.H.G. ; McCracken, D. - \ 2014
Journal of Environmental Management 143 (2014). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 140 - 150.
common agricultural policy - plant-species richness - land-use - biodiversity conservation - farm-management - intensity - intensification - conflicts - systems - cover
The importance of low intensity farming for the conservation of biodiversity throughout Europe was acknowledged early in the 1990s when the concept of ‘High Nature Value farmlands’ (HNVf) was devised. HNVf has subsequently been given high priority within the EU Rural Development Programme. This puts a requirement on each EU Member State not only to identify the extent and condition of HNVf within their borders but also to track trends in HNVf over time. However, the diversity of rural landscapes across the EU, the scarcity of (adequate) datasets on biodiversity, land cover and land use, and the lack of a common methodology for HNVf mapping currently represent obstacles to the implementation of the HNVf concept across Europe. This manuscript provides an overview of the characteristics of HNVf across Europe together with a description of the development of the HNVf concept. Current methodological approaches for the identification and mapping of HNVf across EU-27 and Switzerland are then reviewed, the main limitations of these approaches highlighted and recommendations made as to how the identification, mapping and reporting of HNVf state and trends across Europe can potentially be improved and harmonised. In particular, we propose a new framework that is built on the need for strategic HNVf monitoring based on a hierarchical, bottom-up structure of assessment units, coincident with the EU levels of political decision and devised indicators, and which is linked strongly to a collaborative European network that can provide the integration and exchange of data from different sources and scales under common standards. Such an approach is essential if the scale of the issues facing HNVf landscapes are to be identified and monitored properly at the European level. This would then allow relevant agrienvironmental measures to be developed, implemented and evaluated at the scale(s) required to maintain the habitats and species of high nature conservation value that are intimately associated with those landscapes.
Gains to species diversity in organically farmed fields are not propagated at the farm level
Schneider, M.K. ; Lüscher, G. ; Jeanneret, P. ; Jongman, R.H.G. - \ 2014
Nature Communications 5 (2014). - ISSN 2041-1723 - 9 p.
agri-environment schemes - different spatial scales - biodiversity conservation - conventional agriculture - european habitats - food-production - land-use - management - landscape - metaanalysis
Organic farming is promoted to reduce environmental impacts of agriculture, but surprisingly little is known about its effects at the farm level, the primary unit of decision making. Here we report the effects of organic farming on species diversity at the field, farm and regional levels by sampling plants, earthworms, spiders and bees in 1470 fields of 205 randomly selected organic and nonorganic farms in twelve European and African regions. Species richness is, on average, 10.5% higher in organic than nonorganic production fields, with highest gains in intensive arable fields (around þ45%). Gains to species richness are partly caused by higher organism abundance and are common in plants and bees but intermittent in earthworms and spiders. Average gains are insignificant þ4.6% at the farm and þ3.1% at the regional level, even in intensive arable regions. Additional, targeted measures are therefore needed to fulfil the commitment of organic farming to benefit farmland biodiversity.
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