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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Effect verandering landgebruik op emissies broeikasgassen
Vellinga, T. ; Eekeren, N. van - \ 2017
V-focus 14 (2017)2. - ISSN 1574-1575 - p. 38 - 39.
landgebruik - bodemkwaliteit - broeikasgassen - emissie - melkveehouderij - graslanden - wisselbouw - grasklaver - land use - soil quality - greenhouse gases - emission - dairy farming - grasslands - ley farming - grass-clover swards
In het vorige nummer van V-focus is besproken wat het optimale landgebruik voor bodemkwaliteit is op melkveebedrijven met gras en mais, namelijk: 60% blijvend grasland met een lage frequentie van graslandvernieuwing en 20% grasklaver (rode en witte klaver) in rotatie met 20% bouwland. In het hetzelfde nummerwerd uitgerekend dat dit een gemiddeld melkveebedrijf 7.000 euro per jaar oplevert. In het Project Vruchtbare Kringloop Achterhoek en Liemers (VKA) is gekeken wat dit betekent voor de emissie van broeikasgassen. In de kennisgroep Melk&Klimaat van VKA werken melkveehouders, samen met FrieslandCampina, aan het verminderen van de ‘carbonfootprint’ van melk
Chobe district integrated land use plan
Sluis, Theo van der; Cassidy, Lin ; Brooks, Chris ; Wolski, Piotr ; VanderPost, Cornelis ; Wit, Piet ; Henkens, Rene ; Eupen, Michiel van; Mosepele, K. ; Maruapula, O. ; Veenendaal, Elmar - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2813) - 181
land use - sustainability - tourism - ecosystems - savannas - botswana - landgebruik - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - toerisme - ecosystemen - savannen
Protecting indigenous land from mining : a study of activist representations of indigenous people, in the context of anti-mining movements, with a focus on an Indian case
Borde, Radhika - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Claudio Minca, co-promotor(en): Martijn Duineveld; B. Blueming. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431880 - 113
mining - indigenous people - land use - protest - relations between people and state - ideology - india - mijnbouw - inheemse volkeren - landgebruik - verhoudingen tussen bevolking en staat - ideologie

Support for indigenous peoples has been increasing over the last few decades. This can be seen internationally, as well as in several domestic contexts. The support for indigenous people has been linked to the increasingly prominent impetus to conserve the Earth’s biodiversity and environment. Indigenous people are being recognized for their role in protecting the places in which they live in and that they value in cultural or spiritual terms. This recognition has partly fuelled the support for indigenous lifestyles and the related management of resources. These traditional lifestyles are also presented by activists from within these communities, as a critique of mainstream development. This is echoed by the many activists and activist organizations involved in supporting indigenous people’s causes across the world.

A cause that indigenous people have often rallied around is the resistance towards mining on indigenous land. This is a cause that has attracted a significant amount of support, particularly when the land in question had spiritual or cultural value for an indigenous community. Accordingly, there have been several success stories of resistance towards mining on land that indigenous people believed was sacred, in several different continents. This thesis focuses on such narratives in the Indian context. It examines how, why and to what effect, local and international activists got involved in supporting a movement to protect the Niyamgiri Mountain in east-central India from bauxite extraction by Vedanta Resources, a multi-national mining company. The Niyamgiri Mountain was believed to be sacred by the Dongaria Kondh community which lived there and which is generally understood (though not officially recognized) as an indigenous community. The movement, which this thesis refers to as the Niyamgiri Movement, was finally successful – since the mining project was banned by the Indian government. In addition to a focus on this movement, the thesis also compares this movement with the anti-mining movement on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.

Indigenous peoples constitute minority groups in many of the countries in the Global South. It is also common for governments in the Global South to promote mining as an economic development strategy. This has led to frequent conflicts between indigenous peoples and mining companies. In some of the countries in the Global South, such as the Philippines, indigenous peoples are given official recognition. Whereas in others, such as India, there are affirmative action programs targeting groups claiming indigenous identity, as well as special legislations aimed at protecting their land, although no official recognition of the indigenous identity of these groups exists. Despite this, in contexts such as India there is often a general cultural understanding that groups which claim an indigenous identity are in some way ‘primordial’ – to use a word that translates best from the Indian context, in which the terms Adi Vasi (Original/Primordial Dwellers) or Adim Janajati (Primordial Tribes) are commonly used for such groups.

Given that there is at least some degree of cultural acceptance (if not an official recognition) of the indigenous identity of some of the groups that are entering into conflicts with mining companies, an important question relates to the reasons why local activists may get involved in supporting indigenous struggles against mining and how they may understand indigeneity in this context. Another important question is related to the laws that are applicable in local contexts and which may be used to support the struggles of groups that claim indigenous identity. The Forest Rights Act in India is such a law and the thesis explores how it was used in the context of the Niyamgiri Movement. Finally, it is important to consider how people who are not indigenous and who may not have an activist orientation, can be made to take a sympathetic view of indigenous struggles against mining. In the context of the Niyamgiri Movement in India, this thesis explores how creative representations by activists translated the nature religiosity of the Dongaria Kondhs into familiar terms that mainstream popular discourse in India could identify with.

In the thesis, the comparison of the Niyamgiri Movement in India with the anti-mining movement on the island of Palawan in the Philippines examines the way in which social movements in two different nation-state contexts engage with globalized discourses pertaining to the linkages between indigenous issues and conservation discourses. For a deeper examination of the way indigenous people are represented by globalized popular discourses, the thesis examines how images from Hollywood were used to generate sympathy for the Dongaria Kondhs’ cause in the Niyamgiri Movement. An examination of the international activism which supported the Niyamgiri Movement and which has been effective in bringing about the success of the movement i.e. the banning of the mining project on Niyamgiri, is another important focal point of the thesis.

A commitment towards exploring the activist politics that is relevant to the lives of indigenous peoples has inspired this thesis, which seeks to understand effective activist strategies and identify problematic ones in relation to the protection of land with cultural or spiritual value for indigenous peoples. Keeping this in view, it explores the insights provided by different theories, in order to use these to contribute towards orienting activist practice towards greater effectiveness as well as higher self-reflexivity.

Methodologies identification and certification of Low ILUC risk biofuels : final report
Peters, Daan ; Spöttle, ; Hähl, Thomas ; Kühner, Ann-Kathrin ; Cuijpers, Maarten ; Stomph, Tjeerd Jan ; Werf, Wopke van der; Grass, Martin - \ 2016
Utrecht : ECOFYS Netherlands - 58
biofuels - greenhouse gases - land use - biomass - biomass production - biobased economy - indirect land use change - biobrandstoffen - broeikasgassen - landgebruik - biomassa - biomassa productie - indirecte veranderingen van landgebruik
Biofuels can be an important instrument to decarbonise the transport sector. However, the greenhouse gas performance of biofuels can be negatively impacted by Indirect land use change (ILUC) effects. In this report, Ecofys proposes two methodologies to identify and demonstrate low ILUC risk biofuel feedstock production through the application of yield increase (see Chapter 3) or unused land (see ILUC mitigation methodology for unused land).
Basiskaart Natuur 2009 : een landsdekkend basisbestand voor de terrestrische natuur in Nederland
Kramer, H. ; Clement, J. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wettelijke Onderzoekstaken Natuur & Milieu (WOt-technical report 72) - 80
natuur - monitoring - landgebruik - kaarten - geodata - geografische informatiesystemen - nederland - nature - land use - maps - geographical information systems - netherlands
De Basiskaart Natuur 2009 (BKN2009) is een basisbestand waarin het areaal natuurgebied in Nederland is opgenomen. BKN2009 is een rasterbestand met een celgrootte van 25 bij 25 meter. In het bestand zijn 13 klassen opgenomen met een code en naam voor het desbetreffende grondgebruik. Het belangrijkste
onderdeel van het bestand is het areaal natuur; volgens de gebruikte definitie van natuur in BKN2009 is dit 650.374 ha. Dit omvat de klassen natuurgraslanden (code 11), heide (30), bos (40), rietmoeras (80), stuifzanden (90) en duinen, strand en zandplaten (91). BKN2009 is voor het gebruik bij monitoring nog niet gevalideerd.
Multidimensional remote sensing based mapping of tropical forests and their dynamics
Dutrieux, L.P. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Martin Herold, co-promotor(en): Lammert Kooistra; Lourens Poorter. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789462578906 - 146 p.
tropical forests - remote sensing - mapping - biodiversity - forest structure - monitoring - land use - landsat - tropische bossen - cartografie - biodiversiteit - bosstructuur - landgebruik

Tropical forests concentrate a large part of the terrestrial biodiversity, provide important resources, and deliver many ecosystem services such as climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and hence climate change mitigation. While in the current context of anthropogenic pressure these forests are threatened by deforestation, forest degradation and climate change, they also have shown to be, in certain cases, highly resilient and able to recover from disturbances. Quantitative measures of forest resources and insights into their dynamics and functioning are therefore crucial in this context of climate and land use change. Sensors on-board satellites have been collecting a large variety of data about the surface of the earth in a systematic and objective way, making remote sensing a tool that holds tremendous potential for mapping and monitoring the earth. The main aim of this research is to explore the potential of remote sensing for mapping forest attributes and dynamics. Tropical South America, which contains the largest area of tropical forest on the planet, and is therefore of global significance, is the regional focus of the research. Different methods are developed and assessed to: (i) map forest attributes at national scale, (ii) detect forest cover loss, (iii) quantify land use intensity over shifting cultivation landscapes, and (iv) measure spectral recovery and resilience of regrowing forests.

Remote sensing data are diverse and multidimensional; a constellation of satellite sensors collects data at various spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions, which can be used to inform on different components of forests and their dynamics. To better map and monitor ecological processes, which are inherently multidimensional, this thesis develops methods that combine multiple data sources, and integrate the spatial, temporal and spectral dimensions contained in remote sensing datasets. This is achieved for instance by assembling time-series to fully exploit the temporal signal contained in the data, or by working with multiple spectral channels as a way to better capture subtle ecological features and processes.

After introducing the general objectives of the thesis in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 presents an approach for mapping forest attributes at national scale. In this chapter, 28 coarse resolution remote sensing predictors from diverse sources are used in combination with in-situ data from 220 forest inventory plots to predict nine forest attributes over lowland Bolivia. The attributes include traditional forest inventory variables such as forest structure, floristic properties, and abundance of life forms. Modelling is done using the random forest approach and reasonable prediction potential was found for variables related to floristic properties, while forest attributes relating to structure had a low prediction potential. This methodological development demonstrates the potential of coarse resolution remote sensing for scaling local in-situ ecological measurements to country-wide maps, thus providing information that is highly valuable for biodiversity conservation, resource use planning, and for understanding tropical forest functioning.

Chapter 3 presents an approach to detect forest cover loss from remote sensing time-series. While change detection has been the object of many studies, the novel contribution of the present example concerns the capacity to detect change in environments with strong inter-annual variations, such as seasonally dry tropical forests. By combining Landsat with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time-series in a change detection framework, the approach provides information at 30 m resolution on forest cover loss, while normalizing for the natural variability of the ecosystem that would otherwise be detected as change. The proposed approach of combining two data streams at different spatial resolutions provides the opportunity to distinguish anthropogenic disturbances from natural change in tropical forests.

Chapter 4 introduces a new method to quantify land use intensity in swidden agriculture systems, using remote sensing time-series. Land use intensity — a parameter known for influencing forest resilience — is retrieved in this case by applying a temporal segmentation algorithm derived from the econometrics field and capable of identifying shifts in land dynamic regimes, to Landsat time-series. These shifts, or breakpoints, are then classified into the different events of the swidden agriculture cycle, which allows to quantify the number of cultivation cycles that has taken place for a given agricultural field. The method enables the production of objective and spatially continuous information on land use intensity for large areas, hence benefiting the study of spatio-temporal patterns of land use and the resulting forest resilience. The results were validated against an independent dataset of reported cultivation frequency and proved to be a reliable indicator of land use intensity.

Chapter 5 further explores the concept of forest resilience. A framework to quantify spectral recovery time of forests that regrow after disturbance is developed, and applied to regrowing forests of the Amazon. Spatial patterns of spectral resilience as well as relations with environmental conditions are explored. Regrowing forests take on average 7.8 years to recover their spectral properties, and large variations in spectral recovery time occur at a local scale. This large local variability suggests that local factors, rather than climate, drive the spectral recovery of tropical forests. While spectral recovery times do not directly correspond to the time required for complete recovery of the biomass and species pool of tropical forests, they provide an indication on the kinetics of the early stages of forest regrowth.

Chapter 6 summarizes the main findings of the thesis and provides additional reflections and prospects for future research. By predicting forest attributes country-wide or retrieving land use history over the 30 years time-span of the Landsat archive, the developed methods provide insights at spatial and temporal scales that are beyond the reach of ground based data collection methods. Remote sensing was therefore able to provide valuable information for better understanding, managing and conserving tropical forest ecosystems, and this was partly achieved by combining multiple sources of data and taking advantage of the available remote sensing dimensions. However, the work presented only explores a small part of the potential of remote sensing, so that future research should intensively focus on further exploiting the multiple dimensions and multi-scale nature of remote sensing data as a way to provide insights on complex multi-scale processes such as interactions between climate change, anthropogenic pressure, and ecological processes. Inspired by recent advances in operational forest monitoring, operationalization of scientific methods to retrieve ecological variables from remote sensing is also discussed. Such transfer of scientific advances to operational platforms that can automatically produce and update ecologically relevant variables globally would largely benefit ecological research, public awareness and the conservation and wise use of natural resources.

Crop intensification options and trade-offs with the water balance in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia
Debas, Mezegebu - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Martin van Ittersum, co-promotor(en): Huib Hengsdijk; Katrien Descheemaeker. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578616 - 178
cropping systems - intensification - water balance - crop production - land use - climatic change - crop yield - water use - irrigation - ethiopia - teeltsystemen - intensivering - waterbalans - gewasproductie - landgebruik - klimaatverandering - gewasopbrengst - watergebruik - irrigatie - ethiopië

The Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia is a closed basin for which claims on land and water have strongly increased over the past decade resulting in over-exploitation of the resources. A clear symptom is the declining trend in the water level of the terminal Lake Abyata. The actual productivity of most cereals in the CRV is less than 2 t ha-1 associated with low input use and poor crop management. Consequently, there are two major development objectives in the CRV, i.e. producing sufficient food for the increasing population, while at the same time ensuring efficient use of limited water and land resources under variable and changing climate conditions. The low productive cereal systems and a declining resource base call for options to increase crop productivity and improve resource use efficiency in order to meet the growing demand for food.

In this thesis, the recent impacts were quantified of climate change, land use change and irrigation water abstraction on water availability of Lake Abyata of the CRV. The trends in lake levels, river discharges, basin rainfall, temperature and irrigation development (ca. 1975-2008) were analysed and the additional evapotranspiration loss resulting from temperature change and irrigated land were computed. We also analysed land use change (1990-2007) and the associated changes in runoff. Results showed that temperature has increased over 34 years (p<0.001) whereas annual rainfall has not changed significantly. Consequently, increased evapotranspiration consumed 62 and 145 Mm3 of additional water from lakes and land surface, respectively, during 1990-2007. Furthermore, an estimated 285 Mm3yr-1 of water was abstracted for irrigation in 2009 of which approximately 170 Mm3yr-1 is irrecoverable evapotranspiration loss. In addition, surface runoff has increased in the upper, and decreased in lower sub-basins of the CRV associated with extensive land use change (1990-2007).

We analysed a large number of data from farmers’ fields (>10,000) and experimental data across the CRV from 2004-2009 to quantify the gaps (Yg) between actual (farm) and experimental (water-limited potential - Yw) yields of maize and wheat in homogenous farming zones. We found that the average (2004-2009) yield gap of maize and wheat ranged between 4.2-9.2 t ha-1, and 2.5-4.7 t ha-1, respectively, across farming zones. The actual N and P application in farmers’ fields was low, as about 46% of maize and 27% of wheat fields did not receive fertilisers. We calibrated, validated and used the Agricultural Production System Simulator (APSIM) model to explore intensification options and their trade-offs with water losses through evapotranspiration. Variety selection and N fertilization were more important for yield gap closure than crop residue management and planting density, and the magnitude of their effect depended on soil type and climate. There was a trade-off between intensification and water use through evapotranspiration, as increasing yield comes at the cost of increased transpiration. However, this trade-off can be minimized by choosing location-specific N levels at which both water use efficiency (WUE) and gross margin are maximised. These application rates varied between 75 and 250 kg N ha-1 across locations and soils, and allowed producing 80% of Yw of maize and wheat. Climate change was projected to lower Yw of maize and wheat by ca. 15-25% and 2-30%, respectively, compared to current climate conditions.

An automated gridded simulation framework was developed to scale up the promising intensification options from field scale to basin scale. We then aggregated basin scale production and identified trade-offs between production and water use for different land use scenarios. This procedure allowed designing land use scenarios based on a spatially explicit optimization of WUE and gross margin per grid cell. Consequences of land use scenarios for food production and water use at basin level were evaluated. Results of the different land use scenarios demonstrated that crop intensification options for which WUE and gross margin are maximised can meet the projected food demand (year 2050) of the growing population in the CRV while at the same time saving large areas of the currently cultivated land. In the intensification scenarios total water loss through evapotranspiration from agricultural land is reduced compared with water loss from current cultivated land and low crop productivity levels.

It is concluded that the current land use together with climate change and water abstraction for irrigation negatively affected the basin level water balance in CRV over the past decade. Furthermore, the scope for further expansion of farmland to increase food production is very limited. The focus should, therefore, be towards intensification also because the existing yield gaps are huge and hence the scope for intensification is large. Model-based exploration of intensification options can be used to prioritize promising options, to close the yield gap and for quantifying trade-offs. Scaling up of promising options allows to assess whether the food demand of the growing population can be met while at the same time saving the less productive land and water per unit agricultural product.

Optimising land use in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia : modelling ecosystem benefits and land use dynamics
Suwarno, Aritta - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Rik Leemans; Lars Hein, co-promotor(en): Hans-Peter Weikard. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578739 - 156
land use - deforestation - decentralization - ecosystem services - ecosystems - forest policy - forests - modeling - kalimantan - indonesia - landgebruik - ontbossing - decentralisatie - ecosysteemdiensten - ecosystemen - bosbeleid - bossen - modelleren - indonesië

The rising global population has increased the demand for food, renewable energy and other materials. Yet at the same time to meet this demand requires land and the amount of available land is finite. Considering the importance of land and ecosystems in providing benefits for human, I conducted four independent research on the socio-economic and biophysical aspects of ecosystem service, in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. The first three independent studies were used to understand ecosystem management under decentralised forest governance in Indonesia and its influence on ecosystems, ESs and the benefits that different beneficiaries receive. The fourth study combines the outcomes from the previous three studies to assess and select the most appropriate areas for conservation and community development. As the results, I show the applicability of the ecosystem services concept and land-use modelling in optimising land-use under certain decentralised forest governance systems. My thesis’ results were obtained through the application of methods and steps that integrated a comprehensive set of qualitative and quantitative analyses to support land-use optimisation in the Kapuas Protected Forest Management Unit. My results can inform decision makers on the options of land-use optimisation and the consequences of their management decisions regarding land-use intensification, nature conservation and local economic conditions. I show how land-use optimisation provides an important step in preventing further land degradation and ecosystem loss.

Economische betekenis van de grondgebonden landbouw in Zuid-Holland in 2016
Vogelzang, T.A. ; Smit, A.B. ; Smit, J. ; Verhoog, A.D. ; Vader, J. ; Schans, J.W. van der - \ 2016
Wageningen : LEI Wageningen UR (Rapport / LEI Wageningen UR 2016-066) - ISBN 9789462578449 - 27 p.
landbouw - landgebruik - tuinbouw - landbouw bedrijven - landbouwontwikkeling - landbouwregio's - nederland - zuid-holland - agriculture - land use - horticulture - farming - agricultural development - agricultural regions - netherlands
The socio-economic future of agriculture in the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland is partly linked to the perspectives of the agrocluster, the combination of agricultural and horticultural firms, fishery, food and luxury industry and the firms that supply these sectors. The importance of this cluster for Zuid- Holland is described, with a focus on the primary sectors, and especially on the agricultural firms. The current situation of these firms is presented, including the developments in the recent decade and the perspectives for the next decade. Attention is also paid to the (economic) perspectives of short supply chains and innovation for agriculture in Zuid-Holland.
Remote sensing of land use and carbon losses following tropical deforestation
Sy, V. de - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Martin Herold, co-promotor(en): Jan Clevers; L. Verchot. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578036 - 142 p.
remote sensing - tropical forests - land use - carbon - losses - environmental degradation - forest monitoring - tropische bossen - landgebruik - koolstof - verliezen - milieuafbraak - bosmonitoring

The new Paris Agreement, approved by 195 countries under the auspice of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), calls for limiting global warming to “well below" 2°Celsius. An important part of the climate agreement relates to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing carbon stocks (REDD+) in non-Annex I (mostly developing) countries. Over the last decades the growing demand for food, fibre and fuel has accelerated the pace of forest loss. In consequence, tropical deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for a large portion of global carbon emissions to the atmosphere, and destroy an important global carbon sink that is critical in future climate change mitigation.

Within the REDD+ framework, participating countries are given incentives to develop national strategies and implementation plans that reduce emissions and enhance sinks from forests and to invest in low carbon development pathways. For REDD+ activities to be effective, accurate and robust methodologies to estimate emissions from deforestation and forest degradation are crucial. Remote sensing is an essential REDD+ observation tool, and in combination with ground measurements it provides an objective, practical and cost-effective solution for developing and maintaining REDD+ monitoring systems. The remote sensing monitoring objective for REDD+ is not only to map deforestation but also to support policy formulation and implementation. Identifying and addressing drivers and activities causing forest carbon change is crucial in this respect. Despite the importance of identifying and addressing drivers, quantitative information on these drivers, and the related carbon emissions, is scarce at the national level.

The main objective of this thesis is to explore the role of remote sensing for monitoring tropical forests for REDD+ in general, and for assessing land use and related carbon emissions linked to drivers of tropical deforestation in particular. To achieve this, this thesis investigates the following research questions:

What is the current role and potential of remote sensing technologies and methodologies for monitoring tropical forests for REDD+ and for assessing drivers of deforestation?

What is the current state of knowledge on drivers of deforestation and degradation in REDD+ countries?

What are land use patterns and related carbon emissions following deforestation, capitalising on available land use and biomass remote sensing data?

The research conducted in this PhD thesis contributes to the understanding of the role of remote sensing in forest monitoring for REDD+ and in the assessment of drivers of deforestation. In addition, this thesis contributes to the improvement of spatial and temporal quantification of land use and related carbon emissions linked to drivers of tropical deforestation. The results and insights described herein are valuable for ongoing REDD+ forest monitoring efforts and capacity development as REDD+ moves closer to becoming an operational mitigation mechanism.

Dealing with private property for public purposes : an interdisciplinary study of land transactions from a micro-scale perspective
Holtslag-Broekhof, S.M. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Raoul Beunen; Ramona van Marwijk. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577398 - 205 p.
land policy - property - private ownership - land use - compulsory purchase - land ownership - government - land transfers - physical planning - case studies - netherlands - grondbeleid - bezit - particulier eigendom - landgebruik - onteigening - grondeigendom - regering - overdrachten van grond - ruimtelijke ordening - gevalsanalyse - nederland
Global land cover map validation, comparison and integration for different user communities
Tsendbazar, N.E. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Martin Herold, co-promotor(en): Sytze de Bruin. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577817 - 164 p.
land use - maps - geoinformation - ground cover - earth system science - remote sensing - landgebruik - kaarten - geoinformatie - grondbedekking - aardsysteemkunde

Global land cover map validation, comparison and integration for different user communities


Observation of global-scale land cover is of importance to international initiatives, governments, and scientific communities that endeavour to understand and monitor changes affecting the environment. Various applications such as climate models, ecosystem modelling and hydrological models use a number of global land cover (GLC) maps that were produced from different initiatives. The users have different requirements regarding spatial, temporal and thematic aspects of GLC maps as well as their accuracy. For example, climate modellers typically use GLC maps at 1km spatial resolution or coarser whereas this resolution is too coarse for land change science studies to detect small-scale changes. Furthermore, to determine the fitness of GLC maps for certain applications, map accuracy assessments need to consider the perspectives of the users as confusion between certain classes can have a strong impact on specific applications whereas for other applications they are inconsequential. Therefore, generation and assessment of GLC maps needs to account for different user requirements and perspectives. This PhD research aimed to account for different user requirements in assessing, comparing and as well as improving GLC maps.

Firstly, the characteristics of current GLC reference datasets that have been used for calibration and validation of GLC maps were reviewed and analysed. Findings revealed varying GLC reference dataset suitability levels depending on the reference data characteristics, user requirements and target maps. Nonetheless, several datasets (LC-CCI, GOFC-GOLD, FAO-FRA and Geo-Wiki) were identified as generally being suitable for re-use for multiple user groups. This highlights the potentiality of GLC reference datasets for multiple uses and public access of existing reference datasets in improving the usability of the datasets outside their intended use.

Secondly, a comparative assessment of thematic accuracies of GLC maps based on an existing reference dataset was conducted. The Globcover-2005 reference dataset was processed to assess and compare Globcover, LC-CCI and MODIS maps for the year 2005. These maps were evaluated from the perspective of several user applications using a weighted accuracy assessment procedure. Overall accuracies of the maps ranged between 61.3 ± 1.5% and 71.4 ± 1.3%. The overall weighted accuracy varied between 80-92% for the considered applications. The latter accuracy is higher because confusions between some classes were deemed inconsequential for the applications considered. To determine fitness of use of GLC maps, accuracy of GLC maps should be assessed per application; there is no single-figure accuracy estimate expressing map fitness for all purposes.

Thirdly, this research assesses the spatial accuracy of Globcover-2009, Land Cover-CCI-2010, MODIS-2010 and Globeland30 in Africa using publicly available GLC reference datasets. Spatial accuracy was modelled by the spatial autocorrelation structures of the local correspondence between map and reference data. Created correspondence maps showed spatial patterns indicating zonal differences in the degree with which different GLC maps matched the reference data. The results showed the potentiality of integrating current GLC maps along with reference data to create an improved GLC map. Different integration methods including geostatistical approaches were tested and assessed by cross-validation. The integration methods based on geostatistical approach resulted in 4.5%–13% higher correspondence with the reference LC than any of the input GLC maps. An improved GLC map was presented based on the based integration method. This GLC map has 10% higher global correspondence with reference LC than the individual input maps.

Figure 1. The integrated GLC map

Lastly, the thematic requirements of different GLC map users was addressed and a concept of producing GLC maps with user-specific legends based on area fraction maps of LC classes is proposed. It is demonstrated by creating GLC maps with user-specific legends from the perspectives of land system modelling and biodiversity assessments. This PhD research demonstrates the importance of accounting for the requirements and perspectives of user applications in validating, comparing and improving GLC maps. The work also includes improving the efficient use of existing GLC reference datasets, comparative accuracy assessment of GLC maps using both the design based and model based approaches as well as presenting an integration method to improve current GLC maps to better meet different application needs.

Land surface impacts on precipitation in the Netherlands
Daniels, E.E. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Bert Holtslag, co-promotor(en): Ronald Hutjes; G. Lenderink. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576674 - 151 p.
precipitation - land surface - land - environmental impact - land use - climatic change - urban areas - weather patterns - netherlands - neerslag - aardoppervlak - milieueffect - landgebruik - klimaatverandering - stedelijke gebieden - weerpatronen - nederland
Dit proefschrift bestudeert de effecten van landgebruiksveranderingen uit het verleden en in de toekomst op neerslag in Nederland door middel van analyses van gemeten regendata en het gebruik van een weermodel.
A new role for forests and the forest sector in the EU post-2020 climate targets
Nabuurs, G.J. ; Delacote, Philippe ; Ellison, David ; Hanewinkel, Marc ; Lindner, Marcus ; Nesbit, Martin ; Ollikainen, Markku ; Savaresi, Annalisa - \ 2015
European Forest Institute (From Science to Policy 2) - ISBN 9789525980202 - 30 p.
forestry - environmental policy - land use - european union - carbon sequestration - forests - biomass production - biobased economy - bosbouw - milieubeleid - landgebruik - europese unie - koolstofvastlegging - bossen - biomassa productie
We are living in a time of accelerated changes and unprecedented global challenges: energy security, natural resource scarcity, biodiversity loss, fossil-resource dependence and climate change. Yet the challenges also demand new solutions and offer new opportunities. The cross-cutting nature of forests and the forest-based sector provides a strong basis to address these interconnected societal challenges, while supporting the development of a European bioeconomy. The |European Forest Institue is an unbiased, science-based international organisation that provides the best forest science knowledge and information for better informed policy making. EFI provides support for decision-takers, policy makers and institutions, bringing together cross-boundery scientific knowledge and expertise to strengthen science-policy dialogue.
Flexibility in land and water use for coping with rainfall variability
Siderius, C. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Ekko van Ierland; Pavel Kabat, co-promotor(en): Petra Hellegers. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576063 - 222
rain - land use - water use - climatic change - food production - sustainable agriculture - irrigation - rainfed agriculture - regen - landgebruik - watergebruik - klimaatverandering - voedselproductie - duurzame landbouw - irrigatie - regenafhankelijke landbouw
Bodembescherming bij doorgangsdepots voor baggerspecie : Verwaarloosbaar bodemrisico met een geochemische barrière
Zoest, R. van; Harmsen, J. ; Groenenberg, B.J. ; Rietra, R.P.J.J. - \ 2015
Bodem 2015 (2015)4. - ISSN 0925-1650 - p. 15 - 17.
baggerspeciedepots - bagger - bodembescherming - landgebruik - risicoanalyse - geochemie - polychloorbifenylen - spoil banks - dredgings - soil conservation - land use - risk analysis - geochemistry - polychlorinated biphenyls
Bij het ontwateren en rijpen van nuttig toepasbare baggerspecie wordt veelvuldig gebruikt gemaakt van doorgangsdepots. Op initiatief van de waterschappen is een alternatief ontwikkeld voor de bodembescherming met behulp van een folie. Met een minerale bodembeschermingslaag kan eveneens een verwaarloosbaar bodemrisico bereikt worden. Een generieke regeling bleek vooralsnog niet haalbaar.
Evaluation of effects of agri-environmental measures on rangeland degradation in two less favoured areas in Portugal
Jones, N.M. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Leo Stroosnijder, co-promotor(en): Jan de Graaff; Luuk Fleskens. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574618 - 154
agrarisch natuurbeheer - extensieve weiden - landdegradatie - milieuafbraak - landgebruik - bedrijfssystemen - portugal - agri-environment schemes - rangelands - land degradation - environmental degradation - land use - farming systems

Evaluation of effects of agri-environmental measures on rangeland degradation in two less-favoured areas in Portugal

Nadia Manuela Jones

In the past decades there have been significant land use changes in Portugal. After the integration of Portugal in the EU, farmers have been able to benefit from EU policy measures, which were initially mainly aimed at supporting farmer’s income. It soon became apparent that these land use changes led to both intensification and abandonment of land, which were detrimental to the environment in various ways, in particular to higher soil erosion hazards and to an increased incidence of wildfire.

The thesis assesses the impact of agro-environmental policies on agro-ecosystem goods and services and land degradation at farm and regional levels in Portugal. It identifies the main land use changes, provides insight in the role of past policy measures targeting the preservation of extensive grazing in marginal areas, and explores the options for the improvement of future policy measures.

First an historical review is provided of land use changes in Portugal and their implications for land degradation and conservation. Thereafter an analysis is made of the farming systems in two less favoured areas in Centro and Alentejo regions, which showed an increasing focus on livestock and rangeland activities. Subsequently an assessment is made of the role of two specific EU agri-environmental measures (AEM) that preserve extensive grazing in these two less-favoured areas in Portugal. Thereby attention is paid to the uptake of these AEMs and to their effects on preserving reduced stocking rates and sufficient soil cover. An analysis is also made of the AEM payments and other EU subsidy flows, and their changes over the period 2005-2009, and of the effectiveness of the financial incentives offered through the two specific AEMS for preserving extensive grazing in the two research areas. Finally a normative analysis is made, whereby the impact of agri-environmental policy is targeted. Through scenario analysis of different combinations of policy measures for the two research areas, the impacts on extensive livestock farm production, soil erosion risk and wildfire hazard are assessed. A final discussion about the respective research results is presented in the synthesis of the thesis.

A data-driven reconstruction of historic land cover/use change of Europe for the period 1900 to 2010
Fuchs, R. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Martin Herold, co-promotor(en): Peter Verburg; Jan Clevers. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574632 - 159
landgebruik - historisch grondgebruik - geschiedenis - geografie - kaarten - europa - land use - land use history - history - geography - maps - europe

The population in Europe almost has doubled within just a little more than 100 years. The related need for food, fibre, water, and shelter led to a tremendous reorganization of the European landscape and its use. These land cover/use changes have far-reaching consequences for many ecosystem processes that directly or indirectly drive the climate on continental and global scale. Different types of land changes lead to different changes in carbon pools. Examples are rapid carbon pool changes due to deforestation or a delayed carbon pool change from long-term uptake of carbon in re-/afforested areas. This time lag of greenhouse gas fluxes requires the consideration of present and past land use change dynamics. To assess the fluxes of present and past land use change dynamics data or model-based reconstructions of historic land cover/use are needed. Historic land cover/use data as input for historic land reconstructions are fragmented, hard to obtain (copyright, secrecy statuses, accessibility, language barriers), difficult to harmonize and to compare. This lack of available data limits historic land change assessments, especially on large scales. Many continental to global historic land cover/use reconstructions provide little detail of change dynamics, have a rather coarse spatial resolution and reconstruct only a few land cover/use classes. Furthermore, most of them consider only the net area difference between two time steps (net changes) instead of accounting for all area gains and losses (gross changes), which leads to serious underestimation of the amount of area subject to change.

This research aimed to reconstruct historic European land cover/use and its changes for the period from 1900 to 2010 addressing some of the shortcomings of previous studies. The main objective of this thesis was to explore new reconstruction methods that improve the spatial and temporal detail and reduce the uncertainty in the estimates at continental level by better using available data sources. The use of available historic data sets as input data for the reconstruction was evaluated. The main objective was achieved by providing a full representation of gross land changes at continental scale in order to capture all major land change processes and their dynamics for Europe throughout the last century. The thesis also explored the implications of those change dynamics on environmental and biogeochemical research, such as climate change research.

In chapter 2 the combination of different data sources, more detailed modelling techniques and the integration of land conversion types was investigated to create accurate, high resolution historic land change data for Europe suited for the needs of greenhouse gas and climate assessments. A method was presented to process historic net land changes consistently on a 1 km spatial resolution for five IPCC land categories (settlement, cropland, grassland, forest and other land) back to the year

1950 for the EU27 plus Switzerland. Existing harmonized land cover/use change data from census data and from remote sensing were intensively used to feed into the reconstruction.

Chapter 3 analysed how historic statistics of encyclopaedias and old topographic maps can improve the accuracy and representation of land cover/use and its changes in historic reconstructions. This study made use of historic statistics and old topographic maps to demonstrate the added value for model-based reconstructions of historic land cover/use for Central Europe back to 1900. The added value was evaluated by performing a reconstruction with and without the historic information. The study showed that a data driven reconstruction for historic land cover/use improved the modelling accuracy in comparison to a traditional model-based reconstruction approach that more strongly relies on assumptions and proxy variables for the spatial allocation and land change trends.

Chapter 4 explored to what extent historic land cover/use reconstructions underestimate land cover/use changes in Europe for the 1900–2010 period by accounting for net changes only. Available historic land-change data were empirically analysed for differences in quantities between gross and net changes. The empirical results of gross change quantities were applied in a spatially explicit reconstruction of historic land change to reconstruct gross changes for Europe back to 1900. Besides, a land-change reconstruction that only accounted for net changes for comparison was created. The two model outputs were compared with five commonly used global reconstructions for the same period and area. The gross change reconstruction led in total to twice the area change of net changes. All global reconstructions used for comparison estimated fewer changes than the gross change reconstruction.

Chapter 5 investigated to what extent historic gross land changes lead to differences in continental carbon flux estimations compared to net land changes. Historic changes of carbon in soils and vegetation in Europe for the period 1950 to 2010 were assessed, while accounting for legacy effects and gross change dynamics with decadal time steps at 1 km spatial resolution. A net land change assessment was performed for comparison to analyse the implications using gross land change data. For areas that were in both reconstructions subject to land changes (35% of total area) the differences in carbon fluxes were about 68%, and highest over forested areas. Overall for Europe the difference between accounting for either gross or net land changes led to 7% difference (up to 11% per decade) in carbon fluxes and systematically higher fluxes for gross land change data as compared to net land change data.

The research conducted in this thesis contributes to the improvement on historic land cover/use reconstructions and gives a harmonized, consistent ‘bigger picture’ of Europe’s land history with high spatial resolution.

Spatial modelling and ecosystem accounting for land use planning: addressing deforestation and oil palm expansion in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
Sumarga, E. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Lars Hein. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574854 - 156
landgebruiksplanning - landgebruik - modelleren - ontbossing - oliepalmen - ecosysteemdiensten - ecosystemen - kalimantan - indonesië - land use planning - land use - modeling - deforestation - oil palms - ecosystem services - ecosystems - indonesia

Ecosystem accounting is a new area of environmental economic accounting that aims to measure ecosystem services in a way that is in line with national accounts. The key characteristics of ecosystem accounting include the extension of the valuation boundary of the System of National Accounts, allowing the inclusion of a broader set of ecosystem services types such regulating services and cultural services. Consistent with the principles of national account, ecosystem accounting focuses on assessment of the contribution of ecosystem in generating benefits for human well-being. Those valuation characteristics allow ecosystem accounting to explicitly visualize the comprehensive values of ecosystem contribution, and integrate them in a standardized national account.

There is a wide range of potential application of ecosystem accounting in natural resource management and environmental preservation. This includes the provision of basic data on the values of multiple ecosystem services (both in terms of physical quantities and monetary values), monitoring ecosystem services dynamics, analyzing impacts of land-use change and land management on the trade-offs of ecosystem services, and development of ecosystem services based land-use planning. Ecosystem accounting approach has also been widely involved in addressing critical environmental issues such as deforestation, GHG emissions, and biodiversity conservation.

Considering the spatial heterogeneity of ecosystem services distribution, spatial analysis is a key element in ecosystem accounting. The availability of spatial information of the values of ecosystem services creates opportunity for a broad range of applications required for land-use planning and management, such as identification of areas with high variability of ecosystem services (often called as ecosystem services hotspots) and areas with high aggregate values of ecosystem services, identification of ecosystem services supply and ecosystem services demand interaction, and analysing the impacts of land-use change on the trade-offs of ecosystem services. Most importantly, spatial information of a comprehensive set of ecosystem services values allows land-use planners to analyse the relationship between any options of land management and the existence of a combination of ecosystem services, hence the best management type which optimize the provision of ecosystem services can be formulated.

The objective of this thesis is to develop an ecosystem services approach to land-use planning through integration of ecosystem accounting and spatial modelling, with a specific case study on deforestation and oil palm expansion in Central Kalimantan Indonesia. The main motivations of this study includes the high rate of deforestation and oil palm expansion in Central Kalimantan, the environmental degradation related to the deforestation such as greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, the uncertainty of provincial land-use planning, and the lack of experiences on the integration of ecosystem accounting in land-use planning.

In chapter 2 of this thesis, seven key ecosystem services (timber production, rattan production, oil palm production, paddy rice production, carbon storage, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat) are assessed and mapped at a provincial scale. The ecosystem services are assessed in term of physical quantities. Three mapping techniques are applied: spatial interpolation, lookup tables, and Maximum Entropy (Maxent) modelling. An ecosystem services based land-use planning is tested using the seven ecosystem services maps to identify areas for oil palm expansion. This study shows that selection of the best spatial modelling technique for ecosystem services mapping highly depends on the availability of input data and the characteristics of spatial distribution of ecosystem services. This study also demonstrates the significant support of spatial information of ecosystem services in provincial land-use planning.

In chapter 3, six ecosystem services mapped in chapter 2 (timber production, rattan production, oil palm production, paddy rice production, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat) are valued in monetary terms. The valuation also includes additional cultural service, i.e. nature recreation. Two valuation methods consistent with the principles of ecosystem accounts are applied: resource rent valuation and costs based approach. The monetary values of ecosystem services are then mapped, allowing analysis on the aggregate values of the seven ecosystem services in different land-use types. This study shows the capability of resource rent valuation in filtering and visualizing the value of ecosystem contribution in providing benefits that have market values, and the applicability of a costs based approach for carbon sequestration valuation. However, application of the cost based approach is considered inappropriate in monetary valuation of biodiversity habitat, and further improvement is required. This study also shows how the trade-offs of ecosystem services from the past and the potential land-use change can be analyzed based on the spatial information of monetary values of ecosystem services.

Chapter 4 of this thesis presents land-use change modelling, with a specific case of modelling oil palm expansion in Central Kalimantan. An integrated deductive inductive modelling is developed, using logistic regression and scenario based modelling. The scenarios used in the modelling consist of two scenarios reflecting the past and the current policies on oil palm expansion, i.e. a business as usual scenario and a moratorium scenario, and one alternative scenario, i.e. the sustainable production scenario, developed based on stakeholder workshop and ecosystem services approach studied in chapter 2. Based on the monetary values of ecosystem services valued and mapped in chapter 3, the societal costs and benefits of oil palm expansion based on the three policy scenarios are then analyzed. The model forecasts the continuation of strong oil palm expansion in the period 2015 – 2020, in particular in case of the business as usual scenario, and forecasts that oil palm expansion would level off in the period 2020 – 2025 in all three scenarios. In the business as usual scenario, this expansion would lead to substantial net costs to society resulting from a loss of ecosystem services, particularly from carbon emission emissions. The sustainable production scenario provides the highest net benefits to society, however, implementation of this scenario requires fundamental change of current land-use policy.

Chapter 5 presents hydrological and economic impacts of oil palm development on peat, with a case study in the ex mega rice project area, Central Kalimantan. Hydrological aspect of oil palm development have not been studied in the previous chapters, and this chapter addresses this aspect through modelling three types of flooding on drained peatland for oil palm: impaired drainability, frequent flooding, and near permanent inundation. The model integrates current knowledge on subsidence rates and drinage limits, and uses a high resolution LiDAR DEM. The results of the model are presented up to 2136. The economic impacts are analysed through two land-use scenarios: the oil palm scenario assuming all peatlands in the study area will be converted into oil palm, and the mix scenario combining natural forest preservation, jelutung forest development and oil palm plantation. This study shows that in 100 years’ time only around 10% of the area would still be suitable for oil palm. This study also shows that under the first scenario, the social costs of carbon emissions considerably outweigh the benefits of oil palm production. In term of private benefits, the mixed land-use option scores better even at the first plantation cycle. The mix land-use scenario also potentially preserve about 84,000 ha habitat for orangutan. This study provides useful inputs for a comprehensive analysis on the sustainability of oil palm development on peatland.

In general this thesis demonstrates the significant contribution of ecosystem accounting and spatial modelling for land-use planning. Valuation methods and spatial modelling techniques developed in this study provide basis for completing ecosystem accounting in Central Kalimantan, with potential applicability in other regions. By addressing the critical environmental issues in Central Kalimantan, i.e. deforestation and oil palm expansion and their environmental and economic impacts, this study contributes to formulate a better land-use management, which facilitates the need for oil palm development while maintaining the provision of important ecosystem services.

Resilience of Amazonian landscapes to agricultural intensification
Jakovac, C.C. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Frans Bongers; Thomas Kuijper, co-promotor(en): Marielos Pena Claros; R.C.G. Mesquita. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574434 - 172
landschap - landschapsecologie - veerkracht van de natuur - intensivering - landbouw - landgebruik - bosecologie - amazonia - landscape - landscape ecology - resilience of nature - intensification - agriculture - land use - forest ecology

ISBN: 978-94-6257-443-4

Author: Catarina C. Jakovac

Title: Resilience of Amazonian landscapes to agricultural intensification

Swidden cultivation is the traditional agricultural system in riverine Amazonia, which supports local livelihoods and transforms landscapes. In the last decades, riverine Amazonia has been undergoing important transformations related to population migration and market integration. In this study I investigated whether these socio-economic transformations could be inducing agricultural intensification and what are the consequences of such intensification for the resilience of the swidden cultivation systems in the region of the middle-Amazonas river, Brazil. This region is one of the largest producers of cassava flour (farinha in Portuguese) in the Brazilian Amazon, which is the local staple food. By combining information from field surveys, farmers interviews and remote sensing time-series, I investigated how agricultural intensification is taking place at the landscape level, and what are the consequences for secondary forests (fallows) regrowth and swiddens productivity.

The results of this study show that swidden cultivation has been intensified in the last three decades, evidenced by an increase in the frequency of swidden-fallow cycles and a decrease in the length of the fallow period, from 9 to 5 years on average. I also found that agricultural intensification was associated to land accessibility and market orientation. Across the region, swiddens are dominated by a single cassava variety that is preferred by the market, reducing the possibilities for adaptation to pests outbreaks and environmental variations. At the field level, repeated swidden-fallow cycles under a short-fallow-period regime (of 5 yrs) leads to a decrease in the recovery capacity of secondary forests (reduced regrowth rate, lower species alpha- and beta-diversity, and changed species composition). Intensification also leads to a reduction in the labour productivity of swiddens (reduced cassava yield and higher weeding labour demand), and consequently in household income.

I found that management-environment feedbacks play a key role in the decrease of swiddens and fallows productivity. The sprouting and persistent species favoured by cutting, burning and weeding practices are slow growing and form secondary forests with limited potential to fertilize the next cropping field and to suppress weeds. This results in a higher demand for weeding, which in itself will further favour strong-sprouting species. Such feedbacks reinforce the adverse effects of intensification on the environment and for livelihoods. Although farmers recognize thresholds for managing resilience, such as the formation of tired lands (terras cansadas in Portuguese), the combination of a low-nutrient-requiring crop, increasing farinha prices and shortage of accessible land, is encouraging farmers to keep on cultivating in already exhausted lands, and is pushing the system over such threshold.

To enhance the resilience of swidden cultivation systems in the context of riverine Amazonia, management-environment feedbacks should be broken and market opportunities should be broadened beyond cassava, to include forest products that can be harvested within the swidden-fallow landscape, such as nuts, fruits and timber from fast-growing species. Thus, the proper management of secondary succession is key for assuring resilience to swidden-fallow landscapes and for promoting the integration of production and nature conservation in human modified landscapes.

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