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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Applying soil health indicators to encourage sustainable soil use : The transition from scientific study to practical application
Griffiths, Bryan S. ; Faber, Jack ; Bloem, Jaap - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)9. - ISSN 2071-1050
Earthworms - Ecosystem services - Monitoring - Soil food web - Water infiltration

The sustainable management of land for agricultural production has at its core a healthy soil, because this reduces the quantity of external inputs, reduces losses of nutrients to the environment, maximises the number of days when the soil can be worked, and has a pore structure that maximises both the retention of water in dry weather and drainage of water in wet weather. Soil health encompasses the physical, chemical, and biological features, but the use of biological indicators is the least well advanced. Sustainability also implies the balanced provision of ecosystem services, which can be more difficult to measure than single indicators. We describe how the key components of the soil food web contribute to a healthy soil and give an overview of the increasing number of scientific studies that have examined the use of biological indicators. A case study is made of the ecosystem service of water infiltration, which is quite an undertaking to measure directly, but which can be inferred from earthworm abundance and biodiversity which is relatively easy to measure. This highlights the difficulty of putting any monitoring scheme into practice and we finish by providing the considerations in starting a new soil health monitoring service in the UK and in maintaining biological monitoring in The Netherlands.

Development and analysis of the Soil Water Infiltration Global database
Rahmati, Mehdi ; Weihermüller, Lutz ; Vanderborght, Jan ; Pachepsky, Yakov A. ; Mao, Lili ; Sadeghi, Seyed Hamidreza ; Moosavi, Niloofar ; Kheirfam, Hossein ; Montzka, Carsten ; Looy, Kris Van; Toth, Brigitta ; Hazbavi, Zeinab ; Yamani, Wafa Al; Albalasmeh, Ammar A. ; Alghzawi, M.Z. ; Angulo-Jaramillo, Rafael ; Antonino, Antônio Celso Dantas ; Arampatzis, George ; Armindo, Robson André ; Asadi, Hossein ; Bamutaze, Yazidhi ; Batlle-Aguilar, Jordi ; Béchet, Béatrice ; Becker, Fabian ; Blöschl, Günter ; Bohne, Klaus ; Braud, Isabelle ; Castellano, Clara ; Cerdà, Artemi ; Chalhoub, Maha ; Cichota, Rogerio ; Císlerová, Milena ; Clothier, Brent ; Coquet, Yves ; Cornelis, Wim ; Corradini, Corrado ; Coutinho, Artur Paiva ; Oliveira, Muriel Bastista De; Macedo, José Ronaldo De; Durães, Matheus Fonseca ; Emami, Hojat ; Eskandari, Iraj ; Farajnia, Asghar ; Flammini, Alessia ; Fodor, Nándor ; Gharaibeh, Mamoun ; Ghavimipanah, Mohamad Hossein ; Ghezzehei, Teamrat A. ; Giertz, Simone ; Hatzigiannakis, Evangelos G. ; Horn, Rainer ; Jiménez, Juan José ; Jacques, Diederik ; Keesstra, Saskia Deborah ; Kelishadi, Hamid ; Kiani-Harchegani, Mahboobeh ; Kouselou, Mehdi ; Jha, Madan Kumar ; Lassabatere, Laurent ; Li, Xiaoyan ; Liebig, Mark A. ; Lichner, Lubomír ; López, María Victoria ; Machiwal, Deepesh ; Mallants, Dirk ; Mallmann, Micael Stolben ; Oliveira Marques, Jean Dalmo De; Marshall, Miles R. ; Mertens, Jan ; Meunier, Félicien ; Mohammadi, Mohammad Hossein ; Mohanty, Binayak P. ; Pulido-Moncada, Mansonia ; Montenegro, Suzana ; Morbidelli, Renato ; Moret-Fernández, David ; Moosavi, Ali Akbar ; Mosaddeghi, Mohammad Reza ; Mousavi, Seyed Bahman ; Mozaffari, Hasan ; Nabiollahi, Kamal ; Neyshabouri, Mohammad Reza ; Ottoni, Marta Vasconcelos ; Ottoni Filho, Theophilo Benedicto ; Pahlavan-Rad, Mohammad Reza ; Panagopoulos, Andreas ; Peth, Stephan ; Peyneau, Pierre Emmanuel ; Picciafuoco, Tommaso ; Poesen, Jean ; Pulido, Manuel ; Reinert, Dalvan José ; Reinsch, Sabine ; Rezaei, Meisam ; Roberts, Francis Parry ; Robinson, David ; Rodrigo-Comino, Jesüs ; Rotunno Filho, Otto Corrêa ; Saito, Tadaomi ; Suganuma, Hideki ; Saltalippi, Carla ; Sándor, Renáta ; Schütt, Brigitta ; Seeger, Manuel ; Sepehrnia, Nasrollah ; Sharifi Moghaddam, Ehsan ; Shukla, Manoj ; Shutaro, Shiraki ; Sorando, Ricardo ; Stanley, Ajayi Asishana ; Strauss, Peter ; Su, Zhongbo ; Taghizadeh-Mehrjardi, Ruhollah ; Taguas, Encarnación ; Teixeira, Wenceslau Geraldes ; Vaezi, Ali Reza ; Vafakhah, Mehdi ; Vogel, Tomas ; Vogeler, Iris ; Votrubova, Jana ; Werner, Steffen ; Winarski, Thierry ; Yilmaz, Deniz ; Young, Michael H. ; Zacharias, Steffen ; Zeng, Yijian ; Zhao, Ying ; Zhao, Hong ; Vereecken, Harry - \ 2018
Earth System Science Data 10 (2018)3. - ISSN 1866-3508 - p. 1237 - 1263.

In this paper, we present and analyze a novel global database of soil infiltration measurements, the Soil Water Infiltration Global (SWIG) database. In total, 5023 infiltration curves were collected across all continents in the SWIG database. These data were either provided and quality checked by the scientists who performed the experiments or they were digitized from published articles. Data from 54 different countries were included in the database with major contributions from Iran, China, and the USA. In addition to its extensive geographical coverage, the collected infiltration curves cover research from 1976 to late 2017. Basic information on measurement location and method, soil properties, and land use was gathered along with the infiltration data, making the database valuable for the development of pedotransfer functions (PTFs) for estimating soil hydraulic properties, for the evaluation of infiltration measurement methods, and for developing and validating infiltration models. Soil textural information (clay, silt, and sand content) is available for 3842 out of 5023 infiltration measurements (∼76%) covering nearly all soil USDA textural classes except for the sandy clay and silt classes. Information on land use is available for 76ĝ€% of the experimental sites with agricultural land use as the dominant type (∼40%). We are convinced that the SWIG database will allow for a better parameterization of the infiltration process in land surface models and for testing infiltration models. All collected data and related soil characteristics are provided online in ∗.xlsx and ∗.csv formats for reference, and we add a disclaimer that the database is for public domain use only and can be copied freely by referencing it. Supplementary data are available at https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.885492 (Rahmati et al., 2018). Data quality assessment is strongly advised prior to any use of this database. Finally, we would like to encourage scientists to extend and update the SWIG database by uploading new data to it.

Understanding the spontaneous spreading of stone bunds in Ethiopia : Implications for sustainable land management
Abi, Meskerem ; Kessler, Aad ; Oosterveer, Peter ; Tolossa, Degefa - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)8. - ISSN 2071-1050
Ethiopia - Integrated farm management - Mass mobilization - Spontaneous spreading and adoption - Stone bunds - Sustainable land management

This study deals with the spontaneous spreading of stone bunds in the central Ethiopian highlands, i.e., the adoption and implementation of stone bunds by farmers on their own initiative. The study tests the hypothesis that spontaneously implemented stone bunds, as compared to stone bunds implemented by mass mobilization campaigns, are more integrated with other land management practices and lead to higher yields. Data are collected in the Girar Jarso woreda through field observations and household surveys. Descriptive statistics are used to analyze and test the data at 1% and 5% probability levels. Results show that stone bunds are spontaneously implemented mainly on farmlands located nearby the homesteads where farmers perceive severe erosion, poor soil fertility and steep slope gradients. Compared to stone bunds implemented by mass mobilization, spontaneously implemented stone bunds are perceived as better maintained, more frequently modified to fit the farming system and better integrated with soil fertility management practices, such as applying fertilizer, compost and manure. Particularly, this better integration with other practices is very important, because it makes stone bunds more effective in reducing erosion, leading to beneficial effects on soil moisture and soil productivity, as perceived by farmers. The study, therefore, suggests that the mass mobilization campaign should use a more participatory and integrated approach, in which there is ample space for awareness raising and learning concerning the benefits of integrated farm management, and in which farmers themselves have a leading role in the decision on where to construct stone bunds. Such a strategy will lead to more sustainable impact on soil fertility and food security than the current top-down intervention approach.

Local agroforestry practices for food and nutrition security of smallholder farm households in southwestern Ethiopia
Jemal, Omarsherif ; Callo-Concha, Daniel ; Noordwijk, Meine van - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)8. - ISSN 2071-1050
Food and non-food benefit - Homegarden - Multi-functionality - Multipurpose tree on farmland - Multistorey coffee system - Traditional agroforestry - Yayu Biosphere Reserve

Food and nutrition security (FNS) rests on five pillars: availability, access, utilization, stability, and sovereignty. We assessed the potentials of local agroforestry practices (AFPs) for enabling FNS for smallholders in the Yayu Biosphere Reserve (southwestern Ethiopia). Data was collected from 300 households in a stratified random sampling scheme through semi-structured interviews and farm inventory. Utility, edibility, and marketability value were the key parameters used to determine the potential of plants in the AFPs. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and correlation analysis were employed to determine the form, variation, and association of local AFP attributes. Homegarden, multistorey-coffee-system, and multipurpose-trees-on-farmlands are the predominant AFPs in Yayu. Multipurpose-trees-on-farmlands are used mainly for food production, multistorey-coffee-system for income-generation, and homegarden for both. The 127 useful plant species identified represent 10 major plant utility groups, with seven (food, fodder, fuel, coffee-shade, timber, non-timber-forest-products, and medicinal uses) found in all three AFPs. In total, 80 edible species were identified across all AFPs, with 55 being primarily cultivated for household food supply. Generally, household income emanates from four major sources, multistorey-coffee-system (60%), homegarden (18%), multipurpose-trees-on-farmlands (13%), and off-farm activities (11%). Given this variation in form, purpose, and extracted benefits, existing AFPs in Yayu support the FNS of smallholders in multiple ways.

Facilitating change for climate-smart agriculture through science-policy engagement
Dinesh, Dhanush ; Zougmore, Robert B. ; Vervoort, Joost ; Totin, Edmond ; Thornton, Phillip K. ; Solomon, Dawit ; Shirsath, Paresh B. ; Pede, Valerien O. ; Lopez Noriega, Isabel ; Läderach, Peter ; Körner, Jana ; Hegger, Dries ; Girvetz, Evan H. ; Friis, Anette E. ; Driessen, Peter P.J. ; Campbell, Bruce M. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)8. - ISSN 2071-1050
Adaptation - Agricultural research for development - Agriculture - Climate change - Climate-smart agriculture - Food security - Mitigation - Science-policy engagement - Science-policy interface

Climate change impacts on agriculture have become evident, and threaten the achievement of global food security. On the other hand, the agricultural sector itself is a cause of climate change, and if actions are not taken, the sector might impede the achievement of global climate goals. Science-policy engagement efforts are crucial to ensure that scientific findings from agricultural research for development inform actions of governments, private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international development partners, accelerating progress toward global goals. However, knowledge gaps on what works limit progress. In this paper, we analyzed 34 case studies of science-policy engagement efforts, drawn from six years of agricultural research for development efforts around climate-smart agriculture by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Based on lessons derived from these case studies, we critically assessed and refined the program theory of the CCAFS program, leading to a revised and improved program theory for science-policy engagement for agriculture research for development under climate change. This program theory offers a pragmatic pathway to enhance credibility, salience and legitimacy of research, which relies on engagement (participatory and demand-driven research processes), evidence (building scientific credibility while adopting an opportunistic and flexible approach) and outreach (effective communication and capacity building).

Exploring the sustainability of the cooperative model in dairy : The case of the Netherlands
Bijman, Jos - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)7. - ISSN 2071-1050
Cooperative - Countervailing power - Dairy - History - Institutional environment - Mergers - Strategy - The Netherlands - Transaction cost

Dairy cooperatives have existed in the Netherlands for more than 130 years. They hold a joint market share of more than 80% since the 1950s. This suggests that cooperatives are durable organizations in the dairy industry of the Netherlands. However, the number of dairy cooperatives has declined tremendously, with only five processing cooperatives left in 2015. The paper explores the paradox of high cooperative market share over a long period of time with a steady decline in the number of cooperatives. This historical account of the Dutch dairy industry distinguishes four periods of cooperative evolution. Classical theoretical explanations for the existence of cooperatives, such as bargaining power and transaction costs economics, can explain the rise of dairy cooperatives. However, they cannot sufficiently explain the long term success of the cooperative model in the Dutch dairy industry. Additional explanations can be found in institutional theory, including the impact of an enabling institutional environment.

Environmental impacts of experimental production of lactic acid for bioplastics from Ulva spp
Helmes, Roel J.K. ; López-Contreras, Ana M. ; Benoit, Maud ; Abreu, Helena ; Maguire, Julie ; Moejes, Fiona ; Burg, Sander W.K. van den - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)7. - ISSN 2071-1050
Bioplastics - Lactic acid - Life Cycle Assessment - Seaweed - Ulva spp

An exploratory Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was carried out to provide insight into the environmental impacts of using the green seaweed Ulva spp. as a feedstock, for production of bioplastic. The study focused on the production of lactic acid as a precursor of polylactic acid. The study was on the production process: (1) The cultivation of Ulva spp., in an Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture system; (2) the processing of the biomass for solubilization of sugars; (3) the fermentation of the sugars to lactic acid; (4) the isolation of lactic acid from fermentation broth. The study identified environmental hotspots and compared an experimental seaweed production chain with conventional feedstocks. The main hotspot is derived from electricity consumption during seaweed cultivation. The impact of electricity consumption can be lowered by reducing energy use and sourcing renewable energy, and by improving the material efficiency in the product chain. To improve understanding of the process of production's environmental impacts, future studies should broaden the system boundaries and scope of sustainability issues included in the environmental assessment.

Strategies for dealing with uncertainties in strategic environmental assessment : An analytical framework illustrated with case studies from The Netherlands
Bodde, Maartje ; Wel, Karin van der; Driessen, Peter ; Wardekker, Arjan ; Runhaar, Hens - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)7. - ISSN 2071-1050
Effectiveness - Environmental assessment - Governance - Uncertainty

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is a widely applied policy tool that aims to aid decision-makers in making informed, higher-quality decisions that minimize negative environmental impacts. However, different types of uncertainties complicate the ex ante assessment of environmental impacts. Literature suggests uncertainties are often not well addressed, resulting in inaccurate and even unreliable SEAs. At the same time, SEA literature offers limited guidance in how to systematically identify and deal with uncertainties. Therefore, in this paper, we present an analytical framework for characterizing and classifying different forms of uncertainty in SEA, and for identifying strategies for dealing with these uncertainties. The framework is based on literature on uncertainties in other subdomains of the environmental sciences. The framework is applied to five case studies of SEAs for spatial planning in The Netherlands in order to illustrate and critically reflect on our framework, and to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Based on these case studies we concluded the following: (1) The framework is useful for identifying uncertainties in SEA in a systematic way; (2) There is a discrepancy between how uncertainties are dealt with in theory and in practice; (3) In practice, uncertainties seem to be dealt with in a rather implicit way. The framework may help dealing with uncertainties more systematically and more proactively; (4) The most successful way of coping with uncertainties seems to be the application of multiple strategies.

Corporate social responsibility and operational inefficiency : A dynamic approach
Guillamon-Saorin, Encarna ; Kapelko, Magdalena ; Stefanou, Spiro E. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)7. - ISSN 2071-1050
Corporate social responsibility - Data envelopment analysis - Dynamic technical inefficiency - Operational inefficiency

It is yet to be determined whether the firms' operational inefficiency is reflected on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) engagement approach. This paper aims to examine this association and specifically analyzes to which of the dimensions of CSR operational inefficiency is more closely related. Operational inefficiency is assessed using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) via dynamic inefficiency approach that accounts for the confounding role of adjustment costs related with firms' investments. Using a sample of U.S. firms in a variety of sectors from 2004 to 2015, we find that lower dynamic inefficiency occurs in firms with a higher commitment to CSR activities. We also find that dynamic inefficiency is negatively related to firms' engagement in social and corporate governance dimensions of CSR, whereas it is positively associated with the environmental dimension of CSR. In addition, dynamically inefficient companies have higher level of CSR concerns and lower of CSR strengths. The results are robust to endogeneity issues.

QTL mapping in diploid potato by using selfed progenies of the cross S. tuberosum × S. chacoense
Meijer, D. ; Viquez-Zamora, M. ; Eck, H.J. van; Hutten, R.C.B. ; Su, Y. ; Rothengatter, R. ; Visser, R.G.F. ; Lindhout, W.H. ; Heusden, A.W. van - \ 2018
Euphytica 214 (2018)7. - ISSN 0014-2336
Diploid potato - Homozygosity - Inbreeding - Self-compatibility

Usually, mapping studies in potato are performed with segregating populations from crosses between highly heterozygous diploid or tetraploid parents. These studies are hampered by a high level of genetic background noise due to the numerous segregating alleles, with a maximum of eight per locus. In the present study, we aimed to increase the mapping efficiency by using progenies from diploid inbred populations in which at most two alleles segregate. Selfed progenies were generated from a cross between S. tuberosum (D2; a highly heterozygous diploid) and S. chacoense (DS; a homozygous diploid clone) containing the self-incompatibility overcoming S locus inhibitor (Sli-gene). The Sli-gene enables self-pollination and the generation of selfed progenies. One F2 population was used to map several quality traits, such as tuber shape, flesh and skin color. Quantitative trait loci were identified for almost all traits under investigation. The identified loci partially coincided with known mapped loci and partially identified new loci. Nine F3 populations were used to validate the QTLs and monitor the overall increase in the homozygosity level.

Addressing climate change in Responsible Research and Innovation : Recommendations for its operationalization
Ligardo-Herrera, Ivan ; Gómez-Navarro, Tomás ; Inigo, Edurne A. ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2071-1050
Climate change - Corporate social responsibility - Responsible research and innovation - Sustainable innovation

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has only lately included environmental sustainability as a key area for the social desirability of research and innovation. That is one of the reasons why just a few RRI projects and proposals include environmental sustainability, and Climate Change (CC) in particular. CC is one of the grand challenges of our time and, thus, this paper contributes to the operationalization of CC prevention in RRI. To this end, the tools employed against CC were identified. Tools originated in corporate social responsibility and sustainable innovation which help to operationalize strategies against CC in RRI practice. Complementarily, the latest proposals by RRI projects and actors related to CC were reviewed. The findings of the document analysis and the web review were arranged in a framework intended for research and innovation that has an indirect but relevant negative impact due to CC. Thus, four main strategies for CC prevention in RRI were determined: a voluntary integration of the aims, a life cycle perspective, open access databases and key performance indicators, and stakeholder management. The article is finished acknowledging diverse barriers hindering the operationalization of CC prevention in RRI, and we introduce future avenues for research in this area.

Institutional perspectives of climate-smart agriculture : A systematic literature review
Totin, Edmond ; Segnon, Alcade C. ; Schut, Marc ; Affognon, Hippolyte ; Zougmoré, Robert B. ; Rosenstock, Todd ; Thornton, Philip K. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2071-1050
Adaptation - Climate-smart agriculture - Institutions - Mitigation - Systematic review

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is increasingly seen as a promising approach to feed the growing world population under climate change. The review explored how institutional perspectives are reflected in the CSA literature. In total, 137 publications were analyzed using institutional analysis framework, of which 55.5% make specific reference to institutional dimensions. While the CSA concept encompasses three pillars (productivity, adaptation, and mitigation), the literature has hardly addressed them in an integrated way. The development status of study sites also seems to influence which pillars are promoted. Mitigation was predominantly addressed in high-income countries, while productivity and adaptation were priorities for middle and low-income countries. Interest in institutional aspects has been gradual in the CSA literature. It has largely focused on knowledge infrastructure, market structure, and hard institutional aspects. There has been less attention to understand whether investments in physical infrastructure and actors' interaction, or how historical, political, and social context may influence the uptake of CSA options. Rethinking the approach to promoting CSA technologies by integrating technology packages and institutional enabling factors can provide potential opportunities for effective scaling of CSA options.

Transformative leadership and contextual change
Grin, John ; Hassink, Jan ; Karadzic, Vanja ; Moors, Ellen H.M. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)7. - ISSN 2071-1050
Innovation systems - Leadership - Relational leadership - Transformative leadership - Transitions - Value co-creation

Transitions to deal with the grand challenges of contemporary societies require novel kinds of leadership, which can both stimulate novel organizational practices and changes in practices and structures in the organization's context. This article seeks to understand how (changes in) the external structural context may influence organizational-internal transformative leadership and vice versa, and what kind of work is implied in leadership to transform current business models. It uses notions from literature on relational leadership and transformative leadership as sensitizing concepts. It then explores the leadership work in two case studies, on fishing in Portugal and care farming in the Netherlands. We find a dialectic interplay of the interactions between leaders and others on the one hand, and contextual changes on the other. Using a system-building perspective from innovation system literature, that interaction is driven by the quest to establish legitimacy and market formation and acceptance, knowledge and other resources for innovations.

Is land fragmentation facilitating or obstructing adoption of climate adaptation measures in Ethiopia?
Cholo, Tesfaye C. ; Fleskens, Luuk ; Sietz, Diana ; Peerlings, Jack - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)7. - ISSN 2071-1050
Adaptation - Gamo Highlands - Land fragmentation - Sustainable land management

Land fragmentation is high and increasing in the Gamo Highlands of southwest Ethiopia. We postulate that this substantial land fragmentation is obstructing the adoption of sustainable land management practices as climate adaptation measures. To explore this, a mixed method study was conducted with emphasis on a multivariate probit model. The results indicate that farmers adapt to climate change and variability they perceive. According to the probit model, there is no clear answer to the question whether land fragmentation facilitates or obstructs adoption of sustainable land management practices. Yet, a qualitative analysis found that farmers perceive land fragmentation as an obstacle to land improvement as adaptation strategy. Moreover, farmers invest more in land improvement on plots close to their homestead than in remote plots. However, the higher land fragmentation also promoted crop diversification, manure application and terracing. Although exogenous to farmers, we therefore suggest that land fragmentation can be deployed in climate change adaptation planning. This can be done through voluntary assembling of small neighboring plots in clusters of different microclimates to encourage investment in remote fields and to collectively optimize the benefits of fragmentation to adaptation.

Socially-Inclusive Development and Value Creation: How a Composting Project in Galicia (Spain) ‘Hit the Rocks’
Swagemakers, Paul ; Dominguez Garcia, Maria Dolores ; Wiskerke, J.S.C. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2071-1050
This paper introduces the concept of commoning in circular economies, and explores how commons reproduce over time. The starting point is that commoning can have an important role in fostering circular economies and sustainable and socially-inclusive development. By commoning, we refer to local stakeholders working collectively to preserve or restore their natural resource base to generate benefits that are locally shared. Through the analysis of a specific case of a group of commoners’ associations in Galicia (Spain), the paper describes and discusses the development, and ultimate unravelling, of an innovative and decentralized waste management project to convert waste biomass from the monte (often-neglected upland green spaces, largely consisting of brush and trees) into compost. In order to make this composting project economically viable the possibility of collecting and processing urban green waste was also explored. While the project’s application of the principles of a circular economy had the potential to bring locally-shared economic and ecological benefits, and foster territorial prosperity and resilience, it was ultimately frustrated by questions of scale, administrative and regulatory barriers, competing and conflicting land-use claims and financial cutbacks in the public sector.
Does property rights integrity improve tenure security? Evidence from China's forest reform
Zhou, Yuepeng ; Ma, Xianlei ; Ji, Dengyan ; Heerink, Nico ; Shi, Xiaoping ; Liu, Hongbin - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2071-1050
Forest tenure reform - Land expropriation - Land reallocation - Property rights integrity - Tenure security

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of land property rights integrity, subdivided into use rights, mortgage rights, and transfer rights, on household perceptions of long-term tenure security in China. To this end, we establish a theoretical framework that links China's collective forest tenure reforms undertaken since 2003 to property rights integrity and two sources of tenure (in)security based on property rights theory: forestland reallocation and expropriation. Probit models are applied in the empirical analysis to household data collected in Jiangxi province in 2011 and 2013. The results indicate that household perceptions of tenure insecurity resulting from forestland reallocation expectations are affected by transfer rights, whereas household perceptions of insecurity resulting from forestland expropriation expectations are not affected by forestland rights. We thus suggest that it is crucial for policymakers to identify the sources of local property rights insecurity before they take steps to strengthen land tenure security. This paper contributes to the available literature on the relationship between property rights integrity and tenure security by identifying different sources of tenure insecurity, emphasizing the effect of property rights integrity on long-term tenure security, and taking into account the potential endogeneity problem.

Climate change sensitivity of multi-species afforestation in semi-arid Benin
Noulèkoun, Florent ; Khamzina, Asia ; Naab, Jesse B. ; Khasanah, N. ; Noordwijk, Meine van; Lamers, John P.A. - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2071-1050
Climate sensitivity indices - Jatropha curcas - Land degradation - Moringa oleifera - Sapling growth - WaNuLCAS - West Africa

The early growth stage is critical in the response of trees to climate change and variability. It is not clear, however, what climate metrics are best to define the early-growth sensitivity in assessing adaptation strategies of young forests to climate change. Using a combination of field experiments and modelling, we assessed the climate sensitivity of two promising afforestation species, Jatropha curcas L. and Moringa oleifera Lam., by analyzing their predicted climate-growth relationships in the initial two years after planting on degraded cropland in the semi-arid zone of Benin. The process-based WaNuLCAS model (version 4.3, World Agroforestry Centre, Bogor, Indonesia) was used to simulate aboveground biomass growth for each year in the climate record (1981-2016), either as the first or as the second year of tree growth. Linear mixed models related the annual biomass growth to climate indicators, and climate sensitivity indices quantified climate-growth relationships. In the first year, the length of dry spells had the strongest effect on tree growth. In the following year, the annual water deficit and length of dry season became the strongest predictors. Simulated rooting depths greater than those observed in the experiments enhanced biomass growth under extreme dry conditions and reduced sapling sensitivity to drought. Projected increases in aridity implied significant growth reduction, but a multi-species approach to afforestation using species that are able to develop deep-penetrating roots should increase the resilience of young forests to climate change. The results illustrate that process-based modelling, combined with field experiments, can be effective in assessing the climate-growth relationships of tree species.

Integrating irrigation and drainage management to sustain agriculture in northern Iran
Darzi-Naftchali, Abdullah ; Ritzema, Henk - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2071-1050
Alternate wetting and drying - Canola - Drain discharge - Midseason drainage - Nitrate and phosphorus losses - Paddy - Salinity - Subsurface drainage

In Iran, as in the rest of the world, land and water for agricultural production is under pressure. Integrating irrigation and drainage management may help sustain intensified agriculture in irrigated paddy fields. This study was aimed to investigate the long-term effects of such management strategies in a newly subsurface drained paddy field in a pilot area in Mazandaran Province, northern Iran. Three strategies for managing subsurface drainage systems were tested, i.e., free drainage (FD), midseason drainage (MSD), and alternate wetting and drying (AWD). The pilot area consisted of subsurface drainage systems, with different combinations of drain depth (0.65 and 0.90 m) and spacing (15 and 30 m). The traditional surface drainage of the region's consolidated paddy fields was the control. From 2011 to 2017, water table depth, subsurface drainage system outflow and nitrate, total phosphorous, and salinity levels of the drainage effluent were monitored during four rice- and five canola-growing seasons. Yield data was also collected. MSD and AWD resulted in significantly lower drainage rates, salt loads, and N losses compared to FD, with MSD having the lowest rates. Phosphorus losses were low for all three practices. However, AWD resulted in 36% higher rice yields than MSD. Subsurface drainage resulted in a steady increase in canola yield, from 0.89 ton ha-1 in 2011-2012 to 2.94 ton ha-1 in 2016-2017. Overall, it can be concluded that managed subsurface drainage can increase both water productivity and crop yield in poorly drained paddy fields, and at the same time reduce or minimize negative environmental effects, especially the reduction of salt and nutrient loads in the drainage effluent. Based on the results, shallow subsurface drainage combined with appropriate irrigation and drainage management can enable sustained agricultural production in northern Iran's paddy fields.

Contrasting regional habitats for urban sustainability experimentation in Europe
Heiligenberg, Harm van den; Heimeriks, Gaston ; Hekkert, Marko ; Raven, Rob ; Sol, Jifke - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)5. - ISSN 2071-1050
Countercultures - Experimentation - Geography of transitions - Regional innovation - Sustainability

The sustainability challenge requires experimentation with innovations, followed by an upscaling process towards a broader regime change in the long term. In Europe we observe various regional hotspots for sustainability experimentation which suggests that there are favorable spatial contexts. Little is known about why different kinds of experiments flourish or fail in various spatial contexts. In this paper we explore these contexts by using the habitat concept. A habitat is regarded as the configuration of favorable local and regional context factors for experimentation. To capture the diversity of these habitats we have constructed archetypical experimentation patterns. These patterns are built up of five dimensions: knowledge, governance, informal institutions, regional innovation advantages, and social learning. In a comparative case study in four city regions in Europe we find a large contrast in habitats. Countercultures play an important role, as they shape a beneficial context for experimentation through alternative ideas and lifestyles. We also find indications that it is important that a combination of several habitat factors is present, and that these factors have aligned and evolved over several years of experimentation, thus leading to a more mature habitat. The research suggests that regional stakeholders can positively influence most of the habitat factors shaping future upscaling. However, there are also some important factors, such as regional knowledge and skills, which have a path-dependent nature and are more difficult to improve in the short term.

Assessing the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation effect of removing bovine trypanosomiasis in Eastern Africa
MacLeod, Michael ; Eory, Vera ; Wint, William ; Shaw, Alexandra ; Gerber, Pierre J. ; Cecchi, Giuliano ; Mattioli, Raffaele ; Sykes, Alasdair ; Robinson, Timothy - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)5. - ISSN 2071-1050
Cattle health - Climate change - GLEAM - Livestock modelling - Sustainable intensification

Increasing the production of meat and milk within sub-Saharan Africa should provide significant food security benefits. However, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions represent a challenge, as cattle production in the region typically has high emissions intensity (EI), i.e., high rates of GHG emissions per unit of output. The high EI is caused by the relatively low production efficiencies in the region, which are in turn partly due to endemic cattle diseases. In theory, improved disease control should increase the efficiency and decrease the emissions intensity of livestock production; however quantitative analysis of the potential GHG mitigation effects of improved disease control in Africa is lacking. This paper seeks to respond to this by using a hybrid modelling approach to quantify the production and emissions effects of removing trypanosomiasis from East African cattle production systems. The emissions are quantified for each cattle production system using an excel version of GLEAM, the Food and Agriculture Organization's Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model. The results indicate that removing trypanosomiasis leads to a reduction in the emissions intensity per unit of protein produced of between 0% and 8%, driven mainly by the increases in milk yields and cow fertility rates. Despite the limitations, it is argued that the approach provides considerable scope for modelling the GHG impacts of disease interventions.

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