Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unveiling soil degradation and desertification risk in the Mediterranean basin: a data mining analysis of the relationships between biophysical and socioeconomic factors in agro-forest landscapes
Salvati, L. ; Kosmas, C. ; Kairis, O. ; Karavitis, C. ; Hessel, R. ; Ritsema, C.J. - \ 2015
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 58 (2015)10. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 1789 - 1803.
land-use change - abandonment - erosion - vulnerability - performance - indicators - region - europe - system - spain
Soil degradation and desertification processes in the Mediterranean basin reflect the interplay between environmental and socioeconomic drivers. An approach to evaluate comparatively the multiple relationships between biophysical variables and socioeconomic factors is illustrated in the present study using the data collected from 586 field sites located in five Mediterranean areas (Spain, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco). A total of 47 variables were chosen to illustrate land-use, farm characteristics, population pressure, tourism development, rainfall regime, water availability, soil properties and vegetation cover, among others. A data mining approach incorporating non-parametric inference, principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering was developed to identify candidate syndromes of soil degradation and desertification risk. While field sites in the same study area showed a substantial similarity, the multivariate relationship among variables diverged among study areas. Data mining techniques proved to be a practical tool to identify spatial determinants of soil degradation and desertification risk. Our findings identify the contrasting spatial patterns for biophysical and socioeconomic variables, in turn associated with different responses to land degradation.
An exploratory analysis of land abandonment drivers in areas prone to desertification
Kosmas, C. ; Kairis, O. ; Karavitis, C. ; Hessel, R. ; Ritsema, C.J. - \ 2015
Catena 128 (2015). - ISSN 0341-8162 - p. 252 - 261.
soil-erosion - europe - indicators - patterns - spain - risk
The abandonment of land is a global problemwith environmental and socioeconomic implications. An approach to assess the relationship between land abandonment and a large set of indicators was illustrated in the present study by using data collected in the framework of the European Union DESIRE research project from 808 field sites located in 10 study sites in the Mediterranean region, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. A total of 48 indicators provided information for biophysical conditions and socioeconomic characteristics measured at the plot level. The selected indicators refer to farm characteristics (family status, land tenure, present and previous types of land-use, soil depth, slope gradient, tillage operations) and to site-specific characteristics including annual rainfall, rainfall seasonality and water availability. Classes were designated for each indicator and a sensitivity score was assigned to each class based on existing research or empirically assessing the importance of each indicator to the land abandonment issue. Questionnaires for each process of land degradation were prepared and datawere collected at field site level in collaboration with land users. Based on correlation statistics and multivariate analyses more than ten indicators out of 48 resulted as significant in affecting land abandonment in the studied field sites. Among them, the most important were rainfall seasonality, elderly index, land fragmentation, farm size, selected soil properties, and the level of policy implementation. Results contribute to the development of appropriate tools for assessing the effectiveness of land management practices for contrasting land abandonment.
Evaluation and Selection of Indicators for Land Degradation and Desertification Monitoring: Types of Degradation, Causes, and Implications for Management
Kairis, O. ; Kosmas, C. ; Karavitis, C. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Salvati, L. ; Acikalin, S. ; Alcala, M. ; Alfama, P. ; Atlhopheng, J. ; Barrera, J. ; Belgacem, A. ; Sole-Benet, A. ; Brito, J. ; Chaker, M. ; Chanda, R. ; Coelho, C. ; Darkoh, M. ; Diamantis, I. ; Ermolaeva, O. ; Fassouli, V. ; Fei, W. ; Feng, J. ; Fernandez, F. ; Ferreira, A. ; Gokceoglu, C. ; Gonzalez, D. ; Gungor, H. ; Hessel, R. ; Juying, J. ; Khatteli, H. ; Khitrov, N. ; Kounalaki, A. ; Laouina, A. ; Lollino, P. ; Lopes, M. ; Magole, L. ; Medina, L. ; Mendoza, M. ; Morais, P. ; Mulale, K. ; Ocakoglu, F. ; Ouessar, M. ; Ovalle, C. ; Perez, C. ; Perkins, J. ; Pliakas, F. ; Polemio, M. ; Pozo, A. ; Prat, C. ; Qinke, Y. ; Ramos, A. ; Ramos, J. ; Riquelme, J. ; Romanenkov, V. ; Rui, L. ; Santaloia, F. ; Sebego, R. ; Sghaier, M. ; Silva, N. ; Sizemskaya, M. ; Soares, J. ; Sonmez, H. ; Taamallah, H. ; Tezcan, L. ; Torri, D. ; Ungaro, F. ; Valente, S. ; Vente, J. de; Zagal, E. ; Zeiliguer, A. ; Zhonging, W. ; Ziogas, A. - \ 2014
Environmental Management 54 (2014)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 971 - 982.
region ne spain - tillage erosion - soil displacement - translocation - vulnerability - sensitivity - performance - vegetation - systems - impact
Indicator-based approaches are often used to monitor land degradation and desertification from the global to the very local scale. However, there is still little agreement on which indicators may best reflect both status and trends of these phenomena. In this study, various processes of land degradation and desertification have been analyzed in 17 study sites around the world using a wide set of biophysical and socioeconomic indicators. The database described earlier in this issue by Kosmas and others (Environ Manage, 2013) for defining desertification risk was further analyzed to define the most important indicators related to the following degradation processes: water erosion in various land uses, tillage erosion, soil salinization, water stress, forest fires, and overgrazing. A correlation analysis was applied to the selected indicators in order to identify the most important variables contributing to each land degradation process. The analysis indicates that the most important indicators are: (i) rain seasonality affecting water erosion, water stress, and forest fires, (ii) slope gradient affecting water erosion, tillage erosion and water stress, and (iii) water scarcity soil salinization, water stress, and forest fires. Implementation of existing regulations or policies concerned with resources development and environmental sustainability was identified as the most important indicator of land protection.
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