Advancements in effect-based surface water quality assessment
Baat, M.L. De; Oost, R. Van der; Lee, G.H. Van der; Wieringa, N. ; Hamers, T. ; Verdonschot, P.F.M. ; Voogt, P. De; Kraak, M.H.S. - \ 2020
Water Research 183 (2020). - ISSN 0043-1354
Agriculture - Bioassay battery - Micropollutants - Passive sampling - Wastewater - Water quality monitoring
Legally-prescribed chemical monitoring is unfit for determining the pollution status of surface waters, and there is a need for improved assessment methods that consider the aggregated risk of all bioavailable micropollutants present in the aquatic environment. Therefore, the present study aimed to advance effect-based water quality assessment by implementing methodological improvements and to gain insight into contamination source-specific bioanalytical responses. Passive sampling of non-polar and polar organic compounds and metals was applied at 14 surface water locations that were characterized by two major anthropogenic contamination sources, agriculture and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent, as well as reference locations with a low expected impact from micropollutants. Departing from the experience gained in previous studies, a battery of 20 in vivo and in vitro bioassays was composed and subsequently exposed to the passive sampler extracts. Next, the bioanalytical responses were divided by their respective effect-based trigger values to obtain effect-based risk quotients, which were summed per location. These cumulative ecotoxicological risks were lowest for reference locations (4.3–10.9), followed by agriculture locations (11.3–27.2) and the highest for WWTP locations (12.8–47.7), and were mainly driven by polar organic contaminants. The bioanalytical assessment of the joint risks of metals and (non-)polar organic compounds resulted in the successful identification of pollution source-specific ecotoxicological risk profiles: none of the bioassays were significantly associated with reference locations nor with multiple location types, while horticulture locations were significantly characterized by anti-AR and anti-PR activity and cytotoxicity, and WWTP sites by ERα activity and toxicity in the in vivo bioassays. It is concluded that the presently employed advanced effect-based methods can readily be applied in surface water quality assessment and that the integration of chemical- and effect-based monitoring approaches will foster future-proof water quality assessment strategies on the road to a non-toxic environment.
Nitrogen surplus-a unified indicator for water pollution in Europe?
Klages, Susanne ; Heidecke, Claudia ; Osterburg, Bernhard ; Bailey, John ; Calciu, Irina ; Casey, Clare ; Dalgaard, Tommy ; Frick, Hanna ; Glavan, Matjaž ; Haene, Karoline D'; Hofman, Georges ; Leitão, Inês Amorim ; Surdyk, Nicolas ; Verloop, Koos ; Velthof, Gerard - \ 2020
Water 12 (2020)4. - ISSN 2073-4441
Agriculture - Drinking water - Nitrates - Nitrogen balance - Nitrogen budget - Water pollution
Pollution of ground-and surface waters with nitrates from agricultural sources poses a risk to drinking water quality and has negative impacts on the environment. At the national scale, the gross nitrogen budget (GNB) is accepted as an indicator of pollution caused by nitrates. There is, however, little common EU-wide knowledge on the budget application and its comparability at the farm level for the detection of ground-and surface water pollution caused by nitrates and the monitoring of mitigation measures. Therefore, a survey was carried out among experts of various European countries in order to assess the practice and application of fertilization planning and nitrogen budgeting at the farm level and the differences between countries within Europe. While fertilization planning is practiced in all of the fourteen countries analyzed in this paper, according to current legislation, nitrogen budgets have to be calculated only in Switzerland, Germany and Romania. The survey revealed that methods of fertilization planning and nitrogen budgeting at the farm level are not unified throughout Europe. In most of the cases where budgets are used regularly (Germany, Romania, Switzerland), standard values for the chemical composition of feed, organic fertilizers, animal and plant products are used. The example of the Dutch Annual Nutrient Cycling Assessment (ANCA) tool (and partly of the Suisse Balance) shows that it is only by using farm-specific "real" data that budgeting can be successfully applied to optimize nutrient flows and increase N efficiencies at the farm level. However, this approach is more elaborate and requires centralized data processing under consideration of data protection concerns. This paper concludes that there is no unified indicator for nutrient management and water quality at the farm level. A comparison of regionally calculated nitrogen budgets across European countries needs to be interpreted carefully, as methods as well as data and emission factors vary across countries. For the implementation of EU nitrogen-related policies-notably, the Nitrates Directive-nutrient budgeting is currently ruled out as an entry point for legal requirements. In contrast, nutrient budgets are highlighted as an environment indicator by the OECD and EU institutions.
Microbial symbionts of herbivorous species across the insect tree
Frago, Enric ; Zytynska, Sharon E. ; Fatouros, Nina E. - \ 2020
In: Mechanisms Underlying Microbial Symbiosis / Oliver, Kerry M., Russell, Jacob A., Academic Press Inc. (Advances in Insect Physiology ) - ISBN 9780081029879 - p. 111 - 159.
Agriculture - Global warming - Hemimetabola - Holometabola - Horizontal gene transfer - Nutrient provisioning - Plant cell wall degradation - Plant defences - Virus transmission
Microbes play crucial roles in the biology of herbivorous insects, and the last decade has provided exciting new evidence for a prominent role of microbial symbiosis in detoxification of plant toxins, manipulation of plant defences and defence against natural enemies. We provide an order by order update of symbioses across herbivorous insects, particularly focusing on recent published evidence, and on how symbionts interact with the defensive system of the plant. While the hemimetabolous Hemiptera order largely relies on obligatory microbial symbioses, we did not find such a close relationship between symbionts and hosts in the other three orders Orthoptera, Phasmatodea and Thysanoptera. These three orders mostly harbour transient gut symbionts and/or rely on laterally transferred genes from microbes. Despite the radical changes and harsh conditions during metamorphosis, numerous holometabolous species transmit symbionts vertically and show close associations with both intra- and extracellular symbionts. The last section of this book chapter discusses the role that symbionts will play in future scenarios of global warming, but also their implications for the transmission of plant viruses and modern agriculture.
Feedback between drought and deforestation in the Amazon
Staal, Arie ; Flores, Bernardo M. ; Aguiar, Ana Paula D. ; Bosmans, Joyce H.C. ; Fetzer, Ingo ; Tuinenburg, Obbe A. - \ 2020
Environmental Research Letters 15 (2020)4. - ISSN 1748-9318
Agriculture - Fire - Forest clearing - Land use change - Modeling - Moisture recycling - Remote sensing
Deforestation and drought are among the greatest environmental pressures on the Amazon rainforest, possibly destabilizing the forest-climate system. Deforestation in the Amazon reduces rainfall regionally, while this deforestation itself has been reported to be facilitated by droughts. Here we quantify the interactions between drought and deforestation spatially across the Amazon during the early 21st century. First, we relate observed fluctuations in deforestation rates to dry-season intensity; second, we determine the effect of conversion of forest to cropland on evapotranspiration; and third, we simulate the subsequent downwind reductions in rainfall due to decreased atmospheric water input. We find large variability in the response of deforestation to dry-season intensity, with a significant but small average increase in deforestation rates with a more intense dry season: With every mm of water deficit, deforestation tends to increase by 0.13% per year. Deforestation, in turn, has caused an estimated 4% of the recent observed drying, with the south-western part of the Amazon being most strongly affected. Combining both effects, we quantify a reinforcing drought-deforestation feedback that is currently small, but becomes gradually stronger with cumulative deforestation. Our results suggest that global climate change, not deforestation, is the main driver of recent drying in the Amazon. However, a feedback between drought and deforestation implies that increases in either of them will impede efforts to curb both.
Optimising realism of synthetic images using cycle generative adversarial networks for improved part segmentation
Barth, R. ; Hemming, J. ; Henten, E.J. Van - \ 2020
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 173 (2020). - ISSN 0168-1699
3D modelling - Agriculture - Robotics - Semantic segmentation - Synthetic dataset
In this paper we report on improving part segmentation performance for robotic vision using convolutional neural networks by optimising the visual realism of synthetic agricultural images. In Part I, a cycle consistent generative adversarial network was applied to synthetic and empirical images with the objective to generate more realistic synthetic images by translating them to the empirical domain. We hypothesise that plant part image features (e.g. color, texture) become more similar to the empirical domain after translation of the synthetic images. Results confirm this with an improved mean color distribution correlation with the empirical data prior of 0.62 and post translation of 0.90. Furthermore, the mean image features of contrast, homogeneity, energy and entropy moved closer to the empirical mean, post translation. In Part II, 7 experiments were performed using convolutional neural networks with different combinations of synthetic, synthetic translated to empirical and empirical images. We hypothesise that the translated images can be used for (i) improved learning of empirical images, and (ii) that learning without any fine-tuning with empirical images is improved by bootstrapping with translated images over bootstrapping with synthetic images. Results confirm our hypotheses in Part II. First a maximum intersection-over-union performance was achieved of 0.52 when bootstrapping with translated images and fine-tuning with empirical images; an 8% increase compared to only using synthetic images. Second, training without any empirical fine-tuning resulted in an average IOU of 0.31; a 55% performance increase over previous methods that only used synthetic images. The key contribution of this paper to robotic vision is to provide supporting evidence that domain adaptation can be successfully used to translate and improve synthetic data to the real empirical domain that results in improved segmentation learning whilst lowering the dependency on manually annotated data.
Calcium phosphate granules recovered from black water treatment : A sustainable substitute for mined phosphorus in soil fertilization
Cunha, Jorge Ricardo ; Schott, Chris ; Weijden, Renata D. van der; Leal, Lucía Hernández ; Zeeman, Grietje ; Buisman, Cees - \ 2020
Resources, Conservation and Recycling 158 (2020). - ISSN 0921-3449
Agriculture - Anaerobic treatment - Hydroxyapatite - Mineral fertilizer - Resource recovery
Phosphate is essential for food production. However, phosphate rock, which is the main natural source, is becoming worse in quality due to the depletion of the reserves and contamination with heavy metals and radioactive elements. Marketable phosphate contains more than 13 wt% of phosphorus (P), but run-of-the-mine phosphate rock is of lower grade (8 to 11 wt% of P). In this study, calcium phosphate granules (CaP granules) produced during anaerobic treatment of vacuum collected black water (feces and urine, BW) were assessed for their potential as a substitute for phosphate rock. The quality assessment was based on elemental composition (macro nutrients and heavy metals), crystallography and morphology analyses, dissolution tests, and quantification of micropollutants. CaP granules contained 10 wt% of P, from which 35% was dissolved within 5 min in citric acid and 85% in H2SO4. The incineration of the CaP granules increased the P content to 15 wt%, by eliminating the remaining organics (29%), pathogens, and organic micropollutants. Heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, Cd, As, and Pb) and organic micropollutants in CaP granules were below the Dutch and European regulatory limits for direct fertilizer application. Moreover, incinerated CaP granules complied with the requirements for use in the fertilizer industry. At the current process conditions, CaP granules produced from BW can potentially replace 12% of the phosphate rock used in agriculture as fertilizer.
Bridging youth and gender studies to analyse rural young women and men's livelihood pathways in Central Uganda
Rietveld (Anne), A.M. ; Burg, M. van der; Groot, J.C.J. - \ 2020
Journal of Rural Studies 75 (2020). - ISSN 0743-0167 - p. 152 - 163.
Agriculture - Gender norms - Intersectionality - Migration - Opportunity space - Rural economy - Young people
Many development countries are currently undergoing major demographic shifts as the percentage of young people of the total population rapidly increases. This shift is associated with high rates of migration, unemployment and instability. In policy discourses, engaging youth in commercial agricultural is often presented as a measure to control or even counter these trends. In Uganda, a country with one of the youngest populations in the world, we investigated whether young people themselves see a career in farming as an option. We studied the livelihood pathways of rural-born young men and women from Central Uganda and in particular; 1) their aspirations, 2) the extent to which these aspirations are associated with agriculture, and 3) the importance of gender in shaping their opportunity spaces. Data consisted of in-depth interviews with 8 young men and 8 young women originating from the same rural community in Central Uganda (2017) and was supported by three additional datasets collected between 2010 and 2014; one qualitative case-study conducted in the same site (2014) and two survey datasets collected in three rural sites in Central Uganda in 2010 (N = 199) and 2012 (N = 54). Our findings suggest a large proportion of youth out-migrating from the rural communities, with young women migrating more often than young men. Farming was seldom an aspiration but irrespective of sex or residence most young men and women did remain engaged in agriculture in some way. The nature of the engagement was different for men and women though, with young women specifically refraining from commercial agriculture. By analyzing the opportunity space of young men and women, we uncovered how their livelihood pathways were linked to a set of normative and structural constraints maintaining gender inequality. Examples were young women's weaker resource base (land) and gender norms which discourage young women's independent commercial (agricultural) activities. To advance the engagement of young men and especially women in commercial agriculture, it is important to acknowledge these patterns and their underlying structural gender differences.
Temporal and spatial variability of terrestrial diatoms at the catchment scale: Controls on communities
Foets, Jasper ; Wetzel, Carlos E. ; Teuling, Adriaan J. ; Pfister, Laurent - \ 2020
PeerJ 2020 (2020)1. - ISSN 2167-8359
Agriculture - Algae - Ecology - Indicator species - Soil
Diatoms are generally regarded as inhabitants of water bodies. However, numerous taxa are able to survive and reproduce in a variety of non-aquatic ecosystems. Although terrestrial diatoms are discussed extensively in the literature, most of those studies covered floristic aspects and few information exists on their ecology. This lack of knowledge thwarts their potential use as environmental markers in various applications. As a way forward, we investigated the seasonal patterns and the role of different disturbances on the community composition. We collected soil diatom samples in 16 sites across the Attert River basin (Luxembourg) every 4 weeks for a period of 14 months. Our results indicate that forests create a stable microhabitat for diatoms and that temporal variation of the diatom communities is mainly controlled by farming practices rather than seasonal changes in environmental variables. We also found out that communities need one to 2 months to reestablish a new, stable community after a significant change in the environment. We were able to confirm the applicability of the Pollution-Sensitivity Index (IPS) to identify anthropic disturbances.
Spatio-temporal variations in chemical-physical water quality parameters influencing water reuse for irrigated agriculture in tropical urbanized deltas
Haldar, Kamonashish ; Kujawa-Roeleveld, Katarzyna ; Dey, Priyanka ; Bosu, Shanchita ; Datta, Dilip Kumar ; Rijnaarts, Huub H.M. - \ 2020
Science of the Total Environment 708 (2020). - ISSN 0048-9697
Agriculture - Land-use - Spatial and temporal - Water quality - Water reuse
Agriculture in delta areas of emerging economies is highly reliant on the provision of water with adequate quality. This quality is often under pressure by season-related saltwater intrusion and poor domestic or industrial wastewater management. Methods to separate these two negative impacts on water quality for the delta areas are lacking but essential for proper management and supply of irrigation water. Therefore, the main aim of this research is to propose a method that maps salt and wastewater impacts on seasonal water quality and relate that to different land uses. Khulna, a delta city of Bangladesh was taken as a representative case study. Surface water samples have been collected from different city locations in winter, summer and monsoon seasons, and were analyzed for a variety of chemical-physical water quality parameters. Spatio-temporal variation maps were generated using Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation method, and weighted overlay method was employed to map the current irrigation water use suitability based on FAO guidelines for the interpretations of water quality for irrigation. The influence of land-use on water quality was assessed by correlation analysis followed by bi-variate linear regression analysis. Analysis indicated significant (p < 0.05) seasonal dependent variation in water quality parameters, especially for saltwater influenced and generic water quality parameters. Also, the land-use percentage within 500 m radii to the sampling stations had a significant positive correlation with several parameters indicating saltwater and urban wastewater influences. Weighted overlay analysis revealed that during summer, approximately 1/3rd of the total studied area has a severe restriction for irrigation water use. The method presented here was shown to be effective in presenting variabilities on the effects of salinization and wastewater discharge on water quality in urbanized deltas and can be used as a knowledge base for formulating and implementing future urban infrastructure planning to improve irrigation water quality.
Public private collaborations amidst an emergency plant disease outbreak : The Australian experience with biosecurity for Panama disease
Cruz, Jaye de la - \ 2020
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 92 (2020). - ISSN 1573-5214
Agriculture - Australia - Banana industry - Panama disease - Privatisation
The past decade has seen a steady transitioning from a framework where the State has been the provider of production-oriented agricultural services to a ‘user pays’ philosophy that emphasises the role of the private sector in the provision of these services – even in agricultural biosecurity which has been historically considered a public good. This paper analyses the contours of public private collaborations in agricultural biosecurity services in the context of an emergency outbreak of Panama disease Tropical Race 4. We ask: does the transition to a market-led, industry-led approach shift perceptions on who should bear the burden for addressing Panama disease risk, and to what extent does it influence risk decisions taken by the different actors and stakeholders during an agricultural biosecurity emergency? Using data from field work carried out primarily in Brisbane, Australia in July 2015, as well as a review and content analysis of documents obtained from Australian government instrumentalities and research organizations, such as policy briefs, some themes emerge. The first is that while Australia's biosecurity plant disease strategy clearly shows coordination, there are still gaps in service delivery, such as delayed response time. Secondly, the industry-driven R&D system still finds itself navigating tensions between responding to the direct and immediate needs of the industry and supporting more long-term and explorative research trajectories. Thirdly, while there appears to be a greater trust in industry than in government in rapid emergency response, both the growers and the peak industry body want more, not less, government biosecurity regulation.
Life cycle assessment of food products
Fraval, Simon ; Middelaar, Corina E. van; Ridoutt, Brad G. ; Opio, Carolyn - \ 2019
In: Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability / Ferranti, P., Berry, E.M., Anderson, J.R., Elsevier - ISBN 9780128126875 - p. 488 - 496.
Acidification - Agriculture - Biodiversity - Crops - Eutrophication - Food security - Global warming - Impact assessment - Livestock - Packaging - Product environmental footprinting - Science communication - Sustainability - Water scarcity
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) provides a rigorous framework to assess a product against a range of environmental impact categories from the ‘cradle to the grave’. LCA sets out a clear method for analysis, including goal and scope definition, Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) development, Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and interpretation. This article provides an overview of each of these LCA phases, with a specific focus on food and agriculture. We provide a summary of LCAs applied to food and agriculture, as well as insights into LCA’s function in providing a more food secure future.
Leip, Adrian ; Uwizeye, Aimable - \ 2019
In: Encyclopedia of Ecology / Fath, B., Elsevier - ISBN 9780444641304 - p. 370 - 382.
Agriculture - Consumption - Energy - Food - Footprints - Nitrogen - Production
N is one of essential element of life on earth, but it contributes in its reactive form to the global environmental problems that are already larger than our earth is able to cope with, and it expected further aggravate (Galloway and Leach, 2016) driven by the increasing demand of food products fuelled by growth of human population, rising incomes and urbanization. The quantification of N footprints at production level can support decision and policy making in the economy, by raising awareness of different stakeholders such as farmers, industrial actors, businesses, governments and scientists on the global threats of anthropogenic activities. These stakeholders have responsibility to reduce the environmental pressures by continuous improvement of the production system through technology and innovation. N footprint is also a tool to inform consumers on the impact of their lifestyle choices on the N pollution, which is essential to share the responsibility in protecting the planet. Raising awareness to all stakeholders and consumers at all levels will help to reduce the N footprint.
Zonneparken: Kansen voor biodiversiteit en andere landschapsfuncties?
Zee, Friso van der; Bloem, Jaap ; Galama, Paul ; Gollenbeek, Luuk ; Os, Jaap van; Schotman, Alex ; Vries, Sjerp de - \ 2019
Landschap : tijdschrift voor landschapsecologie en milieukunde 36 (2019)4. - ISSN 0169-6300 - p. 235 - 239.
Agriculture - Biodiversity - Perception of the landscape - Soil - Solar parks
The construction of solar parks in the Netherlands is experiencing strong growth. This leads to a discussion about the use of scarce space. What are the effects of solar parks on the soil, agriculture, biodiversity and the perception of the landscape? Are there opportunities for other functions in addition to power generation? This article reports on a literature review of this question. There certainly are opportunities for combining solar parks with biodiversity and agriculture. To achieve this, an optimum must be sought between maximum power production and other functions. What is the best way to design and manage a solar park? The most important conclusion is that much knowledge is still lacking in this area and that further research is urgently needed.
Ordinary land grabbing in peri-urban spaces: Land conflicts and governance in a small Colombian city
Feola, Giuseppe ; Suzunaga, J. ; Soler, J. ; Goodman, Michael K. - \ 2019
Geoforum 105 (2019). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 145 - 157.
Agriculture - Colombia - Environmental governance - Peri-urban space - Policy coherence - Urban land grabbing
Emerging scholarship on urban land grabbing has urged researchers to take more nuanced perspectives on land appropriation. There is the need to understand the actions of and interactions amongst a multiplicity of local actors—beyond large-scale investors and global cities—when considering land grabs in the spaces of urban development. Therefore, this paper analyses what we conceptualise as the more ‘gradual’ and ‘ordinary’ dynamics of land dispossession in the peri-urban spaces of the small-scale city of Sogamoso, Colombia. Based on 38 semi-structured key-informant interviews, we explore everyday actions, actors and power relations involved in urban expansionism, mining, farming and ecosystems conservation as these activities seek to coexist and compete for the same, relatively sparse amount of peri-urban space. We find that land appropriation is facilitated by multi-level policy incoherence and the failures of municipal governance. Policy incoherence results in normative uncertainty and weak environmental governance, while a lack of coordinated municipal governance in peri-urban spaces leads to further small scale, ‘ordinary’ and therefore ‘invisible’ conflicts, to the detriment of citizens’ livelihoods. This paper contributes to understanding spatially differentiated urban land appropriation, and its articulation with local, gradual, subtle and more hidden land use conflicts, governance regimes and power relations at the scales of the everyday. Our findings suggest the need to theorize urban land grab also as a result of ordinary, place-based, quotidian dynamics that emerge from governance problematics, including policy incoherence, and land use conflicts, and from the intersection of a more diverse set of drivers, mechanisms and actors than discussed in the extant literature with focus on large urban centres.
Credit, insurance and farmers’ liability: Evidence from a lab in the field experiment with coffee farmers in Costa Rica
Naranjo, María A. ; Pieters, Janneke ; Alpízar, Francisco - \ 2019
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 166 (2019). - ISSN 0167-2681 - p. 12 - 27.
Agriculture - Credit - Insurance - Liability
This paper examines the effect of farmers’ liability on demand for credit with and without insurance. We test predictions of a theoretical model in a lab in the field experiment with coffee farmers in Costa Rica. Farmers choose how much to invest in six different settings, described on the one hand by whether the loan is insured or not, and on the other by their liability. Our results show that the uptake of loans bundled with insurance is significantly higher than the uptake of loans without insurance, when farmers are liable for sure, and when there is uncertainty about their liability. In the case of limited liability, the uptake of credit is high irrespective of whether the loans are insured or not. Our results suggest that in order to increase the uptake of insurance as a strategy to increase private investment and reduce the vulnerability of farmers to shocks, it is important that farmers are liable with at least some probability.
Reconciling global sustainability targets and local action for food production and climate change mitigation
Gil, Juliana D.B. ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Ittersum, Martin van; Reidsma, Pytrik ; Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Middelaar, Corina E. van; Vuuren, Detlef P. van - \ 2019
Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 59 (2019). - ISSN 0959-3780
Agriculture - Cross-scale analysis - Scenario analysis - Sustainable Development Goals - Trade-offs
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) imply country-led implementation. Yet, their achievement depends on sustainability targets compatible across different sectors and scales. Our study examines how the GHG emission intensity of agriculture (EIA) should evolve globally, regionally (Western Europe) and nationally (The Netherlands) under different socioeconomic pathways, so that two major aims of SDGs 2 and 13 (i.e. sufficient food production and climate change mitigation) are achieved simultaneously. Results show that, by 2050, relative to 2010 values, EIA should decrease at all three levels when measured on a product basis (GHG emissions per ton dry matter) and on a land basis (GHG emissions per ha). This indicates that, globally, agriculture should be intensified per unit area, while in Western Europe and even more so in the Netherlands additional emission reductions require increased production efficiency and lower production volumes. Projected reductions in methane and nitrous oxide emissions from enteric fermentation, manure management and fertilizer application in Dutch agriculture are much higher than what would be achieved through the extrapolation of current trends. Given the high costs of increasing production efficiency further, our analysis indicates the need for significantly more ambitious policy targets and systemic changes, including reduced consumption of animal-sourced food. Besides shedding light on the interaction between climate and agricultural strategies, our analysis illustrates the application of cross-scale thinking in the operationalization of the SDG agenda and underscores the need for concerted action amongst countries.
Role and management of soil biodiversity for food security and nutrition; where do we stand?
Mujtar, V. El; Muñoz, N. ; Prack Mc Cormick, B. ; Pulleman, M. ; Tittonell, P. - \ 2019
Global Food Security 20 (2019). - ISSN 2211-9124 - p. 132 - 144.
Agriculture - Ecosystem services - Soil biota - Soil fauna - Soil food webs - Soil microorganisms
Soils host diverse communities that support and regulate ecosystem functions, thereby affecting plant production and resource use efficiencies. There is increasing evidence that agricultural intensification affects soil biodiversity (SBD) and such changes may impact on current and future food security. Here, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art on the relations between agricultural management, SBD and food production. The potential of applying such knowledge to improve food security and nutrition is discussed. Biotechnological methods to describe impacts of agricultural practices on taxonomic and functional diversity of soil organisms are advancing rapidly. At the same time new understanding of soil-plant interactions has provided novel insights into the mechanisms by which soil organisms and plants co-regulate plant growth and defences, or affect food nutritional quality and safety. Yet, empirical studies on SBD – plant productivity relations often lead to results and applications that are crop and context specific. Translating knowledge on SBD into universally applicable soil management recommendations to enhance food production, and ultimately food security, remains challenging. Instead, we propose a holistic approach to SBD management that strengthens multiple ecosystem functions and provides ecological insurance.
Monitoring agricultural field trafficability using Sentinel-1
Carranza, Coleen ; Benninga, Harm J. ; Velde, Rogier van der; Ploeg, Martine van der - \ 2019
Agricultural Water Management 224 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774
Agriculture - Decoupling - Kernel density estimation - Sentinel-1 - Soil moisture - Trafficability
The use of heavy mobile machinery in agriculture for tillage and harvesting is now indispensable since it facilitates farming over large areas. However, one of the impacts of regular and prolonged use of heavy mobile machinery is soil compaction. To help minimize this harmful effect, trafficability of agricultural fields needs to be determined. Soil moisture acts as one of the dominant controls for field trafficability. Therefore satellites such as Sentinel-1, which is one source of spatio-temporal soil moisture information, could be useful in assessing trafficable conditions. One limitation of satellite-derived soil moisture is that only the upper surface layer is mapped. In this study, we determined the feasibility of Sentinel-1 surface soil moisture to monitor trafficability over 2016–2017. We first determined coupled conditions when surface soil moisture is a good indicator for values at the subsurface. We applied a probabilistic approach to determine trafficability using extensive in situ measurements of penetration resistance and surface soil moisture over a variety of crops. Trafficability is expressed as the probability that penetration resistance will exceed a threshold, for a given soil moisture value. Furthermore, we investigated the variability encountered from these measurements to gain insights on other temporal controls. Our results show coupled conditions for soil moisture ≥0.19 cm3 cm−3 and there is an almost 1:1 correspondence between surface and subsurface values. For decoupled conditions, values at the subsurface can be two times more than the surface. An increase in penetration resistance variability coincided with the maturity of crops for cultivated fields. Aside from soil moisture, root growth may have a significant impact on the temporal variability of soil's penetration resistance. The status of trafficability can be monitored through the high temporal resolution of Sentinel-1. However, aggregation to coarser resolutions maybe necessary as its original 10 m resolution may be suboptimal, based on validation against in situ measurements. Days favorable for traffic were observed in early spring. This information can aid farmers in the timing of tillage activities or for water managers in deciding to adjust water levels to meet agricultural demands.
Forests expand as livestock pressure declines in subtropical South America
Bernardi, Rafael E. ; Buddeberg, Marion ; Arim, Matías ; Holmgren, Milena - \ 2019
Ecology and Society 24 (2019)2. - ISSN 1708-3087
Agriculture - Campos - Cattle - Ecological transitions - Ecosystem services - Grasslands - Sheep - Tree cover - Uruguay - Vegetation shifts
Forests, savannas, and grasslands are prevalent across the landscapes of South America. Land uses associated with these ecosystems have influenced economies from household to country scales, shaping social-ecological organization across the region since pre-Hispanic societies. Recent studies suggest that tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and forests represent alternative ecosystem states. Transitions between these ecosystem states can be promoted by changes in disturbance regimes and by land uses determined by the organization of societies and their activities. We analyzed how changes in agriculture, fire, and livestock management influenced forest cover over a 45-year span (1966-2011) in the Campos region, an extensive subtropical ecotone between rain forests and grasslands of South America. We found that forests contracted in areas with high crop agriculture, whereas forests increased in those grasslands where livestock densities had been reduced. These patterns were strongly associated with soil and topographic conditions because they broadly determine the potential land productivity and use. Our results show that current land use and disturbance regimes explain the large extent of grasslands across the South American Campos and suggest that changes in land use and disturbance regimes could facilitate or prevent transitions between subtropical forests, savannas, and grasslands altering the provision of ecosystem services linked to them.
Drought and conflicts at the local level: Establishing a water sharing mechanism for the summer-autumn rice production in Central Vietnam
Huynh, Chuong Van; Scheltinga, Catharien Terwisscha van; Pham, Ty Huu ; Duong, Non Quoc ; Tran, Phuong Thi ; Nguyen, Linh Hoang Khanh ; Pham, Tung Gia ; Nguyen, Ngoc Bich ; Timmerman, Jos - \ 2019
International Soil and Water Conservation Research 7 (2019)4. - ISSN 2095-6339 - p. 362 - 375.
Adaptation - Agriculture - Climate change - Governance - Rice production - Water sharing
In recent years, water for agricultural production gradually became a significant challenge in the context of climate change in Vietnam. Sustainable solutions are required, which consider the use of resources for both human needs and ecology, and that account for the equitable distribution and the livelihood of the farmers now and in the future. In particular, the farmers in the province of Quang Nam facing water shortage in the cultivation of paddy in the summer-autumn season. Conflicts arise regarding the sharing of the water between the farmers, the drinking water company and the hydropower company. In the context of climate change, the water shortage is expected to increase in the future. The article presents the results of participatory action research (PAR) approach to develop a local level mechanism for water sharing, in which stakeholders actively participated. Water sharing mechanism was developed, envisioning a sustainable solution for inclusive water sharing. The mechanism was successfully implemented in two cases, one at commune level (Tho stream) and one at the district level (Mo stream). The participatory approach proved to be successful in setting up a broadly acceptable mechanism that will need to be further incorporated in the institutional set-up.