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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    Uncertainty in times of medical emergency: Knowledge gaps and structural ignorance during the Brazilian Zika crisis
    Kelly, Ann H. ; Lezaun, Javier ; Löwy, Ilana ; Matta, Gustavo Corrêa ; Oliveira Nogueira, Carolina de; Rabello, Elaine Teixeira - \ 2020
    Social Science and Medicine 246 (2020). - ISSN 0277-9536
    Brazil - Emergency research - Public health emergency - Uncertainty - Zika

    Uncertainty was a defining feature of the Brazilian Zika crisis of 2015–2016. The cluster of cases of neonatal microcephaly detected in the country's northeast in the second half of 2015, and the possibility that a new virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes was responsible for this new syndrome, created a deep sense of shock and confusion in Brazil and around the world. When in February 2016 the WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), it noted that it did so on the basis of what was not known about the virus and its pathogenic potential. To better understand the role that non-knowledge played in the unfolding of the Brazilian Zika crisis we differentiate between three different kinds of uncertainty: global health uncertainty, public health uncertainty, and clinical uncertainty. While these three forms of uncertainty were difficult to disentangle in the early weeks of the crisis, very soon each one began to trace a distinct trajectory. Global health uncertainty centered on the question of the causative link between Zika virus infection and congenital malformations, and was declared resolved by the time the PHEIC was lifted in November 2016. Public health and clinical uncertainty, in contrast, persisted over a longer period of time and did, in some important ways, become entrenched. This taxonomy of uncertainties allows us to explore the systematic nonproduction of knowledge in times of medical emergency, and suggests structural limitations in the framework of “emergency research” that global health institutions have developed to deal with unexpected threats.

    When climate change is not blamed: the politics of disaster attribution in international perspective
    Lahsen, Myanna ; Azevedo Couto, Gabriela de; Lorenzoni, Irene - \ 2020
    Climatic Change 158 (2020)2. - ISSN 0165-0009 - p. 213 - 233.
    attribution politics - Brazil - climate change - disasters - extreme events - framing - global South - United States

    Analyzing the politics and policy implications in Brazil of attributing extreme weather events to climate change, we argue for greater place-based sensitivity in recommendations for how to frame extreme weather events relative to climate change. Identifying geographical limits of current recommendations to emphasize the climate role in such events, we explore Brazilian framings of the two tragic national disasters, as apparent in newspaper coverage of climate change. We find that a variety of contextual factors compel environmental leaders and scientists in Brazil to avoid and discourage highlighting the role of climate change in national extreme events. Against analysts’ general deficit-finding assumptions, we argue that the Brazilian framing tendency reflects sound strategic, socio-environmental reasoning, and discuss circumstances in which attributing such events to climate change—and, by extension, attribution science—can be ineffective for policy action on climate change and other socio-environmental issues in need of public pressure and preventive action. The case study has implications beyond Brazil by begging greater attention to policies and politics in particular places before assuming that attribution science and discursive emphasis on the climate role in extreme events are the most strategic means of achieving climate mitigation and disaster preparedness. Factors at play in Brazil might also structure extreme events attribution politics in other countries, not least some other countries of the global South.

    Implications of horizontal and vertical relationships on farmers performance in the Brazilian pork industry
    Martins, Franco Müller ; Trienekens, Jacques ; Omta, Onno - \ 2019
    Livestock Science 228 (2019). - ISSN 1871-1413 - p. 161 - 169.
    Brazil - Contracts - Performance - Pork supply chain - Relationship characteristics

    According to the literature, vertical and horizontal relationships are of key importance to farmer performance. However, most studies have examined these relationships using distinct models. This paper contributes with new insights to the supply chain management and network theories by using a single model to analyse how horizontal relationships impact on vertical relationships and how these jointly affect the performance of Brazilian pig farmers. Data were obtained from 269 farmers delivering pigs through contracts and spot markets in southern Brazil. The results demonstrate that both vertical and horizontal relationships can improve farmer performance. Moreover, horizontal relationships positively influence vertical relationships by improving the exchange of information between farmers and buyers. Furthermore, the findings suggest that these relationships are sensitive to the context (spot market or contracted production) in which the transactions are executed. The study draws relevant management implications for pig farmers, buyers and farmer associations.

    The determinants of recent soybean expansion in Mato Grosso, Brazil
    Melo Celidonio, Otávio Lemos de; Werner, Liane S. ; Gil, Juliana Dias Bernardes - \ 2019
    International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 22 (2019)2. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 173 - 191.
    Agricultural expansion - Brazil - Land use change - Soybean

    Understanding what drives, catalyzes or constraints land use change in the Brazilian agricultural frontier is a condition for effective policy design at the local level, which in turn might have implications for food production, environmental conservation and greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. We analyzed the process of agricultural expansion observed in the state of Mato Grosso, the country's largest agricultural producer, by mapping and quantifying the incorporation of new farming areas and the conversion of existing ones into mechanized soybean fields at the farm-level. Through statistical modelling we also investigated the influence of key economic, biophysical, environmental and logistics variables on this process while accounting for recent changes in the Brazilian environmental legislation. We found that the area converted to soybean production increased almost 1.5 million hectares between 2009 and 2013, more than 70% of which in farms that already had some soybean in previous years. By comparing the explanatory power of eight regression models involving different groups of variables, we found that soybean expansion is strongly associated with the presence of other soybean fields and warehouses within 50-100 km. The model with the largest explanatory power suggests that soybean expansion is also likely to occur in areas of high conservation value. Finally, the sensitivity of soybean expansion to soybean prices indicated the potential for further agricultural growth in Mato Grosso while highlighting how crucial smart logistics investments are for regional development with environmental protection.

    ‘Opening up’ science policy: engaging with RRI in Brazil
    Reyes-Galindo, Luis ; Monteiro, Marko ; Macnaghten, Phil - \ 2019
    Journal of Responsible Innovation 6 (2019)3. - ISSN 2329-9460 - p. 353 - 360.
    Brazil - governance of science and technology - RRI - science and technology policy

    This article presents initial results from the Brazilian team in the Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice (RRI-Practice) collaboration, concurrently running in 22 countries. The project invites reflection from institutional actors through a variety of participatory exercises that focus on RRI’s potential for ‘opening up’ and impacting national science and innovation policy. After summarising the operational challenges faced during the research process, we focus on the main empirical findings. We conclude that despite its potential for opening up policy deliberation, RRI faces the inherent hurdles of surpassing longstanding Brazilian institutional traditions of hierarchical governance, autonomy and the dominance of linear models of innovation.

    Structuring Markets for Resilient Farming Systems
    Valencia, Vivian ; Wittman, Hannah ; Blesh, Jennifer - \ 2019
    Agronomy for Sustainable Development 39 (2019)2. - ISSN 1774-0746
    Agrobiodiversity - Autonomy - Brazil - Diversified farms - Ecosystem management - PNAE - Public procurement

    Diversified farms have received considerable attention for their potential to contribute to environmentally sustainable, resilient, and socially just food systems. In response, some governments are building new forms of public support for social-ecological services through the creation of mediated markets, such as targeted public food procurement programs. Here, we examine the relationship between farmer participation in Brazil’s National School Feeding Program and farm diversification and household autonomy, as key indicators of farm household resilience. We hypothesized that two key features of the food procurement program—structured demand for diversified food products, and a price premium for certified organic and agroecological production—would increase farm-level agrobiodiversity and the use of agroecological practices. We designed a comparative study between family farmers who do, and do not, participate in Brazil’s National School Feeding Program in the plateau region of Santa Catarina in Southern Brazil. We used semi-structured surveys to collect data on farm agrobiodiversity, management practices, and farm household autonomy, and we conducted land use history assessments. Here, we suggest for the first time that the National School Feeding Program played a role in driving the following: (1) transitions on family farms from low agrobiodiversity, input-intensive farming systems to diversified farming systems (i.e., horticultural production) and (2) a significant increase in the cropped area under diversified farming systems. This transition was supported by making horticultural production an economically viable alternative to field crops typically linked to volatile, unpredictable markets. The convergence of public policies supporting mediated markets, increased farm household autonomy, and farm diversification represents an integrated mechanism with the potential to enhance food system resilience.

    Farmers show complex and contrasting perceptions on ecosystem services and their management
    Teixeira, Heitor Mancini ; Vermue, Ardjan J. ; Cardoso, Irene Maria ; Peña Claros, Marielos ; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A. - \ 2018
    Ecosystem Services 33 (2018). - ISSN 2212-0416 - p. 44 - 58.
    Agroecology - Agroecosystems - Biodiversity - Brazil - Fuzzy cognitive maps

    Agricultural systems are complex socio-ecological systems that are managed by farmers to achieve desired outcomes, including food production and other ecosystem services (ES). While farm management is a key factor for ES provision, farmers may widely differ in their awareness, ambition and skills to manage their systems. Currently there is a lack of understanding of farmers’ perception on ES, and how this is related to their management. We studied the management and perception of large scale farmers, conventional family farmers and agroecological family farmers in the Zona de Mata region in Brazil. Farmers were interviewed and constructed fuzzy cognitive maps (FCM) of their perception on ES. The FCM analysis revealed that in general, the perception of farmers on ES is highly complex and interconnected. Yet, agroecological family farmers showed a more complex perception on ES, which is associated with more diversified and autonomous agroecosystems. Both agroecological and conventional family farmers had a strong peasant identity, recognising more cultural ecosystem services than large scale farmers and relied more on production for consumption. Initiatives that aim to strengthen on-farm ecosystem services provision should be sensitive to farmer's perceptions and may need to consider using specific strategies for different farmer types.

    Probabilistic dietary risk assessment of triazole and dithiocarbamate fungicides for the Brazilian population
    Jardim, Andreia Nunes Oliveira ; Mello, Denise Carvalho ; Brito, Alessandra Page ; Voet, Hilko van der; Boon, Polly E. ; Caldas, Eloisa Dutra - \ 2018
    Food and Chemical Toxicology 118 (2018). - ISSN 0278-6915 - p. 317 - 327.
    Brazil - Cumulative acute and chronic dietary risk assessment - dithiocarbamates - MCRA - triazoles

    Residue data for triazoles (TR) and dithiocarbamates (DT) in 30,786 samples of 30 foods were obtained from mainly two national monitoring programs, and consumption data from a national survey conducted among persons aged 10 years or older. About 16% of the samples contained TR, mainly grape (53.5%), and 16.2% contained DT, mainly apple (59.3%). Flusilazole was the index compound used for the acute effects of TR for women of child-bearing-age (cranium-facial malformation and skeletal variation), cyproconazole for the chronic effects of TR (hepatoxicity), and ethylene-bis-dithitiocarbamates (EBDC) for DT (thyroid toxicity). Exposures were estimated using the Monte Carlo Risk Assessment software. Different models were tested, and a Model-Then-Add approach was found to best estimate the chronic exposures to DT and TR. At the 99.9th percentile (P99.9), the cumulative acute TR intakes accounted for up to 0.5% of the flusilazole ARfD, mainly from beans and rice consumption. The chronic TR and DT intakes accounted for 1 and 6.7% of the respective index compound ADIs, with beans and rice accounting for most of the TR intake (∼70%), and apple for about 51–56% of the DT intake. The estimated risks from the exposure to TR and DT indicate no health concern for the Brazilian population.

    Re-thinking socio-economic impact assessments of disasters : The 2015 flood in Rio Branco, Brazilian Amazon
    Dolman, Dorien Irene ; Brown, Irving Foster ; Anderson, Liana Oighenstein ; Warner, Jeroen Frank ; Marchezini, Victor ; Santos, George Luiz Perreira - \ 2018
    International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 31 (2018). - ISSN 2212-4209 - p. 212 - 219.
    Amazon - Brazil - Floods - Socio-economic impact assessments - Uncertainty

    The impact of water-related disasters has become more acute in cities of the Amazon Basin. Socio-economic impact assessments have a key role in improving sustainable mitigation projects in order to increase resilience and reduce societal vulnerability. This paper reviews the current state of loss assessments and then explores how to improve estimates for the 2015 flood affecting the city of Rio Branco, Brazil, located on the headwaters of the Amazon Basin. Prevailing models, loss assessments, and databases are not applicable in this Amazonian context due to the lack of detailed cost administration, low levels of human and financial capital, and limited insurance coverage. This paper uses uncertainty ranges of the costs of water-related disasters to provide an assessment of the total impact. Our estimate ranges from 60 to 200 million USD of losses and damage solely due to this flood event, compared to the official estimate of 98 million USD. As floods in Rio Branco are recurrent nearly annually, the cumulative losses over the years may be significantly higher. Our study illustrates the need for improving impact assessments in order to increase the knowledge on the actual costs of flood disasters and avoiding silent impoverishment. Outcomes of impact assessments can show the necessity of mitigation activities which will reduce vulnerability of societies.

    Soil-mediated filtering organizes tree assemblages in regenerating tropical forests
    Pinho, Bruno Ximenes ; Melo, Felipe Pimentel Lopes de; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor ; Pierce, Simon ; Lohbeck, Madelon ; Tabarelli, Marcelo - \ 2018
    Journal of Ecology 106 (2018)1. - ISSN 0022-0477 - p. 137 - 147.
    Atlantic forest - Brazil - Community assembly - Determinants of plant community diversity and structure - Environmental filtering - Forest regeneration - Functional traits - Secondary succession - Soil fertility - Soil nutrients

    Secondary forests are increasingly dominant in human-modified tropical landscapes, but the drivers of forest recovery remain poorly understood. Soil conditions influence plant community composition, and are expected to change over a gradient of succession. However, the role of soil conditions as an environmental filter driving community assembly during forest succession has rarely been explicitly assessed. We evaluated the role of stand basal area and soil conditions on community assembly and its consequences for community functional properties along a chronosequence of Atlantic forest regeneration following sugar cane cultivation. Specifically, we tested whether community functional properties are related to stand basal area, soil fertility and soil moisture. Our expectations were that edaphic environmental filters play an increasingly important role along secondary succession by increasing functional trait convergence towards more conservative attributes. We sampled soil and woody vegetation features across 15 second-growth (3-30 years) and 11 old-growth forest plots (300 m2 each). We recorded tree functional traits related to resource-use strategies (specific leaf area, SLA; leaf dry matter content, LDMC; leaf area, LA; leaf thickness, LT; and leaf succulence, LS) and calculated community functional properties using the community-weighted mean (CWM) of each trait and the functional dispersion (FDis) of each trait separately and all traits together. With exception of LA, all leaf traits were strongly associated with stand basal area; LDMC and SLA increased, while LT and LS decreased with forest development. Such changes in LDMC, LT and LS were also related to the decrease in soil nutrient availability and pH along succession, while soil moisture was weakly related to community functional properties. Considering all traits, as well as leaf thickness and succulence separately, FDis strongly decreased with increasing basal area and decreasing soil fertility along forest succession, presenting the lowest values in old-growth forests. Synthesis. Our findings suggest that tropical forest regeneration may be a deterministic process shaped by soil conditions. Soil fertility operates as a key filter causing functional convergence towards more conservative resource-use strategies, such as leaves with higher leaf dry matter content.

    Scenarios of vegetable Demand vs. production in Brazil : The links between nutritional security and small farming
    Nolasco, Camille L. ; Soler, Luciana S. ; Freitas, Marcos W.D. ; Lahsen, Myanna ; Ometto, Jean P.H.B. - \ 2017
    Land 6 (2017)3. - ISSN 2073-445X
    Brazil - Density map - Food security - Household budget survey - Small farming - Vegetable demand - Vegetable production

    Dietary guidelines urge Brazilians to increase their consumption of raw vegetables. Yet key issues must be tackled by the government and civil society, not only to foster consumers' appetite for healthier food, but more importantly to diminish the gaps between local demand and production, determined by food and land accessibility. We examine whether vegetable production in Brazil meets the demand to provide Brazilians the daily amount of fresh food recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).We developed demand scenarios in Brazil for 2008 and 2030, based on demand density maps built at the district level using production census surveys, household acquisition data, and population growth estimates. Results reveal an inherent inequality in vegetable consumption between the southern and central northern regions of Brazil that follows food insecurity regional indicators. Even in more urbanized regions and metropolitan areas, where the best balance between vegetable production and acquisition is found, simulated demand is far fromWHOrecommendations. A complementary discussion regarding land distribution and fresh food production supports our outlook on the weaknesses of existing rural policies for land reform and sustainable local fresh food production that directly affect demand and nutritional security. This work was the foundation to the Delivering Food Security on Limited Land (DEVIL) project in Brazil supported by Belmont Forum consortium.

    Differences in quality governance : the case of the Brazilian pork chain
    Martins, Franco Müller ; Trienekens, Jacques ; Omta, Onno - \ 2017
    British Food Journal 119 (2017)12. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 2837 - 2850.
    Brazil - Contracts - Coordination mechanisms - Pork chain - Quality requirements
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationships between coordination mechanisms (CMs) and quality requirements used to support transactions in the Brazilian pork chain. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the transaction cost economics theory, the paper focuses on the alignment between CMs and quality requirements. The results were obtained by means of interviews (n=41) with public and private actors, including the main companies and other stakeholders in the Brazilian pork sector. The research addresses regulations, requirements of customers and supporting CMs used in different transaction contexts. Findings: In the Brazilian pork sector, five transaction contexts can be distinguished: spot market, mini integration, singular cooperative, central cooperative and investor-owned firm. The chain actors apply different CMs to support a set of quality requirements which presents little diversity. The main quality requirements are driven by baseline public regulations. Besides, there are, in particular international, customers with more specific requirements. To support transactions, chain actors use different contracts in terms of resource allocation and price incentives. Originality/value: Literature assumes alignment between governance structures (GSs) and quality standards. This paper further investigates this assumption by analyzing the relationships between CMs (underlying GSs) and quality requirements (underlying quality standards). The research findings show that similar quality requirements may well be supported by different CMs. It further gives indications on why different CMs are used to support a homogeneous set of requirements.
    Policies for reintegrating crop and livestock systems : A comparative analysis
    Garrett, Rachael D. ; Niles, Meredith ; Dias Bernardes Gil, Juliana ; Dy, Philip ; Reis, Julio ; Valentim, Judson - \ 2017
    Sustainability 9 (2017)3. - ISSN 2071-1050 - 22 p.
    Agroecology - Brazil - New zealand - Sustainable agriculture - United states

    The reintegration of crop and livestock systems within the same land area has the potential to improve soil quality and reduce water and air pollution, while maintaining high yields and reducing risk. In this study, we characterize the degree to which federal policies in three major global food production regions that span a range of socioeconomic contexts, Brazil, New Zealand, and the United States, incentivize or disincentivize the use of integrated crop and livestock practices (ICLS). Our analysis indicates that Brazil and New Zealand have the most favorable policy environment for ICLS, while the United States provides the least favorable environment. The balance of policy incentives and disincentives across our three cases studies mirrors current patterns of ICLS usage. Brazil and New Zealand have both undergone a trend toward mixed crop livestock systems in recent years, while the United States has transitioned rapidly toward continuous crop and livestock production. If transitions to ICLS are desired, particularly in the United States, it will be necessary to change agricultural, trade, environmental, biofuels, and food safety policies that currently buffer farmers from risk, provide too few incentives for pollution reduction, and restrict the presence of animals in crop areas. It will also be necessary to invest more in research and development in all countries to identify the most profitable ICLS technologies in each region.

    Osklen: the aesthetics of social change
    Poldner, Kim ; Ivanova, Olga ; Branzei, Oana - \ 2016
    Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies 6 (2016)2. - ISSN 2045-0621 - p. 1 - 30.
    Aesthetics - Brazil - Fashion - Multi-sensoriality - Strategic decision-making - Sustainability

    Subject area: Sustainable fashion. Study level/applicability: Bachelor Degree/Master Degree, Master of Business Administration (MBA), PhD. Case overview: The case focuses on Osklen, one of the world’s first eco-fashion brands, founded in 1989 by Oskar Metsavaht. For the past 26 years, Osklen had become Brazil’s foremost sustainable luxury venture, and since 2012, under first minority and then majority corporate ownership, pursued an aggressive global expansion strategy. The dilemma of the case juxtaposes Osklen’s creative aesthetics, which leverage unique Brazilian beauty in nature and heritage, with the financial pressures of global expansion. The tension is exacerbated by the 2015 corruption scandal, which decelerated the Brazilian economy and reduced consumer spending on sustainable luxuries in Osklen’s home market; it also risked compromising the appeal of Brazilian brands elsewhere. The case explores the complex interconnections between local and global aspects of sustainability and brings forward the environmental, social and cultural aspects of brands and business to the foreground. The case also illustrates how economic crises impact brands from the initial creative inspiration to the prospects of global expansion. Expected learning outcomes: Students will master tools for strategic analysis (VRIN framework and scenario planning) to a company evolving in an emerging economy. They will learn about the ways to consider and communicate sustainability. Students will be exposed to the importance of aesthetics and multi-sensoriality in business activities. Supplementary materials: Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes. Subject code: CSS 11: Strategy.

    Towards more spatially explicit assessments of virtual water flows: Linking local water use and scarcity to global demand of Brazilian farming commodities
    Flach, Rafaela ; Ran, Ylva ; Godar, Javier ; Karlberg, Louise ; Suavet, Clement - \ 2016
    Environmental Research Letters 11 (2016)7. - ISSN 1748-9318
    Brazil - material flow modelling - Trade - virtual water - water footprint

    Global consumption of farming commodities is an important driver of water demand in regions of production. This is the case in Brazil, which has emerged as one of the main producers of globally traded farming commodities. Traditional methods to assess environmental implications of this demand rely on international trade material flows at country resolution; we argue for the need of finer scales that capture spatial heterogeneity in environmental variables in the regions of production, and that account for differential sourcing within the borders of a country of production. To illustrate this, we obtain virtual water flows from Brazilian municipalities to countries of consumption, by allocating high-resolution water footprints of sugarcane and soy production to spatially-explicit material trade flows. We found that this approach results in differences of virtual water use estimations of over 20% when compared to approaches that disregard spatial heterogeneity in sourcing patterns, for three of the main consumers of the analysed crops. This discrepancy against methods using national resolution in trade flows is determined by national heterogeneity in water resources, and differential sourcing. To illustrate the practical implications of this approach, we relate virtual water flows to water stress, identifying where global demand for water coincides with high levels of water stress. For instance, the virtual water flows for Brazilian sugarcane sourced by China were disproportionally less associated to areas with higher water stress when compared to those of the EU, due to EU's much higher reliance on sugarcane from water scarce areas in Northeast Brazil. Our findings indicate that the policy relevance of current assessments of virtual water flows that rely on trade data aggregated at the national level may be hampered, as they do not capture the spatial heterogeneity in water resources, water use and water management options.

    Land use as a filter for species composition in Amazonian secondary forests
    Conte Jakovac, Catarina ; Bongers, Frans ; Kuijper, Thomas ; Mesquita, Rita C.G. ; Peña-Claros, Marielos - \ 2016
    Journal of Vegetation Science 27 (2016)6. - ISSN 1100-9233 - p. 1104 - 1116.
    Brazil - Cecropia - Fire - Landscape composition - Phosphorus - Slash-and-burn - Soil - Sprouting - Succession - Vismia - α-Diversity - β-Diversity

    Questions: Secondary succession in the tropics can follow alternative pathways. Land-use history is known to engender alternative successional communities, but the underlying mechanisms driving and sustaining divergence remain unclear. In this study we aim to answer the following questions: (1) does previous land use act as a filter for species composition in secondary forests; and (2) what are the relative roles of management practices, soil properties and landscape composition in determining species composition?. Location: Central Amazon, Brazil. Methods: We sampled trees, shrubs and palms (≥1cm diameter) in 38 early secondary forests (5 yr after abandonment) located along gradients of land-use intensity in five shifting cultivation landscapes. We measured the diameter and height of each sampled plant, identified it to species or morpho-species level and checked if it was resprouting or not. At each secondary forest we also collected soil samples for chemical and physical analyses and estimated the amount of old-growth forest surrounding it (landscape composition). Results: We found that previous land-use intensity determined species composition. With increasing land-use intensity, management practices of cut-and-burn and associated reduction in soil quality filtered out seed-dependent species and favoured strong sprouters and species that can cope with low nutrient availability. Landscape composition had a weak effect on species assemblages. We found specific species assemblages and indicator species associated with different levels of previous land-use intensity. As a consequence of these local filters, species α- and β-diversity decreased and therefore early successional communities became more similar to each other. Conclusion: Species composition of successional forests is strongly determined by different land-use intensities. Dispersal limitation has a limited effect on determining the composition of the dominant species. Filtering effects of management practices and soil quality determine the species dominating the canopy at early stages of succession and narrow down the range of species able to colonize and establish. This study highlights how land use shapes successional communities and suggests that alternative successional pathways are determined at early stages of succession. Therefore, accounting for land-use history is crucial to improve the understanding of tropical secondary succession. We present a list of indicator species for different levels of previous land-use intensity that can be used to support conservation and restoration decisions in the Amazon.

    Revealing Curitiba's flawed sustainability : How discourse can prevent institutional change
    Giacomini Martínez, Joyde ; Boas, Ingrid ; Lenhart, Jennifer ; Mol, Arthur P.J. - \ 2016
    Habitat International 53 (2016). - ISSN 0197-3975 - p. 350 - 359.
    Brazil - City planning - Discursive institutionalism - Institutional change - Urban sustainability

    The city of Curitiba, Brazil, is considered an exceptional model of sustainable urban planning. It has received praise for its invention of the Bus Rapid Transit System and numerous awards identify Curitiba as one of the world's greenest cities. Controversial elements have, however, been left out of this hegemonic city discourse, along with inevitable new challenges. The aim of this article is two-fold. First, we assess whether Curitiba is living up to its reputation as a leading sustainable city by analyzing three areas of urban sustainable development: green spaces, water bodies and public transportation. We show how Curitiba experiences problems ranging from social exclusion resulting from green space policies, to polluted water bodies and hampered planning in the area of public transportation. Second, we examine how the Curitiba discourse as a leading sustainable city is able to endure in this changed material context. We demonstrate how this hegemonic discourse prevents institutional transformations: the discourse becomes reproduced by powerful networks and propaganda, masking new unsustainable realities and by the same token preventing fast and successful institutional renewal.

    What can and can't we say about indirect land-use change in Brazil using an integrated economic - land-use change model?
    Verstegen, J.A. ; Hilst, Floor van der; Woltjer, Geert ; Karssenberg, Derek ; Jong, S.M. de; Faaij, André P.C. - \ 2016
    Global change biology Bioenergy 8 (2016)3. - ISSN 1757-1693 - p. 561 - 578.
    Biofuel - Brazil - Error propagation - Indirect land-use change - Land-use change - Modelling - Monte Carlo - Spatio-temporal - Sugar cane - Uncertainty

    It is commonly recognized that large uncertainties exist in modelled biofuel-induced indirect land-use change, but until now, spatially explicit quantification of such uncertainties by means of error propagation modelling has never been performed. In this study, we demonstrate a general methodology to stochastically calculate direct and indirect land-use change (dLUC and iLUC) caused by an increasing demand for biofuels, with an integrated economic - land-use change model. We use the global Computable General Equilibrium model MAGNET, connected to the spatially explicit land-use change model PLUC. We quantify important uncertainties in the modelling chain. Next, dLUC and iLUC projections for Brazil up to 2030 at different spatial scales and the uncertainty herein are assessed. Our results show that cell-based (5 × 5 km2) probabilities of dLUC range from 0 to 0.77, and of iLUC from 0 to 0.43, indicating that it is difficult to project exactly where dLUC and iLUC will occur, with more difficulties for iLUC than for dLUC. At country level, dLUC area can be projected with high certainty, having a coefficient of variation (cv) of only 0.02, while iLUC area is still uncertain, having a cv of 0.72. The latter means that, considering the 95% confidence interval, the iLUC area in Brazil might be 2.4 times as high or as low as the projected mean. Because this confidence interval is so wide that it is likely to straddle any legislation threshold, our opinion is that threshold evaluation for iLUC indicators should not be implemented in legislation. For future studies, we emphasize the need for provision of quantitative uncertainty estimates together with the calculated LUC indicators, to allow users to evaluate the reliability of these indicators and the effects of their uncertainty on the impacts of land-use change, such as greenhouse gas emissions.

    Swiddens under transition : Consequences of agricultural intensification in the Amazon
    Jakovac, C.C. ; Peña-Claros, M. ; Mesquita, R.C.G. ; Bongers, F. ; Kuyper, T.W. - \ 2016
    Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 218 (2016). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 116 - 125.
    Brazil - Cassava - Labor - Riverine Amazonia - Shifting cultivation - Weeds - Yield

    Swidden cultivation is one of the most widespread agricultural systems in the tropics. Due to socio-economic changes, swiddens are either abandoned, substituted for other agricultural systems, or intensified. In the region of the middle Amazon river, Brazil, the high market demand for cassava flour (farinha) combined with land scarcity is inducing agricultural intensification. We define agricultural intensification as an increase in the frequency of swidden-fallow cycles and a decrease in the fallow period. In this study, we evaluate the consequences of agricultural intensification for management practices and swidden productivity in one of the main cassava producing areas of the Brazilian Amazon. We used ethnographic and biophysical surveys to characterize the current management practices and to evaluate the effect of repeated swidden-fallow cycles within a short fallow period regime on swidden size, weed infestation and life-form composition, weeding effort and cassava productivity. Our results show that with repeated swidden-fallow cycles cassava yield decreases, weed cover increases and weed composition changes from a tree-dominated to a graminoid-dominated community. Such changes in the weed community result in increased weeding effort, to which farmers respond by cultivating smaller swiddens. Therefore, the ongoing agricultural intensification leads to lower swidden productivity and household income without ensuing clear benefits for farmers. Limited access to fertilizers, herbicides and technical assistance combined with the market demand for a single product hinders adaptation. Broadening market opportunities and improving technical assistance to farmers could raise the diversification of production and sources of income and guarantee higher resilience to the system.

    Deep drainage modeling for a fertigated coffee plantation in the brazilian savanna
    Pinto, Victor Meriguetti ; Reichardt, Klaus ; Dam, Jos van; Lier, Quirijn D.J.V. ; Bruno, Isabeli Pereira ; Durigon, Angelica ; Dourado-Neto, Durval ; Bortolotto, Rafael Pivotto - \ 2015
    Agricultural Water Management 148 (2015). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 130 - 140.
    Brazil - Deep drainage - Savanna - SWAP - Water productivity

    Modeling in agriculture represents an important tool to understand processes as water and nutrient losses by drainage, or to test different conditions and scenarios of soil and crop management. Among the existing computational models to describe hydrological processes, SWAP (Soil, Water, Atmosphere and Plant model) has been successfully used under several conditions. This model was originally developed to simulate short cycle crops and its use also to cover longer cycles, e.g. perennial crops, is a new application. This report shows a SWAP application to a mature coffee crop over one-production cycle, focusing on deep drainage losses in a typical soil-plant-atmosphere system of the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado). The estimated annual deep drainage Q=. 1019. mm obtained by SWAP was within 99% of the value determined by the climatologic water balance of 1010. mm. Monthly results of SWAP for Q compared to the estimative using the climatological method presented a determination coefficient of 0.77. A variety of coffee fertigation scenarios were simulated using SWAP and compared to farmer's management scenario, leading to the conclusion that larger irrigation intervals result in lower Q losses, better water productivity and higher crop yield.

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