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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    Can we use satellite-based soil-moisture products at high resolution to investigate land-use differences and land-atmosphere interactions? A case study in the Savanna
    Román-Cascón, Carlos ; Lothon, Marie ; Lohou, Fabienne ; Ojha, Nitu ; Merlin, Olivier ; Aragonés, David ; González-Dugo, María P. ; Andreu, Ana ; Pellarin, Thierry ; Brut, Aurore ; Soriguer, Ramón C. ; Díaz-Delgado, Ricardo ; Hartogensis, Oscar ; Yagüe, Carlos - \ 2020
    Remote Sensing 12 (2020)11. - ISSN 2072-4292
    DISPATCH - Heterogeneity - Land use - Satellite data - Savanna - SMOS-BEC - Soil moisture

    The use of soil moisture (SM) measurements from satellites has grown in recent years, fostering the development of new products at high resolution. This opens the possibility of using them for certain applications that were normally carried out using in situ data. We investigated this hypothesis through two main analyses using two high-resolution satellite-based soil moisture (SBSM) products that combined microwave with thermal and optical data: (1) The Disaggregation based on Physical And Theoretical scale Change (DISPATCH) and, (2) The Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity-Barcelona Expert Center (SMOS-BEC Level 4). We used these products to analyse the SM differences among pixels with contrasting vegetation. This was done through the comparison of the SM measurements from satellites and the measurements simulated with a simple antecedent precipitation index (API) model, which did not account for the surface characteristics. Subsequently, the deviation of the SM from satellite with respect to the API model (bias) was analysed and compared for contrasting land use categories. We hypothesised that the differences in the biases of the varied categories could provide information regarding the water retention capacity associated with each type of vegetation. From the satellite measurements, we determined how the SM depended on the tree cover, i.e., the denser the tree cover, the higher the SM. However, in winter periods with light rain events, the tree canopy could dampen the moistening of the soil through interception and conducted higher SM in the open areas. This evolution of the SM differences that depended on the characteristics of each season was observed both from satellite and from in situ measurements taken beneath a tree and in grass on the savanna landscape. The agreement between both types of measurements highlighted the potential of the SBSM products to investigate the SM of each type of vegetation. We found that the results were clearer for DISPATCH, whose data was not smoothed spatially as it was in SMOS-BEC. We also tested whether the relationships between SM and evapotranspiration could be investigated using satellite data. The answer to this question was also positive but required removing the unrealistic high-frequency SM oscillations from the satellite data using a low pass filter. This improved the performance scores of the products and the agreement with the results from the in situ data. These results demonstrated the possibility of using SM data from satellites to substitute ground measurements for the study of land-atmosphere interactions, which encourages efforts to improve the quality and resolution of these measurements.

    Modelling food security : Bridging the gap between the micro and the macro scale
    Müller, Birgit ; Hoffmann, Falk ; Heckelei, Thomas ; Müller, Christoph ; Hertel, Thomas W. ; Polhill, J.G. ; Wijk, Mark van; Achterbosch, Thom ; Alexander, Peter ; Brown, Calum ; Kreuer, David ; Ewert, Frank ; Ge, Jiaqi ; Millington, James D.A. ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Verburg, Peter H. ; Webber, Heidi - \ 2020
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 63 (2020). - ISSN 0959-3780
    Agent-based models - Crop models - Economic equilibrium models - Food security - Land use - Model integration - Multi-scale interactions - Social-ecological feedbacks

    Achieving food and nutrition security for all in a changing and globalized world remains a critical challenge of utmost importance. The development of solutions benefits from insights derived from modelling and simulating the complex interactions of the agri-food system, which range from global to household scales and transcend disciplinary boundaries. A wide range of models based on various methodologies (from food trade equilibrium to agent-based) seek to integrate direct and indirect drivers of change in land use, environment and socio-economic conditions at different scales. However, modelling such interaction poses fundamental challenges, especially for representing non-linear dynamics and adaptive behaviours. We identify key pieces of the fragmented landscape of food security modelling, and organize achievements and gaps into different contextual domains of food security (production, trade, and consumption) at different spatial scales. Building on in-depth reflection on three core issues of food security – volatility, technology, and transformation – we identify methodological challenges and promising strategies for advancement. We emphasize particular requirements related to the multifaceted and multiscale nature of food security. They include the explicit representation of transient dynamics to allow for path dependency and irreversible consequences, and of household heterogeneity to incorporate inequality issues. To illustrate ways forward we provide good practice examples using meta-modelling techniques, non-equilibrium approaches and behavioural-based modelling endeavours. We argue that further integration of different model types is required to better account for both multi-level agency and cross-scale feedbacks within the food system.

    Land use and land cover scenarios : An interdisciplinary approach integrating local conditions and the global shared socioeconomic pathways
    Gomes, L.C. ; Bianchi, F.J.J.A. ; Cardoso, I.M. ; Schulte, R.P.O. ; Arts, B.J.M. ; Fernandes Filho, E.I. - \ 2020
    Land Use Policy 97 (2020). - ISSN 0264-8377
    Forest transition - Future scenarios - Interdisciplinarity - Land use - Public policies

    Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) changes have profound impacts on the functioning of (agro)ecosystems and have potential to mitigate global climate change. However, we still lack interdisciplinary methods to project future LULC scenarios at spatial scales that are relevant for local decision making and future environmental assessments. Here we apply an interdisciplinary approach to develop spatially explicit projections of LULC at a resolution of 30 × 30 m informed by historic relationships between LULC and their key drivers, within the context of the four qualitative scenarios of global shared socioeconomic pathways. We apply this methodology to a case study in the Zona da Mata, Brazil, which has a history of major LULC changes. The analysis of LULC changes from 1986 to 2015 indicates that pasture area decreased from 76 to 58 % of total area, while forest areas increased from 18 to 24 %, and coffee from 3 to 11 %. Environmental protection legislation, rural credit for smallholder farmers, and demand for agricultural and raw products were identified as main drivers of LULC changes. Projected LULC for 2045 strongly depends on the global socioeconomic pathway scenarios, and forest and coffee areas may increase substantially under strong government measures in the environmentally conscious Green Road scenario or decrease in the high consumption Rocky Road scenario. Our study shows that under the set of drivers during the past three decades reforestation can go hand in hand with increase of agricultural production, but that major and contrasting changes in LULC can be expected depending on the socioeconomic pathway that will be followed in the future. To guide this process, LULC scenarios at the local scale can inform the planning of local and regional development and forest conservation.

    Examining effects of climate change and land use dynamic on biophysical and economic values of ecosystem services of a natural reserve region
    Sannigrahi, Srikanta ; Zhang, Qi ; Joshi, P.K. ; Sutton, Paul C. ; Keesstra, Saskia ; Roy, P.S. ; Pilla, Francesco ; Basu, Bidroha ; Wang, Ying ; Jha, Shouvik ; Paul, Saikat Kumar ; Sen, Somnath - \ 2020
    Journal of Cleaner Production 257 (2020). - ISSN 0959-6526
    CA-Markov - Climate change - Ecosystem services - InVEST - Land use - Sundarbans

    Ecosystem Service Valuation (ESV) is a process of evaluating and quantifying the monetary values of ESs and their functions. Using both biophysical and spatially explicit integrated models, biophysical and monetary values of key Ecosystem Services (ESs) were estimated in the Sundarbans Biosphere Region (SBR), India. Quantification was made both in time series (1982–2017) and individual years (1973, 1988, 2003, 2013, 2018, 2025, 2035, 2045) to understand the impact of climate change and land-use dynamics on the long-term ecological status of the region. The monetary and biophysical values of the ESs were then obtained from Net Primary Productivity (NPP) models, Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs (InVEST), and Cellular Automata Markov Chain Model (CA-Markov). NPP increased significantly during the first half period (1982–1999), but significantly declined during the second period (2000–2017). The highest estimated ESVs (US$ ha−1) was found for habitat service (30780), nutrient cycling (12626), and gas regulation (7224.81), whereas, lower ESVs were approximated for water regulation (347.81), raw material production (777.82) and waste treatment (13.57) services. Among the nine ESs evaluated, climate regulation, gas regulation, and disturbance regulation were the most important regulating services of the SBR. The combined effects of climate change and land-use dynamics on ESs are much stringent in a vulnerable region like the SBR. Most of the regulating services were closely associated with the fluctuation of land use land cover input. Thus, land management policies and land reform strategies that will encourage the conversion of productive land, especially the highly productive mangrove forest, for the development or any other financial benefits, would disturb the ideal human-nature balance of this ecosystem. The outcomes of this study also provide an important reference to the land administrators, researchers, and decision-makers to comprehend the expected social-ecological juxtaposition in a protected natural reserve region like the Sundarbans.

    How uncertainties are tackled in multi-disciplinary science? A review of integrated assessments under global change
    Pastor, A.V. ; Vieira, D.C.S. ; Soudijn, F.H. ; Edelenbosch, O.Y. - \ 2020
    Catena 186 (2020). - ISSN 0341-8162
    Climate change - Integrated assessment models (IAMs) - Land use - Parametric uncertainty - Structural uncertainty - Uncertainty analysis (UA)

    Integrated assessment (IA) modelling can be an effective tool to gain insight into the dynamics of coupled earth system (land use, climate etc.) and socio-economic components. Quantifying and communicating uncertainties is a challenge of any scientific assessment, but is here magnified by the complex and boundary-crossing nature of IA models. Understanding the dynamics of coupled earth and socio-economic systems require data and methods from multiple disciplines, each with its own perspective on epistemological uncertainties (parametric and structural uncertainties), and its own protocols for assessing uncertainty. During the Paris Agreement, the lack of uncertainty analyses (UA) in IAs was risen (Rogelj et al. 2017) and calls for close collaboration of scientists coming from different fields. In this study, we review how uncertainties are tackled in a range of science disciplines that are related to global change including climate, hydrology, energy and land use, and which contribute to IA modelling. We conducted a meta-analysis to identify the contributing disciplines, and review which type of uncertainties are assessed. We then describe sources of uncertainty (e.g. parameter values, model structure), and present opportunities for improved assessment and communication of uncertainties in IA modelling. We show in our meta-analysis that parametric uncertainty is the uncertainty analysis that has been applied the most, while structural uncertainty is less commonly applied, with the exception of the energy scientific discipline. We finish our study with key recommendations to improve uncertainty analysis such as including risk analysis. By embracing uncertainties, resilient and effective solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation could be better communicated, identified and implemented.

    Assessment of spatial variability of multiple ecosystem services in grasslands of different intensities
    Clec'h, Solen Le; Finger, Robert ; Buchmann, Nina ; Gosal, Arjan S. ; Hörtnagl, Lukas ; Huguenin-Elie, Olivier ; Jeanneret, Philippe ; Lüscher, Andreas ; Schneider, Manuel K. ; Huber, Robert - \ 2019
    Journal of Environmental Management 251 (2019). - ISSN 0301-4797
    ES provision - Land use - Management strategies - Modelling - Switzerland - Trade-offs

    Grasslands provide multiple Ecosystem Services (ES) such as forage provision, carbon sequestration or habitat provision. Knowledge about the trade-offs between these ES is of great importance for grassland management. Yet, the outcome of different management strategies on ES provision is highly uncertain due to spatial variability. We aim to characterize the provision (level and spatial variability) of grassland ES under various management strategies. To do so, we combine empirical data for multiple ES with spatially explicit census data on land use intensities. We analyzed the variations of five ES (forage provision, climate regulation, pollination, biodiversity conservation and outdoor recreation) using data from biodiversity fieldwork, experimental plots for carbon as well as social network data from Flickr. These data were used to calculate the distribution of modelled individual and multiple ES values from different grassland management types in a Swiss case study region using spatial explicit information for 17,383 grassland parcels. Our results show that (1) management regime and intensity levels play an important role in ES provision but their impact depends on the ES. In general, extensive management, especially in pastures, favors all ES but forage provision, whereas intensive management favors only forage provision and outdoor recreation; (2) ES potential provision varies between parcels under the same management due to the influence of environmental drivers, related to topography and landscape structure; (3) there is a trade-offs between forage provision and other ES at the cantonal level but a synergy between forage provision and biodiversity conservation within the grassland categories, due to the negative impact of elevation on both ES. Information about multiple ES provision is key to support effective agri-environmental measures and information about the spatial variability can prevent uncertain outputs of decision-making processes.

    Dietary choices and environmental impact in four European countries
    Mertens, Elly ; Kuijsten, Anneleen ; Zanten, Hannah H.E. van; Kaptijn, Gerdine ; Dofková, Marcela ; Mistura, Lorenza ; Addezio, L. D'; Turrini, Aida ; Dubuisson, Carine ; Havard, Sabrina ; Trolle, E. ; Geleijnse, Johanna M. ; Veer, Pieter van 't - \ 2019
    Journal of Cleaner Production 237 (2019). - ISSN 0959-6526
    Dietary quality - Energy intake - Greenhouse gas emission - Land use - Sustainability

    Effective food policies in Europe require insight into the environmental impact of consumers’ diet to contribute to global nutrition security in an environmentally sustainable way. The present study therefore aimed to assess the environmental impact associated with dietary intake across four European countries, and to explain sources of variations in environmental impact by energy intake, demographics and diet composition. Individual-level dietary intake data were obtained from nationally-representative dietary surveys, by using two non-consecutive days of a 24-h recall or a diet record, from Denmark (DK, n = 1710), Czech Republic (CZ, n = 1666), Italy (IT, n = 2184), and France (FR, n = 2246). Dietary intake data were linked to a newly developed pan-European environmental sustainability indicator database that contains greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) and land use (LU) values for ∼900 foods. To explain the variation in environmental impact of diets, multilevel regression models with random intercept and random slopes were fitted according to two levels: adults (level 1, n = 7806) and country (level 2, n = 4). In the models, diet-related GHGE or LU was the dependent variable, and the parameter of interest, i.e. either total energy intake or demographics or food groups, the exploratory variables. A 200-kcal higher total energy intake was associated with a 9% and a 10% higher daily GHGE and LU. Expressed per 2000 kcal, mean GHGE ranged from 4.4 (CZ) to 6.3 kgCO2eq/2000 kcal (FR), and LU ranged from 5.7 (CZ) to 8.0 m2*year/2000 kcal (FR). Dietary choices explained most of the variation between countries. A 5 energy percent (50 g/2000 kcal) higher meat intake was associated with a 10% and a 14% higher GHGE and LU density, with ruminant meat being the main contributor to environmental footprints. In conclusion, intake of energy, total meat and the proportion of ruminant meat explained most of the variation in GHGE and LU of European diets. Contributions of food groups to environmental footprints however varied between countries, suggesting that cultural preferences play an important role in environmental footprints of consumers. In particular, Findings from the present study will be relevant for national-specific food policy measures towards a more environmentally-friendly diet.

    The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcity
    Fitton, N. ; Alexander, P. ; Arnell, N. ; Bajzelj, B. ; Calvin, K. ; Doelman, J. ; Gerber, J.S. ; Havlik, P. ; Hasegawa, T. ; Herrero, M. ; Krisztin, T. ; Meijl, H. van; Powell, T. ; Sands, R. ; Stehfest, E. ; West, P.C. ; Smith, P. - \ 2019
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 58 (2019). - ISSN 0959-3780
    Food security - Land use - Shared socio-economic pathways - Water availability

    Rapidly increasing populations coupled with increased food demand requires either an expansion of agricultural land or sufficient production gains from current resources. However, in a changing world, reduced water availability might undermine improvements in crop and grass productivity and may disproportionately affect different parts of the world. Using multi-model studies, the potential trends, risks and uncertainties to land use and land availability that may arise from reductions in water availability are examined here. In addition, the impacts of different policy interventions on pressures from emerging risks are examined. Results indicate that globally, approximately 11% and 10% of current crop- and grass-lands could be vulnerable to reduction in water availability and may lose some productive capacity, with Africa and the Middle East, China, Europe and Asia particularly at risk. While uncertainties remain, reduction in agricultural land area associated with dietary changes (reduction of food waste and decreased meat consumption) offers the greatest buffer against land loss and food insecurity.

    The role of farm animals in a circular food system
    Zanten, Hannah H.E. Van; Ittersum, Martin K. Van; Boer, Imke J.M. De - \ 2019
    Global Food Security 21 (2019). - ISSN 2211-9124 - p. 18 - 22.
    Bio-economy - Circularity - Climate - Fish - Food production - Land use - Livestock - Sustainable diets

    If we use farm animals for what they are good at - converting by-products from the food system and grass resources into valuable food and manure - they can contribute significantly to human food supply, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of the entire food system. By converting these so-called low-opportunity-cost feeds, farm animals recycle biomass and nutrients into the food system that would otherwise be lost to food production. Rearing animals under this circular paradigm, however, requires a transition from our current linear food system towards a circular one. Here we present a biophysical concept for the role of farm animals in a circular food system, essential for meeting dietary recommendations within the boundaries of our planet.

    Ecosystem service value assessment of a natural reserve region for strengthening protection and conservation
    Sannigrahi, Srikanta ; Chakraborti, Suman ; Joshi, Pawan Kumar ; Keesstra, Saskia ; Sen, Somnath ; Paul, Saikat Kumar ; Kreuter, Urs ; Sutton, Paul C. ; Jha, Shouvik ; Dang, Kinh Bac - \ 2019
    Journal of Environmental Management 244 (2019). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 208 - 227.
    Ecosystem service values - Ecosystem services - Land use - Mangrove ecosystems - Remote sensing - Spatiotemporal - Sundarbans

    Ecosystem Services (ESs) refer to the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being and subsistence. Ecosystem valuation is an approach to assign monetary values to an ecosystem and its key ecosystem goods and services, generally referred to as Ecosystem Service Value (ESV). We have measured spatiotemporal ESV of 17 key ESs of Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve (SBR) in India using temporal remote sensing (RS) data (for years 1973, 1988, 2003, 2013, and 2018). These mangrove ecosystems are crucial for providing valuable supporting, regulatory, provisioning, and cultural ecosystem services. We have adopted supervised machine learning algorithms for classifying the region into different ecosystem units. Among the used machine learning models, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Random Forest (RF) algorithms performed the most accurate and produced the best classification estimates with maximum kappa and an overall accuracy value. The maximum ESV (derived from both adjusted and non-adjusted units, million US$ year −1 ) is produced by mangrove forest, followed by the coastal estuary, cropland, inland wetland, mixed vegetation, and finally urban land. Out of all the ESs, the waste treatment (WT) service is the dominant ecosystem service of SBR. Additionally, the mangrove ecosystem was found to be the most sensitive to land use and land cover changes. The synergy and trade-offs between the ESs are closely associated with the spatial extent. Therefore, accurate estimates of ES valuation and mapping can be a robust tool for assessing the effects of poor decision making and overexploitation of natural resources on ESs.

    Climate financing needs in the land sector under the Paris Agreement: An assessment of developing country perspectives
    Kissinger, Gaby ; Gupta, A. ; Mulder, I. ; Unterstell, Natalie - \ 2019
    Land Use Policy 83 (2019). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 256 - 269.
    Climate finance - climate change - Paris agreement - Nationally Determined Contributions - Land use - Land-use change and forestry - REDD+ - Developing countries
    This paper explores the potential of climate finance to support developing country efforts to shift away from unsustainable land use patterns in the context of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. We pursue two research objectives here. Through a meta-analysis of 40 developing country Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), we provide, first, a comprehensive qualitative overview of developing country perspectives on climate financing needs for mitigation and adaptation activities in the land use, land-use change and forestry sectors (LULUCF).
    Second, we examine whether countries acknowledge a role for domestic financing and international and domestic fiscal policy reform within these NDCs, as a way to address drivers of land use conversion. We supplement our meta-analysis of NDCs with a brief assessment of climate financing in two forest-rich countries, Brazil and Indonesia. Our analysis of NDCs reveals that only 14 of the 40 countries provide clear cost estimates for proposed climate-related forest activities, with most activities being conditional on provision of international climate finance. While some discuss domestic sources, few note the need for (international or national) fiscal policy reform to counteract direct and underlying drivers of land use conversion. The challenges inherent in doing so are also highlighted in our discussion of Brazil and Indonesia. Our findings suggest that, while much attention is directed to inadequate quantities of international climate finance, a lack of fiscal reform remains a key hurdle to realizing transformative change in the land use sector.
    Do wealthy farmers implement better agricultural practices? An assessment of implementation of Good Agricultural Practices among different types of independent oil palm smallholders in Riau, Indonesia
    Jelsma, Idsert ; Woittiez, Lotte S. ; Ollivier, Jean ; Dharmawan, Arya Hadi - \ 2019
    Agricultural Systems 170 (2019). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 63 - 76.
    Farmer typology - Indonesia - Intensification - Land use - Oil palm - Smallholders

    Palm oil has become a leading vegetable oil over the past 30 years and smallholder farmers in Indonesia, with more than 12 million hectare the world's largest producer of palm oil, have massively engaged in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) cultivation. In Sumatra, where more than 60% of Indonesian palm oil is cultivated, smallholders currently cover roughly 50% of the oil palm area. The rapid expansion of palm oil however did not happen without controversy. In current efforts by the Indonesian government, NGO's and private sector to improve sector performance, smallholders are often characterized as the Achilles heel of the oil palm sector due to poor practices and low yields compared to companies. However, ‘oil palm smallholders’ is a container concept and there has been only limited research into smallholder diversity beyond the organised versus independent farmer dichotomy. This research delves into the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) among seven types of independent smallholders in Rokan Hulu regency, Riau province. The research area consisted of a relative established agricultural area on mineral soils and a relative frontier, mostly on peat. Smallholder types ranged from small local farmers to large farmers who usually reside in urban areas far from their plantation and regard oil palm cultivation as an investment opportunity. The underlying hypothesis is that larger farmers have more capital and therefore implement better agricultural practices than small farmers, who are usually more cash constrained. A wide range of methods was applied, including farmer and farm surveys, remote sensing, tissue analysis and photo interpretation by experts. These methods provided data on fertilizer use, nutrient conditions in oil palms, planting material, planting patterns, and other management practices in the plantations. Results show that yields are poor, implementation of GAP are limited and there is much room for improvement among all farmer types. Poor planting materials, square planting patterns, and limited nutrient applications were particularly prevalent. This implies that farmers across different typologies opt for a low-input low-output system for a myriad of reasons and that under current conditions, initiatives such as improving access to finance or availability of good planting material alone are unlikely to significantly improve the productivity and sustainability of the smallholder oil palm sector.

    Agriculture versus wastewater pollution as drivers of macroinvertebrate community structure in streams
    Burdon, F.J. ; Munz, N.A. ; Reyes, M. ; Focks, A. ; Joss, A. ; Räsänen, K. ; Altermatt, F. ; Eggen, R.I.L. ; Stamm, C. - \ 2019
    Science of the Total Environment 659 (2019). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1256 - 1265.
    Aquatic ecosystems - Chemical pollution - Land use - Micropollutants - Multiple stressors - Pesticides

    Water pollution is ubiquitous globally, yet how the effects of pollutants propagate through natural ecosystems remains poorly understood. This is because the interactive effects of multiple stressors are generally hard to predict. Agriculture and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are often major sources of contaminants for streams, but their relative importance and the role of different pollutants (e.g. nutrients or pesticides) are largely unknown. Using a ‘real world experiment’ with sampling locations up- and downstream of WWTPs, we studied how effluent discharges affected water quality and macroinvertebrate communities in 23 Swiss streams across a broad land-use gradient. Variation partitioning of community composition revealed that overall water quality explained approximately 30% of community variability, whereby nutrients and pesticides each independently explained 10% and 2%, respectively. Excluding oligochaetes (which were highly abundant downstream of the WWTPs) from the analyses, resulted in a relatively stronger influence (3%) of pesticides on the macroinvertebrate community composition, whereas nutrients had no influence. Generally, the macroinvertebrate community composition downstream of the WWTPs strongly reflected the upstream conditions, likely due to a combination of efficient treatment processes, environmental filtering and organismal dispersal. Wastewater impacts were most prominently by the Saprobic index, whereas the SPEAR index (a trait-based macroinvertebrate metrics reflecting sensitivity to pesticides) revealed a strong impact of arable cropping but only a weak impact of wastewater. Overall, our results indicate that agriculture can have a stronger impact on headwater stream macroinvertebrate communities than discharges from WWTP. Yet, effects of wastewater-born micropollutants were clearly quantifiable among all other influence factors. Improving our ability to further quantify the impacts of micropollutants requires highly-resolved water quality and taxonomic data with adequate spatial and temporal sampling. These improvements would help to better account for the underlying causal pathways that drive observed biological responses, such as episodic contaminant peaks and dispersal-related processes.

    An uncertain future for the endemic Galliformes of the Caucasus
    Hof, Anouschka R. ; Allen, Andrew M. - \ 2019
    Science of the Total Environment 651 (2019). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 725 - 735.
    Birds - Climate change - Conservation - Land use - Species distribution modelling

    Impacts of climate change are already evident in ecosystems worldwide. High-latitude and altitude regions are at greatest risk because the effects of climate change are greater in these regions, and species from these areas have limited ability to track their climate envelopes. The Caucasian snowcock (Tetraogallus caucasicus) and the Caucasian grouse (Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi) are both high-altitude specialists that are endemic to a restricted range in the Caucasus mountains of Europe. Little research has been performed to determine the status of the populations or the potential impacts of climate change. We investigated how climate and land use change may impact both species in future and determined whether their life history traits may increase their vulnerability using a combined exposure and trait-based index. We compared several climate models, and in all instances, both species showed drastic range contractions although the extent of the contraction varied with each model. Traits like habitat specialism, ground nesting and incubation period meant that both species may be considered “most vulnerable” in the exposure and trait-based index. Given that both species already occur near the maximum elevations of the Caucasus, and that they lack any dispersal capabilities due to the isolation from alternative mountainous areas, research efforts need to be prioritized to improve our knowledge about their population status, to monitor future trends and to begin developing species action plans that conserve these endemic and iconic species of Europe. Both species are flagship and umbrella species and may serve as indicator species, their protection may therefore benefit a whole range of other species inhabiting this vulnerable Alpine ecosystem. Especially the Caucasian grouse has a high aesthetic value and is favoured by hunters in the region. The potential demise of this species may therefore also be negative for local communities.

    Agrohydrological analysis of groundwater recharge and land use changes in the Pampas of Argentina
    Kroes, Joop ; Dam, Jos van; Supit, Iwan ; Abelleyra, Diego de; Verón, Santiago ; Wit, Allard de; Boogaard, Hendrik ; Angelini, Marcos ; Damiano, Francisco ; Groenendijk, Piet ; Wesseling, Jan ; Veldhuizen, Ab - \ 2019
    Agricultural Water Management 213 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 843 - 857.
    Argentina - Capillary rise - Groundwater recharge - Land use - Pampas - Soybean - SWAP - WOFOST

    This paper studies the changes of groundwater, climate and land use in the Pampas of Argentina. These changes offer opportunities and threats. Lowering groundwater without irrigation causes drought and successive crop and yield damage. Rising groundwater may alleviate drought as capillary rise supports root water uptake and crop growth, thus narrowing the difference between potential and actual yields. However, rising groundwater may also limit soil water storage, cause flooding in metropolitan areas and have a negative impact on crop yields. Changing land use from continuous soy bean into crop rotations or natural vegetation may decrease groundwater recharge and thus decrease groundwater levels. In case of crop rotation however, leaching of nutrients like nitrate may increase. We quantified these impacts using integrated dynamic crop growth and soil hydrology modelling. The models were tested at field scale using a local dataset from Argentina. We applied distributed modelling at regional scale to evaluate the impacts on groundwater recharge and crop yields using long term weather data. The experiments showed that threats arise from continuous monotone land use. Opportunities are created when a proper balance is found between supply and demand of soil water using a larger differentiation of land use. Increasing the areas of land use types with higher evapotranspiration, like permanent grassland and trees, will contribute to a more stable hydrologic system with more water storage capacities in the soil system and lower groundwater levels. Modelling tools clearly support the evaluation of the impact of land use and climate change on groundwater levels and crop yields.

    Assessing the impact of human interventions on floods and low flows in the Wei River Basin in China using the LISFLOOD model
    Gai, Lingtong ; Nunes, João P. ; Baartman, Jantiene E.M. ; Zhang, Hongming ; Wang, Fei ; Roo, Ad de; Ritsema, Coen J. ; Geissen, Violette - \ 2019
    Science of the Total Environment 653 (2019). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1077 - 1094.
    Flood return period - Hydrological model - Land use - LISFLOOD - Reservoir - Water diversion

    Floods are extreme hydroclimatic events that threaten societies and ecosystems. The effects of these events are greatly influenced by the changes that humans have imposed on the environment. The LISFLOOD model is a physically based rainfall-runoff model that simulates the hydrological processes in a catchment. Using globally available land cover, soil, and vegetation as well as meteorological and geographical datasets as input, the LISFLOOD model has the potential to be applied worldwide, even for regions where data are lacking. This study first calibrated and validated the LISFLOOD model in the Wei River Basin in China (432,000 km2) for the years between 2000 and 2010 at 0.05° resolution with a monthly Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient of 0.79 at the Huaxian station located at the catchment outlet. The outlets of 17 tributaries draining into the main river were then identified in order to assess the contribution of each tributary to the total runoff occurring as a result of flooding. Four categories of scenarios focusing on human interventions in the basin were created and evaluated: 1) Business as usual, 2) Additional reservoirs constructed in different catchments, 3) Land use as in 1980, and 4) Water diversion plan with a pipeline injection of a fixed daily inflow from an adjacent catchment. The results of the scenarios are presented for three strategically important cities located on the floodplain. In general, the construction of the reservoirs could have an effect on reducing peak flows and decreasing the flood return periods while increasing the low flows. The water diversion plan scenarios increased the low flow by 41 times averaged for the three cities. In conclusion, the LISFLOOD model is a sophisticated model for land and water management planning on the catchment scale for reducing the effects of flood and drought.

    Quantitative land evaluation implemented in Dutch water management
    Hack-ten Broeke, M.J.D. ; Mulder, H.M. ; Bartholomeus, R.P. ; Dam, J.C. van; Holshof, G. ; Hoving, I.E. ; Walvoort, D.J.J. ; Heinen, M. ; Kroes, J.G. ; Bakel, P.J.T. van; Supit, I. ; Wit, A.J.W. de; Ruijtenberg, R. - \ 2019
    Geoderma 338 (2019). - ISSN 0016-7061 - p. 536 - 545.
    Agro-hydrology - Crop yield assessment - Land use - Meta-model - Simulation modelling - Soil management

    Both in land evaluation and in water management quantitative methods, GIS and simulation modelling are well-known techniques for quantifying the effects of changes, such as land use or climate change. For hydrological management decisions information is often required on the effect of those decisions on agricultural production. To serve the needs of different types of users, like water authorities, provinces, drinking water companies and the National Department of Infrastructure and Water Management we developed a toolbox named WaterVision Agriculture as an instrument that can determine effects on crop yield and the farm economy as a result of drought, too wet or too saline conditions for both current and future climatic conditions. WaterVision Agriculture is based on the hydrological simulation model SWAP, the crop growth model WOFOST and farm management and economic assessments such as DairyWise for dairy farming. The WaterVision Agriculture (WVA) project resulted in two products, namely i) an easily applicable tool (also called the WVA-table) and ii) the operational models for hydrology and crop growth SWAP and WOFOST for calculating effects on field scale combined with calculating farm economic results and indirect effects. SWAP simulates water transport in the unsaturated zone using meteorological data, boundary conditions (like groundwater level or drainage) and soil parameters. WOFOST simulates crop growth as a function of meteorological conditions and crop parameters. Using the combination of these process-based models and methods for describing crop management and economic value we derived a meta-model, i.e. a set of easily applicable simplified relations for assessing crop growth as a function of soil type and groundwater level. These relations are based on multiple model runs for at least 72 soil units and the possible groundwater regimes in the Netherlands. The easily applicable tool (WVA-table) uses this meta-model. Applying the meta-model of WaterVision Agriculture should allow for better decisions on land use or soil and water management because the instrument can help to quantify the effects of changes in climate, land use, hydrological conditions or combinations of these effects on agricultural production.

    An accurate evaluation of water availability in sub-arid Mediterranean watersheds through SWAT : Cega-Eresma-Adaja
    Rivas-Tabares, David ; Tarquis, Ana M. ; Willaarts, Bárbara ; Miguel, Ángel De - \ 2019
    Agricultural Water Management 212 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 211 - 225.
    Land use - Modelling - Semi-arid regions - Streamflow - SWAT

    Simulation of flow processes in hyper-regulated Mediterranean watersheds is critical when examining general water demand and established ecological flows of River Basin Management Plans. Weather dynamics in the Mediterranean zone in recent decades have been characterised by a natural variation of drought cycles. In addition, exacerbated climate change proves that water fluxes must be estimated with more exhaustive models. The aim of this study is to assess the water balance of the Cega-Eresma-Adaja (CEA) watershed, including a detailed assessment of land uses and management practices to quantify agricultural water demand for the time period 2004–2014. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), given that it is a widespread tool that involves complex processes of the water cycle on a basin scale, providing information on water dynamics related to land use as a fundamental characteristic for water balance calculation. The Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient efficiency value, the main index of calibration and validation performance, was 0.86 for the Eresma-Adaja River and 0.67 for the Cega River. This presents a good result considering the large-scale watershed studied. Analysing dry hydrological years, we found that the estimation of ecological flows for sub-arid zones needs to consider the shallow aquifer-river relationship. During spring-summer periods, with very low flow, monitoring the shallow aquifer levels ensures a good ecological status. The study reveals that aspects such as crop rotation, soil management and their associated measures in Mediterranean basins are key factors for water resource management during drought periods. These results are expected to serve stakeholders and river basin authorities in conducting better-integrated water management practices in the watershed.

    The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain : Bioenergy Use in the European Union
    Philippidis, George ; Bartelings, Heleen ; Helming, John ; M'barek, Robert ; Smeets, Edward ; Meijl, Hans van - \ 2018
    Energies 11 (2018)10. - ISSN 1996-1073
    Advanced technologies - Agricultural production - Bio-chemicals - Bio-energy - Biomass - Economic modelling - Land use - MAGNET model - Trade

    As the EU is moving towards a low carbon economy and seeks to further develop its renewable energy policy, this paper quantitatively investigates the impact of plausible energy market reforms from the perspective of bio-renewables. Employing a state-of-the-art biobased variant of a computable general equilibrium model, this study assesses the perceived medium-term benefits, risks and trade-offs which arise from an advanced biofuels plan, two exploratory scenarios of a more 'sustainable' conventional biofuels plan and a 'no-mandate' scenario. Consistent with more recent studies, none of the scenarios considered present significant challenges to EU food-security or agricultural land usage. An illustrative advanced biofuels plan simulation requires non-trivial public support to implement whilst a degree of competition for biomass with (high-value) advanced biomass material industries is observed. On the other hand, it significantly alleviates land use pressures, whilst lignocellulose biomass prices are not expected to increase to unsustainable levels. Clearly, these observations are subject to assumptions on technological change, sustainable biomass limits, expected trends in fossil fuel prices and EU access to third-country trade. With these same caveats in mind, the switch to increased bioethanol production does not result in significant market tensions in biomass markets.

    Implications of changes in land cover and landscape structure for the biocontrol potential of stemborers in Ethiopia
    Kebede, Yodit ; Bianchi, Felix ; Baudron, Frédéric ; Abraham, Kristin ; Valença, Anne de; Tittonell, Pablo - \ 2018
    Biological Control 122 (2018). - ISSN 1049-9644 - p. 1 - 10.
    Agroecosystem - Busseola fusca (Fuller) - Land use - Landscape ecology - Maize - Natural enemies
    The land cover and structure of agricultural landscapes may influence the abundance and diversity of natural enemies of crop pests. However, these landscapes are continuously evolving due to changing land uses and agricultural practices. Here we assess changes in land use and landscape structure in a landscape in the Rift Valley region of Ethiopia, and explore the impact these changes are likely to have on the capacity of the landscape to support communities of natural enemies of maize stemborers Busseola fusca (Fuller). Land use and landscape structure were assessed in three periods over the last 30 years using focus group discussions with farmers and land use analysis through remote sensing. Natural enemies were sampled in maize fields adjacent to simple hedgerows, complex hedgerows, enset fields and khat fields at 1, 10 and 30 m using pitfalls and yellow pan traps in 2014 and 2015. The landscape analysis indicated that landscapes in the study area changed from maize dominated to more diverse small-scale and fragmented agroecosystems with a higher proportion of perennial crops. Maize fields adjacent to enset and complex hedgerows hosted significantly more predators (15.1 ± 9.8 and 22.3 ± 5.1 per trap at 1 m from the border, respectively) than maize fields adjacent to khat and simple hedgerows (7.2 ± 1.1 and 7.3 ± 1.7 per trap at 1 m from the border), and the effects of border type decreased with distance from the border. The abundance of parasitoids and parasitic flies were not influenced by border type. Our findings suggest that the changes in land use and landscape structure may have influenced the capacity of the landscape to support populations of natural enemies of stemborers in different ways. On the one hand smaller field sizes have resulted in more field borders that may support relatively high predator densities; on the other hand, the area of khat increased and the area of enset decreased, which may have a negative effect on predator densities. The overall outcome will depend on the interplay of these opposing effects.
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