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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    Assessment of the growth in social groups for sustainable agriculture and land management
    Pretty, Jules ; Attwood, Simon ; Bawden, Richard ; Berg, Henk Van Den; Bharucha, Zareen P. ; Dixon, John ; Flora, Cornelia Butler ; Gallagher, Kevin ; Genskow, Ken ; Hartley, Sue E. ; Ketelaar, Jan Willem ; Kiara, Japhet K. ; Kumar, Vijay ; Lu, Yuelai ; Macmillan, Tom ; Maréchal, Anne ; Morales-Abubakar, Alma Linda ; Noble, Andrew ; Prasad, P.V.V. ; Rametsteiner, Ewald ; Reganold, John ; Ricks, Jacob I. ; Rockström, Johan ; Saito, Osamu ; Thorne, Peter ; Wang, Songliang ; Wittman, Hannah ; Winter, Michael ; Yang, Puyun - \ 2020
    Global Sustainability 3 (2020). - ISSN 2059-4798
    collective management - land management - social capital - social groups - sustainable agriculture

    Non-technical summaryUntil the past half-century, all agriculture and land management was framed by local institutions strong in social capital. But neoliberal forms of development came to undermine existing structures, thus reducing sustainability and equity. The past 20 years, though, have seen the deliberate establishment of more than 8 million new social groups across the world. This restructuring and growth of rural social capital within specific territories is leading to increased productivity of agricultural and land management systems, with particular benefits for those previously excluded. Further growth would occur with more national and regional policy support.

    Assessing multifunctionality of agricultural soils : Reducing the biodiversity trade-off
    Vazquez, Carmen ; Goede, Ron G.M. de; Rutgers, Michiel ; Koeijer, Tanja J. de; Creamer, Rachel E. - \ 2020
    European Journal of Soil Science (2020). - ISSN 1351-0754
    cropland - grassland - land management - nutrient cycling - primary productivity - soil biodiversity - soil functions - yield

    Soils are indispensable for the provision of several functions. Agricultural intensification and its focus on increasing primary productivity (PP) poses a threat to soil quality, due to increases in nutrient loads, greenhouse gas emissions and declining biodiversity. The EU Horizon 2020 Landmark project has developed multi-criteria decision models to assess five soil functions: PP, nutrient cycling (NC), soil biodiversity and habitat provision (B-HP), climate mitigation and water regulation, simultaneously in agricultural fields. Using these algorithms, we evaluated the supply of PP, NC and B-HP of 31 grasslands and 21 croplands as low, medium or high. The multi-criteria decision models showed that 38% of the farms had a medium to high supply of all three soil functions, whereas only one cropland had a high supply for all three. Forty-eight per cent of the farms were characterized by a high supply of PP and NC. We observed a clear trade-off between these two functions and B-HP. Multivariate statistical analyses indicated that higher organic inputs combined with a lower mineral fertilization concur with higher biodiversity scores while maintaining a medium delivery of PP and NC. Additionally, we compared the outputs of the model predictions to independent variables that served as proxies for the soil functions and found: (a) croplands (but not grasslands) with high PP had a higher standardized yield than those with medium PP; (b) grasslands (but not croplands) with high NC had a significantly lower fungal to bacterial biomass ratio, suggesting faster decomposition channels; and (c) a positive though non-significant trend between B-HP score and rank according to soil invertebrate biodiversity. These comparisons suggest a successful upscaling of the models from field to farm level. Our study highlights the need for systematic collection of management-related data for the assessment of soil functions. Multifunctionality can be achieved in agricultural soils; however, without specifically managing for it, biodiversity might come at a loss. Highlights: We study how well soils can provide primary productivity, nutrient cycling and biodiversity. We study trade-offs and synergies among soil functions, as well as the drivers of these relationships. Soil biodiversity is largely sacrificed for primary productivity and nutrient cycling Changes in pesticide and fertilizer management can increase soil multifunctionality.

    Negotiating land for flood risk management : upstream-downstream in the light of economic game theory
    Machac, J. ; Hartmann, T. ; Jilkova, J. - \ 2018
    Journal of Flood Risk Management 11 (2018)1. - ISSN 1753-318X - p. 66 - 75.
    flood mitigation - Governance and institutions - land management - risk management

    This paper discusses the use of game theory as a method to achieve land and water governance for flood retention and resilience on a catchment scale. Therefore, it addresses flood retention in river catchments by using pay-off matrices of game theory. How do pay-off matrices between upstream and downstream change when certain property rights are adjusted or institutional conditions are changed? What if liability issues, responsibilities, and externalities of flood protection measures are reframed? Who should pay and who profit from retention measures? Individual scenarios correspond to some basic games from the game theory. The aim of these thought experiments is to develop rules for upstream-downstream agreements on retention and resilience within a river basin area.

    Models meet data : Challenges and opportunities in implementing land management in Earth system models
    Pongratz, Julia ; Dolman, Han ; Don, Axel ; Erb, Karl Heinz ; Fuchs, Richard ; Herold, Martin ; Jones, Chris ; Kuemmerle, Tobias ; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan ; Meyfroidt, Patrick ; Naudts, Kim - \ 2018
    Global Change Biology 24 (2018)4. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 1470 - 1487.
    climate - croplands - Earth observations - Earth system models - forestry - grazing - land management - land use
    As the applications of Earth system models (ESMs) move from general climate projections toward questions of mitigation and adaptation, the inclusion of land management practices in these models becomes crucial. We carried out a survey among modeling groups to show an evolution from models able only to deal with land-cover change to more sophisticated approaches that allow also for the partial integration of land management changes. For the longer term a comprehensive land management representation can be anticipated for all major models. To guide the prioritization of implementation, we evaluate ten land management practices—forestry harvest, tree species selection, grazing and mowing harvest, crop harvest, crop species selection, irrigation, wetland drainage, fertilization, tillage, and fire—for (1) their importance on the Earth system, (2) the possibility of implementing them in state-of-the-art ESMs, and (3) availability of required input data. Matching these criteria, we identify “low-hanging fruits” for the inclusion in ESMs, such as basic implementations of crop and forestry harvest and fertilization. We also identify research requirements for specific communities to address the remaining land management practices. Data availability severely hampers modeling the most extensive land management practice, grazing and mowing harvest, and is a limiting factor for a comprehensive implementation of most other practices. Inadequate process understanding hampers even a basic assessment of crop species selection and tillage effects. The need for multiple advanced model structures will be the challenge for a comprehensive implementation of most practices but considerable synergy can be gained using the same structures for different practices. A continuous and closer collaboration of the modeling, Earth observation, and land system science communities is thus required to achieve the inclusion of land management in ESMs.
    Getting a grip on hydrological and sediment connectivity
    Masselink, Rens J.H. - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): C.J. Ritsema; S.E.A.T.M. van der Zee, co-promotor(en): S.D. Keesstra; A.J.A.M. Temme. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436342 - 158
    hydrology - sediment - land degradation - slopes - geological sedimentation - land management - soil physics - hydrologie - sediment - landdegradatie - hellingen - geologische sedimentatie - grondbeheer - bodemfysica

    Land degradation is a large problem worldwide, especially in agricultural areas. Between 1-6 billion ha of land worldwide is affected by land degradation. With an increasing world population, more food production is needed and, therefore, more land is converted into agricultural areas. This conversion of land to agricultural areas, in turn, leads to more land degradation. Some common forms of land degradation are desertification, salinization and soil erosion by water. The negative effects of soil erosion have been recognized for a long time. Since the early 20th century, researchers have tried to quantify soil displaced due to water, and to measure and model the efficiency of management strategies.

    The implications of problems with upscaling, wrong process representation and equifinality include the difficulty to properly predict sediment sources, pathways and sinks within catchments. These problems then can translate into the implementation of sub-optimal management strategies. To deal with these non-linear processes and the lack of proper representation of water and sediment sources, pathways and sinks, the concept of connectivity was developed. Currently, many definitions of connectivity have been proposed, although the definition most used is that of hydrological connectivity by Pringle (2003): ‘Hydrologic connectivity is the water-mediated transport of matter, energy and organisms within or between elements of the hydrologic cycle’.

    A unified theory on what constitutes connectivity and how connectivity should be measured or inferred remains one of the biggest challenges within catchment science. In addition, it is unclear whether connectivity should be an output or an input of a model and if an input, whether this should be added explicitly or implicitly. The main objective of this thesis was, therefore, to assess and quantify hydrological and sediment connectivity in a meaningful way, which can further our understanding of hydrological and sediment transport processes and catchment system dynamics.

    The study was carried out in three catchments in Navarre, northern Spain. Two catchments, ‘Latxaga’ and ‘La Tejeria’, are agricultural catchments with sizes of 2.07 km2 and 1.69 km2, respectively. The ‘Oskotz Forestal’ catchment is a (semi-)natural catchment, with a size of 5.05 km2. Land cover in the agricultural catchments is mainly winter wheat and barley, while in the Oskotz catchment it is grassland and forest. Latxaga and La Tejeria are mainly underlain by marls and within La Tejeria some sandstone is also present. The geology in Oskotz is characterised by an alternation of marls and sandy limestone.

    In chapter 2, I used networks (graph theory) to characterise and quantify overland flow connectivity dynamics on hillslopes in a humid sub-Mediterranean environment by using a combination of high-resolution digital-terrain models, overland flow sensors and a network approach. Results showed that there are significant differences between overland flow connectivity on agricultural areas and semi-natural shrubs areas. Significant positive correlations between connectivity and precipitation characteristics were found. Significant negative correlations between connectivity and soil moisture were found, most likely due to soil water repellency and/or soil surface crusting. The combination of structural networks and dynamic networks for determining potential connectivity and actual connectivity proved a powerful tool for analysing overland flow connectivity.

    In chapter 3, I determined the functioning of hillslope-channel connectivity and the continuation of transport of these sediments in the channel. To determine this functioning, I obtained data on sediment transport from the hillslopes to the channels while simultaneously looking at factors that influence sediment export out of the catchment. For measuring hillslope-channel sediment connectivity, Rare-Earth Oxide (REO) tracers were applied to a hillslope in the Latxaga catchment preceding the winter of 2014-2015. The results showed that during the winter there have been no sediments transported from the hillslope into the channel. Analysis of precipitation data showed that although total precipitation quantities did not differ much from the mean, the precipitation intensities were low. Using a Random Forest (RF) machine learning method, I showed that hillslope-channel connectivity in Latxaga is dominated by sediment mobilisation during large (high intensity) precipitation events. Sediments are for a large part exported during those events. Large events also leave behind large amounts of sediments in and near the channel, which is gradually removed by small events.

    In chapter 4 I demonstrated that existing data can be used to assess governing factors of connectivity, and how these factors change over time. Data from three catchments in Navarre, Northern Spain, were used to assess factors that influence hydrologic and sediment connectivity. These factors were used as components in a spatially-lumped linear model for discharge and suspended-sediment yield. Three components of connectivity were distinguished: topographical, biological and soil. Changes in the topographical component for the studied periods were considered relatively small, and, therefore, kept constant. Changes in the biological component were determined using the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index. Changes in the soil component were assessed using an Antecedent Precipitation Index. Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficients were between 0.49 through 0.62 for the discharge models and between 0.23 through 0.3 for the sediment-yield models. I recommended applying the model at smaller spatial scales than catchment scale to minimize the lumping of spatial variability in the components.

    In chapter 5, the objective was to better understand the implications of model calibration at different spatial scales on the simulation of hydrology and sediment dynamics of an agricultural catchment. I applied the LAPSUS-D model to the Latxaga catchment. The model was calibrated and validated (4 years: 2011-2015) using three datasets at varying spatial scales: hillslope, catchment and the combined dataset (combined-calibrated model). The hillslope-calibrated model showed mainly infiltration-excess overland flow, the catchment-calibrated mainly saturation-excess overland flow at the footslopes and the combined-calibrated model showed saturation-excess overland flow from the midslopes to the footslopes. For hydrology, the combined-calibrated model simulated the large discharge peaks best, while at the hillslope scale, the hillslope-calibrated model performed best. The hillslope-calibrated model produced the highest model efficiencies for sediments, for calibration (0.618) and validation (0.269). The hillslope-calibrated model was the only model that showed observed gully erosion on a high-resolution DEM and displayed channel sediment dynamics. However, absolute quantities of erosion and deposition within the catchment were too high. The results show that modellers need to be aware of problems associated with automatic calibration, over-calibration and not incorporating measured data at multiple spatial scales. We advocate incorporating runoff and sediment tracing data at multiple scales whenever this is possible and to, furthermore, carry out specific measuring campaigns towards this end, ultimately to get a more comprehensive view on hydrological and sediment connectivity within a catchment.

    The combination of chapters in this thesis showed that the connectivity concept is useful for a wide range of studies, from hillslope scale to catchment scale. Using the concept, I was able to determine sediment dynamics for a humid-Mediterranean catchment and show that this behaviour is different than previously thought.

    Depending of the aim of the study, various concepts of connectivity are useful. Different geologic and climatic settings cause large differences in catchment (sediment) dynamics. It might, therefore, not be necessary, or even possible, to strive for a single, unifying conceptual framework for connectivity. Instead, a collection of frameworks for different settings should be developed. These frameworks should, however, always aim at helping to understand which measurements need to be taken and which type of models and indices should be used for that particular setting.

    It is my honest opinion that connectivity is definitely a useful concept to advance our knowledge on water and sediment transport processes further. However, careful consideration is also required as this particular concept will not necessary provide the ultimate explanation and insights in dynamic behaviour within watersheds around the world. The gap between the different spatial and temporal scales is too complex to be bridged with a single concept like connectivity. However, the many studies about connectivity that will be published in the near future will be able to advance knowledge on water and sediment transport processes.

    Dilemmas of involvement in land management – Comparing an active (Dutch) and a passive (German) approach
    Hartmann, Thomas ; Spit, Tejo - \ 2015
    Land Use Policy 42 (2015). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 729 - 737.
    land management
    What is the role of spatial planners in urban development? Planners can be very involved in the realization of the land-use plans or they can take a more passive role in development processes. Which role they take depends on the particular institutional arrangements for land management in each country. In this contribution, a typical active and a typical passive approach to land management are compared in order to shed lights on the effects in terms of land management. Therefore the Dutch active land policy and German mandatory land readjustment are taken as an example of each type of approach. Not the whole system of land management, but the approaches (i.e. inherent notions and values) in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, democratic legitimacy and the underlying concept of fairness are related to each other. By studying the differences among these fundamental aspects, this contribution attempts to reconsider planning by law and property rights in terms of the relation between planning instruments and their particular context.
    Groeimogelijkheden verkend bij AMvB grondgebonden melkveehouderij
    Evers, A.G. ; Haan, M.H.A. de - \ 2015
    Wageningen UR
    melkveehouderij - groeianalyse - grondbeheer - fosfaat - melkvee - huisvesting van koeien - maatregelen - wetgeving - landbouwgrond - dairy farming - growth analysis - land management - phosphate - dairy cattle - cow housing - measures - legislation - agricultural land
    Op 29 maart 2015 heeft staatssecretaris Sharon Dijksma voorstellen voor de Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur (AmvB) grondgebonden groei melkveehouderij aan de Eerste Kamer aangeboden. Voor de Koeien & Kansen-bedrijven is verkend wat voor gevolgen dit heeft voor hun bedrijf.
    Information networks that generate economic value: A study on clusters of adopters of new or improved technologies and practices among oil palm growers in Mexico
    Aguilar-Gallegos, N. ; Muñoz-Rodríguez, M. ; Santoyo-Cortés, H. ; Aguilar-Ávila, J. ; Klerkx, L.W.A. - \ 2015
    Agricultural Systems 135 (2015). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 122 - 132.
    agricultural innovation systems - sustainable agriculture - conservation practices - knowledge systems - land management - adoption - farmers - exchange - africa - kenya
    The area under cultivation of oil palm has undergone considerable growth in Mexico, but yields are far below their potential. This is related to the low rate of adoption of new or improved technologies and practices in areas such as plantation management and farm administration. This study determines the factors that have an influence on adoption of new or improved technologies and practices and their relationship with the generation of economic value of oil palm. A cluster analysis of 33 key new or improved technologies and practices adopted by 104 growers was performed, and the main adoption categories and the variables influencing adoption are described. The results indicate that three clusters of growers can be discerned that differ in terms of their levels of adoption. The highest level of adoption of new or improved technologies and practices is related to higher yields and vice versa. The new or improved technologies and practices that differentiate the cluster of the advanced adopters from the cluster of the basic adopters are those related to plantation health, grower associations and production unit management. The cluster of the intermediate adopters is outstanding for their levels of adoption of new or improved technologies and practices in the aspects of plant nutrition, harvest, and genetics and reproduction. The advanced adopters set up better links for getting information, generally fromtheir extensionists. The three clusters each exhibit a great degree of homophily, indicating little information flow between the different clusters of growers, while these can learn from each other. These results make it evident that better articulation among different clusters of growers and other actors should be encouraged, and that diversified and tailor-made extension strategies should be designed to optimally support different clusters of growers.
    Assessing the potential of biochar and charcoal to improve soil hydraulic properties in the humid Ethiopian Highlands: The Anjeni watershed
    Bayabil, H.K. ; Stoof, C.R. ; Lehmann, J.C. ; Yitaferu, B. ; Steenhuis, T.S. - \ 2015
    Geoderma 243-244 (2015). - ISSN 0016-7061 - p. 115 - 123.
    central rift-valley - organic-matter - physical-properties - land management - nile basin - agronomic performance - chemical-properties - climate-change - maize yield - retention
    Biochar has shown promise for restoring soil hydraulic properties. However, biochar production could be expensive in the developing world, while charcoal iswidely available and cheap. The objective of this study is therefore to investigate whether some of the charcoal made in developing countries can also be beneficial for improving soil hydraulic properties, and explore whether charcoal could potentially restore the degraded African soils. Laboratory and field experiments were conducted in the Anjeni watershed in the Ethiopian highlands, to measure soil physical properties including soil moisture retention and infiltration rates. Soils were dominantly clayey with pH in the acidic range, low organic carbon content, and steady infiltration rates ranging between 2 and 36 mm/h. Incorporation of woody feedstock (Acacia, Croton, and Eucalyptus) charcoals significantly decreased moisture retention at lower tensions (10 and 30 kPa), resulting in an increase in relative hydraulic conductivity coefficients at these tensions. While wood (oak) biochar decreased moisture retention at low tensions, corn biochar increased retention, but effects were only slight and not significant. Surprisingly, available water content was not significantly affected by any of the amendments. Overall findings suggest that wood charcoal amendments can improve soil hydraulic properties of degraded soils, thereby potentially reducing runoff and erosion.
    Quantifying the effects of management on ecosystem services
    Oudenhoven, A.P.E. van - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Rik Leemans, co-promotor(en): Dolf de Groot; Rob Alkemade. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571723 - 171
    ecosysteemdiensten - ecosystemen - grondbeheer - modelleren - natuurbescherming - ecosystem services - ecosystems - land management - modeling - nature conservation
    Dit proefschrift onderzoekt de effecten van landbeheer op ecosysteemdiensten. Landbeheer betreft de menselijke activiteiten die landgebruik ondersteunen. Het geheel werd toegepast in drie case studies, variërend van landschap- tot bioomniveau: in Nationaal Landschap 'Het Groene Woud' in Noord Brabant (Hoofdstuk 3), mangrovesystemen in Java, Indonesië (Hoofdstuk 4), en voor ‘rangelands’ op globale schaal (Hoofdstuk 5).
    Forest Carbon Offsets Revisited: Shedding Light on Darkwoods
    Kooten, G.C. van; Bogle, T. ; Vries, F.P. de - \ 2015
    Forest Science 61 (2015)2. - ISSN 0015-749X - p. 370 - 380.
    land management - policy design - sequestration - emissions - redd - implementation - deforestation - framework - prospects - programs
    This paper investigates the viability of carbon offset credits created through forest conservation and preservation. A detailed forest management model based on a case study of a forest estate in southeastern British Columbia, owned by The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is used to demonstrate the challenging nature of estimating forest carbon offsets. For example, the NCC management plan creates substantial carbon offset credits because the counterfactual is that of a private forest liquidator, but when sustainable management of the site is assumed, the commercial operator would sequester much more carbon than under the NCC plan. The broader message is that the creation of carbon offsets is highly sensitive to ex ante assumptions and whether physical carbon is discounted. We demonstrate that more carbon gets stored in wood products as the discount rate on carbon rises (addressing climate change is more urgent). A high discount rate on carbon favors greater harvests and processing of biomass into products, while a low rate favors reduced harvest intensity. Further, since carbon credits earned by protecting forests may find their way onto world carbon markets, they lower the costs of emitting CO2 while contributing little to mitigating climate change.
    Land management in the north-western highlands of Ethiopia: adoption and impact
    Akalu Teshome Firew, ; Firew, A.T. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leo Stroosnijder, co-promotor(en): Jan de Graaff. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571563 - 148
    grondbeheer - landdegradatie - hooglanden - waterbescherming - bodembescherming - ethiopië - land management - land degradation - highlands - water conservation - soil conservation - ethiopia


    Over the last four decades, the government of Ethiopia and various a consortium of donors have been promoting different land management (LM) practices in the highlands of Ethiopia to halt land degradation. However, the adoption rate of these practices has been low. This is because investments in LM practices are influenced by various institutional, socio-economic and bio-physical factors. The main objective of this research is to investigate the impact of these different factors on investments in LM in the north-western Ethiopian highlands. It focuses on the drivers of the different stages of adoption, on profitability of LM practices, and on land quality, land fragmentation, tenure arrangements and social capital.

    We examined the drivers of the different stages of adoption of soil and water conservation (SWC) practices using an ordered probit model. The results indicate that adoption of soil and water conservation (SWC) passes through four major phases: non-adoption/dis-adoption, initial adoption, actual adoption and final adoption. Some socio-economic and institutional factors have a different effect on the respective SWC adoption phases. Final adoption depends mostly on profitability, land-related factors, social capital and perception of erosion problems.

    We also investigated the effectiveness and profitability of three SWC practices (stone bunds, soil bunds and Fanya juu bunds) using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA). The results show that SWC practices are effective in controlling soil erosion, though the profitability of these SWC methods is dependent on the site where they are used. Fanya juu and stone bunds are generally profitable under standard conditions (e.g. medium slope and average soil quality and labour costs). However, the study also shows that different underlying assumptions change the CBA results considerably and consequently also change the conclusions regarding circumstances under which SWC measures are or are not profitable.

    Besides, we assessed farmers’ perceptions about land quality, land fragmentation and tenure systems and their influence on interrelated LM (Bunds, Compost/Manure and Fertilizer) investments using a multivariate probit (MPV) model. The study shows that investments in LM practices are interdependent. For example, compost/manure and fertiliser substitute each other to a certain extent (often not used together, or used interchangeably by farmers) in the farming system of the study areas. Land quality (e.g. slope and soil fertility status), land fragmentation (parcel size and distance of parcel from homestead) and tenure arrangements influence farmers’ investments in LM practices.

    In addition, the relationship between the different dimensions of social capital and investments in LM practices was explored. The results show that the different dimensions of social capital affect LM practices differently. In particular, the cooperation and trust dimensions of social capital are associated with the intensity of investment in SWC bunds and fertiliser use. The extent of participation in formal institutions has a positive effect on the use of fertiliser and compost.

    Furthermore, we evaluated different SWC practices using Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) to assess their ecological, economic and social impacts. The study reveals that MCA is an effective evaluation tool that can take into account non- monetary and less quantifiable effects of SWC measures, which is not possible with Cost Benefit Analysis. The results of the analysis indicate that farmers have a range of criteria to evaluate the performance of SWC measures. The relative importance of each criterion in the selection of SWC alternatives depends to a large extent on slope categories.

    For enhancing the adoption and impacts of land management, there is a need to increase knowledge about location specific viable LM practices, to promote collective action at watershed level, to pay more attention to farmers’ preferences and to improve the capacity and capability of farmers.

    Mapping and modelling the effects of land use and land management change on ecosystem services from local ecosystems and landscapes to global biomes
    Petz, K. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Rik Leemans, co-promotor(en): Rob Alkemade; Dolf de Groot. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461738509 - 212
    ecosysteemdiensten - ecosystemen - landgebruik - grondbeheer - cartografie - modelleren - extensieve weiden - begrazing - noord-brabant - zuid-afrika - ecosystem services - ecosystems - land use - land management - mapping - modeling - rangelands - grazing - noord-brabant - south africa
    Herstel en duurzaam beheer van biodiversiteit en ecosysteemdiensten worden steeds meer geïntegreerd in nationaal en internationaal beleid. In dit proefschrift wordt een methodologie ontwikkeld voor de kwantificering van effecten van landmanagement op de ruimtelijke verspreiding van ecosysteemdiensten, zodat de door landmanagement veroorzaakte trade-offs tussen ecosysteemdiensten bepaald kunnen worden voor zowel lokale ecosystemen en landschappen als regionale en mondiale biomen. Een groot aantal ecosysteemdiensten zijn bestudeerd. De karterings- en modelleringsmethoden zijn toegepast en gecombineerd met scenario-analyse in de Nederlandse en Zuid-Afrikaanse studies. Voor Nederland is het landschap van Het Groene Woud bestudeerd.
    Sustainable land management in dynamic agro-ecosystems: an Integrated, multi-scale socio-ecological analysis in Western Kenya highlands
    Mutoko, M.C. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Rik Leemans, co-promotor(en): Lars Hein; C.A. Shisanya. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461737854 - 157
    grondbeheer - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - duurzaam bodemgebruik - agro-ecosystemen - hulpbronnenbeheer - hooglanden - natuurbeheer - kenya - land management - sustainability - sustainable land use - agroecosystems - resource management - highlands - nature management - kenya

    This study was motivated by the puzzlingly localised implementation of available Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices despite the urgent need to reduce both land degradation and general poverty levels in the western highlands of Kenya. This research aimed to not only unravel reasons for the restricted geographical diffusion of SLM practices but also make concrete contributions to foster the promotion of SLM practices. Four specific research objectives and questions were formulated, and an integrated, multi-scale socio-ecological systems framework designed to address these issues at various levels. At the farming system level, high livelihood diversity was found as households increasingly depend on off-farm income opportunities. Besides, results show low production efficiency (average 40%) across five distinct farm types with important implications on intensification in land use. The off-farm oriented and resource-poor farm types were the least likely to invest in SLM practices on their farms. For the forest ecosystem, the estimated local economic benefits of around US$ 450 ha-1 yr-1 were considerably less than half the forgone returns from agricultural activities if the forest were to be converted. Arguably, continued protection of the Kakamega rainforest is justified because of the unknown value of its rich biodiversity and stored carbon in its system, which does not currently generate local economic benefits. At the landscape level, this study found that Vihiga District has undergone rapid land-use changes in the past 25 years. In particular, there has been a major conversion of forest and bare land to agricultural land use. Results show that productivity of tea and to a lesser extent, vegetables increased but the yields of maize and beans—the most common crops—oscillated around 1 ton ha-1. As a result, per capita food crop production dropped by 28% during the past two decades. Empirical findings demonstrate that high and increasing population pressure on land does not necessarily lead to agricultural intensification. Finally, with stakeholder participation, I evaluate local potentials for initiating collaborative action towards wider promotion of SLM practices in the western highlands of Kenya. A positive correlation (rho = 0.83) was found between stakeholder co-operation and the success level of past SLM projects. Reasonable prospects such as some technology adoption activities and organisation of local actors were established, which are necessary for triggering the transformation process to sustainable state of productivity. Based on synthesis of the key findings presented in this thesis, I conclude that the difficulty of achieving wider geographical diffusion of SLM practices in the study area can be attributed to four main reasons. First, there is a practical challenge to properly target the technologies to the right farming households in order to achieve the greatest impacts. Second, the rampant decrease in productive resources (land, capital and labour) for farm production coupled with low efficiencies in common farm enterprises has created an additional aspect of poverty traps—a ‘maize-centred’ poverty trap—making it difficult for a majority of farmers to invest meaningfully in SLM practices. Third, increasing pressure on land from population growth has failed to stimulate better land management practices and efficient resource use in agriculture possibly because the community attempts to make for the shortfall from off-farm activities or by accessing the almost free forest resources where available in the district. Lastly, the low collaboration level among key stakeholders involved in promotion of various components of SLM practices indicates a thin spread of efforts on the ground and unexpectedly delays an accelerated technological transition process. Therefore, I recommend a paradigm shift to embrace a broader, integrated and multi-stakeholder approach to solving the problem of land degradation in the study area and other similar agro-ecosystems in SSA; an approach that equally promotes improved farm productivity and creates off-farm income opportunities.

    Modellering van verandering van grondgebruik en bosbouw in een algemeen evenwichtsmodel
    Woltjer, G.B. - \ 2013
    Wageningen : Wettelijke Onderzoekstaken Natuur & Milieu (WOt-paper 21) - 6
    landgebruik - grondbeheer - vraagfunctie - aanbodsfunctie - landbouwgrond - bossen - modellen - land use - land management - demand functions - supply functions - agricultural land - forests - models
    Bij veel onderzoeksvragen bij het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving en Wageningen UR spelen ontbossing en bosbouw een belangrijke rol. Om de effecten te analyseren voor grondgebruik van het beleid voor biobrandstoffen, landbouw of handel wordt vaak het algemene evenwichtsmodel MAGNET van LEI Wageningen UR gebruikt. Een van de sterke kanten van dit model van de wereldeconomie is de aandacht voor grondaanbod. Recent is een nieuwe benadering voor de dynamiek van de grondmarkt en de rol van bosbouw ontwikkeld. WOt-paper 21 beschrijft de achtergronden van deze nieuwe benadering van grondaanbod in MAGNET.
    Exploring the potential of co-investments in land management in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia
    Adimassu Teferi, Z. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leo Stroosnijder, co-promotor(en): Aad Kessler. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461734518 - 120
    grondbeheer - landdegradatie - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - boeren - gewasproductie - perceptie - bodemvruchtbaarheid - watererosie - stakeholders - ethiopië - land management - land degradation - sustainability - farmers - crop production - perception - soil fertility - water erosion - stakeholders - ethiopia

    Like in any other part of the country, land degradation resulting from water erosion and nutrient depletion is one of the most challenging problems for farmers in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia. Nevertheless, investments in land management to reduce land degradation and increase agricultural production by smallholder farmers have been limited. In addition, public and private sector organizations have never collaborated to stimulate (investments in) land improvement. This study focuses on coinvestments, which are conceived as the collaboration of different stakeholders in land management in the form of material, labour, finance, technology, knowledge and governance. The overall aim of this study was to explore the potential of co-investments to foster land management and increase land productivity in the CRV of Ethiopia. Chapter 2 presents farmers’ perceptions of crop productivity and their strategies to cope with perceived changes in the CRV of |Ethiopia. It reveals that farmers perceive a decrease in crop productivity and food production over the last decades and that they blame a decline in rainfall for this. As a consequence, farmers apply different strategies to cope with, and adapt to perceived rainfall shortages and related expected yield losses. However, an analysis of rainfall data in the CRV shows that rainfall characteristics have not changed over the last three decades. Moreover, according to analysis of official data, crop productivity per hectare in the CRV even shows a slight increase over the last decade. Therefore, farmers’ perception of a decline in crop productivity and rainfall can be explained by i) the increased demand to grow more crops to feed the rapidly growing population, and ii) the lower moisture availability for plant growth as a consequence of more intensive farming (often on less suitable fields) and land degradation. The root causes of frequent food shortages are thus not only related to rainfall, but also to soil fertility decline, soil erosion and lack of rainwater storage in the soil. Current farmers’ strategies are, therefore, not adequate to cope with the increased food demand. There is an urgent need to invest in sustainable land management (SLM) practices that enhance local food production. Chapter 3 focuses on the farmers’ perception of land degradation (especially soil erosion and nutrient depletion) and their investments in land management. If farmers perceive land degradation as a problem, the chance that they invest in land management measures will be enhanced. Results reveal that land degradation in the form of water erosion and fertility depletion is a problem and has increased over

    A process for effective desertification mitigation
    Schwilch, G. - \ 2012
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leo Stroosnijder; H. Hurni, co-promotor(en): Jan de Graaff. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461732880 - 178
    woestijnvorming - grondbeheer - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - besluitvorming - participatie - stakeholders - bodembescherming - milieueffect - mitigatie - desertification - land management - sustainability - decision making - participation - stakeholders - soil conservation - environmental impact - mitigation

    in these ecosystems can easily result in widespread and severe land degradation and thus desertification.
    Combined with global issues such as climate change, economic disparities, migration, and competing claims
    on land, this often leads to a vicious cycle of aridity, land degradation, and productivity loss. In addition to
    the harsh environmental conditions limiting land productivity, the socio-economic situation in drylands can
    pose challenges as well, given that these regions are often characterised by remoteness, marginality, lowproductivity
    farming, weak institutions, and even conflict. Managing land sustainably under such conditions
    is a challenge which concerns land users and other stakeholders, policymakers, and researchers alike.
    Desertification research has traditionally focused on degradation assessments, whereas prevention and
    mitigation strategies have not sufficiently been emphasised, although the concept of sustainable land
    management (SLM) is increasingly being acknowledged (Chapter 1).
    The present research was embedded in the EU FP6 research project DESIRE (Desertification
    Mitigation and Remediation of Land – a Global Approach for Local Solutions; 2007–2012). DESIRE aimed to
    establish promising alternative land use and management strategies in 17 areas affected by land
    degradation and desertification around the world. Project work was based on close collaboration of
    scientists with local stakeholder groups. The study sites served as a global laboratory for developing and
    applying new methods of science – stakeholder collaboration and trialling traditional and innovative
    approaches to combating desertification.
    Chapter 2 offers a compilation and review of a number of methodological approaches to monitoring
    and assessing SLM which to date have been little reported in the literature. Lessons are drawn from these
    experiences, and common elements and future pathways are identified as a basis for a global approach.
    The local-level methods of the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT)
    framework serve to catalogue SLM technologies and approaches as case studies. This tool was included in
    the local-level Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA) as well as in the DESIRE project.
    Complementary site-based approaches can enhance an ecological process-based understanding of SLM
    variation. At national and sub-national levels, a joint WOCAT/LADA/DESIRE spatial assessment based on
    land use systems can be used to identify the status and trends of degradation and SLM, including causes,
    drivers, and impacts on ecosystem services. Expert consultation is combined with scientific evidence and,
    where necessary, enhanced with secondary data and indicator databases. Key lessons learnt include the
    need for a multi-scale approach, for using common indicators, and for drawing on a variety of information
    sources, including scientific data and local knowledge, by means of participatory methods. Methodological
    consistency allows for cross-scale analyses, and findings can be analysed and documented for use by
    decision-makers at various levels. Effective monitoring and assessment of SLM (e.g. for the United Nations
    Convention to Combat Desertification, UNCCD) requires a comprehensive methodological framework
    agreed upon and adopted by the major players.
    Although a variety of conservation measures are already applied at the local level, they are not
    adequately recognised, evaluated, and shared by land users, technicians, researchers, and policymakers.
    Likewise, collaboration between researchers and implementers is often insufficient. Chapter 3 presents a
    new methodological framework for a participatory process of appraising and selecting desertification
    mitigation strategies, and outlines first experiences from its application in the DESIRE project. The
    methodology – a key product developed within this PhD study – combines a collective learning and
    decision-making approach with the use of evaluated global best practices. It moves through a concise
    process in three parts, starting out with the identification of land degradation and locally applied solutions
    in a stakeholder workshop, followed by an assessment of local solutions using a standardised evaluation
    tool, and ending with the joint selection of promising strategies for implementation with the help of a
    decision support tool. A preliminary analysis of the application of the first part of the methodology showed
    that the initial stakeholder workshop resulted in a good basis for stakeholder cooperation and yielded
    promising land conservation practices for further assessment. Study site research teams appreciated the
    results, which they considered particularly valuable because urgent issues and promising options had
    emerged from joint reflection. The methodology was found to be suitable for initiating mutual learning
    among different stakeholder groups, as well as for integrating local and scientific knowledge.
    The thus identified SLM practices were then documented and evaluated by local researchers in
    collaboration with land users and using the internationally recognised and standardised WOCAT
    questionnaires. These in-depth assessments of 30 technologies and 8 approaches are analysed and
    compared across the DESIRE study sites in Chapter 4, highlighting key issues of SLM in drylands. Careful
    attention is paid to features which specifically characterise SLM in drylands and make SLM practices
    especially useful regarding the identified threats. Among the achievements attributed to the documented
    technologies, those mentioned most were diversified and enhanced production, as well as better
    management of water and soil degradation, whether by means of water harvesting, by improving soil
    moisture, or by reducing runoff. Demonstrating a favourable local-scale cost–benefit relationship was
    found to be crucial to improving people’s livelihoods and preventing further outmigration. However, it was
    also found that more research is needed to support the case study authors’ assessments of SLM impacts as
    well as to provide a solid rationale for investments in SLM.
    There are many and often competing options for SLM, and each must be assessed – and sometimes
    negotiated – prior to implementation. This makes SLM a classic multi-stakeholder issue which concerns
    individual and community land users, agricultural advisors, natural resource managers, government
    authorities, civil society, and researchers alike. Selecting appropriate SLM technologies for implementation
    thus requires an approach that is capable of integrating the diverse knowledge, perceptions, and
    judgements of the different stakeholders involved. Time and resource constraints often impede the
    development of contextualised, targeted, and sophisticated decision support systems. The DESIRE research
    project provided an excellent opportunity to develop and test a generic decision support methodology,
    using it to assist the study site teams in selecting, together with stakeholders in a stakeholder workshop,
    the most promising SLM option(s) for subsequent test implementation in the field (Chapter 5). Special
    attention was paid to the screening of local innovations, the selection and adaptation of potential SLM
    technologies, and the decision-making process determining which options are to be implemented. Chapter
    5 reviews the application of the DESIRE decision support methodology in a variety of biophysical and socioeconomic
    contexts, finding it to be well-structured, comprehensive, and relatively easy to apply. The builtin
    global database of SLM options provided knowledge from various environments, while the use of simple
    software allowed for easy calculation and visualisation of results. The scoring and negotiation of each
    option’s sustainability forced stakeholders to consider and acknowledge each other’s positions and
    opinions, ensuring that the final choice was well-accepted. The methodology included seeking
    commitments from stakeholders to implement the selected option(s). Challenges included the complexity
    of the issues at hand and the need for skilled moderators. Nonetheless, positive outcomes and user
    feedback confirmed that the DESIRE decision support methodology is an easy-to-use stepwise methodology
    for facilitating decision-focused participatory processes.
    Participatory and multi-stakeholder approaches are increasingly motivated by social learning and
    empowerment goals. Yet there remains a lack of practical tools for facilitating such processes. The research
    presented here aimed to close the gap between the theory and the practice of stakeholder participation
    and learning in decision-making processes concerned with SLM. Chapter 6 analyses and describes how the
    3-part participatory methodology for selecting SLM options contributed to multi-stakeholder learning.
    Cross-site analysis and in-depth evaluation of the Moroccan and Portuguese sites were used to evaluate
    how well the proposed process facilitated stakeholder learning and the selection of appropriate SLM
    options for local implementation. The structured nature of the process – starting with the joint setting of
    SLM goals – was found to facilitate mutual understanding and collaboration between stakeholders. The
    deliberation process led to a high degree of consensus over the outcome and, although this had not been
    an initial aim, in many cases also fostered social learning. This solution-oriented methodology is applicable
    in a wide range of contexts and can be implemented with limited time and resources.
    Chapter 7 presents insights into the field implementation of one of the selected SLM measures in
    Sehoul, Morocco. The Moroccan DESIRE study site was located near the city of Rabat, in an area where
    desertification poses a threat to marginal and often stony and degraded slopes. The use of marginal and
    stony land by the local population had become necessary due to increased poverty and the occupation of
    the best stretches of land by new owners. The land use change from grazing to cropping caused a
    deterioration of the field water balance, characterised by increased water loss through runoff, drainage,
    and evaporation, and resulting in less primary production. Promising experiences with no-tillage practices
    elsewhere in Morocco had motivated the Moroccan government to promote Conservation Agriculture
    throughout the country. This combination of crop rotation, minimal soil disturbance, and soil cover
    maintenance, however, had not yet been tested on sloping degraded land. The field trial results showed
    that covering the soil with crop residues neither improved yields nor increased rainwater use efficiency,
    although soil water was generally enhanced. Soil moisture measurements revealed that no-tillage was
    favourable mainly at soil depths of 5 cm and in connection with low-rainfall events (< 20 mm); under these
    circumstances, moisture content was generally higher under no-tillage than under conventional tillage.
    Moreover, farmers in Sehoul were found to be primarily interested in animal husbandry, and both crop
    residues and grains were used as feed. Chapter 7 concludes with lessons learnt from the on-farm trials in
    The synthesis (Chapter 8) offers more detailed reflection on certain key aspects of the research
    findings, such as the 3-part methodology, monitoring and assessment, stakeholder collaboration and
    learning, decision support, and desertification mitigation by means of SLM technologies and approaches.
    This is followed by a review of challenges and limitations of the proposed methodological framework and
    an assessment of its overall impact. The chapter concludes with an outlook and recommendations. One
    major conclusion is that research needs to move beyond simply idealising and promoting participatory
    approaches and learning processes: in addition, researchers must also advocate the provision of time and
    resources and the establishment of long-term partnerships by both scientific and policymaking bodies. Indepth
    and long-term field-based research remains important, but it requires sufficient resources and longterm
    commitment in order to provide adequate evidence. The methodology developed within this thesis is
    not limited to desertification; it is appropriate and useful for tackling land degradation anywhere in the
    world and for advancing towards more sustainable decisions on SLM strategies with a higher acceptance
    among stakeholders. Negotiation of, and deliberation over, ecosystem services might be the key to
    boosting SLM beyond the local scale, while at the same time compensating land users for their crucial
    efforts to combat desertification.

    Desire for greener land : options for sustainable land management in drylands
    Schwilch, G. ; Hessel, R. ; Verzandvoort, S.J.E. - \ 2012
    Bern [etc.] : University of Bern [etc.] - ISBN 9789461733290 - 282
    droge gebieden - grondbeheer - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - duurzaam bodemgebruik - woestijnvorming - bodembescherming - waterbeheer - teeltsystemen - begrazingsbeheer - bosbedrijfsvoering - arid lands - land management - sustainability - sustainable land use - desertification - soil conservation - water management - cropping systems - grazing management - forest management
    Desire for Greener Land compiles options for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in drylands. It is a result of the integrated research project DESIRE (Desertification Mitigation and Remediation of Land - A Global Approach for Local Solutions). Lasting five years (2007–2012) and funded within the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme, DESIRE brought together the expertise of 26 international research institutes and non-governmental organisations. The DESIRE project aimed to establish promising alternative land use and management strategies in 17 degradation and desertification sites around the world, relying on close collaboration between scientists and local stakeholder groups. The study sites provided a global laboratory in which researchers could apply, test, and identify new and innovative approaches to combatting desertification. The resulting SLM strategies are local- to regional-scale interventions designed to increase productivity, preserve natural resource bases, and improve people’s livelihoods. These were documented and mapped using the internationally recognised WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) methodological framework, which formed an integral part of the DESIRE project. The DESIRE approach offers an integrated multidisciplinary way of working together from the beginning to the end of a project; it enables scientists, local stakeholders and policy makers to jointly find solutions to desertification. This book describes the DESIRE approach and WOCAT methodology for a range of audiences, from local agricultural advisors to scientists and policymakers. Links are provided to manuals and online materials, enabling application of the various tools and methods in similar projects. The book also includes an analysis of the current context of degradation and SLM in the study sites, in addition to analysis of the SLM technologies and approaches trialled in the DESIRE project. Thirty SLM technologies, eight SLM approaches, and several degradation and SLM maps from all the DESIRE study sites are compiled in a concise and well-illustrated format, following the style of this volume’s forerunner where the land is greener (WOCAT 2007). Finally, conclusions and policy points are presented on behalf of decision makers, the private sector, civil society, donors, and the research community. These are intended to support people’s efforts to invest wisely in the sustainable management of land – enabling greener drylands to become a reality, not just a desire.
    Calibration of RWEQ in a patchy landscape; a first step towards a regional scale wind erosion model
    Youssef, I.F. ; Visser, S.M. ; Karssenberg, D. ; Bruggeman, A. ; Erpul, G. - \ 2012
    Aeolian Research 3 (2012)4. - ISSN 1875-9637 - p. 467 - 476.
    land management - prediction - validation - transport - sediment - sahel - gis
    Despite the fact that wind erosion seriously affects the sustainable use of land in a large part of the world, validated wind erosion model that predicts windblown mass transport on a regional scale is lacking. The objectives of this research were to modify revised wind erosion equation (RWEQ) to estimate soil loss at a field scale in a way that it could operate at a regional scale, to calibrate the model using ground data collected from a field scale representing different land uses in Khanasser valley, Syria, and to estimate the total sediment fluxes (kg m-1) and soil losses (kg m-2) for farming fields. We implemented a modified version of RWEQ that represents wind erosion as a transient process, using time steps of 6 h. Beside this a number of adaptations including estimation of mass flux over the field boundaries, and the routing of sediment have been done. Originally, RWEQ was created and calibrated for application at the scale in USA. Due to the adaptations imparted to the original RWEQ and the different environmental condition in Syria of application areas, an intensive calibration process was required before applying the model to estimate the net soil loss from the experimental fields. The results of this test showed that the modified version of RWEQ provided acceptable predictions for the average mass flux from the measurement plot with a linear regression coefficient of R2 of 0.57 and 0.83 for the (d) test for the 20 wind events at the six tested plots
    Transforming landscapes, transforming lives : the business of sustainable water buffer management
    Steenbergen, F. van; Tuinhof, A. ; Knoop, L. ; Kauffman, J.H. - \ 2011
    Wageningen : 3R Water - ISBN 9789079658008 - 105
    grondbeheer - duurzame ontwikkeling - buffers - buffercapaciteit - waterbeheer - hulpbronnenbeheer - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - sociale gevolgen - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - land management - sustainable development - buffers - buffering capacity - water management - resource management - natural resources - social impact - livelihood strategies
    This book is about sustainable land management, the development of water buffers and the business case underneath it. It is part of the discussion on the green economy: investment in natural resource management makes business sense. This also applies for investment in land, water and vegetative cover. Some of the parameters may be different – returns may not always be immediate – but essentially both the financial payback and the economic dividend of investing in integrated landscapes – if done properly – are rewarding. The social impact moreover is important – investing in sustainable land and water buffers will transform lives and economies. Having a buffer gives a sense of security and the reassurance that come what may one’s livelihood is secured.
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