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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    Records 1 - 20 / 2099

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    Understanding Landscape Multifunctionality in a Post-forest Frontier: Supply and Demand of Ecosystem Services in Eastern Amazonia
    Pinillos, Daniel ; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A. ; Poccard-Chapuis, Rene ; Corbeels, Marc ; Tittonell, Pablo ; Schulte, Rogier P.O. - \ 2020
    Frontiers in Environmental Science 7 (2020). - ISSN 2296-665X
    ecosystem services - land use - land-use pathways - landscape multi-functionality - pedo-morphology - policy targets

    Sustainable food production requires approaches that reconcile agricultural production with the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. While the contribution of agriculture to the provision of individual ecosystem services has received considerable scientific attention, little is known about the extent to which tropical landscapes can meet societal expectations related to food production and environmental sustainability simultaneously. We assessed how the spatial configuration of pedo-morphology and land uses influences the provision of three soil-based ecosystem services in eastern Amazonia: carbon storage (CS), habitat for biodiversity (HB), and agricultural commodity production (CP). We use the Functional Land Management framework to assess the supply and demand of these ecosystem services in a spatially explicit manner to identify areas of (mis)matches and trade-offs in the municipality of Paragominas, Brazil. The supply of ecosystem services was informed by a literature review for the various combinations of pedo-morphological characteristics and land uses in the region. The demand for ecosystem services was mapped based on federal and state policy targets. Mapping the supply and demand of CS indicated that half of the carbon in the region is stored in remnants of undisturbed forest which cover only a third of the municipality. Demand for HB in terms of forested area is met but it does not guarantee safeguarding biodiversity. Roughly a third of the territory shows scarce quality of HB even when compliant with legislation. Concerning CP, we identified areas where both supply and the demand to increase production are relative high due to road access and lower intensification costs. The demand for agricultural production can eventually incentivize the expansion of agriculture on fertile soils, which could compromise environmental targets. Our results suggest that the simultaneous delivery of multiple ecosystem services may require land-use pathways that combine land sparing and sharing approaches. Our analysis can inform integrated land-use planning initiatives where, historically, the supply and demand for CP have been the single dominant driver for the current landscape configuration.

    Dutch fog: On the observed spatio-temporal variability of fog in the Netherlands
    Izett, Jonathan G. ; Wiel, Bas J.H. van de; Baas, Peter ; Hooft, J.A. van; Schulte, Ruben B. - \ 2019
    Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 145 (2019)723. - ISSN 0035-9009 - p. 2817 - 2834.
    climatology - fog - land use - regional variability - weather

    The Netherlands is characterized by highly variable land use within a small area, and a strong influence of the North Sea on national climate. Devoid of significant topography, it is an excellent location for assessing the relative influence of various factors on fog occurrence in the absence of terrain effects. Using observations from a dense network of weather stations throughout the country, the climatology of fog in the Netherlands is assessed over a period of 45 years. On a national scale, interannual variability is linked to changes in synoptic pressure-gradient forcing. Within the country, a comprehensive in-depth analysis of regional differences between fog occurrence is made, together with an assessment of local physical factors which could bias fog formation in one location over another. Regional variability is shown to be strongly related to the mesoscale influences of urbanization and the North Sea. In fact, some locations experience over twice as much fog as others. From this finding, a simple index is presented, which combines the water and urban fraction surrounding a station. This “Regionally Weighted Index” (RWI) is able to accurately sort the stations according to their relative fogginess. Its practical use is encouraged for assessing a given site's climatological favourability, even when in situ meteorological observations are unavailable.

    Defining a land boundary for sustainable livestock consumption
    Zanten, Hannah H.E. van; Herrero, Mario ; Hal, Ollie van; Röös, Elin ; Muller, Adrian ; Garnett, Tara ; Gerber, Pierre J. ; Schader, Christian ; Boer, Imke J.M. De - \ 2018
    Global Change Biology 24 (2018)9. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 4185 - 4194.
    animal source food - greenhouse gas emissions - land boundary - land use - leftovers - livestock - recycling biomass - sustainable consumption - sustainable development goals

    The need for more sustainable production and consumption of animal source food (ASF) is central to the achievement of the sustainable development goals: within this context, wise use of land is a core challenge and concern. A key question in feeding the future world is: how much ASF should we eat? We demonstrate that livestock raised under the circular economy concept could provide a significant, nonnegligible part (9–23 g/per capita) of our daily protein needs (~50–60 g/per capita). This livestock then would not consume human-edible biomass, such as grains, but mainly convert leftovers from arable land and grass resources into valuable food, implying that production of livestock feed is largely decoupled from arable land. The availability of these biomass streams for livestock then determines the boundaries for livestock production and consumption. Under this concept, the competition for land for feed or food would be minimized and compared to no ASF, including some ASF in the human diet could free up about one quarter of global arable land. Our results also demonstrate that restricted growth in consumption of ASF in Africa and Asia would be feasible under these boundary conditions, while reductions in the rest of the world would be necessary to meet land use sustainability criteria. Managing this expansion and contraction of future consumption of ASF is essential for achieving sustainable nutrition security.

    Determining RUSLE P- and C-factors for stone bunds and trenches in rangeland and cropland, North Ethiopia
    Taye, Gebeyehu ; Vanmaercke, Matthias ; Poesen, Jean ; Wesemael, Bas Van; Tesfaye, Samuale ; Teka, Daniel ; Nyssen, Jan ; Deckers, Jozef ; Haregeweyn, Nigussie - \ 2018
    Land Degradation and Development 29 (2018)3. - ISSN 1085-3278 - p. 812 - 824.
    Ethiopian Highlands - land use - RUSLE - soil and water conservation - soil erosion
    The implementation of soil and water conservation (SWC) measures in the Ethiopian Highlands is a top priority to reduce soil erosion rates. However, the effectiveness of these measures for different hillslope gradients and land use conditions remains poorly understood. This study addresses this knowledge gap by determining support practice (P) and cover-management (C) factors of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation for commonly used SWC structures in semi-arid environments. The factor values were calculated on the basis of soil loss data collected with 21 large runoff plots installed in rangeland and cropland sites. The P- and C-factors were calculated following the recommended procedures. Results show P-factors ranging from 0.32 to 0.74 for stone bunds, from 0.07 to 0.65 for trenches, and from 0.03 to 0.22 for stone bunds with trenches. Reduced storage capacities due to sediment deposition resulted in significant declines of the effectiveness of SWC structures over time. For example, the average P-factor value for trenches increased from 0.1 in the first year after installation to 0.51 after 3 years. C-factor values ranged from 0.23 to 0.82 in rangeland and from 0.03 to 0.35 in cropland. For rangeland, this large variability is due to vegetation cover changes caused by grazing. In cropland, C-factors vary with crop types and tillage practices. The results of this study not only aid in modelling and quantifying the short-term impacts of SWC structures on soil erosion rates but also highlight the importance of considering temporal variations of the effectiveness of SWC measures.
    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.
    Effect verandering landgebruik op emissies broeikasgassen
    Vellinga, T. ; Eekeren, N. van - \ 2017
    V-focus 14 (2017)2. - ISSN 1574-1575 - p. 38 - 39.
    landgebruik - bodemkwaliteit - broeikasgassen - emissie - melkveehouderij - graslanden - wisselbouw - grasklaver - land use - soil quality - greenhouse gases - emission - dairy farming - grasslands - ley farming - grass-clover swards
    In het vorige nummer van V-focus is besproken wat het optimale landgebruik voor bodemkwaliteit is op melkveebedrijven met gras en mais, namelijk: 60% blijvend grasland met een lage frequentie van graslandvernieuwing en 20% grasklaver (rode en witte klaver) in rotatie met 20% bouwland. In het hetzelfde nummerwerd uitgerekend dat dit een gemiddeld melkveebedrijf 7.000 euro per jaar oplevert. In het Project Vruchtbare Kringloop Achterhoek en Liemers (VKA) is gekeken wat dit betekent voor de emissie van broeikasgassen. In de kennisgroep Melk&Klimaat van VKA werken melkveehouders, samen met FrieslandCampina, aan het verminderen van de ‘carbonfootprint’ van melk
    Chobe district integrated land use plan
    Sluis, Theo van der; Cassidy, Lin ; Brooks, Chris ; Wolski, Piotr ; VanderPost, Cornelis ; Wit, Piet ; Henkens, Rene ; Eupen, Michiel van; Mosepele, K. ; Maruapula, O. ; Veenendaal, Elmar - \ 2017
    Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2813) - 181
    land use - sustainability - tourism - ecosystems - savannas - botswana - landgebruik - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - toerisme - ecosystemen - savannen - botswana
    Soil protection for a sustainable future : options for a soil monitoring network for Ireland
    O'Sullivan, L. ; Bampa, F. ; Knights, K. ; Creamer, R.E. - \ 2017
    Soil Use and Management 33 (2017)2. - ISSN 0266-0032 - p. 346 - 363.
    drainage class - indicators - land use - natural resource - protection - Soil monitoring - sustainability

    The increased recognition of the importance of soil is reflected in the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda with sustainable development goals that directly and indirectly relate to soil quality and protection. Despite a lack of legally binding legislation for soil protection, the European Commission remains committed to the objective of soil protection. However, the achievement of a legally binding framework for soil protection relies on the implementation of a soil monitoring network (SMN) that can detect changes to soil quality over time. As beneficiaries do not pay for the provision of soil information, the options for soil monitoring are limited. The use of existing data sets should be considered first. Using Ireland as an example, this research explored the opportunities for a SMN for Ireland considering three existing national data sets. The options for a SMN are considered in terms of their spatial and stratified distribution, the parameters to be measured and an economic analysis of the options proposed. This research finds that for Ireland, either a 10 or a 16 km2 grid interval stratified by land use and drainage class offers the best potential in relation to the spatial distribution of existing data sets to reflect local data at a national level. With existing data, the stratified SIS data using the 16 km2 grid offers the best value for money, with baseline costs for analysis, excluding field costs, of between €706 481 and €2.8 million. Acknowledging the impossibility of measuring all parameters with ideal frequency, this study proposes a two-tier system for optimized monitoring frequency. Parameters must anticipate future policy requirements. Finally, the implementation of a SMN must be accompanied by standardized methods, defined thresholds and action mandates to maintain soil quality within allowable limits.

    Protecting indigenous land from mining : a study of activist representations of indigenous people, in the context of anti-mining movements, with a focus on an Indian case
    Borde, Radhika - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): C. Minca, co-promotor(en): M. Duineveld; B. Blueming. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431880 - 113
    mining - indigenous people - land use - protest - relations between people and state - ideology - india - mijnbouw - inheemse volkeren - landgebruik - protest - verhoudingen tussen bevolking en staat - ideologie - india

    Support for indigenous peoples has been increasing over the last few decades. This can be seen internationally, as well as in several domestic contexts. The support for indigenous people has been linked to the increasingly prominent impetus to conserve the Earth’s biodiversity and environment. Indigenous people are being recognized for their role in protecting the places in which they live in and that they value in cultural or spiritual terms. This recognition has partly fuelled the support for indigenous lifestyles and the related management of resources. These traditional lifestyles are also presented by activists from within these communities, as a critique of mainstream development. This is echoed by the many activists and activist organizations involved in supporting indigenous people’s causes across the world.

    A cause that indigenous people have often rallied around is the resistance towards mining on indigenous land. This is a cause that has attracted a significant amount of support, particularly when the land in question had spiritual or cultural value for an indigenous community. Accordingly, there have been several success stories of resistance towards mining on land that indigenous people believed was sacred, in several different continents. This thesis focuses on such narratives in the Indian context. It examines how, why and to what effect, local and international activists got involved in supporting a movement to protect the Niyamgiri Mountain in east-central India from bauxite extraction by Vedanta Resources, a multi-national mining company. The Niyamgiri Mountain was believed to be sacred by the Dongaria Kondh community which lived there and which is generally understood (though not officially recognized) as an indigenous community. The movement, which this thesis refers to as the Niyamgiri Movement, was finally successful – since the mining project was banned by the Indian government. In addition to a focus on this movement, the thesis also compares this movement with the anti-mining movement on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.

    Indigenous peoples constitute minority groups in many of the countries in the Global South. It is also common for governments in the Global South to promote mining as an economic development strategy. This has led to frequent conflicts between indigenous peoples and mining companies. In some of the countries in the Global South, such as the Philippines, indigenous peoples are given official recognition. Whereas in others, such as India, there are affirmative action programs targeting groups claiming indigenous identity, as well as special legislations aimed at protecting their land, although no official recognition of the indigenous identity of these groups exists. Despite this, in contexts such as India there is often a general cultural understanding that groups which claim an indigenous identity are in some way ‘primordial’ – to use a word that translates best from the Indian context, in which the terms Adi Vasi (Original/Primordial Dwellers) or Adim Janajati (Primordial Tribes) are commonly used for such groups.

    Given that there is at least some degree of cultural acceptance (if not an official recognition) of the indigenous identity of some of the groups that are entering into conflicts with mining companies, an important question relates to the reasons why local activists may get involved in supporting indigenous struggles against mining and how they may understand indigeneity in this context. Another important question is related to the laws that are applicable in local contexts and which may be used to support the struggles of groups that claim indigenous identity. The Forest Rights Act in India is such a law and the thesis explores how it was used in the context of the Niyamgiri Movement. Finally, it is important to consider how people who are not indigenous and who may not have an activist orientation, can be made to take a sympathetic view of indigenous struggles against mining. In the context of the Niyamgiri Movement in India, this thesis explores how creative representations by activists translated the nature religiosity of the Dongaria Kondhs into familiar terms that mainstream popular discourse in India could identify with.

    In the thesis, the comparison of the Niyamgiri Movement in India with the anti-mining movement on the island of Palawan in the Philippines examines the way in which social movements in two different nation-state contexts engage with globalized discourses pertaining to the linkages between indigenous issues and conservation discourses. For a deeper examination of the way indigenous people are represented by globalized popular discourses, the thesis examines how images from Hollywood were used to generate sympathy for the Dongaria Kondhs’ cause in the Niyamgiri Movement. An examination of the international activism which supported the Niyamgiri Movement and which has been effective in bringing about the success of the movement i.e. the banning of the mining project on Niyamgiri, is another important focal point of the thesis.

    A commitment towards exploring the activist politics that is relevant to the lives of indigenous peoples has inspired this thesis, which seeks to understand effective activist strategies and identify problematic ones in relation to the protection of land with cultural or spiritual value for indigenous peoples. Keeping this in view, it explores the insights provided by different theories, in order to use these to contribute towards orienting activist practice towards greater effectiveness as well as higher self-reflexivity.

    Climate variability, farmland value, and farmers’ perceptions of climate change : implications for adaptation in rural Pakistan
    Arshad, Muhammad ; Kächele, Harald ; Krupnik, Timothy J. ; Amjath-Babu, T.S. ; Aravindakshan, Sreejith ; Abbas, Azhar ; Mehmood, Yasir ; Müller, Klaus - \ 2017
    International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 24 (2017)6. - ISSN 1350-4509 - p. 532 - 544.
    adaptation - Climate change - land use - land valuation - Ricardian analysis - rural development - South Asia

    Many studies have examined the impact of climatic variability on agricultural productivity, although an understanding of these effects on farmland values and their relationship to farmers’ decisions to adapt and modify their land-use practices remains nascent in developing nations. We estimated the impacts of the deviation in our study year's (2012) temperature and precipitation patterns from medium-term (1980–2011) climatic patterns on farmland values in Pakistan. This was accomplished by employing a modified form of a Ricardian regression model. We also examined farmers’ perceptions of climate change during this period, as well as their perceptions of climate change impacts on farm productivity, in addition to past and anticipated farm adaptation strategies. Our results indicate that positive temperature deviation from the medium-term mean – indicative of climatic change – affects farmland values in Pakistan. Deviation in annual cumulative precipitation conversely appears to have no significant impact. Estimates of the marginal impact of temperature deviation suggested a slight but negative linear relationship with farmland values. The location of farms in areas where farmers can avail financial or extension services conversely had a positive impact on farmland values, as did the availability of irrigation facilities. Our analysis of farmers’ perceptions of climate change and their consequent adaptation behavior indicated a relatively high degree of awareness of climatic variability that influenced a number of proactive and future anticipated farm adaptation strategies. Examples included increased use of irrigation and farm enterprise diversification, as well as land-use change, including shifting from agriculture into alternative land uses. National policy in Pakistan underscores the importance of maintaining a productive rural agricultural sector. Our findings consequently highlight the importance of appropriate adaptation strategies to maintain both farm productivity and farmland values in much of Pakistan. The implications of increased extension and financial services to enhance farmers’ potential for climate change adaptation are discussed.

    The 2016 release of the PREDICTS database
    Hudson, Lawrence N. ; Newbold, Tim ; Contu, Sara ; Hill, Samantha L.L. ; Lysenko, Igor ; Palma, Adriana De; Phillips, Helen R.P. ; Alhusseini, Tamera I. ; Bedford, Felicity E. ; Bennett, Dominic J. ; Bugter, R.J.F. - \ 2016
    Natural History Museum, London
    alpha diversity - global diversity modelling - global change - habitat destruction - land cover - land use - terrestrial biodiversity
    Data from: The potential of hyperspectral patterns of winter wheat to detect changes in soil microbial community composition
    Almeida De Carvalho, Sabrina ; Putten, W.H. van der - \ 2016
    serial dilution - land use - biodiversity - species loss - monitoring - Triticum aestivum - Triticum aestivum L.
    This file contains data from a greenhouse experiment where winter wheat plants were grown in sterilized soil, inoculated with different microbial suspensions. Includes hyperspectral reflectance, indices, shoot biomass of winter wheat, C:N ratio's of plants, bacterial diversity based on sequencing
    Methodologies identification and certification of Low ILUC risk biofuels : final report
    Peters, Daan ; Spöttle, ; Hähl, Thomas ; Kühner, Ann-Kathrin ; Cuijpers, Maarten ; Stomph, Tjeerd Jan ; Werf, Wopke van der; Grass, Martin - \ 2016
    Utrecht : ECOFYS Netherlands - 58
    biofuels - greenhouse gases - land use - biomass - biomass production - biobased economy - indirect land use change - biobrandstoffen - broeikasgassen - landgebruik - biomassa - biomassa productie - biobased economy - indirecte veranderingen van landgebruik
    Biofuels can be an important instrument to decarbonise the transport sector. However, the greenhouse gas performance of biofuels can be negatively impacted by Indirect land use change (ILUC) effects. In this report, Ecofys proposes two methodologies to identify and demonstrate low ILUC risk biofuel feedstock production through the application of yield increase (see Chapter 3) or unused land (see ILUC mitigation methodology for unused land).
    Basiskaart Natuur 2009 : een landsdekkend basisbestand voor de terrestrische natuur in Nederland
    Kramer, H. ; Clement, J. - \ 2016
    Wageningen : Wettelijke Onderzoekstaken Natuur & Milieu (WOt-technical report 72) - 80
    natuur - monitoring - landgebruik - kaarten - geodata - geografische informatiesystemen - nederland - nature - monitoring - land use - maps - geodata - geographical information systems - netherlands
    De Basiskaart Natuur 2009 (BKN2009) is een basisbestand waarin het areaal natuurgebied in Nederland is opgenomen. BKN2009 is een rasterbestand met een celgrootte van 25 bij 25 meter. In het bestand zijn 13 klassen opgenomen met een code en naam voor het desbetreffende grondgebruik. Het belangrijkste
    onderdeel van het bestand is het areaal natuur; volgens de gebruikte definitie van natuur in BKN2009 is dit 650.374 ha. Dit omvat de klassen natuurgraslanden (code 11), heide (30), bos (40), rietmoeras (80), stuifzanden (90) en duinen, strand en zandplaten (91). BKN2009 is voor het gebruik bij monitoring nog niet gevalideerd.
    Multidimensional remote sensing based mapping of tropical forests and their dynamics
    Dutrieux, L.P. - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Herold, co-promotor(en): Lammert Kooistra; Lourens Poorter. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789462578906 - 146
    tropical forests - remote sensing - mapping - biodiversity - forest structure - monitoring - land use - landsat - tropische bossen - remote sensing - cartografie - biodiversiteit - bosstructuur - monitoring - landgebruik - landsat

    Tropical forests concentrate a large part of the terrestrial biodiversity, provide important resources, and deliver many ecosystem services such as climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and hence climate change mitigation. While in the current context of anthropogenic pressure these forests are threatened by deforestation, forest degradation and climate change, they also have shown to be, in certain cases, highly resilient and able to recover from disturbances. Quantitative measures of forest resources and insights into their dynamics and functioning are therefore crucial in this context of climate and land use change. Sensors on-board satellites have been collecting a large variety of data about the surface of the earth in a systematic and objective way, making remote sensing a tool that holds tremendous potential for mapping and monitoring the earth. The main aim of this research is to explore the potential of remote sensing for mapping forest attributes and dynamics. Tropical South America, which contains the largest area of tropical forest on the planet, and is therefore of global significance, is the regional focus of the research. Different methods are developed and assessed to: (i) map forest attributes at national scale, (ii) detect forest cover loss, (iii) quantify land use intensity over shifting cultivation landscapes, and (iv) measure spectral recovery and resilience of regrowing forests.

    Remote sensing data are diverse and multidimensional; a constellation of satellite sensors collects data at various spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions, which can be used to inform on different components of forests and their dynamics. To better map and monitor ecological processes, which are inherently multidimensional, this thesis develops methods that combine multiple data sources, and integrate the spatial, temporal and spectral dimensions contained in remote sensing datasets. This is achieved for instance by assembling time-series to fully exploit the temporal signal contained in the data, or by working with multiple spectral channels as a way to better capture subtle ecological features and processes.

    After introducing the general objectives of the thesis in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 presents an approach for mapping forest attributes at national scale. In this chapter, 28 coarse resolution remote sensing predictors from diverse sources are used in combination with in-situ data from 220 forest inventory plots to predict nine forest attributes over lowland Bolivia. The attributes include traditional forest inventory variables such as forest structure, floristic properties, and abundance of life forms. Modelling is done using the random forest approach and reasonable prediction potential was found for variables related to floristic properties, while forest attributes relating to structure had a low prediction potential. This methodological development demonstrates the potential of coarse resolution remote sensing for scaling local in-situ ecological measurements to country-wide maps, thus providing information that is highly valuable for biodiversity conservation, resource use planning, and for understanding tropical forest functioning.

    Chapter 3 presents an approach to detect forest cover loss from remote sensing time-series. While change detection has been the object of many studies, the novel contribution of the present example concerns the capacity to detect change in environments with strong inter-annual variations, such as seasonally dry tropical forests. By combining Landsat with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time-series in a change detection framework, the approach provides information at 30 m resolution on forest cover loss, while normalizing for the natural variability of the ecosystem that would otherwise be detected as change. The proposed approach of combining two data streams at different spatial resolutions provides the opportunity to distinguish anthropogenic disturbances from natural change in tropical forests.

    Chapter 4 introduces a new method to quantify land use intensity in swidden agriculture systems, using remote sensing time-series. Land use intensity — a parameter known for influencing forest resilience — is retrieved in this case by applying a temporal segmentation algorithm derived from the econometrics field and capable of identifying shifts in land dynamic regimes, to Landsat time-series. These shifts, or breakpoints, are then classified into the different events of the swidden agriculture cycle, which allows to quantify the number of cultivation cycles that has taken place for a given agricultural field. The method enables the production of objective and spatially continuous information on land use intensity for large areas, hence benefiting the study of spatio-temporal patterns of land use and the resulting forest resilience. The results were validated against an independent dataset of reported cultivation frequency and proved to be a reliable indicator of land use intensity.

    Chapter 5 further explores the concept of forest resilience. A framework to quantify spectral recovery time of forests that regrow after disturbance is developed, and applied to regrowing forests of the Amazon. Spatial patterns of spectral resilience as well as relations with environmental conditions are explored. Regrowing forests take on average 7.8 years to recover their spectral properties, and large variations in spectral recovery time occur at a local scale. This large local variability suggests that local factors, rather than climate, drive the spectral recovery of tropical forests. While spectral recovery times do not directly correspond to the time required for complete recovery of the biomass and species pool of tropical forests, they provide an indication on the kinetics of the early stages of forest regrowth.

    Chapter 6 summarizes the main findings of the thesis and provides additional reflections and prospects for future research. By predicting forest attributes country-wide or retrieving land use history over the 30 years time-span of the Landsat archive, the developed methods provide insights at spatial and temporal scales that are beyond the reach of ground based data collection methods. Remote sensing was therefore able to provide valuable information for better understanding, managing and conserving tropical forest ecosystems, and this was partly achieved by combining multiple sources of data and taking advantage of the available remote sensing dimensions. However, the work presented only explores a small part of the potential of remote sensing, so that future research should intensively focus on further exploiting the multiple dimensions and multi-scale nature of remote sensing data as a way to provide insights on complex multi-scale processes such as interactions between climate change, anthropogenic pressure, and ecological processes. Inspired by recent advances in operational forest monitoring, operationalization of scientific methods to retrieve ecological variables from remote sensing is also discussed. Such transfer of scientific advances to operational platforms that can automatically produce and update ecologically relevant variables globally would largely benefit ecological research, public awareness and the conservation and wise use of natural resources.

    Crop intensification options and trade-offs with the water balance in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia
    Debas, Mezegebu - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin van Ittersum, co-promotor(en): Huib Hengsdijk; Katrien Descheemaeker. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578616 - 178
    cropping systems - intensification - water balance - crop production - land use - climatic change - crop yield - water use - irrigation - ethiopia - teeltsystemen - intensivering - waterbalans - gewasproductie - landgebruik - klimaatverandering - gewasopbrengst - watergebruik - irrigatie - ethiopië

    The Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia is a closed basin for which claims on land and water have strongly increased over the past decade resulting in over-exploitation of the resources. A clear symptom is the declining trend in the water level of the terminal Lake Abyata. The actual productivity of most cereals in the CRV is less than 2 t ha-1 associated with low input use and poor crop management. Consequently, there are two major development objectives in the CRV, i.e. producing sufficient food for the increasing population, while at the same time ensuring efficient use of limited water and land resources under variable and changing climate conditions. The low productive cereal systems and a declining resource base call for options to increase crop productivity and improve resource use efficiency in order to meet the growing demand for food.

    In this thesis, the recent impacts were quantified of climate change, land use change and irrigation water abstraction on water availability of Lake Abyata of the CRV. The trends in lake levels, river discharges, basin rainfall, temperature and irrigation development (ca. 1975-2008) were analysed and the additional evapotranspiration loss resulting from temperature change and irrigated land were computed. We also analysed land use change (1990-2007) and the associated changes in runoff. Results showed that temperature has increased over 34 years (p<0.001) whereas annual rainfall has not changed significantly. Consequently, increased evapotranspiration consumed 62 and 145 Mm3 of additional water from lakes and land surface, respectively, during 1990-2007. Furthermore, an estimated 285 Mm3yr-1 of water was abstracted for irrigation in 2009 of which approximately 170 Mm3yr-1 is irrecoverable evapotranspiration loss. In addition, surface runoff has increased in the upper, and decreased in lower sub-basins of the CRV associated with extensive land use change (1990-2007).

    We analysed a large number of data from farmers’ fields (>10,000) and experimental data across the CRV from 2004-2009 to quantify the gaps (Yg) between actual (farm) and experimental (water-limited potential - Yw) yields of maize and wheat in homogenous farming zones. We found that the average (2004-2009) yield gap of maize and wheat ranged between 4.2-9.2 t ha-1, and 2.5-4.7 t ha-1, respectively, across farming zones. The actual N and P application in farmers’ fields was low, as about 46% of maize and 27% of wheat fields did not receive fertilisers. We calibrated, validated and used the Agricultural Production System Simulator (APSIM) model to explore intensification options and their trade-offs with water losses through evapotranspiration. Variety selection and N fertilization were more important for yield gap closure than crop residue management and planting density, and the magnitude of their effect depended on soil type and climate. There was a trade-off between intensification and water use through evapotranspiration, as increasing yield comes at the cost of increased transpiration. However, this trade-off can be minimized by choosing location-specific N levels at which both water use efficiency (WUE) and gross margin are maximised. These application rates varied between 75 and 250 kg N ha-1 across locations and soils, and allowed producing 80% of Yw of maize and wheat. Climate change was projected to lower Yw of maize and wheat by ca. 15-25% and 2-30%, respectively, compared to current climate conditions.

    An automated gridded simulation framework was developed to scale up the promising intensification options from field scale to basin scale. We then aggregated basin scale production and identified trade-offs between production and water use for different land use scenarios. This procedure allowed designing land use scenarios based on a spatially explicit optimization of WUE and gross margin per grid cell. Consequences of land use scenarios for food production and water use at basin level were evaluated. Results of the different land use scenarios demonstrated that crop intensification options for which WUE and gross margin are maximised can meet the projected food demand (year 2050) of the growing population in the CRV while at the same time saving large areas of the currently cultivated land. In the intensification scenarios total water loss through evapotranspiration from agricultural land is reduced compared with water loss from current cultivated land and low crop productivity levels.

    It is concluded that the current land use together with climate change and water abstraction for irrigation negatively affected the basin level water balance in CRV over the past decade. Furthermore, the scope for further expansion of farmland to increase food production is very limited. The focus should, therefore, be towards intensification also because the existing yield gaps are huge and hence the scope for intensification is large. Model-based exploration of intensification options can be used to prioritize promising options, to close the yield gap and for quantifying trade-offs. Scaling up of promising options allows to assess whether the food demand of the growing population can be met while at the same time saving the less productive land and water per unit agricultural product.

    Optimising land use in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia : modelling ecosystem benefits and land use dynamics
    Suwarno, Aritta - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Rik Leemans; Lars Hein, co-promotor(en): Hans-Peter Weikard. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578739 - 156
    land use - deforestation - decentralization - ecosystem services - ecosystems - forest policy - forests - modeling - kalimantan - indonesia - landgebruik - ontbossing - decentralisatie - ecosysteemdiensten - ecosystemen - bosbeleid - bossen - modelleren - kalimantan - indonesië

    The rising global population has increased the demand for food, renewable energy and other materials. Yet at the same time to meet this demand requires land and the amount of available land is finite. Considering the importance of land and ecosystems in providing benefits for human, I conducted four independent research on the socio-economic and biophysical aspects of ecosystem service, in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. The first three independent studies were used to understand ecosystem management under decentralised forest governance in Indonesia and its influence on ecosystems, ESs and the benefits that different beneficiaries receive. The fourth study combines the outcomes from the previous three studies to assess and select the most appropriate areas for conservation and community development. As the results, I show the applicability of the ecosystem services concept and land-use modelling in optimising land-use under certain decentralised forest governance systems. My thesis’ results were obtained through the application of methods and steps that integrated a comprehensive set of qualitative and quantitative analyses to support land-use optimisation in the Kapuas Protected Forest Management Unit. My results can inform decision makers on the options of land-use optimisation and the consequences of their management decisions regarding land-use intensification, nature conservation and local economic conditions. I show how land-use optimisation provides an important step in preventing further land degradation and ecosystem loss.

    Where, when and how plant–soil feedback matters in a changing world
    Putten, Wim H. van der; Bradford, Mark A. ; Brinkman, E.P. ; Voorde, Tess F.J. van de; Veen, G.F. - \ 2016
    Functional Ecology 30 (2016). - ISSN 0269-8463 - p. 1109 - 1121.
    biodiversity loss - carbon and nutrient cycling - climate change - community composition - invasive plants - land use - plant–soil feedback triangle - range expansion

    It is increasingly acknowledged that plant–soil feedbacks may play an important role in driving the composition of plant communities and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. However, the mechanistic understanding of plant–soil feedbacks, as well as their roles in natural ecosystems in proportion to other possible drivers, is still in its infancy. Such knowledge will enhance our capacity to determine the contribution of plant–soil feedback to community and ecosystem responses under global environmental change. Here, we review how plant–soil feedbacks may develop under extreme drought and precipitation events, CO2 and nitrogen enrichment, temperature increase, land use change and plant species loss vs. gain. We present a framework for opening the ‘black box of soil’ considering the responses of the various biotic components (enemies, symbionts and decomposers) of plant–soil feedback to the global environmental changes, and we discuss how to integrate these components to understand and predict the net effects of plant–soil feedbacks under the various scenarios of change. To gain an understanding of how plant–soil feedback plays out in realistic settings, we also use the framework to discuss its interaction with other drivers of plant community composition, including competition, facilitation, herbivory, and soil physical and chemical properties. We conclude that understanding the role that plant–soil feedback plays in shaping the responses of plant community composition and ecosystem processes to global environmental changes requires unravelling the individual contributions of enemies, symbionts and decomposers. These biotic factors may show different response rates and strengths, thereby resulting in different net magnitudes and directions of plant–soil feedbacks under various scenarios of global change. We also need tests of plant–soil feedback under more realistic conditions to determine its contribution to changes in patterns and processes in the field, both at ecologically and evolutionary relevant time-scales.

    Economische betekenis van de grondgebonden landbouw in Zuid-Holland in 2016
    Vogelzang, T.A. ; Smit, A.B. ; Smit, J. ; Verhoog, A.D. ; Vader, J. ; Schans, J.W. van der - \ 2016
    Wageningen : LEI Wageningen UR (Rapport / LEI Wageningen UR 2016-066) - ISBN 9789462578449 - 27
    landbouw - landgebruik - tuinbouw - landbouw bedrijven - landbouwontwikkeling - landbouwregio's - nederland - zuid-holland - agriculture - land use - horticulture - farming - agricultural development - agricultural regions - netherlands - zuid-holland
    The socio-economic future of agriculture in the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland is partly linked to the perspectives of the agrocluster, the combination of agricultural and horticultural firms, fishery, food and luxury industry and the firms that supply these sectors. The importance of this cluster for Zuid- Holland is described, with a focus on the primary sectors, and especially on the agricultural firms. The current situation of these firms is presented, including the developments in the recent decade and the perspectives for the next decade. Attention is also paid to the (economic) perspectives of short supply chains and innovation for agriculture in Zuid-Holland.
    Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary forests
    Poorter, L. ; Bongers, F. ; Aide, T.M. ; Almeyda Zambrano, A.M. ; Balvanera, P. ; Becknell, J.M. ; Boukill, V. ; Brancalion, P.H.S. ; Jakovac, A.C. ; Braga Junqueira, A. ; Lohbeck, M.W.M. ; Pena Claros, M. ; Rozendaal, Danae - \ 2016
    Wageningen UR
    biomass - tropical forest - secondary succession - neotropics - rainfall - land use - soil fertility - carbon - mitigation
    Land-use change occurs nowhere more rapidly than in the tropics, where the imbalance between deforestation and forest regrowth has large consequences for the global carbon cycle1. However, considerable uncertainty remains about the rate of biomass recovery in secondary forests, and how these rates are influenced by climate, landscape, and prior land use2, 3, 4. Here we analyse aboveground biomass recovery during secondary succession in 45 forest sites and about 1,500 forest plots covering the major environmental gradients in the Neotropics. The studied secondary forests are highly productive and resilient. Aboveground biomass recovery after 20 years was on average 122 megagrams per hectare (Mg ha−1), corresponding to a net carbon uptake of 3.05 Mg C ha−1 yr−1, 11 times the uptake rate of old-growth forests. Aboveground biomass stocks took a median time of 66 years to recover to 90% of old-growth values. Aboveground biomass recovery after 20 years varied 11.3-fold (from 20 to 225 Mg ha−1) across sites, and this recovery increased with water availability (higher local rainfall and lower climatic water deficit). We present a biomass recovery map of Latin America, which illustrates geographical and climatic variation in carbon sequestration potential during forest regrowth. The map will support policies to minimize forest loss in areas where biomass resilience is naturally low (such as seasonally dry forest regions) and promote forest regeneration and restoration in humid tropical lowland areas with high biomass resilience.
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