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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    Grote perspectieven voor 'smart materials'.
    Baeza Romero, Esteban - \ 2020
    Onder Glas 2020 / 17 (2020)8. - p. 47 - 47.
    Effects of distraction on taste-related neural processing : a cross-sectional fMRI study
    Duif, Iris ; Wegman, Joost ; Mars, Monica M. ; Graaf, Cees De; Smeets, Paul A.M. ; Aarts, Esther - \ 2020
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 111 (2020)5. - ISSN 0002-9165 - p. 950 - 961.
    attention - consumption - distraction - fMRI - insula - orbitofrontal cortex - taste

    Background: In the current obesogenic environment we often eat while electronic devices, such as smart phones, computers, or the television, distract us. Such "distracted eating"is associated with increased food intake and overweight. However, the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of this phenomenon are unknown. Objective: Our aim was to elucidate these mechanisms by investigating whether distraction attenuates processing in the primary and secondary taste cortices, located in the insula and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), respectively. Methods: Forty-one healthy, normal-weight participants received fixed amounts of higher-And lower-sweetness isocaloric chocolate milk while performing a high-or low-distracting detection task during fMRI in 2 test sessions. Subsequently, we measured ad libitum food intake. Results: As expected, a primary taste cortex region in the right insula responded more to the sweeter drink (P < 0.001, uncorrected). Distraction did not affect this insular sweetness response across the group, but did weaken sweetness-related connectivity of this region to a secondary taste region in the right OFC (P-family-wise error, cluster, small-volume corrected = 0.020). Moreover, individual differences in distraction-related attenuation of taste activation in the insula predicted increased subsequent ad libitum food intake after distraction (r = 0.36). Conclusions: These results reveal a mechanism explaining how distraction during consumption attenuates neural taste processing. Moreover, our study shows that such distraction-induced decreases in neural taste processing contribute to individual differences in the susceptibility for overeating. Thus, being mindful about the taste of food during consumption could perhaps be part of successful prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity, which should be further tested in these target groups. This study was preregistered at the Open Science Framework as

    Environmental Software Systems. Data Science in Action : 13th IFIP WG 5.11 International Symposium, ISESS 2020, Wageningen, The Netherlands, February 5–7, 2020, Proceedings
    Athanasiadis, I.N. ; Frysinger, S.P. ; Schimak, G. ; Knibbe, Willem Jan - \ 2020
    Cham : Springer (IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology ) - ISBN 9783030398149
    This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 13th IFIP WG 5.11 International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems, ISESS 2020, held in Wageningen, The Netherlands, in February 2020. The 22 full papers and 3 short papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 29 submissions. The papers cover a wide range of topics on environmental informatics, including data mining, artificial intelligence, high performance and cloud computing, visualization and smart sensing for environmental, earth, agricultural and food applications.
    Light availability and land-use history drive biodiversity and functional changes in forest herb layer communities
    Depauw, Leen ; Perring, Michael P. ; Landuyt, Dries ; Maes, Sybryn L. ; Blondeel, Haben ; Lombaerde, Emiel De; Brūmelis, Guntis ; Brunet, Jörg ; Closset-Kopp, Déborah ; Czerepko, Janusz ; Decocq, Guillaume ; Ouden, Jan den; Gawryś, Radosław ; Härdtle, Werner ; Hédl, Radim ; Heinken, Thilo ; Heinrichs, Steffi ; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan ; Kopecký, Martin ; Liepiņa, Ilze ; Macek, Martin ; Máliš, František ; Schmidt, Wolfgang ; Smart, Simon M. ; Ujházy, Karol ; Wulf, Monika ; Verheyen, Kris - \ 2020
    Journal of Ecology 108 (2020)4. - ISSN 0022-0477 - p. 1411 - 1425.
    atmospheric depositions - biodiversity measures - climate change - forest canopy features - functional signature - post-agricultural forests - resurvey

    A central challenge of today's ecological research is predicting how ecosystems will develop under future global change. Accurate predictions are complicated by (a) simultaneous effects of different drivers, such as climate change, nitrogen deposition and management changes; and (b) legacy effects from previous land use. We tested whether herb layer biodiversity (i.e. richness, Shannon diversity and evenness) and functional (i.e. herb cover, specific leaf area [SLA] and plant height) responses to environmental change drivers depended on land-use history. We used resurvey data from 192 plots across nineteen European temperate forest regions, with large spatial variability in environmental change factors. We tested for interactions between land-use history, distinguishing ancient and recent (i.e. post-agricultural) forests and four drivers: temperature, nitrogen deposition, and aridity at the regional scale and light dynamics at the plot-scale. Land-use history significantly modulated global change effects on the functional signature of the herb layer (i.e. cover, SLA and plant height). Light availability was the main environmental driver of change interacting with land-use history. We found greater herb cover and plant height decreases and SLA increases with decreasing light availability in ancient than in recent forests. Furthermore, we found greater decreases in herb cover with increased nitrogen deposition in ancient forests, whereas warming had the strongest decreasing effect on the herb cover in recent forests. Interactive effects between land-use history and global change on biodiversity were not found, but species evenness increased more in ancient than in recent forests. Synthesis. Our results demonstrate that land-use history should not be overlooked when predicting forest herb layer responses to global change. Moreover, we found that herb layer composition in semi-natural deciduous forests is mainly controlled by local canopy characteristics, regulating light levels at the forest floor, and much less by environmental changes at the regional scale (here: warming, nitrogen deposition and aridity). The observed disconnect between biodiversity and functional herb layer responses to environmental changes demonstrates the importance of assessing both types of responses to increase our understanding of the possible impact of global change on the herb layer.

    Increasing market opportunities for renewable energy technologies with innovations in aquifer thermal energy storage
    Hoekstra, N. ; Pellegrini, M. ; Bloemendal, M. ; Spaak, G. ; Andreu Gallego, A. ; Rodriguez Comins, J. ; Grotenhuis, T. ; Picone, S. ; Murrell, A.J. ; Steeman, H.J. ; Verrone, A. ; Doornenbal, P. ; Christophersen, M. ; Bennedsen, L. ; Henssen, M. ; Moinier, S. ; Saccani, C. - \ 2020
    Science of the Total Environment 709 (2020). - ISSN 0048-9697
    Aquifer thermal energy storage - District heating and cooling - Geothermal energy - Heating and cooling - Photovoltaic-thermal module - Pilot plant - Remediation - Technological innovation - Water scarcity

    Heating and cooling using aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) has hardly been applied outside the Netherlands, even though it could make a valuable contribution to the energy transition. The Climate-KIC project “Europe-wide Use of Energy from aquifers” – E-USE(aq) – aimed to pave the way for Europe-wide application of ATES, through the realization and monitoring of six ATES pilot plants across five different EU countries. In a preceding paper, based on preliminary results of E-USE(aq), conclusions were already drawn, demonstrating how the barriers for this form of shallow geothermal energy can be overcome, and sometimes even leveraged as opportunities. Based on final pilot project results, key economic and environmental outcomes are now presented. This paper starts with the analysis of specific technological barriers: unfamiliarity with the subsurface, presumed limited compatibility with existing energy provision systems (especially district heating), energy imbalances and groundwater contamination. The paper then shows how these barriers have been tackled, using improved site investigation and monitoring technologies to map heterogeneous subsoils. In this way ATES can cost-efficiently be included in smart grids and combined with other sources of renewable (especially solar) energy, while at the same time achieving groundwater remediation. A comparative assessment of economic and environmental impacts of the pilots is included, to demonstrate the sustainability of ATES system with different renewables and renewable-based technologies. The paper concludes with an assessment of the market application potential of ATES, including in areas with water scarcity, and a review of climate beneficial impact.

    Social networking in a digital and mobile world: the case of environmentally-related migration in Bangladesh
    Boas, Ingrid - \ 2020
    Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 46 (2020)7. - ISSN 1369-183X - p. 1330 - 1347.
    This paper interrogates how the social networks and the networking of migrants, and through that their migration trajectories, are being shaped by mobile technologies. I examine this through the case of environmentally-related migration in Bangladesh. This case, and the issue of environmentally-related migration more generally, provides new insights as it has a different context to most of the cases thus far examined to study the implications of ICTs on migration. In contrast to those studies, it is about internal movement. Such movement is highly dynamic with people frequently visiting places of origin or even trying to move back, and with travel routes being relatively safe and well known. It is less about smart phones and social media, as many of the most affected only have access to a mobile phone without internet. In that context, this paper shows that the use of mobile technologies does not necessarily lead to a drastic shift of social network structure towards the proliferation of weak ties. Rather, in this case, the impact is on how (often existing) ties that are geographically dispersed are utilised to enable mobility in a more coordinated manner, making mobility decisions more reflected on and to an extent less risky
    SMARTCHAIN (Smart Solutions in Short Food Supply Chains) Annual Consortium Conference
    Schebesta, Hanna - \ 2019
    Community-based finance and Climate-Smart Agriculture
    Asseldonk, M.A.P.M. van; Ndagijimana, M. ; Kessler, C.A. ; Deering, Karl ; Girvetz, Evan ; Hella, Joseph ; Karanja, Stanley ; Masoud, Thabit ; Osiemo, Jamleck ; Wesenbeeck, Lia van; Oostendorp, Remco ; Recha, John ; Radeny, Maren ; Gathiaka, John ; Mulwa, Richard ; Wattel, C.J. ; Pamuk, H. ; Ruben, R. - \ 2019
    In: The 5th Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture 2019, 8-10 October 2019, Bali, Indonesia. - Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) - p. 64 - 65.
    Community-based finance and Climate-Smart Agriculture
    Recha, John ; Radeny, Maren ; Ndagijimana, M. ; Kessler, C.A. ; Deering, Karl ; Girvetz, Evan ; Hella, Joseph ; Karanja, Stanley ; Masoud, Thabit ; Osiemo, Jamleck ; Wesenbeeck, Lia van; Oostendorp, Remco ; Gathiaka, John ; Mulwa, Richard ; Wattel, C.J. ; Pamuk, H. ; Ruben, R. ; Asseldonk, M.A.P.M. van - \ 2019
    - 1 p.
    How climate-smart agriculture makes farmers resilient
    Wolf, Pieter de - \ 2019
    'Higher speeds at night not smart'
    Heusinkveld, Bert - \ 2019

    Om Nederland uit de stikstofcrisis te trekken, gaat de maximumsnelheid op de snelwegen terug naar 100. Alleen ’s nachts mag 130 nog rijden. Niet slim, vindt meteoroloog Bert Heusinkveld.

    Heusinkveld is onderzoeker bij de leerstoelgroep Meteorologie en Luchtkwaliteit. Zijn groep doet veel studie naar de gebeurtenissen in de zogeheten grenslaag, de laag lucht die wij ademen en waar ons weer zich afspeelt.

    Waarom is 130 's nachts niet slim?
    ‘De atmosfeer warmt overdag van onderaf op. Die warme lucht stijgt op en vormt de zogeheten grenslaag, de dunne laag lucht waarin wij leven en ademen. En waarin ook alle vervuiling terechtkomt. ’s Nachts koelt de lucht af, krimpt en vormt een dunne stabiele luchtlaag waarin door afnemende wind nauwelijks nog vermenging plaatsvindt. Een grenslaag die overdag een kilometer dik is, kan ’s nachts krimpen tot slechts honderd meter. Vervuilende stoffen uit het wegverkeer veroorzaken dan een hogere concentratie in die stabiele grenslaag.’

    Moet de maatregel dan andersom zijn: overdag 130 en ’s nachts 100?
    ‘Zo ver wil ik niet gaan. Maar 130 rijden is met het oog op luchtvervuiling overdag minder erg dan ’s nachts. Daar staat tegenover dat er overdag natuurlijk veel meer auto’s rijden dan ’s nachts.’

    Dus eigenlijk helemaal geen 130 km/uur?
    ‘Nee. Een limiet van 130 brengt onrustig rijgedrag met zich mee. Onderlinge snelheidsverschillen leiden sneller tot files en veroorzaken ongevallen. De grote milieuwinst van 100 rijden ontstaat door rustiger rijgedrag en minder files. Een auto in de file stoot per kilometer meer vervuilende stoffen uit dan eentje die kan doorrijden. Maar 130 rijden zorgt voor 30 procent meer vervuiling dan 100.’

    Zijn er nog andere meteorologische redenen om juist ’s nachts niet hard te rijden?
    ‘Ja, het geluid draagt ’s nachts veel verder. Doordat de grenslaag afkoelt, ontstaan flinke verschillen in de temperatuur in die laag. Bovenin kan het wel 10-15 graden warmer zijn dan onderin. In het warmere deel is de geluidsnelheid hoger. Geluid slaat daardoor makkelijker over geluidswallen heen. Het kan zelfs zo zijn dat het effect van zo’n wal daardoor volledig teniet wordt gedaan. Harder rijden in de nacht zorgt daardoor voor meer overlast dan overdag. In Duitsland mogen om die reden auto’s rond steden ’s nacht maar 80. En vrachtauto’s zelfs maar 60.’

    Scaling climate-smart agriculture: Towards cocreating business models in the input supply chains and finance chains
    Wattel, C.J. ; Asseldonk, M.A.P.M. van; Gathiaka, John ; Mulwa, Richard ; Wesenbeeck, Lia van; Oostendorp, Remco ; Recha, John ; Radeny, Maren ; Bosselaar, Jonne - \ 2019
    CGIAR (CCAFS Info Note ) - 7 p.
    Technologies of Engagement: How Battery Storage Technologies Shape Householder Participation in Energy Transitions
    Kloppenburg, S. ; Smale, R. ; Verkade, N. - \ 2019
    Energies 12 (2019)22. - ISSN 1996-1073 - 15 p.
    battery storage technologies - energy practices - public participation - householders - socio-technical transitions
    The transition to a low-carbon energy system goes along with changing roles for citizens in energy production and consumption. In this paper we focus on how residential energy storage technologies can enable householders to contribute to the energy transition. Drawing on literature that understands energy systems as sociotechnical configurations and the theory of ‘material participation’, we examine how the introduction of home batteries affords new roles and energy practices for householders. We present qualitative findings from interviews with householders and other key stakeholders engaged in using or implementing battery storage at household and community level. Our results point to five emerging storage modes in which householders can play a role: individual energy autonomy; local energy community; smart grid integration; virtual energy community; and electricity market integration. We argue that for householders, these storage modes facilitate new energy practices such as providing grid services, trading, self-consumption, and sharing of energy. Several of the storage modes enable the formation of prosumer collectives and change relationships with other actors in the energy system. We conclude by discussing how householders also face new dependencies on information technologies and intermediary actors to organize the multi-directional energy flows which battery systems unleash. With energy storage projects currently being provider-driven, we argue that more space should be given to experimentation with (mixed modes of) energy storage that both empower householders and communities in the pursuit of their own sustainability aspirations and serve the needs of emerging renewable energy-based energy systems.
    The Flower Petal Training System in Microsurgery: Validation of a Training Model Using a Randomized Controlled Trial
    Volovici, Victor ; Dammers, Ruben ; Lawton, Michael T. ; Dirven, Clemens M.F. ; Ketelaar, Tijs ; Lanzino, Giuseppe ; Zamfirescu, Dragos G. - \ 2019
    Annals of Plastic Surgery 83 (2019)6. - ISSN 0148-7043 - p. 697 - 701.

    INTRODUCTION: Despite hundreds of training models for microsurgery being available in the literature, very few of them are scientifically validated. We chose to validate our low-fidelity training model on flower petals by comparing it head-to-head with a moderate fidelity training model, the anastomosis on chicken leg femoral artery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 16 participants of different levels of expertise were randomized into 2 groups, 1 training on flower petals and 1 on chicken leg femoral arteries. The groups were evaluated on performing a rat femoral artery anastomosis using the validated Stanford Microsurgical Assessment (SMaRT) Scale. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to check for statistically significant differences between the groups. The flower petal sutures were also evaluated and Pearson correlation was used to check for associations between better petal anastomosis scores and better final SMaRT results. RESULTS: After 6 weeks of flower petal training, microsurgical trainees had significantly better overall SMaRT scores than trainees using chicken leg training, better fine tissue feeling, and better scores in knot tying. The anastomosis times for the rat femoral arteries did not differ between the 2 groups. Good scores for flower petals strongly correlated with a better SMaRT score for the anastomosis. The number of rats used in training reduced after the implementation of this model in continuous training. CONCLUSIONS: The flower petal technique, despite being a low-fidelity model, shows superiority in developing fine tissue feeling and improved knot tying in microsurgery beginners and intermediate level practitioners adding this training model to their program. Further research needs to establish if the improvements also apply to already seasoned microsurgeons and whether the petal score has predictive value for future clinical application.

    Internet of Things in food safety: Literature review and a bibliometric analysis
    Bouzembrak, Yamine ; Klüche, Marcel ; Gavai, Anand ; Marvin, Hans J.P. - \ 2019
    Trends in Food Science and Technology 94 (2019). - ISSN 0924-2244 - p. 54 - 64.
    Food supply chain - IoT - Sensors - Smart devices

    Background: Internet of Things (IoT) is growing exponentially and can become an enormous source of information. IoT has provided new opportunities in different domains but also challenges are apparent that must be addressed. Little attention has been paid to the potential use of IoT in the food safety domain and therefore the aim of this study was to fill this gap. Scope and approach: This paper reviews the use of IoT technology in food safety. A literature review was conducted using academic documents written in English language and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The relevant articles were analysed using the bibliometric networks to investigate the relationships between authors, countries, and content. Key findings and conclusions: IoT in food safety is a relatively new approach; the first article appeared in 2011 and has increased since then. Majority of these studies were performed by Chinese universities and the main IoT applications reported were on food supply chains to trace food products, followed by monitoring of food safety and quality. The vast majority of publications were related to food, meat, cold chain products and agricultural products. These studies used sensors to monitor mainly temperature, humidity, and location. The most frequently used communication technologies were Internet, radio frequency identifications (RFID) and wireless sensor networks (WSN). This article identifies knowledge gaps to inform the community, industry, government authorities about research directions for IoT in food safety.

    Inclusive agribusiness under climate change: a brief review of the role of finance
    Oostendorp, Remco ; Asseldonk, Marcel van; Gathiaka, John ; Mulwa, Richard ; Radeny, Maren ; Recha, John ; Wattel, Cor ; Wesenbeeck, Lia van - \ 2019
    Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 41 (2019). - ISSN 1877-3435 - p. 18 - 22.

    Inclusive agribusiness models aim at benefitting broad layers of the farming population in developing countries, not only farmers in well-structured value chains, but also (remote) subsistence smallholders producing for local markets. Under climate change, inclusive business models also need to be made climate-smart to increase the farmers’ resilience. In this paper we provide a brief review of the role of inclusive finance as an inherent as well as synergetic component of inclusive agribusiness models. Financial institutions have difficulty in reaching out to remote smallholders, and community-based organizations often lack capacity to upscale financial services. This limits many farmers in their capability to deal with increasing climate risks. Closing this finance gap requires innovations in delivery models, and in financial products and services. Developing such adapted products requires better insight into the financial lives of smallholders, particularly under climate change, for instance from further research into climate-smart financial diaries.

    Soil on moon and Mars likely to support crops
    Wamelink, Wieger ; Frissel, J.Y. ; Krijnen, W.H.J. ; Verwoert, M. - \ 2019

    Artikel van Wieger Wamelink et. al. wordt aangehaald in diverse media

    At a crossroads: potential impacts and trade-offs of improved livestock feeding and forages in smallholder farming systems of East Africa
    Paul, Birthe K. - \ 2019
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): P.A. Tittonell, co-promotor(en): J.C.J. Groot; M. Herrero. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463950640 - 257

    Dairy development provides substantial economic opportunities for smallholder crop-livestock farmers in East Africa, but productivity is constrained by scarcity of quantity and quality feed. Livestock is also associated with negative environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollution, high water consumption, loss of biodiversity and land degradation. Improved livestock feeding has been proposed as a triple-win strategy towards achieving climate-smart agriculture, increasing food security and climate change adaptation, and decreasing GHG intensities. Improved tropical forages include a wide variety of sown or planted annual and perennial grasses, herbaceous or dual-purpose legumes and shrubs developed for increasing productivity of grazed and cut-and-carry fed livestock. This thesis aims to explore potential impacts and trade-offs associated with the implementation of improved livestock feeding and forage technologies at farm scale, across a diversity of smallholder crop-livestock systems in East Africa. We first quantitatively reviewed 73 published studies to take stock of evidence on agronomic, livestock, environmental and economic impacts of tropical forage technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa. We then introduced a relatively simple approach to quantify feeding systems and feed gaps in data-scarce smallholder systems. Based on this, household-level impacts and trade-offs of improved livestock feeding and forages were explored in Tanzania and Rwanda, considering productivity, environmental and livelihood dimensions. To do so, a combination of approaches and methods was employed, including coupled livestock and economic modeling, bio-economic farming systems modeling and multi-objective optimization, multi-variate statistics, on-farm monitoring and measurements, semi-structured interviews, participatory validation and expert knowledge. Results from this thesis confirmed the considerable feed gaps in metabolizable energy and crude protein. Feed gap here is defined as the difference between livestock feed demand for an attainable milk production level (attainable feed demand) and actual feed supply at individual herd level. The literature review revealed that higher herbage production and quality of improved forage technologies resulted in an average 35% milk and 24% manure increase and 60% higher associated food crop yields while almost halving soil loss. In Lushoto in Tanzania, predicted adoption rates for improved livestock feeding and poverty reduction among households with improved dairy cows were likely to be higher compared to households with only local cows. Methane emissions intensity declined with adoption of improved livestock feeding strategies. Across Rwanda, livestock production was among the most important pathways to higher food availability. Total baseline GHG emissions were low, with enteric fermentation and manure emissions contributing 74 – 81%. Scenario assessment of three policy options showed that Girinka program (providing a crossbred cow to a poor households) strongly increased food availability of the poorest section of the household population at a high GHG cost, while improved livestock feeding had less impact on food availability but at an only small GHG increase. In Babati in Tanzania, emission intensity was lowest for the dairy farming system (2.1 kg CO2e kg-1 milk) when compared to three other smallholder livestock types, with lowest trade-offs with household income, and carbon and nitrogen balances. Available options to reduce agro-environmental trade-offs included reducing ruminant numbers, replacing local cattle with improved dairy breeds, improve feeding through on-farm forage cultivation to reach higher milk production levels, and reducing crop residue feeding to leave them on the field. However, adoption of these technologies require a skillful re-organization of the entire production system, resulting in loss of some multi-functionality of livestock, and incur higher production risks. In conclusion, we argue that pathways to sustainable intensification of livestock in East Africa are needed, which can also unlock new financing avenues. Improved forages can play a key role as they deliver multiple productivity, economic and environmental benefits when skillfully integrated in smallholder cropping and farming systems. Livestock feeding and forages are thus at multiple crossroads: at a point where crucial decisions regarding future pathways are taken, where productivity and environmental impacts meet, and where scientific disciplines including agronomy, soil and animal science intersect. Results from this thesis aim to inform policy makers, project designers, investors, donors and other decision-makers on prioritizing options towards low emission livestock development. Suggestions and recommendations for future research include next-level forage agronomy, further multi-disciplinary and systems-level trade-off analysis, and quantification of technology contributions to national-level climate and land restoration policy targets.

    Programmeringsstudie Smart Technology in Agro-Horti-Water-Food
    Koenderink, N.J.J.P. ; Top, J.L. ; Goethals, P. ; Nieuwenhuizen, A. - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (Rapport / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research 1955) - ISBN 9789463439459 - 63
    The determinants of recent soybean expansion in Mato Grosso, Brazil
    Melo Celidonio, Otávio Lemos de; Werner, Liane S. ; Gil, Juliana Dias Bernardes - \ 2019
    International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 22 (2019)2. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 173 - 191.
    Agricultural expansion - Brazil - Land use change - Soybean

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

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