Next Issue
Volume 12, March-2
Previous Issue
Volume 12, February-2

Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 5 (March-1 2020) – 454 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Circular Economy is nowadays recognized as a way to implement and achieve sustainability, mainly due to its contribution to the separation of biological and technical nutrients according to their metabolism. The incorporation of its principles into business leads to the creation of the Circular Business Model, where the business is a link in the value chain that tries to ensure circularity and mitigate the metabolic rift derived from the relationship between natural and social capital. This paper pursues a triple aim. Firstly, the use of Activity Theory as a framework for Circular Business. Secondly, the use of the holonic paradigm to manage complexity and allow dynamic relationships and contextualization aspects in the new Circular Business Models for different levels. Finally, a multilevel and multiscale Eco-Holonic Architecture for circular business is proposed from the perspective [...] Read more.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Measurement of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Corporate Sustainability Indexes, Rankings and Ratings
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052153 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3727
Abstract
Companies are currently changing their traditional role in society and transforming it into a proactive role in which their operations generate social and environmental positive impacts. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evolved from simple philanthropy to a more theoretical concept with a new [...] Read more.
Companies are currently changing their traditional role in society and transforming it into a proactive role in which their operations generate social and environmental positive impacts. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evolved from simple philanthropy to a more theoretical concept with a new corporate philosophy that takes all the interests of all stakeholders into consideration. The financial market is pushing the development of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), which has led to the rise of Corporate Sustainability Systems (CSS). These CSSs are tools that rate corporate performance on sustainability. However, they constitute a chaotic universe, with instruments of different nature. This paper identifies and groups the common characteristics of the CSSs into three different typologies: Indexes, Rankings and Ratings. Despite this classification, and although the fundamental pillar of CSR is the “Stakeholder Theory”, CSSs are still not ideal tools to be used by all stakeholders. From the magma of CSSs, this article identifies and describes, through a comparative analysis, those which best comply with the “Stakeholder Theory”. This paper facilitates the work of researchers and stakeholders by exposing the differential characteristics of the most important CSSs. Full article
Article
Tourism and Altruistic Intention: Volunteer Tourism Development and Self-Interested Value
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2152; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052152 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1354
Abstract
Volunteer tourism is indisputably an emerging trend in the tourism industry across the globe. Yet, little is known about the altruistic behavior of volunteer travelers. To fill this void, this research explores the convoluted relationships among memorable experience, awareness of problem, social norm, [...] Read more.
Volunteer tourism is indisputably an emerging trend in the tourism industry across the globe. Yet, little is known about the altruistic behavior of volunteer travelers. To fill this void, this research explores the convoluted relationships among memorable experience, awareness of problem, social norm, psychological resilience, personal norm, and self-interested value in driving altruistic intention. A field survey was conducted with a quantitative approach. The result reveals that psychological resilience and personal norm are direct determinants of altruistic intention while mediating the influence of awareness of problem and social norm on intention. In addition, memorable experience along with awareness of problem significantly induced volunteer travelers’ psychological resilience. Moreover, the test for metric invariance shows that the relationships between psychological resilience, personal norm, and altruistic intention are under the significant influence of volunteer travelers’ self-interested value. Overall, the variance in altruistic intention for volunteer tourism is satisfactorily explained by our suggested theoretical framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intention and Tourism/Hospitality Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Capturing a Complexity of Nutritional, Environmental, and Economic Impacts on Selected Health Parameters in the Russian High North
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2151; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052151 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1353
Abstract
The rapid pace of economic exploration of the Arctic against the backdrop of progressing environmental change put a high priority on improving understanding of health impacts in the northern communities. Deficiencies in the capability to capture the complexity of health-influencing parameters along with [...] Read more.
The rapid pace of economic exploration of the Arctic against the backdrop of progressing environmental change put a high priority on improving understanding of health impacts in the northern communities. Deficiencies in the capability to capture the complexity of health-influencing parameters along with a lack of observations in circumpolar territories present major challenges to establishing credible projections of disease incidence across varying northern environments. It is thus crucial to reveal the relative contributions of coacting factors to provide a basis for sustainable solutions in the sphere of public health. In order to better understand the adverse effects associated with public health, this study employed six-stage multiple regression analysis of incidence rates of fourteen diseases (International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) codes most widespread in the Russian Arctic) against a set of environmental, nutritional, and economic variables. Variance inflationary factor and best-subsets regression methods were used to eliminate collinearity between the parameters of regression models. To address the diversity of health impacts across northern environments, territories of the Arctic zone of Russia were categorized as (1) industrial sites, (2) urban agglomerations, (3) rural inland, and (4) coastline territories. It was suggested that, in Type 1 territories, public health parameters were most negatively affected by air and water pollution, in Type 2 territories—by low-nutrient diets, in Type 3 and Type 4 territories—by economic factors. It was found that in the Western parts of the Russian Arctic, poor quality of running water along with low access to the quality-assured sources of water might increase the exposure to infectious and parasitic diseases and diseases of the circulatory, respiratory, and genitourinary systems. Low living standards across the Russian Arctic challenged the economic accessibility of adequate diets. In the cities, the nutritional transition to low-quality cheap market food correlated with a higher incidence of digestive system disorders, immune diseases, and neoplasms. In indigenous communities, the prevalence of low diversified diets based on traditional food correlated with the increase in the incidence rates of nutritional and metabolic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economic Development: Challenges, Policies, and Reforms)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Estimating Soil Available Phosphorus Content through Coupled Wavelet–Data-Driven Models
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2150; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052150 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Soil phosphorus (P) is a vital but limited element which is usually leached from the soil via the drainage process. Soil phosphorus as a soluble substance can be delivered through agricultural fields by runoff or soil loss. It is one of the most [...] Read more.
Soil phosphorus (P) is a vital but limited element which is usually leached from the soil via the drainage process. Soil phosphorus as a soluble substance can be delivered through agricultural fields by runoff or soil loss. It is one of the most essential nutrients that affect the sustainability of crops as well as the energy transfer for living organisms. Therefore, an accurate simulation of soil phosphorus, which is considered as a point source pollutant in elevated contents, must be performed. Considering a crucial issue for a sustainable soil and water management, an effective soil phosphorus assessment in the current research was conducted with the aim of examining the capability of five different wavelet-based data-driven models: gene expression programming (GEP), neural networks (NN), random forest (RF), multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS), and support vector machine (SVM) in modeling soil phosphorus (P). In order to achieve this goal, several parameters, including soil pH, organic carbon (OC), clay content, and soil P data, were collected from different regions of the Neyshabur plain, Khorasan-e-Razavi Province (Northeast Iran). First, a discrete wavelet transform (DWT) was applied to the pH, OC, and clay as the inputs and their subcomponents were utilized in the applied data-driven techniques. Statistical Gamma test was also used for identifying which effective soil parameter is able to influence soil P. The applied methods were assessed through 10-fold cross-validation scenarios. Our results demonstrated that the wavelet–GEP (WGEP) model outperformed the other models with respect to various validations, such as correlation coefficient (R), scatter index (SI), and Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient (NS) criteria. The GEP model improved the accuracy of the MARS, RF, SVM, and NN models with respect to SI-NS (By comparing the SI values of the GEP model with other models namely MARS, RF, SVM, and NN, the outputs of GEP showed more accuracy by 35%, 30%, 40%, 50%, respectively. Similarly, the results of the GEP outperformed the other models by 3.1%, 2.3%, 4.3%, and 7.6%, comparing their NS values.) by 35%-3.1%, 30%-2.3%, 40%-4.3%, and 50%-7.6%, respectively. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Novel Approach to Measuring Urban Waterlogging Depth from Images Based on Mask Region-Based Convolutional Neural Network
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052149 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1251
Abstract
Quickly obtaining accurate waterlogging depth data is vital in urban flood events, especially for emergency response and risk mitigation. In this study, a novel approach to measure urban waterlogging depth was developed using images from social networks and traffic surveillance video systems. The [...] Read more.
Quickly obtaining accurate waterlogging depth data is vital in urban flood events, especially for emergency response and risk mitigation. In this study, a novel approach to measure urban waterlogging depth was developed using images from social networks and traffic surveillance video systems. The Mask region-based convolutional neural network (Mask R-CNN) model was used to detect tires in waterlogging, which were considered to be reference objects. Then, waterlogging depth was calculated using the height differences method and Pythagorean theorem. The results show that tires detected from images can been used as an effective reference object to calculate waterlogging depth. The Pythagorean theorem method performs better on images from social networks, and the height differences method performs well both on the images from social networks and on traffic surveillance video systems. Overall, the low-cost method proposed in this study can be used to obtain timely waterlogging warning information, and enhance the possibility of using existing social networks and traffic surveillance video systems to perform opportunistic waterlogging sensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources and Green Growth)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Exploring Potential Pathways toward Energy-Related Carbon Emission Reduction in Heavy Industrial Regions of China: An Input–Output Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052148 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
It is a very urgent issue to reduce energy-related carbon emissions in China. The three northeastern provinces (Heilongjiang (HLJ), Jilin (JL), and Liaoning (LN)) are typical heavy industrial regions in China, playing an important role in the national carbon emission reduction target. In [...] Read more.
It is a very urgent issue to reduce energy-related carbon emissions in China. The three northeastern provinces (Heilongjiang (HLJ), Jilin (JL), and Liaoning (LN)) are typical heavy industrial regions in China, playing an important role in the national carbon emission reduction target. In this study, we analyzed the energy consumption, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and CO2 emission intensity of each sector in the three regions, and we compared them with the national level and those of China’s most developed province Guangdong (GD). Then, based on an input–output (I–O) framework, linkage analysis of production and CO2 emission from sector–system and sector–sector dimensions was conducted. The results showed that the three regions accounted for about 1/10 of China’s energy consumption and 1/6 of China’s CO2 emissions in 2012. In addition, the level of energy structure, CO2 emission intensity, and sectoral structure lagged behind China’s average level, much lower than those for GD. According to the sectoral characteristics of each region and unified backward/forward linkages of production and CO2 emissions, we divided sectoral clusters into those whose development was to be encouraged and those whose development was to be restricted. The results of this paper could provide policy–makers with reference to exploring potential pathways toward energy-related carbon emission reduction in heavy industrial regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Genotoxic and Anatomical Deteriorations Associated with Potentially Toxic Elements Accumulation in Water Hyacinth Grown in Drainage Water Resources
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2147; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052147 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
Potentially toxic elements (PTEs)-induced genotoxicity on aquatic plants is still an open question. Herein, a single clone from a population of water hyacinth covering a large distribution area of Nile River (freshwater) was transplanted in two drainage water resources to explore the hazardous [...] Read more.
Potentially toxic elements (PTEs)-induced genotoxicity on aquatic plants is still an open question. Herein, a single clone from a population of water hyacinth covering a large distribution area of Nile River (freshwater) was transplanted in two drainage water resources to explore the hazardous effect of PTEs on molecular, biochemical and anatomical characters of plants compared to those grown in freshwater. Inductivity Coupled Plasma (ICP) analysis indicated that PTEs concentrations in water resources were relatively low in most cases. However, the high tendency of water hyacinth to bio-accumulate and bio-magnify PTEs maximized their concentrations in plant samples (roots in particular). A Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assay showed the genotoxic effects of PTEs on plants grown in drainage water. PTEs accumulation caused substantial alterations in DNA profiles including the presence or absence of certain bands and even the appearance of new bands. Plants grown in drainage water exhibited several mutations on the electrophoretic profiles and banding pattern of total protein, especially proteins isolated from roots. Several anatomical deteriorations were observed on PTEs-stressed plants including reductions in the thickness of epidermis, cortex and endodermis as well as vascular cylinder diameter. The research findings of this investigation may provide some new insights regarding molecular, biochemical and anatomical responses of water hyacinth grown in drainage water resources. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Perspective
Understanding the Implications of Alternative Bioenergy Crops to Support Smallholder Farmers in Brazil
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052146 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1536
Abstract
Smallholders constitute more than three quarters of the world’s farmers, and despite their numbers, they commonly lack opportunities to advance their development status. Bioenergy production and consumption can help sustain smallholders’ energy needs and generate employment and income, but it also raises concerns [...] Read more.
Smallholders constitute more than three quarters of the world’s farmers, and despite their numbers, they commonly lack opportunities to advance their development status. Bioenergy production and consumption can help sustain smallholders’ energy needs and generate employment and income, but it also raises concerns over social justice and equity, especially where crops used for bioenergy could also be used for food. This perspective paper is grounded in a literature review related to three different crops in Brazil: sugarcane, landrace maize and sweet potato. It seeks to determine if these crops offer the potential to support smallholder farmers’ development in a more equitable way, focusing on opportunities for their use in bioenergy. We review the literature to identify policies shaping the smallholder development context in relation to these crops, assessing whose knowledge informs policy and institutional decision making, and highlighting the policy attention afforded to the different crops from different sectors. We further evaluate the literature on each crop in relation to water use and calorific value (i.e., food and energy). Our review indicates that while sugarcane has received the most policy and institutional attention, its development is largely anchored in research and development investments that support large-scale commercial farms and agri-businesses. Smallholders have not benefited or had the opportunity to engage in relevant policy decision making for sugarcane cultivation. At the same time, smallholders hold valuable untapped knowledge on the cultivation of sweet potato and landrace maize, both of which have the potential to generate development opportunities for smallholders. Our review suggests that the environmental impact of landrace maize and sweet potato in terms of water use is significantly lower than sugarcane, while they can generate more calories for energy or food consumption and offer diversification opportunities. Despite that these alternative crops offer considerable untapped potential to support rural development, more research is still needed to harness these benefits. Changes are needed to address inequities in policies, institutions and the types of knowledge informing decision making. Such changes need to afford smallholder farmers greater recognition and participation in decision making, so that the distribution of benefits from the three study crops can reach them to support their development better. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sustainable Production from Shale Gas Resources through Heat-Assisted Depletion
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2145; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052145 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1349
Abstract
Advancements in drilling and production technologies have made exploiting resources, which for long time were labeled unproducible such as shales, as economically feasible. In particular, lateral drilling coupled with hydraulic fracturing has created means for hydrocarbons to be transported from the shale matrix [...] Read more.
Advancements in drilling and production technologies have made exploiting resources, which for long time were labeled unproducible such as shales, as economically feasible. In particular, lateral drilling coupled with hydraulic fracturing has created means for hydrocarbons to be transported from the shale matrix through the stimulated network of microcracks, natural fractures, and hydraulic fractures to the wellbore. Because of the degree of confinement, the ultimate recovery is just a small fraction of the total hydrocarbons in place. Our aim was to investigate how augmented pressure gradient through hydraulic fracturing when coupled with another derive mechanism such as heating can improve the overall recovery for more sustainable exploitation of unconventional resources. Knowledge on how hydrocarbons are stored and transported within the shale matrix is uncertain. Shale matrix, which consists of organic and inorganic constituents, have pore sizes of few nanometers, a degree of confinement at which our typical reservoir engineering models break down. These intricacies hinder any thorough investigations of hydrocarbon production from shale matrix under the influence of pressure and thermal gradients. Kerogen, which represents the solid part of the organic materials in shales, serves as form of nanoporous media, where hydrocarbons are stored and then expelled after shale stimulation procedure. In this work, a computational representation of a kerogen–hydrocarbon system was replicated to study the depletion process under coupled mechanisms of pressure and temperature. The extent of production enhancement because of increasing temperature was shown. Moreover, heating requirements to achieve the enhancement at reservoir scale was also presented to assess the sustainability of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Oil, Gas and Energy Resources)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mapping Functional Urban Green Types Using High Resolution Remote Sensing Data
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052144 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1549
Abstract
Urban green spaces are known to provide ample benefits to human society and hence play a vital role in safeguarding the quality of life in our cities. In order to optimize the design and management of green spaces with regard to the provisioning [...] Read more.
Urban green spaces are known to provide ample benefits to human society and hence play a vital role in safeguarding the quality of life in our cities. In order to optimize the design and management of green spaces with regard to the provisioning of these ecosystem services, there is a clear need for uniform and spatially explicit datasets on the existing urban green infrastructure. Current mapping approaches, however, largely focus on large land use units (e.g., park, garden), or broad land cover classes (e.g., tree, grass), not providing sufficient thematic detail to model urban ecosystem service supply. We therefore proposed a functional urban green typology and explored the potential of both passive (2 m-hyperspectral and 0.5 m-multispectral optical imagery) and active (airborne LiDAR) remote sensing technology for mapping the proposed types using object-based image analysis and machine learning. Airborne LiDAR data was found to be the most valuable dataset overall, while fusion with hyperspectral data was essential for mapping the most detailed classes. High spectral similarities, along with adjacency and shadow effects still caused severe confusion, resulting in class-wise accuracies <50% for some detailed functional types. Further research should focus on the use of multi-temporal image analysis to fully unlock the potential of remote sensing data for detailed urban green mapping. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Transport Mode and the Value of Accessibility–A Potential Input for Sustainable Investment Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2143; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052143 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1326
Abstract
Accessibility plays an essential role in determining real estate prices and land use. An understanding of how accessibility and changes in accessibility influence real estate prices is key to making decisions regarding investments in infrastructure projects. From an accessibility point of view, it [...] Read more.
Accessibility plays an essential role in determining real estate prices and land use. An understanding of how accessibility and changes in accessibility influence real estate prices is key to making decisions regarding investments in infrastructure projects. From an accessibility point of view, it is not clear that there should be differences in valuation depending on the mode of public transport, road, or rail. There are, however, other differences that may affect real estate prices differently. For example, railway stations more often than bus stations, tend to be associated with a higher level of service. In addition, an investment in a railway station may signal a long-term decision from the policymaker. A third possible explanation concerns differences in perceived safety, comfort, and security. This paper aims to study if and how capitalization of accessibility differs between modes of transportation. The findings indicate that rail has a higher impact, both for single-family and multifamily houses. The implication of these findings may be of importance for future infrastructure investments and their corresponding cost-benefit analyses. Incorrect valuations of the benefits of infrastructure investments may result in sub-optimal investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Ecological Land Adaptive Planning in Macroscale, Mesoscale, and Microscale of Shanghai
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052142 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 871
Abstract
The urban ecosystems in China have been compromised during the process of urbanization. The declining services of ecological lands have hindered the sustainable development of cities and the current ecological land management (regulations, rules, and laws) in China cannot meet the demand of [...] Read more.
The urban ecosystems in China have been compromised during the process of urbanization. The declining services of ecological lands have hindered the sustainable development of cities and the current ecological land management (regulations, rules, and laws) in China cannot meet the demand of future development. In this paper, a new multiscale systematic adaptive ecological land planning method is proposed. Shanghai, a typical mega-city in China, was chosen as the research area. To scientifically and adaptively manage ecological land, downscale management was used and macroscales (city), mesoscales (town), and microscales (community) were chosen. In different scales, different indicators were chosen as evaluation criteria to evaluate the services of the lands. At the mesoscale, habitat quality, carbon sequestration, water conservation, and soil fertility maintenance were chosen. At the mesoscale, habitat quality, carbon sequestration capacity, water production service and food supply were chosen as the evaluation criteria. These indicators are used to evaluate the importance levels of corresponding areas. Based on the importance levels of macroscales and mesoscales, three different scenarios with different targets of Changtian Community were proposed. All three scenarios were judged by stakeholders (residents and managers) of the community and a final scenario was proposed to meet all the requirements. This research not only provides theoretical reference and technical support for ecological land management in different scales of Shanghai, but also provides a new method of adaptive ecological land planning in megacities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
An E-Tailer’s Operational Strategy under Different Supply Chain Structures
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052141 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1092
Abstract
Motivated by the enormous business success of E-tailers and their distinct business strategies, this paper analyzes the characteristics of dual online channel competition and the fundamental willingness of an E-tailer to open its marketplace to other retailers while at the same time competing [...] Read more.
Motivated by the enormous business success of E-tailers and their distinct business strategies, this paper analyzes the characteristics of dual online channel competition and the fundamental willingness of an E-tailer to open its marketplace to other retailers while at the same time competing with them. We build game theory models to study the dual-channel competition between an incumbent E-tailer and other online retailers under different supply chain structures. Either the manufacturer or authorized third-party retailers can start an online store in the E-tailer’s marketplace. The results show that the transaction fee charged by the platform and the service level provided to customers play significant roles in deciding the marketplace business strategy—the E-tailer faces complicated issues when these two factors fluctuate. A pure strategy of raising the transaction fee may not always be beneficial and a competitor’s superior service level may help to enhance a rival’s sales price. In the expanded research, dual online channel competition with an unauthorized third-party retailer, which is common in the online marketplace, is also examined. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Economic Efficiency of Extensive and Intensive Shrimp Production under Conditions of Disease and Natural Disaster Risks in Khánh Hòa and Trà Vinh Provinces, Vietnam
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2140; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052140 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Uncertainty about efficiency and sustainability of shrimp production due to diseases and climatic events may prevent Vietnam from attaining US $10 million target from shrimp exports by 2025. We surveyed 120 and 159 shrimp farmers from Khánh Hòa and Trà Vinh provinces, respectively, [...] Read more.
Uncertainty about efficiency and sustainability of shrimp production due to diseases and climatic events may prevent Vietnam from attaining US $10 million target from shrimp exports by 2025. We surveyed 120 and 159 shrimp farmers from Khánh Hòa and Trà Vinh provinces, respectively, to obtain information on their input use, production levels and the effects of diseases and climate change events on their farm profitability. Stochastic production frontier analysis (SFA) discovered that the number of workers, crops and seed costs positively influenced farmers’ profits, while cost of chemicals and labour negatively affected the profit of Khánh Hòa farmers. The number of workers and chemical costs positively affected profits in Trà Vinh, while cost of labour and energy, the number of crops and average stocking density negatively influenced farmer profit in Trà Vinh. Number of years of schooling, experience and average size of ponds positively influenced economic efficiency, while the number of ponds and climatic change events negatively influenced efficiency in Khánh Hòa province. Age and alternative power source positively affected economic efficiency, while disease prevalence affected efficiency of Trà Vinh. All farms practicing intensive or extensive shrimp production achieved 90% efficiency. The government should encourage the wise use of resources, high-quality seeds and a sensitive balance between intensive and extensive culture to sustainably attain its national production and export goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Design Ideas for an Issue-Situation-Based Board Game Involving Multirole Scenarios
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2139; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052139 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1254
Abstract
In learning based on socio-scientific issues, teachers primarily use role playing in situation learning to promote students’ knowledge and responsibility and to teach them how to reach a consensus in multirole scenarios. However, if participants only engage with the material from the perspective [...] Read more.
In learning based on socio-scientific issues, teachers primarily use role playing in situation learning to promote students’ knowledge and responsibility and to teach them how to reach a consensus in multirole scenarios. However, if participants only engage with the material from the perspective of having one role, they will ignore comprehensive information on said issue. Therefore, the roles students play during multirole situational learning lead to diversity biases in learning results. To help participants enhance their competencies related to issues and eliminate learning gaps, we developed an issue-based board game named Water Ark based on the following four design ideas: multirole simulation, reflective goal, systemic situation, and interactions of society. The results indicated that after playing the game, participants’ knowledge and responsibility regarding water resource adaptation improved significantly. Furthermore, the findings revealed that the gap between the learning outcomes of participants with different roles in the game was not statistically significant, except in terms of students’ personal willingness to act. Thus, these design ideas could improve the utility of board games for learning about socio-scientific issues with multirole scenarios. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mapping Cultural Ecosystem Services Enables Better Informed Nature Protection and Landscape Management
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2138; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052138 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) have specific richness and diversity provision patterns related to particular landscape features and land cover forms. Studies of their spatial distribution, however, are quite rare in the Slovak Republic and surrounding countries. This paper links land cover information based [...] Read more.
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) have specific richness and diversity provision patterns related to particular landscape features and land cover forms. Studies of their spatial distribution, however, are quite rare in the Slovak Republic and surrounding countries. This paper links land cover information based on an ecosystem services (ES) matrix, field survey data and GIS method to assess CES supply in two selected Slovak regions. Our main focus is on the ecologically more valuable ‘hot-spots’ where socio-cultural values accumulate. We determined their spatial distribution, and our comparison with lower cultural value areas confirmed that mountainous landscapes have the highest capacity to provide CES. This especially applies to the landscapes under National Park protection. While Slovak forests, rocks and water areas also form essential ecosystems for overall CES provision, the lowest overall capacity is in areas with residential buildings, construction, industrial and other artificial habitats. Finally, a comparison of our results with the National Ecosystem Assessment indicates that our detailed CES assessment will be more effective in supporting future participatory planning and management processes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Land Concentration, Land Grabbing and Sustainable Development of Agriculture in Romania
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052137 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Land grabbing has become a priority topic in academic research and a political concern, due to interests in the dynamics of the phenomenon and its negative impact on the sustainable development of agriculture in rural areas. This phenomenon generates changes in production systems [...] Read more.
Land grabbing has become a priority topic in academic research and a political concern, due to interests in the dynamics of the phenomenon and its negative impact on the sustainable development of agriculture in rural areas. This phenomenon generates changes in production systems of agriculture with adverse environmental consequences, adversely affects socio-economic and cultural conditions and leads to lower overall efficiency in agriculture. This article analyses the links between land concentration, land grabbing and sustainable development of agriculture in Romania compared to other old and new EU-28 countries. The results of the research show that the land grabbing in Romania has a significant dimension compared to the other countries analyzed, which has led to an inadequate agrarian structure and adverse effects on the sustainable performance of agricultural holdings and the sustainable development of rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economic Development: Challenges, Policies, and Reforms)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Access to ICT in Poland and the Co-Creation of Urban Space in the Process of Modern Social Participation in a Smart City—A Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052136 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
A smart city is one of the latest concepts in the development of modern cities. It has evolved from the foregoing smart cities 1.0 and 2.0 to the smart city 3.0, where members of the local community play the main role as not [...] Read more.
A smart city is one of the latest concepts in the development of modern cities. It has evolved from the foregoing smart cities 1.0 and 2.0 to the smart city 3.0, where members of the local community play the main role as not only the recipients of the introduced changes and modern technology, but also as the creators of urban space. One of the goals of a smart city 3.0 is to promote sustainable urban development by improving the quality of life, enhancing social participation, and involving local community members in planning and decision-making processes. This study set out to determine the role and significance of e-participation methods in the smart city concept. The results of questionnaires exploring the importance of e-participation in urban development are presented. The paper also discusses changes in the availability of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Poland. The secondary goal was to present the geo-questionnaire and Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) as modern research tools. Internet tools based on geoinformation systems have considerable potential for mobilizing social participation in spatial planning (Public Participation GIS). The present study postulates the need for modern social participation methods in shaping urban space and promoting the sustainable development of cities. The study highlights the main challenges in the research process. The cooperation between the authorities and the citizens contributes to the development of a civil society, informed decision-making, social involvement in public life, and more effective governance at the local, regional, and national level. Measures that foster cooperation between the authorities and local communities, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), and growing social awareness and social participation in managing development are the components of a modern smart city and the building blocks of an e-society. The study also revealed positive changes in access to ICT and their contribution to bridging the digital divide in Poland. Higher levels of social awareness regarding participation and e-participation promote the growth of smart cities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Conceptual Framework to Evaluate the Environmental Sustainability Performance of Mining Industrial Facilities
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052135 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1271
Abstract
The aim of this study is to strengthen the capacity of mining industries to assess and improve their environmental sustainability performance through the introduction of a relevant framework. Specific assessment categories and respective indicators were selected according to predefined steps. Sustainability threshold values [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to strengthen the capacity of mining industries to assess and improve their environmental sustainability performance through the introduction of a relevant framework. Specific assessment categories and respective indicators were selected according to predefined steps. Sustainability threshold values were identified for each indicator to enable the comparison of the facility’s performance with a sustainability reference value. The application of the framework results in the extraction of an Environmental Sustainability Assessment of Mining Industries Index (IESAMI). The framework was applied to evaluate a mining facility in Greece, with a view to improve its applicability in parallel. The final score of environmental sustainability for the examined facility was 3.0 points (IESAMI = 3.0 points), indicating significant room for improvement where the company should aim to further enhance its sustainability performance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Examining Luxury Restaurant Dining Experience towards Sustainable Reputation of the Michelin Restaurant Guide
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052134 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
The study aims to investigate the formation of customer loyalty among luxury restaurant patrons in Korea. Moreover, the study investigated how the restaurants’ performance could contribute to the trust and sustainability of the Michelin restaurant guide’s reputation. The study identified meal experience, brand [...] Read more.
The study aims to investigate the formation of customer loyalty among luxury restaurant patrons in Korea. Moreover, the study investigated how the restaurants’ performance could contribute to the trust and sustainability of the Michelin restaurant guide’s reputation. The study identified meal experience, brand credibility, and brand love to influence customers’ revisit intention and willingness to pay a premium. The study surveyed 400 luxury restaurant patrons in Korea. The Michelin restaurant guide was used to classify fine dining restaurants. Measurement items from previously validated studies were adopted. The results of the study showed the meal experience scale satisfactorily measures service performance and leads to the formation of brand credibility. Subsequently, brand prestige and brand love significantly predicted customers’ loyalty intentions. Additionally, brand credibility helps form the trust of the Michelin guide and eventually predicts the long-term reputation of the guide. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Optimization Design of X-ray Conveyer Belt Length for Subway Security Check Systems in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052133 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
The frequent terrorist attacks in subways has dramatically increased the necessity and importance of security check systems (SCSs). The implementation of a SCS in China has successfully eliminated lots of potential safety hazards. However, the excessive waiting time due to the SCS is [...] Read more.
The frequent terrorist attacks in subways has dramatically increased the necessity and importance of security check systems (SCSs). The implementation of a SCS in China has successfully eliminated lots of potential safety hazards. However, the excessive waiting time due to the SCS is also an issue. SCS efficiency is greatly affected by the length of the conveyer belt of the X-ray machine (CBXM). A scheme for optimizing the CBXM length to accommodate different passenger flows is proposed in this paper. A modeling framework is developed for associating the CBXM length with the queuing waiting time based on a M/M/1/N queuing model. The optimal scheme of CBXM length calculated from the model demonstrates that the passenger queuing time is saved by 15.7%, 16.0%, and 23.3% with the passenger arrival rate of 4000, 5000, and 6000, respectively, greatly reducing queuing crowdedness. The scheme can be used to select X-ray machines for subway stations by their passenger arrival rates. In addition, the findings of this paper could be a crucial supplement and perfect the design code of subway SCSs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Management Accounting Systems, Top Management Teams, and Sustainable Knowledge Acquisition: Effects on Performance
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052132 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1614
Abstract
Organizations are increasingly aware of the importance of managing the acquisition processes of new and sustainable knowledge, which allows them to increase performance. These knowledge-acquisition processes require top management teams to focus on the external environment to search for sustainable opportunities and initiatives. [...] Read more.
Organizations are increasingly aware of the importance of managing the acquisition processes of new and sustainable knowledge, which allows them to increase performance. These knowledge-acquisition processes require top management teams to focus on the external environment to search for sustainable opportunities and initiatives. This spurs top teams to make strategic decisions that require more comprehensive managerial information, which is provided by management accounting systems. Our research analyzes how top management team composition facilitates the acquisition of new knowledge. Our management accounting paper also analyzes the mediating effect of the interactive use of management accounting systems (MASs) and their impact on sustainable firm performance. A survey was conducted among the main manufacturer firms in the Republic of Ecuador. Results were analyzed by using the partial least squares methodology, and they showed a positive effect for the interactive use of management accounting systems on sustainable knowledge-acquisition processes. Results also showed that knowledge acquisition increased firm performance through an interactive use of MASs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge Management for Sustainability-oriented Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Social Sustainability: Satisfying Owners and Communities by Multilevel Strategies of Contractors
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052131 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1667
Abstract
In sustainable construction/production, the social dimension regarding owner and community satisfaction has received the least focus. To promote social sustainability, the multilevel strategies of contractors should be developed for owner and community satisfaction. However, a literature review shows that there are few studies [...] Read more.
In sustainable construction/production, the social dimension regarding owner and community satisfaction has received the least focus. To promote social sustainability, the multilevel strategies of contractors should be developed for owner and community satisfaction. However, a literature review shows that there are few studies on how multilevel strategies influence such satisfaction. Hence, this study aimed to analyze such influences. A survey was conducted to gather data from the Thai construction industry, and these data were then analyzed by a structural equation model (SEM). The results, for the first time, highlight that corporate strategy influences business strategy (direct influence = 0.98), which in turn influences functional strategy (direct influence = 0.93). Additionally, only functional strategy influences owner (direct influence = 0.84) and community satisfaction (direct influence = 0.66). Furthermore, parenting, cooperation, and equipment/machinery substrategies obtain the highest weights within the management levels of corporation, business, and function (regression weights = 0.49, 0.48, and 0.55), respectively. The work productivity and site organization indicators have the largest weights for owner and community satisfaction (regression weights = 0.47 and 0.57), respectively. The findings provide a guideline that helps contractors allocate their available resources to substrategies according to their regression weights, enhancing owner and community satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Theorized Relationship between Organizational (Non)Compliance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Desired Employee Workplace Outcomes
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052130 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1212
Abstract
Despite the presence of guiding legislation such as the United Nations Guiding Principles, respect for human rights is subject to the conscience of organizational actors. Given that some transnational corporations are more powerful than nation states, they play an important role in the [...] Read more.
Despite the presence of guiding legislation such as the United Nations Guiding Principles, respect for human rights is subject to the conscience of organizational actors. Given that some transnational corporations are more powerful than nation states, they play an important role in the economies in which they operate, often with far-reaching impact on the labor conditions and human rights protections within these countries. In the current global context, respect for human rights may be undermined when organizational decision-makers are tempted to ignore unethical practices due to considerations such as competition and short-term financial incentives. We propose that the higher standards to which younger generations increasingly hold corporations provide a compelling and “business case” incentive for the protection of human rights of external stakeholders by organizational decision-makers. Drawing on related research on corporate social responsibility and on projections regarding demographical changes in the workplace worldwide, we make the case for a bottom-line advantage to respecting human rights in attracting and retaining top talent in work organizations. We conclude by highlighting the theoretical and practical implications of our theorizing. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Studying Industrial Decarbonisation: Developing an Interdisciplinary Understanding of the Conditions for Transformation in Energy-Intensive Natural Resource-Based Industry
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052129 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1408
Abstract
The ambition to keep global warming well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, as recognised in the Paris Agreement, implies a reorientation towards low-carbon societal development and, ultimately, the decarbonisation of human societies and economies. While climate policy has been geared towards achieving [...] Read more.
The ambition to keep global warming well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, as recognised in the Paris Agreement, implies a reorientation towards low-carbon societal development and, ultimately, the decarbonisation of human societies and economies. While climate policy has been geared towards achieving set emission reduction targets, the decarbonisation of key socioeconomic sectors such as energy-intensive natural resource-based industries (ENRIs) has not yet been sufficiently addressed, neither politically nor in science. Decarbonising the ENRIs is a complex societal problem that will require structural transformation technologically as well as socially. Understanding the conditions for transformative change therefore necessitates integrated knowledge from multiple perspectives of different research fields. In this paper, we examine the potential of combining three different research fields and critically scrutinize the challenges to integration for understanding the conditions for industrial decarbonisation: energy system analysis, sustainability transition research and policy studies. We argue that these perspectives are complementary—a fundamental condition for fruitful integration—but not easily compatible since they are sometimes based on different ontological assumptions. The research fields are in themselves heterogeneous, which poses additional challenges to an integrated research approach. Drawing on experiences from a Swedish research project (GIST2050) on industrial decarbonisation, we suggest a modest approach to integrated research that could progressively develop from multidisciplinary exchange towards more integrated forms of interdisciplinarity by means of cross-disciplinary dialogue and understanding. Full article
Article
Effect of Feed Concentrate Intake on the Environmental Impact of Dairy Cows in an Alpine Mountain Region Including Soil Carbon Sequestration and Effect on Biodiversity
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2128; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052128 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1706
Abstract
Several studies on the environmental impacts of livestock enterprises are based on the application of life cycle assessments (LCA). In Alpine regions, soil carbon sequestration can play an important role in reducing environmental impacts. However, there is no official methodology to calculate this [...] Read more.
Several studies on the environmental impacts of livestock enterprises are based on the application of life cycle assessments (LCA). In Alpine regions, soil carbon sequestration can play an important role in reducing environmental impacts. However, there is no official methodology to calculate this possible reduction. Biodiversity plays an important role in the Alpine environment and is affected by human activities, such as cattle farming. Our aim was to estimate the carbon footprint (CF) of four different dairy production systems (different in breeds and feeding intensity) by using the LCA approach. The present study included 44 dairy Alpine farms located in the autonomous province of Bolzano in northern Italy. Half of the farms (n = 22) kept Alpine Grey and the other half (n = 22) Brown Swiss cattle. Within breeds, the farms were divided by the amount of concentrated feed per cow and day into high concentrate (HC) and low concentrate (LC). This resulted in 11 Alpine Grey low concentrate (AGLC) farms feeding an average amount of 3.0 kg concentrated feed/cow/day and 11 Alpine Grey high concentrate (AGHC) farms with an average amount of 6.3 kg concentrated feed/cow/day. Eleven farms kept Brown Swiss cows with an average amount of 3.7 kg concentrated feed/cow/day (BSLC) and another 11 farms feeding on average 7.6 kg concentrated feed/cow/day (BSHC). CF for the four systems was estimated using the LCA approach. The functional unit was 1 kg of fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM). Furthermore, two methodologies have been applied to estimate soil carbon sequestration and effect on biodiversity. The system with the lowest environmental impact in terms of CF was BSHC (1.14 kg CO2-eq/kg of FPCM), while the most impactful system was the AGLC group (1.55 kg CO2-eq/kg of FPCM). Including the CF reduction due to soil carbon sequestered from grassland, it decreased differently for the two applied methods. For all four systems, the main factor for CF was enteric emission, while the main pollutant was biogenic CH4. Conversely, AGLC had the lowest impact when the damage to biodiversity was considered (damage score = 0.41/kg of FPCM, damage to ecosystem diversity = 1.78 E-07 species*yr/kg FPCM). In comparison, BSHC had the greatest impact in terms of damage to biodiversity (damage score = 0.56/kg of FPCM, damage to ecosystem diversity = 2.49 E-07 species*yr/kg FPCM). This study indicates the importance of including soil carbon sequestration from grasslands and effects on biodiversity when calculating the environmental performance of dairy farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Livestock Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Solving the Multi-Depot Green Vehicle Routing Problem by a Hybrid Evolutionary Algorithm
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052127 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1047
Abstract
The growing concerns about human pollution has motivated practitioners and researchers to focus on the environmental and social impacts of logistics and supply chains. In this paper, we consider the environmental impact of carbon dioxide emission on a vehicle routing problem with multiple [...] Read more.
The growing concerns about human pollution has motivated practitioners and researchers to focus on the environmental and social impacts of logistics and supply chains. In this paper, we consider the environmental impact of carbon dioxide emission on a vehicle routing problem with multiple depots. We present a hybrid evolutionary algorithm (HEA) to tackle it by combining a variable neighborhood search and an evolutionary algorithm. The proposed hybrid evolutionary algorithm includes several distinct features such as multiple neighborhood operators, a route-based crossover operator, and a distance- and quality-based population updating strategy. The results from our numerical experiments confirm the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed HEA in comparison with the best-performing methods in the literature and the public exact optimization solver CPLEX. Furthermore, an important aspect of the HEA is studied to assess its effect on the performance of the HEA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Self-Organizing Map Network-Based Soil and Water Conservation Partitioning for Small Watersheds: Case Study Conducted in Xiaoyang Watershed, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2126; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052126 - 09 Mar 2020
Viewed by 851
Abstract
Soil and water conservation partitioning (SWCP) considers complex environmental statutes and development demands and serves as a scientific basis for conducting soil erosion management and practice. However, few studies have researched partitioning in small watersheds (< 50 km2), and guidelines for [...] Read more.
Soil and water conservation partitioning (SWCP) considers complex environmental statutes and development demands and serves as a scientific basis for conducting soil erosion management and practice. However, few studies have researched partitioning in small watersheds (< 50 km2), and guidelines for enabling region-specific measures are lacking. In this study, the Xiaoyang watershed located in the red soil region of southern China was selected as a representative small watershed in which to conduct partitioning. The pressure–state–response (PSR) model was used as a framework for establishing an indicator system that included soil erosion sensitivity, the soil erosion condition, and ecosystem services. With three soil and water conservation variables as the input layer, a one-dimensional self-organizing map was applied to identify clusters in the small watershed. The silhouette width was evaluated to determine the optimal number of regions. Based on the associated results, the Xiaoyang watershed was divided into five regions accounting for 82%, 9%, 8%, 2%, and 1% of the total area, respectively. This study provides a framework on which region-specific soil erosion measures can be planned, and it also provides a partitioning method that can be employed in other areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Soil and Water Conservation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Development and Prospect of Food Security Cooperation in the BRICS Countries
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052125 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1520
Abstract
In recent years, the international status of agriculture in the BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—has been continuously improved. In 2018, the gross agricultural production of the BRICS countries accounted for more than 50% of the world’s total. Further strengthening the [...] Read more.
In recent years, the international status of agriculture in the BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—has been continuously improved. In 2018, the gross agricultural production of the BRICS countries accounted for more than 50% of the world’s total. Further strengthening the developing cooperation of the BRICS countries is of great significance for ensuring global food security. Based on the data from FAOSTAT and UN Comtrade Database, this study builds a food self-sufficiency rate and food security cooperation potential index to quantitatively analyze the food security status, cooperation effectiveness, and future trends of the BRICS countries. The study finds that the overall food security of the BRICS countries is generally showing a trend of volatility and growth, with high rates for cereals and relatively low rates for fresh products. In the future, BRICS food security cooperation should be based on their own resource endowment and socioeconomic characteristics. The BRICS countries need to constantly improve the awareness of joint cooperation and action in the future, focusing on scientific and technological cooperation, information sharing, complementary advantages in trade, and improving the global competitiveness of products. With the help of agricultural science and technology, Brazil is growing as a strong export country of food products. Russia needs to increase the introduction of agricultural science and technology and foreign capital to give full play to its resource advantages. India can improve its food self-sufficiency faster by the construction of a BRICS Agricultural Research Platform. China makes full use of BRICS resources, actively promotes agricultural enterprises to go global, and constantly optimizes the food supply structure. South Africa maintains the advantages of fruit and vegetable industry and increases the introduction and promotion of agricultural science and technology to improve the domestic food production capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Response of Bacterial Community Structure to Different Biochar Addition Dosages in Karst Yellow Soil Planted with Ryegrass and Daylily
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12052124 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Biochar has been widely used to ameliorate soil quality and increase crop productivity through enhancement of nutrient availability and microbial community. The Karst yellow soil in China is characterized by severe soil degradation owing to intensive nutrient leaching. However, the biochar addition effects [...] Read more.
Biochar has been widely used to ameliorate soil quality and increase crop productivity through enhancement of nutrient availability and microbial community. The Karst yellow soil in China is characterized by severe soil degradation owing to intensive nutrient leaching. However, the biochar addition effects on the changes of Karst yellow soil are unclear, and the adequate number of biochar dosages to explain optimum of plant growth in this soil area remains poorly understood. In this study, pot experiments were conducted to examine the effects of biochar addition (1%, 3%, 5%, 7%, and 9% by weight; 0% as a control) on bacterial abundance and community structure via high-throughput sequencing coupled with bioinformatics methods applied to Karst yellow soil with planting ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and daylily (Hemerocallis fulva). After adding biochar for 188 days, significantly increased pH, soil organic matter, total nutrient contents, and bacterial abundance, but decreased available nitrogen, were observed. Changed bacterial community structures were found in biochar treatments compared with those without biochar. In both soils of planted ryegrass and daylily, the optimum soil bacterial abundance was found in 7% biochar dosage, but the lowest values were in the controls (0%). Taxonomic analysis identified that Micrococcaceae (24.53%), Oxalobacteraceae (11.87%), and Nocardioidaceae (7.89%) were the dominant family in the soil of ryegrass growth, and Micrococcaceae (16.20%), Xanthomonadaceae (6.94%), and Nocardioidaceae (6.41%) were the dominant family in soil of daylily growth. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that the alterations of soil bacterial abundance and community were highly interrelated with soil chemical properties. The results provided a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the plant-soil microbe interactions and their responses to biochar dosages in low fertility soil regions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop