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Land, Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 144 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Mountain farming supports multiple ecosystem services (ES), but it remains unclear how the transformation of agricultural land affects ES provision. This study analyzed changes in ES in the European Alps between 2000 and 2018 by mapping 19 ES and comparing eight regions with similar social–ecological characteristics. The results indicate that ES decreased most strongly in regions with a huge abandonment of mountain grassland, while ES in traditional agricultural regions remained the most stable. Overall, ES had the lowest values in regions with an intensification of agriculture together with urban sprawl. Across all regions, a shift occurred from ES that are typically associated with mountain farming towards forest-related ES due to forest regrowth. View this paper
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Article
Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Farmers and Their Responses: A Study of Three Farming Systems in Kerala, South India
Land 2022, 11(1), 144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010144 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 891
Abstract
Particularly in countries with an agrarian economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought hardships faced by farmers into sharp focus. One of the most badly hit countries was India. This study aims to bring to light the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the [...] Read more.
Particularly in countries with an agrarian economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought hardships faced by farmers into sharp focus. One of the most badly hit countries was India. This study aims to bring to light the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of farmers in three farming systems (coffee farming, Kole wetland paddy farming, and homestead farming) in the southern Indian state of Kerala. We collected the data using telephone interviews and studied the impacts (economic, social, institutional) of the pandemic on the selected farming systems, the responses of farmers (short and long term) to these impacts, and the ability of farmers to secure their livelihoods (by analyzing resilience capacities and transforming structures and processes of the farming systems). The methodological framework used was developed based on the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and the Resilience Framework. We found significant impacts on the three studied farming systems due to COVID-19. As the impacts, responses, and ability to secure livelihoods varied across the three farming systems, we concluded that there is not a single solution that could be prescribed for all farming systems and that each land use system must be treated individually. Full article
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Article
Club Convergence and Spatial Effect on Green Development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt in China with Markov Chains Approach
Land 2022, 11(1), 143; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010143 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 432
Abstract
The Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) is one of four major national development strategies in China, accomplishing the balance between protection and development of YREB has long-term and comprehensive significance to the implementation of China’s green development concept. This paper aims to have [...] Read more.
The Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) is one of four major national development strategies in China, accomplishing the balance between protection and development of YREB has long-term and comprehensive significance to the implementation of China’s green development concept. This paper aims to have a more comprehensive understanding of the green development level of 126 cities in YREB from 2008 to 2017 by constructing an innovative evaluation system of “capacity level-coordination level-comprehensive level”. And on this basis, further analysis is carried out to check whether there is spatial effect in green development by means of the Markov chain. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) Urban green development comprehensive level in YREB is characterized by convergence, and the convergence phenomenon is more prominent in high-level cities; (2) In general, the distribution of high-value cities is decreasing from east to west; (3) The transition of club convergence is significantly influenced by neighbor background. Overall, the YREB is undergoing a transformation to step into the greener development path, still needs to take a series of synergistic guidance strategies to solve the problem of unbalanced regional development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Land Socio-Economic and Political Issues)
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Article
How Does Land Consolidation Affect Soil Fungal Community Structure? Take Heavy Metal Contaminated Areas in Eastern China for Example
Land 2022, 11(1), 142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010142 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Farmland land consolidation can effectively improve the quality of farmland soil and the agricultural production level, and can effectively guarantee farmland ecology and food security, which has been widely used in the world. A large number of studies have shown that farmland consolidation [...] Read more.
Farmland land consolidation can effectively improve the quality of farmland soil and the agricultural production level, and can effectively guarantee farmland ecology and food security, which has been widely used in the world. A large number of studies have shown that farmland consolidation has certain adjustments to the basic physical and chemical properties of soil and the content of heavy metals. As a key indicator of soil quality and ecological conditions, soil microorganisms play an important role in soil pollution restoration and the promotion of crop growth. However, there are few domestic and foreign studies on how farmland consolidation affects soil microbial properties, and there are no related reports on the mechanism of action between them, which is a blank in the field of agricultural land consolidation and soil microecology, especially in heavy metal contaminated areas. Therefore, we used the DNA sequence technology to compare fungal community structure in farmlands with and without consolidation in heavy metal contaminated areas. Our results showed that (1) farmland consolidation had a significant impact on soil microbial characteristics, which were mainly manifested as changes in microbial biomass, microbial diversity and community structure. (2) Farmland consolidation had an indirect impact on soil fungal community structure by adjusting the soil physical and chemical properties. (3) The impact of heavy metals on the fungal community structure varied significantly under different levels of heavy metal pollution in farmland consolidation areas. When the pollution was at the highest level, there existed 7 fungus genera showing a strong tolerance to heavy metals and consuming a lot of soil nutrients, of which were Melanospora, Pseudeurotium, Guehomyces, Schizothecium, Gibberella, Myrothecium, and Neurospora. In this study, an analytical method was proposed to analyze the effects of farmland consolidation on soil fungi, and the mechanism was discussed from two aspects—soil physical and chemical properties, and heavy metal content. The results shed some light on farmland consolidation, cultivated land quality evaluation and territorial space ecological restoration. Full article
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Article
Hydromorphological Inventory and Evaluation of the Upland Stream: Case Study of a Small Ungauged Catchment in Western Carpathians, Poland
Land 2022, 11(1), 141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010141 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 378
Abstract
The hydromorphological conditions of watercourses depend on numerous natural and anthropogenic factors such as buffer zones or human infrastructure near their banks. We hypothesised that, even in a small stream, there can be substantial differences in the hydromorphological forms associated with naturalness and [...] Read more.
The hydromorphological conditions of watercourses depend on numerous natural and anthropogenic factors such as buffer zones or human infrastructure near their banks. We hypothesised that, even in a small stream, there can be substantial differences in the hydromorphological forms associated with naturalness and human impact. The paper aims at the field inventory and evaluation of the hydromorphological conditions of a small upland stream in the conditions of contemporary human activity, against the background of meteorological and hydrological conditions. The study concerned a left-bank tributary of the Stradomka River located in the Wiśnicz Foothills (Western Carpathians). The analyses were conducted with the use of the Polish method, the Hydromorphological Index for Rivers (HIR), which conforms to the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). The hydromorphological condition and quality of habitats were evaluated based on the Hydromorphological Diversity Score (HDS) and Habitat Modification Score (HMS). The study shows that the largest changes in stream hydomorphology and habitat conditions took place in the downstream, urbanised stream catchment area with an intensive development of construction and technical infrastructure. The hydromorphological condition of the examined stream sections was evaluated as good or poor. The best hydromorphological conditions were found in the section located in the semi-natural area, and the worst in the urbanised area. As our research shows, the strong influence of human activity, including weather extremes, and the risks and hydrological hazards of the hydromorphological conditions of the small, ungauged catchment, highlight the necessity to search for other research methods to support the decision-making cycle in the transformation of riverbeds and catchments. Full article
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Article
Integrating Landscape Pattern into Characterising and Optimising Ecosystem Services for Regional Sustainable Development
Land 2022, 11(1), 140; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010140 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Humans benefit from ecosystem services (ES) and profoundly influence the ecosystem in rapid urbanisation and large-scale urban sprawl contexts, especially at the landscape level. However, the impacts of landscape pattern, the driving mechanism of sub-ES and the spatially explicit regional optimisation, have been [...] Read more.
Humans benefit from ecosystem services (ES) and profoundly influence the ecosystem in rapid urbanisation and large-scale urban sprawl contexts, especially at the landscape level. However, the impacts of landscape pattern, the driving mechanism of sub-ES and the spatially explicit regional optimisation, have been largely ignored. In response, to the present paper explores two primary aspects: the relationship among ES, landscape pattern, urban income and agricultural output, and the regional governance of optimised ES values (ESV), using the Wuhan urban agglomeration as a case study area. The survey method is employed in obtaining the adjusted magnitude matrix of land use and ecosystem services. Spatial regression analyses are conducted on each ES, including food provision, climate regulation and soil maintenance, with socio-economic indicators and landscape pattern index as explanatory variables. Finally, geographically weighted regression and scenario analyses are conducted on each sub-ESV to generate adjusted coefficients in each county for ESV regulation. The results show that urban per capita disposable income and agricultural output significantly contribute to ESV change, with the former being negative and the latter being positive. A highly aggregated landscape also produces reduced ESV, particularly in soil maintenance and gas and climate regulation. We summarise the ESV in 2020 and in the period after adjustment in different administrative counties. Provision, regulation and culture ecosystem benefits substantially increase when attempts are made to lower the landscape aggregation pattern by 1%. In general, counties and county-level cities have the largest ESV, with food provision as the optimum ecosystem benefit. Districts in the capital city show an immense growth in provision and regulation, and county-level cities show the highest growth rate in cultural service. Integrating the landscape pattern into characterising and optimising ES, provides references for regional governance on land-use planning and socio-economic development, which is vital to sustainable regional development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
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Review
Intangible Cultural Heritage in Tourism: Research Review and Investigation of Future Agenda
Land 2022, 11(1), 139; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010139 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 910
Abstract
Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) can be a valuable tourism resource for both government and local communities. However, the complex definition and the massive and fragmented nature of ICH data make it hard to review and conclude research trends and future directions of ICH [...] Read more.
Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) can be a valuable tourism resource for both government and local communities. However, the complex definition and the massive and fragmented nature of ICH data make it hard to review and conclude research trends and future directions of ICH tourism. In this study, 85 keywords extracted from ICH definitions are input in the Web of Science database before collecting papers indexed in the Social Sciences Citation Index, the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, and the Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Social Science and Humanities. Later, a systematic literature review of 418 ICH tourism studies from 76 countries published between 2000 and 2021 were conducted based on three groups of questions. The findings mainly illustrated that: (1) Currently research in ICH tourism is mainly composed of three themes: resource planning and sustainability, the impact of tourism development, and tourist behavior and destination marketing; (2) topics related to food tourism, sacred knowledge, traditional management systems, traditional management systems, legends, and myths can achieve high impact; (3) in the last five years, scholars have reduced using the official full name of ICH in tourism studies, while the category of “social practices, rituals and festive events” has become a hot topic since 2010; (4) ecotourism, culinary tourism, festival tourism, and religious tourism are the most discussed in ICH tourism research, and they will still be intensive topics in near future; (5) future directions in ICH tourism research are resultant of three vectors: place making, technology, and environment. The results present a comprehensive picture of current popular ICH topics and predict future directions in the field of ICH tourism. The systematic review of literature can help contribute to both theoretical construction, heritage preservation, and tourism practices. Full article
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Article
Drivers of Long-Term Land-Use Pressure in the Merguellil Wadi, Tunisia, Using DPSIR Approach and Remote Sensing
Land 2022, 11(1), 138; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010138 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Increasing land use pressure is a primary force for degradation of agricultural areas. The drivers for these pressures are initiated by a series of interconnected processes. This study presents a novel methodology to analyze drivers of changing land use pressure and the effects [...] Read more.
Increasing land use pressure is a primary force for degradation of agricultural areas. The drivers for these pressures are initiated by a series of interconnected processes. This study presents a novel methodology to analyze drivers of changing land use pressure and the effects on society and landscape. The focus was on characterizing these drivers and relate them to land use statistics obtained from geospatial data from the important semiarid Merguellil Wadi between 1976 and 2016. Cause-and-effect relationships between different drivers of land use change were analyzed using the DPSIR approach. Results show that during the 40-year period cultivated land increased and wetland areas decreased substantially. Drivers for change were pressure from economic development, cultivation practices, and hydro-agricultural techniques. This leads to stress on water and soil resulting in soil erosion, poverty increase, and rural exodus. We show that hydro-agricultural techniques adapted to the semiarid climate, allocation of land property rights, resource allocation, and improved marketing of agricultural products can help rural residents to diversify their economy, and thus better preserve the fragile semiarid landscape. Results of this study can be used to ensure sustainable management of water and soil resources in areas with similar climate and socio-economic conditions. Full article
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Article
The Central Arizona Conservation Alliance Programs: Use of Social Media and App-Supported Community Science for Landscape-Scale Habitat Restoration, Governance Support, and Community Resilience-Building
Land 2022, 11(1), 137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010137 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Land managers are currently faced with a nexus of challenges, both ecological and social, when trying to govern natural open spaces. While social media has led to many challenges for effective land management and governance, the technology has the potential to support key [...] Read more.
Land managers are currently faced with a nexus of challenges, both ecological and social, when trying to govern natural open spaces. While social media has led to many challenges for effective land management and governance, the technology has the potential to support key activities related to habitat restoration, awareness-raising for policy changes, and increased community resilience as the impacts of increased use and climate change become more apparent. Through the use of a case study examining the work of the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance’s social media ambassadorship and its app-supported community science projects, we examine the potential and realized positive impact that technology such as social media and smartphone apps can create for land managers and surrounding communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Governance and Resilience in the Age of Social Media)
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Article
Dynamic Landscape Fragmentation and the Driving Forces on Haitan Island, China
Land 2022, 11(1), 136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010136 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Island ecosystems have distinct and unique vulnerabilities that place them at risk from threats to their ecology and socioeconomics. Spatially exhibiting the fragmentation process of island landscapes and identifying their driving factors are the fundamental prerequisites for the maintenance of island ecosystems and [...] Read more.
Island ecosystems have distinct and unique vulnerabilities that place them at risk from threats to their ecology and socioeconomics. Spatially exhibiting the fragmentation process of island landscapes and identifying their driving factors are the fundamental prerequisites for the maintenance of island ecosystems and the rational utilization of islands. Haitan Island was chosen as a case study for understanding landscape fragmentation on urbanizing Islands. Based on remote sensing technology, three Landsat images from 2000 to 2020, landscape pattern index, transect gradient analysis, and moving window method were used in this study. The results showed that from 2000 to 2020, impervious land increased by 462.57%. In 2000, the predominant landscape was cropland (46.34%), which shifted to impervious land (35.20%) and forest (32.90%) in 2020. Combining the moving window method and Semivariogram, 1050 m was considered to be the best scale to reflect the landscape fragmentation of Haitan Island. Under this scale, it was found that the landscape fragmentation of Haitan Island generally increased with time and had obvious spatial heterogeneity. We set up sampling bands along the coastline and found that the degree of landscape fragmentation, advancing from the coast inland, was decreasing. Transects analysis showed the fragmentation intensity of the coastal zone: the north-western and southern wooded zones decreased, while the concentration of urban farmland in the north-central and southern areas increased. The implementation of a comprehensive experimental area plan on Haitan Island has disturbed the landscape considerably. In 2000, landscape fragmentation was mainly influenced by topography and agricultural production. The critical infrastructure construction, reclamation and development of landscape resources have greatly contributed to the urbanisation and tourism of Haitan Island, and landscape fragmentation in 2013 was at its highest. Due to China’s “Grain for Green Project” and the Comprehensive Territorial Spatial Planning policy (especially the protection of ecological control lines), the fragmentation of Haitan Island was slowing. This study investigated the optimal spatial scale for analyzing spatiotemporal changes in landscape fragmentation on Haitan Island from 2000 to 2020, and the essential influencing factors in urban islands from the perspective of natural environment and social development, which could provide a basis for land use management and ecological planning on the island. Full article
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Article
Morphology of Warsaw City Structure Using Urban Indexes and GIS Tools
Land 2022, 11(1), 135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010135 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 386
Abstract
The article presents the process of creating a tool using GIS systems to describe the city’s spatial structure. Therefore, the subject of this research was the method of describing the city structure using non-functional zoning, in conjunction with the use of urban indicators. [...] Read more.
The article presents the process of creating a tool using GIS systems to describe the city’s spatial structure. Therefore, the subject of this research was the method of describing the city structure using non-functional zoning, in conjunction with the use of urban indicators. Using the relationships between the values of urban indicators and individual typologies of buildings, they can be assigned to subsequent zones from the Rural-to-Urban Transect methodology. Therefore, in this article, urban indicators have been defined, thanks to which it is possible to distinguish different typologies of buildings. Next, the relationships between selected indicators and transect zones have been examined, and thanks to the obtained conclusions, transect zones for Warsaw have been defined. Finally, the spatial structure of a selected part of Warsaw has been described using these zones. The purpose of this study is also to initially assess the usefulness of the developed tool for the needs of urban planners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Cityscape—Structure, Aesthetics, Perception)
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Article
Characteristics of Soil Erodibility K Value and Its Influencing Factors in the Changyan Watershed, Southwest Hubei, China
Land 2022, 11(1), 134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010134 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 382
Abstract
Soil erodibility K factor is an important parameter for evaluating soil erosion vulnerability and is required for soil erosion prediction models. It is also necessary for soil and water conservation management. In this study, we investigated the spatial variability characteristics of soil erodibility [...] Read more.
Soil erodibility K factor is an important parameter for evaluating soil erosion vulnerability and is required for soil erosion prediction models. It is also necessary for soil and water conservation management. In this study, we investigated the spatial variability characteristics of soil erodibility K factor in a watershed (Changyan watershed with an area of 8.59 km2) of Enshi, southwest of Hubei, China, and evaluated its influencing factors. The soil K values were determined by the EPIC model using the soil survey data across the watershed. Spatial K value prediction was conducted by regression-kriging using geographic data. We also assessed the effects of soil type, land use, and topography on the K value variations. The results showed that soil erodibility K values varied between 0.039–0.052 t·hm2·h/(hm2·MJ·mm) in the watershed with a block-like structure of spatial distribution. The soil erodibility, soil texture, and organic matter content all showed positive spatial autocorrelation. The spatial variability of the K value was related to soil type, land use, and topography. The calcareous soil had the greatest K value on average, followed by the paddy soil, the yellow-brown soil (an alfisol), the purple soil (an inceptisol), and the fluvo-aquic soil (an entisol). The soil K factor showed a negative correlation with the sand content but was positively related to soil silt and clay contents. Forest soils had a greater ability to resist to erosion compared to the cultivated soils. The soil K values increased with increasing slope and showed a decreasing trend with increasing altitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
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Article
The Effect of Anaerobic Digestate on the Soil Organic Carbon and Humified Carbon Fractions in Different Land-Use Systems in Lithuania
Land 2022, 11(1), 133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010133 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The most important component of agricultural system are soils as the basis for the growth of plants, accumulation of water, plant nutrients and organic matter. The main task of our research was to ascertain changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) and mobile humified [...] Read more.
The most important component of agricultural system are soils as the basis for the growth of plants, accumulation of water, plant nutrients and organic matter. The main task of our research was to ascertain changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) and mobile humified carbon fractions in digestate-treated soils. We have performed three field experiments using the same design on two soil types in 2019–2020. We studied the fertilization effects of different phases of digestate on Retisol and Fluvisol. Fertilization treatments: control; separated liquid digestate 85 kg ha−1 N; and 170 kg ha−1 170 N; separated solid digestate 85 kg ha−1 N; and 170 kg ha−1 N. We have found a greater positive effect on the increase in SOC because of the use of the maximum recommended fertilization rate of the solid digestate. The content of mobile humic substances (MHS) tended to increase in grassland and crop rotation field in digestate-treated soil. In our experiment, maximum concentration of SOC was found in 0–10 cm soil layer, while in the deeper layers the amount of SOC, MHS and mobile humic acids proportionally decreased. We concluded, that long-term factors as soil type and land use strongly affected the humification level expressed as HD (%) in the soil and the highest HD was determined in the grassland soil in Fluvisol. Full article
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Article
Improving Hill Farming: From Maize Monocropping to Alternative Cropping Systems in the Thai Highlands
Land 2022, 11(1), 132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010132 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Lately, the Hill Pond Rice System (HPRS) is being promoted as a form of alternative farming systems in selected northern provinces of Thailand, in which the land conversion is designed to maximize rainwater harvesting in farmland consisting of forest trees, water reservoirs, paddy [...] Read more.
Lately, the Hill Pond Rice System (HPRS) is being promoted as a form of alternative farming systems in selected northern provinces of Thailand, in which the land conversion is designed to maximize rainwater harvesting in farmland consisting of forest trees, water reservoirs, paddy fields, and high-value crop cultivation to serve environmental and livelihood needs. This study employed the double-hurdle model and the tobit technique to investigate the farm-level factors associated with land conversion from maize monocropping to the HPRS using primary data collected from 253 households in Nan, Chiang Mai, Tak, and Lampang Provinces. It was found that education, farming knowledge, understanding benefits of the HPRS, access to water sources, access to advis, and workforce sharing raised the likelihood and extent of farmland conversion into the HPRS. In contrast, perceived complexity of the HPRS, experiences with negative shocks, and land tenure security lowered the likelihood and extent of land conversion. The findings suggest that on-farm collective action should be promoted to mitigate labor constraints in implementation and that access to equipment should be enhanced through HPRS advisors’ visits. Full article
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Article
Perceived Causes and Solutions to Soil Degradation in the UK and Norway
Land 2022, 11(1), 131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010131 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 911
Abstract
Soil quality is declining in many parts of the world, with implications for the productivity, resilience and sustainability of agri-food systems. Research suggests multiple causes of soil degradation with no single solution and a divided stakeholder opinion on how to manage this problem. [...] Read more.
Soil quality is declining in many parts of the world, with implications for the productivity, resilience and sustainability of agri-food systems. Research suggests multiple causes of soil degradation with no single solution and a divided stakeholder opinion on how to manage this problem. However, creating socially acceptable and effective policies to halt soil degradation requires engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders who possess different and complementary knowledge, experiences and perspectives. To understand how British and Norwegian agricultural stakeholders perceived the causes of and solutions to soil degradation, we used Q-methodology with 114 respondents, including farmers, scientists and agricultural advisers. For the UK, respondents thought the causes were due to loss of soil structure, soil erosion, compaction and loss of organic matter; the perceived solutions were to develop more collaborative research between researchers and farmers, invest in training, improve trust between farmers and regulatory agencies, and reduce soil compaction. In Norway, respondents thought soils were degrading due to soil erosion, monocultures and loss of soil structure; they believed the solutions were to reduce compaction, increase rotation and invest in agricultural training. There was an overarching theme related to industrialised agriculture being responsible for declining soil quality in both countries. We highlight potential areas for land use policy development in Norway and the UK, including multi-actor approaches that may improve the social acceptance of these policies. This study also illustrates how Q-methodology may be used to co-produce stakeholder-driven policy options to address land degradation. Full article
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Article
Impacts of Urban Expansion on the Loss and Fragmentation of Cropland in the Major Grain Production Areas of China
Land 2022, 11(1), 130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010130 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 403
Abstract
The continuous expansion of urban land has led to massive encroachment upon cropland. To examine the impacts of urban expansion on the loss and fragmentation of cropland in China’s nine major grain production areas (MGPAs), we used standard deviation ellipse, land use transfer [...] Read more.
The continuous expansion of urban land has led to massive encroachment upon cropland. To examine the impacts of urban expansion on the loss and fragmentation of cropland in China’s nine major grain production areas (MGPAs), we used standard deviation ellipse, land use transfer matrix, land use dynamic degree, and landscape metric to explore the spatio-temporal evolutions, mutual transfer, and landscape patterns of cropland and urban land. The results show the following: (1) From 1995 to 2018, the areas of cropland in MGPAs showed a trend of “short-term increase—long-term decrease—short-term increase”, while that of urban land grew continuously; (2) Urban expansion is the main cause of cropland loss. The cropland area converted to urban land accounts for a large proportion (49.26%) of the total transfer of cropland to other land types, especially in the densely populated, rapidly urbanizing and industrializing Taihu Lake Plain, Jianghuai Region, and Pearl River Delta; (3) In most MGPAs, urban expansion has led to fragmentation of cropland, especially in the Pearl River Delta, as indicated by the significant change of patch density. However, in the Sanjiang Plain and Songnen Plain, a less pronounced or even reduced cropland fragmentation was observed due to the significant conversion of other land types to cropland under specific land policies. From these results, we suggest that the government should regulate the encroachment of urban land on cropland and the transfer of natural land to it, and encourage the rural land consolidation to increase the cropland. Full article
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Editorial
Urban Land and Development Management in a Challenged Developing World: An Overview of New Reflections
Land 2022, 11(1), 129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010129 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
The urban development and management challenges of the developing world are well documented in the literature. However, the global built environment landscape is undergoing rapid changes. These changes are steeped in three fundamental imperatives, which have serious implications for the developing world. These [...] Read more.
The urban development and management challenges of the developing world are well documented in the literature. However, the global built environment landscape is undergoing rapid changes. These changes are steeped in three fundamental imperatives, which have serious implications for the developing world. These imperatives are population growth and rising urbanisation; environmental challenges, particularly climate change and the quest to embrace sustainability as a panacea; and advances in technological development. This paper discusses these three imperatives with the view to teasing out their implications for urban development and management in the developing world. Consistent with the literature, the paper establishes that most of the population growth and rising urbanisation are occurring in the developing world, particularly Africa and Asia, and although these phenomena have the tendency to increase economic density and promote both private and public investment in urban development, especially construction/housing and related infrastructure activities, there are and will be several problems with them. These include land tenure insecurity, lack of access to decent affordable housing and the threat of destruction to heritage sites. Furthermore, environmental challenges such as poor waste management, and climate change are and will remain pressing issues requiring the adoption of sustainability credentials because of legislative requirements, moral suasion, and value addition. Despite the potential disruptive nature of technology with respect to some aspects of the built environment, it is recognised that advances in technology are essential to the achievement of optimal urban development and management outcomes in the developing world. The paper, therefore, recommends better understanding of the socio-economic, cultural, and political forces underlying urban growth in the developing world, factoring in technology and sustainability in urban development and management, and collaboration among relevant actors, particularly government and the private sector, for optimal outcomes. Full article
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Article
Changes of Soil Properties along the Altitudinal Gradients in Subarctic Mountain Landscapes of Putorana Plateau, Central Siberia
Land 2022, 11(1), 128; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010128 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Changes of soil properties along elevational gradients were studied in a less accessible and explored forest-tundra ecotone in the NW part of Central Siberia. Data on soil physical and chemical properties were collected along three horizontal transects at an elevation of 100–420 m [...] Read more.
Changes of soil properties along elevational gradients were studied in a less accessible and explored forest-tundra ecotone in the NW part of Central Siberia. Data on soil physical and chemical properties were collected along three horizontal transects at an elevation of 100–420 m a.s.l., at two localities differing in the slope angle. At each transect, five soil pits were excavated to a depth of 0.3–0.4 m. Soil samples were taken from the depths of 0–0.1 m, 0.1–0.2 m, and 0.2–0.3 m. The results showed a pronounced effect of slope angle on the pattern of soil properties along the elevational gradient. At the locality with a gentle slope, soils exhibited 2.5 times larger thickness of the surface organic layer (SOL), higher pH, and Na+ content, and lower C, N, Ald, and Fed concentration indicating slower pedogenic processes on this site. On the other hand, at the locality with a steeper slope, soil properties were better differentiated between transects situated along elevational gradient especially at the depths of 0.1–0.2 and 0.2–0.3 m. However, a clear positive or negative trend with the altitude was observed only for some soil characteristics, e.g., SOL, C, N, or Ald concentrations on the Lama location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil-Sediment-Water Systems)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Variation and Influence Factors of Habitat Quality in Loess Hilly and Gully Area of Yellow River Basin: A Case Study of Liulin County, China
Land 2022, 11(1), 127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010127 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 489
Abstract
China has set up ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin as its national strategy. However, the fragile natural ecosystem and intensive human disturbances pose challenges to it. This study evaluates habitat quality change and analyzes its drivers in a [...] Read more.
China has set up ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin as its national strategy. However, the fragile natural ecosystem and intensive human disturbances pose challenges to it. This study evaluates habitat quality change and analyzes its drivers in a representative county of this region, aiming to provide scientific basis for ecological protection and sustainable development. We took Liulin, a representative county of middle Yellow River Basin as the study area and evaluated the spatiotemporal variation of habitat quality from 2000 to 2020 with the InVEST model. Further, the influencing factors of habitat quality pattern were explored using GeoDetector, and their gradient ranges dominating the habitat quality change were determined by gradient analysis. The results showed that: (1) Areas of low and medium-low habitat quality grades were distributed interactively in the whole county; medium grade areas were scattered in the northeast and southwest parts of the county; and medium-high and high grades area were distributed sporadically along the Yellow River and its branches. (2) Habitat quality of the county almost unchanged from 2000 to 2010. However, from 2010 to 2020, with the rapid expansion of construction land (increased by 9.62 times), the area proportion of medium, medium-high, and high habitat quality grades decreased from 7.01% to 5.31%, while that of low and medium-low habitat quality grades increased from 92.99% to 94.69%. (3) The habitat quality was influenced by multiple natural-human factors. The main influencing factor was land use, followed by elevation. (4) Most changes of habitat quality occurred in areas with lower elevation, gentler slope, and higher vegetation coverage, which were affected by intensive human activities. These results suggest that in future land use policy making and the construction land expansion in Liulin County should be restricted, and differentiated ecological protection and restoration strategies should be implemented in areas with different habitat quality. Full article
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Article
Evaluation and Comparison of the Common Land Model and the Community Land Model by Using In Situ Soil Moisture Observations from the Soil Climate Analysis Network
Land 2022, 11(1), 126; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010126 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Soil moisture is a key state variable in land surface processes. Since field measurements of soil moisture are generally sparse and remote sensing is limited in terms of observation depth, land surface model simulations are usually used to continuously obtain soil moisture data [...] Read more.
Soil moisture is a key state variable in land surface processes. Since field measurements of soil moisture are generally sparse and remote sensing is limited in terms of observation depth, land surface model simulations are usually used to continuously obtain soil moisture data in time and space. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate the performance of models that simulate soil moisture under various land surface conditions. In this work, we evaluated and compared two land surface models, the Common Land Model version 2014 (CoLM2014) and the Community Land Model Version 5 (CLM5), using in situ soil moisture observations from the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN). The meteorological and soil attribute data used to drive the models were obtained from SCAN station observations, as were the soil moisture data used to validate the simulation results. The validation results revealed that the correlation coefficients between the simulations by CLM5 (0.38) and observations are generally higher than those by CoLM2014 (0.11), especially in shallow soil (0–0.1016 m). The simulation results by CoLM2014 have smaller bias than those by CLM5 . Both models could simulate diurnal and seasonal variations of soil moisture at seven sites, but we found a large bias, which may be due to the two models’ representation of infiltration and lateral flow processes. The bias of the simulated infiltration rate can affect the soil moisture simulation, and the lack of a lateral flow scheme can affect the models’ division of saturated and unsaturated areas within the soil column. The parameterization schemes in land surface models still need to be improved, especially for soil simulations at small scales. Full article
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Article
Satisfaction Factors That Predict Loyalty in Ecotourism: A Study of Foreign Tourism in Costa Rica
Land 2022, 11(1), 125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010125 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Recently, foreign tourists have revealed a growing interest for natural environment enjoyment. This study aimed to: (a) identify the service satisfaction factors and (b) analyze the influence that satisfaction factors exert on the loyalty of ecotourists. The empirical analysis was carried out in [...] Read more.
Recently, foreign tourists have revealed a growing interest for natural environment enjoyment. This study aimed to: (a) identify the service satisfaction factors and (b) analyze the influence that satisfaction factors exert on the loyalty of ecotourists. The empirical analysis was carried out in Arenal National Park and Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica, a country with international prominence in ecotourism due to the wealth of resources in its protected areas. A factorial analysis and the stepwise multiple regression method were performed for the data analysis of 246 surveys made in situ. Results show three satisfaction factors in ecotourism: “nature and culture”, “infrastructure”, and “service”, where “nature and culture” was the most influential predictor of tourists’ loyalty. The study also found a positive correlation between satisfaction and loyalty in ecotourism. This research will provide relevant insights to public institutions and private companies efficient planning and benefit the community and protected areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism and Employment in Urban Development)
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Article
Does Polycentric Development Improve Green Utilization Efficiency of Urban Land? An Empirical Study Based on Panel Threshold Model Approach
Land 2022, 11(1), 124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010124 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 324
Abstract
In the context of increasing resource and environmental constraints, measurement and determinants of green utilization efficiency of urban land (GUEUL) is currently the subject of a rapidly expanding literature. Previous research concerning determinants of GUEUL focuses primarily on effects of socio-economic conditions on [...] Read more.
In the context of increasing resource and environmental constraints, measurement and determinants of green utilization efficiency of urban land (GUEUL) is currently the subject of a rapidly expanding literature. Previous research concerning determinants of GUEUL focuses primarily on effects of socio-economic conditions on GUEUL, and little attention has been devoted to impacts of spatial structure and urban development patterns. This research explores impacts of polycentric development on GUEUL of urban agglomeration (UA), using data for major UAs in China covering the period 2005–2019. GUEUL and the extent of polycentricity is measured by employing an improved directional slack-based measure (SBM) model and the rank-size distribution-based approach, respectively. The linkage between polycentric development and GUEUL is explored by estimating models of determinants of GUEUL, and the nonlinear characteristics of the relationship are investigated by employing the panel threshold model approach. The results suggest that polycentric development positively impacts GUEUL of UAs, and such effect rises with economic development levels. In addition, degree of agglomeration, economic development level and intensity of government investment in science and technology is found to be positively related to GUEUL. The empirical results have significant implications for improving GUEUL through formulating and implementing regional and urban policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Land Socio-Economic and Political Issues)
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Article
Protective Pathways: Connecting Environmental and Human Security at Local and Landscape Level with NLP and Geospatial Analysis of a Novel Database of 1500 Project Evaluations
Land 2022, 11(1), 123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010123 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 679
Abstract
Localized actionable evidence for addressing threats to the environment and human security lacks a comprehensive conceptual frame that incorporates challenges associated with active conflicts. Protective pathways linking previously disciplinarily-divided literatures on environmental security, human security and resilience in a coherent conceptual frame that [...] Read more.
Localized actionable evidence for addressing threats to the environment and human security lacks a comprehensive conceptual frame that incorporates challenges associated with active conflicts. Protective pathways linking previously disciplinarily-divided literatures on environmental security, human security and resilience in a coherent conceptual frame that identifies key relationships is used to analyze a novel, unstructured data set of Global Environment Fund (GEF) programmatic documents. Sub-national geospatial analysis of GEF documentation relating to projects in Africa finds 73% of districts with GEF land degradation projects were co-located with active conflict events. This study utilizes Natural Language Processing on a unique data set of 1500 GEF evaluations to identify text entities associated with conflict. Additional project case studies explore the sequence and relationships of environmental and human security concepts that lead to project success or failure. Differences between biodiversity and climate change projects are discussed but political crisis, poverty and disaster emerged as the most frequently extracted entities associated with conflict in environmental protection projects. Insecurity weakened institutions and fractured communities leading both directly and indirectly to conflict-related damage to environmental programming and desired outcomes. Simple causal explanations found to be inconsistent in previous large-scale statistical associations also inadequately describe dynamics and relationships found in the extracted text entities or case summaries. Emergent protective pathways that emphasized poverty and conflict reduction facilitated by institutional strengthening and inclusion present promising possibilities. Future research with innovative machine learning and other techniques of working with unstructured data may provide additional evidence for implementing actions that address climate change and environmental degradation while strengthening resilience and human security. Resilient, participatory and polycentric governance is key to foster this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land: 10th Anniversary)
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Article
Research on Regional Differences and Influencing Factors of Chinese Industrial Green Technology Innovation Efficiency Based on Dagum Gini Coefficient Decomposition
Land 2022, 11(1), 122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010122 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
Industrial green technology innovation has become an important content in achieving high-quality economic growth and comprehensively practicing the new development concept in the new era. This paper measures the efficiency of industrial green technology innovation and regional differences based on Chinese provincial panel [...] Read more.
Industrial green technology innovation has become an important content in achieving high-quality economic growth and comprehensively practicing the new development concept in the new era. This paper measures the efficiency of industrial green technology innovation and regional differences based on Chinese provincial panel data from 2005 to 2018, using a combination of the super efficiency slacks-based measure (SBM) model for considering undesirable outputs and the Dagum Gini coefficient method, and discusses and analyses the factors influencing industrial green technology innovation efficiency by constructing a spatial econometric model. The results show that: firstly, industrial green technology innovation efficiency in China shows a relatively stable development trend, going through three stages: “stationary period”, “recession period” and “growth period”. However, the efficiency gap between different regions is obvious, specifically in the eastern > central > western regions of China, and the industrial green technology efficiency innovation in the central and western regions is lower than the national average. Secondly, regional differences in the efficiency of industrial green technology innovation in China are evident but tend to narrow overall, with the main reason for the overall difference being regional differences. In terms of intra-regional variation, variation within the eastern region is relatively stable, variation within the central region is relatively low and shows an inverted ‘U’ shaped trend, and variation within the western region is high and shows a fluctuating downward trend. Thirdly, the firm size, government support, openness to the outside world, environmental regulations and education levels contribute to the efficiency of industrial green technology innovation. In addition, the industrial structure hinders the efficiency of industrial green technology innovation, and each influencing factor has different degrees of spatial spillover effects. Full article
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Article
To Be, to Do, to Share: The Triple-Loop of Water Governance to Improve Urban Water Resilience—Testing the Benidorm’ Experience, Spain
Land 2022, 11(1), 121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010121 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Peri-urban interfaces tend to ensure water supply relying on their surrounding’ resources, generating water disputes when asking for collaboration. The urban-rural matrix of the Marina Baja county in southern Spain is characterized by inland irrigation and coastal tourism development, being the most water-intensive [...] Read more.
Peri-urban interfaces tend to ensure water supply relying on their surrounding’ resources, generating water disputes when asking for collaboration. The urban-rural matrix of the Marina Baja county in southern Spain is characterized by inland irrigation and coastal tourism development, being the most water-intensive activities in Benidorm. This contribution addresses the following research question: Can a better and systematic understanding of stakeholders’ behavior and interactions increase water resilience in urban-rural interfaces? Data were collected from semi-structured interviews and questionnaires to 19 key stakeholders representing government officials, water managers, and the agricultural, tourism, and environmental sectors. Data were analyzed following the SAA and using MaxQDA® Analytics Pro 2020. A triple-loop analysis on water governance has been developed and applied to synthesize stakeholders’ behavior when addressing urban water resilience to face climate change impacts: relevance and representativeness (to be), recognition and assessment (to do), and collaboration (to share). Results highlighted how Benidorm’s urban water resilience is conditioned by four main learnings from stakeholders’ perception and interaction: (1) ‘feeling represented’ is related to stakeholders’ capacity to negotiate decisions, (2) lack of political will and Benidorm’s leading role increase stakeholders’ feelings of underrepresentation, motivating power imbalance, (3) stakeholders’ actions are less valued than stakeholders’ roles and functions, and (4) agreements are benefited by predisposition (willingness), but also by the compatibility of discourses (affinity) and the technical-management facilities (viability). Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Positive Socio-Economic Phenomena in Territorial Systems of Ecological Stability (Case Study)
Land 2022, 11(1), 120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010120 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 332
Abstract
One of the active tools that increase the ecological stability of a country are projects related to territorial systems of ecological stability (TSES). An important part of the elaboration of TSES projects is also the evaluation of positive socio-economic phenomena (PSEP). Their evaluation [...] Read more.
One of the active tools that increase the ecological stability of a country are projects related to territorial systems of ecological stability (TSES). An important part of the elaboration of TSES projects is also the evaluation of positive socio-economic phenomena (PSEP). Their evaluation is important for the design of measures that will ensure its proper functioning. The PSEP enter, the spatial system as elements that fulfill important ecological functions and help preserve the natural resources, gene pool, ecological stability and diversity of the landscape. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain their functions in the future. The theoretical and methodological basis for the evaluation of PSEP within TSES is the LANDEP methodology. They are not unique in the area, and they can occur in various combinations. Based on varied combinations of positive phenomena ensuing from nature conservation, protection of water sources, forest and soil sources, mineral resources and cultural or historical resources there are various types of territories with different landscape ecological significance and different ecological stability. The resulting combinations are a limiting input for the proposed activities and must be respected when processing ecostabilization measures within TSES projects. The presented study presents a landscape ecological evaluation of socio-economic phenomena of nature protection and natural resources in a project of the local system of ecological stability which was developed for the agriculturally intensively used area of Dolný Lopašov. It assesses the legal status of the territory and specifies and spatially expresses areas with different representations of important landscape elements which come under legislative protection. Based on the occurrence, abundance, character and combinations of PSEP occurring in the cadastral area of the commune Dolný Lopašov, this specifies 8 degrees of landscape ecological significance. Significance categories form the basis for the overall classification of the territory required for the processing of TSES projects at the local level. The obtained results must be applied to the proposals of measures to increase ecological stability, especially in the central and southern part of the cadastral area of the commune Dolný Lopašov. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Approach to Land Use Change Assessment)
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Article
Spatial Pattern of Functional Urban Land Conversion and Expansion under Rapid Urbanization: A Case Study of Changchun, China
Land 2022, 11(1), 119; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010119 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 363
Abstract
As populations continue to be concentrated in cities, the world will become entirely urbanized, and urban space is undergoing a drastic evolution. Understanding the spatial pattern of conversion and expansion of functional urban land, in the context of rapid urbanization, helps us to [...] Read more.
As populations continue to be concentrated in cities, the world will become entirely urbanized, and urban space is undergoing a drastic evolution. Understanding the spatial pattern of conversion and expansion of functional urban land, in the context of rapid urbanization, helps us to grasp the trajectories of urban spatial evolution in greater depth from a theoretical and practical level. Using the ESRI ArcGIS 9.3 software platform, methods, such as overlay analysis, transition matrix, and kernel density estimation, were used in order to analyze the spatiotemporal characteristics of different types of functional urban land conversion and expansion in the central city of Changchun. The results show that different types of functional urban land were often expanded and replaced, and the urban spatial structure was constantly evolving. The conversion and expansion of functional urban land show similar characteristics to concentric zone and sector modes and show dynamic changes in different concentric circles and directions at different periods. Our method can accurately identify the different types of functional urban land, and also explore the evolutionary trajectory of urban spatial structure. This study will help to coordinate the development of different functional urban spaces and to optimize the urban spatial structure in the future. Full article
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Editorial
Land as a Basis for Recent Progress in the Study of Urbanization Dynamics
Land 2022, 11(1), 118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010118 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 256
Abstract
Urbanization is one of the most dynamic processes occurring on the Earth [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
Article
Global Trends in Urban Agriculture Research: A Pathway toward Urban Resilience and Sustainability
Land 2022, 11(1), 117; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010117 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
Urban agriculture has been proposed as an important urban element to deal with the challenges of food insecurity and environmental deterioration. In order to track current popular topics and global research trends in urban agriculture, we used bibliometric analysis and visualization mapping to [...] Read more.
Urban agriculture has been proposed as an important urban element to deal with the challenges of food insecurity and environmental deterioration. In order to track current popular topics and global research trends in urban agriculture, we used bibliometric analysis and visualization mapping to evaluate and analyze the developments in the knowledge of urban agriculture based on 605 papers from the core collection database Web of Science from 2001–2021. The results were as follows. (1) The number of urban agriculture publications increased substantially year by year, indicating that the field is attracting increasing attention. The University of Kassel, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and University of Freiburg are the most productive research institutions in the field of urban agriculture. The top-five most influential countries are the Unites States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and China, of which the Unites States plays a central role in the cooperative linkage between countries. (2) Research on urban agriculture focuses not only on food production and different styles but also on how to realize the various functions of urban agriculture. In addition, UA-related sustainability and the water-energy-food nexus have become two emerging research topics. (3) Urban agriculture does not necessarily mean a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly food system. To achieve sustainable development, a transition based on technological innovation is needed. How to improve the sustainable development level of the food system while fully considering the resilience, sustainability, and versatility of urban agriculture is the main direction of future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions)
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Article
Conflicted Energy Transition—Conception of a Theoretical Framework for Its Investigation
Land 2022, 11(1), 116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010116 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Energy transition plays a central role in efforts to reduce anthropogenic global warming. However, energy transition involves physical manifestations, for example in the form of wind turbines, photovoltaic plants, and power lines, which trigger resistance, especially among those who live in the vicinity [...] Read more.
Energy transition plays a central role in efforts to reduce anthropogenic global warming. However, energy transition involves physical manifestations, for example in the form of wind turbines, photovoltaic plants, and power lines, which trigger resistance, especially among those who live in the vicinity of the (planned) plants. The reasons for this resistance are complex, as they relate to residents’ emotional ties and/or stereotypical common-sense expectations of landscape. The complexity of landscape conflicts in general, and energy transition-related conflicts in particular, makes it difficult to capture the intricacy of the subject matter by means of a single theoretical perspective. To address this difficulty, a neopragmatic approach of identifying and combining appropriate theoretical perspectives is utilized to develop an analytic framework for understanding these conflicts. To this end, we draw on Dahrendorf’s conflict theory and the framing approach. Both have high complementary explanatory potential and empirical applicability, with the framing approach broadening the theoretical prism to include micro-individuals and groups to Dahrendorf’s meso-social perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
Article
Linking Spatial–Temporal Changes of Vegetation Cover with Hydroclimatological Variables in Terrestrial Environments with a Focus on the Lake Urmia Basin
Land 2022, 11(1), 115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/land11010115 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Investigation of vegetation cover is crucial to the study of terrestrial ecological environments as it has a close relationship with hydroclimatological variables and plays a dominant role in preserving the characteristics of a region. In Iran, the current study selected the watersheds of [...] Read more.
Investigation of vegetation cover is crucial to the study of terrestrial ecological environments as it has a close relationship with hydroclimatological variables and plays a dominant role in preserving the characteristics of a region. In Iran, the current study selected the watersheds of two rivers, Nazloo-Chay and Aji-Chay, to systematically investigate the implications and causes of vegetation cover variations under changing environments. These two rivers are among the essential inflows to Lake Urmia, the second largest saline lake on Earth, and are located on the west and east sides of the lake, respectively. There has been a debate between the people living in the rivers’ watersheds about who is responsible for the decline in the level of Lake Urmia—does responsibility fall with those on the east side or with those on the west side? In this study, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was used as a remotely sensed index to study spatial–temporal pattern changes in vegetation. Moreover, the temperature, precipitation, and streamflow time series were gathered using ground measurements to explore the causes and implications of changing vegetation cover. Discrete wavelet transform was applied to separate the different components of the time series. The Mann–Kendall (MK) test was applied to the time series on monthly, seasonal, and annual time scales. The connections and relationship between the NDVI time series and temperature, precipitation, and streamflow time series and any underlying causes were investigated using wavelet transform coherence (WTC). Land use maps were generated for different years using a support vector machine (SVM) in the final stage. The results indicated that the most dominant monthly, seasonal, and annual hydrological periodicities across the watersheds are 8 months, 6 months, and 2 years, respectively. The increasing vegetation cover during stable hydro-environmental periods revealed unusual conditions in the Aji-Chay watershed and reflected agricultural expansion. The WTC graphs indicated sudden changes in mutual periodicities and time-lags with different patterns between variables, which indicates the increasing anthropogenic activities in both watersheds. However, this was more dominant in the Aji-Chay watershed. The land use maps and investigation of the averaged NDVI maps also denoted that the areas of cultivated land have increased by 30% in the Aji-Chay watershed, and crop types have been changed to the crops with a higher demand for water in both watersheds. Full article
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