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Special Issue "Reducing Agricultural and Food Waste: Implications for Biodiversity and the Environment"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Iain J. Gordon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Fenner School for Environment and Society, Australian National University, Acton, ACT 2100, Australia
Central Queensland University, Townsville, Qld 4810, Australia
Land and Water, CSIRO, Qld 4810, Australia
James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen AB10 8QH, UK
Interests: conservation; biodiversity; agriculture; food security; climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the global population currently over seven billion, and expected to increase to over nine billion in the next 30 years, the race is on to find ways to feed, and provide water and clothes to the citizens of the planet. Food security is high on both national and international agendas, with a push to increase the production of food by up to 70% in the next 30 years. Increased agricultural production may have both direct and indirect effects on wildlife species, however, other species may be affected by perverse outcomes of the food security agenda that have not yet been addressed. Reductions in waste from agricultural production and food systems is one such issue. This Special issue will highlight the potential impact on species that have become reliant on food waste. These species may be seen currently as pests or vermin, however, the consequences of a reduction in food waste could not only affect them directly but might also have significant systemic effects with repercussions across food webs and the environment.

Prof. Iain Gordon
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • Food security
  • agriculture
  • nature conservation
  • pollution
  • pests
  • food webs

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Recycling Pig Slurry Solid Fraction Compost as a Sound Absorber
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 277; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su10010277 - 22 Jan 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2047
Abstract
The aim of this investigation was to determine the physical and acoustical properties of compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction (SF) in order to assess the potential to recycle this agricultural waste as a sound absorber. The compacts were obtained by [...] Read more.
The aim of this investigation was to determine the physical and acoustical properties of compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction (SF) in order to assess the potential to recycle this agricultural waste as a sound absorber. The compacts were obtained by compression. The physical parameters investigated were bulk density, durability, and particle size distribution. The acoustical features of the compacts were studied with an impedance tube device in order to verify the acoustic absorption coefficient. Two composts were prepared: pig SF compost without a bulking agent (SSFC) and pig SF compost with wood chips as a bulking agent (WCC). The study’s results indicated that compost particles dimension played a key role in the physical and acoustical properties of the compacts: the smaller the particles, the higher the physical and acoustical properties of the compacts. The densification process increased the bulk density of the investigated composts up to 690 kg m−3 for SSFC and 660 kg m−3 for WWC, with, respectively, medium (77.9%) and low (66.5%) durability. The addition of woody bulking agent significantly reduced the absorption coefficient: the best results, in terms of potential use as a sound absorber, were observed for compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction without the addition of wood chips. Full article
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Article
Nutrient Concentrations of Bush Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Cultivated in Subarctic Soils Managed with Intercropping and Willow (Salix spp.) Agroforestry
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su9122294 - 11 Dec 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
To ease food insecurities in northern Canada, some remote communities started gardening initiatives to gain more access to locally grown foods. Bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) were assessed for N, P, K, Mg, and Ca concentrations [...] Read more.
To ease food insecurities in northern Canada, some remote communities started gardening initiatives to gain more access to locally grown foods. Bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) were assessed for N, P, K, Mg, and Ca concentrations of foliage as indicators of plant nutrition in a calcareous silty loam soil of northern Ontario James Bay lowlands. Crops were grown in sole cropping and intercropping configurations, with comparisons made between an open field and an agroforestry site enclosed with willow (Salix spp.) trees. Foliage chemical analysis of the sites revealed an abundance of Ca, adequacies for Mg and N, and deficiencies in P and K. Intercropping bean and potato did not show significant crop–crop facilitation for nutrients. The agroforestry site showed to be a superior management practice for the James Bay lowland region, specifically for P. The agroforestry site had significantly greater P for bean plant (p = 0.024) and potato foliage (p = 0.002) compared to the open site. It is suspected that the presence of willows improve plant available P to bean and potatoes by tree root—crop root interactions and microclimate enhancements. Full article
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Article
China’s Tree Residue Sources and Quantity Estimation
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su9091659 - 19 Sep 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1953
Abstract
In China, due to forest resource scarcity, the problem of timber supply shortage has been around for a long time. The recycling and utilization of tree residues may effectively alleviate the situation and will contribute to emissions reduction and environmental protection. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
In China, due to forest resource scarcity, the problem of timber supply shortage has been around for a long time. The recycling and utilization of tree residues may effectively alleviate the situation and will contribute to emissions reduction and environmental protection. Therefore, this study aims to identify the tree residue resources and estimates their quantity in order to provide a basis for related research, such as its comprehensive utilization. This study redefines and reclassifies tree residue resources, in particular, it adds three tree residue resources: tree seedling residue, sanitation felling residue and urban greening and trimmings. This study divides the forest final felling and bucking residue resource into the stumpage section and the non-stumpage section, respectively, scientifically selects values of the percent of merchantable volume and the proportion of non-stumpage biomass of the stumpage volume, separately estimates the quantity of bamboo felling, bucking and processing residues, classifies the forest product processing zone into the sawing section and the forest product processing section, and estimates the current waste wood recycling quantity by tracking the timber output of previous years. The estimation results for tree residue quantity indicate that China’s tree residue reached 511.63 Mt in 2015, of which the forest tending and thinning residue was 406.76 Mt, nearly four-fifths of the total tree residue. Among the 31 provinces (municipalities and autonomous regions), more than half (55.57%) of the potential reserve of tree residues is distributed in the 13 provinces of southern China, 25% in the 10 provinces in the north, and approximately 20% in the plain and hilly areas. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the tree residue reserves showed positive growth. In the past three years (2014–2016), all state-owned forestry farms and collective-owned natural forests stopped commercial felling gradually, which directly resulted in a reduction of log output, thereby also curbing the growth of tree residue to a certain extent. Since the log output has ceased to further decline from 2017, it is predicted that China’s tree residue will continue the upward trend. Full article
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Communication
The Effects of Food Waste on Wildlife and Humans
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1269; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su9071269 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6911
Abstract
A reduction in the loss and waste of human food is a global issue for addressing poverty and hunger in poorer nations, and for reducing the environmental footprint of the agriculture sector. An emerging issue, however, is that food wasted by humans is [...] Read more.
A reduction in the loss and waste of human food is a global issue for addressing poverty and hunger in poorer nations, and for reducing the environmental footprint of the agriculture sector. An emerging issue, however, is that food wasted by humans is often accessible to wildlife, affecting wildlife ecology and behaviour, as well as ecological processes and community dynamics. Here we highlight the extent of such impacts, drawing on examples from mammalian predators and other taxonomic groups. We then develop two conceptual models. The first shows how wildlife access to food waste can exacerbate human-wildlife conflicts. The second highlights that when food waste is removed, the effects on wildlife and ecosystem processes should be monitored. The conceptual models are important when considering that large quantities of food waste are intentionally and unintentionally provided to wildlife around the world. We conclude there is an urgent need to change the way people currently manage the food we produce. Full article
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Article
A Quantitative Assessment of Causes of Bovine Liver Condemnation and Its Implication for Food Security in the Eastern Cape Province South Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9050736 - 03 May 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
Food production needs to double, with minimum waste, if hunger and poverty is to be alleviated in South Africa. The condemnation of liver during meat inspection represents a huge waste of a protein food resource. This paper measures the quantity of liver condemned [...] Read more.
Food production needs to double, with minimum waste, if hunger and poverty is to be alleviated in South Africa. The condemnation of liver during meat inspection represents a huge waste of a protein food resource. This paper measures the quantity of liver condemned in three abattoirs in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and assesses the causes and the monetary loss associated with these condemnations. A retrospective study (RS) (n = 51 302) involving the use of abattoir slaughter records from 2010–2012 and a post-mortem meat inspection (PMMI) (n = 1374) was conducted from July to December 2013. The RS revealed the leading cause of liver wastage as fasciolosis (5.95%, 4.48%, and 2.7%), fibrosis (2.74%, 2.37%, and 1.0%), and abscessation (1.11%, 2.78%, and 1.5%) for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively. During the PMMI, the same factors caused liver condemnation in addition to calcification (8.3%, 6.8%, and 3.2%), Cysticercosis bovis (1.7%, 2.4%, and 1.3%) and improper evisceration (4.8%, 12.4%, and 27.1%) for the abattoirs X, Y, and Z respectively. A total of R 343, 330 (USD 45,271.07) was lost due to the condemnation of liver between 2010 and 2012. The further loss of 3290.4 kg of liver was calculated for the six month in 2013, and its financial value was R 59, 227.2 (USD 5889.82). The result of this study provide baseline information on major causes of liver wastage in cattle slaughtered in South Africa as well as the direct financial losses and demonstrate the huge waste of ideal protein food source. Full article

Review

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Review
A Review of the European Union Landing Obligation Focusing on Its Implications for Fisheries and the Environment
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 900; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su10040900 - 21 Mar 2018
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3191
Abstract
Discarding is a common practice in fisheries. Total discards are estimated to be about 30 million tons, representing around 23% of worldwide catches. Discarding is an undesirable practice, not only because of the waste of resources, but also because of its contribution to [...] Read more.
Discarding is a common practice in fisheries. Total discards are estimated to be about 30 million tons, representing around 23% of worldwide catches. Discarding is an undesirable practice, not only because of the waste of resources, but also because of its contribution to the overexploitation of fish stocks. Several countries have already established discard bans, to different extents (e.g., Norway, Iceland, Chile, New Zealand). The EU’s landing obligation (discard ban) is a major measure of the latest reform of the Common Fisheries Policy for EU fisheries. It aims to reduce unwanted catches in EU fisheries, by incentivizing improved selectivity and restoring fish stocks to levels that can sustain the maximum production over time without harming the biodiversity and the capacity of future generations to obtain fish. However, banning discards will inevitably induce diverse short- and long-term ecological, economic, and social impacts, which may determine whether the landing obligation’s objectives will be achieved. Full article
Review
Review and Analysis of Alternatives for the Valorisation of Agro-Industrial Olive Oil By-Products
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 237; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su10010237 - 17 Jan 2018
Cited by 55 | Viewed by 3708
Abstract
By-products and waste from olive production (agriculture) and the olive oil industry (mills and refineries) are an important environmental issue in Mediterranean areas. Industrial waste and by-products contain highly valuable components that can also be phytotoxic. This article reviews recent research on the [...] Read more.
By-products and waste from olive production (agriculture) and the olive oil industry (mills and refineries) are an important environmental issue in Mediterranean areas. Industrial waste and by-products contain highly valuable components that can also be phytotoxic. This article reviews recent research on the valorisation of olive by-products under the bioeconomy strategy. The alternatives are classified according to the ‘bioeconomy value pyramid’, which prioritises higher value uses over the current energy and compost valorisation. Special attention is paid to the use of these by-products for animal feed that can be improved by reducing the content of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and increase the polyunsaturated fatty acids amount considered beneficial in response to their use; this makes the food healthier for humans while simultaneously reducing feeding costs and the environmental impact of livestock. Full article
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