Special Issue "Landscape, Water, Ground, and Society Sustainability under Global Change Scenarios"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kevin Cianfaglione
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
UMR UL/AgroParisTech/INRAE 1434 Silva, Université de Lorraine, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques - BP 70239, 54506 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
Interests: plant ecology; plant biology; vegetation; ethnobotany; ecophysiology; biogeography; secondary metabolites; conservation; restoration ecology; natural resources management; global changes; biodiversity; typical crops
Dr. Angela Curtean-Bănăduc
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Applied Ecology Research Center, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania
Interests: Freshwater ecology; Bodiversity assessment, monitoring and management; Entomology (Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, Plecoptera)
Dr. Doru Bănăduc
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Applied Ecology Research Center, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania
Interests: Freshwater ecology; Bodiversity assessment, monitoring and management; Ichthyology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to contribute to the Special Issue of Sustainability entitled: “Landscape, Water, Ground, and Society Sustainability under Global Change Scenarios”. 

Proposal: In this Special Issue, we accept manuscripts focusing on sustainability; study cases and opinion papers about initiatives, definitions, policies, programs and ideas; traditional knowledge and new applications; criticism and new proposals; natural resource uses, conflicts and growth problems; and issues related to global change (changes in, for example, climate, uses, needs, soil occupation, society, public opinion, species composition, and ecosystems).

Aim and scope: Contributions should focus on landscape, water, ground, and societal characteristics under global change scenarios.

The landscape is the visible feature of land, it integrates natural and man-made features (cultural, social, and economic) and dynamics, at different scales. Ground, water, and society primarily determine the characteristics of the landscape. When at least one of these features changes, the landscape changes. Anthropic dynamics on the landscape are intended as the human past, present or mixed activities that influence the landforms, land elements, and biodiversity or the natural dynamics of biological communities and populations.

Water must be understood as an essential component of life, as a part of all living organisms, habitats, and ecosystems, and as an energy resource. Problems related to water may be direct (water resource assessment, monitoring, management, use, impact, etc.) or indirect (soil uses and slope stability, hydrogeological issues, erosion, floods, etc.).

Ground issues are intended to include soil topics; land occupation; substrate for natural species, agriculture, food, and other product sources; and chemical and ecological changes. The problems related to soil degradation are desertification, saltation, erosion, soil sealing, pollution and other noteworthy chemical changes.

Integrated, multi-, or interdisciplinary analyses or considerations are encouraged.

One or more land characteristics should be the object of study. These may be analyzed in a single context or along gradients (geographic, ecological, cultural, etc.) focusing on present, past or future global change scenarios, in terms of natural, anthropic, or mixed dynamics, considering the possible positive and negative impacts or interactions issues and outlooks (i.e., alien and native species issues; policies and land management; conservation and preservation; habitat restoration; uses and policies changes; adaptations, resilience and resistance; wildfire and post-fire issues; energy supply issues; eco-friendly molecules and techniques; land use conflicts; economic and population growth; urbanization and land abandonment; society development).

Dr. Kevin Cianfaglione
Guest Editor

Dr. Angela Curtean-Bănăduc
Dr. Doru Bănăduc
Co-Guest Editors

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

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Economical Sustainability
  • Social Sustainability
  • Traditional knowledge and new applications
  • Perceptions
  • Governance, Assessment and Policies
  • Uses conflicts
  • Case study, definitions and theories
  • Global changes
  • Assessment, outlooks and ideas

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
The Innovative Polygon Trend Analysis (IPTA) as a Simple Qualitative Method to Detect Changes in Environment—Example Detecting Trends of the Total Monthly Precipitation in Semiarid Area
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132212674 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 319
Abstract
Precipitation is a crucial component of the water cycle, and its unpredictability may dramatically influence agriculture, ecosystems, and water resource management. On the other hand, climate variability has caused water scarcity in many countries in recent years. Therefore, it is extremely important to [...] Read more.
Precipitation is a crucial component of the water cycle, and its unpredictability may dramatically influence agriculture, ecosystems, and water resource management. On the other hand, climate variability has caused water scarcity in many countries in recent years. Therefore, it is extremely important to analyze future changes of precipitation data in countries facing climate change. In this study, the Innovative Polygon Trend Analysis (IPTA) method was applied for precipitation trend detection at seven stations located in the Wadi Sly basin, in Algeria, during a 50-year period (1968–2018). In particular, the IPTA method was applied separately for both arithmetic mean and standard deviation. Additionally, results from the IPTA method were compared to the results of trend analysis based on the Mann–Kendall test and the Sen’s slope estimator. For the different stations, the first results showed that there is no regular polygon in the IPTA graphics, thus indicating that precipitation data varies by years. As an example, IPTA result plots of both the arithmetic mean and standard deviation data for the Saadia station consist of many polygons. This result means that the monthly total precipitation data is not constant and the data is unstable. In any case, the application of the IPTA method showed different trend behaviors, with a precipitation increase in some stations and decrease in others. This increasing and decreasing variability emerges from climate change. IPTA results point to a greater focus on flood risk management in severe seasons and drought risk management in transitional seasons across the Wadi Sly basin. When comparing the results of trend analysis from the IPTA method and the rest of the analyzed tests, good agreement was shown between all methods. This shows that the IPTA method can be used for preliminary analysis trends of monthly precipitation. Full article
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Article
Fragmented Forest Patches in the Indian Himalayas Preserve Unique Components of Biodiversity: Investigation of the Floristic Composition and Phytoclimate of the Unexplored Bani Valley
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6063; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13116063 - 27 May 2021
Viewed by 1094
Abstract
Subtropical and temperate forests are amongst the most threatened habitats of Asia, due to large-scale habitat loss and the fragmentation of landscapes. Inspite of these, the Asiatic regions preserve their endemic biodiversity, and provide a favorable environment for the abundant growth of vegetation. [...] Read more.
Subtropical and temperate forests are amongst the most threatened habitats of Asia, due to large-scale habitat loss and the fragmentation of landscapes. Inspite of these, the Asiatic regions preserve their endemic biodiversity, and provide a favorable environment for the abundant growth of vegetation. In the Himalayas, many interior regions are still unexplored from a biodiversity perspective, due to remote locations and high snow-clad mountains. In this study, we investigated the unexplored Bani Valley in order to reduce the gap of uninventorized areas of rich biodiversity in the Himalayas and formulate plant conservation and management strategies. Thirteen field expedition tours were undertaken during 2017 and 2020 for data collection in different growing seasons in the study area. All plant species were collected as voucher samples, identified, and deposited in the internationally recognized Janaki Ammal Herbarium (acronym RRLH). GPS points were recorded in order to study the forest types and vegetation components of the study area. A total of 196 plant species belonging to 166 genera and 68 families were identified in Bani Valley, covering a total area of 2651 km2. Approximately 70.62% of the species were native and 29.38% were non-native. In total, 46% of species were Indo-Malayan, followed by 22% Palearctic species. In angiosperms, dicotyledon species (68.37%) dominated. Poales were the most dominant order, with 38 species (19.38%). The most abundant families were Poaceae with 29 species (14.79%), Fabaceae (17, 8.67%), Rosaceae, Cyperaceae, and Asteraceae (9, 4.59% each). The life form analysis showed 50% of species as phanerophytes, followed by therophytes (25.77%). The leaf size spectra show mesophyllous species (34.69%) as the dominant group. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants categorized Ailanthus altissima as endangered (EN), Aegle marmelos and Quercus oblongata as near threatened (NT), Ulmus wallichiana and Plantago lanceolata as vulnerable (VU), Taxus baccata and 75 other species as least concern (LC), and 2 species as data deficient (DD). The remaining 113 species of plants had not been evaluated according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This study will help to shape conservation and management plans for threatened species for future implementation, and will help in biodiversity conservation. This study will serve as a database for future reference materials in terms of biodiversity management. Full article
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Article
The Importance of Keeping Alive Sustainable Foraging Practices: Wild Vegetables and Herbs Gathered by Afghan Refugees Living in Mansehra District, Pakistan
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1500; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13031500 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
The issue of foraging for wild food plants among migrants and relocated communities is an important one in environmental studies, especially in order to understand how human societies rearrange their practices linked to nature and how they adapt to new socioecological systems. This [...] Read more.
The issue of foraging for wild food plants among migrants and relocated communities is an important one in environmental studies, especially in order to understand how human societies rearrange their practices linked to nature and how they adapt to new socioecological systems. This paper addresses the complexity of Traditional/Local Environmental Knowledge (LEK) changes associated to wild vegetables and herbs across four different groups of Afghan refugees living in Mansehra District, NW Pakistan, since 1985. Via interviews with eighty study participants, forty-eight wild vegetables and herbs were recorded, representing both the past and present wild plant gastronomic heritage. The majority of the quoted wild plant ingredients were only remembered and no longer actively used, thus suggesting an important erosion of LEK. Moreover, the number of wild vegetables and herbs currently used by Afghan Pashtuns engaged in farming activities is much higher than those reported by the other groups. The findings indicate that practiced LEK, i.e., knowledge that is continuously kept alive via constant contact with the natural environment, is essential for the resilience of the biocultural heritage, which is, however, also influenced by the rearrangement of social life adopted by refugees after relocation. Full article
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Article
Adding the Mureş River Basin (Transylvania, Romania) to the List of Hotspots with High Contamination with Pharmaceuticals
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10197; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122310197 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
Background: The Mureș River Basin is a long-term heavily polluted watershed, in a situation of climate changes with decreasing water flow and related decreasing dilution capacity. Here, a mixture of emerging pollutants such as pharmaceuticals were targeted to reveal potential risks regarding [...] Read more.
Background: The Mureș River Basin is a long-term heavily polluted watershed, in a situation of climate changes with decreasing water flow and related decreasing dilution capacity. Here, a mixture of emerging pollutants such as pharmaceuticals were targeted to reveal potential risks regarding the natural lotic ecosystems. Due to the continuous discharge into the environment, pharmaceuticals are gaining persistent organic pollutant characteristics and are considered emerging pollutants. Based on the hazard quotient, this research highlights the dangerous concentrations of carbamazepine, ibuprofen, furosemide, and enalapril in river water. Results: High levels of four pharmaceutical compounds (carbamazepine, ibuprofen, furosemide, and enalapril) and some of their derived metabolites (enalaprilat, carboxyibuprofen, 1-hydroxyibuprofen, and 2-hydroxyibuprofen) were reported in our study in the Mureș River Basin. Overall, pharmaceutical concentrations were found to be highest in the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent, median downstream of the WWTP, and lowest upstream of the WWTP, as was expected. For all pharmaceutical compounds tested, we recorded concentrations above the limit of quantification (LOQ) in at least one of the sites tested. Carbamazepine exhibited the highest mean values upstream, downstream, and at the WWTP. As expected, the highest concentrations for all the studied pharmaceutical compounds were detected in the WWTP effluent. All Hazard Quotient (HQ) values were below one (on a logarithmic scale in base 10), with the highest values in the WWTP and the lowest in the river upstream of the WWTP. The HQ intervals were in the same range for furosemide, carbamazepine, and ibuprofen at each of the three different sites: upstream WWTP effluent, and downstream. The interval for enalapril stands out as having the lowest HQ at all three sites. Conclusions: Based on these results, the large and complex hydrographical system Mureș River Basin was transformed from a grey area, with little information about pharmaceutical contamination, to a hotspot in terms of contamination with emerging pollutants. Pharmaceutical compound concentrations were found to be the highest in WWTP effluents. The WWTP effluent concentrations were among the highest in Europe, indicating that treatment plants are the primary source of water pollution with pharmaceuticals compounds. The detected levels were higher than the safety limit for carbamazepine and ibuprofen. The determined HQ values imply that the measured levels do pose a threat to the environment for the studied pharmaceuticals. Based on the obtained results, human communities can assess, monitor, predict, and adapt in time to these already-present regional challenges and risks for sustainable use of natural resources, including water and associated products and services. Full article
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Article
Evolution of Clustering Quantified by a Stochastic Method—Case Studies on Natural and Human Social Structures
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7972; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12197972 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1132
Abstract
Clustering structures appearing from small to large scales are ubiquitous in the physical world. Interestingly, clustering structures are omnipresent in human history too, ranging from the mere organization of life in societies (e.g., urbanization) to the development of large-scale infrastructure and policies for [...] Read more.
Clustering structures appearing from small to large scales are ubiquitous in the physical world. Interestingly, clustering structures are omnipresent in human history too, ranging from the mere organization of life in societies (e.g., urbanization) to the development of large-scale infrastructure and policies for meeting organizational needs. Indeed, in its struggle for survival and progress, mankind has perpetually sought the benefits of unions. At the same time, it is acknowledged that as the scale of the projects grows, the cost of the delivered products is reduced while their quantities are maximized. Thus, large-scale infrastructures and policies are considered advantageous and are constantly being pursued at even great scales. This work develops a general method to quantify the temporal evolution of clustering, using a stochastic computational tool called 2D-C, which is applicable for the study of both natural and human social spatial structures. As case studies, the evolution of the structure of the universe, of ecosystems and of human clustering structures such as urbanization, are investigated using novel sources of spatial information. Results suggest the clear existence both of periods of clustering and declustering in the natural world and in the human social structures; yet clustering is the general trend. In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, societal challenges arising from large-scale clustering structures are discussed. Full article
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