Special Issue "Sustainable Water Resource Management and Agricultural Production under Ongoing Environmental Changes"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Clement D. D. Sohoulande
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
USDA-ARS Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center, Florence, SC 29501, USA
Interests: agriculture; water resources management; hydrology; environmental sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

During the last century, the world population has grown at an unprecedented rate, causing an increase of anthropogenic pressure on natural resources. Disturbances related to human activities have resulted in multifaceted environmental changes, including ecological and climatic disturbances. The footprints of these changes are frequently evidenced in many locations around the globe as direct consequences of urbanization, deforestation, agriculture intensification, fossil energy use, or poor freshwater resource management. As the world population keeps growing, food and freshwater demands are increasing, while agricultural land areas are becoming more limited, along with declining water resources, both in quality and quantity. In this context, it is critical to rethink the use of natural resources in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts while leveraging freshwater and food supplies. To achieve such a goal, strategies developed for water resource management and agricultural food production must take into consideration the ongoing environmental changes. Nonetheless, these changes are complex and need to be thoroughly understood to manage water resources and agricultural production in a sustainable manner. This Special Issue of Sustainability aims to capitalize on recent research advances and scientific knowledge aligning with the efficient use of water resources and agriculture sustainability. Submitted manuscripts may focus on one or more of the following research fields: 

  • Climate impact on agricultural production;
  • Water resource management, including water quality/quantity modeling and remote sensing;
  • Multiscale land-use–land-cover change studies. 

Dr. Clement D. D. Sohoulande
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

  • water resources
  • climate
  • environmental sustainability
  • land-use–land-cover
  • agriculture
  • water quality
  • modeling

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Land Use and Land Cover Changes and Its Impact on Soil Erosion in Stung Sangkae Catchment of Cambodia
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9276; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169276 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 965
Abstract
Agricultural expansion and urban development without proper soil erosion control measures have become major environmental problems in Cambodia. Due to a high population growth rate and increased economic activities, land use and land cover (LULC) changes will cause environmental disturbances, particularly soil erosion. [...] Read more.
Agricultural expansion and urban development without proper soil erosion control measures have become major environmental problems in Cambodia. Due to a high population growth rate and increased economic activities, land use and land cover (LULC) changes will cause environmental disturbances, particularly soil erosion. This research aimed to estimate total amounts of soil loss using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model within a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. LULC maps of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) 2002 and Mekong River Commission (MRC) 2015 were used to evaluate the impact of LULC on soil erosion loss in Stung Sangkae catchment. LULC dynamics for the study periods in Stung Sangkae catchment showed that the catchment experienced a rapid conversion of forests to paddy rice fields and other croplands. The results indicated that the average soil loss from the catchment was 3.1 and 7.6 t/ha/y for the 2002 and 2015 periods, respectively. The estimated total soil loss in the 2002 and 2015 periods was 1.9 million t/y and 4.5 million t/y, respectively. The soil erosion was accelerated by steep slopes combined with the high velocity and erosivity of stormwater runoff. The spatial distribution of soil loss showed that the highest value (14.3 to 62.9 t/ha/y) was recorded in the central, southwestern and upland parts of the catchment. It is recommended that priority should be given to erosion hot spot areas, and appropriate soil and water conservation practices should be adopted to restore degraded lands. Full article
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Article
Efficacy of Supplemental Irrigation and Nitrogen Management on Enhancing Nitrogen Availability and Urease Activity in Soils with Sorghum Production
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8358; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12208358 - 12 Oct 2020
Viewed by 615
Abstract
The soil nitrogen (N) availability and urease activity (UA) in a humid ecosystem with variable rainfall distribution and poor soil fertility are not well understood. A complete appreciation of N cycling in the soil–water–plant continuum is needed to better manage N and water [...] Read more.
The soil nitrogen (N) availability and urease activity (UA) in a humid ecosystem with variable rainfall distribution and poor soil fertility are not well understood. A complete appreciation of N cycling in the soil–water–plant continuum is needed to better manage N and water in regions that will be strongly affected by climate change. A sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) study located in Florence, South Carolina, USA, was conducted using a variable-rate pivot system. We hypothesized that supplemental irrigation (SI) and N would enhance UA and N uptake while minimizing the concentration of N in porewater (TINW). The aim of the study was to assess the impact of SI (0, 50, and 100%) and N fertilization (0, 85, and 170 kg N ha−1) on: UA; total N (TNS); total inorganic N (TINS); TINW; and N uptake of sorghum. Results support our research hypothesis. The greatest UA was from 0% SI and 170 kg ha−1 (18.7 µg N g−1 ha−1). Porewater N (mg L−1), when averaged across SI and N showed a significantly lower concentration at lower soil depth (9.9 ± 0.7) than the upper depth (26.1 ± 2.4). The 100% SI had the greatest biomass N uptake (NUPB) of 67.9 ± 31.1 kg ha−1 and grain N uptake (NUG) of 52.7 ± 20.5 kg ha−1. The greatest NUPB (70.9 ± 30.3 kg ha−1) and NUG (55.3 ± 16.5 kg ha−1) was from the application of 170 kg N ha−1. Overall, results showed that proper use of water and N enhanced soil N dynamics, and improved biomass productivity and N uptake of sorghum. Full article
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Article
Drainage N Loads Under Climate Change with Winter Rye Cover Crop in a Northern Mississippi River Basin Corn-Soybean Rotation
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7630; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187630 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
To help reduce future N loads entering the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River 45%, Iowa set the goal of reducing non-point source N loads 41%. Studies show that implementing winter rye cover crops into agricultural systems reduces N loads from subsurface [...] Read more.
To help reduce future N loads entering the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River 45%, Iowa set the goal of reducing non-point source N loads 41%. Studies show that implementing winter rye cover crops into agricultural systems reduces N loads from subsurface drainage, but its effectiveness in the Mississippi River Basin under expected climate change is uncertain. We used the field-tested Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) to estimate drainage N loads, crop yield, and rye growth in central Iowa corn-soybean rotations. RZWQM scenarios included baseline (BL) observed weather (1991–2011) and ambient CO2 with cover crop and no cover crop treatments (BL_CC and BL_NCC). Scenarios also included projected future temperature and precipitation change (2065–2085) from six general circulation models (GCMs) and elevated CO2 with cover crop and no cover crop treatments (CC and NCC). Average annual drainage N loads under NCC, BL_NCC, CC and BL_CC were 63.6, 47.5, 17.0, and 18.9 kg N ha−1. Winter rye cover crop was more effective at reducing drainage N losses under climate change than under baseline conditions (73 and 60% for future and baseline climate), mostly because the projected temperatures and atmospheric CO2 resulted in greater rye growth and crop N uptake. Annual CC drainage N loads were reduced compared with BL_NCC more than the targeted 41% for 18 to 20 years of the 21-year simulation, depending on the GCM. Under projected climate change, average annual simulated crop yield differences between scenarios with and without winter rye were approximately 0.1 Mg ha−1. These results suggest that implementing winter rye cover crop in a corn-soybean rotation effectively addresses the goal of drainage N load reduction under climate change in a northern Mississippi River Basin agricultural system without affecting cash crop production. Full article
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