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Land Cover change

Per-Ola Hedwall, Lena Gustafsson, Jörg Brunet, Matts Lindbladh, Anna-Lena Axelsson, Joachim Strengbom
Boreal forests form the largest and least disturbed forest biome in the northern hemisphere. However, anthropogenic pressure from intensified forest management, eutrophication and climate change may alter the ecosystem functions of understory vegetation and services boreal forests provide. Swedish forests span long gradients of climate, nitrogen deposition, and management intensity. This makes them ideal to study how the species composition and functions of other, more pristine, boreal forests might change under increased anthropogenic pressure...
February 14, 2019: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Lingtong Gai, João P Nunes, Jantiene E M Baartman, Hongming Zhang, Fei Wang, Ad de Roo, Coen J Ritsema, Violette Geissen
Floods are extreme hydroclimatic events that threaten societies and ecosystems. The effects of these events are greatly influenced by the changes that humans have imposed on the environment. The LISFLOOD model is a physically based rainfall-runoff model that simulates the hydrological processes in a catchment. Using globally available land cover, soil, and vegetation as well as meteorological and geographical datasets as input, the LISFLOOD model has the potential to be applied worldwide, even for regions where data are lacking...
February 25, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Geofrey Gabiri, Constanze Leemhuis, Bernd Diekkrüger, Kristian Näschen, Stefanie Steinbach, Frank Thonfeld
A combination of climate change, food demand, population growth, and other driving forces are causing land use and land cover change (LULC) in wetlands of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). This has a profound effect on water resources, thus it is imperative that such consequences arising from these changes are predicted accurately to support land use management. For that, local scale studies are required to understand the system and to perform scenario analysis. The focus of this study was on small scale inland valleys which are common in SSA...
February 25, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Ashley B Bennett, Sarah Lovell
Urbanization has detrimental effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, as agricultural and semi-natural habitats are converted into landscapes dominated by built features. Urban agricultural sites are a growing component of urban landscapes and have potential to serve as a source of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provisioning in urban areas. In 19 urban agricultural sites, we investigated how surrounding land cover and local site variables supported bees and pollination services. We found the abundance of bees differentially responded to landscape and local scale variables depending on body size and nesting habit...
2019: PloS One
M Llena, D Vericat, M Cavalli, S Crema, M W Smith
Understanding the evolution of sediment connectivity associated with different land use and topographic changes is a prerequisite for a better understanding of sediment budgets and sediment transport processes. We used the Index of Sediment Connectivity (IC) developed by Cavalli et al. (2013) based on the original approach by Borselli et al. (2008) to study the effects of decadal-scale land use and topographic changes on sediment connectivity in mountain catchments. The input variables of the IC (i.e. land cover and topography) were derived from historical aerial photos using Structure from Motion-Multi View Stereo algorithms (SfM-MVS)...
April 10, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Josette Garnier, Julia Le Noë, Audrey Marescaux, Alberto Sanz-Cobena, Luis Lassaletta, Marie Silvestre, Vincent Thieu, Gilles Billen
France was a traditionally agricultural country until the first half of the 20th century. Today, it is the first European cereal producer, with cereal crops accounting for 40% of the agricultural surface area used, and is also a major country for livestock breeding with 25% of the European cattle livestock. This major socioecological transition, with rapid intensification and specialisation in an open global market, has been accompanied by deep environmental changes. To explore the changes in agricultural GHG emissions over the long term (1852-2014), we analysed the emission factors of N2 O from field experiments covering major land uses, in a gradient of fertilisation and within a range of temperature and rainfall, and used CH4 emission coefficients for livestock categories, in terms of enteric and manure management, considering the historical changes in animal excretion rates...
April 10, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
T G Gebremicael, Y A Mohamed, P Van der Zaag
Understanding the relationship between hydrological processes and environmental changes is important for improved water management. The Geba catchment in Ethiopia, forming the headwaters of Tekeze-Atbara basin, was known for its severe land degradation before the recent success in integrated watershed management. This study analyses the hydrological response attributed to land management change using an integrated approach composed of (i) simulating the hydrological response of Land Use/Cover (LULC) changes; (ii) assessing the alteration of streamflow using Alteration of Hydrological Indicators (IHA); and (iii) quantifying the contribution of individual LULC types to the hydrology using Partial Least Square Regression model (PLSR)...
April 10, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Jesús Rodrigo-Comino, Manuel Seeger, Thomas Iserloh, José María Senciales González, José Damián Ruiz-Sinoga, Johannes B Ries
In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), understanding landscape evolution is essential to design long-term management plans. In agricultural fields, such as the vineyards on steep slopes, the terraces offer one of the most important morphological changes. However, it is not clear if the poorly managed agricultural terraces are optimal to reduce soil erosion and overland flow, although the trafficability is improved. Therefore, the main aim of this research is to compare the differences between initial soil erosion processes on poorly managed terraced vineyards and sloping vineyards at the pedon scale, considering the key role of the SSC (Soil Surface Components)...
April 10, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Xun Wen Chen, James Tsz Fung Wong, Zhan Ting Chen, Thomas Wui Lung Tang, Hao Wen Guo, Anna Oi Wah Leung, Charles Wang Wai Ng, Ming Hung Wong
Landfills commonly occupy large areas of land that may be ecologically important. Ecological restoration of landfill cover is a necessary approach to rebuild sustainable habitats. However, unfavourable soil conditions and invasion by exotic plants in certain regions hinder the restoration. In this study, the effects of biochar as a soil amendment on the restoration of a landfill cover were investigated under field condition. Topsoils of a landfill cover in the subtropical region (Shenzhen, China) were mixed with 0, 5 and 10% (v/v) of biochar...
December 10, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Julio Novoa, Karem Chokmani, Rachid Lhissou
Riparian strips are used worldwide to protect riverbanks and water quality in agricultural zones because of their numerous environmental benefits. A metric called Riparian Strip Quality Index, which is based on the percentage area of riparian vegetation, is used to evaluate their ecological condition. This index measures the potential capacity of riparian strips to filter sediments, retain pollutants, and provide shelter for terrestrial and aquatic species. This research aims to improve this metric by integrating the ability of riparian strips to intercept surface runoff, which is the major cause of water pollution and erosion in productive areas...
December 10, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Sharif A Mukul, Mohammed Alamgir, Md Shawkat I Sohel, Petina L Pert, John Herbohn, Stephen M Turton, Md Saiful I Khan, Shifath Ahmed Munim, A H M Ali Reza, William F Laurance
The Sundarbans, in southern coastal Bangladesh, is the world's largest surviving mangrove habitat and the last stronghold of tiger adapted to living in a mangrove ecosystem. Using MaxEnt (maximum entropy modeling), current distribution data, land-use/land cover and bioclimatic variables, we modeled the likely future distribution of the globally endangered Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. We used two climatic scenarios (i.e., RCP6.0 and RCP8.5) developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide projections of suitable habitats of Bengal tigers in 2050 and 2070...
January 30, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Imran Salim, Raja Umer Sajjad, Ma Cristina Paule-Mercado, Sheeraz Ahmed Memon, Bum-Yeon Lee, Chinzorig Sukhbaatar, Chang-Hee Lee
The application and comparison of receptor modeling techniques based on ambient air quality and particulate matter increasingly being studied. However, less is known about the comparison of receptor modeling techniques using spatial runoff quality data to identify and quantify the stormwater runoff pollution. This study compared the performance of principal component analysis-multiple linear regressions (PCA-MLR) and positive matrix factorization (PMF) models on stormwater runoff data collected from a small catchment (Site 1) with urban development activity and a sub-watershed outlet (Site 2)...
January 29, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Wenmin Zhang, Martin Brandt, Josep Penuelas, Françoise Guichard, Xiaoye Tong, Feng Tian, Rasmus Fensholt
Tropical savannas comprise mixed woodland grassland ecosystems in which trees and grasses compete for water resources thereby maintaining the spatial structuring of this ecosystem. A global change in rainfall climatology may impact the structure of tropical savanna ecosystems by favouring woody plants, relative to herbaceous vegetation. Here we analysed satellite data and observed a relatively higher increase in woody vegetation (5%) as compared to the increase in annual maximum leaf area index (LAImax , an indicator of the total green vegetation production) (3%) in arid and semi-arid savannas over recent decades...
February 8, 2019: Nature Communications
Yisa Ginath Yuh, Zacharie N Dongmo, Paul K N'Goran, Herbert Ekodeck, Achile Mengamenya, Hjalmar Kuehl, Tenekwetche Sop, Wiktor Tracz, Michael Agunbiade, Tangwa Elvis
Understanding the effects of land cover change on wildlife distribution is very important for resource management and conservation planning. This paper aimed at detecting the effects of land cover change on great apes distribution at the Lobéké National Park and its bounded forest management units (FMUs). Data on great ape nests were collected in the field for the years 2001 and 2014 through distance sampling with line transects. Landsat TM images of South-East Cameroon for the years 2001 and 2014 were acquired from earth explorer and corrected atmospherically for proper visualization...
February 5, 2019: Scientific Reports
Jacqueline M Amor, Robert Newman, William F Jensen, Bradley C Rundquist, W David Walter, Jason R Boulanger
Changes in land use have resulted in range shifts of many wildlife species, including those entering novel environments, resulting in the critical need to understand their spatial ecology to inform ecosystem effects and management decisions. Dispersing elk (Cervus elaphus) were colonizing areas of suitable habitat in the Northern Great Plains, USA, resulting in crop depredation complaints in these areas. Although state resource managers had little information on these elk herds, limited evidence suggested temporal movements into Canada...
2019: PloS One
Daniel B Hewins, Hanna Lee, Paul W Barnes, Nathan G McDowell, William T Pockman, Thom Rahn, Heather L Throop
Dryland ecosystems cover nearly 45% of the Earth's land area and account for large proportions of terrestrial net primary production and carbon pools. However, predicting rates of plant litter decomposition in these vast ecosystems has proven challenging due to their distinctly dry and often hot climate regimes, and potentially unique physical drivers of decomposition. In this study, we elucidated the role of photopriming, i.e. exposure of standing dead leaf litter to solar radiation prior to litter drop that would chemically change litter and enhance biotic decay of fallen litter...
2019: PloS One
Martin Dolejš, Jiří Nádvorník, Pavel Raška, Jiří Riezner
Current research has identified extensive changes in land-use structure and land management of Central European rural landscapes due to shifting political and economic trajectories. These changes are exemplified by diverse processes of agricultural intensification, privatization and land fragmentation, land abandonment and overall changes in modes of production. The extensive record of these historically specific processes has posed a fundamental challenge for rural landscape conservation, which is addressed in this paper...
February 2, 2019: Environmental Management
Paulo R M Pontes, Rosane B L Cavalcante, Prafulla K Sahoo, Renato O da Silva Júnior, Marcio Sousa da Silva, Roberto Dall'Agnol, José Oswaldo Siqueira
To protect indigenous land and avoid the spread of deforestation in the Amazon, state and federal Brazilian agencies recognized several protected areas since the 1990s. However, the importance of these protected areas in the water cycle and the hydrologic connection with surrounding landscapes is little analyzed. In this study, we evaluated the role of preserved and deforested areas in the water balance in the Itacaiúnas River Basin using the MGB hydrological model. We estimated the impacts of land cover changes on evapotranspiration and discharge for four scenarios: Preserved (1984 land cover), Recent (2013 land cover, with 50% deforestation), Hypothetical deforestation of protected areas (70% deforestation) and complete deforestation of protected areas (79% deforestation)...
January 30, 2019: Journal of Environmental Management
Muluken E Muche, Stacy L Hutchinson, J M Shawn Hutchinson, John M Johnston
The Soil Conservation Service Curve Number (SCS-CN, or CN) is a widely used method to estimate runoff from rainfall events. It has been adapted to many parts of the world with different land uses, land cover types, and climatic conditions and successfully applied to situations ranging from simple runoff calculations and land use change assessment to comprehensive hydrologic/water quality simulations. However, the CN method lacks the ability to incorporate seasonal variations in vegetated surface conditions, and unnoticed landuse/landcover (LULC) change that shape infiltration and storm runoff...
January 29, 2019: Journal of Environmental Management
J Camilo Fagua, R Douglas Ramsey
The tropical rain forests of northwest South America fall within the Chocó-Darien Global Ecoregion (CGE). The CGE is one of 25 global biodiversity hotspots prioritized for conservation due to its high biodiversity and endemism as well as threats due to deforestation. The analysis of land-use and land-cover (LULC) change within the CGE using remotely sensed imagery is challenging because this area is considered to be one of the rainiest places on the planet (hence high frequency of cloud cover). Furthermore, the availability of high-resolution remotely sensed data is low for developing countries before 2015...
2019: PloS One
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