WorldWideScience

Sample records for agricultural landscapes ecosystem

  1. Complexity of human and ecosystem interactions in an agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coupe, Richard H.; Barlow, Jeannie R.; Capel, Paul D.

    2012-01-01

    The complexity of human interaction in the commercial agricultural landscape and the resulting impacts on the ecosystem services of water quality and quantity is largely ignored by the current agricultural paradigm that maximizes crop production over other ecosystem services. Three examples at different spatial scales (local, regional, and global) are presented where human and ecosystem interactions in a commercial agricultural landscape adversely affect water quality and quantity in unintended ways in the Delta of northwestern Mississippi. In the first example, little to no regulation of groundwater use for irrigation has caused declines in groundwater levels resulting in loss of baseflow to streams and threatening future water supply. In the second example, federal policy which subsidizes corn for biofuel production has encouraged many producers to switch from cotton to corn, which requires more nutrients and water, counter to national efforts to reduce nutrient loads to the Gulf of Mexico and exacerbating groundwater level declines. The third example is the wholesale adoption of a system for weed control that relies on a single chemical, initially providing many benefits and ultimately leading to the widespread occurrence of glyphosate and its degradates in Delta streams and necessitating higher application rates of glyphosate as well as the use of other herbicides due to increasing weed resistance. Although these examples are specific to the Mississippi Delta, analogous situations exist throughout the world and point to the need for change in how we grow our food, fuel, and fiber, and manage our soil and water resources.

  2. Optimizing intermediate ecosystem services in agriculture using rules based on landscape composition and configuration indices

    OpenAIRE

    Cong, Rong-Gang; Ekroos, Johan; Smith, Henrik G.; Brady, Mark V.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Important intermediate ecosystem services (ES) such as crop pollination and biological control of pests, which underpin the final ES agricultural yields, are mediated by mobile organisms that depend on availability of habitat and its arrangement in the landscape. It has been suggested that landscape-scale management (LSM) of habitat in a multi-farm setting results in higher provisioning of such ES compared to farm-scale management (FSM). However, to achieve the LSM solution, farmers'...

  3. Optimizing intermediate ecosystem services in agriculture using rules based on landscape composition and configuration indices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cong, Rong-Gang; Ekroos, Johan; Smith, Henrik G.;

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Important intermediate ecosystem services (ES) such as crop pollination and biological control of pests, which underpin the final ES agricultural yields, are mediated by mobile organisms that depend on availability of habitat and its arrangement in the landscape. It has been suggested that...... landscape-scale management (LSM) of habitat in a multi-farm setting results in higher provisioning of such ES compared to farm-scale management (FSM). However, to achieve the LSM solution, farmers' land-use decisions need to be coordinated. To this end, we develop rules based on novel landscape composition...... and configuration indices. We model farmers' interdependencies through ES in an agent-based model (ABM) and optimize land use at both the farm and landscape scales for comparison. Our analysis is based on a simple artificial landscape with homogeneous soil quality and uses crop pollination as an...

  4. Managing Nitrogen in Croplands: Implications for Increasing Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, L.

    2011-12-01

    Many agricultural landscapes in the temperate zone are dominated by agroecosystems that are managed with high inputs of agrochemicals, including synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers. The process of agricultural intensification increases crop production per unit area, but also often results in loss of environmental quality (such as N contamination of waters, eutrophication, atmospheric N deposition, and emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas). Loss of biodiversity and its 'functional homogenization' is another concern. Not only does little land in these landscapes remain in natural ecosystems, but there are negative off-site impacts of intensive agriculture on non-target organisms. Segregating agroecosystems with high-input agricultural production from natural ecosystems (land sparing) is one view to support both food security and biodiversity conservation. But proponents of land sparing rarely address the loss of other ecosystem services, such as those related to environmental quality, health, and human well-being (e.g., livelihoods and cultural values). An emerging view is that increased reliance on ecological processes in agroecosystems ('ecological intensification') is more feasible when the landscape mosaic includes planned and unplanned biodiversity. This requires research on how to support multiple ecosystem services through the integration of agricultural production and biodiversity conservation in the same landscape, and how ecological and physico-chemical processes at various spatial scales are interlinked. It is an enormous challenge to increase reliance on ecological processes for N availability for crop productivity. There are skeptics who think that this will be detrimental for food security, despite benefits for other types of ecosystem services. Using examples from agricultural landscapes in California, mechanisms for ecologically-based N cycling will be discussed, such as: 1) increasing the reservoir of soil organic N and the

  5. Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes: A Spatially Explicit Approach to Support Sustainable Soil Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohsen Forouzangohar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation. We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes.

  6. Soil management shapes ecosystem service provision and trade-offs in agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamburini, Giovanni; De Simone, Serena; Sigura, Maurizia; Boscutti, Francesco; Marini, Lorenzo

    2016-08-31

    Agroecosystems are principally managed to maximize food provisioning even if they receive a large array of supporting and regulating ecosystem services (ESs). Hence, comprehensive studies investigating the effects of local management and landscape composition on the provision of and trade-offs between multiple ESs are urgently needed. We explored the effects of conservation tillage, nitrogen fertilization and landscape composition on six ESs (crop production, disease control, soil fertility, water quality regulation, weed and pest control) in winter cereals. Conservation tillage enhanced soil fertility and pest control, decreased water quality regulation and weed control, without affecting crop production and disease control. Fertilization only influenced crop production by increasing grain yield. Landscape intensification reduced the provision of disease and pest control. We also found tillage and landscape composition to interactively affect water quality regulation and weed control. Under N fertilization, conventional tillage resulted in more trade-offs between ESs than conservation tillage. Our results demonstrate that soil management and landscape composition affect the provision of several ESs and that soil management potentially shapes the trade-offs between them. PMID:27559064

  7. Analyzing Landscape Trends on Agriculture, Introduced Exotic Grasslands and Riparian Ecosystems in Arid Regions of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romeo Mendez-Estrella

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Riparian Zones are considered biodiversity and ecosystem services hotspots. In arid environments, these ecosystems represent key habitats, since water availability makes them unique in terms of fauna, flora and ecological processes. Simple yet powerful remote sensing techniques were used to assess how spatial and temporal land cover dynamics, and water depth reflect distribution of key land cover types in riparian areas. Our study area includes the San Miguel and Zanjon rivers in Northwest Mexico. We used a supervised classification and regression tree (CART algorithm to produce thematic classifications (with accuracies higher than 78% for 1993, 2002 and 2011 using Landsat TM scenes. Our results suggest a decline in agriculture (32.5% area decrease and cultivated grasslands (21.1% area decrease from 1993 to 2011 in the study area. We found constant fluctuation between adjacent land cover classes and riparian habitat. We also found that water depth restricts Riparian Vegetation distribution but not agricultural lands or induced grasslands. Using remote sensing combined with spatial analysis, we were able to reach a better understanding of how riparian habitats are being modified in arid environments and how they have changed through time.

  8. Sustaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Plieninger

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Classical conservation approaches focus on the man-made degradation of ecosystems and tend to neglect the social-ecological values that human land uses have imprinted on many environments. Throughout the world, ingenious land-use practices have generated unique cultural landscapes, but these are under pressure from agricultural intensification, land abandonment, and urbanization. In recent years, the cultural landscapes concept has been broadly adopted in science, policy, and management. The interest in both outstanding and vernacular landscapes finds expression in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, the European Landscape Convention, and the IUCN Protected Landscape Approach. These policies promote the protection, management, planning, and governance of cultural landscapes. The ecosystem services approach is a powerful framework to guide such efforts, but has rarely been applied in landscape research and management. With this paper, we introduce a special feature that aims to enhance the theoretical, empirical and practical knowledge of how to safeguard the resilience of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes. It concludes (1 that the usefulness of the ecosystem services approach to the analysis and management of cultural landscapes should be reviewed more critically; (2 that conventional ecosystem services assessment needs to be complemented by socio-cultural valuation; (3 that cultural landscapes are inherently changing, so that a dynamic view on ecosystem services and a focus on drivers of landscape change are needed; and (4 that managing landscapes for ecosystem services provision may benefit from a social-ecological resilience perspective.

  9. Balancing Ecosystem Services and Disservices: Smallholder Farmers' Use and Management of Forest and Trees in an Agricultural Landscape in Southwestern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tola Gemechu Ango

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Farmers' practices in the management of agricultural landscapes influence biodiversity with implications for livelihoods, ecosystem service provision, and biodiversity conservation. In this study, we examined how smallholding farmers in an agriculture-forest mosaic landscape in southwestern Ethiopia manage trees and forests with regard to a few selected ecosystem services and disservices that they highlighted as "beneficial" or "problematic." Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from six villages, located both near and far from forest, using participatory field mapping and semistructured interviews, tree species inventory, focus group discussions, and observation. The study showed that farmers' management practices, i.e., the planting of trees on field boundaries amid their removal from inside arable fields, preservation of trees in semimanaged forest coffee, maintenance of patches of shade coffee fields in the agricultural landscape, and establishment of woodlots with exotic trees result in a restructuring of the forest-agriculture mosaic. In addition, the strategies farmers employed to mitigate crop damage by wild mammals such as baboons and bush pigs, e.g., migration and allocation of migrants on lands along forests, have contributed to a reduction in forest and tree cover in the agricultural landscape. Because farmers' management practices were overall geared toward mitigating the negative impact of disservices and to augment positive services, we conclude that it is important to operationalize ecosystem processes as both services and disservices in studies related to agricultural landscapes.

  10. Modern parameters of caesium-137 root uptake in natural and agricultural grass ecosystems of contaminated post-Chernobyl landscape, Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Paramonova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The estimation of modern parameters of 137Cs root uptake was conducted in natural meadow and agricultural ecosystems of post-Chernobyl landscapes of Tula region. The agrosystems with main crops of field rotation (barley, potatoes, rape, maize occupying watersheds and slopes with arable chernozems are contaminated at a level 460-670 Bq/kg (4.7-6.0 Ci/km2; natural meadow ecosystems occupying lower parts of slopes and floodplains are contaminated at a level 620-710 Bq/kg (5.8-7.6 Ci/km2. In the arable soils 137Cs uniformly distributed to a depth of Ap horizon (20-30 cm of thickness, while in meadow soils 70-80% of the radionuclide is concentrated within the top Ad horizon (9-13 cm of thickness. These topsoil layer accords with rhizosphere zone, where >80-90% of plant roots are concentrated, and from which 137Cs is mostly consumed by vegetation. Total amount of 137Cs root uptake depends on the level of soil radioactive contamination (correlation coefficient 0.61. So 137Cs activity in meadow vegetation (103-160 Bq/kg is generally more than one in agricultural vegetation (9-92 Bq/kg. The values of 137Cs transfer factor in the studied ecosystems vary from 0.01 (rape to 0.20 (wet meadow, that confirms the discrimination of the radionuclide’s root uptake. The larger are the volume of roots and their absorbing surface, the higher are the values of transfer factor from soil to plant (correlation coefficients 0.71 and 0.64 respectively. 137Cs translocation from roots to shoots is also determined by biological features of plants. At the same level of soil contamination above-ground parts of meadow herbs accumulate more 137Cs than Gramineae species, and in agrosystems above-ground parts of weeds concentrate more 137Cs than cultivated cereals. Thus, the level of soil radioactive pollution and biological features of plants are determinants in the process of 137Cs root uptake and translocation and should be considered in land use policy.

  11. Towards multifunctional agricultural landscapes in Europe: Assessing and governing synergies between food production, biodiversity, and ecosystem services - TALE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Martin; Cord, Anna; Demiguel, Ángel; Holzkämper, Annelie; Kaim, Andrea; Kirchner, Mathias; Lienhoop, Nele; Nieto Romero, Marta; Nitsch, Heike; Rutz, Cordula; Saa, Antonio; Schmid, Erwin; Schönhart, Martin; Schramek, Jörg; Strauch, Michael; Tarquis Alfonso, Ana Maria; van der Zanden, Emma H.; Verburg, Peter; Willaarts, Bárbara; Zarrineh, Nina; Rivas, David; Hagemann, Nina

    2016-04-01

    There is a need to improve our understanding of the synergies between biodiversity, food and energy production and other regulating or cultural ecosystem services (ESS) and the development of technical and policy measures to support these synergies. Procedures to quantify synergies and trade-offs between ESS and biodiversity are considered as promising solutions to close this gap. The BiodivERsA project TALE aims at developing such methodologies in a set of representative European agricultural landscapes in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands and Spain. This will be done by using i) a framework that links process-based, integrated, and statistical models with optimization algorithms, and ii) a set of land use scenarios and land use policies, iii) a systematic stakeholder integration process that allows the incorporation of expert knowledge in all phases of the research project to safeguard that research results are of practical relevance. Moreover, the project not only addresses experts but provides an innovative online learning environment that is accessible also for students and the general public.

  12. Conservation agriculture and ecosystem services

    OpenAIRE

    Dillaha, Theo A.; Cheryl B. Heatwole Shenk; Moore, Keith M.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation agriculture has many agricultural and food security benefits. In addition, conservation agriculture has potential on- and off-site ecosystem service benefits that are the focus of this paper. Ecosystem services provided by conservation agriculture fall into three main categories: provisioning services such as increased food production; regulating services such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation, reducing losses of soil, pesticides, nutrients and other potential contam...

  13. Sustaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; van der Horst, Dan; Schleyer, Christian;

    2014-01-01

    Convention, the European Landscape Convention, and the IUCN Protected Landscape Approach. These policies promote the protection, management, planning, and governance of cultural landscapes. The ecosystem services approach is a powerful framework to guide such efforts, but has rarely been applied in landscape...... research and management. With this paper, we introduce a special feature that aims to enhance the theoretical, empirical and practical knowledge of how to safeguard the resilience of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes. It concludes (1) that the usefulness of the ecosystem services approach...... to the analysis and management of cultural landscapes should be reviewed more critically; (2) that conventional ecosystem services assessment needs to be complemented by socio-cultural valuation; (3) that cultural landscapes are inherently changing, so that a dynamic view on ecosystem services and a focus...

  14. Linking ecosystem services with cultural landscape research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaich, Harald; Biding, Claudia; Plieninger, Tobias

    2010-01-01

    The concept of ecosystem services facilitates the valuation of the multiple services from ecosystems and landscapes, the identification of trade-offs between different land use scenarios, and also informs decision making in land use planning. Unfortunately, cultural services have been mostly...... neglected within the ecosystem services framework. This could result in trade-off assessments which are biased and mislead ecosystem management and landscape planning. However, cultural landscape research approaches have proven valuable in the assessment of different nonmaterial landscape values...... and cultural services. In this paper, we compare the objectives, approaches, and methodologies adopted by ecosystem services research and cultural landscape research through a bibliographic research. Both research communities investigate the human dimension of ecosystems and landscapes and, hence, study...

  15. Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Wei; Swinton, Scott M. [Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039 (United States); Ricketts, Taylor H. [Conservation Science Program, World Wildlife Fund - U.S., Washington, DC 20037 (United States); Kremen, Claire [Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3114 (United States); Carney, Karen [U.S. Agency for International Development, Biodiversity and Forestry Team, Washington, DC 20523 (United States)

    2007-12-15

    Agricultural ecosystems are actively managed by humans to optimize the provision of food, fiber, and fuel. These ecosystem services from agriculture, classified as provisioning services by the recent Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, depend in turn upon a web of supporting and regulating services as inputs to production (e.g., soil fertility and pollination). Agriculture also receives ecosystem dis-services that reduce productivity or increase production costs (e.g., herbivory and competition for water and nutrients by undesired species). The flows of these services and dis-services directly depend on how agricultural ecosystems are managed and upon the diversity, composition, and functioning of remaining natural ecosystems in the landscape. Managing agricultural landscapes to provide sufficient supporting and regulating ecosystem services and fewer dis-services will require research that is policy-relevant, multidisciplinary and collaborative. This paper focuses on how ecosystem services contribute to agricultural productivity and how ecosystem dis-services detract from it. We first describe the major services and dis-services as well as their key mediators. We then explore the importance of scale and economic externalities for the management of ecosystem service provision to agriculture. Finally, we discuss outstanding issues in regard to improving the management of ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture. (author)

  16. Reptile assemblages across agricultural landscapes: where does biodiversity hide?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biaggini, M.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The transition from traditional to intensive farming, aimed at large–scale production, has rapidly altered agricultural landscapes, leading to the reduction and fragmentation of natural habitats and to the consequent loss of biodiversity. Herpetofauna is seriously threatened by agriculture intensification worldwide, but less is known about its distribution in agro–ecosystems, especially at field scale. We analysed reptile abundance and diversity in eight agricultural and semi–natural land uses, and inside vegetated buffer strips interspersed among fields. Interestingly, most reptiles were recorded in the buffer strips while intensive crops and pastures hosted just one lizard species. Richness of individuals and species increased when strips were connected to semi–natural areas, independently of their width and vegetation structure. In view of our results, that highlight the role of minor landscape features for the presence of vertebrates in intensive agro–ecosystems, we recommend the implementation of buffer strips among the measures for vertebrate conservation in agricultural landscapes.

  17. Effectsofagriculturallandscapeheterogeneityonbiodiversity andecosystemservices%农业景观异质性对生物多样性及其生态系统服务的影响*

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋博; 丁圣彦; 赵爽; 李子晗; 侯笑云

    2016-01-01

    Itisundoubtedthatbiodiversityandits’ecosystemserviceshavesignificantimportanceforagriculturallandscape.The semi-natural habitats are the indispensable covers in agro-landscape, which maintain higher biodiversity becausetheyproviderefuge,foods,breedingplace.Tomeetthedemandsofagrowinghumanpopulation,agriculturalsystemshavebeenenlargedbyalteringnon-phabitatsareatocroplandandproducedmorecropsperunitarea,thedisturbancetoecosystemintensified inducing decreasing of biodiversity. Keeping high biodiversity in agricultural landscape is significantforsustainabledevelopmentofagriculture.Inthispaper,compositionandcharacteristicsofagriculturallandscapeheterogeneitywere reviewed and its effects on biodiversity and ecological service discussed. Landscape heterogeneity includedcompositional heterogeneity, configurational heterogeneity, as well as temporal heterogeneity and functional heterogeneity.Mostevidencesshowedthathigherheterogeneityofagro-landscapeaffectedpositivelyonbiodiversity.Thetemporaldynamics(historical,short-termandseasonalchangeoflandscape)oflandscapecontextmayhelpimprovingunderstandingabouttheinteraction between landscape structure and biodiversity in agro-landscape. Scale effect of landscape heterogeneity onbiodiversity existed and is a core content of landscape ecology. Multi-scale effects of spatial and temporal landscapeheterogeneityonnon-agriculturalbiodiversityweresignificant.Thebiodiversityofplants,groundarthropod,andsoilfaunawererelatedtolandscapeheterogeneityindifferentradiusbufferarea.Theresponsesofdifferentnon-agriculturalbiologicalgroupsweredifferentbecausethelandscapecontextandbiologicalcharacteristics.Themechanismsoflandscapeheterogeneitymaintainingbiodiversitywasalsosummarized.Thecombination

  18. Reptile assemblages across agricultural landscapes: where does biodiversity hide?

    OpenAIRE

    Biaggini, M.; C. Corti

    2015-01-01

    The transition from traditional to intensive farming, aimed at large–scale production, has rapidly altered agricultural landscapes, leading to the reduction and fragmentation of natural habitats and to the consequent loss of biodiversity. Herpetofauna is seriously threatened by agriculture intensification worldwide, but less is known about its distribution in agro–ecosystems, especially at field scale. We analysed reptile abundance and diversity in eight agricultural and semi–natural land use...

  19. Reframing landscape fragmentation's effects on ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Matthew G E; Suarez-Castro, Andrés F; Martinez-Harms, Maria; Maron, Martine; McAlpine, Clive; Gaston, Kevin J; Johansen, Kasper; Rhodes, Jonathan R

    2015-04-01

    Landscape structure and fragmentation have important effects on ecosystem services, with a common assumption being that fragmentation reduces service provision. This is based on fragmentation's expected effects on ecosystem service supply, but ignores how fragmentation influences the flow of services to people. Here we develop a new conceptual framework that explicitly considers the links between landscape fragmentation, the supply of services, and the flow of services to people. We argue that fragmentation's effects on ecosystem service flow can be positive or negative, and use our framework to construct testable hypotheses about the effects of fragmentation on final ecosystem service provision. Empirical efforts to apply and test this framework are critical to improving landscape management for multiple ecosystem services.

  20. Comparative review of multifunctionality and ecosystem services in sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jiao; Tichit, Muriel; Poulot, Monique; Darly, Ségolène; Li, Shuangcheng; Petit, Caroline; Aubry, Christine

    2015-02-01

    Two scientific communities with broad interest in sustainable agriculture independently focus on multifunctional agriculture or ecosystem services. These communities have limited interaction and exchange, and each group faces research challenges according to independently operating paradigms. This paper presents a comparative review of published research in multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. The motivation for this work is to improve communication, integrate experimental approaches, and propose areas of consensus and dialog for the two communities. This extensive analysis of publication trends, ideologies, and approaches enables formulation of four main conclusions. First, the two communities are closely related through their use of the term "function." However, multifunctional agriculture considers functions as agricultural activity outputs and prefers farm-centred approaches, whereas ecosystem services considers ecosystem functions in the provision of services and prefers service-centred approaches. Second, research approaches to common questions in these two communities share some similarities, and there would be great value in integrating these approaches. Third, the two communities have potential for dialog regarding the bundle of ecosystem services and the spectrum of multifunctional agriculture, or regarding land sharing and land sparing. Fourth, we propose an integrated conceptual framework that distinguishes six groups of ecosystem services and disservices in the agricultural landscape, and combines the concepts of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. This integrated framework improves applications of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services for operational use. Future research should examine if the framework can be readily adapted for modelling specific problems in agricultural management.

  1. Regional Patterns of Ecosystem Services in Cultural Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Früh-Müller

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available European agricultural landscapes have been shaped by humans to produce marketable private goods such as food, feed, fiber and timber. Land-use intensification to increase provisioning services in such productive landscapes alters the capacity of ecosystems to supply other services (often public goods and services that are also vital for human wellbeing. However, the interactions, synergies and trade-offs among ecosystem services are poorly understood. We assessed the spatial distribution of the services carbon storage, sediment regulation, water yield, crop production, timber supply, and outdoor recreation in the counties Wetterau and Vogelsberg (Hesse, Germany. These counties represent a gradient from intensive arable land use to more extensive mixed land use systems with domination of grassland and forests. Spatially explicit models were used to map the location and quantity of service supply. We addressed the following questions: (1 Where are areas of high and low supply of individual and multiple ecosystem services? (2 Where do the strongest trade-offs and synergies between different services occur? Our results show a pronounced spatial aggregation of different ecosystem services, with locations where at least four services are being supplied at high levels occupying only 5% of the landscape. Indicators for water provision, timber supply, carbon storage, erosion control, and outdoor recreation are positively related to each other, but this relationship is influenced by the trade-offs associated with the ecosystem service food production. Optimization of ecosystem services at the landscape scale has to take these patterns into account.

  2. Increasing corn for biofuel production reduces biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Landis, D. A.; Gardiner, M.M.; Werf, van der, W.; Swinton, S.M.

    2008-01-01

    Increased demand for corn grain as an ethanol feedstock is altering U. S. agricultural landscapes and the ecosystem services they provide. From 2006 to 2007, corn acreage increased 19% nationally, resulting in reduced crop diversity in many areas. Biological control of insects is an ecosystem service that is strongly influenced by local landscape structure. Here, we estimate the value of natural biological control of the soybean aphid, a major pest in agricultural landscapes, and the economic...

  3. Achieving production and conservation simultaneously in tropical agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Renwick, Anna R.; Vickery, Juliet A.; Potts, Simon G.;

    2014-01-01

    Increasing population size and demand for food in the developing world is driving the intensification of agriculture, often threatening the biodiversity within the farmland itself and in the surrounding landscape. This paper quantifies bird and tree species richness, tree carbon and farmer's gross...... for the rural populations, and ensuring ‘sustained agricultural growth’ within such systems while minimising negative impacts on biodiversity and other key ecosystem services will be a major future challenge....

  4. Predicting Ecosystem Alliances Using Landscape Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shruti Satsangi

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous articles in the TIM Review have covered various aspects of the concept of business ecosystems, from the types of ecosystems to keystone strategy, to different member roles and value co-creation. While there is no dearth of suggested best practices that organizations should follow as ecosystem members, it can be difficult to apply these insights into actionable steps for them to take. This is especially true when the ecosystem members already have a prior history of cooperation or competition with each other, as opposed to where a new ecosystem is created. Landscape theory, a political science approach to predicting coalition formation and strategic alliances, can be a useful complement to ecosystems studies by providing a tool to evaluate the best possible alliance options for an organization, given information about itself and the other companies in the system. As shown in the case study of mobile device manufacturers choosing platform providers in the mobile ecosystem, this tool is highly flexible and customizable, with more data providing a more accurate view of the alliances in the ecosystem. At the same time, with even basic parameters, companies can glean significant information about which coalitions will best serve their interest and overall standing within the ecosystem. This article shows the synergies between landscape theory and an ecosystems approach and offers a practical, actionable way in which to analyze individual member benefits.

  5. Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs Workshop Two: Agricultural Landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2015-08-01

    The Bioenergy Technologies Office hosted two workshops on Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs with Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories in 2014. The second workshop focused on agricultural landscapes and took place in Argonne, IL from June 24—26, 2014. The workshop brought together experts to discuss how landscape design can contribute to the deployment and assessment of sustainable bioenergy. This report summarizes the discussions that occurred at this particular workshop.

  6. Optimizing carbon storage and biodiversity protection in tropical agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilroy, James J; Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, Felicity A; Wheeler, Charlotte; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2014-07-01

    With the rapidly expanding ecological footprint of agriculture, the design of farmed landscapes will play an increasingly important role for both carbon storage and biodiversity protection. Carbon and biodiversity can be enhanced by integrating natural habitats into agricultural lands, but a key question is whether benefits are maximized by including many small features throughout the landscape ('land-sharing' agriculture) or a few large contiguous blocks alongside intensive farmland ('land-sparing' agriculture). In this study, we are the first to integrate carbon storage alongside multi-taxa biodiversity assessments to compare land-sparing and land-sharing frameworks. We do so by sampling carbon stocks and biodiversity (birds and dung beetles) in landscapes containing agriculture and forest within the Colombian Chocó-Andes, a zone of high global conservation priority. We show that woodland fragments embedded within a matrix of cattle pasture hold less carbon per unit area than contiguous primary or advanced secondary forests (>15 years). Farmland sites also support less diverse bird and dung beetle communities than contiguous forests, even when farmland retains high levels of woodland habitat cover. Landscape simulations based on these data suggest that land-sparing strategies would be more beneficial for both carbon storage and biodiversity than land-sharing strategies across a range of production levels. Biodiversity benefits of land-sparing are predicted to be similar whether spared lands protect primary or advanced secondary forests, owing to the close similarity of bird and dung beetle communities between the two forest classes. Land-sparing schemes that encourage the protection and regeneration of natural forest blocks thus provide a synergy between carbon and biodiversity conservation, and represent a promising strategy for reducing the negative impacts of agriculture on tropical ecosystems. However, further studies examining a wider range of ecosystem

  7. Optimizing carbon storage and biodiversity protection in tropical agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilroy, James J; Woodcock, Paul; Edwards, Felicity A; Wheeler, Charlotte; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2014-07-01

    With the rapidly expanding ecological footprint of agriculture, the design of farmed landscapes will play an increasingly important role for both carbon storage and biodiversity protection. Carbon and biodiversity can be enhanced by integrating natural habitats into agricultural lands, but a key question is whether benefits are maximized by including many small features throughout the landscape ('land-sharing' agriculture) or a few large contiguous blocks alongside intensive farmland ('land-sparing' agriculture). In this study, we are the first to integrate carbon storage alongside multi-taxa biodiversity assessments to compare land-sparing and land-sharing frameworks. We do so by sampling carbon stocks and biodiversity (birds and dung beetles) in landscapes containing agriculture and forest within the Colombian Chocó-Andes, a zone of high global conservation priority. We show that woodland fragments embedded within a matrix of cattle pasture hold less carbon per unit area than contiguous primary or advanced secondary forests (>15 years). Farmland sites also support less diverse bird and dung beetle communities than contiguous forests, even when farmland retains high levels of woodland habitat cover. Landscape simulations based on these data suggest that land-sparing strategies would be more beneficial for both carbon storage and biodiversity than land-sharing strategies across a range of production levels. Biodiversity benefits of land-sparing are predicted to be similar whether spared lands protect primary or advanced secondary forests, owing to the close similarity of bird and dung beetle communities between the two forest classes. Land-sparing schemes that encourage the protection and regeneration of natural forest blocks thus provide a synergy between carbon and biodiversity conservation, and represent a promising strategy for reducing the negative impacts of agriculture on tropical ecosystems. However, further studies examining a wider range of ecosystem

  8. Resilience of Amazonian landscapes to agricultural intensification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jakovac, C.C.

    2015-01-01

    ISBN: 978-94-6257-443-4 Author: Catarina C. Jakovac Title: Resilience of Amazonian landscapes to agricultural intensification Swidden cultivation is the traditional agricultural system in riverine Amazonia, which supports local livelihoods and trans

  9. Factors Affecting Water Dynamics and Their Assessment in Agricultural Landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The intensification and extension of agriculture have contributed significantly to the global food production in the last five decades. However, intensification without due attention to the ecosystem services and sustainability of soil and water resources contributed to land and water quality degradation such as soil erosion, decreased soil fertility and quality, salinization and nutrient discharge to surface and ground waters. Land use change from forests to crop lands altered the vegetation pattern and hydrology of landscapes with increased nutrient discharge from crop lands to riverine environment. Global climate change will increase the amount of water required for agriculture in addition to water needed for further irrigation development causing water scarcity in many dry, arid and semi-arid regions. The water and nutrient use efficiencies of agricultural production systems are still below 40% in many regions across the globe. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizer use in agriculture have accelerated the cycling of these nutrients in the landscape and contributed to water quality degradation. Such nutrient pollution has a wide array of consequences including eutrophication of inland waters and marine ecosystems. While intensifying drought conditions, increasing water consumption and environmental pollution in many parts of the world threatens agricultural productivity and livelihood, these also provided opportunities for farmers to use improved land and water management technologies and practices to make agriculture resilient to external shocks

  10. Types of agricultural landscape; 1 : 750 000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The nature of agricultural landscape is expressed by the length of vegetation period, variants of winter season, need of additional moisture, potential water erosion and chemistry of soils. Each unit is characterised by 35 indicators. Applying mathematical and statistical methods, the agricultural landscape of Slovakia was divided into 8 types by the length of vegetation period, 8 subtypes by the winter period, 8 wards by the need of additional moisture, 4 sub-wards by the potential water erosion, and 22 variants by the soil sorption saturation and chemistry. (authors)

  11. Agricultural landscapes as multi-scale public good and the role of the Common Agricultural Policy

    OpenAIRE

    LEFEBVRE MARIANNE; ESPINOSA GODED MARIA; GOMEZ Y PALOMA Sergio; PARACCHINI Maria-Luisa; Piorr, Annette; Zasada, Ingo

    2013-01-01

    Since 50 years, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has impacted the evolution of agricultural landscapes by driving changes in land use and farming practices in Europe. This viewpoint paper discusses to what extent the CAP does contribute to the management of EU agricultural landscapes. Agricultural landscapes are described as a multi-scale public good. We propose a typology characterizing the scales relevant for landscape management We argue that agricultural landscape planning requires ac...

  12. Experimental assessment of ecosystem services in agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandhu, Harpinder; Porter, John Roy; Wratten, Steve

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the resources and processes supplied by natural ecosystems which benefit humankind (for example, pollination of crops by insects, or water filtration by wetlands). They underpin life on earth, provide major inputs to many economic sectors and support our lifestyles....... Agricultural and urban areas are by far the largest users of ecosystems and their services and (for the first time) this book explores the role that ecosystem services play in these managed environments. The book also explores methods of evaluating ecosystem services, and discusses how these services can...

  13. Increasing corn for biofuel production reduces biocontrol services in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Landis, D.A.; Gardiner, M.M.; Werf, van der W.; Swinton, S.M.

    2008-01-01

    Increased demand for corn grain as an ethanol feedstock is altering U. S. agricultural landscapes and the ecosystem services they provide. From 2006 to 2007, corn acreage increased 19% nationally, resulting in reduced crop diversity in many areas. Biological control of insects is an ecosystem servic

  14. The Impact of Landscape Complexity on Invertebrate Diversity in Edges and Fields in an Agricultural Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Tracy R; Mahoney, Meredith J; Cashatt, Everett D; Noordijk, Jinze; de Snoo, Geert; Musters, C J M

    2016-01-01

    Invertebrate diversity is important for a multitude of ecosystem services and as a component of the larger ecological food web. A better understanding of the factors influencing invertebrate taxonomic richness and diversity at both local and landscape scales is important for conserving biodiversity within the agricultural landscape. The aim of this study was to determine if invertebrate richness and diversity in agricultural field interiors and edges in central Illinois, USA, were related to the complexity of the surrounding landscape. Our results show taxonomic richness and diversity in field edges is positively related to large scale landscape complexity, but the relationship is negative for field interiors. These unexpected results need further study.

  15. The Impact of Landscape Complexity on Invertebrate Diversity in Edges and Fields in an Agricultural Area

    OpenAIRE

    Tracy R. Evans; Mahoney, Meredith J.; Cashatt, Everett D.; Jinze Noordijk; Geert de Snoo; Musters, C. J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Invertebrate diversity is important for a multitude of ecosystem services and as a component of the larger ecological food web. A better understanding of the factors influencing invertebrate taxonomic richness and diversity at both local and landscape scales is important for conserving biodiversity within the agricultural landscape. The aim of this study was to determine if invertebrate richness and diversity in agricultural field interiors and edges in central Illinois, USA, were related to ...

  16. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-05-19

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  17. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  18. Use of agricultural landscape; 1 : 2 000 000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    On this map use of agricultural landscape on the territory of the Slovak Republic is presented. Use of agricultural landscape is expressed by the share of crop production and the rate of farm animals raised per area of agriculturally used land. The rate of agricultural production is represented by a system of points, which express the cost of the individual branches of production. (author)

  19. TMDL implementation in agricultural landscapes: a communicative and systemic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Nicholas R; Slotterback, Carissa Schively; Cadieux, Kirsten Valentine; Mulla, David J; Pitt, David G; Olabisi, Laura Schmitt; Kim, Jin-Oh

    2011-07-01

    Increasingly, total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits are being defined for agricultural watersheds. Reductions in non-point source pollution are often needed to meet TMDL limits, and improvements in management of annual crops appear insufficient to achieve the necessary reductions. Increased adoption of perennial crops and other changes in agricultural land use also appear necessary, but face major barriers. We outline a novel strategy that aims to create new economic opportunities for land-owners and other stakeholders and thereby to attract their voluntary participation in land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Our strategy has two key elements. First, focused efforts are needed to create new economic enterprises that capitalize on the productive potential of multifunctional agriculture (MFA). MFA seeks to produce a wide range of goods and ecosystem services by well-designed deployment of annual and perennial crops across agricultural landscapes and watersheds; new revenue from MFA may substantially finance land-use change needed to meet TMDLs. Second, efforts to capitalize on MFA should use a novel methodology, the Communicative/Systemic Approach (C/SA). C/SA uses an integrative GIS-based spatial modeling framework for systematically assessing tradeoffs and synergies in design and evaluation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes, closely linked to deliberation and design processes by which multiple stakeholders can collaboratively create appropriate and acceptable MFA landscape designs. We anticipate that application of C/SA will strongly accelerate TMDL implementation, by aligning the interests of multiple stakeholders whose active support is needed to change agricultural land use and thereby meet TMDL goals.

  20. Monitoring of Agricultural Landscape in Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallin, H. G.; Engan, G.

    2012-07-01

    An overall societal aim is to ensure a sustainable use and management of agricultural landscapes. This requires continuous delivery of reliable and up-to-date information to decision-makers. To be able to deliver this information, a monitoring program for agricultural landscapes was initiated in Norway 13 years ago. The program documents and reports on land use / land cover changes from data captured through interpretation of true colour aerial photos using stereo instruments. The monitoring programme is based on a sample of 1000 squares of 1 × 1 km and the entire sample of squares is photographed over a five-year period. Each square is then mapped repeatedly every fifth year to record changes. Aerial photo interpretation is based on a custom classification system which is built up hierarchically, with three levels. The first level comprises seven land type classes: Agricultural land, Bare ground, Semi-natural open vegetation, Unforested wetland vegetation, Forest, Urban areas and Water. These land classes are further divided into 24 land types at level two, and approximately 100 land types at level 3. In addition to land type units we map both line elements like stone fences and point elements like buildings and solitary threes. By use of indicators that describe status and change focusing on themes of particular policy interest, we can report on whether policy aims are being fulfilled or not. Four indicator themes have been in focus hitherto: landscape spatial structure, biological diversity, cultural heritage and accessibility. Our data is stored in databases and most of the data quality check/structure process and analyses are now being made in open source software like PostGIS and PostSQL. To assess the accuracy of the photo-interpretation, ground truthing is carried out on 10 % of the squares. The results of this operation document the benefits of having access to photos of the same area from two different years. The program is designed first and foremost to

  1. Exploring ecosystem-change and society through a landscape lens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Kizos, Thanasis; Bieling, Claudia;

    2015-01-01

    and society, considering nested multiscale dynamics of social-ecological systems; the stewardship of these systems and their ecosystem services; and the relationships between ecosystem services, human well-being, wealth, and poverty. Our synthesis highlights that knowledge about past and current landscape...... patterns, processes, and dynamics provides guidance for developing visions to support the sustainable stewardship of social-ecological systems under future conditions....... for landscape research. We review and synthesize findings from six important areas of landscape research in Europe and discuss how these findings may advance the study of ecosystem change and society and its thematic key priorities. These six areas are: (1) linkages between people and the environment...

  2. Landscape patterns and soil organic carbon stocks in agricultural bocage landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viaud, Valérie; Lacoste, Marine; Michot, Didier; Walter, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) has a crucial impact on global carbon storage at world scale. SOC spatial variability is controlled by the landscape patterns resulting from the continuous interactions between the physical environment and the society. Natural and anthropogenic processes occurring and interplaying at the landscape scale, such as soil redistribution in the lateral and vertical dimensions by tillage and water erosion processes or spatial differentiation of land-use and land-management practices, strongly affect SOC dynamics. Inventories of SOC stocks, reflecting their spatial distribution, are thus key elements to develop relevant management strategies to improving carbon sequestration and mitigating climate change and soil degradation. This study aims to quantify SOC stocks and their spatial distribution in a 1,000-ha agricultural bocage landscape with dairy production as dominant farming system (Zone Atelier Armorique, LTER Europe, NW France). The site is characterized by high heterogeneity on short distance due to a high diversity of soils with varying waterlogging, soil parent material, topography, land-use and hedgerow density. SOC content and stocks were measured up to 105-cm depth in 200 sampling locations selected using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling. Additive sampling was designed to specifically explore SOC distribution near to hedges: 112 points were sampled at fixed distance on 14 transects perpendicular from hedges. We illustrate the heterogeneity of spatial and vertical distribution of SOC stocks at landscape scale, and quantify SOC stocks in the various landscape components. Using multivariate statistics, we discuss the variability and co-variability of existing spatial organization of cropping systems, environmental factors, and SOM stocks, over landscape. Ultimately, our results may contribute to improving regional or national digital soil mapping approaches, by considering the distribution of SOC stocks within each modeling unit and

  3. Time, Space and the History of Agricultural Landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenningsen, Stig Roar; Aagaard Christensen, Andreas

    Agricultural land use constitutes one of the main forces of anthropogenic change in most European countries, especially since the agricultural reforms in the beginning of the 19 th century. Researching the history of these landscapes is an important task in the present European environmental...... to the physical structure of landscapes has a fixed temporal nature depicting the landscape at time of record, often at different spatial scales. This creates a challenge for Environmental history of European agricultural landscapes to produce a framework, which can incorporate these differences in temporal...... and spatial scales together with traditional written sources. This paper investigates the potential of sources to the environmental history of the agricultural landscape across different spatial and temporal scales in a small case study of the landscape history of five parishes in Jutland, Denmark. The paper...

  4. Spatial Analysis of Agricultural Landscape and Hymenoptera Biodiversity at Cianjur Watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YAHERWANDI

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Hymenoptera is one of the four largest insect order (the other three are Coleoptera, Diptera, and Lepidoptera. There are curerently over 115 000 described Hymenoptera species. It is clear that Hymenoptera is one of the major components of insect biodiversity. However, Hymenoptera biodiversity is affected by ecology, environment, and ecosystem management. In an agricultural areas, the spatial structure, habitat diversity, and habitat composition may vary from cleared landscapes to structurally rich landscape. Thus, it is very likely that such large-scale spatial patterns (landscape effects may influence local biodiversity and ecological functions. Therefore, the objective of this research were to study diversity and configuration elements of agricultural landscapes at Cianjur Watershed with geographical information sytems (GIS and its influence on Hymenoptera biodiversity. The structural differences between agricultural landscapes of Nyalindung, Gasol, and Selajambe were characterized by patch analyst with ArcView 3.2 of digital land use data. Results indicated that class of land uses of Cianjur Watershed landscape were housing, mixed gardens, talun and rice, vegetable, and corn fields. Landscape structure influenced the biodiversity of Hymenoptera. Species richness and the species diversity were higher in Nyalindung landscape compare to Gasol and Selajambe landscape.

  5. Monitoring the agricultural landscape for insect resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Joseph; Glaser, J. A.; Copenhaver, Ken

    Farmers in 25 countries on six continents are using plant biotechnology to solve difficult crop production challenges and conserve the environment. In fact, 13.3 million farmers, which include 90 percent of the farming in developing countries, choose to plant biotech crops. Over the past decade, farmers increased area planted in genetically modified (GM) crops by more than 10 percent each year, thus increasing their farm income by more than 44 billion US dollars (1996-2007), and achieved economic, environmental and social benefits in crops such as soybeans, canola, corn and cotton. To date, total acres of biotech crops harvested exceed more than 2 billion with a proven 13-year history of safe use. Over the next decade, expanded adoption combined with current research on 57 crops in 63 countries will broaden the advantages of genetically modified foods for growers, consumers and the environment. Genetically modified (GM) crops with the ability to produce toxins lethal to specific insect pests are covering a larger percentage of the agricultural landscape every year. The United States department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that 63 percent of corn and 65 percent of cotton contained these specific genetic traits in 2009. The toxins could protect billions of dollars of loss from insect damage for crops valued at greater than 165 billion US dollars in 2008. The stable and efficient production of these crops has taken on even more importance in recent years with their use, not only as a food source, but now also a source of fuel. It is in the best interest of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to ensure the continued efficacy of toxin producing GM crops as their use reduces pesticides harmful to humans and animals. However, population genetics models have indicated the risk of insect pests developing resistance to these toxins if a high percentage of acreage is grown in these crops. The USEPA is developing methods to monitor the agricultural

  6. Measuring and monitoring linear woody features in agricultural landscapes through earth observation data as an indicator of habitat availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasher, J.; McGovern, M.; Putinski, V.

    2016-02-01

    The loss of natural habitats and the loss of biological diversity is a global problem affecting all ecosystems including agricultural landscapes. Indicators of biodiversity can provide standardized measures that make it easier to compare and communicate changes to an ecosystem. In agricultural landscapes the amount and variety of available habitat is directly correlated with biodiversity levels. Linear woody features (LWF), including hedgerows, windbreaks, shelterbelts as well as woody shrubs along fields, roads and watercourses, play a vital role in supporting biodiversity as well as serving a wide variety of other purposes in the ecosystem. Earth observation can be used to quantify and monitor LWF across the landscape. While individual features can be manually mapped, this research focused on the development of methods using line intersect sampling (LIS) for estimating LWF as an indicator of habitat availability in agricultural landscapes. The methods are accurate, efficient, repeatable and provide robust results. Methods were tested over 9.5 Mha of agricultural landscape in the Canadian Mixedwood Plains ecozone. Approximately 97,000 km of LWF were estimated across this landscape with results useable both at a regional reporting scale, as well as mapped across space for use in wildlife habitat modelling or other landscape management research. The LIS approach developed here could be employed at a variety of scales in particular for large regions and could be adapted for use as a national scale indicator of habitat availability in heavily disturbed agricultural landscape.

  7. Land use and agriculture sustainability: does landscape matter?

    OpenAIRE

    Ferrari, Sylvie

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we focus on showing how landscape can play a role in the sustainability of agricultural activities and what conditions have to be required to consider landscape as a sustainable output in this way. Nowadays, agricultural policies in Europe attach a growing importance to the direct management by agricultural producers of the countryside. This actual trend emphasizes the role of non-commodity outputs in the production process, with respect to the multifunctional nature of agricul...

  8. On New Landscape Agriculture in Yunnan Flatland Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chao; YANG; Wufu; QI; Qun; LIU

    2014-01-01

    With the support of national policy of building Yunnan into a gateway in China’s opening up to the Southwest,Yunnan Province offered the great opportunity for second time of starting an undertaking for tourism,and the landscape agriculture welcomes a new development opportunity. On the basis of regional natural and cultural resources,Yunnan Province has created diversified agricultural operating types and colorful farming culture. Thus,it has significant comparative advantage in developing the landscape agriculture,but it should avoid homogeneous competition in construction methods. The landscape agriculture of Yunnan Province should set foot on special features of rural landscape,stick to its " local characteristics",raise core competitiveness of characteristic landscape,and take the ecological and characteristic development road.

  9. Pedo-environmental evolution and agricultural landscape transformation

    OpenAIRE

    Gilmo Vianello; Livia Vittori Antisari

    2009-01-01

    Landscapes represent the stage setting of the ecosystem, the great theatre where the evolution of the environment, the changing of things and plant and animal life are played out; the diversity of landscapes derives from the combination, over time, of different environmental factors having perceptibly different roles, as in the case of climate, vegetation and human activity. Less perceptible and scarcely known is the role of soil, which has the ability not only to diversify the ecosystem&rsq...

  10. Perennial grasslands enhance biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services in bioenergy landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werling, Ben P; Dickson, Timothy L; Isaacs, Rufus; Gaines, Hannah; Gratton, Claudio; Gross, Katherine L; Liere, Heidi; Malmstrom, Carolyn M; Meehan, Timothy D; Ruan, Leilei; Robertson, Bruce A; Robertson, G Philip; Schmidt, Thomas M; Schrotenboer, Abbie C; Teal, Tracy K; Wilson, Julianna K; Landis, Douglas A

    2014-01-28

    Agriculture is being challenged to provide food, and increasingly fuel, for an expanding global population. Producing bioenergy crops on marginal lands--farmland suboptimal for food crops--could help meet energy goals while minimizing competition with food production. However, the ecological costs and benefits of growing bioenergy feedstocks--primarily annual grain crops--on marginal lands have been questioned. Here we show that perennial bioenergy crops provide an alternative to annual grains that increases biodiversity of multiple taxa and sustain a variety of ecosystem functions, promoting the creation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes. We found that switchgrass and prairie plantings harbored significantly greater plant, methanotrophic bacteria, arthropod, and bird diversity than maize. Although biomass production was greater in maize, all other ecosystem services, including methane consumption, pest suppression, pollination, and conservation of grassland birds, were higher in perennial grasslands. Moreover, we found that the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem services is dependent not only on the choice of bioenergy crop but also on its location relative to other habitats, with local landscape context as important as crop choice in determining provision of some services. Our study suggests that bioenergy policy that supports coordinated land use can diversify agricultural landscapes and sustain multiple critical ecosystem services.

  11. The Impact of Landscape Complexity on Invertebrate Diversity in Edges and Fields in an Agricultural Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracy R. Evans

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Invertebrate diversity is important for a multitude of ecosystem services and as a component of the larger ecological food web. A better understanding of the factors influencing invertebrate taxonomic richness and diversity at both local and landscape scales is important for conserving biodiversity within the agricultural landscape. The aim of this study was to determine if invertebrate richness and diversity in agricultural field interiors and edges in central Illinois, USA, were related to the complexity of the surrounding landscape. Our results show taxonomic richness and diversity in field edges is positively related to large scale landscape complexity, but the relationship is negative for field interiors. These unexpected results need further study.

  12. Modeling of pesticide emissions from agricultural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Rong

    2012-04-01

    Pesticides are applied to crops and soils to improve agricultural yields, but the use of pesticides has become highly regulated because of concerns about their adverse effects on human health and environment. Estimating pesticide emission rates from soils and crops is a key component for risk assessment for pesticide registration, identification of pesticide sources to the contamination of sensitive ecosystems, and appreciation of transport and fate of pesticides in the environment. Pesticide emission rates involve processes occurring in the soil, in the atmosphere, and on vegetation surfaces and are highly dependent on soil texture, agricultural practices, and meteorology, which vary significantly with location and/or time. To take all these factors into account for simulating pesticide emissions from large agricultural ecosystems, this study coupled a comprehensive meteorological model with a dynamic pesticide emission model. The combined model calculates hourly emission rates from both emission sources: current applications and soil residues resulting from historical use. The coupled modeling system is used to compute a gridded (36 × 36 km) hourly toxaphene emission inventory for North America for the year 2000 using a published U.S. toxaphene residue inventory and a Mexican toxaphene residue inventory developed using its historical application rates and a cropland inventory. To my knowledge, this is the first such hourly toxaphene emission inventory for North America. Results show that modeled emission rates have strong diurnal and seasonal variations at a given location and over the entire domain. The simulated total toxaphene emission from contaminated agricultural soils in North America in 2000 was about 255 t, which compares reasonably well to a published annual estimate. Most emissions occur in spring and summer, with domain-wide emission rates in April, May and, June of 36, 51, and 35 t/month, respectively. The spatial distribution of emissions depends

  13. From climate-smart agriculture to climate-smart landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Scherr Sara J; Shames Seth; Friedman Rachel

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background For agricultural systems to achieve climate-smart objectives, including improved food security and rural livelihoods as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation, they often need to be take a landscape approach; they must become ‘climate-smart landscapes’. Climate-smart landscapes operate on the principles of integrated landscape management, while explicitly incorporating adaptation and mitigation into their management objectives. Results An assessment of climate ch...

  14. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Heim

    Full Text Available Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany. Using spatial analysis (GIS, we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water. In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers. Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the

  15. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  16. From climate-smart agriculture to climate-smart landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scherr Sara J

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For agricultural systems to achieve climate-smart objectives, including improved food security and rural livelihoods as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation, they often need to be take a landscape approach; they must become ‘climate-smart landscapes’. Climate-smart landscapes operate on the principles of integrated landscape management, while explicitly incorporating adaptation and mitigation into their management objectives. Results An assessment of climate change dynamics related to agriculture suggests that three key features characterize a climate-smart landscape: climate-smart practices at the field and farm scale; diversity of land use across the landscape to provide resilience; and management of land use interactions at landscape scale to achieve social, economic and ecological impacts. To implement climate-smart agricultural landscapes with these features (that is, to successfully promote and sustain them over time, in the context of dynamic economic, social, ecological and climate conditions requires several institutional mechanisms: multi-stakeholder planning, supportive landscape governance and resource tenure, spatially-targeted investment in the landscape that supports climate-smart objectives, and tracking change to determine if social and climate goals are being met at different scales. Examples of climate-smart landscape initiatives in Madagascar’s Highlands, the African Sahel and Australian Wet Tropics illustrate the application of these elements in contrasting contexts. Conclusions To achieve climate-smart landscape initiatives widely and at scale will require strengthened technical capacities, institutions and political support for multi-stakeholder planning, governance, spatial targeting of investments and multi-objective impact monitoring.

  17. Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Transforming Landscape in Northern Borneo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Labrière

    Full Text Available Because industrial agriculture keeps expanding in Southeast Asia at the expense of natural forests and traditional swidden systems, comparing biodiversity and ecosystem services in the traditional forest-swidden agriculture system vs. monocultures is needed to guide decision making on land-use planning. Focusing on tree diversity, soil erosion control, and climate change mitigation through carbon storage, we surveyed vegetation and monitored soil loss in various land-use areas in a northern Bornean agricultural landscape shaped by swidden agriculture, rubber tapping, and logging, where various levels and types of disturbance have created a fine mosaic of vegetation from food crop fields to natural forest. Tree species diversity and ecosystem service production were highest in natural forests. Logged-over forests produced services similar to those of natural forests. Land uses related to the swidden agriculture system largely outperformed oil palm or rubber monocultures in terms of tree species diversity and service production. Natural and logged-over forests should be maintained or managed as integral parts of the swidden system, and landscape multifunctionality should be sustained. Because natural forests host a unique diversity of trees and produce high levels of ecosystem services, targeting carbon stock protection, e.g. through financial mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+, will synergistically provide benefits for biodiversity and a wide range of other services. However, the way such mechanisms could benefit communities must be carefully evaluated to counter the high opportunity cost of conversion to monocultures that might generate greater income, but would be detrimental to the production of multiple ecosystem services.

  18. Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Transforming Landscape in Northern Borneo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labrière, Nicolas; Laumonier, Yves; Locatelli, Bruno; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Comptour, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Because industrial agriculture keeps expanding in Southeast Asia at the expense of natural forests and traditional swidden systems, comparing biodiversity and ecosystem services in the traditional forest-swidden agriculture system vs. monocultures is needed to guide decision making on land-use planning. Focusing on tree diversity, soil erosion control, and climate change mitigation through carbon storage, we surveyed vegetation and monitored soil loss in various land-use areas in a northern Bornean agricultural landscape shaped by swidden agriculture, rubber tapping, and logging, where various levels and types of disturbance have created a fine mosaic of vegetation from food crop fields to natural forest. Tree species diversity and ecosystem service production were highest in natural forests. Logged-over forests produced services similar to those of natural forests. Land uses related to the swidden agriculture system largely outperformed oil palm or rubber monocultures in terms of tree species diversity and service production. Natural and logged-over forests should be maintained or managed as integral parts of the swidden system, and landscape multifunctionality should be sustained. Because natural forests host a unique diversity of trees and produce high levels of ecosystem services, targeting carbon stock protection, e.g. through financial mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), will synergistically provide benefits for biodiversity and a wide range of other services. However, the way such mechanisms could benefit communities must be carefully evaluated to counter the high opportunity cost of conversion to monocultures that might generate greater income, but would be detrimental to the production of multiple ecosystem services. PMID:26466120

  19. Comparative biodiversity along a gradient of agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burel, Françoise; Baudry, Jacques; Butet, Alain; Clergeau, Philippe; Delettre, Yannick; Le Coeur, Didier; Dubs, Florence; Morvan, Nathalie; Paillat, Gilles; Petit, Sandrine; Thenail, Claudine; Brunel, Etienne; Lefeuvre, Jean-Claude

    1998-02-01

    The aim of this study is to compare biodiversity in contrasted landscape units within a small region. In western France agricultural intensification leads to changes in landscape structure: permanent grasslands are ploughed, fields enlarged and surrounding hedgerows removed or deteriorated, brooks are straightened and cleaned. South of Mont Saint Michel Bay, four landscape units have been identified along an intensification gradient. Several taxonomic groups (small mammals, birds, insects and plants) have been used to evaluate the characteristics of biodiversity along this gradient. The hypothesis that intensification of agricultural practices lead to changes in biodiversity has been tested. Biodiversity is measured by the species richness, Shannon's diversity index, equitability and similarity indexes. Our results show that intensification of agriculture does not always lead to a decrease in species richness, but to several functional responses according to taxonomic groups, either no modification, or stability by replacement of species, or loss of species. For most of the studied taxonomic groups species richness does not vary greatly along the gradient. Depending on the landscape structure and farming systems this gradient is probably truncated and does not allow to show major changes in species richness. An alternative hypothesis is that used indexes are not sensitive enough to reveal changes in biodiversity. Nevertheless, similarity indexes reveal that sensitivity to changes varies, invertebrates being more likely to perceive the dynamics of the landscapes studied than vertebrates or plants. These points have to be taken into consideration when elaborating policies for sustainable agriculture or nature conservation.

  20. Forest floor spiders of woodlots in an agricultural landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mabelis, A.

    1996-01-01

    An inventory of spiders was made in woodlots, which are situated in an agricultural landscape in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Aim of the study was to test the hypotheses that good dispersers, like spiders, will be distributed randomly over habitat patches and consequently, that there will be

  1. Habitat connectivity and fragmented nuthatch populations in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.

    1999-01-01

    In agricultural landscapes, the habitat of many species is subject to fragmentation. When the habitat of a species is fragmented and the distances between patches of habitat are large relative to the movement distances of the species, it can be expected that the degree of habitat connectivity affect

  2. Shifting Restoration Policy to Address Landscape Change, Novel Ecosystems, and Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Doherty

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Policy to guide ecological restoration needs to aim toward minimizing the causes of ecosystem degradation; where causes cannot be eliminated or minimized, policy needs to shift toward accommodating irreversible landscape alterations brought about by climate change, nitrogen deposition, altered hydrology, degraded soil, and declining biodiversity. The degree to which lost diversity and ecosystem services can be recovered depends on the extent and nature of landscape change. For wetlands that occur at the base of watersheds that have been developed for agriculture or urban centers, the inflows of excess water, sediment, and nutrients can be permanent and can severely challenge efforts to restore historical services, including biodiversity support. In such cases, the historical state of downstream wetlands will not be completely restorable. Wetland restoration policy should promote watershed planning, wherein wetland and upland restoration is prioritized to achieve multiple, specific ecosystem services. For downstream wetlands, it is realistic to aim to enhance nitrogen removal and to establish native plants that are matrix dominants, namely, those that facilitate rather than displace other natives. More ambitious objectives such as maximizing diversity would be suitable for less-altered, upstream wetlands. Policy should also call for adaptive restoration and long-term assessments. For large sites and multiple sites of a given wetland type within a region, experimental tests can determine a wetland’s ability to support high levels of ecosystem services. Once projects are underway, long-term monitoring of structural and functional indicators can characterize progress toward each objective. Managers can then learn which targets are unachievable based on data, not just opinion. Where an experimental treatment shows limited progress, practitioners would shift to more promising treatments and targets, thereby adapting restoration efforts to changing

  3. Using ecosystem services in community-based landscape planning: science is not ready to deliver

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Opdam, P.F.M.

    2013-01-01

    Community-based landscape governance is considered as conditional to achieving sustainable landscape. I consider landscape governance from the point of view of adapting landscapes to create value out of ecosystem services, using the social–ecological system model as a theoretical framework. I advoca

  4. Influence of regions, land uses and soil properties on termite and ant communities in agricultural landscapes of the Colombian Llanos

    OpenAIRE

    Sanabria, Catalina; Dubs, Florence; Lavelle, Patrick; Fonte, Steven J.; Barot, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    International audience Ants and termites, as soil engineers, provide many ecosystem services that can be important for the sustainability of agriculture. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of land use on ant and termite communities in Colombian savanna landscapes, and to assess whether this impact is associated with the modification of soil physical and chemical properties. Ants and termites were sampled in five different agricultural and semi-natural systems across three reg...

  5. Patterns and drivers of scattered tree loss in agricultural landscapes:Orchard meadows in Germany (1968-2009)

    OpenAIRE

    Tobias Plieninger; Christian Levers; Martin Mantel; Augusta Costa; Harald Schaich; Tobias Kuemmerle

    2015-01-01

    Scattered trees support high levels of farmland biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, but they are threatened by agricultural intensification, urbanization, and land abandonment. This study aimed to map and quantify the decline of orchard meadows (scattered fruit trees of high nature conservation value) for a region in Southwestern Germany for the 1968 2009 period and to identify the driving forces of this decline. We derived orchard meadow loss from 1968 and 2009 ae...

  6. Pedo-environmental evolution and agricultural landscape transformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilmo Vianello

    Full Text Available Landscapes represent the stage setting of the ecosystem, the great theatre where the evolution of the environment, the changing of things and plant and animal life are played out; the diversity of landscapes derives from the combination, over time, of different environmental factors having perceptibly different roles, as in the case of climate, vegetation and human activity. Less perceptible and scarcely known is the role of soil, which has the ability not only to diversify the ecosystem’s landscapes but also to differentiate its level of productivity and liveability. The role of soil as part of the landscape is not always so evident, especially when it is covered by vegetation that precludes observation. At times, however, soils show themselves conspicuously, at least on the surface, when the colours of the epipedons invade the landscape and – in the ploughing season – dominate it. While it may be reassuring to see neatly cultivated fields and crops growing luxuriantly and homogeneously, the increasingly marked and evident signs of soil degradation or erosion are a cause for concern. In the recent past, the relationship between man and soil resources was strongly influenced by natural factors inside and outside the soil itself, socio-economic conditions and above all the labour force, i.e. the people employed in the primary sector; consequently, it was based on such factors that crop-growing choices were adapted to the different ecosystems, resulting in a diversification of rural landscapes. Starting from the second half of the twentieth century, the introduction of chemicals, mechanisation and exploitation of various forms of energy drastically transformed land use in the space of just a few years, with a logic aimed at improving the production capacity of farmland and forest land in both qualitative and quantitative terms. As a consequence, farming choices that were formerly adapted to the natural and socio-economic conditions of

  7. Investigating biodiversity trajectories using scenarios--lessons from two contrasting agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindborg, Regina; Stenseke, Marie; Cousins, Sara A O; Bengtsson, Jan; Berg, Ake; Gustafsson, Tomas; Sjödin, N Erik; Eriksson, Ove

    2009-01-01

    Agriculture is the major land use at a global scale. In addition to food production, multifunctionality of landscapes, including values and ecosystem services like biodiversity, recreation and culture, is now focus for management. This study explores how a scenario approach, involving different stakeholders, may help to improve landscape management for biodiversity conservation. Local farmers and executives at the County Administrative Board were invited to discuss rural development and conditions for farmland biodiversity in two Swedish landscapes. The potential biodiversity for three future land use scenarios for the two landscapes was discussed: nature conservation, outdoor recreation and energy production, and compared with current and historical landscapes in each region. Analyses of habitat areas, connectedness and landscape diversity suggested that the energy and recreation scenarios had a negative impact on farmland biodiversity, whereas the nature conservation scenario, the current and historically reconstructed landscapes had a higher potential for biodiversity. The farmers appreciated the nature conservation scenario, but also the energy production scenario and they highlighted the need of increased subsidies for management of biodiversity. The farmers in the high production area were less interested in nature quality per se. The executives had similar opinions as the farmers, but disagreed on the advantages with energy production, as this would be in conflict with the high biodiversity and recreational values. The local physical and socio-economical conditions differ between landscapes and potentially shaped the stakeholders emotional attachment to the local environment, their opinions and decisions on how to manage the land. We stress the importance of incorporating local knowledge, visions and regional prerequisites for different land uses in conservation, since site and landscape specific planning for biodiversity together with a flexible subsidy

  8. Historical structure of agricultural landscape - part of the village Hrinova

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The landscape segment represents what is now a rare relict of historical structures of agricultural landscape with hamlet type of settlement typical for the Carpathian area of Slovakia. The secondary landscape structure (land cover) is represented here by the typical historical landscape, (farm) structures of terraced fields. As much as 639 plots can be found here on an area of one square kilometre. They are arranged in a specific fan-shaped patterns. Scattered houses of the hamlet with a network of narrow lanes and roads represent the settlement structure. The ground plan of the settlement is a mosaic of semi-closed yards with houses and farm buildings. Woody vegetation of other than forest nature forms prevailingly linear micro-structures. The original combination of landscape phenomena creates the regionally specific landscape type/variety. The silhouette of the massif of the Polana Mt. and its side ridges with the regular arrangement of the hamlets and microstructures of seams of the fields creates the visually distinct profound relief zones. The foreland of the Polana Mt. and the bottom of the Zvolenska kotlina Basin with the concentrated settlements of Detva and Hrinova lie in the foreground. The Polana Mt. itself is one of the important symbols of Slovakia. Traditions and folklore complete the overall image of the region. (author)

  9. Agriculture and land management: the landscape monitoring system in Tuscany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Marinai

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available With respect to the reduced weight in the Gross National Product (GDP and the continuous decrease in manpower which has been recorded in the last decades, an important role is recognized to the rural sector in the current developmetn model which justify the heavy financial committment of Europe and Italy to sustain european agriculture.Within this role, land preservation has an important role for the sector competitiveness, the rural space quality and the citizen’s life quality, and this role is nowadays recognized even by the politics for landscape defined for the Piano strategico nazionale 2007-20131. Both action definitions and planning and development of landscape resources firstly require to define landscape monitoring systems pointing out trends, and critical and strength points represented by the great historical and environmental differences of Italian landscapes. This study is a synthesis of the results from a 5 year project aimed to the definition of a landscape monitoring system in Tuscany, ranging from 1800 and 2000 and based on study areas covering around 1% of the regional territory, which will soon be implemented. The first recorded results show a strong decrease of landscape diversity (40-50% in the investigated time period. This study want to be an example for the implementation of the future monitoring system of this resource.

  10. Functional traits in agriculture: agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Stephen A; Karp, Daniel S; DeClerck, Fabrice; Kremen, Claire; Naeem, Shahid; Palm, Cheryl A

    2015-09-01

    Functional trait research has led to greater understanding of the impacts of biodiversity in ecosystems. Yet, functional trait approaches have not been widely applied to agroecosystems and understanding of the importance of agrobiodiversity remains limited to a few ecosystem processes and services. To improve this understanding, we argue here for a functional trait approach to agroecology that adopts recent advances in trait research for multitrophic and spatially heterogeneous ecosystems. We suggest that trait values should be measured across environmental conditions and agricultural management regimes to predict how ecosystem services vary with farm practices and environment. This knowledge should be used to develop management strategies that can be easily implemented by farmers to manage agriculture to provide multiple ecosystem services.

  11. Ecosystem and Social Construction: an Interdisciplinary Case Study of the Shurkul Lake Landscape in Khorezm, Uzbekistan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bashorat Ismailova

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Transformation of the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan from forested to agricultural landscapes resulted in the formation of hundreds of lakes, the dynamics of which are largely controlled by inputs from irrigation runoff waters. The importance of the ecological and socio-cultural dimensions of one of these lakes, Shurkul, is discussed in order to understand the connection between humans and their environment. Landscape is used as a boundary concept, and we combine quantitative methods of the natural sciences with qualitative methods of the social sciences to assess these dimensions of the lake landscape. In the ecological dimension, Shurkul performs a wide range of ecosystem services from wildlife habitat and foodweb support to the provision of fish, fodder, building material and grazing ground. In the socio-cultural dimension, the lake is part of local ecological knowledge, functions as a prestige object and recreational site, and is rooted in religious beliefs of the population as a symbol of God's benevolence. The Shurkul landscape may thus create a feeling of environmental connectedness and the desire to act in favor of the natural environment, which could be made use of in environmental education programs.

  12. Conservation of Agroecosystem through Utilization of Parasitoid Diversity: Lesson for Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Ecosystem Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DAMAYANTI BUCHORI

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available For many years, agricultural intensification and exploitation has resulted in biodiversity loss and threaten ecosystem functioning. Developing strategies to bridge human needs and ecosystem health for harmonization of ecosystem is a major concern for ecologist and agriculturist. The lack of information on species diversity of natural enemies and how to utilize them with integration of habitat management that can renovate ecological process was the main obstacle. Parasitoids, a group of natural enemies, play a very important role in regulating insect pest population. During the last ten years, we have been working on exploration of parasitoid species richness, how to use it to restore ecosystem functions, and identifying key factors influencing host-parasitoid interaction. Here, we propose a model of habitat management that is capable of maintaining agricultural biodiversity and ecosystem functions. We present data on parasitoid species richness and distribution in Java and Sumatera, their population structure and its impact toward biological control, relationship between habitat complexes and parasitoid community, spatial and temporal dynamic of parasitoid diversity, and food web in agricultural landscape. Implications of our findings toward conservation of agroecosystem are discussed.

  13. Valuing ecosystem services in community-based landscape planning: introducing a wellbeing-based approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, J.; Opdam, P.F.M.

    2014-01-01

    The challenge of incorporating the concept of ecosystem services in landscape planning has been widely acknowledged, yet values of ecosystem services are not well considered in current landscape planning and environmental governance. This is particularly the case when local stakeholders are strongly

  14. Technical Report: Investigation of Carbon Cycle Processes within a Managed Landscape: An Ecosystem Manipulation and Isotope Tracer Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Griffis, Timothy J; Baker, John M; Billmark, Kaycie

    2009-06-01

    The goal of this research is to provide a better scientific understanding of carbon cycle processes within an agricultural landscape characteristic of the Upper Midwest. This project recognizes the need to study processes at multiple spatial and temporal scales to reduce uncertainty in ecosystem and landscape-scale carbon budgets to provide a sound basis for shaping future policy related to carbon management. Specifically, this project has attempted to answer the following questions: 1. Would the use of cover crops result in a shift from carbon neutral to significant carbon gain in corn-soybean rotation ecosystems of the Upper Midwest? 2. Can stable carbon isotope analyses be used to partition ecosystem respiration into its autotrophic and heterotrophic components? 3. Can this partitioning be used to better understand the fate of crop residues to project changes in the soil carbon reservoir? 4. Are agricultural ecosystems of the Upper Midwest carbon neutral, sinks, or sources? Can the proposed measurement and modeling framework help address landscape-scale carbon budget uncertainties and help guide future carbon management policy?

  15. Bedrock composition limits mountain ecosystem productivity and landscape evolution (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riebe, C. S.; Hahm, W.; Lukens, C.

    2013-12-01

    We used measurements of bedrock geochemistry, forest productivity and cosmogenic nuclides to explore connections among lithology, ecosystem productivity and landscape evolution across a lithosequence of 21 sites in the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California. Our sites span a narrow range in elevations and thus share similar climatic conditions. Meanwhile, underlying bedrock varies from granite to diorite and spans nearly the entire range of geochemical compositions observed in Cordilleran granitoids. Land cover varies markedly, from groves of Giant Sequoia, the largest trees on Earth, to pluton-spanning swaths of little or no soil and vegetative cover. This is closely reflected in measures of forest productivity, such as remotely sensed tree-canopy cover, which varies by more than an order of magnitude across our sites and often changes abruptly at mapped contacts between rock types. We find that tree-canopy cover is closely correlated with the concentrations in bedrock of major and minor elements, including several plant-essential nutrients. For example, tree-canopy cover is virtually zero where there is less than 0.3 mg/g phosphorus in bedrock. Erosion rates from these nearly vegetation-free, nutrient deserts are more than 2.5 times slower on average than they are from surrounding, relatively nutrient-rich, soil-mantled bedrock. Thus by influencing soil and forest cover, bedrock nutrient concentrations may provoke weathering-limited erosion and thus may strongly regulate landscape evolution. Our analysis suggests that variations in bedrock nutrient concentrations can also provoke an intrinsic limitation on primary productivity. These limitations appear to apply across all our sites. To the extent that they are broadly representative of conditions in granitic landscapes elsewhere around the world, our results are consistent with widespread, but previously undocumented lithologic control of the distribution and diversity of vegetation in mountainous terrain.

  16. The role of cultural ecosystem services in landscape management and planning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Bieling, Claudia; Fagerholm, Nora;

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing concern that the ecosystem services approach puts emphasis on optimizing a small number of services, which may jeopardize environmental sustainability. One potential solution is to bring cultural ecosystem services more strongly into the foreground. We synthesize recent...... empirical evidence and assess what consideration of cultural ecosystem services adds to landscape management and planning. In general, cultural ecosystem services incentivize the multifunctionality of landscapes. However, depending on context, cultural ecosystem services can either encourage the maintenance...... of valuable landscapes or act as barriers to necessary innovation and transformation. Hence, cultural ecosystems services are not uncontested, as seen through the three analytical lenses of landowner behavior, cultural practices of communities, and landscape planning....

  17. Mapping agricultural landscapes and characterizing adaptive capacity in Central America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, M. B.; Imbach, P. A.; Bouroncle, C.; Donatti, C.; Leguia, E.; Martinez, M.; Medellin, C.; Saborio-Rodriguez, M.; Shamer, S.; Zamora, J.

    2013-12-01

    One of the key challenges in developing adaptation strategies for smallholder farmers in developing countries is that of a data-poor environment, where spatially-explicit information about where the most vulnerable smallholder communities are located is lacking. Developing countries tend to lack consistent and reliable maps on agricultural land use, and have limited information available on smallholder adaptive capacity. We developed a novel participatory and expert mapping process to overcome these barriers and develop detailed national-scale maps that allow for a characterization of unique agricultural landscapes based on profiles of adaptive capacity for smallholder agriculture in each area. This research focuses specifically on the Central American nations of Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras, where our focus is on coffee and basic grains as the two main cropping systems. Here we present the methodology and results of a series of in-depth interviews and participatory mapping sessions with experts working within the broader agricultural sector in each country. We held individual interviews and mapping sessions with approximately thirty experts from each country, and used a detailed survey instrument for each mapping session to both spatially identify distinct agricultural landscapes, and to further characterize each area based on specific farm practices and social context. The survey also included a series of questions to help us assess the relative adaptive capacity of smallholder agriculture within each landscape. After all expert mapping sessions were completed in each country we convened an expert group to assist in both validating and refining the set of landscapes already defined. We developed a characterization of adaptive capacity by aggregating indicators into main assets-based criteria (e.g. land tenure, access to credit, access to technical assistance, sustainable farm practices) derived from further expert weighting of indicators through an online

  18. The Network Of Shelterbelts As An Agroforestry System Controlling The Water Resources And Biodiversity In The Agricultural Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kędziora, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Long-term human activity has led to many unfavourable changes in landscape structure. The main negative effect has been a simplification of landscape structure reflecting the removal of stable ecosystems, such as forests, shelterbelts, strips of meadows and so on, which were converted into unstable ecosystems, mainly farmlands. Thanks to these changes, serious threats have been posed to the sustainable development of rural areas. The most hazardous of these involve a deteriorating of water balance, increased surface and ground water pollution, and impoverishment of biodiversity. An agroforestry system can serve as a toolkit which allows counteracting such negative changes in the landscape. This paper presents the main findings emerge from long-term investigations on the above issues carried out by the Institute for the Agricultural and Forest Environment of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

  19. Ecological and economic principles of rational agricultural lands use based on landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryndzya, Olena

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the analysis of the methodological providing and real state of agricultural lands and agrolandscape use in Ukraine. Basic directions of agricultural earth use organization are investigated on landscape basis. The experience of native scientists in forming and developing the theory and practice of landscape approach in agriculture is worked out. Basic directions of the agrolandscape planning are determined. The agricultural typology of land is considered in details and that allows to divide the lands according to their descriptions and constituents. The methodology of the landscape contour and land-reclamation agriculture systems is investigated. Positions of this methodology were put into the Conception of high productive ecologically permanent agrolandscapes forming and improvement of the of agriculture systems based on landscape. The value of the adaptive landscape agricultural system mechanism of forming is reflected. The direction of ecological landscape use and its basic constituents are examined.

  20. The Montérégie Connection: linking landscapes, biodiversity, and ecosystem services to improve decision making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew G. E. Mitchell

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available To maximize specific ecosystem services (ES such as food production, people alter landscape structure, i.e., the types of ecosystems present, their relative proportions, and their spatial arrangement across landscapes. This can have significant, and sometimes unexpected, effects on biodiversity and ES. Communities need information about how land-use activities and changes to landscape structure are likely to affect biodiversity and ES, but current scientific understanding of these effects is incomplete. The Montérégie Connection (MC project has used the rapidly suburbanizing agricultural Montérégien landscape just east of Montreal, Québec, Canada, to investigate how current and historic landscape structure influences ES provision. Our results highlight the importance of forest connectivity and functional diversity on ES provision, and show that ES provision can vary significantly even within single land-use types in response to changes in landscape structure. Our historical analysis reveals that levels of ES provision, as well as relationships among individual ES, can change dramatically through time. We are using these results to build quantitative ES-landscape structure models to assess four future landscape scenarios for the region: Periurban Development, Demand for Energy, Whole-System Crisis, and Green Development. These scenarios integrate empirical and historical data on ES provision with local stakeholder input about global and local social and ecological drivers to explore how land-use decisions could affect ES provision and human well-being across the region to the year 2045. By integrating empirical data, quantitative models, and scenarios we have achieved the central goals of the MC project: (1 increasing understanding of the effects of landscape structure on biodiversity and ES provision, (2 effectively linking this knowledge to decision making to better manage for biodiversity and ES, and (3 creating a vision for a more

  1. Scale-Aware Pansharpening Algorithm for Agricultural Fragmented Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Lillo-Saavedra

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing (RS has played an important role in extensive agricultural monitoring and management for several decades. However, the current spatial resolution of satellite imagery does not have enough definition to generalize its use in highly-fragmented agricultural landscapes, which represents a significant percentage of the world’s total cultivated surface. To characterize and analyze this type of landscape, multispectral (MS images with high and very high spatial resolutions are required. Multi-source image fusion algorithms are normally used to improve the spatial resolution of images with a medium spatial resolution. In particular, pansharpening (PS methods allow one to produce high-resolution MS images through a coherent integration of spatial details from a panchromatic (PAN image with spectral information from an MS. The spectral and spatial quality of source images must be preserved to be useful in RS tasks. Different PS strategies provide different trade-offs between the spectral and the spatial quality of the fused images. Considering that agricultural landscape images contain many levels of significant structures and edges, the PS algorithms based on filtering processes must be scale-aware and able to remove different levels of detail in any input images. In this work, a new PS methodology based on a rolling guidance filter (RGF is proposed. The main contribution of this new methodology is to produce artifact-free pansharpened images, improving the MS edges with a scale-aware approach. Three images have been used, and more than 150 experiments were carried out. An objective comparison with widely-used methodologies shows the capability of the proposed method as a powerful tool to obtain pansharpened images preserving the spatial and spectral information.

  2. Biodiversity in Organic Farmland - How Does Landscape Context Influence Species Diversity in Organic Vs. Conventional Agricultural Fields?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seufert, V.; Wood, S.; Reid, A.; Gonzalez, A.; Rhemtulla, J.; Ramankutty, N.

    2014-12-01

    The most important current driver of biodiversity loss is the conversion of natural habitats for human land uses, mostly for the purpose of food production. However, by causing this biodiversity loss, food production is eroding the very same ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and soil fertility) that it depends on. We therefore need to adopt more wildlife-friendly agricultural practices that can contribute to preserving biodiversity. Organic farming has been shown to typically host higher biodiversity than conventional farming. But how is the biodiversity benefit of organic management dependent on the landscape context farms are situated in? To implement organic farming as an effective means for protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services we need to understand better under what conditions organic management is most beneficial for species. We conducted a meta-analysis of the literature to answer this question, compiling the most comprehensive database to date of studies that monitored biodiversity in organic vs. conventional fields. We also collected information about the landscape surrounding these fields from remote sensing products. Our database consists of 348 study sites across North America and Europe. Our analysis shows that organic management can improve biodiversity in agricultural fields substantially. It is especially effective at preserving biodiversity in homogeneous landscapes that are structurally simplified and dominated by either cropland or pasture. In heterogeneous landscapes conventional agriculture might instead already hold high biodiversity, and organic management does not appear to provide as much of a benefit for species richness as in simplified landscapes. Our results suggest that strategies to maintain biodiversity-dependent ecosystem services should include a combination of pristine natural habitats, wildlife-friendly farming systems like organic farming, and high-yielding conventional systems, interspersed in structurally

  3. Scenario Methodology for Modelling of Future Landscape Developments as Basis for Assessing Ecosystem Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Rosenberg

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The ecosystems of our intensively used European landscapes produce a variety of natural goods and services for the benefit of humankind, and secure the basics and quality of life. Because these ecosystems are still undergoing fundamental changes, the interest of the society is to know more about future developments and their ecological impacts. To describe and analyze these changes, scenarios can be developed and an assessment of the ecological changes can be carried out subsequently. In the project „Landscape Saxony 2050“; a methodology for the construction of exploratory scenarios was worked out. The presented methodology provides a possibility to identify the driving forces (socio-cultural, economic and ecological conditions of the landscape development. It allows to indicate possible future paths which lead to a change of structures and processes in the landscape and can influence the capability to provide ecosystem services. One essential component of the applied technique is that an approach for the assessment of the effects of the landscape changes on ecosystem services is integrated into the developed scenario methodology. Another is, that the methodology is strong designed as participatory, i.e. stakeholders are integrated actively. The method is a seven phase model which provides the option for the integration of the stakeholders‘ participation at all levels of scenario development. The scenario framework was applied to the district of Görlitz, an area of 2100 sq km located at the eastern border of Germany. The region is affected by strong demographic as well as economic changes. The core issue focused on the examination of landscape change in terms of biodiversity. Together with stakeholders, a trend scenario and two alternative scenarios were developed. The changes of the landscape structure are represented in story lines, maps and tables. On basis of the driving forces of the issue areas „cultural / social values“ and

  4. Using Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probes to Monitor Landscape Scale Soil Water Content in Mixed Land Use Agricultural Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trenton E. Franz

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available With an ever-increasing demand for natural resources and the societal need to understand and predict natural disasters, soil water content (SWC observations remain a critical variable to monitor in order to optimally allocate resources, establish early warning systems, and improve weather forecasts. However, routine agricultural production practices of soil cultivation, planting, and harvest make the operation and maintenance of direct contact point sensors for long-term monitoring challenging. In this work, we explore the use of the newly established Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP and method to monitor landscape average SWC in a mixed agricultural land use system in northeast Austria. The calibrated CRNP landscape SWC values compare well against an independent in situ SWC probe network (MAE = 0.0286 m3/m3 given the challenge of continuous in situ monitoring from probes across a heterogeneous agricultural landscape. The ability of the CRNP to provide real-time and accurate landscape SWC measurements makes it an ideal method for establishing long-term monitoring sites in agricultural ecosystems to aid in agricultural water and nutrient management decisions at the small tract of land scale as well as aiding in management decisions at larger scales.

  5. Identifying forest ecosystem regions for agricultural use and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chinsu Lin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Balancing agricultural needs with the need to protect biodiverse environments presents a challenge to forestry management. An imbalance in resource production and ecosystem regulation often leads to degradation or deforestation such as when excessive cultivation damages forest biodiversity. Lack of information on geospatial biodiversity may hamper forest ecosystems. In particular, this may be an issue in areas where there is a strong need to reassign land to food production. It is essential to identify and protect those parts of the forest that are key to its preservation. This paper presents a strategy for choosing suitable areas for agricultural management based on a geospatial variation of Shannon's vegetation diversity index (SHDI. This index offers a method for selecting areas with low levels of biodiversity and carbon stock accumulation ability, thereby reducing the negative environmental impact of converting forest land to agricultural use. The natural forest ecosystem of the controversial 1997 Ex-Mega Rice Project (EMRP in Indonesia is used as an example. Results showed that the geospatial pattern of biodiversity can be accurately derived using kriging analysis and then effectively applied to the delineation of agricultural production areas using an ecological threshold of SHDI. A prediction model that integrates a number of species and families and average annual rainfall was developed by principal component regression (PCR to obtain a geospatial distribution map of biodiversity. Species richness was found to be an appropriate indicator of SHDI and able to assist in the identification of areas for agricultural use and natural forest management.

  6. The residence time of intensively managed agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowling, Laura; Cherkauer, Keith; Chiu, Chun-mei; Rahman, Sanoar

    2015-04-01

    Much of the agricultural landscape across the Midwestern United States is intensively managed through numerous surface and subsurface drainage improvements, and the growing extraction of groundwater resources. The relatively recent glaciation of the North Central region means that the landscape is less dissected and hydrologically connected than older till areas. Low topographic gradients and underlying dense till which restricts vertical water movement, as well as kettle depressions, have led to poorly drained soils and extensive wetlands within the landscape. Large areas of this land could only be farmed once the excess water was removed through artificial surface and subsurface drainage. Conventional wisdom in the region maintains that subsurface tile drainage reduces the occurrence of peak flow events by increasing soil water storage capacity. At the watershed scale, this view does not take into account the coincident increase in surface drainage and reduction in residence time in surface depressions. This paper explores to what degree water management and irrigation has changed surface and subsurface water storage and residence time over the last century and how this has impacted flow duration throughout the Wabash River system in Indiana, USA. The effects of subsurface tile drains, wetlands and aquifer storage are explicitly represented within the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrology model. We maintain a focus on the entire Wabash River, a river system of historic importance that is also representative of many similar areas in the till plain region of the agricultural Midwest, which contribute to water quality and flood dynamics of the Mississippi river system. By lowering the water table, surface and subsurface drainage improvements have increased the subsurface storage capacity at the beginning of rain events, but this is overwhelmed by the decrease in surface storage capacity for intermediate to large events, decreasing the current

  7. Ecosystem Services at the Landscape Scale: the Need for Integrative Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Müller

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available During the symposium “Ecosystem Services at the Landscape Scale” from the EU-IALE conference 2009, several challenges for future research on approaches to use the concept of ecosystem services at the landscape scale were identified, focussing on the need for integration. Three main research directions were discussed, (i the definition of the potentials and limitations of the ecosystem service approach for landscape analysis, (ii the identification of suitable methods and tools to apply the ecosystem service approach at the landscape scale and (iii the demand of incorporating ecosystem and landscape services in decision making and management. This paper briefly addresses and discusses some of these topics and puts them into a broader perspective. From this viewpoint it becomes obvious that many high-quality sectoral studies are carried out, e.g. concentrating on specific services or specific linkages within the “ecosystem service cascade” which describes the relation between biophysical characteristics of the landscape, their functions, services, benefits and values for society. In order to provide useful information for decision makers, ecosystem services studies should be supplemented by investigations of the whole systems of interactions between ecological processes and societal valuations.

  8. Multivariate identification of plant functional response and effect traits in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakeman, Robin J

    2011-06-01

    Plant functional traits have been proposed as a linkage between the environmental control of vegetation and ecosystem function. Identification of traits that mediate the response of plant species to the environment is well established, but the identification of effect traits and the linkage between the two sets is less developed. This was attempted for a study of eight contrasting land uses in a marginal agricultural landscape where data on vegetation, management controls of the disturbance regime, and soil characteristics, including nitrogen release, were measured simultaneously with measures of ecosystem function such as litter decomposition rates and primary productivity on 30 sites. Trait data were assembled from databases, and an iterative multivariate approach using the three table (species, trait, environment) method RLQ was employed to identify a parsimonious set of traits that predict plant species responses to the environment and a parsimonious set of traits that link vegetation to ecosystem function. The lists of response and effect traits were similar, and where differences were observed, traits were usually highly correlated with at least one trait in the other list. This approach identified a small number of traits (canopy height, leaf dry matter content, leaf size, and specific leaf area) that provide a means of linking vegetation responses to environmental change with changes in ecosystem function. Other response traits included vegetative spread strategy, start of flowering, and seed terminal velocity, but within the system studied these traits were all significantly correlated to the traits shared between the response and effect lists.

  9. TERRECO: A Flux-Based Approach to Understanding Landscape Change, Potentials of Resilience and Sustainability in Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenhunen, J. D.; Kang, S.

    2011-12-01

    The Millenium Assessment has provided a broad perspective on the ways and degree to which global change has stressed ecosystems and their potential to deliver goods and services to mankind. Management of natural resources at regional scale requires a clear understanding of the ways that ongoing human activities modify or create new system stressors, leading to net gains or losses in ecosystem services. Ever since information from the International Biological Program (IBP) was summarized in the 1960s, we know that ecosystem stress response, recovery and resilience are related to changes in ecosystem turnover of materials, nutrient retention or loss, resource use efficiencies, and additional ecosystem properties that determine fluxes of carbon, water and nutrients. At landscape or regional scale, changes in system drivers influence land-surface to atmosphere gas exchange (water, carbon and trace gas emissions), the seasonal course of soil resource stores, hydrology, and transport of nutrients and carbon into and through river systems. In today's terminology, shifts in these fluxes indicate a modification of potential ecosystem services provided to us by the landscape or region of interest, and upon which we depend. Ongoing modeling efforts of the TERRECO project carried out in S. Korea focus on describing landscape and regional level flow networks for carbon, water, and nutrients, but in addition monetary flows associated with gains and losses in ecosystem services (cf. Fig. 1). The description is embedded within a framework which examines the trade-offs between agricultural intensification versus yield of high quality water to reservoirs for drinking water supply. The models also quantify hypothetical changes in flow networks that would occur in the context of climate, land use and social change scenarios.

  10. Managing Artificially Drained Low-Gradient Agricultural Headwaters for Enhanced Ecosystem Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Pezeshki

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Large tracts of lowlands have been drained to expand extensive agriculture into areas that were historically categorized as wasteland. This expansion in agriculture necessarily coincided with changes in ecosystem structure, biodiversity, and nutrient cycling. These changes have impacted not only the landscapes in which they occurred, but also larger water bodies receiving runoff from drained land. New approaches must append current efforts toward land conservation and restoration, as the continuing impacts to receiving waters is an issue of major environmental concern. One of these approaches is agricultural drainage management. This article reviews how this approach differs from traditional conservation efforts, the specific practices of drainage management and the current state of knowledge on the ecology of drainage ditches. A bottom-up approach is utilized, examining the effects of stochastic hydrology and anthropogenic disturbance on primary production and diversity of primary producers, with special regard given to how management can affect establishment of macrophytes and how macrophytes in agricultural landscapes alter their environment in ways that can serve to mitigate non-point source pollution and promote biodiversity in receiving waters.

  11. Mimicking biochar-albedo feedback in complex Mediterranean agricultural landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Incorporation of charcoal produced by biomass pyrolysis (biochar) in agricultural soils is a potentially sustainable strategy for climate change mitigation. However, some side effects of large-scale biochar application need to be investigated. In particular a massive use of a low-reflecting material on large cropland areas may impact the climate via changes in surface albedo. Twelve years of MODIS-derived albedo data were analysed for three pairs of selected agricultural sites in central Italy. In each pair bright and dark coloured soil were identified, mimicking the effect of biochar application on the land surface albedo of complex agricultural landscapes. Over this period vegetation canopies never completely masked differences in background soil colour. This soil signal, expressed as an albedo difference, induced a local instantaneous radiative forcing of up to 4.7 W m−2 during periods of high solar irradiance. Biochar mitigation potential might therefore be reduced up to ∼30%. This study proves the importance of accounting for crop phenology and crop management when assessing biochar mitigation potential and provides more insights into the analysis of its environmental feedback. (letter)

  12. Mimicking biochar-albedo feedback in complex Mediterranean agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozzi, E.; Genesio, L.; Toscano, P.; Pieri, M.; Miglietta, F.

    2015-08-01

    Incorporation of charcoal produced by biomass pyrolysis (biochar) in agricultural soils is a potentially sustainable strategy for climate change mitigation. However, some side effects of large-scale biochar application need to be investigated. In particular a massive use of a low-reflecting material on large cropland areas may impact the climate via changes in surface albedo. Twelve years of MODIS-derived albedo data were analysed for three pairs of selected agricultural sites in central Italy. In each pair bright and dark coloured soil were identified, mimicking the effect of biochar application on the land surface albedo of complex agricultural landscapes. Over this period vegetation canopies never completely masked differences in background soil colour. This soil signal, expressed as an albedo difference, induced a local instantaneous radiative forcing of up to 4.7 W m-2 during periods of high solar irradiance. Biochar mitigation potential might therefore be reduced up to ˜30%. This study proves the importance of accounting for crop phenology and crop management when assessing biochar mitigation potential and provides more insights into the analysis of its environmental feedback.

  13. Dynamics of Danish Agricultural Landscapes and the Roles of Organic Farming

    OpenAIRE

    Levin, Gregor

    2006-01-01

    Agriculture manages about 2/3 of the Danish land area. As a consequence, agricultural land use consequently has a major influence on the appearance of the Danish landscape in terms of its spatial composition and structure. Alterations of agricultural practices always imply potential changes in landscape composition and structure. Qua its definition and ensuing standards, organic farming embodies a particular kind of agricultural production. Consequently, the conversion to organic farming imp...

  14. Port wine landscape: railroads, phylloxera, and agricultural science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macedo, Marta

    2011-01-01

    It is easy to understand why regions that produce very fine goods such as port wine tend to conceal technological and scientific inputs and praise the uniqueness of the terroir. This paper suggests that, during the last decades of the nineteenth century, viticulture in the Douro region of Portugal was as much a product of soil, local farming traditions, and individual entrepreneurship as it was of modern state science and national politics for agricultural improvement. the unprecedented public projects of building a railroad and fighting phylloxera permanently changed the land of port wine. Moreover, those engineering practices of rationalization, simplification, and standardization that were inscribed on Douro's landscape proved essential for the Portuguese experience of modernization and nation-building. PMID:21563604

  15. Port wine landscape: railroads, phylloxera, and agricultural science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macedo, Marta

    2011-01-01

    It is easy to understand why regions that produce very fine goods such as port wine tend to conceal technological and scientific inputs and praise the uniqueness of the terroir. This paper suggests that, during the last decades of the nineteenth century, viticulture in the Douro region of Portugal was as much a product of soil, local farming traditions, and individual entrepreneurship as it was of modern state science and national politics for agricultural improvement. the unprecedented public projects of building a railroad and fighting phylloxera permanently changed the land of port wine. Moreover, those engineering practices of rationalization, simplification, and standardization that were inscribed on Douro's landscape proved essential for the Portuguese experience of modernization and nation-building.

  16. Landscape experiences as a cultural ecosystem service in a Nordic context:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindhjem, Henrik; Reinvang, Rasmus; Zandersen, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Cultural ecosystem services in the form of experiences derived from landscapes are potentially important, but often overlooked. Given the large and unprecedented landscape changes many of the Nordic countries are undergoing, there is a need to find ways of including people’s preferences...

  17. Using visual stimuli to explore the social perceptions of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes: the case of transhumance in Mediterranean Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César A. López-Santiago

    2014-06-01

    present in each landscape. However, differences in the visual perception of ecosystem services supply and preference for transhumance landscapes emerged in relation to certain socio-demographic and cultural respondent characteristics such as a previous relationship with transhumance and agriculture, rural/urban origin and identity, environmental awareness, and cultural attachment to a place. Four groups of respondents had consistent and diverging ecosystem services appreciation, revealing various potential conflicts and trade-offs. We discuss the applicability and usefulness of the proposed approach for evaluating ecosystem services in cultural landscapes and for informing policy-making processes.

  18. Atmospheric variables as driving variables of agricultural and forest ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Mariani

    Full Text Available Atmospheric variables, which represent meteorology if seen in their instantaneous behavior or climatology if seen in their long time behavior, can be considered among the main driving variables of agricultural and forest ecosystems. In other words meteo-climatic variables determine productivity and quality and territorial specificity of agroforestry productions. On the base of this premise some significant examples are shown in order to describe how different modeling approaches (empirical and mechanistic can improve our degree of description of phenomena and the rationality of our approach to management of agro-ecosystem. The need of strict linkage among agrometeorology and other physical and biological sciences referred to agro-forestry ecosystems is also discussed.

  19. Indicators for biodiversity in agricultural landscapes: a pan-European study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Billeter, R.; Liira, J.; Bailey, D.; Bugter, R.J.F.; Arens, P.F.P.; Augenstein, I.; Aviron, S.; Baudry, J.; Bukacek, R.; Burel, F.; Cerny, M.; Blust, de G.; Cock, de R.; Diekotter, T.; Dietz, H.; Dirksen, J.; Dormann, C.; Durka, W.; Frenzel, M.; Hamersky, R.; Hendrickx, F.; Herzog, F.; Klotz, S.; Koolstra, B.J.H.; Lausch, A.; Coeur, Le D.; Maelfait, J.P.; Opdam, P.; Roubalova, M.; Schermann, A.; Schermann, N.; Schmidt, T.; Schweiger, O.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Speelmans, M.; Simova, P.; Verboom, J.; Wingerden, van W.K.R.E.; Zobel, M.; Edwards, P.J.

    2008-01-01

    1. In many European agricultural landscapes, species richness is declining considerably. Studies performed at a very large spatial scale are helpful in understanding the reasons for this decline and as a basis for guiding policy. In a unique, large-scale study of 25 agricultural landscapes in seven

  20. Assessing the Impact of Landscape Development on Ecosystem Services Value in Tropical Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foo, Y. S.; Hashim, M.

    2014-02-01

    As development increases with demand, more forest lands are replaced with cropland, commercial plantation, and infrastructures for being able to accommodate the excessive growth in world's population. Environments were destroyed without considering their values in sustaining life on Earth.This phenomenon is still an ongoing scenario in most of the developing countries in the tropical region including Malaysia. Such unrestricted conversion may cause food or water crisis along with irreparable consequences to local and regional climate as the natural ecosystem is not only the main resources generator but also the climate stabilizer. Contrary to this, a study was conducted in Pahang Watershed, the largest watershed in Peninsular Malaysia with forest as the dominant land cover, to investigate the effect of landscape development on the ecosystem in terms of the erosion and ecosystem service value. Results of soil loss based on USLE indicated a direct relationship between development and total soil loss where total annual soil loss in year 2005 and 2010 showed a significant increase compare to year 2000. Meanwhile, developed and agricultural lands were discovered to be the main contributor whereas forest land produce the least soil loss (<10ton/ ha/yr). Apart from this, this study also reports a degrading trend in the overall ecological service value and goods (ESVG). Although oil palm had become the main commercial plantation in current years, the commercial profit brought by oil palm still insufficient to cover losses referring to overall estimated ESVG due to the forest clearance and soil degradation. In addition, for a destroyed ecosystem to be equilibrium again requires years. Therefore, ESVG of the tropical forest are expected to increase continuously in future which mean that the roles of the forest in conserving the environment stabilization and sustainability of life are getting more critical.

  1. Assessing the Impact of Landscape Development on Ecosystem Services Value in Tropical Watershed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As development increases with demand, more forest lands are replaced with cropland, commercial plantation, and infrastructures for being able to accommodate the excessive growth in world's population. Environments were destroyed without considering their values in sustaining life on Earth.This phenomenon is still an ongoing scenario in most of the developing countries in the tropical region including Malaysia. Such unrestricted conversion may cause food or water crisis along with irreparable consequences to local and regional climate as the natural ecosystem is not only the main resources generator but also the climate stabilizer. Contrary to this, a study was conducted in Pahang Watershed, the largest watershed in Peninsular Malaysia with forest as the dominant land cover, to investigate the effect of landscape development on the ecosystem in terms of the erosion and ecosystem service value. Results of soil loss based on USLE indicated a direct relationship between development and total soil loss where total annual soil loss in year 2005 and 2010 showed a significant increase compare to year 2000. Meanwhile, developed and agricultural lands were discovered to be the main contributor whereas forest land produce the least soil loss (<10ton/ ha/yr). Apart from this, this study also reports a degrading trend in the overall ecological service value and goods (ESVG). Although oil palm had become the main commercial plantation in current years, the commercial profit brought by oil palm still insufficient to cover losses referring to overall estimated ESVG due to the forest clearance and soil degradation. In addition, for a destroyed ecosystem to be equilibrium again requires years. Therefore, ESVG of the tropical forest are expected to increase continuously in future which mean that the roles of the forest in conserving the environment stabilization and sustainability of life are getting more critical

  2. Characterizing Ice Nucleating Particles Emitted from Agricultural Activities and Natural Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suski, K. J.; Levin, E. J.; DeMott, P. J.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Hill, T. C. J.

    2015-12-01

    Soil dust and plant fragment emissions from agricultural harvesting and natural ecosystems are two potentially large, yet unquantified and largely uncharacterized, sources of ice nucleating particles (INPs). Both organic and mineral components have been shown to contribute to the ice-nucleating ability of soil dust, but apart from the likely presence of ice nucleation-active bacteria, little is known about the ice nucleating potential of plant tissues. This work aims to identify and differentiate the organic and inorganic contributions of soil and plant INP sources emitted from harvesting activities and natural landscapes. For this purpose, the CSU Continuous Flow Diffusion Chamber (CFDC) and the Ice Spectrometer (IS) were utilized in a combination of ambient measurements and laboratory studies. Small variability and low INP numbers (activity. Further characterization of the sources and organic and inorganic contributions to terrestrially emitted INPs by comparison to laboratory studies on collected soil dust and plant samples will also be presented.

  3. Railway embankments as new habitat for pollinators in an agricultural landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawid Moroń

    Full Text Available Pollinating insect populations, essential for maintaining wild plant diversity and agricultural productivity, rely on (seminatural habitats. An increasing human population is encroaching upon and deteriorating pollinator habitats. Thus the population persistence of pollinating insects and their associated ecosystem services may depend upon on man-made novel habitats; however, their importance for ecosystem services is barely understood. We tested if man-made infrastructure (railway embankments in an agricultural landscape establishes novel habitats that support large populations of pollinators (bees, butterflies, hoverflies when compared to typical habitats for these insects, i.e., semi-natural grasslands. We also identified key environmental factors affecting the species richness and abundance of pollinators on embankments. Species richness and abundance of bees and butterflies were higher for railway embankments than for grasslands. The occurrence of bare (non-vegetated ground on embankments positively affected bee species richness and abundance, but negatively affected butterfly populations. Species richness and abundance of butterflies positively depended on species richness of native plants on embankments, whereas bee species richness was positively affected by species richness of non-native flowering plants. The density of shrubs on embankments negatively affected the number of bee species and their abundance. Bee and hoverfly species richness were positively related to wood cover in a landscape surrounding embankments. This is the first study showing that railway embankments constitute valuable habitat for the conservation of pollinators in farmland. Specific conservation strategies involving embankments should focus on preventing habitat deterioration due to encroachment of dense shrubs and maintaining grassland vegetation with patches of bare ground.

  4. Determinants of agriculture biodiversity in Western Terai landscape complex of Nepal

    OpenAIRE

    Paudel, Bikash; Rana, Ram B; Sthapit, Bhuwon R; Maharjan, Shree Kumar; Shrestha, Anuja; Shrestha, Pitambar; Gurung, Asha Ram; Regmi, Bimal Raj; Basnet, Arjun; Adhikari, Anu

    2012-01-01

    The study explored agriculture biodiversity around protected areas and identified factors affecting diversity of agriculture biodiversity in farming households. The study analyzed the data collected from household survey of about 907 farmers from Western-Terai Landscape Complex of Nepal. Intra-species and inter-species richness and evenness in agriculture landscape were estimated and compared across a spectrum of land-uses. The study identified different social, economic, technological and ec...

  5. Landscape cultivation alters δ30Si signature in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandevenne, Floor; Delvaux, Claire; Hughes, Harold; Ronchi, Benedicta; Clymans, Wim; Barao, Ana Lucia; Govers, Gerard; Cornelis, Jean Thomas; André, Luc; Struyf, Eric

    2015-04-01

    Despite increasing recognition of the importance of biological Si cycling in controlling dissolved Si (DSi) in soil and stream water, effects of human cultivation on the Si cycle remain poorly understood. Sensitive tracer techniques to identify and quantify Si in the soil-plant-water system could be highly relevant in addressing these uncertainties. Stable Si isotopes are promising tools to define Si sources and sinks along the ecosystem flow path, as intense fractionation occurs during chemical weathering and uptake of dissolved Si in plants. Yet they remain underexploited in the end product of the soil-plant system: the soil water. Here, stable Si isotope ratios (δ30Si) of dissolved Si in soil water were measured along a land use gradient (continuous forest, continuous pasture, young cropland and continuous cropland) with similar parent material (loess) and homogenous bulk mineralogical and climatological (Belgium). Soil water δ30Si signatures are clearly separated along the gradient, with highest average signatures in continuous cropland (+1.61%), intermediate in pasture (+1.05%) and young cropland (+0.89%) and lowest in forest soil water (+0.62%). Our data do not allow distinguishing biological from pedogenic/lithogenic processes, but point to a strong interaction of both. We expect that increasing export of light isotopes in disturbed land uses (i.e. through agricultural harvest), and higher recycling of 28Si and elevated weathering intensity (including clay dissolution) in forest systems will largely determine soil water δ30Si signatures of our systems. Our results imply that soil water δ30Si signature is biased through land management before it reaches rivers and coastal zones, where other fractionation processes take over (e.g. diatom uptake and reverse weathering in floodplains). In particular, a direct role of agriculture systems in lowering export Si fluxes towards rivers and coastal systems has been shown. Stable Si isotopes have a large potential

  6. Namibia specific climate smart agricultural land use practices: Challenges and opportunities for enhancing ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Talamondjila Naanda, Martha; Bloemertz, Lena

    2015-04-01

    Agriculture is a backbone for many African economies, with an estimated 70% of Africans active in agricultural production. The sector often does not only directly contribute to, but sustains food security and poverty reduction efforts. Sustaining this productivity poses many challenges, particularly to small scale subsistence farmers (SSF) in dry land areas and semi-arid countries like Namibia. SSF in northern central Namibia mix crop and livestock production on degraded semi-arid lands and nutrient-poor sandy soils. They are fully dependent on agricultural production with limited alternative sources of income. Mostly, their agricultural harvests and outputs are low, not meeting their livelihood needs. At the same time, the land use is often not sustainable, leading to degradation. The Namibia case reveals that addressing underlying economic, social and environmental challenges requires a combination of farm level-soil management practices with a shift towards integrated landscape management. This forms the basis for SSF to adopt sustainable land management practices while building institutional foundations, like establishing SSF cooperatives. One way in which this has been tested is through the concept of incentive-based motivation, i.e. payment for ecosystem services (PES), in which some of the beneficiaries pay, for instance for farmers or land users, who provide the services. The farmers provide these services by substituting their unsustainable land and soil management and adopting new (climate smart agricultural) land use practices. Climate Smart Agricultural land use practices (CSA-LUP) are one way of providing ecosystem services, which could be fundamental to long-term sustainable soil and land management solutions in Africa. There are few PES cases which have been systematically studied from an institutional development structure perspective. This study presents lessons evolving from the notion that direct participation and involvement of local people

  7. Ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies misunderstood without landscape history

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Tomscha

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Dramatic changes in ecosystem services have motivated recent work characterizing their interactions, including identifying trade-offs and synergies. Although time is arguably implicit in these ideas of trade-offs and synergies (e.g., temporal dynamics or changes in ecosystem services, such interactions are routinely inferred based on the spatial relationships among ecosystem services alone (e.g., spatial concordance of ecosystem services indicates synergies, whereas incongruence signifies trade-offs. The limitations of this approach have not been fully explored. We quantified ecosystem service interactions using correlations among contemporary ecosystem services and compared these results to those derived by incorporating change in ecosystem services from an earlier decade. To document change over ~60 years in an urbanizing floodplain, we used aerial photography to map multiple floodplain-associated ecosystem services. Our results demonstrate how incorporating landscape baselines can influence measured synergies and trade-offs. Spatial correlations among contemporary ecosystem services missed several interactions that were detected when using prior baseline ecosystem services. Ignoring the history of ecosystem services and their change over time may result in missed opportunities to foster their synergies and lead to unnecessary trade-offs. Efforts to incorporate ecosystem services into land management should include long-term monitoring and baseline reconstructions of ecosystem services.

  8. Using visual stimuli to explore the social perceptions of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    López-Santiago, César A.; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Martín-López, Berta;

    2014-01-01

    The ecosystem services approach has been proposed as a powerful tool for the analysis of coupled social-ecological systems. This approach is particularly useful for the evaluation of cultural landscapes, which represent the joint evolution of humans and nature across an extended time span...... perceptions of 16 ecosystem services supplied by these two landscapes. These 16 services were divided into 3 types: provisioning, such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. We also identified...... differences between landscapes with and without a drove road. Overall, respondents recognized the higher capacity of forests to deliver a wider range of ecosystem services to society compared with croplands. Provisioning services were mostly associated with cropland, whereas regulating services and cultural...

  9. Landscape Characterization of Arctic Ecosystems Using Data Mining Algorithms and Large Geospatial Datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langford, Z. L.; Kumar, J.; Hoffman, F. M.

    2015-12-01

    Observations indicate that over the past several decades, landscape processes in the Arctic have been changing or intensifying. A dynamic Arctic landscape has the potential to alter ecosystems across a broad range of scales. Accurate characterization is useful to understand the properties and organization of the landscape, optimal sampling network design, measurement and process upscaling and to establish a landscape-based framework for multi-scale modeling of ecosystem processes. This study seeks to delineate the landscape at Seward Peninsula of Alaska into ecoregions using large volumes (terabytes) of high spatial resolution satellite remote-sensing data. Defining high-resolution ecoregion boundaries is difficult because many ecosystem processes in Arctic ecosystems occur at small local to regional scales, which are often resolved in by coarse resolution satellites (e.g., MODIS). We seek to use data-fusion techniques and data analytics algorithms applied to Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR), Satellite for Observation of Earth (SPOT), WorldView-2, WorldView-3, and QuickBird-2 to develop high-resolution (˜5m) ecoregion maps for multiple time periods. Traditional analysis methods and algorithms are insufficient for analyzing and synthesizing such large geospatial data sets, and those algorithms rarely scale out onto large distributed- memory parallel computer systems. We seek to develop computationally efficient algorithms and techniques using high-performance computing for characterization of Arctic landscapes. We will apply a variety of data analytics algorithms, such as cluster analysis, complex object-based image analysis (COBIA), and neural networks. We also propose to use representativeness analysis within the Seward Peninsula domain to determine optimal sampling locations for fine-scale measurements. This methodology should provide an initial framework for analyzing dynamic landscape

  10. Wide-area mapping of small-scale features in agricultural landscapes using airborne remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Jerome; Bradter, Ute; Benton, Tim G.

    2015-11-01

    Natural and semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes are likely to come under increasing pressure with the global population set to exceed 9 billion by 2050. These non-cropped habitats are primarily made up of trees, hedgerows and grassy margins and their amount, quality and spatial configuration can have strong implications for the delivery and sustainability of various ecosystem services. In this study high spatial resolution (0.5 m) colour infrared aerial photography (CIR) was used in object based image analysis for the classification of non-cropped habitat in a 10,029 ha area of southeast England. Three classification scenarios were devised using 4 and 9 class scenarios. The machine learning algorithm Random Forest (RF) was used to reduce the number of variables used for each classification scenario by 25.5 % ± 2.7%. Proportion of votes from the 4 class hierarchy was made available to the 9 class scenarios and where the highest ranked variables in all cases. This approach allowed for misclassified parent objects to be correctly classified at a lower level. A single object hierarchy with 4 class proportion of votes produced the best result (kappa 0.909). Validation of the optimum training sample size in RF showed no significant difference between mean internal out-of-bag error and external validation. As an example of the utility of this data, we assessed habitat suitability for a declining farmland bird, the yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella), which requires hedgerows associated with grassy margins. We found that ∼22% of hedgerows were within 200 m of margins with an area >183.31 m2. The results from this analysis can form a key information source at the environmental and policy level in landscape optimisation for food production and ecosystem service sustainability.

  11. Landscape alterations influence differential habitat use of nesting buteos and ravens within sagebrush ecosystem: implications for transmission line development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Howe, Kristy B.; Casazza, Michael L.; Delehanty, David J.

    2014-01-01

    A goal in avian ecology is to understand factors that influence differences in nesting habitat and distribution among species, especially within changing landscapes. Over the past 2 decades, humans have altered sagebrush ecosystems as a result of expansion in energy production and transmission. Our primary study objective was to identify differences in the use of landscape characteristics and natural and anthropogenic features by nesting Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and 3 species of buteo (Swainson's Hawk [Buteo swainsoni], Red-tailed Hawk [B. jamaicensis], and Ferruginous Hawk [B. regalis]) within a sagebrush ecosystem in southeastern Idaho. During 2007–2009, we measured multiple environmental factors associated with 212 nest sites using data collected remotely and in the field. We then developed multinomial models to predict nesting probabilities by each species and predictive response curves based on model-averaged estimates. We found differences among species related to nesting substrate (natural vs. anthropogenic), agriculture, native grassland, and edge (interface of 2 cover types). Most important, ravens had a higher probability of nesting on anthropogenic features (0.80) than the other 3 species (Artemisia spp.), favoring increased numbers of nesting ravens and fewer nesting Ferruginous Hawks. Our results indicate that habitat alterations, fragmentation, and forthcoming disturbances anticipated with continued energy development in sagebrush steppe ecosystems can lead to predictable changes in raptor and raven communities.

  12. Contrasting perceptions of anthropogenic coastal agricultural landscape meanings and management in Italy and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Targetti, Stefano; Sherren, Kate; Raggi, Meri; Viaggi, Davide

    2016-04-01

    The Anthropocene concept entails the idea that humans have become the most influential driving factor on the environment. In this context, it is useful to get insights from coastal areas that are affected by a huge impact of human activities in shaping the territory, are prone to several threats linked with climate change, and featured by interlinked economic, cultural and social systems. We compare evidence from three different methods focusing on the perceptions of coastal agricultural landscapes: i) a survey focusing on residents' perceptions of local rural landscape elements; ii) an expert-elicitation multicriteria exercise (Analytic Network Process) focusing on the relationship between economic actors, ecosystem services and local competitiveness; and iii) a Q-methodology survey to identify public discourses concerning management alternatives. The methods were applied in two coastal case studies characterized by land drainage, shoreline barriers and coastal armoring that represent high cultural heritage; created by humans they rely on active management to persist. Moreover, in both the case studies concerns have been raised about the role of agriculture in the rural development context and the perspectives of local stakeholders towards the management of the reclaimed lands. The first area is located on the southern side of the Po River Delta (Emilia Romagna, Italy). The area was reclaimed during the 19th and 20th centuries for agricultural production and is now characterized by intensive agriculture in the hinterlands, an urbanised coastal area with a developed tourism sector, and the presence of remnant wetlands which are mostly included in the Po Delta Natural Park (covering around 30% of the case study). The second area is located in the dykelands of the Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia, Canada) whose origins go back to the 17th Century when French settlers built the first dykes to reclaim salt marshes for farmland. While some are still farmed, a range of

  13. Plant diversity and generation of ecosystem services at the landscape scale: expert knowledge assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Quijas, Sandra; Jackson, Louise E; Maass, Manuel; Schmid, Bernhard; Raffaelli, David; Balvanera, Patricia

    2012-01-01

    1. In spite of the increasing amount of experimental evidence on the importance of plant species richness for ecosystem functioning at local scales, its role on the generation of ecosystem services at scales relevant for management is still largely unknown. To foster research on this topic, we assessed expert knowledge on the role of plant diversity in the generation of services at the landscape scale. 2. We developed a survey that included three levels of organization and seven component...

  14. Sustainability of current agriculture practices, community perception, and implications for ecosystem health: an Indian study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Atanu; Patil, Shantagouda; Hugar, Lingappa B; vanLoon, Gary

    2011-12-01

    In order to support agribusiness and to attain food security for ever-increasing populations, most countries in the world have embraced modern agricultural technologies. Ecological consequences of the technocentric approaches, and their sustainability and impacts on human health have, however, not received adequate attention particularly in developing countries. India is one country that has undergone a rapid transformation in the field of agriculture by adopting strategies of the Green Revolution. This article provides a comparative analysis of the effects of older and newer paradigms of agricultural practices on ecosystem and human health within the larger context of sustainability. The study was conducted in three closely situated areas where different agricultural practices were followed: (a) the head-end of a modern canal-irrigated area, (b) an adjacent dryland, and (c) an area (the ancient area) that has been provided with irrigation for some 800 years. Data were collected by in-depth interviews of individual farmers, focus-group discussions, participatory observations, and from secondary sources. The dryland, receiving limited rainfall, continues to practice diverse cropping centered to a large extent on traditional coarse cereals and uses only small amounts of chemical inputs. On the other hand, modern agriculture in the head-end emphasizes continuous cropping of rice supported by extensive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals. Market forces have, to a significant degree, influenced the ancient area to abandon much of its early practices of organic farming and to take up aspects of modern agricultural practice. Rice cultivation in the irrigated parts has changed the local landscape and vegetation and has augmented the mosquito population, which is a potential vector for malaria, Japanese encephalitis and other diseases. Nevertheless, despite these problems, perceptions of adverse environmental effects are lowest in the heavily irrigated area.

  15. From Forest Landscape to Agricultural Landscape in the Developing Tropical Country of Malaysia: Pattern, Process, and Their Significance on Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Saiful Arif; Hezri, Adnan A.

    2008-11-01

    Agricultural expansion and deforestation are spatial processes of land transformation that impact on landscape pattern. In peninsular Malaysia, the conversion of forested areas into two major cash crops—rubber and oil palm plantations—has been identified as driving significant environmental change. To date, there has been insufficient literature studying the link between changes in landscape patterns and land-related development policies. Therefore, this paper examines: (i) the links between development policies and changes in land use/land cover and landscape pattern and (ii) the significance and implications of these links for future development policies. The objective is to generate insights on the changing process of land use/land cover and landscape pattern as a functional response to development policies and their consequences for environmental conditions. Over the last century, the development of cash crops has changed the country from one dominated by natural landscapes to one dominated by agricultural landscapes. But the last decade of the century saw urbanization beginning to impact significantly. This process aligned with the establishment of various development policies, from land development for agriculture between the mid 1950s and the 1970s to an emphasis on manufacturing from the 1980s onward. Based on a case study in Selangor, peninsular Malaysia, a model of landscape pattern change is presented. It contains three stages according to the relative importance of rubber (first stage: 1900-1950s), oil palm (second stage: 1960s-1970s), and urban (third stage: 1980s-1990s) development that influenced landscape fragmentation and heterogeneity. The environmental consequences of this change have been depicted through loss of biodiversity, geohazard incidences, and the spread of vector-borne diseases. The spatial ecological information can be useful to development policy formulation, allowing diagnosis of the country’s “health” and sustainability

  16. From forest landscape to agricultural landscape in the developing tropical country of Malaysia: pattern, process, and their significance on policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Saiful Arif; Hezri, Adnan A

    2008-11-01

    Agricultural expansion and deforestation are spatial processes of land transformation that impact on landscape pattern. In peninsular Malaysia, the conversion of forested areas into two major cash crops--rubber and oil palm plantations--has been identified as driving significant environmental change. To date, there has been insufficient literature studying the link between changes in landscape patterns and land-related development policies. Therefore, this paper examines: (i) the links between development policies and changes in land use/land cover and landscape pattern and (ii) the significance and implications of these links for future development policies. The objective is to generate insights on the changing process of land use/land cover and landscape pattern as a functional response to development policies and their consequences for environmental conditions. Over the last century, the development of cash crops has changed the country from one dominated by natural landscapes to one dominated by agricultural landscapes. But the last decade of the century saw urbanization beginning to impact significantly. This process aligned with the establishment of various development policies, from land development for agriculture between the mid 1950s and the 1970s to an emphasis on manufacturing from the 1980s onward. Based on a case study in Selangor, peninsular Malaysia, a model of landscape pattern change is presented. It contains three stages according to the relative importance of rubber (first stage: 1900--1950s), oil palm (second stage: 1960s--1970s), and urban (third stage: 1980s--1990s) development that influenced landscape fragmentation and heterogeneity. The environmental consequences of this change have been depicted through loss of biodiversity, geohazard incidences, and the spread of vector-borne diseases. The spatial ecological information can be useful to development policy formulation, allowing diagnosis of the country's "health" and sustainability. The

  17. Aspects of Agricultural Landscape as a Cultural Asset in Metropolitan Areas: Case Study for Bucharest City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreea Popa

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Typical for the last decades economical and social processes at metropolitan level induce new models of spatial organization characterized by extensive urban development. These extensive processes configure various components of the cultural landscape in different ways. Such development modifies the rural, agricultural and industrial landscapes and generates new landscape typologies modeled by interaction between urban and rural space. Diverse approaches of urban development have modified the territorial structure and also the way in which the territory visually and dynamically responds to external factors by transforming the main cultural features. In such a context, preservation of common agricultural landscape as a part of cultural landscape is becoming an important issue for the local development policies

  18. Do riparian reserves support dung beetle biodiversity and ecosystem services in oil palm-dominated tropical landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Claudia L; Slade, Eleanor M; Mann, Darren J; Lewis, Owen T

    2014-04-01

    Agricultural expansion and intensification are major threats to global biodiversity, ecological functions, and ecosystem services. The rapid expansion of oil palm in forested tropical landscapes is of particular concern given their high biodiversity. Identifying management approaches that maintain native species and associated ecological processes within oil palm plantations is therefore a priority. Riparian reserves are strips of forest retained alongside rivers in cultivated areas, primarily for their positive hydrological impact. However, they can also support a range of forest-dependent species or ecosystem services. We surveyed communities of dung beetles and measured dung removal activity in an oil palm-dominated landscape in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The species richness, diversity, and functional group richness of dung beetles in riparian reserves were significantly higher than in oil palm, but lower than in adjacent logged forests. The community composition of the riparian reserves was more similar to logged forest than oil palm. Despite the pronounced differences in biodiversity, we did not find significant differences in dung removal rates among land uses. We also found no evidence that riparian reserves enhance dung removal rates within surrounding oil palm. These results contrast previous studies showing positive relationships between dung beetle species richness and dung removal in tropical forests. We found weak but significant positive relationships between riparian reserve width and dung beetle diversity, and between reserve vegetation complexity and dung beetle abundance, suggesting that these features may increase the conservation value of riparian reserves. Synthesis and applications: The similarity between riparian reserves and logged forest demonstrates that retaining riparian reserves increases biodiversity within oil palm landscapes. However, the lack of correlation between dung beetle community characteristics and dung removal highlights the

  19. Integrated analysis of the effects of agricultural management on nitrogen fluxes at landscape scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kros, J.; Frumeau, K.F.A.; Hensen, A.; Vries, de W.

    2011-01-01

    The integrated modelling system INITIATOR was applied to a landscape in the northern part of the Netherlands to assess current nitrogen fluxes to air and water and the impact of various agricultural measures on these fluxes, using spatially explicit input data on animal numbers, land use, agricultur

  20. Reconfiguring an Irrigation Landscape to Improve Provision of Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Crossman, Neville D.; Jeffrey D Connor; Bryan, Brett A.; David A Summers; John Ginnivan

    2009-01-01

    Over-allocation of fresh water resources to consumptive uses, coupled with recurring drought and the prospect of climate change, is compromising the stocks of natural capital in the world’s basins and reducing their ability to provide ecosystem services. To combat this, governments world wide are making significant investment in efforts to improve sharing of water between consumptive uses and the environment, with many investments centred on modernisation of inefficient irrigation delivery sy...

  1. Multifunctional Agriculture: Conducting an Ecosystem Service Assessment for an Agricultural Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wacha, K.; Papanicolaou, T.; Wilson, C. G.

    2012-12-01

    To meet the food production demands on a finite area of land for an exponentially growing, global population, intensive agricultural management practices are being used. The implications of this these practices lead to soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and decreased water quality depending on the level of conservation practices implemented in a watershed. To offset these negative environmental effects, ecosystem services should be analyzed for possible economic valuation to provide incentives for good land stewardship. In this study a Multifunctional Agriculture (MFA) evaluation in a representative agricultural watershed in Iowa was performed by assessing the ecosystem services of water quality, crop/grain production, carbon sequestration, reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and biodiversity for representative land covers (e.g., corn-soybean rotation, alfalfa, oats, and Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP). The services were analyzed using a geo-spatial platform that simulated carbon dynamics with the biogeochemical model, CENTURY, as well as soil erosion/deposition and surface runoff with the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP). Economic values given to the various services were based on current grain prices, water treatment costs, and hypothetical carbon storage credits. Results showed that crop/grain production for the corn-soybean rotations provided the largest service for the study site, followed by alfalfa. CRP provided the largest decrease in surface water runoff and CO2 emissions, while alfalfa provided the largest form of plant species diversity. The largest sequestration of carbon came from the corn-soybean rotation due to large amounts dead plant material being incorporated into the soil through tillage. Overall the MFA assessment can provide a framework for payment of ecosystem services supplied by agroecosystems which promote more sustainable land management practices.

  2. Landscape Development During a Glacial Cycle: Modeling Ecosystems from the Past into the Future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindborg, Tobias; Andersson, Eva [Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co, Stockholm (Sweden)], E-mail: tobias.lindborg@skb.se; Brydsten, Lars [Umeaa Marine Sciences Centre, Umeaa (Sweden); Stroemgren, Maarten [Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeaa Univ., Umeaa (Sweden); Sohlenius, Gustav [Geological Survey of Sweden, Uppsala (Sweden)] Loefgren, Anders [EcoAnalytica, Haegersten (Sweden)

    2013-05-15

    Understanding how long-term abiotic and biotic processes are linked at a landscape level is of major interest for analyzing future impact on humans and the environment from present-day societal planning. This article uses results derived from multidisciplinary work at a coastal site in Sweden, with the aim of describing future landscape development. First, based on current and historical data, we identified climate change, shoreline displacement, and accumulation/erosion processes as the main drivers of landscape development. Second, site-specific information was combined with data from the Scandinavian region to build models that describe how the identified processes may affect the site development through time. Finally, the process models were combined to describe a whole interglacial period. With this article, we show how the landscape and ecosystem boundaries are affected by changing permafrost conditions, peat formation, sedimentation, human land use, and shoreline displacement.

  3. Landscape development during a glacial cycle: modeling ecosystems from the past into the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindborg, Tobias; Brydsten, Lars; Sohlenius, Gustav; Strömgren, Mårten; Andersson, Eva; Löfgren, Anders

    2013-05-01

    Understanding how long-term abiotic and biotic processes are linked at a landscape level is of major interest for analyzing future impact on humans and the environment from present-day societal planning. This article uses results derived from multidisciplinary work at a coastal site in Sweden, with the aim of describing future landscape development. First, based on current and historical data, we identified climate change, shoreline displacement, and accumulation/erosion processes as the main drivers of landscape development. Second, site-specific information was combined with data from the Scandinavian region to build models that describe how the identified processes may affect the site development through time. Finally, the process models were combined to describe a whole interglacial period. With this article, we show how the landscape and ecosystem boundaries are affected by changing permafrost conditions, peat formation, sedimentation, human land use, and shoreline displacement. PMID:23619798

  4. Coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services flows at the landscape scale: The CBESS progamme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, David; Bothwell, John; Bradbury, Richard; Burrows, Michael; Burton, Niall; Emmerson, Mark; Garbutt, Angus; Skov, Martin; Solan, Martin; Spencer, Tom; Underwood, Graham

    2015-04-01

    The health of the European coastline is inextricably linked to the economy and culture of coastal nations but they are sensitive to climate change. As global temperatures increase, sea levels will rise and the forces experienced where land meets sea will become more destructive. Salt marshes, mudflats, beaches will be affected. These landscapes support a wide range of economically valuable animal and plant species, but also act as sites of carbon storage, nutrient recycling, and pollutant capture and amelioration. Their preservation is of utmost importance. Our programme: "A hierarchical approach to the examination of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem service flows across coastal margins" (CBESS) is designed to understand the landscape-scale links between the functions that these systems provide (ecosystem service flows) and the organisms that provide these services (biodiversity stocks) and moves beyond most previous studies, conducted at smaller scales. Our consortium of experts ranges from microbial ecologists, through environmental economists, to mathematical modellers, and organisations (RSPB, BTO, CEFAS, EA) with vested interest in the sustainable use of coastal wetlands. CBESS spans the landscape scale, investigating how biodiversity stocks provide ecosystem services (cf. National Ecosystem Assessment: Supporting services; Provisioning services; Regulating services; and Cultural services). CBESS combined a detailed study of two regional landscapes with a broad-scale UK-wide study to allow both specific and general conclusions to be drawn. The regional study compares two areas of great UK national importance: Morecambe Bay on the west coast and the Essex coastline on the east. We carried out biological and physical surveys at more than 600 stations combined with in situ measures of ecosystem funtction to clarify how biodiversity can provide these important ecosystem functions across scales. This information will be shared with those

  5. The effects of erosional and management history on soil organic carbon stores in ephemeral wetlands of hummocky agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bedard-Haughn, A.; Jongbloed, F.; Akkennan, J.; Uijl, A.; Jong, de E.; Yates, T.; Pennock, D.

    2006-01-01

    Carbon sequestration by agricultural soils has been widely promoted as a means of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. In many regions agricultural fields are just one component of a complex landscape matrix and understanding the interactions between agricultural fields and other landscape component

  6. Ecosystem Hotspot Identification And Examination of The Land Use Change in Agricultural Ecosystem Using Geological Information: Evidence From India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zareena Begum Irfan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on the ecosystem based hotspot identification and the pattern of land use change in Agricultural Ecosystem using the land use dynamic degree model. Geological Information on the agricultural ecosystem is obtained by the remote sensing images for the identification of land change. With this hotspot identification it brings a clear picture of how to look into a new definition of hotspots, which identifies a region or specific area and how each area could be identified as a hotspot. Geographic Information System (GIS images were used to analyze the changes in land over specific time period.

  7. The policy landscape of agricultural water management in Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Aberman, Noora-Lisa; Wielgosz, Benjamin; Zaidi, Fatima; Ringler, Claudia; Akram, Agha Ali; Bell, Andrew; Issermann, Maikel

    2013-01-01

    Irrigation is central to Pakistan’s agriculture; and managing the country’s canal, ground, and surface water resources in a more efficient, equitable, and sustainable way will be crucial to meeting agricultural production challenges, including increasing agricultural productivity and adapting to climate change. The water component of the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Pakistan Strategy Support Program (PSSP) is working to address these topics through high-quality researc...

  8. Consistency in bird use of tree cover across tropical agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilchez Mendoza, Sergio; Harvey, Celia A; Sáenz, Joel C; Casanoves, Fernando; Pablo Carvajal, Jose; González Villalobos, Jorge; Hernandez, Blas; Medina, Arnulfo; Montero, Jorge; Sánchez Merlo, Dalia; Sinclair, Fergus L

    2014-01-01

    In tropical regions where forests have been replaced by agriculture, the future of biodiversity is increasingly dependent on the presence of remnant forest patches and on-farm tree cover within agricultural landscapes. While there is growing evidence of the importance of tree cover within agricultural landscapes, most studies have been conducted in a single landscape, making it difficult to ascertain whether the conservation value of different types of tree cover can be generalized across landscapes. To explore whether use of different forms of tree cover by birds is consistent across landscapes, we compared the number of individuals, species richness, and diversity of birds associated with different forms of tree cover in four agricultural landscapes in Central America, using a standardized methodology and sampling effort. In each landscape, we compared bird assemblages in six tree cover types (secondary forests, riparian forests, forest fallows, live fences, pastures with high tree cover, and pastures with low tree cover). We observed a total of 10 723 birds of 283 species, with 83-196 species per landscape. The specific patterns of bird species richness, number of individuals, and diversity associated with tree cover types varied across the four landscapes, but these variables were consistently higher in the forest forms of tree cover (riparian forests, secondary forests, and forest fallows) than in non-forest habitats. In addition, forest forms of tree cover had distinct species composition from non-forest forms in all landscapes. There was also consistency in the use of different types of tree cover by forest birds across the four landscapes, with higher richness and number of individuals of forest birds in forested than non-forested forms of tree cover, and more forest bird species in pastures with high tree cover than in pastures with low tree cover. Our findings indicate that riparian and secondary forests are consistently of higher value for bird

  9. Functional ecomorphology: Feedbacks between form and function in fluvial landscape ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Stuart G.; Heffernan, James B.; Sponseller, Ryan A.; Welter, Jill R.

    2007-09-01

    The relationship between form and function has been a central organizing principle in biology throughout its history as a formal science. This concept has been relevant from molecules to organisms but loses meaning at population and community levels where study targets are abstract collectives and assemblages. Ecosystems include organisms and abiotic factors but ecosystem ecology too has developed until recently without a strong spatially explicit reference. Landscape ecology provides an opportunity to once again anneal form and function and to consider reciprocal causation between them. This ecomorphologic view can be applied at a variety of ecologically relevant scales and consists of an investigation of how geomorphology provides a structural template that shapes, and is shaped by ecological processes. Running water ecosystems illustrate several principles governing the interaction of landscape form and ecological function subsumed by the concept of "Functional Ecomorphology". Particularly lucrative are ecosystem-level interactions between geologic form and biogeochemical processes integrated by hydrologic flowpaths. While the utility of a flowpath-based approach is most apparent in streams, spatially explicit biogeochemical processing pervades all landscapes and may be of general ecological application.

  10. Disentangling Values in the Interrelations between Cultural Ecosystem Services and Landscape Conservation—A Case Study of the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca Tilliger

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In the past few years, there has been a growing amount of research on economic quantifications and valuations of ecosystem services (ES in agricultural systems. However, little attention has been given to cultural ESs (CES in general and their link to the landscape in particular. This paper tries to tackle this gap with a case study on the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippines. The study aims to understand the interrelations between the different CESs and their relationships with the landscape. Besides contributing to knowledge about the degradation of the rice terraces, this study was conducted in order to discuss at a theoretical level how CESs and their relationship with the landscape must be addressed in ES management and policy decisions. The methodological approach includes a combination of semi-structured interviews (n = 60 and a perception survey (n = 66. The results reveal that CESs, apart from being interrelated, are also responsible for and affected by the degradation of the rice terraces, which is why they are important factors to consider in ecosystem conservation. This paper finally provides policy recommendations for the empirical case and demonstrates the importance of connecting CES analysis with landscape studies looking at agricultural systems.

  11. BATS AND BT INSECT RESISTANCE ON AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES

    Science.gov (United States)

    A landscape model that utilizes land cover classification data, insect life history, insect movement, and bat foraging pressure is developed that addresses the implementation of genetically modified crops in the Winter Garden region of Texas. The principal strategy for delaying r...

  12. Planning methodology of agricultural landscape and its application in ecological conservation development area%生态涵养发展区农业景观规划方法及其应用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梁发超; 刘黎明; 曲衍波; 双文元

    2014-01-01

    Scientific and rational planning methodology of agricultural landscape is a core technology of China new countryside construction systems. Scientific approach of agricultural landscape planning is directly related to scientificity, practicability and feasibility of agricultural landscape planning. However, landscape planning approach lacks in the new countryside construction of China. In order to meet the requirements of the new countryside construction, the scientific and integrated planning methodology of agricultural landscape was proposed. In this paper, the definition of agricultural landscape was determined. Agricultural landscape could be defined as mosaics of patches serving agricultural production outside the town. It includes farmland, woodland, orchard, water conservancy facilities, rural roads, rural settlements and other ecosystems. On the basis of dominant landscape functional classification and mapping, agricultural landscapes were classed into 4 classes namely agricultural production landscape, agricultural ecological landscape, agricultural service and facility landscape and rural settlement landscape. These four categoties of landscape were planned respectively, unreasonable agricultural landscape units were adjusted. Based on the natural suitability evaluation of the agricultural production landscape, the paper carried out zoning plan of agricultural production landscape. On the basis of field survey and evaluation on service facilities of the agricultural landscape, the roads landscape and the agricultural tourism and leisure landscape were specially planned. As for results of the suitability evaluation on rural settlement landscape, the rural settlement landscape was divided into different development types and then its internal structure was planned. The agro-ecological landscape was planned from the ecological protection areas, ecological corridors of rivers and ecological corridor of traffic, respectively. Taking advantage of the combination

  13. Phenology of the Landscape: The Role of Organic Agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stobbelaar, D.J.; Hendriks, C.J.M.; Stortelder, A.H.F.

    2004-01-01

    It is becoming increasingly clear that the agricultural sector will have to find an additional raison d'être beyond the production of food alone. One of the new services that agriculture can provide is contributing to the environmental quality of rural areas. In this respect a great burden of expect

  14. Understanding Multifunctional Agricultural Land by Using Low Cost and Open Source Solutions to Quantify Ecosystem Function and Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsmoo, Joel; Anderson, Karen; Brazier, Richard; Macleod, Kit; Wilkinson, Mark

    2016-04-01

    There is a need to advance our understanding of how the spatial structure of farmed landscapes contributes to the provision of functions and services. Agricultural land is of critical importance in NW Europe, covering large parts of NW Europe's temperate land. Moreover, these agricultural areas are primarily intensively managed, with a focus on maximizing food and fibre production. Such landscapes therefore can provide a wealth of ecosystem goods and services (ESs) including regulation of climate, erosion regulation, hydrology, water quality, nutrient cycling and biodiversity conservation. However, it has been shown they are key sources of sediment, phosphorous, nitrogen and storm runoff contributing to flooding, and therefore it is likely that most agricultural landscapes do not maximize the services or benefits that they might provide. The focus of this study is the spatio-temporal assessment of carbon sequestration (particularly through proxies such as above-ground biomass) and hydrological processes on agricultural land. Understanding and quantifying both of these is important to (a) inform payments for ecosystem services frameworks, (b) evaluate and improve carbon sequestration models, (c) manage the flood risk, (d) downstream water security and (e) water quality. Quantifying both of these ESs is dependent on data describing the fine spatial and temporal structure and function of the landscape. Common practice has been to use remote sensing techniques, e.g. satellites, providing coarse spatial resolution (around 30cm at 20° off nadir) and/or temporal resolution (around 5 days revisit time at <20° off nadir). In this paper we will explain how imaging data from lightweight and easily deployed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to generate structure from motion (SFM) products describing the very fine detailed (<3 cm pixel resolution) structure of the agricultural environment. We will demonstrate how these products can be delivered using advanced free

  15. Soil Respiration in Different Agricultural and Natural Ecosystems in an Arid Region

    OpenAIRE

    Liming Lai; Xuechun Zhao; Lianhe Jiang; Yongji Wang; Liangguo Luo; Yuanrun Zheng; Xi Chen; Rimmington, Glyn M.

    2012-01-01

    The variation of different ecosystems on the terrestrial carbon balance is predicted to be large. We investigated a typical arid region with widespread saline/alkaline soils, and evaluated soil respiration of different agricultural and natural ecosystems. Soil respiration for five ecosystems together with soil temperature, soil moisture, soil pH, soil electric conductivity and soil organic carbon content were investigated in the field. Comparing with the natural ecosystems, the mean seasonal ...

  16. Durable strategies to deploy plant resistance in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Fabre, Frédéric; Rousseau, Elsa; Mailleret, Ludovic; Moury, Benoit

    2012-01-01

    The deployment of resistant crops often leads to the emergence of resistance-breaking pathogens that suppress the yield benefit provided by the resistance. Here, we theoretically explored how farmers’ main leverages (resistant cultivar choice, resistance deployment strategy, landscape planning and cultural practices) can be best combined to achieve resistance durability while minimizing yield losses as a result of plant viruses. Assuming a gene-for-gene type of interaction, virus epidemics ar...

  17. Multimodeling Framework for Predicting Water Quality in Fragmented Agriculture-Forest Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, J. B.; Guber, A.; Porter, W. F.; Williams, D.; Tamrakar, S.; Dechen Quinn, A.

    2012-12-01

    Both livestock and wildlife are major contributors of nonpoint pollution of surface water bodies. The interactions among them can substantially increase the chance of contamination especially in fragmented agriculture-forest landscapes, where wildlife (e.g. white tailed deer) can transmit diseases between remote farms. Unfortunately, models currently available for predicting fate and transport of microorganisms in these ecosystems do not account for such interactions. The objectives of this study are to develop and test a multimodeling framework that assesses the risk of microbial contamination of surface water caused by wildlife-livestock interactions in fragmented agriculture-forest ecosystems. The framework consists of a modified Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), KINematic Runoff and EROSion model (KINEROS2) with the add-on module STWIR (Microorganism Transport with Infiltration and Runoff), RAMAS GIS, SIR compartmental model and Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment model (QMRA). The watershed-scale model SWAT simulates plant biomass growth, wash-off of microorganisms from foliage and soil, overland and in-stream microbial transport, microbial growth, and die-off in foliage and soil. RAMAS GIS model predicts the most probable habitat and subsequent population of white-tailed deer based on land use and crop biomass. KINEROS-STWIR simulates overland transport of microorganisms released from soil, surface applied manure, and fecal deposits during runoff events at high temporal and special resolutions. KINEROS-STWIR and RAMAS GIS provide input for an SIR compartmental model which simulates disease transmission within and between deer groups. This information is used in SWAT model to account for transmission and deposition of pathogens by white tailed deer in stream water, foliage and soil. The QMRA approach extends to microorganisms inactivated in forage and water consumed by deer. Probabilities of deer infections and numbers of infected animals are computed

  18. Durable strategies to deploy plant resistance in agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabre, Frédéric; Rousseau, Elsa; Mailleret, Ludovic; Moury, Benoit

    2012-03-01

    The deployment of resistant crops often leads to the emergence of resistance-breaking pathogens that suppress the yield benefit provided by the resistance. Here, we theoretically explored how farmers' main leverages (resistant cultivar choice, resistance deployment strategy, landscape planning and cultural practices) can be best combined to achieve resistance durability while minimizing yield losses as a result of plant viruses. Assuming a gene-for-gene type of interaction, virus epidemics are modelled in a landscape composed of a mosaic of resistant and susceptible fields, subjected to seasonality, and a reservoir hosting viruses year-round. The model links the genetic and the epidemiological processes, shaping at nested scales the demogenetic dynamics of viruses. The choice of the resistance gene (characterized by the equilibrium frequency of the resistance-breaking virus at mutation-selection balance in a susceptible plant) is the most influential leverage of action. Our results showed that optimal strategies of resistance deployment range from 'mixture' (where susceptible and resistant cultivars coexist) to 'pure' strategies (with only resistant cultivar) depending on the resistance characteristics and the epidemiological context (epidemic incidence and landscape connectivity). We demonstrate and discuss gaps concerning virus epidemiology across the agro-ecological interface that must be filled to achieve sustainable disease management. PMID:22260272

  19. The role of disturbance in vegetation distribution, composition and structure at the landscape scale for two western US ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Forrestel, Alison Blair

    2013-01-01

    Disturbance plays a key role in determining the structure, composition and function of ecosystems. Understanding disturbance regimes and their impacts on ecosystems is critical to understanding and managing these systems. This research examines how disturbance structures ecosystems at the landscape scale and how different disturbance agents interact. It is focused on two western US ecosystems: scrub and mixed evergreen forests of coastal northern California, USA and conifer forests of the ...

  20. Intensification of agriculture, landscape composition and wild bee communities: A large scale study in four European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feon, Le V.; Schermann-Legionnet, A.; Delettre, Y.; Aviron, S.; Billeter, R.; Bugter, R.J.F.; Hendrickx, F.; Burel, F.

    2010-01-01

    The impacts of agricultural practices and landscape composition on bee communities were investigated in 14 sites located in four Western European countries (Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland). Standardized interviews with farmers assessed agricultural practices in terms of agricultura

  1. Agrosystem Services: An Additional Terminology to Better Understand Ecosystem Services Delivered by Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert Wiggering

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available To discriminate between the contributions of ecosystems and the human subsidies to agricultural systems, we propose using an additional terminology to bring clarification into the controversial discussion about i ecosystems versus agrosystems and ii ecosystem services versus agrosystem services. A literature review revealed that with the exception of some very recent publications, this has not yet been sufficiently reflected, neither within the scientific nor in the policy discussion. The question remains whether to spoil the discussion with new terms again and again. We reason that it makes sense to underpin the case-specific share of agricultural inputs to the supply of agroecosystem services and to add “agro” to the terminology. We conclude, that there is a need to promote the new terminology of agrosystem services and to strengthen the use of the already established term agroecosystem services within this context. To emphasise the production patterns behind the multiple benefits agricultural systems provide to humans (commodity and non-commodity outputs and to guarantee a reasonable weighting of related externalities in policy processes, we suggest to introduce the term agrosystem services into the discussion on ecosystem services. Agrosystem services in this context describe the anthropogenic share of agroecosystem services’ generation. Agroecosystem services include multiple provisioning, regulating and cultural services from agricultural ecosystems. The inclusion of agrosystem services might accommodate the ecology-based ecosystem services concept to the specificity of managed agricultural ecosystems and therefore could be better implemented by mostly economy-driven agricultural production systems and agricultural policy.

  2. The importance of ecosystem services for rural inhabitants in a changing cultural landscape in Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tibor Hartel

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Many traditional cultural landscapes evolved as coupled social-ecological systems. It is important to understand how such systems navigate novel challenges posed by globalization. To address this issue, we bring together two components of a pilot study carried out in a cultural landscape from Central Romania. The region was affected by major social and economic perturbations in the past century, affecting ethnic composition, community cohesion, land property regimes, and the management of common resources. The first component of our study investigated how rural inhabitants appreciated ecosystem services through questionnaires with 98 people in 30 villages. The second component aimed to assess the perception of people about ongoing changes in their communities through semistructured interviews with 50 people in 5 villages. Rural inhabitants particularly valued provisioning ecosystem services such as firewood, water, and crops, but also healthy soils. Rural communities were characterized by a number of social and economic issues, especially individualism, lack of trust, corruption, and poverty. People from communities with many initiatives, e.g., NGOs, associations, and active individuals, were more optimistic regarding the future of their communities than people from villages with few or no initiatives. A major challenge for cultural landscapes such as those in Central Romania is to find new, meaningful ways to keep the social and ecological systems connected. Otherwise there is a risk that (short-term socioeconomic interests may impair the provisioning of important ecosystem services.

  3. Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Transforming Landscape in Northern Borneo

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolas Labrière; Yves Laumonier; Bruno Locatelli; Ghislain Vieilledent; Marion Comptour

    2015-01-01

    Because industrial agriculture keeps expanding in Southeast Asia at the expense of natural forests and traditional swidden systems, comparing biodiversity and ecosystem services in the traditional forest-swidden agriculture system vs. monocultures is needed to guide decision making on land-use planning. Focusing on tree diversity, soil erosion control, and climate change mitigation through carbon storage, we surveyed vegetation and monitored soil loss in various land-use areas in a northern B...

  4. Assessing the changes in land use and ecosystem services in an oasis agricultural region of Yanqi Basin, Northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuixian; Wu, Bin; Yang, Pengnian

    2014-12-01

    The Yanqi Basin, one of the most productive agricultural areas, has a high population density in Xinjiang, Northwest China. Land use changes, mainly driven by oasis expansion, significantly impact ecosystem services and functions, but these effects are difficult to quantify. The valuation of ecosystem services is important to clarify the ecological and environmental changes caused by agriculturalization of oasis. This study aimed to investigate variations in ecosystem services in response to land use changes during oasis agricultural expansion activities in the Yanqi Basin from 1964 to 2009. The methods used were based on formula of ecosystem service value (ESV) and ESV coefficients. Satellite data were combined with the ESV coefficients to quantify land use changes and ecosystem service changes in the study area. Sensitivity analysis determined the effect of manipulating the coefficients on the estimated values. The results show that the total ESVs in the Yanqi Basin were $1,674, $1,692, $1,471, $1,732, and $1,603 million in 1964, 1973, 1989, 1999, and 2009, respectively. The net deline in ESV was $71 million in the past 46 years, but the ESVs of each types of landscape changed significantly. The aggregated ESVs of water areas and wetlands were approximately 80 % of the total ESV. Water supply and waste treatment were the two largest service functions and contributed approximately 65 % of the total ESV. The estimated ESVs in this study were elastic with respect to the value coefficients. Therefore, the estimations were robust in spite of uncertainties on the value coefficients. These significant changes in land use occur within the entire basin over the study period. These changes cause environmental problems, such as land degradation, vegetation degeneracy, and changes in aquatic environment.

  5. Landscape scale assessment of ecosystem goods and services and the extent, location, and magnitude of urban-suburban expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human development adjoining coastal cities is the prevalent force changing the Anthropocene landscape. The extent, location, and magnitude of urban-suburban expansion can drastically modify how important features of ecosystems are effected. These effects are best summarized usin...

  6. The status of agricultural ecosystem examined by microwave data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dabrowska-Zielinska, Katarzyna; Budzynska, Maria; Ciolkosz, Andrzej; Kowalik, Wanda; Bochenek, Zbigniew

    2010-10-01

    The Remote Sensing Centre in the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography has undertaken the investigation of applying ENVISAT.ASAR, ALOS.PALSAR, and TerraSAR-X data for modelling of soil moisture under various crops. Radar data are independent of weather conditions and that is why they are very useful in monitoring the dynamic of various soil-vegetation parameters. The aim of the study was to examine the usefulness of radar data for describing the soil-vegetation parameters of agri-environment ecosystem in the Wielkopolska region of Poland. The research on agriculture area has been carried out at ground level by taking measurements of soil moisture, Leaf Area Index, height of the vegetation, and wet and dry biomass. The TerraSAR-X and ALOS.PALSAR images have been applied for classification of agriculture area. The images taken in X band were used for discriminating the structure of vegetation, while the images taken in L-band turned out to be very effective at mapping structure of forests and distinguishing them from non-forest areas. Therefore synergy of images acquired in bands X and L gave good results in classification of forested areas and crops. The influence of soil moisture on backscattering coefficient calculated from ENVISAT.ASAR under various polarisations and incidence angles for different crops distinguished from classification of ENVISAT.ASAR IS6 and IS4 has been examined to find correlations between satellite derived data and soil-vegetation parameters. The best correlation between backscatter and LAI has been obtained by applying ASAR IS6 HH or ASAR IS4 HH images, while the best correlation between backscatter and soil moisture has been obtained applying ASAR IS6 VV or ASAR IS4 VV images. The influence of the crop descriptor such as LAI on backscatter coefficient calculated from ENVISAT.ASAR IS2 HH under various soil moisture conditions as well as the influence of the crop descriptor such as soil moisture on backscatter coefficient calculated from

  7. Watershed scale impacts of bioenergy, landscape changes, and ecosystem response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaubey, Indrajeet; Cibin, Raj; Chiang, Li-Chi

    2013-04-01

    In recent years, high US gasoline prices and national security concerns have prompted a renewed interest in alternative fuel sources to meet increasing energy demands, particularly by the transportation sector. Food and animal feed crops, such as corn and soybean, sugarcane, residue from these crops, and cellulosic perennial crops grown specifically to produce bioenergy (e.g. switchgrass, Miscanthus, mixed grasses), and fast growing trees (e.g. hybrid poplar) are expected to provide the majority of the biofeedstock for energy production. One of the grand challenges in supplying large quantities of grain-based and lignocellulosic materials for the production of biofuels is ensuring that they are produced in environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner. Feedstock selection will vary geographically based on regional adaptability, productivity, and reliability. Changes in land use and management practices related to biofeedstock production may have potential impacts on water quantity and quality, sediments, and pesticides and nutrient losses, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate variability and change. We have made many improvements in the currently available biophysical models (e.g. Soil and Water Assessment Tool or SWAT model) to evaluate sustainability of energy crop production. We have utilized the improved model to evaluate impacts of both annual (e.g. corn) and perennial bioenergy crops (e.g. Miscanthus and switchgrass at) on hydrology and water quality under the following plausible bioenergy crop production scenarios: (1) at highly erodible areas; (2) at agriculturally marginal areas; (3) at pasture areas; (4) crop residue (corn stover) removal; and (5) combinations of above scenarios. Overall results indicated improvement in water quality with introduction of perennial energy crops. Stream flow at the watershed outlet was reduced under energy crop production scenarios and ranged between 0.3% and 5% across scenarios. Erosion and sediment

  8. Directions of change in land cover and landscape patterns from 1957 to 2000 in agricultural landscapes in NW Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo-Iglesias, María Silvia; Fra-Paleo, Urbano; Crecente-Maseda, Rafael; Díaz-Varela, Ramón Alberto

    2006-12-01

    The aim of this work is the analysis of the dynamics in cultural landscapes, focused on the spatial distribution of changes in land cover and landscape patterns, and their possible linkages. These dynamics have been analyzed for the years 1957 and 2000 in a sector of the north of Galicia (NW Spain) characterized with diverse landscapes. Afforestation processes linked to agriculture abandonment and forestry specialization were the main processes observed in the study area, with the exception of the southern mountainous sector that was dominated by ploughing of scrubland for conversion into grassland, reflecting a specialization in livestock production. The structural changes that have taken place in most of the study area were related to the heterogeneity aspects, although the mountainous sectors were characterized by changes in heterogeneity and fragmentation. According to the tests performed, the comparison of the spatial distribution of both dynamics showed a certain statistical significance, reflecting the interrelationship between patterns and processes. This approach could be useful for the identification of areas with similar characteristics in terms of spatial dynamics so as to define more effective and targeted landscape planning and management strategies.

  9. Analysis of the effects of agricultural land use change on rural environment and landscape through historical cartography and GIS tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dina Statuto

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The human activities and the social and economic transformations occurred during the last century led modifications in the agro-forestry areas. This paper shows a study case study in which the dynamics of land use are analysed using a geographic information system applied to historical maps in order to evaluate the consequences of these land transformations over the last 179 years on the rural environment and landscape. The use of three-dimensional reconstructions, obtained through the creation of different digital terrain model, has allowed to appreciate the landscape modifications, in term of morphological and vegetation variation, determining its aesthetic quality. The analysis shows a common dynamic present in many rural areas of Southern Italy, i.e., the increase of agricultural areas replacing forested surfaces in an older period followed by the further phenomenon of spontaneous re-naturalisation of many of these areas, due to the abandonment of extensive cultivated areas. Moreover, through comparison with historical documents, it was possible to analyse how the agricultural activities influenced the quality of the forest ecosystem. The methodology employed in this study allows a detailed analysis of the processes that occurred in different rural context and the creation of appropriate tools for sustainable land management.

  10. Landscape connectivity and insect herbivory: A framework for understanding tradeoffs among ecosystem services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothy Y. Maguire

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Current theory suggests that ecosystem services in fragmented landscapes can be maintained by preserving connectivity of remaining habitat patches. However connectivity does not always influence services positively. For example, outbreaks of destructive insect herbivores can be facilitated by connectivity among forest patches. Understanding the positive and negative effects of connectivity on ecosystem processes is needed to help scientists and managers anticipate tradeoffs among services that result from forest fragmentation or restoration. In this paper we use a vote counting meta-analytic approach in combination with a literature survey to explore how connectivity affects ecosystem service provisioning using insect herbivory as a model process. Our results indicate that landscape connectivity affects herbivory in diverse ways, and that implications for services depend on whether we consider outbreaking species. Under non-outbreak conditions, herbivory positively affects services such as timber production, soil formation, and recreation by stimulating tree growth and enhancing soil productivity, but under outbreak conditions, herbivory negatively affects services by reducing timber yields and the aesthetic value of forests. We present a framework that shows herbivory is an important mechanism through which connectivity affects ecosystem services. Using case studies we demonstrate the applicability of the framework to management of two forest insect pests: the mountain pine beetle and forest tent caterpillar.

  11. Discharge Competence and Pattern Formation in Peatlands: A Meta-Ecosystem Model of the Everglades Ridge-Slough Landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Heffernan, James B.; Danielle L Watts; Cohen, Matthew J.

    2013-01-01

    Regular landscape patterning arises from spatially-dependent feedbacks, and can undergo catastrophic loss in response to changing landscape drivers. The central Everglades (Florida, USA) historically exhibited regular, linear, flow-parallel orientation of high-elevation sawgrass ridges and low-elevation sloughs that has degraded due to hydrologic modification. In this study, we use a meta-ecosystem approach to model a mechanism for the establishment, persistence, and loss of this landscape. T...

  12. Transforming river basins: Post-livelihood transition agricultural landscapes and implications for natural resource governance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreeja, K G; Madhusoodhanan, C G; Eldho, T I

    2015-08-15

    The agricultural and livelihood transitions post globalization are redefining resource relations and redrawing landscapes in the Global South and have major implications for nascent natural resource governance regimes such as Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM). A mosaic of divergent reciprocations in resource relations were noticed due to livelihood transitions in the rural areas where previous resource uses and relations had been primarily within agriculture. The reconstitution of rural spaces and the attendant changes in the resource equations are observed to be creating new sites of conformity, contestation and conflicts that often move beyond local spaces. This paper critically reviews studies across the Global South to explore the nature and extent of changes in resource relations and agricultural landscapes post livelihood diversification and the implication and challenges of these changes for natural resource governance. Though there is drastic reduction in agricultural livelihoods throughout the Global South, changes in agricultural area are found to be inconsistent and heterogeneous in the region. Agriculture continues in the countrysides but in widely differentiated capacities and redefined value systems. The transformed agrarian spaces are characterized by a mosaic of scenarios from persistence and sustainable subsistence to differentiation and exploitative commercial practices to abandonment and speculation. The reconfigured resource relations, emergent multiple and multi-scalar interest groups, institutional and policy changes and altered power differentials in these diversified landscapes are yet to be incorporated into natural resource governance frameworks such as IRBM. PMID:26026234

  13. Species’ traits influence ground beetle responses to farm and landscape level agricultural intensification in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winqvist, C.; Bengtsson, J.; Öckinger, E.; Aavik, T.; Berendse, F.; Clement, L.W.; Geiger, F.

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural intensification may result in important shifts in insect community composition and function, but this remains poorly explored. Studying how groups of species with shared traits respond to local and landscape scale land-use management can reveal mechanisms behind such observed impacts. W

  14. Hedgerows Have a Barrier Effect and Channel Pollinator Movement in the Agricultural Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Felix

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural intensification and the subsequent fragmentation of semi-natural habitats severely restrict pollinator and pollen movement threatening both pollinator and plant species. Linear landscape elements such as hedgerows are planted for agricultural and conservation purposes to increase the resource availability and habitat connectivity supporting populations of beneficial organisms such as pollinators. However, hedgerows may have unexpected effects on plant and pollinator persistence by not just channeling pollinators and pollen along, but also restricting movement across the strip of habitat. Here, we tested how hedgerows influence pollinator movement and pollen flow. We used fluorescent dye particles as pollen analogues to track pollinator movement between potted cornflowers Centaurea cyanus along and across a hedgerow separating two meadows. The deposition of fluorescent dye was significantly higher along the hedgerow than across the hedgerow and into the meadow, despite comparable pollinator abundances. The differences in pollen transfer suggest that hedgerows can affect pollinator and pollen dispersal by channeling their movement and acting as a permeable barrier. We conclude that hedgerows in agricultural landscapes can increase the connectivity between otherwise isolated plant and pollinator populations (corridor function, but can have additional, and so far unknown barrier effects on pollination services. Functioning as a barrier, linear landscape elements can impede pollinator movement and dispersal, even for highly mobile species such as bees. These results should be considered in future management plans aiming to enhance the persistence of threatened pollinator and plant populations by restoring functional connectivity and to ensure sufficient crop pollination in the agricultural landscape.

  15. Arthropods Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Effects of Land Use and Anthropization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilena Leis

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The greatest proportion of Po river plain is occupied by arable lands. Negative effects of modern intensive agriculture on biodiversity can derive from various phenomena operating at different spatial scales, from local to regional ones. If agricultural fields are subjected to periodical disturbances by farming practices, also landscape structure can influence community structure in the fields providing refugial areas or alternative trophic resources. In the same way in perennial habitats, such as strips and meadows, community structure and composition may be linked to both local factors and surrounding land use, that can influence organism persistence and dispersal mechanisms. We studied some natural and anthropized habitats in a wide agricultural area in the province of Ferrara (conventional annual and perennial fields, herbaceous strips, hedgerows and meadows to investigate relationships between arthropod community structure and both local impact factors (habitat type, management and surronding landscape structure and use. Results from uni and multivariate analysis showed a great influence on trophic and taxonomic structure of habitat type and quality.A less complex landscape had only slightly influence on trophic structure, leading to higher abundance and richness of generalist taxa. In conclusion we emphasize the importance of maintaining high-quality habitats to enhance arthopod diversity in agricultural landscapes.

  16. Pervasive effects of dispersal limitation on within- and among-community species richness in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendrickx, F.; Maelfait, J.P.; Desender, K.; Aviron, S.; Bailey, D.; Diekotter, T.; Lens, L.; Liira, J.; Schweiger, O.; Speelmans, M.; Vandomme, V.; Bugter, R.J.F.

    2009-01-01

    Aim To determine whether the effect of habitat fragmentation and habitat heterogeneity on species richness at different spatial scales depends on the dispersal ability of the species assemblages and if this results in nested species assemblages. Location Agricultural landscapes distributed over seve

  17. The response of elephants to the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation in a Southern African agricultural landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Murwira, A.; Skidmore, A.K.

    2005-01-01

    Based on the agricultural landscape of the Sebungwe in Zimbabwe, we investigated whether and how the spatial distribution of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) responded to spatial heterogeneity of vegetation cover based on data of the early 1980s and early 1990s. We also investigated whether

  18. Soil respiration in different agricultural and natural ecosystems in an arid region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liming Lai

    Full Text Available The variation of different ecosystems on the terrestrial carbon balance is predicted to be large. We investigated a typical arid region with widespread saline/alkaline soils, and evaluated soil respiration of different agricultural and natural ecosystems. Soil respiration for five ecosystems together with soil temperature, soil moisture, soil pH, soil electric conductivity and soil organic carbon content were investigated in the field. Comparing with the natural ecosystems, the mean seasonal soil respiration rates of the agricultural ecosystems were 96%-386% higher and agricultural ecosystems exhibited lower CO(2 absorption by the saline/alkaline soil. Soil temperature and moisture together explained 48%, 86%, 84%, 54% and 54% of the seasonal variations of soil respiration in the five ecosystems, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship between soil respiration and soil electrical conductivity, but a weak correlation between soil respiration and soil pH or soil organic carbon content. Our results showed that soil CO(2 emissions were significantly different among different agricultural and natural ecosystems, although we caution that this was an observational, not manipulative, study. Temperature at the soil surface and electric conductivity were the main driving factors of soil respiration across the five ecosystems. Care should be taken when converting native vegetation into cropland from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions.

  19. Environment, agriculture, and settlement patterns in a marginal Polynesian landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Kirch, P V; A. S. Hartshorn; O. A. Chadwick; Vitousek, P. M.; Sherrod, D. R.; Coil, J.; Holm, L; Sharp, W. D.

    2004-01-01

    Beginning ca. A.D. 1400, Polynesian farmers established permanent settlements along the arid southern flank of Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaiian Islands; peak population density (43-57 persons per km2) was achieved by A.D. 1700-1800, and it was followed by the devastating effects of European contact. This settlement, based on dryland agriculture with sweet potato as a main crop, is represented by >3,000 archaeological features investigated to date. Geological and environmental factors are the...

  20. Effects of farm heterogeneity and methods for upscaling on modelled nitrogen losses in agricultural landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalgaard, T., E-mail: tommy.dalgaard@agrsci.dk [Aarhus University, Department of Agroecology, Blichers Alle 20, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele (Denmark); Hutchings, N. [Aarhus University, Department of Agroecology, Blichers Alle 20, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele (Denmark); Dragosits, U. [CEH Edinburgh, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB, Scotland (United Kingdom); Olesen, J.E.; Kjeldsen, C. [Aarhus University, Department of Agroecology, Blichers Alle 20, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele (Denmark); Drouet, J.L.; Cellier, P. [INRA, UMR Environnement et Grandes Cultures, BP 01, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon (France)

    2011-11-15

    The aim of this study is to illustrate the importance of farm scale heterogeneity on nitrogen (N) losses in agricultural landscapes. Results are exemplified with a chain of N models calculating farm-N balances and distributing the N-surplus to N-losses (volatilisation, denitrification, leaching) and soil-N accumulation/release in a Danish landscape. Possible non-linearities in upscaling are assessed by comparing average model results based on (i) individual farm level calculations and (ii) averaged inputs at landscape level. Effects of the non-linearities that appear when scaling up from farm to landscape are demonstrated. Especially in relation to ammonia losses the non-linearity between livestock density and N-loss is significant (p > 0.999), with around 20-30% difference compared to a scaling procedure not taking this non-linearity into account. A significant effect of farm type on soil N accumulation (p > 0.95) was also identified and needs to be included when modelling landscape level N-fluxes and greenhouse gas emissions. - Highlights: > Farm-N balances and the distribution on types of N-losses are modelled for 56 farms. > Farm type significantly affects N-losses and soil-N accumulation. > A non-linear relation between livestock density and ammonia loss is identified. > Approaches for upscaling from farm to landscape level are discussed. > Accounting farm heterogeneity is important when upscaling N-losses. - This study illustrates the importance of including non-linear effects of farm and landscape heterogeneity on the modelling and upscaling of farm nitrogen losses and greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural landscapes.

  1. The place of agricultural sciences in the literature on ecosystem services

    OpenAIRE

    Tancoigne, Elise; Barbier, Marc; Cointet, Jean-Philippe; Richard, Guy

    2014-01-01

    International audience We performed a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the scientific literature on ecosystem services in order to help tracing a research agenda for agricultural sciences. The ecosystem services concept now lies at the heart of current developments to address global environmental change. Do agricultural sciences generate knowledge that covers this emerging theme? An analysis of scientific production allowed us to return to the ecological origins of this concept and...

  2. Mineralization of soil organic matter in biochar amended agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chintala, R.; Clay, D. E.; Schumacher, T. E.; Kumar, S.; Malo, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    Pyrogenic biochar materials have been identified as a promising soil amendment to enhance climate resilience, increase soil carbon recalcitrance and achieve sustainable crop production. A three year field study was initiated in 2013 to study the impact of biochar on soil carbon and nitrogen storage on an eroded Maddock soil series - Sandy, Mixed, Frigid Entic Hapludolls) and deposition Brookings clay loam (Fine-Silty, Mixed, Superactive, Frigid Pachic Hapludolls) landscape positions. Three biochars produced from corn stover (Zea mays L.), Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson and C. Lawson) wood residue, and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) were incorporated at 9.75 Mg ha-1 rate (≈7.5 cm soil depth and 1.3 g/cm3 soil bulk density) with a rototiller. The changes in chemical fractionation of soil carbon (soluble C, acid hydrolyzable C, total C, and δ13 C) and nitrogen (soluble N, acid hydrolyzable N, total N, and δ14 N) were monitored for two soil depths (0-7.5 and 7.5 - 15 cm). Soluble and acid hydrolyzable fractions of soil C and N were influenced by soil series and were not significantly affected by incorporation of biochars. Based on soil and plant samples to be collected in the fall of 2015, C and N budgets are being developed using isotopic and non-isotopic techniques. Laboratory studies showed that the mean residence time for biochars used in this study ranged from 400 to 666 years. Laboratory and field studies will be compared in the presentation.

  3. Valuing Supporting Soil Ecosystem Services in Agriculture: A Natural Capital Approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brady, M.V.; Hedlund, K.; Cong, R.G.; Hemerik, L.; Hotes, S.; Machado, S.; Mattson, L.; Schulz, E.; Thomsen, I.K.

    2015-01-01

    Soil biodiversity through its delivery of ecosystem functions and attendant supporting ecosystem services—benefits soil organisms generate for farmers—underpins agricultural production. Yet lack of practical methods to value the long-term effects of current farming practices results, inevitably, in

  4. Modelling Mediterranean agro-ecosystems by including agricultural trees in the LPJmL model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fader, M.; von Bloh, W.; Shi, S.; Bondeau, A.; Cramer, W.

    2015-11-01

    In the Mediterranean region, climate and land use change are expected to impact on natural and agricultural ecosystems by warming, reduced rainfall, direct degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity loss. Human population growth and socioeconomic changes, notably on the eastern and southern shores, will require increases in food production and put additional pressure on agro-ecosystems and water resources. Coping with these challenges requires informed decisions that, in turn, require assessments by means of a comprehensive agro-ecosystem and hydrological model. This study presents the inclusion of 10 Mediterranean agricultural plants, mainly perennial crops, in an agro-ecosystem model (Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land - LPJmL): nut trees, date palms, citrus trees, orchards, olive trees, grapes, cotton, potatoes, vegetables and fodder grasses. The model was successfully tested in three model outputs: agricultural yields, irrigation requirements and soil carbon density. With the development presented in this study, LPJmL is now able to simulate in good detail and mechanistically the functioning of Mediterranean agriculture with a comprehensive representation of ecophysiological processes for all vegetation types (natural and agricultural) and in a consistent framework that produces estimates of carbon, agricultural and hydrological variables for the entire Mediterranean basin. This development paves the way for further model extensions aiming at the representation of alternative agro-ecosystems (e.g. agroforestry), and opens the door for a large number of applications in the Mediterranean region, for example assessments of the consequences of land use transitions, the influence of management practices and climate change impacts.

  5. Modelling Mediterranean agro-ecosystems by including agricultural trees in the LPJmL model

    OpenAIRE

    Fader, M.; von Bloh, W.; Shi, S; A. Bondeau; Cramer, W.

    2015-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, climate and land use change are expected to impact on natural and agricultural ecosystems by warming, reduced rainfall, direct degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity loss. Human population growth and socioeconomic changes, notably on the eastern and southern shores, will require increases in food production and put additional pressure on agro-ecosystems and water resources. Coping with these challenges requires informed decisions that, in tur...

  6. Annual emissions of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration, from eight organic soils in Western Denmark managed by agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Søren O; Hoffmann, Carl Christian; Schäfer, Carolyn;

    2012-01-01

    The use of organic soils by agriculture involves drainage and tillage, and the resulting increase in C and N turnover can significantly affect their greenhouse gas balance. This study estimated annual fluxes of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration (Reco), from eight organic soils managed...... by agriculture. The sites were located in three regions representing different landscape types and climatic conditions, and three land use categories were covered (arable crops, AR, grass in rotation, RG, and permanent grass, PG). The normal management at each site was followed, except that no N inputs occurred...

  7. Public preferences for ecosystem services on exurban landscapes: A case study from the Mid-Atlantic, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Joshua M; Bruck, Jules; Barton, Susan; Murray, Megan; Inamdar, Shreeram; Tallamy, Douglas W

    2016-07-01

    This paper reports data from a residential landscape preference study conducted in Delaware, USA. The researchers constructed an ecologically designed exurban residential landscape, which delivered 20 new environmental and human-related impacts, including 7 that delivered ecosystem services. Ecosystem services included impacts such as improved flood control and enhanced plant diversity. Using pictures before and after the intervention, an intercept survey of 105 non-neighboring residents estimated whether the 20 impacts positively, negatively, or did not affect the respondents' household wellbeing. The public found that most landscape-intervention impacts had a positive effect on their quality of life, especially those impacts involving ecosystem services. All but one ecosystem service were found to be strong amenities and the other (moving indoor activities outside) was an amenity. However, the landscape intervention delivered one clear disamenity: increased undesirable wildlife. Respondents also identified what impacts were the most important in affecting their welfare: undesirable wildlife (negative); flood control (positive); and water quality (positive). Ecosystem services accounted for 41.6% of the public's importance rating, while undesirable wildlife was 12.9%. A planning process seeking more ecosystem services from residential landscapes should focus on all the most important drivers of preference, if it is to be accepted by residents. PMID:27441300

  8. Public preferences for ecosystem services on exurban landscapes: A case study from the Mid-Atlantic, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Joshua M; Bruck, Jules; Barton, Susan; Murray, Megan; Inamdar, Shreeram; Tallamy, Douglas W

    2016-07-01

    This paper reports data from a residential landscape preference study conducted in Delaware, USA. The researchers constructed an ecologically designed exurban residential landscape, which delivered 20 new environmental and human-related impacts, including 7 that delivered ecosystem services. Ecosystem services included impacts such as improved flood control and enhanced plant diversity. Using pictures before and after the intervention, an intercept survey of 105 non-neighboring residents estimated whether the 20 impacts positively, negatively, or did not affect the respondents' household wellbeing. The public found that most landscape-intervention impacts had a positive effect on their quality of life, especially those impacts involving ecosystem services. All but one ecosystem service were found to be strong amenities and the other (moving indoor activities outside) was an amenity. However, the landscape intervention delivered one clear disamenity: increased undesirable wildlife. Respondents also identified what impacts were the most important in affecting their welfare: undesirable wildlife (negative); flood control (positive); and water quality (positive). Ecosystem services accounted for 41.6% of the public's importance rating, while undesirable wildlife was 12.9%. A planning process seeking more ecosystem services from residential landscapes should focus on all the most important drivers of preference, if it is to be accepted by residents.

  9. Landscape-ecological limitations of intensive agricultural activity; 1 : 1 000 000; Soil suitability for cultivation of crops (typological and productivity categories of agricultural soils); 1 : 1 000 000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    On these maps the landscape-ecological limitations of intensive agricultural activity as well as soil suitability for cultivation of crops on the territory of the Slovak Republic are shown. Suitability of soils for crop growing is expressed by the set of four production types (potential arable land, alternating fields, permanent grassland, and territories not suitable for agro-ecosystems) and eleven sustainable use subtypes of production potential of agricultural soils ranging from the most productive arable land to the territories not suitable for growing of agricultural crops. They were defined on the basis of assessment of the relationships between the properties, point value of production capacity of agricultural land, and their suitability for crop growing. (authors)

  10. Ecologies of Scale: Multifunctionality Connects Conservation and Agriculture across Fields, Farms, and Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devan Allen McGranahan

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Agroecology and landscape ecology are two land-use sciences based on ecological principles, but have historically focused on fine and broad spatial scales, respectively. As global demand for food strains current resources and threatens biodiversity conservation, concepts such as multifunctional landscapes and ecologically-analogous agroecosystems integrate ecological concepts across multiple spatial scales. This paper reviews ecological principles behind several concepts crucial to the reconciliation of food production and biodiversity conservation, including relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity and stability; insect pest and pollinator management; integrated crop and livestock systems; countryside biogeography and heterogeneity-based rangeland management. Ecological principles are integrated across three spatial scales: fields, farms, and landscapes.

  11. Effects of farm heterogeneity and methods for upscaling on modelled nitrogen losses in agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalgaard, Tommy; Hutchings, Nicholas John; Dragosits, U;

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study is to illustrate the importance of farm scale heterogeneity on nitrogen (N) losses in agricultural landscapes. Results are exemplified with a chain of N models calculating farm-N balances and distributing the N-surplus to N-losses (volatilisation, denitrification, leaching...... to landscape are demonstrated. Especially in relation to ammonia losses the non-linearity between livestock density and N-loss is significant (p > 0.999), with around 20–30% difference compared to a scaling procedure not taking this non-linearity into account. A significant effect of farm type on soil N...

  12. Reptile and arboreal marsupial response to replanted vegetation in agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Ross B; Lindenmayer, David B; Crane, Mason; Michael, Damian; MacGregor, Christopher

    2007-03-01

    We report reptile and arboreal marsupial responses to vegetation planting and remnant native vegetation in agricultural landscapes in southeastern Australia. We used a hierarchical survey to select 23 landscapes that varied in the amounts of remnant native vegetation and planted native vegetation. We selected two farms within each landscape. In landscapes with plantings, we selected one farm with and one farm without plantings. We surveyed arboreal marsupials and reptiles on four sites on each farm that encompassed four vegetation types (plantings 7-20 years old, old-growth woodland, naturally occurring seedling regrowth woodland, and coppice [i.e., multistemmed] regrowth woodland). Reptiles and arboreal marsupials were less likely to occur on farms and in landscapes with comparatively large areas of plantings. Such farms and landscapes had less native vegetation, fewer paddock trees, and less woody debris within those areas of natural vegetation. The relatively large area of planting on these farms was insufficient to overcome the lack of these key structural attributes. Old-growth woodland, coppice regrowth, seedling regrowth, and planted areas had different habitat values for different reptiles and arboreal marsupials. We conclude that, although plantings may improve habitat conditions for some taxa, they may not effectively offset the negative effects of native vegetation clearing for all species, especially those reliant on old-growth woodland. Restoring suitable habitat for such species may take decades to centuries.

  13. Pollinator interactions with yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis across urban, agricultural, and natural landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Misha Leong

    Full Text Available Pollinator-plant relationships are found to be particularly vulnerable to land use change. Yet despite extensive research in agricultural and natural systems, less attention has focused on these interactions in neighboring urban areas and its impact on pollination services. We investigated pollinator-plant interactions in a peri-urban landscape on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where urban, agricultural, and natural land use types interface. We made standardized observations of floral visitation and measured seed set of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis, a common grassland invasive, to test the hypotheses that increasing urbanization decreases 1 rates of bee visitation, 2 viable seed set, and 3 the efficiency of pollination (relationship between bee visitation and seed set. We unexpectedly found that bee visitation was highest in urban and agricultural land use contexts, but in contrast, seed set rates in these human-altered landscapes were lower than in natural sites. An explanation for the discrepancy between floral visitation and seed set is that higher plant diversity in urban and agricultural areas, as a result of more introduced species, decreases pollinator efficiency. If these patterns are consistent across other plant species, the novel plant communities created in these managed landscapes and the generalist bee species that are favored by human-altered environments will reduce pollination services.

  14. Demonstrating the importance of intangible ecosystem services from peri-urban landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vejre, Henrik; Jensen, Frank Søndergaard; Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark

    2010-01-01

    for the public to the seaside. In the second case area, peri-urban landscapes were protected by conservation orders, to maintain and enhance the benefits of green space for the growing urban population. We assess the value - in a broad sense - of these ecosystem services using three practical methods...... documents we uncovered the origional motivations for the land evaluation and descision. The arguments behind the designation and protection of the areas were primally aesthetic and potentials for recreational use. The two areas receive annually 2-2.5 million and 400.000 visits respectively, providinge......- and buffer effects. This is a pre-requisite for a sustainable development with a balance between ecological, social and economic values. We analyse ecosystem services in areas of the urban fringe of Copenhagen, where the services provided are mainly related to human perception. We employ relatively simple...

  15. Developing a participatory process to include ecosystem services in landscape planing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onaindia, Miren; Palacios-Agundez, Igone; Rodríguez-Loinaz, Gloria; Peña, Lorena; Madariaga, Iosu; Ametzaga, Ibone

    2015-04-01

    This work develops an approach that integrates scientific knowledge on ecosystem services and stakeholders demands to get guidelines for landscape planning strategies in the region of Biscay (Basque Country, northern Spain). In the conducted participatory process, forest multi-functionality was considered as a practicable good alternative. This process identified also a knowledge gap on the synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity, timber production and carbon storage, guiding the directions of the research actions. The results from developed spatial analysis converged with those from the participatory process in the adequacy of promoting, where possible and appropriate, natural forest ecosystems restoration. The ongoing stepwise learning strategy is already showing its effectiveness for decision making, with concrete examples of how the results obtained with the applied approach are being included in planning and decision-making processes.

  16. Modelling Mediterranean agro-ecosystems by including agricultural trees in the LPJmL model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Fader

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Climate and land use change in the Mediterranean region is expected to affect natural and agricultural ecosystems by decreases in precipitation, increases in temperature as well as biodiversity loss and anthropogenic degradation of natural resources. Demographic growth in the Eastern and Southern shores will require increases in food production and put additional pressure on agro-ecosystems and water resources. Coping with these challenges requires informed decisions that, in turn, require assessments by means of a comprehensive agro-ecosystem and hydrological model. This study presents the inclusion of 10 Mediterranean agricultural plants, mainly perennial crops, in an agro-ecosystem model (LPJmL: nut trees, date palms, citrus trees, orchards, olive trees, grapes, cotton, potatoes, vegetables and fodder grasses. The model was successfully tested in three model outputs: agricultural yields, irrigation requirements and soil carbon density. With the development presented in this study, LPJmL is now able to simulate in good detail and mechanistically the functioning of Mediterranean agriculture with a comprehensive representation of ecophysiological processes for all vegetation types (natural and agricultural and in a consistent framework that produces estimates of carbon, agricultural and hydrological variables for the entire Mediterranean basin. This development pave the way for further model extensions aiming at the representation of alternative agro-ecosystems (e.g. agroforestry, and opens the door for a large number of applications in the Mediterranean region, for example assessments on the consequences of land use transitions, the influence of management practices and climate change impacts.

  17. Discussion on Landscape Ecosystem Planning of Small Basins in the Qinghai.Tibet Plateau——Taking Nieruzangbu Basin as an Example

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HeXiao-rong; LiHui-xia; LiAi-nong; ZhouHong-yi; WangXiao-dan

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, taking Nieruzangbu as an example, it is discussed that how to plan landscapes of small basin in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. With analyzed the status and character of landscape structure through the use of landscape diversity indexes and landscape dominant indexes, some major problems in the landscape ecosystem are pointed out. On the basis of regional restrictive principle and compliance principle of resources, environment and economy, Nieruzangbu Basin is divided into three landscape function areas. According to the demands of each function area, landscape structure planning is carried out to improve ecological environment through optimization and adjustment of landscape structure in Nieruzangbu Basin.

  18. Discussion on Landscape Ecosystem Planning of Small Basins in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau-Taking Nieruzangbu Basin as an Example

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    He Xiao-rong; Li Hui-xia; Li Ai-nong; Zhou Hong-yi; Wang Xiao-dan

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, taking Nieruzangbu as an example, it is discussed that how to plan landscapes of small basin in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. With analyzed the status and character of landscape structure through the use of landscape diversity indexes and landscape dominant indexes, some major problems in the landscape ecosystem are pointed out. On the basis of regional restrictive principle and compliance principle of resources, environment and economy, Nieruzangbu Basin is divided into three landscape function areas. According to the demands of each function area, landscape structure planning is carried out to improve ecological environment through optimization and adjustment of landscape structure in Nieruzangbu Basin.

  19. Alternative scenarios of bioenergy crop production in an agricultural landscape and implications for bird communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Peter J; Williams, Carol L; Sample, David W; Meehan, Timothy D; Turner, Monica G

    2016-01-01

    Increased demand and government mandates for bioenergy crops in the United States could require a large allocation of agricultural land to bioenergy feedstock production and substantially alter current landscape patterns. Incorporating bioenergy landscape design into land-use decision making could help maximize benefits and minimize trade-offs among alternative land uses. We developed spatially explicit landscape scenarios of increased bioenergy crop production in an 80-km radius agricultural landscape centered on a potential biomass-processing energy facility and evaluated the consequences of each scenario for bird communities. Our scenarios included conversion of existing annual row crops to perennial bioenergy grasslands and conversion of existing grasslands to annual bioenergy row crops. The scenarios explored combinations of four biomass crop types (three potential grassland crops along a gradient of plant diversity and one annual row crop [corn]), three land conversion percentages to bioenergy crops (10%, 20%, or 30% of row crops or grasslands), and three spatial configurations of biomass crop fields (random, clustered near similar field types, or centered on the processing plant), yielding 36 scenarios. For each scenario, we predicted the impact on four bird community metrics: species richness, total bird density, species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) density, and SGCN hotspots (SGCN birds/ha ≥ 2). Bird community metrics consistently increased with conversion of row crops to bioenergy grasslands and consistently decreased with conversion of grasslands to bioenergy row crops. Spatial arrangement of bioenergy fields had strong effects on the bird community and in some cases was more influential than the amount converted to bioenergy crops. Clustering grasslands had a stronger positive influence on the bird community than locating grasslands near the central plant or at random. Expansion of bioenergy grasslands onto marginal agricultural lands will

  20. Alternative scenarios of bioenergy crop production in an agricultural landscape and implications for bird communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Peter J; Williams, Carol L; Sample, David W; Meehan, Timothy D; Turner, Monica G

    2016-01-01

    Increased demand and government mandates for bioenergy crops in the United States could require a large allocation of agricultural land to bioenergy feedstock production and substantially alter current landscape patterns. Incorporating bioenergy landscape design into land-use decision making could help maximize benefits and minimize trade-offs among alternative land uses. We developed spatially explicit landscape scenarios of increased bioenergy crop production in an 80-km radius agricultural landscape centered on a potential biomass-processing energy facility and evaluated the consequences of each scenario for bird communities. Our scenarios included conversion of existing annual row crops to perennial bioenergy grasslands and conversion of existing grasslands to annual bioenergy row crops. The scenarios explored combinations of four biomass crop types (three potential grassland crops along a gradient of plant diversity and one annual row crop [corn]), three land conversion percentages to bioenergy crops (10%, 20%, or 30% of row crops or grasslands), and three spatial configurations of biomass crop fields (random, clustered near similar field types, or centered on the processing plant), yielding 36 scenarios. For each scenario, we predicted the impact on four bird community metrics: species richness, total bird density, species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) density, and SGCN hotspots (SGCN birds/ha ≥ 2). Bird community metrics consistently increased with conversion of row crops to bioenergy grasslands and consistently decreased with conversion of grasslands to bioenergy row crops. Spatial arrangement of bioenergy fields had strong effects on the bird community and in some cases was more influential than the amount converted to bioenergy crops. Clustering grasslands had a stronger positive influence on the bird community than locating grasslands near the central plant or at random. Expansion of bioenergy grasslands onto marginal agricultural lands will

  1. Species composition and diversity of non-forest woody vegetation along roads in the agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tóth Attila

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Non-forest woody vegetation represents an important component of green infrastructure in the agricultural landscape, where natural and semi-natural forest cover has only a low land use proportion. This paper focuses on linear woody vegetation structures along roads in the agricultural landscape and analyses them in three study areas in the Nitra Region, Slovakia. We evaluate species composition and diversity, species occurrence frequency or spatial distribution, their structure according to relatively achievable age and origin. For the evaluation of occurrence frequency, a Frequency Factor was proposed and applied. This factor allows a better comparison of different study areas and results in more representative findings. The study areas were divided into sectors based on visual landscape features, which are easily identifiable in the field, such as intersections and curves in roads, and intersections of roads with other features, such as cadastral or land boundaries, watercourses, etc. Based on the species abundance, woody plants present within the sectors were categorised into 1 predominant, 2 complementary and 3 mixed-in species; and with regard to their origin into 1 autochthonous and 2 allochthonous. Further, trees were categorised into 1 long-lived, 2 medium-lived and 3 short-lived tree species. The main finding is that among trees, mainly allochthonous species dominated. Robinia pseudoacacia L. was the predominant tree species in all three study areas. It was up to 4 times more frequent than other predominant tree species. Introduced tree species prevailed also among complementary and mixed-in species. Among shrubs, mainly native species dominated, while non-native species had a significantly lower proportion and spatial distribution. Based on these findings, several measures have been proposed to improve the overall ecological stability, the proportion and spatial distribution of native woody plant species. The recommendations and

  2. Demographic changes and the demands on agricultural landscapes: Refl ections on a new research topic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Müller

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Demographic change suggests substantial effects on future societal demands on agricultural landscape use and thus on rural areas. Demographic change is thereby defined as both the decrease of the population and the shift in the age distribution („aging“ and in the spatial distribution („rural flight“ particularly of young people. The exploration of the research object is based on the starting hypothesis that the demands and preferences of an aging and urbanizing population are changing and have effects on the controlling state interventions, which are also reflected in the agricultural use of landscapes. After a short description of demographic change, a conceptual politico-economic model, which describes the transmission of demographic change on land use, through the analysis of group (age groups, groups of residences demands on agrarian landscape use is presented. The focus is on the demand for land use related non-commodity outputs (NCO. The starting hypothesis is then examined using selected studies. The literature suggests that urban-rural dichotomy is likely to be greatly diminished. In addition, the urbanization of preferences is expected while preferences differentiated against heterogeneous cultural lifestyles seem to become even more important. However, without further research on the related topics, the basic issues cannot be clearly dealt with. Assumptions are finally made regarding changing societal demands for agrarian landscapes due to demographic change. The limitations of the selected approach and the identification of further research needs will be discussed in closing.

  3. Landscape change in an agricultural watershed: the effect of parcelization on riparian forest cover

    OpenAIRE

    R E Kleiman; Erickson, D. L.

    1996-01-01

    In this research we address factors contributing to landscape change in a midwestern (USA) watershed. Specifically, the relationship between the parcelization of agricultural land (ownership subdivisions) and changes in amounts of riparian forest cover are explored. The study area is the River Raisin Watershed in southeastern Michigan, which is typical of rural watersheds in the lower Great Lakes region. Two townships within the watershed were sampled from data spanning a 20-year time period....

  4. Demographic changes and the demands on agricultural landscapes: Refl ections on a new research topic

    OpenAIRE

    Müller, K.; A. Artner; Knierim, A

    2008-01-01

    Demographic change suggests substantial effects on future societal demands on agricultural landscape use and thus on rural areas. Demographic change is thereby defined as both the decrease of the population and the shift in the age distribution („aging“) and in the spatial distribution („rural flight“ particularly of young people). The exploration of the research object is based on the starting hypothesis that the demands and preferences of an aging and urbanizing population are changing and ...

  5. The effect of higher plant microflora on the microbial landscape of a closed ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirranen, Lyalya; Gitelson, Josef; Borodina, Elena

    2012-07-01

    Having summarized certain data obtained earlier, we defined the aim of this work as an estimation of the effect of higher plant microflora on the microbial landscape of a closed ecosystem (CES). The microflora of such a component as higher plants can influence other system components not only by way of transfer with air and water flows, but also through the direct contact of the crew with the crops cultivated within CES when harvesting, thrashing, using them for food. Involving the higher plant component into the closed system the microorganism diversity and occurrence of microscopic fungi in other components of the closed ecosystem increased. The presence of microscopic fungi, especially on plants and in the air, is potentially dangerous for the health of the system residents. Since the contribution of the higher plant microflora (especially mycoflora) to the microbial landscape of a CES is significant, it is necessary to reduce the microbial flora of the higher plant component and limit its dispersion to other system components. One of the possible measures to limit the higher plant microflora colonization is air purification between components. Reducing the number of microscopic fungi by decreasing the humidity in the system's atmosphere should also be considered.

  6. Stream ecosystem integrity is impaired by logging and shifting agriculture in a global megadiversity center (Sarawak, Borneo).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jinggut, Tajang; Yule, Catherine M; Boyero, Luz

    2012-10-15

    In common with most of Borneo, the Bakun region of Sarawak is currently subject to heavy deforestation mainly due to logging and, to a lesser extent, traditional slash-and-burn farming practices. This has the potential to affect stream ecosystems, which are integrators of environmental change in the surrounding terrestrial landscape. This study evaluated the effects of both types of deforestation by using functional and structural indicators (leaf litter decomposition rates and associated detritivores or 'shredders', respectively) to compare a fundamental ecosystem process, leaf litter decomposition, within logged, farmed and pristine streams. Slash-and-burn agricultural practices increased the overall rate of decomposition despite a decrease in shredder species richness (but not shredder abundance) due to increased microbial decomposition. In contrast, decomposition by microbes and invertebrates was slowed down in the logged streams, where shredders were less abundant and less species rich. This study suggests that shredder communities are less affected by traditional agricultural farming practices, while modern mechanized deforestation has an adverse effect on both shredder communities and leaf breakdown. PMID:22922133

  7. 景观格局与生态过程的关系及其对生态系统服务的影响%Discussion on Links Among Landscape Pattern,Ecological Process, and Ecosystem Services

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    苏常红; 傅伯杰

    2012-01-01

    Landscape pattern and ecological process are the major contents of landscape ecology. The close interactions between landscape patter and ecological process created landscape function, which constituted the bulk of ecosystem services. Due to ever-increasing influence of human being on natural resources and environment, the ecosystems are confronted by tough challenges embodied by structural damages and functional disorders. This article discusses the couplings between landscape pattern and ecological process, the effects on ecosystem services, and their application in ecosystem management.

  8. Exploring Futures of Ecosystem Services in Cultural Landscapes through Participatory Scenario Development in the Swabian Alb, Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Plieninger

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Cultural landscapes are appreciated for the plethora of ecosystem services that they provide to society. They are, however, subject to rapid and fundamental transformations across Europe, mainly as a result of intensification or abandonment of land uses. Our objective is to assess the possible future drivers of cultural landscape changes and their likely impacts on ecosystem services provision as perceived by local actors. We present stakeholder-based scenarios for the Swabian Alb, a biosphere reserve in southern Germany, projected to the yr 2040. On their basis, we explore the possibilities and limitations of local civil engagement for landscape conservation and development in the face of increasing global influences. The steps of the process are (a identifying the key driving forces of landscape change, (b developing contrasting narratives about alternative landscape futures, (c refining the narratives, (d discussing scenario impacts, and (e exploring local management strategies. Four contrasting scenarios created by the stakeholders are presented. Global-level drivers are state support/regulations vs. free-market economy, and energy-intensive lifestyles vs. low-energy economy. Local-level forces are high vs. low consumer demand for localized food, and high vs. low appreciation of local cultural landscapes. Outcomes show that cultural landscape development may come to a crossroads over the next 30 yrs, with either combined land abandonment and landscape industrialization scenarios or multifunctional, locally distinct landscape futures being possible. The scenario narratives envision that the most powerful way to develop and protect distinct landscapes is to foster local people's links to cultural landscapes, to build social capital around them, and to direct consumption patterns toward localized food production. We find that participatory scenario processes have strengths in terms of the credibility, transferability, and confirmability of the

  9. A concentric analysis of the impact of urbanization on the threatened European tree frog in an agricultural landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Pellet J.; Guisan A.; Perrin N.

    2004-01-01

    Pond-breeding amphibians are affected by site-specific factors and regional and landscape-scale patterns of land use. Recent anthropogenic landscape modifications (drainage, agriculture intensification, larger road networks, and increased traffic) affect species by reducing the suitable habitat area and fragmenting remaining populations. Using a robust concentric approach based on permutation tests, we evaluated the impact of recent landscape changes on the presence of the endangered European...

  10. Planning Landscape Corridors in Ecological Infrastructure Using Least-Cost Path Methods Based on the Value of Ecosystem Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung A Lee

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem service values have rarely been incorporated in the process of planning ecological infrastructure for urban areas. Urban ecological infrastructure is a network system of natural lands and waters that provides ecosystem services. The purpose of this study was to design landscape corridors that maximize the value of ecosystem services in ecological infrastructure planning. We explored the optimal corridors to enhance the connectivity among landscape elements to design an ecological infrastructure for the city of Gwacheon, South Korea, as an example of a small urban area. We calculated the value of ecosystem services using standardized estimation indices based on an intensive review of the relevant literature and employed the least-cost path method to optimize the connectivity of landscape structural elements. The land use type in the city with the highest estimated value of ecosystem services was the riparian zone (i.e., 2011 US$7,312.16/ha. Given areal coverage of all land use types, the estimated value of developed area open spaces was 2011 US$899,803.25, corresponding to the highest contribution to the total value of ecosystem services. Therefore, the optimal configured dispersal corridors for wildlife were found from the riparian zones (source area to the developed area open spaces (destination area in the city. Several challenges remain for improving the estimation of the value of ecosystem services and incorporating these ecosystems in ecological infrastructure planning. Nonetheless, the approaches taken to estimate the value of ecosystem services and design landscape corridors in this study may be of value to future efforts in urban ecological infrastructure planning.

  11. Design droughts as planning tool for ecosystem establishment in post-mining landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halwatura, Devanmini; Lechner, Alex; Baumgartl, Thomas; McIntyre, Neil; Arnold, Sven

    2015-04-01

    Eastern Australia has considerable mineral and energy resources and areas of high biodiversity value co-occurring over a broad range of agro-climatic environments. Water is the primary abiotic stressor for (agro)ecosystems in many parts of Eastern Australia. In the context of mined land rehabilitation quantifying the severity-duration-frequency (SDF) of droughts is crucial for successful ecosystem rehabilitation to overcome challenges of early vegetation establishment and long-term ecosystem resilience. The objective of this study was to quantify the SDF of short-term and long-term drought events of 11 selected locations across a broad range of agro-climatic environments in Eastern Australia by using three drought indices at different time scales: the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI), and the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). Based on the indices we derived bivariate distribution functions of drought severity and duration, and estimated the recurrence intervals of drought events at different time scales. The correlation between the simple SPI and the more complex SPEI or RDI was stronger for the tropical and temperate locations than for the arid locations, indicating that SPEI or RDI can be replaced by SPI if evaporation plays a minor role for plant available water. Both short-term and long-term droughts were most severe and prolonged, and occurred most frequently in arid regions, but were relatively rare in tropical and temperate regions. Our approach is similar to intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) analyses of rainfall crucial to design infrastructure. In this regard, we propose to apply SDF analyses of droughts to design ecosystem components in post-mining landscapes. Together with design rainfalls, design droughts should be used to assess rehabilitation strategies and ecological management based on drought recurrence intervals, thereby minimising the risk of failure of initial ecosystem

  12. Assessing the mitigation potential of agricultural systems by optimization of the agricultural management: A modeling study on 8 agricultural observation sites across Europe with the process based model LandscapeDNDC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina Herrera, Saul; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen; Kraus, David; Kiese, Ralf; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus

    2014-05-01

    The use of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizers increase crop yields but cause the biggest anthropogenic source of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and strongly contribute to surface water eutrophication (e.g. nitrate leaching). The necessity to identify affordable strategies that improve crop production while improving ecosystem services are in continuous debate between policy decision makers and farmers. In this line, a lack commitment from farmers to enforce laws might result in the reduction of benefits. For this reason, farmers should aim to increase crop production and to reduce environmental harm by the adoption of precision climate smart agriculture tools applied to management practices for instance. In this study we present optimized strategies for 8 sites (agricultural and grassland ecosystems) with long term field observation across Europe to show the mitigation potential to reduce reactive nitrogen losses under the constrain of keeping yields at observed levels. LandscapeDNDC simulations of crop yields and associated nitrogen losses (N2O emissions and NO3 leaching) were evaluated against long term field measurements. The sites presented different management regimes including the main commodity crops (maize, wheat, barley, rape seeds, etc) and fertilization amendments (synthetic and organic fertilizers) in Europe. The simulations reproduced the observed yields, captured N2O emissions and NO3 leaching losses with high statistical presicion (r2), acurrency (ME) and agreement (RMSPEn). The mitigation potentials to reduce N losses while keeping yields at observed levels for all 8 sites were assesed by Monte Carlo optimizations of the individual underlying multi year agricultural management options (timings of planting and harvest, fertilization & manure applications and rates, residues management). In this study we present for all 8 agricultural observations sites their individual mitigation potentials to reduce N losses for multi year rotations. The conclusions

  13. Landscape configuration is the primary driver of impacts on water quality associated with agricultural expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca; Hamel, Perrine; Sharp, Richard; Kowal, Virgina; Wolny, Stacie; Sim, Sarah; Mueller, Carina

    2016-07-01

    Corporations and other multinational institutions are increasingly looking to evaluate their innovation and procurement decisions over a range of environmental criteria, including impacts on ecosystem services according to the spatial configuration of activities on the landscape. We have developed a spatially explicit approach and modeled a hypothetical corporate supply chain decision representing contrasting patterns of land-use change in four regions of the globe. This illustrates the effect of introducing spatial considerations in the analysis of ecosystem services, specifically sediment retention. We explored a wide variety of contexts (Iowa, USA; Mato Grosso, Brazil; and Jiangxi and Heilongjiang in China) and these show that per-area representation of impacts based on the physical characterization of a region can be misleading. We found two- to five-fold differences in sediment export for the same amount of habitat conversion within regions characterized by similar physical traits. These differences were mainly determined by the distance between land use changes and streams. The influence of landscape configuration is so dramatic that it can override wide variation in erosion potential driven by physical factors like soil type, slope, and climate. To minimize damage to spatially-dependent ecosystem services like water purification, sustainable sourcing strategies should not assume a direct correlation between impact and area but rather allow for possible nonlinearity in impacts, especially in regions with little remaining habitat and highly variable hydrological connectivity.

  14. Changes of local agricultural landscape patterns induced by land consolidation in hilly and mountainous Southwestern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Zhen; WEI Chao-fu; ZHANG Wei-hua; XIE De-ti

    2009-01-01

    Land consolidation (LC), as a type of human disturbance, improves land production efficiency and changes landscape distribution through land parcel reallocation. The objective of this study was to comparatively analyze the changes of landscape patches before and after a land consolidation project (LCP) and the effects of land levelling, irrigation and drainage work and road engineering on the landscape structure. FRAGSTAT3.3 and buffer zone analysis were used to investigate those changes. The results suggest that the heterogeneity of landscape depressed, and tended to simplification after LC. Dry land was the most highly variable land use pattern, and the change of forestland was least due to its locations at a gradient larger than 25°. LC resulted in a more rational use of land, and could be an important step in promoting rural development in depressed and fragmented agricultural areas through unused land exploitation, small-patch combination, irrigation and water conservancy, and road construction. Land levelling leveled off the gradient field surface and decreased the slope. The fragmentized patches were much more incorporated with increasing slope. On the other hand, the ridge of a field became longer so that the length of field surface and area of patch were increased. Land levelling regulated, simplified and combined patches, so that the complexity degree was reduced. It is found that the buffer distance of 35 m was a turning point of human disturbance by irrigation and drainage systems, and patches presented flaky distribution when the buffer distance was smaller than 35 m. Meanwhile, the distance range between 25 m to 50 m was an impressible area for road engineering, which was sensitive to human actions, and the changes of all landscape metrics were larger than those in other buffer zones. In general, LC not only reallocated fragmented parcels, but also improved agricultural conditions.

  15. LandSoil model application for erosion management in sustainable agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smetanova, Anna; Follain, Stéphane; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Soil erosion and land degradation can lead to irreversible changes and landscape degradation. In order to achieve the sustainability of agricultural landscapes, the land use scenarios might be developed and tested for their erosion mitigation effects. Despite the importance of the long-term scenarios (which are complicated by predictability of climate change in a small scale, its effect on change in soil properties and crops, and the societal behaviour of individual players), the management decision have to be applied already now. Therefore the short-term and medium term scenarios to achieve the most effective soil management and the least soil erosion footprint are necessary to develop. With increasing importance of individual large erosion events, the event-based models, considering soil properties and landscape structures appears to be suitable. The LandSoil model (Ciampalini et al., 2012) - a landscape evolution model operating at the field/small catchment scale, have been applied in order to analyse the effect of different soil erosion mitigation and connectivity management practices in two different Mediterranean catchments. In the soil erosion scenarios the proposed measures targeted soil erosion on field or on catchment scale, and the effect of different extreme events on soil redistribution was evaluated under different spatial designs. Anna Smetanová has received the support of the AgreenSkills fellowship (under grant agreement n°267196). R. Ciampalini, S. Follain, Y. Le Bissonnais, LandSoil: A model for analysing the impact of erosion on agricultural landscape evolution, Geomorphology, 175-176, 2012, 25-37.

  16. Predicted avian responses to bioenergy development scenarios in an intensive agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uden, Daniel R.; Allen, Craig R.; Mitchell, Rob B.; McCoy, Tim D.; Guan, Qingfeng

    2015-01-01

    Conversion of native prairie to agriculture has increased food and bioenergy production but decreased wildlife habitat. However, enrollment of highly erodible cropland in conservation programs has compensated for some grassland loss. In the future, climate change and production of second-generation perennial biofuel crops could further transform agricultural landscapes and increase or decrease grassland area. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is an alternative biofuel feedstock that may be economically and environmentally superior to maize (Zea mays) grain for ethanol production on marginally productive lands. Switchgrass could benefit farmers economically and increase grassland area, but there is uncertainty as to how conversions between rowcrops, switchgrass monocultures and conservation grasslands might occur and affect wildlife. To explore potential impacts on grassland birds, we developed four agricultural land-use change scenarios for an intensively cultivated landscape, each driven by potential future climatic changes and ensuing irrigation limitations, ethanol demand, commodity prices, and continuation of a conservation program. For each scenario, we calculated changes in area for landcover classes and predicted changes in grassland bird abundances. Overall, birds responded positively to the replacement of rowcrops with switchgrass and negatively to the conversion of conservation grasslands to switchgrass or rowcrops. Landscape context and interactions between climate, crop water use, and irrigation availability could influence future land-use, and subsequently, avian habitat quality and quantity. Switchgrass is likely to provide higher quality avian habitat than rowcrops but lower quality habitat than conservation grasslands, and therefore, may most benefit birds in heavily cultivated, irrigation dependent landscapes under warmer and drier conditions, where economic profitability may also encourage conversions to drought tolerant bioenergy feedstocks.

  17. Landscape diversity and the resilience of agricultural returns: a portfolio analysis of land-use patterns and economic returns from lowland agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abson David J

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Conventional agriculture is increasingly based on highly specialized, highly productive farms. It has been suggested that 1 this specialization leads to farms that lack resilience to changing market and environmental conditions; and 2 that by decreasing agricultural diversity, the resilience of the farming system also decreases. Methods We used agricultural gross margin (GM forecasts from 1966 to 2010 and remote sensing data from agricultural landscapes in the lowland UK, in conjunction with modern portfolio theory, to test the hypothesis that decreasing land-use diversity results in landscapes that provide higher, but more volatile, economic returns. We considered the role of spatial scale on the expected levels of volatility and resilience of agricultural returns. Results We found that: 1 there was a strong linear trade-off between expected GMs and the expected volatility of those GMs in real lowland agricultural landscapes in the UK; 2 land-use diversification was negatively correlated with expected GMs from agriculture, and positively correlated with decreasing expected volatility in GMs; 3 the resilience of agricultural returns was positively correlated with the diversity of agricultural land use, and the resilience of agricultural returns rose quickly with increased land-holding size at small spatial extents, but this effect diminished after landholdings reached 12,000 hectares. Conclusions Land-use diversity may have an important role in ensuring resilient agricultural returns in the face of uncertain market and environmental conditions, and land-holding size plays a pivotal role in determining the relationships between resilience and returns at a landscape scale. Creating finer-grained land-use patterns based on pre-existing local land uses may increase the resilience of individual farms, while maintaining aggregate yield across landscapes.

  18. Modelling Mediterranean agro-ecosystems by including agricultural trees in the LPJmL model

    OpenAIRE

    M. Fader; von Bloh, W.; Shi, S; A. Bondeau; Cramer, W.

    2015-01-01

    Climate and land use change in the Mediterranean region is expected to affect natural and agricultural ecosystems by decreases in precipitation, increases in temperature as well as biodiversity loss and anthropogenic degradation of natural resources. Demographic growth in the Eastern and Southern shores will require increases in food production and put additional pressure on agro-ecosystems and water resources. Coping with these challenges requires informed decisions ...

  19. Modeling of nitric oxide emissions from temperate agricultural ecosystems.

    OpenAIRE

    Rolland, Marie-Noëlle; Gabrielle, Benoît; Laville, Patricia; Serça, Dominique; Cortinovis, Jérôme; Larmanou, Eric; Lehuger, Simon; Cellier, Pierre

    2006-01-01

    48 p. Arable soils are a significant source of nitric oxide (NO), most of which is derived from nitrogen fertilizers. Precise estimates of NO emissions from these soils are thus essential to devise strategies to mitigate the impact of agriculture on tropospheric ozone regulation. This paper presents the implementation of a soil NO emissions submodel within the environmentally-orientated soil crop model, CERES-EGC. The submodel simulates the NO production via nitrification pathway, as modul...

  20. Spectral tensor parameters for wind turbine load modeling from forested and agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chougule, Abhijit S.; Mann, Jakob; Segalini, A.;

    2015-01-01

    A velocity spectral tensor model was evaluated from the single-point measurements of wind speed. The model contains three parameters representing the dissipation rate of specific turbulent kinetic energy, a turbulence length scale and the turbulence anisotropy. Sonic anemometer measurements taken...... over a forested and an agricultural landscape were used to calculate the model parameters for neutral, slightly stable and slightly unstable atmospheric conditions for a selected wind speed interval. The dissipation rate above the forest was nine times that at the agricultural site. No significant...... constant with height at the forest site, whereas the turbulence became more isotropic with height for the agricultural site. Using the three parameters as inputs, we quantified the performance of the model in coherence predictions for vertical separations. The model coherence of all the three velocity...

  1. Soil governance in the agricultural landscapes of New South Wales, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley A Webb

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil is a valuable natural resource. In the state of New South Wales, Australia, the governance of soil has evolved since Federation in 1901. Following rapid agricultural development, and in the face of widespread soil degradation, the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service marked a turning point in the management of soil. Throughout the 20th century, advances in knowledge were translated into evolving governance frameworks that were largely reactionary but saw progressive reforms such as water pollution legislation and case studies of catchment-scale land and vegetation management. In the 21st century, significant reforms have embedded sustainable use of agricultural soils within catchment- and landscape-scale legislative and institutional frameworks. What is clear, however, is that a multitude of governance strategies and models are utilised in NSW. No single governance model is applicable to all situations because it is necessary to combine elements of several different mechanisms or instruments to achieve the most desired outcomes. Where an industry, such as the sugar industry, has taken ownership of an issue such as acid sulfate soil management, self-regulation has proven to be extremely effective. In the case of co-managing agricultural soils with other landuses, such as mining, petroleum exploration and urban development, regulation, compliance and enforcement mechanisms have been preferred. Institutional arrangements in the form of independent commissioners have also played a role. At the landscape or total catchment level, it is clear that a mix of mechanisms is required. Fundamental, however, to the successful evolution of soil governance is strategic investment in soil research and development that informs the ongoing productive use of agricultural landscapes while preventing land degradation or adverse environmental effects.

  2. Temporal dynamics influenced by global change: bee community phenology in urban, agricultural, and natural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Misha; Ponisio, Lauren C; Kremen, Claire; Thorp, Robbin W; Roderick, George K

    2016-03-01

    Urbanization and agricultural intensification of landscapes are important drivers of global change, which in turn have direct impacts on local ecological communities leading to shifts in species distributions and interactions. Here, we illustrate how human-altered landscapes, with novel ornamental and crop plant communities, result not only in changes to local community diversity of floral-dependent species, but also in shifts in seasonal abundance of bee pollinators. Three years of data on the spatio-temporal distributions of 91 bee species show that seasonal patterns of abundance and species richness in human-altered landscapes varied significantly less compared to natural habitats in which floral resources are relatively scarce in the dry summer months. These findings demonstrate that anthropogenic environmental changes in urban and agricultural systems, here mediated through changes in plant resources and water inputs, can alter the temporal dynamics of pollinators that depend on them. Changes in phenology of interactions can be an important, though frequently overlooked, mechanism of global change. PMID:26663622

  3. Connectivity in an agricultural landscape as reflected by interpond movements of a freshwater turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowne, D.R.; Bowers, M.A.; Hines, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    Connectivity is a measure of how landscape features facilitate movement and thus is an important factor in species persistence in a fragmented landscape. The scarcity of empirical studies that directly quantify species movement and determine subsequent effects on population density have, however, limited the utility of connectivity measures in conservation planning. We undertook a 4-year study to calculate connectivity based on observed movement rates and movement probabilities for five age-sex classes of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) inhabiting a pond complex in an agricultural landscape in northern Virginia (U.S.A.). We determined which variables influenced connectivity and the relationship between connectivity and subpopulation density. Interpatch distance and quality of habitat patches influenced connectivity but characteristics of the intervening matrix did not. Adult female turtles were more influenced by the habitat quality of recipient ponds than other age-sex classes. The importance of connectivity on spatial population dynamics was most apparent during a drought. Population density and connectivity were low for one pond in a wet year but dramatically increased as other ponds dried. Connectivity is an important component of species persistence in a heterogeneous landscape and is strongly dependent on the movement behavior of the species. Connectivity may reflect active selection or avoidance of particular habitat patches. The influence of habitat quality on connectivity has often been ignored, but our findings highlight its importance. Conservation planners seeking to incorporate connectivity measures into reserve design should not ignore behavior in favor of purely structural estimates of connectivity.

  4. Nitrate in shallow groundwater in typical agricultural and forest ecosystems in China, 2004-2010

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xinyu Zhang; Zhiwei Xu; Xiaomin Sun; Wenyi Dong; Deborah Ballantine

    2013-01-01

    The nitrate-nitrogen (NO3--N) concentrations from shallow groundwater wells situated in 29 of the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network field stations,representing typical agro-and forest ecosystems,were assessed using monitoring data collected between 2004 and 2010.Results from this assessment permit a national scale assessment of nitrate concentrations in shallow groundwater,and allow linkages between nitrate concentrations in groundwater and broad land use categories to be made.Results indicated that most of the NO3--N concentrations in groundwater from the agro-and forest ecosystems were below the Class 3 drinking water standard stated in the Chinese National Standard:Quality Standard for Ground Water (< 20 mg/L).Over the study period,the average NO3--N concentrations were significantly higher in agro-ecosystems (4.1 ±-0.33 mg/L) than in forest ecosystems (0.5 + 0.04 mg/L).NO3--N concentrations were relatively higher (> 10 mg N/L) in 10 of the 43 wells sampled in the agricultural ecosystems.These elevated concentrations occurred mainly in the Ansai,Yucheng,Linze,Fukang,Akesu,and Cele field sites,which were located in arid and semiarid areas where irrigation rates are high.We suggest that improvements in N fertilizer application and irrigation management practices in the arid and semi-arid agricultural ecosystems of China are the key to managing groundwater nitrate concentrations.

  5. Enhancing ecosystem services for flood mitigation: a conservation strategy for peri-urban landscapes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Barbedo

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available A key reason why some ecosystem services are undervalued is because they are not easily perceived both by beneficiaries and potential providers. Hydrological modeling allows us to assess, quantify, and visualize the causal link between a particular human intervention and the positive or negative impacts this has on flooding. This study uses such a model to test hypothetical changes in land use in the Brazilian coastal city of Paraty. We discuss how the adoption of higher density patterns of urban development can respond to the needs of a growing population, while safeguarding cultural landscapes of high environmental value against unsustainable urban sprawl and encroachment. Results of the modeling exercise show how water-flow regulation services can be improved, and to what extent restoring natural functions and properties of peri-urban floodplains may reduce urban flooding.

  6. Multiple-Use Zoning Model for Private Forest Owners in Agricultural Landscapes: A Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit Truax

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Many small-scale private forest owners increasingly focus their management on amenity functions rather than on wood production functions. This paradigm shift is an opportunity to implement novel forestry management approaches, such as forested land zoning. Forest zoning consists in separating the land base in three zones that have different management objectives: (1 conservation zones; (2 ecosystem management zones; and (3 intensive production zones, which locally increase productivity, as a trade off to increase the land area dedicated to conservation and ecosystem management. We evaluate the ecological feasibility of implementing forest zoning on a private property (216 ha at St-Benoît-du-Lac, Québec (Canada characterised by agricultural and forest land uses. As a basis for delineating conservation and ecosystem management zones, historical and contemporary data and facts on forest composition and dynamics were reviewed, followed by a detailed forest vegetation analysis of forest communities. Delineating intensive production zones was straightforward, as fertile agricultural field margins located downslope were used to establish multifunctional hybrid poplar buffers. At St-Benoît-du-Lac, a realistic zoning scenario would consist of (1 conservation zones covering 25% of the forestland (37 ha; (2 ecosystem management zones covering 75% of the forestland (113 ha, including restoration zones on 24 ha; and (3 intensive production zones on 2.8 ha. Based on a yield projection of 13 t/ha/year for hybrid poplars, only 5.6% of agricultural field areas would need to be converted into agroforestry systems to allow for the loss of wood production in a conservation zone of 37 ha of forest. Ecosystem services provision following the implementation of zoning would include increased habitat quality, biodiversity protection and enhancement (by restoration of some tree species, carbon storage, non-point source aquatic pollution control, local biomass

  7. Past experience with the EU Common Agricultural Policy and future challenges for landscape development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vesterager, Jens Peter; Jepsen, Martin Rudbeck; Busck, Anne Gravsholt;

    and land use through the Common Agricultural Policies (CAP) and several other policies, however it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between effects of EU policies and the general trends on the European continent. In a Danish perspective, the formal effects of EU membership have been effectuated since...... the accession to the EU by 1973, however the trend towards intensification and industrialisation have emerged since the 2nd world war. Since 1973, landscape challenge have changed from intensification to debates on marginalisation in the early 1980s, introduction of the environmental policies in the mid 1980s...... with focus on the aquatic environment and lately towards a focus on biodiversity in respect to implementation of the habitats directive. A conglomerate of policy causes and effects on landscape changes is described in details from Denmark in the period from 1973-2014, and with specific analysis of data...

  8. Carbon dioxide exchange over agricultural landscape using eddy correlation and footprint modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søgaard, H.; Jensen, N.O.; Bøgh, E.;

    2003-01-01

    is maintained almost until the end of the growing season. It is demonstrated that daily CO2 fluxes can be simulated by a combined photosynthesis and soil respiration model. By this approach, it is concluded that the photosynthetic capacity is nearly equal for all the grain crops (120-140 mumol m(-2) s(-1......Within an agricultural landscape of western Denmark, the carbon dioxide exchange was studied throughout a year (April 1998-March 1999). During the growing season, five eddy correlation systems were operated in parallel over some of the more important crops (winter wheat, winter barley, spring...... barley, maize and grass). A sixth system was mounted on top of a 48 m mast to enable landscape-wide flux measurements both in summer and winter. The spatial distribution of the different crop types was mapped by use of satellite images (Landsat TM and SPOT). A very large diversity in carbon functioning...

  9. Socio-economic and land cover changes analysis in a landscape with agricultural matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Viscosi

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The research involved the application of CORINE Land Cover categories in order to analyse changes in land cover and in the socio-economic system over the last 50 years in Molise (Southern Italy. The boundaries of the study area corresponded to those of six local councils: Guglionesi, Montecilfone, Montenero di Bisaccia, Petacciato, San Giacomo degli Schiavoni and Termoli. It is an area which has undergone a great anthropic agricultural impact after the II World War, but, however, still has natural settings worth preserving, as can be seen by the presence of seven Sites of Community Interest (sensu “Habitat Directive” 92/43/EC. For the analyses of the land cover changes, geo-databases were consulted or specially constructed. The aerial photographs from GAI 1954-55 flight, appropriately georectified, and the aerial photograph ITA2000 and AGEA 2004 flights were adopted to draw up the land use/cover maps at a scale of 1.10.000.The study of vegetation was performed using the phytosociological method. In brief, the results show that the landscape of the study area has become more fragmented due mostly to effects of continuous human disturbances and agricultural improvement during the study period. Overall, the landscape is today characterised by the predominance of agricultural use and the sparse colonization of the natural vegetation, mainly by linear vegetational formations (mainly riparian woods.

  10. The influence of mistletoes on birds in an agricultural landscape of central Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuria, Iriana; Castellanos, Ignacio; Gates, J. Edward

    2014-11-01

    Mistletoes are hemiparasitic flowering plants that function as keystone resources in forests and woodlands of temperate regions, where a positive relationship between mistletoe density and avian species richness has been observed. Mistletoes have been less studied in tropical regions and the relationship between birds and mistletoes has seldom been explored in tropical agricultural systems. Therefore, we studied the presence of infected trees and infection prevalence (i.e., number of parasitized trees/total number of trees) by Psittacanthus (Loranthaceae) mistletoes in 23 hedgerows located in an agricultural landscape of central Mexico during the dry and rainy seasons, and investigated the relationship between bird species richness and abundance and the abundance of mistletoes. We found a mean of 74 mistletoe plants per 100-m transect of only one species, Psittacanthus calyculatus. Thirty-one percent of the trees surveyed were infected and tree species differed in infection prevalence, mesquite (Prosopis laevigata) being the most infected species with 86% of the surveyed trees infected. For both seasons, we found a positive and significant association between bird species richness and number of mistletoe plants. The same pattern was observed for total bird abundance. Many resident and Neotropical migratory birds were observed foraging on mistletoes. Our results show that mistletoes are important in promoting a higher bird species richness and abundance in tropical agricultural landscapes.

  11. Low-intensity agricultural landscapes in Transylvania support high butterfly diversity: implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loos, Jacqueline; Dorresteijn, Ine; Hanspach, Jan; Fust, Pascal; Rakosy, László; Fischer, Joern

    2014-01-01

    European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation to provide

  12. Low-intensity agricultural landscapes in Transylvania support high butterfly diversity: implications for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline Loos

    Full Text Available European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation

  13. THE TYPOLOGY OF THE AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF DUBROVAČKO PRIMORJE AS A BASIS FOR DIRECTING DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines Hrdalo

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abandonment of rural areas in Dubrovačko Primorje in the last 50 years resulted with changes of its spatial characteristics and identity. This process defi ned this place as a virtually derelict area. The main goal of this work is to determine landscape types based upon survey and spatial analyses. They can be helpful in a process of determination of spatial qualities. Landscape division was made according to the natural and anthropogenic features of this area. Therefore, landscape was divided on natural (coast, karst terrain and landscapes of the macchia and cultural (settlement and agriculture landscapes. Working methods consisted of several research stages. The fi rst stage comprised a review of relevant literature concerning natural and sociological features of the explored area. Working methods of prof. dr. Marušič were inspiration for evolvement of this research [16]. The next stage of research was the fi eld work by means of observation method which resulted in detailed photo documentation, showing different types of the agricultural landscapes. Indoor work consisted of the orthophoto production, which was a base for further exploration. Consequently, detailed map of the land use, as well as an agricultural map of the area was made according to the structural husbandry character. Digital mapping of the thematical maps in GIS – Arc View software program, produced a database of social and natural elements of the area. Overlapping of all these maps helped in determination of causal processes. Comparison of these outcomes with terrain photo documentation led to the research results and fi nal conclusions. This research showed interesting structural features of agricultural landscapes. Its division was made according to its form which emerged from the land use and its natural character. Consequently, agricultural landscapes are divided into fi elds (with regular parcels and those with irregular land division, dry stone walls with organic

  14. Merging plot and Landsata data to estimate the frequency distribution of Central Amazon mortality event size for landscape-scale ecosystem simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Vittorio, A. V.; Chambers, J. Q.

    2012-12-01

    Mitigation strategies and estimates of land use change emissions assume initial states of landscapes that respond to prescribed scenarios. The Amazon basin is a target for both mitigation (e.g. maintenance of old-growth forest) and land use change (e.g. agriculture), but the current states of its old-growth and secondary forest landscapes are uncertain with respect to carbon cycling. Contributing to this uncertainty in old-growth forest ecosystems is a mosaic of patches in different successional stages, with the areal fraction of any particular stage relatively constant over large temporal and spatial scales. Old-growth mosaics are generally created through ongoing effects of tree mortality, with the Central Amazon mosaic generated primarily by wind mortality. Unfortunately, estimation of generalizable frequency distributions of mortality event size has been hindered by limited spatial and temporal scales of observations. To overcome these limitations we merge field and remotely sensed tree mortality data and fit the top two candidate distributions (power law and exponential) to these data to determine the most appropriate statistical mortality model for use in landscape-scale ecosystem simulations. Our results show that the power law model better represents the distribution of mortality event size than the exponential model. We also use an individual-tree-based forest stand model to simulate a 100 ha landscape using the best fit of each candidate distribution to demonstrate the effects of different mortality regimes on above ground biomass in the Central Amazon forest mosaic. We conclude that the correct mortality distribution model is critical for robust simulation of patch succession dynamics and above ground biomass.

  15. Multifunctional landscapes: Site characterization and field-scale design to incorporate biomass production into an agricultural system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Current and future demand for food, feed, fiber, and energy require novel approaches to land management, which demands that multifunctional landscapes are created to integrate various ecosystem functions into a sustainable land use. We developed an approach to design such landscapes at a field scale to minimize concerns of land use change, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with production of food and bioenergy. This study leverages concepts of nutrient recovery and phytoremediation to place bioenergy crops on the landscape to recover nutrients released to watersheds by commodity crops. Crop placement is determined by evaluating spatial variability of: 1) soils, 2) surface flow pathways, 3) shallow groundwater flow gradients, 4) subsurface nitrate concentrations, and 5) primary crop yield. A 0.8 ha bioenergy buffer was designed within a 6.5 ha field to intercept concentrated surface flow, capture and use nitrate leachate, and minimize use of productive areas. Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) simulations show that on average, a switchgrass (Panicum Virgatum L.) or willow (Salix spp.) buffer within this catchment according to this design could reduce annual leached NO3 by 61 or 59% and N2O emission by 5.5 or 10.8%, respectively, produce 8.7 or 9.7 Mg ha−1 of biomass respectively, and displace 6.7 Mg ha−1 of corn (Zea mays L.) grain. Therefore, placement of bioenergy crops has the potential to increase environmental sustainability when the pairing of location and crop type result in minimal disruption of current food production systems and provides additional environmental benefits. - Highlights: • Design of a multifunctional landscape by integrating cellulosic biofuel production into an existing agricultural system. • The design does not adversely offset current grain production for bioenergy crops. • Maps of concentrated flow paths, subsurface flow direction, NO3–N hotspots, and intra-field corn yield variability.

  16. Evaluation of agricultural ecosystem services in fallowing land based on farmers' participation and model simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu Yen Lan,; Chang Kang-tsung,; Stoorvogel, J.J.; Verburg, P.H.; Sun Chin Hong,

    2012-01-01

    Fallowing with green fertilizer can benefit agricultural ecosystem services (AES). Farmers in Taiwan do not implement fallow practices and plant green fertilizer because the current subsidy level (46,000 NT$ per ha) is too low to manage fallowing. This paper defines the objective of government agric

  17. GENEPEASE Genomic tools for assessment of pesticide effects on the agricultural soil ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Carsten Suhr; Feld, Louise; Hjelmsø, Mathis Hjort;

    The project focussed on validating RNA based methods as potential genomic tools in assessment of agricultural soil ecosystems. It was shown that the mRNA based technique was very sensitive and the effects was seen in the same situations as when the OECD nitrification assay showed an effect. 16S r...

  18. Agricultural BMPs and ecosystem services in Beasley Lake, a CEAP watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquatic ecosystems such as oxbow lakes found throughout the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Plain (i.e. the Mississippi Delta) can provide valuable goods and services such as water supply, fisheries, wildlife habitat and aesthetic value. Agriculture occurring intensively in the same region also provides...

  19. Selected landscape-ecological limitations of development of intensive agricultural and forest-economic activities; 1 : 500 000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    On this map the selected landscape-ecological limitations of development of intensive agricultural and forest-economic activities on the territory of the Slovak Republic is shown. Suitability of location of intensive agricultural and forest-economic activities was determined after assessment of three classes of landscape-ecological limitations as given by the types of abiotic complexes, nature protection of nature and natural resources, and the action of stress factors. Their interaction determines the number and class of limitations of agricultural and forest-economic activity. The procedure of processing used is similar to that applied to the maps 4 and 8. (authors)

  20. Which regional features of Danish agriculture favour the corn bunting in the contemporary farming landscape?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox, Anthony David; Heldbjerg, Henning

    2008-01-01

    Corn buntings Miliaria calandra were abundant throughout arable agricultural landscapes in Europe, but have catastrophically declined since the mid 1970s with changes in farming practice and now give serious conservation cause for concern. Corn buntings declined in Denmark during 1976...... on land use correlation and bird surveillance, these results show an association between mixed farming and favourable conservation status of a species now red-listed throughout much of Europe. Further investigations of habitat use at small spatial scales and throughout the annual cycle are urgently...

  1. No Free Lunch - Trading Away Ecosystem Services from Agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaks, D.; Foley, J.

    2008-12-01

    In the age of globalization, many crops and animal products are transported across the long distances for consumption elsewhere. The alteration of water, soil and climate systems from agricultural practices can be attributed to both exporting and importing countries. Quantities of water, carbon and nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus) can be tracked throughout the production process and be aggregated from field to table. The synthesis of this data can be used to inform markets to appropriately price the most ecologically efficient production.While agricultural land is undergoing changes around the world, the Brazilian Amazon has seen a dramatic conversion of forest and grassland due to the expanding agricultural frontier, and intense growth in the future has been predicted in the region. As a proof of concept, I plan to study the flow of ecosystem services from the Amazon rainforest basin to the world market. Cattle and soybeans are the two main agricultural products of the region and are produced for both internal consumption and for export. This work quantifies agricultural production and its associated ecosystem services using socio-economic and commodity trade data, numerical ecosystem models and remote sensing products.

  2. Monitoring agricultural ecosystems by using wild bees as environmental indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schindler

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Wild bees are abundant in agricultural ecosystems and contribute significantly to the pollination of many crops. The specialisation of many wild bees on particular nesting sites and food resources makes them sensitive to changing habitat conditions. Therefore wild bees are important indicators for environmental impact assessments. Long-term monitoring schemes to measure changes of wild bee communities in agricultural ecosystems are currently lacking. Here we suggest a highly standardized monitoring approach which combines transect walks and pan traps (bowls. The combination of these two methods provides high sample coverage and reveals data on plant-pollinator interactions. We point out that comprehensive methodical, biological and taxonomical expertise is mandatory. The suggested approach is applicable to diverse monitoring goals in an agricultural context e.g. the impact of land use changes as well as monitoring potential effects of GM crops on wild bees.

  3. Agricultural conversion of floodplain ecosystems: implications for groundwater quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, Keith E; Jacobson, Peter J; Vogelgesang, Jason A

    2015-04-15

    With current trends of converting grasslands to row crop agriculture in vulnerable areas, there is a critical need to evaluate the effects of land use on groundwater quality in large river floodplain systems. In this study, groundwater hydrology and nutrient dynamics associated with three land cover types (grassland, floodplain forest and cropland) were assessed at the Cedar River floodplain in southeastern Iowa. The cropland site consisted of newly-converted grassland, done specifically for our study. Our objectives were to evaluate spatial and temporal variations in groundwater hydrology and quality, and quantify changes in groundwater quality following land conversion from grassland to row crop in a floodplain. We installed five shallow and one deep monitoring wells in each of the three land cover types and recorded water levels and quality over a three year period. Crop rotations included soybeans in year 1, corn in year 2 and fallow with cover crops during year 3 due to river flooding. Water table levels behaved nearly identically among the sites but during the second and third years of our study, NO₃-N concentrations in shallow floodplain groundwater beneath the cropped site increased from 0.5 mg/l to more than 25 mg/l (maximum of 70 mg/l). The increase in concentration was primarily associated with application of liquid N during June of the second year (corn rotation), although site flooding may have exacerbated NO₃-N leaching. Geophysical investigation revealed differences in ground conductivity among the land cover sites that related significantly to variations in groundwater quality. Study results provide much-needed information on the effects of different land covers on floodplain groundwater and point to challenges ahead for meeting nutrient reduction goals if row crop land use expands into floodplains.

  4. Implications of agricultural land use change to ecosystem services in the Ganges delta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, G M Tarekul; Islam, A K M Saiful; Shopan, Ahsan Azhar; Rahman, Md Munsur; Lázár, Attila N; Mukhopadhyay, Anirban

    2015-09-15

    Ecosystems provide the basis for human civilization and natural capital for green economy and sustainable development. Ecosystem services may range from crops, fish, freshwater to those that are harder to see such as erosion regulation, carbon sequestration, and pest control. Land use changes have been identified as the main sources of coastal and marine pollution in Bangladesh. This paper explores the temporal variation of agricultural land use change and its implications with ecosystem services in the Ganges delta. With time agricultural lands have been decreased and wetlands have been increased at a very high rate mainly due to the growing popularity of saltwater shrimp farming. In a span of 28 years, the agricultural lands have been reduced by approximately 50%, while the wetlands have been increased by over 500%. A large portion (nearly 40%) of the study area is covered by the Sundarbans which remained almost constant which can be attributed to the strict regulatory intervention to preserve the Sundarbans. The settlement & others land use type has also been increased to nearly 5%. There is a gradual uptrend of shrimp and fish production in the study area. The findings suggest that there are significant linkages between agricultural land use change and ecosystem services in the Ganges delta in Bangladesh. The continuous decline of agricultural land (due to salinization) and an increase of wetland have been attributed to the conversion of agricultural land into shrimp farming in the study area. Such land use change requires significant capital, therefore, only investors and wealthier land owners can get the higher profit from the land conversion while the poor people is left with the environmental consequences that affect their long-term lives and livelihood. An environmental management plan is proposed for sustainable land use in the Ganges delta in Bangladesh.

  5. Nectar resource limitation affects butterfly flight performance and metabolism differently in intensive and extensive agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebeau, Julie; Wesselingh, Renate A; Van Dyck, Hans

    2016-05-11

    Flight is an essential biological ability of many insects, but is energetically costly. Environments under rapid human-induced change are characterized by habitat fragmentation and may impose constraints on the energy income budget of organisms. This may, in turn, affect locomotor performance and willingness to fly. We tested flight performance and metabolic rates in meadow brown butterflies (Maniola jurtina) of two contrasted agricultural landscapes: intensively managed, nectar-poor (IL) versus extensively managed, nectar-rich landscapes (EL). Young female adults were submitted to four nectar treatments (i.e. nectar quality and quantity) in outdoor flight cages. IL individuals had better flight capacities in a flight mill and had lower resting metabolic rates (RMR) than EL individuals, except under the severest treatment. Under this treatment, RMR increased in IL individuals, but decreased in EL individuals; flight performance was maintained by IL individuals, but dropped by a factor 2.5 in EL individuals. IL individuals had more canalized (i.e. less plastic) responses relative to the nectar treatments than EL individuals. Our results show significant intraspecific variation in the locomotor and metabolic response of a butterfly to different energy income regimes relative to the landscape of origin. Ecophysiological studies help to improve our mechanistic understanding of the eco-evolutionary impact of anthropogenic environments on rare and widespread species.

  6. Edges in agricultural landscapes: species interactions and movement of natural enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Muller, Warren

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural landscapes can be characterized as a mosaic of habitat patches interspersed with hostile matrix, or as a gradient of patches ranging from suitable to unsuitable for different species. Arthropods moving through these landscapes encounter a range of edges, with different permeability. Patches of native vegetation in these landscapes may support natural enemies of crop pests by providing alternate hosts for parasitic wasps and/or acting as a source for predatory insects. We test this by quantifying species interactions and measuring movement across different edge-types. A high diversity of parasitoid species used hosts in the native vegetation patches, however we recorded few instances of the same parasitoid species using hosts in both the native vegetation and the crop (canola). However, we did find overall greater densities of parasitoids moving from native vegetation into the crop. Of the parasitoid groups examined, parasitoids of aphids (Braconidae: Aphidiinae) frequently moved from native vegetation into canola. In contrast, parasitoids of caterpillars (Braconidae: Microgastrinae) moved commonly from cereal fields into canola. Late season samples showed both aphids and parasitoids moving frequently out of native vegetation, in contrast predators moved less commonly from native vegetation (across the whole season). The season-long net advantage or disadvantage of native vegetation for pest control services is therefore difficult to evaluate. It appears that the different edge-types alter movement patterns of natural enemies more so than herbivorous pest species, and this may impact pest control services.

  7. Nectar resource limitation affects butterfly flight performance and metabolism differently in intensive and extensive agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebeau, Julie; Wesselingh, Renate A; Van Dyck, Hans

    2016-05-11

    Flight is an essential biological ability of many insects, but is energetically costly. Environments under rapid human-induced change are characterized by habitat fragmentation and may impose constraints on the energy income budget of organisms. This may, in turn, affect locomotor performance and willingness to fly. We tested flight performance and metabolic rates in meadow brown butterflies (Maniola jurtina) of two contrasted agricultural landscapes: intensively managed, nectar-poor (IL) versus extensively managed, nectar-rich landscapes (EL). Young female adults were submitted to four nectar treatments (i.e. nectar quality and quantity) in outdoor flight cages. IL individuals had better flight capacities in a flight mill and had lower resting metabolic rates (RMR) than EL individuals, except under the severest treatment. Under this treatment, RMR increased in IL individuals, but decreased in EL individuals; flight performance was maintained by IL individuals, but dropped by a factor 2.5 in EL individuals. IL individuals had more canalized (i.e. less plastic) responses relative to the nectar treatments than EL individuals. Our results show significant intraspecific variation in the locomotor and metabolic response of a butterfly to different energy income regimes relative to the landscape of origin. Ecophysiological studies help to improve our mechanistic understanding of the eco-evolutionary impact of anthropogenic environments on rare and widespread species. PMID:27147100

  8. Edges in agricultural landscapes: species interactions and movement of natural enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Muller, Warren

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural landscapes can be characterized as a mosaic of habitat patches interspersed with hostile matrix, or as a gradient of patches ranging from suitable to unsuitable for different species. Arthropods moving through these landscapes encounter a range of edges, with different permeability. Patches of native vegetation in these landscapes may support natural enemies of crop pests by providing alternate hosts for parasitic wasps and/or acting as a source for predatory insects. We test this by quantifying species interactions and measuring movement across different edge-types. A high diversity of parasitoid species used hosts in the native vegetation patches, however we recorded few instances of the same parasitoid species using hosts in both the native vegetation and the crop (canola). However, we did find overall greater densities of parasitoids moving from native vegetation into the crop. Of the parasitoid groups examined, parasitoids of aphids (Braconidae: Aphidiinae) frequently moved from native vegetation into canola. In contrast, parasitoids of caterpillars (Braconidae: Microgastrinae) moved commonly from cereal fields into canola. Late season samples showed both aphids and parasitoids moving frequently out of native vegetation, in contrast predators moved less commonly from native vegetation (across the whole season). The season-long net advantage or disadvantage of native vegetation for pest control services is therefore difficult to evaluate. It appears that the different edge-types alter movement patterns of natural enemies more so than herbivorous pest species, and this may impact pest control services. PMID:23555737

  9. Accelerated export of sediment and carbon from a landscape under intensive agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glendell, M; Brazier, R E

    2014-04-01

    The export of total organic carbon (particulate and dissolved) from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems has important implications for water quality and the global carbon cycle. However, most research to date has focused on DOC losses from either forested or peaty catchments, with only limited studies examining the controls and rates of total fluvial carbon losses from agricultural catchments, particularly during storm events. This study examined the controls and fluxes of total suspended sediment (SS), total particulate (TPC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from two adjacent catchments with contrasting intensive agricultural and semi-natural land-use. Data from 35 individual storm events showed that the agricultural catchment exported significantly higher SS concentrations on a storm-by-storm basis than the semi-natural catchment, with peak discharge exerting a greater control over SS, TPC and DOC concentrations. Baseflow DOC concentrations in the agricultural catchment were significantly higher. DOC quality monitored during one simultaneous rainfall event differed between the two study catchments, with more humic, higher molecular weight compounds prevailing in the agricultural catchment and lower molecular weight compounds prevailing in the semi-natural catchment. During an eight month period for which a comparable continuous turbidity record was available, the estimated SS yields from the agricultural catchment were higher than from the semi-natural catchment. Further, the agricultural catchment exported proportionally more TPC and a comparable amount of DOC, despite a lower total soil carbon pool. These results suggest that altered hydrological and biogeochemical processes within the agricultural catchment, including accelerated soil erosion and soil organic matter turnover, contributed to an enhanced fluvial SS and carbon export. Thus, we argue that enhancing semi-natural vegetation within intensively farmed catchments could reduce sediment and carbon losses

  10. Accelerated export of sediment and carbon from a landscape under intensive agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glendell, M; Brazier, R E

    2014-04-01

    The export of total organic carbon (particulate and dissolved) from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems has important implications for water quality and the global carbon cycle. However, most research to date has focused on DOC losses from either forested or peaty catchments, with only limited studies examining the controls and rates of total fluvial carbon losses from agricultural catchments, particularly during storm events. This study examined the controls and fluxes of total suspended sediment (SS), total particulate (TPC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from two adjacent catchments with contrasting intensive agricultural and semi-natural land-use. Data from 35 individual storm events showed that the agricultural catchment exported significantly higher SS concentrations on a storm-by-storm basis than the semi-natural catchment, with peak discharge exerting a greater control over SS, TPC and DOC concentrations. Baseflow DOC concentrations in the agricultural catchment were significantly higher. DOC quality monitored during one simultaneous rainfall event differed between the two study catchments, with more humic, higher molecular weight compounds prevailing in the agricultural catchment and lower molecular weight compounds prevailing in the semi-natural catchment. During an eight month period for which a comparable continuous turbidity record was available, the estimated SS yields from the agricultural catchment were higher than from the semi-natural catchment. Further, the agricultural catchment exported proportionally more TPC and a comparable amount of DOC, despite a lower total soil carbon pool. These results suggest that altered hydrological and biogeochemical processes within the agricultural catchment, including accelerated soil erosion and soil organic matter turnover, contributed to an enhanced fluvial SS and carbon export. Thus, we argue that enhancing semi-natural vegetation within intensively farmed catchments could reduce sediment and carbon losses

  11. Caesium-137 root uptake by agricultural and wild crops in post-Chernobyl landscape: the possibilities for phytoremediation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Shamshurina, Eugenia; Komissarova, Olga; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2015-04-01

    In spite of long term period after Chernobyl fallout (≈25 years after the accident) the level of Cs-137 in soils of contaminated landscapes remains several times more than radiation safety standard (= 37 kBq/m2). In particular, within the area of Plavsk radioactive hot spot (Tula region, Russia) current Cs-137 activities in soil are 460-500 Bq/kg (170-200 kBq/m2) on watershed, 580-680 Bq/kg (200-220 kBq/m2) in arable lower parts of slopes and 620-710 Bq/kg (210-280 kBq/m2) in untilled foots of slopes and river floodplains. To estimate the process of Cs-137 root uptake and incorporation of the radionuclide in plant tissues 6 agricultural crops of typical field rotation (spring barley, maize, summer rape, galega, potatoes, amaranth) as well as natural ecosystems of dry and wet meadows were selected for the detailed study. Total bioproductivity of agricultural crops varies between 1.7-3.9 kg/m2, natural grass ecosystems - 1.9-2.2 g/m2, and is obviously unaffected by radioactive land contamination. At the same time Cs-137 activity in total biomass slightly increases with Cs-137 activity in soil (correlation coefficient r=0.45) and with total biomass (correlation coefficient r=0.51) in the row: rape (5 Bq/kg) phytoremediation purposes, as 86-97% of the radionuclide inventory is associated with roots and remains in soil after cutting of aboveground parts. On the other hand, galega and amaranth could be considered as agricultural crops potentially being used for phytoremediation, since 87-93% of Cs-137 inventory is located in shoots. Potatoes having rather high aboveground biomass and easily removed from soil underground part could be also used for phytoremediation. However, it should be clearly understood that in total Cs-137 inventory in "soil-plant" system the annual amount of the radionuclide's consumption (that may be alienated when harvesting) is less than 0.01%, while the rate of Cs-137 radioactive decay is estimated as about 2% per year. Study was conducted with

  12. A comparison of the herbicide tolerances of rare and common plants in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, J Franklin; Graham, Ian M; Mortensen, David A

    2014-03-01

    Declining plant biodiversity in agroecosystems has often been attributed to escalating use of chemical herbicides, but other changes in farming systems, including the clearing of seminatural habitat fragments, confound the influence of herbicides. The present study introduces a new approach to evaluate the impacts of herbicide pollution on plant communities at landscape or regional scales. If herbicides are in fact a key factor shaping agricultural plant diversity, one would expect to see the signal of past herbicide impacts in the current plant community composition of an intensively farmed region, with common, successful species more tolerant to widely used herbicides than rare or declining species. Data from an extensive field survey of plant diversity in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA, were compared with herbicide bioassay experiments in a greenhouse to test the hypothesis that common species possess higher herbicide tolerances than rare species. Five congeneric pairs of rare and common species were treated with 3 commonly used herbicide modes of action in bioassay experiments, and few significant differences were found in the tolerances of rare species relative to common species. These preliminary results suggest that other factors beyond herbicide exposure may be more important in shaping the distribution and abundance of plant species diversity across an agricultural landscape.

  13. An insight into space and remote sensing technologies concerning agriculture and landscape analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuca, Branka; Barazzetti, Luigi; Brumana, Raffaella; Previtali, Mattia

    2015-06-01

    Remote sensing and space technologies are increasingly called to offer innovative solutions for current challenges induced by climatic and global change. One of the main priorities of the European Space Policy regards the economic independence of the old continent in this sector. In terms of research and innovation this inevitably leads to numerous attempts in having independent market of services that would tackle specific needs of the citizens. Agriculture, for example, is one of the sectors majorly subsidized by European funds on national, regional and local level, with the aim to foster a more productive and sustainable development. Due to a large territorial scale at which agricultural phenomena are observed, and thus the spatial resolution required, it is also one of the main sectors that has been monitored from space over the past 30 years. In fact, one of the main missions of USA Landsat satellites was to provide a continuous and systematic overview of the globe for the purposes of an effective monitoring of the environment. This paper represents an overview of the ongoing initiatives in Space research done for the field of agriculture and landscape monitoring. In particular, the paper looks into the future possibilities that will be offered by full, open and free-of-charge data arriving from ongoing Copernicus missions and the contribution of Sentinel satellites to the agricultural sector.

  14. Downstream approaches to phosphorus management in agricultural landscapes: regional applicability and use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kröger, R; Dunne, E J; Novak, J; King, K W; McLellan, E; Smith, D R; Strock, J; Boomer, K; Tomer, M; Noe, G B

    2013-01-01

    This review provides a critical overview of conservation practices that are aimed at improving water quality by retaining phosphorus (P) downstream of runoff genesis. The review is structured around specific downstream practices that are prevalent in various parts of the United States. Specific practices that we discuss include the use of controlled drainage, chemical treatment of waters and soils, receiving ditch management, and wetlands. The review also focuses on the specific hydrology and biogeochemistry associated with each of those practices. The practices are structured sequentially along flowpaths as you move through the landscape, from the edge-of-field, to adjacent aquatic systems, and ultimately to downstream P retention. Often practices are region specific based on geology, cropping practices, and specific P related problems and thus require a right practice, and right place mentality to management. Each practice has fundamental P transport and retention processes by systems that can be optimized by management with the goal of reducing downstream P loading after P has left agricultural fields. The management of P requires a system-wide assessment of the stability of P in different biogeochemical forms (particulate vs. dissolved, organic vs. inorganic), in different storage pools (soil, sediment, streams etc.), and under varying biogeochemical and hydrological conditions that act to convert P from one form to another and promote its retention in or transport out of different landscape components. There is significant potential of hierarchically placing practices in the agricultural landscape and enhancing the associated P mitigation. But an understanding is needed of short- and long-term P retention mechanisms within a certain practice and incorporating maintenance schedules if necessary to improve P retention times and minimize exceeding retention capacity.

  15. Methods for Environmental Management Research at Landscape and Watershed Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agriculture is as much as ever and perhaps more so today a landscape enterprise. And as we move into an era in which ecosystem services from agriculture are tabulated, valued, and judged by society, landscape involvement and management will become ever more important. The majority of the non-comm...

  16. Simulation and validation of subsurface lateral flow paths in an agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Zhu

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The importance of soil water flow paths to the transport of nutrients and contaminants has long been recognized. However, effective means of detecting subsurface flow paths in a large landscape is still lacking. The flow direction and accumulation algorithm in GIS hydrologic modeling is a cost effective way to simulate potential flow paths over a large area. This study tested this algorithm for simulating lateral flow paths at three interfaces in soil profiles in a 19.5-ha agricultural landscape in central Pennsylvania, USA. These interfaces were (1 the surface plowed layers (Ap1 and Ap2 horizons interface, (2 the interface with subsoil clay layer where clay content increased to over 40%, and (3 soil-bedrock interface. The simulated flow paths were validated through soil hydrologic monitoring, geophysical surveys, and observable soil morphological features. The results confirmed that subsurface lateral flow occurred at the interfaces with the clay layer and the underlying bedrock. At these two interfaces, the soils on the simulated flow paths were closer to saturation and showed more temporally unstable moisture dynamics than those off the simulated flow paths. Apparent electrical conductivity in the soil on the simulated flow paths was elevated and temporally unstable as compared to those outside the simulated paths. The soil cores collected from the simulated flow paths showed significantly higher Mn contents at these interfaces than those away from the simulated paths. These results suggest that (1 the algorithm is useful in simulating possible subsurface lateral flow paths if used appropriately with sufficiently detailed digital elevation model; (2 repeated electromagnetic surveys can reflect the temporal change of soil water storage and thus is an indicator of soil water movement over the landscape; and (3 observable Mn content in soil profiles can be used as a simple indicator of water flow paths in soils and over the landscape.

  17. Herbivore responses to nutrient enrichment and landscape heterogeneity in a mangrove ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Ilka C; Chamberlain, Anne

    2007-09-01

    Complex gradients in forest structure across the landscape of offshore mangrove islands in Belize are associated with nutrient deficiency and flooding. While nutrient availability can affect many ecological processes, here we investigate how N and P enrichment interact with forest structure in three distinct zones (fringe, transition, dwarf) to alter patterns of herbivory as a function of folivory, loss of yield, and tissue mining. The effects of nutrient addition and zone varied by functional feeding group or specific herbivore. Folivory ranged from 0 to 0.4% leaf area damaged per month, but rates did not vary by either nutrient enrichment or zone. Leaf lifetime damage ranged from 3 to 10% of the total leaf area and was caused primarily by the omnivorous tree crab Aratus pisonii. We detected two distinct spatial scales of response by A. pisonii that were unrelated to nutrient treatment, i.e., most feeding damage occurred in the fringe zone and crabs fed primarily on the oldest leaves in the canopy. Loss of yield caused by the bud moth Ecdytolopha sp. varied by zone but not by nutrient treatment. A periderm-mining Marmara sp. responded positively to nutrient enrichment and closely mirrored the growth response by Rhizophora mangle across the tree height gradient. In contrast, a leaf-mining Marmara sp. was controlled by parasitoids and predators that killed >89% of its larvae. Thus, nutrient availability altered patterns of herbivory of some but not all mangrove herbivores. These findings support the hypothesis that landscape heterogeneity of the biotic and abiotic environment has species-specific effects on community structure and trophic interactions. Predicting how herbivores respond to nutrient over-enrichment in mangrove ecosystems also requires an assessment of habitat heterogeneity coupled with feeding strategies and species-specific behavior measured on multiple scales of response. PMID:17566784

  18. Conservation of newt guilds in an agricultural landscape of Belgium: the importance of aquatic and terrestrial habitats

    OpenAIRE

    Denoël, Mathieu; Ficetola, G. Francesco

    2008-01-01

    1. Amphibians are declining worldwide in response to local and global pressures. Pond-breeding species are particularly vulnerable to environmental change because they rely on two components of the landscape: aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Agricultural practices are changing rapidly at world and local scales. As a consequence, farm ponds and their surrounding terrestrial landscapes will probably be affected. 2. This study investigated the main habitat determinants for the occurrence of fou...

  19. The relative importance of fertilization and soil erosion on C-dynamics in agricultural landscapes of NE Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Madlen; Hoffmann, Mathias; Hagemann, Ulrike; Jurisch, Nicole; Remus, Rainer; Sommer, Michael; Augustin, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    The hummocky ground moraine landscape of north-east Germany is characterized by distinct small-scale soil heterogeneity on the one hand, and intensive energy crop cultivation on the other. Both factors are assumed to significantly influence gaseous C exchange, and thus driving the dynamics of soil organic carbon stocks in terrestrial, agricultural ecosystems. However, it is not yet clear to which extent fertilization and soil erosional status influence soil C dynamics and whether one of these factors is more relevant than the other. We present seasonal and dynamic soil C balances of biogas maize for the growing season 2011, recorded at different sites located within the CarboZALF experimental area. The sites differ regarding soils (non-eroded Albic Luvisols (Cutanic), extremely eroded Calcaric Regosol and depositional Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol,) and applied fertilizer (100% mineral N fertilizer, 50% mineral and 50% N organic fertilizer, 100% organic N fertilizer). Fertilization treatments were established on the Albic Luvisol (Cutanic). Net-CO2-exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were measured every four weeks using a dynamic flow-through non-steady-state closed manual chamber system. Gap filling was performed based on empirical temperature and PAR dependency functions to derive daily NEE values. At the same time, daily above-ground biomass production (NPP) was estimated based on biomass samples and final harvest, using a sigmoidal growth function. In a next step, dynamic soil C balances were generated as the balance of daily NEE and NPP considering the initial C input due to N fertilizers. The resulted seasonal soil C balances varied from strong C losses at the Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol (602 g C m-2) to C gains at the Calcaric Regosol (-132 g C m-2). In general, soils exerted a stronger impact on seasonal and dynamic C balances compared to differences in applied N fertilizer. There are indications that inter-annual variations in climate conditions

  20. Floral resource limitation severely reduces butterfly survival, condition and flight activity in simplified agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebeau, Julie; Wesselingh, Renate A; Van Dyck, Hans

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural intensification has a strong negative impact on farmland biodiversity (including flower-visiting insects), but understanding the mechanisms involved in this requires experimental work. We document the impact of nectar limitation on the performance of a flower-visiting insect, the meadow brown butterfly Maniola jurtina. We conducted two types of experiments: a field experiment in agricultural landscapes with grasslands of different management intensity and an experiment in outdoor flight cages in which the nectar supply was simulated. For the field experiment, we introduced an array of nectar resources in intensively managed, nectar-poor meadows and in extensively managed, flower-rich grasslands and counted flower visitors. Despite higher butterfly abundance in the extensive meadows, our introduced nectar sources were more frequently visited in intensive meadows, indicating the lack of floral resources. The 48-h confinement under nectar-poor conditions in the flight cages had a strong negative effect on body condition, flight activity and lifetime survival compared to butterflies under nectar-rich conditions. Female lifespan was reduced by 22% and male lifespan even by 43%. Agricultural landscapes that provide limited amounts of floral nectar, and no high-quality, preferred nectar sources relative to the needs of the flower-visiting species, may create ecological sinks. Regards an insect's performance, the simple presence of nectar is not necessarily functionally adequate. The effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes for flower-visiting insects (e.g. flower strips) could be improved based on ecological and evolutionary insights on the effects of specific nectar quantities and qualities. PMID:26541442

  1. Floral resource limitation severely reduces butterfly survival, condition and flight activity in simplified agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebeau, Julie; Wesselingh, Renate A; Van Dyck, Hans

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural intensification has a strong negative impact on farmland biodiversity (including flower-visiting insects), but understanding the mechanisms involved in this requires experimental work. We document the impact of nectar limitation on the performance of a flower-visiting insect, the meadow brown butterfly Maniola jurtina. We conducted two types of experiments: a field experiment in agricultural landscapes with grasslands of different management intensity and an experiment in outdoor flight cages in which the nectar supply was simulated. For the field experiment, we introduced an array of nectar resources in intensively managed, nectar-poor meadows and in extensively managed, flower-rich grasslands and counted flower visitors. Despite higher butterfly abundance in the extensive meadows, our introduced nectar sources were more frequently visited in intensive meadows, indicating the lack of floral resources. The 48-h confinement under nectar-poor conditions in the flight cages had a strong negative effect on body condition, flight activity and lifetime survival compared to butterflies under nectar-rich conditions. Female lifespan was reduced by 22% and male lifespan even by 43%. Agricultural landscapes that provide limited amounts of floral nectar, and no high-quality, preferred nectar sources relative to the needs of the flower-visiting species, may create ecological sinks. Regards an insect's performance, the simple presence of nectar is not necessarily functionally adequate. The effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes for flower-visiting insects (e.g. flower strips) could be improved based on ecological and evolutionary insights on the effects of specific nectar quantities and qualities.

  2. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid.

  3. Landform-water-vegetation feedbacks regulate ecosystem stability and restoration potential in semiarid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno de las Heras, Mariano; Saco, Patricia; Merino Martin, Luis; Espigares, Tiscar; Nicolau, Jose Manuel

    2016-04-01

    Plant production and vegetation dynamics in drylands are shaped by landform patterns, and largely depends on favorable surface redistribution of runoff and sediments. Similarly, the organization of vegetation in these systems controls runoff generation and erosion, and strongly influences the spatial redistribution of water and soil resources. Landform-water-vegetation feedbacks may have, therefore, a key role determining the stability and restoration potential of arid and semiarid ecosystems. We present a synthesis of field, remotely-sensed and modelling studies on landform-soil-vegetation patterns in semiarid rangelands of Australia and reclaimed coal-mining slopes of Mediterranean-dry Spain. Our results indicate that the organization and stability of vegetation patterns strongly depends on feedbacks with coevolving landforms. Exploration of banded woodlands in central Australia reveals that disturbances (e.g. grazing, wildfires) can impact landform-water-vegetation feedbacks, altering the way water is spatially redistributed and used by vegetation, which results in non-linear reductions of ecosystem function. Successful experiences on the restoration of these systems suggest that the spatial management of runoff and sediments is decisive to rehabilitate vegetation patchiness and landscape function. The study of vegetation-water-landform feedbacks in Mediterranean-dry reclaimed mining slopes of Spain offers additional indications on the restoration of drylands, particularly on the effects of rill and gully erosion on the stability of restored vegetation. The development of rill and gully networks provides very efficient drainage networks for the routing of runoff and sediments that drastically reduce the availability of water and soil resources for plant production, ultimately causing degradation of vegetation and restoration failure. This work is supported by a Beatriu de Pinós fellowship co-funded by the European Commission and the Generalitat de Catalunya

  4. Implementing automatic LiDAR and supervised mapping methodologies to quantify agricultural terraced landforms at landscape scale: the case of Veneto Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eugenio Pappalardo, Salvatore; Ferrarese, Francesco; Tarolli, Paolo; Varotto, Mauro

    2016-04-01

    Traditional agricultural terraced landscapes presently embody an important cultural value to be deeply investigated, both for their role in local heritage and cultural economy and for their potential geo-hydrological hazard due to abandonment and degradation. Moreover, traditional terraced landscapes are usually based on non-intensive agro-systems and may enhance some important ecosystems services such as agro-biodiversity conservation and cultural services. Due to their unplanned genesis, mapping, quantifying and classifying agricultural terraces at regional scale is often critical as far as they are usually set up on geomorphologically and historically complex landscapes. Hence, traditional mapping methods are generally based on scientific literature and local documentation, historical and cadastral sources, technical cartography and aerial images visual interpretation or, finally, field surveys. By this, limitations and uncertainty in mapping at regional scale are basically related to forest cover and lack in thematic cartography. The Veneto Region (NE of Italy) presents a wide heterogeneity of agricultural terraced landscapes, mainly distributed within the hilly and Prealps areas. Previous studies performed by traditional mapping method quantified 2,688 ha of terraced areas, showing the higher values within the Prealps of Lessinia (1,013 ha, within the Province of Verona) and in the Brenta Valley (421 ha, within the Province of Vicenza); however, terraced features of these case studies show relevant differences in terms of fragmentation and intensity of terraces, highlighting dissimilar degrees of clusterization: 1.7 ha on one hand (Province of Verona) and 1.2 ha per terraced area (Province of Vicenza) on the other one. The aim of this paper is to implement and to compare automatic methodologies with traditional survey methodologies to map and assess agricultural terraces in two representative areas of the Veneto Region. Testing different Remote Sensing

  5. Rapid genetic turnover in populations of the insect pest Bemisia tabaci Middle East: Asia Minor 1 in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinsdale, A; Schellhorn, N A; De Barro, P; Buckley, Y M; Riginos, C

    2012-10-01

    Organisms differ greatly in dispersal ability, and landscapes differ in amenability to an organism's movement. Thus, landscape structure and heterogeneity can affect genetic composition of populations. While many agricultural pests are known for their ability to disperse rapidly, it is unclear how fast and over what spatial scale insect pests might respond to the temporally dynamic agricultural landscapes they inhabit. We used population genetic analyses of a severe crop pest, a member of the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodoidea: Aleyrodidea) cryptic species complex known as Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (commonly known as biotype B), to estimate spatial and temporal genetic diversity over four months of the 2006-2007 summer growing season. We examined 559 individuals from eight sites, which were scored for eight microsatellite loci. Temporal genetic structure greatly exceeded spatial structure. There was significant temporal change in local genetic composition from the beginning to the end of the season accompanied by heterozygote deficits and inbreeding. This temporal structure suggests entire cohorts of pests can occupy a large and variable agricultural landscape but are rapidly replaced. These rapid genetic fluctuations reinforce the concept that agricultural landscapes are dynamic mosaics in time and space and may contribute to better decisions for pest and insecticide resistance management. PMID:22420748

  6. Tall tower landscape scale N2O flux measurements in a Danish agricultural and urban, coastal area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrom, Andreas; Lequy, Émeline; Loubet, Benjamin; Pilegaard, Kim; Ambus, Per

    2015-04-01

    Both technical and natural processes emit the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) into the atmosphere. The abundant use of nitrogen (N) as fertiliser increases the concentration of reactive nitrogen (Nr) in the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and in the biosphere, i.e. in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Surplus Nr is distributed across linkages to other spheres until most of it is emitted to the atmosphere as NO, N2O or N2. A complete estimate of the effects from human activities on N2O emissions must therefore include all emissions, the direct emissions and the indirect emissions that happen in interlinked spheres. For this it is necessary to assess the fluxes at least at the landscape scale. The episodic nature and the large spatial variability make it difficult to estimate the direct and indirect emissions in a landscape. Modelling requires not only to include the highly variable microbial processes in the ecosystems that produce N2O but as well the accurate simulation of lateral Nr fluxes and their effects on N2O fluxes in places remote from the primary Nr sources. In this context tall tower N2O flux measurements are particularly useful as they integrate over larger areas and can be run, continuously without disturbing the fluxes. On the other hand these measurements can be difficult to interpret due to difficulties to measure the small concentration fluctuations in the atmosphere at small flux rates and to accurately attribute the measured flux at the tower to the area that generates the flux, i.e. the source area. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has established eddy covariance N2O flux measurements on a 125 m tall tower at its Risø Campus as part of the EU research infrastructure project the 'Integrated non-CO2 Greenhouse gas Observing System' (InGOS). The eddy covariance system consisted of a N2O/CO quantum cascade laser, Los Gatos, Mountain View, CA, USA and a 3D sonic anemometer (USA-1), Metek, Elmshorn, Germany. The Risø peninsula lies at the

  7. IMPACTS OF DRYNESS AND DROUGHT PHENOMENA ON AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE IN THE TITU PLAIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HAVRIŞ LOREDANA-ELENA

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The authors analyze the dryness and drought phenomena in one of the subsidence areas of the Romanian Plain, namely Titu Plain, located in its central-north part, a region frequently affected by such phenomena, under the influence of persistent continental antyciclones. The topic approached in this study is in line with the current concerns of agriculture stakeholders to undertake climate change adaptation measures for a better management of water resources for crops in the the main agricultural regions of the country. In this paper we focused mainly on the impact of dryness and drought on agricultural landscape, although their direct and indirect effects affect not only agriculture, but also the whole economic activity of the region. The impact of these phenomena was assessed by using relevant statistical-climatological methods (e.g. the Helmann method, the Walter-Lieth climatic diagrams, applied on the monthly temparature and precipitation datasets from four weather stations located in the study region covering a 47-year period of meteorological observations (1961-2007: Târgovişte, Ploieşti, Titu şi Videle. The distribution of elements at risk within the Titu Plain region, included in the vulnerability analysis, was determined using land use map of the region extracted from CLC (Corine Land Cover, 2006, by reclassifying the primary land use classes under GIS, resulting six categories of vulnerable items to dryness and drought. Among these items, the agricultural lands have a share of 66.5% across the study region, the main crops being represented by cereals (wheat and corn, potatoes and sunflowers.

  8. Changes in soil fungal communities across a landscape of agricultural soil land-uses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthrong, S. T.; Buckley, D. H.; Drinkwater, L. E.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural management is a major driver of changes in soils and their resident microbial communities, but we do not yet have a clear picture of how agriculture affects soil fungi. This is an important gap in our knowledge since fungi play an important role in many soil processes. Previous research has suggested that organic management practices can lead to an increase in soil fungal community diversity, which could have impacts on soil processes and alter the long term trajectory of soil quality in agricultural systems. Also, the relationship between management effects, biogeography, and soil fungi is not clear. The biogeography of macroscopic species is well described by taxa-area relationships and distance decay models, and recent research has suggested that certain subsets of fungi (e.g. AMF, litter sapotrophs) demonstrate similar patterns. However there is little information on how soil fungi as a whole are distributed across a landscape with soils under different managements. The goal of this project was to examine how different management practices alter soil fungal communities across a landscape of agricultural fields in upstate NY. We asked several specific questions: 1) Do different types of agricultural land-uses lead to divergent or convergent communities of soil fungi? 2) If soil type is held constant, do soil fungal communities diverge with geographic distance? 3) What are the major fungal groups that change in response to soil management, and are they cosmopolitan or endemic across the landscape? We studied these questions across agricultural fields in upstate NY that ranged from conventional corn, organic grains/corn, and long-term pasture. We sampled four fields (conventional, 10 and 20 year organic, and pasture) that had identical soils types and ranged from 100 m to 4 km apart. We utilized a multiplexed pyrosequencing approach on genomic DNA to analyze the structure of the soils' fungal communities. This approach allowed us to study soil fungi

  9. REDD+ and climate smart agriculture in landscapes: A case study in Vietnam using companion modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvini, G; Ligtenberg, A; van Paassen, A; Bregt, A K; Avitabile, V; Herold, M

    2016-05-01

    Finding land use strategies that merge land-based climate change mitigation measures and adaptation strategies is still an open issue in climate discourse. This article explores synergies and trade-offs between REDD+, a scheme that focuses mainly on mitigation through forest conservation, with "Climate Smart Agriculture", an approach that emphasizes adaptive agriculture. We introduce a framework for ex-ante assessment of the impact of land management policies and interventions and for quantifying their impacts on land-based mitigation and adaptation goals. The framework includes a companion modelling (ComMod) process informed by interviews with policymakers, local experts and local farmers. The ComMod process consists of a Role-Playing Game with local farmers and an Agent Based Model. The game provided a participatory means to develop policy and climate change scenarios. These scenarios were then used as inputs to the Agent Based Model, a spatially explicit model to simulate landscape dynamics and the associated carbon emissions over decades. We applied the framework using as case study a community in central Vietnam, characterized by deforestation for subsistence agriculture and cultivation of acacias as a cash crop. The main findings show that the framework is useful in guiding consideration of local stakeholders' goals, needs and constraints. Additionally the framework provided beneficial information to policymakers, pointing to ways that policies might be re-designed to make them better tailored to local circumstances and therefore more effective in addressing synergistically climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives. PMID:26921566

  10. REDD+ and climate smart agriculture in landscapes: A case study in Vietnam using companion modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvini, G; Ligtenberg, A; van Paassen, A; Bregt, A K; Avitabile, V; Herold, M

    2016-05-01

    Finding land use strategies that merge land-based climate change mitigation measures and adaptation strategies is still an open issue in climate discourse. This article explores synergies and trade-offs between REDD+, a scheme that focuses mainly on mitigation through forest conservation, with "Climate Smart Agriculture", an approach that emphasizes adaptive agriculture. We introduce a framework for ex-ante assessment of the impact of land management policies and interventions and for quantifying their impacts on land-based mitigation and adaptation goals. The framework includes a companion modelling (ComMod) process informed by interviews with policymakers, local experts and local farmers. The ComMod process consists of a Role-Playing Game with local farmers and an Agent Based Model. The game provided a participatory means to develop policy and climate change scenarios. These scenarios were then used as inputs to the Agent Based Model, a spatially explicit model to simulate landscape dynamics and the associated carbon emissions over decades. We applied the framework using as case study a community in central Vietnam, characterized by deforestation for subsistence agriculture and cultivation of acacias as a cash crop. The main findings show that the framework is useful in guiding consideration of local stakeholders' goals, needs and constraints. Additionally the framework provided beneficial information to policymakers, pointing to ways that policies might be re-designed to make them better tailored to local circumstances and therefore more effective in addressing synergistically climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives.

  11. Plant species provide vital ecosystem functions for sustainable agriculture, rangeland management and restoration

    OpenAIRE

    Eviner, Valerie; CHAPIN, F. STUART

    2001-01-01

    Plants respond to and change their environments, actively altering factors such as soil stability, nutrient and water availability, and the distribution of pests and beneficial organisms. By identifying the functions associated with different species and the effects they have on their ecosystems, managers can use plants as tools in agriculture, range management and restoration, since they will be able to choose plants more effectively and anticipate unintended consequences of vegetation chang...

  12. Agriculture at the Edge: Landscape Variability of Soil C Stocks and Fluxes in the Tropical Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Peña, C.

    2015-12-01

    Paramos, or tropical alpine grasslands occurring right above the forest tree-line (2,800 - 4,700 m), are among the most transformed landscapes in the humid tropics. In the Tropical Andes, Paramos form an archipelago-like pattern from Northern Colombia to Central Peru that effectively captures atmospheric moisture originated in the Amazon-Orinoco basins, while marking the highest altitude capable of sustaining vegetation growth (i.e., 'the edge'). This study investigates the role of land management on mediating soil carbon stocks and fluxes in Paramo ecosystems of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. Observations were collected at a Paramo site strongly modified by land use change, including active potato plantations, pasture, tillage, and land abandonment. Results show that undisturbed Paramos soils have high total organic carbon (TOC), high soil water content (SWC), and low soil CO2 efflux (RS) rates. However, Paramo soils that experience human intervention show lower TOC, higher and more variable RS rates, and lower SWC. This study demonstrates that changes in land use in Paramos affect differentially the accumulation and exchange of soil carbon with the atmosphere and offers implications for management and protection strategies of what has been deemed the fastest evolving biodiversity ecosystem in the world.

  13. Ecosystem networks: a spatial concept for integrative research and planning of landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Opdam, P.F.M.

    2006-01-01

    Sustainable development is a widely accepted strategic framework for decisionmaking about the future use of land, but it is not very well adopted in landscape research and planning. Sustainable landscape development aims to ensure the longterm potential of the landscape to sustain ecological, cultural and economic functions. It also entails that local actors take part in planning and design of landscapes. Ecological sustainability, one of the three pillars of sustainable development, is achie...

  14. Tropical land-cover change alters biogeochemical inputs to ecosystems in a Mexican montane landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponette-González, A G; Weathers, K C; Curran, L M

    2010-10-01

    . For land managers, this finding suggests that there is potential to identify species and ecosystems at risk of excess and increasing deposition in montane watersheds undergoing rapid transformation. Our data further indicate that montane ecosystems are vulnerable to air pollution impacts in this and similar tropical regions downwind of urban, industrial, and agricultural emission sources.

  15. Tropical land-cover change alters biogeochemical inputs to ecosystems in a Mexican montane landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponette-González, A G; Weathers, K C; Curran, L M

    2010-10-01

    . For land managers, this finding suggests that there is potential to identify species and ecosystems at risk of excess and increasing deposition in montane watersheds undergoing rapid transformation. Our data further indicate that montane ecosystems are vulnerable to air pollution impacts in this and similar tropical regions downwind of urban, industrial, and agricultural emission sources. PMID:21049872

  16. Ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages in narrow hedgerows in a Danish agricultural landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lövei, G. L.; Magura, T.

    2015-01-01

    beetle assemblages. The number of ground beetle individuals and species were significantly the highest in the hawthorn hedges and significantly decreased from the hedges with rowan toward the spruce hedges. The elevated number of ground beetle individuals and species in the hawthorn hedges were due......The role of hedgerows in supporting ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Danish agricultural landscape was examined. Nine old, well established single-row hedges were selected for the study, three each of a native species (hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna), a non-native deciduous one (rowan...... to the forest specialist species, as the number of forest specialist ground beetle individuals and species were significantly higher in the hawthorn hedges compared to the hedges with rowan and spruce. Differences in the number of the grassland and the cropland specialist ground beetle individuals and species...

  17. Ecosystem networks: a spatial concept for integrative research and planning of landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Opdam, P.F.M.

    2006-01-01

    Sustainable development is a widely accepted strategic framework for decisionmaking about the future use of land, but it is not very well adopted in landscape research and planning. Sustainable landscape development aims to ensure the longterm potential of the landscape to sustain ecological, cultur

  18. Landscape planning for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction III: Assessing phosphorus and sediment reduction potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diebel, M.W.; Maxted, J.T.; Robertson, D.M.; Han, S.; Vander Zanden, M. J.

    2009-01-01

    Riparian buffers have the potential to improve stream water quality in agricultural landscapes. This potential may vary in response to landscape characteristics such as soils, topography, land use, and human activities, including legacies of historical land management. We built a predictive model to estimate the sediment and phosphorus load reduction that should be achievable following the implementation of riparian buffers; then we estimated load reduction potential for a set of 1598 watersheds (average 54 km2) in Wisconsin. Our results indicate that land cover is generally the most important driver of constituent loads in Wisconsin streams, but its influence varies among pollutants and according to the scale at which it is measured. Physiographic (drainage density) variation also influenced sediment and phosphorus loads. The effect of historical land use on present-day channel erosion and variation in soil texture are the most important sources of phosphorus and sediment that riparian buffers cannot attenuate. However, in most watersheds, a large proportion (approximately 70%) of these pollutants can be eliminated from streams with buffers. Cumulative frequency distributions of load reduction potential indicate that targeting pollution reduction in the highest 10% of Wisconsin watersheds would reduce total phosphorus and sediment loads in the entire state by approximately 20%. These results support our approach of geographically targeting nonpoint source pollution reduction at multiple scales, including the watershed scale. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  19. Biodiversity and agriculture in dynamic landscapes: Integrating ground and remotely-sensed baseline surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillison, Andrew N; Asner, Gregory P; Fernandes, Erick C M; Mafalacusser, Jacinto; Banze, Aurélio; Izidine, Samira; da Fonseca, Ambrósio R; Pacate, Hermenegildo

    2016-07-15

    Sustainable biodiversity and land management require a cost-effective means of forecasting landscape response to environmental change. Conventional species-based, regional biodiversity assessments are rarely adequate for policy planning and decision making. We show how new ground and remotely-sensed survey methods can be coordinated to help elucidate and predict relationships between biodiversity, land use and soil properties along complex biophysical gradients that typify many similar landscapes worldwide. In the lower Zambezi valley, Mozambique we used environmental, gradient-directed transects (gradsects) to sample vascular plant species, plant functional types, vegetation structure, soil properties and land-use characteristics. Soil fertility indices were derived using novel multidimensional scaling of soil properties. To facilitate spatial analysis, we applied a probabilistic remote sensing approach, analyzing Landsat 7 satellite imagery to map photosynthetically active and inactive vegetation and bare soil along each gradsect. Despite the relatively low sample number, we found highly significant correlations between single and combined sets of specific plant, soil and remotely sensed variables that permitted testable spatial projections of biodiversity and soil fertility across the regional land-use mosaic. This integrative and rapid approach provides a low-cost, high-return and readily transferable methodology that permits the ready identification of testable biodiversity indicators for adaptive management of biodiversity and potential agricultural productivity. PMID:27064732

  20. Local, landscape, and diversity drivers of predation services provided by ants in a coffee landscape in Chiapas, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    de la Mora, A; García-Ballinas, JA; Philpott, SM

    2015-01-01

    © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Agricultural management and the landscape surrounding farms impact biological diversity and ecosystem services, such as predation, in agroecosystems. Diversified coffee agroecosystems harbor biodiversity, and maintain ecosystem services, especially when in complex landscapes, and when diversity of organisms providing services is maintained. But few have examined whether biological diversity, per se, or the local and landscape habitat features are stronger drivers of the s...

  1. Mitigating Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Agricultural Landscape: The Role of Isotopic Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaman, Mohammad; Nguyen, Minh Long

    2014-05-01

    A review of studies from agricultural landscapes indicate that intensification of agricultural activities, inefficient use of reactive nitrogen (N) fertilizers and irrigation water, increasing human population and changes in their diet (more protein demand), high stocking rate (number of grazing livestock per hectare) and intensive cultivation are the major influencing factors for nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions into the atmosphere. Nitrification (both autotrophic and heterotrophic), denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) are the three major microbial processes that produce greenhouse N2O and non-greenhouse gas (N2) and can sometimes occur concurrently in a given soil system. The contribution of N2O production from each of these microbial processes is inconclusive because of the complex interactions between various microbial processes and the physical and chemical conditions in soil microsite (s). Nitrous oxide emissions across an agricultural landscape from different N inputs (chemical fertilizers and animal manure) and soil types are also extremely variable both temporally and spatially and range from 1-20% of the applied N and could therefore represent agronomic loss. The available conventional methods such as acetylene (C2H2) inhibition and helium (He) cannot accurately measure both N2O and N2 and their ratio in a given soil. The use of 15N stable isotopic technique offers the best option to measure both N2O and N2 and to identify their source (nitrification and denitrification) with a greater accuracy. Manipulating soil and fertilizer management practices can minimise these gaseous N losses. For example the combined use of urease inhibitor like (N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (nBTPT) (trade name Agrotain®) and nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) with urea (100 kg N ha-1) or animal urine (600 kg N ha-1) was shown to reduce N losses by 39-53 % via denitrification-nitrification-DNRA processes. Other farm management

  2. Landscape conditions predisposing grizzly bears to conflicts on private agricultural lands in the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, S.M.; Madel, M.J.; Mattson, D.J.; Graham, J.M.; Merrill, T.

    2006-01-01

    We used multiple logistic regression to model how different landscape conditions contributed to the probability of human-grizzly bear conflicts on private agricultural ranch lands. We used locations of livestock pastures, traditional livestock carcass disposal areas (boneyards), beehives, and wetland-riparian associated vegetation to model the locations of 178 reported human-grizzly bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain East Front, Montana, USA during 1986-2001. We surveyed 61 livestock producers in the upper Teton watershed of north-central Montana, to collect spatial and temporal data on livestock pastures, boneyards, and beehives for the same period, accounting for changes in livestock and boneyard management and beehive location and protection, for each season. We used 2032 random points to represent the null hypothesis of random location relative to potential explanatory landscape features, and used Akaike's Information Criteria (AIC/AICC) and Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit statistics for model selection. We used a resulting "best" model to map contours of predicted probabilities of conflict, and used this map for verification with an independent dataset of conflicts to provide additional insights regarding the nature of conflicts. The presence of riparian vegetation and distances to spring, summer, and fall sheep or cattle pastures, calving and sheep lambing areas, unmanaged boneyards, and fenced and unfenced beehives were all associated with the likelihood of human-grizzly bear conflicts. Our model suggests that collections of attractants concentrated in high quality bear habitat largely explain broad patterns of human-grizzly bear conflicts on private agricultural land in our study area. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Impact of climate change on the water cycle of agricultural landscapes in Southwest Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witte, Irene; Ingwersen, Joachim; Gayler, Sebastian; Streck, Thilo

    2016-04-01

    For agricultural production and life in general, water is a necessity. To ensure food and drinking water security in the future an understanding of the impact of climate change on the water cycle is indispensable. The objective of this PhD research is to assess how higher temperatures, higher atmospheric CO2 concentration and changing precipitation patterns will alter the water cycle of agricultural landscapes in Southwest Germany. As representative key characteristics data evaluation will focus on water use efficiency (WUE) and groundwater recharge. The main research question is whether the positive effect of elevated atmospheric CO2 on WUE will be overcompensated by a decrease in net primary production due to warming and to altered seasonal water availability caused by higher rainfall variability. Elevated atmospheric CO2 stimulates plant growth and improves WUE, whereas higher temperatures are expected to reduce net primary production and groundwater recharge. Another research question referring to groundwater recharge is whether groundwater recharge will increase in winter and decrease in summer in Southwest Germany. Changed groundwater recharge directly affects drinking water supply and is an indicator for possible temporary water shortages in agricultural production. A multi-model ensemble composed of 16 combinations of four crop growth models, two water regime models and two nitrogen models will be calibrated and validated against sets of field data. Field data will be provided by FOR 1965 from 2009-2015 for the Kraichgau region and the Swabian Alb, two contrasting areas with regard to climate and agricultural intensity. By using a multi model ensemble uncertainties in predictions due to different model structures (epistemic uncertainty) can be quantified. The uncertainty related to the randomness of inputs and parameters, the so-called aleatory uncertainty, will be additionally assessed for each of the 16 models. Hence, a more reliable range of future

  4. Which Factors Determine Metal Accumulation in Agricultural Soils in the Severely Human-Coupled Ecosystem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Li; Cao, Shanshan; Wang, Jihua; Lu, Anxiang

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural soil is typically an important component of urban ecosystems, contributing directly or indirectly to the general quality of human life. To understand which factors influence metal accumulation in agricultural soils in urban ecosystems is becoming increasingly important. Land use, soil type and urbanization indicators all account for considerable differences in metal accumulation in agricultural soils, and the interactions between these factors on metal concentrations were also examined. Results showed that Zn, Cu, and Cd concentrations varied significantly among different land use types. Concentrations of all metals, except for Cd, were higher in calcareous cinnamon soil than in fluvo-aquic soil. Expansion distance and road density were adopted as urbanization indicators, and distance from the urban center was significantly negatively correlated with concentrations of Hg, and negatively correlated with concentrations of Zn, and road density was positively correlated with Cd concentrations. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated that Hg concentration was significantly influenced by the four-way interaction among all factors. The results in this study provide basic data to support the management of agricultural soils and to help policy makers to plan ahead in Beijing. PMID:27196922

  5. Integrating forest ecosystem services into the farming landscape: A stochastic economic assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monge, Juan J; Parker, Warren J; Richardson, James W

    2016-06-01

    The objective of this study was to assess how payments for ecosystem services could assist plantation forestry's integration into pastoral dairy farming in order to improve environmental outcomes and increase business resilience to both price uncertainty and production limits imposed by environmental policies. Stochastic Dominance (SD) criteria and portfolio analysis, accounting for farmers' risk aversion levels, were used to rank different land-use alternatives and landscapes with different levels of plantation forestry integration. The study was focused on a modal 200-ha dairy farm in the Lake Rotorua Catchment of the Central North Island region of New Zealand, where national environmental policies are being implemented to improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nitrogen and carbon payments would help farmers improve early cash flows for forestry, provide financial leverage to undertake afforestation projects and contribute to improved environmental outcomes for the catchment. The SD criteria demonstrated that although dairy farming generates the highest returns, plantation forestry with nitrogen and carbon payments would be a preferred alternative for landowners with relatively low risk aversion levels who consider return volatility and environmental limits within their land-use change criteria. Using the confidence premium concept, environmental payments to encourage plantation forestry into the landscape were shown to be lower when the majority of landowners are risk averse. The certainty equivalence approach helped to identify the optimal dairy-forestry portfolio arrangements for landowners of different levels of risk aversion, intensities of dairy farming (status quo and intensified) and nitrogen prices. At low nitrogen prices, risk neutral farmers would choose to afforest less than half of the farm and operate at the maximum nitrogen allowance, because dairy farming at both intensities provides the highest return among the different land

  6. Integrating forest ecosystem services into the farming landscape: A stochastic economic assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monge, Juan J; Parker, Warren J; Richardson, James W

    2016-06-01

    The objective of this study was to assess how payments for ecosystem services could assist plantation forestry's integration into pastoral dairy farming in order to improve environmental outcomes and increase business resilience to both price uncertainty and production limits imposed by environmental policies. Stochastic Dominance (SD) criteria and portfolio analysis, accounting for farmers' risk aversion levels, were used to rank different land-use alternatives and landscapes with different levels of plantation forestry integration. The study was focused on a modal 200-ha dairy farm in the Lake Rotorua Catchment of the Central North Island region of New Zealand, where national environmental policies are being implemented to improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nitrogen and carbon payments would help farmers improve early cash flows for forestry, provide financial leverage to undertake afforestation projects and contribute to improved environmental outcomes for the catchment. The SD criteria demonstrated that although dairy farming generates the highest returns, plantation forestry with nitrogen and carbon payments would be a preferred alternative for landowners with relatively low risk aversion levels who consider return volatility and environmental limits within their land-use change criteria. Using the confidence premium concept, environmental payments to encourage plantation forestry into the landscape were shown to be lower when the majority of landowners are risk averse. The certainty equivalence approach helped to identify the optimal dairy-forestry portfolio arrangements for landowners of different levels of risk aversion, intensities of dairy farming (status quo and intensified) and nitrogen prices. At low nitrogen prices, risk neutral farmers would choose to afforest less than half of the farm and operate at the maximum nitrogen allowance, because dairy farming at both intensities provides the highest return among the different land

  7. The destination of arable land in a marginal agricultural landscape in South Portugal: an exploration of land use change determinants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doorn, van A.M.; Bakker, M.M.

    2007-01-01

    This research attempts to investigate what drives three conversions of arable land during the period 1985¿2000 in a marginal agricultural landscape in Southern Portugal: afforestation of arable land, abandonment of arable land and regeneration of the agro-silvo-pastoral system. This was done by expl

  8. Understanding the role of sink patches in source-sink metapopulations: reed warbler in an agricultural landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foppen, R.P.B.; Chardon, J.P.; Liefveld, W.

    2000-01-01

    Populations in agricultural landscapes often occur in source-sink situations: small patches of marginal habitat (sinks) are supported by an immigration flux from larger patches of high-quality habitat (sources). We sought to demonstrate that this situation occurs for Reed Warblers (Acrocephalus scir

  9. Quantifying the impact of environmental factors on arthropod communities in agricultural landscapes across organizational levels and spatial scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schweiger, O.; Maelfait, J.P.; Wingerden, van W.K.R.E.; Hendrickx, F.; Billeter, R.; Speelmans, M.; Augenstein, I.; Aukema, B.; Aviron, S.; Bailey, D.; Bukacek, R.; Burel, F.; Diekötter, T.; Dirksen, J.; Frenzel, M.; Herzog, F.; Liira, J.; Roubalova, M.; Bugter, R.J.F.

    2005-01-01

    1. In landscapes influenced by anthropogenic activities, such as intensive agriculture, knowledge of the relative importance and interaction of environmental factors on the composition and function of local communities across a range of spatial scales is important for maintaining biodiversity. 2. We

  10. Modelling effects of chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes: The western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) as a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelman, C.A.; Grant, W.E.; Mora, M.A.; Woodin, M.

    2012-01-01

    We describe an ecotoxicological model that simulates the sublethal and lethal effects of chronic, low-level, chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes. Previous models estimating the impact on wildlife of chemicals used in agro-ecosystems typically have not included the variety of pathways, including both dermal and oral, by which individuals are exposed. The present model contains four submodels simulating (1) foraging behavior of individual birds, (2) chemical applications to crops, (3) transfers of chemicals among soil, insects, and small mammals, and (4) transfers of chemicals to birds via ingestion and dermal exposure. We demonstrate use of the model by simulating the impacts of a variety of commonly used herbicides, insecticides, growth regulators, and defoliants on western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) that winter in agricultural landscapes in southern Texas, United States. The model generated reasonable movement patterns for each chemical through soil, water, insects, and rodents, as well as into the owl via consumption and dermal absorption. Sensitivity analysis suggested model predictions were sensitive to uncertainty associated with estimates of chemical half-lives in birds, soil, and prey, sensitive to parameters associated with estimating dermal exposure, and relatively insensitive to uncertainty associated with details of chemical application procedures (timing of application, amount of drift). Nonetheless, the general trends in chemical accumulations and the relative impacts of the various chemicals were robust to these parameter changes. Simulation results suggested that insecticides posed a greater potential risk to owls of both sublethal and lethal effects than do herbicides, defoliants, and growth regulators under crop scenarios typical of southern Texas, and that use of multiple indicators, or endpoints provided a more accurate assessment of risk due to agricultural chemical exposure. The model should prove

  11. Landscape fragmentation and pollinator movement within agricultural environments: a modelling framework for exploring foraging and movement ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean A. Rands

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Pollinator decline has been linked to landscape change, through both habitat fragmentation and the loss of habitat suitable for the pollinators to live within. One method for exploring why landscape change should affect pollinator populations is to combine individual-level behavioural ecological techniques with larger-scale landscape ecology. A modelling framework is described that uses spatially-explicit individual-based models to explore the effects of individual behavioural rules within a landscape. The technique described gives a simple method for exploring the effects of the removal of wild corridors, and the creation of wild set-aside fields: interventions that are common to many national agricultural policies. The effects of these manipulations on central-place nesting pollinators are varied, and depend upon the behavioural rules that the pollinators are using to move through the environment. The value of this modelling framework is discussed, and future directions for exploration are identified.

  12. Impacts of land-use history on the recovery of ecosystems after agricultural abandonment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Andreas; Pugh, Thomas A. M.; Bayer, Anita D.; Lindeskog, Mats; Arneth, Almut

    2016-09-01

    Land-use changes have been shown to have large effects on climate and biogeochemical cycles, but so far most studies have focused on the effects of conversion of natural vegetation to croplands and pastures. By contrast, relatively little is known about the long-term influence of past agriculture on vegetation regrowth and carbon sequestration following land abandonment. We used the LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model to study the legacy effects of different land-use histories (in terms of type and duration) across a range of ecosystems. To this end, we performed six idealized simulations for Europe and Africa in which we made a transition from natural vegetation to either pasture or cropland, followed by a transition back to natural vegetation after 20, 60 or 100 years. The simulations identified substantial differences in recovery trajectories of four key variables (vegetation composition, vegetation carbon, soil carbon, net biome productivity) after agricultural cessation. Vegetation carbon and composition typically recovered faster than soil carbon in subtropical, temperate and boreal regions, and vice versa in the tropics. While the effects of different land-use histories on recovery periods of soil carbon stocks often differed by centuries across our simulations, differences in recovery times across simulations were typically small for net biome productivity (a few decades) and modest for vegetation carbon and composition (several decades). Spatially, we found the greatest sensitivity of recovery times to prior land use in boreal forests and subtropical grasslands, where post-agricultural productivity was strongly affected by prior land management. Our results suggest that land-use history is a relevant factor affecting ecosystems long after agricultural cessation, and it should be considered not only when assessing historical or future changes in simulations of the terrestrial carbon cycle but also when establishing long-term monitoring networks and

  13. Potential for Hybrid Poplar Riparian Buffers to Provide Ecosystem Services in Three Watersheds with Contrasting Agricultural Land Use

    OpenAIRE

    Julien Fortier; Benoit Truax; Daniel Gagnon; France Lambert

    2016-01-01

    In temperate agricultural watersheds, the rehabilitation of tree vegetation in degraded riparian zones can provide many ecosystem services. This study evaluated ecosystem service provision potential following the conversion of non-managed herbaceous buffers to hybrid poplar (Populus spp.) buffers in three watersheds (555–771 km2) of southern Québec (Canada), with contrasting agricultural land uses. To extrapolate services at the watershed level, total stream length where hybrid poplars could ...

  14. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  15. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy M Bowles

    Full Text Available How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L. in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1, which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid.

  16. Fort Collins Science Center Ecosystem Dynamics branch--interdisciplinary research for addressing complex natural resource issues across landscapes and time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Zachary H.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Wilson, Juliette T.

    2013-01-01

    The Ecosystem Dynamics Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center offers an interdisciplinary team of talented and creative scientists with expertise in biology, botany, ecology, geology, biogeochemistry, physical sciences, geographic information systems, and remote-sensing, for tackling complex questions about natural resources. As demand for natural resources increases, the issues facing natural resource managers, planners, policy makers, industry, and private landowners are increasing in spatial and temporal scope, often involving entire regions, multiple jurisdictions, and long timeframes. Needs for addressing these issues include (1) a better understanding of biotic and abiotic ecosystem components and their complex interactions; (2) the ability to easily monitor, assess, and visualize the spatially complex movements of animals, plants, water, and elements across highly variable landscapes; and (3) the techniques for accurately predicting both immediate and long-term responses of system components to natural and human-caused change. The overall objectives of our research are to provide the knowledge, tools, and techniques needed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, state agencies, and other stakeholders in their endeavors to meet the demand for natural resources while conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ecosystem Dynamics scientists use field and laboratory research, data assimilation, and ecological modeling to understand ecosystem patterns, trends, and mechanistic processes. This information is used to predict the outcomes of changes imposed on species, habitats, landscapes, and climate across spatiotemporal scales. The products we develop include conceptual models to illustrate system structure and processes; regional baseline and integrated assessments; predictive spatial and mathematical models; literature syntheses; and frameworks or protocols for improved ecosystem monitoring, adaptive management, and program evaluation. The descriptions

  17. Caesium-137 root uptake by agricultural and wild crops in post-Chernobyl landscape: the possibilities for phytoremediation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Shamshurina, Eugenia; Komissarova, Olga; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2015-04-01

    In spite of long term period after Chernobyl fallout (≈25 years after the accident) the level of Cs-137 in soils of contaminated landscapes remains several times more than radiation safety standard (= 37 kBq/m2). In particular, within the area of Plavsk radioactive hot spot (Tula region, Russia) current Cs-137 activities in soil are 460-500 Bq/kg (170-200 kBq/m2) on watershed, 580-680 Bq/kg (200-220 kBq/m2) in arable lower parts of slopes and 620-710 Bq/kg (210-280 kBq/m2) in untilled foots of slopes and river floodplains. To estimate the process of Cs-137 root uptake and incorporation of the radionuclide in plant tissues 6 agricultural crops of typical field rotation (spring barley, maize, summer rape, galega, potatoes, amaranth) as well as natural ecosystems of dry and wet meadows were selected for the detailed study. Total bioproductivity of agricultural crops varies between 1.7-3.9 kg/m2, natural grass ecosystems - 1.9-2.2 g/m2, and is obviously unaffected by radioactive land contamination. At the same time Cs-137 activity in total biomass slightly increases with Cs-137 activity in soil (correlation coefficient r=0.45) and with total biomass (correlation coefficient r=0.51) in the row: rape (5 Bq/kg) part. The distribution of Cs-137 activities between above- and belowground parts of agricultural crops greatly varies depending on the biological characteristics of plants: barley and maize (Gramíneae family) are also characterized by elevated Cs-137 concentrations in belowground parts (12-14 times higher than in shoots); rape (Brassicaceae family) and potatoes (Solanaceae family) are characterized by similar Cs-137 concentrations in the structural parts (but note, that belowground part of the last is mostly represented by modified shoots); while galega and amaranth (Fabaceae and Amaranthaceae families respectively) are characterized by higher Cs-137 activity in aboveground part (4-6 times more than in roots). Therefore, meadow grasses and cereals that are true

  18. Practices and strategies to address climate and market risks in vulnerable ecosystems: Panel on collective action, participation and agricultural research

    OpenAIRE

    Valdivia, Corinne; Gilles, Jere

    2007-01-01

    A presentation about the results of a panel on collective action, participation and agricultural research within the framework of the SANREM CRSP LTR-4 project "Practices and strategies to address climate and market risks in vulnerable ecosystems". LTRA-4 (Practices and Strategies for Vulnerable Agro-Ecosystems)

  19. Status Check of the Mining Hub of India: Examining the LandUse Pattern Observed in the Forest –Agricultural Ecosystem of Dhanbad

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zareena Begum Irfan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on the ecosystem based hotspot identification and the pattern of land use change in Forest-agricultural Ecosystem using the land use dynamic degree model. Geological Information on the agricultural ecosystem is obtained by the remote sensing images for the identification of land change. Ecosystem wherein both the agricultural and forest ecosystem coexist is known as forest-agricultural ecosystem. Area is based on the agricultural activities and the forest ecosystem. Hotspot is selected based on the intersection of anthropogenic activities like mining with the forest and agricultural ecosystem. With this hotspot identification it brings a clear picture of how to look into a new definition of hotspots, which identifies a region or specific area and how each area could be identified as a hotspot. Geographic Information System images were used to analyze the changes in land over specific time period.

  20. Indicators of hydrological, biogeochemical and ecological integrity for estimating potential loss of ecosystem services from wetlands on domesticated landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creed, I. F.; Aldred, D.; Spargo, A.; Bayley, S.

    2012-12-01

    Wetlands are being lost at an alarming rate in the prairie pothole landscape of North America. The full consequence of this loss is not fully understood or recognized due to (1) inadequate or incomplete wetland inventories (with mapping emphasizing permanent and not ephemeral wetlands, and only capturing "easy to observe" wetland area defined by open water and not the true dynamic wetland extent defined by saturated soils), and (2) lack of appropriate theoretical frameworks to assess the functions and benefits of these wetlands. We present a theoretical framework that integrates indicators to estimate functions and benefits of wetland integrity in central Alberta. We establish indicators using the principles that are representative of the dominant processes operating on the landscape, are simple and are scalable. While some of these indicators may be widely recognized, their implementation is often not comprehensive or complete. First, we develop an automated method for fine scale mapping of permanent and ephemeral wetlands from a fusion of high-resolution elevation data and aerial photography. Second, we estimate historic wetland loss over the past 50 years during which intensive domestication of the landscape occurred by modeling the distribution of wetlands in an undisturbed landscape using area-frequency power functions and calculating the difference in the actual wetland inventory. Third, we define relative wetland assessment units using cluster analysis of hydrological and ecological variables, including climate, geology, topography, soils and land use/land covers. Fourth, for each assessment unit we define indicators of functions and benefits of aquatic ecosystem services including water storage (surface and subsurface), phosphorus retention, nitrate removal, sediment retention, ecological health/biodiversity and human use, and then use practical strategies rooted in the fusion of digital terrain analysis and remote sensing techniques to measure and monitor

  1. Temporal Beta Diversity of Bird Assemblages in Agricultural Landscapes: Land Cover Change vs. Stochastic Processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Baselga

    Full Text Available Temporal variation in the composition of species assemblages could be the result of deterministic processes driven by environmental change and/or stochastic processes of colonization and local extinction. Here, we analyzed the relative roles of deterministic and stochastic processes on bird assemblages in an agricultural landscape of southwestern France. We first assessed the impact of land cover change that occurred between 1982 and 2007 on (i the species composition (presence/absence of bird assemblages and (ii the spatial pattern of taxonomic beta diversity. We also compared the observed temporal change of bird assemblages with a null model accounting for the effect of stochastic dynamics on temporal beta diversity. Temporal assemblage dissimilarity was partitioned into two separate components, accounting for the replacement of species (i.e. turnover and for the nested species losses (or gains from one time to the other (i.e. nestedness-resultant dissimilarity, respectively. Neither the turnover nor the nestedness-resultant components of temporal variation were accurately explained by any of the measured variables accounting for land cover change (r(2<0.06 in all cases. Additionally, the amount of spatial assemblage heterogeneity in the region did not significantly change between 1982 and 2007, and site-specific observed temporal dissimilarities were larger than null expectations in only 1% of sites for temporal turnover and 13% of sites for nestedness-resultant dissimilarity. Taken together, our results suggest that land cover change in this agricultural landscape had little impact on temporal beta diversity of bird assemblages. Although other unmeasured deterministic process could be driving the observed patterns, it is also possible that the observed changes in presence/absence species composition of local bird assemblages might be the consequence of stochastic processes in which species populations appeared and disappeared from specific

  2. Cultural Landscape Evolution of Traditional Agricultural Villages in North China——Case of Qianzhai Village in Shandong Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FANG Yangang; LIU Jisheng

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural village is an important rural type in China. The evolution process and mechanism of its cultural landscape are different from those of the industrialized village. The paper focuses this theme by a case study of Qianzhai Village of Qufu City, Shangdong Province. In the case of Qianzhai Village, the evolution of its settlement has experienced three stages: mechanical expansion, sprawling expansion and hollowing, and recentralization. The land-scape evolution of residents' houses has undergone three phases: traditional quadrangle house, one-storied house and multistoried house. The evolution of its land use has experienced three stages: circled stratification, fragment and in-tensive use, and concentration and extensive use. We can see that the main driving factors of cultural landscape evolu-tion of agricultural village are the changes of rural population, seciety, economy and culture, which are influenced by the change of urban-rural relation, the national modernization process and economic development, the reform of family planning and land system, and the changes in governmental policies. In the future, the modernization, ecological trend, and individualization for residents' houses of agricultural villages in China will develop step by step. The recentraliza-tion of settlement and the scaled, sustainable, intensive land use are likely to be the trends of agricultural villages in China.

  3. The Concept of Agricultural Productivity on Ecosystem Scale and Its Measurement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Wan-bin; QIU Hua-jiao; CHANG Xin; CHENG Xu

    2006-01-01

    What is the connotation and the extension of the productivity concept and how to calculate it are the core problems in evaluating an agricultural-production process. The attributes of agricultural production processes have changed greatly in the last 100 years, and the methods to describe and measure the productivity failed to keep in pace with the production processes, resulting in a totally vague, incomplete evaluation of the production processes. Sometimes the serious problem of pollution is ignored in the race to shortdated money making, thus leading to a blooming and flooding pollution;sometimes the great ecological benefits are ignored and the corresponding production processes suffer drastically from "economic deficit". With the old agricultural productivity indices, no prediction can be made of the ultimate effects of agroecosytem on mankind-pollution or welfare. A new concept, agricultural productivity on ecosystem scale (APES) and the related indices are defined here to solve these problems. Emergy and exergy are introduced to help the measurement of the indices. Emergy is the memory of energy, which can be used to measure the total cost, including natural capital and social capital. APES of the agroecosystem is the aggregated contributions of all components to mankind and its habitat in uniformed dimensions, it may be expressed in material, energy, information, organization, pollution and damage, etc., positive or negative, and are calculated based on exergy methods. And a related index agroecological coupling degree (ACD) shows sustainability.

  4. A survey of insect assemblages responding to volatiles from a ubiquitous fungus in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J

    2013-07-01

    We report here a first survey of insect orientation to fungal cultures and fungal volatiles from a community ecology perspective. We tested whether volatiles from a ubiquitous yeast-like fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) are broadly attractive to insects in an agricultural landscape. We evaluated insect attraction to fungal cultures and synthetic compounds identified in fungal headspace (2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol) in a spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) plantation. Three findings emerged: (1) 1,315 insects representing seven orders and 39 species oriented to traps, but 65 % of trapped insects were Dipterans, of which 80 % were hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae); (2) traps baited with A. pullulans caught 481 % more insects than unbaited control traps on average, and contained more diverse (Shannon's H index) and species rich assemblages than control traps, traps baited with Penicillium expansum, or uninoculated media; and (3) insects oriented in greatest abundance to a 1:1:1 blend of A. pullulans volatiles, but mean diversity scores were highest for traps baited with only 2-phenylethanol or 2-methyl-1-butanol. Our results show that individual components of fungal headspace are not equivalent in terms of the abundance and diversity of insects that orient to them. The low abundance of insects captured with P. expansum suggests that insect assemblages do not haphazardly orient to fungal volatiles. We conclude that volatiles from a common fungal species (A. pullulans) are attractive to a variety of insect taxa in an agricultural system, and that insect orientation to fungal volatiles may be a common ecological phenomenon. PMID:23564294

  5. Nitrous oxide emissions and denitrification rates: A blueprint for smart management and remediation of agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, A.; Hondzo, M.; Kozarek, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    resulting in the release of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with 300 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. The investigation of nitrous oxide emissions and correlation to denitrification rates will facilitate smart management and remediation efforts of agricultural landscapes.

  6. Discharge competence and pattern formation in peatlands: a meta-ecosystem model of the Everglades ridge-slough landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heffernan, James B; Watts, Danielle L; Cohen, Matthew J

    2013-01-01

    Regular landscape patterning arises from spatially-dependent feedbacks, and can undergo catastrophic loss in response to changing landscape drivers. The central Everglades (Florida, USA) historically exhibited regular, linear, flow-parallel orientation of high-elevation sawgrass ridges and low-elevation sloughs that has degraded due to hydrologic modification. In this study, we use a meta-ecosystem approach to model a mechanism for the establishment, persistence, and loss of this landscape. The discharge competence (or self-organizing canal) hypothesis assumes non-linear relationships between peat accretion and water depth, and describes flow-dependent feedbacks of microtopography on water depth. Closed-form model solutions demonstrate that 1) this mechanism can produce spontaneous divergence of local elevation; 2) divergent and homogenous states can exhibit global bi-stability; and 3) feedbacks that produce divergence act anisotropically. Thus, discharge competence and non-linear peat accretion dynamics may explain the establishment, persistence, and loss of landscape pattern, even in the absence of other spatial feedbacks. Our model provides specific, testable predictions that may allow discrimination between the self-organizing canal hypotheses and competing explanations. The potential for global bi-stability suggested by our model suggests that hydrologic restoration may not re-initiate spontaneous pattern establishment, particularly where distinct soil elevation modes have been lost. As a result, we recommend that management efforts should prioritize maintenance of historic hydroperiods in areas of conserved pattern over restoration of hydrologic regimes in degraded regions. This study illustrates the value of simple meta-ecosystem models for investigation of spatial processes. PMID:23671708

  7. Discharge competence and pattern formation in peatlands: a meta-ecosystem model of the Everglades ridge-slough landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James B Heffernan

    Full Text Available Regular landscape patterning arises from spatially-dependent feedbacks, and can undergo catastrophic loss in response to changing landscape drivers. The central Everglades (Florida, USA historically exhibited regular, linear, flow-parallel orientation of high-elevation sawgrass ridges and low-elevation sloughs that has degraded due to hydrologic modification. In this study, we use a meta-ecosystem approach to model a mechanism for the establishment, persistence, and loss of this landscape. The discharge competence (or self-organizing canal hypothesis assumes non-linear relationships between peat accretion and water depth, and describes flow-dependent feedbacks of microtopography on water depth. Closed-form model solutions demonstrate that 1 this mechanism can produce spontaneous divergence of local elevation; 2 divergent and homogenous states can exhibit global bi-stability; and 3 feedbacks that produce divergence act anisotropically. Thus, discharge competence and non-linear peat accretion dynamics may explain the establishment, persistence, and loss of landscape pattern, even in the absence of other spatial feedbacks. Our model provides specific, testable predictions that may allow discrimination between the self-organizing canal hypotheses and competing explanations. The potential for global bi-stability suggested by our model suggests that hydrologic restoration may not re-initiate spontaneous pattern establishment, particularly where distinct soil elevation modes have been lost. As a result, we recommend that management efforts should prioritize maintenance of historic hydroperiods in areas of conserved pattern over restoration of hydrologic regimes in degraded regions. This study illustrates the value of simple meta-ecosystem models for investigation of spatial processes.

  8. Salinization of Freshwater-Dependent Coastal Ecosystems: Understanding Landscapes in Transition Along the Leading Edge of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emanuel, R. E.; Bernhardt, E. S.; Ardón, M.; Wright, J. P.; BenDor, T.; Bhattachan, A.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is transforming the outer edge of the Southern US coastal plain. Lower-lying parts of this region, characterized by extensive freshwater-dependent ecosystems, will be largely inundated by gradual sea level rise by the end of this century. In the interim, however, ocean waters are already penetrating and influencing freshwater-dependent coastal landscapes due to a combination of human and natural factors. This landward movement of salinity from the coast onto the coastal plain or "saltwater intrusion" is a critical water resource issue representing the leading edge of climate change for many coastal areas. The salinization of surface waters and adjacent lands has implications for crop and timber yields in managed ecosystems, ecosystem carbon sequestration in unmanaged ecosystems, and degradation of coastal water quality due to extraction of soil nutrients by seasalts. With this in mind, we seek to understand more broadly how vulnerability of coastal landscapes to saltwater intrusion shapes and is shaped by both natural and anthropogenic processes. We present a novel framework that couples intensive, in situ monitoring of hydrological and ecological conditions with a geospatial saltwater intrusion vulnerability index (SIVI). We discuss application of this framework to the Albemarle-Pamlico region of coastal North Carolina, where we are learning how climate, natural landscape structure, and human activities interact to mediate or exacerbate the vulnerability of freshwater-dependent lands to saltwater intrusion. We discuss the involvement of stakeholders and local knowledge in the research process as well. This work advances understanding of vulnerability to climate change in coastal regions by moving beyond simple inundation models to gain a more sophisticated understanding of the human and natural processes influencing salinization of surface waters and adjacent lands. As the Albemarle-Pamlico and similar regions worldwide transform in response to and

  9. Bee Abundance and Nutritional Status in Relation to Grassland Management Practices in an Agricultural Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Griffin W; Debinski, Diane M; Scavo, Nicole A; Lange, Corey J; Delaney, John T; Moranz, Raymond A; Miller, James R; Engle, David M; Toth, Amy L

    2016-04-01

    Grasslands provide important resources for pollinators in agricultural landscapes. Managing grasslands with fire and grazing has the potential to benefit plant and pollinator communities, though there is uncertainty about the ideal approach. We examined the relationships among burning and grazing regimes, plant communities, and Bombus species and Apis mellifera L. abundance and nutritional indicators at the Grand River Grasslands in southern Iowa and northern Missouri. Treatment regimes included burn-only, grazed-and-burned, and patch-burn graze (pastures subdivided into three temporally distinct fire patches with free access by cattle). The premise of the experimental design was that patch-burn grazing would increase habitat heterogeneity, thereby providing more diverse and abundant floral resources for pollinators. We predicted that both bee abundance and individual bee nutritional indicators (bee size and lipid content) would be positively correlated with floral resource abundance. There were no significant differences among treatments with respect to bee abundance. However, some of the specific characteristics of the plant community showed significant relationships with bee response variables. Pastures with greater abundance of floral resources had greater bee abundance but lower bee nutritional indicators. Bee nutritional variables were positively correlated with vegetation height, but, in some cases, negatively correlated with stocking rate. These results suggest grassland site characteristics such as floral resource abundance and stocking rate are of potential importance to bee pollinators and suggest avenues for further research to untangle the complex interactions between grassland management, plant responses, and bee health.

  10. The role of linear structures in agricultural landscape in the maitenance of xerothermic species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Czarnecka

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to evaluate the role of different types of linear structures in the preservation of four xerothermic species (Centaurea scabiosa, Euphorbia cyparissias, Melampyrum arvense, and Salvia verticillata and two weeds (Euphorbia exigua and Thymelaea passerina. Observations were conducted in the agricultural landscape of Western Volhynia with fields of different land use intensity (a large-scale farming system and small traditional arable fields. The total length of the studied structures was 4760 m and the following five categories of structures were distinguished: field road verges adjacent to large (1 and small fields (2, field margins between the patches of xerothermic grasslands as well as large (3 or small fields (4 and balks (5. The distribution and abundance of species mentioned above were recorded there. The survey showed that linear habitats are not suitable for all the studied species; margins between arable fields and grasslands were the most important habitats for both grassland and weed species. Factors responsible for their abundance and distribution along these margins included the following: type of farming system, exposure of the margin, and soil moisture. Grassland species occupied habitats adjacent to small traditional fields with other than southern exposure; weeds were more abundant in drier microhabitas.

  11. Ecosystem services provided by agricultural terraces in semi-arid climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Díaz, Asunción; Díaz-Pereira, Elvira; Boix-Fayos, Carolina; de Vente, Joris

    2016-04-01

    Since ancient times, agricultural terraces are common features throughout the world, especially on steep slope gradients. Nowadays many terraces have been abandoned or removed and few new terraces are build due to increased mechanisation and intensification of agriculture. However, terraces are amongst the most effective soil conservation practices, reducing the slope gradient and slope length, as well as runoff rate and soil erosion, and without terraces, it would be impossible to cultivate on many hillslopes. Moreover, their scenic interest is undeniable, as in some cases, terraced slopes have even become part of UNESCO World Heritage. In order to highlight the potential benefits, requirements and limitations of terraces, we reviewed different types of sustainable land management practices related to terraces and characterised their implications for provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We centred our review on terraces in semi-arid environments worldwide, as were documented in the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) database. Our results show that the most important ecosystem services provided by terraces relate to regulation of the on-site and off-site effects of runoff and erosion, and maintenance of soil fertility and vegetation cover. The presence of terraces also favours the provision of food, fiber, and clean water. In short, our results stress the crucial environmental, geomorphological and hydrological functions of terraces that directly relate to improving the quality of life of the people that use them. These results highlight the need for renewed recognition of the value of terraces for society, their preservation and maintenance.

  12. Modeling of hydroecological feedbacks predicts distinct classes of landscape pattern, process, and restoration potential in shallow aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Laurel G.; Harvey, Judson W.

    2011-03-01

    It is widely recognized that interactions between vegetation and flow cause the emergence of channel patterns that are distinct from the standard Schumm classification of river channels. Although landscape pattern is known to be linked to ecosystem services such as habitat provision, pollutant removal, and sustaining biodiversity, the mechanisms responsible for the development and stability of different landscape patterns in shallow, vegetated flows have remained poorly understood. Fortunately, recent advances have made possible large-scale models of flow through vegetated environments that can be run over a range of environmental variables and over timescales of millennia. We describe a new, quasi-3D cellular automata model that couples simulations of shallow-water flow, bed shear stresses, sediment transport, and vegetation dynamics in an efficient manner. That efficiency allowed us to apply the model widely in order to determine how different hydroecological feedbacks control landscape pattern and process in various types of wetlands and floodplains. Distinct classes of landscape pattern were uniquely associated with specific types of allogenic and autogenic drivers in wetland flows. Regular, anisotropically patterned wetlands were dominated by allogenic processes (i.e., processes driven by periodic high water levels and flow velocities that redistribute sediment), relative to autogenic processes (e.g., vegetation production, peat accretion, and gravitational erosion). These anistropically patterned wetlands are therefore particularly prone to hydrologic disturbance. Other classes of wetlands that emerged from simulated interactions included maze-patterned, amorphous, and topographically noisy marshes, open marsh with islands, banded string-pool sequences perpendicular to flow, parallel deep and narrow channels flanked by marsh, and ridge-and-slough patterned marsh oriented parallel to flow. Because vegetation both affects and responds to the balance between the

  13. The potential and sustainability of agricultural land use in a changing ecosystem in southern Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunziker, Matthias; Caviezel, Chatrina; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2015-04-01

    Southern Greenland currently experiences an increase in summer temperatures and a prolonged growing season (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2012), resulting in an increased potential regarding agricultural land use. Subsequently, the agricultural sector is expected to grow. Thereby, a higher hay production and grazing capacity is pursued by applying more efficient farming practices (Greenland Agriculture Advisory Board 2009). However, agricultural potential at borderline ecotones is not only influenced by factors like temperature and growing season but also by other ecologic parameters. In addition, the intensification of land use in the fragile boreal - tundra border ecotone has various environmental impacts (Perren et al. 2012; Normand et al. 2013). Already the Norse settlers practiced animal husbandry in southern Greenland between 986-1450 AD. Several authors mention the unadapted land use as main reason for the demise of the Norse in Greenland, as grazing pressure exceeded the resilience of the landscape and pasture economy failed (Fredskild 1988; Perren et al. 2012). During the field work in summer 2014, we compared the pedologic properties of already used hay fields, grazed land, birch woodland and barren, unused land around Igaliku (South Greenland), in order to estimate the potential and the sustainability of the land use in southern Greenland. Beside physical soil properties, nutrient condition of the different land use types, the shrub woodland and barren areas was analyzed. The results of the study show that the most suitable areas for intensive agricultural activity are mostly occupied. Further on, the fields, which were used by the Norse, seem to be the most productive sites nowadays. Less productive hay fields are characterized by a higher coarse fraction, leading to a reduced ability to store water and to an unfavorable nutrient status. An intensification of the agricultural land use by applying fertilizer would lead to an increased environmental impact

  14. Applying an agent-based model of agricultural terraces coupled with a landscape evolution model to explore the impact of human decision-making on terraced terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaubius, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural terraces impact landscape evolution as a result of long-term human-landscape interactions, including decisions regarding terrace maintenance and abandonment. Modeling simulations are often employed to examine the sensitivity of landscapes to various factors, such as rainfall and land cover. Landscape evolution models, erosion models, and hydrological models have all previously been used to simulate the impact of agricultural terrace construction on terrain evolution, soil erosion, and hydrological connectivity. Human choices regarding individual terraces have not been included in these models to this point, despite recent recognition that maintenance and abandonment decisions alter transport and storage patterns of soil and water in terraced terrain. An agent-based model of human decisions related to agricultural terraces is implemented based on a conceptual model of agricultural terrace life cycle stages created from a literature review of terracing impacts. The agricultural terracing agent-based model is then coupled with a landscape evolution model to explore the role of human decisions in the evolution of terraced landscapes. To fully explore this type of co-evolved landscape, human decision-making and its feedbacks must be included in landscape evolution models. Project results may also have implications for management of terraced terrain based on how human choices in these environments affect soil loss and land degradation.

  15. The constructed catchment 'Chicken Creek' - a landscape observatory to analyze processes and feedback mechanisms during initial ecosystem development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmer, Michael; Schaaf, Wolfgang; Gerwin, Werner; Hinz, Christoph

    2014-05-01

    We investigated the initial development of the landscape observatory 'Chicken Creek', Germany, an artificial catchment with well known boundary conditions and inner structures (Gerwin et al., 2011). Over a period of nine years, we observed considerable changes within the site (Elmer et al., 2013). Both internal and external factors could be identified as driving forces for the formation of structures and patterns in the catchment. Over time, secondary structures and patterns evolved and became more and more important. Invading biota and vegetation succession initialized feedback mechanisms resulting in pattern and habitat formation as well as in increased differentiation, heterogeneity and complexity that are typical characteristics of ecosystems (Schaaf et al., 2013). The processes and feedback mechanisms in the initial development of a new landscape may deviate in rates, intensity, and dominance from those known from mature ecosystems. It is therefore crucial to understand these early phases of ecosystem development and to disentangle the increasingly complex interactions between the evolving terrestrial and aquatic, biotic, and abiotic compartments of the system. Elmer M, Gerwin W, Schaaf W, Zaplata MK, Hohberg K, Nenov R, Bens O, Hüttl RF (2013): Dynamics of initial ecosystem development at the artificial catchment Chicken Creek, Lusatia, Germany. Environ Earth Sci 69, 491-505. Gerwin W, Schaaf W, Biemelt D, Winter S, Fischer A, Veste M, Hüttl RF (2011): Overview and first results of ecological monitoring at the artificial watershed Chicken Creek (Germany). Phys Chem Earth 36, 61-73. Schaaf W, Elmer M, Fischer A, Gerwin W, Nenov R, Pretsch H, Seifert S, Winter S, Zaplata MK (2013): Monitoring the formation of structures and patterns during initial development of an artificial catchment. Environ Monit Assess 185, 5965-5986.

  16. Patterns and scaling properties of surface soil moisture in an agricultural landscape: An ecohydrological modeling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korres, W.; Reichenau, T. G.; Schneider, K.

    2013-08-01

    Soil moisture is a key variable in hydrology, meteorology and agriculture. Soil moisture, and surface soil moisture in particular, is highly variable in space and time. Its spatial and temporal patterns in agricultural landscapes are affected by multiple natural (precipitation, soil, topography, etc.) and agro-economic (soil management, fertilization, etc.) factors, making it difficult to identify unequivocal cause and effect relationships between soil moisture and its driving variables. The goal of this study is to characterize and analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of surface soil moisture (top 20 cm) in an intensively used agricultural landscape (1100 km2 northern part of the Rur catchment, Western Germany) and to determine the dominant factors and underlying processes controlling these patterns. A second goal is to analyze the scaling behavior of surface soil moisture patterns in order to investigate how spatial scale affects spatial patterns. To achieve these goals, a dynamically coupled, process-based and spatially distributed ecohydrological model was used to analyze the key processes as well as their interactions and feedbacks. The model was validated for two growing seasons for the three main crops in the investigation area: Winter wheat, sugar beet, and maize. This yielded RMSE values for surface soil moisture between 1.8 and 7.8 vol.% and average RMSE values for all three crops of 0.27 kg m-2 for total aboveground biomass and 0.93 for green LAI. Large deviations of measured and modeled soil moisture can be explained by a change of the infiltration properties towards the end of the growing season, especially in maize fields. The validated model was used to generate daily surface soil moisture maps, serving as a basis for an autocorrelation analysis of spatial patterns and scale. Outside of the growing season, surface soil moisture patterns at all spatial scales depend mainly upon soil properties. Within the main growing season, larger scale

  17. The diet of Danish red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to a changing agricultural ecosystem. A historical perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pagh, Sussie; Tjørnløv, Rune Skjold; Olesen, Carsten Riis;

    2015-01-01

    40 years most probably reflect changes in the populations of the two species. By comparing digitised orthophotos of six agricultural areas (3.5 × 3.5 km) of the past 1974/1975 and present landscapes, it was revealed that the total area of crop fields, small natural habitats, hedgerows and grasslands...

  18. The landscape on an asset in Southern European fragile agriculture systems contrasts and contradiction in land managers attitudes and practices

    OpenAIRE

    Pinto-Correia, Teresa; Menezes, Helena; Barroso, Filipe

    2013-01-01

    Transition theories suggest that there is a spatial, temporal and structural co-existence of several processes of transition from productivism to post-productivism going on in rural areas in multiple combinations resulting in a more complex, contested, variable mix of production, consumption and protection goals. This is particularly true for South European landscapes dominated by extensive agro-silvo-pastoral systems. The fragile agricultural sector is in some cases just enter...

  19. Environmental vulnerability and agriculture in the karstic domain: landscape indicators and cases in the Atlas Highlands, Morocco.

    OpenAIRE

    Akdim Brahim; Amyay Mohammed

    1999-01-01

    After the brief presentation of the major karstic areas in Morocco, the article focused essentially on the Atlas mountains to investigate the impact of the agriculture on the natural systems equilibrium. Socio-economic changes (demographic pressure, escalation of the landscape use, utilisation of new techniques in water harvesting, etc...) have sometimes fathered mechanisms of degradation. Many indicators seem to reflect these mechanisms. The pedologic indicators, soil erosion, the hydrologic...

  20. Contrast in Edge Vegetation Structure Modifies the Predation Risk of Natural Ground Nests in an Agricultural Landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Schneider, Nicole A.; Matthew Low; Debora Arlt; Tomas Pärt

    2012-01-01

    Nest predation risk generally increases nearer forest-field edges in agricultural landscapes. However, few studies test whether differences in edge contrast (i.e. hard versus soft edges based on vegetation structure and height) affect edge-related predation patterns and if such patterns are related to changes in nest conspicuousness between incubation and nestling feeding. Using data on 923 nesting attempts we analyse factors influencing nest predation risk at different edge types in an agric...

  1. Safeguarding production agriculture and natural ecosystems against biological terrorism. A U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency response framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, R

    1999-01-01

    Foreign pest introductions and outbreaks represent threats to agricultural productivity and ecosystems, and, thus, to the health and national security of the United States. It is advisable to identify relevant techniques and bring all appropriate strategies to bear on the problem of controlling accidentally and intentionally introduced pest outbreaks. Recent political shifts indicate that the U.S. may be at increased risk for biological terrorism. The existing emergency-response strategies of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) will evolve to expand activities in coordination with other emergency management agencies. APHIS will evolve its information superstructure to include extensive application of simulation models for forecasting, meteorological databases and analysis, systems analysis, geographic information systems, satellite image analysis, remote sensing, and the training of specialized cadres within the emergency-response framework capable of managing the necessary information processing and analysis. Finally, the threat of key pests ranked according to perceived risk will be assessed with mathematical models and "what-if" scenarios analyzed to determine impact and mitigation practices. An infrastructure will be maintained that periodically surveys ports and inland regions for the presence of exotic pest threats and will identify trend abnormalities. This survey and monitoring effort will include cooperation from industry groups, federal and state organizations, and academic institutions. PMID:10681969

  2. Home range and habitat use of little owl (Athene noctua in an agricultural landscape in coastal Catalonia, Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Framis, H.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades agricultural landscapes in Catalonia have undergone a profound transformation as in most of Europe. Reforestation and urban development have reduced farmland and therefore the availability of suitable habitat for some bird species such as the little owl (Athene noctua. The outskirts of the city of Mataró by the Mediterranean Sea exemplify this landscape change, but still support a population of little owl where agriculture is carried out. Three resident little owls were monitored with telemetry weekly from November 2007 until the beginning of August 2008 in this suburban agricultural landscape. Mean home range ± SD was 10.9 ± 5.5 ha for minimum convex polygon (MCP100 and 7.4 ± 3.8 ha for Kernel 95% probability function (K95. Home ranges of contiguous neighboring pairs overlapped 18.4% (MCP100 or 6% (K95. Home range varied among seasons reaching a maximum between March and early August but always included the nesting site. Small forested patches were associated with roosting and nesting areas where cavities in Carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua were important. When foraging in crop fields, the owls typically fed where crops had recently been harvested and replanted. All three owls bred successfully.

  3. L’agriculture en Arabie du Sud avant l’Islam South Arabian Pre-Islamic Agriculture: Piecing Together Ancient Landscapes & Agricultural Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Charbonnier

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Le présent article vise à reconstituer les différents systèmes de culture d’Arabie du sud antique. Pour ce faire, les études archéobotaniques sont mises en perspective avec les recherches sur les paysages et les techniques de culture anciennes. Il apparaît ainsi, qu’entre l’âge du Bronze et la période sudarabique, le Yémen n’a cessé de s’enrichir de l’arrivée de nouvelles plantes, en provenance de Proche-Orient, de l’Afrique et du Monde indien. Leurs capacités propres et les nouvelles combinaisons dont elles offraient l’opportunité ont permis à l’homme de diversifier les systèmes de culture afin de tirer au maximum parti des terres et d’être plus flexible face aux altérations du climat et de l’environnement.This paper aims at recognizing and understanding the various agro-systems of the ancient South Arabia. Archaeobotanical data are confronted with studies concerning pre-Islamic landscapes and agricultural techniques. It appears that, during the Bronze Age and the South Arabian period, new cultivars, coming from the Near-East, Africa and India, have regularly reached the region. Because of their own specificities and of the new associations they permitted, these plants have allowed Man to enrich agro-systems and to be more flexible in order to cope with climatic and environmental changes.

  4. Developments in strategic landscape monitoring for the Nordic countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Landscape plays an increasingly relevant and prominent role in the protection and mangement of the Earth's terrestrial environments and ecosystems, including the diverse forested, agricultural, wilderness and build-up landscapes within the Nordic countries. However to be meaningful in the Informa...

  5. A landscape project for the coexistence of agriculture and nature: a proposal for the coastal area of a Natura 2000 site in Sicily (Italy)

    OpenAIRE

    Lara Riguccio; Laura Carullo; Patrizia Russo; Giovanna Tomaselli

    2016-01-01

    Many rural coastal Mediterranean areas suffer from great anthropomorphic pressure. This is due to intensive agriculture, and construction for residential, tourism and industrial uses. The present work investigates the idea of using a landscape project in the Gulf of Gela in South Sicily to recover the dunes and the area behind them. The method used is based on the literature and will evaluate and interpret the dynamics of the landscape, so as to draw up a landscape plan, which can be used to ...

  6. Analysis of NDVI variance across landscapes and seasons allows assessment of degradation and resilience to shocks in Mediterranean dry ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    liniger, hanspeter; jucker riva, matteo; schwilch, gudrun

    2016-04-01

    Mapping and assessment of desertification is a primary basis for effective management of dryland ecosystems. Vegetation cover and biomass density are key elements for the ecological functioning of dry ecosystem, and at the same time an effective indicator of desertification, land degradation and sustainable land management. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is widely used to estimate the vegetation density and cover. However, the reflectance of vegetation and thus the NDVI values are influenced by several factors such as type of canopy, type of land use and seasonality. For example low NDVI values could be associated to a degraded forest, to a healthy forest under dry climatic condition, to an area used as pasture, or to an area managed to reduce the fuel load. We propose a simple method to analyse the variance of NDVI signal considering the main factors that shape the vegetation. This variance analysis enables us to detect and categorize degradation in a much more precise way than simple NDVI analysis. The methodology comprises identifying homogeneous landscape areas in terms of aspect, slope, land use and disturbance regime (if relevant). Secondly, the NDVI is calculated from Landsat multispectral images and the vegetation potential for each landscape is determined based on the percentile (highest 10% value). Thirdly, the difference between the NDVI value of each pixel and the potential is used to establish degradation categories . Through this methodology, we are able to identify realistic objectives for restoration, allowing a targeted choice of management options for degraded areas. For example, afforestation would only be done in areas that show potential for forest growth. Moreover, we can measure the effectiveness of management practices in terms of vegetation growth across different landscapes and conditions. Additionally, the same methodology can be applied to a time series of multispectral images, allowing detection and quantification of

  7. Exposure of native bees foraging in an agricultural landscape to current-use pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hladik, Michelle L; Vandever, Mark; Smalling, Kelly L

    2016-01-15

    The awareness of insects as pollinators and indicators of environmental quality has grown in recent years, partially in response to declines in honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. While most pesticide research has focused on honey bees, there has been less work on native bee populations. To determine the exposure of native bees to pesticides, bees were collected from an existing research area in northeastern Colorado in both grasslands (2013-2014) and wheat fields (2014). Traps were deployed bi-monthly during the summer at each land cover type and all bees, regardless of species, were composited as whole samples and analyzed for 136 current-use pesticides and degradates. This reconnaissance approach provides a sampling of all species and represents overall pesticide exposure (internal and external). Nineteen pesticides and degradates were detected in 54 composite samples collected. Compounds detected in >2% of the samples included: insecticides thiamethoxam (46%), bifenthrin (28%), clothianidin (24%), chlorpyrifos (17%), imidacloprid (13%), fipronil desulfinyl (7%; degradate); fungicides azoxystrobin (17%), pyraclostrobin (11%), fluxapyroxad (9%), and propiconazole (9%); herbicides atrazine (19%) and metolachlor (9%). Concentrations ranged from 1 to 310 ng/g for individual pesticides. Pesticides were detected in samples collected from both grasslands and wheat fields; the location of the sample and the surrounding land cover at the 1000 m radius influenced the pesticides detected but because of a small number of temporally comparable samples, correlations between pesticide concentration and land cover were not significant. The results show native bees collected in an agricultural landscape are exposed to multiple pesticides, these results can direct future research on routes/timing of pesticide exposure and the design of future conservation efforts for pollinators.

  8. Tree Species Abundance Predictions in a Tropical Agricultural Landscape with a Supervised Classification Model and Imbalanced Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah J. Graves

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Mapping species through classification of imaging spectroscopy data is facilitating research to understand tree species distributions at increasingly greater spatial scales. Classification requires a dataset of field observations matched to the image, which will often reflect natural species distributions, resulting in an imbalanced dataset with many samples for common species and few samples for less common species. Despite the high prevalence of imbalanced datasets in multiclass species predictions, the effect on species prediction accuracy and landscape species abundance has not yet been quantified. First, we trained and assessed the accuracy of a support vector machine (SVM model with a highly imbalanced dataset of 20 tropical species and one mixed-species class of 24 species identified in a hyperspectral image mosaic (350–2500 nm of Panamanian farmland and secondary forest fragments. The model, with an overall accuracy of 62% ± 2.3% and F-score of 59% ± 2.7%, was applied to the full image mosaic (23,000 ha at a 2-m resolution to produce a species prediction map, which suggested that this tropical agricultural landscape is more diverse than what has been presented in field-based studies. Second, we quantified the effect of class imbalance on model accuracy. Model assessment showed a trend where species with more samples were consistently over predicted while species with fewer samples were under predicted. Standardizing sample size reduced model accuracy, but also reduced the level of species over- and under-prediction. This study advances operational species mapping of diverse tropical landscapes by detailing the effect of imbalanced data on classification accuracy and providing estimates of tree species abundance in an agricultural landscape. Species maps using data and methods presented here can be used in landscape analyses of species distributions to understand human or environmental effects, in addition to focusing conservation

  9. Integrating Landscape-scale Forest Measurements with Remote Sensing and Ecosystem Models to Improve Carbon Management Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birdsey, R.; Pan, Y.

    2009-05-01

    Managing forests to increase carbon stocks and reduce emissions requires knowledge of how management practices and natural disturbances affect carbon pools over time, and cost-effective techniques for monitoring and reporting. This study improves upon the methodology to collect and integrate the multi-tier monitoring data from the North American Carbon Program (NACP) with management decisions by systematically scaling up intensive forest carbon measurements to land management areas (or landscapes), and reconciling these estimates with ecosystem models and decision-support systems that are driven by remote sensing and national inventories. We propose to use spatial analysis techniques and an ecosystem process model (PnET- CN) to scale up and map observations from flux towers, landscape biometrics, and inventories to areas of approximately 2500 km2 around flux tower sites. The NASA-CASA model is used to derive estimates for the same areas from remote sensing observations by the MODIS sensor, and biophysical maps. We compare and reconcile the top-down and bottom-up approaches, then use the mapped estimates of productivity and biomass that embed consequences of land disturbances and forest age structure as input to decision-support tools. Key information for the decision-support tools includes (1) estimates of carbon stocks and quantified impacts of management activity; (2) estimates of net ecosystem production (NEP) and changes in carbon pools; and (3) estimates of forest/atmosphere carbon fluxes and relevant effects from various environmental controls. This work is relevant to land managers and climate change policy because it supports a need to estimate and report carbon stocks and changes in carbon stocks to state, regional, national, and private greenhouse gas registries. This work builds upon a foundation of work begun in 2001 by the U.S. Forest Service to implement a forest carbon monitoring and observation system at intermediate or "Tier 3" sites as described

  10. Gap crossing decisions by reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosschieter, L.; Goedhart, P.W.

    2005-01-01

    To meet the need for research on the requirements for corridors for marshland birds, this study set out to quantify gap crossing decisions made by reed warblers moving through the landscape. In three experiments, reed warblers were released into landscape situations with different gap sizes and thei

  11. Analysis of Employment Flow of Landscape Architecture Graduates in Agricultural Universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Xia; He, Linchun

    2012-01-01

    A statistical analysis of employment flow of landscape architecture graduates was conducted on the employment data of graduates major in landscape architecture in 2008 to 2011. The employment flow of graduates was to be admitted to graduate students, industrial direction and regional distribution, etc. Then, the features of talent flow and factors…

  12. Stream ecosystem integrity is impaired by logging and shifting agriculture in a global megadiversity center (Sarawak, Borneo)

    OpenAIRE

    Jinggut, T.; Yule, C.M.; Boyero, Luz

    2012-01-01

    In common with most of Borneo, the Bakun region of Sarawak is currently subject to heavy deforestation mainly due to logging and, to a lesser extent, traditional slash-and-burn farming practices. This has the potential to affect stream ecosystems, which are integrators of environmental change in the surrounding terrestrial landscape. This study evaluated the effects of both types of deforestation by using functional and structural indicators (leaf litter decomposition rates and associated det...

  13. Future Climate Impacts on Harmful Algal Blooms in an Agriculturally Dominated Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aloysius, N. R.; Martin, J.; Ludsin, S.; Stumpf, R. P.

    2015-12-01

    Cyanobacteria blooms have become a major problem worldwide in aquatic ecosystems that receive excessive runoff of limiting nutrients from terrestrial drainage. Such blooms often are considered harmful because they degrade ecosystem services, threaten public health, and burden local economies. Owing to changing agricultural land-use practices, Lake Erie, the most biologically productive of the North American Great Lakes, has begun to undergo a re-eutrophication in which the frequency and extent of harmful algal blooms (HABs) has increased. Continued climate change has been hypothesized to magnify the HAB problem in Lake Erie in the absence of new agricultural management practices, although this hypothesis has yet to be formally tested empirically. Herein, we tested this hypothesis by predicting how the frequency and extent of potentially harmful cyanobacteria blooms will change in Lake Erie during the 21st century under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment climate projections in the region. To do so, we used 80 ensembles of climate projections from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) and two greenhouse gas emission scenarios (moderate reduction, RCP4.5; business-as-usual, RCP8.5) to drive a spatiotemporally explicit watershed-hydrology model that was linked to several statistical predictive models of annual cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Erie. Owing to anticipated increases in precipitation during spring and warmer temperatures during summer, our ensemble of predictions revealed that, if current land-management practices continue, the frequency of severe HABs in Lake Erie will increase during the 21st century. These findings identify a real need to consider future climate projections when developing nutrient reduction strategies in the short term, with adaptation also needing to be encouraged under both greenhouse gas emissions scenarios in the absence of effective nutrient mitigation strategies.

  14. Conceptual model of ecosystems in landscape of Uranium Mining of Andujar (Spain)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study analyzes the site of uranium mining to Andujar and its ecosystems: aquatic and terrestrial. Socioeconomic description, chemical risks, radiological risks, radionuclide transfer, and ecological consequences studies are presented as well. (Author)

  15. Challenges and Alternatives to Sustainable Management of Agriculture and Pastoral Ecosystems in Asian Drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, J.

    2015-12-01

    There is no question that human must produce additional 70% food to feed the new 2.2 billion of people on the planet by 2050, but the question is where to grow the additional food. The demand for the additional food lies not only in producing the basic resources needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but also from a changing diet, especially in rapidly developing countries in the dryland regions around the world. It is forecast that this demand for meat will require an additional 0.2 billion tons per year by 2050, which is almost a doubling of present meat consumption. These new demands create mounting pressures on agriculture and pastoral ecosystems and the reported trajectory of warmer and drier climate in the future increases uncertainties in food security, adding further stresses to the already stressed nations in the Asian dryland belt. Different approaches are being either proposed or practiced in the region but the question is whether or not the current practices are sustainable or optimal in addressing the emerging issues. Given the complexity and interplay among the food, water and energy, what are alternatives to ensure a sustainable trajectory of regional development to meet the new food demand? This presentation reviews existing practices and proposes alternative solutions, by specifically examining the trade-offs between different ecosystem services that drylands in Asian may provide. Preliminary analysis suggested that the current trajectory of meat and milk production is likely not on a sustainable pathway.

  16. Successful de-fragmentation of woodland by planting in an agricultural landscape? An assessment based on landscape indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quine, C P; Watts, K

    2009-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is the focus of much conservation concern and associated research. In some countries, such as Britain, the main phase of fragmentation occurred centuries ago and the focus of conservation management is now on restoration and recovery. Scenario studies have suggested that spatial targeting is preferable if landscape scale restoration is to be achieved, and that this should bring greater benefits than site-focussed activities but this has rarely been tested in practice. In Britain, woodland expansion has been encouraged through a number of financial incentives, which have evolved from instruments that encouraged almost any addition to the potential woodland resource, to grant schemes that have set out to restore connectivity to remnant ancient woodland. This study assessed the degree of de-fragmentation achieved by woodland expansion on the Isle of Wight and in particular the success of spatial targeting of new woodland planting implemented through grant aid in the JIGSAW (Joining and Increasing Grant Scheme for Ancient Woodland) scheme. Five steps in the re-development of broad-leaved woodland were tested using eight indicators - six commonly used landscape metrics, and two ecologically scaled indicators derived from application of least-cost network evaluation. Only half of the measures indicated de-fragmentation over the whole sequence of five steps. However, the spatial targeting did appear successful, when compared to equivalent untargeted grant-aided woodland expansion, and resulted in positive change to six of the eight indicators. We discuss the utility of the indicators and ways in which future targeting could be supported by their application.

  17. Transformations of landscape and peat-forming ecosystems in response to late Holocene climate change in the western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zicheng; Beilman, David W.; Loisel, Julie

    2016-07-01

    We used subfossil mosses and peats to document changes in regional climate, cryosphere, and terrestrial ecosystems in the western Antarctic Peninsula at ~65°S latitude. We find that most peat forming ecosystems have initiated since 2800 cal B.P., in response to warmer summers and increasing summer insolation. The period at 900-600 cal B.P. was coldest as indicated by ice advance, abundance of kill ages from ice-entombed mosses exposed recently from retreating glacial ice, and apparent gap in peatbank initiation. Furthermore, the discovery of a novel Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antarctica) peatland at 2300-1200 cal B.P. from the mainland Antarctic Peninsula suggests a much warmer climate than the present. A warming and wetting climate in the 1980s caused very high carbon accumulation in a Polytrichum strictum moss peatbank. Our results document dramatic transformations of landscape and ecosystems in response to past warmer climate, providing a telltale sign for what may come in the future.

  18. Transfer factor of caesium-137 in natural and agricultural grass ecosystems in the area of Plavsk radioactive spot, Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Root uptake and translocation of 137Cs from soil to plant is the key for estimation of general ecological situation and land use on radioactive contaminated territories. There are numerous researches concerning the relationship between the level of the radionuclide presence in soils and its accumulation in vegetation that usually describes as transfer factor (TF) for 137Cs (the ratio of the specific 137Cs activity in the plant tissue and the soil). But in most cases only edible organs or above-ground parts of plants are taken into account in evaluating TF. It is reasonable from the standpoint of practical use, but does not provide accurate information in the study of 137Cs biogeochemical cycle features. The study of the 137Cs root uptake from the radioactive contaminated chernozem soil and its distribution between above-ground and below-ground fractions of grass vegetation was conducted in the natural conditions on the territory of Plavsk radioactive spot (Tula region, Russia) ∼25 years after Chernobyl accident. The main crops of field rotation in this landscape (wheat, barley, potatoes, rape, maize) which occupy watersheds and slopes with arable chernozems contaminated at a level 460-670 Bq/kg (170-220 kBq/m2) and natural grassland ecosystems which occupy lower parts of slopes and flood plains with dry and wet meadows contaminated at a level 620-710 Bq/kg (210-250 kBq/m2) were examined. Total accumulation of 137Cs in vegetation strongly depends on the level of soil radioactive contamination (correlation coefficient 0.87). So specific 137Cs activity in vegetation of meadows (103-160 Bq/kg) in general more than one in agricultural crops (9-92 Bq/kg). Other reason may be the predominance of perennial herbs in natural meadows whereas agricultural systems contain annual crops. The values of 137Cs TF in the studied ecosystems vary within a relatively narrow range: from 0.01 (rape) to 0.20 (wet meadow), that confirms the discrimination of the radionuclide root uptake

  19. Transfer factor of caesium-137 in natural and agricultural grass ecosystems in the area of Plavsk radioactive spot, Russia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paramonova, Tatiana A.; Machaeva, Ekaterina N. [Radioecology and Ecotoxicology Department of Soil Science Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow (Russian Federation); Belyaev, Vladimir R. [Laboratory of soil erosion and fluvial processes of Geography Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2014-07-01

    Root uptake and translocation of ¹³⁷Cs from soil to plant is the key for estimation of general ecological situation and land use on radioactive contaminated territories. There are numerous researches concerning the relationship between the level of the radionuclide presence in soils and its accumulation in vegetation that usually describes as transfer factor (TF) for ¹³⁷Cs (the ratio of the specific ¹³⁷Cs activity in the plant tissue and the soil). But in most cases only edible organs or above-ground parts of plants are taken into account in evaluating TF. It is reasonable from the standpoint of practical use, but does not provide accurate information in the study of ¹³⁷Cs biogeochemical cycle features. The study of the ¹³⁷Cs root uptake from the radioactive contaminated chernozem soil and its distribution between above-ground and below-ground fractions of grass vegetation was conducted in the natural conditions on the territory of Plavsk radioactive spot (Tula region, Russia)~25 years after Chernobyl accident. The main crops of field rotation in this landscape (wheat, barley, potatoes, rape, maize) which occupy watersheds and slopes with arable chernozems contaminated at a level 460-670 Bq/kg (170-220 kBq/m²) and natural grassland ecosystems which occupy lower parts of slopes and flood plains with dry and wet meadows contaminated at a level 620-710 Bq/kg (210-250 kBq/m²) were examined. Total accumulation of ¹³⁷Cs in vegetation strongly depends on the level of soil radioactive contamination (correlation coefficient 0.87). So specific ¹³⁷Cs activity in vegetation of meadows (103-160 Bq/kg) in general more than one in agricultural crops (9-92 Bq/kg). Other reason may be the predominance of perennial herbs in natural meadows whereas agricultural systems contain annual crops. The values of ¹³⁷Cs TF in the studied ecosystems vary within a relatively narrow range: from 0.01 (rape) to 0.20 (wet meadow), that confirms the discrimination of

  20. LANDSCAPE FEATURES OF EXISTENCE OF SOIL EROSION ON AGRICULTURAL LANDS IN THE BRYANSK REGION IN THE TRANSFORMATION OF CLIMATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Demikhov V. T.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The article has considered the influence of modern climate changes on the intensity of erosion processes within the boundaries of the basic landscapes of the region. It has given the results of the spatial distribution of the rainfalls. The most noticeable climate changes of the Bryansk region are reflected in the decrease in the activity of erosion during snowmelt due to the lower amounts of snow and soil frost depth. In the area, the dynamics of rainfall does not detect a single trend. The processes of erosion and deflation are studied in the relationship, the manifestation of these processes on the territory of the Bryansk region. It has published the results of the risk analysis of erosion and deflation on forest soils of the region and justified the application of G. V. Bastrakov’s method for modeling erosion-resistant agricultural landscapes. This approach has a number of advantages over the other known methods. In our case, regardless of soil and climatic and geomorphological conditions, the challenge is to ensure such events in which erosion resistance of the land will not be below a critical value. The research results are the initial data in designing soil conservation activities on the territory of the Bryansk region. The obtained data of the erosive properties of soils from climatic changes enable the study and forecasting of the development of agricultural landscapes of the region in the medium term

  1. Global impacts of conversions from natural to agricultural ecosystems on water resources: Quantity versus quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, B.R.; Jolly, I.; Sophocleous, M.; Zhang, L.

    2007-01-01

    [1] Past land use changes have greatly impacted global water resources, with often opposing effects on water quantity and quality. Increases in rain-fed cropland (460%) and pastureland (560%) during the past 300 years from forest and grasslands decreased evapotranspiration and increased recharge (two orders of magnitude) and streamflow (one order of magnitude). However, increased water quantity degraded water quality by mobilization of salts, salinization caused by shallow water tables, and fertilizer leaching into underlying aquifers that discharge to streams. Since the 1950s, irrigated agriculture has expanded globally by 174%, accounting for ???90% of global freshwater consumption. Irrigation based on surface water reduced streamflow and raised water tables resulting in waterlogging in many areas (China, India, and United States). Marked increases in groundwater-fed irrigation in the last few decades in these areas has lowered water tables (???1 m/yr) and reduced streamflow. Degradation of water quality in irrigated areas has resulted from processes similar to those in rain-fed agriculture: salt mobilization, salinization in waterlogged areas, and fertilizer leaching. Strategies for remediating water resource problems related to agriculture often have opposing effects on water quantity and quality. Long time lags (decades to centuries) between land use changes and system response (e.g., recharge, streamflow, and water quality), particularly in semiarid regions, mean that the full impact of land use changes has not been realized in many areas and remediation to reverse impacts will also take a long time. Future land use changes should consider potential impacts on water resources, particularly trade-offs between water, salt, and nutrient balances, to develop sustainable water resources to meet human and ecosystem needs. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

  2. Strong discrepancies between local temperature mapping and interpolated climatic grids in tropical mountainous agricultural landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emile Faye

    Full Text Available Bridging the gap between the predictions of coarse-scale climate models and the fine-scale climatic reality of species is a key issue of climate change biology research. While it is now well known that most organisms do not experience the climatic conditions recorded at weather stations, there is little information on the discrepancies between microclimates and global interpolated temperatures used in species distribution models, and their consequences for organisms' performance. To address this issue, we examined the fine-scale spatiotemporal heterogeneity in air, crop canopy and soil temperatures of agricultural landscapes in the Ecuadorian Andes and compared them to predictions of global interpolated climatic grids. Temperature time-series were measured in air, canopy and soil for 108 localities at three altitudes and analysed using Fourier transform. Discrepancies between local temperatures vs. global interpolated grids and their implications for pest performance were then mapped and analysed using GIS statistical toolbox. Our results showed that global interpolated predictions over-estimate by 77.5 ± 10% and under-estimate by 82.1 ± 12% local minimum and maximum air temperatures recorded in the studied grid. Additional modifications of local air temperatures were due to the thermal buffering of plant canopies (from -2.7 °K during daytime to 1.3 °K during night-time and soils (from -4.9 °K during daytime to 6.7 °K during night-time with a significant effect of crop phenology on the buffer effect. This discrepancies between interpolated and local temperatures strongly affected predictions of the performance of an ectothermic crop pest as interpolated temperatures predicted pest growth rates 2.3-4.3 times lower than those predicted by local temperatures. This study provides quantitative information on the limitation of coarse-scale climate data to capture the reality of the climatic environment experienced by living organisms. In highly

  3. Native wildflower plantings support wild bee abundance and diversity in agricultural landscapes across the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Neal M; Ward, Kimiora L; Pope, Nathaniel; Isaacs, Rufus; Wilson, Julianna; May, Emily A; Ellis, Jamie; Daniels, Jaret; Pence, Akers; Ullmann, Katharina; Peters, Jeff

    2015-12-01

    Global trends in pollinator-dependent crops have raised awareness of the need to support managed and wild bee populations to ensure sustainable crop production. Provision of sufficient forage resources is a key element for promoting bee populations within human impacted landscapes, particularly those in agricultural lands where demand for pollination service is high and land use and management practices have reduced available flowering resources. Recent government incentives in North America and Europe support the planting of wildflowers to benefit pollinators; surprisingly, in North America there has been almost no rigorous testing of the performance of wildflower mixes, or their ability to support wild bee abundance and diversity. We tested different wildflower mixes in a spatially replicated, multiyear study in three regions of North America where production of pollinator-dependent crops is high: Florida, Michigan, and California. In each region, we quantified flowering among wildflower mixes composed of annual and perennial species, and with high and low relative diversity. We measured the abundance and species richness of wild bees, honey bees, and syrphid flies at each mix over two seasons. In each region, some but not all wildflower mixes provided significantly greater floral display area than unmanaged weedy control plots. Mixes also attracted greater abundance and richness of wild bees, although the identity of best mixes varied among regions. By partitioning floral display size from mix identity we show the importance of display size for attracting abundant and diverse wild bees. Season-long monitoring also revealed that designing mixes to provide continuous bloom throughout the growing season is critical to supporting the greatest pollinator species richness. Contrary to expectation, perennials bloomed in their first season, and complementarity in attraction of pollinators among annuals and perennials suggests that inclusion of functionally diverse

  4. Modeling of hydroecological feedbacks predicts distinct classes of landscape pattern, process, and restoration potential in shallow aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Laurel G.; Harvey, Judson W.

    2011-01-01

    It is widely recognized that interactions between vegetation and flow cause the emergence of channel patterns that are distinct from the standard Schumm classification of river channels. Although landscape pattern is known to be linked to ecosystem services such as habitat provision, pollutant removal, and sustaining biodiversity, the mechanisms responsible for the development and stability of different landscape patterns in shallow, vegetated flows have remained poorly understood. Fortunately, recent advances have made possible large-scale models of flow through vegetated environments that can be run over a range of environmental variables and over timescales of millennia. We describe a new, quasi-3D cellular automata model that couples simulations of shallow-water flow, bed shear stresses, sediment transport, and vegetation dynamics in an efficient manner. That efficiency allowed us to apply the model widely in order to determine how different hydroecological feedbacks control landscape pattern and process in various types of wetlands and floodplains. Distinct classes of landscape pattern were uniquely associated with specific types of allogenic and autogenic drivers in wetland flows. Regular, anisotropically patterned wetlands were dominated by allogenic processes (i.e., processes driven by periodic high water levels and flow velocities that redistribute sediment), relative to autogenic processes (e.g., vegetation production, peat accretion, and gravitational erosion). These anistropically patterned wetlands are therefore particularly prone to hydrologic disturbance. Other classes of wetlands that emerged from simulated interactions included maze-patterned, amorphous, and topographically noisy marshes, open marsh with islands, banded string-pool sequences perpendicular to flow, parallel deep and narrow channels flanked by marsh, and ridge-and-slough patterned marsh oriented parallel to flow. Because vegetation both affects and responds to the balance between the

  5. Spatial distribution of soils determines export of nitrogen and dissolved organic carbon from an intensively managed agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Wohlfart

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The surrounding landscape of a stream has crucial impacts on the aquatic environment. This study pictures the hydro-biogeochemical situation of the Tyrebækken creek catchment in central Jutland, Denmark. The intensively managed agricultural landscape is dominated by rotational croplands. The small catchment mainly consist of sandy soil types besides organic soils along the streams. The aim of the study was to characterise the relative influence of soil type and land use on stream water quality. Nine snapshot sampling campaigns were undertaken during the growing season of 2009. Total dissolved nitrogen (TDN, nitrate (NO3, ammonium nitrogen and dissolved organic carbon (DOC concentrations were measured, and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON was calculated for each grabbed sample. Electrical conductivity, pH and flow velocity were measured during sampling. Statistical analyses showed significant differences between the northern, southern and converged stream parts, especially for NO3 concentrations with average values between 1.4 mg N l−1 and 9.6 mg N l−1. Furthermore, throughout the sampling period DON concentrations increased to 2.8 mg N l−1 in the northern stream contributing up to 81% to TDN. Multiple-linear regression analyses performed between chemical data and landscape characteristics showed a significant negative influence of organic soils on instream N concentrations and corresponding losses in spite of their overall minor share of the agricultural land (12.9%. On the other hand, organic soil frequency was positively correlated to the corresponding DOC concentrations. Croplands also had a significant influence but with weaker correlations. For our case study we conclude that the fractions of coarse textured and organic soils have a major influence on N and DOC export in this intensively used landscape. Meanwhile, the contribution of DON to the total N

  6. How Does the Agricultural Ecosystem Productivity Respond to Climate Fluctuations in the Northern Farming-pastoral Region?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tesheng; SUN; Bo; LI; Xinshi; ZHANG

    2013-01-01

    Using meteorological data and mathematical statistics analysis,we take Jungar Banner in the northern farming-pastoral region of China for example,to analyze the fluctuations in the precipitation and average temperature in Jungar Banner during the period 1961-2009.We calculate the NPP of agricultural ecosystem and climatic yield of the main crops in the region during the period 1961-2009,and expound the response of agricultural ecosystem productivity to climate fluctuations in Jungar Banner.Indubitably the climate changes impose great effects on the structure and function of regional ecosystem,and there is a need to take a number of measures to minimize the detrimental effects of climate changes on climatic yield of the main crops.

  7. Exploring multi-scale trade-offs between nature conservation, agricultural profits and landscape quality - A methodology to support discussions on land-use perspectives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, J.C.J.; Rossing, W.A.H.; Jellema, A.; Stobbelaar, D.J.; Renting, H.; Ittersum, van M.K.

    2007-01-01

    Intensively managed agricultural areas in North-Western Europe have been undergoing a shift from solely production oriented use to provision of multiple services and functions. Design and assessment of multifunctional agricultural landscapes could be supported by exploration of trade-offs between fi

  8. The Challenge of Governing Africa’s New Agricultural Investment Landscapes: An Analysis of Policy Arrangements and Sustainability Outcomes in Ethiopia and Nigeria

    OpenAIRE

    George C. Schoneveld

    2014-01-01

    In the context of globalization, market liberalization, and deregulation, many African governments are embracing the potential of private agricultural investment to address structural issues within their agricultural economies. Sustainably integrating these investments into target landscapes, however, poses a number of governance challenges since it requires careful reconciliation of competing needs, priorities, and land uses. This paper examines the effectiveness of existing policy arrangeme...

  9. Applying the Ecosystem Approach to Select Priority Areas for Forest Landscape Restoration in the Yungas, Northwestern Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide

    2010-11-01

    This paper proposes a method to select forest restoration priority areas consistently with the key principles of the Ecosystem Approach (EA) and the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) framework. The methodology is based on the principles shared by the two approaches: acting at ecosystem scale, involving stakeholders, and evaluating alternatives. It proposes the involvement of social actors which have a stake in forest management through multicriteria analysis sessions aimed at identifying the most suitable forest restoration intervention. The method was applied to a study area in the native forests of Northern Argentina (the Yungas). Stakeholders were asked to identify alternative restoration actions, i.e. potential areas implementing FLR. Ten alternative fincas—estates derived from the Spanish land tenure system—differing in relation to ownership, management, land use, land tenure, and size were evaluated. Twenty criteria were selected and classified into four groups: biophysical, social, economic and political. Finca Ledesma was the closest to the economic, social, environmental and political goals, according to the values and views of the actors involved in the decision. This study represented the first attempt to apply EA principles to forest restoration at landscape scale in the Yungas region. The benefits obtained by the application of the method were twofold: on one hand, researchers and local actors were forced to conceive the Yungas as a complex net of rights rather than as a sum of personal interests. On the other hand, the participatory multicriteria approach provided a structured process for collective decision-making in an area where it has never been implemented.

  10. Formulating an ecosystem approach to environmental protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Otto J.

    1996-09-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has embraced a new strategy of environmental protection that is place-driven rather than program-driven. This new approach focuses on the protection of entire ecosystems. To develop an effective strategy of ecosystem protection, however, EPA will need to: (1) determine how to define and delineate ecosystems and (2) categorize threats to individual ecosystems and priority rank ecosystems at risk. Current definitions of ecosystem in use at EPA are inadequate for meaningful use in a management or regulatory context. A landscape-based definition that describes an ecosystem as a volumetric unit delineated by climatic and landscape features is suggested. Following this definition, ecosystems are organized hierarchically, from megaecosystems, which exist on a continental scale (e.g., Great Lakes), to small local ecosystems. Threats to ecosystems can generally be categorized as: (1) ecosystem degradation (occurs mainly through pollution) (2) ecosystem alteration (physical changes such as water diversion), and (3) ecosystem removal (e.g., conversion of wetlands or forest to urban or agricultural lands). Level of threat (i.e., how imminent), and distance from desired future condition are also important in evaluating threats to ecosystems. Category of threat, level of threat, and “distance” from desired future condition can be combined into a three-dimensional ranking system for ecosystems at risk. The purpose of the proposed ranking system is to suggest a preliminary framework for agencies such as EPA to prioritize responses to ecosystems at risk.

  11. Complex landscapes in the American Southwest: Under what conditions does desetification lead to novel ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novel ecosystems are often defined as no-analog communities consisting of new combinations of species that assemble under new abiotic conditions. In the Anthropocene, novel systems differ from the historical state as a result of human influences where self-organizational processes prevail to make th...

  12. Adapting Human Well-being Frameworks for Ecosystem Service Assessments across Diverse Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Villamagna

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available There is broad support for the notion that ecosystem services influence human well-being (HWB, however, the means to measure such an effect are elusive. Measures of HWB are commonly used within the fields of psychology, economics, and international development, but thus far have not been integrated fully into ecosystem service assessments. We examine the multidimensional nature of HWB and discuss the need for a robust framework that captures its complex relationship with ecosystem services. We review several well-known HWB indices and describe the adaptation of two frameworks - the Economist Intelligence Unit's Quality of Life Index and the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework - to evaluate county-level HWB within the Albemarle-Pamlico Basin (Virginia and North Carolina, USA using a stakeholder-engaged approach. We present maps of HWB that illustrate the results of both frameworks, discuss the feedback from stakeholders that guided indicator and data selection, and examine the observed differences in HWB throughout the basin. We conclude with suggestions for enhancing the role of ecosystem services in HWB indices.

  13. High-Resolution Biogeochemical Simulation Identifies Practical Opportunities for Bioenergy Landscape Intensification Across Diverse US Agricultural Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, J.; Adler, P. R.; Evans, S.; Paustian, K.; Marx, E.; Easter, M.

    2015-12-01

    The sustainability of biofuel expansion is strongly dependent on the environmental footprint of feedstock production, including both direct impacts within feedstock-producing areas and potential leakage effects due to disruption of existing food, feed, or fiber production. Assessing and minimizing these impacts requires novel methods compared to traditional supply chain lifecycle assessment. When properly validated and applied at appropriate spatial resolutions, biogeochemical process models are useful for simulating how the productivity and soil greenhouse gas fluxes of cultivating both conventional crops and advanced feedstock crops respond across gradients of land quality and management intensity. In this work we use the DayCent model to assess the biogeochemical impacts of agricultural residue collection, establishment of perennial grasses on marginal cropland or conservation easements, and intensification of existing cropping at high spatial resolution across several real-world case study landscapes in diverse US agricultural regions. We integrate the resulting estimates of productivity, soil carbon changes, and nitrous oxide emissions with crop production budgets and lifecycle inventories, and perform a basic optimization to generate landscape cost/GHG frontiers and determine the most practical opportunities for low-impact feedstock provisioning. The optimization is constrained to assess the minimum combined impacts of residue collection, land use change, and intensification of existing agriculture necessary for the landscape to supply a commercial-scale biorefinery while maintaining exiting food, feed, and fiber production levels. These techniques can be used to assess how different feedstock provisioning strategies perform on both economic and environmental criteria, and sensitivity of performance to environmental and land use factors. The included figure shows an example feedstock cost-GHG mitigation tradeoff frontier for a commercial-scale cellulosic

  14. Spatial distribution of soils determines export of nitrogen and dissolved organic carbon from an intensively managed agricultural landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wohlfart, T; Exbrayat, J-F; Schelde, Kirsten;

    2012-01-01

    catchment mainly consist of sandy soil types besides organic soils along the streams. The aim of the study was to characterise the relative influence of soil type and land use on stream water quality. Nine snapshot sampling campaigns were undertaken during the growing season of 2009. Total dissolved......% to TDN. Multiple-linear regression analyses performed between chemical data and landscape characteristics showed a significant negative influence of organic soils on instream N concentrations and corresponding losses in spite of their overall minor share of the agricultural land (12.9%). On the other...

  15. Impact of landscape characteristics on the stream carbon and nitrogen export: example of a small agricultural catchment in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wohlfart, T.; Exbrayat, J.F.; Schelde, Kirsten;

    2012-01-01

    investigates the relative influence of different landscape characteristics on carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) losses into streams. It not only focuses on the "classical" agricultural nitrogen pollutants of nitrate (NO3) and ammonia (NH4) but also hypothesises that dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is an important...... organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were measured whereas DON was calculated for each grabbed sample. Electrical conductivity (EC), pH and flow velocity were simultaneously measured during sampling. Statistical analyses show significant differences in these water quality parameters between the northern...... local land use by farming....

  16. Environmental vulnerability and agriculture in the karstic domain: landscape indicators and cases in the Atlas Highlands, Morocco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akdim Brahim

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available After the brief presentation of the major karstic areas in Morocco, the article focused essentially on the Atlas mountains to investigate the impact of the agriculture on the natural systems equilibrium. Socio-economic changes (demographic pressure, escalation of the landscape use, utilisation of new techniques in water harvesting, etc... have sometimes fathered mechanisms of degradation. Many indicators seem to reflect these mechanisms. The pedologic indicators, soil erosion, the hydrologic and geomorphic indicators, are apprehended to demonstrate existent correlation between different variables and the often negative impacts of land over-use in the karstic domain of the Middle Atlas.

  17. Five challenges to reconcile agricultural land use and forest ecosystem services in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, L R; Papworth, S K; Reed, J; Symes, W S; Ickowitz, A; Clements, T; Peh, K S-H; Sunderland, T

    2016-10-01

    Southeast Asia possesses the highest rates of tropical deforestation globally and exceptional levels of species richness and endemism. Many countries in the region are also recognized for their food insecurity and poverty, making the reconciliation of agricultural production and forest conservation a particular priority. This reconciliation requires recognition of the trade-offs between competing land-use values and the subsequent incorporation of this information into policy making. To date, such reconciliation has been relatively unsuccessful across much of Southeast Asia. We propose an ecosystem services (ES) value-internalization framework that identifies the key challenges to such reconciliation. These challenges include lack of accessible ES valuation techniques; limited knowledge of the links between forests, food security, and human well-being; weak demand and political will for the integration of ES in economic activities and environmental regulation; a disconnect between decision makers and ES valuation; and lack of transparent discussion platforms where stakeholders can work toward consensus on negotiated land-use management decisions. Key research priorities to overcome these challenges are developing easy-to-use ES valuation techniques; quantifying links between forests and well-being that go beyond economic values; understanding factors that prevent the incorporation of ES into markets, regulations, and environmental certification schemes; understanding how to integrate ES valuation into policy making processes, and determining how to reduce corruption and power plays in land-use planning processes.

  18. Five challenges to reconcile agricultural land use and forest ecosystem services in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, L R; Papworth, S K; Reed, J; Symes, W S; Ickowitz, A; Clements, T; Peh, K S-H; Sunderland, T

    2016-10-01

    Southeast Asia possesses the highest rates of tropical deforestation globally and exceptional levels of species richness and endemism. Many countries in the region are also recognized for their food insecurity and poverty, making the reconciliation of agricultural production and forest conservation a particular priority. This reconciliation requires recognition of the trade-offs between competing land-use values and the subsequent incorporation of this information into policy making. To date, such reconciliation has been relatively unsuccessful across much of Southeast Asia. We propose an ecosystem services (ES) value-internalization framework that identifies the key challenges to such reconciliation. These challenges include lack of accessible ES valuation techniques; limited knowledge of the links between forests, food security, and human well-being; weak demand and political will for the integration of ES in economic activities and environmental regulation; a disconnect between decision makers and ES valuation; and lack of transparent discussion platforms where stakeholders can work toward consensus on negotiated land-use management decisions. Key research priorities to overcome these challenges are developing easy-to-use ES valuation techniques; quantifying links between forests and well-being that go beyond economic values; understanding factors that prevent the incorporation of ES into markets, regulations, and environmental certification schemes; understanding how to integrate ES valuation into policy making processes, and determining how to reduce corruption and power plays in land-use planning processes. PMID:27341652

  19. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N; Singh, Devendra P

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet.

  20. Energy technology impacts on agriculture with a bibliography of models for impact assessment on crop ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Possible impacts of energy technologies on agriculture are evaluated, and some of the available simulation models that can be used for predictive purposes are identified. An overview of energy technologies and impacts on the environment is presented to provide a framework for the commentary on the models. Coal combustion is shown to have major impacts on the environment and these will continue into the next century according to current Department of Energy projections. Air pollution effects will thus remain as the major impacts on crop ecosystems. Two hundred reports were evaluated, representing a wide range of models increasing in complexity from mathematical functions (fitted to data) through parametric models (which represent phenomena without describing the mechanisms) to mechanistic models (based on physical, chemical, and physiological principles). Many models were viewed as suitable for adaptation to technology assessment through the incorporation of representative dose-response relationships. It is clear that in many cases available models cannot be taken and directly applied in technology assessment. Very few models of air pollutant-crop interactions were identified, even though there is a considerable data base of pollutant effects on crops

  1. Energy technology impacts on agriculture with a bibliography of models for impact assessment on crop ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rupp, E.M.; Luxmoore, R.J.; Parzyck, D.C.

    1979-09-01

    Possible impacts of energy technologies on agriculture are evaluated, and some of the available simulation models that can be used for predictive purposes are identified. An overview of energy technologies and impacts on the environment is presented to provide a framework for the commentary on the models. Coal combustion is shown to have major impacts on the environment and these will continue into the next century according to current Department of Energy projections. Air pollution effects will thus remain as the major impacts on crop ecosystems. Two hundred reports were evaluated, representing a wide range of models increasing in complexity from mathematical functions (fitted to data) through parametric models (which represent phenomena without describing the mechanisms) to mechanistic models (based on physical, chemical, and physiological principles). Many models were viewed as suitable for adaptation to technology assessment through the incorporation of representative dose-response relationships. It is clear that in many cases available models cannot be taken and directly applied in technology assessment. Very few models of air pollutant-crop interactions were identified, even though there is a considerable data base of pollutant effects on crops.

  2. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N; Singh, Devendra P

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet. PMID:27148218

  3. A landscape project for the coexistence of agriculture and nature: a proposal for the coastal area of a Natura 2000 site in Sicily (Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lara Riguccio

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Many rural coastal Mediterranean areas suffer from great anthropomorphic pressure. This is due to intensive agriculture, and construction for residential, tourism and industrial uses. The present work investigates the idea of using a landscape project in the Gulf of Gela in South Sicily to recover the dunes and the area behind them. The method used is based on the literature and will evaluate and interpret the dynamics of the landscape, so as to draw up a landscape plan, which can be used to help sustain the assets of the area, in a way, which is compatible with conserving nature. This method was tested in the LIFE11-Leopoldia project, funded by the European Union. The results of the study form part of the landscape project. This project is aimed at connecting the different productive zones in the area, protecting the natural environments and the rural historical patrimony, through combining the modern road networks with the older slower, historic infrastructure. Three different levels of landscape management are proposed: total protection (the dunes, high-level protection (the area behind the dunes where traditional agriculture is practised, buffer areas and ecological connecting areas, medium levels of protection (sustainable agriculture, green connections and ecological corridors. The key aims of the project are as follows: transversality - repairing the agricultural fabric and the relationship between the land and the sea; sustainability - recovering the environmental system and traditional activities; flexibility - agriculture with only minor environmental impact.

  4. Compositional diversity of rehabilitated tropical lands supports multiple ecosystem services and buffers uncertainties

    OpenAIRE

    Knoke, Thomas; Paul, Carola; Hildebrandt, Patrick; Calvas, Baltazar; Castro, Luz Maria; Härtl, Fabian; Döllerer, Martin; Hamer, Ute; Windhorst, David; Wiersma, Yolanda F.; Curatola Fernández, Giulia F.; Obermeier, Wolfgang A.; Adams (geb. Gawlik), Julia; Breuer, Lutz; Mosandl, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    High landscape diversity is assumed to increase the number and level of ecosystem services. However, the interactions between ecosystem service provision, disturbance and landscape composition are poorly understood. Here we present a novel approach to include uncertainty in the optimization of land allocation for improving the provision of multiple ecosystem services. We refer to the rehabilitation of abandoned agricultural lands in Ecuador including two types of both afforestation and pastur...

  5. Gaming for smallholder participation in the design of more sustainable agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Speelman, E.N.; García-Barrios, L.E.; Groot, J.C.J.; Tittonell, P.A.

    2014-01-01

    Smallholder farming systems often consist of a mosaic of interlinked forested and cleared-field patches that together provide a diversity of services to local and non-local stakeholders. Designing and adopting more sustainable farming systems for such mosaic landscapes involves communal decision-mak

  6. Control of the spread of inorganic elements by shelterbelt in agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Życzyńska-Bałoniak, Irena; Wojciech Szajdak, Lech

    2010-05-01

    water samples were taken from the wells located (a) in the border between adjoining cultivated fields and shelterbelts, and (b) in the distances 62 m, 104 m and 125 m from the edge of the shelterbelt. The concentrations of calciumand magnesium and also mineral carbon were studied by examining ground water filtered by the filter paper Whatman GT/C. The concentrations of calcium and magnesium were investigated by the method by Hermanowicz. Dry masses were isolated by the freeze-dried and drying to the constant of weight at 105oC. Total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and mineral carbon were measured on Total Organic Carbon Analyzer 5050A, ASI 5000A auto sampler, SSM - 5000A solid sample module, (Shimadzu, Japan). Total amount of yearly rainfall was in 2000 - 671 mm, 2001 - 544 mm, 2002 - 495 mm, 2003 - 449 mm, 2004 - 672 mm, 2005 - 551 mm, 2006 - 578 mm. Mean temperatures ranged from 9.2 to 13.3oC. The highest temperature +23.5oC was measured in July 2000, and the lowest -6.4oC observed in January 2006. The precision based on replicate analyses, were ± 4% for Ca+2, ± 3% for Mg+2, ± 4% for dry mass. All the determinations were run in triplicate, and the results were averaged. The differences among the concentrations of calcium, magnesium and mineral carbon were attributed solely of width of the shelterbelt. Shelterbelt revealed the improvement in the quality of ground water. Concerns over the environmental impacts of the elements of agricultural landscapes have focused attention on the study of calcium, magnesium, mineral carbon in ground water. These investigations have shown high contents of chemical compounds migrates ground water from cultivated fields. Ground water under cultivated field revealed high concentrations of calcium, which yearly mean contents are equaled from 81.9 to 179.2 mg/l. It was proved that biogeochemical barrier such as shelterbelt efficiency decrease the quantity of chemical compounds in ground water. The highest decrease of determined

  7. Control of the spread of inorganic elements by shelterbelt in agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Życzyńska-Bałoniak, Irena; Wojciech Szajdak, Lech

    2010-05-01

    water samples were taken from the wells located (a) in the border between adjoining cultivated fields and shelterbelts, and (b) in the distances 62 m, 104 m and 125 m from the edge of the shelterbelt. The concentrations of calciumand magnesium and also mineral carbon were studied by examining ground water filtered by the filter paper Whatman GT/C. The concentrations of calcium and magnesium were investigated by the method by Hermanowicz. Dry masses were isolated by the freeze-dried and drying to the constant of weight at 105oC. Total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and mineral carbon were measured on Total Organic Carbon Analyzer 5050A, ASI 5000A auto sampler, SSM - 5000A solid sample module, (Shimadzu, Japan). Total amount of yearly rainfall was in 2000 - 671 mm, 2001 - 544 mm, 2002 - 495 mm, 2003 - 449 mm, 2004 - 672 mm, 2005 - 551 mm, 2006 - 578 mm. Mean temperatures ranged from 9.2 to 13.3oC. The highest temperature +23.5oC was measured in July 2000, and the lowest -6.4oC observed in January 2006. The precision based on replicate analyses, were ± 4% for Ca+2, ± 3% for Mg+2, ± 4% for dry mass. All the determinations were run in triplicate, and the results were averaged. The differences among the concentrations of calcium, magnesium and mineral carbon were attributed solely of width of the shelterbelt. Shelterbelt revealed the improvement in the quality of ground water. Concerns over the environmental impacts of the elements of agricultural landscapes have focused attention on the study of calcium, magnesium, mineral carbon in ground water. These investigations have shown high contents of chemical compounds migrates ground water from cultivated fields. Ground water under cultivated field revealed high concentrations of calcium, which yearly mean contents are equaled from 81.9 to 179.2 mg/l. It was proved that biogeochemical barrier such as shelterbelt efficiency decrease the quantity of chemical compounds in ground water. The highest decrease of determined

  8. Assessing the Ecological Response of Dung Beetles in an Agricultural Landscape Using Number of Individuals and Biomass in Diversity Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cultid-Medina, C A; Escobar, F

    2016-04-01

    The global increase in demand for productive land requires us to increase our knowledge of the value of agricultural landscapes for the management and conservation of biodiversity, particularly in tropical regions. Thus, comparative studies of how different community attributes respond to changes in land use under different levels of deforestation intensity would be useful. We analyzed patterns of dung beetle diversity in an Andean region dominated by sun-grown coffee. Diversity was estimated using two measures of species abundance (the number of individuals and biomass) and was compared among four types of vegetation cover (forest, riparian forest, sun-grown coffee, and pastures) in three landscape plots with different degrees of deforestation intensity (low, intermediate, and high). We found that dung beetle diversity patterns differed between types of vegetation cover and degree of deforestation, depending on whether the number of individuals or biomass was used. Based on biomass, inequality in the dung beetle community was lowest in the forest, and increased in the sun-grown coffee and pastures across all levels of deforestation, particularly for the increasing dominance of large species. The number of beetles and biomass indicate that the spatial dominance of sun-grown coffee does not necessarily imply the drastic impoverishment of dung beetle diversity. In fact, for these beetles, it would seem that the landscape studied has not yet crossed "a point of no return." This system offers a starting point for exploring biodiversity management and conservation options in the sun-grown coffee landscapes of the Colombian Andes. PMID:26803806

  9. Surface Water Protection by Productive Buffers:Landscape Impacts of Improved Agro-Ecosystem Service Delivery

    OpenAIRE

    Christen, Benjamin

    2011-01-01

    Vegetated riparian buffer zones are a widely recommended best management practice in agriculture for protecting surface and coastal waters from diffuse nutrient pollution. On the background of the EU funded research project NitroEurope (NEU; www.NitroEurope.eu), this study concentrates on the mitigation of nitrogen pollution in surface and groundwater, using riparian buffer zones for biomass production. The objectives are to map suitable areas for buffer implementation across the six NEU stud...

  10. Allometry and partitioning of above- and below-ground biomass in farmed eucalyptus species dominant in Western Kenyan agricultural landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farmers in developing countries are one of the world's largest and most efficient producers of sequestered carbon. However, measuring, monitoring and verifying how much carbon trees in smallholder farms are removing from the atmosphere has remained a great challenge in developing nations. Devising a reliable way for measuring carbon associated with trees in agricultural landscapes is essential for helping smallholder farmers benefit from emerging carbon markets. This study aimed to develop biomass equations specific to dominant eucalyptus species found in agricultural landscapes in Western Kenya. Allometric relationships were developed by regressing diameter at breast height (DBH) alone or DBH in combination with height, wood density or crown area against the biomass of 48 trees destructively sampled from a 100 km2 site. DBH alone was a significant predictor variable and estimated aboveground biomass (AGB) with over 95% accuracy. The stems, branches and leaves formed up to 74, 22 and 4% of AGB, respectively, while belowground biomass (BGB) of the harvested trees accounted for 21% of the total tree biomass, yielding an overall root-to-shoot ratio (RS) of 0.27, which varied across tree size. Total tree biomass held in live Eucalyptus trees was estimated to be 24.4 ± 0.01 Mg ha−1, equivalent to 11.7 ± 0.01 Mg of carbon per hectare. The equations presented provide useful tools for estimating tree carbon stocks of Eucalyptus in agricultural landscapes for bio-energy and carbon accounting. These equations can be applied to Eucalyptus in most agricultural systems with similar agro-ecological settings where tree growth parameters would fall within ranges comparable to the sampled population. -- Highlights: ► Equation with DBH alone estimated aboveground biomass with about 95% accuracy. ► Local generic equations overestimated above- and below-ground biomass by 10 and 48%. ► Height, wood density and crown area data did not improve model accuracy. ► Stems, roots

  11. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Knapp

    Full Text Available Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer. The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders. In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non

  12. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  13. Regional agricultural landscape pattern changes along the Yellow River in Henan Province from 1987 to 2002%河南黄河下游沿岸地区农业景观格局演变

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梁国付; 丁圣彦; 李志恒

    2005-01-01

    Agricultural landscape along the riparian zones is designated as important landscape components for partly controlling water quality, biodiversity, as well as for their aesthetic role in landscapes. Therefore, the change of agricultural landscape along the riparian zones is at the top of the agenda for many policy makers and landscape planners. As a basis for conservation management,sufficient information about landscape structure should be provided. In the present study, we reconstructed the former landscape structure and elucidated the changes in landscape patterns during a period of about 15 years. Two sets of maps were used: a landsat-5 TM image (1987) and landsat-7 ETM image (2002). The frequency index, landscape diversity index and landscape fragmentation index were calculated for analyses. The results showed that: (1) the areas of the irrigated land, river, forest and beach landscape classes presented a decreasing trend while the areas of landscape classes of pool,paddy fields, dry land and construction land increased. (2) Disturbed by human activity, landscape diversity index increased but landscape fragmentation index decreased. In short, Human activities have had important influences on agricultural landscape of the riparian zones along the Yellow River in Henan Province.

  14. Project AProWa: a national view on managing trade-offs between agricultural production and conservation of aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietzel, Anne; Rahn, Eric; Stamm, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Swiss agriculture is legally committed to fulfill several, partially conflicting goals such as agricultural production on the one hand and the conservation of natural resources on the other hand. In the context of the research project AProWa ("Agricultural Production and Water"), the relationships between the production aspect and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems is analyzed with a holistic approach. Agricultural production and the protection of water resources have high potential for conflicts: Farmers use ground and surface water to irrigate their fields. On the other hand, drainage systems enable the production on otherwise unfavorably wet soils. These in turn often affect ground water recharge and divert precipitation directly into surface waters, which changes their hydrological regime. Typically, drainage systems also elevate the input of nutrients and pesticides into the water bodies. In general, applied fertilizers, plant protection products, veterinary drugs and phytohormones of cultivated plants are introduced into the ground and surface waters through different processes such as drift, leaching, runoff, preferential flow or erosion. They influence the nutrient cycles and ecological health of aquatic systems. The nutrient and pesticide loss processes themselves can be altered by tillage operations and other agricultural practices. Furthermore, the competition for space can lead to additional conflicts between agriculture and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. For example, channelized or otherwise morphologically changed rivers do not have a natural discharge pattern and are often not suitable for the local flora and fauna; but naturally meandering rivers need space that cannot be used for agriculture. In a highly industrialized and densely populated country like Switzerland, all these potential conflicts are of importance. Although it is typically seen as a water-rich country, local and seasonal overexploitation of rivers through water extraction

  15. Daily Evolution of the Insect Biomass Spectrum in an Agricultural Landscape Accessed with Lidar

    OpenAIRE

    Brydegaard Mikkel; Gebru Alem; Kirkeby Carsten; Åkesson Susanne; Smith Henrik

    2016-01-01

    We present measurements of atmospheric insect fauna intercepted by a static lidar transect over arable and pastoral land over one day. We observe nearly a quarter million of events which are calibrated to optical cross section. Biomass spectra are derived from the size distribution and presented against space and time. We discuss detection limits and instrument biasing, and we relate the insect observations to relevant ecological landscape features and land use. Future directions and improvem...

  16. Daily Evolution of the Insect Biomass Spectrum in an Agricultural Landscape Accessed with Lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brydegaard, Mikkel; Gebru, Alem; Kirkeby, Carsten; Åkesson, Susanne; Smith, Henrik

    2016-06-01

    We present measurements of atmospheric insect fauna intercepted by a static lidar transect over arable and pastoral land over one day. We observe nearly a quarter million of events which are calibrated to optical cross section. Biomass spectra are derived from the size distribution and presented against space and time. We discuss detection limits and instrument biasing, and we relate the insect observations to relevant ecological landscape features and land use. Future directions and improvements of the technique are also outlined.

  17. Cyanobacteria: A precious bio-resource in agriculture, ecosystem and environmental sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay Shankar eSingh

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Keeping in view the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters, generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, syngas and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet.

  18. Landscape Capacity for Ecosystem Services Provision Based on Expert Knowledge and Public Perception (Case Study from the Northwest Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bezák Peter

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Landscape represents appropriate spatial dimension for a study of ecosystems, especially due to ability to translate scientific knowledge into proper guidance for land use practice and enhancing the inclusion of local stakeholders in decision-making procedures. We tested social preferences method to reach initial and raw overview of the ecosystem services (ES distribution and their values in the study areas. Perception of experts and local residents about capacities of relevant CORINE land cover (CLC types to provide various ES was linked with Geographic Information System databases. We quantified the results on the basis of the mean values for each CLC type and the ES groups and these were interpreted also in spatial context. The expectation about perceptible capacities of forest to provide goods and services was fulfilled by responses of the experts, as was the expected difficulty to assess capacities of transitional woodland shrub or complex cultivation patterns. However, additional land cover types in question are meadows and pastures or discon-tinuous urban fabric. Mostly middle ranking values prevail in responses of local residents and uncertainty in the background is much greater comparing to the experts. On the other hand, rural people may better recognise diversified fow of services due to their everyday close connection to more ES. Large variation in the scores of some valued CLC classes in responses of the local residents and also experts seems resulting from lack of knowledge in the background and differences in viewpoint and appreciation. We understand the gaps in evaluating ES by the experts and resident population as good experience and key challenge for the further steps and fine-tuning of the research methods.

  19. 三江平原现代农业区景观生态安全时空分异分析%Analysis on temporal and spatial variation of landscape ecological security in modern agricultural area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    于潇; 吴克宁; 郧文聚; 魏洪斌; 刘玲; 宋英赫; 高星

    2016-01-01

    LSES evaluation model is that it cannot evaluate the ecological effects of the change of landscape types. Based on the general definition of LSES, some studies introduce P-S-R model on LSES evaluation. The advantage of P-S-R model is that it offers a wider range of index options. However, some of these indexes are based on economic and social statistic data, and they are limited by time and spatial scale of statistics. For these reasons, we built a landscape pattern security index (LSPS) based on the traditional LSES model to evaluate the disturbance of nature or human on landscape pattern and the vulnerability of landscape types. Ecological quality index (EQ) was introduced as a supplement to evaluate the effects of the disturbance on the health and service function of ecosystem. With this method, the LSES change of modern agricultural region during last 30 years was analyzed by a case study on the state-owned Youyi farm in the Sanjiang plain, and the four phases of Landsat TM/OLI images in the year of 1984, 1995, 2004 and 2014 were the main data sources. The major land use/cover types of study area were reclassified into seven classes including construction land, dry land and paddy field (arable land), grass land, water area, natural wetland and forest. Results showed that during the last 30 years, the intense arable land exploitation had resulted in an obvious land use and cover change, which had led to a series of positive or negative ecological consequences. The proportion of arable land area had increased from 54.61% to 76.58%, and natural wetland had declined from 22.24% to 1.60%. By an analysis on land use change matrix, the major type of land use/cover change during the whole period was a conversion from the natural wetland to the dry land, and finally to the paddy field. The time variation trend of LSES in the study area was obviously regular, and the value of LSES in the year of 1984, 1995, 2004 and 2014 were 0.65, 0.57, 0.55 and 0.60 respectively. From 1984

  20. Distribution and fractionation of mercury in the soils of a unique tropical agricultural wetland ecosystem, southwest coast of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navya, C; Gopikrishna, V G; Arunbabu, V; Mohan, Mahesh

    2015-12-01

    Mercury biogeochemistry is highly complex in the aquatic ecosystems and it is very difficult to predict. The speciation of mercury is the primary factor controlling its behavior, movement, and fate in these systems. The fluctuating water levels in wetlands could play a major role in the mercury transformations and transport. Hence, the agricultural wetlands may have a significant influence on the global mercury cycling. Kuttanad agricultural wetland ecosystem is a unique one as it is lying below the sea level and most of the time it is inundated with water. To understand the mobility and bioavailability of Hg in the soils of this agricultural wetland ecosystem, the present study analyzed the total mercury content as well as the different fractions of mercury. Mercury was detected using cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrophotometer. The total mercury content varied from 0.002 to 0.683 mg/kg, and most of the samples are having concentrations below the background value. The percentage of mercury found in the initial three fractions F1, F2, and F3 are more available and it may enhance the methylation potential of the Kuttanad agroecosystem.

  1. Recharge as an Ecosystem Service and Disservice in a Midwestern, Urbanizing, Agricultural Watershed with an Increasing Precipitation Trend

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, E. G.; Zipper, S. C.; Loheide, S. P.; Kucharik, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Groundwater recharge is typically viewed as a beneficial ecosystem service as it relates to replenishing groundwater supplies for human use and groundwater-dependent ecosystems that have been diminished due to pumping. However, groundwater flooding - a condition caused by increased groundwater recharge - can cause damages to infrastructure and agricultural crops as elevated water tables lead to surface flooding and oxygen stress for unadapted plants such as corn. The Yahara River watershed - an urbanizing, agricultural watershed in south-central Wisconsin - is an exemplar for such disparate views of recharge. The basin has experienced a significantly increasing trend in annual precipitation since 1930 and groundwater flooding has been especially pervasive in the last decade in the northern rural part of the basin. Agricultural productivity has declined in areas affected by groundwater flooding. At the same time, the expansion of the Madison metropolitan area has led to increased groundwater pumping, more variable baseflows, and likely decreased flow to urban wetlands. Infiltration practices on new developments are required through local municipal ordinances to promote groundwater recharge in urban areas and help offset the effects of pumping. A comprehensive analysis of ecosystem services - which includes provisioning services such as freshwater supply and crop production and regulating services such as flood regulation - must take into account the differential impacts of recharge.

  2. The significance of agricultural vs. natural ecosystem pathways in temperate climates in assessments of long-term radiological impact

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recent developments in performance assessment biosphere models have begun to emphasise the importance of natural accumulation pathways. In contrast to the agricultural pathways, the database for natural ecosystem pathways is less well developed, leading to a mismatch in quality of representations of the two types of system. At issue is the lack of reliable soil-plant and animal ingestion transfer factors for key radionuclides in natural ecosystems. The relative importance of the agricultural vs. natural ecosystem pathways is investigated here, in the context of a temperate site in present day, Eastern France. The BIOMASS Candidate Critical Group (CCG) methodology has been applied to map a set of eight candidate critical groups derived from the present-day societal context onto physical locations within a simple model of a river catchment system. The overall assessment model has been implemented using the Aquabios code. Annual individual dose to each of the CCGs has been calculated for each of the key radionuclides (79Se, 94Nb, 99Tc, 129I, 135Cs and 237Np) released to the valley aquifer and river. In addition to the traditional agricultural pathways, lifestyle groups exploiting natural habitats are explicitly addressed. Results show the susceptibility of different candidate critical groups to different radionuclides. A reference database typical of those employed in long-term performance assessment models is employed. Doses from external exposure (94Nb) and dust inhalation (237Np) are shown to dominate agricultural food consumption by factors of more than six, but, with the reference data set, foodstuffs obtained from natural ecosystems do not contribute significantly to critical group dose and, at most, show similar exposures to the agricultural pathways. This may lead to the conclusion that natural food can be ruled out of consideration in performance assessment models. However, systematic parametric sensitivity studies carried out on soil-plant and animal

  3. Daily Evolution of the Insect Biomass Spectrum in an Agricultural Landscape Accessed with Lidar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brydegaard Mikkel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We present measurements of atmospheric insect fauna intercepted by a static lidar transect over arable and pastoral land over one day. We observe nearly a quarter million of events which are calibrated to optical cross section. Biomass spectra are derived from the size distribution and presented against space and time. We discuss detection limits and instrument biasing, and we relate the insect observations to relevant ecological landscape features and land use. Future directions and improvements of the technique are also outlined.

  4. Fugitive methane emissions from natural, urban, agricultural, and energy-production landscapes of eastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Bryce F. J.; Iverach, Charlotte P.; Lowry, Dave; Fisher, Rebecca E.; France, James L.; Nisbet, Euan G.

    2015-04-01

    Modern cavity ringdown spectroscopy systems (CRDS) enable the continuous measurement of methane concentration. This allows for improved quantification of greenhouse gas emissions associated with various natural and human landscapes. We present a subset of over 4000 km of continuous methane surveying along the east coast of Australia, made using a Picarro G2301 CRDS, deployed in a utility vehicle with an air inlet above the roof at 2.2 mAGL. Measurements were made every 5 seconds to a precision of life-cycle of energy resources to be considered.

  5. Using species sensitivity distribution approach to assess the risks of commonly detected agricultural pesticides to Australia's tropical freshwater ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathiratne, Asoka; Kroon, Frederieke J

    2016-02-01

    To assess the potential impacts of agricultural pesticides on tropical freshwater ecosystems, the present study developed temperature-specific, freshwater species protection concentrations (i.e., ecotoxicity threshold values) for 8 pesticides commonly detected in Australia's tropical freshwaters. Because relevant toxicity data for native tropical freshwater species to assess the ecological risks were mostly absent, scientifically robust toxicity data obtained at ≥20 °C were used for ecologically relevant taxonomic groups representing primary producers and consumers. Species sensitivity distribution (SSD) curves were subsequently generated for predicted chronic exposure using Burrlioz 2.0 software with mixed chronic and converted acute data relevant to exposure conditions at ≥20 °C. Ecotoxicity threshold values for tropical freshwater ecosystem protection were generated for ametryn, atrazine, diuron, metolachlor, and imidacloprid (all moderate reliability), as well as simazine, hexazinone, and tebuthiuron (all low reliability). Using these SSD curves, the retrospective risk assessments for recently reported pesticide concentrations highlight that the herbicides ametryn, atrazine, and diuron are of major concern for ecological health in Australia's tropical freshwater ecosystems. The insecticide imidacloprid also appears to pose an emerging threat to the most sensitive species in tropical freshwater ecosystems. The exposed temperature-specific approach may be applied to develop water quality guideline values for other environmental contaminants detected in tropical freshwater ecosystems until reliable and relevant toxicity data are generated using representative native species.

  6. Assessment of the foraging and nesting conditions for solitary bees and bumblebees, and their distribution in a Danish agricultural landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calabuig, Isabel

    2000-01-01

    In a survey April through November 1997, a total of 72 solitary bee species and 19 bumblebee species were recorded in the semi-natural habitats of a Danish conventional agricultural landscape. The majority of the solitary non-inquiline bee species (59) were polylectic, but four oligoleges of Salix...... all ones that may sustain a species rich but polylecticly dominated bee fauna. Abundance of solitary bees and bumblebees were correlated with mellitophilous plant coverage in south-facing areas, whereas no correlation was found for honeybees. Furthermore, abundance of honeybees was not correlated...... with abundance of other bees. Bee species richness could not be explained by plant species richness or coverage in a multiple regression. Habitat parameters in a generalised linear model were able to predict abundance of males and inquilines, a measure of nest abundances in the habitats....

  7. Comparison of the ranging behavior of Scotophilus kuhlii (Lesser Asiatic Yellow Bat) in agricultural and urban landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atiqah, Nur; Akbar, Zubaid; Syafrinna, Ubaidah, Nur; Foo, Ng Yong

    2015-09-01

    Knowledge on home range sizes and movement patterns of animals through the environment is crucial for determining effects of habitat disturbance and fragmentation. To gauge the effects of land-use changes on Scotophilus kuhlii, a telemetric study was conducted between February 2014 and April 2014 in Tasik Chini, Pahang and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi Campus. The home range sizes and movement patterns of S. kuhlii inhabiting agricultural landscape (Tasik Chini, Pahang) versus urban landscape (UKM) were compared. A total of ten individuals were successfully radio-tracked. Comparison of home range sizes of both sexes showed male S. kuhlii at Tasik Chini have larger mean home range sizes compared to UKM while female S.kuhlii in UKM have larger mean home range sizes compared to Tasik Chini. All individuals from both localities showed random movement. It is suggested that the home range and activity patterns might be influenced by food availability in the study area, food preferences and diet segregation and breeding behavior. This study provides baseline information on habitat utilization by S. kuhlii in relation to habitat perturbations.

  8. Contrast in edge vegetation structure modifies the predation risk of natural ground nests in an agricultural landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole A Schneider

    Full Text Available Nest predation risk generally increases nearer forest-field edges in agricultural landscapes. However, few studies test whether differences in edge contrast (i.e. hard versus soft edges based on vegetation structure and height affect edge-related predation patterns and if such patterns are related to changes in nest conspicuousness between incubation and nestling feeding. Using data on 923 nesting attempts we analyse factors influencing nest predation risk at different edge types in an agricultural landscape of a ground-cavity breeding bird species, the Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe. As for many other bird species, nest predation is a major determinant of reproductive success in this migratory passerine. Nest predation risk was higher closer to woodland and crop field edges, but only when these were hard edges in terms of ground vegetation structure (clear contrast between tall vs short ground vegetation. No such edge effect was observed at soft edges where adjacent habitats had tall ground vegetation (crop, ungrazed grassland. This edge effect on nest predation risk was evident during the incubation stage but not the nestling feeding stage. Since wheatear nests are depredated by ground-living animals our results demonstrate: (i that edge effects depend on edge contrast, (ii that edge-related nest predation patterns vary across the breeding period probably resulting from changes in parental activity at the nest between the incubation and nestling feeding stage. Edge effects should be put in the context of the nest predator community as illustrated by the elevated nest predation risk at hard but not soft habitat edges when an edge is defined in terms of ground vegetation. These results thus can potentially explain previously observed variations in edge-related nest predation risk.

  9. Sensitivity Analysis of the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) for Phosphorus Loads in Tile-Drained Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, W; King, K; Williams, M; Williams, J; Fausey, N

    2015-07-01

    Numerical modeling is an economical and feasible approach for quantifying the effects of best management practices on dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loadings from agricultural fields. However, tools that simulate both surface and subsurface DRP pathways are limited and have not been robustly evaluated in tile-drained landscapes. The objectives of this study were to test the ability of the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX), a widely used field-scale model, to simulate surface and tile P loadings over management, hydrologic, biologic, tile, and soil gradients and to better understand the behavior of P delivery at the edge-of-field in tile-drained midwestern landscapes. To do this, a global, variance-based sensitivity analysis was performed, and model outputs were compared with measured P loads obtained from 14 surface and subsurface edge-of-field sites across central and northwestern Ohio. Results of the sensitivity analysis showed that response variables for DRP were highly sensitive to coupled interactions between presumed important parameters, suggesting nonlinearity of DRP delivery at the edge-of-field. Comparison of model results to edge-of-field data showcased the ability of APEX to simulate surface and subsurface runoff and the associated DRP loading at monthly to annual timescales; however, some high DRP concentrations and fluxes were not reflected in the model, suggesting the presence of preferential flow. Results from this study provide new insights into baseline tile DRP loadings that exceed thresholds for algal proliferation. Further, negative feedbacks between surface and subsurface DRP delivery suggest caution is needed when implementing DRP-based best management practices designed for a specific flow pathway. PMID:26437091

  10. Effects of lakes and reservoirs on annual river nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment export in agricultural and forested landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Steve M.; Robertson, Dale M.; Stanley, Emily H.

    2014-01-01

    Recently, effects of lakes and reservoirs on river nutrient export have been incorporated into landscape biogeochemical models. Because annual export varies with precipitation, there is a need to examine the biogeochemical role of lakes and reservoirs over time frames that incorporate interannual variability in precipitation. We examined long-term (~20 years) time series of river export (annual mass yield, Y, and flow-weighted mean annual concentration, C) for total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and total suspended sediment (TSS) from 54 catchments in Wisconsin, USA. Catchments were classified as small agricultural, large agricultural, and forested by use of a cluster analysis, and these varied in lentic coverage (percentage of catchment lake or reservoir water that was connected to river network). Mean annual export and interannual variability (CV) of export (for both Y and C) were higher in agricultural catchments relative to forested catchments for TP, TN, and TSS. In both agricultural and forested settings, mean and maximum annual TN yields were lower in the presence of lakes and reservoirs, suggesting lentic denitrification or N burial. There was also evidence of long-term lentic TP and TSS retention, especially when viewed in terms of maximum annual yield, suggesting sedimentation during high loading years. Lentic catchments had lower interannual variability in export. For TP and TSS, interannual variability in mass yield was often >50% higher than interannual variability in water yield, whereas TN variability more closely followed water (discharge) variability. Our results indicate that long-term mass export through rivers depends on interacting terrestrial, aquatic, and meteorological factors in which the presence of lakes and reservoirs can reduce the magnitude of export, stabilize interannual variability in export, as well as introduce export time lags.

  11. Riparian buffer strips as a multifunctional management tool in agricultural landscapes: Introduction to the special collection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stutter, M.I.; Chardon, W.J.; Kronvang, B.

    2012-01-01

    Catchment riparian areas are considered key zones to target mitigation measures aimed at interrupting the movement of diffuse substances from agricultural land to surface waters. Hence, unfertilized buffer strips have become a widely studied and implemented “edge of field” mitigation measure assumed

  12. Overview of Agricultural and Forestry GHG Offsets on the US Landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Murray, Brian C.

    2004-01-01

    US agriculture and forestry can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions reaching up to 40% in a model analysis. Conservation tillage, forest management, afforestation, and bio-energy crop production are the most economic options, but their role depends on the value of offsets.

  13. Spatial demography of black-tailed godwits : Metapopulation dynamics in a fragmented agricultural landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kentie, Roos

    2015-01-01

    How is it possible that such an iconic species as the black-tailed godwit, which has been studied for decades and plays an important role in Dutch nature conservation, is still a topic of concern? The main reason of its decline is the intensification of agricultural land use. In this thesis we studi

  14. THE ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF THE EPIGEAL FAUNA IN THE CORN AGRICULTURAL ECOSYSTEM IN OCNA SIBIU (SIBIU COUNTY IN 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iuliana ANTONIE

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The arthropods have the role of biologic indicators, of diagnosis instruments regarding the negative effects of the human intervention in the structure and functioning of the agricultural ecosystems. Their presence or absence, the growth or lowering of their populations in the agricultural ecosystems can indicate the state of health of these systems and their good functioning. The aim of our researches is establishing the fauna structure of the community of arthropods at the soil level in the corn agricultural ecosystem in Ocna Sibiu, (Sibiu County; the characterization of the communities of invertebrates under the aspect of numerical abundance and of that of relative one; framing the entomologic fauna into a beneficial or pest one, the identification of the culture technology for the researched area. Regarding the applied researched methods, they were as follows: the using of pitfall traps (Barber traps that were at the level of the soil as well as the method of direct collecting of the fauna from the plants. As a result of our researches there was established the taxonomic and quantitative structure of the collected fauna through the methods of pitfall traps (Barber traps in Ocna Sibiu during 2012; there were identified 13 taxonomic groups. From the total of the collected agricultural fauna gathered by the help of pitfall traps in Ocna Sibiu locality there were identified 51 species of insects from which 30 were beneficial ones and 21 pest ones, the dominating order being Coleopteron with 35 species. The establishment of the group of arthropods, especially of the entomologic fauna, beneficial or pest indicates the equilibrium or the disequilibrium state from the researched corn three field systems. The ratio between the two types of fauna permits choosing the optimum method of maintaining the equilibrium between the species of the system and applying those measures of management in order to affect less the system in its assembly and to

  15. Responses of common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) to land use changes in agricultural landscapes of Western France

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Butet, A.; Michel, N.; Rantier, Y.; Comor, V.N.R.; Hubert-Moy, L.; Nabucet, J.; Delettre, Y.R.

    2010-01-01

    In front of land use changes, there has been a wide decline in biodiversity. In this study, we analysed the numerical response of two diurnal raptor species, the common buzzard and the Eurasian kestrel to different agricultural landscape contexts. We carried out a 3-year survey of the abundance of t

  16. The importance of natural habitats to Brazilian free-tailed bats in intensive agricultural landscapes in the Winter Garden Region of Texas, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    The conversion of natural lands to agriculture affects the distribution of biological diversity across the landscape. In particular, cropland monocultures alter insect abundance and diversity compared to adjacent natural habitats, but nevertheless can provide large numbers of insect pests as prey i...

  17. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

  18. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  19. The restoration and protection of the swampy meadow within an agricultural landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Mactaggart, Barbara; Bauer, Johannes; Goldney, David; Rawson, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    This paper addresses some implications our limited understanding of the swampy meadow landform has on agricultural production and sustainable water management. The ecological and hydrological consequences of current water management practices have lead to a revaluation of natural approaches as an alternative to instream engineering solutions. One such approach would be the restoration/rehabilitation of the swampy meadow. These landforms act as buffering agents for floods and droughts, allow f...

  20. Riparian buffer strips as a multifunctional management tool in agricultural landscapes: Introduction to the special collection

    OpenAIRE

    Stutter, M. I.; Chardon, W.J.; B. Kronvang

    2012-01-01

    Catchment riparian areas are considered key zones to target mitigation measures aimed at interrupting the movement of diffuse substances from agricultural land to surface waters. Hence, unfertilized buffer strips have become a widely studied and implemented “edge of field” mitigation measure assumed to provide an effective physical barrier against nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and sediment transfer. To ease the legislative process, these buffers are often narrow mandatory strips along streams...

  1. The relationship between pond habitat depth and functional tadpole diversity in an agricultural landscape

    OpenAIRE

    de Souza Queiroz, Cássia; da Silva, Fernando Rodrigues; de Cerqueira Rossa-Feres, Denise

    2015-01-01

    One of the most important goals of biodiversity studies is to identify which characteristics of local habitats act as filters that determine the diversity of functional traits along environmental gradients. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the environmental variables of ponds and the functional trait diversity distribution of anuran tadpoles in an agricultural area in southeastern Brazil. Our results show that the functional trait diversity of frog tadpoles has a bell-c...

  2. Data on four criteria for targeting the placement of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Qiu, Zeyuan; Dosskey, Michael G.; Kang, Yang

    2016-01-01

    Four criteria are generally used to prioritize agricultural lands for placing conservation buffers. The criteria include soil erodibility, hydrological sensitivity, wildlife habitat, and impervious surface rate that capture conservation buffers’ benefits in reducing soil erosion, controlling runoff generation, enhancing wildlife habitat, and mitigating stormwater impacts, respectively. This article describes the data used to derive the values of those attributes and a scheme to classify the v...

  3. Movement of nitrogen through a riparian forest in a tropical, agricultural landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Connor, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    Riparian zones have been widely reported to function as effective buffers, removing nitrate (NO₃⁻) from groundwater before it is discharged into adjacent streams. This is particularly important in agricultural catchments where additional nitrogen (N) from fertilisers may be leached into groundwater. On coastal plains, NO₃⁻ in groundwater discharged into streams can potentially enrich coastal waters. The permanent removal of NO₃⁻ through denitrification can improve water quality, however incom...

  4. Soil governance in the agricultural landscapes of New South Wales, Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Webb, Ashley A; Kelly, Georgina L; Warwick J Dougherty

    2015-01-01

    Soil is a valuable natural resource. In the state of New South Wales, Australia, the governance of soil has evolved since Federation in 1901. Following rapid agricultural development, and in the face of widespread soil degradation, the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service marked a turning point in the management of soil. Throughout the 20th century, advances in knowledge were translated into evolving governance frameworks that were largely reactionary but saw progressive reforms suc...

  5. Exclusion of agricultural lands in spatial conservation prioritization strategies: consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem service representation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán, América P; Duffy, James P; Gaston, Kevin J

    2014-10-01

    Agroecosystems have traditionally been considered incompatible with biological conservation goals, and often been excluded from spatial conservation prioritization strategies. The consequences for the representativeness of identified priority areas have been little explored. Here, we evaluate these for biodiversity and carbon storage representation when agricultural land areas are excluded from a spatial prioritization strategy for South America. Comparing different prioritization approaches, we also assess how the spatial overlap of priority areas changes. The exclusion of agricultural lands was detrimental to biodiversity representation, indicating that priority areas for agricultural production overlap with areas of relatively high occurrence of species. By contrast, exclusion of agricultural lands benefits representation of carbon storage within priority areas, as lands of high value for agriculture and carbon storage overlap little. When agricultural lands were included and equally weighted with biodiversity and carbon storage, a balanced representation resulted. Our findings suggest that with appropriate management, South American agroecosystems can significantly contribute to biodiversity conservation.

  6. Changes of soil bacterial diversity as a consequence of agricultural land use in a semi-arid ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Chun Ding

    Full Text Available Natural scrublands in semi-arid deserts are increasingly being converted into fields. This results in losses of characteristic flora and fauna, and may also affect microbial diversity. In the present study, the long-term effect (50 years of such a transition on soil bacterial communities was explored at two sites typical of semi-arid deserts. Comparisons were made between soil samples from alfalfa fields and the adjacent scrublands by two complementary methods based on 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE analyses revealed significant effects of the transition on community composition of Bacteria, Actinobacteria, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria at both sites. PhyloChip hybridization analysis uncovered that the transition negatively affected taxa such as Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidimicrobiales, Rubrobacterales, Deltaproteobacteria and Clostridia, while Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria increased in abundance. Redundancy analysis suggested that the community composition of phyla responding to agricultural use (except for Spirochaetes correlated with soil parameters that were significantly different between the agricultural and scrubland soil. The arable soils were lower in organic matter and phosphate concentration, and higher in salinity. The variation in the bacterial community composition was higher in soils from scrubland than from agriculture, as revealed by DGGE and PhyloChip analyses, suggesting reduced beta diversity due to agricultural practices. The long-term use for agriculture resulted in profound changes in the bacterial community and physicochemical characteristics of former scrublands, which may irreversibly affect the natural soil ecosystem.

  7. Spatial analysis of Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) male population in a mediterranean agricultural landscape in central Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciarretta, A; Zinni, A; Mazzocchetti, A; Trematerra, P

    2008-04-01

    The results obtained from the spatial analysis of pheromone-baited trap catch data of Lobesia botrana (Denis and Schiffermüller) males are reported. The research was undertaken in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. In the study area, vineyards (of Vitis vinifera L.) are the predominant cultivation, surrounded by hedgerows and small woodlots, and interspersed with cereal crops and olive groves. The main purpose of the study was to investigate the spatio-temporal dynamics of L. botrana, inside and outside vineyards, and to evaluate the effect of the landscape elements on pest distribution. A trend orientation over the experimental area was observed along the direction from northwest to southeast. Correlograms fitted using a spherical model showed in all cases an aggregated distribution and an estimated range having a mean of 174 m in 2005 and 116 m in 2006. Contour maps highlighted that spatial distribution of L. botrana was not limited to vineyards, but its presence is high particularly inside olive groves. The adult distribution on the experimental area changed during the season: hot spots of flight I were positioned inside olive groves; during flights II and III, they were concentrated in vineyards. L. botrana males were also captured in uncultivated fields, but never in high densities. Our results showed that a large proportion of the adult population of L. botrana inhabits areas outside those usually targeted by pest management programs. Thus, in Mediterranean agro-ecosystems, it is highly recommended to consider the whole landscape, with particular attention to olive crops. PMID:18419910

  8. Compositional diversity of rehabilitated tropical lands supports multiple ecosystem services and buffers uncertainties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoke, Thomas; Paul, Carola; Hildebrandt, Patrick; Calvas, Baltazar; Castro, Luz Maria; Härtl, Fabian; Döllerer, Martin; Hamer, Ute; Windhorst, David; Wiersma, Yolanda F.; Curatola Fernández, Giulia F.; Obermeier, Wolfgang A.; Adams, Julia; Breuer, Lutz; Mosandl, Reinhard; Beck, Erwin; Weber, Michael; Stimm, Bernd; Haber, Wolfgang; Fürst, Christine; Bendix, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    High landscape diversity is assumed to increase the number and level of ecosystem services. However, the interactions between ecosystem service provision, disturbance and landscape composition are poorly understood. Here we present a novel approach to include uncertainty in the optimization of land allocation for improving the provision of multiple ecosystem services. We refer to the rehabilitation of abandoned agricultural lands in Ecuador including two types of both afforestation and pasture rehabilitation, together with a succession option. Our results show that high compositional landscape diversity supports multiple ecosystem services (multifunction effect). This implicitly provides a buffer against uncertainty. Our work shows that active integration of uncertainty is only important when optimizing single or highly correlated ecosystem services and that the multifunction effect on landscape diversity is stronger than the uncertainty effect. This is an important insight to support a land-use planning based on ecosystem services. PMID:27292766

  9. Compositional diversity of rehabilitated tropical lands supports multiple ecosystem services and buffers uncertainties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoke, Thomas; Paul, Carola; Hildebrandt, Patrick; Calvas, Baltazar; Castro, Luz Maria; Härtl, Fabian; Döllerer, Martin; Hamer, Ute; Windhorst, David; Wiersma, Yolanda F; Curatola Fernández, Giulia F; Obermeier, Wolfgang A; Adams, Julia; Breuer, Lutz; Mosandl, Reinhard; Beck, Erwin; Weber, Michael; Stimm, Bernd; Haber, Wolfgang; Fürst, Christine; Bendix, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    High landscape diversity is assumed to increase the number and level of ecosystem services. However, the interactions between ecosystem service provision, disturbance and landscape composition are poorly understood. Here we present a novel approach to include uncertainty in the optimization of land allocation for improving the provision of multiple ecosystem services. We refer to the rehabilitation of abandoned agricultural lands in Ecuador including two types of both afforestation and pasture rehabilitation, together with a succession option. Our results show that high compositional landscape diversity supports multiple ecosystem services (multifunction effect). This implicitly provides a buffer against uncertainty. Our work shows that active integration of uncertainty is only important when optimizing single or highly correlated ecosystem services and that the multifunction effect on landscape diversity is stronger than the uncertainty effect. This is an important insight to support a land-use planning based on ecosystem services. PMID:27292766

  10. Compositional diversity of rehabilitated tropical lands supports multiple ecosystem services and buffers uncertainties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoke, Thomas; Paul, Carola; Hildebrandt, Patrick; Calvas, Baltazar; Castro, Luz Maria; Härtl, Fabian; Döllerer, Martin; Hamer, Ute; Windhorst, David; Wiersma, Yolanda F; Curatola Fernández, Giulia F; Obermeier, Wolfgang A; Adams, Julia; Breuer, Lutz; Mosandl, Reinhard; Beck, Erwin; Weber, Michael; Stimm, Bernd; Haber, Wolfgang; Fürst, Christine; Bendix, Jörg

    2016-06-13

    High landscape diversity is assumed to increase the number and level of ecosystem services. However, the interactions between ecosystem service provision, disturbance and landscape composition are poorly understood. Here we present a novel approach to include uncertainty in the optimization of land allocation for improving the provision of multiple ecosystem services. We refer to the rehabilitation of abandoned agricultural lands in Ecuador including two types of both afforestation and pasture rehabilitation, together with a succession option. Our results show that high compositional landscape diversity supports multiple ecosystem services (multifunction effect). This implicitly provides a buffer against uncertainty. Our work shows that active integration of uncertainty is only important when optimizing single or highly correlated ecosystem services and that the multifunction effect on landscape diversity is stronger than the uncertainty effect. This is an important insight to support a land-use planning based on ecosystem services.

  11. Modeling different freeze/thaw processes in heterogeneous landscapes of the Arctic polygonal tundra using an ecosystem model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Yi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Freeze/thaw (F/T processes can be quite different under the various land surface types found in the heterogeneous polygonal tundra of the Arctic. Proper simulation of these different processes is essential for accurate prediction of the release of greenhouse gases under a warming climate scenario. In this study we have modified the dynamic organic soil version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (DOS-TEM to simulate F/T processes beneath the polygon rims, polygon centers (with and without water, and lakes that are common features in Arctic lowland regions. We first verified the F/T algorithm in the DOS-TEM against analytical solutions, and then compared the results with in situ measurements from Samoylov Island, Siberia. In the final stage, we examined the different responses of the F/T processes for different water levels at the various land surface types. The simulations revealed that (1 the DOS-TEM was very efficient and its results compared very well with analytical solutions for idealized cases, (2 the simulations compared reasonably well with in situ measurements although there were a number of model limitations and uncertainties, (3 the DOS-TEM was able to successfully simulate the differences in F/T dynamics under different land surface types, and (4 permafrost beneath water bodies was found to respond highly sensitive to changes in water depths between 1 and 2 m. Our results indicate that water is very important in the thermal processes simulated by the DOS-TEM; the heterogeneous nature of the landscape and different water depths therefore need to be taken into account when simulating methane emission responses to a warming climate.

  12. Social-Ecological Transformation for Ecosystem Management: the Development of Adaptive Co-management of a Wetland Landscape in Southern Sweden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Per Olsson

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available We analyze the emergence of an adaptive co-management system for wetland landscape governance in southern Sweden, a process where unconnected management by several actors in the landscape was mobilized, renewed, and reconfigured into ecosystem management within about a decade. Our analysis highlights the social mechanisms behind the transformation toward ecosystem management. The self-organizing process was triggered by perceived threats among members of various local stewardship associations and local government to the area’s cultural and ecological values. These threats challenged the development of ecosystem services in the area. We show how one individual, a key leader, played an instrumental role in directing change and transforming governance. The transformation involved three phases: 1 preparing the system for change, 2 seizing a window of opportunity, and 3 building social-ecological resilience of the new desired state. This local policy entrepreneur initiated trust-building dialogue, mobilized social networks with actors across scales, and started processes for coordinating people, information flows and ongoing activities, and for compiling and generating knowledge, understanding, and management practices of ecosystem dynamics. Understanding, collaborative learning, and creating public awareness were part of the process. A comprehensive framework was developed with a shared vision and goals that presented conservation as development, turned problems into possibilities, and contributed to a shift in perception among key actors regarding the values of the wetland landscape. A window of opportunity at the political level opened, which made it possible to transform the governance system toward a trajectory of ecosystem management. The transformation involved establishing a new municipal organization, the Ecomuseum Kristianstads Vattenrike (EKV. This flexible organization serves as a bridge between local actors and governmental bodies and

  13. Woodchip bioreactors for N-source reduction in a highly managed agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kult, K.; Jones, C. S.

    2011-12-01

    Excess nutrification and the resulting hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico are increasingly understood to originate in managed landscapes of the Upper Mississippi River basin. Nitrogen inputs to cropped fields are high in landscapes with soils containing high organic nitrogen content that, when mineralized, releases nitrogen in the soluble nitrate form. These in situ sources supply extensive subsurface drainage systems that rapidly transport nitrogen to streams and ultimately the Gulf. Aggressive in-field N management can reduce loading to streams, but will not reduce loads to sufficiently impact Gulf hypoxia. Edge of Field (EOF) treatment will be needed to reach water quality objectives. Denitrification bioreactors are one technology being studied for practical and economical EOF nitrate reduction. Bioreactors intercept the high-N tile-drain effluent with woodchip substrates that provide carbon and energy to support denitrification. Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) installed six bioreactors. Design of the ISA bioreactors has focused on the diameter of the field tile and the catchment area. Designs balance discharge with retention times. The bioreactors have been designed to have a 4-hour hydraulic retention time (HRT) capable of treating 20% of peak flow. Denitrification is assumed to follow zero-order kinetics given the high NO3 concentrations in the studied systems. Aerobic organisms must deplete DO sufficiently so anaerobic denitrifying organisms can compete. Insufficient HRT results in unsatisfactory NO3 reductions. Conditions favoring incomplete denitrification can lead to emission of the greenhouse gas N2O. Excessive retention times allow for complete denitrification enabling SO4-reducing bacteria to thrive. This produces undesirable results: conversion of SO4 to H2S, C-source depletion, production of toxic CH3Hg+, and methanogenesis. A flow control structure (FCS) allows for management of HRT by modifying the position of stop logs. Increased HRT reduces the amount

  14. The composition of agricultural landscapes influences life history traits of honeybee workers

    OpenAIRE

    Requier, Fabrice; Brun, François; Aupinel, Pierrick; Odoux, Jean Francois; Bretagnolle, Vincent; DECOURTYE, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Honeybee workers play a major role within the colony by taking care of the breeding of larvae until the supply in food of the entire colony, by division of tasks. The age polyethism offers to the worker the capacity to carry out successively the totality of these tasks, following its age. It is known that the worker switches the tasks following a gradient internal-outside the hive during its imago life, the oldest workers making the foraging tasks. However, the available food in agricultural ...

  15. Data on four criteria for targeting the placement of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeyuan Qiu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Four criteria are generally used to prioritize agricultural lands for placing conservation buffers. The criteria include soil erodibility, hydrological sensitivity, wildlife habitat, and impervious surface rate that capture conservation buffers’ benefits in reducing soil erosion, controlling runoff generation, enhancing wildlife habitat, and mitigating stormwater impacts, respectively. This article describes the data used to derive the values of those attributes and a scheme to classify the values in multi-criteria analysis of conservation buffer placement in “Choosing between alternative placement strategies for conservation buffers using borda count” [1].

  16. Data on four criteria for targeting the placement of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Zeyuan; Dosskey, Michael G; Kang, Yang

    2016-06-01

    Four criteria are generally used to prioritize agricultural lands for placing conservation buffers. The criteria include soil erodibility, hydrological sensitivity, wildlife habitat, and impervious surface rate that capture conservation buffers' benefits in reducing soil erosion, controlling runoff generation, enhancing wildlife habitat, and mitigating stormwater impacts, respectively. This article describes the data used to derive the values of those attributes and a scheme to classify the values in multi-criteria analysis of conservation buffer placement in "Choosing between alternative placement strategies for conservation buffers using borda count" [1]. PMID:27222843

  17. Influences of agricultural management practices on Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungal symbioses in Kenyan agro-ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muriithi-Muchane, M.N.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) practices are receiving increased attention as pathways to sustainable high-production agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. However, little is known about the effects of these practices on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF).

  18. Waterbody availability and use by amphibian communities in a rural landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Plăiaşu, Rodica; Băncilă, Raluca; Samoilă, Ciprian; Hartel, Tibor; Cogălniceanu, Dan

    2012-01-01

    Rural landscapes in central and eastern Europe provide valuable ecosystem services and support high levels of biodiversity. These landscapes face an increasing pressure from human development and changes in agricultural practices. Pond-breeding amphibians and their breeding habitats are especially vulnerable to land-use changes. We studied waterbody use by amphibians in a rural landscape from Haţeg Geopark, Central Romania, a region where large areas are still under traditional land use. We s...

  19. Road verges and winter wheat fields as resources for wild bees in agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Casper Christian I; Langer, Vibeke

    2013-01-01

    The effects of farming system on plant density and flowering of dicotyledonous herbs of high value for bees were investigated in 14 organic and 14 conventional winter wheat fields and adjacent road verges. The organic and conventional winter wheat fields/road verges were paired based on the perce......The effects of farming system on plant density and flowering of dicotyledonous herbs of high value for bees were investigated in 14 organic and 14 conventional winter wheat fields and adjacent road verges. The organic and conventional winter wheat fields/road verges were paired based...... on the percentage of semi-natural habitats in the surrounding landscape at 1-km scale. Mean density of high value bee plants per Raunkiaer circle was significantly higher in organic winter wheat fields and their adjacent road verges than in their conventionally farmed counterparts. The effect of organic farming...... was even more pronounced on the flowering stage of high value bee plants, with 10-fold higher mean density of flowering plants in organic fields than in conventional fields and 1.9-fold higher in road verges bordering organic fields than in those bordering conventional fields. In summary, organic farming...

  20. Riparian strip efficiency assessment in agricultural landscapes using stereoscopic very high spatial resolution satellite imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chokmani, Karem; Novoa, Julio

    2015-04-01

    Riparian strips are used worldwide to protect riverbanks and water quality in agricultural zones because of their several environmental benefits. A metric called the Riparian Strip Quality Index, which is based on the percentage area of riverine vegetation found on the riparian strip, is used to evaluate their ecological condition. This index could be considered an indicator of the potential capacity of riparian strips to filter sediments, retain pollutants, and provide shelter to terrestrial and aquatic species. Thus, in order to know if a riparian strip is truly efficient in agricultural lands, which means that it is fulfilling those ecological functions, it is necessary to understand their ability to intercept surface runoff. The latter is the major cause of water pollution and erosion in these productive areas. Besides vegetation coverage, topographic and hydrologic parameters must be included to model the intensity and spatial distribution of runoff streamflow at local scales. The geospatial information used to assess the ecological efficiency of riparian strips was extracted from very-high-spatial-resolution WorldView-2 satellite imagery. This information was then processed using current geospatial techniques such as object-based image analysis and was used to develop a Riparian Strip Efficiency Index. The results show that this index might be used to assess the efficiency of riparian strips, which will enable land managers to monitor changes occurring over time, identify priority areas for restoration activities. This, in turn, might ensure optimal allocation of private or public funds towards the most inefficient and threatened riparian strips.

  1. The Challenge of Governing Africa’s New Agricultural Investment Landscapes: An Analysis of Policy Arrangements and Sustainability Outcomes in Ethiopia and Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George C. Schoneveld

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In the context of globalization, market liberalization, and deregulation, many African governments are embracing the potential of private agricultural investment to address structural issues within their agricultural economies. Sustainably integrating these investments into target landscapes, however, poses a number of governance challenges since it requires careful reconciliation of competing needs, priorities, and land uses. This paper examines the effectiveness of existing policy arrangements in managing these conflicts within two environmentally significant investment landscapes, the Oban-Korup Forest Block, Nigeria, and Lower Baro-Akobo River Basin, Ethiopia. Findings reveal that investments tend to conflict with socially and environmentally valuable land uses, largely as a result of institutional failings. The paper identifies a number of underlying institutional challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development objectives within Africa’s many emerging investment landscapes. Findings have relevance for the development of sustainable landscape governance systems and the alignment of global governance innovations with landscape-level policy arrangements.

  2. Revealing turning points in ecosystem functioning over the Northern Eurasian agricultural frontier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horion, Stéphanie; Prishchepov, Alexander V; Verbesselt, Jan; de Beurs, Kirsten; Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2016-08-01

    The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been a turning point in the World history that left a unique footprint on the Northern Eurasian ecosystems. Conducting large scale mapping of environmental change and separating between naturogenic and anthropogenic drivers is a difficult endeavor in such highly complex systems. In this research a piece-wise linear regression method was used for breakpoint detection in Rain-Use Efficiency (RUE) time series and a classification of ecosystem response types was produced. Supported by earth observation data, field data, and expert knowledge, this study provides empirical evidence regarding the occurrence of drastic changes in RUE (assessment of the timing, the direction and the significance of these changes) in Northern Eurasian ecosystems between 1982 and 2011. About 36% of the study area (3.4 million km(2) ) showed significant (P change in irrigation practices in the Volgograd region, and to increased salinization and increased grazing intensity around Lake Balkhash. The ecosystem-state assessment method introduced here proved to be a valuable support that highlighted hotspots of potentially altered ecosystems and allowed for disentangling human from climatic disturbances. PMID:26929395

  3. An ecological method to understand agricultural standardization in peach orchard ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Nian-Feng; Zhang, Ming-Yi; Jiang, Jie-Xian; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Hao-Zhang

    2016-01-01

    While the worldwide standardization of agricultural production has been advocated and recommended, relatively little research has focused on the ecological significance of such a shift. The ecological concerns stemming from the standardization of agricultural production may require new methodology. In this study, we concentrated on how ecological two-sidedness and ecological processes affect the standardization of agricultural production which was divided into three phrases (pre-, mid- and post-production), considering both the positive and negative effects of agricultural processes. We constructed evaluation indicator systems for the pre-, mid- and post-production phases and here we presented a Standardization of Green Production Index (SGPI) based on the Full Permutation Polygon Synthetic Indicator (FPPSI) method which we used to assess the superiority of three methods of standardized production for peaches. The values of SGPI for pre-, mid- and post-production were 0.121 (Level IV, "Excellent" standard), 0.379 (Level III, "Good" standard), and 0.769 × 10(-2) (Level IV, "Excellent" standard), respectively. Here we aimed to explore the integrated application of ecological two-sidedness and ecological process in agricultural production. Our results are of use to decision-makers and ecologists focusing on eco-agriculture and those farmers who hope to implement standardized agricultural production practices. PMID:26899360

  4. Development of an Intelligent Robot for an Agricultural Production Ecosystem : New Concept of Robot and Dynamics of a Golden Apple Snail in Paddy

    OpenAIRE

    Luna Maldonado, Alejandro Isabel; Nakaji, Kei

    2008-01-01

    A new concept of an intelligent robot for agriculture was discussed from the viewpoint of agricultural production ecosystem. In the case of the paddy field in temperate and subtropical zones, a mollusk named golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck)) often causes serious damage to the rice plant seedlings, however, the snail is very useful in the control of weeds that cause also detriment of the production of rice, especially in organic agriculture. After the golden apple snails in...

  5. Contemporary Danish landscape research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vejre, Henrik; Brandt, Jesper

    2004-01-01

    Danish landscape research blossomed during the 1990’ies thanks to several transdisciplinary research programmes involving several institutions. The main themes of the programmes encompassed Landscape change, landscape and biological diversity, nature and landscape management, use and monitoring of...... the countryside. The values of the Danish landscape pertain mainly to the coastal landscapes. The threats include the industrilization of the agricultural landsclaes and,in places urban sprawl....

  6. Stakeholder and expert-guided scenarios for agriculture and landscape development in a groundwater protection area

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vejre, Henrik; Vesterager, Jens Peter; Kristensen, Lone S.;

    2011-01-01

    Nitrate and pesticide leaching led to the designation of groundwater protection zones in Denmark. The protective measures in these zones often clash with local interests in agriculture. Scenarios were used to evaluate the development of a groundwater protection zone in a farming area. Stakeholders...... are accorded strong influence on the scenarios. Scenario inputs comprised land cover, land use and farmers' plans and preferences, as registered in interviews with farmers. Scenarios were evaluated regarding the effect on nitrate leaching, extent of pesticide-free area and farm income. The scenarios proved...... effective in modelling coupled development in land use/land cover and nitrate leaching and pesticide-free area. Voluntary commitment to schemes, calculated according to stakeholder preferences, reduced nitrate leaching by up to 15%. Scenarios with additional inputs from experts who formulated more...

  7. Revealing turning points in ecosystem functioning over the Northern Eurasian agricultural frontier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F; Prishchepov, Alexander Vladimirovich; Verbesselt, Jan;

    2016-01-01

    The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been a turning point in the World history that left a unique footprint on the Northern Eurasian ecosystems. Conducting large scale mapping of environmental change and separating between naturogenic and anthropogenic drivers is a difficult endeavor...... in such highly complex systems. In this research a piece-wise linear regression method was used for breakpoint detection in Rain-Use Efficiency (RUE) time series and a classification of ecosystem response types was produced. Supported by earth observation data, field data and expert knowledge, this study...... provides empirical evidence regarding the occurrence of drastic changes in RUE (assessment of the timing, the direction and the significance of these changes) in Northern Eurasian ecosystems between 1982 and 2011. About 36% of the study area (3.4 million km(2) ) showed significant (p

  8. Maximizing Amazonia's Ecosystem Services: Juggling the potential for carbon storage, agricultural yield and biodiversity in the Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, C. S.; Foley, J. A.; Gerber, J. S.; Polasky, S.

    2011-12-01

    The Amazon is not only an exceptionally biodiverse and carbon-rich tract of tropical forest, it is also a case study in land use change. Over the next forty years it will continue to experience pressure from an urbanizing and increasingly affluent populace: under a business-as-usual scenario, global cropland, pasture and biofuels systems will carry on expanding, while the Amazon's carbon storage potential will likely become another viable revenue source under REDD+. Balancing those competing land use pressures ought also take into account Amazonia's high - but heterogeneous - biodiversity. Knowing where Amazonia has opportunities to make efficient or optimal trade offs between carbon storage, agricultural production and biodiversity can allow policymakers to direct or influence LUC drivers. This analysis uses a spatially-explicit model that takes climate and management into account to quantify the potential agricultural yield of both the Amazon's most important agricultural commodities - sugar, soy and maize - as well as several that are going to come into increasing prominence, including palm oil. In addition, it maps the potential for carbon to be stored in forest biomass and relative species richness across Amazonia. We then compare carbon storage, agricultural yield and species richness and identify areas where efficient trade offs occur between food, carbon, and biodiversity - three critical ecosystem goods and services provided by the world's largest tropical forest.

  9. Evaluating the relative impact of climate and economic changes on forest and agricultural ecosystem services in mountain regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briner, Simon; Elkin, Ché; Huber, Robert

    2013-11-15

    Provisioning of ecosystem services (ES) in mountainous regions is predicted to be influenced by i) the direct biophysical impacts of climate change, ii) climate mediated land use change, and iii) socioeconomic driven changes in land use. The relative importance and the spatial distribution of these factors on forest and agricultural derived ES, however, is unclear, making the implementation of ES management schemes difficult. Using an integrated economic-ecological modeling framework, we evaluated the impact of these driving forces on the provision of forest and agricultural ES in a mountain region of southern Switzerland. Results imply that forest ES will be strongly influenced by the direct impact of climate change, but that changes in land use will have a comparatively small impact. The simulation of direct impacts of climate change affects forest ES at all elevations, while land use changes can only be found at high elevations. In contrast, changes to agricultural ES were found to be primarily due to shifts in economic conditions that alter land use and land management. The direct influence of climate change on agriculture is only predicted to be substantial at high elevations, while socioeconomic driven shifts in land use are projected to affect agricultural ES at all elevations. Our simulation results suggest that policy schemes designed to mitigate the negative impact of climate change on forests should focus on suitable adaptive management plans, accelerating adaptation processes for currently forested areas. To maintain provision of agricultural ES policy needs to focus on economic conditions rather than on supporting adaptation to new climate.

  10. Bundling ecosystem services in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Turner, Katrine Grace; Odgaard, Mette Vestergaard; Bøcher, Peder Klith;

    2014-01-01

    We made a spatial analysis of 11 ecosystem services at a 10 km × 10 km grid scale covering most of Denmark. Our objective was to describe their spatial distribution and interactions and also to analyze whether they formed specific bundle types on a regional scale in the Danish cultural landscape....... We found clustered distribution patterns of ecosystem services across the country. There was a significant tendency for trade-offs between on the one hand cultural and regulating services and on the other provisioning services, and we also found the potential of regulating and cultural services...... to form synergies. We identified six distinct ecosystem service bundle types, indicating multiple interactions at a landscape level. The bundle types showed specialized areas of agricultural production, high provision of cultural services at the coasts, multifunctional mixed-use bundle types around urban...

  11. Organic agriculture in a development policy perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Egelyng, Henrik; Halberg, Niels; Jensen, Henning Høgh

    Farmers growing food with high eco-efficiency may be seen cultivating peace by reducing competition among nations for oil and as producers of other public goods: biodiverse landscapes and ecosystem services with more soil fertility, less water use and less pollution. How does Organic agriculture...

  12. Diversified Native Species Restoration for Recovery of Multiple Ecosystem Services in a Highly Disturbed Tropical Dry Forest Landscape of Southwestern Nicaragua

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams-Guillen, K.; Otterstrom, S.; Perla, C.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical dry forests have been reduced to a fraction of their original extent in the Neotropics due to conversion to agriculture and cattle pasture. While TDF can recover via natural regeneration, resulting forests are dominated by wind-dispersed pioneer species of limited value for frugivorous wildlife. Additionally, passive restoration can be perceived as "abandonment" resulting in neighbors casually invading property to rear livestock and extract timber. In 2007, the NGO Paso Pacífico initiated restoration in a highly degraded tropical dry forest landscape of southwestern Nicaragua; funded by an ex-ante carbon purchase, the project was designed to integrate multiple native tree species known to provide resources used by local wildlife. We restored roughly 400 hectares spanning a rainfall gradient from dry to transitional moist forest, using reforestation (planting 70 species of tree seedlings in degraded pastures on a 4x4 m grid, leaving occurring saplings) and assisted regeneration (clearing vines and competing vegetation from saplings in natural regeneration and strategically managing canopy cover). In just over seven years, mean carbon increased nearly threefold, from to 21.5±5.0 to 57.9±9.6 SE tonnes/ha. Current carbon stocks match those of 20-year-old forests in the area, accumulated in less than a decade. Stem density per 15-m radius plot decreased from 16.3±2.3 to 12.5±0.9 SE, while species richness increased from 3.9±0.4 to 18.4±1.4 SE. Alpha richness of woody stems across plots increased from 36 to 94 species, and over 20 tree species established as a result of natural dispersal and recruitment. We have observed sensitive species such as spider monkeys and parrots foraging in restoration areas. Managed reforestation is a highly effective method for rapidly restoring the functionality of multiple ecosystem services in degraded TDF, particularly when social and political realities force restoration to coexist with human productive activities

  13. Watershed Influences on Residence Time and Oxygen Reduction Rates in an Agricultural Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shope, C. L.; Tesoriero, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural use of synthetic fertilizers and animal manure has led to increased crop production, but also elevated nitrogen concentrations in groundwater, resulting in impaired water quality. Groundwater oxygen concentrations are a key indicator of potential biogeochemical processes, which control water/aquifer interactions and contaminant transport. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program has a long-history of studying nutrient transport and processing across the United States and the Glacial Aquifer system in particular. A series of groundwater well networks in Eastern Wisconsin is being used to evaluate the distribution of redox reaction rates over a range of scales with a focus on dissolved O2 reduction rates. An analysis of these multi-scale networks elucidates the influence of explanatory variables (i.e.: soil type, land use classification) on reduction rates and redox reactions throughout the Fox-Wolf-Peshtigo watersheds. Multiple tracers including dissolved gasses, tritium, helium, chlorofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and carbon-14 were used to estimate groundwater ages (0.8 to 61.2 yr) at over 300 locations. Our results indicate O2 reduction rates along a flowpath study area (1.2 km2) of 0.15 mg O2 L-1 yr-1 (0.12 to 0.18 mg O2 L-1 yr-1) up to 0.41 mg O2 L-1 yr-1 (0.23 to 0.89 mg O2 L-1 yr-1) for a larger scale land use study area (3,300 km2). Preliminary explanatory variables that can be used to describe the variability in reduction rates include soil type (hydrologic group, bulk density) and chemical concentrations (nitrite plus nitrate, silica). The median residence time expected to reach suboxic conditions (≤ 0.4 mg O2 L-1) for the flowpath and the land use study areas was 66 and 25 yr, respectively. These results can be used to elucidate and differentiate the impact of residence time on groundwater quality vulnerability and sustainability in agricultural regions without complex flow models.

  14. Revealing turning points in ecosystem functioning over the Northern Eurasian agricultural frontier

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horion, Stéphanie; Prishchepov, Alexander V.; Verbesselt, Jan; Beurs, de Kirsten; Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2016-01-01

    The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been a turning point in the World history that left a unique footprint on the Northern Eurasian ecosystems. Conducting large scale mapping of environmental change and separating between naturogenic and anthropogenic drivers is a difficult endeavor in s

  15. A simulation of soil water content based on remote sensing in a semi-arid Mediterranean agricultural landscape

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchez, N.; Martinez-Fernandez, J.; Rodriguez-Ruiz, M.; Torres, E.; Calera, A.

    2012-11-01

    This paper shows the application of a water balance based on remote sensing that integrated a Landsat 5 series from 2009 in an area of 1,300 km{sup 2} in the Duero Basin (Spain). The objective was to simulate the daily soil water content (SWC), actual evapotranspiration, deep percolation and irrigation rates. The accuracy of the application is tested in a semi-arid Mediterranean agricultural landscape with crops over natural conditions. The results of the simulated SWC were compared against 19 in situ stations of the Soil Moisture Measurement Stations Network (REMEDHUS), in order to check the feasibility and accuracy of the application. The theoretical basis of the application was the FAO56 calculation assisted by remotely sensed imagery. The basal crop coefficient (Kcb), as well as other parameters of the calculation came from the remote reflectance of the images. This approach was implemented in the computerized tool HIDROMORE+, which integrates various spatial databases. The comparison of simulated and observed values (at different depths and different land uses) showed a good global agreement for the area (R{sup 2} = 0.92, RMSE = 0.031 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.027 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3). The land uses better described were rainfed cereals (R2 = 0.86, RMSE = 0.030 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.025 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3) and vineyards (R{sup 2} = 0.86, RMSE = 0.016 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.013 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3). In general, an underestimation of the soil water content is noticed, more pronounced into the root zone than at surface layer. The final aim was to convert the application into a hydrological tool available for agricultural water management. (Author) 42 refs.

  16. Environmental attitudes and drift reduction behavior among commercial pesticide applicators in a U.S. agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, Adam P; Prokopy, Linda S

    2012-12-30

    Pesticide drift is a significant environmental problem in rural regions, and can result in losses to certain non-target crops and livestock, water and air pollution, and threats to human health. While state agencies seek to control the harmful effects of pesticides through licensing and certificate programs, the adoption rates of drift-reducing practices by commercial applicators remain highly variable. In order to effectively target outreach efforts to commercial applicators, managers need to better understand current use patterns and the motivations behind the adoption and non-adoption of preferred practices. Using a web and mail survey, this study explored environmental attitudes, awareness and concern for pesticide drift, and current practice adoption for drift reduction by commercial pesticide applicators in Indiana. Researchers surveyed three distinct applicator types: industrial weed management (utility right-of-way), agriculture, and aerial (which are mostly spraying in an agricultural setting). Overall, applicators exhibited positive environmental attitudes, but low concern for pesticide drift in the geographic areas where they operate. Adoption rates for several drift reduction technologies were high, particularly for equipment and spray modifications such as low-drift spray nozzles (88%) and increased spray droplet size (92%). Applicators were less familiar with specialty equipment (such as band sprayers, 13% adoption rate) and methods for identifying sensitive sites such as bee colonies and organic crops. Among the three groups, industrial weed management applicators had the lowest adoption rates. Applicators were motivated to adopt drift-reduction practices by the desire to be a good neighbor and a desire to be a good land steward. There is potential for use of more innovative, voluntary approaches to raise awareness of sites sensitive to pesticide drift in rural landscapes. PMID:23062271

  17. Agriculture, landscape and human impact in some karst areas of Italy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burri Ezio

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Italy is made up for about 1/5 of its surface by soluble rocks, which represent the arena of karst environments. The karst morpho-units, some hundreds, are mainly distributed inside the alpine structure of the Mediterranean mountains. A very large number of rock formations are present, different in facies, lithology, age, etc. Among these, carbonate rocks prevail, followed by gypsum and salt. Most of the carbonate rocks are limestones sedimented in a platform environment and they show a wide range of porosity, frequency of fractures and bedding planes. The climatic processes, the expression of some different sub-types of Mediterranean climate (from the typical Mediterranean to sub-atlantic and sub-continental varieties, are the main control of the recent morphodynamics inside the karst morpho-units. In some areas the variability of precipitation is very high. The soil-water deficit during summer, together with the steep slopes, makes these environments highly vulnerable to human impact, especially in relation to soil use for grazing and agriculture. The soils, with enriched mineral contents from the fall of loess-like sediments or of volcanic ashes, were surely very appealing to the first farmers.

  18. An integrated approach to radionuclide flow in semi-natural ecosystems underlying exposure pathways to man. Final report of the LANDSCAPE project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The general objective of the LANDSCAPE project has been to obtain a basis for reliable assessments of the radiation exposure to man under different time scales from radionuclides in plant and animal products of representative forest ecosystems in Europe. The work has been focussed on radiocaesium, 134Cs, 137Cs. In particular, the project has included (i) to quantify some major processes which influence the radiocaesium contamination of vegetation and fungi, (ii) to quantify radiocaesium intake of key herbivores, particularly free ranging moose, relative to food availability and degree of contamination, (iii) to quantify the influence of forest management on radiocaesium dynamics, and (iv) to incorporate these processes in dynamic models. The LANDSCAPE project has been the combined effort of eight research groups from five European countries, and this report describes the results obtained during 30 months of common work

  19. Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems with emphasis on greater sage-grouse habitat—Part 2. Landscape level restoration decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, David A.; Knick, Steven T.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pellant, Mike; Miller, Richard F.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Doescher, Paul S.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Brunson, Mark; McIver, James D.

    2015-12-07

    Sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the United States currently (2015) occur on only about one-half of their historical land area because of changes in land use, urban growth, and degradation of land, including invasions of non-native plants. The existence of many animal species depends on the existence of sagebrush steppe habitat. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a landscape-dependent bird that requires intact habitat and combinations of sagebrush and perennial grasses to exist. In addition, other sagebrush-obligate animals also have similar requirements and restoration of landscapes for greater sage-grouse also will benefit these animals. Once sagebrush lands are degraded, they may require restoration actions to make those lands viable habitat for supporting sagebrush-obligate animals.

  20. An integrated approach to radionuclide flow in semi-natural ecosystems underlying exposure pathways to man. Final report of the LANDSCAPE project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moberg, L.; Hubbard, L.; Avila, R.; Wallberg, L. [Swedish Radiation Protection Inst., Stockholm (Sweden); Feoli, E.; Scimone, M.; Milesi, C. [Trieste Univ. (Italy); Mayes, B.; Iason, G. [Macaulay Land Use Research Inst., Aberdeen (United Kingdom); Rantavaara, A.; Vetikko, V. [Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Helsinki (Finland); Bergman, R.; Nylen, T. [National Defence Research Establishment, Umeaa (Sweden); Palo, T.; White, N. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Umeaa (Sweden). Faculty of Forestry; Raitio, H.; Aro, L.; Kaunisto, S. [The Finnish Forest Research Inst., Parkano (Finland); Guillitte, O. [Faculte Univ. des Sciences Agronomiques de Gembloux (Belgium)

    1999-10-01

    The general objective of the LANDSCAPE project has been to obtain a basis for reliable assessments of the radiation exposure to man under different time scales from radionuclides in plant and animal products of representative forest ecosystems in Europe. The work has been focussed on radiocaesium, {sup 134}Cs, {sup 137}Cs. In particular, the project has included (i) to quantify some major processes which influence the radiocaesium contamination of vegetation and fungi, (ii) to quantify radiocaesium intake of key herbivores, particularly free ranging moose, relative to food availability and degree of contamination, (iii) to quantify the influence of forest management on radiocaesium dynamics, and (iv) to incorporate these processes in dynamic models. The LANDSCAPE project has been the combined effort of eight research groups from five European countries, and this report describes the results obtained during 30 months of common work.

  1. Linking carbon-water- and nitrogen fluxes at forest ecosystems throughout Europe with a coupled soil-vegetation process model "LandscapeDNDC"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina Herrera, Saul; Grote, Rüdiger; Haas, Edwin; Kiese, Ralf; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus

    2013-04-01

    Forest ecosystems in Europe play a key role in the emission reduction commitment agreed in the Kyoto Protocol for mitigating climatic change. Forest ecological functioning and potential services (such as carbon sequestration) are a matter of debate for policy decision makers resulting from the need of identifying affordable strategies for forest management and exploitation against climate change. Forest ecosystem functioning and the linkages governing carbon-, water- and nitrogen fluxes at site scale was evaluated for three dominant tree species (Pinus sylvestris, Picea abies and Fagus sylvatica) grown on 10 different sites across Europe. We did answer in particular the following questions: a) is LandscapeDNDC able to represent NEE, GPP, TER and ET fluxes for dominant forest types in Europe at different sites with only a species specific parameterization? b) What is the relation between carbon input into the ecosystem and on the emission of carbon and nitrogen from the forest soil? Furthermore we analyzed the interaction between carbon-, nitrogen-, and water cycle, in particular the dependence of gaseous fluxes on water and litter availability. LandscapeDNDC is a process based model that integrates modules for carbon, nitrogen and water cycling within terrestrial ecosystems (i.e. forest) on the site and regional scale. Biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere processes in forest ecosystems are linked by daily time step integration of the microclimate, water cycle, soil biogeochemistry and tree physiology and dimensional growth modules which balances all three aforementioned cycles. All processes and state variables are considered in a vertically structured one dimensional vertical column that reaches from rooting depth (more than 1 m depth) to the uppermost canopy layer. LandscapeDNDC was tested against long term (about 10 years) field data. The capability of the applied model for reproducing daily derived GPP and TER was accompanied by a high statistical precision (r

  2. Effects of land use and fine-scale environmental heterogeneity on net ecosystem production over a temperate coniferous forest landscape

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In temperate coniferous forests, spatial variation in net ecosystem production (NEP) is often associated with variation in stand age and heterogeneity in environmental factors such as soil depth. However, coarse spatial resolution analyses used to evaluate the terrestrial contribution to global NEP do not generally incorporate these effects. In this study, a fine-scale (25 m grid) analysis of NEP over a 164-km2 area of productive coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States was made to evaluate the effects of including fine scale information in landscape-scale NEP assessments. The Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) sensor resolved five cover classes in the study area and further differentiated between young, mature and old-growth conifer stands. ETM+ was also used to map current leaf area index (LAI) based on an empirical relationship of observed LAI to spectral vegetation indices. A daily time step climatology, based on 18 years of meteorological observations, was distributed (1 km resolution) over the mountainous terrain of the study area using the DAYMET model. Estimates of carbon pools and flux associated with soil, litter, coarse woody debris and live trees were then generated by running a carbon cycle model (Biome-BGC) to a state that reflected the current successional status and LAI of each grid cell, as indicated by the remote sensing observations. Estimated annual NEP for 1997 over the complete study area averaged 230 g C m2, with most of the area acting as a carbon sink. The area-wide NEP is strongly positive because of reduced harvesting in the last decade and the recovery of areas harvested between 1940 and 1990. The average value was greater than would be indicated if the entire area was assumed to be a mature conifer stand, as in a coarse-scale analysis. The mean NEP varied interannually by over a factor of two. This variation was 38% less than the interannual variation for a single point. The integration of process models with

  3. Effects of land use and fine-scale environmental heterogeneity on net ecosystem production over a temperate coniferous forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, David P.; Guzy, Michael; Lefsky, Michael A.; van Tuyl, Steve; Sun, Osbert; Daly, Chris; Law, Beverly E.

    2003-04-01

    In temperate coniferous forests, spatial variation in net ecosystem production (NEP) is often associated with variation in stand age and heterogeneity in environmental factors such as soil depth. However, coarse spatial resolution analyses used to evaluate the terrestrial contribution to global NEP do not generally incorporate these effects. In this study, a fine-scale (25 m grid) analysis of NEP over a 164-km2 area of productive coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States was made to evaluate the effects of including fine scale information in landscape-scale NEP assessments. The Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) sensor resolved five cover classes in the study area and further differentiated between young, mature and old-growth conifer stands. ETM+ was also used to map current leaf area index (LAI) based on an empirical relationship of observed LAI to spectral vegetation indices. A daily time step climatology, based on 18 years of meteorological observations, was distributed (1 km resolution) over the mountainous terrain of the study area using the DAYMET model. Estimates of carbon pools and flux associated with soil, litter, coarse woody debris and live trees were then generated by running a carbon cycle model (Biome-BGC) to a state that reflected the current successional status and LAI of each grid cell, as indicated by the remote sensing observations. Estimated annual NEP for 1997 over the complete study area averaged 230 g C m-2, with most of the area acting as a carbon sink. The area-wide NEP is strongly positive because of reduced harvesting in the last decade and the recovery of areas harvested between 1940 and 1990. The average value was greater than would be indicated if the entire area was assumed to be a mature conifer stand, as in a coarse-scale analysis. The mean NEP varied interannually by over a factor of two. This variation was 38% less than the interannual variation for a single point. The integration of process models

  4. The Discussion of Leisure Agricultural Manor Landscape Design Based on Mental-map of the Rural Landscape%基于乡村景观意象的休闲农庄景观规划设计研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王小雨; 李婷婷; 王崑

    2012-01-01

    At present the direction to the orientation of the leisure agricultural manor landscape in northeast China is not clear. The planning to the mental-map of the rural landscape just started. The author summarized the theory, concepts, and the characteristics of the mental-map of the rural landscape. Based on the design of the leisure agricultural Manor of Harbin Hananxincheng in cold region, the author reinterpretation the mental-map of the rural landscape and put forward the content and the characteristics to the mental-map of the rural landscape in cold region. In accordance with the basic characteristics of countryside in cold region we discussed the landscape planning and design method of the leisure agricultural manor in cold region which has Manchu ethnic customs. People hoped to provide reference to the planning and design practices to the regional characteristics of the rural tourism development and promote the exploration and development of the mental-map of the rural landscape research.%目前中国东北地区休闲农庄景观定位方向尚不清晰明确,乡村景观意象规划还在起步阶段.在总结前人对乡村景观意象的理论研究的基础上,归纳出乡村景观意象的概念与基本特征.结合哈尔滨市哈南新城寒地休闲农庄规划设计项目对乡村景观意象进行了新的解读,提出了寒地乡村景观意象的内容与特征要素,并根据寒地乡村的基本特点,探讨了具有满族风情的寒地休闲农庄景观规划设计方法,为寒地乡村发展地域特色性乡村旅游建设提供规划设计实践参考,推动景观意象角度上的探索与开拓.

  5. Using stable isotope techniques to investigate carbon cycle dynamics of an agricultural ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianmin

    2007-12-01

    In this study, continuous measurements of the mixing ratios of 12CO2 and 13CO2 with tunable diode laser (TDL) absorption spectroscopy were combined with micrometeorological observations to partition the net ecosystem CO2 exchange into photosynthesis and respiration for a corn-soybean rotation ecosystem. The dynamics of the canopy-scale isotope discrimination (DeltaA), isotope ratios of ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (delta R and deltaN), and isoflux were examined using both TDL data and a multilayer canopy model. Compared with the nighttime regression method and the multilayer model results, the isotopic flux partitioning method showed greater short-term variations. Uncertainty in the partitioning was closely related to the isotopic disequilibrium between ecosystem respiration and photosynthesis. The partitioning uncertainty was smaller for the early growing season when the isotopic disequilibrium was larger. Uncertainties in the deltaN and deltaR estimates accounted for the most of the overall partitioning uncertainty. Nightly deltaR estimated from the flux-ratio approach showed significant seasonal variation (-32‰ to -11‰), corresponding closely with canopy phenology. The multilayer model results also showed apparent diurnal deltaR variation associated with changes in the contributions of component respiration. Daytime deltaR may differ by up to 2‰ from nighttime values over the diurnal period. The extrapolation of nighttime deltaR to daytime values presented a potential limitation in the isotopic approach. The multilayer modeled isotope discrimination showed significant vertical variations within the canopy resulting from light variations and the different response to the change of ambient CO2 for sunlit and shaded leaves. The modeled values also showed pronounced diurnal changes from 3.7‰ to 4.5‰ in correspondence with the onset and cessation of photosynthesis. However, the isotopic partitioning yielded relatively constant

  6. Potential for Hybrid Poplar Riparian Buffers to Provide Ecosystem Services in Three Watersheds with Contrasting Agricultural Land Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Fortier

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In temperate agricultural watersheds, the rehabilitation of tree vegetation in degraded riparian zones can provide many ecosystem services. This study evaluated ecosystem service provision potential following the conversion of non-managed herbaceous buffers to hybrid poplar (Populus spp. buffers in three watersheds (555–771 km2 of southern Québec (Canada, with contrasting agricultural land uses. To extrapolate services at the watershed level, total stream length where hybrid poplars could be established was calculated using GIS data from hydrological and land cover maps. After nine years, a 100% replacement of herbaceous buffers by hybrid poplar buffers along farm streams could lead to the production of 5280–76,151 tons of whole tree (stems + branches biomass, which could heat 0.5–6.5 ha of greenhouses for nine years, with the potential of displacing 2–29 million litres of fuel oil. Alternatively, the production of 3887–56,135 tons of stem biomass (fuelwood could heat 55–794 new farmhouses or 40–577 old farmhouses for nine years. Producing fuelwood in buffers rather than in farm woodlots could create forest conservation opportunities on 300–4553 ha. Replacing all herbaceous buffers by poplar buffers could provide potential storage of 2984–42,132 t C, 29–442 t N and 3–56 t P in plant biomass, if woody biomass is not harvested. The greatest potential for services provision was in the Pike River watershed where agriculture is the dominant land use. A review of the potential services of poplar buffers is made, and guidelines for managing services and disservices are provided.

  7. Changes in water budgets and sediment yields from a hypothetical agricultural field as a function of landscape and management characteristics--A unit field modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Jason L.; Capel, Paul D.

    2012-01-01

    Crop agriculture occupies 13 percent of the conterminous United States. Agricultural management practices, such as crop and tillage types, affect the hydrologic flow paths through the landscape. Some agricultural practices, such as drainage and irrigation, create entirely new hydrologic flow paths upon the landscapes where they are implemented. These hydrologic changes can affect the magnitude and partitioning of water budgets and sediment erosion. Given the wide degree of variability amongst agricultural settings, changes in the magnitudes of hydrologic flow paths and sediment erosion induced by agricultural management practices commonly are difficult to characterize, quantify, and compare using only field observations. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model was used to simulate two landscape characteristics (slope and soil texture) and three agricultural management practices (land cover/crop type, tillage type, and selected agricultural land management practices) to evaluate their effects on the water budgets of and sediment yield from agricultural lands. An array of sixty-eight 60-year simulations were run, each representing a distinct natural or agricultural scenario with various slopes, soil textures, crop or land cover types, tillage types, and select agricultural management practices on an isolated 16.2-hectare field. Simulations were made to represent two common agricultural climate regimes: arid with sprinkler irrigation and humid. These climate regimes were constructed with actual climate and irrigation data. The results of these simulations demonstrate the magnitudes of potential changes in water budgets and sediment yields from lands as a result of landscape characteristics and agricultural practices adopted on them. These simulations showed that variations in landscape characteristics, such as slope and soil type, had appreciable effects on water budgets and sediment yields. As slopes increased, sediment yields increased in both the arid and

  8. Assess and control global change in agriculture through ecosystem models integrated in geographic information systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ENEA has created, in collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley, the Global Change Biology project that, for the first time, has made available in Europe a technology that can be It used to interpret and effectively manage change Global agriculture. The aim of the project was to provide tools to summarize, manage and analyze data Ecological on the effects of global change in agricultural systems, using traditional Mediterranean crops (Eg. Vineyards and olive) as model systems (http: // cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/89728_en.html).

  9. Conservation of Pollinators in Traditional Agricultural Landscapes – New Challenges in Transylvania (Romania) Posed by EU Accession and Recommendations for Future Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó; Földesi, Rita; Mózes, Edina; Szirák, Ádám; Fischer, Joern; Hanspach, Jan; Báldi, András

    2016-01-01

    Farmland biodiversity is strongly declining in most of Western Europe, but still survives in traditional low intensity agricultural landscapes in Central and Eastern Europe. Accession to the EU however intensifies agriculture, which leads to the vanishing of traditional farming. Our aim was to describe the pollinator assemblages of the last remnants of these landscapes, thus set the baseline of sustainable farming for pollination, and to highlight potential measures of conservation. In these traditional farmlands in the Transylvanian Basin, Romania (EU accession in 2007), we studied the major pollinator groups—wild bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Landscape scale effects of semi-natural habitats, land cover diversity, the effects of heterogeneity and woody vegetation cover and on-site flower resources were tested on pollinator communities in traditionally managed arable fields and grasslands. Our results showed: (i) semi-natural habitats at the landscape scale have a positive effect on most pollinators, especially in the case of low heterogeneity of the direct vicinity of the studied sites; (ii) both arable fields and grasslands hold abundant flower resources, thus both land use types are important in sustaining pollinator communities; (iii) thus, pollinator conservation can rely even on arable fields under traditional management regime. This has an indirect message that the tiny flower margins around large intensive fields in west Europe can be insufficient conservation measures to restore pollinator communities at the landscape scale, as this is still far the baseline of necessary flower resources. This hypothesis needs further study, which includes more traditional landscapes providing baseline, and exploration of other factors behind the lower than baseline level biodiversity values of fields under agri-environmental schemes (AES). PMID:27285118

  10. Conservation of Pollinators in Traditional Agricultural Landscapes - New Challenges in Transylvania (Romania) Posed by EU Accession and Recommendations for Future Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó; Földesi, Rita; Mózes, Edina; Szirák, Ádám; Fischer, Joern; Hanspach, Jan; Báldi, András

    2016-01-01

    Farmland biodiversity is strongly declining in most of Western Europe, but still survives in traditional low intensity agricultural landscapes in Central and Eastern Europe. Accession to the EU however intensifies agriculture, which leads to the vanishing of traditional farming. Our aim was to describe the pollinator assemblages of the last remnants of these landscapes, thus set the baseline of sustainable farming for pollination, and to highlight potential measures of conservation. In these traditional farmlands in the Transylvanian Basin, Romania (EU accession in 2007), we studied the major pollinator groups-wild bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Landscape scale effects of semi-natural habitats, land cover diversity, the effects of heterogeneity and woody vegetation cover and on-site flower resources were tested on pollinator communities in traditionally managed arable fields and grasslands. Our results showed: (i) semi-natural habitats at the landscape scale have a positive effect on most pollinators, especially in the case of low heterogeneity of the direct vicinity of the studied sites; (ii) both arable fields and grasslands hold abundant flower resources, thus both land use types are important in sustaining pollinator communities; (iii) thus, pollinator conservation can rely even on arable fields under traditional management regime. This has an indirect message that the tiny flower margins around large intensive fields in west Europe can be insufficient conservation measures to restore pollinator communities at the landscape scale, as this is still far the baseline of necessary flower resources. This hypothesis needs further study, which includes more traditional landscapes providing baseline, and exploration of other factors behind the lower than baseline level biodiversity values of fields under agri-environmental schemes (AES). PMID:27285118

  11. Structure and composition of altered riparian forests in an agricultural Amazonian landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, R Chelsea; Porder, Stephen; Neill, Christopher; Brando, Paulo; Quintino, Raimundo Mota; do Nascimento, Sebastiâo Aviz

    2015-09-01

    Deforestation and fragmentation influence the microclimate, vegetation structure, and composition of remaining patches of tropical forest. In the southern Amazon, at the frontier of cropland expansion, forests are converted and fragmented in a pattern that leaves standing riparian forests whose dimensions are mandated by the Brazilian National Forest Code. These altered riparian forests share many characteristics of well-studied upland forest fragments, but differ because they remain connected to larger areas of forest downstream, and because they may experience wetter soil conditions because reduction of forest cover in the surrounding watershed raises groundwater levels and increases stream runoff. We compared forest regeneration, structure, composition, and diversity in four areas of intact riparian forest and four areas each of narrow, medium, and wide altered riparian forests that have been surrounded by agriculture since the early 1980s. We found that seedling abundance was reduced by as much as 64% and sapling abundance was reduced by as much as 67% in altered compared to intact riparian forests. The most pronounced differences between altered and intact forest occurred near forest edges and within the narrowest sections of altered riparian forests. Woody plant species composition differed and diversity was reduced in altered forests compared to intact riparian forests. However, despite being fragmented for several decades, large woody plant biomass and carbon storage, the number of live or dead large woody plants, mortality rates, and the size distribution of woody plants did not differ significantly between altered and intact riparian forests. Thus, even in these relatively narrow forests with high edge: area ratios, we saw no evidence of the increases in mortality and declines in biomass that have been found in other tropical forest fragment studies. However, because of the changes in both species community and reduced regeneration, it is unclear how long

  12. Structure and composition of altered riparian forests in an agricultural Amazonian landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, R Chelsea; Porder, Stephen; Neill, Christopher; Brando, Paulo; Quintino, Raimundo Mota; do Nascimento, Sebastiâo Aviz

    2015-09-01

    Deforestation and fragmentation influence the microclimate, vegetation structure, and composition of remaining patches of tropical forest. In the southern Amazon, at the frontier of cropland expansion, forests are converted and fragmented in a pattern that leaves standing riparian forests whose dimensions are mandated by the Brazilian National Forest Code. These altered riparian forests share many characteristics of well-studied upland forest fragments, but differ because they remain connected to larger areas of forest downstream, and because they may experience wetter soil conditions because reduction of forest cover in the surrounding watershed raises groundwater levels and increases stream runoff. We compared forest regeneration, structure, composition, and diversity in four areas of intact riparian forest and four areas each of narrow, medium, and wide altered riparian forests that have been surrounded by agriculture since the early 1980s. We found that seedling abundance was reduced by as much as 64% and sapling abundance was reduced by as much as 67% in altered compared to intact riparian forests. The most pronounced differences between altered and intact forest occurred near forest edges and within the narrowest sections of altered riparian forests. Woody plant species composition differed and diversity was reduced in altered forests compared to intact riparian forests. However, despite being fragmented for several decades, large woody plant biomass and carbon storage, the number of live or dead large woody plants, mortality rates, and the size distribution of woody plants did not differ significantly between altered and intact riparian forests. Thus, even in these relatively narrow forests with high edge: area ratios, we saw no evidence of the increases in mortality and declines in biomass that have been found in other tropical forest fragment studies. However, because of the changes in both species community and reduced regeneration, it is unclear how long

  13. Assessment of Ecosystem Services in a Semi-arid Agriculture-dominant Area: Framework and Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhungel, R.; Chen, Y.; Maltos, R.; Sivakumaran, K.; Aguilar, A.; Harmon, T. C.

    2015-12-01

    California's Central Valley (CV) water crisis has increased in severity due to a prolonged drought. The drought is directly contributing to the overexploitation of groundwater, along with deficiency in agricultural, recreational and aesthetic water services. The population of the CV, home to about 6.5 million people, is projected to be 12 million by 2040. Balancing water demand between municipal use, agricultural supply, and other ecosystem services, will be challenging for this region in perpetuity. In the heart of CV lies the San Joaquin River (SJR) where Friant Dam is the main low-elevation reservoir regulating water release. The Friant Dam's reservoir fulfills agricultural, municipal and industrial water needs through the Friant-Kern and Madera canals, as well as through the mainstem SJR. The SJR restoration project (SJRRP) is a recent development that is imposing additional demands on water releases in order to restore sustainable aquatic habitat for Chinook salmon and other species on the mainstem below the Friant Dam. The Chinook require adequate flow to moderate river temperature, particularly during hot summer and fall months. Temperatures on CV rivers exhibit strong diurnal and seasonal patterns, and can rise to harmful levels when flows are inadequate. In this study, we developed a framework that allows for assessing the effectiveness and implied costs of ecosystem services provided by a restored SJR in a semi-arid agriculture-dominant area. This is done by explicitly linking economics-based farmers' model with a reduced-form hydrological model that is loosely coupled to a physical-based stream-temperature model, specifically CE-QUAL-W2. The farmers' model is based on positive mathematical program approach calibrated with twenty proxy crops for year 2005. The river-hydrology is simulated by a vector autoregression model that incorporates daily flow variability. We study the mandated release policies by the SJR restoration project, along with hypothetical

  14. Water use by terrestrial ecosystems: temporal variability in rainforest and agricultural contributions to evapotranspiration in Mato Grosso, Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, has experienced rapid land use changes from the expansion of rain-fed agriculture (primarily soybean and pasture). This study presents changes to evapotranspiration contributions from terrestrial ecosystems in Mato Grosso over the 2000–9 period. Instead of focusing on land use change to infer hydrologic change, in this paper we assess hydrologic changes using remote sensing, meteorological and agricultural production data to determine the rainforest, crop and pasture components of total evapotranspiration. Humid tropical rainforest evapotranspiration represented half of the state’s total evapotranspiration in 2000 despite occupying only 40% of the total land area. Annual evapotranspiration fluxes from rainforest declined at a rate of 16.2 km3 y−1 (R2 = 0.82, p-value < 0.01) as a result of deforestation between 2000 and 2009, representing a 25% decline in rainforest evapotranspiration since 2000. By 2009, rainforest cover accounted for only 40% of total evapotranspiration. Over the same period, crop evapotranspiration doubled, but this increase was offset by a decline in pasture evapotranspiration. Pasture fluxes were at least five times larger than crop evapotranspiration fluxes in 2000–9, with increases spatially focused at the agricultural frontier. The results highlight the expanding appropriation of soil moisture stocks for use in Mato Grosso’s rain-fed agroecosystems. (letter)

  15. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity influenced by different agricultural management practices in a semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Mar Alguacil, Maria; Torrecillas, Emma; Garcia-Orenes, Fuensanta; Torres, Maria Pilar; Roldan, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a key, integral component of the stability, sustainability and functioning of ecosystems. In this study a field experiment was performed at the El Teularet-Sierra de Enguera Experimental Station (eastern Spain) to assess the influence during a 6-yr period of different agricultural practices on the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). The management practices included residual herbicide use, ploughing, ploughing + oats, addition of oat straw mulch and a control (land abandonment). Adjacent soil under natural vegetation was used as a reference for local, high-quality soil and as a control for comparison with the agricultural soils under different management practices. The AM fungal small-subunit (SSU) rRNA genes were subjected to PCR, cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Thirty-six different phylotypes were identified, which were grouped in four families: Glomeraceae, Paraglomeraceae, Ambisporaceae and Claroideoglomeraceae. The first results showed significant differences in the distribution of the AMF phylotypes as consequence of the difference between agricultural management practices. Thus, the lowest diversity was observed for the plot that was treated with herbicide. The management practices including ploughing and ploughing + oats had similar AMF diversity. Oat straw mulching yielded the highest number of different AMF sequence types and showed the highest diversity index. Thus, this treatment could be more suitable in sustainable soil use and therefore protection of biodiversity.

  16. Biodiversity and organic farming. Strengthening the interactions between agriculture and ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Simon, Sylvaine

    2010-01-01

    The interactions between organic farming and biodiversity show that the organic approach can be proposed as an agricultural system that may best benefit but also provide biodiversity in the agroecosystem, thus minimising the trade-off between production aims and biodiversity preservation and restoration.

  17. To assess and control global change in agriculture through ecosystem models integrated into geographic information systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The transfer of ENEA PBDM (physiologically based demographic models) GIS technology, represents an opportunity to address global change in agriculture on an ecological basis in a local context, be able to provide European governmental agencies the necessary scientific basis for developing effective policies for adaptation to global change, including climate change

  18. Survival of a native mammalian carnivore, the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis Kerr, 1792 (Carnivora: Felidae), in an agricultural landscape on an oceanic Philippine island

    OpenAIRE

    M.R.P. Lorica; Heaney, L.R.

    2013-01-01

    Concerns about vulnerability of mammalian carnivores to extinction, especially on small islands, appear to conflict with prior reports of endemic populations of leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792) surviving in agricultural landscapes on oceanic islands. We investigated the persistence of the Visayan leopard cat (P. b. rabori) in the sugarcane fields on Negros, an oceanic island in central Philippines. A population remained throughout the year at our study site on a sugarcane f...

  19. Farm nitrogen balances in six European agricultural landscapes – a method for farming system assessment, emission hotspot identification, and mitigation measure evaluation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalgaard, Tommy; Bienkowski, J.; Bleeker, A.;

    2012-01-01

    , respectively. However, all landscapes showed hotspots, especially from livestock farms, including a special UK case with landless large-scale poultry farming. So, whereas the average N surplus from the land-based UK farms dominated by extensive sheep grazing was only 31 ± 10 kg N ha−1yr−1, the landscape......Six agricultural landscapes in Poland (PL), the Netherlands (NL), France (FR), Italy (IT), Scotland (UK) and Denmark (DK) were studied, and a common method was developed for undertaking farm inventories and the derivation of farm nitrogen (N) balances and N surplus from the in total 222 farms...... and 11 440 ha of farmland. In all landscapes, a large variation in the farm N surplus was found, and thereby a large potential for reductions. The highest average N surpluses were found in the most livestock-intensive landscapes of IT, FR, and NL; on average 202 ± 28, 179 ± 63 and 178 ± 20 kg N ha−1yr−1...

  20. Policy impacts on regulating ecosystem services: looking at the implications of 60 years of landscape change on soil erosion prevention in a Mediterranean silvo-pastoral system

    OpenAIRE

    Guerra, C.A.; Metzger, M. J.; Maes, J; Pinto-Correia, T.

    2015-01-01

    Context Policy decisions form a major driver of land use change, with important implications for socially and environmentally susceptible regions. It is well known that there can be major unintended consequences, especially where policies are not tailored to regionally specific contexts. Objectives In this paper we assess the implications of 60 years of agricultural policies on soil erosion prevention (SEP) by vegetation, an essential regulating ecosystem service in Mediterranean Europe. O...

  1. Ecosystem Controls on C & N Sequestration Following Afforestation of Agricultural Lands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    E.A. Paul, S.J. Morris, R.T. Conant

    2013-03-05

    In our project, we proposed to continue analysis of our available soil samples and data, and to develop new studies to answer the following objectives: Objective 1) Broaden field based studies of ecosystem C and N compartments to enhance current understanding of C and N sequestration and dynamics. Objective 2) Improve our understanding of mechanism controlling C and N stabilization and dynamics. Objective 3) Investigate the interrelated role of soil temperature and organism type and activity as controlling mechanism in SOC dynamics and sequestration.

  2. Development of an Intelligent Robot for an Agricultural Production Ecosystem (IV) : Experiments on Growth and Competition of Rice Plants against Weeds

    OpenAIRE

    Luna Maldonado, Alejandro Isabel; Yamaguchi, Yusuke; Nakaji, Kei

    2009-01-01

    This researching addressed to develop an agricultural production ecosystem robot, we carried out experiments in lots of the rice production ecosystem at Kyushu University Farm in order to get the Lotka-Volterra's parameters for the competition between of rice plants, small umbrella sedge well knew in Japan as Tamagayatsuri (Cyperus difformis L..) and non superior weeds without predation by golden apple snails for different stages of the growing season. A Verhulst logistic model was successful...

  3. A CRITICAL REVIEW ON THE NATURAL OCCURRENCE OF ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGI IN AGRICULTURAL ECOSYSTEM

    OpenAIRE

    E. Hemasree

    2013-01-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi mostly belong to deuteromycetes and entomopthorales. Fungi from about 90 genera are pathogenic to insects, which includes more than 700 sps. However, only 20 fungal species have been remarkably studied for their use against insect pests in Agriculture. Most of them induce natural epizootics on insects. The fungi have been observed to cause mortality in pest populations and several fungal species have been investigated for their potential use as an alternative to chemica...

  4. Agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The report entitled Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation : A Canadian Perspective, presents a summary of research regarding the impacts of climate change on key sectors over the past five years as it relates to Canada. This chapter on agriculture describes how climate change will affect primary agriculture production in Canada with particular focus on potential adaptation options, and vulnerability of agriculture at the farm level. Agriculture is a vital part of the Canadian economy, although only 7 per cent of Canada's land mass is used for agricultural purposes due to the limitations of climate and soils. Most parts of Canada are expected to experience warmer conditions, longer frost-free seasons and increased evapotranspiration. The impacts of these changes on agriculture will vary depending on precipitation changes, soil conditions, and land use. Northern regions may benefit from longer farming seasons, but poor soil conditions will limit the northward expansion of agricultural crops. Some of the negative impacts associated with climate change on agriculture include increased droughts, changes in pest and pathogen outbreaks, and moisture stress. In general, it is expected that the positive and negative impacts of climate change would offset each other. 74 refs., 2 tabs., 1 fig

  5. Landscape factors influencing the spatial distribution and abundance of mosquito vector Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) in a mixed residential-agricultural community in Hawai'i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, M.E.; Lapointe, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Mosquito-borne avian diseases, principally avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum Grassi and Feletti) and avian pox (Avipoxvirus sp.) have been implicated as the key limiting factor associated with recent declines of endemic avifauna in the Hawaiian Island archipelago. We present data on the relative abundance, infection status, and spatial distribution of the primary mosquito vector Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) across a mixed, residential-agricultural community adjacent to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on Hawai'i Island. We modeled the effect of agriculture and forest fragmentation in determining relative abundance of adult Cx. quinquefasciatus in Volcano Village, and we implement our statistical model in a geographic information system to generate a probability of mosquito capture prediction surface for the study area. Our model was based on biweekly captures of adult mosquitoes from 20 locations within Volcano Village from October 2001 to April 2003. We used mixed effects logistic regression to model the probability of capturing a mosquito, and we developed a set of 17 competing models a priori to specifically evaluate the effect of agriculture and fragmentation (i.e., residential landscapes) at two spatial scales. In total, 2,126 mosquitoes were captured in CO 2-baited traps with an average probability of 0.27 (SE = 0.10) of capturing one or more mosquitoes per trap night. Twelve percent of mosquitoes captured were infected with P. relictum. Our data indicate that agricultural lands and forest fragmentation significantly increase the probability of mosquito capture. The prediction surface identified areas along the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park boundary that may have high relative abundance of the vector. Our data document the potential of avian malaria transmission in residential-agricultural landscapes and support the need for vector management that extends beyond reserve boundaries and considers a reserve's spatial position in a highly

  6. Dynamics of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Riparian Buffer Zones and Wetlands as Hot Spots in Agricultural Landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The study considers various aspects of riparian buffer zones and wetlands for greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural landscapes of northern and north-eastern Europe. In particular, the impact of pulsing water regime, continuous loading and several alterations of environmental conditions on greenhouse gas emissions are taken into the consideration. In two case studies the isotopologue technique was used to distinguish between N2O sources in both riparian zones and constructed wetlands. Nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen (N2) emissions, isotopic signatures of N2O and nitrate (NO3-) in groundwater of two differently loaded riparian grey alder stands in southern Estonia were investigated over a period of nine months. One area was a 38-year-old stand in Porijõgi (PJ), where uphill agricultural activities had been abandoned since the middle of 1990s, and the second area was a 55-year-old alder stand in Viiratsi (Vi), which still receives polluted lateral flow from uphill fields applied with pig slurry. Gas fluxes were measured in six sampling sessions, and water samples were analysed for NO3-, N2, N2O, and isotopic signatures of oxygen-18 (delta 18O, δ18O) and nitrogen-15 (delta 15N, δ15N) in N2O and NO3- in four of the six sessions. The N2O and N2 fluxes from both riparian zones did not differ significantly, being 9.6 ± 4.7 and 14.5 ± 3.9 μg N2O–N m−2 h−1, and 2 466 ± 275 and 3 083 ± 371 μg N2–N m−2 h−1 in PJ and Vi sites respectively, suggesting that gaseous N2 is the dominant gas emission from these alder stands. The isotopic signatures of N2O and NO3- were not significantly different between PJ and Vi study sites suggesting possible conversion of NO3- to N2O in both areas. The greater prevalence of N2 emissions over N2O in both areas, and the strong relationship between NO3- and N2O concentrations (r2 = 0.846, with p < 0.01) further suggested that denitrification is the main source of N2O and N2 fluxes in these grey alder stands. The dominant

  7. Changes of ecosystem service values in response to land use/land cover dynamics in Munessa-Shashemene landscape of the Ethiopian highlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindu, Mengistie; Schneider, Thomas; Teketay, Demel; Knoke, Thomas

    2016-03-15

    Land use/land cover (LULC) dynamics alter ecosystem services values (ESVs), yet quantitative evaluations of changes in ESVs are seldom attempted. Using Munessa-Shashemene landscape of the Ethiopian highlands as an example, we showed estimate of changes in ESVs in response to LULC dynamics over the past four decades (1973-2012). Estimation and change analyses of ESVs were conducted, mainly, by employing GIS using LULC datasets of the year 1973, 1986, 2000 and 2012 with their corresponding global value coefficients developed earlier and our own modified conservative value coefficients for the studied landscape. The results between periods revealed a decrease of total ESVs from US$ 130.5 million in 1973, to US$ 118.5, 114.8 and 111.1 million in 1986, 2000 and 2012, respectively. While using global value coefficients, the total ESVs declined from US$ 164.6 million in 1973, to US$ 135.8, 127.2 and 118.7 million in 1986, 2000 and 2012, respectively. The results from the analyses of changes in the four decades revealed a total loss of ESVs ranging from US$ 19.3 million when using our own modified value coefficients to US$ 45.9 million when employing global value coefficients. Changes have also occurred in values of individual ecosystem service functions, such as erosion control, nutrient cycling, climate regulation and water treatment, which were among the highest contributors of the total ESVs. However, the value of food production service function consistently increased during the study periods although not drastically. All in all, it must be considered a minimum estimate of ESV changes due to uncertainties in the value coefficients used in this study. We conclude that the decline of ESVs reflected the effects of ecological degradation in the studied landscape and suggest further studies to explore future options and formulate intervention strategies. PMID:26780139

  8. Are BVOC exchanges in agricultural ecosystems overestimated? Insights from fluxes measured in a maize field over a whole growing season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachy, Aurélie; Aubinet, Marc; Schoon, Niels; Amelynck, Crist; Bodson, Bernard; Moureaux, Christine; Heinesch, Bernard

    2016-04-01

    Although maize is the second most important crop worldwide, and the most important C4 crop, no study on biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) has yet been conducted on this crop at ecosystem scale and over a whole growing season. This has led to large uncertainties in cropland BVOC emission estimations. This paper seeks to fill this gap by presenting, for the first time, BVOC fluxes measured in a maize field at ecosystem scale (using the disjunct eddy covariance by mass scanning technique) over a whole growing season in Belgium. The maize field emitted mainly methanol, although exchanges were bi-directional. The second most exchanged compound was acetic acid, which was taken up mainly in the growing season. Bi-directional exchanges of acetaldehyde, acetone and other oxygenated VOCs also occurred, whereas the terpenes, benzene and toluene exchanges were small, albeit significant. Surprisingly, BVOC exchanges were of the same order of magnitude on bare soil and on well developed vegetation, suggesting that soil is a major BVOC reservoir in agricultural ecosystems. Quantitatively, the maize BVOC emissions observed were lower than those reported in other maize, crops and grasses studies. The standard emission factors (SEFs) estimated in this study (231 ± 19 µg m-2 h-1 for methanol, 8 ± 5 µg m-2 h-1 for isoprene and 4 ± 6 µg m-2 h-1 for monoterpenes) were also much lower than those currently used by models for C4 crops, particularly for terpenes. These results suggest that maize fields are small BVOC exchangers in north-western Europe, with a lower BVOC emission impact than that modelled for growing C4 crops in this part of the world. They also reveal the high variability in BVOC exchanges across world regions for maize and suggest that SEFs should be estimated for each region separately.

  9. Deriving soil function maps to assess related ecosystem services using imaging spectroscopy in the Lyss agricultural area, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diek, Sanne; de Jong, Rogier; Braun, Daniela; Böhler, Jonas; Schaepman, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Soils play an important role in the benefits offered by ecosystems services. In densely populated Switzerland soils are a scarce resource, with high pressure on services ranging from urban expansion to over-utilization. Key change drivers include erosion, soil degradation, land management change and (chemical) pollution, which should be taken into consideration. Therefore there is an emerging need for an integrated, sustainable and efficient system assessing the management of soil and land as a resource. The use of remote sensing can offer spatio-temporal and quantitative information of extended areas. In particular imaging spectroscopy has shown to perfectly complement existing sampling schemes as secondary information for digital soil mapping. Although only the upper-most layer of soil interacts with light when using reflectance spectroscopy, it still can offer valuable information that can be utilized by farmers and decision makers. Fully processed airborne imaging spectrometer data from APEX as well as land cover classification for the agricultural area in Lyss were available. Based on several spectral analysis methods we derived multiple soil properties, including soil organic matter, soil texture, and mineralogy; complemented by vegetation parameters, including leaf area index, chlorophyll content, pigment distribution, and water content. The surface variables were retrieved using a combination of index-based and physically-based retrievals. Soil properties in partly to fully vegetated areas were interpolated using regression kriging based methods. This allowed the continuous assessment of potential soil functions as well as non-contiguous maps of abundances of combined soil and vegetation parameters. Based on a simple regression model we could make a rough estimate of ecosystem services. This provided the opportunity to look at the differences between the interpolated soil function maps and the non-contiguous (but combined) vegetation and soil function maps

  10. Annual emissions of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration, from eight organic soils in Western Denmark managed by agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, S. O.; Hoffmann, C. C.; Schäfer, C.-M.; Blicher-Mathiesen, G.; Elsgaard, L.; Kristensen, K.; Larsen, S. E.; Torp, S. B.; Greve, M. H.

    2012-01-01

    The use of organic soils by agriculture involves drainage and tillage, and the resulting increase in C and N turnover can significantly affect their greenhouse gas balance. This study estimated annual fluxes of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration (Reco), from eight organic soils managed by agriculture. The sites were located in three regions representing different landscape types and climatic conditions, and three land use categories were covered (arable crops, AR, grass in rotation, RG, and permanent grass, PG). The normal management at each site was followed, except that no N inputs occurred during the monitoring period from August 2008 to October 2009. The stratified sampling strategy further included six sampling points in three blocks at each site. Environmental variables (precipitation, PAR, air and soil temperature, soil moisture, groundwater level) were monitored continuously and during sampling campaigns, where also groundwater samples were taken for analysis. Gaseous fluxes were monitored on a three-weekly basis, giving 51, 49 and 38 field campaigns for land use categories AR, PG and RG, respectively. Climatic conditions in each region during monitoring were representative as compared to 20-yr averages. Peat layers were shallow, typically 0.5 to 1 m, and with a pH of 4 to 5. At six sites annual emissions of N2O were in the range 3 to 24 kg N2O-N ha-1, but at two arable sites (spring barley, potato) net emissions of 38 and 61 kg N2O-N ha-1 were recorded. The two high-emitting sites were characterized by fluctuating groundwater, low soil pH and elevated groundwater SO42- concentrations. Annual fluxes of CH4 were generally small, as expected, ranging from 2 to 4 kg CH4 ha-1. However, two permanent grasslands had tussocks of Juncus effusus L. (soft rush) in sampling points that were consistent sources of CH4 throughout the year. Emission factors for organic soils in rotation and with permanent grass, respectively, were estimated to be 0.011 and 0.47 g m-2

  11. Annual emissions of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration, from eight organic soils in Western Denmark managed by agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. H. Greve

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The use of organic soils by agriculture involves drainage and tillage, and the resulting increase in C and N turnover can significantly affect their greenhouse gas balance. This study estimated annual fluxes of CH4 and N2O, and ecosystem respiration (Reco, from eight organic soils managed by agriculture. The sites were located in three regions representing different landscape types and climatic conditions, and three land use categories (arable crops, AR, grass in rotation, RG, and permanent grass, PG were covered. The normal management at each site was followed, except that no N inputs occurred during the monitoring period from August 2008 to October 2009. The stratified sampling strategy further included six sampling points in three blocks at each site. Environmental variables (precipitation, PAR, air and soil temperature, soil moisture, groundwater level were monitored continuously and during sampling campaigns, where also groundwater samples were taken for analysis. Gaseous fluxes were monitored on a three-weekly basis, giving 51, 49 and 38 field campaigns for land use categories AR, PG and RG, respectively. Climatic conditions in each region during monitoring were representative based on 20-yr averages. Peat layers were shallow, typically 0.5 to 1 m, and with a pH of 4–5. At six sites annual emissions of N2O were in the range 3 to 24 kg N2O-N ha−1, but at two arable sites (spring barley, potato net emissions of 38 and 61 kg N2O-N ha−1 were recorded. Both were characterized by fluctuating groundwater with elevated SO42− concentrations. Annual fluxes of CH4 were generally small, as expected, ranging from –2 to 4 kg CH4 ha−1. However, two permanent grasslands had tussocks of Juncus effusus (soft rush in sampling points that were consistent sources of CH4 throughout the year. Emission factors for organic soils in rotation and permanent grass, respectively, were estimated to be 0.011 and 0.47 g m−2 for CH4, and 2.5 and 0.5 g m−2

  12. Payments for ecosystem services in Amazonia. The challenge of land use heterogeneity in agricultural frontiers near Cruzeiro do Sul (Acre, Brazil)

    OpenAIRE

    Eloy, L.; Méral, Philippe; Ludewigs, T.; Pinheiro, G. T.; Singer, B

    2012-01-01

    Amazonia became a target area for Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) initiatives in deforestation. We analysed the implementation of a PES scheme in Acre (Brazil) by taking into account land use heterogeneity in an agricultural frontier. Justified by the modernisation of deforestation control policies, the programme promotes agricultural intensification through fire-free practices. In this way, the PES tends to focus on long-established settlements, where farmers are wealthier and the lands...

  13. Solar radiation and landscape evolution: co-evolution of topography, vegetation, and erosion rates in a semi-arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Yetemen, Omer

    2016-04-01

    In this study CHILD landscape evolution model (LEM) is used to study the role of solar radiation on the co-evolution of landscape morphology, vegetation patterns, and erosion rates in a central New Mexico catchment. In the study site north facing slopes (NFS) are characterized by steep diffusion-dominated planar hillslopes covered by co-exiting juniper pine and grass vegetation. South facing slopes (SFS) are characterized by shallow slopes and covered by sparse shrub vegetation. Measured short-term and Holocene-averaged erosion rates show higher soil loss on SFS than NFS. In this study CHILD LEM is first confirmed with ecohydrologic field data and used to systematically examine the co-evolution of topography, vegetation pattern, and erosion rates. Aspect- and network-control are identified as the two main topographic drivers of soil moisture and vegetation organization on the landscape. Landscape-scale and long-term implications of solar radiation driven ecohdrologic patterns emerged in modeled landscape: NFS supported denser vegetation cover and became steeper and planar, while on SFS vegetation grew sparser and slopes declined with more fluvial activity. At the landscape scale, these differential erosion processes led to asymmetric development of catchment forms, consistent with regional observations. While the general patterns of vegetation and topography were reproduced by the model using a stationary representation of the current climate, the observed differential Holocene erosion rates were captured by the model only when cyclic climate is used. This suggests sensitivity of Holocene erosion rates to long-term climate fluctuations.

  14. Scarcity of ecosystem services: an experimental manipulation of declining pollination rates and its economic consequences for agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandhu, Harpinder; Waterhouse, Benjamin; Boyer, Stephane; Wratten, Steve

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem services (ES) such as pollination are vital for the continuous supply of food to a growing human population, but the decline in populations of insect pollinators worldwide poses a threat to food and nutritional security. Using a pollinator (honeybee) exclusion approach, we evaluated the impact of pollinator scarcity on production in four brassica fields, two producing hybrid seeds and two producing open-pollinated ones. There was a clear reduction in seed yield as pollination rates declined. Open-pollinated crops produced significantly higher yields than did the hybrid ones at all pollination rates. The hybrid crops required at least 0.50 of background pollination rates to achieve maximum yield, whereas in open-pollinated crops, 0.25 pollination rates were necessary for maximum yield. The total estimated economic value of pollination services provided by honeybees to the agricultural industry in New Zealand is NZD $1.96 billion annually. This study indicates that loss of pollination services can result in significant declines in production and have serious implications for the market economy in New Zealand. Depending on the extent of honeybee population decline, and assuming that results in declining pollination services, the estimated economic loss to New Zealand agriculture could be in the range of NZD $295-728 million annually. PMID:27441108

  15. Impact of agricultural extensification on the relation between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services (soil structure maintenance, water regulation)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, J.; Pérès, G.; Groot, A. de;

    Introduction – There are increasing pressures on soil biodiversity and soil degradation remains a pertinent issue. In this context, one aim of the EcoFINDERS European project was to assess the impact of agricultural extensification, across a broad range of European land-use systems, on the relati...... biodiversity, providing better soil structure and water infiltration. These results provide more quantitative insights that allow for ecohydrological modelling (forecasting) and economic valuation.......Introduction – There are increasing pressures on soil biodiversity and soil degradation remains a pertinent issue. In this context, one aim of the EcoFINDERS European project was to assess the impact of agricultural extensification, across a broad range of European land-use systems......, on the relationships between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services. Special attention was given to the relation between i) soil biodiversity and aggregate stability, and ii) earthworms and soil macroporosity and water infiltration.  Method - Data from seven long-term field studies (France, Germany, United...

  16. Drought severity-duration-frequency curves: a foundation for risk assessment and planning tool for ecosystem establishment in post-mining landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halwatura, D.; Lechner, A. M.; Arnold, S.

    2015-02-01

    Eastern Australia has considerable mineral and energy resources, with areas of high biodiversity value co-occurring over a broad range of agro-climatic environments. Lack of water is the primary abiotic stressor for (agro)ecosystems in many parts of eastern Australia. In the context of mined land rehabilitation quantifying the severity-duration-frequency (SDF) of droughts is crucial for successful ecosystem rehabilitation to overcome challenges of early vegetation establishment and long-term ecosystem resilience. The objective of this study was to quantify the SDF of short-term and long-term drought events of 11 selected locations across a broad range of agro-climatic environments in eastern Australia by using three drought indices at different timescales: the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI), and the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). Based on the indices we derived bivariate distribution functions of drought severity and duration, and estimated the recurrence intervals of drought events at different timescales. The correlation between the simple SPI and the more complex SPEI or RDI was stronger for the tropical and temperate locations than for the arid locations, indicating that SPEI or RDI can be replaced by SPI if evaporation plays a minor role for plant available water (tropics). Both short-term and long-term droughts were most severe and prolonged, and recurred most frequently in arid regions, but were relatively rare in tropical and temperate regions. Our approach is similar to intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) analyses of rainfall, which are crucial for the design of hydraulic infrastructure. In this regard, we propose to apply SDF analyses of droughts to design ecosystem components in post-mining landscapes. Together with design rainfalls, design droughts should be used to assess rehabilitation strategies and ecological management using drought recurrence intervals, thereby minimising

  17. The influence of local- and landscape-scale processes on spatial self-organization in estuarine ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    van de Koppel, Johan; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Herman, Peter M. J.

    2012-01-01

    Complexity theory proposes that spatial self-organization, the process whereby small-scale, localized interactions among the components of a system generate complex spatial structures at large spatial scales, explains the formation of autogenic spatial patterns in ecosystems. We question this premise by reviewing three estuarine ecosystems – mussel beds, mudflats and salt marshes – where self-organization has been put forward to explain spatial patterns. Our review highlights that these self-...

  18. Simulation of CO2 Fluxes in European Forest Ecosystems with the Coupled Soil-Vegetation Process Model “LandscapeDNDC”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saúl Molina-Herrera

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available CO2 exchange processes in forest ecosystems are of profound ecological and economic importance, meaning there is a need for generally applicable simulation tools. However, process-based ecosystem models, which are in principal suitable for the task, are commonly evaluated at only a few sites and for a limited number of plant species. It is thus often unclear if the processes and parameters involved are suitable for model application at a regional scale. We tested the LandscapeDNDC forest growth module PnET (derived from the Photosynthetic / EvapoTranspiration model with site-specific as well as multi-site calibrated parameters using independent data sets of eddy covariance measurements across a European transect. Although site-specific parametrization is superior (r2 for pooled Gross Primary Production (GPP during calibration period: site-specific = 0.93, multi-site = 0.88; r2 for pooled Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE during calibration period: site-specific = 0.81, multi-site = 0.73, we show that general parameters are able to represent carbon uptake over periods of several years. The procedure has been applied for the three most dominant European tree species i.e., Scots pine, Norway spruce and European beech. In addition, we discuss potential model improvements with regard to the sensitivity of parameters to site conditions differentiated into climate, nutrient and drought influences.

  19. Spatial Bayesian belief networks as a planning decision tool for mapping ecosystem services trade-offs on forested landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Redin, Julen; Luque, Sandra; Poggio, Laura; Smith, Ron; Gimona, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    An integrated methodology, based on linking Bayesian belief networks (BBN) with GIS, is proposed for combining available evidence to help forest managers evaluate implications and trade-offs between forest production and conservation measures to preserve biodiversity in forested habitats. A Bayesian belief network is a probabilistic graphical model that represents variables and their dependencies through specifying probabilistic relationships. In spatially explicit decision problems where it is difficult to choose appropriate combinations of interventions, the proposed integration of a BBN with GIS helped to facilitate shared understanding of the human-landscape relationships, while fostering collective management that can be incorporated into landscape planning processes. Trades-offs become more and more relevant in these landscape contexts where the participation of many and varied stakeholder groups is indispensable. With these challenges in mind, our integrated approach incorporates GIS-based data with expert knowledge to consider two different land use interests - biodiversity value for conservation and timber production potential - with the focus on a complex mountain landscape in the French Alps. The spatial models produced provided different alternatives of suitable sites that can be used by policy makers in order to support conservation priorities while addressing management options. The approach provided provide a common reasoning language among different experts from different backgrounds while helped to identify spatially explicit conflictive areas. PMID:26597639

  20. Adoption of land uses compatible with the water ecosystem service in agricultural farms in Central America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Meza

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The presence of trees in the farms is typically considered a good practice in water shed management. Therefore, it was examined the voluntary adoption of land uses considered more compatible with the water ecosystem service (shade coffee and woodland in the region of Trifinio (located in Honduras and Guatemala, where there is not given any incentives or payment for this environmental service. It was observed low adoption of these land uses on small farms. In practice, participation of small farms in conservation programs are subject to certain factors beyond the control of the producers such as minimum area of the farm. But, other factors such as perceived importance of land use has on food security and future motivation for adopting a production system can be more easily manipulated, although, in practical terms it is not always possible. Thus, for a spontaneous adoption of the trees and the forest should also influence cultural factors, even if the changes in this dimension generally take longer to be observed than the lifetime of the conservation projects.

  1. Digital Mapping of Soil Salinity and Crop Yield across a Coastal Agricultural Landscape Using Repeated Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Rongjiang; Yang, Jingsong; Wu, Danhua; Xie, Wenping; Gao, Peng; Jin, Wenhui

    2016-01-01

    Reliable and real-time information on soil and crop properties is important for the development of management practices in accordance with the requirements of a specific soil and crop within individual field units. This is particularly the case in salt-affected agricultural landscape where managing the spatial variability of soil salinity is essential to minimize salinization and maximize crop output. The primary objectives were to use linear mixed-effects model for soil salinity and crop yield calibration with horizontal and vertical electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements as ancillary data, to characterize the spatial distribution of soil salinity and crop yield and to verify the accuracy of spatial estimation. Horizontal and vertical EMI (type EM38) measurements at 252 locations were made during each survey, and root zone soil samples and crop samples at 64 sampling sites were collected. This work was periodically conducted on eight dates from June 2012 to May 2013 in a coastal salt-affected mud farmland. Multiple linear regression (MLR) and restricted maximum likelihood (REML) were applied to calibrate root zone soil salinity (ECe) and crop annual output (CAO) using ancillary data, and spatial distribution of soil ECe and CAO was generated using digital soil mapping (DSM) and the precision of spatial estimation was examined using the collected meteorological and groundwater data. Results indicated that a reduced model with EMh as a predictor was satisfactory for root zone ECe calibration, whereas a full model with both EMh and EMv as predictors met the requirement of CAO calibration. The obtained distribution maps of ECe showed consistency with those of EMI measurements at the corresponding time, and the spatial distribution of CAO generated from ancillary data showed agreement with that derived from raw crop data. Statistics of jackknifing procedure confirmed that the spatial estimation of ECe and CAO exhibited reliability and high accuracy. A general

  2. Survival of a native mammalian carnivore, the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis Kerr, 1792 (Carnivora: Felidae, in an agricultural landscape on an oceanic Philippine island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R.P. Lorica

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Concerns about vulnerability of mammalian carnivores to extinction, especially on small islands, appear to conflict with prior reports of endemic populations of leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792 surviving in agricultural landscapes on oceanic islands. We investigated the persistence of the Visayan leopard cat (P. b. rabori in the sugarcane fields on Negros, an oceanic island in central Philippines. A population remained throughout the year at our study site on a sugarcane farm, and reproduction was noted. Non-native rodents form the bulk of the cat diet, followed by reptiles, birds, amphibians, and insects. Prey species identified from the samples commonly occur in agricultural areas in the Philippines. Prey composition did not vary significantly with respect to wet and dry season, or sugarcane harvest cycle. This study provides evidence that an intensively managed agricultural landscape on this oceanic island supports a native obligate carnivore that subsists primarily on exotic rats. This study supports a prior prediction that leopard cats will show flexibility in prey selection on islands with few or no native small mammal prey species, but in this case they do so not by switching to other vertebrates and invertebrates, but rather to exotic pest species of rodents.

  3. 国外城市农业景观(Urban Agriculture Landscape)案例评析%Case Andysis on the Foreign Urban Agricultnre Landscape

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邰杰; 汤洪泉; 曹晋; 陆韡

    2013-01-01

    从城市农业概念界定、国外城市农业景观实践与案例启示三个部分,对国外城市农业景观的指导原则、发展策略、设计方法进行解读,以期在社会学意义、生态学功能等层面上为中国高速城市化进程中开放空间的规划与绿色基础设施建设提供深度参照。文章认为景观正成为对城市空间碎片进行生态整合的主要媒介之一,城市农业在城市生态与城市形态、食品安全与食物供给、自然教育与工作机会等诸多方面有着巨大潜力,可以作为构建现代可持续发展城市的路径之一。%From three parts of the concept definition of urban agriculture, foreign urban agriculture landscape practices and example inspirations, this paper puts forward foreign urban agriculture's corresponding guiding principle, development strategy-and-design method. The main purpose is to enlighten contemporary Chinese city open space planning and green infrastructure development in sociology meaning and ecology function level. Landscape is becoming one of main medias for ecological integration of city space debris. Urban agriculture has great potential in maintaining the urban ecology and urban form, food safety and food supply, providing natural education and job opportunitiesand other aspects. Urban agriculture can be used as a kind of path toward building modern sustainable urban development.

  4. From landscape to domain: Soils role in landscape classifications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil landscape classifications are designed to divide landscapes into units with significance for the provisioning and regulating of ecosystem services and the development of conservation plans for natural resources. More specifically, such classifications serve as the basis for stratifying manageme...

  5. Ozone-vegetation interaction in the Earth system: implications for air quality, ecosystems and agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, A. P. K.; Lombardozzi, D.; Val Martin, M.; Heald, C. L.

    2015-12-01

    Surface ozone is one of the most significant air pollutants due to its damaging effects not only on human health, but also on vegetation and crop productivity. Chronic ozone exposure has been shown to reduce photosynthesis and interfere with gas exchange in plants, which in turn affect the surface energy balance, carbon sink and other biogeochemical fluxes. Ozone damage on vegetation can thus have major ramifications on climate and atmospheric composition, including possible feedbacks onto ozone itself (see figure) that are not well understood. The damage of ozone on crops has been well documented, but a mechanistic understanding is not well established. Here we present several results pertaining to ozone-vegetation interaction. Using the Community Earth System Model, we find that inclusion of ozone damage on plants reduces the global land carbon sink by up to 5%, while simulated ozone is modified by -20 to +4 ppbv depending on the relative importance of competing mechanisms in different regions. We also perform a statistical analysis of multidecadal global datasets of crop yields, agroclimatic variables and ozone exposures to characterize the spatial variability of crop sensitivity to ozone and temperature extremes, specifically accounting for the confounding effect of ozone-temperature covariation. We find that several crops exhibit stronger sensitivity to ozone than found by previous field studies, with a strong anticorrelation between the sensitivity and average ozone levels that reflects biological adaptive ozone resistance. Our results show that a more complete understanding of ozone-vegetation interaction is necessary to derive more realistic future projections of climate, air quality and agricultural production, and thereby to formulate optimal strategies to safeguard public health and food security.

  6. Changes in Carbon Pools 50 Years after Reversion of a Landscape Dominated by Agriculture to Managed Forests in the Upper Southeastern Atlantic Coastal Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Z.; Trettin, C.; Parresol, B. R.; Li, C.

    2010-12-01

    The landscape of the upper coastal plain of South Carolina in the late 1940’s was typified by rural agricultural communities and farms comprising cleared fields and mixed-use woodlots. Approximately 80,000 ha of that landscape was appropriated by the US Government in the early 1950’s to form the Savannah River Site which is now managed by the US Dept. of Energy. The US Forest Service was engaged to reforest the agricultural parcels, 40% of the tract, and to develop sustainable management practices for the woodlots and restored areas. As part of the acquisition process in 1951, a complete inventory of the land and forest resources were conducted. In 2001, an intensive forest survey was conducted which encompassed 90% of the tract, detailing the above-ground biomass pools. We’ve used those inventories in conjunction with soil resource data to assemble a carbon balance sheet encompassing the above and belowground carbon pools over the 50 year period. We’ve also employed inventories on forest removals, forest burning and runoff to estimate fluxes from the landscape over the same period. There was a net sequestration of 5,486 Gg of C in forest vegetation over the 50 yr. period (1.5 Mg ha-1 yr-1), with carbon density increasing from 6.3 to 83.3 Mg ha-1. The reforestation of the agricultural land and the increased density of the former woodlots was the cause of the gain. Fifty years after imposition of silvicultural prescriptions, the forest composition has changed from being dominated by hardwoods to pine. The forest floor increased by 311 Gg carbon. Fluxes in form of harvested wood and oxidation from burning were 24% and 10% respectively of the net gain in vegetative biomass. These findings document real changes in carbon storage on a landscape that was changed from mixed agricultural use to managed forests, and they suggest responses that should be similar if reforestation for biofuels production is expanded.

  7. Biodiversity and pollination : Flowering plants and flower-visiting insects in agricultural and semi-natural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, Frank

    2005-01-01

    The dissertation describes the effects of plant and insect diversity on pollination of wild plant species. As biodiversity is decreasing due to human activities, it is important to know the effects of lower species richness on ecosystem functioning. One such ecosystem function is pollination by inse

  8. Modeling Landscape-scale Ecosystem Services Relative to Biodiversity in the Upper San Pedro River Basin (U.S. Mexico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    It is widely understood that human condition is tightly linked to environmental condition and the services it provides. Ecosystem services, i.e. "services provided to humans from natural systems" have become a paramount issue of this century in resource management, conservation, ...

  9. Multifunctional landscape practice and accessibility in manorial landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar; Christensen, Andreas Aagaard

    . However classical manorial estates seems to represent an opposite trend. Although working at the same market conditions as other large specialized holdings developed through the process of structural rationalization, they have often maintained and elaborated a land use strategy based on a multifunctional...... use of the potential ecosystem services present within their domain. The targeted combination of agriculture, forestry, hunting rents, rental housing, and a variety of recreational activities influences makes a certain public accessibility to an integrated part of this strategy, diverging from...... the trends at the other big modern specialized holdings. A historical tradition for access to the manorial landscape as an integrated part of the pre-capitalist way of landscape management at the manorial estates might play a certain role, but it is anticipated that this is being of less importance than...

  10. Multifunctional landscape practice and accessibility in manorial landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar; Christensen, Andreas Aagaard

    . However classical manorial estates seems to represent an opposite trend. Allthough working at the same market conditions as other large specialized holdings developed through the process of structural rationalization, they have often maintained and elaborated a land use strategy based on a multifunctional...... use of the potential ecosystem services present within their domain. The targeted combination of agriculture, forestry, hunting rents, rental housing, and a variety of recreational activities influences makes a certain public accessibility to an integrated part of this strategy, diverging from...... the trends at the other big modern specialized holdings. A historical tradition for access to the manorial landscape as an integrated part of the pre-capitalist way of landscape management at the manorial estates might play a certain role, but it is anticipated that this is being of less importance than...

  11. Recovery based on plot experiments is a poor predictor of landscape-level population impacts of agricultural pesticides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Topping, Christopher John; Kjær, Lene; Hommen, Udo;

    2014-01-01

    are restricted to plot-scale experiments. Here, we use agent-based modelling of 2 contrasting invertebrates, a spider and a beetle, to assess how area of pesticide application and environmental half-life (DT50) affect the assessment of recovery at the plot scale and impact the population at the landscape scale....... Small-scale plot experiments were simulated for pesticides with different application rates and DT50s. The same pesticides were then evaluated at the landscape scale (10 x 10 km) assuming continuous year-on-year usage. Our results show that recovery time estimated from plot experiments is a poor...... indicator of long-term population impact at the landscape level and that the spatial scale of pesticide application strongly determines population-level impact. This raises serious doubts as to the utility of plot-recovery experiments in pesticide regulatory risk assessment for population-level protection...

  12. Designer landscapes for sustainable biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Lian Pin; Levang, Patrice; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2009-08-01

    Oil palm is one of the most extensively cultivated biodiesel feedstocks worldwide, and expansion of its cultivation poses a significant threat to ecosystems, biodiversity and potentially the global climate. We evaluate the prospects of land sparing and wildlife-friendly farming, two contrasting approaches for reducing the impacts of oil palm agriculture. We draw on concepts from both approaches to suggest more sustainable production systems and argue that landscapes under threat from oil palm expansion need to be designed in recognition of biodiversity, economic and livelihood needs. Specifically, we advocate agroforestry zones between high conservation value areas and intensive oil palm plantations to create a more heterogeneous landscape benefiting both biodiversity and rural communities. Similar principles could apply to biofuel systems elsewhere.

  13. Thermal Remote Sensing and the Thermodynamics of Ecosystems Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luvall, Jeffrey C.; Kay, James J.; Fraser, Roydon F.; Goodman, H. Michael (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Thermal remote sensing can provide environmental measuring tools with capabilities for measuring ecosystem development and integrity. Recent advances in applying principles of nonequilibrium thermodynamics to ecology provide fundamental insights into energy partitioning in ecosystems. Ecosystems are nonequilibrium systems, open to material and energy flows, which grow and develop structures and processes to increase energy degradation. More developed terrestrial ecosystems will be more effective at dissipating the solar gradient (degrading its energy content). This can be measured by the effective surface temperature of the ecosystem on a landscape scale. A series of airborne thermal infrared multispectral scanner data were collected from several forested ecosystems ranging from a western US douglas-fir forest to a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica. Also measured were agriculture systems. These data were used to develop measures of ecosystem development and integrity based on surface temperature.

  14. Are BVOC exchanges in agricultural ecosystems overestimated? Insights from fluxes measured in a maize field over a whole growing season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachy, Aurélie; Aubinet, Marc; Schoon, Niels; Amelynck, Crist; Bodson, Bernard; Moureaux, Christine; Heinesch, Bernard

    2016-04-01

    . Moreover, as in our region (i.e., temperate climate, silty-loam soils), SEF observed on maize were much lower than SEF currently considered by models, our results tend to lower the impact of agricultural ecosystems on BVOC exchanges.

  15. Integrating public demands into model-based design for multifunctional agriculture: An application to intensive dutch dairy landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parra-López, C.; Groot, J.C.J.; Carmona-Torres, C.; Rossing, W.A.H.

    2008-01-01

    The contribution of agriculture to the welfare of society is determined by its economic, social and environmental performance. Although theoretical discussions can be found in the literature, few reports exist that integrate the social demand for multifunctional agriculture in the evaluation of the

  16. Spatial modeling of personalized exposure dynamics: the case of pesticide use in small-scale agricultural production landscapes of the developing world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binder Claudia R

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pesticide poisoning is a global health issue with the largest impacts in the developing countries where residential and small-scale agricultural areas are often integrated and pesticides sprayed manually. To reduce health risks from pesticide exposure approaches for personalized exposure assessment (PEA are needed. We present a conceptual framework to develop a spatial individual-based model (IBM prototype for assessing potential exposure of farm-workers conducting small-scale agricultural production, which accounts for a considerable portion of global food crop production. Our approach accounts for dynamics in the contaminant distributions in the environment, as well as patterns of movement and activities performed on an individual level under different safety scenarios. We demonstrate a first prototype using data from a study area in a rural part of Colombia, South America. Results Different safety scenarios of PEA were run by including weighting schemes for activities performed under different safety conditions. We examined the sensitivity of individual exposure estimates to varying patterns of pesticide application and varying individual patterns of movement. This resulted in a considerable variation in estimates of magnitude, frequency and duration of exposure over the model runs for each individual as well as between individuals. These findings indicate the influence of patterns of pesticide application, individual spatial patterns of movement as well as safety conditions on personalized exposure in the agricultural production landscape that is the focus of our research. Conclusion This approach represents a conceptual framework for developing individual based models to carry out PEA in small-scale agricultural settings in the developing world based on individual patterns of movement, safety conditions, and dynamic contaminant distributions. The results of our analysis indicate our prototype model is sufficiently

  17. Competing feedbacks drive state transitions during initial catchment evolution: Examples from post-mining landscape and ecosystems evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinz, Christoph; Wolfgang, Schaaf; Werner, Gerwin

    2014-05-01

    Within the context of severely disturbed landscapes with little or no ecological memory, such as post-mining landscapes, we propose a simple framework that explains the catchment evolution as a result of competing feedbacks influenced by the initial conditions and the atmospheric drivers such as rainfall intermittency and intensity. The first stage of the evolution is dominated by abiotic feedbacks triggered by rainfall and subsequent fluid flow causing particle mobilisation on the surface and in the subsurface leading to flow concentration or in some instances to densification of surface and subsurface substrates. Subsequently, abiotic-biotic feedbacks start to compete in the sense that biological activity generally stabilizes substrate by preventing particle mobilisation and hence contribute to converting the substrate to a habitat. We suggest that these competing feedbacks may generate alternative stable states in particular under semi-arid and arid climatic conditions, while in temperate often energy limited environments biological process "outcompete" abiotic processes leading to a stable state, in particular from the water balance point of view for comparable geomorphic situations. To illustrate this framework, we provide examples from post-mining landscapes, in which soil, water and vegetation was monitored. In case of arid regions in Australia, we provide evidence that the initial conditions of a mine waste disposal "locked" the system into a state that was limited by water and nutrient storage capacity while at the same time it was stable from a geomorphic point of view for the observation period. The cause of the system t