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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes: a spatially explicit approach to support sustainable soil management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forouzangohar, Mohsen; Crossman, Neville D; MacEwan, Richard J; Wallace, D Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T

    2014-01-01

    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 km(2) 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Sustaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Classical conservation approaches focus on the man-made degradation of ecosystems and tend to neglect the socialecological 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...

  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. Linking ecosystem services with cultural landscape research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaich, Harald; Biding, Claudia; Plieninger, Tobias

    2010-01-01

    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...

  13. A Landscape Perspective on Sustainability of Agricultural Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dale, Virginia H [ORNL; Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Kaffka, Stephen R [University of California, Davis; Langeveld, J.W.A. [Wageningen University, Netherlands

    2013-01-01

    Landscape sustainability of agricultural systems considers effects of farm activities on social, economic, and ecosystem services at local and regional scales. Sustainable agriculture entails: defining sustainability, developing easily measured indicators of sustainability, moving toward integrated agricultural systems, and offering incentives or imposing regulations to affect farmer behavior. A landscape perspective is useful because landscape ecology provides theory and methods for dealing with spatial heterogeneity, scaling, integration, and complexity. To implement agricultural sustainability, we propose adopting a systems perspective, recognizing spatial heterogeneity, addressing the influences of context, and integrating landscape-design principles. Topics that need further attention at local and regional scales include (1) protocols for quantifying material and energy flows; (2) effects of management practices; (3) incentives for enhancing social, economic, and ecosystem services; (4) integrated landscape planning and management; (5) monitoring and assessment; (6) effects of societal demand; and (7) consistent and holistic policies for promoting agricultural sustainability.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Landscape structure affects the provision of multiple ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, T.; Liss, K. N.; Gonzalez, A.; Bennett, E. M.

    2016-12-01

    Understanding how landscape structure, the composition and configuration of land use/land cover (LULC) types, affects the relative supply of ecosystem services (ES), is critical to improving landscape management. While there is a long history of studies on landscape composition, the importance of landscape configuration has only recently become apparent. To understand the role of landscape structure in the provision of multiple ES, we must understand how ES respond to different measures of both composition and configuration of LULC. We used a multivariate framework to quantify the role of landscape configuration and composition in the provision of ten ES in 130 municipalities in an agricultural region in Southern Québec. We identified the relative influence of composition and configuration in the provision of these ES using multiple regression, and on bundles of ES using canonical redundancy analysis. We found that both configuration and composition play a role in explaining variation in the supply of ES, but the relative contribution of composition and configuration varies significantly among ES. We also identified three distinct ES bundles (sets of ES that regularly appear together on the landscape) and found that each bundle was associated with a unique area in the landscape, that mapped to a gradient in the composition and configuration of forest and agricultural LULC. These results show that the distribution of ES on the landscape depends upon both the overall composition of LULC types and their configuration on the landscape. As ES become more widely used to steer land use decision-making, quantifying the roles of configuration and composition in the provision of ES bundles can improve landscape management by helping us understand when and where the spatial pattern of land cover is important for multiple services.

  2. Farm multifunctional diversification and agricultural landscape trasformations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio Chiodo

    Full Text Available The work aims to analyze changes in agricultural landscape linked to transformations in agricultural productive system. The territory for analysis is situated along the “internal Marche ridge” of the Apennines, in the province of Ancona (Marche region, partly included in the Regional Natural Park “Gola della Rossa e Frassassi”. The work aims at elaborating an investigative methodology which can highlight the transformation of territorial structures and the dynamics that influence management of the territory and landscape in order to provide operative instructions for an integrated elaboration of instruments for urban planning and economic programming, specially for agricultural policies. Multi-functionality and diversification in agriculture are the instruments that can help agriculture to improve the economic value of products and at the same time to improve the quality of territory and landscape.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. REDD+ and Climate Smart Agriculture in landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salvini, G.

    2016-01-01

    Global challenges posed by an increasing food demand and climate change call for innovative mechanisms that consider both agriculture and forests. Agriculture and forests are deeply interconnected in mosaic landscapes, just as multiple pieces of the same puzzle. These pieces are handled by numerous

  6. Patterns and drivers of scattered tree loss in agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Levers, Christian; Mantel, Martin

    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 aerial images and used a boosted regression trees modelling framework to assess the relative importance...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Experimental assessment of ecosystem services in agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    . 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...... be maintained and enhanced in our farmlands and cities. This book will be useful to students and researchers from a variety of fields, including applied ecology, environmental economics, agriculture and forestry, and also to local and regional planners and policy makers....

  10. An integrated approach to monitoring ecosystem services and agriculture: implications for sustainable agricultural intensification in Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Melissa F; Bonham, Curan A; Dempewolf, Jan; Arakwiye, Bernadette

    2017-01-01

    Maintaining the long-term sustainability of human and natural systems across agricultural landscapes requires an integrated, systematic monitoring system that can track crop productivity and the impacts of agricultural intensification on natural resources. This study presents the design and practical implementation of a monitoring framework that combines satellite observations with ground-based biophysical measurements and household surveys to provide metrics on ecosystem services and agricultural production at multiple spatial scales, reaching from individual households and plots owned by smallholder farmers to 100-km(2) landscapes. We developed a set of protocols for monitoring and analyzing ecological and agricultural household parameters within two 10 × 10-km landscapes in Rwanda, including soil fertility, crop yield, water availability, and fuelwood sustainability. Initial results suggest providing households that rely on rainfall for crop irrigation with timely climate information and improved technical inputs pre-harvest could help increase crop productivity in the short term. The value of the monitoring system is discussed as an effective tool for establishing a baseline of ecosystem services and agriculture before further change in land use and climate, identifying limitations in crop production and soil fertility, and evaluating food security, economic development, and environmental sustainability goals set forth by the Rwandan government.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Time, Space and the History of Agricultural Landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenningsen, Stig Roar; Christensen, Andreas Aagaard

    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......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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Multiple ecosystem services landscape index: a tool for multifunctional landscapes conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Loinaz, Gloria; Alday, Josu G; Onaindia, Miren

    2015-01-01

    The contribution of ecosystems to human well-being has been widely recognised. Taking into account existing trade-offs between ecosystem services (ES) at the farm scale and the dependence of multiple ES on processes that take place at the landscape scale, long-term preservation of multifunctional landscapes must be a priority. Studies carried out from such perspective, and those that develop appropriate indicators, could provide useful tools for integrating ES in landscape planning. In this study we propose a new integrative environmental indicator based on the ES provided by the landscape and named "multiple ecosystem services landscape index" (MESLI). Because synergies and trade-offs between ES are produced at regional or local levels, being different from those perceived at larger scales, MESLI was developed at municipality level. Furthermore, in order to identify main drivers of change in ES provision at the landscape scale an analysis of the relationship between the environmental and the socioeconomic characteristics of the municipalities was carried out. The study was located in the Basque Country and the results demonstrated that the MESLI index is a good tool to measure landscape multifunctionality at local scales. It is effective evaluating landscapes, distinguishing between municipalities based on ES provision, and identifying the drivers of change and their effects. This information about ES provisioning at the local level is usually lacking; therefore, MESLI would be very useful for policy-makers and land managers because it provides relevant information to local scale decision-making.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. High trees increase sunflower seed predation by birds in an agricultural landscape of Israel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica eSchäckermann

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Natural habitats in agricultural landscapes promote agro-ecosystem services but little is known about negative effects (dis-services derived by natural habitats such as crop seed predation. Birds are important seed predators and use high landscape structures to perch and hide. High trees in agricultural landscapes may therefore drive seed predation. We examined if the presence, the distance and the percentages of high trees (tree height >5 m and the percentages of natural habitat surrounding sunflower fields, increased seed predation by birds in Israel. At the field scale, we assessed seed predation across a sample grid of an entire field. At the landscape scale, we assessed seed predation at the field margins and interiors of 20 sunflower fields. Seed predation was estimated as the percentage of removed seeds from sunflower heads. Distances of sample points to the closest high tree and percentage of natural habitat and of high trees in a 1km radius surrounding the fields were measured.We found that seed predation increased with decreasing distance to the closest high tree at the field and landscape scale. At the landscape scale, the percentage of high trees and natural habitat did not increase seed predation. Seed predation in the fields increased by 37 %, with a maximum seed predation of 92 %, when a high tree was available within zero to 50 m to the sunflower fields. If the closest high tree was further away, seed predation was less than 5 %. Sunflower seed predation by birds can be reduced, when avoiding sowing sunflowers within a radius of 50 m to high trees. Farmers should plan to grow crops, not sensitive to bird seed predation, closer to trees to eventually benefit from ecosystem services provided by birds, such as predation of pest insects, while avoiding these locations for growing crops sensitive to bird seed predation. Such management recommendations are directing towards sustainable agricultural landscapes.

  4. [Landscape planning approaches for biodiversity conservation in agriculture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yun-hui; Li, Liang-tao; Yu, Zhen-rong

    2008-11-01

    Biodiversity conservation in agriculture not only relates to the sustainable development of agriculture, but also is an essential part of species conservation. In recent years, the landscape planning approach for biodiversity was highlighted instead of species-focused approach. In this paper, the landscape factors affecting the biodiversity in agriculture were reviewed, and the possible landscape approaches at three different scales for more efficient conservation of biodiversity in agro-landscape were suggested, including: (1) the increase of the proportion of natural or semi-natural habitats in agriculture, diversification of land use or crop pattern, and protection or construction of corridor at landscape level; (2) the establishment of non-cropping elements such as field margin at between-field level; and (3) the application of reasonable crop density, crop distribution pattern and rotation, and intercrop etc. at within-field level. It was suggested that the relevant policies for natural conservation, land use planning, and ecological compensation should be made to apply the landscape approaches for biodiversity conservation at larger scale.

  5. Effects of organic farming on biodiversity and ecosystem services: taking landscape complexity into account.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winqvist, Camilla; Ahnström, Johan; Bengtsson, Jan

    2012-02-01

    The recent intensification of the arable landscape by modern agriculture has had negative effects on biodiversity. Organic farming has been introduced to mitigate negative effects, but is organic farming beneficial to biodiversity? In this review, we summarize recent research on the effects of organic farming on arable biodiversity of plants, arthropods, soil biota, birds, and mammals. The ecosystem services of pollination, biological control, seed predation, and decomposition are also included in this review. So far, organic farming seems to enhance the species richness and abundance of many common taxa, but its effects are often species specific and trait or context dependant. The landscape surrounding the focal field or farm also seems to be important. Landscape either enhances or reduces the positive effects of organic farming or acts via interactions where the surrounding landscape affects biodiversity or ecosystem services differently on organic and conventional farms. Finally, we discuss some of the potential mechanisms behind these results and how organic farming may develop in the future to increase its potential for sustaining biodiversity and associated ecosystem services.

  6. 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.

  7. Ecosystem services in urban landscapes: practical applications and governance implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haase, Dagmar; Frantzeskaki, Niki; Elmqvist, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Urban landscapes are the everyday environment for the majority of the global population, and almost 80 % of the Europeans live in urban areas. The continuous growth in the number and size of urban areas along with an increasing demand on resources and energy poses great challenges for ensuring human welfare in cities while preventing an increasing loss of biodiversity. The understanding of how urban ecosystems function, provide goods and services for urban dwellers; and how they change and what allows and limits their performance can add to the understanding of ecosystem change and governance in general in an ever more human-dominated world. This Special Issue aims at bridging the knowledge gap among urbanization, demand creation, and provisioning of ecosystem services in urban regions on the one hand and schemes of urban governance and planning on the other.

  8. Choosing the safest route: frog orientation in an agricultural landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazerolle, M.J.; Vos, C.C.

    2006-01-01

    Orientation is a key component to successful movements between habitats. We hypothesized that barren agricultural landscapes hinder the ability of frogs to orient and move between habitats. Specifically, we predicted that when presented with a choice between a short route through a hostile environme

  9. 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

  10. 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 gros...

  11. Using Stakeholders' Values to Apply Ecosystem Management in an Upper Midwest Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein; Anderson; Kelly

    1999-10-01

    / How people impact the environment is driven by how they value it; therefore, it is important to understand what these values are and who holds them. This study's objectives were to understand how community members in a rural area of the Upper Midwest value the landscape in which they live and to identify the kinds of management practices they support. The Red River Basin, in northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, served as the study area. University of Minnesota researchers used a two-phase approach to gather data. First, information attained from focus group meetings was used to help develop a questionnaire. Second, this questionnaire was sent to Red River Basin residents who were identified as stakeholders in the landscape. Data analysis examined the entire sample as a whole and divided the sample into rural and urban groups. Results show stakeholders value the landscape for a variety of noneconomic and economic reasons. They see the landscape as something that not only can help them attain an income, but also as something that affects their overall quality of life. Their preferences for management centered around education and cooperative planning efforts. Implications for management include: identify and manage for benefit opportunities dependent upon healthy ecosystems, acknowledge key ecosystem components in planning and management, increase education and cooperative planning with local residents, and stress mutual goals between land managers and constituents as well as between different interest groups.KEY WORDS: Landscape values; Ecosystem management; Benefits-based management; Agriculture; Cooperative planninghttp://link.springer-ny.com/link/service/journals/00267/bibs/24n3p399.html

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy B. Zedler

    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

  13. 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

  14. Pedo-environmental evolution and agricultural landscape transformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Livia Vittori Antisari

    2009-10-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Agricultural landscapes dynamic at the North-West of Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzel, N.

    2012-04-01

    The process of reduction of agrolandscapes has taken place some decades in the North-Western European Russia. During 100 last years the area of agricultural lands have reduced in 1,4 times on the Karelian Isthmus. The most part of it had been abandoned after change of State border after of the Second World War. The processes of overgrowing of the former agricultural lands are studied on the landscapes base. The types of landscapes are distinguished on the based of the morphological relief symptoms, characteristics of the structure rock and the humid regime. Agricultural lands occupy landscapes such as kames, sandy, sandy-loam, clayey plains, sometimes with excess moistening, sandy fluvioglacial plains, loamy morainic plains, mesotrophic and evtrophic peat-bogs. Four stages can be revealed. I - (period to 20 years after termination of agricultural use) - grass-herb meadow with unclosed brush II - (20 - 40) - shrub layer with closed or low-closed canopy and unclosed or low closed small-leaved regrowth III - (40 - 80) - closed small-leaved forest, sometime including the coniferous trees IY - predomination of the coniferous on small-leaved trees Reestablish vegetation successions can be realised by different ways, with different rate, including various trees and ecological groups of species in different landscapes. In the different sites many traits in common are discovered during this processes. The processes taking place in soil of abandoned agricultural lands are expressed more poorly than in vegetation as soil is more "conservative" element of landscape. Now most area occupies former agricultural lands, inhering on III stage and presenting itself small-leaved forest. Over the last decade because of a change in the socio-political situation there has emerged a tendency towards an increase in the area of the cultivated land in the Karelian Isthmus including the secondary development of previously abandoned lands. However, this process is going on spontaneously; there

  17. 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.

  18. 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 empiri...... 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.......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...

  19. Landscape evolution by soil redistribution in a Mediterranean agricultural context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciampalini, Rossano; Follain, Stéphane; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2010-05-01

    Soils and landscapes are frequently subjected to rapid evolutions induced by climate changes and humans disturbances. Early, soil scientists had already sought to identify the dynamic interactions between soils and landscapes. Soil redistribution modelling is an appropriate analyse methodology widely utilized (Kirkby, 1985; Van Oost et al., 2000; Van Rompaey et al., 2001; Minasny and McBratney, 1999; Van Oost et al., 2005; Govers et al., 2006) to understand space time evolution in soil and landscape processes at short and medium term. The aims of this research is to develop a model able to simulate soil evolution as affected by soil redistribution processes (e.g. water-erosion processes and mechanical erosion) and to use pedological knowledge acquired from a field study coupled with the present research. The LandSoil model, here proposed, is an event based model, dimensioned for fine spatial [1 m] and medium [10 -100 years] temporal scales, taking into account a detailed representation of the agricultural landscape structure. It is composed of three modules for soil erosion/redistribution: rill erosion (Souchère et al., 2003); interrill erosion (Cerdan et al., 2002); and tillage erosion based on the mechanistic rules developed by Govers et al., 1994. After each rain and tillage event a new topography is evaluated as well as all the geometric landscape parameters. Specificities of the model are: i) long-term landscape analysis and topography balance after each rainfall; ii) evaluation of water erosion and soil mechanistic redistribution (tillage erosion); iii) taking in consideration of the landscape geometry, especially connectivity, as a significant information in describing the landscape and useful in modelling (Landscape structure management and landscape design); and iv) utilisation of various and different climate scenarios thanks to the event based model. Subsequently we apply this model to study the effect of different scenarios of land management and

  20. 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.

  1. Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Charlotte L. R.; Van Itterbeeck, Joost

    2017-01-01

    Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems. PMID:28218635

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. Avian Species and Functional Diversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Does Landscape Heterogeneity Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Myung-Bok; Martin, James A

    2017-01-01

    While the positive relationship between avian diversity and habitat heterogeneity is widely accepted, it is primarily based on observed species richness without accounting for imperfect detection. Other facets of diversity such as functional diversity are also rarely explored. We investigated the avian diversity-landscape heterogeneity relationship in agricultural landscapes by considering two aspects of diversity: taxonomic diversity (species richness) estimated from a multi-species dynamic occupancy model, and functional diversity (functional evenness [FEve] and divergence [FDiv]) based on traits of occurring species. We also assessed how agricultural lands enrolled in a conservation program managed on behalf of declining early successional bird species (hereafter CP38 fields, an agri-environment scheme) influenced avian diversity. We analyzed breeding bird data collected at CP38 fields in Mississippi, USA, during 2010-2012, and two principal components of environmental variables: a gradient of heterogeneity (Shannon's landscape diversity index) and of the amount of CP38 fields (percent cover of CP38 fields; CP38). FEve did not show significant responses to environmental variables, whereas FDiv responded positively to heterogeneity and negatively to CP38. However, most FDiv values did not significantly differ from random expectations along an environmental gradient. When there was a significant difference, FDiv was lower than that expected. Unlike functional diversity, species richness showed a clear pattern. Species richness increased with increasing landscape heterogeneity but decreased with increasing amounts of CP38 fields. Only one species responded negatively to heterogeneity and positively to CP38. Our results suggest that the relationships between avian diversity and landscape heterogeneity may vary depending on the aspect of diversity considered: strong positive effects of heterogeneity on taxonomic diversity, but weakly positive or non

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 empiri...... 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....

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The Influence of Groundwater Depletion from Irrigated Agriculture on the Tradeoffs between Ecosystem Services and Economic Returns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Kent; West, Grant

    2016-01-01

    An irrigated agricultural landscape experiencing groundwater overdraft generates economic returns and a suite of ecosystem services (in particular, groundwater supply, greenhouse gases reduction, and surface water quality). Alternative land cover choices indicate tradeoffs among the value of ecosystem services created and the economic returns. These tradeoffs are explored using efficiency frontiers that determine the least value in ecosystem services that must be given up to generate additional economic returns. Agricultural producers may switch to irrigation with surface water using on-farm reservoirs and tail water recovery systems in response to groundwater overdraft, and this has consequences for the bundle of ecosystem service values and economic returns achievable from the landscape. Planning that accounts for both ecosystem service value and economic returns can achieve more value for society, as does the adoption of reservoirs though lowering the costs of irrigation, increasing groundwater levels, and reducing fuel combustion and associated GHG emissions from groundwater pumping. Sensitivity analyses of per unit value of ecosystem services, crop prices, and the groundwater and water purification model parameters indicate tradeoff among ecosystems service values, such as the use of a high-end social cost of carbon ultimately lowers groundwater supply and water purification value by more than 15%. PMID:28033405

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Samuel C.; Kröger, Robert; Pezeshki, Reza

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:24832519

  17. Optimum Landscape Allocation of Conservation Practices for Water Quality and Ecosystem Service Valuation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalzell, B. J.; Pennington, D.; Nelson, E.; Mulla, D.; Polasky, S.; Taff, S.

    2012-12-01

    This study links a spatially-explicit biophysical model (SWAT) with an economic model (InVEST) to identify the economically optimum allocation of conservation practices on the landscape. Combining biophysical and economic analysis allows assessment of the benefits and costs of alternative policy choices through consideration of direct costs and benefits as measured by market transactions as well as non-market benefits and costs from changes in environmental conditions that lead to changes in the provision of ecosystem services. When applied to an agricultural watershed located in South-Central Minnesota, this approach showed that: (1) some modest gains (20% improvement, relative to baseline conditions) in water quality can be achieved without diminishing current economic returns, but that (2) more dramatic reductions in sediment and phosphorus required to meet water quality goals (50% reductions in loadings) will require transitioning land from row crops into perennial vegetation. This shift in land cover will result in a reduction in economic returns unless non-market ecosystem services are also valued. Further results showed that traditional best management practices such as conservation tillage and reduced fertilizer application rates are not sufficient to achieve water quality goals by themselves. Finally, if crop prices drop to pre-2007 levels or valuation of ecosystem services increases, then achieving water quality goals can occur with less of an economic impact to the watershed.

  18. 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.

  19. Birds as suppliers of seed dispersal in temperate ecosystems: conservation guidelines from real-world landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Daniel; Zamora, Regino; Amico, Guillermo C

    2010-08-01

    Seed dispersal by animals is considered a pivotal ecosystem function that drives plant-community dynamics in natural habitats and vegetation recovery in human-altered landscapes. Nevertheless, there is a lack of suitable ecological knowledge to develop basic conservation and management guidelines for this ecosystem service. Essential questions, such as how well the abundance of frugivorous animals predicts seeding function in different ecosystems and how anthropogenic landscape heterogeneity conditions the role of dispersers, remain poorly answered. In three temperate ecosystems, we studied seed dispersal by frugivorous birds in landscape mosaics shaped by human disturbance. By applying a standardized design across systems, we related the frequency of occurrence of bird-dispersed seeds throughout the landscape to the abundance of birds, the habitat features, and the abundance of fleshy fruits. Abundance of frugivorous birds in itself predicted the occurrence of dispersed seeds throughout the landscape in all ecosystems studied. Even those landscape patches impoverished due to anthropogenic disturbance received some dispersed seeds when visited intensively by birds. Nonetheless, human-caused landscape degradation largely affected seed-deposition patterns by decreasing cover of woody vegetation or availability of fruit resources that attracted birds and promoted seed dispersal. The relative role of woody cover and fruit availability in seed dispersal by birds differed among ecosystems. Our results suggest that to manage seed dispersal for temperate ecosystem preservation or restoration one should consider abundance of frugivorous birds as a surrogate of landscape-scale seed dispersal and an indicator of patch quality for the dispersal function; woody cover and fruit resource availability as key landscape features that drive seedfall patterns; and birds as mobile links that connect landscape patches of different degrees of degradation and habitat quality via seed

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  3. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Kizos, Thanasis; Bieling, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Landscapes are closely linked to human well-being, but they are undergoing rapid and fundamental change. Understanding the societal transformation underlying these landscape changes, as well as the ecological and societal outcomes of landscape transformations across scales are prime areas for lan...

  5. 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.

  6. A sustainable landscape ecosystem design: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lei-Chang; Ye, Shu-Hong; Gu, Xun; Cao, Fu-Cun; Fan, Zheng-Qiu; Wang, Xiang-Rong; Wu, Ya-Sheng; Wang, Shou-Bing

    2010-05-01

    Landscape planning is clearly ecologically and socially relevant. Concern about sustainability between human and environment is now a driving paradigm for this professional. However, the explosion of the sustainable landscape in China is a very recent phenomenon. What is the sustainable landscape? How is this realized in practice? In this article, on the basis of the reviews of history and perplexities of Chinese landscape and nature analysis of sustainable landscape, the ecothinking model, an implemental tool for sustainable landscape, was developed, which applies ecothinking in vision, culture, conservation and development of site, and the process of public participation for a harmonious relationship between human and environment. And a case study of the south entrance of TongNiuling Scenic Area was carried out, in which the most optimum scenario was chosen from among three models according to the ecothinking model, to illustrate the construction of the ecothinking model and how to achieve a sustainable landscape.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 (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.

  9. Evaluating topographic wetness indices across central New York agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, B. P.; Fleming, M.; Schneider, R. L.; Richards, B. K.; Archibald, J.; Qiu, Z.; Walter, M. T.

    2014-08-01

    Accurately predicting soil moisture patterns in the landscape is a persistent challenge. In humid regions, topographic wetness indices (TWIs) are widely used to approximate relative soil moisture patterns. However, there are many ways to calculate TWIs and very few field studies have evaluated the different approaches - especially in the US. We calculated TWIs using over 400 unique formulations that considered different digital elevation model (DEM) resolutions (cell size), vertical precision of DEM, flow direction and slope algorithms, smoothing via low-pass filtering, and the inclusion of relevant soil properties. We correlated each TWI with observed patterns of soil moisture at five agricultural fields in central NY, USA, with each field visited five to eight times between August and November 2012. Using a mixed effects modeling approach, we were able to identify optimal TWI formulations applicable to moderate relief agricultural settings that may provide guidance for practitioners and future studies. Overall, TWIs were moderately well correlated with observed soil moisture patterns; in the best case the relationship between TWI and soil moisture had an average R2 and Spearman correlation value of 0.61 and 0.78, respectively. In all cases, fine-scale (3 m) lidar-derived DEMs worked better than USGS 10 m DEMs and, in general, including soil properties improved correlations.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. An exhaustive inventory of coniferous trees in an agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousselet, Jérôme; Roques, Alain; Garcia, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Various species of forest trees are commonly used for ornamental purposes and are therefore frequently found in non-forest ecosystems. These trees constitute a significant component of the trees outside forests (TOF). Although increasingly recognized as prominent feature of agricultural lands and built-up areas, not much is known, however, about TOF since they are generally absent from forest inventories. New information In the present study, we focus on the coniferous tree species that constitute potential hosts for a forest defoliator, the pine processionary moth Thaumetopoea pityocampa Den. & Schiff. (Lepidoptera, Notodontidae). We carried out an exhaustive inventory of all pines (Pinus spp.), cedars (Cedrus spp.) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in a 22 × 22 km study window located in the open-field region of Beauce in the centre of France. We recorded a total of 3834 individuals or small groups host trees corresponding a density of 7.9 occurrences per 100 ha. We provide the spatial coordinates of the points without differentiation between tree species. PMID:25733964

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Methane uptake in agricultural and old-field ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reed, W.L.; Halstead, S.J.; Robertson, G.P. (Kellogg Biological Station, Hickory Corners, MI (United States) Michigan State Univ., East Lansing (United States))

    1993-06-01

    Atmospheric methane (CH[sub 4]) concentrations are rising approximately 1% per year, with important consequences for the earth's radiation balance and tropospheric chemistry. Sources of this increase are not well known; recent evidence suggests that land conversion to agriculture may play some role in this increase if CH[sub 4] consumption in upland soils is suppressed by agronomic activities. We tested this hypothesis in a series of replicated agricultural and old-field communities at the KBS LTER site in southwest Michigan. We measured CH[sub 4] flux with static chambers in 6 different cropping systems (conventional till and no-till annual crops, ridge-till organic based crops, perennial crops) and in early successional and mid-succession (never tilled) old field communities. Chambers were sampled 17 times over the 1992 growing season and analyzed for CH[sub 4], N[sub 2]O, and CO[sub 2]. We found significant but highly variable CH[sub 4] uptake on some dates in all 8 ecosystem types, with most consistent consumption in the organic based crops and old-field communities.

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Appreciation, Use, and Management of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in California's Working Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Ferranto, Shasta; Huntsinger, Lynn; Kelly, Maggi; Getz, Christy

    2012-09-01

    "Working landscapes" is the concept of fostering effective ecosystem stewardship and conservation through active human presence and management and integrating livestock, crop, and timber production with the provision of a broad range of ecosystem services at the landscape scale. Based on a statewide survey of private landowners of "working" forests and rangelands in California, we investigated whether owners who are engaged in commercial livestock or timber production appreciate and manage biodiversity and ecosystem services on their land in different ways than purely residential owners. Both specific uses and management practices, as well as underlying attitudes and motivations toward biodiversity and ecosystem services, were assessed. Correlation analysis showed one bundle of ecosystem goods and services (e.g., livestock, timber, crops, and housing) that is supported by some landowners at the community level. Another closely correlated bundle of biodiversity and ecosystem services includes recreation, hunting/fishing, wildlife habitat, and fire prevention. Producers were more likely to ally with the first bundle and residential owners with the second. The survey further confirmed that cultural ecosystem services and quality-of-life aspects are among the primary amenities that motivate forest and rangeland ownership regardless of ownership type. To live near natural beauty was the most important motive for both landowner groups. Producers were much more active in management for habitat improvement and other environmental goals than residential owners. As the number of production-oriented owners decreases, developing strategies for encouraging environment-positive management by all types of landowners is crucial.

  6. 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

  7. Small mammal communities in agricultural landscapes in Germany: review of field data over the last decade

    OpenAIRE

    Von Blanckenhagen, F.; Städtler, T.

    2011-01-01

    Little is known about general composition of small mammal communities in agricultural land in Germany. Most published data represent only a few months’ data in a specific habitat type focussing on a small region. This presentation will review data from several studies performed in the last decade of almost every year in agricultural land across different regions in Germany. Data on the distribution of small mammal species in landscapes dominated by agricultural land including cropped fields, ...

  8. Urban and agricultural soils: conflicts and trade-offs in the optimization of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Setälä, H.; Bardgett, R.D.; Birkhofer, K.; Brady, M.; Byrne, L.; de Ruiter, P.C.; de Vries, F.T.; Gardi, C.; Hedlund, K.; Hemerik, L.; Hotes, S.; Liiri, M.; Mortimer, S.R.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Pouyat, R.; Tsiafouli, M.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2014-01-01

    [KEYWORDS: Agriculture Ecosystem services Land use Management optimization Soil Urban Trade-off] On-going human population growth and changing patterns of resource consumption are increasing global demand for ecosystem services, many of which are provided by soils. Some of these ecosystem services a

  9. 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

  10. The role of agricultural engineering in the management of landscape changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Fumagalli

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Landscape represents the “sensory aspect” of the land and as such it can be appreciated by all the five senses: sight, smelling, hearing, touch and taste. At the same time, landscape evolves over time and its value – ecological, economical and affective – changes as its constitutive elements change. Engineering can help “to drive” this evolution addressing it towards a condition of balance between individual and community requirements, especially referred to the effect of technological development on landscape. This effect can be referred to three dimensions: perceptive, functional and symbolic dimensions. The possible contribution to the management of landscape changes concerns all the three historic souls of Agricultural Engineering; in particular, Agricultural Hydraulics deals with the topic of landscape referring to both irrigation and the possible recreational use of canal systems; Agricultural Engineering determines plot form and size and woodland view; Rural Building deals with both the recovery of existing buildings and the design and making of new ones and their fitting in the landscape; moreover, the sector has developed new methods for the evaluation and the planning of rural land resources, especially about agriculture and forestry productivity, ecological stability and visual quality of rural land itself.

  11. Restoration of degraded agricultural terraces: rebuilding landscape structure and process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFevor, M C

    2014-06-01

    The restoration of severely degraded cropland to productive agricultural capacity increases food supply, improves soil and water conservation, and enhances environmental and ecological services. This article examines the key roles that long-term maintenance plays in the processes of repairing degraded agricultural land. Field measurements from Tlaxcala, Mexico stress that restoring agricultural structures (the arrangements of landforms and vegetation) is alone insufficient. Instead, an effective monitoring and maintenance regime of agricultural structures is also crucial if the efforts are to be successful. Consequently, methods of wildland restoration and agricultural restoration may differ in the degree to which the latter must plan for and facilitate a sustained human involvement. An improved understanding of these distinctions is critical for environmental management as restoration programs that employ the technologies of intensive agriculture continue to grow in number and scope.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 UAVs) can be used to generate structure from motion (SFM) products describing the very fine detailed (UAVs). We furthermore draw attention to the influence post-processing solutions have on the accuracy of the final product, the digital surface model (DSM), by using recently acquired data. Specifically, when applied in a structurally complex field site with irregular

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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

    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...

  9. Is there an optimum scale for predicting bird species' distribution in agricultural landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelosi, Céline; Bonthoux, Sébastien; Castellarini, Fabiana; Goulard, Michel; Ladet, Sylvie; Balent, Gérard

    2014-04-01

    Changes in forest cover in agricultural landscapes affect biodiversity. Its management needs some indications about scale to predict occurrence of populations and communities. In this study we considered a forest cover index to predict bird species and community patterns in agricultural landscapes in south-western France. We used generalized linear models for that purpose with prediction driven by wooded areas' spatial distribution at nine different radii. Using 1064 point counts, we modelled the distribution of 10 bird species whose habitat preferences are spread along a landscape opening gradient. We also modelled the distribution of species richness for farmland species and for forest species. We used satellite images to construct a 'wood/non-wood' map and calculated a forest index, considering the surface area of wooded areas at nine radii from 110m to 910m. The models' predictive quality was determined by the AUC (for predicted presences) and ρ (for predicted species richness) criteria. We found that the forest cover was a good predictor of the distribution of seven bird species in agricultural landscapes (mean AUC for the seven species = 0.74 for the radius 110m). Species richness of farmland and forest birds was satisfactorily predicted by the models (ρ = 0.55 and 0.49, respectively, for the radius 110m). The presence of the studied species and species richness metrics were better predicted at smaller scales (i.e. radii between 110 m and 310 m) within the range tested. These results have implications for bird population management in agricultural landscapes since better pinpointing the scale to predict species distributions will enhance targeting efforts to be made in terms of landscape management.

  10. Grass buffers for playas in agricultural landscapes: A literature synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melcher, Cynthia P.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2005-01-01

    We summarize current knowledge about grass buffers for protecting small, isolated wetlands in agricultural contexts, including information relevant to protecting playas from runoff containing sediments, nutrients, pesticides, and other contaminants, and information on how buffers may affect densities and productivity of grassland birds. Land-uses surrounding the approximately 60,000 playas within the Playa Lakes Region (PLR), including intensive agriculture, feedlots, and oil extraction, can contribute to severe degradation of playas. Farming and grazing can lead to significant sedimentation in nearby playas, eliminating their ability to hold water, support the region’s biodiversity, or adequately recharge aquifers. Contaminants further degrade habitats and threaten the water quality of underlying aquifers, including the Ogallala Aquifer.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Towards integrated assessment of natural pest control as part of a set of ecosystem services: the Landscape IMAGES approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rossing, W.A.H.; Groot, J.C.J.

    2012-01-01

    Natural pest control is an ecosystem service that appears to be affected by ecosystem characteristics at spatial scales from field to landscape. Changes in land use and land management at the field level to enhance pest control depend on a small number of decision makers. In contrast, changes at the

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M. Duke

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Misha; Kremen, Claire; Roderick, George K

    2014-01-01

    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.

  2. The importance of biodiversity and dominance for multiple ecosystem functions in a human-modified tropical landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohbeck, Madelon; Bongers, Frans; Martinez-Ramos, Miguel; Poorter, Lourens

    2016-10-01

    Many studies suggest that biodiversity may be particularly important for ecosystem multifunctionality, because different species with different traits can contribute to different functions. Support, however, comes mostly from experimental studies conducted at small spatial scales in low-diversity systems. Here, we test whether different species contribute to different ecosystem functions that are important for carbon cycling in a high-diversity human-modified tropical forest landscape in Southern Mexico. We quantified aboveground standing biomass, primary productivity, litter production, and wood decomposition at the landscape level, and evaluated the extent to which tree species contribute to these ecosystem functions. We used simulations to tease apart the effects of species richness, species dominance and species functional traits on ecosystem functions. We found that dominance was more important than species traits in determining a species' contribution to ecosystem functions. As a consequence of the high dominance in human-modified landscapes, the same small subset of species mattered across different functions. In human-modified landscapes in the tropics, biodiversity may play a limited role for ecosystem multifunctionality due to the potentially large effect of species dominance on biogeochemical functions. However, given the spatial and temporal turnover in species dominance, biodiversity may be critically important for the maintenance and resilience of ecosystem functions.

  3. Impacts of agricultural irrigation on nearby freshwater ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorente, Carmen; Causape, Jesus; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2015-01-01

    impacted the nearby freshwater ecosystems via runoff Specifically, we assessed the toxicity of three triazine herbicides, terbuthylazine, atrazine and simazine on the photosynthetic efficiency and structure of algal benthic biofilms (i.e., phototropic periphyton) in the small creek draining the basin...

  4. 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.

  5. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 with rapidly changing high Arctic landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmerton, Craig A; St Louis, Vincent L; Humphreys, Elyn R; Gamon, John A; Barker, Joel D; Pastorello, Gilberto Z

    2016-03-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However, our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near-zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3 ± 13.5 g C m(-2) ). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over 300 times more carbon (NEE: -79.3 ± 20.0 g C m(-2) ) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southerly latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on-site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote sensing; however, high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases enough to offset poor soil moisture retention, climate-related changes to productivity on polar semideserts may be restricted.

  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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Socially optimal drainage system and agricultural biodiversity: a case study for Finnish landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saikkonen, Liisa; Herzon, Irina; Ollikainen, Markku; Lankoski, Jussi

    2014-12-15

    This paper examines the socially optimal drainage choice (surface/subsurface) for agricultural crop cultivation in a landscape with different land qualities (fertilities) when private profits and nutrient runoff damages are taken into account. We also study the measurable social costs to increase biodiversity by surface drainage when the locations of the surface-drained areas in a landscape affect the provided biodiversity. We develop a general theoretical model and apply it to empirical data from Finnish agriculture. We find that for low land qualities the measurable social returns are higher to surface drainage than to subsurface drainage, and that the profitability of subsurface drainage increases along with land quality. The measurable social costs to increase biodiversity by surface drainage under low land qualities are negative. For higher land qualities, these costs depend on the land quality and on the biodiversity impacts. Biodiversity conservation plans for agricultural landscapes should focus on supporting surface drainage systems in areas where the measurable social costs to increase biodiversity are negative or lowest.

  12. A landscape in three biospheres: biological rock weathering in a model ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presler, J. K.

    2012-12-01

    Biological rock weathering is the process by which life breaks down minerals into forms that are readily available for creation of an ecosystem. In order to test how microbes, plants and mycorrhizal communities interact with bedrock to initiate a primary ecosystem that will eventually lead to soil formation, we developed a modular experiment in the desert biome of Biosphere-2. In this presentation we present selected phases in the development of the experimental setup. Briefly, we aimed to replicate a large-scale primordial landscape in a closed, mesocosm system involving six carefully designed, identical chambers, each containing 48 experimental columns, 30cm long. The rocks used, i.e. basalt, rhyolite, granite and schist, represent four prevalent rock types in the natural landscape. The biotic communities are represented by combinations of rock microbial communities, plants and their associated mycorrhizae. Bacterial inoculum was optimized for each rock type. Each model was created to remain completely separated from outside influence. We expect that this experiment will provide crucial knowledge about primary interactions between rock and biota on Earth. Experimental Modules

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The importance of riparian zones on stream carbon and nitrogen export in a temperate, agricultural dominated landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wohlfart, T; Exbrayat, J F; Schelde, Kirsten;

    2012-01-01

    The surrounding landscape of a stream has crucial impacts on the aquatic environment. This study pictures the hydro-biogeochemical situation of the Tyrebaekken creek catchment in central Jutland, Denmark. The intensively managed agricultural landscape is dominated by rotational croplands. One...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Aircraft Regional-Scale Flux Measurements over Complex Landscapes of Mangroves, Desert, and Marine Ecosystems of Magdalena Bay, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Natural ecosystems are rarely structurally simple or functionally homogeneous. This is true for the complex coastal region of Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico, where the spatial variability in ecosystem fluxes from the Pacific coastal ocean, eutrophic lagoon, mangroves, and desert were studied. The Sky Arrow 650TCN environmental research aircraft proved to be an effective tool in characterizing land–atmosphere fluxes of energy, CO2, and water vapor across a heterogeneous landscape a...

  6. 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.

  7. The Importance of Agriculture-Dominated Landscapes and Lack of Field Border Effect for Early-Succession Songbird Nest Success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason D. Riddle

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, many early-succession songbird species have experienced severe and widespread declines, which often are related to habitat destruction. Field borders create additional or enhance existing early-succession habitat on farmland. However, field border shape and the landscape context surrounding farms may influence the effectiveness of field borders in contributing to the stabilization or increase of early-succession bird populations. We examined the influence of linear and nonlinear field borders on farms in landscapes dominated by either agriculture or forests on nest success and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater brood parasitism of Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea and Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea nests combined. Field border establishment did not affect nest survival probability and brood parasitism frequency of Indigo Bunting and Blue Grosbeak nests. Indigo Bunting/Blue Grosbeak nest success probability was more than twice as high in agriculture-dominated landscapes (39% than in forested landscapes (17%, and brood parasitism frequency was high (33% but did not differ between landscapes. Edges in agriculture-dominated landscapes can be higher-quality habitats for early-succession birds than edges in forest-dominated landscapes, but our field border treatments did not enhance nest success for these birds on farms in either landscape.

  8. 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...

  9. Molecular methods for assessment of antibiotic resistance in agricultural ecosystems: prospects and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural ecosystems are of special interest for monitoring the potential for antibiotic resistance to spread through the environment and contribute to human exposure. Molecular methods, which target DNA, RNA, and other molecular components of bacterial cells, present certain advantages for char...

  10. Payments for Ecosystem Services, Poverty and Sustainability: The Case of Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antle, J.M.; Stoorvogel, J.J.

    2009-01-01

    This chapter explores the potential impacts of payments for ecosystem services on poverty and sustainability of farm households, using the example of agricultural soil carbon sequestration. Economic analysis shows that there is a variety of technical and economic factors affecting adoption of practi

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    : a landscape evaluation in terms of services and qualities, an assessment of actual recreational use, and finally an assessment of the costs - in terms of residential development values lost - of securing the provoision of aesthetic quallities and recreational opportunities. Searching the original planning......- 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...... their strong recrational value. The value of the demolished houses in first case are exceeds 115 million euros, and the value of the lost development opportunities in the second case area axceeds 280 million euros....

  14. 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.

  15. Soil degradation processes in the Italian agricultural and forest ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edoardo A.C. Costantini

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A number of processes of degradation threaten soil functions. Ten of them are acknowledged by the European Union and fifteen by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, but at least another seven have been indicated by different authors in Italy and in other parts of the world. This short review paper summarizes the nature, economic relevance, and territorial impact of soil degradation in Italy, and with reference to Europe as a whole, and highlights the most relevant research needs in soil conservation. The direct annual costs of the main soil degradation processes are estimated to be over 38,000,000,000 euro per year in Europe as a whole, while in Italy, only for landslides, floods, and soil erosion, costs amount to 900,000,000 euro. Loss of the ability to produce food commodities because of soil degradation is particularly important in Italy, since selfsufficiency in food has recently decreased to less than 80% and Italian agricultural soils are hit by several problems, such as limited soil drainage, unfavorable texture and stoniness, shallow rooting depth, and poor chemical properties. On average, soil sealing, reduction in organic matter, and soil compaction in Italy are comparable with those of many other countries, but the occurrence of soil erosion, floods, and landslides is more widespread than in most parts of Europe, and also the presence of salt-affected soils is becoming a major worry. The fight against soil degradation in Italy is certainly more difficult than in other countries because of the high environmental variability. However, according to the current trends, Italy is mostly probably destined not to achieve the European objective to significantly reduce main soil degradation processes by the year 2020. There are several research needs in the field of soil conservation in Italy. These include: i a better basic knowledge about many soil degradation processes and of pedodiversity; ii reliable, sensitive

  16. Pesticide concentrations in frog tissue and wetland habitats in a landscape dominated by agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smalling, Kelly L; Reeves, Rebecca; Muths, Erin; Vandever, Mark; Battaglin, William A; Hladik, Michelle L; Pierce, Clay L

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss and exposure to pesticides are likely primary factors contributing to amphibian decline in agricultural landscapes. Conservation efforts have attempted to restore wetlands lost through landscape modifications to reduce contaminant loads in surface waters and providing quality habitat to wildlife. The benefits of this increased wetland area, perhaps especially for amphibians, may be negated if habitat quality is insufficient to support persistent populations. We examined the presence of pesticides and nutrients in water and sediment as indicators of habitat quality and assessed the bioaccumulation of pesticides in the tissue of two native amphibian species Pseudacris maculata (chorus frogs) and Lithobates pipiens (leopard frogs) at six wetlands (3 restored and 3 reference) in Iowa, USA. Restored wetlands are positioned on the landscape to receive subsurface tile drainage water while reference wetlands receive water from overland run-off and shallow groundwater sources. Concentrations of the pesticides frequently detected in water and sediment samples were not different between wetland types. The median concentration of atrazine in surface water was 0.2 μg/L. Reproductive abnormalities in leopard frogs have been observed in other studies at these concentrations. Nutrient concentrations were higher in the restored wetlands but lower than concentrations thought lethal to frogs. Complex mixtures of pesticides including up to 8 fungicides, some previously unreported in tissue, were detected with concentrations ranging from 0.08 to 1,500 μg/kg wet weight. No significant differences in pesticide concentrations were observed between species, although concentrations tended to be higher in leopard frogs compared to chorus frogs, possibly because of differences in life histories. Our results provide information on habitat quality in restored wetlands that will assist state and federal agencies, landowners, and resource managers in identifying and implementing

  17. 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

  18. The causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem-an econometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asumadu-Sarkodie, Samuel; Owusu, Phebe Asantewaa

    2017-01-01

    Achieving a long-term food security and preventing hunger include a better nutrition through sustainable systems of production, distribution, and consumption. Nonetheless, the quest for an alternative to increasing global food supply to meet the growing demand has led to the use of poor agricultural practices that promote climate change. Given the contribution of the agricultural ecosystem towards greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this study investigated the causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem by employing a data spanning from 1961 to 2012. Evidence from long-run elasticity shows that a 1 % increase in the area of rice paddy harvested will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.49 %, a 1 % increase in biomass-burned crop residues will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.00 %, a 1 % increase in cereal production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.38 %, and a 1 % increase in agricultural machinery will decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 0.09 % in the long run. There was a bidirectional causality between carbon dioxide emissions, cereal production, and biomass-burned crop residues. The Granger causality shows that the agricultural ecosystem in Ghana is sensitive to climate change vulnerability.

  19. 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.

  20. Soil Redox Dynamics Vary with Landscape Position and Hydroperiod in the Pantanal Wetland Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couto, E. G.; Johnson, M. S.; Pinto-jr, O.; Leite, N. K.

    2012-12-01

    The Pantanal wetland ecosystem of central South America is the largest tropical wetland complex in the world. Nevertheless, biogeochemistry in the Pantanal is quite limited. A unimodal precipitation regime averages approximately 1200 mm y-1 during the six-month rainy season, leading to seasonal flooding on much, but not all, of the landscape. We investigated the impact of landscape position and hydroperiod on soil redox potential (Eh) in four research locations in the Northern Pantanal near Poconé, Mato Grosso: two locations subject to flooding (a flooded forest and a flooded scrub forest) and two locations with infrequent surface flooding (tree islands known as cordilheiras). Redox sensors were installed at 10 cm and 30 cm depths at each of the four locations with half-hourly data recorded over all hydro-periods (dry season, rising water, flood and falling water). Here we summarize results to date in this ongoing study. Reducing conditions were observed in response to both precipitation events saturating soil from the surface downward, as well as in response to regional flooding dynamics that saturate soil from below. These are helping to guide design of a study on methane dynamics in the Pantanal wetland complex.

  1. Ecological and spatial modeling : mapping ecosystems, landscape changes, and plant species distribution in Llanos del Orinoco, Venezuela

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moreno, E.J.C.

    2007-01-01

    The transformation of Llanos del Orinoco, focused on the flooding savanna, is evaluated in terms of the change and replacement of the savanna ecosystem and the plant species distribution under a Landscape Ecological approach. This research is carried out at three spatial scales: sub-continental, reg

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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......-1993, but (almost unique in Europe) have since increased (by up to 11% per annum) in some areas without specific conservation recovery actions. Based on breeding bird surveys in the mid 1990s, highest corn bunting densities occurred on mixed agriculture in west Denmark (Jylland); the species was rarer or absent...... in regions of highest arable land cover. Corn bunting density and extent of rotational and permanent grassland were correlated, but not with spring sown barley (all known to constitute important corn bunting winter habitat). The extent of spring barley rapidly declined in Denmark during the 1980s, but since...

  5. [Impacts of landscape patterns on heavy metal contamination of agricultural top soils in the Pearl River Delta, South China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cheng; Li, Fang-bai; Wu, Zhi-feng; Cheng, Jiong

    2015-04-01

    Landscape patterns are known to influence many ecological processes, but the relationship between landscape patterns and soil pollution processes is not well understood. Based on 300 top soil samples, land use and cover map for the Pearl River Delta (PRD) of 2005, this study explored the characteristics and spatial pattern of heavy metal contamination of agricultural top soils and examined the impacts of landscape patterns on the heavy metal contamination in the buffers of soil samples. Research methods included geostatistical analysis, landscape pattern analysis, single-factor pollution indices, and Pearson correlation analysis. We found that: 1) out of the 235 agricultural soil samples, 3.8%, 0.4%, 17.0% and 9.4% samples exceeded the Grade II national standard for As, Pb, Cd and Ni concentrations respectively. High pollution levels were found in three cities, Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhongshan; 2) soils in the farmland were more polluted than those in the forest and orchard land, and there were no differences among different agricultural land use types in contamination level of each heavy metal (except Cd); and 3) the proportion, mean patch area as well as the degree of landscape fragmentation, landscape-level structural complexity and aggregation/connectivity of water at the buffer zone were significantly positively correlated with the contamination level of each of the four heavy metals in agricultural top soils. Part of the landscape pattern of urban land in the buffer zone also positively correlated with Pb and Cd levels (P soil Pb and Ni levels (P soil samples, the more polluted the soils were for Pb, Cd and Ni. Only landscape diversity was found to be positively correlated with soil Cd contamination. The study results provide new information and scientific basis for heavy metal pollution control and remediation, especially for agricultural soils in the PRD.

  6. 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

  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.

  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.

  9. 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.

  10. Identifying Landscape Areas Prone to Generating Storm Runoff in Central New York Agricultural Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, K.; Walter, M. T.

    2015-12-01

    Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution continues to be a leading cause of surface water degradation, especially in agricultural areas. In humid regions where variable source area (VSA) hydrology dominates storm runoff, NPS pollution is generated where VSAs coincide with polluting activities. Mapping storm runoff risks could allow for more precise and informed targeting of NPS pollution mitigation practices in agricultural landscapes. Topographic wetness indices (TWI) provide good approximations of relative soil moisture patterns and relative storm runoff risks. Simulation models are typically used in conjunction with TWIs to quantify VSA behavior. In this study we use empirically derived relationships between TWI values, volumetric water content (VWC) and rainfall frequencies to develop runoff probability maps. Rainfall and soil VWC were measured across regionally representative agricultural areas in central New York over three years (2012-2015) to determine the volume of runoff generated from agricultural fields in the area. We assumed the threshold for storm runoff occurs when the combination of antecedent soil water and rainfall are sufficient to saturate the soil. We determined that approximately 50% of the storm runoff volume is generated from 10% of the land area during spring, summer, and autumn seasons, while the risk of storm runoff generation is higher in the spring and autumn seasons than in the summer for the same area of land.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Land Cover Classification in Complex and Fragmented Agricultural Landscapes of the Ethiopian Highlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Eggen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Ethiopia is a largely agrarian country with nearly 85% of its employment coming from agriculture. Nevertheless, it is not known how much land is under cultivation. Mapping land cover at finer resolution and global scales has been particularly difficult in Ethiopia. The study area falls in a region of high mapping complexity with environmental challenges which require higher quality maps. Here, remote sensing is used to classify a large area of the central and northwestern highlands into eight broad land cover classes that comprise agriculture, grassland, woodland/shrub, forest, bare ground, urban/impervious surfaces, water, and seasonal water/marsh areas. We use data from Landsat spectral bands from 2000 to 2011, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and its temporal mean and variance, together with a digital elevation model, all at 30-m spatial resolution, as inputs to a supervised classifier. A Support Vector Machines algorithm (SVM was chosen to deal with the size, variability and non-parametric nature of these data stacks. In post-processing, an image segmentation algorithm with a minimum mapping unit of about 0.5 hectares was used to convert per pixel classification results into an object based final map. Although the reliability of the map is modest, its overall accuracy is 55%—encouraging results for the accuracy of agricultural uses at 85% suggest that these methods do offer great utility. Confusion among grassland, woodland and barren categories reflects the difficulty of classifying savannah landscapes, especially in east central Africa with monsoonal-driven rainfall patterns where the ground is obstructed by clouds for significant periods of time. Our analysis also points out the need for high quality reference data. Further, topographic analysis of the agriculture class suggests there is a significant amount of sloping land under cultivation. These results are important for future research and environmental monitoring in

  19. 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

  20. 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...... 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...

  1. 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) < amaranth, galega (17-19 Bq/kg) < barley, potatoes (31-37 Bq/kg) < maize (58 Bq/kg) < dry meadow (73 Bq/kg) < wet meadow (120 Bq/kg). Commonly, Cs-137 activity in vegetation of natural ecosystems with predominance of perennial grasses is significantly higher than in agrosystems with annual crops. But a substantial portion of Cs-137 in meadow vegetation is associated with belowground biomass, where the radionuclide's activity is 3-5 times greater than in the aboveground 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

  2. Landscape planning for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction I: a geographical allocation framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diebel, Matthew W; Maxted, Jeffrey T; Nowak, Peter J; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2008-11-01

    Agricultural nonpoint source pollution remains a persistent environmental problem, despite the large amount of money that has been spent on its abatement. At local scales, agricultural best management practices (BMPs) have been shown to be effective at reducing nutrient and sediment inputs to surface waters. However, these effects have rarely been found to act in concert to produce measurable, broad-scale improvements in water quality. We investigated potential causes for this failure through an effort to develop recommendations for the use of riparian buffers in addressing nonpoint source pollution in Wisconsin. We used frequency distributions of phosphorus pollution at two spatial scales (watershed and field), along with typical stream phosphorus (P) concentration variability, to simulate benefit/cost curves for four approaches to geographically allocating conservation effort. The approaches differ in two ways: (1) whether effort is aggregated within certain watersheds or distributed without regard to watershed boundaries (dispersed), and (2) whether effort is targeted toward the most highly P-polluting fields or is distributed randomly with regard to field-scale P pollution levels. In realistic implementation scenarios, the aggregated and targeted approach most efficiently improves water quality. For example, with effort on only 10% of a model landscape, 26% of the total P load is retained and 25% of watersheds significantly improve. Our results indicate that agricultural conservation can be more efficient if it accounts for the uneven spatial distribution of potential pollution sources and the cumulative aspects of environmental benefits.

  3. Vegetation Water Content Mapping in a Diverse Agricultural Landscape: National Airborne Field Experiment 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosh, Michael H.; Jing Tao; Jackson, Thomas J.; McKee, Lynn; O'Neill, Peggy

    2011-01-01

    Mapping land cover and vegetation characteristics on a regional scale is critical to soil moisture retrieval using microwave remote sensing. In aircraft-based experiments such as the National Airborne Field Experiment 2006 (NAFE 06), it is challenging to provide accurate high resolution vegetation information, especially on a daily basis. A technique proposed in previous studies was adapted here to the heterogenous conditions encountered in NAFE 06, which included a hydrologically complex landscape consisting of both irrigated and dryland agriculture. Using field vegetation sampling and ground-based reflectance measurements, the knowledge base for relating the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and the vegetation water content was extended to a greater diversity of agricultural crops, which included dryland and irrigated wheat, alfalfa, and canola. Critical to the generation of vegetation water content maps, the land cover for this region was determined from satellite visible/infrared imagery and ground surveys with an accuracy of 95.5% and a kappa coefficient of 0.95. The vegetation water content was estimated with a root mean square error of 0.33 kg/sq m. The results of this investigation contribute to a more robust database of global vegetation water content observations and demonstrate that the approach can be applied with high accuracy. Keywords: Vegetation, field experimentation, thematic mapper, NDWI, agriculture.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Rapid emergence of pathogens in agro-ecosystems: global threats to agricultural sustainability and food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Bruce A; Stukenbrock, Eva H

    2016-12-05

    Agricultural ecosystems are composed of genetically depauperate populations of crop plants grown at a high density and over large spatial scales, with the regional composition of crop species changing little from year to year. These environments are highly conducive for the emergence and dissemination of pathogens. The uniform host populations facilitate the specialization of pathogens to particular crop cultivars and allow the build-up of large population sizes. Population genetic and genomic studies have shed light on the evolutionary mechanisms underlying speciation processes, adaptive evolution and long-distance dispersal of highly damaging pathogens in agro-ecosystems. These studies document the speed with which pathogens evolve to overcome crop resistance genes and pesticides. They also show that crop pathogens can be disseminated very quickly across and among continents through human activities. In this review, we discuss how the peculiar architecture of agro-ecosystems facilitates pathogen emergence, evolution and dispersal. We present four example pathosystems that illustrate both pathogen specialization and pathogen speciation, including different time frames for emergence and different mechanisms underlying the emergence process. Lastly, we argue for a re-design of agro-ecosystems that embraces the concept of dynamic diversity to improve their resilience to pathogens. This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'.

  7. Organic farming benefits local plant diversity in vineyard farms located in intensive agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Paoletti, Maurizio G

    2012-05-01

    The majority of research on organic farming has considered arable and grassland farming systems in Central and Northern Europe, whilst only a few studies have been carried out in Mediterranean agro-systems, such as vineyards, despite their economic importance. The main aim of the study was to test whether organic farming enhances local plant species richness in both crop and non-crop areas of vineyard farms located in intensive conventional landscapes. Nine conventional and nine organic farms were selected in an intensively cultivated region (i.e. no gradient in landscape composition) in northern Italy. In each farm, vascular plants were sampled in one vineyard and in two non-crop linear habitats, grass strips and hedgerows, adjacent to vineyards and therefore potentially influenced by farming. We used linear mixed models to test the effect of farming, and species longevity (annual vs. perennial) separately for the three habitat types. In our intensive agricultural landscapes organic farming promoted local plant species richness in vineyard fields, and grassland strips while we found no effect for linear hedgerows. Differences in species richness were not associated to differences in species composition, indicating that similar plant communities were hosted in vineyard farms independently of the management type. This negative effect of conventional farming was probably due to the use of herbicides, while mechanical operations and mowing regime did not differ between organic and conventional farms. In grassland strips, and only marginally in vineyards, we found that the positive effect of organic farming was more pronounced for perennial than annual species.

  8. 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...

  9. Landscape planning for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction III: assessing phosphorus and sediment reduction potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diebel, Matthew W; Maxted, Jeffrey T; Robertson, Dale M; Han, Seungbong; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    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 km(2)) 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baselga, Andrés; Bonthoux, Sébastien; Balent, Gérard

    2015-01-01

    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)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 localities in a random-like way. Our results might be case-specific, but if stochastic dynamics are generally dominant, the ability of correlative and mechanistic models to predict land cover change effects on species composition would be compromised.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. Mapping the ecosystem service delivery chain: Capacity, flow, and demand pertaining to aesthetic experiences in mountain landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egarter Vigl, Lukas; Depellegrin, Daniel; Pereira, Paulo; de Groot, Rudolf; Tappeiner, Ulrike

    2017-01-01

    Accounting for the spatial connectivity between the provision of ecosystem services (ES) and their beneficiaries (supply-benefit chain) is fundamental to understanding ecosystem functioning and its management. However, the interrelationships of the specific chain links within ecosystems and the actual benefits that flow from natural landscapes to surrounding land have rarely been analyzed. We present a spatially explicit model for the analysis of one cultural ecosystem service (aesthetic experience), which integrates the complete ecosystem service delivery chain for Puez-Geisler Nature Park (Italy): (1) The potential service stock (ES capacity) relies on an expert-based land use ranking matrix, (2) the actual supply (ES flow) is based on visibility properties of observation points along recreational routes, (3) the beneficiaries of the service (ES demand) are derived from socioeconomic data as a measure of the visitation rate to the recreation location, and (4) the supply-demand relationship (ES budget) addresses the spatially explicit oversupply and undersupply of ES. The results indicate that potential ES stocks are substantially higher in core and buffer zones of protected areas than in surrounding land owing to the specific landscape composition. ES flow maps reveal service delivery to 80% of the total area studied, with the highest actual service supply to locations with long and open vistas. ES beneficiary analyses show the highest demand for aesthetic experiences in all-season tourist destinations like Val Badia and Val Gardena, where both recreational amenity and overnight stays are equally high. ES budget maps identify ES hot and cold spots in terms of ES delivery, and they highlight ES undersupply in nature protection buffer zones although they are characterized by highest ES capacity. We show how decision/policy makers can use the presented methodology to plan landscape protection measures and develop specific regulation strategies for visitors based on

  19. Agricultural Best Management Practice Abundance and Location does not Influence Stream Ecosystem Function or Water Quality in the Summer Season

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Best management practices (BMPs) are tools commonly used to mitigate negative impacts of agriculture on water quality; however, the relationship between BMPs and aquatic ecological function is unknown. Our research goal was to determine the association between both stream ecosystem metabolism and water quality, and the abundance and location of four different BMPs in agricultural catchments. Dissolved oxygen was measured over a two-week period in mid-June and used to estimate ecosystem metabo...

  20. An Assessment Of Landscape Segments Suitable For Agriculture In Kerang Volcanic Area Of Jos Plateau Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sohotden Christopher Daniel

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study was carried out to investigate the landscape segments suitable for agricultural purpose in a volcanic land catena of Kerang Area on the Jos Plateau. A reconnaissance survey of the study area was carried out and three different slope segments were identified a total of 41 surface soil samples were taken from the three segments using a stratified systematic sampling. These soils were then analyzed for the physical and chemical properties. The result of the analyses revealed that the organic matter total nitrogen soil PH and exchangeable Ca Mg decline down slope however potassium K and sodium Na increase down slope. Co-efficient of variation of the soil properties for the three different slope segments showed low variability for the upper slope crest and shoulder exception being that phosphorus 43.10 and potassium 41.10 exhibited moderate variability. At the middle slope the co-efficient of variation exhibited by soil properties is predominantly moderate exception being that sodium 75 varies at high proportion at this slope segment. At the lower slope majority of the soil properties exhibited low variability. On the other hand total nitrogen available phosphorous and potassium have values of co-efficient of variation 23.10 65.60 and 23.10 respectively. This indicates that available phosphorus exhibited high variability while total nitrogen and exchangeable potassium have intermediate variability. The between or over all co-efficient or variation for the soil properties are predominantly moderate for most variable except PHH2O 11.80 and PH Cad2 10.60 that have low variability and phosphorous 78 has high variability. Differences in the degree of variation of soil variables from one segment to another can be attributed to soil erosion as affected by slope nature of soil parent materials and soil management technique. The study also revealed that some of the properties determining soil fertility total Nitrogen Available Phosphorus

  1. 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, Catherine A.; Grant, William E.; Mora, Miguel A.; Woodin, Marc

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    Agriculture plays an important role on the environment, notably the quality of water draining cultivated soils. Understanding the relationship between landscape characteristics and stream quality is crucial to sustain a good quality of water and to develop adapted policies. Therefore, this study...... 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...... pathways of N losses. In the Bjerringbro area in central Jutland, Denmark, the landscape is dominated by intensively managed croplands draining into the Tyrebaekken creek. More precisely, one northern and one southern stream run through the catchment (842.7 ha) before converging to form a second order...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Regional gene flow and population structure of the wind-dispersed plant species Hypochaeris radicata (Asteraceae) in an agricultural landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mix, C.; Arens, P.F.P.; Rengelink, R.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Groenendael, van J.M.; Ouburg, J.

    2006-01-01

    Using microsatellites, we investigated population structure and gene flow of the short-lived, wind-dispersed plant species Hypochaeris radicata in a fragmented agricultural landscape where more than 99% of the nutrient-poor grasslands have disappeared over the last century. We sampled populations in

  7. 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.

  8. Vegetation water content mapping in a diverse agricultural landscape: National Airborne Field Experiment 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosh, Michael H.; Tao, Jing; Jackson, Thomas J.; McKee, Lynn; O'Neill, Peggy

    2010-05-01

    Mapping land cover and vegetation characteristics on a regional scale is critical to soil moisture retrieval using microwave remote sensing. In aircraft-based experiments such as the National Airborne Field Experiment 2006 (NAFE'06), it is challenging to provide accurate high resolution vegetation information, especially on a daily basis. A technique proposed in previous studies was adapted here to the heterogenous conditions encountered in NAFE'06, which included a hydrologically complex landscape consisting of both irrigated and dryland agriculture. Using field vegetation sampling and ground-based reflectance measurements, the knowledge base for relating the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and the vegetation water content was extended to a greater diversity of agricultural crops, which included dryland and irrigated wheat, alfalfa, and canola. Critical to the generation of vegetation water content maps, the land cover for this region was determined from satellite visible/infrared imagery and ground surveys with an accuracy of 95.5% and a kappa coefficient of 0.95. The vegetation water content was estimated with a root mean square error of 0.33 kg/m2. The results of this investigation contribute to a more robust database of global vegetation water content observations and demonstrate that the approach can be applied with high accuracy.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. [Effects and influence factors of dicyandiamide (DCD) application in agricultural ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Yu; He, Ji-Zheng; Shen, Ju-Pei

    2014-01-01

    The low utilization efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer in agricultural ecosystem has caused serious economic and environmental issues. Dicyandiamide (DCD) is a widely used nitrification inhibitor, which can inhibit nitrification via affecting ammonia oxidizing microorganisms with minimal influence on other soil microorganisms, thereby reducing the leaching of nitrate and emission of greenhouse gases. The factors influencing the efficiency of DCD in soil include soil temperature, pH, texture, organic matter, moisture, etc. Recently, the application of molecular methods in agricultural systems has shed new light on the microbial mechanism underlying nitrification inhibition by DCD. In this review, the enzymatic inhibition mechanism, the application effects and their influence factors of DCD were summarized, and the prospects of its application were discussed as well.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Factors affecting songbird nest survival in riparian forests in a midwestern agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peak, R.G.; Thompson, F. R.; Shaffer, T.L.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated factors affecting nest success of songbirds in riparian forest and buffers in northeastern Missouri. We used an information-theoretic approach to determine support for hypotheses concerning effects of nest-site, habitat-patch, edge, and temporal factors on nest success of songbirds in three narrow (55-95 m) and three wide (400-530 m) riparian forests with adjacent grassland-shrub buffer strips and in three narrow and three wide riparian forests without adjacent grassland-shrub buffer strips. We predicted that temporal effects would have the most support and that habitat-patch and edge effects would have little support, because nest predation would be great across all sites in the highly fragmented, predominantly agricultural landscape. Interval nest success was 0.404, 0.227, 0.070, and 0.186, respectively, for Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and forest interior species pooled (Acadian Flycatcher [Empidonax virescens], Wood Thrush [Hylocichla mustelina], Ovenbird [Seiurus aurocapillus], and Kentucky Warbler [Oporornis formosus]). The effect of nest stage on nest success had the most support; daily nest success for Gray Catbird and Indigo Bunting were lowest in the laying stage. We found strong support for greater nest success of Gray Catbird in riparian forests with adjacent buffer strips than in riparian forests without adjacent buffer strips. Patch width also occurred in the most-supported model for Gray Catbird, but with very limited support. The null model received the most support for Northern Cardinal. Riparian forests provided breeding habitat for area-sensitive forest species and grassland-shrub nesting species. Buffer strips provided additional breeding habitat for grassland-shrub nesting species. Interval nest success for Indigo Bunting and area-sensitive forest species pooled, however, fell well below the level that is likely necessary to balance juvenile

  16. Matrix permeability of agriculture landscapes: an analysis of movements of the common frog (Rana temporaria)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, C.C.; Goedhart, P.W.; Lammertsma, D.R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    The implications of habitat fragmentation go beyond changes in the size and composition of suitable habitat patches. In fragmented landscapes, "matrix permeability" influences the dispersal of organisms, thereby affecting the persistence of populations in such landscapes. We investigated the effect

  17. 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.

  18. Soil Erosion from Agriculture and Mining: A Threat to Tropical Stream Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan H. Mol

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In tropical countries soil erosion is often increased due to high erodibility of geologically old and weathered soils; intensive rainfall; inappropriate soil management; removal of forest vegetation cover; and mining activities. Stream ecosystems draining agricultural or mining areas are often severely impacted by the high loads of eroded material entering the stream channel; increasing turbidity; covering instream habitat and affecting the riparian zone; and thereby modifying habitat and food web structures. The biodiversity is severely threatened by these negative effects as the aquatic and riparian fauna and flora are not adapted to cope with excessive rates of erosion and sedimentation. Eroded material may also be polluted by pesticides or heavy metals that have an aggravating effect on functions and ecosystem services. Loss of superficial material and deepening of erosion gullies impoverish the nutrient and carbon contents of the soils; and lower the water tables; causing a “lose-lose” situation for agricultural productivity and environmental integrity. Several examples show how to interrupt this vicious cycle by integrated catchment management and by combining “green” and “hard” engineering for habitat restoration. In this review; we summarize current findings on this issue from tropical countries with a focus on case studies from Suriname and Brazil.

  19. Assessing landscape experiences as a cultural ecosystem service in public infrastructure projects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zandersen, Marianne; Lindhjem, Henrik; Magnussen, Kristin

    Undesirable landscape changes, especially from large infrastructure projects, may give rise to large welfare losses due to degraded landscape experiences. These losses are largely unaccounted for in Nordic countries’ planning processes. There is a need to develop practical methods of including...

  20. 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.

  1. Examining Vegetation of Built Landscapes and Their Relationship to Existing Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret Livingston

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available An understanding of the various influences of urbanisation on plant communities is critical for planning a sustainable future for the planet. For example, landscape practices and sense of place driven by aesthetic influences often dominate in the design of built landscapes, resulting in strikingly different vegetation communities from that of the surrounding communities. Furthermore, these built landscapes in metropolitan areas often markedly influence an inhabitant's impressions of a region's biotic foundation and sense of place. Inhabitants may not consider or understand the ecological impacts of practices that are typically dominated by contemporary cultural aesthetics. Do these cultural aesthetic drivers result in relatively similar landscapes in terms of appearance, regardless of region? The purpose of this study was to document general trends in landscape structure and composition from two distinct, different regions. Specifically, we addressed the questions: how do these built landscapes deviate from their surrounding natural communities and are these built landscapes from the two regions similar in structure and composition? This paper characterised landscape vegetation patterns of typical residential areas in two cities with relatively diverse climatic regions, Tucson, Arizona and Atlanta, Georgia. Comparisons were done on data for plant diversity, density, life form (tree, shrub, groundcover, and vines and species origin (native versus non-native from sites within typical residential subdivisions throughout the two cities. Results were compared with the composition of local typology in order to determine what differences and similarities existed in relation to native biotic communities. In both cities, residential landscapes converged on savannah-type landscapes, emphasising scattered overstory and minimal understory that were more compositionally diverse than the native biotic communities because of the introduction of non

  2. 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.

  3. Analysis of surface soil moisture patterns in agricultural landscapes using empirical orthogonal functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Korres

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Soil moisture is one of the fundamental variables in hydrology, meteorology and agriculture. Nevertheless, its spatio-temporal patterns in agriculturally used landscapes affected by multiple natural (rainfall, soil, topography etc. and agronomic (fertilisation, soil management etc. factors are often not well known. The aim of this study is to determine the dominant factors governing the spatio-temporal patterns of surface soil moisture in a grassland and an arable land test site within the Rur catchment in Western Germany. Surface soil moisture (0–6 cm has been measured in an approx. 50×50 m grid at 14 and 17 dates (May 2007 to November 2008 in both test sites. To analyse spatio-temporal patterns of surface soil moisture, an Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF analysis was applied and the results were correlated with parameters derived from topography, soil, vegetation and land management to connect the pattern to related factors and processes. For the grassland test site, the analysis results in one significant spatial structure (first EOF, which explains about 57.5% of the spatial variability connected to soil properties and topography. The weight of the first spatial EOF is stronger on wet days. The highest temporal variability can be found in locations with a high percentage of soil organic carbon (SOC. For the arable land test site, the analysis yields two significant spatial structures, the first EOF, explaining 38.4% of the spatial variability, shows a highly significant correlation to soil properties, namely soil texture. The second EOF, explaining 28.3% of the spatial variability, is connected to differences in land management. The soil moisture in the arable land test site varies more during dry and wet periods on locations with low porosity.

  4. Quantifying exposure of wild bumblebees to mixtures of agrochemicals in agricultural and urban landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botías, Cristina; David, Arthur; Hill, Elizabeth M; Goulson, Dave

    2017-03-01

    The increased use of pesticides has caused concern over the possible direct association of exposure to combinations of these compounds with bee health problems. There is growing proof that bees are regularly exposed to mixtures of agrochemicals, but most research has been focused on managed bees living in farmland, whereas little is known about exposure of wild bees, both in farmland and urban habitats. To determine exposure of wild bumblebees to pesticides in agricultural and urban environments through the season, specimens of five different species were collected from farms and ornamental urban gardens in three sampling periods. Five neonicotinoid insecticides, thirteen fungicides and a pesticide synergist were analysed in each of the specimens collected. In total, 61% of the 150 individuals tested had detectable levels of at least one of the compounds, with boscalid being the most frequently detected (35%), followed by tebuconazole (27%), spiroxamine (19%), carbendazim (11%), epoxiconazole (8%), imidacloprid (7%), metconazole (7%) and thiamethoxam (6%). Quantifiable concentrations ranged from 0.17 to 54.4 ng/g (bee body weight) for individual pesticides. From all the bees where pesticides were detected, the majority (71%) had more than one compound, with a maximum of seven pesticides detected in one specimen. Concentrations and detection frequencies were higher in bees collected from farmland compared to urban sites, and pesticide concentrations decreased through the season. Overall, our results show that wild bumblebees are exposed to multiple pesticides when foraging in agricultural and urban landscapes. Such mixtures are detected in bee tissues not just during the crop flowering period, but also later in the season. Therefore, contact with these combinations of active compounds might be more prolonged in time and widespread in the environment than previously assumed. These findings may help to direct future research and pesticide regulation strategies to

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Agricultural land-use change in a Mexican oligotrophic desert depletes ecosystem stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natali Hernández-Becerra

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background Global demand for food has led to increased land-use change, particularly in dry land ecosystems, which has caused several environmental problems due to the soil degradation. In the Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB, alfalfa production irrigated by flooding impacts strongly on the soil. Methods In order to analyze the effect of such agricultural land-use change on soil nutrient dynamics and soil bacterial community composition, this work examined an agricultural gradient within the CCB which was comprised of a native desert grassland, a plot currently cultivated with alfalfa and a former agricultural field that had been abandoned for over 30 years. For each site, we analyzed C, N and P dynamic fractions, the activity of the enzyme phosphatase and the bacterial composition obtained using 16S rRNA clone libraries. Results The results showed that the cultivated site presented a greater availability of water and dissolved organic carbon, these conditions promoted mineralization processes mediated by heterotrophic microorganisms, while the abandoned land was limited by water and dissolved organic nitrogen. The low amount of dissolved organic matter promoted nitrification, which is mediated by autotrophic microorganisms. The microbial N immobilization process and specific phosphatase activity were both favored in the native grassland. As expected, differences in bacterial taxonomical composition were observed among sites. The abandoned site exhibited similar compositions than native grassland, while the cultivated site differed. Discussion The results suggest that the transformation of native grassland into agricultural land induces drastic changes in soil nutrient dynamics as well as in the bacterial community. However, with the absence of agricultural practices, some of the soil characteristics analyzed slowly recovers their natural state.

  9. 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

  10. Analysis of surface soil moisture patterns in agricultural landscapes using Empirical Orthogonal Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Korres

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Soil moisture is one of the fundamental variables in hydrology, meteorology and agriculture. Nevertheless, its spatio-temporal patterns in agriculturally used landscapes that are affected by multiple natural (rainfall, soil, topography etc. and agronomic (fertilisation, soil management etc. factors are often not well known. The aim of this study is to determine the dominant factors governing the spatio-temporal patterns of surface soil moisture in a grassland and an arable test site that are located within the Rur catchment in Western Germany. Surface soil moisture (0–6 cm was measured in an approx. 50×50 m grid during 14 and 17 measurement campaigns (May 2007 to November 2008 in both test sites. To analyse the spatio-temporal patterns of surface soil moisture, an Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF analysis was applied and the results were correlated with parameters derived from topography, soil, vegetation and land management to link the patterns to related factors and processes. For the grassland test site, the analysis resulted in one significant spatial structure (first EOF, which explained 57.5% of the spatial variability connected to soil properties and topography. The statistical weight of the first spatial EOF is stronger on wet days. The highest temporal variability can be found in locations with a high percentage of soil organic carbon (SOC. For the arable test site, the analysis resulted in two significant spatial structures, the first EOF, which explained 38.4% of the spatial variability, and showed a highly significant correlation to soil properties, namely soil texture and soil stone content. The second EOF, which explained 28.3% of the spatial variability, is linked to differences in land management. The soil moisture in the arable test site varied more strongly during dry and wet periods at locations with low porosity. The method applied is capable of identifying the dominant parameters controlling spatio-temporal patterns of

  11. Novel insight into soil and ecosystem COS fluxes in an agricultural field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseyk, Kadmiel; Seibt, Ulrike; Billesbach, David; Campbell, John E.; Torn, Margaret; Berry, Joe

    2013-04-01

    A promising new approach to partition net ecosystem carbon and water fluxes is the use of carbonyl sulfide (COS) as a tracer of the canopy components. COS is taken up by leaves via the same pathway as CO2 (stomatal diffusion followed by hydration by carbonic anhydrase), leading to a close coupling of vegetation COS and CO2 fluxes during photosynthesis and the potential to estimate gross photosynthesis from concurrent measurements of COS and CO2. A necessary requirement for this approach at ecosystem and continental scales is knowledge of soil COS fluxes. Considered small in magnitude relative to the vegetation fluxes, soil is also largely considered a sink for COS, but our knowledge of in situ soil COS fluxes remains very limited. We measured soil COS fluxes in a wheat field in Oklahoma from April to June 2012, using a novel combination of an automated soil chamber coupled to a COS laser analyzer, in parallel with some of the first eddy covariance measurements of ecosystem COS fluxes. We provide the first continuous record of soil COS fluxes under natural conditions, and report on some unique responses. In contrast to the majority of published results, we found that the agricultural soil was a source of COS under most conditions during the campaign. Mean COS flux over the study period was 1.9 pmol m-2 s-1 and highly correlated with soil temperature, shifting from a sink to a source at a soil temperature of around 15°C. Diel amplitudes of up to 15 pmol m-2 s-1 and fluxes of up to 25 pmol m-2 s-1 were observed. To locate the source of the COS production, we investigated different soil components. Wheat roots were found to be emitting COS under all conditions. Root-free soil was a COS sink up to a soil temperature of around 25°C, but turned into a COS source at higher soil temperatures. We also observed COS production from the roots of several other species, indicating that this may be a widespread phenomenon. The soil component was small relative to canopy uptake

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Microsatellite markers for Nuphar japonica (Nymphaeaceae), an aquatic plant in the agricultural ecosystem of Japan1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Toshiaki; Watanabe, Sonoko; Shiga, Takashi; Isagi, Yuji

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Nuphar species (Nymphaeaceae) are representative aquatic plants in irrigation ponds in Japanese agricultural ecosystems. We developed 15 polymorphic microsatellite markers for N. japonica and confirmed their utility for its close relatives N. oguraensis var. akiensis and N. ×saijoensis, which originated from natural hybridization between N. japonica and N. oguraensis. Methods and Results: Genetic variation was characterized in 15 polymorphic loci in three populations of N. japonica. The average number of alleles per locus was 3.47 (range = 2−9; n = 32), and the average expected heterozygosity per locus was 0.84 (range = 0.5–1.0); 11 loci were amplified in N. oguraensis var. akiensis and 15 in N. ×saijoensis. Conclusions: The polymorphic microsatellite markers developed in this study will be useful for investigating the levels of genetic diversity within remnant populations of Nuphar taxa and could provide a valuable tool for conservation genetics of these taxa. PMID:28101435

  17. 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...

  18. Occupancy and abundance of wintering birds in a dynamic agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Mark W.; Pearlstine, Elise V.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2011-01-01

    Assessing wildlife management action requires monitoring populations, and abundance often is the parameter monitored. Recent methodological advances have enabled estimation of mean abundance within a habitat using presence–absence or count data obtained via repeated visits to a sample of sites. These methods assume populations are closed and intuitively assume habitats within sites change little during a field season. However, many habitats are highly variable over short periods. We developed a variation of existing occupancy and abundance models that allows for extreme spatio-temporal differences in habitat, and resulting changes in wildlife abundance, among sites and among visits to a site within a field season. We conducted our study in sugarcane habitat within the Everglades Agricultural Area southeast of Lake Okeechobee in south Florida. We counted wintering birds, primarily passerines, within 245 sites usually 5 times at each site during December 2006–March 2007. We estimated occupancy and mean abundance of birds in 6 vegetation states during the sugarcane harvest and allowed these parameters to vary temporally or spatially within a vegetation state. Occupancy and mean abundance of the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) was affected by structure of sugarcane and uncultivated edge vegetation (occupancy=1.00 [95%CĪ=0.96–1.00] and mean abundance=7.9 [95%CĪ=3.2–19.5] in tall sugarcane with tall edge vegetation versus 0.20 [95%CĪ=0.04–0.71] and 0.22 [95%CĪ=0.04–1.2], respectively, in short sugarcane with short edge vegetation in one half of the study area). Occupancy and mean abundance of palm warblers (Dendroica palmarum) were constant (occupancy=1.00, 95%CĪ=0.69–1.00; mean abundance=18, 95%CĪ=1–270). Our model may enable wildlife managers to assess rigorously effects of future edge habitat management on avian distribution and abundance within agricultural landscapes during winter or the breeding season. The model may also help

  19. 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.

  20. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 and carbon balance for eight temperate organic soils under agricultural management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elsgaard, Lars; Görres, C.-M.; Hoffmann, Carl Christian

    2012-01-01

    This study presents the first annual estimates of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 and net ecosystem carbon balances (NECB) of contrasting Danish agricultural peatlands. Studies were done at eight sites representing permanent grasslands (PG) and rotational (RT) arable soils cropped to barley......, potato or forage grasses in three geo-regional settings. Using an advanced flux-chamber technique, NEE was derived from modelling of ecosystem respiration (ER) and gross primary production (GPP) with temperature and photosynthetically active radiation as driving variables. At PG (n = 3) and RT (n = 5...

  1. 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.

  2. Selenium biotransformations in an engineered aquatic ecosystem for bioremediation of agricultural wastewater via brine shrimp production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Radomir; Tantoyotai, Prapakorn; Fakra, Sirine C; Marcus, Matthew A; Yang, Soo In; Pickering, Ingrid J; Bañuelos, Gary S; Hristova, Krassimira R; Freeman, John L

    2013-05-21

    An engineered aquatic ecosystem was specifically designed to bioremediate selenium (Se), occurring as oxidized inorganic selenate from hypersalinized agricultural drainage water while producing brine shrimp enriched in organic Se and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for use in value added nutraceutical food supplements. Selenate was successfully bioremediated by microalgal metabolism into organic Se (seleno-amino acids) and partially removed via gaseous volatile Se formation. Furthermore, filter-feeding brine shrimp that accumulated this organic Se were removed by net harvest. Thriving in this engineered pond system, brine shrimp ( Artemia franciscana Kellogg) and brine fly (Ephydridae sp.) have major ecological relevance as important food sources for large populations of waterfowl, breeding, and migratory shore birds. This aquatic ecosystem was an ideal model for study because it mimics trophic interactions in a Se polluted wetland. Inorganic selenate in drainage water was metabolized differently in microalgae, bacteria, and diatoms where it was accumulated and reduced into various inorganic forms (selenite, selenide, or elemental Se) or partially incorporated into organic Se mainly as selenomethionine. Brine shrimp and brine fly larva then bioaccumulated Se from ingesting aquatic microorganisms and further metabolized Se predominately into organic Se forms. Importantly, adult brine flies, which hatched from aquatic larva, bioaccumulated the highest Se concentrations of all organisms tested.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Quantify Effects of Integrated Land Management on Water Quality in Agricultural Landscape in South Fork Watershed, Iowa River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, M.; Wu, M. M.

    2014-12-01

    Sustainable biofuel feedstock production — environmental sustainability and economic sustainability — may be achieved by using a multi-faceted approach. This study focuses on quantifying the water sustainability of an integrated landscaping strategy, by which current land use and land management, cropping system, agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), and economics play equal roles. The strategy was applied to the South Fork watershed, IA, including the tributaries of Tipton and Beaver Creeks, which expand to 800-km2 drainage areas. The watershed is an agricultural dominant area covered with row-crops production. On the basis of profitability, switchgrass was chosen as a replacement for row crops in low-productivity land. Areas for harvesting agricultural residue were selected on the basis of soil conservation principals. Double cropping with a cover crop was established to further reduce soil loss. Vegetation buffer strips were in place at fields and in riparian areas for water quality control, resource conservation, and eco service improvement. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to evaluate source reduction under various management schemes and land use changes. SWAT modeling incorporated 10-yr meteorological information, soil data, land slope classification, land use, four-year crop-rotation cycle, and management operations. Tile drain and pothole parameters were modeled to assess the fate and transport of nutrients. The influence of landscape management and cropping systems on nitrogen and phosphorus loadings, erosion process, and hydrological performance at the sub-watershed scale was analyzed and key factors identified. Results suggest strongly that incorporating agricultural BMPs and conservation strategies into integrated landscape management for certain energy crops in row-crop production regions can be economical and environmentally sustainable.

  9. Pesticide exposure on sloths (Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni) in an agricultural landscape of Northeastern Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinnock Branford, Margaret Verónica; de la Cruz, Elba; Solano, Karla; Ramírez, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    Between 2005 and 2008, wild Bradypus variegatus and Choloepus hoffmanni inhabiting an agricultural landscape and captive animals from a rescue center in Northeastern Costa Rica were studied to assess exposure to pesticides. A total of 54 animals were sampled: 42 wild sloths captured at an agricultural landscape and 12 captive animals from a rescue center. Pesticides' active ingredients were determined in three sample matrices: hair, aqueous mixture (paws' wash) and cotton gauze (mouth clean) based on multi-residue gas chromatography methods. Recoveries tests ranged from 73 to 146% and relative standard deviations were less than 20% throughout all the recovery tests. Active ingredients detected in sloths samples were ametryn, chlorothalonil, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, difenoconazole, ethoprophos and thiabendazole. These active ingredients were used in intensive agricultural production for bananas, pineapples and other crops. Blood plasma cholinesterase activity (PChE) was determined by the Ellman method modified for micro plates. Enzyme activity determination was normalized to protein content in the samples according to Bradford method. Wild sloth PChE activity was similar for both species while sloths in captivity showed differences between species. Enzyme activity was significantly lower for two-toed sloths. This study showed that sloths were exposed to pesticides that caused acute and chronic effect in mammals and can also be a threat to other wildlife species. There is a need to better understand the potential effects of exposure to pesticides in sloths and other wild mammal populations, especially those threatened or endangered. More studies in this field must be carried out on the wildlife fauna inhabiting the agricultural landscape and its surroundings.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindhjem, Henrik; Reinvang, Rasmus; Zandersen, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    and decision-making contexts in the Nordics. The literature demonstrates potentially high unaccounted welfare loss from landscape change. We find clear weaknesses in current practices, that a second phase will try to address. The project was carried out by Vista Analysis in Oslo and Department of Environmental...

  11. Controls On Water Use Efficiency For Different Forest Ecosystems Across North America: From The Leaf To Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrieri, R.; Lepine, L. C.; Asbjornsen, H.; Xiao, J.; Ollinger, S. V.

    2014-12-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE), defined as the ratio of carbon assimilation (A) to water loss via transpiration, is the key physiological parameter that explicitly links water and carbon cycling in forest ecosystems. Most studies examining the influence of climatic factors on forest-WUE have focused on site-specific and water-limited ecosystems. Much less is known about the dynamics of WUE across different forest ecosystems, along gradients of climate and soil nutrients. This study explores the variation in WUE at twelve different forested Ameriflux sites across North America spanning a wide range of forest types and climate conditions. We were interested in answering the following questions: 1) Are patterns of WUE at the tree level similar to those for whole ecosystems? 2) Is there a consistent relationship between foliar nitrogen (N) and WUE at the two different scales? 3) To what extent does species diversity explain forest ecosystem functioning and resilience to drought? Finally, 4) Can changes in GPP, ET and WUE across the studied climate gradient be estimated using remotely derived water indices, such as NDWI? We address these questions through a combination of techniques applied at the leaf to landscape level, including foliar δ13C, δ18O and N, eddy covariance and remote sensing data. At each site, we used foliar δ13C to infer intrinsic WUE (iWUE=A/gs) for the two dominant tree species, while foliar N and δ18O provided insights about the species-specific physiological mechanisms underlying variation in iWUE. Furthermore, we used flux data to derive ET and WUEe (i.e., ecosystem WUE= GPP/ET). Variations in iWUE and WUEe in relation to foliar N, climate parameters and water stress index (PSDI) are considered across sites. Moreover, differences in GPP, ET and WUEe are explored in relation to forest ecosystem type, species richness and Shannon's diversity index. Finally we examine the degree to which changes in WUE are related to NDVI and NDWI.

  12. 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.

  13. Agricultural Best Management Practice Abundance and Location does not Influence Stream Ecosystem Function or Water Quality in the Summer Season

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nolan J. T. Pearce

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Best management practices (BMPs are tools commonly used to mitigate negative impacts of agriculture on water quality; however, the relationship between BMPs and aquatic ecological function is unknown. Our research goal was to determine the association between both stream ecosystem metabolism and water quality, and the abundance and location of four different BMPs in agricultural catchments. Dissolved oxygen was measured over a two-week period in mid-June and used to estimate ecosystem metabolism of 13 headwater streams representing a gradient of BMP implementation in Southern Ontario, Canada. Stepwise regression analyses were used to associate stream metabolism and water quality with metrics describing the abundance and location of BMPs within each catchment. Studied streams exhibited rates of metabolism comparable to catchments from other agricultural regions. However, metrics of BMP implementation were not associated with either stream metabolism or water quality. Our results suggest that BMPs in the studied agricultural catchments are not improving water quality or mitigating water quality impacts on stream metabolism during the summer season. We propose that seasonality of catchment hydrology and time lag effects associated with past agricultural land use may be masking the mitigation benefits of BMPs on stream ecosystem conditions during the summer season.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Short-term impact of deep sand extraction and ecosystem-based landscaping on macrozoobenthos and sediment characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Maarten F; Baptist, Martin J; Lindeboom, Han J; Hoekstra, Piet

    2015-08-15

    We studied short-term changes in macrozoobenthos in a 20m deep borrow pit. A boxcorer was used to sample macrobenthic infauna and a bottom sledge was used to sample macrobenthic epifauna. Sediment characteristics were determined from the boxcore samples, bed shear stress and near-bed salinity were estimated with a hydrodynamic model. Two years after the cessation of sand extraction, macrozoobenthic biomass increased fivefold in the deepest areas. Species composition changed significantly and white furrow shell (Abra alba) became abundant. Several sediment characteristics also changed significantly in the deepest parts. Macrozoobenthic species composition and biomass significantly correlated with time after cessation of sand extraction, sediment and hydrographical characteristics. Ecosystem-based landscaped sand bars were found to be effective in influencing sediment characteristics and macrozoobenthic assemblage. Significant changes in epifauna occurred in deepest parts in 2012 which coincided with the highest sedimentation rate. We recommend continuing monitoring to investigate medium and long-term impacts.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. A methodology for the preliminary scoping of future changes in ecosystem services, with an illustration from the future midwestern landscapes study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The product is a white paper defining a methodology for the preliminary scoping of future changes in ecosystem services, with an Illustration from the Future Midwestern Landscapes Study. The scoping method develops a hierarchy of relevant societal values, identifies the ecosyste...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Ecosystem Services Mapping for Sustainable Agricultural Water Management in California's Central Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matios, Edward; Burney, Jennifer

    2017-02-24

    Accurate information on agricultural water needs and withdrawals at appropriate spatial and temporal scales remains a key limitation to joint water and land management decision-making. We use InVEST ecosystem service mapping to estimate water yield and water consumption as functions of land use in Fresno County, a key farming region in California's Central Valley. Our calculations show that in recent years (2010-2015), the total annual water yield for the county has varied dramatically from ∼0.97 to 5.37 km(3) (all ±17%; 1 MAF ≈ 1.233 km(3)), while total annual water consumption has changed over a smaller range, from ∼3.37 to ∼3.98 km(3) (±20%). Almost all of the county's water consumption (∼96% of total use) takes place in Fresno's croplands, with discrepancy between local annual surface water yields and crop needs met by surface water allocations from outside the county and, to a much greater extent, private groundwater irrigation. Our estimates thus bound the amount of groundwater needed to supplement consumption each year (∼1.76 km(3) on average). These results, combined with trends away from field crops and toward orchards and vineyards, suggest that Fresno's land and water management have become increasingly disconnected in recent years, with the harvested area being less available as an adaptive margin to hydrological stress.

  5. 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.

  6. Ecosystem-controlled Erosion in a Loess-mantled Landscape in Eastern Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walther, S. C.; Roering, J. J.; Almond, P. C.; Hughes, M.

    2005-12-01

    Vegetation varies with climate so it is important to constrain how different vegetation types affect sediment transport. In forested landscapes, tree throw plays a large role in increased sediment transport relative to shrub and grassland. In this study, we quantify soil transport rates in a coniferous forest using hillslope profiles and tephra abundance. The loess-mantled hillslopes of Robinette Mountain in the Blue Mountains, confining the southeastern edge of the Columbia Plateau in southeast Washington State, USA, have been forested since the Holocene transition. Approximately 6800 years ago, the eruption of Mt. Mazama blanketed the region with tephra. Near the crest of hillslopes of different degrees of convexity, we identified and sampled soils for cryptotephra analysis. The depth of the tephra abundance spike is used as a proxy for erosion/exhumation rate since deposition. The slope dependent sediment transport model suggests that the change in elevation with time (or landscape lowering rate) is proportional to the hillslope curvature, with the constant of proportionality referred to as K (m2 yr-1). Therefore, we surveyed slope morphology for comparison with erosion rate at each site. K generally depends on processes such as soil creep, rain splash, variations in soil moisture (wet/dry) and temperature (freeze/thaw), tree throw, and faunal burrowing/biogenic activity. By estimating the value of K we can relate sediment transport to dominant processes in our forested landscape, such as frequency of tree turnover or faunal burrowing, and determine the spatial variability of erosion rates and sediment delivery using topographic hillslope surveys.

  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

    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...... in a case study area in the period from 2000-2010. The politically ifluenced development in landscapes has been driven by EU policies and institutionalized national traditions, agendas, and discourse. The choices have largely been based on the dichotomy between Agriculturalists and Environmentalists...

  8. 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.

  9. A Preliminary Assessment of Ethiopian Sacred Grove Status at the Landscape and Ecosystem Scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alemaheyu Wassie Eshete

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The northern Ethiopian landscape is dotted with small patches of church forests that are religious centers for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC. These sacred groves are what remain of the once vast tropical Afromontane dry forest. Herein we review the landscape pattern of sacred groves in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, and their local scale nutrient status at two sites, Zahara and Debresena. A total of 1,488 sacred groves were inventoried within the study area, yielding an overall density of one sacred grove for every twenty square kilometers. Sacred groves averaged a little over five hectares and were separated from one another by more than two kilometers. At the local scale we found that soil carbon and nitrogen stocks have decreased significantly between the forest interior and the clearing indicating decreased soil fertility. Together our data indicate that these sacred groves are vulnerable to loss because of their small average size, isolation from seed sources, and decreasing soil status.

  10. The importance of riparian zones on stream carbon and nitrogen export in a temperate, agricultural dominated landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Wohlfart

    2012-06-01

    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 Tyrebaekken creek catchment in central Jutland, Denmark. The intensively managed agricultural landscape is dominated by rotational croplands. One northern and one southern stream run through the catchment before converging to form a second order brook. The small catchments mainly consist of sandy soil types besides organic soils along the riparian zone of 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. On each sampling day, 20 points along the stream were sampled as well as eight drain outlets and two groundwater wells. Total dissolved nitrogen, nitrate, ammonium nitrogen and dissolved organic carbon (DOC concentrations were measured and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON was calculated for each grabbed sample. Electro-conductivity, pH and flow velocity were measured during sampling.

    Statistical analyses showed significant differences between the northern, southern and converged stream parts, especially for nitrate concentrations with average values of 9.6 mg N l−1, 1.4 mg N l−1 and 3.0 mg N l−1, respectively. Furthermore, throughout the sampling period DON concentrations increased from 0.1 mg N l−1 to 2.8 mg N l−1 and from 0.1 mg N l−1 to 0.8 mg N l−1in the northern and southern streams, respectively. This corresponded to a contribution of up to 81% to total dissolved nitrogen. Multiple-linear regression analyses performed between chemical data and landscape charateristics 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Monarchs in decline: a collateral landscape-level effect of modern agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenoien, Carl; Nail, Kelly R; Zalucki, Jacinta M; Parry, Hazel; Oberhauser, Karen S; Zalucki, Myron P

    2016-09-21

    We review the postulated threatening processes that may have affected the decline in the eastern population of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus L. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), in North America. Although there are likely multiple contributing factors, such as climate and resource-related effects on breeding, migrating, and overwintering populations, the key landscape-level change appears to be associated with the widespread use of genetically modified herbicide resistant crops that have rapidly come to dominate the extensive core summer breeding range. We dismiss misinterpretations of the apparent lack of population change in summer adult count data as logically flawed. Glyphosate-tolerant soybean and maize have enabled the extensive use of this herbicide, generating widespread losses of milkweed (Asclepias spp.), the only host plants for monarch larvae. Modeling studies that simulate lifetime realized fecundity at a landscape scale, direct counts of milkweeds, and extensive citizen science data across the breeding range suggest that a herbicide-induced, landscape-level reduction in milkweed has precipitated the decline in monarchs. A recovery will likely require a monumental effort for the re-establishment of milkweed resources at a commensurate landscape scale.

  14. 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

    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...

  15. Agri-environment schemes do not effectively protect biodiversity in Dutch agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Berendse, F.; Smit, R.; Gilissen, N.

    2001-01-01

    Roughly 20␘f the European Union's farmland is under some form of agri-environment scheme to counteract the negative impacts of modern agriculture on the environment. The associated costs represent about 4ø1.7 billion euros) of the European Union's total expenditure on the Common Agricultural Policy

  16. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change and extremes on soil erosion in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preservation of top soil is critical for the long term sustainability of agricultural productivity, food security, and biodiversity. However, today’s growing population and increasing demand for food and fiber is stressing the agricultural soil and water resources. Climate change imposes additional ...

  17. 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.

  18. Assessing health in agriculture--towards a common research framework for soils, plants, animals, humans and ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieweger, Anja; Döring, Thomas F

    2015-02-01

    In agriculture and food systems, health-related research includes a vast diversity of topics. Nutritional, toxicological, pharmacological, epidemiological, behavioural, sociological, economic and political methods are used to study health in the five domains of soils, plants, livestock, humans and ecosystems. An idea developed in the early founding days of organic agriculture stated that the health of all domains is one and indivisible. Here we show that recent research reveals the existence and complex nature of such health links among domains. However, studies of health aspects in agriculture are often separated by disciplinary boundaries. This restrains the understanding of health in agricultural systems. Therefore we explore the opportunities and limitations of bringing perspectives together from the different domains. We review current approaches to define and assess health in agricultural contexts, comparing the state of the art of commonly used approaches and bringing together the presently disconnected debates in soil science, plant science, veterinary science and human medicine. Based on a qualitative literature analysis, we suggest that many health criteria fall into two paradigms: (1) the Growth Paradigm, where terms are primarily oriented towards continued growth; (2) the Boundary Paradigm, where terms focus on maintaining or coming back to a status quo, recognising system boundaries. Scientific health assessments in agricultural and food systems need to be explicit in terms of their position on the continuum between Growth Paradigm and Boundary Paradigm. Finally, we identify areas and concepts for a future direction of health assessment and research in agricultural and food systems.

  19. [Estimation on value of water and soil conservation of agricultural ecosystems in Xi' an metropolitan, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wen-yan; Zhou, Zhong-xue

    2014-12-01

    With the urban eco-environment increasingly deteriorating, the ecosystem services provided by modern urban agriculture are exceedingly significant to maintain and build more suitable environment in a city. Taking Xi' an metropolitan as the study area, based on remote sensing data, DEM data and the economic and social statistics data, the water and soil conservation service of the agricultural ecosystems was valued employing the remote sensing and geographic information system method, covering the reduction values on land waste, soil fertility loss and sediment loss from 2000 to 2011, and analyzed its changes in time and space. The results showed that during the study period, the total value of water and soil conservation service provided by agricultural systems in Xi' an metropolitan was increased by 46,086 and 33.008 billion yuan respectively from period of 2000 to 2005 and from 2005 to 2011. The cultivated land (including grains, vegetables and other farming land), forest (including orchard) and grassland provided higher value on the water and soil conservation service than waters and other land use. Ecosystem service value of water and soil conserva- tion provided by agriculture was gradually decreasing from the southern to the northern in Xi' an metropolitan. There were significantly positive relationship between the ecosystem service value and the vegetation coverage. Forest, orchard and grassland distributed intensively in the southern which had higher vegetation coverage than in northern where covered by more cultivated land, sparse forest and scattered orchard. There were significantly negative correlation between the urbanization level and the value of water and soil conservation. The higher level of urbanization, the lower value there was from built-up area to suburban and to countryside within Xi' an metropolitan.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment of landscape ecology of agricultural protection forest system at Beizang Town, Daxing County, Beijing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIChun-ping; GUANWen-bin; FANXiu-zhen; ZHAOTing-ning; CHENJian-gang; SUNBao-pina

    2003-01-01

    Based on theories of protective forests and landscape ecology, the reasonableness of structures and patterns of shelterbelt system at Beizang Town, Daxing County, Beijing were analyzed and assessed from the two scales of forest belts and networks, by integrating uses of field investigation, GIS and RS techniques. Results showed that the existent main belt (3-12 m in width) was too narrow, while the assistant belt (3-27.1 m in width) was too wide; the species composition of the existent shelterbelts was single, and the structures and patterns of the shelterbelt system were unreasonable. It is suggested that the structure of the main and the assistant belts should be changed, such as increasing the width of main belts, decreasing the width of assistant belt, and planting more mixed species, and the pattern with arbores in the middle and shrubs in the sides of belts could be taken into account. For the landscape structure of forest network after regenerating or reconstruction, the grid number of closed network should be 13 per km2 and the minimum number of belts should be 34 per km2, This study also testified that integrating GIS and remote technique with landscape ecology could provide an effective method for reasonable reconstruction of the structures and patterns of shelterbelts system.

  5. 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

  6. Investigation on the Landscape Planning of Tourism Agricultural Park%农业观光园景观规划探讨

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    廖伟平

    2013-01-01

    农业观光园是以现有或开发的农业和农业资源为对象,按照现代旅游业的构成要素对其进行改造、配套和深度开发的具有旅游功能和农业特色的新型产业园,以农业活动为基础,属风景园林、旅游、农业等多行业相交叉的综合体。本文从风景园林规划设计的角度出发,结合多学科理论,对农业观光园区的景观规划的理论、原则和方法进行了探讨。%Tourism agricultural park is the new industrial park that has the functions of tourism and agricultural characteristics. On the basis of agricultural activities, according to the constituent elements of modern tourism industry to transform, support and depth develop the existing or development of agriculture and agricultural resources, and it is a cross combination, including landscape architecture, tourism and agriculture industry. From the view of the landscape planning and design, combining with different fields of study, this paper discusses the theories, principle and methods on the landscape planning of tourism agricultural park.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Significance and value of non.traded ecosystem services on farmland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandhu, Harpinder; Wratten, Steve; Costanza, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Background. Ecosystem services (ES) generated within agricultural landscapes, including field boundaries, are vital for the sustainable supply of food and fibre. However, the value of ES in agriculture has not been quantified experimentally and then extrapolated globally. Methods. We quantified....... Discussion. To illustrate the potential magnitude of these two ES to temperate farming systems and agricultural landscapes elsewhere, we then extrapolate these experimentally derived figures to the global temperate cropping area of the same arable crops. We found that the extrapolated net value...

  10. Urban and agricultural soils: conflicts and trade-offs in the optimization of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Setälä, H.; Bardgett, R.D.; Birkhofer, K.; Brady, M.; Byrne, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Vries, de F.T.; Gardi, C.; Hedlund, K.; Hemerik, A.; Hotes, S.; Liiri, M.; Mortimer, S.R.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Pouyat, R.; Tsiafouli, M.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2014-01-01

    On-going human population growth and changing patterns of resource consumption are increasing global demand for ecosystem services, many of which are provided by soils. Some of these ecosystem services are linearly related to the surface area of pervious soil, whereas others show non-linear relation

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...... 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......% 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Metapopulations in agricultural landscapes: a spatially explicit trade-off analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groeneveld, R.A.; Grashof-Bokdam, C.J.; Ierland, van E.C.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a spatially explicit trade-off analysis of species conservation in agricultural areas. A spatially explicit model is presented that integrates an applied metapopulation model with a farm management model. The model is used to calculate production possibilities frontiers of net mo

  1. The ecological effectiveness of agri-environment schemes in different agricultural landscapes in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Berendse, F.; Smit, R.; Gilissen, N.; Smit, J.; Brak, B.; Groeneveld, R.A.

    2004-01-01

    Agri-environment schemes are an instrument used by western European countries to counteract the negative effects of contemporary agriculture on biodiversity, but not much is known about their effectiveness. We investigated the ecological effects of Dutch agri-environment schemes aimed at promoting b

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. The Future of Evapotranspiration: Global requirements for ecosystem functioning, carbon and climate feedbacks, agricultural management, and water resources

    KAUST Repository

    Fisher, Joshua B.

    2017-03-11

    The fate of the terrestrial biosphere is highly uncertain given recent and projected changes in climate. This is especially acute for impacts associated with changes in drought frequency and intensity on the distribution and timing of water availability. The development of effective adaptation strategies for these emerging threats to food and water security are compromised by limitations in our understanding of how natural and managed ecosystems are responding to changing hydrological and climatological regimes. This information gap is exacerbated by insufficient monitoring capabilities from local to global scales. Here, we describe how evapotranspiration (ET) represents the key variable in linking ecosystem functioning, carbon and climate feedbacks, agricultural management, and water resources, and highlight both the outstanding science and applications questions and the actions, especially from a space-based perspective, necessary to advance them. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  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

    2016-06-13

    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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. 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].

  12. 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.

  13. Feeding behavior and crop damage caused by capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris in an agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GA Felix

    Full Text Available This study aimed to assess the yield loss caused by capybaras in rural areas of Dourados-MS, their feeding periods, crop preferences and the landscape characteristics of farms that may affect the occurrence of capybara's herds. Semi-structured interviews in 24 different farms were done during a period between April 2010 and August 2011. Field observations were held at different times of the day, and also during the night in order to record peaks of the feeding behavior in six farms. Direct counting of capybaras along with the group of animals reported as seen by the farmers during the interviews was used to estimate the size of herds. Data was analyzed using the Principal Components Analyses and the Analytic Hierarchy Process. The average number of capybaras found in a regular herd was 18.8 ± 7.90 animals. The average number of capybara herd by farms was of 1.38 ± 0.92 while the average number of capybaras by farms was 32.33 ± 27.87. Capybaras selected rice (Oryza sativa when it was available (14.5% of devastation in 1.18% of total planted area; however, the most eaten crop was corn (Zea mays with 38.55% of loss rate in 16.17% of the total planted area. Capybaras ate mostly in the evening and during the night. The availability of water resources in the rural area predisposed the occurrence of capybara's herds.

  14. Phytocenotic structure and physico-chemical properties of a small water body in agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Sender

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Small water bodies, until recently considered as wasteland, are an essential element of the so-called small water retention. Their main use can vary significantly, but they always play a positive role by increasing water resources and enhancing the natural values of the landscape. Moreover, by increasing bio- diversity thanks to plants forming habitats for many species of flora and fauna, small water bodies act as a biofilter, improving water quality. But these small reservoirs belong to the groups of waters that are most exposed to damage, especially within the catchment area. Because of the invaluable role of small farmland water bodies, a study was undertaken to investigate their phytocenotic structure. In addition, an attempt was made to assess the level of threats and to indicate their role in the development of habitat conditions. The investigated reservoir was created in 2007. Before that time, it functioned as a part of the Zemborzycki reservoir, as they were close to each other. Almost the entire surrounding of this small reservoir consisted of farmland. In 2011 a revitalization project was carried out in the reservoir. Plants typical for wetland habitats were mainly introduced, while synanthropic vegetation was removed. Based on chemical and physical analyses, it can be concluded that the investigated reservoir serves as a natural biofilter thanks to the qualitative and quantitative changes in the structure of macrophytes. After the revitalization project, the investigated pond gained new aesthetic and ecological qualities.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Landscape planning for agricultural non-point source pollution reduction. II. Balancing watershed size, number of watersheds, and implementation effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxted, Jeffrey T; Diebel, Matthew W; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2009-01-01

    Agricultural non-point source (NPS) pollution poses a severe threat to water quality and aquatic ecosystems. In response, tremendous efforts have been directed toward reducing these pollution inputs by implementing agricultural conservation practices. Although conservation practices reduce pollution inputs from individual fields, scaling pollution control benefits up to the watershed level (i.e., improvements in stream water quality) has been a difficult challenge. This difficulty highlights the need for NPS reduction programs that focus efforts within target watersheds and at specific locations within target watersheds, with the ultimate goal of improving stream water quality. Fundamental program design features for NPS control programs--i.e., number of watersheds in the program, total watershed area, and level of effort expended within watersheds--have not been considered in any sort of formal analysis. Here, we present an optimization model that explores the programmatic and environmental trade-offs between these design choices. Across a series of annual program budgets ranging from $2 to $200 million, the optimal number of watersheds ranged from 3 to 27; optimal watershed area ranged from 29 to 214 km(2); and optimal expenditure ranged from $21,000 to $35,000/km(2). The optimal program configuration was highly dependent on total program budget. Based on our general findings, we delineated hydrologically complete and spatially independent watersheds ranging in area from 20 to 100 km(2). These watersheds are designed to serve as implementation units for a targeted NPS pollution control program currently being developed in Wisconsin.

  19. 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...

  20. Maximizing the wildlife conservation value of road right-of-ways in an agriculturally dominated landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCleery, Robert A; Holdorf, Allison R; Hubbard, Laura L; Peer, Brian D

    2015-01-01

    There has been a growing recognition that the narrow linear strips of uncultivated vegetation that lie between roads and agricultural crops, referred to as roadside right-of-ways or verges, can serve as areas for the conservation of wildlife. The features of right-of-ways that should influence the composition of wildlife communities vary considerably. Our goal was to determine what features of right-of-ways increased the conservation potential of right-of-ways for wildlife in a grassland system dominated by agricultural production. We sampled 100 right-of-ways for birds and 92 right-of-ways for small mammals in McDonough and Warren Counties in west-central Illinois. We found that the sizes of right-of-ways and the amount of traffic on the adjacent roads synergistically worked to influence wildlife communities. On roads with low traffic, avian species richness increased rapidly with increased right-of-way width, while on roads with high traffic, avian richness increased only slightly with increasing right-of-way widths. We found that wider roadside right-of-ways (preferably across the road from equally wide right-of-ways) with thicker and taller vegetation had the greatest conservation value for birds and small mammals. The features that enhanced the conservation value of right-of-ways in our study area were uncommon. Efforts to create or enhance these features for the benefit of wildlife would likely face numerous obstacles. Nonetheless, from a grassland conservation perspective, working with stakeholders to implement specific strategies to enhance these often neglected areas may be an effective complement to purchasing and restoring conservation lands away from roads.

  1. Socioeconomic Dimensions of Changes in the Agricultural Landscape of the Mediterranean Basin: A Case Study of the Abandonment of Cultivation Terraces on Nisyros Island, Greece

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petanidou, Theodora; Kizos, Thanasis; Soulakellis, Nikolaos

    2008-02-01

    Agricultural landscapes illustrate the impact of human actions on physical settings, and differential human pressures cause these landscapes to change with time. Our study explored changes in the terraced landscapes of Nisyros Island, Greece, focusing on the socioeconomic aspects during two time periods using field data, cadastral research, local documents, and published literature, as well as surveys of the islanders. Population increases during the late 19th to early 20th centuries marked a significant escalation of terrace and dry stone wall construction, which facilitated cultivation on 58.4% of the island. By the mid-20th century, the economic collapse of agricultural activities and consequent emigration caused the abandonment of cultivated land and traditional management practices, dramatically reducing farm and field numbers. Terrace abandonment continued in recent decades, with increased livestock grazing becoming the main land management tool; as a result, both farm and pasture sizes increased. Neglect and changing land use has led to deterioration and destruction of many terraces on the island. We discuss the socioeconomic and political backgrounds responsible for the land-use change before World War II (annexation of Nisyros Island by the Ottoman Empire, Italy, and Greece; overseas migration opportunities; and world transportation changes) and after the war (social changes in peasant societies; worldwide changes in agricultural production practices). The adverse landscape changes documented for Nisyros Island appear to be inevitable for modern Mediterranean rural societies, including those on other islands in this region. The island’s unique terraced landscapes may qualify Nisyros to become an archive or repository of old agricultural management techniques to be used by future generations and a living resource for sustainable management.

  2. Socioeconomic dimensions of changes in the agricultural landscape of the Mediterranean basin: a case study of the abandonment of cultivation terraces on Nisyros Island, Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petanidou, Theodora; Kizos, Thanasis; Soulakellis, Nikolaos

    2008-02-01

    Agricultural landscapes illustrate the impact of human actions on physical settings, and differential human pressures cause these landscapes to change with time. Our study explored changes in the terraced landscapes of Nisyros Island, Greece, focusing on the socioeconomic aspects during two time periods using field data, cadastral research, local documents, and published literature, as well as surveys of the islanders. Population increases during the late 19th to early 20th centuries marked a significant escalation of terrace and dry stone wall construction, which facilitated cultivation on 58.4% of the island. By the mid-20th century, the economic collapse of agricultural activities and consequent emigration caused the abandonment of cultivated land and traditional management practices, dramatically reducing farm and field numbers. Terrace abandonment continued in recent decades, with increased livestock grazing becoming the main land management tool; as a result, both farm and pasture sizes increased. Neglect and changing land use has led to deterioration and destruction of many terraces on the island. We discuss the socioeconomic and political backgrounds responsible for the land-use change before World War II (annexation of Nisyros Island by the Ottoman Empire, Italy, and Greece; overseas migration opportunities; and world transportation changes) and after the war (social changes in peasant societies; worldwide changes in agricultural production practices). The adverse landscape changes documented for Nisyros Island appear to be inevitable for modern Mediterranean rural societies, including those on other islands in this region. The island's unique terraced landscapes may qualify Nisyros to become an archive or repository of old agricultural management techniques to be used by future generations and a living resource for sustainable management.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Influences of changing land use and CO 2 concentration on ecosystem and landscape level carbon and water balances in mountainous terrain of the Stubai Valley, Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenhunen, J.; Geyer, R.; Adiku, S.; Reichstein, M.; Tappeiner, U.; Bahn, M.; Cernusca, A.; Dinh, N. Q.; Kolcun, O.; Lohila, A.; Otieno, D.; Schmidt, M.; Schmitt, M.; Wang, Q.; Wartinger, M.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2009-05-01

    A process-based spatial simulation model was used to estimate gross primary production, ecosystem respiration, net ecosystem CO 2 exchange and water use by the vegetation in Stubai Valley, Austria at landscape scale. The simulations were run for individual years from early spring to late fall, providing estimates in grasslands for carbon gain, biomass and leaf area development, allocation of photoproducts to the below ground ecosystem compartment, and water use. In the case of evergreen coniferous forests, gas exchange is estimated, but spatial simulation of growth over the single annual cycles is not included. Spatial parameterization of the model is derived for forest LAI based on remote sensing, for soil characteristics by generalization from spatial surveys and for climate drivers from observations at monitoring stations along the elevation gradient and from modelling of incident radiation in complex terrain. Validation of the model was carried out at point scale, and was based on comparison of model output at selected locations with observations along elevation gradients in Stubai Valley and Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany as well as with known trends in ecosystem response documented in the literature. The utility of the model for describing long-term changes in carbon and water balances at landscape scale is demonstrated in the context of land use change that occurred between 1861 and 2002 in Stubai Valley. During this period, coniferous forest increased in extent by ca. 11% of the vegetated area of 1861, primarily in the subalpine zone. Managed grassland decreased by 46%, while abandoned grassland and natural alpine mats increased by 14 and 11%, respectively. At point scale, the formulated model predicts higher canopy conductance in 1861 due to lower atmospheric CO 2 concentration which opens stomata. As a result, water use at point scale decreased by ca. 8% in 2002 in the valley bottoms versus 10% at tree line. At landscape level, the decrease in water

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Groundwater dynamics in wetland soils control the production and transfer mechanisms of dissolved reactive phosphorus in an agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupas, Rémi; Gu, Sen; Gruau, Gérard; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2015-04-01

    Because of its high sorption affinity on soils solid phase, mitigation options to reduce diffuse P transfer usually focus on trapping particulate P forms delivered via surface flowpaths. Therefore, vegetated buffer zones placed between croplands and watercourses have been promoted worldwide, sometimes in wetland areas. To investigate the risk of such P trapping riparian wetlands (RWs) releasing dissolved P to rivers, we monitored molybdate reactive P (MRP) in the free soil solution of two RWs in an intensively farmed catchment. Two main mechanisms causing MRP release were identified in light of the geochemical and hydrological conditions in the RWs, controlled by groundwater dynamics. First, soil rewetting after the dry summer was associated with the presence of a pool of mobile P, limited in size. Its mobilization started under conditions of water saturation caused by groundwater uprise in RW organo-mineral soil horizons. Second, the establishment of anoxic conditions in the end of the winter caused reductive solubilization of Fe oxide-hydroxide, along with release of P. Comparison between sites revealed that the first MRP release occurred only in a RW with P enriched soils, whereas the second was recorded even in a RW with a low soil P status. Seasonal variations in MRP concentrations in the stream were synchronized with those in RW soils. Hence, enriched and/or periodically anoxic RWs can act as a key component of the P transfer continuum in agricultural landscapes by converting particulate P from croplands into MRP released to rivers.

  11. 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 coal mines, unconventional gas developments (coal seam gas; CSG), and leaks detected in cities and country towns. In areas of dryland crops the median methane concentration was 1.78 ppm, while in the irrigation districts located on vertisol soils the concentration was as low as 1.76 ppm, which may indicate that these soils are a sink for methane. In the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, open-cut coal mining district we mapped a continuous 50 km interval where the concentration of methane exceeded 1.80 ppm. The median concentration in this interval was 2.02 ppm. Peak readings were beyond the range of the reliable measurement (in excess of 3.00 ppm). This extended plume is an amalgamation of plumes from 17 major pits 1 to 10 km in length. Adjacent to CSG developments in the Surat Basin, southeast Queensland, only small anomalies were detected near the well-heads. Throughout the vast majority of the gas fields the concentration of methane was below 1.80 ppm. The largest source of fugitive methane associated with CSG was off-gassing methane from the co-produced water holding ponds. At one location the down wind plume had a cross section of approximately 1 km where the concentration of methane was above 1.80 ppm. The median concentration within this section was 1.82 ppm, with a peak reading of 2.11 ppm. The ambient air methane concentration was always higher in urban environments compared to the surrounding countryside. Along one major road in Sydney we mapped an interval that

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Enhanced transpiration by riparian buffer trees in response to advection in a humid temperate agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Santana, V.; Asbjornsen, H.; Sauer, T.; Isenhart, T.; Schilling, K.; Schultz, Ronald

    2011-01-01

    Riparian buffers are designed as management practices to increase infiltration and reduce surface runoff and transport of sediment and nonpoint source pollutants from crop fields to adjacent streams. Achieving these ecosystem service goals depends, in part, on their ability to remove water from the soil via transpiration. In these systems, edges between crop fields and trees of the buffer systems can create advection processes, which could influence water use by trees. We conducted a field study in a riparian buffer system established in 1994 under a humid temperate climate, located in the Corn Belt region of the Midwestern U.S. (Iowa). The goals were to estimate stand level transpiration by the riparian buffer, quantify the controls on water use by the buffer system, and determine to what extent advective energy and tree position within the buffer system influence individual tree transpiration rates. We primarily focused on the water use response (determined with the Heat Ratio Method) of one of the dominant species (Acer saccharinum) and a subdominant (Juglans nigra). A few individuals of three additional species (Quercus bicolor, Betula nigra, Platanus occidentalis) were monitored over a shorter time period to assess the generality of responses. Meteorological stations were installed along a transect across the riparian buffer to determine the microclimate conditions. The differences found among individuals were attributed to differences in species sap velocities and sapwood depths, location relative to the forest edge and prevailing winds and canopy exposure and dominance. Sapflow rates for A. saccharinum trees growing at the SE edge (prevailing winds) were 39% greater than SE interior trees and 30% and 69% greater than NW interior and edge trees, respectively. No transpiration enhancement due to edge effect was detected in the subdominant J. nigra. The results were interpreted as indicative of advection effects from the surrounding crops. Further, significant

  16. Mapping of soil micronutrients in an european atlantic agricultural landscape using ordinary kriging and indicator approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Dafonte Dafonte

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Nutrient maps based on intensive soil sampling are useful to develop site-specific management practices. Geostatistical methods have been widely used to determine the spatial correlation and the range of spatial dependence at different sampling scales. If spatial dependence is detected, the modelled semivariograms can then be used to map the interested variable by kriging, an interpolation method that produces unbiased estimates with minimal estimation variance. The objectives of this paper were to examine and to map the spatial distribution of the micronutrients Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn on an agricultural area in Galicia, Spain, under European Atlantic climatic conditions. The ordinary kriging was first used to determine the values for the non-sampled locations, then the indicator approach was used to transform the micronutrient content values into binary values having the mean values of each nutrient as the threshold content. All four elements analyzed showed spatial dependence using the indicator semivariograms. The strength of spatial dependence was assessed using the values of nugget effect and range from the semivariogram, the fitted range values decreased in the order Mn >Fe >Zn >Cu. The spatial dependence of the combination of two or more of the studied micronutrients was also examined using indicator semivariograms. In opposition to spatial analysis of individual microelements, indicator semivariograms obtained for the binary coding of the variables showed a great nugget effect value or a low proportion of sill. The maps for each nutrient obtained using indicator kriging showed some similarity in the spatial distribution, suggesting the delimitation of uniform management areas.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    Rodents and especially voles (Microtus agrestis or arvalis) make up the basic diet of foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Denmark. As the abundance of voles and mice may have decreased as a result of modern agricultural procedures, this study investigates potential changes in the diet of Danish red foxes over...... the past 4 decades in relation to a changing agricultural landscape. Our study compares the stomach contents of foxes collected in Jutland during the years 2012–2014 with a similar study from 1965 to 1970. The results show that small rodents occur in the stomachs of foxes with the same frequencies today...... (73 %) as 40–50 years ago (67 %), while the frequency of European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) has decreased from 7 to 3 % and the frequency of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) has increased from 3 to 18 %. The changes in the occurrence of brown hare and roe deer in the diet of foxes during the past 40...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Measures of safeguard and rehabilitation for landscape protection planning: a qualitative approach based on diversity indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Rosa, Daniele; Privitera, Riccardo; Martinico, Francesco; La Greca, Paolo

    2013-09-01

    Maintaining existing levels of landscape diversity is becoming more and more important for planning considering the increasing pressures on agricultural ecosystems due to soil sealing, sprawl processes and intensive agriculture. Norms for land-use regulation and measures for landscape Safeguard and Rehabilitation have to take into consideration these threats in landscape planning. Evaluating the diversity of agricultural ecosystems is a fundamental step for proposing sound approaches to planning and managing both soil and landscape, as well as maintaining the related ecosystem services. The paper proposes a method aimed at the qualitative evaluation of spatial diversity of agricultural landscapes using a reduced set of ecological indicators based on land-use vector data. Indicators are calculated for defined landscape units characterized by landscape homogeneity. GIS geoprocessing and spatial analysis functions are employed. The study area is the Province of Enna in Sicily (Italy), which is characterized by cultivation mosaics in its southern region, cereal cultivation in the central region and prevailing natural environments in the northern region. Results from the indicator calculations are used to define measures to be included in a Landscape Protection Plan. Safeguard and Rehabilitation measures are introduced, which link indicator scores to planning protection aims. The results highlight the relevance of some agricultural mosaics in proximity to streams and seasonal fluvial environments, where some undamaged natural environments are still present. For these areas, specific landscape safeguard measures are proposed to preserve their diversity features together with their original agricultural functions. The work shows that even with a reduced number of indicators, a differentiated set of measures can be proposed for a Landscape Protection Plan.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Impact of a First-Order Riparian Zone on Nitrogen Removal and Export from an Agricultural Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.T. Angier

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Riparian zones are reputed to be effective at preventing export of agricultural groundwater nitrogen (N from local ecosystems. This is one impetus behind riparian zone regulations and initiatives. However, riparian zone function can vary under different conditions, with varying impacts on the regional (and ultimately global environment. Rates of groundwater delivery to the surface appear to have significant effects on the N-removing capabilities of a riparian zone. Research conducted at a first-order agricultural watershed with a well-defined riparian zone in the Maryland coastal plain indicates that more than 2.5 kg/day of nitrate-N can be exported under moderate-to-high stream baseflow conditions. The total nitrate-N load that exits the system increases with increasing flow not simply because of the greater volume of water export. Stream water nitrate-N concentrations also increase by more than an order of magnitude as flow increases, at least during baseflow. This appears to be largely the result of changes in dominant groundwater delivery mechanisms. Higher rates of groundwater exfiltration lessen the contact time between nitrate-carrying groundwater and potentially reducing riparian soils. Subsurface preferential flow paths, in the wetland and adjacent field, also strongly influence N removal. Simple assumptions regarding riparian zone function may be inadequate because of complexities observed in response to changing hydrologic conditions.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Unnameable landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Stuart-Murray

    1995-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper outlines the key concepts of opacity, back formation and toponymic activity used by place name historians, and relates them to the naming of contemporary artefacts in the cultural landscape. It categorises place names according to a three-layered analytical model of landscape and argues that place naming is now carried out largely within a cultural framework. Exceptions are names given by modern recreationalists who have regained something of the intimate relationship with the land possessed by earlier agricultural societies. This view is supported by findings that students of landscape architecture have difficulty in naming and describing character where landscapes have been shaped largely by physical and biological processes. It is also consistent with the increasing articulation of landscapes at the cultural level independent of physical and natural process, allowed by the sophistication of modern technology.

  13. 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

  14. Using native riparian barriers to reduce Giardia in agricultural runoff to freshwater ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkworth, Cynthia L; Matthaei, Christoph D; Townsend, Colin R

    2010-12-01

    Waterway degradation in agricultural settings is caused by direct and diffuse sources of pollution. Waterway fencing focuses on reducing direct faecal contamination, but the extent to which it reduces overland surface runoff of pathogens is unknown. This study evaluated the potential of four riparian treatments to reduce Giardia in saturation excess surface runoff entering the waterway. Treatment 1 comprised exotic pasture grass and weeds that regenerated from bare soil between the fence and the waterway in the absence of cattle grazing and was compared with three others comprising monocultural plantings of New Zealand native grassland plants. Runoff experiments involving Giardia were performed after planting, both prior to and following the summer growing season. Giardia was not detected from any plot prior to cyst addition. In spring the native 'C. secta', 'A. lessoniana' and 'C. richardii' treatments showed significantly greater reductions in Giardia in runoff than the 'exotic grasses' treatment, while in autumn the 'C. richardii' treatment reduced Giardia more than the 'exotic grasses/weeds'. A reduction in public health risk should follow from riparian vegetation, whether exotic or native, but with an added benefit in the case of the native tussock grass C. richardii, due to the associated lower runoff rate.

  15. Mosaic-level inference of the impact of land cover changes in agricultural landscapes on biodiversity: a case-study with a threatened grassland bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Francisco; Silva, João P; Estanque, Beatriz; Palmeirim, Jorge M; Lecoq, Miguel; Pinto, Márcia; Leitão, Domingos; Alonso, Ivan; Pedroso, Rui; Santos, Eduardo; Catry, Teresa; Silva, Patricia; Henriques, Inês; Delgado, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Changes in land use/land cover are a major driver of biodiversity change in the Mediterranean region. Understanding how animal populations respond to these landscape changes often requires using landscape mosaics as the unit of investigation, but few previous studies have measured both response and explanatory variables at the land mosaic level. Here, we used a "whole-landscape" approach to assess the influence of regional variation in the land cover composition of 81 farmland mosaics (mean area of 2900 ha) on the population density of a threatened bird, the little bustard (Tetrax tetrax), in southern Portugal. Results showed that ca. 50% of the regional variability in the density of little bustards could be explained by three variables summarising the land cover composition and diversity in the studied mosaics. Little bustard breeding males attained higher population density in land mosaics with a low land cover diversity, with less forests, and dominated by grasslands. Land mosaic composition gradients showed that agricultural intensification was not reflected in a loss of land cover diversity, as in many other regions of Europe. On the contrary, it led to the introduction of new land cover types in homogenous farmland, which increased land cover diversity but reduced overall landscape suitability for the species. Based on these results, the impact of recent land cover changes in Europe on the little bustard populations is evaluated.

  16. 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.

  17. Legacies of Land Use Trajectories on Belowground Dynamics in Post-agricultural Tropical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, E. E.; Marin-Spiotta, E.

    2012-12-01

    Complex interactions between microbes, plant and animal residues, and the soil environment limit our understanding of how soil microbial communities contribute to the formation, stabilization, and loss of organic matter from soils. Our research explores how alternative successional trajectories following agricultural abandonment affect the establishment of novel plant communities and how these changes affect soil microbial community composition and function, in particular the stabilization of soil organic matter (SOM). We are conducting this research in the subtropical dry forest life zone of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands where island-wide abandonment of sugarcane has resulted in a mosaic of sites in different stages of forest succession or currently active pasture. We identified replicate sites with the following post-sugarcane trajectories: 1) immediate abandonment and natural forest regeneration, 2) immediate abandonment with low intensity intermediate agricultural use, followed by reforestation with timber plantation, which are no longer being managed, 3) long intermediate pasture use and recent natural forest regeneration, and 4) establishment of pasture which are currently actively grazed. The first two trajectories yielded 40-year old mixed-species secondary forests. The third trajectory yielded young (10-year) secondary forest dominated by 1-2 tree species. We hypothesized that different plant species composition due to differing successional trajectories would drive changes in soil microbial community structure and function and affect soil C chemistry and turnover. We found greater total microbial biomass in the litter layer of the secondary forests, regardless of successional trajectory, compared to currently active pastures. Microbial biomass was also significantly higher in surface soils (0-10 cm) than in deeper soils (30-40 cm). Soil microbial community composition in secondary forests differed with successional trajectories. Active pasture litter

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of landscape heterogeneity on the elevated trace metal concentrations in agricultural soils at multiple scales in the Pearl River Delta, South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cheng; Li, Fangbai; Wu, Zhifeng; Cheng, Jiong

    2015-11-01

    Based on multiple geo-accumulation indices and correlation and partial redundancy analyses, we examined the spatial patterns of agricultural soil contaminations for As, Pb, Cd, Cr, and Ni in the Pearl River Delta, South China and their relations with landscape heterogeneity at small, medium and large spatial scales. We found that the concentrations of trace elements were slightly elevated, and most trace metals had a geogenic origin. Landscape variables explained 21-53% of the variation of elevated trace metal concentrations with an increasing explanatory power from the small to the large scale. The three variable groups representing parent materials, distance density characteristics and land use had different contributions to the elevated trace metals among scales. Both the distance density variables and land use pattern had a stronger influences on trace metal concentrations at a small scale than at a larger scale, while the parent materials was important at all the scales.

  20. A review and evaluation of stemflow literature in the hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles of forested and agricultural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levia, Delphis F.; Frost, Ethan E.

    2003-04-01

    Stemflow is a spatially localized point input of precipitation and solutes at the plant stem and is of hydrological and ecological significance in forested and agricultural ecosystems. The purpose of this review is to: (1) critically evaluate our current understanding of stemflow; (2) identify gaps in our present knowledge of stemflow; and (3) stimulate further research in areas where present knowledge is weak. The review begins by analyzing stemflow drainage and nutrient inputs under diverse vegetal cover. Stemflow inputs are then examined as a function of meteorological conditions, seasonality, interspecific and intraspecific differences among and within species, canopy structure, spatiality, and atmospheric pollutants in urban environments. Stemflow modeling studies are also reviewed and evaluated. Stemflow yield and chemistry are the result of the interaction of the many complex variables listed. By analyzing each separately, it may be possible to isolate their individual affects on stemflow production and chemistry. A comprehensive understanding of each influencing factor would enable the accurate modeling of stemflow water and nutrient inputs into agricultural and forest soils which may result in the optimization of timber and crop harvests. Some areas where present knowledge is particularly weak are: (1) stemflow production and nutrient transfers in northern boreal forests (aspen, birch, conifers) and desert cacti; (2) chemical enrichment of stemflow from live trees charred by forest fires; (3) stemflow yield and nutrient inputs during the winter season; (4) intraspecific variation in stemflow production and chemistry; (5) stemflow chemistry from standing dead trees; (6) influence of canopy structure on stemflow chemistry; (7) understory stemflow generation and nutrient transfer; and (8) stemflow enrichment associated with insect infestations.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. The Choptank Watershed Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project: Monitoring the Delivery of Wetland Ecosystem Services across the Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    CEAP-Wetlands (NRCS) and the Choptank Benchmark Watershed CEAP (ARS) have established a partnership to assess and ultimately enhance the effect of conservation practices on ecosystem services provided by wetlands in the Choptank Watershed. The provision of these wetland services (e.g., pollutant red...

  5. Lipid catabolism of invertebrate predator indicates widespread wetland ecosystem degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J.; Afton, Alan D.

    2011-01-01

    Animals frequently undergo periods when they accumulate lipid reserves for subsequent energetically expensive activities, such as migration or breeding. During such periods, daily lipid-reserve dynamics (DLD) of sentinel species can quantify how landscape modifications affect function, health, and resilience of ecosystems. Aythya affinis (Eyton 1838; lesser scaup; diving duck) are macroinvertebrate predators; they migrate through an agriculturally dominated landscape in spring where they select wetlands with the greatest food density to refuel and accumulate lipid reserves for subsequent reproduction. We index DLD by measuring plasma-lipid metabolites of female scaup (n = 459) that were refueling at 75 spring migration stopover areas distributed across the upper Midwest, USA. We also indexed DLD for females (n = 44) refueling on a riverine site (Pool 19) south of our upper Midwest study area. We found that mean DLD estimates were significantly (Plipid reserves throughout the upper Midwest. Moreover, levels of lipid catabolism are alarming, because scaup use the best quality wetlands available within a given stopover area. Accordingly, these results provide evidence of wetland ecosystem degradation across this large agricultural landscape and document affects that are carried-up through several trophic levels. Interestingly, storing of lipids by scaup at Pool 19 likely reflects similar ecosystem perturbations as observed in the upper Midwest because wetland drainage and agricultural runoff nutrifies the riverine habitat that scaup use at Pool 19. Finally, our results underscore how using this novel technique to monitor DLD, of a carefully selected sentinel species, can index ecosystem health at a landscape scale.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Wind born(e) landscapes: the role of wind erosion in agricultural land management and nature development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riksen, M.J.P.M.

    2006-01-01

    Wind has played an important role in the geological development of the north-western Europe. Various aeolian deposits such as inland dunes, river dunes, cover sands, drift sands and coastal dunes, form the base of large areas in our present landscape. The role of wind erosion in today's north-west E

  12. Vegetation index-based crop coefficients to estimate evapotranspiration by remote sensing in agricultural and natural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, E.P.; Neale, C. M. U.; Hunsaker, D.J.; Nagler, P.L.

    2011-01-01

    Crop coefficients were developed to determine crop water needs based on the evapotranspiration (ET) of a reference crop under a given set of meteorological conditions. Starting in the 1980s, crop coefficients developed through lysimeter studies or set by expert opinion began to be supplemented by remotely sensed vegetation indices (VI) that measured the actual status of the crop on a field-by-field basis. VIs measure the density of green foliage based on the reflectance of visible and near infrared (NIR) light from the canopy, and are highly correlated with plant physiological processes that depend on light absorption by a canopy such as ET and photosynthesis. Reflectance-based crop coefficients have now been developed for numerous individual crops, including corn, wheat, alfalfa, cotton, potato, sugar beet, vegetables, grapes and orchard crops. Other research has shown that VIs can be used to predict ET over fields of mixed crops, allowing them to be used to monitor ET over entire irrigation districts. VI-based crop coefficients can help reduce agricultural water use by matching irrigation rates to the actual water needs of a crop as it grows instead of to a modeled crop growing under optimal conditions. Recently, the concept has been applied to natural ecosystems at the local, regional and continental scales of measurement, using time-series satellite data from the MODIS sensors on the Terra satellite. VIs or other visible-NIR band algorithms are combined with meteorological data to predict ET in numerous biome types, from deserts, to arctic tundra, to tropical rainforests. These methods often closely match ET measured on the ground at the global FluxNet array of eddy covariance moisture and carbon flux towers. The primary advantage of VI methods for estimating ET is that transpiration is closely related to radiation absorbed by the plant canopy, which is closely related to VIs. The primary disadvantage is that they cannot capture stress effects or soil

  13. 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

  14. Sagebrush Ecosystems Under Fire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downs, Janelle L.

    2014-12-30

    Since settlement of the western United States began, sagebrush (Artemisia L. spp.) ecosystems have decreased both in quantity and quality. Originally encompassing up to 150 million acres in the West, the “interminable fields” of sage described by early explorers (Fremont 1845) have been degraded and often eliminated by conversion to agriculture, urbanization, livestock grazing, invasion by alien plants, and alteration of wildfire cycles (Hann et al. 1997; West 1999). More than half of the original sagebrush steppe ecosystems in Washington have been converted to agriculture and many of the remaining stands of sagebrush are degraded by invasion of exotic annuals such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.). Today, sagebrush ecosystems are considered to be one of the most imperiled in the United States (Noss, LeRoe and Scott 1995), and more than 350 sagebrush-associated plants and animals have been identified as species of conservation concern (Suring et al. 2005; Wisdom et al. 2005). The increasing frequency of wildfire in sagebrush-dominated landscapes is one of the greatest threats to these habitats and also presents one of the most difficult to control.

  15. 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

  16. Participation of the fossil energy in cotton agro-ecosystem in family agricultural explorations; Participacao da energia fossil no agroecossistema algodao em exploracoes agricolas familiares

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bueno, Osmar de Carvalho; Cabrera Romero, Maria Gloria [Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Botucatu, SP (Brazil). Fac. de Ciencias Agronomicas

    2006-07-01

    With the objective of presenting the participation of the several energy sources employees in the cotton agro-ecosystem, this work is constituted in a contribution regarding the subject of the sustain grow.As the focal point of this research, family exploitation is analyzed, with the use of the categorization done by the National Program for Strengthening Family Agriculture - ('Programa Nacional de Fortalecimento da Agricultura Familiar - PRONAF). Use was made of primary and secondary data from three family exploitations in the municipality of Leme/SP, Brazil. To construct the energy expenditure structure of the cotton agro-ecosystem, the mean values obtained were considered, since these agriculturalists present the same technical itinerary and are within the typification proposed in this study. The results were presented by the energy expenditure structure by type, source, form of energy. Considering the cotton agro-ecosystem from the technical itinerary presented, the input energy equal to 51.961,63 MJ . ha{sup -1} was observed, with a participation of 34,21% and 65,79% of the direct and indirect energy respectively. The studied agro ecosystem fundamentally depended on the industrial source of energy, particularly insecticides (39,71%) and chemical fertilizers (19,88%) and fossil sources (33,80%). It was verified like this that the dependence of the industrial energy and of the fossil energy in the cotton agro ecosystem. In that way, we suggest himself the search of the use of another types of energy that they allow the energy sustainability of this agro-ecosystems in family agricultural systems. (author)

  17. 汉源县观光果园景观格局变化及生态系统服务价值估算%Landscape Pattern Change and Ecosystem Services Value Estimation of Orchard in Hanyuan County

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李函洋; 钟秋; 石锦安; 余刚平; 邵小鹏; 孙莹; 孙丹

    2015-01-01

    [Objective]The aim of this study was to provide valuable information for solving the is-sues concerning agriculture,countryside and farmers,and to protect natural environment as well as promote the construction and development of ecological civilization.[Method]Based on the landscape ecology principle,the research used Google earth image datas to combine changes of the plaques from satellite in Hanyuan county known as"Flowers and Fruit Orchard Garden",to esti-mated the plant diversity,the change of landscape pattern and the value of ecosystem services.[Results ]Results showed that the "Flowers and Fruit Orchards" were totally 91 pieces of plaques,about 152.5 hm2 since orchard established in 2009.The Landscape fragmentation index was 0.57,the Shannon diversity,evenness index,and landscape dominance index were 1.18 and 0.74 and 0.42,respectively.The total number of patches mutate were 113 and 170,covering 179.2 hm2 ,222.1 hm2 in 2012 and 2015,respectively.The landscape pattern of variation were 0.62 and 0.73.Ecosystem service value in the study area showed a significant growth trend,with a striking development in tourism,which occupies more than 90 percents,increasing from ¥512 100 in 2009 to ¥ 2 468 700 in 2015,followed by the carbon sequestration and oxygen genera-tion,then the water conservation,water and soil conservation,and last the windbreak and sand-fixation.Economic output of the fruit trees increased from ¥ 3 036 000 in 2009 to ¥ 33 033 000 in 2015.[Conclusion]The results suggest that it should develop the modern agriculture through taking advantage of natural resources on the condition that ecological security is maintained.It can not only protect ecological environment but also beneficial to solve the "agriculture,countryside and farmers"issues.Therefore,the experience of"Flowers and Fruit Orchard Garden"can be ap-plied to other areas.%【目的】解决“三农”问题,保护自然环境和促进生态文明建设与发展。【方法】以

  18. The potential for tree planting strategies to reduce local and regional ecosystem impacts of agricultural ammonia emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bealey, W J; Dore, A J; Dragosits, U; Reis, S; Reay, D S; Sutton, M A

    2016-01-01

    Trees are very effective at capturing both gaseous and particulate pollutants from the atmosphere. But while studies have often focussed on PM and NOx in the urban environment, little research has been carried out on the tree effect of capturing gaseous emissions of ammonia in the rural landscape. To examine the removal or scavenging of ammonia by trees a long-range atmospheric model (FRAME) was used to compare two strategies that could be used in emission reduction policies anywhere in the world where nitrogen pollution from agriculture is a problem. One strategy was to reduce the emission source strength of livestock management systems by implementing two 'tree-capture' systems scenarios - tree belts downwind of housing and managing livestock under trees. This emission reduction can be described as an 'on-farm' emission reduction policy, as ammonia is 'stopped' from dispersion outside the farm boundaries. The second strategy was to apply an afforestation policy targeting areas of high ammonia emission through two planting scenarios of increasing afforestation by 25% and 50%. Both strategies use trees with the aim of intercepting NH3 emissions to protect semi-natural areas. Scenarios for on-farm emission reductions showed national reductions in nitrogen deposition to semi-natural areas of 0.14% (0.2 kt N-NHx) to 2.2% (3.15 kt N-NHx). Scenarios mitigating emissions from cattle and pig housing gave the highest reductions. The afforestation strategy showed national reductions of 6% (8.4 kt N-NHx) to 11% (15.7 kt N-NHx) for 25% and 50% afforestation scenarios respectively. Increased capture by the planted trees also showed an added benefit of reducing long range effects including a decrease in wet deposition up to 3.7 kt N-NHx (4.6%) and a decrease in export from the UK up to 8.3 kt N-NHx (6.8%).

  19. 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 to be locked in, is the very high hydraulic conductivity of the substrate, that has not undergone any changes during the first years. In contrast to this case study, we illustrate how this framework explains the evolution of an artificial catchment (Hühnerwasser Catchment) in Lusatia (150 km southeast of Berlin, Germany). During the

  20. Landscape constraints on functional diversity of birds and insects in tropical agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tscharntke, Teja; Sekercioglu, Cagan H; Dietsch, Thomas V; Sodhi, Navjot S; Hoehn, Patrick; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2008-04-01

    In this paper, we analyze databases [corrected] on birds and insects to assess patterns of functional diversity in human-dominated landscapes in the tropics. A perspective from developed landscapes is essential for understanding remnant natural ecosystems, because most species experience their surroundings at spatial scales beyond the plot level, and spillover between natural and managed ecosystems is common. Agricultural bird species have greater habitat and diet breadth than forest species. Based on a global data base, bird assemblages in tropical agroforest ecosystems were composed of disproportionately more frugivorous and nectarivorous, but fewer insectivorous bird species compared with forest. Similarly, insect predators of plant-feeding arthropods were more diverse in Ecuadorian agroforest and forest compared with rice and pasture, while, in Indonesia, bee diversity was also higher in forested habitats. Hence, diversity of insectivorous birds and insect predators as well as bee pollinators declined with agricultural transformation. In contrast, with increasing agricultural intensification, avian pollinators and seed dispersers initially increase then decrease in proportion. It is well established that the proximity of agricultural habitats to forests has a strong influence on the functional diversity of agroecosystems. Community similarity is higher among agricultural systems than in natural habitats and higher in simple than in complex landscapes for both birds and insects, so natural communities, low-intensity agriculture, and heterogeneous landscapes appear to be critical in the preservation of beta diversity. We require a better understanding of the relative role of landscape composition and the spatial configuration of landscape elements in affecting spillover of functionally important species across managed and natural habitats. This is important for data-based management of tropical human-dominated landscapes sustaining the capacity of communities to

  1. Natural forest regeneration and ecological restoration in human-modified tropical landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Pingarroni, Aline; Rodríguez-Velázquez, Jorge; Toledo-Chelala, Lilibeth; Zermeño-Hernández, Isela; Bongers, Frans

    2016-01-01

    In human-modified tropical landscapes (HMLs) the conservation of biodiversity, functions and services of forest ecosystems depends on persistence of old growth forest remnants, forest regeneration in abandoned agricultural fields, and restoration of degraded lands. Understanding the impacts of agric

  2. Recovery based on plot experiments is a poor predictor of landscape-level population impacts of agricultural pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topping, Christopher John; Kjaer, Lene Jung; Hommen, Udo; Høye, Toke Thomas; Preuss, Thomas G; Sibly, Richard M; van Vliet, Peter

    2014-07-01

    Current European Union regulatory risk assessment allows application of pesticides provided that recovery of nontarget arthropods in-crop occurs within a year. Despite the long-established theory of source-sink dynamics, risk assessment ignores depletion of surrounding populations and typical field trials are restricted to plot-scale experiments. In the present study, the authors used agent-based modeling of 2 contrasting invertebrates, a spider and a beetle, to assess how the area of pesticide application and environmental half-life 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 environmental half-lives. The same pesticides were then evaluated at the landscape scale (10 km × 10 km) assuming continuous year-on-year usage. The authors' 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. Predictions from the model are supported by empirical evidence from a series of studies carried out in the decade starting in 1988. The issues raised then can now be addressed using simulation. Prediction of impacts at landscape scales should be more widely used in assessing the risks posed by environmental stressors.

  3. 重庆黄桷门观光农业园景观规划设计分析%Landscape Planning and Designing of Tourism Agricultural Park of Huangjiaomen in Chongqing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2013-01-01

    Sightseeing agriculture is a new intersecting industry between agriculture and tour industry, which is different from traditional agriculture. In recent years, sightseeing agriculture was suggested to be established in more and more regions in China. But researches on landscape, planning and design of sightseeing agriculture were still in the primary stage. In this article, landscape planning and design scheme of modern agricultural demonstration park in Huang Jiao Men, Tongliang County, Chongqing City were introduced, which explored the landscape planning and design for sightseeing agriculture park%  观光农业是一种新型的、区别于传统农业的农游交叉型产业。近年来,我国越来越多的地区都有建立观光农业园,但对于建设观光农业园的景观规划设计方面的研究尚处于摸索阶段。文章通过重庆市铜梁县现代农业示范区的景观规划设计方案,对观光农业园景观规划设计进行探索。

  4. Impact on demersal fish of a large-scale and deep sand extraction site with ecosystem-based landscaped sandbars

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Maarten F.; Baptist, Martin J.; van Hal, Ralf; de Boois, Ingeborg J.; Lindeboom, Han J.; Hoekstra, Piet

    2014-06-01

    For the seaward harbour extension of the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, approximately 220 million m3 sand was extracted between 2009 and 2013. In order to decrease the surface area of direct impact, the authorities permitted deep sand extraction, down to 20 m below the seabed. Biological and physical impacts of large-scale and deep sand extraction are still being investigated and largely unknown. For this reason, we investigated the colonization of demersal fish in a deep sand extraction site. Two sandbars were artificially created by selective dredging, copying naturally occurring meso-scale bedforms to increase habitat heterogeneity and increasing post-dredging benthic and demersal fish species richness and biomass. Significant differences in demersal fish species assemblages in the sand extraction site were associated with variables such as water depth, median grain size, fraction of very fine sand, biomass of white furrow shell (Abra alba) and time after the cessation of sand extraction. Large quantities of undigested crushed white furrow shell fragments were found in all stomachs and intestines of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), indicating that it is an important prey item. One and two years after cessation, a significant 20-fold increase in demersal fish biomass was observed in deep parts of the extraction site. In the troughs of a landscaped sandbar however, a significant drop in biomass down to reference levels and a significant change in species assemblage was observed two years after cessation. The fish assemblage at the crests of the sandbars differed significantly from the troughs with tub gurnard (Chelidonichthys lucerna) being a Dufrêne-Legendre indicator species of the crests. This is a first indication of the applicability of landscaping techniques to induce heterogeneity of the seabed although it remains difficult to draw a strong conclusion due the lack of replication in the experiment. A new ecological equilibrium is not reached after 2

  5. Isoscapes as a tool to capture the complexity of small water bodies interspersed across a moraine landscape managed for agriculture in NE Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitzsche, K. N.; Flury, S.; Premke, K.; Gessler, A.; Kayler, Z. E.

    2013-12-01

    Across the northeastern region of Germany lies a moraine landscape where thousands of small water bodies called 'Sölle' (kettle holes) are found. These kettle holes, which are generally less than 1 ha in size, are interspersed across an agricultural landscape and predicted to undergo severe alterations in hydrology and biogeochemistry as the global climate changes. Within the project LandScales, we investigate specific C dynamics of this unique landscape at three different spatial scales: (i) C degradation at the molecular scale; (ii) lateral C transfer in the kettle hole aquatic-terrestrial transition zone; and (iii) erosion and C/N dynamics at the regional landscape scale. In the first phase of the project (iii), we constructed isotopic maps (Isoscapes; δ13C, δ15N, δ18O) to provide an overview of how these water bodies are spatially represented across the study area as seen through a biogeochemical lens. We expect to capture gradients in precipitation, land management effects (e.g., fertilization), patterns in soil erosion, and plant physiological responses. Ultimately, we will combine these isotope data with high-resolution maps involving geostatistical interpolation and link them to biogeochemical models. We collected plant, top-soil (5-20cm), sediment and water samples from a 33 km2 rectangular area of the catchment, sampling a 250 m raster in the main 2013 growing season. We sampled sediment cores, water, and plants from 50 kettle holes that represent the geomorphological and hydrological variability within the study area. Soil and sediment samples are further analyzed by physically and chemically separating organic matter fractions hypothesized to contain stabilized carbon. From these multiple lines of data, we expect to get a broader landscape view of: kettle holes function as hot spots of nutrient cycling, potential land management effects on biogeochemical processes, and patterns of erosion and carbon storage. Furthermore, the Isoscapes will serve to

  6. Long-term organic-inorganic fertilization ensures great soil productivity and bacterial diversity after natural-to-agricultural ecosystem conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xun, Weibing; Xu, Zhihui; Li, Wei; Ren, Yi; Huang, Ting; Ran, Wei; Wang, Boren; Shen, Qirong; Zhang, Ruifu

    2016-09-01

    Natural ecosystems comprise the planet's wild plant and animal resources, but large tracts of land have been converted to agroecosystems to support the demand for agricultural products. This conversion limits the number of plant species and decreases the soil biological diversity. Here we used high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing to evaluate the responses of soil bacterial communities in long-term converted and fertilized red soils (a type of Ferralic Cambisol). We observed that soil bacterial diversity was strongly affected by different types of fertilization management. Oligotrophic bacterial taxa demonstrated large relative abundances in chemically fertilized soil, whereas copiotrophic bacterial taxa were found in large relative abundances in organically fertilized and fallow management soils. Only organic-inorganic fertilization exhibited the same local taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity as that of a natural ecosystem. However, the independent use of organic or inorganic fertilizer reduced local taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity and caused biotic homogenization. This study demonstrated that the homogenization of bacterial communities caused by natural-to-agricultural ecosystem conversion can be mitigated by employing rational organic-inorganic fertilization management.

  7. The uses of ERTS-1 imagery in the analysis of landscape change. [agriculture, strip mining forests, urban-suburban growth, and flooding in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehder, J. B. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The analysis of strip mining from ERTS-1 data has resulted in the mapping of landscape changes for the Cumberland Plateau Test Site. Several mapping experiments utilizing ERTS-1 data have been established for the mapping of state-wide land use regions. The first incorporates 12 frames of ERTS-1 imagery for the generalized thematic mapping of forest cover for the state of Tennessee. In another mapping effort, 14 ERTS-1 images have been analyzed for plowed ground signatures to produce a map of agricultural regions for Tennessee, Kentucky, and the northern portions of Mississippi and Alabama. Generalized urban land use categories and transportation networks have been determined from ERTS-1 imagery for the Knoxville Test Site. Finally, through the analysis of ERTS-1 imagery, short-lived phenomena such as the 1973 spring floods on the Mississippi River in western Tennessee, have been detected, monitored, and mapped.

  8. Succession and Enhancement Mechanism of Ecosystem Productivity in the De-farming Area of the Ecotone Between Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in North China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DU Xiong; ZHANG Li-feng

    2008-01-01

    The succession and enhancement mechanism of the ecosystem productivity with the characteristics of de-farming in the ecotone between agriculture and animal husbandry in North China was discussed in order to provide an ideaology or a technical basis for maintaining the impetus of ecological restoration and economic development in this region. A case study was applied in combination with the theoretical analysis. The results indicated that the biomass productivity of the de-farming subsystem decreased by 38.4-72.3% compared with that of farming subsystem in the ecosystem. The main function of de-farming subsystem was focused on ecological productivity, it caused the ideal beneficial recycling'de-farming → planting grass → raising animals → earn money' difficult to be realized. With the differentiation of de-farming subsystem, the natural and social resources input to the farming subsystem were accumulated. This laid a basis for the new attributes of economic productivity to be upgraded. The case study indicated that the economic productivity of the ecosystem was increased by 8.85-13.35 times due to re-coupling between the de-farming subsystem and the farming subsystem as well as coupling between microhabitat differentiation and crop production in the subsystems, where the microhabitat differentiation could enrich water and fertilizer in the same field. It was concluded that the important mechanisms to enhance the system productivity in the ecotone between agriculture and animal husbandry of North China included structure rebuilding and opening of the de-farming ecosystem and taking the advantage of complementary cooperative production among different regions under the market economy and rebuilding an open agro-pasture production structure.f

  9. CLEAR Landscape Change Module: No Increased Restoration and Protection, UTM Zone 15N NAD83, Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration (2007), [CLEAR_Output_NIA_012307_final

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — The Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration (CLEAR) Framework is an integrated ecosystem forecasting system, designed to simulate ecological change...

  10. A Scale-Explicit Framework for Conceptualizing the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Land Use Changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iago Lowe Hale

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Demand for locally-produced food is growing in areas outside traditionally dominant agricultural regions due to concerns over food safety, quality, and sovereignty; rural livelihoods; and environmental integrity. Strategies for meeting this demand rely upon agricultural land use change, in various forms of either intensification or extensification (converting non-agricultural land, including native landforms, to agricultural use. The nature and extent of the impacts of these changes on non-food-provisioning ecosystem services are determined by a complex suite of scale-dependent interactions among farming practices, site-specific characteristics, and the ecosystem services under consideration. Ecosystem modeling strategies which honor such complexity are often impenetrable by non-experts, resulting in a prevalent conceptual gap between ecosystem sciences and the field of sustainable agriculture. Referencing heavily forested New England as an example, we present a conceptual framework designed to synthesize and convey understanding of the scale- and landscape-dependent nature of the relationship between agriculture and various ecosystem services. By accounting for the total impact of multiple disturbances across a landscape while considering the effects of scale, the framework is intended to stimulate and support the collaborative efforts of land managers, scientists, citizen stakeholders, and policy makers as they address the challenges of expanding local agriculture.

  11. Landscape Ecology and problems of European cultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Jesper

    2011-01-01

    by practical problems of European cultural – especial agriculturallandscapes since the rise of the environmental movement. Central themes have been the consequences of technological and structural changes within European agriculture for the landscape and the development of habitats and dispersal......Parallel to a growing global cooperation among landscape ecologists, different regional trends within landscape ecology seems to arise, related to different geographical and historical conditions. Modern landscape ecology in Europe has developed as an interdisciplinary activity inspired...... opportunities for wildlife, and a variety of landscape problems related to the trends towards multifunctional use of agricultural landscapes due to new types of land use and settlements affected by counterurbanisation processes. A number of interrelated landscape ecological projects in Denmark, with parallels...

  12. Nitrogen Legacies in Agricultural Landscapes: A 150-year Longitudinal Study of the Susquehanna and Mississippi River Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Meter, K. J.; Van Cappellen, P.; Basu, N. B.

    2015-12-01

    Global flows of reactive nitrogen (N) have increased significantly over the last century in response to land-use change, agricultural intensification and elevated levels of atmospheric N. Although the use of commercial N fertilizers began to plateau in developed countries in the mid-1980s and despite widespread implementation of a range of conservation measures to mitigate the impacts of N-intensive agriculture, N concentrations in surface waters are in many cases remaining steady or continuing to increase. This lack of correlation between N inputs and outputs is increasingly being attributed to the presence of legacy N stores in subsurface reservoirs, with present-day concentrations being a function of inputs that are many decades old. It has remained unclear, however, what the magnitudes of such stores might be, and how they are partitioned between soil and groundwater reservoirs. In the present work, we have synthesized agricultural, population, and land-use data to develop a comprehensive, 150-year dataset of N inputs to the land surface of the continental United States. We have concurrently developed a parsimonious, process-based model that utilizes this N input trajectory to simulate biogeochemical transformations of N along subsurface pathways. Model results allow us predict the magnitudes of legacy N in soil and groundwater pools and to predict long-term stream N concentration trajectories over the last century and into the future. We have applied this modeling approach to two U.S. watersheds, the Mississippi River and Susquehanna River Basins, which are major sources of nutrient contamination to the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay, respectively. Our results show significant stream N loading above baseline levels in both watersheds before the widespread use of commercial N fertilizers, largely due to 19th-century conversion of natural forest and grassland areas to row-crop agriculture. However, the temporal patterns of this loading differ between the two

  13. Landscape planning and ecology construction of wetland comprehensive protected area system in the Sanjiang Plain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Wetland is one of the richest biodiversity areas in the earth. The main purpose of establishing wetland protected area is to protect biodiversity, and the protection of ecosystem diversity and landscape diversity is the key to protect biodiversity. In order to protect regional ecosystem and landscape, it is a good way to establish wetland comprehensive protected area which connected wetland nature reserves by habitat corridors. The Sanjiang Plain as a study area, its landscape evaluation index system on wetland protected area was studied, and some problems on landscape planning and ecology construction were further approached in this paper. It showed that establishing wetland comprehensive protected area is very important to protect regional wetlands, to maintain ecological balance,and to improve the sustainable development of agriculture and industry in this region.

  14. A landscape-scale assessment of plant communities, hydrologic processes, and state-and-transition theory in a western juniper dominated ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Steven L.

    Western juniper has rapidly expanded into sagebrush steppe communities in the Intermountain West during the past 120 years. This expansion has occurred across a wide range of soil types and topographic positions. These plant communities, however, are typically treated in current peer-reviewed literature generically. The focus of this research is to investigate watershed level response to Western juniper encroachment at multiple topographic positions. Data collected from plots used to measure vegetation, soil moisture, and infiltration rates show that intercanopy sites within encroached Western juniper communities generally exhibit a significant decrease in intercanopy plant density and cover, decreased infiltration rates, increased water sediment content, and lower soil moisture content. High-resolution remotely sensed imagery and Geographic Information Systems were used with these plot level measurements to characterize and model the landscape-scale response for both biotic and abiotic components of a Western juniper encroached ecosystem. These data and their analyses included an inventory of plant density, plant cover, bare ground, gap distance and cover, a plant community classification of intercanopy patches and juniper canopy cover, soil moisture estimation, solar insulation prediction, slope and aspect. From these data, models were built that accurately predicted shrub density and shrub cover throughout the watershed study area, differentiated by aspect. We propose a new model of process-based plant community dynamics associated with current state-and-transition theory. This model is developed from field measurements and spatially explicit information that characterize the relationship between the matrix mountain big sagebrush plant community and intercanopy plant community patterns occurring within a Western juniper dominated woodland at a landscape scale. Model parameters (states, transitions, and thresholds) are developed based on differences in shrub

  15. Effects of ozone on ecosystems -- ecosystem indicators of concern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Innes, J.L. [Swiss Federal Inst. for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf (Switzerland)

    1998-12-31

    Ozone has been recognized as an important cause of damage to crops since the 1950s. Damage to trees was first identified in the 1960s and is now known to be widespread in both North America and Europe. Most impact studies have emphasized the importance of determining growth losses attributable to ozone and as a result have concentrated on species of commercial importance. This is illustrated by the critical loads approach to ozone risk assessment in Europe, which is currently based on the AOT40 -- 10 ppmh threshold. At higher levels, it has been argued that a 10% growth reduction occurs in European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Such an approach suffers from a number of serious limitations, not least the widespread impacts on ecosystems that may occur at lower ozone exposures and the very poor quantitative basis for setting this threshold. In Europe, there has been increasing emphasis on the conservation and management of species without any direct economic importance. This has arisen from a growing environmental awareness of the general public. The trend has been accelerated by the perceived environmental benefits of the large amounts of land that has been taken out of agricultural production (as a result of the ``set-aside`` policy of the European Union) and the public concern about the ecological and environmental impacts of industrial forestry. In agricultural landscapes, hedgerow species and weed species are being looked at as important parts of the agricultural ecosystem. In particular, weed species are an important part of the food chain for the wildlife present in such ecosystems. In forests, much greater emphasis is being given to the authenticity of the forest ecosystems. Particular emphasis is being given to ecosystem management techniques such as continuous cover forestry and the furthering of natural regeneration.

  16. Modeling Impacts of Climate and Land Use Change on Ecosystem Processes to Quantify Exposure to Climate Change in Two Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quackenbush, A.

    2015-12-01

    Urban land cover and associated impervious surface area is expected to increase by as much as 50% over the next few decades across substantial portions of the United States. In combination with urban expansion, increases in temperature and changes in precipitation are expected to impact ecosystems through changes in productivity, disturbance and hydrological properties. In this study, we use the NASA Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System Biogeochemical Cycle (TOPS-BGC) model to explore the combined impacts of urbanization and climate change on hydrologic dynamics (snowmelt, runoff, and evapotranspiration) and vegetation carbon uptake (gross productivity). The model is driven using land cover predictions from the Spatially Explicit Regional Growth Model (SERGoM) to quantify projected changes in impervious surface area, and climate projections from the 30 arc-second NASA Earth Exchange Downscaled Climate Projection (NEX-DCP30) dataset derived from the CMIP5 climate scenarios. We present the modeling approach and an analysis of the ecosystem impacts projected to occur in the US, with an emphasis on protected areas in the Great Northern and Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC). Under the ensemble average of the CMIP5 models and land cover change scenarios for both representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5, both LCCs are predicted to experience increases in maximum and minimum temperatures as well as annual average precipitation. In the Great Northern LCC, this is projected to lead to increased annual runoff, especially under RCP 8.5. Earlier melt of the winter snow pack and increased evapotranspiration, however, reduces summer streamflow and soil water content, leading to a net reduction in vegetation productivity across much of the Great Northern LCC, with stronger trends occurring under RCP 8.5. Increased runoff is also projected to occur in the Appalachian LCC under both RCP 4.5 and 8.5. However, under RCP 4.5, the model

  17. Distributed hydrological modelling of total dissolved phosphorus transport in an agricultural landscape, part I: distributed runoff generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Gérard-Marchant

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Successful implementation of best management practices for reducing non-point source (NPS pollution requires knowledge of the location of saturated areas that produce runoff. A physically-based, fully-distributed, GIS-integrated model, the Soil Moisture Distribution and Routing (SMDR model was developed to simulate the hydrologic behavior of small rural upland watersheds with shallow soils and steep to moderate slopes. The model assumes that gravity is the only driving force of water and that most overland flow occurs as saturation excess. The model uses available soil and climatic data, and requires little calibration. The SMDR model was used to simulate runoff production on a 164-ha farm watershed in Delaware County, New York, in the headwaters of New York City water supply. Apart from land use, distributed input parameters were derived from readily available data. Simulated hydrographs compared reasonably with observed flows at the watershed outlet over a eight year simulation period, and peak timing and intensities were well reproduced. Using off-site weather input data produced occasional missed event peaks. Simulated soil moisture distribution agreed well with observed hydrological features and followed the same spatial trend as observed soil moisture contents sampled on four transects. Model accuracy improved when input variables were calibrated within the range of SSURGO-available parameters. The model will be a useful planning tool for reducing NPS pollution from farms in landscapes similar to the Northeastern US.

  18. 河流水生态恢复的景观设计途径-以沈阳市辽河干流生态带规划为例%Landscape Approach Of River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration:Liao River Ecological Belt Planning,Shenyang Example

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨楠; 洪菊华; 杨涛; 任杰; 朱伟

    2014-01-01

    河流生态系统的良性运作是区域可持续发展的重要议题。城市化与农业开发使得河流的水生态过程发生了改变,进而影响其生态环境与生态循环。研究针对河流水生态的恢复,提出基于景观生态原理及景观水文理论的综合性途径,并将理论转化为实践,应用于辽河生态恢复、河道整治及雨污治理等问题的解决中,实现辽河水生态的全面恢复。%The benign operation of river ecosystem is the key issue of sustainable development. River ecological process has been changed by urbanization and development of agriculture. The project proposed comprehensive approaches based on the principles of landscape ecology and landscape hydrology theory, and then put the theory into practice to solve the Liao river ecological restoration, Watercourse regulation and rain sewage management.

  19. Vegetation cover in an ancient agricultural landscape: the Proszowice Plateau (southern Poland as a case-study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Kotańska

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The investigations on vegetation cover in the Proszowice Plateau (Małopolska Upland, southern Poland in 1997-1999 were carried out. This vast area (770 sq. km, hitherto not in this respect investigated, is covered with arable fields in 80%. This area has been used for agriculture since the Neolithic age. The aim of the paper is to show the present state of the vegetation and flora in face of the growing man's impact upon living biotas and their environment. The Braun-Blanquet phytosociological method was used, yielding 1030 relevés. In effect, a total of 48 plant associations and communities were found. Plateaux and gently slopes are covered with arable fields. In the cereal communities Vicietum tetraspermae and in the root crops Echinochloo-Setarietum are mostly found. In the wide and shallow stream valleys moist and wet meadows (Calthion, Magnocaricion predominate, and the stands of the xerothermic grassland (Festuco-Brometea occur in places not used for agriculture: on steep escarp-ments between fields and on steep slopes of hills, gullies and stream banks. Small and scarce forests (Querco-Fagetea are preserved on plateaux and on gently slopes. In the stream banks they consist of willow thickets (Salicion and fragments of riverside carr (Alno-Padion. Basing on the relevé material and floristic checklists a total of 860 vascular plant species was recorded, in this 19.2% of rare and endangered. The flora is of lowland character; c. 80% are native species. The characteristic feature of the Proszowice Plateau is the occurrence of the xerothermic grassland and wet meadows, in which species rare in other regions of the country flourish.

  20. Coupled carbon-nitrogen land surface modelling for UK agricultural landscapes using JULES and JULES-ECOSSE-FUN (JEF)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comyn-Platt, Edward; Clark, Douglas; Blyth, Eleanor

    2016-04-01

    The UK is required to provide accurate estimates of the UK greenhouse gas (GHG; CO2, CH4 and N2O) emissions for the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Process based land surface models (LSMs), such as the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES), attempt to provide such estimates based on environmental (e.g. land use and soil type) and meteorological conditions. The standard release of JULES focusses on the water and carbon cycles, however, it has long been suggested that a coupled carbon-nitrogen scheme could enhance simulations. This is of particular importance when estimating agricultural emission inventories where the carbon cycle is effectively managed via the human application of nitrogen based fertilizers. JULES-ECOSSE-FUN (JEF) links JULES with the Estimation of Carbon in Organic Soils - Sequestration and Emission (ECOSSE) model and the Fixation and Uptake of Nitrogen (FUN) model as a means of simulating C:N coupling. This work presents simulations from the standard release of JULES and the most recent incarnation of the JEF coupled system at the point and field scale. Various configurations of JULES and JEF were calibrated and fine-tuned based on comparisons with observations from three UK field campaigns (Crichton, Harwood Forest and Brattleby) specifically chosen to represent the managed vegetation types that cover the UK. The campaigns included flux tower and chamber measurements of CO2, CH4 and N2O amongst other meteorological parameters and records of land management such as application of fertilizer and harvest date at the agricultural sites. Based on the results of these comparisons, JULES and/or JEF will be used to provide simulations on the regional and national scales in order to provide improved estimates of the total UK emission inventory.

  1. Estimating NH3 emissions from agricultural fertilizer application in China using the bi-directional CMAQ model coupled to an agro-ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, X.; Wang, S. X.; Ran, L. M.; Pleim, J. E.; Cooter, E.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Hao, J. M.

    2015-06-01

    Atmospheric ammonia (NH3) plays an important role in atmospheric aerosol chemistry. China is one of the largest NH3 emitting countries with the majority of NH3 emissions coming from agricultural practices, such as fertilizer application and livestock production. The current NH3 emission estimates in China are mainly based on pre-defined emission factors that lack temporal or spatial details, which are needed to accurately predict NH3 emissions. This study provides the first online estimate of NH3 emissions from agricultural fertilizer application in China, using an agricultural fertilizer modeling system which couples a regional air quality model (the Community Multi-scale Air Quality model, or CMAQ) and an agro-ecosystem model (the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model, or EPIC). This method improves the spatial and temporal resolution of NH3 emissions from this sector. We combined the cropland area data of 14 crops from 2710 counties with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land use data to determine the crop distribution. The fertilizer application rates and methods for different crops were collected at provincial or agricultural region levels. The EPIC outputs of daily fertilizer application and soil characteristics were input into the CMAQ model and the hourly NH3 emissions were calculated online with CMAQ running. The estimated agricultural fertilizer NH3 emissions in this study were approximately 3 Tg in 2011. The regions with the highest modeled emission rates are located in the North China Plain. Seasonally, peak ammonia emissions occur from April to July. Compared with previous researches, this study considers an increased number of influencing factors, such as meteorological fields, soil and fertilizer application, and provides improved NH3 emissions with higher spatial and temporal resolution.

  2. Landscape Ecological Construction in Fujian Coastal Area%福建沿海地区的景观生态建设途径探讨

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    柯美红; 黄义雄

    2002-01-01

    The coastal area in Fujian is one of the regions whose economy development is rapid, and whose landscape ecological con struction plays a great important role in the sustainable and stable economy development in our country. This paper gives emphasis on the three basic characteristics in this area according to the theory of landscape ecology, i. e., the complexity of landscape structure, the diversity of landscape function and the changeability and frangibility of landscape ecosystem. This paper also puts forward several kinds of landscape ecological construction patterns which are fit to the development of this area, such as coastal shelter forest system, ecological agriculture and the ecological restoration in waste land of diggings.Finally, this paper introduces the relationship between landscape ecological construction and ecological tour.

  3. Characterizing European cultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tieskens, Koen F.; Schulp, Catharina J E; Levers, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Almost all rural areas in Europe have been shaped or altered by humans and can be considered cultural landscapes, many of which now are considered to entail valuable cultural heritage. Current dynamics in land management have put cultural landscapes under a huge pressure of agricultural intensifi......Almost all rural areas in Europe have been shaped or altered by humans and can be considered cultural landscapes, many of which now are considered to entail valuable cultural heritage. Current dynamics in land management have put cultural landscapes under a huge pressure of agricultural...... intensification and land abandonment. To prevent the loss of cultural landscapes, knowledge on the location of different types of cultural landscapes is needed. In this paper, we present a characterization of European cultural landscapes based on the prevalence of three key dimensions of cultural landscapes......: landscape structure, management intensity, and value and meaning. We mapped these dimensions across Europe at a 1-km resolution by combining proxies on management intensity and landscape structure with new indicators such as social media usage and registered traditional food products. We integrated...

  4. Warmer and Wetter Soil Stimulates Assimilation More than Respiration in Rainfed Agricultural Ecosystem on the China Loess Plateau: The Role of Partial Plastic Film Mulching Tillage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Daozhi; Hao, Weiping; Mei, Xurong; Gao, Xiang; Liu, Qi; Caylor, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Effects of agricultural practices on ecosystem carbon storage have acquired widespread concern due to its alleviation of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Recently, combining of furrow-ridge with plastic film mulching in spring maize ecosystem was widely applied to boost crop water productivity in the semiarid regions of China. However, there is still limited information about the potentials for increased ecosystem carbon storage of this tillage method. The objective of this study was to quantify and contrast net carbon dioxide exchange, biomass accumulation and carbon budgets of maize (Zea maize L.) fields under the traditional non-mulching with flat tillage (CK) and partial plastic film mulching with furrow-ridge tillage (MFR) on the China Loess Plateau. Half-hourly net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) of both treatments were synchronously measured with two eddy covariance systems during the growing seasons of 2011 through 2013. At same time green leaf area index (GLAI) and biomass were also measured biweekly. Compared with CK, the warmer and wetter (+1.3°C and +4.3%) top soil at MFR accelerated the rates of biomass accumulation, promoted greater green leaf area and thus shortened the growing seasons by an average value of 10.4 days for three years. MFR stimulated assimilation more than respiration during whole growing season, resulting in a higher carbon sequestration in terms of NEE of -79 gC/m2 than CK. However, after considering carbon in harvested grain (or aboveground biomass), there is a slight higher carbon sink (or a stronger carbon source) in MFR due to its greater difference of aboveground biomass than that of grain between both treatments. These results demonstrate that partial plastic film mulched furrow-ridge tillage with aboveground biomass exclusive of grain returned to the soil is an effective way to enhance simultaneously carbon sequestration and grain yield of maize in the semiarid regions.

  5. Warmer and Wetter Soil Stimulates Assimilation More than Respiration in Rainfed Agricultural Ecosystem on the China Loess Plateau: The Role of Partial Plastic Film Mulching Tillage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daozhi Gong

    Full Text Available Effects of agricultural practices on ecosystem carbon storage have acquired widespread concern due to its alleviation of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Recently, combining of furrow-ridge with plastic film mulching in spring maize ecosystem was widely applied to boost crop water productivity in the semiarid regions of China. However, there is still limited information about the potentials for increased ecosystem carbon storage of this tillage method. The objective of this study was to quantify and contrast net carbon dioxide exchange, biomass accumulation and carbon budgets of maize (Zea maize L. fields under the traditional non-mulching with flat tillage (CK and partial plastic film mulching with furrow-ridge tillage (MFR on the China Loess Plateau. Half-hourly net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE of both treatments were synchronously measured with two eddy covariance systems during the growing seasons of 2011 through 2013. At same time green leaf area index (GLAI and biomass were also measured biweekly. Compared with CK, the warmer and wetter (+1.3°C and +4.3% top soil at MFR accelerated the rates of biomass accumulation, promoted greater green leaf area and thus shortened the growing seasons by an average value of 10.4 days for three years. MFR stimulated assimilation more than respiration during whole growing season, resulting in a higher carbon sequestration in terms of NEE of -79 gC/m2 than CK. However, after considering carbon in harvested grain (or aboveground biomass, there is a slight higher carbon sink (or a stronger carbon source in MFR due to its greater difference of aboveground biomass than that of grain between both treatments. These results demonstrate that partial plastic film mulched furrow-ridge tillage with aboveground biomass exclusive of grain returned to the soil is an effective way to enhance simultaneously carbon sequestration and grain yield of maize in the semiarid regions.

  6. Communities of endophytic sebacinales associated with roots of herbaceous plants in agricultural and grassland ecosystems are dominated by Serendipita herbamans sp. nov.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Riess

    Full Text Available Endophytic fungi are known to be commonly associated with herbaceous plants, however, there are few studies focusing on their occurrence and distribution in plant roots from ecosystems with different land uses. To explore the phylogenetic diversity and community structure of Sebacinales endophytes from agricultural and grassland habitats under different land uses, we analysed the roots of herbaceous plants using strain isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR, transmission electron microscopy (TEM and co-cultivation experiments. A new sebacinoid strain named Serendipita herbamans belonging to Sebacinales group B was isolated from the roots of Bistorta vivipara, which is characterized by colourless monilioid cells (chlamydospores that become yellow with age. This species was very common and widely distributed in association with a broad spectrum of herbaceous plant families in diverse habitats, independent of land use type. Ultrastructurally, the presence of S. herbamans was detected in the cortical cells of Plantago media, Potentilla anserina and Triticum aestivum. In addition, 13 few frequent molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs or species were found across agricultural and grassland habitats, which did not exhibit a distinctive phylogenetic structure. Laboratory-based assays indicate that S. herbamans has the ability to colonize fine roots and stimulate plant growth. Although endophytic Sebacinales are widely distributed across agricultural and grassland habitats, TEM and nested PCR analyses reinforce the observation that these microorganisms are present in low quantity in plant roots, with no evidence of host specificity.

  7. Shore zone in protection of water quality in agricultural landscape-the Mściwojów Reservoir, southwestern Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dąbrowska, Jolanta; Kaczmarek, Halina; Markowska, Joanna; Tyszkowski, Sebastian; Kempa, Olgierd; Gałęza, Marta; Kucharczak-Moryl, Ewa; Moryl, Andrzej

    2016-08-01

    Shore zones are transition areas (ecotones) between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Their function in the environment is crucial because they serve as buffer zones that capture pollutants and slow down erosion of reservoir and watercourse banks provided that they are managed properly. Research on a shore zone was conducted at the Mściwojów retention reservoir with an innovative water self-purification system. After several years of its operation, an increased phosphate concentration in the main part of the reservoir was reported. The mapping of the terrain's surface and modeling of hydrological processes in the direct catchment area of the said reservoir were done using the digital elevation model (DEM). The DEM was created from LiDAR data obtained in 2012 by airborne laser scanning. Analyses of the surface runoff led to identification of surface runoff transport pathways, along which the eroded material from cultivated fields is discharged directly to the reservoir. Surface runoff transport pathways gather the eroded material from a maximum area of 45,000 m(2) in the western part of the direct catchment and 40,000 m(2) in the eastern part of it. Due to the reservoir management negligence, the riparian zone designed for the Mściwojów Reservoir no longer exists. The percentage of the natural shore that undergoes erosion processes is over 54. The said processes and fluctuations of the water level in the reservoir, as well as degradation of the shore zone caused by human activity, bring about limited plant development in the littoral zone, which in turn lowers the reservoir's resistance to degradation.

  8. Landscape ecological security response to land use change in the tidal flat reclamation zone, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Runsen; Pu, Lijie; Li, Jianguo; Zhang, Jing; Xu, Yan

    2016-01-01

    As coastal development becomes a national strategy in Eastern China, land use and landscape patterns have been affected by reclamation projects. In this study, taking Rudong County, China as a typical area, we analyzed land use change and its landscape ecological security responses in the tidal flat reclamation zone. The results show that land use change in the tidal flat reclamation zone is characterized by the replacement of natural tidal flat with agricultural and construction land, which has also led to a big change in landscape patterns. We built a landscape ecological security evaluation system, which consists of landscape interference degree and landscape fragile degree, and then calculated the landscape ecological security change in the tidal flat reclamation zone from 1990 to 2008 to depict the life cycle in tidal flat reclamation. Landscape ecological security exhibited a W-shaped periodicity, including the juvenile stage, growth stage, and maturation stage. Life-cycle analysis demonstrates that 37 years is required for the land use system to transform from a natural ecosystem to an artificial ecosystem in the tidal flat reclamation zone.

  9. Ecosystem services and agricultural land-use practices: a case study of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Golam Rasul

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Land degradation due to inappropriate agricultural activities, as well as the environmental and social effects associated with these practices, is accelerating in many developing regions of the world. This trend underlines the importance of measuring environmental costs and benefits to improve policy making with respect to land use and agriculture. Using nonmarket valuation techniques, this article estimates the value of environmental services associated with four agricultural land-use systems in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh and compares their relative profitability from private and social perspectives. The financial analysis reveals that annual cash crops are the most profitable short-term land use and agroforestry is the least profitable, with horticulture and farm forestry providing benefits intermediate between these two systems. However, the relatively larger returns from annual cash cropping lead to higher environmental costs such as soil erosion, forfeited carbon sequestration, and biodiversity loss. When the environmental costs are taken into account, annual cash crops appear to be the most costly land-use system, with agroforestry and farm forestry becoming more profitable. The findings demonstrate the tradeoffs and synergies between relatively more environmentally sustainable and harmful land-use practices. Financial incentives to encourage more prudent agricultural activities are needed to transform tradeoffs into synergies. This article examines different financial incentive mechanisms—including payments for environmental services—and makes several policy recommendations.

  10. Estimating Resilience Across Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garry D. Peterson

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Although ecological managers typically focus on managing local or regional landscapes, they often have little ability to control or predict many of the large-scale, long-term processes that drive changes within these landscapes. This lack of control has led some ecologists to argue that ecological management should aim to produce ecosystems that are resilient to change and surprise. Unfortunately, ecological resilience is difficult to measure or estimate in the landscapes people manage. In this paper, I extend system dynamics approaches to resilience and estimate resilience using complex landscape simulation models. I use this approach to evaluate cross-scale edge, a novel empirical method for estimating resilience based on landscape pattern. Cross-scale edge provides relatively robust estimates of resilience, suggesting that, with some further development, it could be used as a management tool to provide rough and rapid estimates of areas of resilience and vulnerability within a landscape.

  11. The Role of Farm Management Characteristics in Understanding the Spatial Distribution of Landscape Elements: A Case Study in the Netherlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leon Tobias Hauser

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In Western Europe the fate of biodiversity is intimately linked to agricultural land use. A driving force behind biodiversity decline is the gradual conversion of Europe’s traditional integrated rural landscapes of nature and agriculture into monofunctional units of production. With these developments, semi-natural landscape elements have increasingly disappeared from agricultural landscapes. A growing body of research, however, underlines the importance of semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes for biodiversity conservation, habitat connectivity, and ecosystem services. On the local scale, considerable variation between the relative area of landscape elements on individual farms can be observed. Farm management decisions are presumed to be important determinants for the composition of agricultural landscapes and the services provided to society.  By bringing together data from farmer interviews and aerial photographic imagery, this paper analyzes the predictive validity of farm management characteristics to understand the distribution of landscape elements on farmland parcels. The farm management parameters included in the study are relevant to current dominant trends in the Dutch agricultural sector; intensification, scale enlargement, diversification, and gradual termination of farming activities. Scale enlargement and migratory processes are found to be important predictors. The results of the Dutch case study provide insights in the threats and opportunities for the conservation of semi-natural habitat in agricultural landscapes. The findings present an empirical contribution to the debate on sustainable management of agriculture’s green infrastructure and, in broader perspective, the objective to reconcile agricultural production with the urging need of biodiversity conservation in Europe’s spatially contested countryside.

  12. A landscape ecology approach identifies important drivers of urban biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva

    2015-04-01

    Cities are growing rapidly worldwide, yet a mechanistic understanding of the impact of urbanization on biodiversity is lacking. We assessed the impact of urbanization on arthropod diversity (species richness and evenness) and abundance in a study of six cities and nearby intensively managed agricultural areas. Within the urban ecosystem, we disentangled the relative importance of two key landscape factors affecting biodiversity, namely the amount of vegetated area and patch isolation. To do so, we a priori selected sites that independently varied in the amount of vegetated area in the surrounding landscape at the 500-m scale and patch isolation at the 100-m scale, and we hold local patch characteristics constant. As indicator groups, we used bugs, beetles, leafhoppers, and spiders. Compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems, urban ecosystems supported a higher abundance of most indicator groups, a higher number of bug species, and a lower evenness of bug and beetle species. Within cities, a high amount of vegetated area increased species richness and abundance of most arthropod groups, whereas evenness showed no clear pattern. Patch isolation played only a limited role in urban ecosystems, which contrasts findings from agro-ecological studies. Our results show that urban areas can harbor a similar arthropod diversity and abundance compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems. Further, negative consequences of urbanization on arthropod diversity can be mitigated by providing sufficient vegetated space in the urban area, while patch connectivity is less important in an urban context. This highlights the need for applying a landscape ecological approach to understand the mechanisms shaping urban biodiversity and underlines the potential of appropriate urban planning for mitigating biodiversity loss.

  13. Changes in soil microbial community structure influenced by agricultural management practices in a mediterranean agro-ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fuensanta García-Orenes

    Full Text Available Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA. Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain: residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass, suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage.

  14. Changes in soil microbial community structure influenced by agricultural management practices in a mediterranean agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Zornoza, Raul; Cerdà, Artemi; Scow, Kate

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain): residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass), suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage.

  15. Impacts of Intensified Agriculture Developments on Marsh Wetlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaoqing Luan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A spatiotemporal analysis on the changes in the marsh landscape in the Honghe National Nature Reserve, a Ramsar reserve, and the surrounding farms in the core area of the Sanjiang Plain during the past 30 years was conducted by integrating field survey work with remote sensing techniques. The results indicated that intensified agricultural development had transformed a unique natural marsh landscape into an agricultural landscape during the past 30 years. Ninety percent of the natural marsh wetlands have been lost, and the areas of the other natural landscapes have decreased very rapidly. Most dry farmland had been replaced by paddy fields during the progressive change of the natural landscape to a farm landscape. Attempts of current Chinese institutions in preserving natural wetlands have achieved limited success. Few marsh wetlands have remained healthy, even after the establishment of the nature reserve. Their ecological qualities have been declining in response to the increasing threats to the remaining wetland habitats. Irrigation projects play a key role in such threats. Therefore, the sustainability of the natural wetland ecosystems is being threatened by increased regional agricultural development which reduced the number of wetland ecotypes and damaged the ecological quality.

  16. Restoration Ecology - An Effective Way to Restore Biodiversity of Degraded Ecosystems%恢复生态学——退化生态系统生物多样性恢复的有效途径

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵平; 彭少麟; 张经炜

    2000-01-01

    Conversion of natural habitats from forest to agricultural and industrial landscape and then to degraded land is a major factor resulting in reduced biodiversity. Species with different functional traits strongly affect on structure and function of ecosystem. Low biodiversity characterizes the degraded ecosystems which bring great concern in the world. The emerging of restoration ecology provides tool and opportunity to reverse the trend of losing species. Therefore, whether a degraded ecosystem could be recovered or not depends on the recovery of its biodiversity.

  17. Spatio-Temporal Trends of Fire in Slash and Burn Agriculture Landscape: A Case Study from Nagaland, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padalia, H.; Mondal, P. P.

    2014-11-01

    Increasing incidences of fire from land conversion and residue burning in tropics is the major concern in global warming. Spatial and temporal monitoring of trends of fire incidences is, therefore, significant in order to determine contribution of carbon emissions from slash and burn agriculture. In this study, we analyzed time-series Terra / Aqua MODIS satellite hotspot products from 2001 to 2013 to derive intra- and inter-annual trends in fire incidences in Nagaland state, located in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. Time-series regression was applied to MODIS fire products at variable spatial scales in GIS. Significance of change in fire frequency at each grid level was tested using t statistic. Spatial clustering of higher or lower fire incidences across study area was determined using Getis-OrdGi statistic. Maximum fire incidences were encountered in moist mixed deciduous forests (46%) followed by secondary moist bamboo brakes (30%). In most parts of the study area fire incidences peaked during March while in warmer parts (e.g. Mon district dominated by indigenous people) fire activity starts as early as during November and peaks in January. Regression trend analysis captured noticeable areas with statistically significant positive (e.g. Mokokchung, Wokha, Mon, Tuensang and Kiphire districts) and negative (e.g. Kohima and north-western part of Mokokchung district) inter-annual fire frequency trends based on area-based aggregation of fire occurrences at different grid sizes. Localization of spatial clusters of high fire incidences was observed in Mokokchung, Wokha, Mon,Tuensang and Kiphire districts.

  18. Distributed hydrological modeling of total dissolved phosphorus transport in an agricultural landscape, part II: dissolved phosphorus transport

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    W. D. Hively

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Reducing non-point source phosphorus (P loss to drinking water reservoirs is a main concern for New York City watershed planners, and modeling of P transport can assist in the evaluation of agricultural effects on nutrient dynamics. A spatially distributed model of total dissolved phosphorus (TDP loading was developed using raster maps covering a 164-ha dairy farm watershed. Transport of TDP was calculated separately for baseflow and for surface runoff from manure-covered and non-manure-covered areas. Soil test P, simulated rainfall application, and land use were used to predict concentrations of TDP in overland flow from non-manure covered areas. Concentrations in runoff for manure-covered areas were computed from predicted cumulative flow and elapsed time since manure application, using field-specific manure spreading data. Baseflow TDP was calibrated from observed concentrations using a temperature-dependent coefficient. An additional component estimated loading associated with manure deposition on impervious areas, such as barnyards and roadways. Daily baseflow and runoff volumes were predicted for each 10-m cell using the Soil Moisture Distribution and Routing Model (SMDR. For each cell, daily TDP loads were calculated as the product of predicted runoff and estimated TDP concentrations. Predicted loads agreed well with loads observed at the watershed outlet when hydrology was modeled accurately (R2 79% winter, 87% summer. Lack of fit in early spring was attributed to difficulty in predicting snowmelt. Overall, runoff from non-manured areas appeared to be the dominant TDP loading source factor.

  19. Economic Growth and Landscape Change

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    Prato, Tony; Fagre, Dan

    2007-01-01

    Prato and Fagre offer the first systematic, multi-disciplinary assessment of the challenges involved in managing the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem (CCE), an area of the Rocky Mountains that includes northwestern Montana, southwestern Alberta, and southeastern British Columbia. The spectacular landscapes, extensive recreational options, and broad employment opportunities of the CCE have made it one of the fastest growing regions in the United States and Canada, and have lead to a shift in its economic base from extractive resource industries to service-oriented recreation and tourism industries. In the process, however, the amenities and attributes that draw people to this “New West” are under threat. Pastoral scenes are disappearing as agricultural lands and other open spaces are converted to residential uses, biodiversity is endangered by the fragmentation of fish and wildlife habitats, and many areas are experiencing a decline in air and water quality.

  20. Reading Ecosystem Services at the Local Scale through a Territorial Approach: the Case of Peri-Urban Agriculture in the Thau Lagoon, Southern France

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    Laure-Elise Ruoso

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the ecosystem services (ES concept has become a major paradigm for natural resource management. While policy-makers demand "hard" monetary evidence that nature conservation would be worth investing in, ongoing attempts are being made to formalize the concept as a scientifically robust "one size fits all" analytical framework. These attempts have highlighted several major limitations of the ES concept. First, to date, the concept has paid little attention to the role of humans in the production of ES. Second, the ongoing formalization of the ES concept is turning it into a "technology of globalization," thereby increasingly ignoring the socio-cultural context and history within which ecosystems emerge. Third, economic valuation has been shown to limit local stakeholders in expressing their daily and immediate ways of interacting with their environment over and beyond extrinsic motivation provided by financial gains. We address these three limitations by analyzing a social evaluation of the roles of peri-urban farmland from a territorial perspective. Our case study is the Thau lagoon in southern France. We conducted in-depth interviews with a broad range of stakeholders and ran two participatory workshops. Using a territorial meta-model that distinguishes three levels - physical, logical, and existential - stakeholder data were analyzed to unravel the interplay of territorial elements at these three levels that gives rise to ES in two broad categories: food production and aesthetic landscape. The coupling of ES and territory concepts opens up several novel analytical perspectives. It allows partitioning of ES in a manner that "re-contextualizes" them and gives insight about both their physical constituents and their meaning at the territorial level. Additional research should incorporate the dynamics of service demand and supply, and further investigate options for implementation.

  1. Consequences of a government-controlled agricultural price increase on fishing and the coral reef ecosystem in the republic of kiribati.

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    Sheila M W Reddy

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Economic development policies may have important economic and ecological consequences beyond the sector they target. Understanding these consequences is important to improving these policies and finding opportunities to align economic development with natural resource conservation. These issues are of particular interest to governments and non-governmental organizations that have new mandates to pursue multiple benefits. In this case study, we examined the direct and indirect economic and ecological effects of an increase in the government-controlled price for the primary agricultural product in the Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted household surveys and underwater visual surveys of the coral reef to examine how the government increase in the price of copra directly affected copra labor and indirectly affected fishing and the coral reef ecosystem. The islands of Kiribati are coral reef atolls and the majority of households participate in copra agriculture and fishing on the coral reefs. Our household survey data suggest that the 30% increase in the price of copra resulted in a 32% increase in copra labor and a 38% increase in fishing labor. Households with the largest amount of land in coconut production increased copra labor the most and households with the smallest amount of land in coconut production increased fishing the most. Our ecological data suggests that increased fishing labor may result in a 20% decrease in fish stocks and 4% decrease in coral reef-builders. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We provide empirical evidence to suggest that the government increase in the copra price in Kiribati had unexpected and indirect economic and ecological consequences. In this case, the economic development policy was not in alignment with conservation. These results emphasize the importance of accounting for differences in household capital and taking a systems approach to policy design and

  2. Time will tell: resource continuity bolsters ecosystem services.

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    Schellhorn, Nancy A; Gagic, Vesna; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-09-01

    A common suggestion to support ecosystem services to agriculture provided by mobile organisms is to increase the amount of natural and seminatural habitat in the landscape. This might, however, be inefficient, and demands for agricultural products limit the feasibility of converting arable land into natural habitat. To develop more targeted means to promote ecosystem services, we need a solid understanding of the limitations to population growth for service-providing organisms. We propose a research agenda that identifies resource bottlenecks and interruptions over time to key beneficial organisms, emphasising their resulting population dynamics. Targeted measures that secure the continuity of resources throughout the life cycle of service-providing organisms are likely to effectively increase the stock, flow, and stability of ecosystem services.

  3. Landscape features and attractants that predispose grizzly bears to risk of conflicts with humans: A spatial and temporal analysis on privately owned agricultural land

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    Wilson, Seth Mark

    Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) deaths in the US tend to be concentrated on the periphery of core habitats. These deaths were often preceded by conflicts with humans. Management removals of "nuisance" and or habituated grizzly bears are a leading cause of death in many populations. This exploratory study focuses on the conditions that lead to human-grizzly bear conflicts on private lands near core habitat. I examined spatial associations among reported human-grizzly bear conflicts during 1986--2001, landscape features, and agricultural-attractants in north-central Montana. I surveyed 61 of a possible 64 active livestock related land users and I used geographic information system (GIS) techniques to collect information on cattle and sheep pasture locations, seasons of use,