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. Environmental research programme. Ecological research. Annual report 1994. Urban-industrial landscapes, forests, agricultural landscapes, river and lake landscapes, terrestrial ecosystem research, environmental pollution and health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    In the annual report 1994 of the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology, the points of emphasis of the ecological research programme and their financing are discussed. The individual projects in the following subject areas are described in detail: urban-industrial landscapes, forests, agricultural landscapes, river and lake landscapes, other ecosystems and landscapes, terrestrial ecosystem research, environmental pollution and human health and cross-sectional activities in ecological research. (vhe) [de

  3. Agricultural intensification and drought frequency increases may have landscape-level consequences for ephemeral ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalu, Tatenda; Wasserman, Ryan J; Dalu, Mwazvita T B

    2017-03-01

    Ephemeral wetlands in arid regions are often degraded or destroyed through poor land-use practice long before they are ever studied or prioritized for conservation. Climate change will likely also have implications for these ecosystems given forecast changes in rainfall patterns in many arid environments. Here, we present a conceptual diagram showing typical and modified ephemeral wetlands in agricultural landscapes and how modification impacts on species diversity and composition. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Groundwater Ecosystems Vary with Land Use across a Mixed Agricultural Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korbel, K L; Hancock, P J; Serov, P; Lim, R P; Hose, G C

    2013-01-01

    Changes in surface land use may threaten groundwater quality and ecosystem integrity, particularly in shallow aquifers where links between groundwater and surface activities are most intimate. In this study we examine the response of groundwater ecosystem to agricultural land uses in the shallow alluvial aquifer of the Gwydir River valley, New South Wales, Australia. We compared groundwater quality and microbial and stygofauna assemblages among sites under irrigated cropping, non-irrigated cropping and grazing land uses. Stygofauna abundance and richness was greatest at irrigated sites, with the composition of the assemblage suggestive of disturbance. Microbial assemblages and water quality also varied with land use. Our study demonstrates significant differences in the composition of groundwater ecosystems in areas with different surface land use, and highlights the utility of groundwater biota for biomonitoring, particularly in agricultural landscapes. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  5. Scenarios reveal pathways to sustain future ecosystem services in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Jiangxiao; Carpenter, Stephen R; Booth, Eric G; Motew, Melissa; Zipper, Samuel C; Kucharik, Christopher J; Chen, Xi; Loheide, Steven P; Seifert, Jenny; Turner, Monica G

    2018-01-01

    Sustaining food production, water quality, soil retention, flood, and climate regulation in agricultural landscapes is a pressing global challenge given accelerating environmental changes. Scenarios are stories about plausible futures, and scenarios can be integrated with biophysical simulation models to explore quantitatively how the future might unfold. However, few studies have incorporated a wide range of drivers (e.g., climate, land-use, management, population, human diet) in spatially explicit, process-based models to investigate spatial-temporal dynamics and relationships of a portfolio of ecosystem services. Here, we simulated nine ecosystem services (three provisioning and six regulating services) at 220 × 220 m from 2010 to 2070 under four contrasting scenarios in the 1,345-km 2 Yahara Watershed (Wisconsin, USA) using Agro-IBIS, a dynamic model of terrestrial ecosystem processes, biogeochemistry, water, and energy balance. We asked (1) How does ecosystem service supply vary among alternative future scenarios? (2) Where on the landscape is the provision of ecosystem services most susceptible to future social-ecological changes? (3) Among alternative future scenarios, are relationships (i.e., trade-offs, synergies) among food production, water, and biogeochemical services consistent over time? Our results showed that food production varied substantially with future land-use choices and management, and its trade-offs with water quality and soil retention persisted under most scenarios. However, pathways to mitigate or even reverse such trade-offs through technological advances and sustainable agricultural practices were apparent. Consistent relationships among regulating services were identified across scenarios (e.g., trade-offs of freshwater supply vs. flood and climate regulation, and synergies among water quality, soil retention, and climate regulation), suggesting opportunities and challenges to sustaining these services. In particular, proactive

  6. 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.

  7. Environmental research programme. Ecological research. Annual report 1995. Urban-industrial landscapes, forests, agricultural landscapes, river and lake landscapes, terrestrial ecosystem research, environmental pollution and health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    In promoting ecology research, the federal ministry of science and technology (BMBF) pursues the aim to enhance understanding of the natural resources indispensable to the life of man, animals and plant societies and their interrelations, and to point out existing scope for action to preserve or replenish them. Consequently, ecology research makes an essential contribution towards effective nature conservancy and environmental protection. The interactions between climate and ecosystems also form an important part of this. With regard to topical environmental issues concerning agricultural landscapes, rivers and lakes, forests and urban-industrial agglomerations, system interrelations in representative ecosystems are investigated. The results are to be embodied in directives for the protection or appropriate use of these ecosystems in order to contribute towards a sustainable development of these types of landscapes. The book also evaluates and assesses which types of nuisances, interventions and modes of use represent hazards for the respective systems. (orig./VHE) [de

  8. Analysis on landscape pattern change and ecosystem services value of modern agriculture corridor: a case study of Jingcheng Highway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bao; Gu, Xiaohe; Zhang, Jing; Du, Chong; Di, Xingcui

    2009-10-01

    Based on SPOT images and other geoscience data, this paper gets the land use and land cover information of Modern Agriculture Corridor from 2006 to 2008 by RS and GIS technology and makes analysis of land use changes in landscape ecology view. Then we build a quantitative evaluation model which select vegetation coverage as adjustment coefficient to monitor the changes of ecological services value. The results show that: In the aspect of landscape pattern index, the landscape heterogeneity of the region is increasing, the land use types become various, degree of landscape fragmentation has increased; woodland, farmland and construction land play a leading role in the dynamic changes of landscape. In the view of ecosystem service value, the total value of ecosystem services of Modern Agriculture Corridor from 2006 to 2008 are respectively 186, 188, 193 million Yuan, and the annual average rate is 2%; ecosystem qualities are different in different seasons, and quality in summer is best which has 33% contribution to the full-year value of ecosystem services; the average contribution rates of forest and waters ecosystems are the highest, respectively 37% and 33%; increase of woodland, grassland and water area is the main reason that enhancing ecosystem services.

  9. Quantifying Trade-Offs Among Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Agricultural Returns in an Agriculturally Dominated Landscape Under Future Land‑Management Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma C. Underwood

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available https://doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2017v15iss2art4Change in land use in agriculturally dominated areas is often assumed to provide positive benefits for land-owners and financial agricultural returns at the expense of biodiversity and other ecosystem services. For an agriculturally dominated area in the Central Valley of California we quantify the trade-offs among ecosystem services, biodiversity, and the financial returns from agricultural lands. We do this by evaluating three different landscape management scenarios projected to 2050 compared to the current baseline: habitat restoration, urbanization, and enhanced agriculture. The restoration scenario benefited carbon storage services and increased landscape suitability for birds, and also decreased ecosystem disservices (nitrous oxide emissions, nitrogen leaching, although there was a trade-off in slightly lower financial agricultural returns. Under the urbanization scenario, carbon storage, suitability for birds, and agricultural returns were negatively affected. A scenario which enhanced agriculture, tailored to the needs of a key species of conservation concern (Swainson’s Hawk, Buteo swainsoni, presented the most potential for trade-offs. This scenario benefitted carbon storage and increased landscape suitability for the Swainson's Hawk as well as 15 other focal bird species. However, this scenario increased ecosystem disservices. These spatially explicit results, generated at a scale relevant to land management decision-makers in the Central Valley, provide valuable insight into managing for multiple benefits in the landscape and an approach for assessing future land-management decisions.

  10. An Agent-Based Assessment of Land Use and Ecosystem Changes in Traditional Agricultural Landscape of Portugal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acosta, L.; Rounsevell, M.D.A.; Bakker, M.M.; Doorn, van A.M.; Gómez-Delgado, M.; Delgado, M.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents an assessment of land use changes and their impacts on the ecosystem in the Montado, a traditional agricultural landscape of Portugal in response to global environmental change. The assessment uses an agent- based model (ABM) of the adaptive decisions of farmers to simulate the

  11. Spatial quantification and valuation of cultural ecosystem services in an agricultural landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Berkel, D.B.; Verburg, P.H.

    2014-01-01

    While the spatial and economic quantification and valuation of ecosystem services is becoming increasingly recognised as a way to communicate the importance of ecosystem conservation, little attention has been given to cultural services of the landscape. Cultural services form an important part of

  12. Understanding the influence of nutrients on stream ecosystems in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munn, Mark D.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Black, Robert W.; Duff, John H.; Lee, Kathy E.; Maret, Terry R.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Waite, Ian R.; Zelt, Ronald B.

    2018-06-06

    Sustaining the quality of the Nation’s water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. Effective management of water resources also brings more certainty and efficiency to important economic sectors. Taken together, these actions lead to immediate and long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits that make a difference to the lives of the almost 400 million people projected to live in the United States by 2050.In 1991, Congress established the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) to address where, when, why, and how the Nation’s water quality has changed, or is likely to change in the future, in response to human activities and natural factors. Since then, NAWQA has been a leading source of scientific data and knowledge used by national, regional, State, and local agencies to develop science-based policies and management strategies to improve and protect water resources used for drinking water, recreation, irrigation, energy development, and ecosystem needs (https://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/applications/). Plans for the third decade of NAWQA (2013–23) address priority water-quality issues and science needs identified by NAWQA stakeholders, such as the Advisory Committee on Water Information and the National Research Council, and are designed to meet increasing challenges related to population growth, increasing needs for clean water, and changing land-use and weather patterns.Excess nutrients are a pervasive problem of streams, lakes, and coastal waters. The current report, “The Quality of Our Nation’s Waters—Understanding the Effects of Nutrients on Stream Ecosystems in Agricultural Landscapes,” presents a summary of results from USGS investigations conducted from 2003 to 2011 on processes that influence nutrients and how nutrient enrichment can alter biological components of

  13. Ecosystem services in the face of invasion: the persistence of native and nonnative spiders in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogg, Brian N; Daane, Kent M

    2011-03-01

    The presence of intact natural ecosystems in agricultural landscapes can mitigate losses in the diversity of natural enemies and enhance ecosystem services. However, native natural enemies may fail to persist in agroecosystems if invaders dominate species interactions. In this study, native and nonnative spiders were sampled along transects that extended from oak woodland and riparian zones into surrounding California vineyards, to assess the role of natural habitat as a source for spider biodiversity in the vineyard landscape, and to compare the dominance of exotic Cheiracanthium spiders between habitats. Many spider species were more abundant in natural habitat than in vineyards, and numbers of spiders and spider species within vineyards were higher at the vineyard edge adjacent to oak woodland. These results suggest that natural habitat is a key source for spiders in vineyards. The positive effect of oak woodland on the vineyard spider community extended only to the vineyard edge, however. Proportions of Cheiracanthium spiders increased dramatically in the vineyard, while numbers of native wandering spiders (the native ecological homologues of Cheiracanthium spiders) decreased. Dispersal limitation and strong habitat preferences may have prevented native wandering spiders from establishing far from the vineyard edge. Exotic Cheiracanthium spiders, in contrast, may possess specific adaptations to vineyards or to a wide range of habitats. Results suggest that the ecosystem services provided by intact natural habitat may be limited in agricultural landscapes that are dominated by invasive species.

  14. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  15. Pre-Columbian agricultural landscapes, ecosystem engineers, and self-organized patchiness in Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKey, Doyle; Rostain, Stéphen; Iriarte, José; Glaser, Bruno; Birk, Jago Jonathan; Holst, Irene; Renard, Delphine

    2010-04-27

    The scale and nature of pre-Columbian human impacts in Amazonia are currently hotly debated. Whereas pre-Columbian people dramatically changed the distribution and abundance of species and habitats in some parts of Amazonia, their impact in other parts is less clear. Pioneer research asked whether their effects reached even further, changing how ecosystems function, but few in-depth studies have examined mechanisms underpinning the resilience of these modifications. Combining archeology, archeobotany, paleoecology, soil science, ecology, and aerial imagery, we show that pre-Columbian farmers of the Guianas coast constructed large raised-field complexes, growing on them crops including maize, manioc, and squash. Farmers created physical and biogeochemical heterogeneity in flat, marshy environments by constructing raised fields. When these fields were later abandoned, the mosaic of well-drained islands in the flooded matrix set in motion self-organizing processes driven by ecosystem engineers (ants, termites, earthworms, and woody plants) that occur preferentially on abandoned raised fields. Today, feedbacks generated by these ecosystem engineers maintain the human-initiated concentration of resources in these structures. Engineer organisms transport materials to abandoned raised fields and modify the structure and composition of their soils, reducing erodibility. The profound alteration of ecosystem functioning in these landscapes coconstructed by humans and nature has important implications for understanding Amazonian history and biodiversity. Furthermore, these landscapes show how sustainability of food-production systems can be enhanced by engineering into them follows that maintain ecosystem services and biodiversity. Like anthropogenic dark earths in forested Amazonia, these self-organizing ecosystems illustrate the ecological complexity of the legacy of pre-Columbian land use.

  16. Glossary on agricultural landscapes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kruse, A.; Centeri, C.; Renes, J.; Roth, M.; Printsman, A.; Palang, H.; Benito Jorda, M.-D.; Verlarde, M.D.; Kruckenberg, H.

    2010-01-01

    T he following glossary of terms related to the European agricultural landscape shall serve as a common basis for all parties, working in or on agricultural landscapes. Some of the terms are quite common and sometimes used in our every day language, but they often have different meanings in

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Farmers’ Value Assessment of Sociocultural and Ecological Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Habtamu Temesgen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Biophysical and economic values of ecosystem services (ESs are commonly used to define areas for land use and management planning. To date, there has been limited research conducted in Ethiopia regarding farmers’ evaluations of ESs. This article addresses farmers’ evaluations and perceptions of 16 ESs that are provided by five major land uses within two catchments, using a combined method of data generation and synthesis. Most farmers perceived the majority of land use/land cover (LUC types as multifunctional; however, they showed distinctly diverse opinions of the benefits and services that the land uses provide. The farmers also distinguished pristine ESs as different importantance depending on their location in up- or downstream regions. Accordingly, shade and shelter values in the upstream region and fodder sources in the downstream regions were among the services perceived as the most important, followed by erosion control. Conversely, water treatment and tenure security were attributed poor value. Farmers’ also identified various threats to the studied ESs that were believed to be the consequences of overpopulation coupled with climate change. Routine anthropogenic activities, woodlots extraction, agribusiness investment, and drought and rainfall variability appeared to be the main drivers of these threats. The farmers’ perceptions recorded in this study generally parallel empirical research, wherein anthropogenic and environmental challenges affect the ecosystems. This general consensus represents an important basis for the establishment of collaborative land management activities.

  1. Changes in forest landscape due to agricultural activities and their influence on natural ecosystems: the eastern Galician mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diaz-Maroto I.J.

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Forest and agricultural landscapes are vital in relation to biodiversity. Protection policies in such areas should include incentives to enable the common landuse practices. Conservation cannot be addressed in the short term because these landscapes have evolved as socio-ecological systems and provide optimal conditions for biodiversity maintenance. They occur in areas where agriculture has not changed significantly as in the eastern Galician mountains. The landscape dynamics has been shaped by human involvement during centuries. We analyzed how the landscape has evolved according to environmental, socioeconomic and historical changes with the aim of proposing actions for its conservation. The study focused on the recovery of natural hardwood forests which have been intensively exploited since ancient times. Over the past few centuries, these forests have been transformed to agricultural land, felled for use in the naval, metallurgical and railway industries, expropriated from the Church, and affected by wildfire; more recently, have been replaced by fast growing species. Today, broadleaved forests cover small areas of rugged land where the topography often precludes other land uses. In conclusion, although the landscape in the study area has undergone a major transformation, now this land is a priority for biodiversity conservation.

  2. Landscape and Local Controls of Insect Biodiversity in Conservation Grasslands: Implications for the Conservation of Ecosystem Service Providers in Agricultural Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O. Crist

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes depends on the amount and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. Conservation incentives that create semi-natural grasslands may increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects and their associated ecosystem services, such as pollination and the regulation of insect pests, but the effectiveness of these incentives for insect conservation are poorly known, especially in North America. We studied the variation in species richness, composition, and functional-group abundances of bees and predatory beetles in conservation grasslands surrounded by intensively managed agriculture in Southwest Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches and surrounding land-cover types were used to predict insect species richness, composition, and functional-group abundance using linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by forb cover and beetle richness was positively related to grass cover; both taxa had greater richness in grasslands surrounded by larger amounts of semi-natural land cover. Functional groups of bees and predatory beetles defined by body size and sociality varied in their abundance according to differences in plant composition of grassland patches, as well as the surrounding land-cover diversity. Intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape acted as a filter to both bee and beetle species composition in conservation grasslands. Our results support the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level processes in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  3. Sustaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Plieninger, T.; van der Horst, D.; Schleyer, C.; Bieling, C.

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  4. Heavy metals in agricultural landscapes as hazards to human and ecosystem health: a case study on zinc and cadmium in drainage channel sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savic, Radovan; Ondrasek, Gabrijel; Josimov-Dundjerski, Jasmina

    2015-02-01

    In agricultural systems, heavy metals pose severe risks to the health of soil-plant-animal-human continuum. Drainage channels, as integral components of agricultural landscapes, contain sediment material that can be both a source and a sink of metals and other toxic/persistent elements due to its highly reactive interfaces and strong binding affinity. The drainage channel network in a case study area of Vojvodina (Serbia) is not appropriately protected from contamination, nor is it maintained regularly (e.g. by desilting), thus endangering and potentially decreasing the ecological value of surrounding water and agricultural land resources, i.e. exposing food production to potential contaminants. In this study (2004-2012), Cd and Zn concentrations were analysed in 100 samples from 46 drainage channels sediments spread along the areas of the most intensive agricultural land use in Vojvodina. Among the samples measured, 5% had Cd and 14% had Zn concentrations above the maximally permitted levels, indicating that some drainage channel sections have been exposed to different point and non-point source pollutants. The maximum detected concentrations of the analysed elements were >50% (Zn) and were as much as 11-fold (Cd) higher than their remediation values. There is a strong need for the establishment of qualitative monitoring of channel sediment media in agro-ecosystems closely linked with complex pollution sources (intensive agriculture, industry, urban zones). © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  5. Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Josefsson, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural industrialization alters rural landscapes in Europe, causing large-scale and rapid loss of important biodiversity. The principal instruments to protect farmland biodiversity are various agri-environmental measures (AEMs) in the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, growing awareness of shortcomings to CAP biodiversity integration prompts examination of causes and potential solutions. This thesis assesses the importance of structural heterogeneity of crop and non-crop habi...

  6. Ecosystems science: Genes to landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2018-05-09

    Bountiful fisheries, healthy and resilient wildlife, flourishing forests and vibrant grasslands are coveted resources that benefit all Americans. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science supports the conservation and management of the Nation’s fish and wildlife, and the landscapes they inhabit. Our biological resources—ecosystems and the wild things that live in them—are the foundation of our conservation heritage and an economic asset to current and future generations of Americans.The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS—to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources, informs land and water stewardship, and helps safeguard communities from natural and environmental hazards. The Ecosystems Mission Area provides research, technical assistance, and education conducted by Cooperative Research Units and Science Centers located in nearly every State.The quality of life and economic strength in America hinges on healthy ecosystems that support living things and natural processes. Ecosystem science better enables society to understand how and why ecosystems change and to guide actions that can prevent damage to, and restore and sustain ecosystems. It is through this knowledge that informed decisions are made about natural resources that can enhance our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being.

  7. Linking ecosystem services with cultural landscape research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schaich, Harald; Biding, Claudia; Plieninger, Tobias

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Decreasing nitrate-N loads to coastal ecosystems with innovative drainage management strategies in agricultural landscapes: An experimental approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Controlled drainage in agricultural ditches contributes to a drainage management strategy with potential environmental and production benefits. Innovative drainage strategies including spatially orientated low-grade weirs show promise to significantly improve nutrient (e.g. nitrate-N) reductions by...

  9. Ecosystem services in changing landscapes: An introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis Iverson; Cristian Echeverria; Laura Nahuelhual; Sandra. Luque

    2014-01-01

    The concept of ecosystem services from landscapes is rapidly gaining momentum as a language to communicate values and benefits to scientists and lay alike. Landscape ecology has an enormous contribution to make to this field, and one could argue, uniquely so. Tools developed or adapted for landscape ecology are being increasingly used to assist with the quantification...

  10. Natural enemy interactions constrain pest control in complex agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Emily A; Reineking, Björn; Seo, Bumsuk; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2013-04-02

    Biological control of pests by natural enemies is a major ecosystem service delivered to agriculture worldwide. Quantifying and predicting its effectiveness at large spatial scales is critical for increased sustainability of agricultural production. Landscape complexity is known to benefit natural enemies, but its effects on interactions between natural enemies and the consequences for crop damage and yield are unclear. Here, we show that pest control at the landscape scale is driven by differences in natural enemy interactions across landscapes, rather than by the effectiveness of individual natural enemy guilds. In a field exclusion experiment, pest control by flying insect enemies increased with landscape complexity. However, so did antagonistic interactions between flying insects and birds, which were neutral in simple landscapes and increasingly negative in complex landscapes. Negative natural enemy interactions thus constrained pest control in complex landscapes. These results show that, by altering natural enemy interactions, landscape complexity can provide ecosystem services as well as disservices. Careful handling of the tradeoffs among multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity, and societal concerns is thus crucial and depends on our ability to predict the functional consequences of landscape-scale changes in trophic interactions.

  11. 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...... 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...

  12. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Achieving production and conservation simultaneously in tropical agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Spatial interactions among ecosystem services in an urbanizing agricultural watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Jiangxiao; Turner, Monica G

    2013-07-16

    Understanding spatial distributions, synergies, and tradeoffs of multiple ecosystem services (benefits people derive from ecosystems) remains challenging. We analyzed the supply of 10 ecosystem services for 2006 across a large urbanizing agricultural watershed in the Upper Midwest of the United States, and asked the following: (i) Where are areas of high and low supply of individual ecosystem services, and are these areas spatially concordant across services? (ii) Where on the landscape are the strongest tradeoffs and synergies among ecosystem services located? (iii) For ecosystem service pairs that experience tradeoffs, what distinguishes locations that are "win-win" exceptions from other locations? Spatial patterns of high supply for multiple ecosystem services often were not coincident; locations where six or more services were produced at high levels (upper 20th percentile) occupied only 3.3% of the landscape. Most relationships among ecosystem services were synergies, but tradeoffs occurred between crop production and water quality. Ecosystem services related to water quality and quantity separated into three different groups, indicating that management to sustain freshwater services along with other ecosystem services will not be simple. Despite overall tradeoffs between crop production and water quality, some locations were positive for both, suggesting that tradeoffs are not inevitable everywhere and might be ameliorated in some locations. Overall, we found that different areas of the landscape supplied different suites of ecosystem services, and their lack of spatial concordance suggests the importance of managing over large areas to sustain multiple ecosystem services.

  16. 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.

  17. Rapid assessment of ecosystem services provided by two mineral extraction sites restored for nature conservation in an agricultural landscape in eastern England.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaen, Phillip J; Jia, Li; Peh, Kelvin S-H; Field, Rob H; Balmford, Andrew; MacDonald, Michael A; Bradbury, Richard B

    2015-01-01

    Despite growing recognition that mineral sites restored for nature conservation can enhance local biodiversity, the wider societal benefits provided by this type of restoration relative to alternative options are not well understood. This study addresses this research gap by quantifying differences in ecosystem services provision under two common mineral site after-uses: nature conservation and agriculture. Using a combination of site-specific primary field data, benefits transfer and modelling, we show that for our sites restoration for nature conservation provides a more diverse array of ecosystem services than would be delivered under an agricultural restoration scenario. We also explore the effects of addressing different conservation targets, which we find alter the provision of ecosystem services on a service-specific basis. Highly species-focused intervention areas are associated with increased carbon storage and livestock grazing provision, whereas non-intervention areas are important for carbon sequestration, fishing, recreation and flood risk mitigation. The results of this study highlight the wider societal importance of restored mineral sites and may help conservation managers and planners to develop future restoration strategies that provide benefits for both biodiversity and human well-being.

  18. 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.

  19. Designing agricultural landscapes for natural pest control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steingrover, E.G.; Geertsema, W.; Wingerden, van W.K.R.E.

    2010-01-01

    The green–blue network of semi-natural non-crop landscape elements in agricultural landscapes has the potential to enhance natural pest control by providing various resources for the survival of beneficial insects that suppress crop pests. A study was done in the Hoeksche Waard to explore how

  20. [Spatial evaluation on ecological and aesthetic quality of Beijing agricultural landscape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Ying; Xiao, He; Yu, Zhen-Rong

    2009-10-01

    A total of ten single indices mainly reflecting the ecological and aesthetic quality of agricultural landscape, including ecosystem function, naturalness, openness and diversity, contamination probability, and orderliness were selected, their different weights were given based on field survey and expert system, and an integrated evaluation index system of agricultural landscape quality was constructed. In the meantime, the land use data provided by GIS and the remote sensing data of vegetation index were used to evaluate the Beijing agricultural landscape quality and its spatial variation. There was a great spatial variation in the agricultural landscape quality of Beijing, being worse at the edges of urban area and towns, but better in suburbs. The agricultural landscape quality was mainly related to topography and human activity. To construct a large-scale integrated index system based on remote sensing data and landscape indices would have significance in evaluating the spatial variation of agricultural landscape quality.

  1. 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.

  2. Determinants of a traditional agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janina Borysiak

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The study aim was to define the landscape determinants as certificates of natural and cultural heritage which identify the young glacial landscape under traditional agricultural management. These studies were conducted in the upper Parsęta basin (Pomerania, Poland covered by the many annual environmental monitoring programs since 1994. The aim of this monitoring is to observe changes in geoecosystems of the temperate climate zone. The parameters of the abiotic landscape subsystem have been monitored in a wide range of terms, whereas biotic elements and cultural resources only in a very limited way. This was the reason for undertaking complementary studies. The paper presents the so-called “zero-state” for 2014, which will be a reference point from which to track the direction of landscape changes in the future. The abiotic, geobotanical, and cultural determinants of this state chosen have been characterized on the basis of field mapping data and the available literature. They were chosen based on the methodology of landscape audit to define the specificity of the traditional agricultural landscape. They were selected on the basis of assessment criteria for landscape structure: complexity (diversification of land use and cover, naturalness (syngenesis of plant communities, hydrochemical properties of surface waters, coherence of composition with natural conditions, stewardship (intensity of use, crop weeds, ecological succession, fallows, anthropogenic denudation, aesthetic and visual perception, historicity (continuity of natural landscape elements, continuation of traditional agricultural use, architectural objects, and disharmonious elements.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakadevan, K.; Nguyen, M.L.

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  5. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Robertson, G; Gross, Katherine L; Hamilton, Stephen K; Landis, Douglas A; Schmidt, Thomas M; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Swinton, Scott M

    2014-05-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers-especially those with large farms-appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Beyond the edge: Linking agricultural landscapes, stream networks, and best management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreiling, Rebecca M.; Thoms, Martin C.; Richardson, William B.

    2018-01-01

    Despite much research and investment into understanding and managing nutrients across agricultural landscapes, nutrient runoff to freshwater ecosystems is still a major concern. We argue there is currently a disconnect between the management of watershed surfaces (agricultural landscape) and river networks (riverine landscape). These landscapes are commonly managed separately, but there is limited cohesiveness between agricultural landscape-focused research and river science, despite similar end goals. Interdisciplinary research into stream networks that drain agricultural landscapes is expanding but is fraught with problems. Conceptual frameworks are useful tools to order phenomena, reveal patterns and processes, and in interdisciplinary river science, enable the joining of multiple areas of understanding into a single conceptual–empirical structure. We present a framework for the interdisciplinary study and management of agricultural and riverine landscapes. The framework includes components of an ecosystems approach to the study of catchment–stream networks, resilience thinking, and strategic adaptive management. Application of the framework is illustrated through a study of the Fox Basin in Wisconsin, USA. To fully realize the goal of nutrient reduction in the basin, we suggest that greater emphasis is needed on where best management practices (BMPs) are used within the spatial context of the combined watershed–stream network system, including BMPs within the river channel. Targeted placement of BMPs throughout the riverine landscape would increase the overall buffering capacity of the system to nutrient runoff and thus its resilience to current and future disturbances.

  10. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Experimental assessment of ecosystem services in agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Levers, Christian; Mantel, Martin

    2015-01-01

    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......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...... economic profitability and increase opportunity costs for orchards, providing incentives for converting orchard meadows to other, more profitable land uses. These insights could be taken up by local- and regional-level conservation policies to identify the sites of persistent orchard meadows...

  13. The farming system component of European agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Erling

    2017-01-01

    Agricultural landscapes are the outcome of combined natural and human factors over time. This paper explores the scope of perceiving the agricultural landscapes of the European Union (EU) as distinct patterns of farming systems and landscape elements in homogeneous biophysical and administrative...... landscapes evolve from the praxis of the farmers and takes into account the scale, intensity and specialisation of the agricultural production. From farming system design point of view, the approach can be used to integrate the landscape in the design process. From a policy point of view, the approach offers...... endowments. The focus is on the farming systems component of the agricultural landscapes by applying a typology to the sample farms of the Farm Accountancy Data Network and scaling up the results to the landscape level for the territory of the EU. The farming system approach emphasises that agricultural...

  14. Distributed denitrification in a northeastern agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, T. R.; Groffman, P. M.; Walter, M. T.

    2011-12-01

    Denitrification may be an important sink of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) in eastern US watersheds. Denitrification occurs primarily under anaerobic conditions by heterotrophic microbes, and is therefore expected to be vigorous in wet soils containing large amounts of organic carbon. Actual rates of denitrification, however, have been difficult to quantify, and remain one of the critical unresolved N processes at the landscape scale. We measured denitrification rates in situ along hydrologic flow paths and across gradients of hydroperiodicities, i.e., frequencies and durations of saturated conditions, at Cornell University's Teaching & Research Center in Harford, NY (an active dairy farm). Denitrification rates were measured monthly using the 15N push-pull method from 14 mini-piezometers arrayed along a gradient of hydroperiodicity as indicated by a soil topographic index (STI). Measured rates of denitrification were spatially variable across sites and ranged from undetectable to over 4500 μg N/kg soil/day with a mean of 572 ± 167 μg N/kg soil/day. Mean rates of denitrification increased with STI, which ranged from 8.7 to 23.0 across our mini-piezometer sites. This relationship was used to estimate denitrification rates across the landscape and resolve a missing piece of the N budget for the farm. Only 14% of the farm fell into areas of STI greater than 8.7; however, denitrification in these areas account for more than 60% of the missing N balance for the entire landscape. Improved understanding of the distribution and magnitudes of denitrification in agricultural landscapes has good potential to facilitate new, novel, and better management practices for controlling N loading to streams and rivers. Indeed, the very areas that appear to have a propensity to harbor denitrification, i.e., areas prone to be wet, are often artificially drained as part of standard agricultural practices which reduces the frequency that these areas are likely to be anaerobic and

  15. A framework to assess landscape structural capacity to provide regulating ecosystem services in West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inkoom, Justice Nana; Frank, Susanne; Greve, Klaus; Fürst, Christine

    2018-03-01

    The Sudanian savanna landscapes of West Africa are amongst the world's most vulnerable areas to climate change impacts. Inappropriate land use and agriculture management practices continuously impede the capacity of agricultural landscapes to provide ecosystem services (ES). Given the absence of practical assessment techniques to evaluate the landscape's capacity to provide regulating ES in this region, the goal of this paper is to propose an integrative assessment framework which combines remote sensing, geographic information systems, expert weighting and landscape metrics-based assessment. We utilized Analytical Hierarchical Process and Likert scale for the expert weighting of landscape capacity. In total, 56 experts from several land use and landscape management related departments participated in the assessment. Further, we adapted the hemeroby concept to define areas of naturalness while landscape metrics including Patch Density, Shannon's Diversity, and Shape Index were utilized for structural assessment. Lastly, we tested the reliability of expert weighting using certainty measurement rated by experts themselves. Our study focused on four regulating ES including flood control, pest and disease control, climate control, and wind erosion control. Our assessment framework was tested on four selected sites in the Vea catchment area of Ghana. The outcome of our study revealed that highly heterogeneous landscapes have a higher capacity to provide pest and disease control, while less heterogeneous landscapes have a higher potential to provide climate control. Further, we could show that the potential capacities to provide ecosystem services are underestimated by 15% if landscape structural aspects assessed through landscape metrics are not considered. We conclude that the combination of adapted land use and an optimized land use pattern could contribute considerably to lower climate change impacts in West African agricultural landscapes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier

  16. Untangling human development and natural gradients: implications of underlying correlation structure for linking landscapes and riverine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasmin Lucero; E. Ashley Steel; Kelly M. Burnett; Kelly. Christiansen

    2011-01-01

    Increasingly, ecologists seek to identify and quantify relationships between landscape gradients and aquatic ecosystems. Considerable statistical challenges emerge in this effort, some of which are attributable to multicollinearity between human development and landscape gradients. In this paper, we measure the covariation between human development—such as agriculture...

  17. Trait-based approaches for guiding the restoration of degraded agricultural landscapes in East Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, Madelon; Winowiecki, Leigh; Aynekulu, Ermias; Okia, Clement; Vågen, Tor Gunnar

    2018-01-01

    Functional ecology provides a framework that can link vegetation characteristics of various land uses with ecosystem function. However, this application has been mostly limited to [semi-]natural systems and small spatial scales. Here, we apply functional ecology to five agricultural landscapes in

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Designing a systematic landscape monitoring approach for quantifying ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    A key problem encountered early on by governments striving to incorporate the ecosystem services concept into decision making is quantifying ecosystem services across large landscapes. Basically, they are faced with determining what to measure, how to measure it and how to aggre...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Bieling, Claudia; Fagerholm, Nora

    2015-01-01

    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...

  2. Ecosystem Health Assessment of Mining Cities Based on Landscape Pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, W.; Liu, Y.; Lin, M.; Fang, F.; Xiao, R.

    2017-09-01

    Ecosystem health assessment (EHA) is one of the most important aspects in ecosystem management. Nowadays, ecological environment of mining cities is facing various problems. In this study, through ecosystem health theory and remote sensing images in 2005, 2009 and 2013, landscape pattern analysis and Vigor-Organization-Resilience (VOR) model were applied to set up an evaluation index system of ecosystem health of mining city to assess the healthy level of ecosystem in Panji District Huainan city. Results showed a temporal stable but high spatial heterogeneity landscape pattern during 2005-2013. According to the regional ecosystem health index, it experienced a rapid decline after a slight increase, and finally it maintained at an ordinary level. Among these areas, a significant distinction was presented in different towns. It indicates that the ecosystem health of Tianjijiedao town, the regional administrative centre, descended rapidly during the study period, and turned into the worst level in the study area. While the Hetuan Town, located in the northwestern suburb area of Panji District, stayed on a relatively better level than other towns. The impacts of coal mining collapse area, land reclamation on the landscape pattern and ecosystem health status of mining cities were also discussed. As a result of underground coal mining, land subsidence has become an inevitable problem in the study area. In addition, the coal mining subsidence area has brought about the destruction of the farmland, construction land and water bodies, which causing the change of the regional landscape pattern and making the evaluation of ecosystem health in mining area more difficult. Therefore, this study provided an ecosystem health approach for relevant departments to make scientific decisions.

  3. Time, Space and the History of Agricultural Landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenningsen, Stig Roar; Christensen, Andreas Aagaard

    history, especially as the rate of changes in cultural landscapes has increased during the last 40 years as the result of the development in the agro-industrial sector. However landscape changes rarely occur as abrupt and sudden breaks, but more as gradual process over long time periods corresponding...... with development in farming technology, modes of production and social organization. The majority of sources material to landscape history are of geographic nature, such as cartographic material, aerial imagery, photographs and paintings and opposite to the gradual nature of changes in the landscape, most sources...... 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...

  4. Identifying the characteristic of SundaParahiyangan landscape for a model of sustainable agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlan, M. Z.; Nurhayati, H. S. A.; Mugnisjah, W. Q.

    2017-10-01

    This study was an explorative study of the various forms of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of Sundanese people in the context of sustainable agriculture. The qualitative method was used to identify SundaParahiyangan landscape by using Rapid Participatory Rural Appraisal throughsemi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and field survey. The Landscape Characteristic Assessment and Community Sustainability Assessment were used to analyze the characteristic of landscape to achieve the sustainable agricultural landscape criteria proposed by US Department of Agriculture. The results revealed that the SundaParahiyangan agricultural landscape has a unique characteristic as a result of the long-term adaptation of agricultural society to theirlandscape through a learning process for generations. In general, this character was reflected in the typical of Sundanese’s agroecosystems such as forest garden, mixed garden, paddy field, and home garden. In addition, concept of kabuyutan is one of the TEKs related to understanding and utilization of landscape has been adapted on revitalizing the role of landscape surrounding the agroecosystem as the buffer zone by calculating and designating protected areas. To support the sustainability of production area, integrated practices of agroforestry with low-external-input and sustainable agriculture (LEISA) system can be applied in utilizing and managing agricultural resources.

  5. Sustainable pest regulation in agricultural landscapes: a review on landscape composition, biodiversity and natural pest control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bianchi, F.J.J.A.; Booij, C.J.H.; Tscharntke, T.

    2006-01-01

    Agricultural intensification has resulted in a simplification of agricultural landscapes by the expansion of agricultural land, enlargement of field size and removal of non-crop habitat. These changes are considered to be an important cause of the rapid decline in farmland biodiversity, with the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Heim

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

  7. Trees as Ecosystem Engineers Driving Vegetational Restoration/Retrogradation of Industrial Deposits in Cultural Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romana Prausová

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Industrial processes are marked with various deposits of wastes in landscapes. They are typically characterized by high pollution levels in all their ecosystem components, including soil, water and air. Even more than natural ecosystems, artificial ash and mine tailings containments or industrial dumps are disconnected from nature or agricultural surroundings by their construction geometry. This combination of factors directs such patches of landscape to the isolation (island effect and hihglighting of land-surface fragmentation. What is the most proper tool serving efficiently for support of sharp boundaries dissolution and comeback of the habitat close to natural one? In the European climatic conditions, trees function as reliable ecosystem engineers under the conditions of keeping sites without human interventions. However, spontaneous colonization and succession include vegetational phases of both increased species diversity (advanced successional stages and secondary species diversity reduction (successional retrogradation, usually in dependence on the soil-substrate development.

  8. 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.

  9. Characterizing European cultural landscapes: Accounting for structure, management intensity and value of agricultural and forest landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tieskens, Koen F.; Schulp, Catharina J.E.; Levers, Christian; Lieskovský, Juraj; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Plieninger, Tobias; Verburg, Peter H.

    Abstract 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

  10. Environmental psychology: Mapping landscape meanings for ecosystem management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel R. Williams; Michael E. Patterson

    1999-01-01

    An intellectual map is a good starting point for any effort to integrate research on the human dimensions of ecosystem management. We must remember going into such exercises, however, that every map maker imposes a certain point of view, sense of order, or set of conventions in the effort to represent the world. Just as there are competing ways to divide the landscape...

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. Microbes in the Anthropocene: spillover of agriculturally selected bacteria and their impact on natural ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Thomas; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2016-12-14

    Soil microbial communities are enormously diverse, with at least millions of species and trillions of genes unknown to science or poorly described. Soil microbial communities are key components of agriculture, for example, in provisioning nitrogen and protecting crops from pathogens, providing overall ecosystem services in excess of $1000bn per year. It is important to know how humans are affecting this hidden diversity. Much is known about the negative consequences of agricultural intensification on higher organisms, but almost nothing is known about how alterations to landscapes affect microbial diversity, distributions and processes. We review what is known about spatial flows of microbes and their response to land-use change, and outline nine hypotheses to advance research of microbiomes across landscapes. We hypothesize that intensified agriculture selects for certain taxa and genes, which then 'spill over' into adjacent unmodified areas and generate a halo of genetic differentiation around agricultural fields. Consequently, the spatial configuration and management intensity of different habitats combines with the dispersal ability of individual taxa to determine the extent of spillover, which can impact the functioning of adjacent unmodified habitats. When landscapes are heterogeneous and dispersal rates are high, this will select for large genomes that allow exploitation of multiple habitats, a process that may be accelerated through horizontal gene transfer. Continued expansion of agriculture will increase genotypic similarity, making microbial community functioning increasingly variable in human-dominated landscapes, potentially also impacting the consistent provisioning of ecosystem services. While the resulting economic costs have not been calculated, it is clear that dispersal dynamics of microbes should be taken into consideration to ensure that ecosystem functioning and services are maintained in agri-ecosystem mosaics. © 2016 The Authors.

  14. Microbes in the Anthropocene: spillover of agriculturally selected bacteria and their impact on natural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Soil microbial communities are enormously diverse, with at least millions of species and trillions of genes unknown to science or poorly described. Soil microbial communities are key components of agriculture, for example, in provisioning nitrogen and protecting crops from pathogens, providing overall ecosystem services in excess of $1000bn per year. It is important to know how humans are affecting this hidden diversity. Much is known about the negative consequences of agricultural intensification on higher organisms, but almost nothing is known about how alterations to landscapes affect microbial diversity, distributions and processes. We review what is known about spatial flows of microbes and their response to land-use change, and outline nine hypotheses to advance research of microbiomes across landscapes. We hypothesize that intensified agriculture selects for certain taxa and genes, which then ‘spill over’ into adjacent unmodified areas and generate a halo of genetic differentiation around agricultural fields. Consequently, the spatial configuration and management intensity of different habitats combines with the dispersal ability of individual taxa to determine the extent of spillover, which can impact the functioning of adjacent unmodified habitats. When landscapes are heterogeneous and dispersal rates are high, this will select for large genomes that allow exploitation of multiple habitats, a process that may be accelerated through horizontal gene transfer. Continued expansion of agriculture will increase genotypic similarity, making microbial community functioning increasingly variable in human-dominated landscapes, potentially also impacting the consistent provisioning of ecosystem services. While the resulting economic costs have not been calculated, it is clear that dispersal dynamics of microbes should be taken into consideration to ensure that ecosystem functioning and services are maintained in agri-ecosystem mosaics. PMID:27928044

  15. A Landscape View of Agricultural Insecticide Use across the Conterminous US from 1997 through 2012.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy D Meehan

    Full Text Available Simplification of agricultural landscapes is expected to have positive effects on many crop pests and negative effects on their natural enemies, potentially leading to increased pest pressure, decreased crop yield, and increased insecticide use. While many intermediate links in this causal chain have empirical support, there is mixed evidence for ultimate relationships between landscape simplification, crop yield, and insecticide use, especially at large spatial and temporal scales. We explored relationships between landscape simplification (proportion of a county in harvested cropland and insecticide use (proportion of harvested cropland treated with insecticides, using county-level data from the US Census of Agriculture and a variety of standard and spatiotemporal regression techniques. The best model indicated that insecticide use across the US has increased between 1997 and 2012, was strongly dependent on the crops grown in a county, increased with average farm income and size, and increased with annual growing degree days. After accounting for those variables, and other unidentified spatial and temporal structure in the data, there remained a statistically significant, moderate, positive relationship between insecticide use and landscape simplification. These results lend general support to the causal chain outlined above, and to the notion that a landscape perspective is useful for managing ecosystem services that are provided by mobile organisms and valuable to agriculture.

  16. Using landscape limnology to classify freshwater ecosystems for multi-ecosystem management and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soranno, Patricia A.; Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Webster, Katherine E.; Bremigan, Mary T.; Wagner, Tyler; Stow, Craig A.

    2010-01-01

    Governmental entities are responsible for managing and conserving large numbers of lake, river, and wetland ecosystems that can be addressed only rarely on a case-by-case basis. We present a system for predictive classification modeling, grounded in the theoretical foundation of landscape limnology, that creates a tractable number of ecosystem classes to which management actions may be tailored. We demonstrate our system by applying two types of predictive classification modeling approaches to develop nutrient criteria for eutrophication management in 1998 north temperate lakes. Our predictive classification system promotes the effective management of multiple ecosystems across broad geographic scales by explicitly connecting management and conservation goals to the classification modeling approach, considering multiple spatial scales as drivers of ecosystem dynamics, and acknowledging the hierarchical structure of freshwater ecosystems. Such a system is critical for adaptive management of complex mosaics of freshwater ecosystems and for balancing competing needs for ecosystem services in a changing world.

  17. Sustainable pest regulation in agricultural landscapes: a review on landscape composition, biodiversity and natural pest control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, F J J A; Booij, C J H; Tscharntke, T

    2006-07-22

    Agricultural intensification has resulted in a simplification of agricultural landscapes by the expansion of agricultural land, enlargement of field size and removal of non-crop habitat. These changes are considered to be an important cause of the rapid decline in farmland biodiversity, with the remaining biodiversity concentrated in field edges and non-crop habitats. The simplification of landscape composition and the decline of biodiversity may affect the functioning of natural pest control because non-crop habitats provide requisites for a broad spectrum of natural enemies, and the exchange of natural enemies between crop and non-crop habitats is likely to be diminished in landscapes dominated by arable cropland. In this review, we test the hypothesis that natural pest control is enhanced in complex patchy landscapes with a high proportion of non-crop habitats as compared to simple large-scale landscapes with little associated non-crop habitat. In 74% and 45% of the studies reviewed, respectively, natural enemy populations were higher and pest pressure lower in complex landscapes versus simple landscapes. Landscape-driven pest suppression may result in lower crop injury, although this has rarely been documented. Enhanced natural enemy activity was associated with herbaceous habitats in 80% of the cases (e.g. fallows, field margins), and somewhat less often with wooded habitats (71%) and landscape patchiness (70%). The similar contributions of these landscape factors suggest that all are equally important in enhancing natural enemy populations. We conclude that diversified landscapes hold most potential for the conservation of biodiversity and sustaining the pest control function.

  18. Conceptual Framework of Ecosystem Services in Landscape Planning, Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Bak Yeo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the concept of ecosystem services and its trend, scale and gradient, through reviewing articles, books and internet sources. Result shows that evaluation of ecosystem services in small towns within urban-rural gradient in developing countries still not being scrutinized explicitly, especially trade-offs’ concern. Environmental damages in the developing countries are burgeoning. As land conversion from natural capital to built capital is also keep on rising for temporal economic interests. Therefore, it has induced changes in ecological functions and affected the ecosystem services supply. In the context of Peninsular Malaysia, ungoverned built capitals and flaw of policy further contribute to fallacious decision making. And yet, there is still no specific framework or initiatives directly deals with ecosystem and biodiversity. A conceptual framework has been proposed to assess and value ecosystem services through integration of InVEST model (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs and bundle of ecosystem services. The framework allows stakeholders to have an insight of the pros and cons about the landscape changes, be it in ecological, economic or social-cultural perspectives. Therefore, it may help to ameliorate the trade-offs and enhance the synergies of ecosystem services that eventually can contribute to attaining human well-being, and to promote sustainable growth.

  19. Exploratory Landscape Metrics for Agricultural Sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vaz, E; de Noronha, M.T.; Nijkamp, P.

    2014-01-01

    Socioeconomic growth and urban change have been an increasing concern for decision makers in recent decades. The monitoring, mapping, and analysis of agricultural land use change, especially in areas where urban change has been high, is crucial. The collision between traditional economic activities

  20. 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

  1. Habitat connectivity and fragmented nuthatch populations in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.

    1999-01-01

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

  2. Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    X. Zhou; M.J. Helmers; H. Asbjornsen; R. Kolka; M.D. Tomer; R.M. Cruse

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural landscapes have been identified as primary sources of excess nutrients in aquatic systems. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in removing nutrients from cropland runoff in 12 small watersheds in central Iowa. Four treatments with PFS of different spatial...

  3. [Effects of agricultural practices on community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in agricultural ecosystem: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Ping-Ping; Li, Min; Liu, Run-Jin

    2011-06-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are rich in diversity in agricultural ecosystem, playing a vital role based on their unique community structure. Host plants and environmental factors have important effects on AM fungal community structure, so do the agricultural practices which deserve to pay attention to. This paper summarized the research advances in the effects of agricultural practices such as irrigation, fertilization, crop rotation, intercropping, tillage, and pesticide application on AM fungal community structure, analyzed the related possible mechanisms, discussed the possible ways in improving AM fungal community structure in agricultural ecosystem, and put forward a set of countermeasures, i.e., improving fertilization system and related integrated techniques, increasing plant diversity in agricultural ecosystem, and inoculating AM fungi, to enhance the AM fungal diversity in agricultural ecosystem. The existing problems in current agricultural practices and further research directions were also proposed.

  4. Pedo-environmental evolution and agricultural landscape transformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilmo Vianello

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

  5. Pedo-environmental evolution and agricultural landscape transformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilmo Vianello

    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

  6. Supporting Agricultural Ecosystem Services through the Integration of Perennial Polycultures into Crop Rotations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Weißhuhn

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This review analyzes the potential role and long-term effects of field perennial polycultures (mixtures in agricultural systems, with the aim of reducing the trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. First, crop rotations are identified as a suitable tool for the assessment of the long-term effects of perennial polycultures on ecosystem services, which are not visible at the single-crop level. Second, the ability of perennial polycultures to support ecosystem services when used in crop rotations is quantified through eight agricultural ecosystem services. Legume–grass mixtures and wildflower mixtures are used as examples of perennial polycultures, and compared with silage maize as a typical crop for biomass production. Perennial polycultures enhance soil fertility, soil protection, climate regulation, pollination, pest and weed control, and landscape aesthetics compared with maize. They also score lower for biomass production compared with maize, which confirms the trade-off between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. However, the additional positive factors provided by perennial polycultures, such as reduced costs for mineral fertilizer, pesticides, and soil tillage, and a significant preceding crop effect that increases the yields of subsequent crops, should be taken into account. However, a full assessment of agricultural ecosystem services requires a more holistic analysis that is beyond the capabilities of current frameworks.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Agnoletti

    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.

  8. Promoting biodiversity values of small forest patches in agricultural landscapes: Ecological drivers and social demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela, Elsa; Verheyen, Kris; Valdés, Alicia; Soliño, Mario; Jacobsen, Jette B; De Smedt, Pallieter; Ehrmann, Steffen; Gärtner, Stefanie; Górriz, Elena; Decocq, Guillaume

    2018-04-01

    Small forest patches embedded in agricultural (and peri-urban) landscapes in Western Europe play a key role for biodiversity conservation with a recognized capacity of delivering a wide suite of ecosystem services. Measures aimed to preserve these patches should be both socially desirable and ecologically effective. This study presents a joint ecologic and economic assessment conducted on small forest patches in Flanders (Belgium) and Picardie (N France). In each study region, two contrasted types of agricultural landscapes were selected. Open field (OF) and Bocage (B) landscapes are distinguished by the intensity of their usage and higher connectivity in the B landscapes. The social demand for enhancing biodiversity and forest structure diversity as well as for increasing the forest area at the expenses of agricultural land is estimated through an economic valuation survey. These results are compared with the outcomes of an ecological survey where the influence of structural features of the forest patches on the associated herbaceous diversity is assessed. The ecological and economic surveys show contrasting results; increasing tree species richness is ecologically more important for herbaceous diversity in the patch, but both tree species richness and herbaceous diversity obtain insignificant willingness to pay estimates. Furthermore, although respondents prefer the proposed changes to take place in the region where they live, we find out that social preferences and ecological effectiveness do differ between landscapes that represent different intensities of land use. Dwellers where the landscape is perceived as more "degraded" attach more value to diversity enhancement, suggesting a prioritization of initiatives in these area. In contrast, the ecological analyses show that prioritizing the protection and enhancement of the relatively better-off areas is more ecologically effective. Our study calls for a balance between ecological effectiveness and welfare

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

    Functional trait research has led to greater understanding of the impacts of biodiversity in ecosystems. Yet, functional trait approaches have not been widely applied to agroecosystems and understanding of the importance of agrobiodiversity remains limited to a few ecosystem processes and services. To improve this understanding, we argue here for a functional trait approach to agroecology that adopts recent advances in trait research for multitrophic and spatially heterogeneous ecosystems. We suggest that trait values should be measured across environmental conditions and agricultural management regimes to predict how ecosystem services vary with farm practices and environment. This knowledge should be used to develop management strategies that can be easily implemented by farmers to manage agriculture to provide multiple ecosystem services. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Habitat connectivity and fragmented nuthatch populations in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    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 affects processes at population and individual level. In this thesis, I report on a study of effects of habitat fragmentation and opportunities to mitigate these effects by planning ecological n...

  12. Frugivorous bats maintain functional habitat connectivity in agricultural landscapes but rely strongly on natural forest fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripperger, Simon P; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Rodríguez-Herrera, Bernal; Mayer, Frieder; Tschapka, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna. The first step in the development of efficient conservation plans is to understand movement of animals through complex habitat mosaics. Therefore, we studied ranging behavior and habitat use in Dermanura watsoni (Phyllostomidae), a frugivorous bat species that is a valuable seed disperser in degraded ecosystems. Radio-tracking of sixteen bats showed that the animals strongly rely on natural forest. Day roosts were exclusively located within mature forest fragments. Selection ratios showed that the bats foraged selectively within the available habitat and positively selected natural forest. However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats. Home range geometry and composition of focal foraging areas indicated that wider ranging bats performed directional foraging bouts from natural to degraded forest sites traversing the matrix over distances of up to three hundred meters. This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats.

  13. Frugivorous bats maintain functional habitat connectivity in agricultural landscapes but rely strongly on natural forest fragments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon P Ripperger

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna. The first step in the development of efficient conservation plans is to understand movement of animals through complex habitat mosaics. Therefore, we studied ranging behavior and habitat use in Dermanura watsoni (Phyllostomidae, a frugivorous bat species that is a valuable seed disperser in degraded ecosystems. Radio-tracking of sixteen bats showed that the animals strongly rely on natural forest. Day roosts were exclusively located within mature forest fragments. Selection ratios showed that the bats foraged selectively within the available habitat and positively selected natural forest. However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats. Home range geometry and composition of focal foraging areas indicated that wider ranging bats performed directional foraging bouts from natural to degraded forest sites traversing the matrix over distances of up to three hundred meters. This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte L. R. Payne

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Charlotte L R; Van Itterbeeck, Joost

    2017-02-17

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Remote sensing for agriculture, ecosystems, and hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engman, E.T.

    1998-01-01

    This volume contains the proceedings of SPIE's remote sensing symposium which was held September 22--24, 1998, in Barcelona, Spain. Topics of discussion include the following: calibration techniques for soil moisture measurements; remote sensing of grasslands and biomass estimation of meadows; evaluation of agricultural disasters; monitoring of industrial and natural radioactive elements; and remote sensing of vegetation and of forest fires

  19. An unified framework to integrate biotic, abiotic processes and human activities in spatially explicit models of agricultural landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrice eVinatier

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent concern over possible ways to sustain ecosystem services has triggered important research worldwide on ecosystem processes at the landscape scale. Understanding this complexity of landscape functioning calls for coupled and spatially-explicit modelling approaches. However, disciplinary boundaries have limited the number of multi-process studies at the landscape scale, and current progress in coupling processes at this scale often reveals strong imbalance between biotic and abiotic processes, depending on the core discipline of the modellers. We propose a spatially-explicit, unified conceptual framework that allows researchers from different fields to develop a shared view of agricultural landscapes. In particular,we distinguish landscape elements that are mobile in space and represent biotic or abiotic objects (for example water, fauna or flora populations, and elements that are immobile and represent fixed landscape elements with a given geometry (for example ditch section or plot. The shared representation of these elements allows setting common objects and spatio-temporal process boundaries that may otherwise differ between disciplines. We present guidelines and an assessment of the applicability of this framework to a virtual landscape system with realistic properties. This framework allows the complex system to be represented with a limited set of concepts but leaves the possibility to include current modelling strategies specific to biotic or abiotic disciplines. Future operational challenges include model design, space and time discretization, and the availability of both landscape modelling platforms and data.

  20. Sustaining Rocky Mountain landscapes: Science, policy and management for the Crown of the Continent ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prato, Tony; Fagre, Daniel B.

    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. Sustaining Rocky Mountain Landscapes provides a scientific basis for communities to develop policies for managing the growth and economic transformation of the CCE without sacrificing the quality of life and environment for which the land is renowned. This forthcoming edited volume focuses on five aspects of sustaining mountain landscapes in the CCE and similar regions in the Rocky Mountains. The five aspects are: 1) how social, economic, demo graphic and environmental forces are transforming ecosystem structure and function, 2) trends in use and conditions for human and environmental resources, 3) activating science, policy and education to enhance sustainable landscape management, 4) challenges to sustainable management of public and private lands, and 5) future prospects for achieving sustainable landscapes.

  1. 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

    , which are used for herd migration, represent the most outstanding feature of these landscapes. We used visually based landscape interpretation to evaluate social perceptions of ecosystem services provided by the Conquense Drove Road transhumance landscape in Spain. Face-to-face questionnaires (N = 314...... perceptions of 16 ecosystem services supplied by these two landscapes. These 16 services were divided into 3 types: provisioning, such as the production of food and water; regulating, such as the control of climate and disease; and cultural, such as spiritual and recreational benefits. We also identified...... ecosystem services tended to be related to forests. All three types of ecosystem services were more perceived by respondents when a drove road was present in each landscape. However, differences in the visual perception of ecosystem services supply and preference for transhumance landscapes emerged...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 futu...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. GIS analysis of change in an agriculture landscape in Central Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riitta Ruuska

    1996-12-01

    Full Text Available Changes in landscape over a period of 50 years were analysed in a rural area of 324 ha in Central Finland. The data were digitized from aerial photographs of the National Land Survey taken in 1944, 1959, 1979 and 1991, and analysed with the IDRISI™ geographic information system (GIS. The average proportion of land in agricultural use in the sample area was 17.4%. The arable area declined from the maximum of 62.3 ha (1959 to 47.6 ha. The total length of linear landscape elements, predominantly ditch bank habitats, halved, from 876 m/ha of field (1944 to 449 m/ha by the end of the period. The average rate of loss of field boundary habitat was 9.1 m/ha/ year. At the same time, the Shannon-Weaver index of diversity of agricultural landscape elements dropped from 0.37 to 0.24. The number of field parcels declined by 29%, and the mean parcel size increased by 45%, from 1.2 ha to 1.7 ha. The index value of the fractal dimension measuring the complexity of parcel shapes also fell, from 1.88 (1959 to 1.86 (1991. The change in spatial structure reflects the intensification of farming in Finland. Biodiversity at ecosystem level has clearly declined. However, the implications for the agroecosystem and its sustainability are still unknown.

  7. The importance of bees in natural and agricultural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul Rhoades

    2013-01-01

    As the world’s most important group of pollinators, bees are a crucial part of agricultural production and natural ecosystem function. Bees and the pollination they provide are relevant to the nursery industry because of their role in the performance of seed increase plots as well as the importance of pollination in supporting persistent plant communities in restored...

  8. Linking an ecosystem model and a landscape model to study forest species response to climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong S. He; David J. Mladenoff; Thomas R. Crow

    1999-01-01

    No single model can address forest change from single tree to regional scales. We discuss a framework linking an ecosystem process model {LINKAGES) with a spatial landscape model (LANDIS) to examine forest species responses to climate warming for a large, heterogeneous landscape in northern Wisconsin, USA. Individual species response at the ecosystem scale was...

  9. Adaptation approaches for conserving ecosystems services and biodiversity in dynamic landscapes caused by climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oswald J. Schmitz; Anne M. Trainor

    2014-01-01

    Climate change stands to cause animal species to shift their geographic ranges. This will cause ecosystems to become reorganized across landscapes as species migrate into and out of specific locations with attendant impacts on values and services that ecosystems provide to humans. Conservation in an era of climate change needs to ensure that landscapes are resilient by...

  10. Influence of forest planning alternatives on landscape pattern and ecosystem processes in northern Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick A. Zollner; L. Jay Roberts; Eric J. Gustafson; Hong S. He; Volker Radeloff

    2008-01-01

    Incorporating an ecosystem management perspective into forest planning requires consideration of the impacts of timber management on a suite of landscape characteristics at broad spatial and long temporal scales. We used the LANDIS forest landscape simulation model to predict forest composition and landscape pattern under seven alternative forest management plans...

  11. Chlorate origin and fate in shallow groundwater below agricultural landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mastrocicco, Micòl; Di Giuseppe, Dario; Vincenzi, Fabio; Colombani, Nicolò; Castaldelli, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    In agricultural lowland landscapes, intensive agricultural is accompanied by a wide use of agrochemical application, like pesticides and fertilizers. The latter often causes serious environmental threats such as N compounds leaching and surface water eutrophication; additionally, since perchlorate can be present as impurities in many fertilizers, the potential presence of perchlorates and their by-products like chlorates and chlorites in shallow groundwater could be a reason of concern. In this light, the present manuscript reports the first temporal and spatial variation of chlorates, chlorites and major anions concentrations in the shallow unconfined aquifer belonging to Ferrara province (in the Po River plain). The study was made in 56 different locations to obtain insight on groundwater chemical composition and its sediment matrix interactions. During the monitoring period from 2010 to 2011, in June 2011 a nonpoint pollution of chlorates was found in the shallow unconfined aquifer belonging to Ferrara province. Detected chlorates concentrations ranged between 0.01 and 38 mg/l with an average value of 2.9 mg/l. Chlorates were found in 49 wells out of 56 and in all types of lithology constituting the shallow aquifer. Chlorates concentrations appeared to be linked to NO 3 − , volatile fatty acids (VFA) and oxygen reduction potential (ORP) variations. Chlorates behaviour was related to the biodegradation of perchlorates, since perchlorates are favourable electron acceptors for the oxidation of labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in groundwater. Further studies must take into consideration to monitor ClO 4 − in pore waters and groundwater to better elucidate the mass flux of ClO 4 − in shallow aquifers belonging to agricultural landscapes. - Highlights: • Chlorates were found in agricultural shallow wells after fertilizers spreading. • Chlorates concentrations appeared to be linked to NO 3 − , VFA and ORP variations. • Chlorates behaviour was

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    Beginning ca. A.D. 1400, Polynesian farmers established permanent settlements along the arid southern flank of Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaiian Islands; peak population density (43-57 persons per km2) was achieved by A.D. 1700-1800, and it was followed by the devastating effects of European contact. This settlement, based on dryland agriculture with sweet potato as a main crop, is represented by >3,000 archaeological features investigated to date. Geological and environmental factors are the most important influence on Polynesian farming and settlement practices in an agriculturally marginal landscape. Interactions between lava flows, whose ages range from 3,000 to 226,000 years, and differences in rainfall create an environmental mosaic that constrained precontact Polynesian farming practices to a zone defined by aridity at low elevation and depleted soil nutrients at high elevation. Within this productive zone, however, large-scale agriculture was concentrated on older, tephra-blanketed lava flows; younger flows were reserved for residential sites, small ritual gardens, and agricultural temples.

  13. Fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane from diverse aquatic environments in an agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, E. H.; Crawford, J. T.; Loken, L. C.; Casson, N. J.; Gubbins, N. J.; Oliver, S. K.

    2014-12-01

    The contribution of aquatic environments to landscape carbon cycling is particularly apparent in carbon- and water-rich regions. Such areas arguably represent an end member in terms of the relative significance of aquatic carbon cycling, while dry, carbon-poor zones are the likely opposing end member. Not surprisingly, most limnological attention has focused on these former regions, leaving open questions as to how aquatic systems in other locales influence larger-scale carbon dynamics. This includes human-dominated landscapes where agricultural and urban land uses can fundamentally alter carbon dynamics. Surveys of streams, ponds, and lakes in a southern Wisconsin landscape highlight three findings relevant to understanding the role of these aquatic systems in larger-scale carbon dynamics. First, streams and ponds had unexpectedly high summertime concentrations in and fluxes of CO2 and CH4. These values were approximately an order of magnitude greater than for less disturbed, forest and wetland-dominated landscapes in northern Wisconsin. Second, while mean C gas concentrations in lakes were lower than in streams and ponds, detailed spatial measurements demonstrate variability in surface water CO2 (43-1090 ppm pCO2) and CH4 (6-839 ppm pCH4) within a lake on a single day is similar to that observed among 25 streams included in our survey (260-6000 ppm pCO2; 50-600 ppm pCH4). This small-scale heterogeneity highlights a basic challenge for upscaling site-specific data collected at one or a few points to the whole lake and across lakes. Third, while agricultural and urban ecosystems are not necessarily carbon-rich environments, area-specific carbon storage in streams and ponds is substantial (up to 3000-5000 g C per m2). Further, carbon storage was strongly related to CH4 concentrations in streams, as C-rich sediments provided both an environment and substrate to fuel methanogenesis. The picture that emerges of C processing in aquatic environments throughout this human

  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%.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kent Kovacs

    Full Text Available 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%.

  16. Chlorate origin and fate in shallow groundwater below agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrocicco, Micòl; Di Giuseppe, Dario; Vincenzi, Fabio; Colombani, Nicolò; Castaldelli, Giuseppe

    2017-12-01

    In agricultural lowland landscapes, intensive agricultural is accompanied by a wide use of agrochemical application, like pesticides and fertilizers. The latter often causes serious environmental threats such as N compounds leaching and surface water eutrophication; additionally, since perchlorate can be present as impurities in many fertilizers, the potential presence of perchlorates and their by-products like chlorates and chlorites in shallow groundwater could be a reason of concern. In this light, the present manuscript reports the first temporal and spatial variation of chlorates, chlorites and major anions concentrations in the shallow unconfined aquifer belonging to Ferrara province (in the Po River plain). The study was made in 56 different locations to obtain insight on groundwater chemical composition and its sediment matrix interactions. During the monitoring period from 2010 to 2011, in June 2011 a nonpoint pollution of chlorates was found in the shallow unconfined aquifer belonging to Ferrara province. Detected chlorates concentrations ranged between 0.01 and 38 mg/l with an average value of 2.9 mg/l. Chlorates were found in 49 wells out of 56 and in all types of lithology constituting the shallow aquifer. Chlorates concentrations appeared to be linked to NO 3 - , volatile fatty acids (VFA) and oxygen reduction potential (ORP) variations. Chlorates behaviour was related to the biodegradation of perchlorates, since perchlorates are favourable electron acceptors for the oxidation of labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in groundwater. Further studies must take into consideration to monitor ClO 4 - in pore waters and groundwater to better elucidate the mass flux of ClO 4 - in shallow aquifers belonging to agricultural landscapes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Integrating landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks to advance the understanding of ecosystem function in heterogeneous landscapes: An analysis on the carbon fluxes in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD) of Wisconsin and Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Haile; Chen, Jiakuan

    2018-01-01

    The successful integration of ecosystem ecology with landscape ecology would be conducive to understanding how landscapes function. There have been several attempts at this, with two main approaches: (1) an ecosystem-based approach, such as the meta-ecosystem framework and (2) a landscape-based approach, such as the landscape system framework. These two frameworks are currently disconnected. To integrate these two frameworks, we introduce a protocol, and then demonstrate application of the protocol using a case study. The protocol includes four steps: 1) delineating landscape systems; 2) classifying landscape systems; 3) adjusting landscape systems to meta-ecosystems and 4) integrating landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks through meta-ecosystems. The case study is the analyzing of the carbon fluxes in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD) of Wisconsin and Michigan using this protocol. The application of this protocol revealed that one could follow this protocol to construct a meta-ecosystem and analyze it using the integrative framework of landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks. That is, one could (1) appropriately describe and analyze the spatial heterogeneity of the meta-ecosystem; (2) understand the emergent properties arising from spatial coupling of local ecosystems in the meta-ecosystem. In conclusion, this protocol is a useful approach for integrating the meta-ecosystem framework and the landscape system framework, which advances the describing and analyzing of the spatial heterogeneity and ecosystem function of interconnected ecosystems.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. LANDSCAPE ECOLOGICAL METHOD TO STUDY AGRICULTURAL VEGETATION: SOME EXAMPLES FROM THE PO VALLEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. GIGLIO

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation is the most important landscape component, as regards to its ability to catch solar energy and to transform it, but also to shape the landscape, to structure the space, to create the fit environment for different animal species, to contribute to the maintenance of a correct metastability level for the landscape, etc. It is a biological system which acts under the constraints of the principles of the System Theory and owns the same properties of any other living system: so, it is a complex adaptive, hierarchical, dynamic, dissipative, self-organizing, self-transcendent, autocatalytic, self-maintaining system and follows the non-equilibrium thermodynamic. Its ecological state can be investigated through the comparison between “gathered data” (pathology and “normal data” (physiology for analogous types of vegetation. The Biological Integrated School of Landscape Ecology provides an integrated methodology to define ecological threshold limits of the different Agricultural Landscape types and applies to agricultural vegetation the specific part of the new methodology already tested to studying forests (the Landscape Biological Survey of Vegetation. Ecological quality, better and worst parameters, biological territorial capacity of vegetated corridors, agricultural field, poplar groves, orchards and woody remnant patches are investigated. Some examples from diverse agricultural landscapes of the Po Valley will be discussed. KEY WORDS: agricultural landscape, vegetation, landscape ecology, landscape health, Biological Integrated Landscape Ecology, Landscape Biological Survey of vegetation.

  2. LANDSCAPE ECOLOGICAL METHOD TO STUDY AGRICULTURAL VEGETATION: SOME EXAMPLES FROM THE PO VALLEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. GIGLIO

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation is the most important landscape component, as regards to its ability to catch solar energy and to transform it, but also to shape the landscape, to structure the space, to create the fit environment for different animal species, to contribute to the maintenance of a correct metastability level for the landscape, etc. It is a biological system which acts under the constraints of the principles of the System Theory and owns the same properties of any other living system: so, it is a complex adaptive, hierarchical, dynamic, dissipative, self-organizing, self-transcendent, autocatalytic, self-maintaining system and follows the non-equilibrium thermodynamic. Its ecological state can be investigated through the comparison between “gathered data” (pathology and “normal data” (physiology for analogous types of vegetation. The Biological Integrated School of Landscape Ecology provides an integrated methodology to define ecological threshold limits of the different Agricultural Landscape types and applies to agricultural vegetation the specific part of the new methodology already tested to studying forests (the Landscape Biological Survey of Vegetation. Ecological quality, better and worst parameters, biological territorial capacity of vegetated corridors, agricultural field, poplar groves, orchards and woody remnant patches are investigated. Some examples from diverse agricultural landscapes of the Po Valley will be discussed. KEY WORDS: agricultural landscape, vegetation, landscape ecology, landscape health, Biological Integrated Landscape Ecology, Landscape Biological Survey of vegetation.

  3. Ecosystem services in managing residential landscapes: priorities, value dimensions, and cross-regional patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.L. Larson; K.C. Nelson; S.R. Samples; S.J. Hall; N. Bettez; J. Cavender-Bares; P.M. Groffman; M. Grove; J.B. Heffernan; S.E. Hobbie; J. Learned; J.L. Morse; C. Neill; L.A. Ogden; Jarlath O' Neil-Dunne; D.E. Pataki; C. Polsky; R. Roy Chowdhury; M. Steele; T.L.E. Trammell

    2016-01-01

    Although ecosystem services have been intensively examined in certain domains (e.g., forests and wetlands), little research has assessed ecosystem services for the most dominant landscape type in urban ecosystems—namely, residential yards. In this paper, we report findings of a cross-site survey of homeowners in six U.S. cities to 1) examine how residents subjectively...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. How agricultural multiple ecosystem services respond to socioeconomic factors in Mengyin County, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yajuan; Yu, Zhenrong; Li, Xuedong; Li, Pengyao

    2018-07-15

    Provisioning services have always been the main focus of agriculture, and which have led to a decline in biodiversity and have damaged a number of other services. Agriculture should contribute to current and future food security while producing multiple ecosystem services (ES). Restoration outcomes of multiple ES were affected by different socioeconomic drivers, thus a better understanding of how multiple ES respond to socioeconomic drivers can help to restore multiple ES. This paper used rural people's perceptions of ES to quantify and map ecosystem service obtainment and demand in the Mengyin County, China. An integrative index of multiple ecosystem services (IMES) was used to effectively aggregate the values of multiple ES. The threat categorization framework is designed to communicate the degree to which the adequate and sustainable provision of multiple ES is threatened, in order to prioritize conservation actions. The results revealed that 6 townships in the Mengyin County exhibited an excessive obtainment situation (demand is less than obtainment) of multiple ES; an insufficient obtainment situation (demand is greater than obtainment) of multiple ES was mainly situated in the northern part of Mengyin County. Overall, the current state of multiple ES across Mengyin County is classified as "Endangered" classification according to application of threat categorization framework. It is necessary to restructure and manage socioeconomic factors for multiple ES. At national level, the macro decision-making (controlling population density) and the mechanisms (attracting high-quality human resources into the rural) will play an important role in promoting multiple ES management, and it is necessary to provide 3 or more years of tailored educational resources for rural residents to advance multiple ES in agricultural landscape. Development of agricultural PES programs in China that enable farmers to profit from production ES is a sustainable strategy for increasing

  6. Agricultural Urbanism in the Context of Landscape Ecological Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltseva, I. N.; Kaganovich, N. N.; Mindiyrova, T. N.

    2017-11-01

    The article analyzes some of the fundamental aspects of cities sustainable development connected in many respects with the concept of ecological architecture. One of the main concepts of sustainability is considered in detail: the city as an eco-sustainable and balanced system, architectural objects as a full-fledged part of this system, which, most likely, will be determined by one of the directions of this development - the development of landscape architecture as an tool for integration of nature into the urban environment. At the same time, the variety of its functional forms and architectural methods in the system of organization of internal and external space is outlined as well as its interrelation with energy-saving architecture defining them as the two most important components of eco-sustainable development. The development forms of landscape architecture are considered in the review of analogs, as an example (agricultural urbanism object) a thesis on the topic “Vertical Farm Agroindustrial Complex” is presented.

  7. 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.

  8. Assemblages of braconidae (Hymenoptera) at agricultural and secondary forest ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razali, Rabibah; Din, Abdullah Muhaimin Mohammad; Yaakop, Salmah

    2016-11-01

    Braconids are parasitoid insects which parasitize other insects by injecting their eggs into the larvae and eventually killing the hosts. Due to this character, braconids play an important role in stabilizing the natural and human-made environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diversity and distribution of braconids in two ecosystems. Nine Malaise traps were installed in each ecosystem for 30 days at five sampling sites, namely Bukit Rupa (BR), Bukit Fraser (BF), Ladang Zamrud (LZ), Felda Lui Muda (FLM) and Cherating (Ch). Samples were collected and kept in 75% alcohol for identification process. Two types of ecosystem were selected namely forest (secondary forest) and agricultural (oil palm plantation, star fruit orchard) ecosystems. A total of 1201 individuals were collected in 18 subfamilies and 137 morphospecies. From the results, BR showed the highest H', as it was a natural habitat for the braconids. FLM and LZ also showed high H' values, while Ch was the lowest. Based on the cluster analysis, the clade was divided into two groups; the oil palm plantation (LZ, FLM) and forest ecosystem (BF, BR). Ch was considered an outgroup because the braconid spesies found there were specific to Bactocera spp. Based on the rarefaction curve, LZ had the most stable curve compared to the others due to high sample size.

  9. Proximity to Woodland and Landscape Structure Drive Pollinator Visitation in Apple Orchard Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neelendra K Joshi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Landscapes of farms and adjacent areas are known to influence abundance of various arthropods such as pollinators in commercial agricultural ecosystems. In this context, we examined the effect of heterogeneous landscapes surrounding and including commercial apple orchards on pollinator visitation and foraging distance during bloom period from 2011 to 2013 in Pennsylvania. Our results showed that the frequency of feral honeybees and solitary bee visits within an apple orchard depends on the proximity of the orchard to an unmanaged habitat (primarily comprised of forest. At the landscape scale, we found that the Mean Proximity Index, the Largest Patch Index and the Number of Patches positively correlated with the visitation rate of dominant bee taxa (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees visiting apple flowers at low spatial scales (up to 500 m around the orchards. The Mean Proximity Index at 500 m was related to bee visitation patterns, especially for solitary bees and A. mellifera. Bees in all our study sites preferred to forage in areas with large homogenous patches up to 500 m around an apple orchard. This effect can be attributed to the mass flowering of apples that formed the largest proportion of the 500 m spatial scale. The Number of Patches at 250 m spatial scale was positively correlated with bee visitation, especially Bombus spp., probably because these areas had more habitats and more resources required by these bees. We conclude that retaining unmanaged habitats closer to commercial apple orchards will maintain biodiversity within the landscapes and insure pollination services to apples.

  10. Transforming Agricultural Water Management in Support of Ecosystem Restoration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanlon, Edward; Capece, John

    2009-11-20

    Threats to ecosystems are not local; they have to be handled with the global view in mind. Eliminating Florida farms, in order to meet its environmental goals, would simply move the needed agricultural production overseas, where environmentally less sensitive approaches are often used, thus yielding no net ecological benefit. South Florida is uniquely positioned to lead in the creation of sustainable agricultural systems, given its population, technology, and environmental restoration imperative. Florida should therefore aggressively focus on developing sustainable systems that deliver both agricultural production and environmental services. This presentation introduces a new farming concept of dealing with Florida’s agricultural land issues. The state purchases large land areas in order to manage the land easily and with ecosystem services in mind. The proposed new farming concept is an alternative to the current “two sides of the ditch” model, in which on one side are yield-maximizing, input-intensive, commodity price-dependent farms, while on the other side are publicly-financed, nutrient-removing treatment areas and water reservoirs trying to mitigate the externalized costs of food production systems and other human-induced problems. The proposed approach is rental of the land back to agriculture during the restoration transition period in order to increase water storage (allowing for greater water flow-through and/or water storage on farms), preventing issues such as nutrients removal, using flood-tolerant crops and reducing soil subsidence. Since the proposed approach is still being developed, there exist various unknown variables and considerations. However, working towards a long-term sustainable scenario needs to be the way ahead, as the threats are global and balancing the environment and agriculture is a serious global challenge.

  11. 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...

  12. Opportunities and challenges for mainstreaming ecosystem services in development planning: perspectives from a landscape level

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Sitas, Nadia E

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite much progress in ecosystem services research, a gap still appears to exist between this research and the implementation of landscape management and development activities on the ground, especially within a developing country context...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroń, Dawid; Skórka, Piotr; Lenda, Magdalena; Rożej-Pabijan, Elżbieta; Wantuch, Marta; Kajzer-Bonk, Joanna; Celary, Waldemar; Mielczarek, Łukasz Emil; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Pollinating insect populations, essential for maintaining wild plant diversity and agricultural productivity, rely on (semi)natural 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Conservation planning in agricultural landscapes: hotspots of conflict between agriculture and nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Gorm E; Steward, Peter R; German, Richard N; Sait, Steven M; Benton, Tim G

    2015-03-01

    Conservation conflict takes place where food production imposes a cost on wildlife conservation and vice versa. Where does conservation impose the maximum cost on production, by opposing the intensification and expansion of farmland? Where does conservation confer the maximum benefit on wildlife, by buffering and connecting protected areas with a habitable and permeable matrix of crop and non-crop habitat? Our aim was to map the costs and benefits of conservation versus production and thus to propose a conceptual framework for systematic conservation planning in agricultural landscapes. World-wide. To quantify these costs and benefits, we used a geographic information system to sample the cropland of the world and map the proportion of non-crop habitat surrounding the cropland, the number of threatened vertebrates with potential to live in or move through the matrix and the yield gap of the cropland. We defined the potential for different types of conservation conflict in terms of interactions between habitat and yield (potential for expansion, intensification, both or neither). We used spatial scan statistics to find 'hotspots' of conservation conflict. All of the 'hottest' hotspots of conservation conflict were in sub-Saharan Africa, which could have impacts on sustainable intensification in this region. Systematic conservation planning could and should be used to identify hotspots of conservation conflict in agricultural landscapes, at multiple scales. The debate between 'land sharing' (extensive agriculture that is wildlife friendly) and 'land sparing' (intensive agriculture that is less wildlife friendly but also less extensive) could be resolved if sharing and sparing were used as different types of tool for resolving different types of conservation conflict (buffering and connecting protected areas by maintaining matrix quality, in different types of matrix). Therefore, both sharing and sparing should be prioritized in hotspots of conflict, in the context of

  16. Towards sustainable and multifunctional agriculture in farmland landscapes: Lessons from the integrative approach of a French LTSER platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretagnolle, Vincent; Berthet, Elsa; Gross, Nicolas; Gauffre, Bertrand; Plumejeaud, Christine; Houte, Sylvie; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Monceau, Karine; Allier, Fabrice; Monestiez, Pascal; Gaba, Sabrina

    2018-06-15

    Agriculture is currently facing unprecedented challenges: ensuring food, fiber and energy production in the face of global change, maintaining the economic performance of farmers and preserving natural resources such as biodiversity and associated key ecosystem services for sustainable agriculture. Addressing these challenges requires innovative landscape scale farming systems that account for changing economic and environmental targets. These novel agricultural systems need to be recognized, accepted and promoted by all stakeholders, including local residents, and supported by public policies. Agroecosystems should be considered as socio-ecological systems and alternative farming systems should be based on ecological principles while taking societal needs into account. This requires an in-depth knowledge of the multiple interactions between sociological and ecological dynamics. Long Term Socio-Ecological Research platforms (LTSER) are ideal for acquiring this knowledge as they (i) are not constrained by traditional disciplinary boundaries, (ii) operate at a large spatial scale involving all stakeholders, and (iii) use systemic approaches to investigate biodiversity and ecosystem services. This study presents the socio-ecological research strategy from the LTSER "Zone Atelier Plaine & Val de Sèvre" (ZA PVS), a large study area where data has been sampled since 1994. Its global aim is to identify effective solutions for agricultural development and the conservation of biodiversity in farmlands. Three main objectives are targeted by the ZAPVS. The first objective is intensive monitoring of landscape features, the main taxa present and agricultural practices. The second objective is the experimental investigation, in real fields with local farmers, of important ecosystem functions and services, in relation to pesticide use, crop production and farming socio-economic value. The third aim is to involve stakeholders through participatory research, citizen science and

  17. 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 (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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foo, Y S; Hashim, M

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Economic value of ecosystem services in Protected Landscape Areas n the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Daněk, Jan; Vačkář, David; Lorencová, Eliška

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 10, 1-2 (2017), s. 99-112 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : ecosystem services * economic valuation * Protected Landscape Areas * forest ecosystems Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7)

  1. Pollination ecosystem services in South African agricultural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalie Melin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Insect pollinators, both managed and wild, have become a focus of global scientific, political and media attention because of their apparent decline and the perceived impact of this decline on crop production. Crop pollination by insects is an essential ecosystem service that increases the yield and quality of approximately 35% of crops worldwide. Pollinator declines are a consequence of multiple environmental pressures, e.g. habitat transformation and fragmentation, loss of floral resources, pesticides, pests and diseases, and climate change. Similar environmental pressures are faced in South Africa where there is a high demand for pollination services. In this paper, we synthesise data on the importance of different pollinators as a basis for services to South African crops and on the status of managed honeybees. We also focus on insect pollination services for the Western Cape deciduous fruit industry, which is worth ZAR9800 million per year and is heavily reliant on pollination services from managed honeybees. We discuss landscape and regional level floral resources needed to maintain sufficient numbers of managed honeybee colonies. In summary, the available literature shows a lack of data on diversity and abundance of crop pollinators, and a lack of long-term data to assess declines. We highlight key areas that require research in South Africa and emphasise the critical role of floral resource availability at the landscape and regional scale to sustain pollinators. We conclude that understanding the dynamics of how floral resources are used will help inform how landscapes could be better managed in order to provide long-term sustainable pollination services.

  2. A flux footprint analysis to understand ecosystem fluxes in an intensively managed landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez Rodriguez, L. C.; Goodwell, A. E.; Kumar, P.

    2017-12-01

    Flux tower studies in agricultural sites have mainly been done at plot scale, where the footprint of the instruments is small such that the data reveals the behaviour of the nearby crop on which the study is focused. In the Midwestern United States, the agricultural ecosystem and its associated drainage, evapotranspiration, and nutrient dynamics are dominant influences on interactions between the soil, land, and atmosphere. In this study, we address large-scale ecohydrologic fluxes and states in an intensively managed landscape based on data from a 25m high eddy covariance flux tower. We show the calculated upwind distance and flux footprint for a flux tower located in Central Illinois as part of the Intensively Managed Landscapes Critical Zone Observatory (IMLCZO). In addition, we calculate the daily energy balance during the summer of 2016 from the flux tower measurements and compare with the modelled energy balance from a representative corn crop located in the flux tower footprint using the Multi-Layer Canopy model, MLCan. The changes in flux footprint over the course of hours, days, and the growing season have significant implications for the measured fluxes of carbon and energy at the flux tower. We use MLCan to simulate these fluxes under land covers of corn and soybeans. Our results demonstrate how the instrument heights impact the footprint of the captured eddy covariance fluxes, and we explore the implication for hydrological analysis. The convective turbulent atmosphere during the daytime shows a wide footprint of more than 10 km2, which reaches 3km length for the 90% contribution, where buoyancy is the dominant mechanism driving turbulence. In contrast, the stable atmosphere during the night-time shows a narrower footprint that goes beyond 8km2 and grows in the direction of the prevalent wind, which exceeds 4 km in length. This study improves our understanding of agricultural ecosystem behaviour in terms of the magnitude and variability of fluxes and

  3. Empirical methods for modeling landscape change, ecosystem services, and biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Lewis; Ralph. Alig

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to synthesize recent economics research aimed at integrating discrete-choice econometric models of land-use change with spatially-explicit landscape simulations and quantitative ecology. This research explicitly models changes in the spatial pattern of landscapes in two steps: 1) econometric estimation of parcel-scale transition...

  4. Tests of landscape influence: nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshua J. Tewksbury; Lindy Garner; Shannon H. Garner; John D. Lloyd; Victoria A. Saab; Thomas E. Martin

    2006-01-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindhjem, Henrik; Reinvang, Rasmus; Zandersen, Marianne

    2015-01-01

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

  6. The importance of landscape and spatial structure for hymenopteran-based food webs in an agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, Yvonne; Sandau, Nadine; Bruggisser, Odile T; Aebi, Alex; Kehrli, Patrik; Rohr, Rudolf P; Naisbit, Russell E; Bersier, Louis-Félix

    2013-11-01

    1. Understanding the environmental factors that structure biodiversity and food webs among communities is central to assess and mitigate the impact of landscape changes. 2. Wildflower strips are ecological compensation areas established in farmland to increase pollination services and biological control of crop pests and to conserve insect diversity. They are arranged in networks in order to favour high species richness and abundance of the fauna. 3. We describe results from experimental wildflower strips in a fragmented agricultural landscape, comparing the importance of landscape, of spatial arrangement and of vegetation on the diversity and abundance of trap-nesting bees, wasps and their enemies, and the structure of their food webs. 4. The proportion of forest cover close to the wildflower strips and the landscape heterogeneity stood out as the most influential landscape elements, resulting in a more complex trap-nest community with higher abundance and richness of hosts, and with more links between species in the food webs and a higher diversity of interactions. We disentangled the underlying mechanisms for variation in these quantitative food web metrics. 5. We conclude that in order to increase the diversity and abundance of pollinators and biological control agents and to favour a potentially stable community of cavity-nesting hymenoptera in wildflower strips, more investment is needed in the conservation and establishment of forest habitats within agro-ecosystems, as a reservoir of beneficial insect populations. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  7. A Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton, Nicholas; Stuhlmacher, Michelle; Miles, Albie; Uludere Aragon, Nazli; Wagner, Melissa; Georgescu, Matei; Herwig, Chris; Gong, Peng

    2018-01-01

    Though urban agriculture (UA), defined here as growing of crops in cities, is increasing in popularity and importance globally, little is known about the aggregate benefits of such natural capital in built-up areas. Here, we introduce a quantitative framework to assess global aggregate ecosystem services from existing vegetation in cities and an intensive UA adoption scenario based on data-driven estimates of urban morphology and vacant land. We analyzed global population, urban, meteorological, terrain, and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) datasets in Google Earth Engine to derive global scale estimates, aggregated by country, of services provided by UA. We estimate the value of four ecosystem services provided by existing vegetation in urban areas to be on the order of 33 billion annually. We project potential annual food production of 100-180 million tonnes, energy savings ranging from 14 to 15 billion kilowatt hours, nitrogen sequestration between 100,000 and 170,000 tonnes, and avoided storm water runoff between 45 and 57 billion cubic meters annually. In addition, we estimate that food production, nitrogen fixation, energy savings, pollination, climate regulation, soil formation and biological control of pests could be worth as much as 80-160 billion annually in a scenario of intense UA implementation. Our results demonstrate significant country-to-country variability in UA-derived ecosystem services and reduction of food insecurity. These estimates represent the first effort to consistently quantify these incentives globally, and highlight the relative spatial importance of built environments to act as change agents that alleviate mounting concerns associated with global environmental change and unsustainable development.

  8. Keynote address: Modern agricultural landscapes – a perspective on their past, present and future

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard

    of landscape patterns in affected territories, leading to the creation of a new type of landscape. A distinctly modern agricultural landscape, characterized by rectilinear spatial forms, functionally segregated, specialized land use patterns, individualized decision making practices and an agricultural economy...... embedded within regional, globalizing networks of economic, technological and cultural exchange. In such landscapes, patterns of land use have since converged to an increasing extent, forming flows of correlated practices and associated ecological impairments observable across extensive arrays of otherwise...... of a capitalist modern origin. In this context, the purpose of this keynote address is to explore how the relationship between institutional and physical legacies of land use modernization affects decision making in contemporary agricultural landscapes. On the basis of a selection of European and postcolonial...

  9. 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 m 2 . 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  11. The Role of Overpopulation and Agricultural Methods in the Destruction of Tropical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croat, Thomas B.

    1972-01-01

    The conflict between increasing population and decreasing agricultural land results in the destruction of tropical forest ecosystems. Research on the utilization and natural conditions of such ecosystems is needed now. (AL)

  12. The heterogeneity of wooded-agricultural landscape mosaics influences woodland bird community assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Neumann, Jessica L.; Griffiths, Geoffrey H.; Foster, Christopher W.; Holloway, Graham J.

    2016-01-01

    Context\\ud Landscape heterogeneity (the composition and configuration of different landcover types) plays a key role in shaping woodland bird assemblages in wooded-agricultural mosaics. Understanding how species respond to landscape factors could contribute to preventing further decline of woodland bird populations.\\ud Objective\\ud To investigate how woodland birds with different species traits respond to landscape heterogeneity, and to identify whether specific landcover types are important ...

  13. 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.

  14. Pest Control and Pollination Cost-Benefit Analysis of Hedgerow Restoration in a Simplified Agricultural Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandin, L A; Long, R F; Kremen, C

    2016-05-11

    Field edge habitat in homogeneous agricultural landscapes can serve multiple purposes including enhanced biodiversity, water quality protection, and habitat for beneficial insects, such as native bees and natural enemies. Despite this ecosystem service value, adoption of field border plantings, such as hedgerows, on large-scale mono-cropped farms is minimal. With profits primarily driving agricultural production, a major challenge affecting hedgerow plantings is linked to establishment costs and the lack of clear economic benefits on the restoration investment. Our study documented that hedgerows are economically viable to growers by enhancing beneficial insects and natural pest control and pollination on farms. With pest control alone, our model shows that it would take 16 yr to break even from insecticide savings on the US$4,000 cost of a typical 300-m hedgerow field edge planting. By adding in pollination benefits by native bees, where honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) may be limiting, the return time is reduced to 7 yr. USDA cost share programs allow for a quicker return on a hedgerow investment. Our study shows that over time, small-scale restoration can be profitable, helping to overcome the barrier of cost associated with field edge habitat restoration on farms. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the United States.

  15. The behaviour of hoverfly larvae (Diptera, Syrphidae) lessens the effects of floral subsidy in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Laubertie, Elsa; Wratten, Steve; Magro, Alexandra; Hemptinne, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Modern agricultural landscapes favour crop pests: herbivores benefit from resource concentration and/or the absence of natural enemies in large areas of intensively farmed fields interspersed by small fragments of natural or non-crop habitats. Conservation biological control (CBC) aims at increasing the functional diversity of agricultural landscapes to make them more hospitable to natural enemies, and less to herbivores. Although natural enemies readily respond to this management, very few s...

  16. A Landscape-level Model for Ecosystem Restoration in the San Francisco Estuary and Its Watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wim Kimmerer

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The CALFED Bay-Delta Program is an ambitious effort to restore ecosystems and improve reliability of ecosystem services in California’s Central Valley. Key issues for CALFED and its Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP include (1 meeting societal demand for multiple, potentially conflicting ecosystem services; (2 the tradeoff among more or less environmentally intrusive approaches to solving problems; (3 whether restoration should focus at the ecosystem level or on individual species; (4 the appropriate response to uncertainty; and (5 the tension between action and investigation. A long-term, landscape-scale perspective is essential for framing the scientific questions underlying these broad issues. We introduce a landscape-scale conceptual model that illustrates linkages, including material flows and animal migration, among the major ecosystem components being described in detail in a series of review papers. This model shows how linkages between ecosystem components result in remote consequences of locally applied restoration actions. The network of linkages is made more complicated by human interventions, which add components not previously a part of the landscape (e.g., salmonid hatcheries and alter or even reverse causal relations. A landscape perspective also helps identify conceptual gaps in CALFED’s restoration strategy, such as climate change and human population growth, which should be explicitly considered in forecasts of the long-term prospects for restoration. A landscape perspective is no panacea; in particular, the effects of restoration at this scale will be difficult to detect. Nevertheless, we advocate integrating investigations of processes at nested, smaller scales as an approach for evaluating effects of individual restoration actions and of the entire program. We believe CALFED and other large restoration programs will be most successful if they are able to integrate both societal expectations and scientific study at the

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Scale dependent drivers of wild bee diversity in tropical heterogeneous agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Parthiba; Parui, Arpan Kumar; Chatterjee, Soumik; Dutta, Aditi; Chakraborty, Pushan; Roberts, Stuart; Smith, Barbara

    2016-10-01

    Factors associated with agricultural intensification, for example, loss of seminatural vegetation and pesticide use has been shown to adversely affect the bee community. These factors may impact the bee community differently at different landscape scales. The scale dependency is expected to be more pronounced in heterogeneous landscapes. However, the scale-dependent response of the bee community to drivers of its decline is relatively understudied, especially in the tropics where the agricultural landscape is often heterogeneous. This study looked at effects of agricultural intensification on bee diversity at patch and landscape scales in a tropical agricultural landscape. Wild bees were sampled using 12 permanent pan trap stations. Patch and landscape characteristics were measured within a 100 m (patch scale) and a 500 m (landscape scale) radius of pan trap stations. Information on pesticide input was obtained from farmer surveys. Data on vegetation cover, productivity, and percentage of agricultural and fallow land (FL) were collected using satellite imagery. Intensive areas in a bee-site network were less specialized in terms of resources to attract rare bee species while the less intensive areas, which supported more rare species, were more vulnerable to disturbance. A combination of patch quality and diversity as well as pesticide use regulates species diversity at the landscape scale (500 m), whereas pesticide quantity drove diversity at the patch scale (100 m). At the landscape scale, specialization of each site in terms of resources for bees increased with increasing patch diversity and FL while at the patch scale specialization declined with increased pesticide use. Bee functional groups responded differentially to landscape characteristics as well as pesticide use. Wood nesting bees were negatively affected by the number of pesticides used but other bee functional groups were not sensitive to pesticides. Synthesis and Applications : Different factors

  20. Patterns and Drivers of Scattered Tree Loss in Agricultural Landscapes: Orchard Meadows in Germany (1968-2009)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 of 18 environmental, demographic, and socio-economic variables to test five alternative hypothesis explaining orchard meadow loss. We found that orchard meadow loss occurred in flatter areas, in areas where smaller plot sizes and fragmented orchard meadows prevailed, and in areas near settlements and infrastructure. The analysis did not confirm that orchard meadow loss was higher in areas where agricultural intensification was stronger and in areas of lower implementation levels of conservation policies. Our results demonstrated that the influential drivers of orchard meadow loss were those that reduce economic profitability and increase opportunity costs for orchards, providing incentives for converting orchard meadows to other, more profitable land uses. These insights could be taken up by local- and regional-level conservation policies to identify the sites of persistent orchard meadows in agricultural landscapes that would be prioritized in conservation efforts. PMID:25932914

  1. Practical tracer investigations of pesticide residues in agricultural ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuehr, F.

    1984-01-01

    According to the FAO's latest estimates, the world food supply can only be guaranteed if the 1982 agricultural production is increased by approx. 50% by the year 2000. 2/3 of this production increase must be achieved on areas already under cultivation. This means that in addition to balanced mineral fertilization the use of pesticides will have to be intensively continued in order to fully exploit the improved yield potential of the cultivated plants achieved by breeding. The primary research objective is therefore to extend our knowledge of the uptake and effects of pesticides in the plant as well as their persistence in agricultural ecosystems in order to be able to apply them both more efficiently and more safely. The Institute of Radioagronomy at the Kernforschungsanlage Juelich GmbH (Juelich Nuclear Research Centre) is carrying out practical experiments into these problems using 14 C-labelled pesticides under field conditions. In this way statements will become possible on the uptake and residue situation in plants, translocation and metabolism in the soil, the balance in the year of application as well as on the uptake of untreated cultures in the crop rotation. Parallel to this, uptake after leaf spraying or after seed grain treatment is being studied under standardized conditions, as well as for example the mineralization, sorption and fixation of active substances and metabolites in the soil. Results from the past 12 years are being utilized as a basis for an evaluation of the state of knowledge. (orig.)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreea Popa

    2012-05-01

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

  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

  4. 75 FR 16728 - Beaver Creek Landscape Management Project, Ashland Ranger District, Custer National Forest...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-02

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Beaver Creek Landscape Management Project, Ashland Ranger... manner that increases resiliency of the Beaver Creek Landscape Management Project area ecosystem to... requirements to require. The Beaver Creek Landscape Management Project includes treatments previously proposed...

  5. Assessing habitat quality of farm-dwelling house sparrows in different agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Post, Maria; Borgström, Pernilla; Smith, Henrik G; Olsson, Ola

    2012-04-01

    Having historically been abundant throughout Europe, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has in recent decades suffered severe population declines in many urban and rural areas. The decline in rural environments is believed to be caused by agricultural intensification, which has resulted in landscape simplification. We used giving-up densities (GUDs) of house sparrows feeding in artificial food patches placed in farmlands of southern Sweden to determine habitat quality during the breeding season at two different spatial scales: the landscape and the patch scale. At the landscape scale, GUDs were lower on farms in homogeneous landscapes dominated by crop production compared to more heterogeneous landscapes with mixed farming or animal husbandry. At the patch level, feeding patches with a higher predation risk (caused by fitting a wall to the patch to obstruct vigilance) had higher GUDs. In addition, GUDs were positively related to population size, which strongly implies that GUDs reflect habitat quality. However, the increase followed different patterns in homogeneous and heterogeneous landscapes, indicating differing population limiting mechanisms in these two environments. We found no effect of the interaction between patch type and landscape type, suggesting that predation risk was similar in both landscape types. Thus, our study suggests that simplified landscapes constitute a poorer feeding environment for house sparrows during breeding, that the population-regulating mechanisms in the landscapes differ, but that predation risk is the same across the landscape types.

  6. A landscape plan based on historical fire regimes for a managed forest ecosystem: the Augusta Creek study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John H. Cissel; Frederick J. Swanson; Gordon E. Grant; Deanna H. Olson; Gregory V. Stanley; Steven L. Garman; Linda R. Ashkenas; Matthew G. Hunter; Jane A. Kertis; James H. Mayo; Michelle D. McSwain; Sam G. Swetland; Keith A. Swindle; David O. Wallin

    1998-01-01

    The Augusta Creek project was initiated to establish and integrate landscape and watershed objectives into a landscape plan to guide management activities within a 7600-hectare (19,000-acre) planning area in western Oregon. Primary objectives included the maintenance of native species, ecosystem processes and structures, and long-term ecosystem productivity in a...

  7. Implications of agricultural transitions and urbanization for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cumming, Graeme S; Buerkert, Andreas; Hoffmann, Ellen M; Schlecht, Eva; von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan; Tscharntke, Teja

    2014-11-06

    Historically, farmers and hunter-gatherers relied directly on ecosystem services, which they both exploited and enjoyed. Urban populations still rely on ecosystems, but prioritize non-ecosystem services (socioeconomic). Population growth and densification increase the scale and change the nature of both ecosystem- and non-ecosystem-service supply and demand, weakening direct feedbacks between ecosystems and societies and potentially pushing social-ecological systems into traps that can lead to collapse. The interacting and mutually reinforcing processes of technological change, population growth and urbanization contribute to over-exploitation of ecosystems through complex feedbacks that have important implications for sustainable resource use.

  8. 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

  9. High nitrogen deposition in an agricultural ecosystem of Shaanxi, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Ting; Tong, Yan'an; Liu, Xuejun; Xu, Wen; Luo, Xiaosheng; Christie, Peter

    2016-07-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition plays an important role in the global N cycle. Data for dry and wet N deposition in agricultural ecosystem of Shaanxi in China is still imperfect; in this study, we continuously measured concentrations and fluxes of dry N deposition from 2010 to 2013 in Yangling district of Shaanxi province and wet N deposition from 2010 to 2012. The average annual concentrations of NH3, NO2, HNO3, particulate ammonium, and nitrate (pNH4 (+) and pNO3 (-)) varied among 3.9-9.1, 6.6-8.0, 1.2-1.4, 3.1-4.3, and 3.3-4.8 μg N m(-3), respectively, with mean values of 6.0, 7.2, 1.3, 3.8, and 4.1 μg N m(-3), respectively, during the entire monitoring period. The annual NH4 (+)-N and NO3 (-)-N concentrations in precipitation ranged 3.9-4.3 and 2.8-3.4 mg N L(-1) with the mean values of 4.1 and 3.3 mg N L(-1). The NH4 (+)-N/NO3 (-)-N ratio in rainfall averaged 1.2. Dry N deposition flux was determined to be 19.2 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) and the wet N deposition flux was 27.2 kg N ha(-1) year(-1). The amount of total atmospheric N deposition (dry plus wet) reached 46.4 kg N ha(-1) year(-1), in which dry deposition accounted 41 %. Gaseous N deposition comprised over 75 % of the dry deposition, and the proportion of oxidized N in dry deposition was equal to the reduced N. Therefore, the results suggest that more stringent regional air pollution control policies are required in the target area and that N deposition is an important nutrient resource from the atmosphere that must be taken into consideration in nutrient management planning of agricultural ecosystems.

  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. 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

  12. Comparing the landscape level perceptual abilities of forest sciurids in fragmented agricultural landscapes*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick A. Zollner

    2000-01-01

    Perceptual range is the maximum distance from which an animal can perceive the presence of remote landscape elements such as patches of habitat. Such perceptual abilities are of interest because they influence the probability that an animal will successfully disperse to a new patch in a landscape. Furthermore, understanding how perceptual range differs between species...

  13. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) as a model system in community, landscape and ecosystem ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David; Belnap, Jayne; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea; Escolar, Cristina; Soliveres, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    Model systems have had a profound influence on the development of ecological theory and general principles. Compared to alternatives, the most effective models share some combination of the following characteristics: simpler, smaller, faster, general, idiosyncratic or manipulable. We argue that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) have unique combinations of these features that should be more widely exploited in community, landscape and ecosystem ecology. In community ecology, biocrusts are elucidating the importance of biodiversity and spatial pattern for maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality due to their manipulability in experiments. Due to idiosyncrasies in their modes of facilitation and competition, biocrusts have led to new models on the interplay between environmental stress and biotic interactions and on the maintenance of biodiversity by competitive processes. Biocrusts are perhaps one of the best examples of micro-landscapes—real landscapes that are small in size. Although they exhibit varying patch heterogeneity, aggregation, connectivity and fragmentation, like macro-landscapes, they are also compatible with well-replicated experiments (unlike macro-landscapes). In ecosystem ecology, a number of studies are imposing small-scale, low cost manipulations of global change or state factors in biocrust micro-landscapes. The versatility of biocrusts to inform such disparate lines of inquiry suggests that they are an especially useful model system that can enable researchers to see ecological principles more clearly and quickly.

  14. Distribution and abundance of bee forage flora across an agricultural landscape – railway embankments vs. road verges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Wrzesień

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we evaluated if railway embankments and road verges create refuge habitats for bee flora across agricultural landscape. The survey was conducted in 2009–2012, in the Lublin Province, SE Poland. Data on the bee forage flora were obtained while making floristic charts along 60 transect plots × 300 m, with a total length of 18 000 m, for each type of linear structure. Forage bee flora was compared with respect to species richness, diversity, and evenness indices. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA was used to characterize relationship between species composition and environmental variables. The bee forage species richness and abundance were significantly greater on railway embankments than on road verges. The composition of species varied considerably; the number of bee forage species common to both habitats was only approximately 38% in entire data set. Most good-value bee forage species were recorded along the embankments of railways with an intermediate traffic volume. Bee forage species diversity benefits from the location of habitat elements (forests or meadows, primarily if the distance is <50 m. The lack of dense patches of valuable bee forage species in the road verges was related to the high density of non-nectariferous graminoids. Our results demonstrate how the value of man-made areas in an agricultural ecosystem can vary with respect to floral resources across the landscape, suggesting that it is inappropriate to generalize about agricultural systems as a whole without first addressing differences among habitats.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Tackling soil degradation and environmental changes in Lake Manyara Basin, Tanzania to support sustainable landscape/ecosystem management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munishi, Linus; Mtei, Kelvin; Bode, Samuel; Dume, Bayu; Navas, Ana; Nebiyu, Amsalu; Semmens, Brice; Smith, Hugh; Stock, Brian; Boeckx, Pascal; Blake, Will

    2017-04-01

    The Lake Manyara Basin (LMB), which encompasses Lake Manyara National Park a world ranking World Biosphere Reserve, is of great ecological and socio-economic value because it hosts a small-holder rain fed and extensive irrigation agriculture, grazing grounds for pastoralists, terrestrial and aquatic habitat for wildlife and tourism business contributing to poverty alleviation. Despite these multiple ecosystem services that support the local communities, the LMB is threatened by; (a) siltation from eroded soil fed from the wider catchment and rift escarpment of the basin and (b) declining water levels due to water capture by agriculture and possibly climate change. These threats to the ecosystem and its services are augmented by increasing human population, pollution by agricultural pesticides, poaching, human encroachment and infrastructure development, and illegal fisheries. Despite these challenges, here is a dearth of information on erosion hotspots and to date soil erosion and siltation problems in LMB have been interpreted largely in qualitative terms, and no coherent interpretative framework of these records exists. Despite concerns that modern sediment fluxes to the Lake may exceed long-term fluxes, little is known about erosion sources, how erosion rates and processes vary across the landscape and how erosion rates are influenced by the strong climate gradients in the basin. This contribution describes a soil erosion and sediment management project that aims to deliver a demonstration dataset generated from inter-disciplinary sediment-source tracing technologies and approaches to assess erosion hotspots, processes and spatial patterns of erosion in the area. The work focuses on a sub basin, the Monduli Sub catchment, located within the greater LMB. This is part of efforts to establish an understanding of soil erosion and landscape degradation in the basin as a pathway for generating and developing knowledge, building capacity to assist conservationists

  18. Participatory conservation approaches for satoyama, the traditional forest and agricultural landscape of Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobori, Hiromi; Primack, Richard B

    2003-06-01

    The traditional agricultural landscape of Japan, known as satoyama, consists of a mixture of forests, wet rice paddy fields, grasslands, and villages. This landscape supports a great diversity of plant and animal species, many of which are significant to the Japanese culture. The satoyama landscape is currently being rapidly converted to residential and industrial uses in Japan's expanding metropolitan areas, with the local loss of many species. Only 7% of the land in the Yokohama area remains as satoyama. City residents and older farmers have become key participants in programs to protect examples of satoyama. Many urban residents value the experience of participating in agricultural and conservation activities once they are made aware of the threat faced by the satoyama landscape. In one particularly successful program, conservation efforts and fund-raising are linked to "Totoro", an imaginary forest animal featured in a popular animated film.

  19. [Impacts of hydroelectric cascade exploitation on river ecosystem and landscape: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Kun; Deng, Xi; Li, Xue-Ling; Wen, Ping

    2011-05-01

    Hydroelectric cascade exploitation, one of the major ways for exploiting water resources and developing hydropower, not only satisfies the needs of various national economic sectors, but also promotes the socio-economic sustainable development of river basin. unavoidable anthropogenic impacts on the entire basin ecosystem. Based on the process of hydroelectric cascade exploitation and the ecological characteristics of river basins, this paper reviewed the major impacts of hydroelectric cascade exploitation on dam-area ecosystems, river reservoirs micro-climate, riparian ecosystems, river aquatic ecosystems, wetlands, and river landscapes. Some prospects for future research were offered, e.g., strengthening the research of chain reactions and cumulative effects of ecological factors affected by hydroelectric cascade exploitation, intensifying the study of positive and negative ecological effects under the dam networks and their joint operations, and improving the research of successional development and stability of basin ecosystems at different temporal and spatial scales.

  20. Restoring biodiversity and forest ecosystem services in degraded tropical landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Parrotta

    2010-01-01

    Over the past century, an estimated 850 million ha of the world’s tropical forests have been lost or severely degraded, with serious impacts on local and regional biodiversity. A significant proportion of these lands were originally cleared of their forest cover for agricultural development or other economic uses. Today, however, they provide few if any environmental...

  1. Mapping Ecosystem Service Bundles to Detect Distinct Types of Multifunctionality within the Diverse Landscape of the Yangtze River Basin, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingqiao Kong

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The tradeoffs and synergies of ecosystem services are widely discussed and recognized. However, explicit information for understanding and managing the complex relationships of multiple ecosystem services at regional scales is still lacking, which often leads to the degradation of important ecosystem services due to one ecosystem service being enhanced over another. We assessed the biodiversity and the production of nine ESs (ecosystem services across 779 counties in the Yangtze River Basin, the largest basin in China. Then, we mapped the distribution of ES for each county and used correlations and “partitioning around medoids” clustering analysis to assess the existence of ES bundles. We found five distinct types of bundles of ecosystem services spatially agglomerated in the landscape, which could be mainly explained by land use, slope and altitude gradients. Our results also show landscape-scale tradeoffs between provisioning and almost all regulating services (and biodiversity, and synergies among almost all regulating services (and biodiversity. Mapping ecosystem service bundles can identify areas in a landscape where ecosystem management has produced exceptionally desirable or undesirable sets of ecosystem services, and can also provide explicit, tailored information on landscape planning for ecosystem service conservation and the design of payment policies for ecosystem services within diverse landscapes at watershed scales.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindborg, Tobias; Andersson, Eva; Brydsten, Lars; Stroemgren, Maarten; Sohlenius, Gustav; Loefgren, Anders

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-15

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

  4. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. The nexus of population change, agricultural expansion, landscape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    -series landcover mapping for the years 1975, 1990, 2000, 2003, and 2007 with socio-economic variables such as data on agricultural productivity and population parameters to explain the phenomenon of change in the Volta gorge area.

  8. Landscape anthropogenic disturbance in the Mediterranean ecosystem: is the current landscape sustainable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biondi, Guido; D'Andrea, Mirko; Fiorucci, Paolo; Franciosi, Chiara; Lima, Marco

    2013-04-01

    Mediterranean landscape during the last centuries has been subject to strong anthropogenic disturbances who shifted natural vegetation cover in a cultural landscape. Most of the natural forest were destroyed in order to allow cultivation and grazing activities. In the last century, fast growing conifer plantations were introduced in order to increase timber production replacing slow growing natural forests. In addition, after the Second World War most of the grazing areas were changed in unmanaged mediterranean conifer forest frequently spread by fires. In the last decades radical socio economic changes lead to a dramatic abandonment of the cultural landscape. One of the most relevant result of these human disturbances, and in particular the replacement of deciduous forests with coniferous forests, has been the increasing in the number of forest fires, mainly human caused. The presence of conifers and shrubs, more prone to fire, triggered a feedback mechanism that makes difficult to return to the stage of potential vegetation causing huge economic, social and environmental damages. The aim of this work is to investigate the sustainability of the current landscape. A future landscape scenario has been simulated considering the natural succession in absence of human intervention assuming the current fire regime will be unaltered. To this end, a new model has been defined, implementing an ecological succession model coupled with a simply Forest Fire Model. The ecological succession model simulates the vegetation dynamics using a rule-based approach discrete in space and time. In this model Plant Functional Types (PFTs) are used to describe the landscape. Wildfires are randomly ignited on the landscape, and their propagation is simulated using a stochastic cellular automata model. The results show that the success of the natural succession toward a potential vegetation cover is prevented by the frequency of fire spreading. The actual landscape is then unsustainable

  9. Agriculture for improved nutrition: the current research landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Rachel; Hawkes, Corinna; Jeff, Waage; Ferguson, Elaine; Haseen, Farhana; Homans, Hilary; Hussein, Julia; Johnston, Deborah; Marais, Debbi; McNeill, Geraldine; Shankar, Bhavani

    2013-12-01

    Concern about food security and its effect on persistent undernutrition has increased interest in how agriculture could be used to improve nutritional outcomes in developing countries. Yet the evidence base for the impact of agricultural interventions targeted at improved nutrition is currently poor. To map the extent and nature of current and planned research on agriculture for improved nutrition in order to identify gaps where more research might be useful. The research, which was conducted from April to August 2012, involved developing a conceptual framework linking agriculture and nutrition, identifying relevant research projects and programs, devising and populating a "template" with details of the research projects in relation to the conceptual framework, classifying the projects, and conducting a gap analysis. The study identified a large number of research projects covering a broad range of themes and topics. There was a strong geographic focus on sub-Saharan Africa, and many studies were explicitly concerned with nutritional impacts on women and children. Although the study revealed a diverse and growing body of research, it also identified research gaps. Few projects consider the entire evidence chain linking agricultural input or practice to nutritional outcomes. There is comparatively little current research on indirect effects of agriculture on nutrition, or the effect of policies or governance, rather than technical interventions. Most research is focused on undernutrition and small farmer households, and few studies target consumers generally, urban populations, or nutrition-related non-communicable diseases. There is very little work on the cost-effectiveness of agricultural interventions. On the basis of these findings, we make suggestions for research investment and for broader engagement of researchers and disciplines in developing approaches to design and evaluate agricultural programs for improved nutrition.

  10. Land Tenure as a Factor Underlying Agricultural Landscape Changes in Europe: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krčílková Š.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Land tenure is generally considered to be an important factor affecting farming, landscape, and rural development. This paper reviews selected case studies to identify how land tenure influences agricultural landscape changes in Europe. We identified how land tenure information was transformed into variables, grouping these variables into general thematic categories: (1 land rights variables based on references to the type of stakeholders and duration of land occupancy, (2 land structure variables describing general land structure, and (3 behavioural variables dependent on stakeholders’ attitudes, perceptions, and personal values. Each thematic category can be defined on three spatial levels: parcel or production block, stakeholder, and landscape. The results show that the tenure factor is not frequently included into landscape-change studies. When a land tenure factor was part of a given study, it either played a minor role among other drivers of landscape change or, if it influenced significant landscape changes, it had only locally specific effects. Moreover, there were studies with contradictory results and so it is difficult to generalize specific findings. Nevertheless, land tenure is frequently discussed within landscape-change research in relation to land abandonment as well as green services and their connection with the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy.

  11. The lichens in the agricultural landscape of Podlasie, North East Poland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matwiejuk, A.

    2016-01-01

    This paper carries information for diagnosis lichenobiota in the agricultural landscape of Poland NE. The research led to a better understanding of the problem of occurrence of lichens in the agricultural landscape. The functional groups of lichens, which were used to characterize lichen biota taking into account the morphological forms, frequency of occurrence and habitat requirements were determined. The basis for the specification of the more interesting taxa in the study area was to analyze the species composition of lichens in relation to the data on their previous records in rural areas, the degree of recognition in Poland NE and conservation status and threats in the country. (author)

  12. 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

  13. Challenges in integrating the concept of ecosystem services and values in landscape planning, management and decision making

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, de R.S.; Alkemade, J.R.M.; Braat, L.; Hein, L.G.; Willemen, L.L.J.M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite the growing body of literature on ecosystem services, still many challenges remain to structurally integrate ecosystem services in landscape planning, management and design. This paper therefore aims to provide an overview of the challenges involved in applying ecosystem service assessment

  14. 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.

  15. Agricultural Landscape and Pesticide Effects on Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Biological Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Steckel, Sandra J; Williams, Matthew T; Skinner, John A; Tarpy, David R; Meikle, William G; Adamczyk, John; Stewart, Scott D

    2017-06-01

    Sixteen honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies were placed in four different agricultural landscapes to study the effects of agricultural landscape and exposure to pesticides on honey bee health. Colonies were located in three different agricultural areas with varying levels of agricultural intensity (AG areas) and one nonagricultural area (NAG area). Colonies were monitored for their performance and productivity for one year by measuring colony weight changes, brood production, and colony thermoregulation. Palynological and chemical analyses were conducted on the trapped pollen collected from each colony and location. Our results indicate that the landscape's composition significantly affected honey bee colony performance and development. Colony weight and brood production were significantly greater in AG areas compared to the NAG area. Better colony thermoregulation in AG areas' colonies was also observed. The quantities of pesticides measured in the trapped pollen were relatively low compared to their acute toxicity. Unexplained queen and colony losses were recorded in the AG areas, while colony losses because of starvation were observed in the NAG area. Our results indicate that landscape with high urban activity enhances honey bee brood production, with no significant effects on colony weight gain. Our study indicates that agricultural crops provide a valuable resource for honey bee colonies, but there is a trade-off with an increased risk of exposure to pesticides. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  18. Structure and diversity of small mammal communities in agriculture landscape

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Heroldová, Marta; Bryja, Josef; Zejda, J.; Tkadlec, Emil

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 120, č. 2-4 (2007), s. 206-210 ISSN 0167-8809 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/04/2003; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : abundance * agro-ecosystem habitat * Insectivores * Rodents Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.308, year: 2007

  19. Current and historical land use influence soil-based ecosystem services in an urban landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziter, Carly; Turner, Monica G

    2018-04-01

    Urban landscapes are increasingly recognized as providing important ecosystem services (ES) to their occupants. Yet, urban ES assessments often ignore the complex spatial heterogeneity and land-use history of cities. Soil-based services may be particularly susceptible to land-use legacy effects. We studied indicators of three soil-based ES, carbon storage, water quality regulation, and runoff regulation, in a historically agricultural urban landscape and asked (1) How do ES indicators vary with contemporary land cover and time since development? (2) Do ES indicators vary primarily among land-cover classes, within land-cover classes, or within sites? (3) What is the relative contribution of urban land-cover classes to potential citywide ES provision? We measured biophysical indicators (soil carbon [C], available phosphorus [P], and saturated hydraulic conductivity [K s ]) in 100 sites across five land-cover classes, spanning an ~125-year gradient of time since development within each land-cover class. Potential for ES provision was substantial in urban green spaces, including developed land. Runoff regulation services (high K s ) were highest in forests; water quality regulation (low P) was highest in open spaces and grasslands; and open spaces and developed land (e.g., residential yards) had the highest C storage. In developed land covers, both C and P increased with time since development, indicating effects of historical land-use on contemporary ES and trade-offs between two important ES. Among-site differences accounted for a high proportion of variance in soil properties in forests, grasslands, and open space, while residential areas had high within-site variability, underscoring the leverage city residents have to improve urban ES provision. Developed land covers contributed most ES supply at the citywide scale, even after accounting for potential impacts of impervious surfaces. Considering the full mosaic of urban green space and its history is needed to

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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

    Within an agricultural landscape of western Denmark, the carbon dioxide exchange was studied throughout a year (April 1998-March 1999). During the growing season, five eddy correlation systems were operated in parallel over some of the more important crops (winter wheat, winter barley, spring...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Nectar production in oilseeds: Food for pollinators in an agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollinating insects are in decline throughout the world, driven by a combination of factors including the loss of forage resources. The corn- and soybean-dominated agriculture of the Central and Midwestern US produces a landscape relatively devoid of nectar and pollen resources. Introducing specialt...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Previati

    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.

  8. 3D Visualization Tools to Support Soil Management In Relation to Sustainable Agriculture and Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chen

    2017-04-01

    Visualization tools [1][2][6] have been used increasingly as part of information, consultation, and collaboration in relation to issues of global significance. Visualization techniques can be used in a variety of different settings, depending on their association with specific types of decision. Initially, they can be used to improve awareness of the local community and landscape, either individually or in groups [5]. They can also be used to communicate different aspects of change, such as digital soil mapping, ecosystem services and climate change [7][8]. A prototype 3D model was developed to present Tarland Catchment on the North East Scotland which includes 1:25000 soil map data and 1:50000 land capability for agriculture (LCA) data [4]. The model was used to identify issues arising between the growing interest soil monitoring and management, and the potential effects on existing soil characteristics. The online model was also created which can capture user/stakeholder comments they associate with soil features. In addition, people are located physically within the real-world bounds of the current soil management scenario, they can use Augmented Reality to see the scenario overlaid on their immediate surroundings. Models representing alternative soil use and management were used in the virtual landscape theatre (VLT) [3]with electronic voting designed to elicit public aspirations and concerns regarding future soil uses, and to develop scenarios driven by local input. Preliminary findings suggest positive audience responses to the relevance of the inclusion of soil data within a scene when considering questions regarding the impact of land-use change, such as woodland, agricultural land and open spaces. A future development is the use of the prototype virtual environment in a preference survey of scenarios of changes in land use, and in stakeholder consultations on such changes.END Rua, H. and Alvito, P. (2011) Living the past: 3D models, virtual reality and

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study is to illustrate the importance of farm scale heterogeneity on nitrogen (N) losses in agricultural landscapes. Results are exemplified with a chain of N models calculating farm-N balances and distributing the N-surplus to N-losses (volatilisation, denitrification, leaching......) 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...

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dalgaard, T.; Hutchings, N.; Dragosits, U.; Olesen, J.E.; Kjeldsen, C.; Drouet, J.L.; Cellier, P.

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study is to illustrate the importance of farm scale heterogeneity on nitrogen (N) losses in agricultural landscapes. Results are exemplified with a chain of N models calculating farm-N balances and distributing the N-surplus to N-losses (volatilisation, denitrification, leaching) 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.

  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. Norse agriculture in Greenland? Farming in a remote medieval landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Peter Steen

    The aim of the project Norse Farming in Greenland: Agriculture on the edge was to determine whether the Norse farmers actually cultivated crops in Greenland during colonisation in the Viking age and the medieval period. This was investigated by analysing macrofossils extracted from soil samples...... giving information about the local vegetation. Charred grains and threshing waste of barley was found in samples from four sites, strongly indicating that barley was cultivated in Greenland by the Norse farmers. The phosphate analyses showed no sign of any deliberate manuring of the infields as high...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. The impact of systematic landscape conservation planning on ecosystem: Chen Youlan river watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chi-ju

    2017-04-01

    Heraclitus said that "no man ever steps in the same river twice." Everything continues to change. Land use change will keep redefine itself and subject the Earth and humankind to collateral changes. Humankind benefits from ecosystem in many ways. The ecosystem provides people with nutrients, enriches soil with sediment, and sustains all living organisms with water; these benefits are known as ecosystem services. In Taiwan, land use change has impacted ecosystem and biodiversity on various levels. Thus, we took six land use scenarios from 1999 to 2005 in Chen Youlan river watershed as our case study, intending to observe the course of ecosystem and biodiversity changes and the cause of it. Systematic Landscape conservation planning (SLCP) framework can be adopted when designing land use policy to safeguard human interests and ecosystem. This study use SLCP to develop ecosystem services and biodiversity protection strategies. Several strategies were designed by using 1999 to 2005 data as provision to protect the intactness of future ecosystem services and biodiversity. This research explores the potential and possible impacts of different land use protection strategies in the future. It is possible to identify the conservation priority of a certain region by using the Zonation meta-algorithm. This study selects the zonation critical protection area (Joint set of Yushan National Park) as strategy A, B and C. Strategy D takes Yushan National Park as a protected area; unstable hot spots in 1999/03 (Joint set of Yushan National Park) are selected as strategy E. Next, we used Kappa statistical method to find the minimal ecosystem services change and biodiversity hotspots change of the five aforementioned strategies and compared with those from 1999/03. By the Kappa statistical method, we further prioritized the important conservation areas by strategy A, B, C, E in the future. The results can not only serve as management reference for government agencies, but also develop

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Impacts of agricultural irrigation on nearby freshwater ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    A small hydrological basin (Lerma, NE Spain), transformed from its natural state (steppe) to rain-fed agriculture and recently to irrigation agriculture, has been monitored across four seasons of an agricultural year. The goal of this study was to assess how and whether agricultural activities....... In this way, PICT can serve to establish causal linkages between pollutants and the observed biological impacts. The periphyton presented significantly different sensitivities against terbuthylazine through the year in accord with the seasonal application of this herbicide in the crops nowadays....... The sensitivity of already banned herbicides, atrazine and simazine does not display a clear seasonality. The different sensitivities to herbicides were in agreement with the expected exposures scenarios, according to the agricultural calendar, but not with the concentrations measured in water, which altogether...

  19. Population trends of Goričko agricultural landscape birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denac Katarina

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to numerous bird surveys in the past 20 years, the avifauna of Goričko is relatively well known. For some species, the very first national ecological researches were conducted in this area. The article summarizes all bird surveys so far. It presents population trends of farmland species which is one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe. Most of the qualifying species of this habitat that are protected within the Natura 2000 network have suffered a decline at Goričko, specifically Quail Coturnix coturnix, Scops Owl Otus scops, Hoopoe Upupa epops, Woodlark Lullula arborea and White Stork Ciconia ciconia. The number of breeding pairs of the latter has not changed, but its fecundity has decreased. Furthermore, populations of other farmland bird species have decreased, for example Skylark Alauda arvensis, Stonechat Saxicola rubicola, Serin Serinus serinus and Common Linnet Linaria cannabina, as well as butterfly populations and tracts of grassland habitat types. National agricultural and nature conservation policies are evidently inefficient in protecting the biodiversity of Goričko. The most probable cause for bird population decline is agricultural intensification, which manifests itself at Goričko as disappearance and intensification of meadows, land consolidation, degradation of traditional orchards and use of pesticides. As a result of land consolidation hedges, uncultivated strips between fields, individual trees and bushes and minority habitat types are disappearing, whereas the surface of arable fields is increasing. Nature conservation measures performed by the Public Institute Goričko Nature Park with the support of DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia volunteers seem to be efficient, but are spatially and temporally constrained. For this reason, they cannot serve as a substitute for insufficient systemic financing which could be improved by substantive and financial reform of the agri-environmental scheme. Currently, a negligible

  20. Studying fire mitigation strategies in multi-ownership landscapes: balancing the management of fire-dependent ecosystems and fire risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian R. Sturtevant; Brian R. Miranda; Jian Yang; Hong S. He; Eric J. Gustafson; Robert M. Scheller

    2009-01-01

    Public forests are surrounded by land over which agency managers have no control, and whose owners expect the public forest to be a "good neighbor." Fire risk abatement on multi-owner landscapes containing flammable but fire-dependent ecosystems epitomizes the complexities of managing public lands. We report a case study that applies a landscape disturbance...

  1. Support of the landscape amenity function of agriculture and trade liberalisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Kubíčková

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent agricultural policy and trade discussions have given increasing attention to “multifunctionality”, the notion, that agriculture provides multiple outputs that include public goods (such as landscape amenities as well as privately traded commodities. A frequent point of contention is also whether payment for the provision of non-commodity outputs distorts trade by giving domestic farmers a competitive advantage over foreign competitors. The paper reviews some requirements for environmental policy design and the role of property rights for the justification of the development of compensation programs targeted to landscape protection. The second part of the paper illustrates the possibilities, how to use results of Contingent Valuation (CV study of landscape amenity benefits of agriculture to prove eligibility for agri-environmental payments in the case of the Protected Landscape Area White Carpathians (Bílé Karpaty. It is documented in the paper, that Contingent Valuation can provide useful information about genuine concern and overall efficiency of compensation programs as well as people’s views about alternative ethical ends, besides human well-being, that policy makers should take in consideration.

  2. Valuing tradeoffs between agricultural production and ecosystem services in the Heihe River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Z.; Deng, X.; Wu, F.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem services are faced with multiple stress from complex driving factors, such as climate change and human interventions. The Heihe River Basin (HRB), as the second largest inland river basin in China, is a typical semi-arid and arid region with fragile and sensitive ecological environment. For the past decades, agricultural production activities in the basin has affected ecosystem services in different degrees, leading to complex relations among "water-land-climate-ecology-human", in which hydrological process and water resource management is the key. In this context, managing trade-offs among water uses in the river basin to sustain multiple ecosystem services is crucial for healthy ecosystem and sustainable socioeconomic development. In this study, we analyze the trade-offs between different water uses in agricultural production and key ecosystem services in the HRB by applying production frontier analysis, with the aim to explore the potential for managing them. This method traces out joint production frontiers showing the combinations of ecosystem services and agricultural production that can be generated in a given area, and it deals with the economic problem of the allocation of scarce water resources under presumed objective, which aims to highlight synergies and reduce trade-offs between alternative water uses. Thus, management schemes that targets to both sustain agricultural production and increase the provision of key ecosystem services have to consider not only the technological or biological nature of interrelationships, but also the economic interdependencies among them.

  3. Harnessing landscape heterogeneity for managing future disturbance risks in forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidl, Rupert; Albrich, Katharina; Thom, Dominik; Rammer, Werner

    2018-01-01

    In order to prevent irreversible impacts of climate change on the biosphere it is imperative to phase out the use of fossil fuels. Consequently, the provisioning of renewable resources such as timber and biomass from forests is an ecosystem service of increasing importance. However, risk factors such as changing disturbance regimes are challenging the continuous provisioning of ecosystem services, and are thus a key concern in forest management. We here used simulation modeling to study different risk management strategies in the context of timber production under changing climate and disturbance regimes, focusing on a 8127 ha forest landscape in the Northern Front Range of the Alps in Austria. We show that under a continuation of historical management, disturbances from wind and bark beetles increase by +39.5% on average over 200 years in response to future climate change. Promoting mixed forests and climate-adapted tree species as well as increasing management intensity effectively reduced future disturbance risk. Analyzing the spatial patterns of disturbance on the landscape, we found a highly uneven distribution of risk among stands (Gini coefficients up to 0.466), but also a spatially variable effectiveness of silvicultural risk reduction measures. This spatial variability in the contribution to and control of risk can be used to inform disturbance management: Stands which have a high leverage on overall risk and for which risks can effectively be reduced (24.4% of the stands in our simulations) should be a priority for risk mitigation measures. In contrast, management should embrace natural disturbances for their beneficial effects on biodiversity in areas which neither contribute strongly to landscape-scale risk nor respond positively to risk mitigation measures (16.9% of stands). We here illustrate how spatial heterogeneity in forest landscapes can be harnessed to address both positive and negative effects of changing natural disturbance regimes in

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Misha Leong

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kros, J., E-mail: hans.kros@wur.nl [Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Frumau, K.F.A.; Hensen, A. [Energy Research Centre of The Netherlands, P.O. Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Vries, W. de [Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Environmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2011-11-15

    The integrated modelling system INITIATOR was applied to a landscape in the northern part of the Netherlands to assess current nitrogen fluxes to air and water and the impact of various agricultural measures on these fluxes, using spatially explicit input data on animal numbers, land use, agricultural management, meteorology and soil. Average model results on NH{sub 3} deposition and N concentrations in surface water appear to be comparable to observations, but the deviation can be large at local scale, despite the use of high resolution data. Evaluated measures include: air scrubbers reducing NH{sub 3} emissions from poultry and pig housing systems, low protein feeding, reduced fertilizer amounts and low-emission stables for cattle. Low protein feeding and restrictive fertilizer application had the largest effect on both N inputs and N losses, resulting in N deposition reductions on Natura 2000 sites of 10% and 12%, respectively. - Highlights: > We model nitrogen fluxes and the impact of agricultural measures in a rural landscape. > Average model results appear to be comparable to observations. > The measures low protein feeding and restrictive fertilizer application had the largest effect. - Effects of agricultural management on N losses to air and water are evaluated at landscape scale combining a model assessment and measurements.

  6. Simple landscape modifications for pollinator and arthropod natural enemy enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beneficial arthropods which play an important role in providing ecosystem services (pollination and pest control) have come under threat as a result of intensive agricultural practices and simplification of habitats. Ecological intensification in agricultural landscapes by diversifying the habitat r...

  7. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A; Cousins, Stephen R; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yavercovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon W; Peterschmitt, Michel; Malmstrom, Carolyn M; Martin, Darren P; Roumagnac, Philippe

    2018-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine relationships between agricultural land use and distributions of plant-associated viruses in two Mediterranean-climate biodiversity hotspots (Western Cape region of South Africa and Rhône river delta region of France). In total, we analysed 1725 geo-referenced plant samples collected over two years from 4.5 × 4.5 km 2 grids spanning farmlands and adjacent uncultivated vegetation. We found substantial virus prevalence (25.8-35.7%) in all ecosystems, but prevalence and identified family-level virus diversity were greatest in cultivated areas, with some virus families displaying strong agricultural associations. Our survey revealed 94 previously unknown virus species, primarily from uncultivated plants. This is the first effort to systematically evaluate plant-associated viromes across broad agro-ecological interfaces. Our findings indicate that agriculture substantially influences plant virus distributions and highlight the extent of current ignorance about the diversity and roles of viruses in nature.

  8. Ecosystem Warming Affects CO2 Flux in an Agricultural Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Global warming seems likely based on present-day climate predictions. Our objective was to characterize and quantify the interactive effects of ecosystem warming (i.e., canopy temperature, TS), soil moisture content ('S) and microbial biomass (BM: bacteria, fungi) on the intra-row soil CO2 flux (FS)...

  9. Landscape challenges to ecosystem thinking: Creative flood and drought in the American Southwest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart G. Fisher

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Stream ecology is undergoing a transition from ecosystem to landscape science. This change is reflected in many studies; work at Sycamore Creek in Arizona will be used to illustrate the challenges of this transition and several applications. Conceptual challenges involve clear determination of the organization of research objectives. Ecosystem science is largely concerned with how things work while landscape ecology focuses on the influence of spatial pattern and heterogeneity on system functioning. Questions of system scale, hierarchical structure, dimensionality, and currency must be resolved in order to productively execute research objectives. The new stream ecology is more integrative, more realistic spatially, deals with streams at a larger scale, and treats them as branched system more than former approaches. At Sycamore Creek, studies of sand bar patches and their influence on organisms and nutrient cycling illustrate how variations in patch shape and configuration can alter system outputs. Beyond sandbars, inclusion of riparian zones as integral parts of streams produces a more coherent view of nutrient dynamics than previous studies that began at the water´s edge. Integration of streams with the landscape they drain requires that streams be viewed as branched structures, not linear systems. This view in ecology is in its infancy but it provides an opportunity to identify processing hot spots along flow paths and to reveal presumptive effects of climate change in terms of spatial shifts in biogeochemical activity rather than black-box rate changes.

  10. [Dynamic changes of land desertification landscape pattern in agriculture and pasturage interlaced zone of northern Shaanxi].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Ke-Li; Chang, Qing-Rui

    2007-09-01

    By using the 1986, 1993 and 2003 Landsat TM images and with the help of GIS, the dynamic changes of land desertification landscape pattern in agriculture and pasturage interlaced zone of northern Shaanxi in 1986-2003 were analyzed. The results showed that in the past 17 years, the desertification area in the zone decreased by 206,655.2 hm2, with the patches in landscape structure reduced and fragmentation abated. Fortunately, the desertification degree decreased obviously, and moderate and light desertification took the leading position. From 1986 to 2003, the spatial centroid of desertification landscape patches expanded southwestward and northeastward, giving serious threat to the ecological safety of the southeast and northeast loess gully and hilly areas.

  11. Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 with Rapidly Changing High Arctic Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmerton, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    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 two magnitudes 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 southern 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 substantially, climate-related changes of dry high Arctic landscapes may be restricted by poor soil moisture retention, and therefore have some inertia against

  12. A phase transition induces chaos in a predator-prey ecosystem with a dynamic fitness landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilpin, William; Feldman, Marcus W

    2017-07-01

    In many ecosystems, natural selection can occur quickly enough to influence the population dynamics and thus future selection. This suggests the importance of extending classical population dynamics models to include such eco-evolutionary processes. Here, we describe a predator-prey model in which the prey population growth depends on a prey density-dependent fitness landscape. We show that this two-species ecosystem is capable of exhibiting chaos even in the absence of external environmental variation or noise, and that the onset of chaotic dynamics is the result of the fitness landscape reversibly alternating between epochs of stabilizing and disruptive selection. We draw an analogy between the fitness function and the free energy in statistical mechanics, allowing us to use the physical theory of first-order phase transitions to understand the onset of rapid cycling in the chaotic predator-prey dynamics. We use quantitative techniques to study the relevance of our model to observational studies of complex ecosystems, finding that the evolution-driven chaotic dynamics confer community stability at the "edge of chaos" while creating a wide distribution of opportunities for speciation during epochs of disruptive selection-a potential observable signature of chaotic eco-evolutionary dynamics in experimental studies.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Pollination ecosystem services in South African agricultural systems

    OpenAIRE

    Annalie Melin; Mathieu Rouget; Jeremy J. Midgley; John S. Donaldson

    2014-01-01

    Insect pollinators, both managed and wild, have become a focus of global scientific, political and media attention because of their apparent decline and the perceived impact of this decline on crop production. Crop pollination by insects is an essential ecosystem service that increases the yield and quality of approximately 35% of crops worldwide. Pollinator declines are a consequence of multiple environmental pressures, e.g. habitat transformation and fragmentation, loss of floral resources,...

  16. The behavior of radioactive cerium in agricultural ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhong Weiliang; Wang Shouxiang; Chen Chuanqun; Zhang Yongxi; Sun Zhiming

    1995-12-01

    Studies on the transport, accumulation, and distribution of 141 Ce in simulated paddy and simulated aquatic ecosystem were done. The results are as follows: (1) The concentration of 141 Ce in water decreased sharply when 141 Ce was put into the paddy through water. The uptake of 141 Ce by rice was mainly via root, and redistribution in all parts of rice occurred consequently. 141 Ce which was rapidly and almost completely adsorbed by soil could not move readily through the soil, and over 93 percent of that was retained within 4 centimeter of the surface layer. The dynamic behavior of 141 Ce in the paddy could be described as a closed three-compartment model. (2) After 141 Ce was put into the aquatic ecosystem, the adsorption, condensation, complexation and deposit of 141 Ce were quickly generated by physical and chemical processes, and then most of that was adsorbed by silt, aquatic plants and animals. Silt had a great capability of adsorbing 141 Ce. The concentration capability of aquatic for 141 Ce have the order of: hoenwort>snail>fish. A closed five-compartment model was applied to describe the behavior of 141 Ce in the aquatic ecosystem. (9 refs., 2 figs., 7 tabs.)

  17. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayer, Jeffrey; Sunderland, Terry; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Pfund, Jean-Laurent; Sheil, Douglas; Meijaard, Erik; Venter, Michelle; Boedhihartono, Agni Klintuni; Day, Michael; Garcia, Claude; van Oosten, Cora; Buck, Louise E.

    2013-01-01

    Landscape approaches” seek to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, mining, and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. Here we synthesize the current consensus on landscape approaches. This is based on published literature and a consensus-building process to define good practice and is validated by a survey of practitioners. We find the landscape approach has been refined in response to increasing societal concerns about environment and development tradeoffs. Notably, there has been a shift from conservation-orientated perspectives toward increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals. We provide 10 summary principles to support implementation of a landscape approach as it is currently interpreted. These principles emphasize adaptive management, stakeholder involvement, and multiple objectives. Various constraints are recognized, with institutional and governance concerns identified as the most severe obstacles to implementation. We discuss how these principles differ from more traditional sectoral and project-based approaches. Although no panacea, we see few alternatives that are likely to address landscape challenges more effectively than an approach circumscribed by the principles outlined here. PMID:23686581

  19. 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.

  20. The Effect of Landscape Composition on the Abundance of Laodelphax striatellus Fallén in Fragmented Agricultural Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhanyu Liu

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The spatial distribution of crop and non-crop habitats over segmented agricultural landscapes could be used as a means to reduce insect pest populations. Seven land cover categories such as wheat, rapeseed, vegetable, water, built-up, paved road, and unsurfaced road were extracted from GeoEye satellite images dating from late May to late June of 2010. Three diversity metrics and three evenness metrics were estimated from the abovementioned land cover categories for quantifying the effect of landscape composition on nymphal and adult Laodelphax striatellus Fallén. The degree of correlation between the proportion of crop cover and adjacent spatial scales (r: 0.651–0.983 was higher than the correlation between the proportion of crop cover and nonadjacent spatial scales (r: −0.255–0.896. While the degree of correlation between diversity indices and abundance of L. striatellus decreased gradually when the spatial scales varied from large (>100 m radius buffer to small (<100 m. Our study suggests that when using natural biological pest control and ecological engineering practices in the rural-urban fringes, the crop field’s width should be less than 200 m and increasing vegetation diversity within such a scale will be helpful to regulate the insect pests under a certain density.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    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 (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 semi-arid 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Emerging methods for the study of coastal ecosystem landscape structure and change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, John C.; Danielson, Jeffrey J.; Purkis, Sam

    2013-01-01

    Coastal landscapes are heterogeneous, dynamic, and evolve over a range of time scales due to intertwined climatic, geologic, hydrologic, biologic, and meteorological processes, and are also heavily impacted by human development, commercial activities, and resource extraction. A diversity of complex coastal systems around the globe, spanning glaciated shorelines to tropical atolls, wetlands, and barrier islands are responding to multiple human and natural drivers. Interdisciplinary research based on remote-sensing observations linked to process studies and models is required to understand coastal ecosystem landscape structure and change. Moreover, new techniques for coastal mapping and monitoring are increasingly serving the needs of policy-makers and resource managers across local, regional, and national scales. Emerging remote-sensing methods associated with a diversity of instruments and platforms are a key enabling element of integrated coastal ecosystem studies. These investigations require both targeted and synoptic mapping, and involve the monitoring of formative processes such as hydrodynamics, sediment transport, erosion, accretion, flooding, habitat modification, land-cover change, and biogeochemical fluxes.

  5. Existing agricultural ecosystem in China leads to environmental pollution: an econometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hongdou, Lei; Shiping, Li; Hao, Li

    2018-06-17

    Sustainable agriculture ensures food security and prevents starvation. However, the need to meet the increasing food demands of the growing population has led to poor and unsustainable agricultural practices, which promote environmental degradation. Given the contributions of agricultural ecosystems to environmental pollution, we investigated the impact of the agricultural ecosystem on environmental pollution in China using time series data from 1960 to 2014. We employed several methods for econometric analysis including the unit root test, Johansen test of cointegration, Granger causality test, and vector error correction model. Evidence based on the long-run elasticity indicates that a 1% increase in the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) equivalent to nitrous oxide from synthetic fertilizers will increase the emissions of CO 2 by 1.52% in the long run. Similarly, a 1% increase in the area of harvested rice paddy, cereal production, biomass of burned crop residues, and agricultural GDP will increase the carbon dioxide emissions by 0.85, 0.63, 0.37, and 0.22%, respectively. The estimated results indicate that there are long-term equilibrium relationships among the selected variables considered for the agricultural ecosystem and carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, we identified bidirectional causal associations between CO 2 emissions, biomass of burned crop residues, and cereal production. Graphical abstract ᅟ.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    Urbanization and agricultural intensification of landscapes are important drivers of global change, which in turn have direct impacts on local ecological communities leading to shifts in species distributions and interactions. Here, we illustrate how human-altered landscapes, with novel ornamental and crop plant communities, result not only in changes to local community diversity of floral-dependent species, but also in shifts in seasonal abundance of bee pollinators. Three years of data on the spatio-temporal distributions of 91 bee species show that seasonal patterns of abundance and species richness in human-altered landscapes varied significantly less compared to natural habitats in which floral resources are relatively scarce in the dry summer months. These findings demonstrate that anthropogenic environmental changes in urban and agricultural systems, here mediated through changes in plant resources and water inputs, can alter the temporal dynamics of pollinators that depend on them. Changes in phenology of interactions can be an important, though frequently overlooked, mechanism of global change. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Linking biogeomorphic feedbacks from ecosystem engineer to landscape scale: a panarchy approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichel, Jana

    2017-04-01

    Scale is a fundamental concept in both ecology and geomorphology. Therefore, scale-based approaches are a valuable tool to bridge the disciplines and improve the understanding of feedbacks between geomorphic processes, landforms, material and organisms and ecological processes in biogeomorphology. Yet, linkages between biogeomorphic feedbacks on different scales, e.g. between ecosystem engineering and landscape scale patterns and dynamics, are not well understood. A panarchy approach sensu Holling et al. (2002) can help to close this research gap and explain how structure and function are created in biogeomorphic ecosystems. Based on results from previous biogeomorphic research in Turtmann glacier foreland (Switzerland; Eichel, 2017; Eichel et al. 2013, 2016), a panarchy concept is presented for lateral moraine slope biogeomorphic ecosystems. It depicts biogeomorphic feedbacks on different spatiotemporal scales as a set of nested adaptive cycles and links them by 'remember' and 'revolt' connections. On a small scale (cm2 - m2; seconds to years), the life cycle of the ecosystem engineer Dryas octopetala L. is considered as an adaptive cycle. Biogeomorphic succession within patches created by geomorphic processes represents an intermediate scale adaptive cycle (m2 - ha, years to decades), while geomorphic and ecologic pattern development at a landscape scale (ha - km2, decades to centuries) can be illustrated by an adaptive cycle of ‚biogeomorphic patch dynamics' (Eichel, 2017). In the panarchy, revolt connections link the smaller scale adaptive cycles to larger scale cycles: on lateral moraine slopes, the development of ecosystem engineer biomass and cover controls the engineering threshold of the biogeomorphic feedback window (Eichel et al., 2016) and therefore the onset of the biogeomorphic phase during biogeomorphic succession. In this phase, engineer patches and biogeomorphic structures can be created in the patch mosaic of the landscape. Remember connections

  8. Using social media photos to explore the relation between cultural ecosystem services and landscape features across five European sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Martín-López, Berta; Fagerholm, Nora

    2018-01-01

    Cultural ecosystem services, such as aesthetic and recreational enjoyment, as well as sense of place and local identity, play an outstanding role in the contribution of landscapes to human well-being. Online data shared on social networks, particularly geo-tagged photos, are becoming an increasin......Cultural ecosystem services, such as aesthetic and recreational enjoyment, as well as sense of place and local identity, play an outstanding role in the contribution of landscapes to human well-being. Online data shared on social networks, particularly geo-tagged photos, are becoming...... with mountain areas (terrestrial recreation) and with water bodies (aquatic recreation). Cultural heritage, social and spiritual values were particularly attached to landscapes with woodpastures and grasslands, as well as urban features and infrastructures, i.e. to more anthropogenic landscapes. A positive...

  9. Mapping environmental land use conflict potentials and ecosystem services in agricultural watersheds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ilkwon; Arnhold, Sebastian

    2018-07-15

    In mountainous watersheds, agricultural land use cause changes in ecosystem services, with trade-offs between crop production and erosion regulation. Management of these watersheds can generate environmental land use conflicts among regional stakeholders with different interests. Although several researches have made a start in mapping land use conflicts between human activities and conservation, spatial assessment of land use conflicts on environmental issues and ecosystem service trade-offs within agricultural areas has not been fully considered. In this study, we went further to map land use conflicts between agricultural preferences for crop production and environmental emphasis on erosion regulation. We applied an agricultural land suitability index, based on multi-criteria analysis, to estimate the spatial preference of agricultural activities, while applying the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to reflect the environmental importance of soil erosion. Then, we classified the agricultural catchment into four levels of land use conflicts (lowest, low, high and highest) according to preference and importance of farmland areas, and we compared the classes by crop type. Soil loss in agricultural areas was estimated as 45.1thayr, and agricultural suitability as 0.873; this indicated that land use conflicts in the catchment could arise between severe soil erosion (environmental importance) and agricultural suitability (land preferences). Dry-field farms are mainly located in areas of low land use conflict level, where land preference outweighs environmental importance. When we applied farmland management scenarios with consideration of services, conversion to highest-conflict areas (Scenario 1) as 7.5% of the total area could reduce soil loss by 24.6%, while fallow land management (Scenario 2) could decrease soil loss 19.4% more than the current scenario (Business as usual). The result could maximize land management plans by extracting issues of spatial

  10. Movement of entomophagous arthropods in agricultural landscapes: links to pest suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schellhorn, N A; Bianchi, F J J A; Hsu, C L

    2014-01-01

    Entomophagous arthropods can provide valuable biological control services, but they need to fulfill their life cycle in agricultural landscapes often dominated by ephemeral and disturbed habitats. In this environment, movement is critical to escape from disturbances and to find resources scattered in space and time. Despite considerable research effort in documenting species movement and spatial distribution patterns, the quantification of arthropod movement has been hampered by their small size and the variety of modes of movement that can result in redistribution at different spatial scales. In addition, insight into how movement influences in-field population processes and the associated biocontrol services is limited because emigration and immigration are often confounded with local-scale population processes. More detailed measurements of the habitat functionality and movement processes are needed to better understand the interactions between species movement traits, disturbances, the landscape context, and the potential for entomophagous arthropods to suppress economically important pests.

  11. Fertilia: a European International Cooperation (INCO EU) project for monitoring trace elements in agricultural ecosystems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Marmiroli, N.; Maestri, E.; Mucchino, C.; Antonioli, G.; Marmiroli, M.; Izquierdo, C. G.; Hernandez, T.; Waclawek, W.; Mocko, A.; Bozym, M.; Nowak, A.; Nowak, J.; Večeřa, Zbyněk; Dočekal, Bohumil

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 1 (2001), s. 41-54 ISSN 1120-4826 Grant - others:Copernicus(BE) ERB IC-15-CT98-0124 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4031919 Keywords : monitoring * trace elements * agricultural ecosystems Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 0.207, year: 2001

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Evaluation of Agricultural ecosystem services in fallowing land based on farmers’ participation and model simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Y.L.; Chang, K.T.; Stoorvogel, J.; Verburg, P.H.; Sun, C.H.

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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

  16. Low-Intensity Agricultural Landscapes in Transylvania Support High Butterfly Diversity: Implications for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M. Cristina; Quinn, John; Urgun-Demirtas, Meltem

    2015-01-01

    Current and future demand for food, feed, fiber, and energy require novel approaches to land management, which demands that multifunctional landscapes are created to integrate various ecosystem functions into a sustainable land use. We developed an approach to design such landscapes at a field scale to minimize concerns of land use change, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with production of food and bioenergy. This study leverages concepts of nutrient recovery and phytoremediation to place bioenergy crops on the landscape to recover nutrients released to watersheds by commodity crops. Crop placement is determined by evaluating spatial variability of: 1) soils, 2) surface flow pathways, 3) shallow groundwater flow gradients, 4) subsurface nitrate concentrations, and 5) primary crop yield. A 0.8 ha bioenergy buffer was designed within a 6.5 ha field to intercept concentrated surface flow, capture and use nitrate leachate, and minimize use of productive areas. Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) simulations show that on average, a switchgrass (Panicum Virgatum L.) or willow (Salix spp.) buffer within this catchment according to this design could reduce annual leached NO 3 by 61 or 59% and N 2 O emission by 5.5 or 10.8%, respectively, produce 8.7 or 9.7 Mg ha −1 of biomass respectively, and displace 6.7 Mg ha −1 of corn (Zea mays L.) grain. Therefore, placement of bioenergy crops has the potential to increase environmental sustainability when the pairing of location and crop type result in minimal disruption of current food production systems and provides additional environmental benefits. - Highlights: • Design of a multifunctional landscape by integrating cellulosic biofuel production into an existing agricultural system. • The design does not adversely offset current grain production for bioenergy crops. • Maps of concentrated flow paths, subsurface flow direction, NO 3 –N hotspots, and intra-field corn yield variability.

  19. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox, Anthony David; Heldbjerg, Henning

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Relationships between bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apiformes and flowers in the Bulgarian agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Banaszak Józef

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The species composition and number of visitations of food plants by bees were studied in refuge sites in agricultural landscapes and in selected crops. The habitat fragments of interest are characterised in terms of pollinator diversity at genus level and the use of food plants by individual genera. Trophic and temporal niche overlap is described for individual genera and the honey bee Apis mellifera in different habitat types. Factors influencing the manner of use of individual plant species by pollinating insects are identified

  2. Bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Apiformes in the Agricultural Landscape of Bulgaria: Species Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Banaszak Józef

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Wild bees (Apiformes were studied in 4 crop fields and 8 refuge habitats for 2 - 5 years in agricultural landscapes in the Pleven and Plovdiv regions of Bulgaria. In total, 233 bee species were recorded. Bee forage plants visited by the honey bee and wild Apiformes are listed for each refuge habitat. Species composition is given for individual habitats, including fields of alfalfa (Medicago sativa, oilseed rape (Brassica napus, sunflower (Helianthus annuus, and radish (Raphanus sativus. Species richness and dominance structure of bee communities in the 2 regions are compared, and species responsible for significant differences are identified.

  3. Shifting agriculture: the main cause of landscape degradation in the Central Spanish Pyrenees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasanta, Teodoro; Nadal-Romero, Estela; Errea, Paz

    2017-04-01

    Cereal agriculture occupied large areas in the Spanish Pyrenees to feed the population in a socio-economic system of limited exchanges with the outside. In the Western valleys, shifting agriculture constitutes the dominant field pattern, representing almost three-quarters of the traditional agricultural space (Lasanta et al., in press). These were cultivated at times of heavy population growth, necessitating steep and stony hillsides with poor soil to be tilled, or the ones that were far away from the village. The fields were created by clearing the vegetation from a slope, then burning it to use the ash as a fertilizer. Cereal was grown for 3-4 years, after which they were abandoned for 20-30 years to recover fertility, and the cycle was repeated. Almost all the fields (99%) using shifting agriculture had been abandoned by the 1950s. This study analyzes the role of the shifting agriculture in soil erosion and landscape degradation. For this purpose, (i) experimental plots, which reproduce the traditional agriculture in the Pyrenees and the abandonment processes, and (ii) the cartography made from the SIOSE (2009), which shows the present land cover 50 years after cropland abandonment, were used. The results show that shifting agriculture caused higher soil losses than other agricultural uses (1.36 kg m-2 yr-1): fallow land (0.87 kg m-2 yr-1), chemically fertilized cereal (0.86 kg m-2 yr-1) and meadow (0.14 kg m-2 yr-1). Also, after land abandonment, soil losses are higher in shifting agriculture (0.78 kg m-2 yr-1) than cereal lands (0.73 kg m-2 yr-1). The burning of the shrub cover and the use of ashes as fertilizer did not contribute to improve the soil quality, which explains both the higher soil losses during the cultivated period and after the abandonment, since slower plant succession occurs. The results obtained from the SIOSE confirm that the change from meadows to shrubland is relatively fast, as a consequence of the low relationship with livestock

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-15

    Ecosystems provide the basis for human civilization and natural capital for green economy and sustainable development. Ecosystem services may range from crops, fish, freshwater to those that are harder to see such as erosion regulation, carbon sequestration, and pest control. Land use changes have been identified as the main sources of coastal and marine pollution in Bangladesh. This paper explores the temporal variation of agricultural land use change and its implications with ecosystem services in the Ganges delta. With time agricultural lands have been decreased and wetlands have been increased at a very high rate mainly due to the growing popularity of saltwater shrimp farming. In a span of 28 years, the agricultural lands have been reduced by approximately 50%, while the wetlands have been increased by over 500%. A large portion (nearly 40%) of the study area is covered by the Sundarbans which remained almost constant which can be attributed to the strict regulatory intervention to preserve the Sundarbans. The settlement & others land use type has also been increased to nearly 5%. There is a gradual uptrend of shrimp and fish production in the study area. The findings suggest that there are significant linkages between agricultural land use change and ecosystem services in the Ganges delta in Bangladesh. The continuous decline of agricultural land (due to salinization) and an increase of wetland have been attributed to the conversion of agricultural land into shrimp farming in the study area. Such land use change requires significant capital, therefore, only investors and wealthier land owners can get the higher profit from the land conversion while the poor people is left with the environmental consequences that affect their long-term lives and livelihood. An environmental management plan is proposed for sustainable land use in the Ganges delta in Bangladesh. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Predicted effect of landscape position on wildlife habitat value of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program wetlands in a tile-drained agricultural region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otis, David L.; Crumpton, William R.; Green, David; Loan-Wilsey, Anna; Cooper, Tom; Johnson, Rex R.

    2013-01-01

    Justification for investment in restored or constructed wetland projects are often based on presumed net increases in ecosystem services. However, quantitative assessment of performance metrics is often difficult and restricted to a single objective. More comprehensive performance assessments could help inform decision-makers about trade-offs in services provided by alternative restoration program design attributes. The primary goal of the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is to establish wetlands that efficiently remove nitrates from tile-drained agricultural landscapes. A secondary objective is provision of wildlife habitat. We used existing wildlife habitat models to compare relative net change in potential wildlife habitat value for four alternative landscape positions of wetlands within the watershed. Predicted species richness and habitat value for birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles generally increased as the wetland position moved lower in the watershed. However, predicted average net increase between pre- and post-project value was dependent on taxonomic group. The increased average wetland area and changes in surrounding upland habitat composition among landscape positions were responsible for these differences. Net change in predicted densities of several grassland bird species at the four landscape positions was variable and species-dependent. Predicted waterfowl breeding activity was greater for lower drainage position wetlands. Although our models are simplistic and provide only a predictive index of potential habitat value, we believe such assessment exercises can provide a tool for coarse-level comparisons of alternative proposed project attributes and a basis for constructing informed hypotheses in auxiliary empirical field studies.

  6. Ecosystem N distribution and δ15N during a century of forest regrowth after agricultural abandonment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Compton, J.E.; Hooker, T.D.; Perakis, S.S.

    2007-01-01

    Stable isotope ratios of terrestrial ecosystem nitrogen (N) pools reflect internal processes and input–output balances. Disturbance generally increases N cycling and loss, yet few studies have examined ecosystem δ15N over a disturbance-recovery sequence. We used a chronosequence approach to examine N distribution and δ15N during forest regrowth after agricultural abandonment. Site ages ranged from 10 to 115 years, with similar soils, climate, land-use history, and overstory vegetation (white pine Pinus strobus). Foliar N and δ15N decreased as stands aged, consistent with a progressive tightening of the N cycle during forest regrowth on agricultural lands. Over time, foliar δ15N became more negative, indicating increased fractionation along the mineralization–mycorrhizal–plant uptake pathway. Total ecosystem N was constant across the chronosequence, but substantial internal N redistribution occurred from the mineral soil to plants and litter over 115 years (>25% of ecosystem N or 1,610 kg ha−1). Temporal trends in soil δ15N generally reflected a redistribution of depleted N from the mineral soil to the developing O horizon. Although plants and soil δ15N are coupled over millennial time scales of ecosystem development, our observed divergence between plants and soil suggests that they can be uncoupled during the disturbance-regrowth sequence. The approximate 2‰ decrease in ecosystem δ15N over the century scale suggests significant incorporation of atmospheric N, which was not detected by traditional ecosystem N accounting. Consideration of temporal trends and disturbance legacies can improve our understanding of the influence of broader factors such as climate or N deposition on ecosystem N balances and δ15N.

  7. Quantifying resilience of multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity in a temperate forest landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarello, Elena; Newton, Adrian C; Martin, Philip A; Evans, Paul M; Gosal, Arjan; Lucash, Melissa S

    2017-11-01

    Resilience is increasingly being considered as a new paradigm of forest management among scientists, practitioners, and policymakers. However, metrics of resilience to environmental change are lacking. Faced with novel disturbances, forests may be able to sustain existing ecosystem services and biodiversity by exhibiting resilience, or alternatively these attributes may undergo either a linear or nonlinear decline. Here we provide a novel quantitative approach for assessing forest resilience that focuses on three components of resilience, namely resistance, recovery, and net change, using a spatially explicit model of forest dynamics. Under the pulse set scenarios, we explored the resilience of nine ecosystem services and four biodiversity measures following a one-off disturbance applied to an increasing percentage of forest area. Under the pulse + press set scenarios, the six disturbance intensities explored during the pulse set were followed by a continuous disturbance. We detected thresholds in net change under pulse + press scenarios for the majority of the ecosystem services and biodiversity measures, which started to decline sharply when disturbance affected >40% of the landscape. Thresholds in net change were not observed under the pulse scenarios, with the exception of timber volume and ground flora species richness. Thresholds were most pronounced for aboveground biomass, timber volume with respect to the ecosystem services, and ectomycorrhizal fungi and ground flora species richness with respect to the biodiversity measures. Synthesis and applications . The approach presented here illustrates how the multidimensionality of stability research in ecology can be addressed and how forest resilience can be estimated in practice. Managers should adopt specific management actions to support each of the three components of resilience separately, as these may respond differently to disturbance. In addition, management interventions aiming to deliver resilience

  8. Use of the ecosystem services concept in landscape management in the Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wensem, Joke

    2013-04-01

    Increasing reference to the ecosystem services (ES) concept is made in publications on the need to use natural resources sustainably, to protect and enhance biodiversity, and to alleviate poverty in developing countries. To examine the significance of the concept in densely populated industrialized countries, this case study investigates its use in several sustainable landscape management projects in the Netherlands. Guidance by the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity project (TEEB) for local and regional policy and management serves as a reference. The projects studied show that the ES concept is seen as a tool for enhancing biodiversity, creating more sustainable regional development plans, supporting better spatial-planning decisions on soil sealing, and, most importantly, for getting the involvement of much broader stakeholder groups--not just to make better decisions, but also to attract more funding for the plans. Not only does the Netherlands have a high demand for various ecosystem services and a desire for multifunctional land use, it also has a long tradition of consensus-seeking. As a result, "Dutch practice" is complex and involves many different stakeholders. Because of increasing recognition of the role ecosystem services play in enhancing the visibility of natural resources in decision making, the ES concept seems to be gaining a foothold. However, the number of projects is still limited, and neither the use of the methods nor the results are monitored. So far, this has made it impossible to say whether the approach leads to more sustainable decisions-in other words, to the better protection and management of natural resources. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  9. 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.

  10. Mapping and determinism of soil microbial community distribution across an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constancias, Florentin; Terrat, Sébastien; Saby, Nicolas P A; Horrigue, Walid; Villerd, Jean; Guillemin, Jean-Philippe; Biju-Duval, Luc; Nowak, Virginie; Dequiedt, Samuel; Ranjard, Lionel; Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré, Nicolas

    2015-06-01

    Despite the relevance of landscape, regarding the spatial patterning of microbial communities and the relative influence of environmental parameters versus human activities, few investigations have been conducted at this scale. Here, we used a systematic grid to characterize the distribution of soil microbial communities at 278 sites across a monitored agricultural landscape of 13 km². Molecular microbial biomass was estimated by soil DNA recovery and bacterial diversity by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Geostatistics provided the first maps of microbial community at this scale and revealed a heterogeneous but spatially structured distribution of microbial biomass and diversity with patches of several hundreds of meters. Variance partitioning revealed that both microbial abundance and bacterial diversity distribution were highly dependent of soil properties and land use (total variance explained ranged between 55% and 78%). Microbial biomass and bacterial richness distributions were mainly explained by soil pH and texture whereas bacterial evenness distribution was mainly related to land management. Bacterial diversity (richness, evenness, and Shannon index) was positively influenced by cropping intensity and especially by soil tillage, resulting in spots of low microbial diversity in soils under forest management. Spatial descriptors also explained a small but significant portion of the microbial distribution suggesting that landscape configuration also shapes microbial biomass and bacterial diversity. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. A landscape genetic analysis of important agricultural pest species in Tunisia: The whitefly Bemisia tabaci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Ben Abdelkrim

    Full Text Available Combining landscape ecology and genetics provides an excellent framework to appreciate pest population dynamics and dispersal. The genetic architectures of many species are always shaped by environmental constraints. Because little is known about the ecological and genetic traits of Tunisian whitefly populations, the main objective of this work is to highlight patterns of biodiversity, genetic structure and migration routes of this pest. We used nuclear microsatellite loci to analyze B. tabaci populations collected from various agricultural areas across the country and we determine their biotype status. Molecular data were subsequently interpreted in an ecological context supplied from a species distribution model to infer habitat suitability and hereafter the potential connection paths between sampling localities. An analysis of landscape resistance to B. tabaci genetic flow was thus applied to take into account habitat suitability, genetic relatedness and functional connectivity of habitats within a varied landscape matrix. We shed light on the occurrence of three geographically delineated genetic groups with high levels of genetic differentiation within each of them. Potential migration corridors of this pest were then established providing significant advances toward the understanding of genetic features and the dynamic dispersal of this pest. This study supports the hypothesis of a long-distance dispersal of B. tabaci followed by infrequent long-term isolations. The Inference of population sources and colonization routes is critical for the design and implementation of accurate management strategies against this pest.

  12. A landscape genetic analysis of important agricultural pest species in Tunisia: The whitefly Bemisia tabaci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Abdelkrim, Ahmed; Hattab, Tarek; Fakhfakh, Hatem; Belkadhi, Mohamed Sadok; Gorsane, Faten

    2017-01-01

    Combining landscape ecology and genetics provides an excellent framework to appreciate pest population dynamics and dispersal. The genetic architectures of many species are always shaped by environmental constraints. Because little is known about the ecological and genetic traits of Tunisian whitefly populations, the main objective of this work is to highlight patterns of biodiversity, genetic structure and migration routes of this pest. We used nuclear microsatellite loci to analyze B. tabaci populations collected from various agricultural areas across the country and we determine their biotype status. Molecular data were subsequently interpreted in an ecological context supplied from a species distribution model to infer habitat suitability and hereafter the potential connection paths between sampling localities. An analysis of landscape resistance to B. tabaci genetic flow was thus applied to take into account habitat suitability, genetic relatedness and functional connectivity of habitats within a varied landscape matrix. We shed light on the occurrence of three geographically delineated genetic groups with high levels of genetic differentiation within each of them. Potential migration corridors of this pest were then established providing significant advances toward the understanding of genetic features and the dynamic dispersal of this pest. This study supports the hypothesis of a long-distance dispersal of B. tabaci followed by infrequent long-term isolations. The Inference of population sources and colonization routes is critical for the design and implementation of accurate management strategies against this pest.

  13. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Impacts of Nitrogen and Phosphorus: From Genomes to Natural Ecosystems and Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maïté S. Guignard

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogen (N and/or phosphorus (P availability can limit growth of primary producers across most of the world's aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. These constraints are commonly overcome in agriculture by applying fertilizers to improve yields. However, excessive anthropogenic N and P inputs impact natural environments and have far-reaching ecological and evolutionary consequences, from individual species up to entire ecosystems. The extent to which global N and P cycles have been perturbed over the past century can be seen as a global fertilization experiment with significant redistribution of nutrients across different ecosystems. Here we explore the effects of N and P availability on stoichiometry and genomic traits of organisms, which, in turn, can influence: (i plant and animal abundances; (ii trophic interactions and population dynamics; and (iii ecosystem dynamics and productivity of agricultural crops. We articulate research priorities for a deeper understanding of how bioavailable N and P move through the environment and exert their ultimate impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  15. 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) cereals that are true accumulators of Cs-137 seem to be useless for phytoremediation purposes, as 86-97% of the radionuclide inventory is associated with roots and remains in soil after cutting of aboveground parts. On the other hand, galega and amaranth could be considered as agricultural crops potentially being used for phytoremediation, since 87-93% of Cs-137 inventory is located in shoots. Potatoes having rather high aboveground biomass and easily removed from soil underground part could be also used for phytoremediation. However, it should be clearly understood that in total Cs-137 inventory in "soil-plant" system the annual amount of the radionuclide's consumption (that may be alienated when harvesting) is less than 0.01%, while the rate of Cs-137

  16. Vegetative and structural characteristics of agricultural drainages in the Mississippi Delta landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bouldin, J.L.; Farris, J.L.; Moore, M.T.; Cooper, C.M.

    2004-01-01

    Agricultural drainage ditches in the Mississippi Alluvial Delta landscape vary from edge-of-field waterways to sizeable drainages. Ditch attributes vary with size, location and maintenance and may aid in mitigation of contaminants from agricultural fields. The goal of this study was to better understand how vegetative characteristics affect water quality in conveyance structures in the context of ditch class and surrounding land use. Characterization of 36 agricultural ditches included presence of riparian buffer strips, water depth, surrounding land use, vegetative cover, and associated aqueous physicochemical parameters. Vegetation was assessed quantitatively, obtaining stem counts in a sub-sample of ditch sites, using random quadrat method. Physical features varied with ditch size and vegetative diversity was higher in larger structures. Polygonum sp. was the dominant bed vegetation and was ubiquitous among site sizes. Macrophytes varied from aquatic to upland species, and included Leersia sp. and upland grasses (Poaceae family) in all drainage size classes. Percent cover of bed and bank varied from 0 to 100% and 70 to 100%, respectively, and highest nutrient values were measured in sites with no buffer strips. These conveyance structures and surrounding buffer zones are being ranked for their ability to reduce excess nutrients, suspended solids, and pesticides associated with runoff. - Capsule: Vegetated buffer areas provide effective mitigation for non-point source pollution from agriculture

  17. Ecosystem Services Provided by Agricultural Land as Modeled by Broad Scale Geospatial Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokkinidis, Ioannis

    Agricultural ecosystems provide multiple services including food and fiber provision, nutrient cycling, soil retention and water regulation. Objectives of the study were to identify and quantify a selection of ecosystem services provided by agricultural land, using existing geospatial tools and preferably free and open source data, such as the Virginia Land Use Evaluation System (VALUES), the North Carolina Realistic Yield Expectations (RYE) database, and the land cover datasets NLCD and CDL. Furthermore I sought to model tradeoffs between provisioning and other services. First I assessed the accuracy of agricultural land in NLCD and CDL over a four county area in eastern Virginia using cadastral parcels. I uncovered issues concerning the definition of agricultural land. The area and location of agriculture saw little change in the 19 years studied. Furthermore all datasets have significant errors of omission (11.3 to 95.1%) and commission (0 to 71.3%). Location of agriculture was used with spatial crop yield databases I created and combined with models I adapted to calculate baseline values for plant biomass, nutrient composition and requirements, land suitability for and potential production of biofuels and the economic impact of agriculture for the four counties. The study area was then broadened to cover 97 counties in eastern Virginia and North Carolina, investigating the potential for increased regional grain production through intensification and extensification of agriculture. Predicted yield from geospatial crop models was compared with produced yield from the NASS Survey of Agriculture. Area of most crops in CDL was similar to that in the Survey of Agriculture, but a yield gap is present for most years, partially due to weather, thus indicating potential for yield increase through intensification. Using simple criteria I quantified the potential to extend agriculture in high yield land in other uses and modeled the changes in erosion and runoff should

  18. 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. © 2014 SETAC.

  19. 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.

  20. Applicability of economic instruments for protecting ecosystem services from cultural agrarian landscapes in Doñana, SW Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaitán-Cremaschi, Daniel; Palomo, Ignacio; Baraibar Molina, Sergio; Groot, De Rudolf; Gómez-Baggethun, Erik

    2017-01-01

    Abandonment and conversion of cultural agrarian landscapes are major drivers behind the loss of ecosystem services in Europe. One incentive for land-use conversion is the higher (private) economic return from industrial mono-functional crops relative to traditional multi-functional ones. However,

  1. Landscape-scale drivers of glacial ecosystem change in the montane forests of the eastern Andean flank, Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loughlin, N.J.D.; Gosling, W.D.; Coe, A.L.; Gulliver, P.; Mothes, P.; Montoya, E.

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the impact of landscape-scale disturbance events during the last glacial period is vital in accurately reconstructing the ecosystem dynamics of montane environments. Here, a sedimentary succession from the tropical montane cloud forest of the eastern Andean flank of Ecuador provides

  2. Mapping recreation and aesthetic values of ecosystem services in the Bilbao Metropolitan Greenbelt (northern Spain) to support landscape planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Casado-Arzuaga, I.; Onaindia, M.; Madriaga, I.; Verburg, P.H.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a method to quantify cultural ecosystem services (ES) and their spatial distribution in the landscape based on ecological structure and social evaluation approaches. The method aims to provide quantified assessments of ES to support land use planning decisions. A GIS-based

  3. Dynamics of ecosystem service values in response to landscape pattern changes from 1995 to 2005 in Guangzhou, Southern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanqiong Ye; Jia' en Zhang; Lili Chen; Ying Ouyang; Prem Parajuli

    2015-01-01

    This study analyzed the landscape pattern changes, the dynamics of the ecosystem service values (ESVs) and the spatial distribution of ESVs from 1995 to 2005 in Guangzhou, which is the capital of Guangdong Province and a regional central city in South China. Remote sensing data and geographic information system techniques, in conjunction with spatial metrics, were used...

  4. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Conceptual Analysis: The Charcoal-Agriculture Nexus to Understand the Socio-Ecological Contexts Underlying Varied Sustainability Outcomes in African Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyuki Iiyama

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The production of charcoal is an important socio-economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA. Charcoal production is one of the leading drivers of rural land-use changes in SSA, although the intensity of impacts on the multi-functionality of landscapes varies considerably. Within a given landscape, charcoal production is closely interconnected to agriculture production both as major livelihoods, while both critically depend on the same ecosystem services. The interactions between charcoal and agricultural production systems can lead to positive synergies of impacts, but will more often result in trade-offs and even vicious cycles. Such sustainability outcomes vary from one site to another due to the heterogeneity of contexts, including agricultural production systems that affect the adoption of technologies and practices. Trade-offs or cases of vicious cycles occur when one-off resource exploitation of natural trees for charcoal production for short-term economic gains permanently impairs ecosystem functions. Given the fact that charcoal, as an important energy source for the growing urban populations and an essential livelihood for the rural populations, cannot be readily substituted in SSA, there must be policies to support charcoal production. Policies should encourage sustainable technologies and practices, either by establishing plantations or by encouraging regeneration, whichever is more suitable for the local environment. To guide context-specific interventions, this paper presents a new perspective—the charcoal-agriculture nexus—aimed at facilitating the understanding of the socio-economic and ecological interactions of charcoal and agricultural production. The nexus especially highlights two dimensions of the socio-ecological contexts: charcoal value chains and tenure systems. Combinations of the two are assumed to underlie varied socio-economic and ecological sustainability outcomes by conditioning incentive mechanisms to affect

  6. The methane sink associated to soils of natural and agricultural ecosystems in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castaldi, Simona; Costantini, Massimo; Cenciarelli, Pietro; Ciccioli, Paolo; Valentini, Riccardo

    2007-01-01

    In the present work, the CH4 sink associated to Italian soils was calculated by using a process-based model controlled by gas diffusivity and microbial activity, which was run by using a raster-based geographical information system. Georeferenced data included land cover CLC2000, soil properties from the European Soil Database, climatic data from the MARS-STAT database, plus several derived soils properties based on published algorithms applied to the above mentioned databases. Overall CH4 consumption from natural and agricultural sources accounted for a total of 43.3 Gg CH4 yr(-1), with 28.1 Gg CH4 yr(-1) removed in natural ecosystems and 15.1 Gg CH4 yr(-1) in agricultural ecosystems. The highest CH4 uptake rates were obtained for natural areas of Southern Apennines and islands of Sardinia and Sicily, and were mainly associated to areas covered by sclerophyllous vegetation (259.7+/-30.2 mg CH4 m(-2) yr(-1)) and broad-leaved forest (237.5 mg CH4 m(-2) yr(-1)). In terms of total sink strength broad-leaved forests were the dominant ecosystem. The overall contribution of each ecosystem type to the whole CH4 sink depended on the total area covered by the specific ecosystem and on its exact geographic distribution. The latter determines the type of climate present in the area and the dominant soil type, both factors which showed to have a strong influence on CH4 uptake rates. The aggregated CH4 sink, calculated for natural ecosystems present in the Italian region, is significantly higher than previously reported estimates, which were extrapolated from fluxes measured in other temperate ecosystems.

  7. Agricultural land abandonment in Mediterranean environment provides ecosystem services via soil carbon sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novara, Agata; Gristina, Luciano; Sala, Giovanna; Galati, Antonino; Crescimanno, Maria; Cerdà, Artemi; Badalamenti, Emilio; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2017-01-15

    Abandonment of agricultural land leads to several consequences for ecosystem functions. Agricultural abandonment may be a significant and low cost strategy for carbon sequestration and mitigation of anthropogenic CO 2 emissions due to the vegetation recovery and increase in soil organic matter. The aim of this study was to: (i) estimate the influence of different Soil Regions (areas characterized by a typical climate and parent material association) and Bioclimates (zones with homogeneous climatic regions and thermotype indices) on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics after agricultural land abandonment; and (ii) to analyse the efficiency of the agri-environment policy (agri-environment measures) suggested by the European Commission in relation to potential SOC stock ability in the Sicilian Region (Italy). In order to quantify the effects of agricultural abandonment on SOC, a dataset with original data that was sampled in Sicily and existing data from the literature were analysed according to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) methodology. Results showed that abandonment of cropland soils increased SOC stock by 9.03MgCha -1 on average, ranging from 5.4MgCha -1 to 26.7MgCha -1 in relation to the Soil Region and Bioclimate. The estimation of SOC change after agricultural use permitted calculation of the payments for ecosystem service (PES) of C sequestration after agricultural land abandonment in relation to environmental benefits, increasing in this way the efficiency of PES. Considering the 14,337ha of abandoned lands in Sicily, the CO 2 emission as a whole was reduced by 887,745Mg CO 2 . Therefore, it could be concluded that abandoned agricultural fields represents a valid opportunity to mitigate agriculture sector emissions in Sicily. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Does agricultural ecosystem cause environmental pollution in Pakistan? Promise and menace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullah, Arif; Khan, Dilawar; Khan, Imran; Zheng, Shaofeng

    2018-05-01

    The increasing trend of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) is the main cause of harmful anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, which may result in environmental pollution, global warming, and climate change. These issues are expected to adversely affect the agricultural ecosystem and well-being of the society. In order to minimize food insecurity and prevent hunger, a timely adaptation is desirable to reduce potential losses and to seek alternatives for promoting a global knowledge system for agricultural sustainability. This paper examines the causal relationship between agricultural ecosystem and CO 2 emissions as an environmental pollution indicator in Pakistan from the period 1972 to 2014 by employing Johansen cointegration, autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model, and Granger causality approach. The Johansen cointegration results show that there is a significant long-run relationship between the agricultural ecosystem and the CO 2 emissions. The long-run relationship shows that a 1% increase in biomass burned crop residues, emissions of CO 2 equivalent of nitrous oxide (N 2 O) from synthetic fertilizers, stock of livestock, agricultural machinery, cereal production, and other crop productions will increase CO 2 emissions by 1.29, 0.05, 0.45, 0.05, 0.03, and 0.65%, respectively. Further, our finding detects that there is a bidirectional causality of CO 2 emissions with rice area paddy harvested, cereal production, and other crop productions. The impulse response function analysis displays that biomass-burned crop residues, stock of livestock, agriculture machinery, cereal production, and other crop productions are significantly contributing to CO 2 emissions in Pakistan.

  9. Habitats and landscapes associated with bird species in a lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmund J. Zlonis

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human-induced effects on lowland conifer forests in hemiboreal regions are increasing because of expanded use of these northern ecosystems for raw materials, energy, and minerals as well as the potential effects of climatic changes. These forests support many breeding bird species across the Holarctic and allow the persistence of several boreal bird species in hemiboreal and even temperate regions. These bird species are of particular conservation concern as shifting patterns northward in forest composition caused by climate change will likely affect their populations. However, effective management and conservation options are limited because the specifics of these species' breeding habitats are not well understood. We modeled and mapped habitat suitability for 11 species of boreal birds that breed in the lowland conifer forests of the Agassiz Lowlands Ecological Subsection in northern Minnesota and are likely to have reduced breeding habitat in the future: Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis, Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus, Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris, Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus, Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula, Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus, Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis, Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum, and Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis. Sets of 7 to 16 potential environmental covariates, including both stand-level and landscape attributes, were used to develop individual species models. Within this lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem, we found significant selection for specific forest and landscape characteristics by all but one of these species, with the best models including between one and nine variables. Habitat suitability maps were developed from these models and predictions tested with an independent dataset. Model performance depended on species, correctly predicting 56-96% of

  10. Revealing turning points in ecosystem functioning over the Northern Eurasian agricultural frontier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horion, Stéphanie; Prishchepov, Alexander V; Verbesselt, Jan; de Beurs, Kirsten; Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2016-08-01

    The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been a turning point in the World history that left a unique footprint on the Northern Eurasian ecosystems. Conducting large scale mapping of environmental change and separating between naturogenic and anthropogenic drivers is a difficult endeavor in such highly complex systems. In this research a piece-wise linear regression method was used for breakpoint detection in Rain-Use Efficiency (RUE) time series and a classification of ecosystem response types was produced. Supported by earth observation data, field data, and expert knowledge, this study provides empirical evidence regarding the occurrence of drastic changes in RUE (assessment of the timing, the direction and the significance of these changes) in Northern Eurasian ecosystems between 1982 and 2011. About 36% of the study area (3.4 million km(2) ) showed significant (P agricultural land abandonment. Our study also showed that recurrent droughts deeply affected vegetation productivity throughout the observation period, with a general worsening of the drought conditions in recent years. Moreover, recent human-induced turning points in ecosystem functioning were detected and attributed to ongoing recultivation and change in irrigation practices in the Volgograd region, and to increased salinization and increased grazing intensity around Lake Balkhash. The ecosystem-state assessment method introduced here proved to be a valuable support that highlighted hotspots of potentially altered ecosystems and allowed for disentangling human from climatic disturbances. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. 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

  12. Climate change impacts utilizing regional models for agriculture, hydrology and natural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafatos, M.; Asrar, G. R.; El-Askary, H. M.; Hatzopoulos, N.; Kim, J.; Kim, S.; Medvigy, D.; Prasad, A. K.; Smith, E.; Stack, D. H.; Tremback, C.; Walko, R. L.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change impacts the entire Earth but with crucial and often catastrophic impacts at local and regional levels. Extreme phenomena such as fires, dust storms, droughts and other natural hazards present immediate risks and challenges. Such phenomena will become more extreme as climate change and anthropogenic activities accelerate in the future. We describe a major project funded by NIFA (Grant # 2011-67004-30224), under the joint NSF-DOE-USDA Earth System Models (EaSM) program, to investigate the impacts of climate variability and change on the agricultural and natural (i.e. rangeland) ecosystems in the Southwest USA using a combination of historical and present observations together with climate, and ecosystem models, both in hind-cast and forecast modes. The applicability of the methodology to other regions is relevant (for similar geographic regions as well as other parts of the world with different agriculture and ecosystems) and should advance the state of knowledge for regional impacts of climate change. A combination of multi-model global climate projections from the decadal predictability simulations, to downscale dynamically these projections using three regional climate models, combined with remote sensing MODIS and other data, in order to obtain high-resolution climate data that can be used with hydrological and ecosystem models for impacts analysis, is described in this presentation. Such analysis is needed to assess the future risks and potential impacts of projected changes on these natural and managed ecosystems. The results from our analysis can be used by scientists to assist extended communities to determine agricultural coping strategies, and is, therefore, of interest to wide communities of stakeholders. In future work we will be including surface hydrologic modeling and water resources, extend modeling to higher resolutions and include significantly more crops and geographical regions with different weather and climate conditions

  13. Solidago canadensis invasion affects soil N-fixing bacterial communities in heterogeneous landscapes in urban ecosystems in East China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Congyan; Jiang, Kun; Zhou, Jiawei; Wu, Bingde

    2018-03-12

    Soil nitrogen-fixing bacterial communities (SNB) can increase the level of available soil N via biological N-fixation to facilitate successful invasion of several invasive plant species (IPS). Meanwhile, landscape heterogeneity can greatly enhance regional invasibility and increase the chances of successful invasion of IPS. Thus, it is important to understand the soil micro-ecological mechanisms driving the successful invasion of IPS in heterogeneous landscapes. This study performed cross-site comparisons, via metagenomics, to comprehensively analyze the effects of Solidago canadensis invasion on SNB in heterogeneous landscapes in urban ecosystems. Rhizospheric soil samples of S. canadensis were obtained from nine urban ecosystems [Three replicate quadrats (including uninvaded sites and invaded sites) for each type of urban ecosystem]. S. canadensis invasion did not significantly affect soil physicochemical properties, the taxonomic diversity of plant communities, or the diversity and richness of SNB. However, some SNB taxa (i.e., f_Micromonosporaceae, f_Oscillatoriaceae, and f_Bacillaceae) changed significantly with S. canadensis invasion. Thus, S. canadensis invasion may alter the community structure, rather than the diversity and richness of SNB, to facilitate its invasion process. Of the nine urban ecosystems, the diversity and richness of SNB was highest in farmland wasteland. Accordingly, the community invasibility of farmland wasteland may be higher than that of the other types of urban ecosystem. In brief, landscape heterogeneity, rather than S. canadensis invasion, was the strongest controlling factor for the diversity and richness of SNB. One possible reason may be the differences in soil electrical conductivity and the taxonomic diversity of plant communities in the nine urban ecosystems, which can cause notable shifts in the diversity and richness of SNB. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Coupled urbanization and agricultural ecosystem services in Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Z X; Li, J; Zhang, W

    2016-08-01

    Ecosystems offer material and environmental support for human habitation and development in those areas of the earth where people choose to live. However, urbanization is an inexorable trend of human social development and threatens the health of those ecosystems inhabited by humans. This study calculates the values of NPP (net primary productivity), carbon sequestration, water interception, soil conservation, and agricultural production in the Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone. At the same time, we combined DMSP/OLS (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Line Scanner) night lights remote sensing data and statistical data to analyze the level of urbanization. Quantitative analysis was performed on the interactions between the ecosystem service functions and urbanization based on the calculations of their coupled coordination degrees. The results were the following: (1) The values of NPP, carbon sequestration, and agricultural production showed a trend of increase. However, water interception decreased before increasing, while soil conservation showed the reverse trend; (2) Urbanization levels in the Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone for the last 10 years have proceeded at a fast pace with comprehensive promotion; and (3) Coupled and coupled coordination degrees between urbanization and ecosystem services show increasing trends. This research can provide a theoretical basis for the region's rapid economic development in the balance.

  19. Stoichiometric determination of nitrate fate in agricultural ecosystems during rainfall events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zuxin; Wang, Yiyao; Li, Huaizheng

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists have found a close relationship between the concentrations of nitrate (NO3-) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in ecosystems. However, it is difficult to determine the NO3- fate exactly because of the low coefficient in the constructed relationship. In the present paper, a negative power-function equation (r(2) = 0.87) was developed by using 411 NO3- data points and DOC:NO3- ratios from several agricultural ecosystems during different rainfall events. Our analysis of the stoichiometric method reveals several observations. First, the NO3- concentration demonstrated the largest changes when the DOC:NO3- ratio increased from 1 to 10. Second, the biodegradability of DOC was an important factor in controlling the NO3- concentration of agricultural ecosystems. Third, sediment was important not only as a denitrification site, but also as a major source of DOC for the overlying water. Fourth, a high DOC concentration was able to maintain a low NO3- concentration in the groundwater. In conclusion, this new stoichiometric method can be used for the accurate estimation and analysis of NO3- concentrations in ecosystems.

  20. 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.

  1. How hedge woody species diversity and habitat change is a function of land use history and recent management in a European agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, Thomas; Cooper, Alan; Rogers, David; McKenzie, Paul; McErlean, Thomas

    2017-07-01

    European hedged agricultural landscapes provide a range of ecosystem services and are an important component of cultural and biodiversity heritage. This paper investigates the extent of hedges, their woody species diversity (including the influence of historical versus recent hedge origin) and dynamics of change. The rationale is to contribute to an ecological basis for hedge habitat management. Sample sites were allocated based on a multivariate classification of landscape attributes. All field boundaries present in each site were mapped and surveyed in 1998 and 2007. To assess diversity, a list of all woody species was recorded in one standard 30 m linear plot within each hedge. There was a net decrease in hedge habitat extent, mainly as a result of removal, and changes between hedges and other field boundary types due to the development and loss of shrub growth-form. Agricultural intensification, increased rural building, and variation in hedge management practices were the main drivers of change. Hedges surveyed at baseline, which were lost at resurvey, were more species rich than new hedges gained. Hedges coinciding with historical land unit boundaries of likely Early Medieval origin were found to be more species rich. The most frequent woody species in hedges were native, including a high proportion with Fraxinus excelsior, a species under threat from current and emerging plant pests and pathogens. Introduced species were present in circa 30% of hedges. We conclude that since hedge habitat distribution and woody species diversity is a function of ecology and anthropogenic factors, the management of hedges in enclosed agricultural landscapes requires an integrated approach. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-17

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

  3. 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.

  4. Countermeasures for reduction of radioactive contamination of farm animals and animal products in agricultural ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poeschl, M.

    2006-01-01

    Contamination of food products reaching the consumer may be a serious problem following radioactive contamination deposited in the agricultural environment. A wide variety of measures is available to reduce or prevent the transfer of radionuclides through the food-chain and hence reduce the radiation dose to the consumer. This paper reviews both literature sources and practice of applying agricultural countermeasures: Interventions at the soil-plant step, at the plant-animal step, and at the foodstuff-man step. In practice, the most effective countermeasures which can be used to reduce radionuclide contamination of animals in agricultural ecosystems will be obtained by a combination of both management changes and the use of chemical binders to prevent gut absorption. Social, economic, and practical considerations of the countermeasures such as availability, technical feasibility, acceptability and side-effects need to be also taken into account. (authors)

  5. Evaluation Of The Two Model Biocorridors In Soth-West Part Of Slovakia In Agricultural Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Debnáriková

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the research is to evaluate two different models of biocorridors in south-west part of Slovakia in intensively utilized agricultural landscape. The first biocorridor is a part of fragmented alluvial softwood forest along the Žitava’s river in its unregulated part in cadastral territory Horný Ohaj, district Vráble. This biocorridor should be the representative biocorridor by its structure and plant composition in its area. The second biocorridor is biocorridor composed by Robinia pseudoacacia L. in the village Báb, district Nitra. The research analyzes the structure of the selected biocorridors by using the methods of phytocoenology, evaluate functional integrity by monitoring of their spatial parameters in terrain and by processing maps in the AutoCAD program. At the base of phytocoenological report evaluates occurence of alien species.

  6. 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.

  7. 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'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. 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

  9. Soils in an agricultural landscape of Jokioinen, south-western Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. YLI-HALLA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Eleven pedons in an agricultural landscape at elevations 80-130 m above sea level in Jokioinen, south-western Finland were investigated and classified according to Soil Taxonomy, the FAO-Unesco system (FAO, and the World Reference Base for Soil Resources system (WRB. The soils were related to geomorphology of the landscape which is characterized by clayey fields and forested bedrock high areas covered with glacial till. A Spodosol/Podzol was found in a coarse-sandy soil in an esker while the sandy loam in a bedrock high area soils did not have an E horizon. A man-made mollic epipedon was found in a cultivated soil which had a sandy plow layer while clayey plow layers were ochric epipedons. Cambic horizons, identified by structure and redox concentrations, were common in cultivated soils. In a heavy clay soil, small slickensides and wedge-shaped aggregates, i.e., vertic characteristics, were found. Histosols occurred in local topographic depressions irrespective of the absolute elevation. According to the three classification systems, the following catenas are recognized: Haplocryods - Dystro/Eutrocryepts -Haplocryolls - Cryaquepts - Cryosaprists (Soil Taxonomy, Podzols - Regosols - Cambisols - Histosols (FAO-Unesco, and Podzols - Cambisols - Phaeozems - Gleysols - Histosols (WRB.;

  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, Dale 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. 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.

  12. The footprint of marginal agriculture in the Mediterranean mountain landscape: An analysis of the Central Spanish Pyrenees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasanta, T; Nadal-Romero, E; Errea, M P

    2017-12-01

    Agriculture forms an essential part of the mountains of the Mediterranean. For centuries, large areas were cultivated to feed the local population, with highly marginal slopes being tilled at times of heavy demographic pressure, using the shifting agriculture system. A great deal of agricultural land was abandoned during the 20th century, giving rise to secondary succession processes that tend to eliminate the agricultural footprint. However, revegetation is a highly complex process leading to areas with dense, well-structured plant cover, and other open areas of scrubland. This article studies the role of traditional agriculture in the deterioration of the landscape. By using experimental plots in the Central Pyrenees to reproduce traditional agriculture and abandonment, maps of field types, and current uses and ground cover, it could be confirmed that shifting agriculture has caused very heavy soil loss, which explains the deterioration of the landscape on several slopes. Burning scrub and adding the ash to the soil as a fertilizer did not greatly help to improve soil quality, but caused high rates of erosion and a very slow process of regrowth. The average data obtained from the shifting experimental plots recorded losses of 1356kgha -1 years -1 , 1.6 times more than the plot of fertilized cereal, and 8.2 times more than the dense scrub plot. Following abandonment, losses in the shifting agriculture plot were almost three times higher than the abandoned sloping field plot. Traditional shifting agriculture in the Pyrenees is the main cause of the deterioration of the landscape 50-70years after agriculture ceased. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Estimating landscape-scale impacts of agricultural management on soil carbon using measurements and models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schipanski, M.; Rosenzweig, S. T.; Robertson, A. D.; Sherrod, L. A.; Ghimire, R.; McMaster, G. S.

    2017-12-01

    Agriculture covers 40% of Earth's ice-free land area and has broad impacts on global biogeochemical cycles. While some agricultural management changes are small in scale or impact, others have the potential to shift biogeochemical cycles at landscape and larger scales if widely adopted. Understanding which management practices have the potential to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation while maintaining productivity requires scaling up estimates spatially and temporally. We used on-farm, long-term, and landscape scale datasets to estimate how crop rotations impact soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation rates under current and future climate scenarios across the semi-arid Central and Southern Great Plains. We used a stratified, landscape-scale soil sampling approach across 96 farm fields to evaluate crop rotation intensity effects on SOC pools and pesticide inputs. Replacing traditional wheat-fallow rotations with more diverse, continuously cropped rotations increased SOC by 17% and 12% in 0-10 cm and 0-20 cm depths, respectively, and reduced herbicide use by 50%. Using USDA Cropland Data Layer, we estimated soil C accumulation and pesticide reduction potentials of shifting to more intensive rotations. We also used a 30-year cropping systems experiment to calibrate and validate the Daycent model to evaluate rotation intensify effects under future climate change scenarios. The model estimated greater SOC accumulation rates under continuously cropped rotations, but SOC stocks peaked and then declined for all cropping systems beyond 2050 under future climate scenarios. Perennial grasslands were the only system estimated to maintain SOC levels in the future. In the Southern High Plains, soil C declined despite increasing input intensity under current weather while modest gains were simulated under future climate for sorghum-based cropping systems. Our findings highlight the potential vulnerability of semi-arid regions to climate change, which will be

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Q.; Lin, H. S.

    2009-08-01

    The importance of soil water flow paths to the transport of nutrients and contaminants has long been recognized. However, effective means of detecting concentrated subsurface flow paths in a large landscape are still lacking. The flow direction and accumulation algorithm based on single-direction flow algorithm (D8) in GIS hydrologic modeling is a cost-effective way to simulate potential concentrated flow paths over a large area once relevant data are collected. This study tested the D8 algorithm for simulating concentrated lateral flow paths at three interfaces in soil profiles in a 19.5-ha agricultural landscape in central Pennsylvania, USA. These interfaces were (1) the interface between surface plowed layers of Ap1 and Ap2 horizons, (2) the interface with subsoil water-restricting clay layer where clay content increased to over 40%, and (3) the soil-bedrock interface. The simulated flow paths were validated through soil hydrologic monitoring, geophysical surveys, and observable soil morphological features. The results confirmed that concentrated subsurface lateral flow occurred at the interfaces with the clay layer and the underlying bedrock. At these two interfaces, the soils on the simulated flow paths were closer to saturation and showed more temporally unstable moisture dynamics than those off the simulated flow paths. Apparent electrical conductivity in the soil on the simulated flow paths was elevated and temporally unstable as compared to those outside the simulated paths. The soil cores collected from the simulated flow paths showed significantly higher Mn content at these interfaces than those away from the simulated paths. These results suggest that (1) the D8 algorithm is useful in simulating possible concentrated subsurface lateral flow paths if used with appropriate threshold value of contributing area and sufficiently detailed digital elevation model (DEM); (2) repeated electromagnetic surveys can reflect the temporal change of soil water storage

  15. Does spatial co-occurrence of carnivores in a Central European agricultural landscape follow the null model?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Červinka, J.; Padyšáková, E.; Kreisinger, Jakub

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 60, č. 1 (2014), s. 99-107 ISSN 1612-4642 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Carnivores * Co-occurrence * Interspecific competition * Mesopredator release * Agricultural landscape Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.634, year: 2014

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Linking ecology and aesthetics in sustainable agricultural landscapes: Lessons from the Palouse region of Washington, U.S.A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda R. Klein; William G. Hendrix; Virginia I. Lohr; Jolie B. Kaytes; Rodney D. Sayler; Mark E. Swanson; William J. Elliot; John P. Reganold

    2015-01-01

    Inspired by international escalation in agricultural sustainability debates, we explored the promise of landscape-scale conservation buffers to mitigate environmental damage, improve ecological function, and enhance scenic quality. Although the ecological benefits of buffer vegetation are well established by plot- and field-scale research, buffer adoption by farmers is...

  18. Green Infrastructure to Improve Ecosystem Services in the Landscape Urban Regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semeraro, Teodoro; Aretano, Roberta; Pomes, Alessandro

    2017-10-01

    The concept of Green Infrastructure (GI) emphasises the quality as well as quantity of urban, peri-urban greens spaces and natural areas, their multifunctional role, and the importance of interconnections between habitats. If a Green Infrastructure is proactively planned, developed, and maintained it has the potential to guide urban development by providing a framework for economic growth and nature conservation. GI includes parks and reserves, sporting fields, riparian areas like stream and river banks, greenways and trails, community gardens, street trees, and nature conservation areas, as well as less conventional spaces such as green walls, green alleyways, and cemeteries. Today we have to face new challenges about increasing energy use, decreasing water resources, limited spaces and ecological preservation. This problem must be solved in a sustainable way using innovative GI that combine technology with landscape design by enhancing ecosystem services provision. The aim of this research is to evaluate and develop multifunctional role of GI in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services’ enhancement by taking into account two case study in southern Italy: Constructed Treatment and photovoltaic energy plants. An effective way of tackling water resource problem is to use Constructed Treatment Wetlands (CTW) as low-cost alternative to conventional secondary or tertiary wastewater treatment. For this purpose, an annual monitoring of fauna and vegetation was carried out in order to identify species of national and international interest strongly related to the new habitats availability. Results have shown the ability of CTW in providing ancillary benefits, well beyond the primary aim of water purification, such as sustaining wildlife habitats and biodiversity at local and global scales, as well as its potential role in terms of recreational and educational opportunities. In the second case, we developed a GI project idea that proposes to evolve the photovoltaic

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rands, Sean A

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. Nitrogen deposition and its contribution to nutrient inputs to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chun-E; Wang, Xin; Liu, Xuejun; Fangmeier, Andreas; Christie, Peter; Zhang, Fusuo

    2010-01-01

    Interest in nitrogen inputs via atmospheric deposition to agricultural ecosystems has increased recently, especially on the North China Plain because of extremely intensive agricultural systems and rapid urbanization in this region. Nitrogen deposition may make a significant contribution to crop N requirements but may also impose a considerable nutrient burden on the environment in general. We quantified total N deposition at two locations, Dongbeiwang near Beijing and Quzhou in Hebei province, over a two-year period from 2005 to 2007 using an 15N tracer method, the integrated total N input (ITNI) system. Total airborne N inputs to a maize wheat rotation system at both locations ranged from 99 to 117 kg N x ha(-1) x yr(-1), with higher N deposition during the maize season (57-66 kg N/ha) than the wheat season (42-51 kg N/ha). Plant available N from deposition for maize and wheat was about 52 kg N x ha(-1) x yr(-1), accounting for 50% of the total N deposition or 31% of total N uptake by the two crop species. In addition, a correction factor was derived for the maize season to adjust values obtained from small pots (0.057 m2) compared with field trays (0.98 m2) because of higher plant density in the pots. The results indicate that atmospheric N deposition is a very important N input and must be taken into account when calculating nutrient budgets in very intensively managed agricultural ecosystems.

  2. Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural landscapes: quantification tools, policy development, and opportunities for improved management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonitto, C.; Gurwick, N. P.

    2012-12-01

    Policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have promoted the development of agricultural management protocols to increase SOC storage and reduce GHG emissions. We review approaches for quantifying N2O flux from agricultural landscapes. We summarize the temporal and spatial extent of observations across representative soil classes, climate zones, cropping systems, and management scenarios. We review applications of simulation and empirical modeling approaches and compare validation outcomes across modeling tools. Subsequently, we review current model application in agricultural management protocols. In particular, we compare approaches adapted for compliance with the California Global Warming Solutions Act, the Alberta Climate Change and Emissions Management Act, and by the American Carbon Registry. In the absence of regional data to drive model development, policies that require GHG quantification often use simple empirical models based on highly aggregated data of N2O flux as a function of applied N - Tier 1 models according to IPCC categorization. As participants in development of protocols that could be used in carbon offset markets, we observed that stakeholders outside of the biogeochemistry community favored outcomes from simulation modeling (Tier 3) rather than empirical modeling (Tier 2). In contrast, scientific advisors were more accepting of outcomes based on statistical approaches that rely on local observations, and their views sometimes swayed policy practitioners over the course of policy development. Both Tier 2 and Tier 3 approaches have been implemented in current policy development, and it is important that the strengths and limitations of both approaches, in the face of available data, be well-understood by those drafting and adopting policies and protocols. The reliability of all models is contingent on sufficient observations for model development and validation. Simulation models applied without site-calibration generally

  3. Evapotranspiration and surface energy balance across an agricultural-urban landscape gradient in Southern California, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiflett, S. A.; Anderson, R. G.; Jenerette, D.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization substantially affects energy, surface and air temperature, and hydrology due to extensive modifications in land surface properties such as vegetation, albedo, thermal capacity and soil moisture. The magnitude and direction of these alterations depends heavily on the type of urbanization that occurs. We investigated energy balance variation in a local network of agricultural and urban ecosystems using the eddy covariance method to better understand how vegetation fraction and degree of urbanization affects energy exchanges between the land surface and the atmosphere. We deployed eddy flux systems within a well-irrigated, agricultural citrus orchard, a moderately developed urban zone with a substantial amount of local vegetative cover, and an intensely developed urban zone with minimal vegetative cover and increased impervious surfaces relative to the other two sites. Latent energy (LE) fluxes in the agricultural area ranged from 7.9 ± 1.4 W m-2 (nighttime) to 168.7 ± 6.2 W m-2 (daytime) compared to 10.2 ± 3.5 W m-2 and 40.6 ± 4.1 W m-2, respectively, for the moderately developed urban area. Sensible energy (H) fluxes ranged from -9.1 ± 1.0 W m-2 (nighttime) to 119 ± 7.0 W m-2 (daytime) in the agricultural area compared to 9.6 ± 2.6 W m-2 and 134 ± 6.0 W m-2, respectively, for the moderately developed urban zone. Daytime LE is reduced with increasing urbanization; however, daily cycles of LE are less recognizable in urban areas compared to distinct daily cycles obtained above a mature citrus crop. In contrast, both daytime and nighttime H increases with increasing degree of urbanization. Reduction in vegetation and increases in impervious surfaces along an urbanization gradient leads to alterations in energy balance, which are associated with microclimate and water use changes.

  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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Model analysis of riparian buffer effectiveness for reducing nutrient inputs to streams in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKane, R. B.; M, S.; F, P.; Kwiatkowski, B. L.; Rastetter, E. B.

    2006-12-01

    Federal and state agencies responsible for protecting water quality rely mainly on statistically-based methods to assess and manage risks to the nation's streams, lakes and estuaries. Although statistical approaches provide valuable information on current trends in water quality, process-based simulation models are essential for understanding and forecasting how changes in human activities across complex landscapes impact the transport of nutrients and contaminants to surface waters. To address this need, we developed a broadly applicable, process-based watershed simulator that links a spatially-explicit hydrologic model and a terrestrial biogeochemistry model (MEL). See Stieglitz et al. and Pan et al., this meeting, for details on the design and verification of this simulator. Here we apply the watershed simulator to a generalized agricultural setting to demonstrate its potential for informing policy and management decisions concerning water quality. This demonstration specifically explores the effectiveness of riparian buffers for reducing the transport of nitrogenous fertilizers from agricultural fields to streams. The interaction of hydrologic and biogeochemical processes represented in our simulator allows several important questions to be addressed. (1) For a range of upland fertilization rates, to what extent do riparian buffers reduce nitrogen inputs to streams? (2) How does buffer effectiveness change over time as the plant-soil system approaches N-saturation? (3) How can buffers be managed to increase their effectiveness, e.g., through periodic harvest and replanting? The model results illustrate that, while the answers to these questions depend to some extent on site factors (climatic regime, soil properties and vegetation type), in all cases riparian buffers have a limited capacity to reduce nitrogen inputs to streams where fertilization rates approach those typically used for intensive agriculture (e.g., 200 kg N per ha per year for corn in the U

  6. Improving human-wildlife co-existence: Landscape level strategies to enhance wildlife movement in Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem, Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Schnepf, Marit

    2017-01-01

    Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem is a unique landscape in Kenya’s semi-arid rangelands to the border of Tanzania. It is characterized by high abundances of wildlife which frequently disperses between three National Parks, namely Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills. Due to an increased population and a land-use change from prior nomadic pastoralism to sedentary farming activities, the land became highly fragmented and transformed into a human-dominated area. Increasingly wildlife migration routes ar...

  7. Reproduction and population dynamics of Mastomys natalensis Smith, 1834 in an agricultural landscape in the Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makundi, Rhodes H; Massawe, Apia W; Mulungu, Loth S

    2007-12-01

    The multimammate rat, Mastomys natalensis Smith 1834, is a dominant species in agro-ecosystems in Sub-Saharan Africa, but adapts quickly to changes in non-agricultural landscape, particularly woodlands and forests. In this study we report on reproduction and population dynamics of M. natalensis in deforested high elevation localities in the Usambara Mountains, north-east Tanzania. We conducted Capture-Mark-Recapture studies in 2002-2004, and established that reproduction of M. natalensis takes place in the extended wet season between February and June, and the population density peaks in June-August. Reproduction cease in July to January and population density drops from July onwards. Reproduction and population density fluctuations are linked to the duration and amount of rainfall. In years when rainfall was below average and the wet season was short, the population density was significantly lower (below 10 animals/ha and 60 animals/ha in 2003 and 2004 respectively, compared to >100 animals/ha in 2002 when rainfall was above the seasonal average) (F(df 2,13)= 9.092, p forestry areas showed higher population densities in the former, which have similarities to the preferred habitats in the lowland savannahs. The increasing abundance of M. natalensis in the Usambara could have some consequences: M. natalensis is major pest and is involved in the plague cycle in the western Usambara Mountains. Mastomys natalensis is also a strong competitor and the impact on endemic rodent species, e.g. Lophuromys flavopunctatus and Praomys delectorum is unknown.

  8. Ion fluxes from fog and rain to an agricultural and a forest ecosystem in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thalmann, E.; Burkard, R.; Wrzesinsky, T.; Eugster, W.; Klemm, O.

    The deposition fluxes of inorganic compounds dissolved in fog and rain were quantified for two different ecosystems in Europe. The fogwater deposition fluxes were measured by employing the eddy covariance method. The site in Switzerland that lies within an agricultural area surrounded by the Jura mountains and the Alps is often exposed to radiation fog. At the German mountain forest ecosystem, on the other hand, advection fog occurs most frequently. At the Swiss site, fogwater deposition fluxes of the dominant components SO 42- (0.027 mg S m -2 day -1), NO 3- (0.030 mg N m -2 day -1) and NH 4+ (0.060 mg N m -2 day -1) were estimated to be fogwater concentrations of all major ions if air originated from the east (i.e. the Czech Republic), which is in close agreement with earlier studies.

  9. Quantifying the visual-sensory landscape qualities that contribute to cultural ecosystem services using social media and LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Berkel, Derek B.; Tabrizian, Payam; Dorning, Monica; Smart, Lindsey S.; Newcomb, Doug; Mehaffey, Megan; Neale, Anne; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2018-01-01

    Landscapes are increasingly recognized for providing valuable cultural ecosystem services with numer- ous non-material benefits by serving as places of rest, relaxation, and inspiration that ultimately improve overall mental health and physical well-being. Maintaining and enhancing these valuable benefits through targeted management and conservation measures requires understanding the spatial and tem- poral determinants of perceived landscape values. Content contributed through mobile technologies and the web are emerging globally, providing a promising data source for localizing and assessing these land- scape benefits. These georeferenced data offer rich in situ qualitative information through photos and comments that capture valued and special locations across large geographic areas. We present a novel method for mapping and modeling landscape values and perceptions that leverages viewshed analysis of georeferenced social media data. Using a high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) derived digital surface model, we are able to evaluate landscape characteristics associated with the visual- sensory qualities of outdoor recreationalists. Our results show the importance of historical monuments and attractions in addition to specific environmental features which are appreciated by the public. Evaluation of photo-image content highlights the opportunity of including temporally and spatially vari- able visual-sensory qualities in cultural ecosystem services (CES) evaluation like the sights, sounds and smells of wildlife and weather phenomena.

  10. 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,

  11. 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

  12. 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......RNA based pyrosequencing of bacterial communities in soil was shown to report different than just DNA based analysis and indicated unlike the DNA measurement that the community was developing. Finally microarray analysis was compared to traditional test for toxicity testing of Folsomia candida and showed...

  13. ECONOMIC BACKGROUND CROP ROTATION AS A WAY TO PREVENT THE DEGRADATION OF AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shevchenko O.

    2017-05-01

    recommended rotation of soil saturation with large crops of grasses and crops of solid cover, which makes it possible to avoid or minimize the growing row crops. Introduce a rotation of soil combined with contour reclamation of the territory, which includes, band allocation of agricultural crops, construction of various water-regulating structures meadow to the degree of degradation of soil and the steepness of the slope. This limits the fields are projected across the slope or parallel horizontally, and to combat deflation - across the direction of prevailing winds. The study crop rotation over time as a way of preventing the degradation of agricultural landscapes allowed to establish scientifically grounded crop rotation not only performs reclamation feature - provides protection from degradation of the soil and creates a favorable ecological environment in agricultural landscapes, but also can have significant economic efficiency. By comparison the actual amount of sales of crop considering the cost of its production in the administrative districts of Kyiv region (2703,4 million UAH with a forecast value of crop production while maintaining a crop pattern in the rotation with a corresponding set of crops (3075,8 million UAH proved that the economic effect of the introduction of scientifically grounded crop rotations in the region will be about 372,4 million USD, and additional income from 1 hectare of crop area – 322,8 USD. It is proved that, in addition to rotation for a successful fight against land degradation on lands occupied in agriculture also need to implement complex soil conservation measures to protect soil from degradation. To determine the economically justified soil conservation measures were examined the economic impact and effectiveness of each in current market conditions.

  14. 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

  15. Analysis of the tradeoff between agriculture and ecosystem preservation using a new ecohydrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Z.; Zheng, Y.; Li, X.; Tian, Y.; Zheng, C.

    2016-12-01

    Inner-basin water use conflicts are common in arid and semi-arid areas. As the second largest endorheic river basin in China, the Heihe River Basin (HRB) is exemplary of such conflicts between agriculture and ecosystem preservation. The densely distributed agriculture in the middle HRB (M-HRB) consumes a large amount of water, which has directly threatened the fragile and water-limited ecosystem in the lower HRB (L-HRB). To alleviate the conflict and prevent the trend of ecological deterioration of the L-HRB, an Ecological Water Diversion Project (EWDP) has been implemented since 2000 to ensure that enough water is released to the L-HRB. With the water diversion, an increase in the leaf area index (LAI) has been observed in the L-HRB. However, to ensure the annually allocated streamflow discharge to the L-HRB, more groundwater (GW) has been pumped for irrigation in the M-HRB, which has led to declining GW levels. How to make water management more sustainable for both agriculture and ecosystem has thus become an urgent issue. Crops and natural vegetation play vital roles in affecting the water cycle, hence it should be well integrated into a hydrological model for water management. A new Hydrological and Ecological Integrated watershed-scale FLOW model (HEIFLOW) has been developed. HEIFLOW is based on an improved version of the GSFLOW developed by the USGS and a General Eco-Hydrological Module (GEHM) developed in this study to simulate plant growth kinetics. The model has been applied to simulate the ecohydrological conditions in the M- and L-HRB. The model results show a consistently good agreement with the observation data. Analysis using the new integrated model indicates that the M-HRB GW system is not sustainable, and that the agriculture in the M-HRB has to sacrifice itself for ecological restoration in the L-HRB under the current water allocation strategy. The restoration of lower basin was further assessed under a new allocation strategy that aims to improve

  16. A Strategy for Describing the Biosphere at Candidate Sites for Repositories of Nuclear Waste: Linking Ecosystem and Landscape Modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindborg, Tobias; Loefgren, Anders; Soederbaeck, Bjoern; Kautsky, Ulrik; Lindborg, Regina; Bradshaw, Clare

    2006-01-01

    To provide information necessary for a license application for a deep repository for spent nuclear fuel, the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co. has started site investigations at two sites in Sweden. In this paper, we present a strategy to integrate site-specific ecosystem data into spatially explicit models needed for safety assessment studies and the environmental impact assessment. The site-specific description of ecosystems is developed by building discipline-specific models from primary data and by identifying interactions and stocks and flows of matter among functional units at the sites. The conceptual model is a helpful initial tool for defining properties needed to quantify system processes, which may reveal new interfaces between disciplines, providing a variety of new opportunities to enhance the understanding of the linkages between ecosystem characteristics and the functional properties of landscapes. This type of integrated ecosystem-landscape characterization model has an important role in forming the implementation of a safety assessment for a deep repository

  17. 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...... point between the chemical data and landscape characteristics (e.g. topography, land-use and soil type distributions) of the corresponding contributing area. Results show that, in spite of an overall little share, the influence of organic soil types seems to impact N losses to streams stronger than...... local land use by farming....

  18. Composition and Structure of Forest Fire Refugia: What Are the Ecosystem Legacies across Burned Landscapes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garrett W. Meigs

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Locations within forest fires that remain unburned or burn at low severity—known as fire refugia—are important components of contemporary burn mosaics, but their composition and structure at regional scales are poorly understood. Focusing on recent, large wildfires across the US Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington, our research objectives are to (1 classify fire refugia and burn severity based on relativized spectral change in Landsat time series; (2 quantify the pre-fire composition and structure of mapped fire refugia; (3 in forested areas, assess the relative abundance of fire refugia and other burn severity classes across forest composition and structure types. We analyzed a random sample of 99 recent fires in forest-dominated landscapes from 2004 to 2015 that collectively encompassed 612,629 ha. Across the region, fire refugia extent was substantial but variable from year to year, with an annual mean of 38% of fire extent and range of 15–60%. Overall, 85% of total fire extent was forested, with the other 15% being non-forest. In comparison, 31% of fire refugia extent was non-forest prior to the most recent fire, highlighting that mapped refugia do not necessarily contain tree-based ecosystem legacies. The most prevalent non-forest cover types in refugia were vegetated: shrub (40%, herbaceous (33%, and crops (18%. In forested areas, the relative abundance of fire refugia varied widely among pre-fire forest types (20–70% and structural conditions (23–55%. Consistent with fire regime theory, fire refugia and high burn severity areas were inversely proportional. Our findings underscore that researchers, managers, and other stakeholders should interpret burn severity maps through the lens of pre-fire land cover, especially given the increasing importance of fire and fire refugia under global change.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Influence of Soil Displacement in Bavarian Agricultural Landscapes on the Land-Atmosphere Exchange of Greenhouse Gases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smidt, J.; Schmid, H. P. E.

    2016-12-01

    The terrestrial biosphere represents the world's second-largest stock of carbon, after the oceans, estimated to be 2300 Gt carbon with 1500 Gt of organic carbon (Kirkels et al., 2014). In agricultural landscapes, erosion and deposition caused by tillage and subsequent heavy precipitation redistribute large amounts of soil and therefore carbon (Van Oost et al., 2007). Erosion rates in areas of agricultural production are 1-2 magnitudes larger than in areas covered with native vegetation (Montgomery, 2007). Landscapes in the German state of Bavaria have been used for agricultural production for thousands of years. Within the framework of the project "Bavarian Landscapes Under Climate Change," a multi-method approach is taken. At two distinct watersheds in Bavaria, we attempt to quantify the effect of soil displacement on the fluxes of CO2, N2O and CH4 using continuous eddy covariance (EC) data, small manual gas chamber measurements and a soil laboratory incubation experiment designed to simulate an erosion event. The pre-alpine site of Rottenbuch, part of the TERENO network, is located at 690 masl and characterized by molasses and carbonic/dolomitic fluvioglacial sediments. The Otterbach site, part of the Bavarian Forest, lies at 350 masl and is dominated by granite and gneiss rock. The sites have an annual precipitation of 1200 and 700 mm, respectively. In Rottenbuch, the downslope area is managed grassland and the upslope area is grazed part of the year. In Otterbach, the downslope field is organic grassland, and the upslope area is used for agricultural production. There is a standard EC station at each site, as well as automatic chambers (Rottenbuch) and manual chambers (Otterbach). The data collected will be used to calibrate, run and verify numerical models to ascertain the sensitivity of the fluxes to biological, biochemical and physical processes and ultimately bring light to the question of agricultural landscapes as sinks or sources of greenhouse gases.

  5. Buffers for biomass production in temperate European agriculture: A review and synthesis on function, ecosystem services and implementation

    OpenAIRE

    Christen, Ben; Dalgaard, Tommy

    2013-01-01

    In addition to their potential for biomass production, buffer strips on agricultural land have been shown to protect surface water quality by reducing erosion and nutrient leaching, and can play a key role in nature and flood protection, and the design of bioenergy landscapes resilient to climate changes, and the environmental pressures from intensive agriculture. Use of conservation buffers by farmers outside of designated schemes is very limited to date, but the increasing demand for bioene...

  6. Re-wilding Europe's traditional agricultural landscapes: Values and the link between science and practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul H. Gobster

    2014-01-01

    Landscape and Urban Planning encourages multiple perspectives and approaches to help understand landscapes as social-ecological systems, with the goal that by building a robust science of landscape we can provide sustainable solutions for guiding its change. But the link between science and practice, or more simply put, between knowledge and action, is not always clear...

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Becerra, Natali; Tapia-Torres, Yunuen; Beltrán-Paz, Ofelia; Blaz, Jazmín; Souza, Valeria; García-Oliva, Felipe

    2016-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, R

    1999-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Aquatic ecosystems in the coal mining landscape of the upper Olifants River, and the way forward

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Oberholster, Paul J

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available can provide guidance on managing water ecosystems in the future at various stages of mining operations, which include understanding the interface between water ecosystems and coal mining activities, assessing the likelihood of coal mining activities...

  13. Effects of antagonistic ecosystem engineers on macrofauna communities in a patchy, intertidal mudflat landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eklof, J. S.; Donadi, S.; van der Heide, T.; van der Zee, E. M.; Eriksson, B. K.

    Ecosystem engineers are organisms that strongly modify abiotic conditions and in the process alter associated communities. Different types of benthic ecosystem engineers have been suggested to facilitate different communities in otherwise similar marine environments, partly because they alter

  14. Multi-functional landscapes in semi arid environments: implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    O'Farrell, PJ

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available assessment with an ecosystem service assessment. Stakeholder engagement and expert consultation focussed our investigations on surface water, ground water, grazing and tourism as the key services in this region. The key ecosystem services and service hotspots...

  15. Suitable landscape classification systems for quantifying spatiotemporal development of riverine ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopman, K.R.; Augustijn, Dionysius C.M.; Breure, A.M.; Lenders, H.J.R.; Leuven, R.S.E.W.

    River systems provide numerous ecosystem services that contribute to human well-being. Biophysical quantification of spatiotemporal development of ecosystem services is useful for environmental impact assessments or scenario analyses of river management and could be done by linking biophysical

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franz, Trenton E.; Wahbi, Ammar; Weltin, Georg; Heng, Lee; Dercon, Gerd; Vreugdenhi, Mariette; Oismueller, Markus; Strauss, Peter; Desilets, Darin

    2016-01-01

    With an ever-increasing demand for natural resources and the societal need to understand and predict natural disasters such as flood, soil water content (SWC) observations remain a critical variable to monitor in order to optimally allocate resources, establish early warning systems, and improve weather forecasts. However, routine agricultural production practices of soil cultivation, planting, and harvest make the operation and maintenance of direct contact point sensors for long-term monitoring a challenging task. In this work, we used Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP) to monitor landscape average SWC in a mixed agricultural land use system in northeast Austria since December 2013.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Charbonnier

    2008-04-01

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

  18. White-faced monkey (Cebus capucinus) ecology and management in neotropical agricultural landscapes during the dry season

    OpenAIRE

    Heather E. Williams; Christopher Vaughan

    2001-01-01

    Habitat use by a C. capucinus troop was studied in an agricultural landscape during late dry season (March-April 1994) in northwest Costa Rica. Riparian forests, palm canals and living fence rows accounted for 82 % of observations, significantly more than the other six habitats present. The study troop consumed 24 species of plants and five animals. Feeding concentrated on the introduced African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) (33.6 %) and mango (Mangifera indica) (27.2 %), found mostly in palm ...

  19. Range and variation in landscape patch dynamics: Implications for ecosystem management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert E. Keane; Janice L. Garner; Casey Teske; Cathy Stewart; Paul Hessburg

    2001-01-01

    Northern Rocky Mountain landscape patterns are shaped primarily by fire and succession, and conversely, these vegetation patterns influence burning patterns and plant colonization processes. Historical range and variability (HRV) of landscape pattern can be quantified from three sources: (1) historical chronosequences, (2) spatial series, and (3) simulated...

  20. 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...

  1. Landscape epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases in natural and human-altered ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross K. Meentemeyer; Sarah Haas; Tomáš Václavík

    2013-01-01

    A central challenge to studying emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) is a landscape dilemma: our best empirical understanding of disease dynamics occurs at local scales while pathogen invasions and management occur over broad spatial extents. The burgeoning field of landscape epidemiology integrates concepts and approaches from disease ecology with the macro-scale lens...

  2. Human relationships to fire prone ecosystems: Mapping values at risk on contested landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kari Gunderson; Steve Carver; Brett H. Davis

    2011-01-01

    A key problem in developing a better understanding of different responses to landscape level management actions, such as fuel treatments, is being able to confidently record and accurately spatially delineate the meanings stakeholders ascribe to the landscape. To more accurately understand these relationships with the Bitterroot National Forest, Montana, U.S.A., local...

  3. 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

  4. Beaver Activity, Holocene Climate and Riparian Landscape Change Across Stream Scales in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, R.; Meyer, G. A.

    2013-12-01

    Beaver (Castor canadensis) have been part of the fluvial and riparian landscape across much of North America since the Pleistocene, increasing channel habitat complexity and expanding riparian landscapes. The fur trade, however, decimated beaver populations by the 1840s, and other human activities have limited beaver in many areas, including parts of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Understanding fluctuations in beaver occupation through the Holocene will aid in understanding the natural range of variability in beaver activity as well as climatic and anthropogenic impacts to fluvial systems. We are developing a detailed chronology of beaver-assisted sedimentation and overall fluvial activity for Odell and Red Rock Creeks (basin areas 83 and 99 km2) in Centennial Valley (CV), Montana, to augment related studies on the long-term effects of beaver on smaller GYE fluvial systems (basin areas 0.1-50 km2). In developing the CV chronology, we use the presence of concentrations of beaver-chewed sticks as a proxy for beaver occupancy. Beaver-stick deposits are found in paleochannel and fluvial terrace exposures. The relative ages of exposures were determined by elevation data from airborne LiDAR and ground surveys. Numerical ages were obtained from 36 14C ages (~30 more are pending) of beaver-stick wood collected during investigation of the stratigraphy. Most beaver-stick deposits are associated with ~ 1 meter of fine-grained sediment, interpreted as overbank deposits, commonly overlying gravelly sand or pebble gravel channel deposits which is consistent with enhanced overbank sedimentation associated with active beaver dams in CV streams. The CV deposits differ from those on smaller GYE streams where beaver-stick deposits are associated with abandoned dams (berms), infilled ponds and laminated sediments. The lack of pond-related deposition associated with CV beaver-stick deposits is consistent with frequent dam breaching (≤ 5 years) in the modern channel of Odell

  5. Introducing perennial biomass crops into agricultural landscapes to address water quality challenges and provide other environmental services: Integrating perennial bioenergy crops into agricultural landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cacho, J. F. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Negri, M. C. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Zumpf, C. R. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Campbell, P. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA

    2017-11-29

    The world is faced with a difficult multiple challenge of meeting nutritional, energy, and other basic needs, under a limited land and water budget, of between 9 and 10 billion people in the next three decades, mitigating impacts of climate change, and making agricultural production resilient. More productivity is expected from agricultural lands, but intensification of production could further impact the integrity of our finite surface water and groundwater resources. Integrating perennial bioenergy crops in agricultural lands could provide biomass for biofuel and potential improvements on the sustainability of commodity crop production. This article provides an overview of ways in which research has shown that perennial bioenergy grasses and short rotation woody crops can be incorporated into agricultural production systems with reduced indirect land use change, while increasing water quality benefits. Current challenges and opportunities as well as future directions are also highlighted.

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James B Heffernan

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

  8. Pimp your landscape: a tool for qualitative evaluation of the effects of regional planning measures on ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürst, Christine; Volk, Martin; Pietzsch, Katrin; Makeschin, Franz

    2010-12-01

    The article presents the platform "Pimp your landscape" (PYL), which aims firstly at the support of planners by simulating alternative land-use scenarios and by an evaluation of benefits or risks for regionally important ecosystem services. Second, PYL supports an integration of information on environmental and landscape conditions into impact assessment. Third, PYL supports the integration of impacts of planning measures on ecosystem services. PYL is a modified 2-D cellular automaton with GIS features. The cells have the major attribute "land-use type" and can be supplemented with additional information, such as specifics regarding geology, topography and climate. The GIS features support the delineation of non-cellular infrastructural elements, such as roads or water bodies. An evaluation matrix represents the core element of the system. In this matrix, values in a relative scale from 0 (lowest value) to 100 (highest value) are assigned to the land-use types and infrastructural elements depending on their effect on ecosystem services. The option to configure rules for describing the impact of environmental attributes and proximity effects on cell values and land-use transition probabilities is of particular importance. User interface and usage of the platform are demonstrated by an application case. Constraints and limits of the recent version are discussed, including the need to consider in the evaluation, landscape-structure aspects such as patch size, fragmentation and spatial connectivity. Regarding the further development, it is planned to include the impact of land management practices to support climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in regional planning.

  9. Selection of flooded agricultural fields and other landscapes by female northern pintails wintering in Tulare Basin, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleskes, Joseph P.; Jarvis, Robert L.; Gilmer, David S.

    2003-01-01

    Habitat selection and use are measures of relative importance of habitats to wildlife and necessary information for effective wildlife conservation. To measure the relative importance of flooded agricultural fields and other landscapes to northern pintails (Anas acuta) wintering in Tulare Basin (TB), California, we radiotagged female pintails during late August-early October, 1991-1993 in TB and other San Joaquin Valley areas and determined use and selection of these TB landscapes through March each year. Availability of landscape and field types in TB changed within and among years. Pintail use and selection (based upon use-to-availability log ratios) of landscape and field types differed among seasons, years, and diel periods. Fields flooded after harvest and before planting (i.e., pre-irrigated) were the most available, used, and selected landscape type before the hunting season (Prehunt). Safflower was the most available, used, and-except in 1993, when pre-irrigated fallow was available-selected pre-irrigated field type during Prehunt. Pre-irrigated barley-wheat received 19-22% of use before hunting season, but selection varied greatly among years and diel periods. During and after hunting season, managed marsh was the most available, used, and, along with floodwater areas, selected landscape type; pre-irrigated cotton and alfalfa were the least selected field types and accounted for <13% of pintail use. Agricultural drainwater evaporation ponds, sewage treatment ponds, and reservoirs accounted for 42-48% of flooded landscape available but were little used and least selected. Exodus of pintails from TB coincided with drying of pre-irrigated fallow, safflower, and barley-wheat fields early in winter, indicating that preferred habitats were lacking in TB during late winter. Agriculture conservation programs could improve TB for pintails by increasing flooding of fallow and harvested safflower and grain fields. Conservation of remaining wetlands should concentrate

  10. Amphibian population genetics in agricultural landscapes: does viniculture drive the population structuring of the European common frog (Rana temporaria?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick P. Lenhardt

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian populations have been declining globally over the past decades. The intensification of agriculture, habitat loss, fragmentation of populations and toxic substances in the environment are considered as driving factors for this decline. Today, about 50% of the area of Germany is used for agriculture and is inhabited by a diverse variety of 20 amphibian species. Of these, 19 are exhibiting declining populations. Due to the protection status of native amphibian species, it is important to evaluate the effect of land use and associated stressors (such as road mortality and pesticide toxicity on the genetic population structure of amphibians in agricultural landscapes. We investigated the effects of viniculture on the genetic differentiation of European common frog (Rana temporaria populations in Southern Palatinate (Germany. We analyzed microsatellite data of ten loci from ten breeding pond populations located within viniculture landscape and in the adjacent forest block and compared these results with a previously developed landscape permeability model. We tested for significant correlation of genetic population differentiation and landscape elements, including land use as well as roads and their associated traffic intensity, to explain the genetic structure in the study area. Genetic differentiation among forest populations was significantly lower (median pairwise FST = 0.0041 at 5.39 km to 0.0159 at 9.40 km distance than between viniculture populations (median pairwise FST = 0.0215 at 2.34 km to 0.0987 at 2.39 km distance. Our analyses rejected isolation by distance based on roads and associated traffic intensity as the sole explanation of the genetic differentiation and suggest that the viniculture landscape has to be considered as a limiting barrier for R. temporaria migration, partially confirming the isolation of breeding ponds predicted by the landscape permeability model. Therefore, arable land may act as a sink habitat

  11. [The concentration and distribution of 137Cs in soils of forest and agricultural ecosystems of Tula Region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatov, D N; Shcheglov, A I; Tsvetnova, O B

    2007-01-01

    The paper deals with a comparative study of 137Cs contamination in forest, old arable and cultivated soils of Tula Region. Initial interception of Chernobyl derived 137Cs is higher in forest ecosystems: oak-forest > birch-forest > pine-forest > agricultural ecosystems. Vertical migration of 137Cs in deeper layers of soils was intensive in agricultural ecosystems: cultivated soils > old arable soils > birch-forest soils > oak-forest soils > pine-forest soils. In study have been evaluated spatial variability of 137Cs in soil and asymmetrical distribution, that is a skew to the right. Spatial heterogeneity of 137Cs in agricultural soils is much lower than in forest soils. For cultivated soil are determined the rate of resuspension, which equal to 6.1 x 10(-4) day(-1). For forest soils are described the 137Cs concentration in litter of different ecosystems. The role of main accumulation and barrier of 137Cs retain higher layers of soils (horizon A1(A1E) in forest, horizon Ap in agricultural ecosystems) in long-term forecast after Chernobyl accident.

  12. TILLAGE OPERATIONS IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL WARMING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. N. Gasanov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. The aim was to identify the possibility of recycling the carbon in the atmosphere and the efficient use of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR coming to the soil surface by means of the formation of highly natural phytocenosis in the back half of the summer and to minimize soil preparation period for the next crop in the rotation.Methods. We studied two systems of soil management in the stubble period, they cause: Firstly, CO2 emissions from the soil under the existing soil cultivation methods for crop rotation in the region. Secondly, the accumulation of CO2 in the organic mass of natural phytocenosis followed by plowing the green mass in the stage of milk-wax ripeness of the seeds – the dominants, and minimizing the period of preparing the ground for the next crop rotation.Result. According to the obtained data, it shows that a nutritious regime of soil under the winter wheat during plowing of green mass of natural phytocenosis is substantially improved compared to the tillage system. Similar findings were obtained by other researchers that justify the fact that the green manure crops, in this case natural phytocoenosis, throughout its life involves hard compound subarable soil layers in the biological cycle which is used to create organic matter.Conclusion. We provide a scientific rationale for the inexpediency of the use of existing tillage systems in agricultural landscapes, which are causing systematic destruction of weed - field vegetation during the periods free from agrocenoses.

  13. Do terrestrial animals avoid areas close to turbines in functioning wind farms in agricultural landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Łopucki, Rafał; Klich, Daniel; Gielarek, Sylwia

    2017-07-01

    Most studies on the effects of wind energy on animals have focused on avian and bat activity, habitat use, and mortality, whereas very few have been published on terrestrial, non-volant wildlife. In this paper, we studied the utilization of functioning wind farm areas by four terrestrial animals common to agricultural landscapes: European roe deer, European hare, red fox, and the common pheasant. Firstly, we expected that the studied animals do not avoid areas close to turbines and utilize the whole area of functioning wind farms with a frequency similar to the control areas. Secondly, we expected that there is no relation between the turbine proximity and the number of tracks of these animals. The study was conducted over two winter seasons using the snow-tracking method along 100 m linear transects. In total, 583 transects were recorded. Wind farm operations may affect terrestrial animals both in wind farm interiors and in a 700-m buffer zone around the edge of turbines. The reactions of animals were species specific. Herbivorous mammals (roe deer and European hare) avoided wind farm interiors and proximity to turbines. The common pheasant showed a positive reaction to wind turbine proximity. The red fox had the most neutral response to wind turbines. Although this species visited wind farm interiors less often than the control area, there was no relation between fox track density and turbine proximity. Greater weight should be given to the effects of wind farms on non-flying wildlife than at present. Investors and regulatory authorities should always consider the likely impacts of wind farms during environmental impact assessments and try to reduce these negative effects.

  14. Belowground Water Dynamics Under Contrasting Annual and Perennial Plant Communities in an Agriculturally-Dominated Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, G.; Asbjornsen, H.; Helmers, M. J.; Shepherd, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    The conversion from grasslands and forests to row-crops in the Midwest has affected soil water cycling because plant characteristics are one of the main parameters determining soil storage capacity, infiltration rates, and surface runoff. Little is known, however, about the extent of modification of soil water dynamics under different plant communities. To address this important issue, we are documenting soil water dynamics under contrasting perennial and annual plant communities in an agriculturally-dominated landscape. Measurements of soil moisture and depths of uptake of source water were obtained for six vegetative cover types (corn and soybean field, brome pasture, degraded savanna, restored savanna, and restored prairie) at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. The depths of uptake of soil water were determined on the basis of oxygen isotope composition of soil water and stem water. Measurements were performed once a month during an entire growing season. Preliminary results indicate that soil water present under the different vegetation types show similar profiles with depth during the dry months. Soil water in the upper 5 cm is enriched in oxygen-18 by about 5 per mil relative to soil water at 100 cm. Our preliminary results also indicate that the isotopic composition of stem water from annual plants is typically higher by about 2 per mil relative to that of stem water from perennial plants during the dry period. Whereas the oxygen isotopic composition for corn stem water is -5.49 per mil, that for elm and oak stem water is -7.62 and -7.51 per mil, respectively. The higher isotope values for corn suggest that annual crop plants are withdrawing water from shallower soil horizons relative to perennial plants. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest lower moisture content in soil under annual plant cover. We propose that the presence of deeper roots in the perennial vegetation allows these plants to tap into deeper water sources when

  15. 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. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. Modeling the impacts of phenological and inter-annual changes in landscape metrics on local biodiversity of agricultural lands of Eastern Ontario using multi-spatial and multi-temporal remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavi-Shoushtari, N.; King, D.

    2017-12-01

    Agricultural landscapes are highly variable ecosystems and are home to many local farmland species. Seasonal, phenological and inter-annual agricultural landscape dynamics have potential to affect the richness and abundance of farmland species. Remote sensing provides data and techniques which enable monitoring landscape changes in multiple temporal and spatial scales. MODIS high temporal resolution remote sensing images enable detection of seasonal and phenological trends, while Landsat higher spatial resolution images, with its long term archive enables inter-annual trend analysis over several decades. The objective of this study to use multi-spatial and multi-temporal remote sensing data to model the response of farmland species to landscape metrics. The study area is the predominantly agricultural region of eastern Ontario. 92 sample landscapes were selected within this region using a protocol designed to maximize variance in composition and configuration heterogeneity while controlling for amount of forest and spatial autocorrelation. Two sample landscape extents (1×1km and 3×3km) were selected to analyze the impacts of spatial scale on biodiversity response. Gamma diversity index data for four taxa groups (birds, butterflies, plants, and beetles) were collected during the summers of 2011 and 2012 within the cropped area of each landscape. To extract the seasonal and phenological metrics a 2000-2012 MODIS NDVI time-series was used, while a 1985-2012 Landsat time-series was used to model the inter-annual trends of change in the sample landscapes. The results of statistical modeling showed significant relationships between farmland biodiversity for several taxa and the phenological and inter-annual variables. The following general results were obtained: 1) Among the taxa groups, plant and beetles diversity was most significantly correlated with the phenological variables; 2) Those phenological variables which are associated with the variability in the start of

  17. The genetic basis of local adaptation for pathogenic fungi in agricultural ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croll, Daniel; McDonald, Bruce A

    2017-04-01

    Local adaptation plays a key role in the evolutionary trajectory of host-pathogen interactions. However, the genetic architecture of local adaptation in host-pathogen systems is poorly understood. Fungal plant pathogens in agricultural ecosystems provide highly tractable models to quantify phenotypes and map traits to corresponding genomic loci. The outcome of crop-pathogen interactions is thought to be governed largely by gene-for-gene interactions. However, recent studies showed that virulence can be governed by quantitative trait loci and that many abiotic factors contribute to the outcome of the interaction. After introducing concepts of local adaptation and presenting examples from wild plant pathosystems, we focus this review on a major pathogen of wheat, Zymoseptoria tritici, to show how a multitude of traits can affect local adaptation. Zymoseptoria tritici adapted to different thermal environments across its distribution range, indicating that thermal adaptation may limit effective dispersal to different climates. The application of fungicides led to the rapid evolution of multiple, independent resistant populations. The degree of colony melanization showed strong pleiotropic effects with other traits, including trade-offs with colony growth rates and fungicide sensitivity. The success of the pathogen on its host can be assessed quantitatively by counting pathogen reproductive structures and measuring host damage based on necrotic lesions. Interestingly, these two traits can be weakly correlated and depend both on host and pathogen genotypes. Quantitative trait mapping studies showed that the genetic architecture of locally adapted traits varies from single loci with large effects to many loci with small individual effects. We discuss how local adaptation could hinder or accelerate the development of epidemics in agricultural ecosystems. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Land-Sparing Opportunities for Solar Energy Development in Agricultural Landscapes: A Case Study of the Great Central Valley, CA, United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffacker, Madison K; Allen, Michael F; Hernandez, Rebecca R

    2017-12-19

    Land-cover change from energy development, including solar energy, presents trade-offs for land used for the production of food and the conservation of ecosystems. Solar energy plays a critical role in contributing to the alternative energy mix to mitigate climate change and meet policy milestones; however, the extent that solar energy development on nonconventional surfaces can mitigate land scarcity is understudied. Here, we evaluate the land sparing potential of solar energy development across four nonconventional land-cover types: the built environment, salt-affected land, contaminated land, and water reservoirs (as floatovoltaics), within the Great Central Valley (CV, CA), a globally significant agricultural region where land for food production, urban development, and conservation collide. Furthermore, we calculate the technical potential (TWh year -1 ) of these land sparing sites and test the degree to which projected electricity needs for the state of California can be met therein. In total, the CV encompasses 15% of CA, 8415 km 2 of which was identified as potentially land-sparing for solar energy development. These areas comprise a capacity-based energy potential of at least 17 348 TWh year -1 for photovoltaic (PV) and 2213 TWh year -1 for concentrating solar power (CSP). Accounting for technology efficiencies, this exceeds California's 2025 projected electricity demands up to 13 and 2 times for PV and CSP, respectively. Our study underscores the potential of strategic renewable energy siting to mitigate environmental trade-offs typically coupled with energy sprawl in agricultural landscapes.

  1. Are riparian forest reserves sources of invertebrate biodiversity spillover and associated ecosystem functions in oil palm landscapes?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gray, C. L.; Simmons, B. I.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Mann, D. J.; Slade, E. M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 194, Feb 01 (2016), s. 176-183 ISSN 0006-3207 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-32302S; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09427S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ecosystem function * forest fragments * tropical agriculture Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.022, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715301956

  2. A Global-Scale Estimate of Ecosystem Services from Urban Agriculture: Understanding Incentives for Natural Capital in Cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton, N.; Stuhlmacher, M.; Miles, A.; Uludere, N.; Wagner, M.; Georgescu, M.; Herwig, C.; Gong, P.

    2017-12-01

    Despite substantial interest in urban agriculture, little is known about the aggregate benefits conferred by natural capital for growing food in cities. Here we perform a scenario-based analysis to quantify ecosystem services from adoption of urban agriculture at varying intensity. To drive the scenarios, we created global-scale estimates of vacant land, rooftop and building surface area, at one kilometer resolution, from remotely sensed and modeled geospatial data. We used national scale agricultural reports, climate and other geospatial data at global scale to estimate agricultural production and economic returns, storm-water avoidance, energy savings from avoided heating and cooling costs, and ecosystem services provided by nitrogen sequestration, pollination and biocontrol of pests. The results indicate that vacant lands, followed by rooftops, represent the largest opportunities for natural capital put to agricultural use in urban areas. Ecosystem services from putting such spaces to productive use are dominated by agricultural returns, but energy savings conferred by insulative characteristics of growth substrate also provide economic incentives. Storm water avoidance was estimated to be substantial, but no economic value was estimated. Relatively low economic returns were estimated from the other ecosystem services examined. In aggregate, approximately $10-100 billion in economic incentives, before costs, were estimated. The results showed that relatively developed, high-income countries stand the most to gain from urban agricultural adoption due to the unique combination of climate, crop mixture and crop prices. While the results indicate that urban agriculture is not a panacea for urban food security issues, there is potential to simultaneously ameliorate multiple issues around food, energy and water in urbanized areas.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. Beyond agricultural innovation systems? Exploring an agricultural innovation ecosystems approach for niche design and development in sustainability transitions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pigford, Ashlee Ann E.; Hickey, Gordon M.; Klerkx, Laurens

    2018-01-01

    Well-designed and supported innovation niches may facilitate transitions towards sustainable agricultural futures, which may follow different approaches and paradigms such as agroecology, local place-based food systems, vertical farming, bioeconomy, urban agriculture, and smart farming or digital

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Bridget R.; Jolly, Ian; Sophocleous, Marios; Zhang, Lu

    2007-03-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Integrating Geomorphic and Social Dynamics in the Analysis of Anthropogenic Landforms: Examining Landscape Evolution of Terrain Modified by Agricultural Terracing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaubius, J.; Maerker, M.

    2016-12-01

    Anthropogenic landforms, such as mines and agricultural terraces, are impacted by both geomorphic and social processes at varying intensities through time. In the case of agricultural terraces, decisions regarding terrace maintenance are intertwined with land use, such as when terraced fields are abandoned. Furthermore, terrace maintenance and land use decisions, either jointly or separately, may be in response to geomorphic processes, as well as geomorphic feedbacks. Previous studies of these complex geomorphic systems considered agricultural terraces as static features or analyzed only the geomorphic response to landowner decisions. Such research is appropriate for short-term or binary landscape scenarios (e.g. the impact of maintained vs. abandoned terraces), but the complexities inherent in these socio-natural systems requires an approach that includes both social and geomorphic processes. This project analyzes feedbacks and emergent properties in terraced systems by implementing a coupled landscape evolution model (LEM) and agent-based model (ABM) using the Landlab and Mesa modeling libraries. In the ABM portion of the model, agricultural terraces are conceptualized using a life-cycle stages schema and implemented using Markov Decision Processes to simulate the changing geomorphic impact of terracing based on human decisions. This paper examines the applicability of this approach by comparing results from a LEM-only model against the coupled LEM-ABM model for a terraced region. Model results are compared by quantify and spatial patterning of sediment transport. This approach fully captures long-term landscape evolution of terraced terrain that is otherwise lost when the life-cycle of terraces is not considered. The coupled LEM-ABM approach balances both environmental and social processes so that the socio-natural feedbacks in such anthropogenic systems can be disentangled.

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quine, C P; Watts, K

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Floodplains as a source of fine sediment in grazed landscapes: Tracing the source of suspended sediment in the headwaters of an intensively managed agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Mingjing; Rhoads, Bruce L.

    2018-05-01

    The flux of fine sediment within agricultural watersheds is an important factor determining the environmental quality of streams and rivers. Despite this importance, the contributions of sediment sources to suspended sediment loads within intensively managed agricultural watersheds remain poorly understood. This study assesses the provenance of fine suspended sediment in the headwater portion of a river flowing through an agricultural landscape in Illinois. Sediment source samples were collected from five sources: croplands, forested floodplains, grasslands, upper grazed floodplains, and lower grazed floodplains. Event-based and aggregated suspended sediment samples were collected from the stream at the watershed outlet. Quantitative geochemical fingerprinting techniques and a mixing model were employed to estimate the relative contributions of sediment from the five sources to the suspended sediment loads. To account for possible effects of small sample sizes, the analysis was repeated with only two sources: grazed floodplains and croplands/grasslands/forested floodplains. Results based on mean values of tracers indicate that the vast majority of suspended sediment within the stream (>95%) is derived from erosion of channel banks and the soil surface within areas of grazed floodplains. Uncertainty analysis based on Monte Carlo simulations indicates that mean values of tracer properties, which do not account for sampling variability in these properties, probably overestimate contributions from the two major sources. Nevertheless, this analysis still supports the conclusion that floodplain erosion accounts for the largest percentage of instream sediment (≈55-75%). Although grazing occurs over only a small portion of the total watershed area, grazed floodplains, which lie in close proximity to the stream channel, are an important source of sediment in this headwater steam system. Efforts to reduce fluxes of fine sediment in this intensively managed landscape should

  13. Floodplains as a source of fine sediment in grazed landscapes: tracing the source of suspended sediment in the headwaters of an intensively managed agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, M.; Rhoads, B. L.; Stumpf, A.

    2017-12-01

    The flux of fine sediment within agricultural watersheds is an important factor determining the environmental quality of streams and rivers. Despite this importance, the contributions of sediment sources to suspended sediment loads within intensively managed agricultural watersheds remain poorly understood. This study assesses the provenance of fine suspended sediment in the headwater portion of a river flowing through an agricultural landscape in Illinois. Sediment source samples were collected from five potential sources: streambanks, forested floodplain, grassland, and grazed floodplains. Event-based and aggregated suspended sediment samples were collected from the stream at the watershed outlet. Quantitative geochemical fingerprinting techniques and a mixing model were employed to estimate the relative contributions of sediment from five potential sources to the suspended sediment loads. Organic matter content, trace elements, and fallout radionuclides were used as potential tracers. Principal Component analysis was employed to complement the results and Monte Carlo random sampling routine was used to test the uncertainty in estimated contributions of sources to in-stream sediment loads. Results indicate that the majority of suspended sediment is derived from streambanks and grazed floodplains. Erosion of the floodplain both by surface runoff and by streambank erosion from lateral channel migration contributes to the production of fine sediment within the stream system. These results suggest that human activities, in this case grazing, have converted portions of floodplains, normally net depositional environments, into sources of fine sediments. Efforts to reduce fluxes of fine sediment in this intensively managed landscape should focus on degraded floodplain surfaces and eroding channel banks within heavily grazed reaches of the stream.

  14. An individual-based process model to simulate landscape-scale forest ecosystem dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupert Seidl; Werner Rammer; Robert M. Scheller; Thomas Spies

    2012-01-01

    Forest ecosystem dynamics emerges from nonlinear interactions between adaptive biotic agents (i.e., individual trees) and their relationship with a spatially and temporally heterogeneous abiotic environment. Understanding and predicting the dynamics resulting from these complex interactions is crucial for the sustainable stewardship of ecosystems, particularly in the...

  15. The evolving role of science in wilderness to our understanding of ecosystems and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman L. Christensen

    2000-01-01

    Research in wilderness areas (areas with minimal human activity and of large spatial extent) formed the foundation for ecological models and theories that continue to shape our understanding how ecosystems change through time, how ecological communities are structured and how ecosystems function. By the middle of this century, large expanses of wilderness had become...

  16. Carbon cycle dynamics within Oregon’s urban-suburban-forested-agricultural landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Law, Beverly E. [Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States); Still, Christopher Jason [Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States); Schmidt, Andres [Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)

    2017-06-15

    Our overarching goal was to develop and utilize an observation-based analysis framework to assess interactions between climate and mosaics of land use, land cover and urbanization on regional carbon, water, and energy dynamics, and potential changes associated with land management and climate. Carbon, water and energy cycling was quantified for the range of current and potential land uses under present and future climates. The study region of Oregon has a strong climatic gradient from the coastal mesic forests (2500mm ppt) to the Willamette Valley, Cascade Mountains, and the Northern Great Basin semi-arid “cold desert” to the east (300 mm). The study was focused on the effects of (1) conversion of semi-arid sagebrush and Willamette Valley agricultural crops to bioenergy production; (2) afforestation of idle land and rangelands deemed suitable for forests or poplar crops under future climate conditions. We found that net ecosystem production (NEP), the net of ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration, was 10 times higher in the high biomass forests of the Coast Range compared with drier regions like sagebrush in the Northern Great Basin, which was nearly zero (Schmidt et al. 2016). The state total NEP averaged about 30 teragrams carbon (Tg C) per year for the years 2012 to 2014 using our model framework that we developed for predictions of current and future NEP, and compared well with our detailed inventory estimates (28 Tg C annual average for 2011-2015 for forests only; Law et al. 2017). Running our model framework until the year 2050, we found that climate alone only increased NEP by less than 1 Tg C per decade (~3%) using the current trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions, however, changes are expected to be more rapid in subsequent years. We evaluated the possibility of land use change from grass seed crops to poplar for bioenergy, which slightly increased NEP by 2050. The most important variable for carbon sequestration estimates (net carbon sources and

  17. Landscapes and ethno-knowledge in the Ticuna and Cocama agriculture at upper River Solimões, Amazonas, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra do Nascimento Noda

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The units of landscape in the Cocama and Ticuna agriculture, in the upper River Solimões, are characterized by productionarrangements and management of natural resources. This paper aims to characterize these agro-ecological based practices,the landscaped results and its regional applicability. The survey was conducted in Novo Paraíso, at Bom Intento Island,and in Nova Aliança, both located in the municipality of Benjamin Constant, state of Amazonas, Brazil. The social andeconomic organization of Ticuna and Cocama Peoples is founded on kinship and communal ownership of natural resources,including spaces for gathering. Family units, despite their weak linkages with the market and its rules, have in the logicof reciprocity the motivation for the production, transmission and management of resources and factors of production.The landscapes are reconstructed by agro-ecological production derived from ethno-knowledge and correspond to theinherent processes of management and conservation of flora and fauna. This process allows the existence of compleximbrications of constantly changing landscapes in which forms of production are recreated for sufficiency and sustainability.

  18. Past and future impacts of land use and climate change on agricultural ecosystem services in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lorencová, E.; Frélichová, J.; Nelson, E.; Vačkář, David

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 33, JUL (2013), s. 183-194 ISSN 0264-8377 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : climate change * scenarios * land use change * ecosystem services * agriculture * assessment Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.134, year: 2013

  19. Enhancing early detection of exotic pests in agricultural and forest ecosystems using an urban-gradient framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manuel Colunga-Garcia; Roger A. Magarey; Robert A. Haack; Stuart H. Gage; Jiaquo. Qi

    2010-01-01

    Urban areas are hubs of international transport and therefore are major gateways for exotic pests. Applying an urban gradient to analyze this pathway could provide insight into the ecological processes involved in human-mediated invasions. We defined an urban gradient for agricultural and forest ecosystems in the contiguous United States to (1) assess whether...

  20. 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

  1. 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...... 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 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...

  2. Use of radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) to map winter wetland habitat for shorebirds in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taft, Oriane W; Haig, Susan M; Kiilsgaard, Chris

    2004-05-01

    Many of today's agricultural landscapes once held vast amounts of wetland habitat for waterbirds and other wildlife. Successful restoration of these landscapes relies on access to accurate maps of the wetlands that remain. We used C-band (5.6-cm-wavelength), HH-polarized radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) at a 38 degrees incidence angle (8-m resolution) to map the distribution of winter shorebird (Charadriiformes) habitat on agricultural lands in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. We acquired imagery on three dates (10 December 1999, 27 January 2000, and 15 March 2000) and simultaneously collected ground reference data to classify radar signatures and evaluate map accuracy of four habitat classes: (1) wet with 50% vegetation, (3) dry with 50% vegetation. Overall accuracy varied from 45 to 60% among the three images, but the accuracy of focal class 1 was greater, ranging from 72 to 80%. Class 4 coverage was stable and dominated maps (40% of mapped study area) for all three dates, while coverage of class 3 decreased slightly throughout the study period. Among wet classes, class 1 was most abundant (about 30% coverage) in December and January, decreasing in March to approximately 15%. Conversely, class 2 increased dramatically from January to March, likely due to transition from class 1 as vegetation grew. This approach was successful in detecting optimal habitat for shorebirds on agricultural lands. For modest classification schemes, radar remote sensing is a valuable option for wetland mapping in areas where cloud cover is persistent.

  3. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale

    OpenAIRE

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A; Cousins, Stephen R; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yavercovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon W; Peterschmitt, Michel

    2017-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine rela...

  4. Geometagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale

    OpenAIRE

    Bernardo, Pauline; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Barakat, Mohamed; Ortet, Philippe; Fernandez, Emmanuel; Filloux, Denis; Hartnady, Penelope; Rebelo, Tony A.; Cousins, Stephen; Mesleard, François; Cohez, Damien; Yaverkovski, Nicole; Varsani, Arvind; Harkins, Gordon William; Peterschmitt, Michel

    2018-01-01

    Disease emergence events regularly result from human activities such as agriculture, which frequently brings large populations of genetically uniform hosts into contact with potential pathogens. Although viruses cause nearly 50% of emerging plant diseases, there is little systematic information about virus distribution across agro-ecological interfaces and large gaps in understanding of virus diversity in nature. Here we applied a novel landscape-scale geometagenomics approach to examine rela...

  5. Analyzing Three-Decadal Patterns of Land Use/Land Cover Change and Regional Ecosystem Services at the Landscape Level: Case Study of Two Coastal Metropolitan Regions, Eastern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-Bin Cai

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Rapid urbanization, land scarcity, and accompanying ecological deterioration in China have received growing attention. In this paper, two fast-growing metropolitan regions, Greater Shanghai and Greater Hangzhou, were selected as case studies to quantify the impact of land use/land cover (LULC change on regional ecosystem services value (ESV at the landscape scale since the late 1970s. The results show that in both regions, dramatic LULC change, especially recent land development at the urban fringes, led to a steady decline in the available area of productive agricultural land, natural land and semi-natural land. This consequently caused remarkable landscape fragmentation along the urban-rural gradient as measured by five class-level landscape metrics. It was estimated that in Greater Shanghai, regulating, supporting, provisioning, and cultural ESVs decreased by 32.05%, 17.89%, 53.72%, and 17.06%, respectively. In Greater Hangzhou, these values decreased by 27.82%, 23.86%, 28.62%, and 22.85%, respectively. In addition, the relationship is quantified between zonal buffer-based ESV and class-level landscape metrics. Further analysis shows that spatiotemporal patterns of zonal ESVs along the urban-rural gradient in these two regions exhibited unbalanced patterns of ecological services delivery.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Understanding the scale and drivers of ecosystem services in working landscapes of the southeastern US

    Science.gov (United States)

    The USDA Long Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network exists to build knowledge required for “sustainable intensification of agriculture, increasing yields from the current agricultural land base while minimizing or reversing agriculture’s adverse environmental impacts.” Of the 18 current LTAR lo...

  9. 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...

  10. Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; social issues fact sheet 14: Landscape preference in forested ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christine Esposito

    2006-01-01

    It is important to understand what types of landscape settings most people prefer to be able to plan fuels treatment and other forest management activities that will be acceptable to the general public. This fact sheet considers the four common elements of visually preferred forest settings: large trees; herbacious, smooth groundcover; open midstory canopy; and vistas...

  11. 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.

  12. Forest landscape restoration : reconciling biodiversity conservation with local livelihoods in Ecuador

    OpenAIRE

    Middendorp, Romaike Sanne

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forest conversion and agricultural intensification are important drivers of loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services on which local communities depend. Resilient agricultural landscapes are crucial to safeguard food security and adapt to environmental and climate changes. An increasing number of policies and programs target forest landscape restoration but lack the scientific basis to ensure sustainable outcomes. This dissertation explores the potential of forest landscape restora...

  13. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N.; Singh, Devendra P.

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet. PMID:27148218

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matios, Edward; Burney, Jennifer

    2017-03-07

    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.

  15. 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. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of 35S-dimehypo pesticide on agricultural environment and ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Zuyi; Mi Chunyun; Ye Dechang; Cheng Bing

    1988-03-01

    Dimehypo is a nereistoxin derivative, which was developed and manufactured in China. In order of appraise its environmeatal safety comprehensively, the radioisotopic tracer technique and other methods were applied to investigate on the effects of 35 S-labelled dimehypo ( 35 S-dimehypo) on agricultural environment and ecosystem. The results revealed its low adsorptivity and high mobility, especially water-carrying mobility in soil, fair stability in soil and water, and slowness in degradation. Its main product of degradation, nereistoxin, was of lower mobility than its material compound in soil. 35 S-dimehypo could enter the bodies of grass carps Ctenopharyngodon idellus along with bails or via the respiratory tracts, and could be excreted fast after the fish were removed from the contaminated source. Liquid and granulated 35 S-dimehypo were fed to quail and fowls respectively, and could also be excreted rapidly in excretion and urine. Its much less distribution coefficient in caprylalcoholwater system suggested no accumulation in the adipose tissue of organism. The release of its effective composition in the granules prepared with porcelain clay or clay soil is prompt and complete

  18. Carbon dioxide evolution from snow-covered agricultural ecosystems in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Koizumi

    1996-07-01

    Full Text Available The release of CO2 from the snow surface in winter and the soil surface in summer was directly or indirectly measured in three different soil types (peat, sand and clay in agricultural ecosystems in Finland. The closed chamber (CC method was used for the direct and Pick’s diffusion model (DM method for the indirect measurements. The winter soil temperatures at 2-cm depth were between 0 and 1°C for each soil type. The concentration of CO2 within the snowpack increased linearly with snow depth. The average fluxes of CO2 calculated from the gradients of CO2 concentration in the snow using the DM method ranged from 10 to 27 mg CO2 m2h-1 and with the CC method from 18 to 27 mg CO2 m2h-1. These results suggest that the snow insulates the soil thermally, allowing CO2 production to continue at soil temperatures slightly above freezing in the winter. Carbon dioxide formed in the soil can move across the snowpack up to the atmosphere. The winter/summer ratio of CO2 evolution was estimated to exceed 4%. Therefore, the snow-covered crop soil served as a source of CO2 in winter, and CO2 evolution constitutes an important part of the annual CO2 budget in snowy regions.

  19. Landscape Analysis of Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture Policy Development in Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachat, Carl; Nago, Eunice; Ka, Abdoulaye; Vermeylen, Harm; Fanzo, Jessica; Mahy, Lina; Wüstefeld, Marzella; Kolsteren, Patrick

    2015-06-01

    Unlocking the agricultural potential of Africa offers a genuine opportunity to address malnutrition and drive development of the continent. Using Senegal as a case study, to identify gaps and opportunities to strengthen agricultural policies with nutrition-sensitive approaches. We carried out a systematic analysis of 13 policy documents that related to food production, agriculture, food security, or nutrition. Next, we collected data during a participatory analysis with 32 national stakeholders and in-depth interviews with 15 national experts of technical directorates of the different ministries that deal with agriculture and food production. The current agricultural context has various elements that are considered to enhance its nutrition sensitivity. On average, 8.3 of the 17 Food and Agriculture Organization guiding principles for agriculture programming for nutrition were included in the policies reviewed. Ensuring food security and increasing dietary diversity were considered to be the principal objectives of agricultural policies. Although there was considerable agreement that agriculture can contribute to nutrition, current agricultural programs generally do not target communities on the basis of their nutritional vulnerability. Agricultural programs were reported to have specific components to target female beneficiaries but were generally not used as delivery platforms for nutritional interventions. The findings of this study indicate the need for a coherent policy environment across the food system that aligns recommendations at the national level with local action on the ground. In addition, specific activities are needed to develop a shared understanding of nutrition and public health nutrition within the agricultural community in Senegal. © The Author(s) 2015.

  20. An ecosystem approach to biodiversity management and the restoration of post-mining landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franklin, K.C. [Warwick Business School, Coventry (United Kingdom)

    2001-07-01

    This paper presents an integrated ecosystem approach to biodiversity management and land restoration following mining activity. The approach is informed by an understanding of ecosystems, mining impacts, local peoples and natural resource relationships. It addresses both biological and social issues. Restoration requirements are noted at different levels of the acknowledged biodiversity hierarchy, and include safeguarding identified priority species and ecosystem utility. The responsibility for such projects however is not seen as resting solely with the mining company. Restoration objectives and programs should be developed in conjunction with governments and local peoples. The resultant site-level biodiversity is seen as being closely allied to national strategy or action plans. This is seen as being critical to the creation of a sustainable restoration initiative. 11 refs.

  1. Combined effects of agrochemicals and ecosystem services on crop yield across Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gagic, Vesna; Kleijn, David; Báldi, András; Boros, Gergely; Jørgensen, Helene Bracht; Elek, Zoltán; Garratt, Michael P. D.; de Groot, G. Arjen; Hedlund, Katarina; Kovács- Hostyánszki, Anikó; Marini, Lorenzo; Martin, Emily; Pevere, Ines; Potts, Simon G.; Redlich, Sarah; Senapathi, Deepa; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Świtek, Stanislaw; Smith, Henrik G.; Takács, Viktória; Tryjanowski, Piotr; van der Putten, Wim H.; van Gils, Stijn; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2017-01-01

    Simultaneously enhancing ecosystem services provided by biodiversity below and above ground is recommended to reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers in agriculture. However, consequences for crop yield have been poorly evaluated. Above ground, increased landscape complexity

  2. Hydrological modeling of the Ribeirão das Posses – An assessment based on the Agricultural Ecosystem Services (AgES watershed model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia Porta Nova da Cruz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Southeastern Brazil has recently experienced drought conditions that have impacted watershed conservation and the management of water quality and quantity for agricultural and urban demands. The Ribeirão das Posses watershed is being monitored as a headwater of the Jaguarí River, which is one of the contributing rivers of the Cantareira Reservoir Complex in the state of São Paulo. The landscape has changed over the last century from native forests to more homogeneous vegetation for pastures, crops and some forest plantations of eucalyptus, which have cumulative impacts on water yield and quality. Currently, the Projeto Conservador das Águas (Water Conservationist Project has planted small areas with native species vegetation in order to recover degraded areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate the quantity of water in the Ribeirão das Posses Basin by both measurements and by simulating hydrological responses. The Agricultural Ecosystem Services (AgES watershed model was applied to simulate water movement and storage among land areas. The simulation period was from 2009 to 2014, because the daily streamflow and meteorological data were available for model calibration and testing. We discuss data input requirements, model calibration to fit measured streamflow, and sensitivity to spatially variable rainfall inputs. The calibrated model may be used to estimate streamflow during periods of missing data, and in the future to estimate impacts of land use changes on stream water quantity and quality. Such information can be used in programs of payments for ecosystem services.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Laurel G.; Harvey, Judson W.

    2011-01-01

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

  4. How elephants utilize a miombo-wetland ecosystem in Ugalla landscape, Western Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Kalumanga, Elikana

    2015-01-01

    African elephants are ‘keystone’ species with respect to biodiversity conservation in Africa since they maintain habitats that support several animal communities by changing vegetation structure through foraging and by dispersing seeds between landscapes. Elephants are also ‘flagship’ species because, given their impressive size, they can make people sympathetic and stimulate local and international concerns for their protection. Economically, elephants contribute to national revenues as tour...

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

    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.

  6. Landscape configurational heterogeneity by small-scale agriculture, not crop diversity, maintains pollinators and plant reproduction in western Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hass, Annika L; Kormann, Urs G; Tscharntke, Teja; Clough, Yann; Baillod, Aliette Bosem; Sirami, Clélia; Fahrig, Lenore; Martin, Jean-Louis; Baudry, Jacques; Bertrand, Colette; Bosch, Jordi; Brotons, Lluís; Burel, Françoise; Georges, Romain; Giralt, David; Marcos-García, María Á; Ricarte, Antonio; Siriwardena, Gavin; Batáry, Péter

    2018-02-14

    Agricultural intensification is one of the main causes for the current biodiversity crisis. While reversing habitat loss on agricultural land is challenging, increasing the farmland configurational heterogeneity (higher field border density) and farmland compositional heterogeneity (higher crop diversity) has been proposed to counteract some habitat loss. Here, we tested whether increased farmland configurational and compositional heterogeneity promote wild pollinators and plant reproduction in 229 landscapes located in four major western European agricultural regions. High-field border density consistently increased wild bee abundance and seed set of radish ( Raphanus sativus ), probably through enhanced connectivity. In particular, we demonstrate the importance of crop-crop borders for pollinator movement as an additional experiment showed higher transfer of a pollen analogue along crop-crop borders than across fields or along semi-natural crop borders. By contrast, high crop diversity reduced bee abundance, probably due to an increase of crop types with particularly intensive management. This highlights the importance of crop identity when higher crop diversity is promoted. Our results show that small-scale agricultural systems can boost pollinators and plant reproduction. Agri-environmental policies should therefore aim to halt and reverse the current trend of increasing field sizes and to reduce the amount of crop types with particularly intensive management. © 2018 The Author(s).

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Disturbance and net ecosystem production across three climatically distinct forest landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Campbell; O.J. Sun; B.E. Law

    2004-01-01

    Biometric techniques were used to measure net ecosystem production (NEP) across three climatically distinct forest chronosequences in Oregon. NEP was highly negative immediately following stand-replacing disturbance in all forests and recovered to positive values by 10, 20, and 30 years of age for the mild mesic Coast Range, mesic West Cascades, and semi-arid East...

  10. Establishing the evidence base for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in the oil palm landscapes of South East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, William A.; Snaddon, Jake L.; Turner, Edgar C.; Fayle, Tom M.; Cockerill, Timothy D.; Ellwood, M. D. Farnon; Broad, Gavin R.; Chung, Arthur Y. C.; Eggleton, Paul; Khen, Chey Vun; Yusah, Kalsum M.

    2011-01-01

    The conversion of natural forest to oil palm plantation is a major current threat to the conservation of biodiversity in South East Asia. Most animal taxa decrease in both species richness and abundance on conversion of forest to oil palm, and there is usually a severe loss of forest species. The extent of loss varies significantly across both different taxa and different microhabitats within the oil palm habitat. The principal driver of this loss in diversity is probably the biological and physical simplification of the habitat, but there is little direct evidence for this. The conservation of forest species requires the preservation of large reserves of intact forest, but we must not lose sight of the importance of conserving biodiversity and ecosystem processes within the oil palm habitat itself. We urgently need to carry out research that will establish whether maintaining diversity supports economically and ecologically important processes. There is some evidence that both landscape and local complexity can have positive impacts on biodiversity in the oil palm habitat. By intelligent manipulation of habitat complexity, it could be possible to enhance not only the number of species that can live in oil palm plantations but also their contribution to the healthy functioning of this exceptionally important and widespread landscape. PMID:22006968

  11. Inventorying trees in agricultural landscapes: towards an accounting of working trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. H. Perry; C. W. Woodall; M.M. Schoeneberger

    2005-01-01

    Agroforestry plantings and other trees intentionally established in rural and urban areas are emerging as innovative management options for addressing resource issues and achieving landscape-level goals. An understanding of the contributions from these and future plantings would provide critical information to policy and program developers, and a comprehensive...

  12. 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

  13. Agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goetz, B.; Riss, A.; Zethner, G.

    2001-01-01

    This chapter deals with fertilization techniques, bioenergy from agriculture, environmental aspects of a common agriculture policy in the European Union, bio-agriculture, fruit farming in Austria and with environmental indicators in agriculture. In particular renewable energy sources (bio-diesel, biogas) from agriculture are studied in comparison to fossil fuels and other energy sources. (a.n.)

  14. 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...

  15. From microbes to water districts: Linking observations across scales to uncover the implications of riparian and channel management on water quality in an irrigated agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, A.; Cadenasso, M. L.

    2016-12-01

    Interactions among runoff, riparian and stream ecosystems, and water quality remain uncertain in many settings, particularly those heavily impacted by human activities. For example, waterways in the irrigated agricultural landscape of California's Central Valley are seasonally disconnected from groundwater tables and are extensively modified by infrastructure and management. These conditions make the impact of riparian and channel management difficult to predict across scales, which hinders efforts to promote best management practices to improve water quality. We seek to link observations across catchment, reach, and patch scales to understand patterns of nitrate and turbidity in waterways draining irrigated cropland. Data was collected on 80 reaches spanning two water management districts. At the catchment scale, water districts implemented waterway and riparian management differently: one water district had a decentralized approach, allowing individual land owners to manage their waterway channels and banks, while the other had a centralized approach, in which land owners defer management to a district-run program. At the reach scale, riparian and waterway vegetation, geomorphic complexity, and flow conditions were quantified. Reach-scale management such as riparian planting projects and channel dredging frequency were also considered. At the patch scale, denitrification potential and organic matter were measured in riparian toe-slope soils and channel sediments, along with associated vegetation and geomorphic features. All factors were tested for their ability to predict water quality using generalized linear mixed effects models and the consistency of predictors within and across scales was evaluated. A hierarchy of predictors emerges: catchment-scale management regimes predict reach-scale geomorphic and vegetation complexity, which in turn predicts sediment denitrification potential - the patch-scale factor most associated with low nitrate. Similarly

  16. Structural and functional characteristics of buffer strip vegetation in an agricultural landscape - high potential for nutrient removal but low potential for plant biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hille, Sandra; Andersen, Dagmar Kappel; Kronvang, Brian; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette

    2018-07-01

    Vegetated buffer strips constitute a transition zone between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and provide several ecosystem services. Buffer strips are often applied as a mitigation measure against diffuse pollution in agricultural areas, primarily because they may retain nutrients and in this way help protect the aquatic environment. Additionally, they can improve biodiversity in an otherwise homogenous landscape and may therefore have a value in their own right. In the present study, we characterized the structural and functional features of the vegetation in Danish buffer strips using a nationwide dataset to explore: i) their floristic quality in terms of species diversity and conservation value and ii) based on their functional characteristics, their potential to retain nutrients. Moreover, we analyzed how the structural and functional characteristics varied along gradients in the environmental features of the catchment. We found that the floristic quality of the buffer vegetation was generally low, exhibiting an average of only 3.3% of the number of species of conservation interest. Instead, Danish buffer strips were dominated by widespread and productive species that are tolerant of anthropogenic impacts in the catchment. The abundance of highly productive plant species was positively related to high intensity land use, whereas the abundance of stress-tolerant plant species was positively related to low intensity land use. The high productivity of the buffer strips implies a large bio-storage potential, and these areas might therefore offer an opportunity to remove nutrients by harvesting the plant biomass. We discuss how Danish buffer strips could be exploited via appropriate management (e.g. harvesting) to maximize nutrient retention and at the same time improve floristic quality. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. A Korean radioecology model to simulate radionuclide behavior in agricultural ecosystems following a nuclear emergency and its application to countermeasures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hwang, W.T.; Suh, K.S.; Kim, E.H.; Han, M.H.; Lee, H.S.; Lee, C.W.

    2003-01-01

    A Korean radioecology model to simulate radionuclide behavior in agricultural ecosystems has been developed as a module for evaluating the ingestion dose in a Korean real-time dose assessment system FADAS, which evaluates the comprehensive radiological consequences in an accidental release of radionuclides to the environment. Using the predictive results of a Korean radioecology model, a methodology for the optimization of countermeasures has been designed based on a cost-benefit analysis. In this manuscript, a Korean radioecology model including agricultural countermeasures was introduced, and discussed with the sample calculations for the postulated accidental release of radionuclides to the environment. (author)

  18. Allometry and partitioning of above- and below-ground biomass in farmed eucalyptus species dominant in Western Kenyan agricultural landscapes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuyah, Shem; Dietz, Johannes; Muthuri, Catherine; Noordwijk, Meine van; Neufeldt, Henry

    2013-01-01

    Farmers in developing countries are one of the world's largest and most efficient producers of sequestered carbon. However, measuring, monitoring and verifying how much carbon trees in smallholder farms are removing from the atmosphere has remained a great challenge in developing nations. Devising a reliable way for measuring carbon associated with trees in agricultural landscapes is essential for helping smallholder farmers benefit from emerging carbon markets. This study aimed to develop biomass equations specific to dominant eucalyptus species found in agricultural landscapes in Western Kenya. Allometric relationships were developed by regressing diameter at breast height (DBH) alone or DBH in combination with height, wood density or crown area against the biomass of 48 trees destructively sampled from a 100 km 2 site. DBH alone was a significant predictor variable and estimated aboveground biomass (AGB) with over 95% accuracy. The stems, branches and leaves formed up to 74, 22 and 4% of AGB, respectively, while belowground biomass (BGB) of the harvested trees accounted for 21% of the total tree biomass, yielding an overall root-to-shoot ratio (RS) of 0.27, which varied across tree size. Total tree biomass held in live Eucalyptus trees was estimated to be 24.4 ± 0.01 Mg ha −1 , equivalent to 11.7 ± 0.01 Mg of carbon per hectare. The equations presented provide useful tools for estimating tree carbon stocks of Eucalyptus in agricultural landscapes for bio-energy and carbon accounting. These equations can be applied to Eucalyptus in most agricultural systems with similar agro-ecological settings where tree growth parameters would fall within ranges comparable to the sampled population. -- Highlights: ► Equation with DBH alone estimated aboveground biomass with about 95% accuracy. ► Local generic equations overestimated above- and below-ground biomass by 10 and 48%. ► Height, wood density and crown area data did not improve model accuracy. ► Stems

  19. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands could be beneficial: distribution of carabid beetles and spiders in agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Michal; Řezáč, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Carabid beetles and ground-dwelling spiders inhabiting agroecosystems are beneficial organisms with a potential to control pest species. Intensification of agricultural management and reduction of areas covered by non-crop vegetation during recent decades in some areas has led to many potentially serious environmental problems including a decline in the diversity and abundance of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes. This study investigated carabid beetle and spider assemblages in non-crop habitat islands of various sizes (50 to 18,000 square metres) within one large field, as well as the arable land within the field, using pitfall traps in two consecutive sampling periods (spring to early summer and peak summer). The non-crop habitat islands situated inside arable land hosted many unique ground-dwelling arthropod species that were not present within the surrounding arable land. Even the smallest non-crop habitat islands with areas of tens of square metres were inhabited by assemblages substantially different from these inhabiting arable land and thus enhanced the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. The non-crop habitat area substantially affected the activity density, recorded species richness and recorded species composition of carabid and ground-dwelling spider assemblages; however, the effects were weakened when species specialised to non-crop habitats species were analysed separately. Interestingly, recorded species richness of spiders increased with non-crop habitat area, whereas recorded species richness of carabid beetles exhibited an opposite trend. There was substantial temporal variation in the spatial distribution of ground-dwelling arthropods, and contrasting patterns were observed for particular taxa (carabid beetles and spiders). In general, local environmental conditions (i.e., non-crop habitat island tree cover, shrub cover, grass cover and litter depth) were better determinants of arthropod assemblages than non-crop habitat island

  20. 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. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  1. [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.

  2. Emerging contaminants in agricultural ecosystems: impact of selected pharmaceutical on water and soil ecology and pratical implications

    OpenAIRE

    Saccà, Maria Ludovica

    2010-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals are useful tools to prevent and treat human and animal diseases. Following administration, a significant fraction of pharmaceuticals is excreted unaltered into faeces and urine and may enter the aquatic ecosystem and agricultural soil through irrigation with recycled water, constituting a significant source of emerging contaminants into the environment. Understanding major factors influencing their environmental fate is consequently needed to value the risk, reduce contaminati...

  3. 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.

  4. 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......) sites, NEE (mean ± standard error, SE) was 5.1 ± 0.9 and 8.6 ± 2.0 Mg C ha−1 yr−1, respectively, but with the overall lowest value observed for potato cropping (3.5 Mg C ha−1 yr−1). This was partly attributed to a short-duration vegetation period and drying of the soil especially in potato ridges. NECB...

  5. Forest disturbance by an ecosystem engineer: beaver in boreal forest landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Nummi, Petri; Kuuluvainen, Timo

    2013-01-01

    Natural disturbances are important for forest ecosystem dynamics and maintenance of biodiversity. In the boreal forest, large-scale disturbances such as wildfires and windstorms have been emphasized, while disturbance agents acting at smaller scales have received less attention. Especially in Europe beavers have long been neglected as forest disturbance agents because they were extirpated from most of their range centuries ago. However, now they are returning to many parts of their former dis...

  6. 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.

  7. Informing policy to protect coastal coral reefs: insight from a global review of reducing agricultural pollution to coastal ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroon, Frederieke J; Schaffelke, Britta; Bartley, Rebecca

    2014-08-15

    The continuing degradation of coral reefs has serious consequences for the provision of ecosystem goods and services to local and regional communities. While climate change is considered the most serious risk to coral reefs, agricultural pollution threatens approximately 25% of the total global reef area with further increases in sediment and nutrient fluxes projected over the next 50 years. Here, we aim to inform coral reef management using insights learned from management examples that were successful in reducing agricultural pollution to coastal ecosystems. We identify multiple examples reporting reduced fluxes of sediment and nutrients at end-of-river, and associated declines in nutrient concentrations and algal biomass in receiving coastal waters. Based on the insights obtained, we recommend that future protection of coral reef ecosystems demands policy focused on desired ecosystem outcomes, targeted regulatory approaches, up-scaling of watershed management, and long-term maintenance of scientifically robust monitoring programs linked with adaptive management. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF POLICY OPTIONS ON AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES: AN ALTERNATIVE-FUTURES APPROACH

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alternative-futures analysis was used to analyze different scenarios of future growth patterns and attendant resource allocations on the agricultural system of Oregon's Willamette River Basin. A stakeholder group formulated three policy alternatives: a continuation of current tr...

  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. Reproductive plasticity and landscape heterogeneity benefit a ground-nesting bird in a fire-prone ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, J Matthew; Hovick, Torre J; Davis, Craig A; Elmore, Robert Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D

    2017-10-01

    Disturbance is critical for the conservation of rangeland ecosystems worldwide and many of these systems are fire dependent. Although it is well established that restoring fire as an ecological process can lead to increased biodiversity in grasslands and shrublands, the underlying mechanisms driving community patterns are poorly understood for fauna in fire-prone landscapes. Much of this uncertainty stems from the paucity of studies that examine the effects of fire at scales relevant to organism life histories. We assessed the response of a non-migratory ground-dwelling bird to disturbance (i.e., prescribed fire) and environmental stochasticity over the course of a 4-yr period, which spanned years of historic drought and record rainfall. Specifically, we investigated the nesting ecology of Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter Bobwhite) to illuminate possible avenues by which individuals respond to dynamic landscape patterns during a critical reproductive stage (i.e., nesting) in a mixed-grass shrubland in western Oklahoma, USA. We found that Bobwhites exhibited extreme plasticity in nest substrate use among time since fire categories (TSF) and subsequently maintained high nest survival (e.g., 57-70%). Bobwhites were opportunistic in nest substrate use among TSF categories (i.e., 72% of nest sites in shrubs in 0-12 months post fire compared to 71% in herbaceous vegetation in >36 months post fire), yet nesting decisions were first filtered by similar structural components (i.e., vertical and horizontal cover) within the vicinity of nest sites regardless of TSF category. Despite being a non-migratory and comparatively less mobile ground-nesting bird species, Bobwhites adjusted to dynamic vegetation mosaics on a fire-prone landscape under stochastic climatic conditions that culminated in stable and high nest survival. Broadly, our findings provide a unique depiction of organism response strategies to fire at scales relevant to a critical life-stage, a

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ssegane, Herbert; Negri, M. Cristina; Quinn, John; Urgun-Demirtas, Meltem

    2015-09-01

    Current and future demand for food, feed, fiber, and energy require novel approaches to land management, which demands that multifunctional landscapes are created to integrate various ecosystem functions into a sustainable land use. We developed an approach to design such landscapes at a field scale to minimize concerns of land use change, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with production of food and bioenergy. This study leverages concepts of nutrient recovery and phytoremediation to place bioenergy crops on the landscape to recover nutrients released to watersheds by commodity crops. Crop placement is determined by evaluating spatial variability of: 1) soils, 2) surface flow pathways, 3) shallow groundwater flow gradients, 4) subsurface nitrate concentrations, and 5) primary crop yield. A 0.8 ha bioenergy buffer was designed within a 6.5 ha field to intercept concentrated surface flow, capture and use nitrate leachate, and minimize use of productive areas. Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) simulations show that on average, a switchgrass (Panicum Virgatum L.) or willow (Salix spp.) buffer within this catchment according to this design could reduce annual leached NO3 by 61 or 59% and N2O emission by 5.5 or 10.8%, respectively, produce 8.7 or 9.7 Mg ha-1 of biomass respectively, and displace 6.7 Mg ha-1 of corn (Zea mays L.) grain. Therefore, placement of bioenergy crops has the potential to increase environmental sustainability when the pairing of location and crop type result in minimal disruption of current food production systems and provides additional environmental benefits.

  12. Enhancing early detection of exotic pests in agricultural and forest ecosystems using an urban-gradient framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colunga-Garcia, Manuel; Magarey, Roger A; Haack, Robert A; Gage, Stuart H; Qi, Jiaquo

    2010-03-01

    Urban areas are hubs of international transport and therefore are major gateways for exotic pests. Applying an urban gradient to analyze this pathway could provide insight into the ecological processes involved in human-mediated invasions. We defined an urban gradient for agricultural and forest ecosystems in the contiguous United States to (1) assess whether ecosystems nearer more urbanized areas were at greater risk of invasion, and (2) apply this knowledge to enhance early detection of exotic pests. We defined the gradient using the tonnage of imported products in adjacent urban areas and their distance to nearby agricultural or forest land. County-level detection reports for 39 exotic agricultural and forest pests of major economic importance were used to characterize invasions along the gradient. We found that counties with more exotic pests were nearer the urban end of the gradient. Assuming that the exotic species we analyzed represent typical invaders, then early detection efforts directed at 21-26% of U.S. agricultural and forest land would likely be able to detect 70% of invaded counties and 90% of the selected species. Applying an urban-gradient framework to current monitoring strategies should enhance early detection efforts of exotic pests, facilitating optimization in allocating resources to areas at greater risk of future invasions.

  13. Wheat or barley? Feeding preferences affect distribution of three rodent species in agricultural landscape

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Heroldová, Marta; Tkadlec, E.; Bryja, Josef; Zejda, J.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 110, 3-4 (2008), s. 354-362 ISSN 0168-1591 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/04/2003 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : agro-ecosystem * small rodent species * diet preference * habitat preference Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.823, year: 2008

  14. 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. © 2015 SETAC.

  15. Assessment of the foraging and nesting conditions for solitary bees and bumblebees, and their distribution in a Danish agricultural landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calabuig, Isabel

    2000-01-01

    In a survey April through November 1997, a total of 72 solitary bee species and 19 bumblebee species were recorded in the semi-natural habitats of a Danish conventional agricultural landscape. The majority of the solitary non-inquiline bee species (59) were polylectic, but four oligoleges of Salix...... all ones that may sustain a species rich but polylecticly dominated bee fauna. Abundance of solitary bees and bumblebees were correlated with mellitophilous plant coverage in south-facing areas, whereas no correlation was found for honeybees. Furthermore, abundance of honeybees was not correlated...... with abundance of other bees. Bee species richness could not be explained by plant species richness or coverage in a multiple regression. Habitat parameters in a generalised linear model were able to predict abundance of males and inquilines, a measure of nest abundances in the habitats....

  16. 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

  17. Comparison of the ranging behavior of Scotophilus kuhlii (Lesser Asiatic Yellow Bat) in agricultural and urban landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atiqah, Nur; Akbar, Zubaid; Syafrinna, Ubaidah, Nur; Foo, Ng Yong

    2015-09-01

    Knowledge on home range sizes and movement patterns of animals through the environment is crucial for determining effects of habitat disturbance and fragmentation. To gauge the effects of land-use changes on Scotophilus kuhlii, a telemetric study was conducted between February 2014 and April 2014 in Tasik Chini, Pahang and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi Campus. The home range sizes and movement patterns of S. kuhlii inhabiting agricultural landscape (Tasik Chini, Pahang) versus urban landscape (UKM) were compared. A total of ten individuals were successfully radio-tracked. Comparison of home range sizes of both sexes showed male S. kuhlii at Tasik Chini have larger mean home range sizes compared to UKM while female S.kuhlii in UKM have larger mean home range sizes compared to Tasik Chini. All individuals from both localities showed random movement. It is suggested that the home range and activity patterns might be influenced by food availability in the study area, food preferences and diet segregation and breeding behavior. This study provides baseline information on habitat utilization by S. kuhlii in relation to habitat perturbations.

  18. Effects of lakes and reservoirs on annual river nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment export in agricultural and forested landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Stephen 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Sensitivity Analysis of the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) for Phosphorus Loads in Tile-Drained Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, W; King, K; Williams, M; Williams, J; Fausey, N

    2015-07-01

    Numerical modeling is an economical and feasible approach for quantifying the effects of best management practices on dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loadings from agricultural fields. However, tools that simulate both surface and subsurface DRP pathways are limited and have not been robustly evaluated in tile-drained landscapes. The objectives of this study were to test the ability of the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX), a widely used field-scale model, to simulate surface and tile P loadings over management, hydrologic, biologic, tile, and soil gradients and to better understand the behavior of P delivery at the edge-of-field in tile-drained midwestern landscapes. To do this, a global, variance-based sensitivity analysis was performed, and model outputs were compared with measured P loads obtained from 14 surface and subsurface edge-of-field sites across central and northwestern Ohio. Results of the sensitivity analysis showed that response variables for DRP were highly sensitive to coupled interactions between presumed important parameters, suggesting nonlinearity of DRP delivery at the edge-of-field. Comparison of model results to edge-of-field data showcased the ability of APEX to simulate surface and subsurface runoff and the associated DRP loading at monthly to annual timescales; however, some high DRP concentrations and fluxes were not reflected in the model, suggesting the presence of preferential flow. Results from this study provide new insights into baseline tile DRP loadings that exceed thresholds for algal proliferation. Further, negative feedbacks between surface and subsurface DRP delivery suggest caution is needed when implementing DRP-based best management practices designed for a specific flow pathway. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  1. Landscape scale heterogeneity in the East Turkana ecosystem during the Okote Member (1.56-1.38 Ma).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, D B; Braun, D R; Behrensmeyer, A K; Lehmann, S B; Merritt, S R; Reeves, J S; Wood, B A; Bobe, R

    2017-11-01

    Placing the biological adaptations of Pleistocene hominins within a well-resolved ecological framework has been a longstanding goal of paleoanthropology. This effort, however, has been challenging due to the discontinuous nature of paleoecological data spanning many important periods in hominin evolution. Sediments from the Upper Burgi (1.98-1.87 Ma), KBS (1.87-1.56 Ma) and Okote (1.56-1.38 Ma) members of the Koobi Fora Formation at East Turkana in northern Kenya document an important time interval in the evolutionary history of the hominin genera Homo and Paranthropus. Although much attention has been paid to Upper Burgi and KBS member deposits, far less is known regarding the East Turkana paleoecosystem during Okote Member times. This study pairs spatially-resolved faunal abundance data with stable isotope geochemistry from mammalian enamel to investigate landscape-scale ecosystem variability during Okote Member times. We find that during this period 1) taxa within the East Turkana large mammal community were distributed heterogeneously across space, 2) the abundance of C 3 and C 4 vegetation varied between East Turkana subregions, and 3) the Karari subregion, an area with abundant evidence of hominin stone tool manufacture, had significantly more C 3 vegetation than regions closer to the central axis of the Turkana Basin (i.e., Ileret and Koobi Fora). These findings indicate that the East Turkana paleoecosystem during the Okote Member was highly variable across space and provided a complex adaptive landscape for Pleistocene hominins. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Management of modern agricultural landscapes increases nest predation rates in black-tailed godwits Limosa limosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kentie, Rosemarie; Both, Christiaan; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.; Piersma, Theunis

    Effective conservation of endangered species requires a solid understanding of the demographic causes of population change. Bird populations breeding on agricultural grasslands have declined because their preferred habitat of herb-rich meadows has been replaced by grassland monocultures. The timing

  3. Management of modern agricultural landscapes increases nest predation rates in Black-tailed Godwits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kentie, R.; Both, C.; Hooijmeijer, C.E.W.; Piersma, T.

    2015-01-01

    Effective conservation of endangered species requires a solid understanding of the demographic causes of population change. Bird populations breeding on agricultural grasslands have declined because their preferred habitat of herb-rich meadows has been replaced by grassland monocultures. The timing

  4. Stakeholder and expert-guided scenarios for agriculture and landscape development in a groundwater proction area

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vejre, Henrik; Vesterager, Jens Peter; Kristensen, Lone Søderkvist

    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...

  5. 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

  6. The Paradox of Restoring Native River Landscapes and Restoring Native Ecosystems in the Colorado River System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    Throughout the Colorado River basin (CRb), scientists and river managers collaborate to improve native ecosystems. Native ecosystems have deteriorated due to construction of dams and diversions that alter natural flow, sediment supply, and temperature regimes, trans-basin diversions that extract large amounts of water from some segments of the channel network, and invasion of non-native animals and plants. These scientist/manager collaborations occur in large, multi-stakeholder, adaptive management programs that include the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, and the Upper Colorado River Endangered Species Recovery Program. Although a fundamental premise of native species recovery is that restoration of predam flow regimes inevitably leads to native species recovery, such is not the case in many parts of the CRb. For example, populations of the endangered humpback chub (Gila cypha) are largest in the sediment deficit, thermally altered conditions of the Colorado River downstream from Glen Canyon Dam, but these species occur in much smaller numbers in the upper CRb even though the flow regime, sediment supply, and sediment mass balance are less perturbed. Similar contrasts in the physical and biological response of restoration of predam flow regimes occurs in floodplains dominated by nonnative tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) where reestablishment of floods has the potential to exacerbate vertical accretion processes that disconnect the floodplain from the modern flow regime. A significant challenge in restoring segments of the CRb is to describe this paradox of physical and biological response to reestablishment of pre-dam flow regimes, and to clearly identify objectives of environmentally oriented river management. In many cases, understanding the nature of the