WorldWideScience

Sample records for grassland ecosystem sustainability

  1. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

  2. Tools for Management for Grassland Ecosystem Sustainability: Thinking "Outside the Box"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem management is dynamic and has adapted to the development of new tools and ideas. Our ancestors were indirectly managing grasslands when they learned to move livestock to take advantage of better water and greener forage. One could argue that even their hunting of grassland wildlife, especially the use of fire to drive animals to waiting hunters, had...

  3. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes

  4. Evapotranspiration and soil moisture dynamics in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia China

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Hao; Ge Sun; Yongqiang Liu; G. S. Zhou; J. H.   Wan;  L. B. Zhang; J. L. Niu; Y. H. Sang;  J. J He

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture are the key controls for the productivity and functioning of temperate grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Quantifying the soil moisture dynamics and water balances in the grasslands is essential to sustainable grassland management under global climate change. We...

  5. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-01-01

    This study was concerned with plutonium contamination of grassland at the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geogrphical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for plutonium analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99% of the total plutonium was contained in the soil. The concentrations of plutonium in soil were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes. A mechanism of agglomerated submicron plutonium oxide particles and larger (1-500 μm) host soil particles was proposed. Concentrations of Pu in litter and vegetation were inversely correlated to distance from the source and directly correlated to soil concentrations at the same location. Comparatively high concentration ratios of vegetation to soil suggested wind resuspension of contamination as an important transport mechanism. Arthropod and small mammal samples were highly skewed, kurtotic, and quite variable, having coefficients of variation (standard deviation/mean) as high as 600%. Bone Pu concentrations were lower than other tissues. Hide, GI, and lung were generally not higher in Pu than kidney, liver and muscle

  6. Making Grasslands Sustainable in Mongolia: Herders' Livelihoods and Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    2014-01-01

    The threats posed by climate change have significant impacts on Mongolia’s grassland ecosystems and herders’ livelihoods. This publication discusses the auses of climate change and its impacts on livelihoods and ecosystems for herders and the general public. It explains how good pasture management and livestock roductivity are important for increasing incomes and provides information on adaptation practices. It also identifies sustainable management practices that can increase communities’ re...

  7. Impact intensities of climatic changes on grassland ecosystems in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. NJ TONUKARI

    2012-03-22

    Mar 22, 2012 ... Construction of the impact intensity model of climatic changes on grassland ecosystem ... the temperature and rainfall (Sun and Mu, 2011). Thus, the study ... of the equation, the study transformed the measurement unit Mu of.

  8. Partitioning ecosystems for sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Martyn G

    2016-03-01

    Decline in the abundance of renewable natural resources (RNRs) coupled with increasing demands of an expanding human population will greatly intensify competition for Earth's natural resources during this century, yet curiously, analytical approaches to the management of productive ecosystems (ecological theory of wildlife harvesting, tragedy of the commons, green economics, and bioeconomics) give only peripheral attention to the driving influence of competition on resource exploitation. Here, I apply resource competition theory (RCT) to the exploitation of RNRs and derive four general policies in support of their sustainable and equitable use: (1) regulate resource extraction technology to avoid damage to the resource base; (2) increase efficiency of resource use and reduce waste at every step in the resource supply chain and distribution network; (3) partition ecosystems with the harvesting niche as the basic organizing principle for sustainable management of natural resources by multiple users; and (4) increase negative feedback between consumer and resource to bring about long-term sustainable use. A simple policy framework demonstrates how RCT integrates with other elements of sustainability science to better manage productive ecosystems. Several problem areas of RNR management are discussed in the light of RCT, including tragedy of the commons, overharvesting, resource collapse, bycatch, single species quotas, and simplification of ecosystems.

  9. Sustainable web ecosystem design

    CERN Document Server

    O'Toole, Greg

    2013-01-01

    This book is about the process of creating web-based systems (i.e., websites, content, etc.) that consider each of the parts, the modules, the organisms - binary or otherwise - that make up a balanced, sustainable web ecosystem. In the current media-rich environment, a website is more than a collection of relative html documents of text and images on a static desktop computer monitor. There is now an unlimited combination of screens, devices, platforms, browsers, locations, versions, users, and exabytes of data with which to interact. Written in a highly approachable, practical style, this boo

  10. The biological transport of radionuclides in grassland and freshwater ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudge, S.A.

    1989-12-01

    This thesis examines the biological transport of radionuclides through terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, with particular reference to radiocaesium. The semi-natural grassland habitat was located at Drigg, W. Cumbria, contaminated primarily by radioactive fallout, from several sources over the past decade. Advantage was made of the deposition of radionuclides from the Chernobyl reactor incident, which occurred during the early stages of the investigation. The study examined the distribution of radiocaesium for the major components of the grassland ecosystem, within the soil-plant-invertebrate-small mammal food chain. Data concerning temporal fluctuation of radionuclide transfer factors between food chain components are presented. The final section examines the spatial distribution of radiocaesium in sediment and the freshwater eel (Anguilla anguilla) in a small stream contaminated by radioactive effluent. The relationship between activity levels in eels and the sediments in which they rest and forage was investigated. Factors influencing uptake of radiocaesium in freshwater fish were also examined. (author)

  11. Ecosystem Management and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.D. Peine; B.L. Jacobs; K.E. Franzreb; M.R. Stevens

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem management (EM) promotes an integrated approach to environmental issues; its central goal is the protection of entire ecosystems. By focusing on an interdisciplinary solution to environmental challenges, EM can help to synthesize societal, economic scientific, and governmental goals. Furthermore, as EM becomes part of the foundation of environmental...

  12. Imaging spectroscopy for ecological analysis in forest and grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Homolova, L.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial vegetation is an important component of the Earth’s biosphere and therefore playing an essential role in climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and it provides large variety of services to humans. For a sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems it is essential to understand

  13. Identifying priority areas for ecosystem service management in South African grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egoh, Benis N; Reyers, Belinda; Rouget, Mathieu; Richardson, David M

    2011-06-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services required to support human well-being and are home to a diverse fauna and flora. Degradation of grasslands due to agriculture and other forms of land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem services. Various efforts are underway around the world to stem these declines. The Grassland Programme in South Africa is one such initiative and is aimed at safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. As part of this developing programme, we identified spatial priority areas for ecosystem services, tested the effect of different target levels of ecosystem services used to identify priority areas, and evaluated whether biodiversity priority areas can be aligned with those for ecosystem services. We mapped five ecosystem services (below ground carbon storage, surface water supply, water flow regulation, soil accumulation and soil retention) and identified priority areas for individual ecosystem services and for all five services at the scale of quaternary catchments. Planning for individual ecosystem services showed that, depending on the ecosystem service of interest, between 4% and 13% of the grassland biome was required to conserve at least 40% of the soil and water services. Thirty-four percent of the biome was needed to conserve 40% of the carbon service in the grassland. Priority areas identified for five ecosystem services under three target levels (20%, 40%, 60% of the total amount) showed that between 17% and 56% of the grassland biome was needed to conserve these ecosystem services. There was moderate to high overlap between priority areas selected for ecosystem services and already-identified terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity priority areas. This level of overlap coupled with low irreplaceability values obtained when planning for individual ecosystem services makes it possible to combine biodiversity and ecosystem services in one plan using systematic conservation planning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All

  14. Balance matters : N:P stoichiometry and plant diversity in grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Eutrophication of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) is threatening the functioning and biodiversity of grassland ecosystems. A well known effect of eutrophication on grasslands is an increase of above-ground productivity, which intensifies light competition and allows only a few competitive species to

  15. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well - being through the loss of ecosystem services.

  16. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wen

    Full Text Available The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC, and soil total nitrogen (TN were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  17. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Lu; Dong, Shikui; Li, Yuanyuan; Li, Xiaoyan; Shi, Jianjun; Wang, Yanlong; Liu, Demei; Ma, Yushou

    2013-01-01

    The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC), and soil total nitrogen (TN) were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe) were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  18. Land management influences trade-offs and the total supply of ecosystem services in alpine grassland in Tibet, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Junxi; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Chengqun; Luo, Liming; Pan, Ying

    2017-05-15

    Developing sustainable use patterns for alpine grassland in Tibet is the primary challenge related to conserving these vulnerable ecosystems of the 'world's third pole' and guaranteeing the well-being of local inhabitants. This challenge requires researchers to think beyond the methods of most current studies that are limited to a single aspect of conservation or productivity, and focus on balancing various needs. An analysis of trade-offs involving ecosystem services provides a framework that can be used to quantify the type of balancing needed. In this study, we measured variations in four types of ecosystem services under five types of grassland management including grazing exclusion, sowing, combined plowing and grazing exclusion, combined plowing and sowing, and natural grassland, from 2013 to 2015. In addition, we accessed the existence and changing patterns of ecosystem service trade-offs using Spearman coefficients and a trade-off index. The results revealed the existence of trade-offs among provisioning and regulating services. Plowing and sowing could convert the trade-off relationships into synergies immediately. Grazing exclusion reduced the level of trade-offs gradually over time. Thus, the combined plowing and sowing treatment promoted the total supply of multiple ecosystem services when compared with natural grassland. We argue that the variations in dry matter allocation to above- and belowground serve as one cause of the variation in trade-off relationships. Another cause for variation in trade-offs is the varied species competition between selection effects and niche complementarity. Our study provides empirical evidence that the effects of trade-offs among ecosystem services could be reduced and even converted into synergies by optimizing management techniques. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem. [Rocky Flats Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, /sup 238/Pu and /sup 239/Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes.

  20. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  1. Linking the benefits of ecosystem services to sustainable spatial planning of ecological conservation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Xu, Xinliang; Fan, Jiangwen; Wang, Junbang

    2018-09-15

    The maintenance and improvement of ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau are critical for national ecological security in China and are core objectives of ecological conservation in this region. In this paper, ecosystem service benefits of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project were comprehensively assessed by estimating and mapping the spatiotemporal variation patterns of critical ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau from 2000 to 2015. Furthermore, we linked the benefit assessment to the sustainable spatial planning of future ecological conservation strategies. Comparing the 8 years before and after the project, the water retention and carbon sink services of the forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems were slightly increased after the project, and the ecosystem sand fixation service has been steadily enhanced. The increasing forage supply service of grassland significantly reduced the grassland carrying pressure and eased the conflict between grassland and livestock. However, enhanced rainfall erosivity occurred due to increased rainfall, and root-layer soils could not recover in a short period of time, both factors have led to a decline in soil conservation service. The warm and humid climate is beneficial for the restoration of ecosystems on the Tibet Plateau, and the implementation of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project has had a positive effect on the local improvement of ecosystem services. A new spatial planning strategy for ecological conservation was introduced and aims to establish a comprehensive, nationwide system to protect important natural ecosystems and wildlife, and to promote the sustainable use of natural resources. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Understanding of Grassland Ecosystems under Climate Change and Economic Development Pressures in the Mongolia Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, J.; Chen, J.; Shan, P.; Pan, X.; Wei, Y.; Wang, M.; Xin, X.

    2011-12-01

    The land use and land cover change, especially in the form of grassland degradation, in the Mongolian Plateau, exhibited a unique spatio-temporal pattern that is a characteristic of a mixed stress from economic development and climate change of the region. The social dimension of the region played a key role in shaping the landscape and land use change, including the cultural clashes with economic development, conflicts between indigenous people and business ventures, and exogenous international influences. Various research projects have been conducted in the region to focus on physical degradation of grasslands and/or on economic development but there is a lack of understanding how the social and economic dimensions interact with grassland ecosystems and changes. In this talk, a synthesis report was made based on the most recent workshop held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, of China, that specifically focused on climate change and grassland ecosystems. The report analyzed the degree of grassland degradation, its climate and social drivers, and coupling nature of economic development and conservation of traditional grassland values. The goal is to fully understand the socio-ecological-economic interactions that together shape the trajectory of the grassland ecosystems in the Mongolia Plateau.

  3. Major ecosystems in China: dynamics and challenges for sustainable management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Yihe; Fu, Bojie; Wei, Wei; Yu, Xiubo; Sun, Ranhao

    2011-07-01

    Ecosystems, though impacted by global environmental change, can also contribute to the adaptation and mitigation of such large scale changes. Therefore, sustainable ecosystem management is crucial in reaching a sustainable future for the biosphere. Based on the published literature and publicly accessible data, this paper discussed the status and trends of forest, grassland, and wetland ecosystems in China that play important roles in the ecological integrity and human welfare of the nation. Ecological degradation has been observed in these ecosystems at various levels and geographic locations. Biophysical (e.g., climate change) and socioeconomic factors (e.g., intensive human use) are the main reasons for ecosystem degradation with the latter factors serving as the dominant driving forces. The three broad categories of ecosystems in China have partially recovered from degradation thanks to large scale ecological restoration projects implemented in the last few decades. China, as the largest and most populated developing nation, still faces huge challenges regarding ecosystem management in a changing and globalizing world. To further improve ecosystem management in China, four recommendations were proposed, including: (1) advance ecosystem management towards an application-oriented, multidisciplinary science; (2) establish a well-functioning national ecological monitoring and data sharing mechanism; (3) develop impact and effectiveness assessment approaches for policies, plans, and ecological restoration projects; and (4) promote legal and institutional innovations to balance the intrinsic needs of ecological and socioeconomic systems. Any change in China's ecosystem management approach towards a more sustainable one will benefit the whole world. Therefore, international collaborations on ecological and environmental issues need to be expanded.

  4. Lake Naivasha Sustainability : Ecosystem Improvement for Health ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Lake Naivasha Sustainability : Ecosystem Improvement for Health and ... The overall goal is to make recommendations for the sustainable management of natural ... to improve livestock vaccine development and production to benefit farmers ...

  5. Threshold responses to interacting global changes in a California grassland ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Field, Christopher [Carnegie Inst. of Science, Stanford, CA (United States); Mooney, Harold [Stanford Univ., CA (United States); Vitousek, Peter [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)

    2015-02-02

    Building on the history and infrastructure of the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment, we conducted experiments to explore the potential for single and combined global changes to stimulate fundamental type changes in ecosystems that start the experiment as California annual grassland. Using a carefully orchestrated set of seedling introductions, followed by careful study and later removal, the grassland was poised to enable two major kinds of transitions that occur in real life and that have major implications for ecosystem structure, function, and services. These are transitions from grassland to shrubland/forest and grassland to thistle patch. The experiment took place in the context of 4 global change factors – warming, elevated CO2, N deposition, and increased precipitation – in a full-factorial array, present as all possible 1, 2, 3, and 4-factor combinations, with each combination replicated 8 times.

  6. Alternative states of a semiarid grassland ecosystem: implications for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Garman, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems can shift between alternative states characterized by persistent differences in structure, function, and capacity to provide ecosystem services valued by society. We examined empirical evidence for alternative states in a semiarid grassland ecosystem where topographic complexity and contrasting management regimes have led to spatial variations in levels of livestock grazing. Using an inventory data set, we found that plots (n = 72) cluster into three groups corresponding to generalized alternative states identified in an a priori conceptual model. One cluster (biocrust) is notable for high coverage of a biological soil crust functional group in addition to vascular plants. Another (grass-bare) lacks biological crust but retains perennial grasses at levels similar to the biocrust cluster. A third (annualized-bare) is dominated by invasive annual plants. Occurrence of grass-bare and annualized-bare conditions in areas where livestock have been excluded for over 30 years demonstrates the persistence of these states. Significant differences among all three clusters were found for percent bare ground, percent total live cover, and functional group richness. Using data for vegetation structure and soil erodibility, we also found large among-cluster differences in average levels of dust emissions predicted by a wind-erosion model. Predicted emissions were highest for the annualized-bare cluster and lowest for the biocrust cluster, which was characterized by zero or minimal emissions even under conditions of extreme wind. Results illustrate potential trade-offs among ecosystem services including livestock production, soil retention, carbon storage, and biodiversity conservation. Improved understanding of these trade-offs may assist ecosystem managers when evaluating alternative management strategies.

  7. Drought and Carbon Cycling of Grassland Ecosystems under Global Change: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianjie Lei

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the increased intensity and duration of droughts have dramatically altered the structure and function of grassland ecosystems, which have been forced to adapt to this change in climate. Combinations of global change drivers such as elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, warming, nitrogen (N deposition, grazing, and land-use change have influenced the impact that droughts have on grassland C cycling. This influence, to some extent, can modify the relationship between droughts and grassland carbon (C cycling in the multi-factor world. Unfortunately, prior reviews have been primarily anecdotal from the 1930s to the 2010s. We investigated the current state of the study on the interactive impacts of multiple factors under drought scenarios in grassland C cycling and provided scientific advice for dealing with droughts and managing grassland C cycling in a multi-factor world. Currently, adequate information is not available on the interaction between droughts and global change drivers, which would advance our understanding of grassland C cycling responses. It was determined that future experiments and models should specifically test how droughts regulate grassland C cycling under global changes. Previous multi-factor experiments of current and future global change conditions have studied various drought scenarios poorly, including changes in precipitation frequency and amplitude, timing, and interactions with other global change drivers. Multi-factor experiments have contributed to quantifying these potential changes and have provided important information on how water affects ecosystem processes under global change. There is an urgent need to establish a systematic framework that can assess ecosystem dynamic responses to droughts under current and future global change and human activity, with a focus on the combined effects of droughts, global change drivers, and the corresponding hierarchical responses of an ecosystem.

  8. Carbon fluxes of surfaces vs. ecosystems. Advantages of measuring eddy covariance and soil respiration simultaneously in dry grassland ecosystems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nagy, Z.; Pintér, K.; Pavelka, Marian; Dařenová, Eva; Balogh, J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 9 (2011), s. 2523-2534 ISSN 1726-4170 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : carbon fluxes * ecosystems * grassland ecoystems * measuring eddy covariance * soil respiration Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.859, year: 2011

  9. Ecosystem services in grassland associated with biotic and abiotic soil parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eekeren, van N.J.M.; Boer, de Herman; Hanegraaf, M.C.; Bokhorst, J.; Nierop, D.; Bloem, J.; Schouten, T.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Brussaard, L.

    2010-01-01

    Biotic soil parameters have so far seldom played a role in practical soil assessment and management of grasslands. However, the ongoing reduction of external inputs in agriculture would imply an increasing reliance on ecosystem self-regulating processes. Since soil biota play an important role in

  10. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Modernel Hristoff, Pablo; Rossing, W.A.H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-01-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of

  11. Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States. Vol. 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2004-01-01

    This report is volume 1 of a two-volume ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States. Broadscale assessments are syntheses of current scientific knowledge, including a description of uncertainties and assumptions, to provide a characterization and comprehensive description of ecological, social, and economic components within an...

  12. Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States: Wildlife and fish. Vol. 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2005-01-01

    This report is volume 2 of a two-volume ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States. Broad-scale assessments are syntheses of current scientific knowledge, including a description of uncertainties and assumptions, to provide a characterization and comprehensive description of ecological, social, and economic components within an...

  13. Simulation of the decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of aboveground plant material in two unfertilized grassland ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bloemhof, H.S.; Berendse, F.

    1995-01-01

    A simple model of the decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of plant material from two unfertilized grassland ecosystems has been developed, with only the proportion of leaves and stems in the original material, the initial nitrogen contents of these plant parts and temperature as input data.

  14. Biotic, abiotic, and management controls on the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of European mountain grassland ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wohlfahrt, Georg; Anderson-Dunn, Margaret; Bahn, Michael

    2008-01-01

    The net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange (NEE) of nine European mountain grassland ecosystems was measured during 2002-2004 using the eddy covariance method. Overall, the availability of photosynthetically active radiation (PPFD) was the single most important abiotic influence factor for NEE....... Its role changed markedly during the course of the season, PPFD being a better predictor for NEE during periods favorable for CO2 uptake, which was spring and autumn for the sites characterized by summer droughts (southern sites) and (peak) summer for the Alpine and northern study sites. This general...... pattern was interrupted by grassland management practices, that is, mowing and grazing, when the variability in NEE explained by PPFD decreased in concert with the amount of aboveground biomass (BMag). Temperature was the abiotic influence factor that explained most of the variability in ecosystem...

  15. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: biotic control, plant–soil interactions and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  16. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: Biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  17. A Satellite-Based Model for Simulating Ecosystem Respiration in the Tibetan and Inner Mongolian Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rong Ge

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available It is important to accurately evaluate ecosystem respiration (RE in the alpine grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau and the temperate grasslands of the Inner Mongolian Plateau, as it serves as a sensitivity indicator of regional and global carbon cycles. Here, we combined flux measurements taken between 2003 and 2013 from 16 grassland sites across northern China and the corresponding MODIS land surface temperature (LST, enhanced vegetation index (EVI, and land surface water index (LSWI to build a satellite-based model to estimate RE at a regional scale. First, the dependencies of both spatial and temporal variations of RE on these biotic and climatic factors were examined explicitly. We found that plant productivity and moisture, but not temperature, can best explain the spatial pattern of RE in northern China’s grasslands; while temperature plays a major role in regulating the temporal variability of RE in the alpine grasslands, and moisture is equally as important as temperature in the temperate grasslands. However, the moisture effect on RE and the explicit representation of spatial variation process are often lacking in most of the existing satellite-based RE models. On this basis, we developed a model by comprehensively considering moisture, temperature, and productivity effects on both temporal and spatial processes of RE, and then, we evaluated the model performance. Our results showed that the model well explained the observed RE in both the alpine (R2 = 0.79, RMSE = 0.77 g C m−2 day−1 and temperate grasslands (R2 = 0.75, RMSE = 0.60 g C m−2 day−1. The inclusion of the LSWI as the water-limiting factor substantially improved the model performance in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, and the spatialized basal respiration rate as an indicator for spatial variation largely determined the regional pattern of RE. Finally, the model accurately reproduced the seasonal and inter-annual variations and spatial variability of RE, and it avoided

  18. Sustainability, arid grasslands and grazing: New applications for technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pregenzer, A.L.; Parmenter, R.; Passell, H.D.; Budge, T.; Vande Caste, J.

    1999-12-08

    The study of ecology is taking on increasing global importance as the value of well-functioning ecosystems to human well-being becomes better understood. However, the use of technological systems for the study of ecology lags behind the use of technologies in the study of other disciplines important to human well-being, such as medicine, chemistry and physics. The authors outline four different kinds of large-scale data needs required by land managers for the development of sustainable land use strategies, and which can be obtained with current or future technological systems. They then outline a hypothetical resource management scenario in which data on all those needs are collected using remote and in situ technologies, transmitted to a central location, analyzed, and then disseminated for regional use in maintaining sustainable grazing systems. They conclude by highlighting various data-collection systems and data-sharing networks already in operation.

  19. Ecosystem services in sustainable groundwater management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuinstra, Jaap; van Wensem, Joke

    2014-07-01

    The ecosystem services concept seems to get foothold in environmental policy and management in Europe and, for instance, The Netherlands. With respect to groundwater management there is a challenge to incorporate this concept in such a way that it contributes to the sustainability of decisions. Groundwater is of vital importance to societies, which is reflected in the presented overview of groundwater related ecosystem services. Classifications of these services vary depending on the purpose of the listing (valuation, protection, mapping et cetera). Though the scientific basis is developing, the knowledge-availability still can be a critical factor in decision making based upon ecosystem services. The examples in this article illustrate that awareness of the value of groundwater can result in balanced decisions with respect to the use of ecosystem services. The ecosystem services concept contributes to this awareness and enhances the visibility of the groundwater functions in the decision making process. The success of the ecosystem services concept and its contribution to sustainable groundwater management will, however, largely depend on other aspects than the concept itself. Local and actual circumstances, policy ambitions and knowledge availability will play an important role. Solutions can be considered more sustainable when more of the key elements for sustainable groundwater management, as defined in this article, are fully used and the presented guidelines for long term use of ecosystem services are respected. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Evaluating ecosystem services provided by non-native species: an experimental test in California grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Claudia; Hallett, Lauren M; Harpole, W Stanley; Suding, Katharine N

    2014-01-01

    The concept of ecosystem services--the benefits that nature provides to human's society--has gained increasing attention over the past decade. Increasing global abiotic and biotic change, including species invasions, is threatening the secure delivery of these ecosystem services. Efficient evaluation methods of ecosystem services are urgently needed to improve our ability to determine management strategies and restoration goals in face of these new emerging ecosystems. Considering a range of multiple ecosystem functions may be a useful way to determine such strategies. We tested this framework experimentally in California grasslands, where large shifts in species composition have occurred since the late 1700's. We compared a suite of ecosystem functions within one historic native and two non-native species assemblages under different grazing intensities to address how different species assemblages vary in provisioning, regulatory and supporting ecosystem services. Forage production was reduced in one non-native assemblage (medusahead). Cultural ecosystem services, such as native species diversity, were inherently lower in both non-native assemblages, whereas most other services were maintained across grazing intensities. All systems provided similar ecosystem services under the highest grazing intensity treatment, which simulated unsustainable grazing intensity. We suggest that applying a more comprehensive ecosystem framework that considers multiple ecosystem services to evaluate new emerging ecosystems is a valuable tool to determine management goals and how to intervene in a changing ecosystem.

  1. Water relations in grassland and desert ecosystems exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, J A; Pataki, D E; Körner, C; Clark, H; Del Grosso, S J; Grünzweig, J M; Knapp, A K; Mosier, A R; Newton, P C D; Niklaus, P A; Nippert, J B; Nowak, R S; Parton, W J; Polley, H W; Shaw, M R

    2004-06-01

    Atmospheric CO2 enrichment may stimulate plant growth directly through (1) enhanced photosynthesis or indirectly, through (2) reduced plant water consumption and hence slower soil moisture depletion, or the combination of both. Herein we describe gas exchange, plant biomass and species responses of five native or semi-native temperate and Mediterranean grasslands and three semi-arid systems to CO2 enrichment, with an emphasis on water relations. Increasing CO2 led to decreased leaf conductance for water vapor, improved plant water status, altered seasonal evapotranspiration dynamics, and in most cases, periodic increases in soil water content. The extent, timing and duration of these responses varied among ecosystems, species and years. Across the grasslands of the Kansas tallgrass prairie, Colorado shortgrass steppe and Swiss calcareous grassland, increases in aboveground biomass from CO2 enrichment were relatively greater in dry years. In contrast, CO2-induced aboveground biomass increases in the Texas C3/C4 grassland and the New Zealand pasture seemed little or only marginally influenced by yearly variation in soil water, while plant growth in the Mojave Desert was stimulated by CO2 in a relatively wet year. Mediterranean grasslands sometimes failed to respond to CO2-related increased late-season water, whereas semiarid Negev grassland assemblages profited. Vegetative and reproductive responses to CO2 were highly varied among species and ecosystems, and did not generally follow any predictable pattern in regard to functional groups. Results suggest that the indirect effects of CO2 on plant and soil water relations may contribute substantially to experimentally induced CO2-effects, and also reflect local humidity conditions. For landscape scale predictions, this analysis calls for a clear distinction between biomass responses due to direct CO2 effects on photosynthesis and those indirect CO2 effects via soil moisture as documented here.

  2. Trajectories of grassland ecosystem change in response to experimental manipulations of precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Alan; Smith, Melinda; Collins, Scott; Blair, John; Briggs, John

    2010-05-01

    Understanding and predicting the dynamics of ecological systems has always been central to Ecology. Today, ecologists recognize that in addition to natural and human-caused disturbances, a fundamentally different type of ecosystem change is being driven by the combined and cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities affecting earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles. This type of change is historically unprecedented in magnitude, and as a consequence, such alterations are leading to trajectories of change in ecological responses that differ radically from those observed in the past. Through both short- and long-term experiments, we have been trying to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of ecological change in grassland ecosystems likely to result from changes in precipitation regimes. We have manipulated a key resource for most grasslands (water) and modulators of water availability (temperature) in field experiments that vary from 1-17 years in duration, and used even longer-term monitoring data from the Konza Prairie LTER program to assess how grassland communities and ecosystems will respond to changes in water availability. Trajectories of change in aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in sites subjected to 17 years of soil water augmentation were strongly non-linear with a marked increase in the stimulation of ANPP after year 8 (from 25% to 65%). Lags in alterations in grassland community composition are posited to be responsible for the form of this trajectory of change. In contrast, responses in ANPP to chronic increases in soil moisture variability appear to have decreased over a 10-yr period of manipulation, although the net effects of more variable precipitation inputs were to reduce ANPP, alter the genetic structure of the dominant grass species, increase soil nitrogen availability and reduce soil respiration. The loss of sensitivity to increased resource variability was not reflected in adjacent plots where precipitation was

  3. Phosphorus cycles of forest and upland grassland ecosystems and some effects of land management practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, A F

    The distribution of phosphorus capital and net annual transfers of phosphorus between the major components of two unfertilized phosphorus-deficient UK ecosystems, an oak--ash woodland in the Lake District and an Agrostis-Festuca grassland in Snowdonia (both on acid brown-earth soils), have been estimted in terms of kg P ha--1. In both ecosystems less than 3% of the phosphorus, totalling 1890 kg P ha--1 and 3040 kg P ha--1 for the woodland and grassland, respectively, is contained in the living biomass and half that is below ground level. Nearly all the phosphorus is in the soil matrix. Although the biomass phosphorus is mostly in the vegetation, the soil fauna and vegetation is slower (25%) than in the grassland vegetatation (208%). More than 85% of the net annual vegetation uptake of phosphorus from the soil is returned to the soil, mainly in organic debris, which in the grassland ecosystem is more than twice as rich in phosphorus (0.125% P) as in the woodland ecosystem (0.053% P). These concentrations are related to the rates of turnover (input/P content) of phosphorus in the litter layer on the soil surface; it is faster in the grassland (460%) than in the woodland (144%). In both cycles plant uptake of phosphorus largely depends on the release of phosphorus through decomposition of the organic matter returned to soil. In both the woodland and the grassland, the amount of cycling phosphorus is potentially reduced by its immobilization in tree and sheep production and in undecomposed organic matter accumulating in soil. It is assumed that the reductions are counterbalanced by the replenishment of cycling phosphorus by (i) some mineralization of organically bound phosphorus in the mineral soil, (ii) the income in rainfall and aerosols not being effectively lost in soil drainage waters and (iii) rock weathering. The effects of the growth of conifers and sheep grazing on the balance between decomposition and accumulation of organic matter returned to soil are

  4. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-13

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  5. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  6. Energy production from grassland - Assessing the sustainability of different process chains under German conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roesch, Christine; Skarka, J.; Raab, K.; Stelzer, V.

    2009-01-01

    In many regions of Europe, grassland shapes the landscape and fulfils important functions in protecting nature, soil, and water. However, the traditional uses of grassland for forage production are vanishing with progress in breeding and structural adaptations in agriculture. On the other hand, the demand for biomass energy is rising due to political sustainability goals and financial measures to support renewable energy. Against this background, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis investigated the applicability, economic efficiency, and sustainability of different techniques for energy production from grassland as well as from grassland converted into maize fields or short-rotation poplars under German conditions. The results show that despite relatively high energy prices and the financial support for bioenergy, the effects of energy production from grassland on employment in agriculture and farmers' income are modest. What is beneficial are savings in non-renewable energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and local provision of energy carriers. If grassland biomass (grass silage or hay) is used for energy purposes, this brings the further advantages of preserving biodiversity and the cultural landscape and protecting of soil and groundwater. Negative impacts on sustainable development result from an increase in emissions, which leads to acidification, eutrophication, and risks to human health. The overall evaluation indicates that short-rotation poplars are comparatively advantageous from the economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, a development plan for grassland is required to identify areas where grassland could be used as an energy resource or where it would be favourable to install energy plantations with fast-growing perennial plants

  7. Modeling net ecosystem carbon exchange of alpine grasslands with a satellite-driven model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Yan

    Full Text Available Estimate of net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems, the balance of gross primary productivity (GPP and ecosystem respiration (Reco has significant importance for studying the regional and global carbon cycles. Using models driven by satellite data and climatic data is a promising approach to estimate NEE at regional scales. For this purpose, we proposed a semi-empirical model to estimate NEE in this study. In our model, the component GPP was estimated with a light response curve of a rectangular hyperbola. The component Reco was estimated with an exponential function of soil temperature. To test the feasibility of applying our model at regional scales, the temporal variations in the model parameters derived from NEE observations in an alpine grassland ecosystem on Tibetan Plateau were investigated. The results indicated that all the inverted parameters exhibit apparent seasonality, which is in accordance with air temperature and canopy phenology. In addition, all the parameters have significant correlations with the remote sensed vegetation indexes or environment temperature. With parameters estimated with these correlations, the model illustrated fair accuracy both in the validation years and at another alpine grassland ecosystem on Tibetan Plateau. Our results also indicated that the model prediction was less accurate in drought years, implying that soil moisture is an important factor affecting the model performance. Incorporating soil water content into the model would be a critical step for the improvement of the model.

  8. Wind Erosion Caused by Land Use Changes Significantly Reduces Ecosystem Carbon Storage and Carbon Sequestration Potentials in Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, P.; Chi, Y. G.; Wang, J.; Liu, L.

    2017-12-01

    Wind erosion exerts a fundamental influence on the biotic and abiotic processes associated with ecosystem carbon (C) cycle. However, how wind erosion under different land use scenarios will affect ecosystem C balance and its capacity for future C sequestration are poorly quantified. Here, we established an experiment in a temperate steppe in Inner Mongolia, and simulated different intensity of land uses: control, 50% of aboveground vegetation removal (50R), 100% vegetation removal (100R) and tillage (TI). We monitored lateral and vertical carbon flux components and soil characteristics from 2013 to 2016. Our study reveals three key findings relating to the driving factors, the magnitude and consequence of wind erosion on ecosystem C balance: (1) Frequency of heavy wind exerts a fundamental control over the severity of soil erosion, and its interaction with precipitation and vegetation characteristics explained 69% variation in erosion intensity. (2) With increases in land use intensity, the lateral C flux induced by wind erosion increased rapidly, equivalent to 33%, 86%, 111% and 183% of the net ecosystem exchange of the control site under control, 50R, 100R and TI sites, respectively. (3) After three years' treatment, erosion induced decrease in fine fractions led to 31%, 43%, 85% of permanent loss of C sequestration potential in the surface 5cm soil for 50R, 100R and TI sites. Overall, our study demonstrates that lateral C flux associated with wind erosion is too large to be ignored. The loss of C-enriched fine particles not only reduces current ecosystem C content, but also results in irreversible loss of future soil C sequestration potential. The dynamic soil characteristics need be considered when projecting future ecosystem C balance in aeolian landscape. We also propose that to maintain the sustainability of grassland ecosystems, land managers should focus on implementing appropriate land use rather than rely on subsequent managements on degraded soils.

  9. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modernel, P.; Rossing, W. A. H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-11-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of external inputs. We synthesised 242 references from peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1945 and mid-2015 and analysed secondary data to examine the evidence on the ecosystem services provided by this grassland biodiversity hotspot and the way they are affected by land use changes and their drivers. The analysis followed the requirements of systematic review from the PRISMA statement (Moher et al 2009 Acad. Clin. Ann. Intern. Med. 151 264-9). The Pampas and Campos provide feed for 43 million heads of cattle and 14 million sheep. The biome is habitat of 4000 native plant species, 300 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 49 species of reptiles and 35 species of amphibians. The soils of the region stock 5% of the soil organic carbon of Latin America on 3% of its area. Driven by high prices of soybean, the soybean area increased by 210% between 2000 and 2010, at the expense of 2 million ha (5%) of native grassland, mostly in the Pampas. Intensification of livestock production was apparent in two spatially distinct forms. In subregions where cropping increased, intensification of livestock production was reflected in an increased use of grains for feed as part of feedlots. In subregions dominated by native grasslands, stocking rates increased. The review showed that land use change and grazing regimes with low forage allowances were predominantly associated with negative effects on ecosystem service provision by reducing soil organic carbon stocks and the diversity of plants, birds and mammals, and by increasing soil erosion. We found little quantitative information on changes in the ecosystem services water provision, nutrient cycling and erosion control

  10. Analysis of the production stability of mixed grasslands. II. A mathematical framework for the quantification of production stability of grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2003-01-01

    The analysis of the intrinsic properties and processes of ecosystems, which regulate the production stability of mixed grasslands, has been complicated by the environmental noise caused by stochastic weather fluctuations. A mathematical framework is presented to deduct the actual, the extrinsic and

  11. The false promises of coal exploitation: How mining affects herdsmen well-being in the grassland ecosystems of Inner Mongolia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dai, G.S.; Ulgiati, S.; Zhang, Y.S.; Yu, B.H.; Kang, M.Y.; Jin, Y.; Dong, X.B.; Zhang, X.S.

    2014-01-01

    The grasslands of Inner Mongolia are not only the source of the necessary resources for the survival and development of herdsmen, but also represent a significant green ecological barrier in North China. Coal-mining production is important in maintaining GDP growth in Inner Mongolia. However, over-exploitation has created serious problems, such as pollution of the environment and significant decreases in grassland ecosystem services, in addition to impacting the well-being of herdsmen and other humans. Based on questionnaires survey performed among 864 herdsmen addressing the relationship between coal exploitation in grasslands and human well-being in Xilinguole League in Inner Mongolia, we found that (1) coal resource exploitation in these grasslands does not benefit the herdsmen by increasing their income; (2) the rapid development of this resource has not obviously materially improved the life of the herdsmen; and (3) these activities have increased the risks that herdsman will have to endure in the future. Overall, coal resource exploitation in grasslands has more negative than positive effects on the well-being of herdsmen. We propose the conservation of coal resources and improvement of ecological compensation should be carried out without blindly pursuing economic growth, instead of focusing on economic development and structural adjustments. - Highlights: • Evaluation of the human well-being of the Xilinguole grassland, Inner Mongolia, China. • Impact of mining affects herdsmen well-being in grassland ecosystem. • Quantity of questionnaires survey. • Addressing the relationship between coal exploitation in grasslands and human well-being

  12. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Grassland Ecosystems of the Central Lithuania: Multi-Criteria Evaluation on a Basis of the ARAS Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ligita Balezentiene

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available N2O, CH4, and CO2 are potential greenhouse gas (GHG contributing to climate change; therefore, solutions have to be sought to reduce their emission from agriculture. This work evaluates GHG emission from grasslands submitted to different mineral fertilizers during vegetation period (June–September in two experimental sites, namely, seminatural grassland (8 treatments of mineral fertilizers and cultural pasture (intensively managed in the Training Farm of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture. Chamber method was applied for evaluation of GHG emissions on the field scale. As a result, soil chemical composition, compactness, temperature, and gravimetric moisture as well as biomass yield of fresh and dry biomass and botanical composition, were assessed during the research. Furthermore, a simulation of multi-criteria assessment of sustainable fertilizers management was carried out on a basis of ARAS method. The multicriteria analysis of different fertilizing regimes was based on a system of environmental and productivity indices. Consequently, agroecosystems of cultural pasture (N180P120K150 and seminatural grassland fertilizing rates N180P120K150 and N60P40K50 were evaluated as the most sustainable alternatives leading to reduction of emissions between biosphere-atmosphere and human-induced biogenic pollution in grassland ecosystems, thus contributing to improvement of countryside environment.

  13. Soil biochemical properties of grassland ecosystems under anthropogenic emission of nitrogen compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudrevatykh, Irina; Ivashchenko, Kristina; Ananyeva, Nadezhda

    2016-04-01

    Inflow of pollutants in terrestrial ecosystems nowadays increases dramatically, that might be led to disturbance of natural biogeochemical cycles and landscapes structure. Production of nitrogen fertilizers is one of the air pollution sources, namely by nitrogen compounds (NH4+, NO3-, NO2-). Air pollution by nitrogen compounds of terrestrial ecosystems might be affected on soil biochemical properties, which results increasing mineral nitrogen content in soil, changing soil P/N and Al/Ca ratios, and, finally, the deterioration of soil microbial community functioning. The research is focused on the assessment of anthropogenic emission of nitrogen compounds on soil properties of grassland ecosystems in European Russia. Soil samples (Voronic Chernozem Pachic, upper 10 cm mineral layer, totally 10) were taken from grassland ecosystem: near (5-10 m) nitrogen fertilizer factory (NFF), and far from it (20-30 km, served as a control) in Tula region. In soil samples the NH4+ and NO3- (Kudeyarov's photocolorimetric method), P, Ca, Al (X-ray fluorescence method) contents were measured. Soil microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) was analyzed by substrate-induced respiration method. Soil microbial respiration (MR) was assessed by CO2 rate production. Soil microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2) was calculated as MR/Cmic ratio. Near NFF the soil ammonium and nitrate nitrogen contents were a strongly varied, variation coefficient (CV) was 42 and 86This study was supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research Grant No. 14-04-00098, 15-44-03220, 15-04-00915.

  14. Mowing exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability under nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; Loreau, Michel; He, Nianpeng; Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo

    2017-08-04

    1. Global reactive nitrogen (N) is projected to further increase in the coming years. Previous studies have demonstrated that N enrichment weakens the temporal stability of the ecosystem and the primary productivity through decreased biodiversity and species asynchrony. Mowing is a globally common practise in grasslands; and infrequent mowing can maintain or increase plant diversity under N enrichment conditions. However, it is unclear how infrequent mowing affects ecosystem stability in the face of N enrichment. 2. By independently manipulating the frequency (twice vs. monthly additions per year) and rate (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 50 g N m -2 year -1 ) of NH 4 NO 3 inputs and mowing (unmown vs. mown) over 3 years (2011-2013) in a temperate grassland of northern China, we aimed to examine the interactive effects of N enrichment and mowing on ecosystem stability. 3. The results show that mowing maintained a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem stability despite N addition, but that it exacerbated the negative effects of N addition on ecosystem stability. Mowing increased mean primary productivity and plant species richness, but it also increased the synchrony of population fluctuations and the variability of primary productivity under N enrichment, thereby contributing to a decline in the ecosystem stability. 4. Thus, our study reveals that infrequent mowing can buffer the negative effects of N enrichment on biodiversity to some extent and further increase the primary productivity, but it exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability with N enrichment, thereby threatening local and/or semiarid regional food security.

  15. Post-Fire Evapotranspiration and Net Ecosystem Exchange over A Semi-Arid Grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal and interannual variability of evapotranspiration (E) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) following a fire disturbance over a semi -arid grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA, and their relationships to environmental variables were examined using continuous measurements of water vapour and CO2 fluxes made from first week of June 2002 to 2009 using the eddy covariance technique. The research ranch was established in 1969 as an ecological research preserve and it is now one of the largest ungrazed, privately managed grassland sites in Arizona. A wild fire occurred in April - May 2002, and burned all the standing vegetation and litter on in research ranch (~38,000 acres) including 500 acres of grassland. The mean annual temperature and precipitation (P) at this site were ~16 deg C and ~370 mm, respectively. More than 60% of the annual P was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September) with the lowest annual P in the drought years of 2004 and 2009. Drastic changes in albedo, vegetation growth and evapotranspiration occurred following the onset of the monsoon season in July. The ecosystem was mostly a carbon sink during monsoon period. Daily total evapotranspiration during July-August increased from 2 mm d-1 in 2002 to >3 mm d-1 in 2007. The mean annual E over the site was during 2003 -2009 was 352 ±75 mm. With the onset of monsoon the ecosystem turned to carbon sink in 2002, with daily total net ecosystem exchange (NEE) varying up to ~vegetation index, longest monsoon growing season and the highest annual and July-September P. The interannual variations in annual E and NEE were mostly controlled by annual P, July-September NDVI and growing season length during 2002-2009.

  16. Foraging ecology and spatial behavior of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in a wet grassland ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meisner, Katrine; Sunde, Peter; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann

    2014-01-01

    We investigated diet composition, habitat selection and spatial behaviour of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to the availability of wader nests in a coastal polder area in southwest Denmark. The predatory role of the red fox in wet grassland ecosystems has profound implications...... for conservation status of declining populations of grassland breeding waders. However, few studies have focussed on the foraging ecology and behaviour of the red fox in these landscapes. Faecal analyses revealed that fox diet consisted of birds (43 % of prey remains / 32 % of biomass), rodents (39 % / 21...... %), sheep (mainly as carrion, 14 % / 41 %) and lagomorphs (4 % / 7 %). Charadriiformes (including waders) comprised 3–12 % of prey remains throughout the year. Telemetry data and spotlight counts indicated that foxes did not select areas with high densities of breeding waders, suggesting that foxes did...

  17. Net ecosystem productivity and carbon dynamics of the traditionally managed Imperata grasslands of North East India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Karabi; Malhi, Yadvinder; Sileshi, G W; Das, Ashesh Kumar; Nath, Arun Jyoti

    2018-09-01

    There have been few comprehensive descriptions of how fire management and harvesting affect the carbon dynamics of grasslands. Grasslands dominated by the invasive weed Imperata cylindrica are considered as environmental threats causing low land productivity throughout the moist tropical regions in Asia. Imperata grasslands in North East India are unique in that they are traditionally managed and culturally important in the rural landscapes. Given the importance of fire in the management of Imperata grassland, we aimed to assess (i) the seasonal pattern of biomass production, (ii) the eventual pathways for the produced biomass, partitioned between in situ decomposition, harvesting and combustion, and (iii) the effect of customary fire management on the ecosystem carbon cycle. Comparatively high biomass production was recorded during pre-monsoon (154 g m -2  month -1 ) and monsoon (214 g m -2  month -1 ) compared to the post-monsoon (91 g m -2  month -1 ) season, and this is attributed to nutrient return into the soil immediately after fire in February. Post fire effects might have killed roots and rhizomes leading to high belowground litter production 30-35 g m -2 during March to August. High autotrophic respiration was recorded during March-July, which was related to high belowground biomass production (35-70 g m -2 ) during that time. Burning removed all the surface litter in March and this appeared to hinder surface decomposition and result in low heterotrophic respiration. Annual total biomass carbon production was estimated at 886 g C m -2 . Annual harvest of biomass (estimated at 577 g C m -2 ) was the major pathway for carbon fluxes from the system. Net ecosystem production (NEP) of Imperata grassland was estimated at 91 g C m -2  yr -1 indicating that these grasslands are a net sink of CO 2 , although this is greatly influenced by weather and fire management. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B

  18. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V; Cohen, Erika C; McNulty, Steven G; Aldridge, Heather D; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-21

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m(-2) yr(-1) (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr(-1) (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr(-1)). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  19. Belowground ecosystems [chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carole Coe Klopatek

    1995-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service defined ecosystem management as "an ecological approach to achieve multiple-use management of national forests and grasslands by blending the needs of people and environmental values in such a way that national forests and grasslands represent diverse, healthy, productive, and sustainable ecosystems" (June 4, 1992, letter from Chief FS...

  20. Modeling and validating tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem in response to {sup 3}H releases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Dizes, S. [Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LM2E, Centre de Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance (France); Maro, D.; Rozet, M.; Hebert, D. [IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LRC, Cherbourg-Octeville (France)

    2015-03-15

    In this paper a radioecological model (TOCATTA) for tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem developed on an hourly time-step basis is proposed and compared with the first data set obtained in the vicinity of the AREVA-NC reprocessing plant of La Hague (France). The TOCATTA model aims at simulating dynamics of tritium transfer in agricultural soil and plant ecosystems exposed to time-varying HTO concentrations in air water vapour and possibly in irrigation and rain water. In the present study, gaseous releases of tritium from the AREVA NC nuclear reprocessing plant in normal operation can be intense and intermittent over a period of less than 24 hours. A first comparison of the model predictions with the field data has shown that TOCATTA should be improved in terms of kinetics of tritium transfer.

  1. Combining multiple ecosystem productivity measurements to constrain carbon uptake estimates in semiarid grasslands and shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, G. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Collins, S. L.; Litvak, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Recent observational and modeling studies have indicated that semiarid ecosystems are more dynamic contributors to the global carbon budget than once thought. Semiarid carbon fluxes, however, are generally small, with high interannual and spatial variability, which suggests that validating their global significance may depend on examining multiple productivity measures and their associated uncertainties and inconsistencies. We examined ecosystem productivity from eddy covariance (NEE), harvest (NPP), and terrestrial biome models (NEPm) at two very similar grassland sites and one creosote shrubland site in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge of central New Mexico, USA. Our goal was to assess site and methodological correspondence in annual carbon uptake, patterns of interannual variability, and measurement uncertainty. One grassland site was a perennial carbon source losing 30 g C m-2 per year on average, while the other two sites were carbon sources or sinks depending on the year, with average net uptake of 5 and 25 g C m-2 per year at the grassland and shrubland site, respectively. Uncertainty values for cumulative annual NEE overlapped between the three sites in most years. When combined, aboveground and belowground annual NPP measurements were 15% higher than annual NEE values and did not confirm a loss of carbon at any site in any year. Despite differences in mean site carbon balance, year-to-year changes in cumulative annual NEE and NPP were similar at all sites with years 2010 and 2013 being favorable for carbon uptake and 2011 and 2012 being unfavorable at all sites. Modeled NEPm data for a number of nearby grid cells reproduced only a fraction of the observed range in carbon uptake and its interannual variability. These three sites are highly similar in location and climate and multiple carbon flux measurements confirm the high interannual variability in carbon flux. The exact magnitude of these fluxes, however, remains difficult to discern.

  2. Ground-based grasslands data to support remote sensing and ecosystem modeling of terrestrial primary production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, R. J.; Scurlock, J. M. O.; Turner, R. S.; Jennings, S. V.

    1995-01-01

    Estimating terrestrial net primary production (NPP) using remote-sensing tools and ecosystem models requires adequate ground-based measurements for calibration, parameterization, and validation. These data needs were strongly endorsed at a recent meeting of ecosystem modelers organized by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program's (IGBP's) Data and Information System (DIS) and its Global Analysis, Interpretation, and Modelling (GAIM) Task Force. To meet these needs, a multinational, multiagency project is being coordinated by the IGBP DIS to compile existing NPP data from field sites and to regionalize NPP point estimates to various-sized grid cells. Progress at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on compiling NPP data for grasslands as part of the IGBP DIS data initiative is described. Site data and associated documentation from diverse field studies are being acquired for selected grasslands and are being reviewed for completeness, consistency, and adequacy of documentation, including a description of sampling methods. Data are being compiled in a database with spatial, temporal, and thematic characteristics relevant to remote sensing and global modeling. NPP data are available from the ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for biogeochemical dynamics. The ORNL DAAC is part of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System, of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  3. Ground-based grasslands data to support remote sensing and ecosystem modeling of terrestrial primary production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olson, R.J.; Turner, R.S. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Scurlock, J.M.O. [King`s College London, (England); Jennings, S.V. [Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Estimating terrestrial net primary production (NPP) using remote- sensing tools and ecosystem models requires adequate ground-based measurements for calibration, parameterization, and validation. These data needs were strongly endorsed at a recent meeting of ecosystem modelers organized by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme`s (IGBP`s) Data and Information System (DIS) and its Global Analysis, Interpretation, and Modelling (GAIM) Task Force. To meet these needs, a multinational, multiagency project is being coordinated by the IGBP DIS to compile existing NPP data from field sites and to regionalize NPP point estimates to various-sized grid cells. Progress at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on compiling NPP data for grasslands as part of the IGBP DIS data initiative is described. Site data and associated documentation from diverse field studies are being acquired for selected grasslands and are being reviewed for completeness, consistency, and adequacy of documentation, including a description of sampling methods. Data are being compiled in a database with spatial, temporal, and thematic characteristics relevant to remote sensing and global modeling. NPP data are available from the ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for biogeochemical dynamics. The ORNL DAAC is part of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System, of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  4. Simulating the impacts of land use in northwest Europe on Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE): the role of arable ecosystems, grasslands and forest plantations in climate change mitigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdalla, Mohamed; Saunders, Matthew; Hastings, Astley; Williams, Mike; Smith, Pete; Osborne, Bruce; Lanigan, Gary; Jones, Mike B

    2013-11-01

    In this study, we compared measured and simulated Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) values from three wide spread ecosystems in the southeast of Ireland (forest, arable and grassland), and investigated the suitability of the DNDC (the DeNitrification-DeComposition) model to estimate present and future NEE. Although, the field-DNDC version overestimated NEE at temperatures >5 °C, forest-DNDC under-estimated NEE at temperatures >5 °C. The results suggest that the field/forest DNDC models can successfully estimate changes in seasonal and annual NEE from these ecosystems. Differences in NEE were found to be primarily land cover specific. The annual NEE was similar for the grassland and arable sites, but due to the contribution of exported carbon, the soil carbon increased at the grassland site and decreased at the arable site. The NEE of the forest site was an order of magnitude larger than that of the grassland or arable ecosystems, with large amounts of carbon stored in woody biomass and the soil. The average annual NEE, GPP and Reco values over the measurement period were -904, 2379 and 1475 g C m(-2) (forest plantations), -189, 906 and 715 g C m(-2) (arable systems) and -212, 1653 and 1444 g C m(-2) (grasslands), respectively. The average RMSE values were 3.8 g C m(-2) (forest plantations), 0.12 g C m(-2) (arable systems) and 0.21 g C m(-2) (grasslands). When these models were run with climate change scenarios to 2060, predictions show that all three ecosystems will continue to operate as carbon sinks. Further, climate change may decrease the carbon sink strength in the forest plantations by up to 50%. This study supports the use of the DNDC model as a valid tool to predict the consequences of climate change on NEE from different ecosystems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Sustaining the grassland sea: Regional perspectives on identifying, protecting and restoring the Sky Island region's most intact grassland valley landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...

  6. Spatio-temporal patterns and climate variables controlling of biomass carbon stock of global grassland ecosystems from 1982 to 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Jiangzhou; Liu, Shuguang; Liang, Shunlin; Chen, Yang; Xu, Wenfang; Yuan, Wenping

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems play an important role in subsistence agriculture and the global carbon cycle. However, the global spatio-temporal patterns and environmental controls of grassland biomass are not well quantified and understood. The goal of this study was to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of the global grassland biomass and analyze their driving forces using field measurements, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series from satellite data, climate reanalysis data, and a satellite-based statistical model. Results showed that the NDVI-based biomass carbon model developed from this study explained 60% of the variance across 38 sites globally. The global carbon stock in grassland aboveground live biomass was 1.05 Pg·C, averaged from 1982 to 2006, and increased at a rate of 2.43 Tg·C·y−1 during this period. Temporal change of the global biomass was significantly and positively correlated with temperature and precipitation. The distribution of biomass carbon density followed the precipitation gradient. The dynamics of regional grassland biomass showed various trends largely determined by regional climate variability, disturbances, and management practices (such as grazing for meat production). The methods and results from this study can be used to monitor the dynamics of grassland aboveground biomass and evaluate grassland susceptibility to climate variability and change, disturbances, and management.

  7. Modeling and validating tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem in response to {sup 3}H releases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Dizes, S.; Maro, D.; Rozet, M.; Hebert, D.; Solier, L.; Nicoulaud, V. [Institut de radioportection et de surete nucleaire - IRSN (France); Vermorel, F.; Aulagnier, C. [Electricite de France - EDF (France)

    2014-07-01

    Tritium ({sup 3}H) is a major radionuclide released in several forms (HTO, HT) by nuclear facilities under normal operating conditions. In terrestrial ecosystems, tritium can be found under two forms: tritium in tissue free water (TFWT) following absorption of tritiated water by leaves or roots and Organically Bound Tritium (OBT) resulting from TFWT incorporation by the plant organic matter during photosynthesis. In order to study transfers of tritium from atmospheric releases to terrestrial ecosystem such as grasslands, an in-situ laboratory has been set up by IRSN on a ryegrass field plot located 2 km downwind the AREVA NC La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant (North-West of France), as was done in the past for the assessment of transfer of radiocarbon in grasslands. The objectives of this experimental field are: (i) to better understand the OBT formation in plant by photosynthesis, (ii) to evaluate transfer processes of tritium in several forms (HT, HTO) from the atmosphere (air and rainwater) to grass and soil, (iii) to develop a modeling allowing to reproduce the dynamic response of the ecosystem to tritium atmospheric releases depending of variable environmental conditions. For this purpose, tritium activity measurements will be carried out in grass (monthly measurements of HTO, OBT), in air, rainwater, soil (daily measurements of HT, HTO) and CO{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O fluxes between soil and air compartments will be carried out. Then, the TOCATTA-c model previously developed to simulate {sup 14}C transfers to pasture on a hourly time-step basis will be adapted to take account for processes specific to tritium. The model will be tested by a comparison between simulated results and measurements. The objectives of this presentation are (1) to present the organization of the experimental design of the VATO study (Validation of TOCATTA) dedicated to transfers of tritium in a grassland ecosystem, (2) to document the major assumptions, conceptual modelling and

  8. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2013 research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2014-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we take a look back at selected studies of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that depict its strengths and focus areas. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research priorities of the...

  9. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2015 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah. Finch

    2016-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we take a look back at selected studies of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that depict its strengths and focus areas. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research...

  10. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2017 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2018-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we feature selected studies of the RMRS Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that focus on the theme of fire. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic priorities and goals of the USDA Forest...

  11. Summertime elemental mercury exchange of temperate grasslands on an ecosystem-scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsche, J.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Ammann, C.; Zeeman, M.; Hammerle, A.; Obrist, D.; Alewell, C.

    2013-01-01

    In order to estimate the air-surface mercury exchange of grasslands in temperate climate regions, fluxes of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) were measured at two sites in Switzerland and one in Austria during summer 2006. Two classic micrometeorological methods (aerodynamic and modified Bowen ratio) have been applied to estimate net GEM exchange rates and to determine the response of the GEM flux to changes in environmental conditions (e.g. heavy rain, summer ozone) on an ecosystem-scale. Both methods proved to be appropriate to estimate fluxes on time scales of a few hours and longer. Average dry deposition rates up to 4.3 ng m−2 h−1 and mean deposition velocities up to 0.10 cm s−1 were measured, which indicates that during the active vegetation period temperate grasslands are a small net sink for atmospheric mercury. With increasing ozone concentrations depletion of GEM was observed, but could not be quantified from the flux signal. Night-time deposition fluxes of GEM were measured and seem to be the result of mercury co-deposition with condensing water. Effects of grass cuts could also be observed, but were of minor magnitude. PMID:24348525

  12. Summertime elemental mercury exchange of temperate grasslands on an ecosystem-scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Fritsche

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available In order to estimate the air-surface mercury exchange of grasslands in temperate climate regions, fluxes of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM were measured at two sites in Switzerland and one in Austria during summer 2006. Two classic micrometeorological methods (aerodynamic and modified Bowen ratio have been applied to estimate net GEM exchange rates and to determine the response of the GEM flux to changes in environmental conditions (e.g. heavy rain, summer ozone on an ecosystem-scale. Both methods proved to be appropriate to estimate fluxes on time scales of a few hours and longer. Average dry deposition rates up to 4.3 ng m−2 h−1 and mean deposition velocities up to 0.10 cm s−1 were measured, which indicates that during the active vegetation period temperate grasslands are a small net sink for atmospheric mercury. With increasing ozone concentrations depletion of GEM was observed, but could not be quantified from the flux signal. Night-time deposition fluxes of GEM were measured and seem to be the result of mercury co-deposition with condensing water. Effects of grass cuts could also be observed, but were of minor magnitude.

  13. Soil bacterial and fungal diversity differently correlated with soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems in response to environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yong; Dong, Shikui; Gao, Qingzhu; Liu, Shiliang; Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Wang, Xuexia; Su, Xukun; Wu, Xiaoyu

    2017-03-01

    To understand effects of soil microbes on soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems under environmental changes, we explored relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil total nitrogen, organic carbon, available nitrogen and phosphorus, soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities in alpine meadow, alpine steppe and cultivated grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau under three-year warming, enhanced precipitation and yak overgrazing. Soil total nitrogen, organic carbon and NH4-N were little affected by overgrazing, warming or enhanced precipitation in three types of alpine grasslands. Soil microbial biomass carbon and phosphorus along with the sucrase and phosphatase activities were generally stable under different treatments. Soil NO3-N, available phosphorus, urease activity and microbial biomass nitrogen were increased by overgrazing in the cultivated grassland. Soil bacterial diversity was positively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity negatively with soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities. Soil bacterial diversity was negatively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity positively with soil available nutrients. Our findings indicated soil bacteria and fungi played different roles in affecting soil nutrients and microbiological activities that might provide an important implication to understand why soil biochemistry was generally stable under environmental changes in alpine grassland ecosystems.

  14. Evaluation and inversion of a net ecosystem carbon exchange model for grasslands and croplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbst, M.; Klosterhalfen, A.; Weihermueller, L.; Graf, A.; Schmidt, M.; Huisman, J. A.; Vereecken, H.

    2017-12-01

    A one-dimensional soil water, heat, and CO2 flux model (SOILCO2), a pool concept of soil carbon turnover (RothC), and a crop growth module (SUCROS) was coupled to predict the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon. This model, further referred to as AgroC, was extended with routines for managed grassland as well as for root exudation and root decay. In a first step, the coupled model was applied to two winter wheat sites and one upland grassland site in Germany. The model was calibrated based on soil water content, soil temperature, biometric, and soil respiration measurements for each site, and validated in terms of hourly NEE measured with the eddy covariance technique. The overall model performance of AgroC was acceptable with a model efficiency >0.78 for NEE. In a second step, AgroC was optimized with the eddy covariance NEE measurements to examine the effect of various objective functions, constraints, and data-transformations on estimated NEE, which showed a distinct sensitivity to the choice of objective function and the inclusion of soil respiration data in the optimization process. Both, day and nighttime fluxes, were found to be sensitive to the selected optimization strategy. Additional consideration of soil respiration measurements improved the simulation of small positive fluxes remarkably. Even though the model performance of the selected optimization strategies did not diverge substantially, the resulting annual NEE differed substantially. We conclude that data-transformation, definition of objective functions, and data sources have to be considered cautiously when using a terrestrial ecosystem model to determine carbon balances by means of eddy covariance measurements.

  15. Ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland in West Africa and its relationship with environmental variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa; Rasmussen, Mads Olander; Huber, Silvia; Mbow, Cheikh; Garcia, Monica; Horion, Stéphanie; Sandholt, Inge; Holm-Rasmussen, Bo; Göttsche, Frank M; Ridler, Marc-Etienne; Olén, Niklas; Lundegard Olsen, Jørgen; Ehammer, Andrea; Madsen, Mathias; Olesen, Folke S; Ardö, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    The Dahra field site in Senegal, West Africa, was established in 2002 to monitor ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland and their responses to climatic and environmental change. This article describes the environment and the ecosystem properties of the site using a unique set of in situ data. The studied variables include hydroclimatic variables, species composition, albedo, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), hyperspectral characteristics (350-1800 nm), surface reflectance anisotropy, brightness temperature, fraction of absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (FAPAR), biomass, vegetation water content, and land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon (NEE) and energy. The Dahra field site experiences a typical Sahelian climate and is covered by coexisting trees (~3% canopy cover) and grass species, characterizing large parts of the Sahel. This makes the site suitable for investigating relationships between ecosystem properties and hydroclimatic variables for semiarid savanna ecosystems of the region. There were strong interannual, seasonal and diurnal dynamics in NEE, with high values of ~-7.5 g C m(-2)  day(-1) during the peak of the growing season. We found neither browning nor greening NDVI trends from 2002 to 2012. Interannual variation in species composition was strongly related to rainfall distribution. NDVI and FAPAR were strongly related to species composition, especially for years dominated by the species Zornia glochidiata. This influence was not observed in interannual variation in biomass and vegetation productivity, thus challenging dryland productivity models based on remote sensing. Surface reflectance anisotropy (350-1800 nm) at the peak of the growing season varied strongly depending on wavelength and viewing angle thereby having implications for the design of remotely sensed spectral vegetation indices covering different wavelength regions. The presented time series of in situ data have great potential for dryland dynamics

  16. Maintaining and restoring sustainable ecosystems in southern Nevada [Chapter 7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton; Donald W. Sada; Steven M. Ostoja; Matthew L. Brooks

    2013-01-01

    Managers in southern Nevada are challenged with determining appropriate goals and objectives and developing viable approaches for maintaining and restoring sustainable ecosystems in a time of rapid socio-ecological and environmental change. Sustainable or “healthy” ecosystems supply clean air, water and habitat for a diverse array of plants and animals. As described in...

  17. Uncertainty analysis of a coupled ecosystem response model simulating greenhouse gas fluxes from a temperate grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebermann, Ralf; Kraft, Philipp; Houska, Tobias; Breuer, Lutz; Müller, Christoph; Kraus, David; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen

    2015-04-01

    Among anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, CO2 is the dominant driver of global climate change. Next to its direct impact on the radiation budget, it also affects the climate system by triggering feedback mechanisms in terrestrial ecosystems. Such mechanisms - like stimulated photosynthesis, increased root exudations and reduced stomatal transpiration - influence both the input and the turnover of carbon and nitrogen compounds in the soil. The stabilization and decomposition of these compounds determines how increasing CO2 concentrations change the terrestrial trace gas emissions, especially CO2, N2O and CH4. To assess the potential reaction of terrestrial greenhouse gas emissions to rising tropospheric CO2 concentration, we make use of a comprehensive ecosystem model integrating known processes and fluxes of the carbon-nitrogen cycle in soil, vegetation and water. We apply a state-of-the-art ecosystem model with measurements from a long term field experiment of CO2 enrichment. The model - a grassland realization of LandscapeDNDC - simulates soil chemistry coupled with plant physiology, microclimate and hydrology. The data - comprising biomass, greenhouse gas emissions, management practices and soil properties - has been attained from a FACE (Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment) experiment running since 1997 on a temperate grassland in Giessen, Germany. Management and soil data, together with weather records, are used to drive the model, while cut biomass as well as CO2 and N2O emissions are used for calibration and validation. Starting with control data from installations without CO2 enhancement, we begin with a GLUE (General Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation) assessment using Latin Hypercube to reduce the range of the model parameters. This is followed by a detailed sensitivity analysis, the application of DREAM-ZS for model calibration, and an estimation of the effect of input uncertainty on the simulation results. Since first results indicate problems with

  18. Water- and plant-mediated responses of ecosystem carbon fluxes to warming and nitrogen addition on the Songnen grassland in northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jiang

    Full Text Available Understanding how grasslands are affected by a long-term increase in temperature is crucial to predict the future impact of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. Additionally, it is not clear how the effects of global warming on grassland productivity are going to be altered by increased N deposition and N addition.In-situ canopy CO(2 exchange rates were measured in a meadow steppe subjected to 4-year warming and nitrogen addition treatments. Warming treatment reduced net ecosystem CO(2 exchange (NEE and increased ecosystem respiration (ER; but had no significant impacts on gross ecosystem productivity (GEP. N addition increased NEE, ER and GEP. However, there were no significant interactions between N addition and warming. The variation of NEE during the four experimental years was correlated with soil water content, particularly during early spring, suggesting that water availability is a primary driver of carbon fluxes in the studied semi-arid grassland.Ecosystem carbon fluxes in grassland ecosystems are sensitive to warming and N addition. In the studied water-limited grassland, both warming and N addition influence ecosystem carbon fluxes by affecting water availability, which is the primary driver in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. It remains unknown to what extent the long-term N addition would affect the turn-over of soil organic matter and the C sink size of this grassland.

  19. Insect fauna in soil at different grassland ecosystems at Sobral, state of Ceará, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gislane dos Santos Sousa

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was perform a surveillance of the insect fauna in soil in three grassland ecosystems of experimental farm Vale do Acaraú of Universidade Estadual Vale do Acaraú at Sobral, state of Ceará, Brazil, by the using of traps soil, with fortnightly collections, from March 2011 to February 2012. To characterize the insect fauna established a distribution pattern, whereas the rates of occurrence and dominance of species grouped by order, as an indicator of the frequency and the occurrence of the amount of captured. At the end, we collected and identified a total of 17,008 specimens of insects belonging to 11 orders, namely: Blattariae, Coleoptera, Dermaptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Odonata, Orthoptera and Mantodea. The Order Hymenoptera was the one that stood out the largest number of individuals captured, attributing the presence of large amount of ants, are still considered common to the three ecosystems studied, according to the method employed.

  20. Quantifying characteristic growth dynamics in a semiarid grassland ecosystem by predicting short-term NDVI phenology from daily rainfall: a simple 4 parameter coupled-reservoir model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Predicting impacts of the magnitude and seasonal timing of rainfall pulses in water-limited grassland ecosystems concerns ecologists, climate scientists, hydrologists, and a variety of stakeholders. This report describes a simple, effective procedure to emulate the seasonal response of grassland bio...

  1. The relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services and the effects of grazing cessation in semi-natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wehn

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Land use change can affect biodiversity, and this has an impact on ecosystem services (ESs, but the relationships between biodiversity and ESs are complex and poorly understood. Biodiversity is declining due to the abandonment of extensively grazed semi-natural grasslands.We therefore aim to explore relationships between biodiversity and ESs provided by extensively managed semi-natural grasslands. Focusing on vascular plant species richness, as well as the ESs fodder quantity, quality, and stability, allergy control, climate regulation, nutrient cycling, pollination, and aesthetic appreciation, we carried out botanical field surveys of 28 paired extensively grazed and abandoned semi-natural grassland plots, with four subplots of 4 m2 in each plot. The management of the semi-natural grasslands is and has been at low intensity. We calculated the influence of abandonment on the ES indicators, measured the correlation between the biodiversity measure of vascular plant species richness and ES indicators, and finally determined how the relationships between plant species richness and the ES indicators were affected by the cessation of the extensive management.ES indicators are often, but not always, positively correlated with species richness. Cessation of extensive grazing has both negative and positive effects on ES indicators but the relationships between species richness and ES indicators are often different in extensively managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands. The relationships between species richness and ES indicators are less pronounced in the extensively managed semi-natural grassland than for the abandoned. One possible reason for this outcome is high functional redundancy in the extensively managed semi-natural grasslands.

  2. Ecosystem-scale fluxes in seminatural Pyrenean grasslands: role of annual dynamics of plant functional types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altimir, Nuria; Ibañez, Mercedes; Elbers, Jan; Rota, Cristina; Arias, Claudia; Carrara, Arnaud; Nogues, Salvador; Sebastia, Maria-Teresa

    2013-04-01

    The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and the annual C balance of a site are in general modulated by light, temperature and availability of water and other resources to the plants. In grasslands, NEE is expected to depend strongly on the vegetation with a relationship that can be summarized by the above-ground biomass, its amount and dynamics. Any factor controlling the amount of green biomass is expected to have a strong impact on the short-term NEE, such as amount of solar radiation, water availability and grazing pressure. These controls are modulated differently depending on the plant functional type enduring them. Furthermore, as different guilds follow different functional strategies for optimization of the resources, they also present different patterns of change in their capacities such as photosynthetic fixation, belowground C allocation, and C loss via respiration. We examined these relationships at several semi-natural pastures to determine how the seasonal distribution of plant functional types is detected in the short-term ecosystem exchange and what role it plays. We have looked into these patterns to determine the general variation of key processes and whether different temporal patterns arise between different guilds. The study sites are in the Pyrenees, on the mountain pastures of La Bertolina, Alinyà, and Castellar at 1300, 1700, 1900 m a.s.l. respectively. We performed ecosystem-scale flux measurements by means of micrometeorologial stations combined with a thorough description of the vegetation including below- and above-ground biomass and leaf area as well as monitoring of natural abundance of C isotopes, discriminated by plant functional types. We present here the results of the study.

  3. Alternative stable states and the sustainability of forests, grasslands, and agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Kirsten A.; Bauch, Chris T.; Anand, Madhur

    2016-01-01

    Endangered forest–grassland mosaics interspersed with expanding agriculture and silviculture occur across many parts of the world, including the southern Brazilian highlands. This natural mosaic ecosystem is thought to reflect alternative stable states driven by threshold responses of recruitment to fire and moisture regimes. The role of adaptive human behavior in such systems remains understudied, despite its pervasiveness and the fact that such ecosystems can exhibit complex dynamics. We develop a nonlinear mathematical model of coupled human–environment dynamics in mosaic systems and social processes regarding conservation and economic land valuation. Our objective is to better understand how the coupled dynamics respond to changes in ecological and social conditions. The model is parameterized with southern Brazilian data on mosaic ecology, land-use profits, and questionnaire results concerning landowner preferences and conservation values. We find that the mosaic presently resides at a crucial juncture where relatively small changes in social conditions can generate a wide variety of possible outcomes, including complete loss of mosaics; large-amplitude, long-term oscillations between land states that preclude ecosystem stability; and conservation of the mosaic even to the exclusion of agriculture/silviculture. In general, increasing the time horizon used for conservation decision making is more likely to maintain mosaic stability. In contrast, increasing the inherent conservation value of either forests or grasslands is more likely to induce large oscillations—especially for forests—due to feedback from rarity-based conservation decisions. Given the potential for complex dynamics, empirically grounded nonlinear dynamical models should play a larger role in policy formulation for human–environment mosaic ecosystems. PMID:27956605

  4. Alternative stable states and the sustainability of forests, grasslands, and agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Kirsten A; Bauch, Chris T; Anand, Madhur

    2016-12-20

    Endangered forest-grassland mosaics interspersed with expanding agriculture and silviculture occur across many parts of the world, including the southern Brazilian highlands. This natural mosaic ecosystem is thought to reflect alternative stable states driven by threshold responses of recruitment to fire and moisture regimes. The role of adaptive human behavior in such systems remains understudied, despite its pervasiveness and the fact that such ecosystems can exhibit complex dynamics. We develop a nonlinear mathematical model of coupled human-environment dynamics in mosaic systems and social processes regarding conservation and economic land valuation. Our objective is to better understand how the coupled dynamics respond to changes in ecological and social conditions. The model is parameterized with southern Brazilian data on mosaic ecology, land-use profits, and questionnaire results concerning landowner preferences and conservation values. We find that the mosaic presently resides at a crucial juncture where relatively small changes in social conditions can generate a wide variety of possible outcomes, including complete loss of mosaics; large-amplitude, long-term oscillations between land states that preclude ecosystem stability; and conservation of the mosaic even to the exclusion of agriculture/silviculture. In general, increasing the time horizon used for conservation decision making is more likely to maintain mosaic stability. In contrast, increasing the inherent conservation value of either forests or grasslands is more likely to induce large oscillations-especially for forests-due to feedback from rarity-based conservation decisions. Given the potential for complex dynamics, empirically grounded nonlinear dynamical models should play a larger role in policy formulation for human-environment mosaic ecosystems.

  5. Achieving Sustainability: Insights from Biogas Ecosystems in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gita Surie

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on how the use of renewable energy technologies such as biogas can help to achieve environmental and socio-economic sustainability. It combines research on sustainable consumption and production, natural and industrial ecosystems and renewable energy adoption to develop a framework for an industrial ecosystem for biogas for bottom-of-the-pyramid and rural populations. The framework suggests that three dimensions of industrial ecosystems and a meta-dimension can be embedded in the design of a new industrial ecosystem for biogas to facilitate environmental and socio-economic sustainability. Case studies of an organization engaged in using biogas to create a sustainable bioenergy ecosystem for rural populations and two organizations producing biogas in urban India provide support for the framework.

  6. Analysis of Grassland Ecosystem Physiology at Multiple Scales Using Eddy Covariance, Stable Isotope and Remote Sensing Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, L. B.; Geske, N.; Emrick, C.; Johnson, B. G.

    2006-12-01

    Grassland ecosystems typically exhibit very large annual fluctuations in above-ground biomass production and net ecosystem productivity (NEP). Eddy covariance flux measurements, plant stable isotope analyses, and canopy spectral reflectance techniques have been applied to study environmental constraints on grassland ecosystem productivity and the acclimation responses of the ecosystem at a site near Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. We have observed substantial interannual variation in grassland productivity during 1999-2005. In addition, there was a strong correlation between peak above-ground biomass production and NEP calculated from eddy covariance measurements. Interannual variation in NEP was strongly controlled by the total amount of precipitation received during the growing season (April-August). We also observed significant positive correlations between a multivariate ENSO index and total growing season precipitation, and between the ENSO index and annual NEP values. This suggested that a significant fraction of the annual variability in grassland productivity was associated with ENSO during 1999-2005. Grassland productivity varies asymmetrically in response to changes in precipitation with increases in productivity during wet years being much more pronounced than reductions during dry years. Strong increases in plant water-use efficiency, based on carbon and oxygen stable isotope analyses, contribute to the resilience of productivity during times of drought. Within a growing season increased stomatal limitation of photosynthesis, associated with improved water-use efficiency, resulted in apparent shifts in leaf xanthophyll cycle pigments and changes to the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) calculated from hyper-spectral reflectance measurements conducted at the canopy-scale. These shifts in PRI were apparent before seasonal drought caused significant reductions in leaf area index (LAI) and changes to canopy-scale "greenness" based on NDVI values. With

  7. Modeling Aboveground Biomass in Hulunber Grassland Ecosystem by Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Discrete Lidar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongliang; Xin, Xiaoping; Shao, Quanqin; Brolly, Matthew; Zhu, Zhiliang; Chen, Jin

    2017-01-19

    Accurate canopy structure datasets, including canopy height and fractional cover, are required to monitor aboveground biomass as well as to provide validation data for satellite remote sensing products. In this study, the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) discrete light detection and ranging (lidar) was investigated for modeling both the canopy height and fractional cover in Hulunber grassland ecosystem. The extracted mean canopy height, maximum canopy height, and fractional cover were used to estimate the aboveground biomass. The influences of flight height on lidar estimates were also analyzed. The main findings are: (1) the lidar-derived mean canopy height is the most reasonable predictor of aboveground biomass ( R ² = 0.340, root-mean-square error (RMSE) = 81.89 g·m -2 , and relative error of 14.1%). The improvement of multiple regressions to the R ² and RMSE values is unobvious when adding fractional cover in the regression since the correlation between mean canopy height and fractional cover is high; (2) Flight height has a pronounced effect on the derived fractional cover and details of the lidar data, but the effect is insignificant on the derived canopy height when the flight height is within the range (lidar returns.

  8. Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvertown, J

    1980-01-01

    The published results of the Park Grass Experiment (PGE), begun in 1856, provide up to 30 yr of annual data which may be used to determine whether the botanical composition of these grasslands was at equilibrium. Data covering a period exceeding 80 yr are available to test for relationships between hay yield (biomass), species diversity, species number and time. Species diversity and species number show negative relationships with plot biomass and with pH. These relationships were constant over time. The effects of biomass and pH on species number and species diversity were additive. Analysis of the flora of nine plots, each divided into grasses, legumes and a miscellaneous component showed that these components were at equilibrium. The effect of various endogenous factors on this botanical equilibrium was examined. No regular or irregular cycles of component biomass operating between years were detected and it is inferred that populations were regulated by processes operating within individual years. The biomasses of all three components were positively correlated within an unfertilized plot but the floristic components of plots receiving a fertilizer treatment showed few within-plot correlations. By contrast between-plot correlations of components were common for all plots with the exception of those receiving nitrogen fertilizer. The mechanisms of population regulation which maintained the park grass ecosystem at equilibrium are discussed and tests for these are proposed.

  9. Broader perspective on ecosystem sustainability: consequences for decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidle, Roy C; Benson, William H; Carriger, John F; Kamai, Toshitaka

    2013-06-04

    Although the concept of ecosystem sustainability has a long-term focus, it is often viewed from a static system perspective. Because most ecosystems are dynamic, we explore sustainability assessments from three additional perspectives: resilient systems; systems where tipping points occur; and systems subject to episodic resetting. Whereas foundations of ecosystem resilience originated in ecology, recent discussions have focused on geophysical attributes, and it is recognized that dynamic system components may not return to their former state following perturbations. Tipping points emerge when chronic changes (typically anthropogenic, but sometimes natural) push ecosystems to thresholds that cause collapse of process and function and may become permanent. Ecosystem resetting occurs when episodic natural disasters breach thresholds with little or no warning, resulting in long-term changes to environmental attributes or ecosystem function. An example of sustainability assessment of ecosystem goods and services along the Gulf Coast (USA) demonstrates the need to include both the resilient and dynamic nature of biogeomorphic components. Mountain road development in northwest Yunnan, China, makes rivers and related habitat vulnerable to tipping points. Ecosystems reset by natural disasters are also presented, emphasizing the need to understand the magnitude frequency and interrelationships among major disturbances, as shown by (i) the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami, including how unsustainable urban development exacerbates geodisaster propagation, and (ii) repeated major earthquakes and associated geomorphic and vegetation disturbances in Papua New Guinea. Although all of these ecosystem perturbations and shifts are individually recognized, they are not embraced in contemporary sustainable decision making.

  10. Ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa and its relationship to environmental variability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa

    2015-01-01

    he Dahra field site in Senegal, West Africa, was established in 2002 to monitor ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland and their responses to climatic and environmental change. This article describes the environment and the ecosystem properties of the site using a unique set of in situ......), biomass, vegetation water content, and land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon (NEE) and energy. The Dahra field site experiences a typical Sahelian climate and is covered by coexisting trees (~3% canopy cover) and grass species, characterizing large parts of the Sahel. This makes the site suitable...

  11. Comparison of remote sensing and plant trait-based modelling to predict ecosystem services in subalpine grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Homolová, Lucie; Schaepman, M. E.; Lamarque, L.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; de Bello, Francesco; Thuiller, W.; Lavorel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 8 (2014), č. článku 100. ISSN 2150-8925 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : land-use change * leaf chlorophyll content * imaging spectroscopy * water-content * aviris data * spectral reflectance * hyperspectral data * species richness * area index * vegetation * aisa * biomass * ecosystem properties * ecosystem services * linear regression * remote sensing * spatial heterogeneity * subalpine grasslands Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) OBOR OECD: Remote sensing; Plant sciences, botany (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.255, year: 2014

  12. Innovative financing mechanisms for sustainable ecosystem management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijerink, G.W.; Diemont, W.H.; Groot, de R.S.; Schrijver, R.A.M.; Verhagen, A.

    2008-01-01

    The increasing human influence on ecosystems and the ensuing unsustainable exploitation and degradation has led in many places to depletion and loss of function of these ecosystems. These problems cannot be solved by (innovative) financing mechanisms, as the causes do not lie in a lack of financing

  13. Placing ecosystem sustainability within the context of dynamic earth systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidle, R. C.

    2013-12-01

    Because the concept of ecosystem sustainability and the practice of sustainable land management both have long-term foci, it is necessary to view these from the perspective of dynamic rather than static systems. In addition to the typical static system approach for assessing ecosystem sustainability, three additional perspectives are presented. These are resilient systems, systems where tipping points occur, and systems subject to episodic geophysical resetting. Ecosystem resilience accommodates both natural and anthropogenic stressors and should be considered to properly frame many ecosystem assessments. A more complex problem emerges when stressors push systems to tipping points, causing a regime shift. Both chronic anthropogenic activities (e.g., over-grazing, forest conversion, poor irrigation practices) and natural changes (e.g., climate anomalies, geochemical weathering, tectonic uplift, vegetative succession) can exhaust ecosystem resilience leading to a rapid change in state. Anthropogenic perturbations can also lower the initiation threshold and increase the magnitude and frequency of certain natural disasters, increasing the likelihood of ecosystem change. Furthermore, when major episodic geophysical events (e.g., large earthquakes, tsunami, and floods; widespread volcanic activity and landslides) exceed thresholds of ecosystem resilience they may reset the attributes of entire systems or landscapes. Large disasters can initiate a cascade of linked events, as in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, where tsunami, fires, landslides, artificial fillslope collapses, radioactive releases, and associated health effects occurred. Understanding the potential for natural change (both chronic and episodic) in ecosystems is essential not only to the environmental aspect of sustainability but also to economic and social aspects. Examples are presented for: (1) ecosystems vulnerable to tipping points (Yunnan, China) and (2) ecosystems reset by earthquakes and

  14. 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...

  15. Developing micro-level urban ecosystem indicators for sustainability assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dizdaroglu, Didem, E-mail: dizdaroglu@bilkent.edu.tr

    2015-09-15

    Sustainability assessment is increasingly being viewed as an important tool to aid in the shift towards sustainable urban ecosystems. An urban ecosystem is a dynamic system and requires regular monitoring and assessment through a set of relevant indicators. An indicator is a parameter which provides information about the state of the environment by producing a quantitative value. Indicator-based sustainability assessment needs to be considered on all spatial scales to provide efficient information of urban ecosystem sustainability. The detailed data is necessary to assess environmental change in urban ecosystems at local scale and easily transfer this information to the national and global scales. This paper proposes a set of key micro-level urban ecosystem indicators for monitoring the sustainability of residential developments. The proposed indicator framework measures the sustainability performance of urban ecosystem in 3 main categories including: natural environment, built environment, and socio-economic environment which are made up of 9 sub-categories, consisting of 23 indicators. This paper also describes theoretical foundations for the selection of each indicator with reference to the literature [Turkish] Highlights: • As the impacts of environmental problems have multi-scale characteristics, sustainability assessment needs to be considered on all scales. • The detailed data is necessary to assess local environmental change in urban ecosystems to provide insights into the national and global scales. • This paper proposes a set of key micro-level urban ecosystem indicators for monitoring the sustainability of residential developments. • This paper also describes theoretical foundations for the selection of each indicator with reference to the literature.

  16. Developing micro-level urban ecosystem indicators for sustainability assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dizdaroglu, Didem

    2015-01-01

    Sustainability assessment is increasingly being viewed as an important tool to aid in the shift towards sustainable urban ecosystems. An urban ecosystem is a dynamic system and requires regular monitoring and assessment through a set of relevant indicators. An indicator is a parameter which provides information about the state of the environment by producing a quantitative value. Indicator-based sustainability assessment needs to be considered on all spatial scales to provide efficient information of urban ecosystem sustainability. The detailed data is necessary to assess environmental change in urban ecosystems at local scale and easily transfer this information to the national and global scales. This paper proposes a set of key micro-level urban ecosystem indicators for monitoring the sustainability of residential developments. The proposed indicator framework measures the sustainability performance of urban ecosystem in 3 main categories including: natural environment, built environment, and socio-economic environment which are made up of 9 sub-categories, consisting of 23 indicators. This paper also describes theoretical foundations for the selection of each indicator with reference to the literature [tr

  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. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  19. Land use/ land cover and ecosystem functions change in the grassland restoration program areas in China from 2000 to 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, H.; Fan, J.

    2015-12-01

    The grassland restoration areas in China, most of which was located in arid and semi-arid areas, are affected by climate change and anthropogenic activities. Using the 3S (RS, GIS, GPS) technologies, quantitative analysis method of landscape patterns and ecological simulation, this study examines the spatiotemporal characteristics of land use/ land cover and ecosystem functions change in the grassland restoration areas in China from 2000 to 2010. We apply two parameters land use transfer matrix and land use dynamic degree to explore the speed and regional differentiation of land use change. We propose vegetation coverage, net primary production (NPP), soil and water conservation capacity to assess the ecosystem functions. This study analyzes the characteristics of landscape patterns at the class and landscape levels and explores the ecological effect of land use pattern and regional ecological processes. The results show that: (1) Grassland and others were the main landscape types in the study area in the past decade. The ecosystem structure was stable. About 0.37% of the total grassland area in 2000 experienced change in land use / land cover types. The area of woodlands, wetlands, farmlands, and built-up areas expanded. The area of others has declined. (2) The dynamic degree of regional land use was less than one percent in the recent ten years. The speed of land use and land cover change was low, and regional differentiation of change between the provinces was small. (3) The matrix of the landscape did not change in the study area. Landscape fragmentation index values decreased progressively; landscape diversity rose continuously; landscape aggregation and continuity decreased slightly; the landscape maintained relative integrity. (4) Ecosystem functions has increased as a whole. The vegetation coverages with significant increase (with a 1.99% yr-1 slope of regression) in the total study area; NPP has a fluctuating and increasing tendency, ranging from 218.23 g

  20. Placing Ecosystem Sustainability Within the Context of Dynamic Earth Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Because the concept of ecosystem sustainability and the practice of sustainable land management both have long-term foci, it is necessary to view these from the perspective of dynamic rather than static systems. In addition to the typical static system approach for assessing ecos...

  1. Different responses of ecosystem carbon exchange to warming in three types of alpine grassland on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Hu, Guozheng; Wan, Yunfan; Li, Yue; Danjiu, Luobu; Gao, Qingzhu

    2018-02-01

    Climate is a driver of terrestrial ecosystem carbon exchange, which is an important product of ecosystem function. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has recently been subjected to a marked increase in temperature as a consequence of global warming. To explore the effects of warming on carbon exchange in grassland ecosystems, we conducted a whole-year warming experiment between 2012 and 2014 using open-top chambers placed in an alpine meadow, an alpine steppe, and a cultivated grassland on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. We measured the gross primary productivity, net ecosystem CO 2 exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration, and soil respiration using a chamber-based method during the growing season. The results show that after 3 years of warming, there was significant stimulation of carbon assimilation and emission in the alpine meadow, but both these processes declined in the alpine steppe and the cultivated grassland. Under warming conditions, the soil water content was more important in stimulating ecosystem carbon exchange in the meadow and cultivated grassland than was soil temperature. In the steppe, the soil temperature was negatively correlated with ecosystem carbon exchange. We found that the ambient soil water content was significantly correlated with the magnitude of warming-induced change in NEE. Under high soil moisture condition, warming has a significant positive effect on NEE, while it has a negative effect under low soil moisture condition. Our results highlight that the NEE in steppe and cultivated grassland have negative responses to warming; after reclamation, the natural meadow would subject to loose more C in warmer condition. Therefore, under future warmer condition, the overextension of cultivated grassland should be avoided and scientific planning of cultivated grassland should be achieved.

  2. The Economics of Ecosystems: Efficiency, Sustainability and Equity in Ecosystem Management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hein, L.G.

    2010-01-01

    The Economics of Ecosystems demonstrates how the concepts of economic efficiency, sustainability and equity can be applied in ecosystem management. The book presents an overview of these three key concepts, a framework for their analysis and modelling and three case studies. Specific attention is

  3. Multiple helix ecosystems for sustainable competitiveness

    CERN Document Server

    Ferreira, João; Farinha, Luís; Fernandes, Nuno

    2016-01-01

    This book discusses the main issues, challenges, opportunities, and trends involving the interactions between academia, industry, government and society. Specifically, it aims to explore how these interactions enhance the ways in which companies deliver products and services in order to achieve sustainable competitiveness in the marketplace. Sustainable competitiveness has been widely discussed by academics and practitioners, considering the importance of protecting the environment while sustaining the economic goals of organizations. The Quintuple Helix innovation model is a framework for facilitating knowledge, innovation and sustainable competitive advantage. It embeds the Triple and the Quadruple Helix models by adding a fifth helix, the “natural environment.” The Triple Helix model focuses on the university-industry-government triad, while the Quadruple adds civil society (the media- and culture-driven public) as a fourth helix. The Quintuple Helix model facilitates research, public policy, and pract...

  4. Rapid top-down regulation of plant C:N:P stoichiometry by grasshoppers in an Inner Mongolia grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo; Elser, James J

    2011-05-01

    Understanding how food web interactions alter the processing of limiting nutrient elements is an important goal of ecosystem ecology. An experiment manipulating densities of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus was performed to assess top-down effects of grasshoppers on C:N:P stoichiometry of plants and soil in a grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). With increased grasshopper feeding, plant biomass declined fourfold, litter abundance increased 30%, and the plant community became dominated by non-host plant taxa. Plant stoichiometric response depended on whether or not the plant was a grasshopper host food species: C:N and C:P ratios increased with increasing grasshopper density (GD) for host plants but decreased in non-host plants. These data suggest either a direct transfer of grasshopper-recycled nutrients from host to non-host plants or a release of non-host plants from nutrient competition with heavily grazed host plants. Litterfall C:N and C:P decreased across moderate levels of grasshopper density but no effects on C:N:P stoichiometry in the surface soil were observed, possibly due to the short experimental period. Our observations of divergent C:N:P stoichiometric response among plant species highlight the important role of grasshopper herbivory in regulating plant community structure and nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystems.

  5. 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 ...

  6. Influence of ozone pollution and climate variability on net primary productivity and carbon storage in China's grassland ecosystems from 1961 to 2000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ren Wei; Tian Hanqin; Chen Guangsheng; Liu Mingliang; Zhang Chi; Chappelka, Arthur H.; Pan Shufen

    2007-01-01

    Our simulations with the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM) indicate that the combined effect of ozone, climate, carbon dioxide and land use have caused China's grasslands to act as a weak carbon sink during 1961-2000. This combined effect on national grassland net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon storage was small, but changes in annual NPP and total carbon storage across China's grasslands showed substantial spatial variation, with the maximum total carbon uptake reduction of more than 400 g m -2 in some places of northeastern China. The grasslands in the central northeastern China were more sensitive and vulnerable to elevated ozone pollution than other regions. The combined effect excluding ozone could potentially lead to an increase of 14 Tg C in annual NPP and 0.11 Pg C in total carbon storage for the same time period. This implies that improvement in air quality could significantly increase productivity and carbon storage in China's grassland ecosystems. - Net primary productivity and carbon storage across China's grassland in the late half of the 20th century have been assessed by using the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model

  7. The VATO project: Development and validation of a dynamic transfer model of tritium in grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Dizès, S; Aulagnier, C; Maro, D; Rozet, M; Vermorel, F; Hébert, D; Voiseux, C; Solier, L; Godinot, C; Fievet, B; Laguionie, P; Connan, O; Cazimajou, O; Morillon, M

    2017-05-01

    In this paper, a dynamic compartment model with a high temporal resolution has been investigated to describe tritium transfer in grassland ecosystems exposed to atmospheric 3 H releases from nuclear facilities under normal operating or accidental conditions. TOCATTA-χ model belongs to the larger framework of the SYMBIOSE modelling and simulation platform that aims to assess the fate and transport of a wide range of radionuclides in various environmental systems. In this context, the conceptual and mathematical models of TOCATTA-χ have been designed to be relatively simple, minimizing the number of compartments and input parameters required. In the same time, the model achieves a good compromise between easy-to-use (as it is to be used in an operational mode), explicative power and predictive accuracy in various experimental conditions. In the framework of the VATO project, the model has been tested against two-year-long in situ measurements of 3 H activity concentration monitored by IRSN in air, groundwater and grass, together with meteorological parameters, on a grass field plot located 2 km downwind of the AREVA NC La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant, as was done in the past for the evaluation of transfer of 14 C in grass. By considering fast exchanges at the vegetation-air canopy interface, the model correctly reproduces the observed variability in TFWT activity concentration in grass, which evolves in accordance with spikes in atmospheric HTO activity concentration over the previous 24 h. The average OBT activity concentration in grass is also correctly reproduced. However, the model has to be improved in order to reproduce punctual high concentration of OBT activity, as observed in December 2013. The introduction of another compartment with a fast kinetic (like TFWT) - although outside the model scope - improves the predictions by increasing the correlation coefficient from 0.29 up to 0.56 when it includes this particular point. Further experimental

  8. Governing Forest Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Environmental Governance: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shankar Adhikari

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Governing forest ecosystem services as a forest socio-ecological system is an evolving concept in the face of different environmental and social challenges. Therefore, different modes of ecosystem governance such as hierarchical, scientific–technical, and adaptive–collaborative governance have been developed. Although each form of governance offers important features, no one form on its own is sufficient to attain sustainable environmental governance (SEG. Thus, the blending of important features of each mode of governance could contribute to SEG, through a combination of both hierarchical and collaborative governance systems supported by scientifically and technically aided knowledge. This should be further reinforced by the broad engagement of stakeholders to ensure the improved well-being of both ecosystems and humans. Some form of governance and forest management measures, including sustainable forest management, forest certification, and payment for ecosystem services mechanisms, are also contributing to that end. While issues around commodification and putting a price on nature are still contested due to the complex relationship between different services, if these limitations are taken into account, the governance of forest ecosystem services will serve as a means of effective environmental governance and the sustainable management of forest resources. Therefore, forest ecosystem services governance has a promising future for SEG, provided limitations are tackled with due care in future governance endeavors.

  9. Sustainable Innovation: A Competitive Advantage for Innovation Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Oksanen, Kaisa; Hautamäki, Antti

    2015-01-01

    In this article, we elaborate the emerging concept of sustainable innovation and analyze the relevance of innovation as a means to solve wicked problems and enhancing sustainable well-being. We also examine the changing conditions for innovation creation: building global knowledge hubs and local innovation ecosystems. As a result, the drivers of innovation and opportunities to utilize the untapped innovation potential of people outside traditional innovation contexts are expand...

  10. Short-term bioavailability of carbon in soil organic matter fractions of different particle sizes and densities in grassland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breulmann, Marc; Masyutenko, Nina Petrovna; Kogut, Boris Maratovich; Schroll, Reiner; Dörfler, Ulrike; Buscot, François; Schulz, Elke

    2014-11-01

    The quality, stability and availability of organic carbon (OC) in soil organic matter (SOM) can vary widely between differently managed ecosystems. Several approaches have been developed for isolating SOM fractions to examine their ecological roles, but links between the bioavailability of the OC of size-density fractions and soil microbial communities have not been previously explored. Thus, in the presented laboratory study we investigated the potential bioavailability of OC and the structure of associated microbial communities in different particle-size and density fractions of SOM. For this we used samples from four grassland ecosystems with contrasting management intensity regimes and two soil types: a Haplic Cambisol and a typical Chernozem. A combined size-density fractionation protocol was applied to separate clay-associated SOM fractions (CF1, <1 μm; CF2, 1-2 μm) from light SOM fractions (LF1, <1.8 g cm(-3); LF2, 1.8-2.0 g cm(-3)). These fractions were used as carbon sources in a respiration experiment to determine their potential bioavailability. Measured CO2-release was used as an index of substrate accessibility and linked to the soil microbial community structure, as determined by phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. Several key factors controlling decomposition processes, and thus the potential bioavailability of OC, were identified: management intensity and the plant community composition of the grasslands (both of which affect the chemical composition and turnover of OC) and specific properties of individual SOM fractions. The PLFA patterns highlighted differences in the composition of microbial communities associated with the examined grasslands, and SOM fractions, providing the first broad insights into their active microbial communities. From observed interactions between abiotic and biotic factors affecting the decomposition of SOM fractions we demonstrate that increasing management intensity could enhance the potential bioavailability of

  11. [Effects of desertification on C and N storages in grassland ecosystem on Horqin sandy land].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ha-lin; Li, Yu-qiang; Zhou, Rui-lian

    2007-11-01

    Sandy grassland is widespread in northern China, where desertification is very common because of overgrazing and estrepement. However, little is known about the effects of desertification on grassland C and N storages in this region. A field survey was conducted on Horqin sandy grassland, and desertification gradients were established to evaluate the effects of desertification on C and N storages in soil, plant, and litter. The results showed that desertification had deep effects on the contents and storages of grassland C and N. The C and N contents and storages in the grassland decreased significantly with increasing desertification degree. Comparing with those in un-desertified grassland, the C and N contents in lightly, moderately, heavily, and severely desertified grasslands decreased by 56.06% and 48.72%, 78.43% and 74.36%, 88.95% and 84.62%, and 91.64% and 84.62% in 0-100 cm soil layer, and by 8.61% and 6.43%, 0.05% and 25.71%, 2.58% and 27.14%, and 8. 61% and 27. 86% in plant components, respectively. Relevantly, the C and N storages decreased by 50.95% and 43.38%, 75.19% and 71.04%, 86.76% and 81.48%, and 91.17% and 83.17% in plant underground components in 0-100 cm soil layer, and by 25.08% and 27.62%, 30.90% and 46.55%, 73.84% and 80.62%, and 90.89% and 87.31% in plant aboveground components, respectively. In 2000, the total area of desertified grassland in Horqin sandy land was 30152. 7 km2, and the C and N loss via desertification reached up to 107.53 and 9.97 Mt, respectively. Correlation analysis indicated that the decrease of soil C and N contents was mainly come from the decreased soil fine particles caused by wind erosion in the process of desertification, and the degradation of soil texture- and nutrient status led finally to the rapid decrease of C and N storages in plant biomass and litter.

  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. 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.

  14. Simple models to predict grassland ecosystem C exchange and actual evapotranspiration using NDVI and environmental variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid grasslands contribute significantly to net terrestrial carbon flux as plant productivity and heterotrophic respiration in these moisture-limited systems are correlated with metrics related to water availability (e.g., precipitation, Actual EvapoTranspiration or AET). These variables are als...

  15. Ecosystem stewardship: sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    F. Stuart Chapin; Stephen R. Carpenter; Gary P. Kofinas; Carl Folke; Nick Abel; William C. Clark; Per Olsson; D. Mark Stafford Smith; Brian Walker; Oran R. Young; Fikret Berkes; Reinette Biggs; J. Morgan Grove; Rosamond L. Naylor; Evelyn Pinkerton; Will Steffen; Frederick J. Swanson

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystem stewardship is an action-oriented framework intended to foster the social-ecological sustainability of a rapidly changing planet. Recent developments identify three strategies that make optimal use of current understanding in an environment of inevitable uncertainty and abrupt change: reducing the magnitude of, and exposure and sensitivity to, known stresses...

  16. Systems approaches for the design of sustainable agro-ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kropff, M.J.; Bouma, J.; Jones, J.W.

    2001-01-01

    The complexity of agricultural systems and the need to fulfil multiple objectives in sustainable agro-ecosystems call for interdisciplinary analyzes and input from a wide variety of disciplines in order to better understand the complete agronomic production system. Systems approaches have been

  17. Baltic Sea Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Henning Sten; Schrøder, Anne Lise

    2017-01-01

    in the marine and maritime sectors with great potential for innovation and economic growth. Holistic spatial planning systems supporting sustainable development have proved themselves in terrestrial planning and are also needed at sea. Due to this reason, the BONUS BASMATI project is based on the ecosystem...... services approach to assist in assessing sustainable solutions corresponding to policy goals.......The current and potential use of the seas and oceans is often called the ‘Blue Economy’. Recently, the European Commission launched its Blue Growth Strategy on the opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth. The European Commission considers that Blue Growth is a long-term strategy...

  18. Spatio-Temporal Patterns and Climate Variables Controlling of Biomass Carbon Stock of Global Grassland Ecosystems from 1982 to 2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangzhou Xia

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems play an important role in subsistence agriculture and the global carbon cycle. However, the global spatio-temporal patterns and environmental controls of grassland biomass are not well quantified and understood. The goal of this study was to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of the global grassland biomass and analyze their driving forces using field measurements, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI time series from satellite data, climate reanalysis data, and a satellite-based statistical model. Results showed that the NDVI-based biomass carbon model developed from this study explained 60% of the variance across 38 sites globally. The global carbon stock in grassland aboveground live biomass was 1.05 Pg·C, averaged from 1982 to 2006, and increased at a rate of 2.43 Tg·C·y−1 during this period. Temporal change of the global biomass was significantly and positively correlated with temperature and precipitation. The distribution of biomass carbon density followed the precipitation gradient. The dynamics of regional grassland biomass showed various trends largely determined by regional climate variability, disturbances, and management practices (such as grazing for meat production. The methods and results from this study can be used to monitor the dynamics of grassland aboveground biomass and evaluate grassland susceptibility to climate variability and change, disturbances, and management.

  19. Ecosystem services for meeting sustainable development goals: Challenges and pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huq Nazmul

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper summarizes four presentations of the session “Environment and Wellbeing: The Role of Ecosystems for Sustainable Development” at the international conference “Sustainability in the Water- Energy-Food Nexus” held on 19-20th May 2014 in Bonn, Germany. The aim of the session was to present current stresses on ecosystem services imposed by global development trajectory, potential impacts on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs and pathways to achieve SDGs. All four presentations agreed that global ecosystem services are under increasing pressure from degradation and may not be able to meet the growing Water-Energy- Food (WEF demands especially for the developing world. Three examples from Tanzania, Cambodia and Niger made attempt to understand how governance policies attributed to natural resource depletion such as forestry and common grazing. The examples showed that governance policies favoring economic development are heavily contributing to clearing up natural resource bases. As a result, there were increasing conflicts among different resource user groups. Two other presentations introduce conceptual pathways to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs under current resource stressed regime. The pathways suggested global technologies, decentralized solutions and consumption changes as the major means of achieving global sustainability and poverty eradication without any major trade-offs.

  20. Ecosystem services for meeting sustainable development goals: Challenges and pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huq Nazmul

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper summarizes four presentations of the session “Environment and Wellbeing: The Role of Ecosystems for Sustainable Development” at the international conference “Sustainability in the Water- Energy-Food Nexus” held on 19-20th May 2014 in Bonn, Germany. The aim of the session was to present current stresses on ecosystem services imposed by global development trajectory, potential impacts on future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs and pathways to achieve SDGs. All four presentations agreed that global ecosystem services are under increasing pressure from degradation and may not be able to meet the growing Water-Energy-Food (WEF demands especially for the developing world. Three examples from Tanzania, Cambodia and Niger made attempt to understand how government policies attributed to natural resource depletion such as forestry and common grazing. The examples showed that institutional policies favoring economic development contributing heavily to clearing up natural resource bases. As a result, there were increasing conflicts among different resource user groups. Two other presentations introduce conceptual pathways to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs under current resource stressed regime. The pathways suggested global technologies, decentralized solutions and consumption changes as the major means of achieving global sustainability and poverty eradication without any major trade-offs.

  1. Plant trait-based models identify direct and indirect effects of climate change on bundles of grassland ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamarque, Pénélope; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouchet, Maud; Quétier, Fabien

    2014-09-23

    Land use and climate change are primary causes of changes in the supply of ecosystem services (ESs). Although the consequences of climate change on ecosystem properties and associated services are well documented, the cascading impacts of climate change on ESs through changes in land use are largely overlooked. We present a trait-based framework based on an empirical model to elucidate how climate change affects tradeoffs among ESs. Using alternative scenarios for mountain grasslands, we predicted how direct effects of climate change on ecosystems and indirect effects through farmers' adaptations are likely to affect ES bundles through changes in plant functional properties. ES supply was overall more sensitive to climate than to induced management change, and ES bundles remained stable across scenarios. These responses largely reflected the restricted extent of management change in this constrained system, which was incorporated when scaling up plot level climate and management effects on ecosystem properties to the entire landscape. The trait-based approach revealed how the combination of common driving traits and common responses to changed fertility determined interactions and tradeoffs among ESs.

  2. Can we manage ecosystems in a sustainable way?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Jake

    Fisheries have often become unsustainable, despite efforts of policy, management, and science. FAO has reviewed this undesirable pattern and identified six major factors contributing to unsustainability: inappropriate incentives, high demand for limited resources, poverty and lack of alternatives, complexity and lack of knowledge, lack of effective governance, and interactions of fisheries sector with other sectors and the environment. It also identified eight classes of actions that provide pathways to addressing the factors causing unsustainability of fisheries: allocation of rights; transparent, participatory management; support for science, enforcement and planning; equitable distribution of benefits; integrated policy development; application of precaution; building capacity and public understanding; and market incentives and economic instruments. The review highlighted that "sustainability" is a multi-dimensional concept (economic, social, ecological, and institutional), and measures implemented to address problems on one dimension of sustainability will move the fishery in a negative direction in at least one other dimension. In this paper I apply the FAO framework to the whole ecosystem. For each factor of unsustainability, I consider whether redefining the sustainability problem to the greater ecosystem makes the factor more or less serious as a threat to sustainability. For each pathway to improvement I consider whether the redefinition of the problem makes the pathway more or less effective as a management response to the threat. Few of the factors of unsustainability becomes easier to address at the ecosystem scale, and several of them become much more difficult. Of the combinations of pathways of responses and factors of unsustainability, more than two thirds of them become more difficult to apply, and/or have even greater negative impacts on other dimensions of sustainability. Importantly, the most promising pathways for addressing unsustainability of

  3. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

  4. Efforts to improve and sustain the productive utilization of dry grasslands in Armenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezhunts, Bagrat; Navasardyan, Marine

    2014-05-01

    Armenia is a small mountainous country (29,743 km2) located in the South Caucasus. It lies in the sub-tropical zone and has a continental climate with hot summers (av. +250C) and cold winters (av. -60C). The average precipitation is 550 mm; in the dry-steppe zone it amounts to only 250 mm and with a rainy season in spring-early summer. Altitudinal variation (390-4,095 m) gives rise to a range of climatic zones (from semi-desert to alpine), soil types and plant communities. Besides, Armenia is situated on the crossroads of Caucasian - mesophyllous (humid) and Armeno-Iranian - xerophyllous (arid) floristic provinces, which has made it to a "biodiversity hotspot". Agriculture is important as a source of employment and for domestic food supply. The rural population (ca. 1.2 million) is largely dependent on livestock for their livelihood. The principal feed resource is extensive grasslands (60% of total agricultural lands), but past practices of uncontrolled grazing management has led to low grassland productivity and low proportion of valuable legume forages. Improvement of natural grasslands, enhancement of feed quality, prevention of soil erosion and re-establishment of vegetation cover are key socio-economic challenges and are needed to raise the livelihood of rural population in Armenia. This presentation focuses on present status and trends of dry pastureland degradation, exposed to intensive grazing, and on results from case studies to increase productivity and restore valuable forage species for sustainable use in agriculture. Three different conventional approaches have been applied in these studies including: fertilization with moderate doses of ammonium and potassium nitrate and superphosphate, over-sowing by local legume seeds and implementation of a 2-year rest period in overgrazed areas. From 1986 to 2007, the total yield (TY) in studied dry-steppe pastures decreased by 40%, while at the same time, the proportion of grasses in total yield decreased by 50

  5. Are land use and short time climate change effective on soil carbon compositions and their relationships with soil properties in alpine grassland ecosystems on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhenzhen; Dong, Shikui; Jiang, Xiaoman; Zhao, Jinbo; Liu, Shiliang; Yang, Mingyue; Han, Yuhui; Sha, Wei

    2018-06-01

    Fencing and grass plantation are two key interventions to preserve the degraded grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Climate warming and N deposition have substantially affected the alpine grassland ecosystems. However, molecular composition of soil organic carbon (SOC), the indicator of degradation of SOC, and its responses to climate change are still largely unclear. In this study, we conducted the experiments in three types of land use on the QTP: alpine meadow (AM), alpine steppe (AS), and cultivated grassland (CG) under 2°C climatic warming, 5 levels of nitrogen deposition rates at 8, 24, 40, 56, and 72kg N ha -1 year -1 , as well as a combination of climatic warming and N deposition (8kg N ha -1 year -1 ). Our findings indicate that all three types of land use were dominated by O-alkyl carbon. The alkyl/O-alkyl ratio, aromaticity and hydrophobicity index of the CG were larger than those of the AM and AS, and this difference was generally stable under different treatments. Most of the SOC in the alpine grasslands was derived from fresh plants, and the carbon in the CG was more stable than that in the AM and AS. The compositions of all the alpine ecosystems were stable under short-term climatic changes, suggesting the short-term climate warming and nitrogen deposition likely did not affect the molecular composition of the SOC in the restored grasslands. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  7. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  8. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  9. Making Grasslands Sustainable in Mongolia: Assessment of Key Elements in Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions for Grassland and Livestock Management

    OpenAIRE

    Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is a threat to Mongolia’s economic growth, sustainable development, and fragile environment. Well-designed actions to mitigate climate change can provide multiple benefits, including socioeconomic development and resilience to climate variability and change. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) can provide a framework for the identification and implementation of mitigation actions. This publication identifies and assesses technical, institutional, and policy elemen...

  10. Long-term nutrient fertilization and the carbon balance of permanent grassland: any evidence for sustainable intensification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornara, Dario A.; Wasson, Elizabeth-Anne; Christie, Peter; Watson, Catherine J.

    2016-09-01

    Sustainable grassland intensification aims to increase plant yields while maintaining the ability of soil to act as a sink rather than sources of atmospheric CO2. High biomass yields from managed grasslands, however, can be only maintained through long-term nutrient fertilization, which can significantly affect soil carbon (C) storage and cycling. Key questions remain about (1) how long-term inorganic vs. organic fertilization influences soil C stocks, and (2) how soil C gains (or losses) contribute to the long-term C balance of managed grasslands. Using 43 years of data from a permanent grassland experiment, we show that soils not only act as significant C sinks but have not yet reached C saturation. Even unfertilized control soils showed C sequestration rates of 0.35 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (i.e. 35 g C m-2 yr-1; 0-15 cm depth) between 1970 and 2013. High application rates of liquid manure (i.e. cattle slurry) further increased soil C sequestration to 0.86 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (i.e. 86 g C m-2 yr-1) and a key cause of this C accrual was greater C inputs from cattle slurry. However, average coefficients of slurry-C retention in soils suggest that 85 % of C added yearly through liquid manure is lost possibly via CO2 fluxes and organic C leaching. Inorganically fertilized soils (i.e. NPK) had the lowest C-gain efficiency (i.e. unit of C gained per unit of N added) and lowest C sequestration (similar to control soils). Soils receiving cattle slurry showed higher C-gain and N-retention efficiencies compared to soils receiving NPK or pig slurry. We estimate that net rates of CO2-sequestration in the top 15 cm of the soil can offset 9-25 % of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from intensive management. However, because of multiple GHG sources associated with livestock farming, the net C balance of these grasslands remains positive (9-12 Mg CO2-equivalent ha-1 yr-1), thus contributing to climate change. Further C-gain efficiencies (e.g. reduced enteric fermentation and use of feed

  11. The interactive effects of fire and diversity on short-term responses of ecosystem processes in experimental mediterranean grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G; Siamantziouras, Akis-Stavros D; Galanidis, Alexandros; Mprezetou, Irene; Troumbis, Andreas Y

    2006-06-01

    We conducted a field experiment using constructed communities to test whether species richness contributed to the maintenance of ecosystem processes under fire disturbance. We studied the effects of diversity components (i.e., species richness and species composition) upon productivity, structural traits of vegetation, decomposition rates, and soil nutrients between burnt and unburnt experimental Mediterranean grassland communities. Our results demonstrated that fire and species richness had interactive effects on aboveground biomass production and canopy structure components. Fire increased biomass production of the highest-richness communities. The effects of fire on aboveground biomass production at different levels of species richness were derived from changes in both vertical and horizontal canopy structure of the communities. The most species-rich communities appeared to be more resistant to fire in relation to species-poor ones, due to both compositional and richness effects. Interactive effects of fire and species richness were not important for belowground processes. Decomposition rates increased with species richness, related in part to increased levels of canopy structure traits. Fire increased soil nutrients and long-term decomposition rate. Our results provide evidence that composition within richness levels had often larger effects on the stability of aboveground ecosystem processes in the face of fire disturbance than species richness per se.

  12. Assessing the Effects of Grassland Management on Forage Production and Environmental Quality to Identify Paths to Ecological Intensification in Mountain Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loucougaray, Grégory; Dobremez, Laurent; Gos, Pierre; Pauthenet, Yves; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2015-11-01

    Ecological intensification in grasslands can be regarded as a process for increasing forage production while maintaining high levels of ecosystem functions and biodiversity. In the mountain Vercors massif, where dairy cattle farming is the main component of agriculture, how to achieve forage autonomy at farm level while sustaining environmental quality for tourism and local dairy products has recently stimulated local debate. As specific management is one of the main drivers of ecosystem functioning, we assessed the response of forage production and environmental quality at grassland scale across a wide range of management practices. We aimed to determine which components of management can be harnessed to better match forage production and environmental quality. We sampled the vegetation of 51 grasslands stratified across 13 grassland types. We assessed each grassland for agronomic and environmental properties, measuring forage production, forage quality, and indices based on the abundance of particular plant species such as timing flexibility, apiarian potential, and aromatic plants. Our results revealed an expected trade-off between forage production and environmental quality, notably by stressing the contrasts between sown and permanent grasslands. However, strong within-type variability in both production and environmental quality as well as in flexibility of timing of use suggests possible ways to improve this trade-off at grassland and farm scales. As achieving forage autonomy relies on increasing both forage production and grassland resilience, our results highlight the critical role of the ratio between sown and permanent grasslands as a major path for ecological intensification in mountain grasslands.

  13. Ecosystem services capacity across heterogeneous forest types: understanding the interactions and suggesting pathways for sustaining multiple ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamgir, Mohammed; Turton, Stephen M; Macgregor, Colin J; Pert, Petina L

    2016-10-01

    As ecosystem services supply from tropical forests is declining due to deforestation and forest degradation, much effort is essential to sustain ecosystem services supply from tropical forested landscapes, because tropical forests provide the largest flow of multiple ecosystem services among the terrestrial ecosystems. In order to sustain multiple ecosystem services, understanding ecosystem services capacity across heterogeneous forest types and identifying certain ecosystem services that could be managed to leverage positive effects across the wider bundle of ecosystem services are required. We sampled three forest types, tropical rainforests, sclerophyll forests, and rehabilitated plantation forests, over an area of 32,000m(2) from Wet Tropics bioregion, Australia, aiming to compare supply and evaluate interactions and patterns of eight ecosystem services (global climate regulation, air quality regulation, erosion regulation, nutrient regulation, cyclone protection, habitat provision, energy provision, and timber provision). On average, multiple ecosystem services were highest in the rainforests, lowest in sclerophyll forests, and intermediate in rehabilitated plantation forests. However, a wide variation was apparent among the plots across the three forest types. Global climate regulation service had a synergistic impact on the supply of multiple ecosystem services, while nutrient regulation service was found to have a trade-off impact. Considering multiple ecosystem services, most of the rehabilitated plantation forest plots shared the same ordination space with rainforest plots in the ordination analysis, indicating that rehabilitated plantation forests may supply certain ecosystem services nearly equivalent to rainforests. Two synergy groups and one trade-off group were identified. Apart from conserving rainforests and sclerophyll forests, our findings suggest two additional integrated pathways to sustain the supply of multiple ecosystem services from a

  14. Pareto optimization of an industrial ecosystem: sustainability maximization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. M.-S. Monteiro

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This work investigates a procedure to design an Industrial Ecosystem for sequestrating CO2 and consuming glycerol in a Chemical Complex with 15 integrated processes. The Complex is responsible for the production of methanol, ethylene oxide, ammonia, urea, dimethyl carbonate, ethylene glycol, glycerol carbonate, β-carotene, 1,2-propanediol and olefins, and is simulated using UNISIM Design (Honeywell. The process environmental impact (EI is calculated using the Waste Reduction Algorithm, while Profit (P is estimated using classic cost correlations. MATLAB (The Mathworks Inc is connected to UNISIM to enable optimization. The objective is granting maximum process sustainability, which involves finding a compromise between high profitability and low environmental impact. Sustainability maximization is therefore understood as a multi-criteria optimization problem, addressed by means of the Pareto optimization methodology for trading off P vs. EI.

  15. Regional conditions and land-use alter the potential contribution of soil arthropods to ecosystem services in grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus eBirkhofer

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of regional conditions and land-use intensity on eight selected arthropod taxa of Mesostigmata (Parasitidae, Oribatida (3 species, Collembola (1 species, Chilopoda (2 species and Diplopoda (1 species sampled in differently managed permanent grasslands of three German study regions. By jointly analyzing changes in abundance and trophic behavior (measured as natural variation in 15N/14N and 13C/12C ratios we intended to develop a framework for evaluating the impact of local and regional conditions on the ecosystem services delivered by soil animals (mainly decomposition- and predation-related services. The investigated taxa could be assorted to three major groups: (1 numerical response only, (2 numerical and trophic response and (3 trophic response only. Since the combination of taxa assembled in the individual groups does not correspond to any of the conventional soil ecological classification systems, this grouping offers a new approach for analyzing soil communities. The complementing consideration of both the direction of the numerical response and the type of the trophic response (change of the basal food source vs. trophic level shift vs. variations in isotopic niches provided a differential insight into the effect of management and geographic differences on soil arthropods. It could be shown that the effect of land-use on the abundance of detritivorous microarthropods varies among regions, but does not induce any changes in feeding behavior. Our findings on Parasitidae indicate that carnivorous microarthropods exert substantial predation pressure on soil mesofauna and may be quite resistant to environmental changes due to high trophic flexibility. If conditions are favorable, centipedes may reach comparatively high densities in permanent grasslands and could be very important for controlling belowground pests. Concerning millipedes, isotopic signatures suggest that some species could exert a substantial disservice

  16. Reorienting land degradation towards sustainable land management: linking sustainable livelihoods with ecosystem services in rangeland systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, M S; Stringer, L C; Dougill, A J; Perkins, J S; Atlhopheng, J R; Mulale, K; Favretto, N

    2015-03-15

    This paper identifies new ways of moving from land degradation towards sustainable land management through the development of economic mechanisms. It identifies new mechanisms to tackle land degradation based on retaining critical levels of natural capital whilst basing livelihoods on a wider range of ecosystem services. This is achieved through a case study analysis of the Kalahari rangelands in southwest Botswana. The paper first describes the socio-economic and ecological characteristics of the Kalahari rangelands and the types of land degradation taking place. It then focuses on bush encroachment as a way of exploring new economic instruments (e.g. Payments for Ecosystem Services) designed to enhance the flow of ecosystem services that support livelihoods in rangeland systems. It does this by evaluating the likely impacts of bush encroachment, one of the key forms of rangeland degradation, on a range of ecosystem services in three land tenure types (private fenced ranches, communal grazing areas and Wildlife Management Areas), before considering options for more sustainable land management in these systems. We argue that with adequate policy support, economic mechanisms could help reorient degraded rangelands towards more sustainable land management. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Soil ecology and ecosystem services of dairy and semi-natural grasslands on peat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deru, Joachim G.C.; Bloem, Jaap; Goede, de Ron; Keidel, Harm; Kloen, Henk; Rutgers, Michiel; Akker, van den Jan; Brussaard, Lijbert; Eekeren, van Nick

    2018-01-01

    Peat wetlands are of major importance for ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water regulation and maintenance of biodiversity. However, peat drainage for farming leads to CO2 emission, soil subsidence and biodiversity losses. In the peat areas in the Netherlands, solutions are sought in

  18. Phenocams bridge the gap between field and satellite observations in an arid grassland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Near surface (i.e., camera) and satellite remote sensing metrics have become widely used indicators of plant growing seasons. While robust linkages have been established between field metrics and ecosystem exchange in many land cover types, assessment of how well remotely-derived season start and en...

  19. Sierra Nevada grasslands: interactions between livestock grazing and ecosystem structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara H. Allen-Diaz

    2004-01-01

    Livestock grazing plays an integral role in the grass-dominated ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. Grazing has been asserted to influence such key ecological characteristics as water quality, net primary productivity, nutrient cycling, plant and animal diversity, wildlife habitat availability, and oak regeneration (Belsky and others 1999, Kauffmann and Krueger 1984)....

  20. Effects of short term and long term soil warming on ecosystem phenology of a sub-arctic grassland: an NDVI-based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblans, Niki; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2014-05-01

    Phenology has been defined as the study of the timing of recurring biological events and the causes of their timing with regard to abiotic and biotic factors. Ecosystem phenology, including the onset of the growing season and its senescence in autumn, plays an important role in the carbon, water and energy exchange between biosphere and atmosphere at higher latitudes. Factors that influence ecosystem phenology can therefore induce important climate-controlling feedback mechanisms. Global surface temperatures have been predicted to increase in the coming decades. Hence, a better understanding of the effect of temperature on ecosystem phenology is essential. Natural geothermal soil temperature gradients in Iceland offer a unique opportunity to study the soil temperature (Ts) dependence of ecosystem phenology and distinguish short-term (transient) warming effects (in recently established Ts gradients) from long-term (permanent) effects (in centuries-old Ts gradients). This research was performed in the framework of an international research project (ForHot; www.forhot.is). ForHot includes two natural grassland areas with gradients in Ts, dominated by Festuca sp., Agrostis sp.. The first warmed area was created in 2008, when an earthquake in S-Iceland caused geothermal systems to be shifted to previously cold soils. The second area is located about 3 km away from this newly warmed grassland. For this area, there are proofs that the natural soil warming has been continuous for at least 300 year. In the present study we focus on Ts elevation gradients of +0 to +10°C. The experiment consists of five transects with five temperature levels (+0,+1,+3,+5 and +10°C) in the two aforementioned grassland ecosystems (n=25 in each grassland). From April until November 2013, weekly measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were taken. In the short-term warmed grassland, the greening of the vegetation was 36 days advanced at +10°C Ts and the date of 50

  1. Biological transport of radiocaesium in a semi-natural grassland ecosystem: Pt.1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudge, S.A.; Johnson, M.S.; Leah, R.T.

    1993-01-01

    An unused area of the British Nuclear Fuels plc low level disposal site at Drigg in Cumbria, together with a control site in Cheshire, have been used to investigate the behaviour of 137 Cs in semi-natural grasslands over the period 1985-1988. Both sites showed significant inputs of 137 Cs and 134 Cs from the Chernobyl incident in 1986, estimated at up to 7330 Bq/m 2 at Drigg and less than 230 Bq/m 2 in Cheshire. Surface soil horizons showed the highest levels of 137 Cs and 134 Cs. During the study period, the dominant contribution to radiocaesium in soil and vegetation was from Chernobyl. Significant inter-specific variation in caesium concentrations of grasses was observed with an exponential decrease from June 1986 through to the summer of 1987, followed by secondary peak in autumn 1987. Samples collected in the spring of 1988 showed 137 Cs concentrations approaching pre-Chernobyl levels. Marked inter-specific and temporal differences in concentrations of radio-caesium were recorded for invertebrate populations. Radioactivity levels in herbivorous invertebrates were approximately proportional to levels in their diets with concentration decreasing form the 1986 summer peak recorded after the input of Chernobyl radioactivity to the low levels observed during the summer of 1987. Herbivorous and predatory invertebrates showed similar concentrations of 137 Cs but both groups were lower in radiocaesium than detritivorous species. (Author)

  2. Nitrogen and Carbon Cycling in a Grassland Community Ecosystem as Affected by Elevated Atmospheric CO2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. A. Torbert

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 concentration has led to concerns regarding its potential effects on terrestrial ecosystems and the long-term storage of carbon (C and nitrogen (N in soil. This study examined responses to elevated CO2 in a grass ecosystem invaded with a leguminous shrub Acacia farnesiana (L. Willd (Huisache. Seedlings of Acacia along with grass species were grown for 13 months at CO2 concentrations of 385 (ambient, 690, and 980 μmol mol−1. Elevated CO2 increased both C and N inputs from plant growth which would result in higher soil C from litter fall, root turnover, and excretions. Results from the incubation indicated an initial (20 days decrease in N mineralization which resulted in no change in C mineralization. However, after 40 and 60 days, an increase in both C and N mineralization was observed. These increases would indicate that increases in soil C storage may not occur in grass ecosystems that are invaded with Acacia over the long term.

  3. Influence of land use intensity on the diversity of ammonia oxidizing bacteria and archaea in soils from grassland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Schloter, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, the influence of the land use intensity on the diversity of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in soils from different grassland ecosystems has been investigated in spring and summer of the season (April and July). Diversity of AOA and AOB was studied by TRFLP fingerprinting of amoA amplicons. The diversity from AOB was low and dominated by a peak that could be assigned to Nitrosospira. The obtained profiles for AOB were very stable and neither influenced by the land use intensity nor by the time point of sampling. In contrast, the obtained patterns for AOA were more complex although one peak that could be assigned to Nitrosopumilus was dominating all profiles independent from the land use intensity and the sampling time point. Overall, the AOA profiles were much more dynamic than those of AOB and responded clearly to the land use intensity. An influence of the sampling time point was again not visible. Whereas AOB profiles were clearly linked to potential nitrification rates in soil, major TRFs from AOA were negatively correlated to DOC and ammonium availability and not related to potential nitrification rates.

  4. Community level offset of rain use- and transpiration efficiency for a heavily grazed ecosystem in inner Mongolia grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ying Z; Giese, Marcus; Gao, Qiang; Brueck, Holger; Sheng, Lian X; Yang, Hai J

    2013-01-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE) is a key indicator to assess ecosystem adaptation to water stress. Rain use efficiency (RUE) is usually used as a proxy for WUE due to lack of transpiration data. Furthermore, RUE based on aboveground primary productivity (RUEANPP) is used to evaluate whole plant water use because root production data is often missing as well. However, it is controversial as to whether RUE is a reliable parameter to elucidate transpiration efficiency (TE), and whether RUEANPP is a suitable proxy for RUE of the whole plant basis. The experiment was conducted at three differently managed sites in the Inner Mongolia steppe: a site fenced since 1979 (UG79), a winter grazing site (WG) and a heavily grazed site (HG). Site HG had consistent lowest RUEANPP and RUE based on total net primary productivity (RUENPP). RUEANPP is a relatively good proxy at sites UG79 and WG, but less reliable for site HG. Similarly, RUEANPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on aboveground net primary productivity (TEANPP) at sites UG79 and WG but not for site HG. However, if total net primary productivity is considered, RUENPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on total net primary productivity (TENPP) for all sites. Although our measurements indicate decreased plant transpiration and consequentially decreasing RUE under heavy grazing, productivity was relatively compensated for with a higher TE. This offset between RUE and TE was even enhanced under water limited conditions and more evident when belowground net primary productivity (BNNP) was included. These findings suggest that BNPP should be considered when studies fucus on WUE of more intensively used grasslands. The consideration of the whole plant perspective and "real" WUE would partially revise our picture of system performance and therefore might affect the discussion on the C-sequestration and resilience potential of ecosystems.

  5. An African account of ecosystem service provision: Use, threats and policy options for sustainable livelihoods

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Egoh, Benis N

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available -1 Ecosystem Services December 2012/ Vol. 2 An African account of ecosystem service provision: Use, threats and policy options for sustainable livelihoods Benis N. Egoh a, , , , Patrick J. O'Farrellb, Aymen Charefa, Leigh Josephine Gurney a...

  6. Sustainable wetland management and support of ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Loren M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Brinson, Mark M.

    2009-01-01

    This article is a follow-up on a previous piece in the National Wetlands Newsletter in which we outlined problems associated with a static, local approach to wetland management versus an alternative that proposes a temporal and geomorphic approach (Euliss et al. 2009). We extend that concept by drawing on companion papers recently published in the journal Wetlands (Euliss et al. 2008, Smith et al. 2008). Here we highlight reasons for the failure of many managed wetlands to provide a suite of ecosystem services (e.g., carbon storage, diodiversity, ground-water recharge, contaminant filtering, floodwater storage). Our principal theme is that wetland management is best approached by giving consideration to the hydrogeomorphic processes that maintain productive ecosystems and by removing physical and social impediments to those processes. Traditional management actions are often oriented toward maintaining static conditions in wetlands without considering the temporal cycles that wetlands need to undergo or achieve productivity for specific groups of wildlife, such as waterfowl. Possibly more often, a manager's ability to influence hydrogeomorphic processes is restricted by activities in surrounding watersheds. These could be dams, for example, which do not allow management of flood-pulse processes essential to productivity of riparian systems. In most cases, sediments and nutrients associated with land use in contributing watersheds complicate management of wetlands for a suite of services, including wildlife. Economic or policy forces far-removed from a wetland often interact to prevent occurrence of basic ecosystem processes. Our message is consistent with recommendation of supply-side sustainability of Allen et al. (2002) in which ecosystems are managed "for the system that produces outputs rather than the outputs themselves."

  7. Modelling carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems in Western Europe using the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model: evaluation against eddy covariance data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henrot, Alexandra-Jane; François, Louis; Dury, Marie; Hambuckers, Alain; Jacquemin, Ingrid; Minet, Julien; Tychon, Bernard; Heinesch, Bernard; Horemans, Joanna; Deckmyn, Gaby

    2015-04-01

    Eddy covariance measurements are an essential resource to understand how ecosystem carbon fluxes react in response to climate change, and to help to evaluate and validate the performance of land surface and vegetation models at regional and global scale. In the framework of the MASC project (« Modelling and Assessing Surface Change impacts on Belgian and Western European climate »), vegetation dynamics and carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems simulated by the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) are evaluated and validated by comparison of the model predictions with eddy covariance data. Here carbon fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary productivity (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (RECO)) and evapotranspiration (ET) simulated with the CARAIB model are compared with the fluxes measured at several eddy covariance flux tower sites in Belgium and Western Europe, chosen from the FLUXNET global network (http://fluxnet.ornl.gov/). CARAIB is forced either with surface atmospheric variables derived from the global CRU climatology, or with in situ meteorological data. Several tree (e.g. Pinus sylvestris, Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies) and grass species (e.g. Poaceae, Asteraceae) are simulated, depending on the species encountered on the studied sites. The aim of our work is to assess the model ability to reproduce the daily, seasonal and interannual variablility of carbon fluxes and the carbon dynamics of forest and grassland ecosystems in Belgium and Western Europe.

  8. Seasonal dynamics of water use efficiency of typical forest and grassland ecosystems in China

    CERN Document Server

    Zhu, Xianjin; Wang, Qiufeng; Hu, Zhongmin; Han, Shijie; Yan, Junhua; Wang, Yanfen; Zhao, Liang

    2014-01-01

    We selected four sites of ChinaFLUX representing four major ecosystem types in China-Changbaishan temperate broad-leaved Korean pine mixed forest (CBS), Dinghushan subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest (DHS), Inner Mongolia temperate steppe (NM), and Haibei alpine shrub-meadow (HBGC)-to study the seasonal dynamics of ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE = GPP/ET, where GPP is gross primary productivity and ET is evapotranspiration) and factors affecting it. Our seasonal dynamics results indicated single-peak variation of WUE in CBS, NM, and HBGC, which were affected by air temperature (Ta) and leaf area index (LAI), through their effects on the partitioning of evapotranspiration (ET) into transpiration (T) (i.e., T/ET). In DHS, WUE was higher at the beginning and the end of the year, and minimum in summer. Ta and soil water content affected the seasonal dynamics of WUE through their effects on GPP/T. Our results indicate that seasonal dynamics of WUE were different because factors affecting the seasonal dyn...

  9. Representing the effects of alpine grassland vegetation cover on the simulation of soil thermal dynamics by ecosystem models applied to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, S.; Li, N.; Xiang, B.; Wang, X.; Ye, B.; McGuire, A.D.

    2013-01-01

    Soil surface temperature is a critical boundary condition for the simulation of soil temperature by environmental models. It is influenced by atmospheric and soil conditions and by vegetation cover. In sophisticated land surface models, it is simulated iteratively by solving surface energy budget equations. In ecosystem, permafrost, and hydrology models, the consideration of soil surface temperature is generally simple. In this study, we developed a methodology for representing the effects of vegetation cover and atmospheric factors on the estimation of soil surface temperature for alpine grassland ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Our approach integrated measurements from meteorological stations with simulations from a sophisticated land surface model to develop an equation set for estimating soil surface temperature. After implementing this equation set into an ecosystem model and evaluating the performance of the ecosystem model in simulating soil temperature at different depths in the soil profile, we applied the model to simulate interactions among vegetation cover, freeze-thaw cycles, and soil erosion to demonstrate potential applications made possible through the implementation of the methodology developed in this study. Results showed that (1) to properly estimate daily soil surface temperature, algorithms should use air temperature, downward solar radiation, and vegetation cover as independent variables; (2) the equation set developed in this study performed better than soil surface temperature algorithms used in other models; and (3) the ecosystem model performed well in simulating soil temperature throughout the soil profile using the equation set developed in this study. Our application of the model indicates that the representation in ecosystem models of the effects of vegetation cover on the simulation of soil thermal dynamics has the potential to substantially improve our understanding of the vulnerability of alpine grassland ecosystems to

  10. Late Quaternary vegetation, biodiversity and fire dynamics on the southern Brazilian highland and their implication for conservation and management of modern Araucaria forest and grassland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behling, Hermann; Pillar, Valério DePatta

    2007-02-28

    Palaeoecological background information is needed for management and conservation of the highly diverse mosaic of Araucaria forest and Campos (grassland) in southern Brazil. Questions on the origin of Araucaria forest and grasslands; its development, dynamic and stability; its response to environmental change such as climate; and the role of human impact are essential. Further questions on its natural stage of vegetation or its alteration by pre- and post-Columbian anthropogenic activity are also important. To answer these questions, palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental data based on pollen, charcoal and multivariate data analysis of radiocarbon dated sedimentary archives from southern Brazil are used to provide an insight into past vegetation changes, which allows us to improve our understanding of the modern vegetation and to develop conservation and management strategies for the strongly affected ecosystems in southern Brazil.

  11. Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seabloom, Eric W. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Borer, Elizabeth T. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Buckley, Yvonne [ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland 4072 Australia; Cleland, Elsa E. [Ecology, Behavior & Evolution Section, University of California, San Diego La Jolla CA 92093 USA; Davies, Kendi [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309 USA; Firn, Jennifer [Queensland University of Technology, Biogeosciences, Brisbane Queensland 4000 Australia; Harpole, W. Stanley [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Hautier, Yann [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190 CH-8057 Zurich Switzerland; Lind, Eric [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; MacDougall, Andrew [Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada; Orrock, John L. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706 USA; Prober, Suzanne M. [CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Private Bag 5 Wembley WA 6913 Australia; Adler, Peter [Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan UT 84322 USA; Alberti, Juan [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Michael Anderson, T. [Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC 27109 USA; Bakker, Jonathan D. [School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195-4115 USA; Biederman, Lori A. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Blumenthal, Dana [Rangeland Resources Research Unit, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins CO 80526 USA; Brown, Cynthia S. [Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523 USA; Brudvig, Lars A. [Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA; Caldeira, Maria [Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal; Chu, Chengjin [School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 China; Crawley, Michael J. [Department of Biology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Ascot SL5 7PY UK; Daleo, Pedro [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Damschen, Ellen I. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706 USA; D' Antonio, Carla M. [Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106 USA; DeCrappeo, Nicole M. [U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Dickman, Chris R. [Desert Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006 Australia; Du, Guozhen [School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 China; Fay, Philip A. [USDA-ARS Grassland Soil and Water Research Lab, Temple TX 76502 USA; Frater, Paul [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Gruner, Daniel S. [Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742 USA; Hagenah, Nicole [School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville Pietermaritzburg 3209 South Africa; Department of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520 USA; Hector, Andrew [Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190 CH-8057 Zurich Switzerland; Helm, Aveliina [Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu Estonia; Hillebrand, Helmut [Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, Carl-von-Ossietzky University, Wilhelmshaven Germany; Hofmockel, Kirsten S. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Humphries, Hope C. [INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309-0450 USA; Iribarne, Oscar [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Jin, Virginia L. [USDA-ARS Agroecosystem Management Research Unit, Lincoln NE 68583 USA; Kay, Adam [Biology Department, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul MN 55105 USA; Kirkman, Kevin P. [School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville Pietermaritzburg 3209 South Africa; Klein, Julia A. [Department Forest, Rangeland & Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523-1472 USA; Knops, Johannes M. H. [School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln NE 68588 USA; La Pierre, Kimberly J. [Department of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520 USA; Ladwig, Laura M. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87103 USA; Lambrinos, John G. [Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Leakey, Andrew D. B. [Department of Plant Biology and Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL 61801 USA; Li, Qi [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008 Qinghai China; Li, Wei [Yunnan Academy of Biodiversity, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224 China; McCulley, Rebecca [Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40546 USA; Melbourne, Brett [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309 USA; Mitchell, Charles E. [Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC 27599 USA; Moore, Joslin L. [Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, Melbourne, c/o School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Victoria 3010 Australia; Morgan, John [Department of Botany, La Trobe University, Bundoora 3086 Victoria Australia; Mortensen, Brent [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; O' Halloran, Lydia R. [Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Pärtel, Meelis [Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu Estonia; Pascual, Jesús [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Pyke, David A. [U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Risch, Anita C. [Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf Switzerland; Salguero-Gómez, Roberto [ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland 4072 Australia; Sankaran, Mahesh [National Centre for Biological Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bellary Road Bangalore 560065 India; Schuetz, Martin [Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf Switzerland; Simonsen, Anna [Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto ON M5S 3B2 Canada; Smith, Melinda [Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523 USA; Stevens, Carly [Lancaster Environment Center, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ UK; Sullivan, Lauren [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Wardle, Glenda M. [Desert Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006 Australia; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M. [Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z4 Canada; Wragg, Peter D. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Wright, Justin [Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham NC 27708 USA; Yang, Louie [Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis CA 95616 USA

    2013-10-16

    Invasions have increased the size of regional species pools, but are typically assumed to reduce native diversity. However, global-scale tests of this assumption have been elusive because of the focus on exotic species richness, rather than relative abundance. This is problematic because low invader richness can indicate invasion resistance by the native community or, alternatively, dominance by a single exotic species. Here, we used a globally replicated study to quantify relationships between exotic richness and abundance in grass-dominated ecosystems in 13 countries on six continents, ranging from salt marshes to alpine tundra. We tested effects of human land use, native community diversity, herbivore pressure, and nutrient limitation on exotic plant dominance. Despite its widespread use, exotic richness was a poor proxy for exotic dominance at low exotic richness, because sites that contained few exotic species ranged from relatively pristine (low exotic richness and cover) to almost completely exotic-dominated ones (low exotic richness but high exotic cover). Both exotic cover and richness were predicted by native plant diversity (native grass richness) and land use (distance to cultivation). Although climate was important for predicting both exotic cover and richness, climatic factors predicting cover (precipitation variability) differed from those predicting richness (maximum temperature and mean temperature in the wettest quarter). Herbivory and nutrient limitation did not predict exotic richness or cover. Exotic dominance was greatest in areas with low native grass richness at the site- or regional-scale. Although this could reflect native grass displacement, a lack of biotic resistance is a more likely explanation, given that grasses comprise the most aggressive invaders. These findings underscore the need to move beyond richness as a surrogate for the extent of invasion, because this metric confounds monodominance with invasion resistance. Monitoring

  12. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingzhen Du

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998 a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of grasslands. To ease the impact on the residents’ livelihoods, the national and regional governments have offered a series of top-down arrangements to stimulate sustainable use of the grasslands. Simultaneously, local households spontaneously developed bottom-up countermeasures. To determine the effects of these processes, we interviewed members of 135 households using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. We analyzed the effects on household dependence on local grasslands and on perceptions of the future of grassland use. Our findings show that the implementation of the grassland conservation policies significantly affected household livelihoods, which in turn affected household use of natural assets (primarily the land, their agricultural assets (farming and grazing activities and their financial assets (income and consumption, resulting in fundamental transformation of their lifestyles. The households developed adaptation measures to account for the dependence of their livelihood on local ecosystems by initializing strategies, such as seeking off-farm work, leasing pasture land, increasing purchases of fodder for stall-fed animals and altering their diet and fuel consumption to compensate for their changing livelihoods.

  13. Impact of ecosystem services on a sustainable business strategy in urban conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balashova Elena

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The article analyzes the relevance and state of the theory of ecosystem services. A solution for achieving sustainable development goals through the use of ecosystem services in industrialization is proposed. Cases of enterprises British American tobacco, Nestlé Waters, Watershed Agricultural Council, Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, The Starbucks on the application of ecosystem services are considered. A link has been established between public-private partnerships in the provision of ecosystem services. Tendencies of development of ecosystem services in Russia and abroad are defined. Recommendations for companies that have started creating ecosystem services are presented.

  14. Breaks in MODIS time series portend vegetation change: verification using long-term data in an arid grassland ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, Dawn M; Maynard, Jonathan J; Karl, Jason W; Peters, Debra C

    2017-07-01

    Frequency and severity of extreme climatic events are forecast to increase in the 21st century. Predicting how managed ecosystems may respond to climatic extremes is intensified by uncertainty associated with knowing when, where, and how long effects of extreme events will be manifest in an ecosystem. In water-limited ecosystems with high inter-annual variability in rainfall, it is important to be able to distinguish responses that result from seasonal fluctuations in rainfall from long-term directional increases or decreases in precipitation. A tool that successfully distinguishes seasonal from directional biomass responses would allow land managers to make informed decisions about prioritizing mitigation strategies, allocating human resource monitoring efforts, and mobilizing resources to withstand extreme climatic events. We leveraged long-term observations (2000-2013) of quadrat-level plant biomass at multiple locations across a semiarid landscape in southern New Mexico to verify the use of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series derived from 250-m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data as a proxy for changes in aboveground productivity. This period encompassed years of sustained drought (2000-2003) and record-breaking high rainfall (2006 and 2008) followed by subsequent drought years (2011 through 2013) that resulted in a restructuring of plant community composition in some locations. Our objective was to decompose vegetation patterns derived from MODIS NDVI over this period into contributions from (1) the long-term trend, (2) seasonal cycle, and (3) unexplained variance using the Breaks for Additive Season and Trend (BFAST) model. BFAST breakpoints in NDVI trend and seasonal components were verified with field-estimated biomass at 15 sites that differed in species richness, vegetation cover, and soil properties. We found that 34 of 45 breaks in NDVI trend reflected large changes in mean biomass and 16 of 19 seasonal

  15. Sustainability Of Coastal Fringe Ecosystems Against Anthropogenic Chemical Stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant-dominated coastal ecosystems provide least 21 ecological services including shoreline protection, contaminant removal and nursery and breeding habitat for biota. The value of these ecological services is as great as $28000/h. These ecosystems which include intertidal wetl...

  16. Project SHARE Sustainable Hydropower in Alpine Rivers Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammoliti Mochet, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    SHARE - Sustainable Hydropower in Alpine Rivers Ecosystems is a running project early approved and co funded by the European regional development fund in the context of the European Territorial Cooperation Alpine Space programme 2007 - 2013: the project is formally ongoing from August 2009 and it will end July 2012. Hydropower is the most important renewable resource for electricity production in alpine areas: it has advantages for the global CO2 balance but creates serious environmental impacts. RES-e Directives require renewable electricity enhance but, at the same time, the Water Framework Directive obliges member States to reach or maintain a water bodies "good" ecological status, intrinsically limiting the hydropower exploitation. Administrators daily face an increasing demand of water abstraction but lack reliable tools to rigorously evaluate their effects on mountain rivers and the social and economical outputs on longer time scale. The project intends to develop, test and promote a decision support system to merge on an unprejudiced base, river ecosystems and hydropower requirements. This approach will be led using existing scientific tools, adjustable to transnational, national and local normative and carried on by permanent panel of administrators and stakeholders. Scientific knowledge related to HP & river management will be "translated" by the communication tools and spent as a concrete added value to build a decision support system. In particular, the Multicriteria Analysis (MCA) will be applied to assess different management alternatives where a single-criterion approach (such as cost-benefit analysis) falls short, especially where environmental, technical, economic and social criteria can't be quantified by monetary values. All the existing monitoring databases will be used and harmonized with new information collected during the Pilot case studies. At the same time, all information collected will be available to end users and actors of related

  17. Flooding-related increases in CO2 and N2O emissions from a temperate coastal grassland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebremichael, Amanuel W.; Osborne, Bruce; Orr, Patrick

    2017-05-01

    Given their increasing trend in Europe, an understanding of the role that flooding events play in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be important for improved assessments of local and regional GHG budgets. This study presents the results of an analysis of the CO2 and N2O fluxes from a coastal grassland ecosystem affected by episodic flooding that was of either a relatively short (SFS) or long (LFS) duration. Compared to the SFS, the annual CO2 and N2O emissions were 1.4 and 1.3 times higher at the LFS, respectively. Mean CO2 emissions during the period of standing water were 144 ± 18.18 and 111 ± 9.51 mg CO2-C m-2 h-1, respectively, for the LFS and SFS sites. During the growing season, when there was no standing water, the CO2 emissions were significantly larger from the LFS (244 ± 24.88 mg CO2-C m-2 h-1) than the SFS (183 ± 14.90 mg CO2-C m-2 h-1). Fluxes of N2O ranged from -0.37 to 0.65 mg N2O-N m-2 h-1 at the LFS and from -0.50 to 0.55 mg N2O-N m-2 h-1 at the SFS, with the larger emissions associated with the presence of standing water at the LFS but during the growing season at the SFS. Overall, soil temperature and moisture were identified as the main drivers of the seasonal changes in CO2 fluxes, but neither adequately explained the variations in N2O fluxes. Analysis of total C, N, microbial biomass and Q10 values indicated that the higher CO2 emissions from the LFS were linked to the flooding-associated influx of nutrients and alterations in soil microbial populations. These results demonstrate that annual CO2 and N2O emissions can be higher in longer-term flooded sites that receive significant amounts of nutrients, although this may depend on the restriction of diffusional limitations due to the presence of standing water to periods of the year when the potential for gaseous emissions are low.

  18. Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States: Process and prospects for sustained assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Nancy B.; Groffman, Peter M; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Tallis, Heather

    2016-01-01

    The third United States National Climate Assessment emphasized an evaluation of not just the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, but also the impacts of climate change on the benefits that people derive from nature, known as ecosystem services. The ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services component of the assessment largely drew upon the findings of a transdisciplinary workshop aimed at developing technical input for the assessment, involving participants from diverse sectors. A small author team distilled and synthesized this and hundreds of other technical input to develop the key findings of the assessment. The process of developing and ranking key findings hinged on identifying impacts that had particular, demonstrable effects on the U.S. public via changes in national ecosystem services. Findings showed that ecosystem services are threatened by the impacts of climate change on water supplies, species distributions and phenology, as well as multiple assaults on ecosystem integrity that, when compounded by climate change, reduce the capacity of ecosystems to buffer against extreme events. As ecosystems change, such benefits as water sustainability and protection from storms that are afforded by intact ecosystems are projected to decline across the continent due to climate change. An ongoing, sustained assessment that focuses on the co-production of actionable climate science will allow scientists from a range of disciplines to ascertain the capability of their forecasting models to project environmental and ecological change and link it to ecosystem services; additionally, an iterative process of evaluation, development of management strategies, monitoring, and reevaluation will increase the applicability and usability of the science by the U.S. public.

  19. Modeling for regional ecosystem sustainable development under uncertainty — A case study of Dongying, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, K., E-mail: zhangkaibetter@126.com; Li, Y.P., E-mail: yongping.li@iseis.org; Huang, G.H., E-mail: gordon.huang@uregina.ca; You, L., E-mail: youli_ncepu@126.com; Jin, S.W., E-mail: jinshuwei2014@126.com

    2015-11-15

    In this study, a superiority–inferiority two-stage stochastic programming (STSP) method is developed for planning regional ecosystem sustainable development. STSP can tackle uncertainties expressed as fuzzy sets and probability distributions; it can be used to analyze various policy scenarios that are associated with different levels of economic penalties when the promised targets are violated. STSP is applied to a real case of planning regional ecosystem sustainable development in the City of Dongying, where ecosystem services valuation approaches are incorporated within the optimization process. Regional ecosystem can provide direct and indirect services and intangible benefits to local economy. Land trading mechanism is introduced for planning the regional ecosystem's sustainable development, where wetlands are buyers who would protect regional ecosystem components and self-organization and maintain its integrity. Results of regional ecosystem activities, land use patterns, and land trading schemes have been obtained. Results reveal that, although large-scale reclamation projects can bring benefits to the local economy development, they can also bring with negative effects to the coastal ecosystem; among all industry activities oil field is the major contributor with a large number of pollutant discharges into local ecosystem. Results also show that uncertainty has an important role in successfully launching such a land trading program and trading scheme can provide more effective manner to sustain the regional ecosystem. The findings can help decision makers to realize the sustainable development of ecological resources in the process of rapid industrialization, as well as the integration of economic and ecological benefits. - Highlights: • Superiority–inferiority two-stage stochastic programming (STSP) method is developed. • STSP can tackle uncertainties expressed as fuzzy sets and probability distributions. • STSP is applied to planning

  20. Modeling for regional ecosystem sustainable development under uncertainty — A case study of Dongying, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, K.; Li, Y.P.; Huang, G.H.; You, L.; Jin, S.W.

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a superiority–inferiority two-stage stochastic programming (STSP) method is developed for planning regional ecosystem sustainable development. STSP can tackle uncertainties expressed as fuzzy sets and probability distributions; it can be used to analyze various policy scenarios that are associated with different levels of economic penalties when the promised targets are violated. STSP is applied to a real case of planning regional ecosystem sustainable development in the City of Dongying, where ecosystem services valuation approaches are incorporated within the optimization process. Regional ecosystem can provide direct and indirect services and intangible benefits to local economy. Land trading mechanism is introduced for planning the regional ecosystem's sustainable development, where wetlands are buyers who would protect regional ecosystem components and self-organization and maintain its integrity. Results of regional ecosystem activities, land use patterns, and land trading schemes have been obtained. Results reveal that, although large-scale reclamation projects can bring benefits to the local economy development, they can also bring with negative effects to the coastal ecosystem; among all industry activities oil field is the major contributor with a large number of pollutant discharges into local ecosystem. Results also show that uncertainty has an important role in successfully launching such a land trading program and trading scheme can provide more effective manner to sustain the regional ecosystem. The findings can help decision makers to realize the sustainable development of ecological resources in the process of rapid industrialization, as well as the integration of economic and ecological benefits. - Highlights: • Superiority–inferiority two-stage stochastic programming (STSP) method is developed. • STSP can tackle uncertainties expressed as fuzzy sets and probability distributions. • STSP is applied to planning

  1. Off-stage ecosystem service burdens: A blind spot for global sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual, Unai; Palomo, Ignacio; Adams, William M.; Chan, Kai M. A.; Daw, Tim M.; Garmendia, Eneko; Gómez-Baggethun, Erik; de Groot, Rudolf S.; Mace, Georgina M.; Martín-López, Berta; Phelps, Jacob

    2017-07-01

    The connected nature of social-ecological systems has never been more apparent than in today’s globalized world. The ecosystem service framework and associated ecosystem assessments aim to better inform the science-policy response to sustainability challenges. Such assessments, however, often overlook distant, diffuse and delayed impacts that are critical for global sustainability. Ecosystem-services science must better recognise the off-stage impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services of place-based ecosystem management, which we term ‘ecosystem service burdens’. These are particularly important since they are often negative, and have a potentially significant effect on ecosystem management decisions. Ecosystem-services research can better recognise these off-stage burdens through integration with other analytical approaches, such as life cycle analysis and risk-based approaches that better account for the uncertainties involved. We argue that off-stage ecosystem service burdens should be incorporated in ecosystem assessments such as those led by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Taking better account of these off-stage burdens is essential to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of cross-scale interactions, a pre-requisite for any sustainability transition.

  2. Measurements of the atmospheric emission of N2O from biogenic sources in general and by grassland ecosystems in particular

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duyzer, J.

    1995-01-01

    The project is part of the 'Integrated N2O grassland project'. The project carried out at TNO aims to determine the atmospheric emissions of N2O from biogenic surface sources in the Netherlands. The following activities were part of the project: u ⊙ determination of

  3. Interactions between above- and belowground biota: importance for small-scale vegetation mosaics in a grassland ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blomqvist, M.M.; Olff, H.; Blaauw, M.B.; Bongers, T.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2000-01-01

    Grasslands are often characterised by small-scale mosaics in plant community composition that contribute to their diversity. Although above- and belowground biota can both cause such mosaics, few studies have addressed their interacting effects. We studied multi-trophic interactions between

  4. Interactions between above- and belowground biota : importance for small-scale vegetation mosaics in a grassland ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blomqvist, N.M.; Olff, H.; Blaauw, M.B.; Bongers, T.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2000-01-01

    Grasslands are often characterised by small-scale mosaics in plant community composition that contribute to their diversity. Although above- and belowground biota can both cause such mosaics, few studies have addressed their interacting effects. We studied multi-trophic interactions between

  5. Shifts in the phylogenetic structure and functional capacity of soil microbial communities follow alteration of native tussock grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wakelin, Steven A.; Barratt, Barbara I.P.; Gerard, Emily; Gregg, Adrienne L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Andersen, Gary L.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Zhou, Jizhong; He, Zhili; Kowalchuk, George A.; O'Callaghan, Maureen

    Globally, tussock-based grasslands are being modified to increase productive capacity. The impacts of cultivation and over-sowing with exotic grass and legumes on soil microbiology were assessed at four sites in New Zealand which differed in soil type, climate and vegetation. Primary alteration of

  6. Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Urban Plans based on Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menteşe, E. Y.; Tezer, A.

    2017-12-01

    Aiming at efficient and mindful use of natural resources while enabling social cohesion and economic development; sustainable development is one of the most emerging phenomenon in last decade. In this regard, role of urban development is critical by means of achieving sustainability since more than half of the world's population lives in cities. However, there is no solid and widely accepted approach for sustainability assessment in land use planning because there is not enough evidence on the relation between land use plans and environmental sustainability. With the basic aim of setting up relation between environmental sustainability and urban plans, this study utilizes ecosystem services phenomenon to define sustainability performance of a land use plan. Since ecosystem services can easily be related with land cover and land use they can be used as an efficient tool to act as indicators of sustainability. Meanwhile, while urban plans can provide ecosystem services and their level of service provision can be quantified, this is not solely enough for understanding its sustainability. Because it is also known that a land use plan mostly has negative impact on sustainability. Hence, this study embraces land use plans as a source of ecosystem services and environmental impacts. The difference between these entities are assumed to be the sustainability performance of a plan. The analysis relies on four parameters: ecosystem service capacity (environmental impact capacity), areal quantity of a land cover / use function, fragmantation level of the land use / cover and weight of ecosystem services / environmental impacts. Lastly, this approach is adopted for Istanbul's environmental master plan of 2009 and actual land cover of the same period. By calculating both data's environmental performance, the change of sustainability level sourced from environmental plan is analyzed.

  7. Identifying future research directions for biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability: perspectives from early-career researchers

    OpenAIRE

    Hossain, S.; Pogue, S.J.; Trenchard, L.; Oudenhoven, van, A.P.E.; Washbourne, C-L.; Muiruri, E.W.; Tomczyk, A.M.; García-Llorente, M.; Hale, R.; Hevia, V.; Adams, T.; Tavallali, L.; De, Bell S.; Pye, M.; Resende, F.

    2017-01-01

    We aimed to identify priority research questions in the field of biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability (BESS), based on a workshop held during the NRG BESS Conference for Early Career Researchers on BESS, and to compare these to existing horizon scanning exercises. This work highlights the need for improved data availability through collaboration and knowledge exchange, which, in turn, can support the integrated valuation and sustainable management of ecosystems in response to g...

  8. Maintaining and restoring sustainable ecosystems in southern Nevada [Chapter 7] (Executive Summary)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton; Donald W. Sada; Steven M. Ostoja; Matthew L.. Brooks

    2013-01-01

    Resource managers in southern Nevada are faced with the challenge of determining appropriate goals and objectives and developing viable approaches for maintaining and restoring sustainable ecosystems in the face of rapid socio-ecological and environmental change. Many of southern Nevada’s ecosystems are being subjected to anthropogenic stressors that span global,...

  9. The Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project: inception, objectives, and progress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jared Verner; Mark T. Smith

    2002-01-01

    The Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project, a formal administrative study involving extensive and intensive collaboration between Forest Service managers and researchers, is a response to changes in the agency’s orientation in favor of ecosystem approaches and to recent concern over issues associated with maintenance of late successional forest attributes...

  10. An experts survey on sustainability across twenty-seven extensive European systems of grassland management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, Rafael; Gil, Angel; Fernández-Santos, Xavier

    2008-08-01

    European Large Scale Grazing Systems (LSGS) are at a crossroad with environmental, agronomic, and social factors interacting on their future viability. This research assesses the current environmental and socio-economic status of a wide range of European LSGS according to an agreed subset of sustainability criteria and indicators, which have been recognized by corresponding experts and privileged observers on their respective case-study system. A survey questionnaire was drafted containing five main criteria (pastoral use, environmental, economic, social, and market and development), with four conceptual-scored variables (indicators) within each criterion. Descriptive, analytical and clustering statistical techniques helped to draw a synthesis of the main result and to standardize sustainability variables across different biogeographical regions and management situations. The results show large multicollinearity among the 20 variables proposed. This dependence was revealed by the reduction to six main factor-components, which accounted for about 73% of the total variance in responses. Aggregation of point-score indicators across criteria to obtain a sustainability index can be of less policy relevance than responses to specific criteria or indicators. Affinity between case-study systems, as judged by collaborative-expert responses, was not related to biogeographical location, operating livestock sector, or population density in their areas. The results show larger weaknesses and constraints in the economic and social criteria than in the pastoral and environmental criteria, and the large heterogeneity of responses appears in the social criterion.

  11. Vaccination ecosystem health check: achieving impact today and sustainability for tomorrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saadatian-Elahi, Mitra; Bloom, David; Plotkin, Stanley; Picot, Valentina; Louis, Jacques; Watson, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Vaccination is a complex ecosystem with several components that interact with one another and with the environment. Today's vaccine ecosystem is defined by the pursuit of polio eradication, the drive to get as many of the new vaccines to as many people as possible and the research and development against immunologically challenging diseases. Despite these successes, vaccine ecosystem is facing keys issues with regard to supply/distribution and cost/profitability asymmetry that risk slowing its global growth. The conference "Vaccination ecosystem health check: achieving impact today and sustainability for tomorrow" held in Annecy-France (January 19-21, 2015) took stock of the health of today's vaccination ecosystem and its ability to reliably and sustainably supply high-quality vaccines while investing in tomorrow's needed innovation. Small and decreasing numbers of suppliers/manufacturing facilities; paucity of research-driven companies; regulatory pressures; market uncertainties; political prioritization; anti-vaccine movements/complacency; and technological and programmatic issues were acknowledged as the major challenges that could weaken today's vaccination ecosystem. The expert panel discussed also drivers and barriers to a sustainable vaccination ecosystem; the metrics of a vaccination ecosystem; and what should be added, removed, increased, or reduced to maintain the health of the vaccination ecosystem.

  12. Modeling for regional ecosystem sustainable development under uncertainty--A case study of Dongying, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, K; Li, Y P; Huang, G H; You, L; Jin, S W

    2015-11-15

    In this study, a superiority-inferiority two-stage stochastic programming (STSP) method is developed for planning regional ecosystem sustainable development. STSP can tackle uncertainties expressed as fuzzy sets and probability distributions; it can be used to analyze various policy scenarios that are associated with different levels of economic penalties when the promised targets are violated. STSP is applied to a real case of planning regional ecosystem sustainable development in the City of Dongying, where ecosystem services valuation approaches are incorporated within the optimization process. Regional ecosystem can provide direct and indirect services and intangible benefits to local economy. Land trading mechanism is introduced for planning the regional ecosystem's sustainable development, where wetlands are buyers who would protect regional ecosystem components and self-organization and maintain its integrity. Results of regional ecosystem activities, land use patterns, and land trading schemes have been obtained. Results reveal that, although large-scale reclamation projects can bring benefits to the local economy development, they can also bring with negative effects to the coastal ecosystem; among all industry activities oil field is the major contributor with a large number of pollutant discharges into local ecosystem. Results also show that uncertainty has an important role in successfully launching such a land trading program and trading scheme can provide more effective manner to sustain the regional ecosystem. The findings can help decision makers to realize the sustainable development of ecological resources in the process of rapid industrialization, as well as the integration of economic and ecological benefits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Consequences of cool-season drought induced plant mortality to Chihuahuan Desert grassland ecosystem and soil respiration dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Global climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of cool-season drought across the arid Southwest US. We quantified net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) in response to interannual seasonal precip...

  14. Sustainability and productivity of southern pine ecosystems: A thematic framework for integrating research and building partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles K. McMahon; James P. Barnett

    2000-01-01

    In 1997, the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) published a Strategic Plan that formed a framework for addressing the Sustainability of Southern Forest Ecosystems. Six crosscutting themes were identified to facilitate research integration and partnership building among the widely dispersed SRS research work units. The Sustainability and Productivity of...

  15. Mimicking natural ecosystems to develop sustainable supply chains : A theory of socio-ecological intergradation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gruner, Richard L.; Power, Damien

    2017-01-01

    For most firms, the development of sustainable supply chain practices remains challenging. Using a theory-building approach, we develop a theory of socio-ecological intergradation to provide managers with guidance in mimicking natural ecosystems to develop more local and thus sustainable supply

  16. Impacts of Precipitation Diurnal Timing on Ecosystem Carbon Exchanges in Grasslands: A Synthesis of AmeriFlux Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, X.; Xu, X.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2015-12-01

    Drylands have been found playing an important role regulating the seasonality of global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Precipitation is a primary control of ecosystem carbon exchanges in drylands where a large proportion of the annual total rainfall arrives through a small number of episodic precipitation events. While a large number of studies use the concept of "precipitation pulses" to explore the effects of short-term precipitation events on dryland ecosystem function, few have specifically evaluated the importance of the diurnal timing of these events. The primary goal of this study was to determine how the diurnal timing of rainfall events impacts land-atmosphere net ecosystem CO2 exchanges (NEE) and ecosystem respiration in drylands. Our research leverages a substantial and existing long-term database (AmeriFlux) that describes NEE, Reco and meteorological conditions at 11 sites situated in different dryland ecosystems in South West America. All sites employ the eddy covariance technique to measure land-atmosphere the CO2 exchange rates between atmosphere and ecosystem. Data collected at these sites range from 4 to 10 years, totaling up to 73 site-years. We found that episodic precipitation events stimulate not only vegetation photosynthesis but also ecosystem respiration. Specifically, the morning precipitation events decrease photosynthesis function at daytime and increase ecosystem respiration at nighttime; the afternoon precipitation events do not stimulate ecosystem photosynthesis at daytime, while stimulate ecosystem respiration; the night precipitations suppress photosynthesis at daytime, and enhance ecosystem respiration at nighttime.

  17. Research on the Mechanism of Cross Regional Grassland Ecological Compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, grassland environmental damage has become serious, and grassland resources protection task has become heavy, grassland ecological compensation has become an effective way to solve this problem; but the current grassland ecological compensation standards were low, the effect is poor. The fundamental reason is the model of administrative division destroys the integrity of grassland. Based on the analysis of the status quo of grassland compensation, this paper tries to protect the grassland integrity, breaks the administrative division restriction, implements the space regulation, constructs the framework of cross-regional grassland ecological compensation mechanism, describes its operation process. It provides new way to realize the sustainable development of the grassland environment.

  18. Seasonal and inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of a temperate mountain grassland: effects of climate and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlfahrt, Georg; Hammerle, Albin; Haslwanter, Alois; Bahn, Michael; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Cernusca, Alexander

    2008-04-27

    The role and relative importance of climate and cutting for the seasonal and inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO 2 (NEE) of a temperate mountain grassland was investigated. Eddy covariance CO 2 flux data and associated measurements of the green area index and the major environmental driving forces acquired during 2001-2006 at the study site Neustift (Austria) were analyzed. Driven by three cutting events per year which kept the investigated grassland in a stage of vigorous growth, the seasonal variability of NEE was primarily modulated by gross primary productivity (GPP). The role of environmental parameters in modulating the seasonal variability of NEE was obscured by the strong response of GPP to changes in the amount of green area, as well as the cutting-mediated decoupling of phenological development and the seasonal course of climate drivers. None of the climate and management metrics examined was able to explain the inter-annual variability of annual NEE. This is thought to result from (1) a high covariance between GPP and ecosystem respiration (R eco ) at the annual time scale which results in a comparatively small inter-annual variation of NEE, (2) compensating effects between carbon exchange during and outside the management period, and (3) changes in the biotic response to rather than the climate variables per se. GPP was more important in modulating inter-annual variations in NEE in spring and before the first and second cut, while R eco explained a larger fraction of the inter-annual variability of NEE during the remaining, in particular the post-cut, periods.

  19. Grasslands in India: Problems and perspectives for sustaining livestock and rural livelihoods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajoy K. Roy

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In India, grazing-based livestock husbandry plays an important role in the rural economy as around 50% of animals depend on grazing. Pasturelands over an area of 12 Mha constitute the main grazing resources that are available. Temperate/alpine pastures are spread across elevations higher than 2000 m in the Eastern and Western Himalayas including the Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim states. Nearly 30 pastoral communities in hilly or arid/semi-arid regions in northern and western parts of India, as well as 20 in temperate/hilly regions, depend on grazing-based livestock production. Due to overgrazing coupled with poor management and care, these grazing lands have deteriorated to a large extent and need amelioration or rehabilitation. Appropriate technologies have been developed, refined and tested in various research and academic institutions. These technologies need to be implemented on a large scale in different parts of the country for augmenting forage resources, enhancing livestock production and sustaining livelihood options in an eco-friendly manner.

  20. The CROSTVOC project - an integrated approach to study the effect of stress on BVOC exchange between agricultural crops and grassland ecosystems and the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amelynck, Crist; Heinesch, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc; Bachy, Aurélie; Delaplace, Pierre; Digrado, Anthony; du Jardin, Patrick; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Mozaffar, Ahsan; Schoon, Niels

    2015-04-01

    Global changes in atmospheric composition and climate are expected to affect BVOC exchange between terrestrial vegetation and the atmosphere through changes in the drivers of constitutive BVOC emissions and by increases in frequency and intensity of biotic or abiotic stress episodes. Indeed, several studies indicate changes in the emission patterns of constitutive BVOCs and emission of stress-induced BVOCs following heat, drought and oxidative stress, amongst others. Relating changes in BVOC emissions to the occurrence of one or multiple stressors in natural environmental conditions is not straightforward and only few field studies have dealt with it, especially for agricultural crop and grassland ecosystems. The CROSTVOC project aims to contribute in filling this knowledge gap in three ways. Firstly, it aims at performing long-term BVOC emission field measurements from maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), two important crop species on the global scale, and from grassland. This should lead to a better characterization of (mainly oxygenated) BVOC emissions from these understudied ecosystems, allowing a better representation of those emissions in air quality and atmospheric chemistry and transport models. BVOC fluxes are obtained by the Disjunct Eddy Covariance by mass scanning (DEC-MS) technique, using a hs-PTR-MS instrument for BVOC analysis. Secondly, the eddy covariance BVOC flux measurements (especially at the grassland site) will be accompanied by ozone flux, chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthesis and soil moisture measurements, amongst others, to allow linking alterations in BVOC emissions to stress episodes. Simultaneously, automated dynamic enclosures will be deployed in order to detect specific abiotic and biotic stress markers by PTR-MS and identify them unambiguously by GC-MS. Thirdly, the field measurements will be accompanied by laboratory BVOC flux measurements in an environmental chamber in order to better disentangle the responses

  1. Sustainable Ecosystem Services Framework for Tropical Catchment Management: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zafirah

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The monsoon season is a natural phenomenon that occurs over the Asian continent, bringing extra precipitation which causes significant impact on most tropical watersheds. The tropical region’s countries are rich with natural rainforests and the economies of the countries situated within the region are mainly driven by the agricultural industry. In order to fulfill the agricultural demand, land clearing has worsened the situation by degrading the land surface areas. Rampant land use activities have led to land degradation and soil erosion, resulting in implications on water quality and sedimentation of the river networks. This affects the ecosystem services, especially the hydrological cycles. Intensification of the sedimentation process has resulted in shallower river systems, thus increasing their vulnerability to natural hazards (i.e., climate change, floods. Tropical forests which are essential in servicing their benefits have been depleted due to the increase in human exploitation. This paper provides an overview of the impact of land erosion caused by land use activities within tropical rainforest catchments, which lead to massive sedimentation in tropical rivers, as well as the effects of monsoon on fragile watersheds which can result in catastrophic floods. Forest ecosystems are very important in giving services to regional biogeochemical processes. Balanced ecosystems therefore, play a significant role in servicing humanity and ultimately, may create a new way of environmental management in a cost-effective manner. Essentially, such an understanding will help stakeholders to come up with better strategies in restoring the ecosystem services of tropical watersheds.

  2. The Evolution of an Ecosystem Approach: the Diamond Schematic and an Adaptive Methodology for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Waltner-Toews

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Over the past 15 yr, an international network of researchers has developed and tested a methodology for integrating complex systems theories into sustainable development projects. Drawing on our best theoretical understanding of complex systems and combining it with best practices of community engagement drawn from a wide variety of sources, we have developed a methodology that is theoretically sound and practically effective. AMESH, an Adaptive Methodology for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health, has emerged from, and been tested in, Nepal, Kenya, Canada, and Peru.

  3. 'Ecological value added' in an integrated ecosystem-economy model. An indicator for sustainability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kratena, Kurt

    2004-01-01

    This paper sets up an input-output system of the relevant ecosystem flows that determine the carbon cycle in the global ecosystem. Introducing energy as the value added component in the ecosystem allows to calculate ecosystem prices expressed in 'energy values'. Linking the ecosystem with the economy in an integrated input-output model then allows to calculate prices of economic activities and of ecosystem activities. In analogy to the 'Ecological Footprint', where productive land is needed to absorb anthropogenic emissions, in this integrated input-output model additional carbon sinks are introduced for emission absorption. These carbon sinks need solar energy input, i.e. 'ecological value added'. Emission absorption as well as GDP therefore become activities valued in the numeraire of the integrated system, i.e.'energy values'. From that sustainability indicators can be derived

  4. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, C.M.J.; Jacobs, A.F.G.; Bosveld, F.C.; Hendriks, D.M.D.; Hensen, A.; Kroon, P.; Moors, E.J.; Nol, L.; Schrier-Uijl, A.P.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2007-01-01

    An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites: four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site,

  5. Integrating Expert Knowledge into Mapping Ecosystem Services Trade-offs for Sustainable Forest Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrienne Grêt-Regamey

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive to global change. In fact, the continued capacity of mountain regions to provide goods and services to society is threatened by the impact of environmental changes on ecosystems. Although mapping ecosystem services values is known to support sustainable resource management, the integration of spatially explicit local expert knowledge on ecosystem dynamics and social responses to global changes has not yet been integrated in the modeling process. This contribution demonstrates the importance of integrating local knowledge into the spatially explicit valuation of ecosystem services. Knowledge acquired by expert surveys flows into a GIS-based Bayesian Network for valuing forest ecosystem services under a land-use and a climate change scenario in a case study in the Swiss Alps. Results show that including expert knowledge in ecosystem services mapping not only reduces uncertainties considerably, but also has an important effect on the ecosystem services values. Particularly the iterative process between integrating expert knowledge into the modeling process and mapping ecosystem services guarantees a continuous improvement of ecosystem services values maps while opening a new way for mutual learning between scientists and stakeholders which might support adaptive resource management.

  6. Land use history, ecosystem type and species composition drive water use efficiency in annual maize and perennial grasslands in a humid temperate climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, I.; Abraha, M.; Chen, J.; Shao, C.; Su, Y. J.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2015-12-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE), carbon gained per unit water lost, is a fundamental plant and ecosystem function that regulates plant productivity, global hydrology and carbon cycles. We examined ecosystem (E) and intrinsic (i) WUEs derived from eddy covariance (EC) measurements and plant carbon isotope discrimination, respectively, to study how WUE is affected by land-use history, ecosystem type, and plants community composition. We measured EWUE and iWUE of three perennial grasslands planted to mixed-prairie, switchgrass and brome grass as compared to a fields planted to corn. Each of studied ecosystems was replicated on two fields with contrasting land-use histories: one field was managed under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP, planted to bromgrass) and another was in conventional agriculture (AGR) corn/soybean rotation for few decades before start of the experiment. In 2009, all but one CRP field were converted to no-till soybean. In 2010, the converted CRP and AGR fields were planted to mixed-prairie (C3 and C4 grasses), switchgrass (C4 grass), and no-till corn (C4 grass). During 2009-2013, we measured carbon and water exchange over each field using an EC technique and sampled plant tissue for 13C isotopes analysis. Land-use history, ecosystem type, and species composition had large effects on EWUEs. Intrinsic WUE of individual C3 grass species, however, was similar across the study period, despite drought in 2012. Corn and brome grass had the highest and lowest overall mean EWUE, 4.1 and 2.2 g C kg-1 H2O, respectively. Restored prairie on former AGR land had a mean EWUE of 3.0 g C kg-1 H2O, significantly greater than on former CRP land with a EWUE of 2.5 g C kg-1 H2O. Land use history had no effect on interannual variability of EWUE of corn. Prairie and switchgrass established on former CRP land exhibited no change of EWUE, as well. Same ecosystems established on former AGR land, oppositely, increased their WUEs over the study period from ~ 2.5 g C kg-1

  7. Wet Grasslands as a Green Infrastructure for Ecological Sustainability: Wader Conservation in Southern Sweden as a Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Manton

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Biosphere Reserves aim at being role models for biodiversity conservation. This study focuses on the unsuccessful conservation of waders (Charadrii on wet grasslands in the Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve (KVBR in southern Sweden. Predation on nests and young has been proposed as one reason contributing to the decline of waders. We explored this hypothesis by comparing two landscapes, one with declining (KVBR and one with stable (Östergötland wader populations on managed wet grasslands in southern Sweden. Specifically, we tested three predictions linked to predation on wader nests and young, namely that (1 the relative abundance of avian predators and waders; (2 the avian predator abundance; and (3 the predation rate on artificial wader nests, should all be higher in declining versus stable populations. All predictions were clearly supported. Nevertheless, predation may not be the ultimate factor causing wader population declines. We discuss the cumulative effects of landscape change linked to increased food resources for predators, reduced wet grassland patch size and quality. Holistic analyses of multiple wet grassland landscapes as social-ecological systems as case studies, including processes such as predation and other factors affecting waders, is a promising avenue towards collaborative learning for wet grasslands as a functional green infrastructure. However, if governance and management approaches can be improved is questionable without considerable investment in both ecological and social systems.

  8. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  9. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  10. Deriving seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna grasslands from in situ-based hyperspectral reflectance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Håkan Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Huber, S.

    2015-01-01

    strongly affected by solar zenith angles and sensor viewing geometry, as were many combinations of visible wavelengths. This study provides analyses based upon novel multi-angular hyperspectral data for validation of Earth-observation-based properties of semi-arid ecosystems, as well as insights...... between normalised difference spectral indices (NDSIs) and the measured ecosystem properties. Finally, the effects of variable sun sensor viewing geometry on different NDSI wavelength combinations were analysed. The wavelengths with the strongest correlation to seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties...

  11. Sustainable management of heavy metals in agro-ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moolenaar, S.W.

    1998-01-01

    In 1993, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) launched a priority research program on 'Sustainability and Environmental Quality'. Within this program, the METALS subprogram focusses on the accumulation of metals in economy (e.g., zinc in gutters) and the environment

  12. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.

    2014-01-01

    In order to promote sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems, the European Multisward project was aimed at improving farmer trust in grassland and grassland mixtures. A questionnaire on grassland functions was submitted in eight languages, in order to better understand the importance

  13. Sustaining the emerging carbon trading industry development: A business ecosystem approach of carbon traders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Guangyu; Rong, Ke; Shi, Yongjiang; Yu, Jing

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores how carbon traders nurture the business ecosystem to sustain the emerging carbon trading industry development. We collected primary data from a multinational carbon trader and its ecosystem partners in China, through the construction of interviews and documentary. The research findings show the carbon trading industry has experienced four-stage evolution with different driving forces; the carbon trader attracted and organized ecosystem partners to facilitate the CDM project owners to create carbon credits and trade them; a systematic business ecosystems approach through the lens of Context, Cooperation and Configuration, initiated by carbon traders, has facilitated the industry development. Our findings also implicate to industrial practitioners and policymakers for sustaining the emerging industry development at both the current- and the post-Kyoto protocol periods. - Highlights: • The carbon trader is a catalyst to link CDM project owner and trading market in China • The evolution of carbon trading industry has four stages with various driving forces. • Nurturing business ecosystems facilitates the carbon trading industry development. • The ecosystem approach works via the lens of Context, Configuration and Cooperation. • The ecosystem approach implicates to carbon trading industry at the post-Kyoto era

  14. Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W

    2017-10-01

    Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator

  15. Parasites, ecosystems and sustainability: an ecological and complex systems perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwitz, Pierre; Wilcox, Bruce A

    2005-06-01

    Host-parasite relationships can be conceptualised either narrowly, where the parasite is metabolically dependent on the host, or more broadly, as suggested by an ecological-evolutionary and complex systems perspective. In this view Host-parasite relationships are part of a larger set of ecological and co-evolutionary interdependencies and a complex adaptive system. These interdependencies affect not just the hosts, vectors, parasites, the immediate agents, but also those indirectly or consequentially affected by the relationship. Host-parasite relationships also can be viewed as systems embedded within larger systems represented by ecological communities and ecosystems. So defined, it can be argued that Host-parasite relationships may often benefit their hosts and contribute significantly to the structuring of ecological communities. The broader, complex adaptive system view also contributes to understanding the phenomenon of disease emergence, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms involved, and the role of parasitology in research and management of ecosystems in light of the apparently growing problem of emerging infectious diseases in wildlife and humans. An expanded set of principles for integrated parasite management is suggested by this perspective.

  16. Assessing Various Aspects of Sustainability in Wheat and Pistachio Agro-ecosystems of Kerman Province

    OpenAIRE

    Mehdi Naghizadeh; Rooholla Moradi

    2018-01-01

    Introduction Agricultural sustainability is the ability of an agro-ecosystem to either maintain or to implement the productive characteristics and taking into consideration both the ecological-environmental and socio-economic aspects. Sustainable agriculture implies long term maintenance of natural systems, optimal production with minimum input, adequate income per farming unit, fulfillment of basic food needs, and provision for the demands and necessities of rural families and communities...

  17. Structuring institutional analysis for urban ecosystems: A key to sustainable urban forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah K. Mincey; Miranda Hutten; Burnell C. Fischer; Tom P. Evans; Susan I. Stewart; Jessica M. Vogt

    2013-01-01

    A decline in urban forest structure and function in the United States jeopardizes the current focus on developing sustainable cities. A number of social dilemmas—for example, free-rider problems—restrict the sustainable production of ecosystem services and the stock of urban trees from which they flow. However, institutions, or the rules, norms, and strategies that...

  18. Conceptualizing the role of sediment in sustaining ecosystem services: Sediment-ecosystem regional assessment (SEcoRA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apitz, Sabine E

    2012-01-15

    There is a growing trend to include a consideration of ecosystem services, the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems, within decision frameworks. Not more than a decade ago, sediment management efforts were largely site-specific and held little attention except in terms of managing contaminant inputs and addressing sediments as a nuisance at commercial ports and harbors. Sediments figure extensively in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; however, contaminated sediment is not the dominant concern. Rather, the focus is on land and water use and management on the landscape scale, which can profoundly affect soil and sediment quality, quantity and fate. Habitat change and loss, due to changes in sediment inputs, whether reductions (resulting in the loss of beaches, storm protection, nutrient inputs, etc.) or increases (resulting in lake, reservoir and wetland infilling, coral reef smothering, etc.); eutrophication and reductions in nutrient inputs, and disturbance due to development and fishing practices are considered major drivers, with significant consequences for biodiversity and the provision and resilience of ecosystem functions and services. As a mobile connecting medium between various parts of the ecosystem via the hydrocycle, sediments both contaminated and uncontaminated, play both positive and negative roles in the viability and sustainability of social, economic, and ecological objectives. How these roles are interpreted depends upon whether sediment status (defined in terms of sediment quality, quantity, location and transport) is appropriate to the needs of a given endpoint; understanding and managing the dynamic interactions of sediment status on a diverse range of endpoints at the landscape or watershed scale should be the focus of sediment management. This paper seeks to provide a language and conceptual framework upon which sediment-ecosystem regional assessments (SEcoRAs) can be developed in support of that goal. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B

  19. Linking hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in African papyrus wetlands using a Bayesian Network Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, A.; Gettel, G. M.; Kipkemboi, J.; Rahman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Papyrus wetlands in East Africa provide ecosystem services supporting the livelihoods of millions but are rapidly degrading due to economic development. For ecosystem conservation, an integrated understanding of the natural and social processes driving ecosystem change is needed. This research focuses on integrating the causal relationships between hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in Nyando wetland, western Kenya. Livelihood sustainability is based on ecosystem services that include plant and animal harvest for building material and food, conversion of wetlands to crop and grazing land, water supply, and water quality regulation. Specific objectives were: to integrate studies of hydrology, ecology, and livelihood activities using a Bayesian Network (BN) model and include stakeholder involvement in model development. The BN model (Netica 4.16) had 35 nodes with seven decision nodes describing demography, economy, papyrus market, and rainfall, and two target nodes describing ecosystem function (defined by groundwater recharge, nutrient and sediment retention, and biodiversity) and livelihood sustainability (drinking water supply, crop production, livestock production, and papyrus yield). The conditional probability tables were populated using results of ecohydrological and socio-economic field work and consultations with stakeholders. The model was evaluated for an average year with decision node probabilities set according to data from research, expert opinion, and stakeholders' views. Then, scenarios for dry and wet seasons and for economic development (low population growth and unemployment) and policy development (more awareness of wetland value) were evaluated. In an average year, the probability for maintaining a "good" level of sediment and nutrient retention functions, groundwater recharge, and biodiversity was about 60%. ("Good" is defined by expert opinion based on ongoing field research.) In the dry season, the probability was

  20. Sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem emergence and development : a case study of Amsterdam Denim City

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DiVito, Lori; Ingen-Housz, Zita

    2017-01-01

    Our paper investigates the interaction of mechanisms that drive the emergence and development of a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem (SEE). We study a specific geographic context, the Amsterdam metropolitan area, and a specific industrial context, the denim industry. We conducted a qualitative,

  1. Expanding entrepreneurial, innovative and sustainable (EIS) ecosystems: A cultural-historical activity theory perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Audhoe, Romano; Thompson, N.A.; Verduyn, Karen; Leitão, João; Alves, Helena; Krueger, Norris; Park, Jacob

    2018-01-01

    The value of Entrepreneurial, Innovative and Sustainable (EIS) ecosystems has seen increasing recognition from policymakers and researchers alike. Like-minded policymakers employing New Public Management (NPM) understand that the intricate links between diverse EIS stakeholders play a vital role in

  2. Fisher research and the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Project: current results and future efforts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian B. Boroski; Richard T. Golightly; Amie K. Mazzoni; Kimberly A. Sager

    2002-01-01

    The Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project was initiated on the Kings River Ranger District of the Sierra National Forest, California, in 1993, with fieldwork beginning in 1994. Knowledge of the ecology of the fisher (Martes pennanti) in the Project area, and in the Sierra Nevada of California in general, is insufficient to develop...

  3. A Vision of Success: How Nutrient Management Will Enhance and Sustain Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clean air and water, ample food, renewable fuels, productive fisheries, diverse ecosystems, resilient coasts and watersheds: these are some of the benefits that depend on sustainable nitrogen use and management. Thus, in our vision of the future, uses of reactive nitrogen are suf...

  4. Identifying future research directions for biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability : perspectives from early-career researchers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hossain, S.; Pogue, S.J.; Trenchard, L.; Oudenhoven, van A.P.E.; Washbourne, C-L.; Muiruri, E.W.; Tomczyk, A.M.; García-Llorente, M.; Hale, R.; Hevia, V.; Adams, T.; Tavallali, L.; De, Bell S.; Pye, M.; Resende, F.

    2017-01-01

    We aimed to identify priority research questions in the field of biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability (BESS), based on a workshop held during the NRG BESS Conference for Early Career Researchers on BESS, and to compare these to existing horizon scanning exercises. This work highlights

  5. Breaks in MODIS time series portend vegetation change: verification using long-term data in an arid grassland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frequency and severity of extreme climatic events are forecast to increase in the 21st century. Predicting how managed ecosystems may respond to climatic extremes is intensified by uncertainty associated with knowing when, where, and how long effects of the extreme events will be manifest in the eco...

  6. Integrating Ecosystem Services and Eco-Security to Assess Sustainable Development in Liuqiu Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han-Shen Chen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Developing sustainable island tourism must be thoroughly evaluated in consideration of ecological, economic, and social factors on account of the fragility of island ecosystems. This study evaluated the ecological footprint (EF and ecological capacity of Liuqiu Island from 2010 to 2015 using the EF model, establishing an indicator to estimate the value of ecosystem service and eco-security. The empirical results include: (1 the overall value of ecosystem service on Liuqiu Island increased from US$3.75 million in 2010 to US$5.11 million in 2015; (2 the total per capita EF considerably increased from 0.5640 gha/person in 2010 to 4.0845 gha/person in 2015; and (3 the ecological footprint index increased from 0.30 in 2010 to 2.28 in 2015. These findings indicate that island tourism recreational zones gradually increased the pressure on its ecosystem, reduced the eco-security level, and severely damaged the environment, thereby threatening the function and structure of the entire ecosystem. The innovations and contributions of this study is integrating ecological footprint and ecosystem services valuation provide insights into sustainability of an island. The theoretical and practical implications identified in this study should contribute to reducing the gap between research and practice.

  7. Geospatial technology perspectives for mining vis-a-vis sustainable forest ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goparaju Laxmi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Forests, the backbone of biogeochemical cycles and life supporting systems, are under severe pressure due to varied anthropogenic activities. Mining activities are one among the major reasons for forest destruction questioning the survivability and sustainability of flora and fauna existing in that area. Thus, monitoring and managing the impact of mining activities on natural resources at regular intervals is necessary to check the status of their depleted conditions, and to take up restoration and conservative measurements. Geospatial technology provides means to identify the impact of different mining operations on forest ecosystems and helps in proposing initiatives for safeguarding the forest environment. In this context, the present study highlights the problems related to mining in forest ecosystems and elucidates how geospatial technology can be employed at various stages of mining activities to achieve a sustainable forest ecosystem. The study collates information from various sources and highlights the role of geospatial technology in mining industries and reclamation process.

  8. AGRO-ECOSYSTEMS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF WATER RESOURCES IN ARGES RIVER BASIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Diaconu

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Lotic ecosystems, part of the Natural Capital, is one of the key factors functioning of socio - economic development andtheir support. An important role in their sustainable development, is the retention and recycling of nutrients, especiallyN, P and their compounds. The nutrients in lotic and lentic ecosystems are either due to natural biochemical processesor by human impact of pollution or broadcast process and characterize the ecological status of water bodies and thuscan determine the quality of services provided. A special importance have agro-ecosystems, particularly multifunctionallivestock farms. Pathways by which pollutants (especially nutrients and pesticides, and other pollutants to reach bodiesof water are different (surface drainage, percolation, etc..To ensure sustainable development of water resources is necessary for agricultural development to take place in termsof minimizing waste streams and not affect the production and support of NC.

  9. Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Flora in Forest, Grassland and Common Land Ecosystems of Western Chitwan, Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dangol, Dharma Raj; Maharjan, Keshav Lall

    2012-06-30

    This paper describes changes of species composition and population of flora in space and time in western Chitwan, Nepal. This paper also discusses on the changes in flora due to flood and human activities. To illustrate these changes, we used survey data collected from January to April of 1996, 2000, and 2007 from the Barandabhar forest, National Park forest and the forests along the Narayani River banks, grasslands of National Park and common lands of western Chitwan as a part of longitudinal study on "reciprocal relation of population and the environment". From these data, density values were calculated to analyze spatial and temporal changes in flora species composition and population. We also noted the changes of top species in time and space in due course of time. If the species and its rank not changed, their densities (population) values of flora species changed. We found that changes in species composition, population, appearance or disappearance of flora from a particular space (research plot) were noted as a result of natural forces or human activities.

  10. Digital sustainability: basic conditions for sustainable digital artifacts and their ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stürmer, Matthias; Abu-Tayeh, Gabriel; Myrach, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    The modern age has heralded a shift from the industrial society, in which natural resources are crucial input factors for the economy, towards a knowledge society. To date, sustainability literature has treated knowledge—and in particular digital artifacts—mainly as a means to the end of achieving sustainable development. In this conceptual paper, we argue that digital artifacts themselves ought also to be considered as resources, which also need to be sustainable. While over-consumption is a...

  11. A sustainability framework for assessing trade-offs in ecosystem services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeannine Cavender-Bares

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Achieving sustainability, i.e., meeting the needs of current populations without compromising the needs of future generations, is the major challenge facing global society in the 21st century. Navigating the inherent trade-offs between provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting ecosystem services, and doing so in a way that does not compromise natural capital needed to provide services in the future, is critical for sustainable resource management. Here we build upon existing literature, primarily from economics and ecology, to present an analytical framework that integrates (1 the ecological mechanisms that underpin ecosystem services, (2 biophysical trade-offs and inherent limits that constrain management options, (3 preferences and values of stakeholders, and (4 explicit analysis of how systems evolve through time to ensure the goal of meeting the needs of future generations. Well-known ecological models define the relationships and trade-offs among services that represents an "efficiency frontier." Well-known methods in economics that combine preferences that define the willingness of stakeholders to trade off ecosystem services on the efficiency frontiers illuminate desirable outcomes that meet human needs. System dynamics show how the system will evolve with consequent impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being and the effects this has on achieving sustainability. Heterogeneity in biophysical constraints, uncertainty, technological advances, and obstacles imposed by societal factors and governance regimes influence potential and realized ecosystem services. Using a set of contrasting scenarios, we illustrate how progress can be made toward sustainability and the important obstacles that must be addressed in doing so. Our framework for analyzing sustainability drawn from economics and ecology is intended to make an integration of concepts from both disciplines accessible to a wider audience.

  12. Principles for a Code of Conduct for the Management and Sustainable Use of Mangrove Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Macintosh, Donald; Nielsen, Thomas; Zweig, Ronald

    mangrove forest ecosystems worldwide, the World Bank commissioned a study with the title "Mainstreaming conservation of coastal biodiversity through formulation of a generic Code of Conduct for Sustainable Management of Mangrove Forest Ecosystems". Formulation of these Principles for a Code of Conduct...... and the sustainable use of mangrove resources. It recommends key legislation and enforcement mechanisms (e.g. governmental and/or community based) considered necessary to ensure the effective conservation, protection and sustainable use of mangroves. The Principles for a Code of Conduct for mangroves was prepared......, Africa, and Central and South America. These workshops provided an opportunity to seek expert advice regarding practical examples of sound mangrove management, or problems for management, from each region, and to illustrate them in the working document. A peer review workshop was held in Washington...

  13. [Ecosystemic and communicative approaches in the implementation of territorial agendas for sustainable development and health promotion].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Edmundo; Setti, Andréia Faraoni Freitas

    2012-06-01

    This paper analyzes the sustainability of ecosystemic and communicative approaches in terms of strategic planning for the implementation of territorial agendas that seek to integrate the principles of Sustainable Development and Health Promotion. It takes the Sustainable Development and Health Promotion project: Implementation of the Healthy Cities Agenda integrated with Agenda 21 in Traditional Communities of Protected Areas of the Bocaina Region" as a point of reference. It involves action-research that strives to contribute to the promotion of quality of life by means of the implementation of a participative strategic agenda and the promotion of mutual economic sustainability. The work seeks to build theoretical/practical bridges between the approaches and the methodologies and technologies used, assessing their consistency and effectiveness in relation to the principles of sustainable development and health promotion, especially in the empowerment of the local population and the broadening of the autonomy of the community.

  14. Possible ecosystem impacts of applying maximum sustainable yield policy in food chain models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Bapan; Kar, T K

    2013-07-21

    This paper describes the possible impacts of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and maximum sustainable total yield (MSTY) policy in ecosystems. In general it is observed that exploitation at MSY (of single species) or MSTY (of multispecies) level may cause the extinction of several species. In particular, for traditional prey-predator system, fishing under combined harvesting effort at MSTY (if it exists) level may be a sustainable policy, but if MSTY does not exist then it is due to the extinction of the predator species only. In generalist prey-predator system, harvesting of any one of the species at MSY level is always a sustainable policy, but harvesting of both the species at MSTY level may or may not be a sustainable policy. In addition, we have also investigated the MSY and MSTY policy in a traditional tri-trophic and four trophic food chain models. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Is the Invasive Species Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) (Argentine Stem Weevil) a Threat to New Zealand Natural Grassland Ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barratt, Barbara I P; Barton, Diane M; Philip, Bruce A; Ferguson, Colin M; Goldson, Stephen L

    2016-01-01

    Listronotus bonariensis (Argentine stem weevil) is a stem-boring weevil that has become a major pasture pest in New Zealand, and cool climate turf grass in Australia. This species is also frequently found in native tussock grassland in New Zealand. Laboratory and field trials were established to determine the risk posed to both seedlings and established plants of three native grass species compared to what happens with a common host of this species, hybrid ryegrass (L. perenne X L. multiflorum). Adult weevil feeding damage scores were higher on Poa colensoi and Festuca novae-zelandiae than Chionochloa rigida. Oviposition was lower on P. colensoi than hybrid ryegrass, and no eggs were laid on F. novae-zelandiae. In field trials using the same four species established as spaced plants L. bonariensis laid more eggs per tiller in ryegrass in a low altitude pasture site than in ryegrass in a higher altitude site. No eggs were found on the three native grass species at the tussock sites, and only low numbers were found on other grasses at the low altitude pasture site. Despite this, numbers of adult weevils were extracted from the plants in the field trials. These may have comprised survivors of the original weevils added to the plants, together with new generation weevils that had emerged during the experiment. Irrespective, higher numbers were recovered from the tussock site plants than from those from the pasture site. It was concluded that L. bonariensis is likely to have little overall impact, but a greater impact on native grass seedling survival than on established plants.

  16. Mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation: transformation toward sustainability in urban governance and planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Wamsler

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The concept of ecosystem-based adaptation is advocated at international, national, and regional levels. The concept is thought to foster sustainability transitions and is receiving increasing interest from academic and governmental bodies alike. However, there is little theory regarding the pathways for its systematic implementation. It furthermore remains unclear to what degree the concept is already applied in urban planning practice, how it is integrated into existing planning structures and processes, and what drivers exist for further integration. Against this background, this study examines potential ways to sustainably mainstream ecosystem-based adaptation into urban planning. Eight municipalities in Southern Germany were investigated to analyze the processes of mainstreaming ecosystem-based adaptation into current planning practice. Although the mainstreaming entry points for ecosystem-based adaptation were identified to be appreciably different, the results of the study show how mainstreaming has generally led to patterns of change in: (1 on-the-ground measures, (2 organizational structures and assets, (3 formal and informal policies and instruments, (4 external cooperation and networking, and (5 the general working language. In all these areas, ecosystem-based adaptation to heat and flood risk is highly compartmentalized. Furthermore, although scholars have drawn attention to the risk of "mainstreaming overload," the results suggest that at the local level, the integration of ecosystem-based adaptation is strongly driven by departments' experience in mainstreaming other cross-cutting issues, namely environmental planning, climate change mitigation, and disaster risk management. Based on the findings, ways to leverage sustainability transitions via mainstreaming are discussed. It is concluded that systematic mainstreaming is a promising avenue for initiating and promoting local transitions and transformative adaptation. The study

  17. 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

  18. Australia's TERN: Building, Sustaining and Advancing Collaborative Long Term Ecosystem Research Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    HEld, A. A.; Phinn, S. R.

    2012-12-01

    TERN is Australia's Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (www.tern.org.au) is one of several environmental data collection, storage and sharing projects developed through the government's research infrastructure programs 2008-2014. This includes terrestrial and coastal ecosystem data collection infrastructure across multiple disciplines, hardware, software and processes used to store, analyse and integrate data sets. TERN's overall objective is to build the collaborations, infrastructure and programs to meet the needs of ecosystem science communities in Australia in the long term, through institutional frameworks necessary to establish a national terrestrial ecosystem site and observational network, coordinated networks enabling cooperation and operational experience; public access to quality assured and appropriately licensed data; and allowing the terrestrial ecosystem research community to define and sustain the terrestrial observing paradigm into the longer term. This paper explains how TERN was originally established, and now operates, along with plans to sustain itself in the future. TERN is implemented through discipline/technical groups referred to as "TERN Facilities". Combined, the facilities provide observations of surface mass and energy fluxes over key ecosystems, biophysical remote sensing data, ecological survey plots, soils information, and coastal ecosystems and associated water quality variables across Australia. Additional integrative facilities cover elements of ecoinformatics, data-scaling and modelling, and linking science to management. A central coordination and portal facility provides meta-data storage, data identification, legal and licensing support. Data access, uploading, meta-data generation, DOI attachment and licensing is completed at each facility's own portal level. TERN also acts as the open-data repository of choice for Australian scientists required to publish their data. Several key lessons we have learnt, will be presented

  19. Ecosystem services sustainability in the Mediterranean Sea: assessment of status and trends using multiple modelling approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liquete, Camino; Piroddi, Chiara; Macías, Diego; Druon, Jean-Noël; Zulian, Grazia

    2016-09-01

    Mediterranean ecosystems support important processes and functions that bring direct benefits to human society. Yet, marine ecosystem services are usually overlooked due to the challenges in identifying and quantifying them. This paper proposes the application of several biophysical and ecosystem modelling approaches to assess spatially and temporally the sustainable use and supply of selected marine ecosystem services. Such services include food provision, water purification, coastal protection, lifecycle maintenance and recreation, focusing on the Mediterranean region. Overall, our study found a higher number of decreasing than increasing trends in the natural capacity of the ecosystems to provide marine and coastal services, while in contrast the opposite was observed to be true for the realised flow of services to humans. Such a study paves the way towards an effective support for Blue Growth and the European maritime policies, although little attention is paid to the quantification of marine ecosystem services in this context. We identify a key challenge of integrating biophysical and socio-economic models as a necessary step to further this research.

  20. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    greater in native grasslands than in exotic grasslands.Among the three types of management (mowed, burned, and control) applied to exotic grasses, birds were most abundant in the mowed area. Sedge Wrens, however, were never encountered in mowed sites. Meadowlarks were similarly abundant in all treatments, but Le Conte’s Sparrows were detected only in the control (unmanaged) area. Hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) accounted for 93 percent of all rodent captures, with the number of captures peaking December through February. Hispid cotton rat numbers and total rodent numbers were greatest in control and pre-burn areas, and lowest in the mowed area. Mammal diversity, however, was greatest in the mowed habitat.Native and exotic grasslands differed essentially in all categories (bird numbers and diversity, vegetation characteristics, components of variation, diversity of insects and arachnids, and seed abundance and diversity) used to measure and compare them. This indicates that fundamental ecosystem processes have been altered after native grasslands have undergone invasion and ultimate domination by exotic grass species. Future research in Texas grassland ecosystems is essential because: 1) Texas sustains more area in grasslands than any other state or province in the Central Flyway; 2) Texas serves as the winter destination or migration pathway for hundreds of species of birds, including winter residents and Neotropical migrants; 3) ecology, distribution, and numbers of grassland birds wintering in southern latitudes of the United States remains poorly understood; and 4) climate change threatens to further accelerate advances of invading grass species.

  1. Fairly sustainable forestry: seven key concepts for defining local sustainability in a global ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen R. Shifley

    2008-01-01

    In the U.S. we increasingly restrict wood production in the name of sustainability while going abroad for a growing share of the wood we consume, even though our own forest resources per capita are far greater than the global average. The unintended consequence is that we transfer impacts (positive and negative) of our timber harvesting and wood consumption to other...

  2. Managing Innovation Paradox in the Sustainable Innovation Ecosystem: A Case Study of Ambidextrous Capability in a Focal Firm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delin Zeng

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available To achieve sustainable development, focal firms should balance two paradoxical kinds of innovation activities: exploitative and exploratory ones. Published works found that ambidexterity is an effective way to resolve paradoxical tensions, but few in-depth studies have been conducted to explore the innovation paradox of focal firms in the innovation ecosystem from an ambidextrous capability perspective. This paper takes China Spacesat Co., Ltd. as the case to study focal firms’ management of innovation paradoxes in the sustainable innovation ecosystem and finds that: (1 Sustainable innovation is an ecosystem in which focal firms’ internal functional departments, including the product department, technical center, and Makers’ groups, cooperate with external organizations, including component suppliers, scientific research institutes, and government departments, closely and complementarily; (2 In the exploitative and exploratory innovations of complex products, focal firms in the sustainable innovation ecosystem mainly confront three paradoxes: profit drive vs. breakthroughs in the strategic intent of sustainable innovation of the profit-driven model, tight vs. loose coupling of sustainable innovation, and sustainable innovation driven by discipline vs. that by passion; (3 Focal firms in the innovation ecosystem resolve these three innovation paradoxes with structural, contextual, and coordinated ambidextrous capabilities, and build innovation paradox management mechanisms with three steps in sequence, namely by establishing dual sustainable strategic innovation units, strengthening sustainable organizational ties between the internal and external, while co-creating and sharing innovation values, and, finally, promoting the formation and development of their sustainable innovation ecosystem. This paper complements and enriches the innovation ecosystem and ambidextrous capability theory, providing significant practical guidance to the

  3. Extensive Management Promotes Plant and Microbial Nitrogen Retention in Temperate Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Bloem, Jaap; Quirk, Helen; Stevens, Carly J.; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leaching losses of nitrogen (N) from soil and atmospheric N deposition have led to widespread changes in plant community and microbial community composition, but our knowledge of the factors that determine ecosystem N retention is limited. A common feature of extensively managed, species-rich grasslands is that they have fungal-dominated microbial communities, which might reduce soil N losses and increase ecosystem N retention, which is pivotal for pollution mitigation and sustainable food production. However, the mechanisms that underpin improved N retention in extensively managed, species-rich grasslands are unclear. We combined a landscape-scale field study and glasshouse experiment to test how grassland management affects plant and soil N retention. Specifically, we hypothesised that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands of high conservation value would have lower N loss and greater N retention than intensively managed, species-poor grasslands, and that this would be due to a greater immobilisation of N by a more fungal-dominated microbial community. In the field study, we found that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands had lower N leaching losses. Soil inorganic N availability decreased with increasing abundance of fungi relative to bacteria, although the best predictor of soil N leaching was the C/N ratio of aboveground plant biomass. In the associated glasshouse experiment we found that retention of added 15N was greater in extensively than in intensively managed grasslands, which was attributed to a combination of greater root uptake and microbial immobilisation of 15N in the former, and that microbial immobilisation increased with increasing biomass and abundance of fungi. These findings show that grassland management affects mechanisms of N retention in soil through changes in root and microbial uptake of N. Moreover, they support the notion that microbial communities might be the key to improved N retention through tightening linkages

  4. Major threats of pollution and climate change to global coastal ecosystems and enhanced management for sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yonglong; Yuan, Jingjing; Lu, Xiaotian; Su, Chao; Zhang, Yueqing; Wang, Chenchen; Cao, Xianghui; Li, Qifeng; Su, Jilan; Ittekkot, Venugopalan; Garbutt, Richard Angus; Bush, Simon; Fletcher, Stephen; Wagey, Tonny; Kachur, Anatolii; Sweijd, Neville

    2018-08-01

    Coastal zone is of great importance in the provision of various valuable ecosystem services. However, it is also sensitive and vulnerable to environmental changes due to high human populations and interactions between the land and ocean. Major threats of pollution from over enrichment of nutrients, increasing metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and climate change have led to severe ecological degradation in the coastal zone, while few studies have focused on the combined impacts of pollution and climate change on the coastal ecosystems at the global level. A global overview of nutrients, metals, POPs, and major environmental changes due to climate change and their impacts on coastal ecosystems was carried out in this study. Coasts of the Eastern Atlantic and Western Pacific were hotspots of concentrations of several pollutants, and mostly affected by warming climate. These hotspots shared the same features of large populations, heavy industry and (semi-) closed sea. Estimation of coastal ocean capital, integrated management of land-ocean interaction in the coastal zone, enhancement of integrated global observation system, and coastal ecosystem-based management can play effective roles in promoting sustainable management of coastal marine ecosystems. Enhanced management from the perspective of mitigating pollution and climate change was proposed. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Purpose and Need for a Grassland Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Cathy W. Dahms

    2004-01-01

    This report is volume 1 of an ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States, and it is one of a series of planned publications addressing major ecosystems of the Southwest. The first assessment, General Technical Report RM-GTR- 295, An Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in the Southwest (by Dahms and Geils, technical editors,...

  7. Achieving sustainable ese of environment: a framework for payment for protected forest ecosystem service

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widicahyono, A.; Awang, S. A.; Maryudi, A.; Setiawan, M. A.; Rusdimi, A. U.; Handoko, D.; Muhammad, R. A.

    2018-04-01

    Over the last decade, deforestation in Indonesia has reduced the forest area down to more than 6 million hectares. There is conflict that the protected forest ecosystem service is still often perceived as public goods. Many of them went unrecognized in planning process and continue to be undervalued. The challenge lies in maintaining socioeconomic development and ecosystem services sustainability without overlooking the people’s opportunities and improving their livelihoods over the long term. An integrated approach is required to understand the comprehensive concept of protected forest ecosystem service. This research aims to formulate a scheme of payment for ecosystem service (PES) in a protected forest. It is a first step towards the attempt for the value of ecosystem services to be reflected in decision-making. Literatures, previous researches and secondary data are reviewed thoroughly to analyze the interrelated components by looking at the environment as a whole and recognize their linkages that have consequences to one another both positive and negative. The framework of implementation of PES schemes outlines the complexity of human-environment interconnecting relationships. It evaluates the contributing actors of different interest i.e. long term use and short term use. The concept of PES accommodates the fulfillment of both conservation and exploitation with an incentive scheme to the contributing parties who are willing to implement conservation and issuance of compensation expense for any exploitation means. The most crucial part in this concept is to have a good and effective communication between every policy makers concerning the forest ecosystem and local communities.

  8. The Large Marine Ecosystem Approach for 21st Century Ocean Health and International Sustainable Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honey, K. T.

    2014-12-01

    The global coastal ocean and watersheds are divided into 66 Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), which encompass regions from river basins, estuaries, and coasts to the seaward boundaries of continental shelves and margins of major currents. Approximately 80% of global fisheries catch comes from LME waters. Ecosystem goods and services from LMEs contribute an estimated US 18-25 trillion dollars annually to the global economy in market and non-market value. The critical importance of these large-scale systems, however, is threatened by human populations and pressures, including climate change. Fortunately, there is pragmatic reason for optimism. Interdisciplinary frameworks exist, such as the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) approach for adaptive management that can integrate both nature-centric and human-centric views into ecosystem monitoring, assessment, and adaptive management practices for long-term sustainability. Originally proposed almost 30 years ago, the LME approach rests on five modules are: (i) productivity, (ii) fish and fisheries, (iii) pollution and ecosystem health, (iv) socioeconomics, and (v) governance for iterative adaptive management at a large, international scale of 200,000 km2 or greater. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Bank, and United Nations agencies recognize and support the LME approach—as evidenced by over 3.15 billion in financial assistance to date for LME projects. This year of 2014 is an exciting milestone in LME history, after 20 years of the United Nations and GEF organizations adopting LMEs as a unit for ecosystem-based approaches to management. The LME approach, however, is not perfect. Nor is it immutable. Similar to the adaptive management framework it propones, the LME approach itself must adapt to new and emerging 21st Century technologies, science, and realities. The LME approach must further consider socioeconomics and governance. Within the socioeconomics module alone, several trillion-dollar opportunities exist

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. France's Financial (Eco)system. Improving the integration of sustainability factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morel, Romain; Cochran, Ian; Robins, Nick

    2015-11-01

    In the run-up of the COP21, much international attention is focused on France. While mainly related to climate change negotiations, this creates an opportunity to take a broader look at French domestic policies and practices on sustainability. This report presents the French financial system and draws lessons from the French ongoing experience in improving the integration of sustainability issues that could be shared with other countries. The present report summarizes and analyses the key initiatives and dynamics at stake in France. It focuses on both the climate-related issues that have recently received significant attention and the development of broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues over the past twenty years. The dynamics that have shaped the last two decades have both led to and been influenced by the emergence of an 'ecosystem' of commercial, public and non-profit actors and experts involved in the appropriation and integration of sustainability issues across the sector. Using the framework of analysis presented in the UNEP Inquiry global report, this case study examines the landscape of actors, private initiatives and public policy that has driven the emergence of this ecosystem and helped foster capacity building and the acquisition of expertise among sectoral actors. (authors)

  12. Towards an Improved Integration of Sustainability in Finance - The French (eco)system. Executive summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morel, Romain; Cochran, Ian; Robins, Nick

    2015-11-01

    In the run-up of the COP21, much international attention is focused on France. While mainly related to climate change negotiations, this creates an opportunity to take a broader look at French domestic policies and practices on sustainability. This report presents the French financial system and draws lessons from the French ongoing experience in improving the integration of sustainability issues that could be shared with other countries. The present report summarizes and analyses the key initiatives and dynamics at stake in France. It focuses on both the climate-related issues that have recently received significant attention and the development of broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues over the past twenty years. The dynamics that have shaped the last two decades have both led to and been influenced by the emergence of an 'ecosystem' of commercial, public and non-profit actors and experts involved in the appropriation and integration of sustainability issues across the sector. Using the framework of analysis presented in the UNEP Inquiry global report, this case study examines the landscape of actors, private initiatives and public policy that has driven the emergence of this ecosystem and helped foster capacity building and the acquisition of expertise among sectoral actors. (authors)

  13. Species interactions reverse grassland responses to changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suttle, K B; Thomsen, Meredith A; Power, Mary E

    2007-02-02

    Predictions of ecological response to climate change are based largely on direct climatic effects on species. We show that, in a California grassland, species interactions strongly influence responses to changing climate, overturning direct climatic effects within 5 years. We manipulated the seasonality and intensity of rainfall over large, replicate plots in accordance with projections of leading climate models and examined responses across several trophic levels. Changes in seasonal water availability had pronounced effects on individual species, but as precipitation regimes were sustained across years, feedbacks and species interactions overrode autecological responses to water and reversed community trajectories. Conditions that sharply increased production and diversity through 2 years caused simplification of the food web and deep reductions in consumer abundance after 5 years. Changes in these natural grassland communities suggest a prominent role for species interactions in ecosystem response to climate change.

  14. Sustainability of Water Resources in Arid Ecosystems: A View from Hei River Basin, China (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, C.; Cheng, G.; Xiao, H.; Ma, R.

    2009-12-01

    The northwest of China is characterized by an arid climate and fragile ecosystems. With irrigated agriculture, the region is a prolific producer of cotton, wheat, and maize with some of the highest output per acre in the country. The region is also rich in ore deposits, with the reserves of numerous minerals ranked at or near the top in the country. However, the sustainability of irrigated agriculture and economic development in the region is threaten by severe eco-environmental problems resulting from both global changes and human activities, such as desertification, salinization, groundwater depletion, and dust storms. All these problems are a direct consequence of water scarcity. As global warming accelerates and rapid economic growth continues, the water shortage crisis is expected to worsen. To improve the bleak outlook for the health of ecosystem and environment in northwest China, the Chinese government has invested heavily in ecosystem restoration and watershed management in recent years. However, the effectiveness of such measures and actions depends on scientific understanding of the complex interplays among ecological, hydrological and socioeconomic factors. This presentation is intended to provide an overview of a major new research initiative supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China to study the integration of ecological principles, hydrological processes and socioeconomic considerations toward more sustainable exploitation of surface water and groundwater resources in the Hei River Basin in northwest China. The Hei River Basin is an inland watershed located at the center of the arid region in East Asia, stretching from Qilianshan Mountains in the south to the desert in the north bordering China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Mongolia. The total area of Hei River Basin is approximately 130,000 km2. The research initiative builds on existing research infrastructure and ecohydrological data and seeks to reveal complex

  15. Symposium 9: Rocky Mountain futures: preserving, utilizing, and sustaining Rocky Mountain ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Jill S.; Seastedt, Timothy; Fagre, Daniel B.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Tomback, Diana; Garcia, Elizabeth; Bowen, Zachary H.; Logan, Jesse A.

    2013-01-01

    In 2002 we published Rocky Mountain Futures, an Ecological Perspective (Island Press) to examine the cumulative ecological effects of human activity in the Rocky Mountains. We concluded that multiple local activities concerning land use, hydrologic manipulation, and resource extraction have altered ecosystems, although there were examples where the “tyranny of small decisions” worked in a positive way toward more sustainable coupled human/environment interactions. Superimposed on local change was climate change, atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and other pollutants, regional population growth, and some national management policies such as fire suppression.

  16. Assessing Various Aspects of Sustainability in Wheat and Pistachio Agro-ecosystems of Kerman Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Naghizadeh

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Agricultural sustainability is the ability of an agro-ecosystem to either maintain or to implement the productive characteristics and taking into consideration both the ecological-environmental and socio-economic aspects. Sustainable agriculture implies long term maintenance of natural systems, optimal production with minimum input, adequate income per farming unit, fulfillment of basic food needs, and provision for the demands and necessities of rural families and communities. All definitions of sustainable agriculture promote environmental, economic and social harmony in an effort to attain the meaning of sustainability. The purpose of this study was to develop a sustainability index for quantifying the different aspects of sustainability as economical, social, agronomical and management for wheat and pistachio production systems which are dominant systems in Kerman province. Materials and Methods In the present study all aspects of agricultural sustainability including ecological, social and economic was selected..Accordingly, the sustainability index, a set of 82 indicators for wheat and pistachio crops were designed, to collect data through questionnaires and then analyze it. Sustainability indices include socio-economic indices, fertilizer and chemicals, crops and livestock production, crop residue management, irrigation water, diversity of agricultural systems, mechanization, tillage and weed management in the main cultivation area in 2014 and 2015 were analyzed. Sustainability index was calculated using the weighting sum. Therefore the rate of contribution for each specific indicator in the final index and rating of all indicators were done from zero to its maximum rated indicators with regard to the most unfavorable situation to the most favorable indicators. After scoring each measure, the total scores of indicators is accumulated and was introduced as the final score. After designing the indicators, 295 and 234

  17. Network analysis as a tool for assessing environmental sustainability: applying the ecosystem perspective to a Danish water management system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pizzol, Massimo; Scotti, Marco; Thomsen, Marianne

    2013-01-01

    New insights into the sustainable use of natural resources in human systems can be gained through comparison with ecosystems via common indices. In both kinds of system, resources are processed by a number of users within a network, but we consider ecosystems as the only ones displaying sustainable...... patterns of growth and development. We applied Network Analysis (NA) for assessing the sustainability of a Danish municipal Water Management System (WMS). We identified water users within the WMS and represented their interactions as a network of water flows. We computed intensive and extensive indices...

  18. Social and Ecological Factors Influencing Attitudes Toward the Application of High-Intensity Prescribed Burns to Restore Fire Adapted Grassland Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Toledo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Fire suppression in grassland systems that are adapted to episodic fire has contributed to the recruitment of woody species in grasslands worldwide. Even though the ecology of restoring these fire prone systems back to grassland states is becoming clearer, a major hurdle to the reintroduction of historic fires at a landscape scale is its social acceptability. Despite the growing body of literature on the social aspects of fire, an understanding of the human dimensions of applying high-intensity prescribed burns in grassland and savanna systems is lacking. We used structural equation modeling to examine how landowners' attitudes toward high-intensity prescribed burns are affected by previous experience with burning, perceptions of brush encroachment, land condition, proximity constraints, risk orientation, fire management knowledge and skill, access to fire management equipment, and subjective norms. Our results suggest that experience, risk taking orientation, and especially social norms, i.e., perceived support from others, when implementing prescribed burns play an important role in determining the attitudes of landowners toward the use of high-intensity prescribed burns. Concern over lack of skill, knowledge, and insufficient resources have a moderately negative effect on these attitudes. Our results highlight the importance of targeted engagement strategies to address risk perceptions, subjective norms, and landowner's concerns. With these concerns allayed, it is possible to increase the adoption of high-intensity prescribed burns that lead to landscape-scale grassland restoration and conservation.

  19. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieszkowska, N; Sugden, H; Firth, L B; Hawkins, S J

    2014-09-28

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  20. Ecosystem services: developing sustainable management paradigms based on wetland functions and processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Smith, Loren M.; Conner, William H.; Burkett, Virginia R.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Hester, Mark W.; Zheng, Haochi

    2013-01-01

    findings. In comparison to older and more traditional scientific disciplines, the wetland sciences may be better equipped to tackle today’s complex problems. Since its emergence as a scientific discipline, the study of wetlands has frequently required interdisciplinary and integrated approaches. This interdisciplinary/integrated approach is largely the result of the fact that wetlands cannot be studied in isolation of upland areas that contribute surface and subsurface water, solutes, sediments, and nutrients into wetland basins. However, challenges still remain in thoroughly integrating the wetland sciences with scientific disciplines involved in upland studies, especially those involved with agriculture, development, and other land-conversion activities that influence wetland hydrology, chemistry, and sedimentation. One way to facilitate this integration is to develop an understanding of how human activities affect wetland ecosystem services, especially the trade-offs and synergisms that occur when land-use changes are made. Used in this context, an understanding of the real costs of managing for a particular ecosystem service or groups of services can be determined and quantified in terms of reduced delivery of other services and in overall sustainability of the wetland and the landscapes that support them. In this chapter, we discuss some of the more salient aspects of a few common wetland types to give the reader some background on the diversity of functions that wetlands perform and the specific ecosystem services they provide to society. Wetlands are among the most complex ecosystems on the planet, and it is often difficult to communicate to a diverse public all of the positive services wetlands provide to mankind. Our goal is to help the reader develop an understanding that management options can be approached as societal choices where decisions can be made within a spatial and temporal context to identify trade-offs, synergies, and effects on long

  1. 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.

  2. Participation and Sustainable Management of Coastal Lagoon Ecosystems: The Case of the Fosu Lagoon in Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernest K.A. Afrifa

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Participation as a tool has been applied as a social learning process and communication platform to create awareness among stakeholders in the context of resource utilisation. The application of participatory processes to aquatic ecosystem management is attracting a growing body of literature. However, the application of participation as a tool for sustainable management of coastal lagoon ecosystems is recent. This paper examines the context and the extent of participation of stakeholders in the management of the Fosu lagoon in Ghana. Six hundred individuals from twenty seven stakeholder groups were randomly selected for study. Both closed and open-ended questions were used in face-to-face interviews with stakeholders. The findings indicate that the stakeholder groups were not involved in decision-making regarding the conservation of the lagoon irrespective of their expertise in planning and/or their interest in lagoon resource utilisation. This situation has created apathy among some of the stakeholders who feel neglected in the decision-making process. There is scope for broadening the base of interest groups in decision-making processes regarding the lagoon and improving stakeholder participation in the management of the lagoon to ensure the sustainability of the management process.

  3. NASA's GreenLab Research Facility: A Guide for a Self-Sustainable Renewable Energy Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomani, B. M. McDowell; Hendricks, R. C.; Elbuluk, Malik; Okon, Monica; Lee, Eric; Gigante, Bethany

    2011-01-01

    There is a large gap between the production and demand for energy from alternative fuel and alternative renewable energy sources. The sustainability of humanity, as we know it, directly depends on the ability to secure affordable fuel, food, and freshwater. NASA Glenn Research Center (Glenn) has initiated a laboratory pilot study on using biofuels as viable alternative fuel resources for the field of aviation, as well as utilizing wind and solar technology as alternative renewable energy resources. The GreenLab Research Facility focuses on optimizing biomass feedstock using algae and halophytes as the next generation of renewable aviation fuels. The unique approach in this facility helps achieve optimal biomass feedstock through climatic adaptation of balanced ecosystems that do not use freshwater, compete with food crops, or use arable land. In addition, the GreenLab Research Facility is powered, in part, by alternative and renewable energy sources, reducing the major environmental impact of present electricity sources. The ultimate goal is to have a 100 percent clean energy laboratory that, when combined with biomass feedstock research, has the framework in place for a self-sustainable renewable energy ecosystem that can be duplicated anywhere in the world and can potentially be used to mitigate the shortage of food, fuel, and water. This paper describes the GreenLab Research Facility at Glenn and its power and energy sources, and provides recommendations for worldwide expansion and adoption of the facility s concept.

  4. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weih, Martin; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike; Fransson, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  5. Concerning human well-being and ecosystems sustainability on water resources management for Qishan River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, C. Y.; Ho, C. C.; Chang, L. C.

    2016-12-01

    There are no large hydraulic structures in Qishan River cause the less human interference than other major river in Taiwan. However, the aquatic habitats still suffer disturbance from the discharge changes greatly between wet and drought season, and Jiaxian Weir and Yuemei Weir draw surplus water from Qishan River to Nanhua Reservoir and Agongdian Reservoir respectively. The weir operation rule doesn't clear define how much environmental flow should be preserved for maintaining downstream ecological environment. Hence, the study proposes a process for evaluating environmental flow under considering impact on human well-being and ecosystems sustainability. Empirical formula, hydrological, hydraulic and habitat methodologies were used to propose the environmental flow alternatives. Next, water allocation model and Habitat model were used to analysis the impact of environment flow alternatives on human well-being and ecosystems sustainability. The results show the suggested environmental flow in Qishan River is estimated by MAF10%. The environmental flow is between 8.03 10.83 cms during wet season and is between 1.07 1.44cms during wet season. The simulation results also provide the evidence from diverse aspect to help different authorities realized what they get and lose. The information can advance to reach a consensus during negotiations with different authorities and help decision maker make decisions.

  6. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weih, Martin, E-mail: martin.weih@slu.se; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike [Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); Fransson, Petra [Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2014-05-22

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  7. Evaluation of Sustainability of the Carbon and Silicon Ecosystem: From Nanoparticles to Macroworld

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolin, V.

    Rapid development of nanotechnologies has led to a complicated problem of utilization, storage and treatment of waste nanodevices of silicon and carbon origin. The processes of physico-chemical and biogeochemical destruction of carbon—silicon—uranium nanoparticles of Chernobyl origin has been studied. The period of half-destruction assessed by leaching of different radionuclide from particles is between 5 and 25 years. Natural ecosystems are generally of carbon and silicon origin. The behavior of radionuclide in natural media is observed over a period of 20 years. For the balance calculations we have utilized the Geochemical Transition Factor (GTF) that represents the quantity of substance, which is accumulated by living matter from the area unit. The main part of total carbon is involved in biogeochemical cycles in the forest ecosystem. Anthropogenic activity leads to a considerable imbalance of carbon isotopes. The distribution of carbon isotopes between different biotic levels demonstrates that radiocarbon of artificial emission is substantially less bio-available than those from natural sources. The environmental ability to recovery, lies in decontamination of carbon trophic circuits, is an order of magnitude greater than the rate of natural attenuation and corresponds to the removal of artificial matter from natural silicon media. The modern sustainability of the silicon and carbon ecosystem is determined by an insignificant quantity of artificial matter involved in biogeochemical cycles.

  8. Social Innovation in Smart Tourism Ecosystems: How Technology and Institutions Shape Sustainable Value Co-Creation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Polese

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In the service era, markets are reconceptualized as systems of actors interconnected through networked relationships based on resources exchange and producing value co-creation. Two of the main contemporary service research theories, Service-dominant logic and Service science, propose different organizational layouts for producing and harmonizing value co-creation: Service ecosystems and smart service systems. However, these two models show some limitations. So, this work aims at drawing an integrated model, the so called Smart service ecosystem that can be applied to hypercompetitive and experience-based sectors. The model was tested in the tourism sector by using a case study methodology. Ten interviews were administered to key informants to analyze their perception about the main dimensions of the smart service ecosystems. By adopting a holistic view, the results obtained can allow the elaboration of a framework which pinpoints: (1 the main stakeholder groups (actors; (2 the kind of resources exchanged (resource integration; (3 the tools employed (technology; (4 the institution exchange among users (institutions. Applying the model obtained to the tourism sector this work explores the main element-steps for managing and optimizing value co-creation and sustainability in the long run and thus for transitioning from innovation to social innovation.

  9. Ecosystem Services and Related Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River in Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disse, M.; Keilholz, P.; Rumbaur, C.; Thevs, N.

    2011-12-01

    Within the Taklimakan Desert of Northwestern China, an area renowned for its extreme climate and vulnerable ecosystems, lies one of the largest inland rivers in the world, the Tarim River. Because the Tarim River is located in a remote area from the oceans, rainfall is extremely rare (less than 50 mm per year) but potential evaporation is high (3000 mm). Thus, the major source of water discharge comes from snowmelt and glacier-melt in the mountains. Though the water discharge into the Tarim River has experienced an increase over the past ten years, global climate change forecasts predict this water supply to decline within the century. The Tarim River is the major source of water in Northwestern China, and has become the hub of many economic activities related to agriculture and urban life. Over the past 50 years increased activity in the area has led to a severe decline in river flow. Both human and natural ecosystems have been impacted by water diversions. Since rainfall is rare, the majority of vegetation in this area depends solely on groundwater for survival, and plants are experiencing stress caused by decreasing groundwater levels. Recently nearby cities have experienced severe dust storms caused by the shrinking of the vegetative region along the river. SuMaRiO (Sustainable Management of River Oases) is a bundle project between Germany and China working to contribute to a sustainable land management which explicitly takes into account ecosystem functions (ESF) and ecosystem services (ESS). In a transdisciplinary research process, SuMaRiO will identify realizable management strategies, considering social, economic and ecological criteria. SuMaRiO is developing tools to work with Chinese decision makers to implement sustainable land management strategies. In addition, research is being conducted to estimate climate change impacts, floodplain biodiversity, and water runoff characteristics. The overarching goal of SuMaRiO is to support oasis management along

  10. How and to what extent does precipitation on multi-temporal scales and soil moisture at different depths determine carbon flux responses in a water-limited grassland ecosystem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Qingqing; Wang, Guoqiang; Xue, Baolin; Liu, Tingxi; Kiem, Anthony

    2018-04-23

    In water-limited ecosystems, hydrological processes significantly affect the carbon flux. The semi-arid grassland ecosystem is particularly sensitive to variations in precipitation (PRE) and soil moisture content (SMC), but to what extent is not fully understood. In this study, we estimated and analyzed how hydrological variables, especially PRE at multi-temporal scales (diurnal, monthly, phenological-related, and seasonal) and SMC at different soil depths (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, 40-60 cm, 60-80 cm) affect the carbon flux. For these aims, eddy covariance data were combined with a Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model (VPRM) to simulate the regional gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R eco ), and net ecosystem exchange of CO 2 (NEE). Interestingly, carbon flux showed no relationship with diurnal PRE or phenological-related PRE (precipitation in the growing season and non-growing season). However, carbon flux was significantly related to monthly PRE and to seasonal PRE (spring + summer, autumn). The GPP, R eco , and NEE increased in spring and summer but decreased in autumn with increasing precipitation due to the combined effect of salinization in autumn. The GPP, R eco , and NEE were more responsive to SMC at 0-20 cm depth than at deeper depths due to the shorter roots of herbaceous vegetation. The NEE increased with increasing monthly PRE because soil microbes responded more quickly than plants. The NEE significantly decreased with increasing SMC in shallow surface due to a hysteresis effect on water transport. The results of our study highlight the complex processes that determine how and to what extent PRE at multi-temporal scale and SMC at different depths affect the carbon flux response in a water-limited grassland. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Land-based approach to evaluate sustainable land management and adaptive capacity of ecosystems/lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kust, German; Andreeva, Olga

    2015-04-01

    A number of new concepts and paradigms appeared during last decades, such as sustainable land management (SLM), climate change (CC) adaptation, environmental services, ecosystem health, and others. All of these initiatives still not having the common scientific platform although some agreements in terminology were reached, schemes of links and feedback loops created, and some models developed. Nevertheless, in spite of all these scientific achievements, the land related issues are still not in the focus of CC adaptation and mitigation. The last did not grow much beyond the "greenhouse gases" (GHG) concept, which makes land degradation as the "forgotten side of climate change" The possible decision to integrate concepts of climate and desertification/land degradation could be consideration of the "GHG" approach providing global solution, and "land" approach providing local solution covering other "locally manifesting" issues of global importance (biodiversity conservation, food security, disasters and risks, etc.) to serve as a central concept among those. SLM concept is a land-based approach, which includes the concepts of both ecosystem-based approach (EbA) and community-based approach (CbA). SLM can serve as in integral CC adaptation strategy, being based on the statement "the more healthy and resilient the system is, the less vulnerable and more adaptive it will be to any external changes and forces, including climate" The biggest scientific issue is the methods to evaluate the SLM and results of the SLM investments. We suggest using the approach based on the understanding of the balance or equilibrium of the land and nature components as the major sign of the sustainable system. Prom this point of view it is easier to understand the state of the ecosystem stress, size of the "health", range of adaptive capacity, drivers of degradation and SLM nature, as well as the extended land use, and the concept of environmental land management as the improved SLM approach

  12. Essential ocean variables for global sustained observations of biodiversity and ecosystem changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miloslavich, Patricia; Bax, Nicholas J; Simmons, Samantha E; Klein, Eduardo; Appeltans, Ward; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Andersen Garcia, Melissa; Batten, Sonia D; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro; Checkley, David M; Chiba, Sanae; Duffy, J Emmett; Dunn, Daniel C; Fischer, Albert; Gunn, John; Kudela, Raphael; Marsac, Francis; Muller-Karger, Frank E; Obura, David; Shin, Yunne-Jai

    2018-04-05

    Sustained observations of marine biodiversity and ecosystems focused on specific conservation and management problems are needed around the world to effectively mitigate or manage changes resulting from anthropogenic pressures. These observations, while complex and expensive, are required by the international scientific, governance and policy communities to provide baselines against which the effects of human pressures and climate change may be measured and reported, and resources allocated to implement solutions. To identify biological and ecological essential ocean variables (EOVs) for implementation within a global ocean observing system that is relevant for science, informs society, and technologically feasible, we used a driver-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR) model. We (1) examined relevant international agreements to identify societal drivers and pressures on marine resources and ecosystems, (2) evaluated the temporal and spatial scales of variables measured by 100+ observing programs, and (3) analysed the impact and scalability of these variables and how they contribute to address societal and scientific issues. EOVs were related to the status of ecosystem components (phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass and diversity, and abundance and distribution of fish, marine turtles, birds and mammals), and to the extent and health of ecosystems (cover and composition of hard coral, seagrass, mangrove and macroalgal canopy). Benthic invertebrate abundance and distribution and microbe diversity and biomass were identified as emerging EOVs to be developed based on emerging requirements and new technologies. The temporal scale at which any shifts in biological systems will be detected will vary across the EOVs, the properties being monitored and the length of the existing time-series. Global implementation to deliver useful products will require collaboration of the scientific and policy sectors and a significant commitment to improve human and infrastructure

  13. COMPANION ANIMALS SYMPOSIUM: Sustainable Ecosystems: Domestic cats and their effect on wildlife populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitts-Morgan, S E

    2015-03-01

    Domestic cats are estimated to kill billions of small mammals and birds each year. In certain areas of the world, it is not uncommon for either feral or free-ranging cats to have high population densities, creating concern regarding their level of hunting. Many cats are considered to be subsidized predators, as they receive care and food from humans. Arguments abound regarding the presence of cats in the habitats of native small mammals and birds and whether or not local ecosystems can sustain this predator-prey relationship. The effects of cats on native wildlife can depend on several factors, including cat classification (feral vs. free ranging vs. indoor-outdoor), geographical location (islands vs. mainland), and type of habitat (rural vs. suburban vs. urban). Feral and free-ranging cats may have a greater impact on native species on islands because habitat is severely limited. Continued urbanization and development of rural areas also creates fragmented habitats, and native species may struggle to survive with the added pressure of hunting by domestic cats. Additionally, cats in rural areas are frequently fed by humans, which can support high population densities and intensify pressure on native species. Species targeted by cats may also vary based on prey availability in different areas, but small mammals are generally preferred over birds, reptiles, or invertebrates. Domestic cats certainly have the potential to roam and hunt in very large areas inhabited by native species and loss of biodiversity is a major concern. Therefore, it is possible that ecosystems may not be able to sustain hunting by domestic cats. Because this predator-prey relationship is probably not sustainable, it is necessary to responsibly manage outdoor domestic cats.

  14. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    OpenAIRE

    Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs) has the potential to contribute to solving these ...

  15. Ecohydrology of managed ecosystems: Linking rainfall unpredictability, agronomic performance, and sustainable water use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vico, Giulia; Porporato, Amilcare

    2014-05-01

    The field of ecohydrology, traditionally focusing on natural ecosystems, can offer the necessary quantitative tools to assess and compare the sustainability of agriculture across climates, soil types, crops, and irrigation strategies, including rainfall unpredictability. In particular, irrigation is one of the main strategies to enhance and stabilize agricultural productivity, but represents a cost in terms of often scarce water resources. Here, the sustainability of irrigated and rainfed agriculture is assessed by means of water productivity (defined as the ratio between yield and total supplied water), yields, water requirements, and their variability. These indicators are quantified using a probabilistic description of the soil water balance and crop development. Employing this framework, we interpret changes in water productivity as total water input is altered, in two staple crops (maize and wheat) grown under different soils, climates, and irrigation strategies. Climate change scenarios are explored by using the same approach and altering the rainfall statistics. For a given irrigation strategy, intermediate rainfall inputs leads to the highest variability in yield and irrigation water requirement - it is under these conditions that water management is most problematic. When considering the contrasting needs of limiting water requirements while ensuring adequate yields, micro-irrigation emerges as the most sustainable strategy at the field level, although consideration should be given to its profitability and long-term environmental implications.

  16. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  17. Oceans and Human Health: Linking Ocean, Organism, and Human Health for Sustainable Management of Coastal Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandifer, P. A.; Trtanj, J.; Collier, T. K.

    2012-12-01

    Scientists and policy-makers are increasingly recognizing that sustainable coastal communities depend on healthy and resilient economies, ecosystems, and people, and that the condition or "health" of the coastal ocean and humans are intimately and inextricably connected. A wealth of ecosystem services provided by ocean and coastal environments are crucial for human survival and well being. Nonetheless, the health of coastal communities, their economies, connected ecosystems and ecosystem services, and people are under increasing threats from health risks associated with environmental degradation, climate change, and unwise land use practices, all of which contribute to growing burdens of naturally-occurring and introduced pathogens, noxious algae, and chemical contaminants. The occurrence, frequency, intensity, geographic range, and number and kinds of ocean health threats are increasing, with concomitant health and economic effects and eroding public confidence in the safety and wholesomeness of coastal environments and resources. Concerns in the research and public health communities, many summarized in the seminal 1999 NRC Report, From Monsoons to Microbes and the 2004 final report of the US Commission on Ocean Policy, resulted in establishment of a new "meta-discipline" known as Oceans and Human Health (OHH). OHH brings together practitioners in oceanography, marine biology, ecology, biomedical science, medicine, economics and other social sciences, epidemiology, environmental management, and public health to focus on water- and food-borne causes of human and animal illnesses associated with ocean and coastal systems and on health benefits of seafood and other marine products. It integrates information across multiple disciplines to increase knowledge of ocean health risks and benefits and communicate such information to enhance public safety. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to ocean health threats and benefits, Congress passed the Oceans and

  18. A multiple soil ecosystem services approach to evaluate the sustainability of reduced tillage systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérès, Guénola; Menasseri, Safya; Hallaire, Vincent; Cluzeau, Daniel; Heddadj, Djilali; Cotinet, Patrice; Manceau, Olivier; Pulleman, Mirjam

    2017-04-01

    In the current context of soil degradation, reduced tillage systems (including reduced soil disturbance, use of cover crops and crop rotation, and improved organic matter management) are expected to be good alternatives to conventional system which have led to a decrease of soil multi-functionality. Many studies worldwide have analysed the impact of tillage systems on different soil functions, but overran integrated view of the impact of these systems is still lacking. The SUSTAIN project (European SNOWMAN programme), performed in France and the Netherlands, proposes an interdisciplinary collaboration. The goals of SUSTAIN are to assess the multi-functionality of soil and to study how reduced-tillage systems impact on multiple ecosystem services such as soil biodiversity regulation (earthworms, nematodes, microorganisms), soil structure maintenance (aggregate stability, compaction, soil erosion), water regulation (run-off, transfer of pesticides) and food production. Moreover, a socio-economic study on farmer networks has been carried out to identify the drivers of adoption of reduced-tillage systems. Data have been collected in long-term experimental fields (5 - 13 years), representing conventional and organic farming strategies, and were complemented with data from farmer networks. The impact of different reduced tillage systems (direct seeding, minimum tillage, non-inverse tillage, superficial ploughing) were analysed and compared to conventional ploughing. Measurements (biological, chemical, physical, agronomical, water and element transfer) have been done at several dates which allow an overview of the evolution of the soil properties according to climate variation and crop rotation. A sociological approach was performed on several farms covering different production types, different courses (engagement in reduced tillage systems) and different geographical locations. Focusing on French trials, this multiple ecosystem services approach clearly showed that

  19. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  20. Increasing production, the sustained yield method, and reserve structure of agrisilvicultural ecosystems in the moist tropics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruenig, E F

    1980-09-01

    While substantial improvements first of all require a profound change of political attitudes and the replacement of irrational ideological creeds, improvements of the food situation in addition needs the application of ecologically adapted and economically sound land use techniques. This in turn requires scientific knowledge of the interrelationships between site factors and the structure and functions of crop types. The principles of the structural design of tropical virgin forest ecosystems can be usefully adapted for the development of agroforestry crop types. Such crop types should be capable of producing a sustained yield of food, timber, fuel, medicinal substances, spices and other useful products and, in addition, produce favourable, stabilizing effects on the local, regional and finally global biosphere.

  1. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Z W; Zhang, S; Yu, X Y; Wang, X S

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved

  2. The ecosystem approach to fisheries: management at the dynamic interface between biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Simon; Smith, Anthony D M; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Smith, David C

    2014-08-01

    The emergence of an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) was characterized by the adoption of objectives for maintaining ecosystem health alongside those for fisheries. The EAF was expected to meet some aspirations for biodiversity conservation, but health was principally linked to sustainable use rather than lower levels of human impact. Consequently, while policies including EAF concepts identified objectives for fisheries management and biodiversity conservation, the wording often reflected unresolved societal and political debates about objectives and gave imprecise guidance on addressing inevitable trade-offs. Despite scientific progress in making trade-offs and consequences explicit, there remain substantial differences in interpretations of acceptable impact, responses to uncertainty and risk, and the use of management measures by groups accountable for fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. Within and among nations and regions, these differences are influenced by the contribution of fisheries, aquaculture, farming, and trade to food security, consumers' options, and other social, economic, and environmental factors. Notwithstanding, mutual understanding of the motivations and norms of fisheries management and biodiversity conservation groups is increasing, and interactions between these groups have likely supported more progress toward meeting their stated objectives than would have otherwise been achievable. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  3. Grassland communities in the USA and expected trends associated with climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Paul Belesky

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands, including managed grazinglands, represent one of the largest ecosystems on the planet. Managed grazinglands in particular tend to occupy marginal climatic and edaphic resource zones, thus exacerbating responses in net primary productivity relative to changes in system resources, including anthropogenic factors. Climate dynamism, as evident from the fossil record, appears to be a putative feature of our planet. Recent global trends in temperature and precipitation patterns seem to differ from long-term patterns and have been associated with human activities linked with increased greenhouse gas emissions; specifically CO2. Thus grasslands, with their diverse floristic components, and interaction with and dependence upon herbivores, have a remarkable ability to persist and sustain productivity in response to changing resource conditions. This resistance and resilience to change, including uncertain long-term weather conditions, establishes managed grasslands as an important means of protecting food security. We review responses of grassland communities across regions of the USA and consider the responses in productivity and system function with respect to climatic variation. Research is needed to identify plant resources and management technologies that strengthen our ability to capitalize upon physiological and anatomical features prevalent in grassland communities associated with varying growing conditions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Carbon storage potential in size–density fractions from semi-natural grassland ecosystems with different productivities over varying soil depths

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breulmann, Marc; Boettger, Tatjana; Buscot, François; Gruendling, Ralf; Schulz, Elke

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have increasingly recognised a profound need for more information on SOC stocks in the soil and the factors governing their stability and dynamics. Many questions still remain unanswered about the interplay between changes in plant communities and the extent to which changes in aboveground productivity affect the carbon dynamics in soils through changes in its quantity and quality. Therefore, the main aim of this research was to examine the SOC accumulation potential of semi-natural grasslands of different productivities and determine the distribution of SOM fractions over varying soil depth intervals (0–10, 10–20, 20–30 30–50 50–80 and 80 + cm). SOM fractionation was considered as a relative measure of stability to separate SOM associated with clay minerals from SOM of specific light densities less than 2 g cm"−"3 (size-density fractionation). Two clay-associated fractions (CF1, < 1 μm; and CF2, 1–2 μm) and two light fractions (LF1, < 1.8 g cm"−"3; and LF2, 1.8–2.0 g cm"−"3) were separated. The stability of these fractions was characterised by their carbon hot water extractability (C_H_W_E) and stable carbon isotope composition. In the semi-natural grasslands studied, most OC was stored in the top 30 cm, where turnover is rapid. Effects of low productivity grasslands became only significantly apparent when fractional OC contributions of total SOM was considered (CF1 and LF1). In deeper soil depths OC was largely attributed to the CF1 fraction of low productivity grasslands. We suggest that the majority of OM in deeper soil depth intervals is microbially-derived, as evidenced by decreasing C/N ratios and decreasing δ"1"3C values. The hot water extraction and natural δ"1"3C abundance, employed here allowed the characterisation of SOM stabilisation properties, however how climatic changes affect the fate of OM within different soil depth intervals is still unknown. - Highlights: • OC stocks over varying soil depths in extensively

  7. Carbon storage potential in size–density fractions from semi-natural grassland ecosystems with different productivities over varying soil depths

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breulmann, Marc [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Soil Ecology, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, 06120 Halle (Germany); Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Environmental and Biotechnology Centre (UBZ), Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig (Germany); Boettger, Tatjana [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Isotope Hydrology, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, D-06120 Halle (Germany); Buscot, François [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Soil Ecology, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, 06120 Halle (Germany); German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig (Germany); Gruendling, Ralf [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department, Department of Soil Physics, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, D-06120 Halle (Germany); Schulz, Elke [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Soil Ecology, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, 06120 Halle (Germany)

    2016-03-01

    Researchers have increasingly recognised a profound need for more information on SOC stocks in the soil and the factors governing their stability and dynamics. Many questions still remain unanswered about the interplay between changes in plant communities and the extent to which changes in aboveground productivity affect the carbon dynamics in soils through changes in its quantity and quality. Therefore, the main aim of this research was to examine the SOC accumulation potential of semi-natural grasslands of different productivities and determine the distribution of SOM fractions over varying soil depth intervals (0–10, 10–20, 20–30 30–50 50–80 and 80 + cm). SOM fractionation was considered as a relative measure of stability to separate SOM associated with clay minerals from SOM of specific light densities less than 2 g cm{sup −3} (size-density fractionation). Two clay-associated fractions (CF1, < 1 μm; and CF2, 1–2 μm) and two light fractions (LF1, < 1.8 g cm{sup −3}; and LF2, 1.8–2.0 g cm{sup −3}) were separated. The stability of these fractions was characterised by their carbon hot water extractability (C{sub HWE}) and stable carbon isotope composition. In the semi-natural grasslands studied, most OC was stored in the top 30 cm, where turnover is rapid. Effects of low productivity grasslands became only significantly apparent when fractional OC contributions of total SOM was considered (CF1 and LF1). In deeper soil depths OC was largely attributed to the CF1 fraction of low productivity grasslands. We suggest that the majority of OM in deeper soil depth intervals is microbially-derived, as evidenced by decreasing C/N ratios and decreasing δ{sup 13}C values. The hot water extraction and natural δ{sup 13}C abundance, employed here allowed the characterisation of SOM stabilisation properties, however how climatic changes affect the fate of OM within different soil depth intervals is still unknown. - Highlights: • OC stocks over varying

  8. Role of wood production in ecosystem management : proceedings of the Sustainable Forestry Working Group at the IUFRO All Division 5 conference, Pullman, Washington, July 1997

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. J. Barbour; K. E. Skog

    1997-01-01

    The presentations at this symposium discussed concepts of ecosystem management and sustainability as viewed by various levels of government and private land managers. The theme was to integrate ecology, silviculture, forest operations, wood products, and economics to find ways to develop healthy sustainable ecosystems under financially sound management practices....

  9. Governing a Sustainable Business Ecosystem in Taiwan’s Circular Economy: The Story of Spring Pool Glass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying-Che Hsieh

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The business ecosystem has provided a new paradigm for management research. Most research in the field has focused on profit-driven industries, neglecting the area of the circular economy. This research sets out to capture the mechanisms that the leading firm in the circular economy uses to govern its business ecosystem. The research strategy adopted is a longitudinal case study of the largest glass recycling company in Taiwan, Spring Pool Glass. Our findings illustrate that continuous value capture is the key to governing a sustainable business ecosystem in the glass recycling industry. The mechanisms include continuous value capture to enter new markets, using stakeholder networks to enlarge the business ecosystem, brand image and corporate social responsibility, company capabilities and research and development in the recycling process, and reacting to government policy.

  10. Ecosystem's Modeling of Bhoj Wetland - A Base For Economic Valuation and Sustainable Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, M.; Bakshi, N.; Nair, R.

    The Bhoj wetland located in the heart of the Bhopal city, India originated as manmade lake primarily to supply drinking water to the citySs population and over the years it attained features of wetland and started providing multiple functions like commer- cial fishing, waste assimilation, microclimate regulation and recreation etc. to multiple users. It has so happened that multiple benefits have been extracted but little attention has been paid on the maintenance of this wetlands. In this context it becomes imper- ative to generate quantitative information on the economic benefits from the wetland, which could serve as a powerful tool to influence decision-making. Bhoj wetland is a Lacustrine wetland which is the highly diminished remains of the vast lake created in the 11th century by the then ruler of princely state of Bhopal The wetland has wa- ter spread area of 32 square kilometers and catchment area of 370 square kilometers. It is an important source of drinking water for the 40% of citySs total population of 1.5 millions. Multiple stakeholders use it for multiple uses. 17 municipal wards (ad- ministrative division of the city) around the lake directly drain into it. Over the years because of indiscriminate and unsustainable use of lake, its water quality has degraded from SAS quality to SCS quality along with prolific growth of weeds on account of ´ ´ which benefits from the lake have reduced and all the stakeholders are paying heavy direct and indirect costs including the government agencies which are engaged in its restoration and management activities The goal of the management is essentially to balance the use of lake with conserva- tion measures to sustain ecosystem services overtime. The paper tries to analyze the factors causing Bhoj Wetland degradation; nature and extent of injury to the wetland; how does this degradation impact on the uses those citizens of Bhopal extract out of it? What cost is borne by the users on account of degradation in

  11. Enhancing a Socio-technical Data Ecosystem for Societally Relevant, Sustained Arctic Observing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulsifer, P. L.

    2017-12-01

    In recent years, much has been learned about the state of data and related systems for the Arctic region, however work remains to be done to achieve an envisioned integrated and well-defined pan-Arctic observing and data network. The envisioned comprehensive network will enables access to high quality data, expertise and information in support of scientific understanding, stakeholder needs, and agency operations. In this paper we argue that priorities for establishing such a network are in the areas of better understanding the current system, machine-enhanced data discovery and mediation, and the human aspects of community building. The author has engaged extensively in international, Canadian and U.S.-based data coordination and system design efforts. This includes a series of meetings, workshops, systems design activities, and publications. The results of these efforts have been analyzed and a synthesis of these analyses are presented here. Analysis reveals that there are a large number of polar data resources interacting in a complex network that functions as a data ecosystem. Understanding this ecosystem is critical and required to guide design. Given the size and complexity of the network, achieving broad data discovery and access and meaningful data integration will require advanced techniques including machine learning, semantic mediation, and the use of highly connected virtual research environments. To achieve the aforementioned goal will require a community of engaged researchers, technologists, and stakeholders to establish requirements and the social and organizational context needed for effective approaches. The results imply that: i) an effective governance mechanism must be established that includes "bottom up" and "top down" control; ii) the established governance mechanism must include effective networking of actors in the system; iii) funders must adopt a long-term, sustainable infrastructure approach to systems development; iv) best practices

  12. Natural capital and ecosystem services for sustainable livelihoods in Costa Vicentina, Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Antunes

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The OpenNESS project, funded by EC FP7, aims to translate the concepts of Natural Capital (NC and Ecosystem Services (ES into operational frameworks that provide tested, practical and tailored solutions for integrating ES into land, water and urban management and decision-making, while promoting local stakeholders well-being. Central to the project is a multi-scale case study approach, designed to ground concepts and theories on real world observations and analysis. This paper presents one of the project case studies, located in the Portuguese southwest coast – Costa Vicentina. This case study is focused on the use of NC and ES concepts to design instruments for sustainable management of living resources (algae, shellfish and fish and to promote a sustainable nature-based tourism. The research aims to (1 identify the linkages between marine natural capital stocks (e.g. bottom algae, shellfish populations,... with ES provision; (2 explore the perceptions and importance of ES to local stakeholders’ wellbeing and their economic value; and (3 evaluate the use of ES in land-use planning and conservation, and the potential of different policy instruments and governance arrangements to ensure the delivery of ES and to promote local stakeholders well-being. The combination of methods such as ES mapping, monetary and non-monetary valuation of ES, and system dynamics modelling, will ultimately be used to inform and support decision makers and policy instruments design. The research is rooted on a participatory process involving the main stakeholder groups, thus fostering dialogue and social learning.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Toward a synthetic economic systems modeling tool for sustainable exploitation of ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Colin; Courvisanos, Jerry; Crawford, John W

    2011-02-01

    Environmental resources that underpin the basic human needs of water, energy, and food are predicted to become in such short supply by 2050 that global security and the well-being of millions will be under threat. These natural commodities have been allowed to reach crisis levels of supply because of a failure of economic systems to sustain them. This is largely because there have been no means of integrating their exploitation into any economic model that effectively addresses ecological systemic failures in a way that provides an integrated ecological-economic tool that can monitor and evaluate market and policy targets. We review the reasons for this and recent attempts to address the problem while identifying outstanding issues. The key elements of a policy-oriented economic model that integrates ecosystem processes are described and form the basis of a proposed new synthesis approach. The approach is illustrated by an indicative case study that develops a simple model for rainfed and irrigated food production in the Murray-Darling basin of southeastern Australia. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  16. Water resources management in the urban agglomeration of the Lake Biwa region, Japan: An ecosystem services-based sustainability assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaochen; Chen, Yuqing; Shimizu, Toshiyuki; Niu, Jia; Nakagami, Ken'ichi; Qian, Xuepeng; Jia, Baoju; Nakajima, Jun; Han, Ji; Li, Jianhua

    2017-05-15

    An innovative ecosystem services-based sustainability assessment was conducted in the important urban agglomeration of the Lake Biwa region, Japan, covering the time period from 1950 to 2014. A 22-indicator system was established that was based on the major ecosystem services of Lake Biwa and its water courses, i.e., provisioning services regarding aquatic products and water; regulating services regarding floods and water quality; cultural services regarding recreation and tourism, scientific research, and environmental education; and supporting services regarding biodiversity. First, changes in the eight ecosystem services were discussed together with the considerable experience and difficult lessons that can be drawn from the development trajectory. Next, with the indicators rearranged according to sustainability principles, the regional sustainability over the past six-plus decades was assessed. In general, this urban agglomeration has been progressing in terms of its sustainability, although economic and social development was achieved at the cost of environmental degradation in the past, and the current economic downturn is hurting the balanced development and integrated benefits. The results lead directly to recommendations for regional development, especially in terms of economic rejuvenation, from the perspective of improving management of Lake Biwa's water resources. Moreover, the relevant knowledge is educational and inspirational for other places in the world that are facing similar development issues. For example, the effective and even pioneering countermeasures that have been taken against environmental degradation, as well as the participation and collaboration of multiple stakeholders, could be useful as a model. Moreover, the study invites increased understanding of ecosystem vulnerability to anthropogenic devastation and emphasizes the priority of precautionary measures over countermeasures in the context of holistic urban planning and sustainable

  17. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  18. Variation in the carbon and oxygen isotope composition of plant biomass and its relationship to water-use efficiency at the leaf- and ecosystem-scales in a northern Great Plains grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Lawrence B; Farquhar, Graham D

    2014-02-01

    Measurements of the carbon (δ(13) Cm ) and oxygen (δ(18) Om ) isotope composition of C3 plant tissue provide important insights into controls on water-use efficiency. We investigated the causes of seasonal and inter-annual variability in water-use efficiency in a grassland near Lethbridge, Canada using stable isotope (leaf-scale) and eddy covariance measurements (ecosystem-scale). The positive relationship between δ(13) Cm and δ(18) Om values for samples collected during 1998-2001 indicated that variation in stomatal conductance and water stress-induced changes in the degree of stomatal limitation of net photosynthesis were the major controls on variation in δ(13) Cm and biomass production during this time. By comparison, the lack of a significant relationship between δ(13) Cm and δ(18) Om values during 2002, 2003 and 2006 demonstrated that water stress was not a significant limitation on photosynthesis and biomass production in these years. Water-use efficiency was higher in 2000 than 1999, consistent with expectations because of greater stomatal limitation of photosynthesis and lower leaf ci /ca during the drier conditions of 2000. Calculated values of leaf-scale water-use efficiency were 2-3 times higher than ecosystem-scale water-use efficiency, a difference that was likely due to carbon lost in root respiration and water lost during soil evaporation that was not accounted for by the stable isotope measurements. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Seasonal and inter-annual dynamics in the stable oxygen isotope compositions of water pools in a temperate humid grassland ecosystem: results from MIBA sampling and MuSICA modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirl, Regina; Schnyder, Hans; Auerswald, Karl; Vetter, Sylvia; Ostler, Ulrike; Schleip, Inga; Wingate, Lisa; Ogée, Jérôme

    2015-04-01

    The oxygen isotope composition (δ18O) of water in terrestrial ecosystems usually shows strong and dynamic variations within and between the various compartments. These variations originate from changes in the δ18O of water inputs (e.g. rain or water vapour) and from 18O fractionation phenomena in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Investigations of δ18O in ecosystem water pools and of their main drivers can help us understand water relations at plant, canopy or ecosystem scale and interpret δ18O signals in plant and animal tissues as paleo-climate proxies. During the vegetation periods of 2006 to 2012, soil, leaf and stem water as well as atmospheric humidity, rain water and groundwater were sampled at bi-weekly intervals in a temperate humid pasture of the Grünschwaige Grassland Research Station near Munich (Germany). The sampling was performed following standardised MIBA (Moisture Isotopes in the Biosphere and Atmosphere) protocols. Leaf water samples were prepared from a mixture of co-dominant species in the plant community in order to obtain a canopy-scale leaf water δ18O signal. All samples were then analysed for their δ18O compositions. The measured δ18O of leaf, stem and soil water were then compared with the δ18O signatures simulated by the process-based isotope-enabled ecosystem model MuSICA (Multi-layer Simulator of the Interactions between a vegetation Canopy and the Atmosphere). MuSICA integrates current mechanistic understanding of processes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Hence, the comparison of modelled and measured data allows the identification of gaps in current knowledge and of questions to be tackled in the future. Soil and plant characteristics for model parameterisation were derived from investigations at the experimental site and supplemented by values from the literature. Eddy-covariance measurements of ecosystem CO2 (GPP, NEE) and energy (H, LE) fluxes and soil temperature data were used for model evaluation. The

  20. Principles for a code of conduct for the sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems: a work in progress for public discussion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Thomas

    The Principles for a Code of Conduct for Sustainable Management of Mangrove Ecosystems is a guide to assist states, local and national non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to develop cooperatively local codes, laws and/or regulations to protect mangroves and the critical functions...... they serve with regard to contributions to local livelihood, biodiversity conservation and coastal protection though sustainable management. The objective is to help bring attention to the importance of mangrove ecosystems, particularly to policy makers, to help arrest and reverse their loss. The Principles...... mangrove management experience, about fifteen country case studies from all regions where mangroves exist, and seven regional workshops to date. The purpose of the presentation at this ReNED forum is gain additional feedback from researchers, in particular, to provide input on the content of the Principles...

  1. Importance of Mangroves for Fish.Bases for the conservation and sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems in North Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Giarrizzo, Tommaso

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this thesis is to assess the use of the intertidal mangrove habitats by fishes in the northern Brazilian coast in order to support, with biological data, the conservation and sustainable management of this ecosystem. The thesis is a compilation of nine scientific publications included in six main topics: (i) inter-creek variability in fish habitat use in a medium spatial scale; (ii) large-scale comparison of the intertidal mangrove fish fauna cought with similar fishing gear in...

  2. Species-rich semi-natural grasslands have a higher resistance but a lower resilience than intensively managed agricultural grasslands in response to climate anomalies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keersmaecker, De Wanda; Rooijen, van Nils; Lhermitte, Stef; Tits, Laurent; Schaminée, Joop; Coppin, Pol; Honnay, Olivier; Somers, Ben

    2016-01-01

    The stable delivery of ecosystem services provided by grasslands is strongly dependent on the stability of grassland ecosystem functions such as biomass production. Biomass production is in turn strongly affected by the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. The aim of this study is to

  3. Ecosystem service trade-offs, perceived drivers, and sustainability in contrasting agroecosystems in central Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos E. González-Esquivel

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The ability of agroecosystems to provide food ultimately depends on the regulating and supporting ecosystem services that underpin their functioning, such as the regulation of soil quality, water quality, soil erosion, pests, and pollinators. However, there are trade-offs between provisioning and regulating or supporting services, whose nature at the farm and plot scales is poorly understood. We analyzed data at the farm level for two agroecosystems with contrasting objectives in central Mexico: one aimed at staple crop production for self-subsistence and local markets, the other directed to a cash crop for export markets. Bivariate and multivariate trade-offs were analyzed for different crop management strategies (conventional, organic, traditional, crop rotation and their underpinning socioeconomic drivers. There was a clear trade-off between crop yield and soil quality in self-subsistence systems. However, other expected trade-offs between yields and soil quality did not always occur, likely because of the overall good soils of the region and the low to medium input profile of most farms. Trade-offs were highly dependent on farm-specific agricultural practices; organic, traditional, and rotation management systems generally showed smaller trade-offs between yield and soil quality, pest control, and biodiversity than did conventional management systems. Perceived drivers reported by farmers included increasing prices for cash crops, rising costs of inputs, and extreme climatic events (e.g., drought, hail, frost. Farmers did not identify the regulation of soil quality, water quality, soil erosion, pests, or pollinators as important constraints. Although acceptable yields could be maintained irrespective of key regulating and supporting services according to these perceptions, current levels of soil erosion and nutrient runoff are likely to have important negative effects at the watershed scale. Sustainability in both agroecosystems could be

  4. Evaluation of the Mineral Status of Two Ecosystems for Sustainable Goat Rearing in the Iberian Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Vilallonga

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The mineral status in two ecosystems typical of the Iberian Peninsula was evaluated. Ecosystem I was formed by forests and ecosystem II by hilly areas. The levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and selenium in soils, rations and serum were measured. The concentratons of iron, copper, zinc and selenium were also checked in liver. Ecosystem I showed higher values of every mineral, except for phosphorus. Seasonal differences were recorded for rations and serum, with higher values in spring. The rations produced by both ecosystems met the mineral requirements of goats in lactation. Thus, both ecosystems are suitable for the development of an ecological goat farming system. However, extra supply of minerals, particularly calcium, may be needed in the maximum productions periods.

  5. Accounting for ecosystem services as a way to understand the requirements for sustainable development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäler, Karl-Göran; Aniyar, Sara; Jansson, Asa

    2008-07-15

    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment documented the importance of ecosystem services. It is therefore important that these services are included in our economic accounts (Standard National Accounts), as long as we believe that these accounts should tell us something about our wellbeing. This requires measures of the ecosystem assets and their accounting prices. This article discusses how the concept of inclusive wealth can be exploited for creating such accounts.

  6. Ecological analysis of plant cover of the permanent grassland ecosystem located in the vicinity of Novi Kneževac, Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knežević Aleksa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A total of 205 taxa and stands of 12 plant communities were found to comprise the plant cover of the permanent grassland on the solonetz and solonchakic solonetz soils located in the vicinity of the town of Novi Kneževac (Vojvodina Province, Serbia. The registered taxa included 177 plant species, six subspecies, eight varieties, 13 forms and one lusus. The ecological analysis of the flora involved 191 taxa. That group consisted of 177 species, six subspecies, three varieties and five forms. The three varieties, Aster tripolium L. var. pannonicus ( Jacq. Beck, Chenopodium rubrum L. subsp. botryoides Sm. var. crassifolium (Hornem Kov. and Sonchus arvensis L. var. uliginosus (M.B. Grec. were used for analysis because their higher taxonomic categories were not recorded in the studied flora. The five forms, Aster sedifolius L. f. subsquamosus Soy, Bromus commutatus Schrad. f. violaceus Podp., Mentha aquatica L. f. erromera Top., Poa bulbosa L. f. vivipara Koel. and Scleranthus annus L. f. minimus Schur., were used for the same reason. The ecological analysis encompassed stands of all 12 recorded communities, i.e. ass. Scirpo-Phragmitetum W. Koch 1926, ass. Bolboschoenetum maritimi continentale Soy (1927 1957, ass. Acorelletum pannonici Soy (1939 1947, ass. Puccinelletum limosae (Rapcs. 1927 Soy 1930, ass. Pholiuro-Plantaginetum tenuiflorae (Rapcs. 1927 Wendel. 1943, ass. Hordeetum histricis (Soy 1933 Wendel. 1943, ass. Camphorosmetum annuae (Rapcs. 1916 Soy 1933 corr. Soy 1938, ass. Agrostio-Alopecuretum pratensis Soy (1933 1947, ass. Agrostio-Eleochariti-Alopecuretu geniculati (Magyar1928 Soy (1939 1947, ass. Artemisio-Festucetum pseudovinae (Magyar 1928 Soy 1945, ass. Achilleo-Festucetum pseudovinae (Magyar 1928 Soy 1945 and ass. Festuco-Andropogonetum ischaemi Vučk. 1985. The ecological analysis of the plant cover indicated that halophytes made 30.37% of the flora of the permanent grassland near the town of Novi Kneževac, and that the stands of

  7. Drought impacts on ecosystem functions of the U.S. National Forests and Grasslands: Part I evaluation of a water and carbon balance model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanlei Sun; Ge Sun; Peter Caldwell; Steven G. McNulty; Erika Cohen; Jingfeng Xiao; Yang Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Understanding and quantitatively evaluating the regional impacts of climate change and variability (e.g., droughts) on forest ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield, evapotranspiration, and productivity) and services (e.g., fresh water supply and carbon sequestration) is of great importance for developing climate change adaptation strategies for National Forests and...

  8. Land-use change in Indian tropical agro-ecosystems: eco-energy estimation for socio-ecological sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nautiyal, Sunil; Kaechele, Harald; Umesh Babu, M S; Tikhile, Pavan; Baksi, Sangeeta

    2017-04-01

    This study was carried out to understand the ecological and economic sustainability of floriculture and other main crops in Indian agro-ecosystems. The cultivation practices of four major flower crops, namely Jasminum multiflorum, Crossandra infundibuliformis, Chrysanthemum and Tagetes erecta, were studied in detail. The production cost of flowers in terms of energy was calculated to be 99,622-135,996 compared to 27,681-69,133 MJ ha -1 for the main crops, namely Oryza sativa, Eleusine coracana, Zea mays and Sorghum bicolor. The highest-energy input amongst the crops was recorded for Z. mays (69,133 MJ ha -1 ) as this is a resource-demanding crop. However, flower cultivation requires approximately twice the energy required for the cultivation of Z. mays. In terms of both energy and monetary inputs, flower cultivation needs two to three times the requirements of the main crops cultivated in the region. The monetary inputs for main crop cultivation were calculated to be ₹ 27,349 to ₹ 46,930 as compared to flower crops (₹ 62,540 to ₹ 144,355). Floriculture was found to be more efficient in monetary terms when compared to the main crops cultivated in the region. However, the energy efficiency of flower crops is lower than that of the main crops, and the energy output from flower cultivation was found to be declining in tropical agro-ecosystems in India. Amongst the various inputs, farmyard manure accounts for the highest proportion, and for its preparation, most of the raw material comes from the surrounding ecosystems. Thus, flower cultivation has a direct impact on the ecosystem resource flow. Therefore, keeping the economic and environmental sustainability in view, this study indicates that a more field-based research is required to frame appropriate policies for flower cultivation to achieve sustainable socio-ecological development.

  9. Development of an integrated methodology for the sustainable environmental and socio-economic management of river ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koundouri, P; Ker Rault, P; Pergamalis, V; Skianis, V; Souliotis, I

    2016-01-01

    The development of the Water Framework Directive aimed to establish an integrated framework of water management at European level. This framework revolves around inland surface waters, transitional waters, coastal waters and ground waters. In the process of achieving the environment and ecological objectives set from the Directive, the role of economics is put in the core of the water management. An important feature of the Directive is the recovery of total economic cost of water services by all users. The total cost of water services can be disaggregated into environmental, financial and resource costs. Another important aspect of the directive is the identification of major drivers and pressures in each River Basin District. We describe a methodology that is aiming to achieve sustainable and environmental and socioeconomic management of freshwater ecosystem services. The Ecosystem Services Approach is in the core of the suggested methodology for the implementation of a more sustainable and efficient water management. This approach consists of the following three steps: (i) socio-economic characterization of the River Basin area, (ii) assessment of the current recovery of water use cost, and (iii) identification and suggestion of appropriate programs of measures for sustainable water management over space and time. This methodology is consistent with a) the economic principles adopted explicitly by the Water Framework Directive (WFD), b) the three-step WFD implementation approach adopted in the WATECO document, c) the Ecosystem Services Approach to valuing freshwater goods and services to humans. Furthermore, we analyze how the effects of multiple stressors and socio-economic development can be quantified in the context of freshwater resources management. We also attempt to estimate the value of four ecosystem services using the benefit transfer approach for the Anglian River Basin, which showed the significance of such services. Copyright © 2015. Published by

  10. Advancing sustainability through urban green space: cultural ecosystem services, equity, and social determinants of health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viniece Jennings; Lincoln Larson; Jessica Yun

    2016-01-01

    Urban green spaces provide an array of benefits, or ecosystem services, that support our physical, psychological, and social health. In many cases, however, these benefits are not equitably distributed across diverse urban populations. In this paper, we explore relationships between cultural ecosystem services provided by urban green space and the social determinants...

  11. Managing Multiple Catchment Demands for Sustainable Water Use and Ecosystem Service Provision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen C. Stosch

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Ensuring water, food and energy security for a growing world population represents a 21st century catchment management challenge. Failure to recognise the complexity of interactions across ecosystem service provision can risk the loss of other key environmental and socioeconomic benefits from the natural capital of catchment systems. In particular, the ability of soil and water to meet human needs is undermined by uncertainties around climate change effects, ecosystem service interactions and conflicting stakeholder interests across catchments. This critical review draws from an extensive literature to discuss the benefits and challenges of utilising an ecosystem service approach for integrated catchment management (ICM. State-of-the-art research on ecosystem service assessment, mapping and participatory approaches is evaluated and a roadmap of the key short- and longer-term research needs for maximising landscape-scale ecosystem service provision from catchments is proposed.

  12. Sustainable and resource efficient intensivation of crop production - Perspectives of agro-ecosystem research Policy paper of the DFG Senate Commission on Agroecosystem Research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolters, V.; Isselstein, J.; Stützel, H.; Ordon, F.; Haaren, von C.; Schlecht, E.; Wesseler, J.H.H.; Birner, R.; Lützow, von M.; Brüggemann, N.; Diekkrüger, B.; Fangmeier, A.; Flessa, H.; Kage, H.; Kaupenhohann, M.; Kögel-Knabner, I.; Mosandl, R.; Seppelt, R.

    2014-01-01

    With its policy paper the Senate Commission on Agro-ecosystemResearch of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft(DFG) summarizes potential benefits of basic researchfor the sustainable intensification of crop production. Agro-ecosystems critically contribute to fulfilling the need forincreasing food and

  13. Intensive agriculture to semi-natural grassland: evaluating changes in ecosystem service provision to help determine costs and benefits of agri-environment schemes

    OpenAIRE

    Horrocks, Claire Alice

    2013-01-01

    Intensive agriculture has led to an increase in production; however this has often coincided with a decline in the provision of other Ecosystem Services (ES). ES affected include those regulated by soil chemical, physical and biological properties such as biodiversity provision and the regulation of nutrient cycling, water quality and rates of greenhouse gas emissions. A growing awareness of the value of nonproduction ES to human health and wellbeing has encouraged the funding ...

  14. The Role of Bioenergy in Enhancing Energy, Food and Ecosystem Sustainability Based on Societal Perceptions and Preferences in Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilibeth A. Acosta

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper discussed the analysis of the survey on sustainability of bioenergy conducted in the Philippines, India and China. It acquired general perceptions of the people by asking them (a specific questions about their level of familiarity with bioenergy; (b relationship of their work to bioenergy; and (c their opinion on contribution of various feedstock on the economy and impact of bioenergy production on food security. In addition to these questions, we estimated preference weights of various feedstock based on the conjoint choices on bioenergy’s contribution to social stability, social welfare and ecological balance. The estimates revealed significant trade-offs not only among these three dimensions of sustainability but also the relative importance of energy security, food security and ecosystem capacity to other economic, social and environmental objectives. The types of first generation feedstock that are currently used for biofuel production in the respective countries and those that offer alternative household use are perceived as important to the economy and preferred bioenergy feedstock. Based on the results of the study, the preferred role of bioenergy for sustainable development reflects the social and economic concerns in the respective Asian countries, e.g., energy security in China, food security in India, and ecosystem degradation in the Philippines.

  15. Advancing Sustainability through Urban Green Space: Cultural Ecosystem Services, Equity, and Social Determinants of Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Viniece; Larson, Lincoln; Yun, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Urban green spaces provide an array of benefits, or ecosystem services, that support our physical, psychological, and social health. In many cases, however, these benefits are not equitably distributed across diverse urban populations. In this paper, we explore relationships between cultural ecosystem services provided by urban green space and the social determinants of health outlined in the United States Healthy People 2020 initiative. Specifically, we: (1) explore connections between cultural ecosystem services and social determinants of health; (2) examine cultural ecosystem services as nature-based health amenities to promote social equity; and (3) recommend areas for future research examining links between urban green space and public health within the context of environmental justice. PMID:26861365

  16. Economic impact of ecosystem services provided by ecologically sustainable roadside right of way vegetation management practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-01

    The economic value of runoff prevention, carbon sequestration, pollination and other insect services, air quality, : invasive species resistance, and aesthetics was estimated for Floridas State Highway System roadside right-of-way (ROW) ecosystem ...

  17. Relation of Chlorophyll Fluorescence Sensitive Reflectance Ratios to Carbon FluxMeasurements ofMontanne Grassland and Norway Spruce Forest Ecosystems in the Temperate Zone

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ač, Alexander; Malenovský, Z.; Urban, Otmar; Hanuš, Jan; Zitová, Martina; Navrátil, M.; Vráblová, M.; Olejníčková, Julie; Špunda, V.; Marek, Michal V.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 2012, č. 2012 (2012), s. 1-13 ISSN 1537-744X R&D Projects: GA MŽP(CZ) SP/2D1/70/08; GA MŽP(CZ) SP/2D1/93/07; GA MŠk(CZ) LM2010007; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Chlorophyll fluorescence * carbon flux * forest ecosystems * Norway Spruce * temperate zone Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.730, year: 2012

  18. SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF RIVER OASES ALONG THE TARIM RIVER (P.R. CHINA AND THE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernd Cyffka

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In north-western China, the endorheic Tarim River is running along the northern rim of the Taklamakan desert. It is the solely water source for the oases in the region as precipitation is low. The river is mainly fed from water of snow and glacier melt, causing floods in the summer months. Due to global climate change the annual water discharge is increasing. However, not sufficient water flows downstream, as the region is the main production area of cotton in China, and much water is needed for irrigation. A conflict arises between water users of the upper reaches and water users of the lower reaches of the Tarim River as well as with the natural vegetation. The central question of the Sino-German SuMaRiO project (Sustainable Management of River Oases is how to manage land use, i.e. irrigation agriculture and utilization of the natural ecosystems, and water use in a very water-scarce region, with changing water availability due to climate change, such that ecosystem services and economic benefits are maintained in the best balance for a sustainable development. The overall goal of the project is to support oasis management along the Tarim River under conditions of climatic and societal changes by: i developing methods for analyzing ecosystem functions/ecosystem services, and integrating them into land and water management of oases and riparian forests; ii Involving stakeholders in the research process to integrate their knowledge and problem perceptions into the scientific process; iii Developing tools (Decision support system with Chinese decision makers that demonstrate the ecological and socio-economic consequences of their decisions in a changing world.

  19. Bangkok's transport ecosystem : some thoughts on transitions to sustainable urban mobility in an Asian megacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sengers, F.H.; Raven, R.P.J.M.; Romijn, H.A.

    2012-01-01

    Much previous research on sustainability transitions highlights two things. 1) The empirical interrogation of contexts in Western Europe. 2) The importance of the national level by conceptualizing the nation-state as the unit ‘under transition’. This paper presents an account of sustainability

  20. Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Mei, Ying; Wei, Li

    2016-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. Population and Habitat Objectives for Avian Conservation in California’s Central Valley Grassland–Oak Savannah Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan T. DiGaudio

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0dn9f9b4In California’s Central Valley, grassland and oak savannah ecosystems provide multiple economic and social benefits, ecosystem services, and vital bird habitat. There is a growing interest in protecting, restoring, and managing these ecosystems, and the Central Valley Joint Venture (CVJV provides leadership in the formulation of conservation goals and objectives. We defined a long-term goal of protecting, restoring, and managing Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems so that they are capable of supporting genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient wildlife populations. To measure progress toward this goal, we selected a suite of 12 landbird focal species that primarily breed in grasslands and oak savannahs as indicators of the state of these ecosystems on the Central Valley floor (primary focus area and in the Central Valley’s surrounding foothills (secondary focus area. Using data on current densities and habitat extent, we estimated that at least three of the focal species populations in the primary focus area and at least two of the focal species populations in the secondary focus area are currently small (<10,000 individuals and may be vulnerable to extirpation. Furthermore, at least two species appear to have steeply declining population trends. We defined long-term (100-year population objectives for each focal species that we expect to meet the goal of genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient populations. We then estimated corresponding short-term (10-year habitat objectives of 4,183 ha of additional grassland and 3,433 ha of additional oak savannah that will be required to make progress toward the long-term objectives. We expect that habitat restoration and enhancement efforts aimed at reaching these long-term conservation objectives will result in improvements to the function of Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems.

  4. Mapping spatio-temporal variation of grassland quantity and quality using MERIS data and the PROSAIL model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Si, Y.; Schlerf, M.; Zurita-Milla, R.; Skidmore, A.K.; Wang, T.

    2012-01-01

    Accurate estimates of the quantity and quality of grasslands, as they vary in space and time and from regional to global scales, furthers our understanding of grassland ecosystems. The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) is a promising sensor for measuring and monitoring grasslands due to

  5. PV water pumping systems for grassland and farmland conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Campana, Pietro Elia

    2013-01-01

    Grassland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic problems in China because of the negative impacts on water and food security. The application of the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the progress of grassland desertification and to promote the conservation of farmland in remote areas. The combination of PVWP with water saving irrigation techniques and the sustainable management of th...

  6. Identifying conservation priorities and management strategies based on ecosystem services to improve urban sustainability in Harbin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yi; Lu, Ming

    2018-01-01

    Rapid urbanization and agricultural development has resulted in the degradation of ecosystems, while also negatively impacting ecosystem services (ES) and urban sustainability. Identifying conservation priorities for ES and applying reasonable management strategies have been found to be effective methods for mitigating this phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to propose a comprehensive framework for identifying ES conservation priorities and associated management strategies for these planning areas. First, we incorporated 10 ES indicators within a systematic conservation planning (SCP) methodology in order to identify ES conservation priorities with high irreplaceability values based on conservation target goals associated with the potential distribution of ES indicators. Next, we assessed the efficiency of the ES conservation priorities for meeting the designated conservation target goals. Finally, ES conservation priorities were clustered into groups using a K-means clustering analysis in an effort to identify the dominant ES per location before formulating management strategies. We effectively identified 12 ES priorities to best represent conservation target goals for the ES indicators. These 12 priorities had a total areal coverage of 13,364 km 2 representing 25.16% of the study area. The 12 priorities were further clustered into five significantly different groups ( p -values between groups urban and agricultural areas, thereby preventing urban and agriculture sprawl and guiding sustainable urban development.

  7. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2001-01-01

    Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of white clover (Trifolium repens) in grasslands, as a more sustainable alternative to fertiliser nitrogen inputs. However, mixtures of grasses and white clover have frequently been associated with unstable and hence unreliable herbage

  8. Bundling of ecosystem services to increase forestland value and enhance sustainable forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Deal; Bobby Cochran; Gina. LaRocco

    2012-01-01

    There has been increasing interest in the use of market-based approaches to add value for forestland and to assist with the conservation of natural resources. While markets for ecosystem services show potential for increasing forestland value, there is concern that the lack of an integrated program will simply add to the complexity of these services without generating...

  9. Distilling the role of ecosystem services in the Sustainable Development Goals

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wood, SLR

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available development targets will be essential for planning synergistic and cost-effective interventions. Here we present the results of an expert survey on the contributions of 16 ecosystem services to achieving SDG targets linked to environment and human well...

  10. Major threats of pollution and climate change to global coastal ecosystems and enhanced management for sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lu, Y.; Yuan, J.; Lu, X.; Su, Chao; Zhang, Y.; Wang, C.; Cao, X.; Li, Q.; Su, Jilan; Ittekkot, Venugopalan; Garbutt, Richard Angus; Bush, S.R.; Fletcher, Stephen; Wagey, Tonny; Kachur, Anatolii; Sweijd, Neville

    2018-01-01

    Coastal zone is of great importance in the provision of various valuable ecosystem services. However, it is also sensitive and vulnerable to environmental changes due to high human populations and interactions between the land and ocean. Major threats of pollution from over enrichment of nutrients,

  11. Ecosystem approach to fisheries: Exploring environmental and trophic effects on Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY reference point estimates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajeev Kumar

    Full Text Available We present a comprehensive analysis of estimation of fisheries Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY reference points using an ecosystem model built for Mille Lacs Lake, the second largest lake within Minnesota, USA. Data from single-species modelling output, extensive annual sampling for species abundances, annual catch-survey, stomach-content analysis for predatory-prey interactions, and expert opinions were brought together within the framework of an Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE ecosystem model. An increase in the lake water temperature was observed in the last few decades; therefore, we also incorporated a temperature forcing function in the EwE model to capture the influences of changing temperature on the species composition and food web. The EwE model was fitted to abundance and catch time-series for the period 1985 to 2006. Using the ecosystem model, we estimated reference points for most of the fished species in the lake at single-species as well as ecosystem levels with and without considering the influence of temperature change; therefore, our analysis investigated the trophic and temperature effects on the reference points. The paper concludes that reference points such as MSY are not stationary, but change when (1 environmental conditions alter species productivity and (2 fishing on predators alters the compensatory response of their prey. Thus, it is necessary for the management to re-estimate or re-evaluate the reference points when changes in environmental conditions and/or major shifts in species abundance or community structure are observed.

  12. Climate change adaptation via targeted ecosystem service provision: a sustainable land management strategy for the Segura catchment (SE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagaria, Cecilia; de Vente, Joris; Perez-Cutillas, Pedro

    2014-05-01

    Topical research investigating climate, land-use and management scenarios in the Segura catchment (SE Spain), depicts a landscape at high-risk of, quite literally, deserting agriculture. Land degradation in the semi-arid region of SE Spain is characterized by water shortage, high erosion rates and salinization, increasingly exacerbated by climatic changes, scarce vegetation cover and detrimental farming practices. Future climate scenarios predict increases in aridity, variability and intensity of rainfall events, leading to increasing pressure on scarce soil and water resources. This study conceptualized the impending crisis of agro-ecological systems of the Segura basin (18800 km2) as a crisis of ecosystem service deterioration. In light of existing land degradation drivers and future climate scenarios, the potential of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) strategies was evaluated to target three priority ecosystem services (water provision, sediment retention and carbon sequestration) as a means to achieve climate change adaptation and mitigation. A preceding thorough process of stakeholder engagement (as part of the EU funded DESIRE project) indicated five SLM technologies for potential implementation, all with a focus upon reducing soil erosion, increasing soil water holding capacity and soil organic matter content. These technologies have been tested for over four years in local experimental field plots, and have provided results on the local effects upon individual environmental parameters. Despite the growing emphasis witnessed in literature upon the context-specificity which characterizes adaptation solutions, the frequent analysis at the field scale is limited in both scope and utility. There is a need to investigate the effects of adaptive SLM solutions at wider, regional scales. Thus, this study modeled the cumulative effect of each of the five selected SLM technologies with InVEST, a spatial analyst tool designed for ecosystem service quantification and

  13. Viewpoint: Sustainability of piñon-juniper ecosystems - A unifying perspective of soil erosion thresholds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, David W.; Breshears, D.D.; Wilcox, B.P.; Allen, Craig D.

    1998-01-01

    Many pinon-juniper ecosystem in the western U.S. are subject to accelerated erosion while others are undergoing little or no erosion. Controversy has developed over whether invading or encroaching pinon and juniper species are inherently harmful to rangeland ecosystems. We developed a conceptual model of soil erosion in pinon-jumper ecosystems that is consistent with both sides of the controversy and suggests that the diverse perspectives on this issue arise from threshold effects operating under very different site conditions. Soil erosion rate can be viewed as a function of (1) site erosion potential (SEP), determined by climate, geomorphology and soil erodibility; and (2) ground cover. Site erosion potential and cove act synergistically to determine soil erosion rates, as evident even from simple USLE predictions of erosion. In pinon-juniper ecosystem with high SEP, the erosion rate is highly sensitive to ground cover and can cross a threshold so that erosion increases dramatically in response to a small decrease in cover. The sensitivity of erosion rate to SEP and cover can be visualized as a cusp catastrophe surface on which changes may occur rapidly and irreversibly. The mechanisms associated with a rapid shift from low to high erosion rate can be illustrated using percolation theory to incorporate spatial, temporal, and scale-dependent patterns of water storage capacity on a hillslope. Percolation theory demonstrates how hillslope runoff can undergo a threshold response to a minor change in storage capacity. Our conceptual model suggests that pinion and juniper contribute to accelerated erosion only under a limited range of site conditions which, however, may exist over large areas.

  14. [Research progress and trend on grassland agroecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jizhou; Li, Xianglin; Hou, Fujiang

    2002-08-01

    The connotation, progress, research frontiers and developmental trend of grassland agroecology are discussed in this paper. The interface theory, structure and function, coupling and discordance, and health assessment of grassland agroecosystems were recognized as the four research frontiers of the discipline. There exist three primary interfaces in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., vegetation-site, grassland-animal and production-management. Research into a series of the ecological processes that occurred at these interfaces is the key to revealing the features of the system behavior. There are four sections in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., pre-plant, plant, animal and post-biotic sections. System coupling and discordance are the two important concepts to describe interactions among the production sections. System coupling among the sections can lead to system improvement by exerting the potential of system capacity. Health of an ecosystem is a reflection of its structure and function, and health assessment is a measurement of its orderliness and service value.

  15. How Does Paying for Ecosystem Services Contribute to Sustainable Development? Evidence from Case Study Research in Germany and the UK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Nicolaus

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Payments for ecosystem services (PES are currently being discussed as one of the most promising tools in environmental and sustainability governance. However, much criticism has been voiced against overly optimistic assumptions of PES’ management potential towards sustainability. Several contributions to the debate show that PES fail both in reducing poverty and strengthening social justice. Additionally, they neglect problems of deliberation in decision-making, as well as the legitimacy of the applied environmental practices. Our empirical investigation on participatory and deliberative structures in already existing PES initiated by non-state actors contributes to the latter body of research. Based on the assumption that playing an active part in scheme design facilitates the consideration of justice and fairness, our case studies from Germany and the UK. present interesting results on the involvement of conflicting interests and their argumentation in the design process. Summing up these findings, we conclude that paying for ES rarely contributes to sustainable development in and of itself, but deliberatively designed schemes provide a formal setting to take aspects of justice into account.

  16. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.

    1990-01-01

    Grasslands are distributed throughout California from Oregon to Baja California Norte and from the coast to the desert (Brown 1982) (Figure 1). This review will focus on the dominant formation in cismontane California, a community referred to as Valley Grassland (Munz 1959). Today, Valley Grassland is dominated by non-native annual grasses in genera such as Avena (wild oat), Bromus (brome grass), and Hordeum (barley), and is often referred to as the California annual grassland. On localized sites, native perennial bunchgrasses such as Stipa pultra (purple needle grass) may dominate and such sites are interpreted to be remnants of the pristine valley grassland. In northwestern California a floristically distinct formation of the Valley Grassland, known as Coast Prairie (Munz 1959) or Northern Coastal Grassland (Holland and Keil 1989) is recognized. The dominant grasses include many native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Agrostis, Calamagrostis, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Festuca, Koeleria and Poa (Heady et al. 1977). Non-native annuals do not dominate, but on some sites non-native perennials like Anthoxanthum odoratum may colonize the native grassland (Foin and Hektner 1986). Elevationally, California's grasslands extend from sea level to at leas 1500 m. The upper boundary is vague because montane grassland formations are commonly referred to as meadows; a community which Munz (1959) does not recognize. Holland and Keil (1989) describe the montane meadow as an azonal community; that is, a community restricted not so much to a particular climatic zone but rather controlled by substrate characteristics. They consider poor soil-drainage an over-riding factor in the development of montane meadows and, in contrast to grasslands, meadows often remain green through the summer drought. Floristically, meadows are composed of graminoids; Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and rhizomatous grasses such as Agropyron (wheat grass). Some bunchgrasses, such as Muhlenbergia rigens, are

  17. Emergy signature as a basis for sustainability valuation of agro-ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghaley, Bhim Bahadur; Montesino San Martin, Manuel; Porter, John Roy

    sustainability of the agricultural practice. The emergy analysis is an accounting tool which takes into account both the environment and the economic costs of the production system, based on principles of thermodynamics. Here the objective of the study is the evaluation of a novel organically based, food...

  18. A sustainable built environment : A new text book based on ecosystem theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Bueren, E.M.; Van Bohemen, H.; Itard, L.C.M.; Visscher, H.J.

    2010-01-01

    With half of the world population living in urban areas and with the building sector as the largest industrial sector in the US and Europe, the built environment makes a significant contribution to sustainability problems, in terms of energy use, material extraction, waste production and land

  19. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandberg, M. T.; Strandberg, B.; Erneberg, M.

    The number of non-native plant species in Danish dry acidic grasslands was positively correlated with the cover of disturbance in the form of molehills, anthills, mouseholes and erosion due trampling or digging by large herbivores/livestock. Natural disturbance in acidic grassland ecosystems...... not grazed by livestock therefore is important for the occurrence of non-native species, and probably also for the occurrence of a high native floristic diversity....

  20. Challenges in the participatory assessment of sustainable management practices in dryland ecosystems under regime shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jucker Riva, Matteo; Schwilch, Gudrun; Liniger, Hanspeter

    2015-04-01

    Regime shifts, defined as a radical and persistent reconfiguration of an ecosystem following a disturbance, have been acknowledged by scientists as a very important aspect of the dynamic of ecosystems. However, their consideration in land management planning remains marginal and limited to specific processes and systems. Current research focuses on mathematical modeling and statistical analysis of spatio-temporal data for specific environmental variables. These methods do not fulfill the needs of land managers, who are confronted with a multitude of processes and pressure types and require clear and simple strategies to prevent regime shift or to increase the resilience of their environment. The EU-FP7 CASCADE project is looking at regime shifts of dryland ecosystems in southern Europe and specifically focuses on rangeland and forest systems which are prone to various land degradation threats. One of the aims of the project is to evaluate the impact of different management practices on the dynamic of the environment in a participatory manner, including a multi-stakeholder evaluation of the state of the environment and of the management potential. To achieve this objective we have organized several stakeholder meetings and we have compiled a review of management practices using the WOCAT methodology, which enables merging scientific and land users knowledge. We highlight here the main challenges we have encountered in applying the notion of regime shift to real world socio-ecological systems and in translating related concepts such as tipping points, stable states, hysteresis and resilience to land managers, using concrete examples from CASCADE study sites. Secondly, we explore the advantages of including land users' knowledge in the scientific understanding of regime shifts. Moreover, we discuss useful alternative concepts and lessons learnt that will allow us to build a participatory method for the assessment of resilient management practices in specific socio

  1. Lacandon Maya ecosystem management: sustainable design for subsistence and environmental restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diemont, Stewart A W; Martin, Jay F

    2009-01-01

    Indigenous groups have designed and managed their ecosystems for generations, resulting in biodiversity protection while producing for their family's needs. Here we describe the agroecosystem of the Lacandon Maya, an indigenous group who live in Chiapas, Mexico. The Lacandon practice a form of swidden agriculture that conserves the surrounding rain forest ecosystem while cycling the majority of their land through five successional stages. These stages include an herbaceous stage, two shrub stages, and two forest stages. A portion of their land is kept in primary forest. This study presents the Lacandon traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) for agroforestry and quantitatively describes the plant community and the associated soil ecology of each successional stage. Also documented is the knowledge of the Lacandon regarding the immediate use of plant species and plant species useful for soil fertility enhancement. Woody plant diversity increases during the successional stages of the Lacandon system, and by the beginning of the first forest stage, the diversity is similar to that of the primary forest. In all stages, Lacandon use 60% of the available plant species for food, medicine, and raw materials. Approximately 45% of the woody plant species present in each fallow stage were thought by the Lacandon to enhance soil fertility. Total soil nitrogen and soil organic matter increased with successional stage and with time from intentional burn. Nutrient and soil nematode dynamics in shrub stages related to the presence of introduced and managed plants, indicating engineered soil enhancement by the Lacandon. The effects on biodiversity and soil ecology coupled with productivity for agricultural subsistence indicate that Lacandon TEK may offer tools for environmental conservation that would provide for a family's basic needs while maintaining a biodiverse rain forest ecosystem. Tools such as these may offer options for regional restoration and conservation efforts such as

  2. Reconstruction of sustainable ecosystems on mined lands in the subtropics and tropics of Queensland, Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mulligan, D.; Grigg, A.; Harwood, M. [University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld. (Australia). Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation

    1999-07-01

    An overview is presented of results from trial sites of ecosystems that have been established across a range of climatic regimes and a wide variety of soils, tailings, and waste rock materials. The project sites described are four types of open-cut mining operations: the Kidson gold mine, bauxite mines at Weipa, coal mines in the Bowen Basin, and heavy mineral sand mining at North Stradbroke Island. Case studies are presented covering several biological processes, including nutrient cycling, vegetation succession, and seedling recruitment. 10 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  3. Trade-offs between ecosystem services and alternative pathways toward sustainability in a tropical dry forest region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Mora

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The design of strategies aimed at sustainable resource management requires an understanding of the trade-offs between the ecosystem services at stake, to determine appropriate ways in which to navigate them. We assess trade-offs between forage production for cattle ranching and the maintenance of carbon stocks or tree diversity in a Mexican tropical dry forest. Trade-offs between pairs of services were assessed by identifying their efficiency frontiers at both site and landscape scales. We also estimated service outcomes under current and hypothetical land-management conditions. We found stark trade-offs between fodder and carbon stocks and between fodder and tree species richness at the site scale. At the landscape scale, the efficiency frontier was concave, with a much less pronounced trade-off in the fodder-species richness case. Our estimates of current service supply levels showed a reduction of 18-21% for C stock and 41-43% for fodder biomass, relative to the maximum feasible values along the efficiency frontier. Choice of the optimum management strategy to reduce such inefficiency depended on deforestation level: secondary forest regeneration was most suitable when deforestation is low, whereas increased fodder productivity in the pastures is best when deforestation is high. Pasture enrichment with forage trees and secondary forest growth are potential management alternatives for achieving sustainability given the range of enabling ecological factors and to balance ecological and social sustainability given the requirements and preferences of local stakeholders. Given that analogous trade-offs are found across the tropics, this work contributes to reconciling tropical forest maintenance and its use for sustainable rural livelihoods.

  4. Principles for a Code of Conduct for the Sustainable Management of Mangrove Ecosystems: A Work in Progress for Public Discussion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Thomas

    The Principles for a Code of Conduct for Sustainable Management of Mangrove Ecosystems is a guide to assist states, local and national non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to develop cooperatively local codes, laws and/or regulations to protect mangroves and the critical functions......, grassroots organizations and other interested individuals and groups. The Principles were formulated based on a review of global mangrove management experience, about fifteen country case studies, including Auastralia, from all regions where mangroves exist, and seven regional workshops to date. The purpose...... of making a presentation on the Mangrove Principles at IMPAC is to gain additional feedback from interested stakeholders and experts, in particular, to provide inputs to the content of the Principles and recommendations for activities to promote their use as a management tool. The Principles and many...

  5. Identifying conservation priorities and management strategies based on ecosystem services to improve urban sustainability in Harbin, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Qu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Rapid urbanization and agricultural development has resulted in the degradation of ecosystems, while also negatively impacting ecosystem services (ES and urban sustainability. Identifying conservation priorities for ES and applying reasonable management strategies have been found to be effective methods for mitigating this phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to propose a comprehensive framework for identifying ES conservation priorities and associated management strategies for these planning areas. First, we incorporated 10 ES indicators within a systematic conservation planning (SCP methodology in order to identify ES conservation priorities with high irreplaceability values based on conservation target goals associated with the potential distribution of ES indicators. Next, we assessed the efficiency of the ES conservation priorities for meeting the designated conservation target goals. Finally, ES conservation priorities were clustered into groups using a K-means clustering analysis in an effort to identify the dominant ES per location before formulating management strategies. We effectively identified 12 ES priorities to best represent conservation target goals for the ES indicators. These 12 priorities had a total areal coverage of 13,364 km2 representing 25.16% of the study area. The 12 priorities were further clustered into five significantly different groups (p-values between groups < 0.05, which helped to refine management strategies formulated to best enhance ES across the study area. The proposed method allows conservation and management plans to easily adapt to a wide variety of quantitative ES target goals within urban and agricultural areas, thereby preventing urban and agriculture sprawl and guiding sustainable urban development.

  6. The STRATEGY project: decision tools to aid sustainable restoration and long-term management of contaminated agricultural ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, B J; Beresford, N A; Nisbet, A; Cox, G; Oughton, D H; Hunt, J; Alvarez, B; Andersson, K G; Liland, A; Voigt, G

    2005-01-01

    The STRATEGY project (Sustainable Restoration and Long-Term Management of Contaminated Rural, Urban and Industrial Ecosystems) aimed to provide a holistic decision framework for the selection of optimal restoration strategies for the long-term sustainable management of contaminated areas in Western Europe. A critical evaluation was carried out of countermeasures and waste disposal options, from which compendia of state-of-the-art restoration methods were compiled. A decision support system capable of optimising spatially varying restoration strategies, that considered the level of averted dose, costs (including those of waste disposal) and environmental side effects was developed. Appropriate methods of estimating indirect costs associated with side effects and of communicating with stakeholders were identified. The importance of stakeholder consultation at a local level and of ensuring that any response is site and scenario specific were emphasised. A value matrix approach was suggested as a method of addressing social and ethical issues within the decision-making process, and was designed to be compatible with both the countermeasure compendia and the decision support system. The applicability and usefulness of STRATEGY outputs for food production systems in the medium to long term is assessed.

  7. The STRATEGY project: decision tools to aid sustainable restoration and long-term management of contaminated agricultural ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howard, B.J.; Beresford, N.A.; Nisbet, A.; Cox, G.; Oughton, D.H.; Hunt, J.; Alvarez, B.; Andersson, K.G.; Liland, A.; Voigt, G.

    2005-01-01

    The STRATEGY project (Sustainable Restoration and Long-Term Management of Contaminated Rural, Urban and Industrial Ecosystems) aimed to provide a holistic decision framework for the selection of optimal restoration strategies for the long-term sustainable management of contaminated areas in Western Europe. A critical evaluation was carried out of countermeasures and waste disposal options, from which compendia of state-of-the-art restoration methods were compiled. A decision support system capable of optimising spatially varying restoration strategies, that considered the level of averted dose, costs (including those of waste disposal) and environmental side effects was developed. Appropriate methods of estimating indirect costs associated with side effects and of communicating with stakeholders were identified. The importance of stakeholder consultation at a local level and of ensuring that any response is site and scenario specific were emphasised. A value matrix approach was suggested as a method of addressing social and ethical issues within the decision-making process, and was designed to be compatible with both the countermeasure compendia and the decision support system. The applicability and usefulness of STRATEGY outputs for food production systems in the medium to long term is assessed

  8. Recent trends, drivers, and projections of carbon cycle processes in forests and grasslands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domke, G. M.; Williams, C. A.; Birdsey, R.; Pendall, E.

    2017-12-01

    In North America forest and grassland ecosystems play a major role in the carbon cycle. Here we present the latest trends and projections of United States and North American carbon cycle processes, stocks, and flows in the context of interactions with global scale budgets and climate change impacts in managed and unmanaged grassland and forest ecosystems. We describe recent trends in natural and anthropogenic disturbances in these ecosystems as well as the carbon dynamics associated with land use and land cover change. We also highlight carbon management science and tools for informing decisions and opportunities for improving carbon measurements, observations, and projections in forests and grasslands.

  9. Managed grassland alters soil N dynamics and N2O emissions in temperate steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lijun; Xu, Xingliang; Tang, Xuejuan; Xin, Xiaoping; Ye, Liming; Yang, Guixia; Tang, Huajun; Lv, Shijie; Xu, Dawei; Zhang, Zhao

    2018-04-01

    Reclamation of degraded grasslands as managed grasslands has been increasingly accelerated in recent years in China. Land use change affects soil nitrogen (N) dynamics and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions. However, it remains unclear how large-scale grassland reclamation will impact the grassland ecosystem as a whole. Here, we investigated the effects of the conversion from native to managed grasslands on soil N dynamics and N2O emissions by field experiments in Hulunber in northern China. Soil (0-10cm), nitrate (NO 3 - ), ammonium (NH 4 + ), and microbial N were measured in plots in a temperate steppe (Leymus chinensis grassland) and two managed grasslands (Medicago sativa and Bromus inermis grasslands) in 2011 and 2012. The results showed conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa or B. inermis grasslands decreased concentrations of NO 3 - -N, but did not change NH 4 + -N. Soil microbial N was slightly decreased by the conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa, but increased by the conversion to B. inermis. The conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa (i.e., a legume grass) increased N 2 O emissions by 26.2%, while the conversion to the B. inermis (i.e., a non-legume grass) reduced N 2 O emissions by 33.1%. The conversion from native to managed grasslands caused large created variations in soil NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N concentrations. Net N mineralization rates did not change significantly in growing season or vegetation type, but to net nitrification rate. These results provide evidence on how reclamation may impact the grassland ecosystem in terms of N dynamics and N 2 O emissions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Community Sustainability Study Focuses on Tying the Science of Ecosystem Services and Human Health Directly to Community Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Community-based Sustainability Research Program in EPA’s Office of Research and Development is studying how the availability of ecosystem goods and services (EGS) is impacted by community decision making and how this relationship alters human wellbeing. We also seek ‘common g...

  11. RESTORATION PLUS: A COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY RESEARCH PROGRAM TO DEVELOP AND EVALUATE ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT OPTIONS TO ACHIEVE ECOLOGICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is evaluating ecosystem restoration and management techniques to ensure they create sustainable solutions for degraded watersheds. The ORD/NRMRL initiated the Restoration Plus (RePlus) program in 2002, which emphasizes collabora...

  12. Invasive pathogen threatens bird-pine mutualism: implications for sustaining a high-elevation ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Shawn T; Fiedler, Carl E; Tomback, Diana F

    2009-04-01

    Human-caused disruptions to seed-dispersal mutualisms increase the extinction risk for both plant and animal species. Large-seeded plants can be particularly vulnerable due to highly specialized dispersal systems and no compensatory regeneration mechanisms. Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), a keystone subalpine species, obligately depends upon the Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) for dispersal of its large, wingless seeds. Clark's Nutcracker, a facultative mutualist with whitebark pine, is sensitive to rates of energy gain, and emigrates from subalpine forests during periods of cone shortages. The invasive fungal pathogen Cronartium ribicola, which causes white pine blister rust, reduces whitebark pine cone production by killing cone-bearing branches and trees. Mortality from blister rust reaches 90% or higher in some whitebark pine forests in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA, and the rust now occurs nearly rangewide in whitebark pine. Our objectives were to identify the minimum level of cone production necessary to elicit seed dispersal by nutcrackers and to determine how cone production is influenced by forest structure and health. We quantified forest conditions and ecological interactions between nutcrackers and whitebark pine in three Rocky Mountain ecosystems that differ in levels of rust infection and mortality. Both the frequency of nutcracker occurrence and probability of seed dispersal were strongly related to annual whitebark pine cone production, which had a positive linear association with live whitebark pine basal area, and negative linear association with whitebark pine tree mortality and rust infection. From our data, we estimated that a threshold level of approximately 1000 cones/ha is needed for a high likelihood of seed dispersal by nutcrackers (probability > or = 0.7), and that this level of cone production can be met by forests with live whitebark pine basal area > 5.0 m2/ha. The risk of mutualism disruption is greatest in northern

  13. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs has the potential to contribute to solving these problems. In this study, we explored the potential of VIs for distinguishing five differently-fertilized grassland communities. Therefore, we collected spectral signatures of these communities in a long-term fertilization experiment (since 1941 in Germany throughout the growing seasons 2012–2014. Fifteen VIs were calculated and their seasonal developments investigated. Welch tests revealed that the accuracy of VIs for distinguishing these grassland communities varies throughout the growing season. Thus, the selection of the most promising single VI for grassland mapping was dependent on the date of the spectra acquisition. A random forests classification using all calculated VIs reduced variations in classification accuracy within the growing season and provided a higher overall precision of classification. Thus, we recommend a careful selection of VIs for grassland mapping or the utilization of temporally-stable methods, i.e., including a set of VIs in the random forests algorithm.

  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. A primer on industrial ecosystems : a strategy for sustainable industrial development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cote, R P [Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, NS (Canada). Eco-Efficiency Centre; [Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, NS (Canada). Faculty of Management, School for Resource and Environmental Studies

    2003-07-01

    Industrial ecology incorporates ecological theories, functions and limits into the design of industrial production systems, processes and products. The main objective is to enhance environmental and economic performance through collaboration in managing environmental resource issues such as energy, water and materials. Industrial ecology recognizes the connectedness and synergies of materials, products and infrastructure. As such, it considers the life cycle of products, the design of buildings, infrastructure and industrial parks. By working together, businesses gain a collective benefit which is greater than the total of the individual benefits each company could achieve on its own. Industrial ecology also considers the reuse, recovery and recycling of resources. The benefits include: efficiency of resource use; cost reduction for industrial infrastructure; sustainable development support; and, new opportunities in economic development, technology development, manufacturing, and business management. This primer also presents guidelines for win-win projects in industrial ecology. refs., figs.

  16. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico and New Mexico, shrub invasion is a common problem, and once-abundant grassland ecosystems are being replaced by shrub-dominated habitat. The spatial arrangement of grasses and shrubs in these arid grasslands can provide better insight into community dynamics and c...

  17. Building a framework to explore water-human interaction for sustainable agro ecosystems in US Midwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, S. K.; Ding, D.; Rapolu, U.

    2012-12-01

    Human activity is intricately linked to the quality and quantity of water resources. Although many studies have examined water-human interaction, the complexity of such coupled systems is not well understood largely because of gaps in our knowledge of water-cycle processes which are heavily influenced by socio-economic drivers. On this context, this team has investigated connections among agriculture, policy, climate, land use/land cover, and water quality in Iowa over the past couple of years. To help explore these connections the team is developing a variety of cyber infrastructure tools that facilitate the collection, analysis and visualization of data, and the simulation of system dynamics. In an ongoing effort, the prototype system is applied to Clear Creek watershed, an agricultural dominating catchment in Iowa in the US Midwest, to understand water-human processes relevant to management decisions by farmers regarding agro ecosystems. The primary aim of this research is to understand the connections that exist among the agricultural and biofuel economy, land use/land cover change, and water quality. To help explore these connections an agent-based model (ABM) of land use change has been developed that simulates the decisions made by farmers given alternative assumptions about market forces, farmer characteristics, and water quality regulations. The SWAT model was used to simulate the impact of these decisions on the movement of sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus across the landscape. The paper also demonstrate how through the use of this system researchers can, for example, search for scenarios that lead to desirable socio-economic outcomes as well as preserve water quantity and quality.

  18. Enhancing the Economic Value of Large Investments in Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS through Inclusion of Ecosystems Services Benefits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Urrestarazu Vincent

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Although Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS are used in cities across the world as effective flood adaptation responses, their economic viability has frequently been questioned. Inclusion of the monetary value of ecosystem services (ES provided by SuDS can increase the rate of return on investments made. Hence, this paper aims at reviewing the enhancement of the economic value of large-scale investments in SuDS through inclusion of ecosystem services. This study focuses on the flood reduction capacity and the ES benefits of green roofs and rain barrels in the combined sewerage network of Montevideo Municipality in Uruguay. The methodology comprises a cost–benefit analysis—with and without monetised ES provided by SuDS—of two drainage network configurations comprising: (i SuDS; and (ii SuDS and detention storage. The optimal drainage design for both these drainage configurations have been determined using SWMM-EA, a tool which uses multi-objective optimisation based evolutionary algorithm (EA and the storm water management model (SWMM. In both design configurations, total benefits comprising both flood reduction and ES benefits are always higher than their costs. The use of storage along with SuDS provides greater benefits with a larger reduction in flooding, and thus is more cost-effective than using SuDS alone. The results show that, for both of the drainage configurations, the larger investments are not beneficial unless ES benefits are taken into account. Hence, it can be concluded that the inclusion of ES benefits is necessary to justify large-scale investments in SuDS.

  19. The community ecology of barley/cereal yellow dwarf viruses in Western US grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Alison G; Borer, Elizabeth T; Hosseini, Parviez; Mitchell, Charles E; Seabloom, Eric W

    2011-08-01

    Research on plant viruses in natural ecosystems has been increasing rapidly over the past decade. This paper reviews recent research on the barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDVs) in grasslands of the western US, beginning with the evidence that the disease caused by these viruses facilitated the invasion of western US grasslands by European annual grasses. Observational and experimental studies of B/CYDVs were carried out along a latitudinal gradient (33.8-48.8°N) from southern California to southern Canada. The prevalence and community composition of B/CYDVs were assessed over a variety of scales and under a range of biotic and abiotic conditions. The findings indicate that both biotic and abiotic factors are important influences on virus ecology and epidemiology. Introduced annual grasses are high-quality hosts that amplify both virus and vector populations in this system, but our research suggests that endemic perennial grasses are critically important for sustaining virus populations in contemporary grasslands largely composed of introduced species. Experiments indicated that increased phosphorus supply to hosts resulted in greater host biomass and higher virus prevalence. Using experimental exclosures, it was found that the presence of grazing vertebrate herbivores increased the abundance of annual grasses, resulting in increased virus prevalence. The results of these studies suggest that patterns of B/CYDV prevalence and coinfection in western US grasslands are strongly shaped by the interactions of host plants, vectors, vertebrate herbivores, and abiotic drivers including nutrients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Sustainable fuel, food, fertilizer and ecosystems through a global artificial photosynthetic system: overcoming anticompetitive barriers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Alex; Faunce, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    This article discusses challenges that artificial photosynthetic (AP) systems will face when entering and competing in a global market characterized by established fossil fuel technology. It provides a perspective on the neoliberal principles underpinning much policy entrenching such environmentally destructive technology and outlines how competition law could aid overcoming these hurdles for AP development. In particular, it critiques the potential for competition law to promote a global AP initiative with greater emphasis on atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrogen fixation (as well as solar-driven water splitting) to produce an equitable, globally distributed source of human food, fertilizer and biosphere sustainability, as well as hydrogen-based fuel. Some relevant strategies of competition law evaluated in this context include greater citizen–consumer involvement in shaping market values, legal requirements to factor services from the natural environment (i.e. provision of clean air, water, soil pollution degradation) into corporate costs, reform of corporate taxation and requirements to balance maximization of shareholder profit with contribution to a nominated public good, a global financial transactions tax, as well as prohibiting horizontal cartels, vertical agreements and unilateral misuse of market power. PMID:26052427

  1. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF INDICATORS OBTAINED BY CORINELAND COVER METHODOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE USE OF FOREST ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slaviša Popović

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Serbian Environmental Protection Agency followed international and national indicators to do monitoring of forested landscape area for the period 1990-2000. Based on the data obtained by Corine Land Cover methodology following the indicators like Forest area, Forested landscape, Forest land and Forest and semi natural area, analysis was done. The forested landscape indicators analysis helped trends monitoring during the period from 1990 - 2000 year. Dynamic of forested area changes could have direct impact on the practical implementation of indicators. Indicator Forest area can be used in planning sustainable use of forests. Recorded growth rates value in 2000year, compared to the 1990th is 0.296%. Indicator Forested landscape increase for 0.186% till 2000 year, while the indicator Forested Land recorded value growth rate of 0.193%. Changes in rates of those indicators can be used in the future for “emission trading”. The smallest increment of rate change of 0.1% was recorded in indicator Forests and semi natural area. Information given by this indicator can be used for monitoring habitats in high mountain areas.

  2. Sustainable land management practices as providers of several ecosystem services under rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almagro, María; de Vente, Joris; Boix-Fayós, Carolina; García-Franco, Noelia; Melgares de Aguilar, Javier; González, David; Solé-Benet, Albert; Martínez-Mena, María

    2015-04-01

    Little is known about the multiple impacts of sustainable land management practices on soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration, mitigation of global warming, and crop yield productivity in semiarid Mediterranean agroecosystems. We hypothesized that a shift from intensive tillage to more conservative tillage management practices (reduced tillage optionally combined with green manure) leads to an improvement in soil structure and quality and will reduce soil erosion and enhance carbon sequestration in semiarid Mediterranean rainfed agroecosystems. To test the hypothesis, we assessed the effects of different tillage treatments (conventional (CT), reduced (RT), reduced tillage combined with green manure (RTG), and no tillage (NT)) on soil structure and soil water content, runoff and erosion control, soil CO2 emissions, crop yield and carbon sequestration in two semiarid agroecosystems with organic rainfed almond in the Murcia Region southeast Spain). It was found that reduction and suppression of tillage under almonds led to an increase in soil water content in both agroecosystems. Crop yields ranged from 775 to 1766 kg ha-1 between tillage 18 treatments, but we did not find a clear relation between soil water content and crop yield. RT and RTG treatments showed lower soil erosion rates and higher crop yields of almonds than under CT treatment. Overall, higher soil organic carbon contents and aggregate stability were observed under RTG treatment than under RT or CT treatment. It is concluded that conversion from CT to RTG is suitable to increase carbon inputs without enhancing soil CO2 emissions in semiarid Mediterranean agroecosystems.

  3. Sustainable fuel, food, fertilizer and ecosystems through a global artificial photosynthetic system: overcoming anticompetitive barriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Alex; Faunce, Thomas

    2015-06-06

    This article discusses challenges that artificial photosynthetic (AP) systems will face when entering and competing in a global market characterized by established fossil fuel technology. It provides a perspective on the neoliberal principles underpinning much policy entrenching such environmentally destructive technology and outlines how competition law could aid overcoming these hurdles for AP development. In particular, it critiques the potential for competition law to promote a global AP initiative with greater emphasis on atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrogen fixation (as well as solar-driven water splitting) to produce an equitable, globally distributed source of human food, fertilizer and biosphere sustainability, as well as hydrogen-based fuel. Some relevant strategies of competition law evaluated in this context include greater citizen-consumer involvement in shaping market values, legal requirements to factor services from the natural environment (i.e. provision of clean air, water, soil pollution degradation) into corporate costs, reform of corporate taxation and requirements to balance maximization of shareholder profit with contribution to a nominated public good, a global financial transactions tax, as well as prohibiting horizontal cartels, vertical agreements and unilateral misuse of market power.

  4. Evaluation of carbon fluxes and trends (2000-2008) in the Greater Platte River Basin: a sustainability study on the potential biofuel feedstock development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Zhang, Li; Gilmanov, Tagir G.

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluates the carbon fluxes and trends and examines the environmental sustainability (e.g., carbon budget, source or sink) of the potential biofuel feedstock sites identified in the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB). A 9-year (2000–2008) time series of net ecosystem production (NEP), a measure of net carbon absorption or emission by ecosystems, was used to assess the historical trends and budgets of carbon flux for grasslands in the GPRB. The spatially averaged annual NEP (ANEP) for grassland areas that are possibly suitable for biofuel expansion (productive grasslands) was 71–169 g C m−2 year−1 during 2000–2008, indicating a carbon sink (more carbon is absorbed than released) in these areas. The spatially averaged ANEP for areas not suitable for biofuel feedstock development (less productive or degraded grasslands) was −47 to 69 g C m−2 year−1 during 2000–2008, showing a weak carbon source or a weak carbon sink (carbon emitted is nearly equal to carbon absorbed). The 9-year pre-harvest cumulative ANEP was 1166 g C m−2 for the suitable areas (a strong carbon sink) and 200 g C m−2 for the non-suitable areas (a weak carbon sink). Results demonstrate and confirm that our method of dynamic modeling of ecosystem performance can successfully identify areas desirable and sustainable for future biofuel feedstock development. This study provides useful information for land managers and decision makers to make optimal land use decisions regarding biofuel feedstock development and sustainability.

  5. Green Planet Architecture - A Methodology for Self-Sustainable Distributed Renewable Energy Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxena, Nikita T.; Thomas, Anna E.; Johnson, Shawana; Venners, John P.; Hendricks, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Our planet has been endowed with a host of natural mechanisms to keep the environment and climate in balance. Humans are now facing the need to restore this balance that has been upset in the past years because of a growing population and resource demands. To steer dependency away from freshwater crops and decrease environmental damage from humanity s fuel and energy demands, it is necessary to take advantage of the natural adaptive biomass resources that are already in place. Using methods of Green Planet Architecture, based on compilations of current research and procedures, could lead to new forms of energy and fueling as well as new sources for food and feed. Green Planet Architecture involves climatic adaptive biomass; geospatial intelligence; agri- and aqua-culture life cycles; and soil, wetland, and shoreline restoration. Plants such as Salicornia, seashore mallow, castor, mangroves, and perhaps Moringa can be modified (natural, model-assisted, or genetically modified) to thrive in salt-water and brackish water or otherwise not arable conditions, making them potentially new crops that will not displace traditional farming. These fueling sources also have potential to be used in other rapid-growth industries, such as the aviation industry, that have incentive to move towards more sustainable fuel supplies. This paper highlights an example of how synergistic development of biomass resources and geospatial intelligence high-performance computing capabilities can be focused to resolve potential drought-famine problems. These techniques, provide a basis for future e-science-based discovery (and access) through technology that can be expanded to support global societal applications.

  6. "Green Planet Architecture"-A Methodology for Self-Sustainable Distributed Renewable Energy Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxena, Nikita T.; Thomas, Anna E.; Johnson, Shawana; Venners, John P.; Hendricks, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    This planet has been endowed with a host of natural mechanisms to keep the environment and climate in balance. Humans are now facing the need to restore this balance that has been upset in the past years because of a growing population and resource demands. To steer dependency away from freshwater crops and decrease environmental damage from humanity s fuel and energy demands, it is necessary to take advantage of the natural adaptive biomass resources that are already in place. Using methods of "Green Planet Architecture," based on compilations of current research and procedures, could lead to new forms of energy and fueling as well as new sources for food and feed. Green Planet Architecture involves climatic adaptive biomass; geospatial intelligence; agri- and aqua-culture life cycles; and soil, wetland, and shoreline restoration. Plants such as Salicornia, seashore mallow, castor, mangroves, and perhaps Moringa can be modified (naturally, model-assisted, or genetically) to thrive in salt water and brackish water or otherwise not arable conditions, making them potentially new crops that will not displace traditional farming. These fueling sources also have potential to be used in other rapid-growth industries, such as the aviation industry, that have incentive to move towards more sustainable fuel supplies. This report highlights an example of how synergistic development of biomass resources and geospatial intelligence high-performance computing capabilities can be focused to resolve potential drought-famine problems. These techniques provide a basis for future e-science-based discovery (and access) through technology that can be expanded to support global societal applications.

  7. H3Africa and the African life sciences ecosystem: building sustainable innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dandara, Collet; Huzair, Farah; Borda-Rodriguez, Alexander; Chirikure, Shadreck; Okpechi, Ikechi; Warnich, Louise; Masimirembwa, Collen

    2014-12-01

    scholarship that questions the unchecked assumptions of the innovation performers be they funders, scientists, and social scientists, would enable collective innovation that is truly sustainable, ethical, and robust.

  8. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

    Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.

  9. Optimising stocking rate and grazing management to enhance environmental and production outcomes for native temperate grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badgery, Warwick; Zhang, Yingjun; Huang, Ding; Broadfoot, Kim; Kemp, David; Mitchell, David

    2015-04-01

    lamb/ha), because individual animal performance was greater for continuous grazing than higher intensity grazing systems (4-Paddock and 20-Paddock). Differences in SOC, CO2 flux and erosion were determined by landscape position rather than grazing treatment. To remove the confounding influences of stocking rate and grazing management, the Ausfarm biophysical model, calibrated to the experimental treatments, examined the interaction between grazing management and stocking rates. Ground cover and profitability were similar between grazing systems at lower stocking rates (3 ewes per ha), but continuous grazing had higher profitability and lower ground cover above the optimum stocking rate of 4 ewes per ha. The findings of these two studies suggest that optimising stocking rate is more important than grazing management for a sustainable and profitable grazing system. Grazing management can further enhance environmental outcomes for an optimal stocking rate, but the findings from the Chinese study particularly highlight the need to look at multiple ecosystem services, when optimising systems. The Australian study also suggests the optimum stocking rate is dependent on the intensity of grazing management. Further work is required to understand the influence of landscape on grassland production and how stocking rates and grazing management can be sustainably optimised for different landscape areas to utilise this variation more effectively.

  10. 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

  11. Grassland futures in Great Britain - Productivity assessment and scenarios for land use change opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Aiming; Holland, Robert A; Taylor, Gail; Richter, Goetz M

    2018-09-01

    To optimise trade-offs provided by future changes in grassland use intensity, spatially and temporally explicit estimates of respective grassland productivities are required at the systems level. Here, we benchmark the potential national availability of grassland biomass, identify optimal strategies for its management, and investigate the relative importance of intensification over reversion (prioritising productivity versus environmental ecosystem services). Process-conservative meta-models for different grasslands were used to calculate the baseline dry matter yields (DMY; 1961-1990) at 1km 2 resolution for the whole UK. The effects of climate change, rising atmospheric [CO 2 ] and technological progress on baseline DMYs were used to estimate future grassland productivities (up to 2050) for low and medium CO 2 emission scenarios of UKCP09. UK benchmark productivities of 12.5, 8.7 and 2.8t/ha on temporary, permanent and rough-grazing grassland, respectively, accounted for productivity gains by 2010. By 2050, productivities under medium emission scenario are predicted to increase to 15.5 and 9.8t/ha on temporary and permanent grassland, respectively, but not on rough grassland. Based on surveyed grassland distributions for Great Britain in 2010 the annual availability of grassland biomass is likely to rise from 64 to 72milliontonnes by 2050. Assuming optimal N application could close existing productivity gaps of ca. 40% a range of management options could deliver additional 21∗10 6 tonnes of biomass available for bioenergy. Scenarios of changes in grassland use intensity demonstrated considerable scope for maintaining or further increasing grassland production and sparing some grassland for the provision of environmental ecosystem services. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Soil communities promote temporal stability and species asynchrony in experimental grassland communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pellkofer, Sarah; Van Der Heijden, Marcel G A; Schmid, Bernhard; Wagg, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Background Over the past two decades many studies have demonstrated that plant species diversity promotes primary productivity and stability in grassland ecosystems. Additionally, soil community characteristics have also been shown to influence the productivity and composition of plant communities,

  14. Livestock and Ecosystem Services: An Exploratory Approach to Assess Agri-Environment-Climate Payments of RDP in Trentino

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra La Notte

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The identification of an appropriate justification for Agri-Environment-Climate (AEC payments is a crucial issue in the new Rural Development Programme (RDP. Given the environmental importance of grasslands in Trentino (Italy, the Management Authority in charge of the RDP decided to integrate an approach based on Ecosystem Services (ES into the calculation of AEC payments. The paper presents the methodology used for this approach as well as the preliminary results. The first step entails building a probabilistic model for the ES, named Sustainable Fodder Production. Model outputs are then integrated with the accounting results based on the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN database (2009–2012 with the aim of calculating the additional costs and income waived due to the environmental commitments deriving from the sustainable management of permanent grassland in livestock farming. Sustainability measures imply more extensive management practices that maintain meadows in a healthy state.

  15. Integrated regional development of the Baltic region towards the sustainability of its ecosystem; A platform for thinking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straszak, A; Owsinski, J W [Systems Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (PL); Kairiukstis, L [Lithuanian Forest Research Institute, Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR (SU)

    1989-01-01

    The paper presents a systemic framework for the assessment of the current state and future development of the Baltic ecosystem as an integral part of a broader Baltic region system involving social, economic and ecological aspects. The paper formulates and adresses the following questions: with respect to what aspects is this region a system How do various systemicity reaches overlap How can be systemic behaviour rectified and /or improved, special attention being paid to inter-system synergy The focus is on the resource and ecological system of Baltic, as the potentially generative one for the other systemic structures. It is shown, though, that these other structures are not adequate to the generative one, and that this inadequacy impinges on both the economic and ecological performance. Thus, it is proposed that economic and social activities within the Baltic region should match better the variety of its resource and ecological substratum, thereby allowing smoother and more rapid development of the region and presservation of the sustainability of this devleopment. Examples range from economic cooperation and transport to tourism and recreation, and nature protection. (author).

  16. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  17. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; Bender, S. Franz; Widmer, Franco; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally hidden below ground. Whether reductions of biodiversity in soil communities below ground have consequences for the overall performance of an ecosystem remains unresolved. It is important to investigate this in view of recent observations that soil biodiversity is declining and that soil communities are changing upon land use intensification. We established soil communities differing in composition and diversity and tested their impact on eight ecosystem functions in model grassland communities. We show that soil biodiversity loss and simplification of soil community composition impair multiple ecosystem functions, including plant diversity, decomposition, nutrient retention, and nutrient cycling. The average response of all measured ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) exhibited a strong positive linear relationship to indicators of soil biodiversity, suggesting that soil community composition is a key factor in regulating ecosystem functioning. Our results indicate that changes in soil communities and the loss of soil biodiversity threaten ecosystem multifunctionality and sustainability. PMID:24639507

  18. 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

  19. Ecosystem-groundwater interactions under changing land uses: Linking water, salts, and carbon across central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobbagy, E. G.; Nosetto, M. D.; Santoni, C. S.; Jackson, R. B.

    2007-05-01

    Although most ecosystems display a one-way connection with groundwater based on the regulation of deep water drainage (recharge), this link can become reciprocal when the saturated zone is shallow and plants take up groundwater (discharge). In what context is the reciprocal link most likely? How is it affected by land use changes? Has it consequences on salt and carbon cycling? We examine these questions across a precipitation gradient in the Pampas and Espinal of Argentina focusing on three vegetation change situations (mean annual rainfall): afforestation of humid (900-1300 mm) and subhumid grassland (700-900 mm/yr of rainfall), annual cultivation of subhumid grasslands (700-800 mm/yr), and annual cultivation of semiarid forests (500-700 mm). Humid and subhumid grasslands have shallow (measurements. Groundwater contributions enhance carbon uptake in plantations compared to grasslands as suggested by aboveground biomass measurements and satellite vegetation indexes from sites with and without access to groundwater. Where rainfall is 15 m deep) and recharge under natural conditions is null. The establishment of crops, however, triggers the onset of recharge, as evidenced by vadose zones getting wetter and leached of atmospheric chloride. Cropping may cause water table raises leading to a two-way coupling of ecosystems and groundwater in the future, as it has been documented for similar settings in Australia and the Sahel. In the Pampas land use change interacts with groundwater consumption leading to higher carbon uptake (humid and subhumid grasslands) and salt accumulation (subhumid grasslands). In the Espinal (semiarid forest) land use change currently involves a one-way effect on groundwater recharge that may switch to a reciprocal connection if regional water table raises occur. Neglecting the role of groundwater in flat sedimentary plains can obscure our understanding of carbon and salt cycling and curtail our attempts to sustain soil and water resources under

  20. Evaluating the contribution of Sustainable Land Management to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and its impacts on Mediterranean ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vente, Joris; Zagaria, Cecilia; Pérez-Cutillas, Pedro; Almagro, Maria; Martínez-Mena, Maria; Baartman, Jantiene; Boix-Fayos, Carolina

    2015-04-01

    Changing climate and land management have strong implications for soil and water resources and for many essential ecosystem services (ES), such as provision of drinking and irrigation water, soil erosion control, and carbon sequestration. Large impacts of climate change are expected in the Mediterranean, characterized by a high dependence on scarce soil and water resources. On the other hand, well designed Sustainable Land Management (SLM) strategies can reduce the risks associated with climate change, but their design requires knowledge of their multiple effects on ecosystem services under present and future climate scenarios and of possible tradeoffs. Moreover, strategies are only viable if suited to local environmental, socio-economic and cultural conditions, so stakeholder engagement is crucial during their selection, evaluation and implementation. We present preliminary results of a catchment wide assessment of the expected impacts of climate change on water availability in the Segura basin (18800 km2) southeastern Spain. Furthermore, we evaluated the impacts of past land use changes and the benefits of catchment wide implementation of SLM practices to protect soil and water resources, prevent sedimentation of reservoirs and increase carbon sequestration in soil and vegetation. We used the InVEST modeling framework to simulate the water availability and sediment export under different climate, land use and land management scenarios, and quantified carbon stocks in soil and vegetation. Realistic scenarios of implementation of SLM practices were prepared based on an extensive process of stakeholder engagement and using latest climate change predictions from Regional Climate Models for different emission scenarios. Results indicate a strong decrease in water availability in the Segura catchment under expected climate change, with average reductions of upto 60% and large spatial variability. Land use changes (1990 - 2006) resulted in a slight increase in water

  1. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O. [Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    The aim of the project on the title subject is to provide insight into the major controlling factors that contribute to the net exchange rates of methane (CH4) between grassland and atmosphere, and to provide quantitative net CH4 emission rates. Net CH4 emissions have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers on both intensively managed grasslands and grasslands in a nature preserve on peat soil in the Netherlands. Net CH4 emissions from intensively managed grasslands (Zegveld, Netherlands) were low in the period January-December 1994, in general in the range of -0.2 to 0.2 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1}. Only in the relatively warm summer of 1994, consumption of atmospheric CH4 of about 0.4 mg m{sup -2} d{sup -1} was measured. Effects of ground water level in the range of 30-60 cm below surface were very small. There were also no clear effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing versus mowing on CH4 emission from the soil. Net CH4 emissions from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve (Nieuwkoopse Plassen area in the Netherlands) ranged from 0-215 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1} in the period January 1994-June 1995. Differences between the three sites were quite large, as were the spatial variations at each of the sites. The results presented here indicate that a shift of intensively managed peat grasslands into more natural ecosystems will significantly increase the contribution of Dutch peat soils to the total CH4 emission. refs.

  2. Relationship between soil chemical factors and grassland diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssens, F; Peeters, A; Tallowin, JRB; Bakker, JP; Bekker, RM; Fillat, F; Oomes, MJM

    Many studies carried out during these last few years have focused on the factors influencing plant diversity in species-rich grasslands. This is due to the fact that these ecosystems, among the most diversified in temperate climates, are extremely threatened; in some areas, they have almost

  3. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, R.; van der Plas, F.; van Noordwijk, C. G. E. (Toos); WallisDeVries, M. F.; Olff, H.

    Both arthropods and large grazing herbivores are important components and drivers of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, but a synthesis of how arthropod diversity is affected by large herbivores has been largely missing. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature search, which yielded 141

  4. Composition, phenology and restoration of campo rupestre mountain grasslands - Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Le Stradic, Soizig

    2012-01-01

    Global environmental changes, especially land-use changes, have profound effects on both ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, having already altered many ecosystem services. These losses emphasize the need to preserve what remains; however when conservation programs are not sufficient, restoring areas that have been destroyed or disturbed can improve conservation efforts and mitigate damages. This work focuses on campos rupestres, Neotropical grasslands found at altitudes, which are part o...

  5. Business analysis for a sustainable, multi-stakeholder ecosystem for leveraging the Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) platform in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, Danielle; Beresniak, Ariel; Sundgren, Mats; Schmidt, Andreas; Ainsworth, John; Coorevits, Pascal; Kalra, Dipak; Dewispelaere, Marc; De Moor, Georges

    2017-01-01

    The Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) technological platform has been developed to enable the trustworthy reuse of hospital electronic health records data for clinical research. The EHR4CR platform can enhance and speed up clinical research scenarios: protocol feasibility assessment, patient identification for recruitment in clinical trials, and clinical data exchange, including for reporting serious adverse events. Our objective was to seed a multi-stakeholder ecosystem to enable the scalable exploitation of the EHR4CR platform in Europe, and to assess its economic sustainability. Market analyses were conducted by a multidisciplinary task force to define an EHR4CR emerging ecosystem and multi-stakeholder value chain. This involved mapping stakeholder groups and defining their unmet needs, incentives, potential barriers for adopting innovative solutions, roles and interdependencies. A comprehensive business model, value propositions, and sustainability strategies were developed accordingly. Using simulation modelling (including Monte Carlo simulations) and a 5-year horizon, the potential financial outcomes of the business model were forecasted from the perspective of an EHR4CR service provider. A business ecosystem was defined to leverage the EHR4CR multi-stakeholder value chain. Value propositions were developed describing the expected benefits of EHR4CR solutions for all stakeholders. From an EHR4CR service provider's viewpoint, the business model simulation estimated that a profitability ratio of up to 1.8 could be achieved at year 1, with potential for growth in subsequent years depending on projected market uptake. By enhancing and speeding up existing processes, EHR4CR solutions promise to transform the clinical research landscape. The ecosystem defined provides the organisational framework for optimising the value and benefits for all stakeholders involved, in a sustainable manner. Our study suggests that the exploitation of EHR4CR

  6. Proceedings of the INCO-DEV International Workshop on Policy Options for the Sustainable Use of Coral Reefs and Associated Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    2001-01-01

    The present report contains the proceedings of the INCO-DEV International Workshop on “Policy Options for the Sustainable Use of Coral Reefs and Associated Ecosystems” convened in Mombasa, Kenya, 19-22 June 2000. It was convened to address issues associated with the ongoing degradation of coral reefs and associated ecosystems. This degradation takes place inspite of an impressing body of research results and and increasing number of technical solutions becoming available. Policy ...

  7. High Resolution Urban Land Cover Mapping Using NAIP Aerial Photography and Image Processing for the USEPA National Atlas of Sustainability and Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilant, A. N.; Baynes, J.; Dannenberg, M.

    2012-12-01

    The US EPA National Atlas for Sustainability is a web-based, easy-to-use, mapping application that allows users to view and analyze multiple ecosystem services in a specific region. The Atlas provides users with a visual method for interpreting ecosystem services and understanding how they can be conserved and enhanced for a sustainable future. The Urban Atlas component of the National Atlas will provide fine-scale information linking human health and well-being to environmental conditions such as urban heat islands, near-road pollution, resource use, access to recreation, drinking water quality and other quality of life indicators. The National Land Cover Data (NLCD) derived from 30 m scale 2006 Landsat imagery provides the land cover base for the Atlas. However, urban features and phenomena occur at finer spatial scales, so higher spatial resolution and more current LC maps are required. We used 4 band USDA NAIP imagery (1 m pixel size) and various classification approaches to produce urban land cover maps with these classes: impervious surface, grass and herbaceous, trees and forest, soil and barren, and water. Here we present the remote sensing methods used and results from four pilot cities in this effort, highlighting the pros and cons of the approach, and the benefits to sustainability and ecosystem services analysis. Example of high resolution land cover map derived from USDA NAIP aerial photo. Compare 30 m and 1 m resolution land cover maps of downtown Durham, NC.

  8. The role of grasslands in food security and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, F P

    2012-11-01

    Grasslands are a major part of the global ecosystem, covering 37 % of the earth's terrestrial area. For a variety of reasons, mostly related to overgrazing and the resulting problems of soil erosion and weed encroachment, many of the world's natural grasslands are in poor condition and showing signs of degradation. This review examines their contribution to global food supply and to combating climate change. Grasslands make a significant contribution to food security through providing part of the feed requirements of ruminants used for meat and milk production. Globally, this is more important in food energy terms than pig meat and poultry meat. Grasslands are considered to have the potential to play a key role in greenhouse gas mitigation, particularly in terms of global carbon storage and further carbon sequestration. It is estimated that grazing land management and pasture improvement (e.g. through managing grazing intensity, improved productivity, etc) have a global technical mitigation potential of almost 1·5 Gt CO(2) equivalent in 2030, with additional mitigation possible from restoration of degraded lands. Milk and meat production from grassland systems in temperate regions has similar emissions of carbon dioxide per kilogram of product as mixed farming systems in temperate regions, and, if carbon sinks in grasslands are taken into account, grassland-based production systems can be as efficient as high-input systems from a greenhouse gas perspective. Grasslands are important for global food supply, contributing to ruminant milk and meat production. Extra food will need to come from the world's existing agricultural land base (including grasslands) as the total area of agricultural land has remained static since 1991. Ruminants are efficient converters of grass into humanly edible energy and protein and grassland-based food production can produce food with a comparable carbon footprint as mixed systems. Grasslands are a very important store of carbon, and

  9. Ecosystem services, land-cover change, and stakeholders: finding a sustainable foothold for a semiarid biodiversity hotspot

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Reyers, B

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available -cover change involves changes in the human management of ecosystems (e.g., settlement, cultivation, and grazing) that alter the biogeochemical cycles, climate, and hydrology of an ecosystem. It also drives biodiversity loss through habitat fragmentation... and Frank 2006, Li et al. 2007). Case studies and simulations of land-cover change have also been used to examine the effects on single ecosystem services or processes (e.g., nitrogen levels (Turner et al. 2003), pollination (Priess et al. 2007...

  10. Changing patterns of basic household consumption in the Inner Mongolian grasslands: a case study of policy-oriented adoptive changes in the use of grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, B.; Zhen, L.; Groot, de R.S.; Goulden, C.E.; Long, X.; Cao, X.; Wu, R.; Sun, C.

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems, as the basic natural resources in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, are becoming increasingly sensitive to human intervention, leading to deterioration in fragile ecosystems. The goal of this study was to describe the restoration policy-oriented adoptive changes to basic

  11. Seasonal/Interannual Variations of Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Emission in a Warm-Season Perennial Grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Deepa Dhital; Tomoharu Inoue; Hiroshi Koizumi

    2014-01-01

    Carbon sequestration and carbon emission are processes of ecosystem carbon cycling that can be affected while land area converted to grassland resulting in increased soil carbon storage and below-ground respiration. Discerning the importance of carbon cycle in grassland, we aimed to estimate carbon sequestration in photosynthesis and carbon emission in respiration from soil, root, and microbes, for four consecutive years (2007–2010) in a warm-season perennial grassland, Japan. Soil carbon emi...

  12. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, M D; Collins, S L; Swann, A M; Ford, P L; Litvak, M E

    2015-03-01

    The replacement of native C4 -dominated grassland by C3 -dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be enhanced ecosystem carbon sequestration, although the responses of arid and semiarid ecosystems may be highly variable. During a drier than average period from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, we found established shrubland to sequester 49 g C m(-2) yr(-1) on average, while nearby native C4 grassland was a net source of 31 g C m(-2) yr(-1) over this same period. Differences in C exchange between these ecosystems were pronounced--grassland had similar productivity compared to shrubland but experienced higher C efflux via ecosystem respiration, while shrubland was a consistent C sink because of a longer growing season and lower ecosystem respiration. At daily timescales, rates of carbon exchange were more sensitive to soil moisture variation in grassland than shrubland, such that grassland had a net uptake of C when wet but lost C when dry. Thus, even under unfavorable, drier than average climate conditions, the state transition from grassland to shrubland resulted in a substantial increase in terrestrial C sequestration. These results illustrate the inherent tradeoffs in quantifying ecosystem services that result from ecological state transitions, such as shrub encroachment. In this case, the deleterious changes to ecosystem services often linked to grassland to shrubland state transitions may at least be partially offset by increased ecosystem carbon sequestration. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wang, Tao; Cozic, Anne; Lardy, Romain; Graux, Anne-Isabelle; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Soussana, Jean-François

    2013-04-01

    Grassland is a widespread vegetation type, covering nearly one-fifth of the world's land surface (24 million km2), and playing a significant role in the global carbon (C) cycle. Most of grasslands in Europe are cultivated to feed animals, either directly by grazing or indirectly by grass harvest (cutting). A better understanding of the C fluxes from grassland ecosystems in response to climate and management requires not only field experiments but also the aid of simulation models. ORCHIDEE process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications treats grasslands as being unmanaged, where C / water fluxes are only subject to atmospheric CO2 and climate changes. Our study describes how management of grasslands is included in the ORCHIDEE, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (Grassland Management) is capable with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), of accounting for two grassland management practices (cutting and grazing). The evaluation of the results of ORCHIDEE-GM compared with those of ORCHIDEE at 11 European sites equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, show that ORCHIDEE-GM can capture realistically the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: Leaf Area Index; AGB: Aboveground Biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: Gross Primary Productivity; TER: Total Ecosystem Respiration; and NEE: Net Ecosystem Exchange). But improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM, which relates to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better simulated in ORCHIDEE-GM than in ORCHIDEE without management. At some sites, the model-observation misfit in ORCHIDEE-GM is found to be more related to ill-constrained parameter values than to model structure. Additionally, ORCHIDEE-GM is able to simulate

  14. Effect of sustainable land management practices on soil aggregation and stabilization of organic carbon in semiarid mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Franco, Noelia; Albaladejo, Juan; Almagro, María; Wiesmeier, Martin; Martínez-Mena, María

    2016-04-01

    Arid and semiarid regions represent about 47% of the total land area of the world (UNEP, 1992). At present, there is a priority interest for carbon (C) sequestration in drylands. These areas are considered as very fragile ecosystems with low organic carbon (OC) saturation, and potentially, high capacity for soil OC sequestration. In addition, the restoration of these areas is one of the major challenges for scientists, who will be able to identify and recommended the best land uses and sustainable land management (SLM) practices for soil conservation and mitigation of climate change in these environments. In this regard, in semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems there is an urgent need for the implementation of SLM practices regardless of land-use type (forest, agricultural and shrubland) to maintain acceptable levels of soil organic matter (SOM) and the physico-chemical protection of the OC. Long- and short-term effects of SLM practices on soil aggregation and SOC stabilization were studied in two land uses. The long-term experiment was conducted in a reforestation area with Pinus halepensis Mill., where two afforestation techniques were implemented 20 years ago: a) mechanical terracing with a single application of organic waste of urban soil refuse, and b) mechanical terracing without organic amendment. An adjacent shrubland was considered as the reference plot. The short-term experiment was conducted in a rain-fed almond (Prunus dulcis Mill., var. Ferragnes) orchard where two SLM practices were introduced 4 years ago: a) reduced tillage plus green manure, and b) no tillage. Reduced tillage was considered as the reference plot given that it is the habitual management practice. Four aggregate size classes were differentiated by sieving (large and small macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the silt plus clay fraction), and the microaggregates occluded within small macroaggregates (SMm) were isolated. In addition, different organic C fractions corresponding with active

  15. The emerging threats of climate change on tropical coastal ecosystem services, public health, local economies and livelihood sustainability of small islands: Cumulative impacts and synergies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Delgado, E A

    2015-12-15

    Climate change has significantly impacted tropical ecosystems critical for sustaining local economies and community livelihoods at global scales. Coastal ecosystems have largely declined, threatening the principal source of protein, building materials, tourism-based revenue, and the first line of defense against storm swells and sea level rise (SLR) for small tropical islands. Climate change has also impacted public health (i.e., altered distribution and increased prevalence of allergies, water-borne, and vector-borne diseases). Rapid human population growth has exacerbated pressure over coupled social-ecological systems, with concomitant non-sustainable impacts on natural resources, water availability, food security and sovereignty, public health, and quality of life, which should increase vulnerability and erode adaptation and mitigation capacity. This paper examines cumulative and synergistic impacts of climate change in the challenging context of highly vulnerable small tropical islands. Multiple adaptive strategies of coupled social-ecological ecosystems are discussed. Multi-level, multi-sectorial responses are necessary for adaptation to be successful. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Effects of erosion from mounds of different termite genera on distinct functional grassland types in an African savannah

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gosling, Cleo M.; Cromsigt, Joris P. G. M.; Mpanza, Nokukhanya; Olff, Han

    A key aspect of savannah vegetation heterogeneity is mosaics formed by two functional grassland types, bunch grasslands, and grazing lawns. We investigated the role of termites, important ecosystem engineers, in creating high-nutrient patches in the form of grazing lawns. Some of the ways termites

  17. Application of satellite remote sensing for mapping wind erosion risk and dusk emission-deposition in Inner Mongolia grassland, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reiche, M.; Funk, R.; Zhang, Z.; Hoffmann, C.; Reiche, J.; Wehrhan, M.; Li, Y.; Sommer, M.

    2012-01-01

    Intensive grazing leads to land degradation and desertification of grassland ecosystems followed by serious environmental and social problems. The Xilingol steppe grassland in Inner Mongolia, China, which has been a sink area for dust for centuries, is strongly affected by the negative effects of

  18. Accounting for Human Health and Ecosystems Quality in Developing Sustainable Energy Products: The Implications of Wood Biomass-based Electricity Strategies to Climate Change Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldu, Yemane W.

    The prospect for transitions and transformations in the energy sector to mitigate climate change raises concerns that actions should not shift the impacts from one impact category to another, or from one sustainability domain to another. Although the development of renewables mostly results in low environmental impacts, energy strategies are complex and may result in the shifting of impacts. Strategies to climate change mitigation could have potentially large effects on human health and ecosystems. Exposure to air pollution claimed the lives of about seven million people worldwide in 2010, largely from the combustion of solid fuels. The degradation of ecosystem services is a significant barrier to achieving millennium development goals. This thesis quantifies the biomass resources potential for Alberta; presents a user-friendly and sector-specific framework for sustainability assessment; unlocks the information and policy barriers to biomass integration in energy strategy; introduces new perspectives to improve understanding of the life cycle human health and ecotoxicological effects of energy strategies; provides insight regarding the guiding measures that are required to ensure sustainable bioenergy production; validates the utility of the Environmental Life Cycle Cost framework for economic sustainability assessment; and provides policy-relevant societal cost estimates to demonstrate the importance of accounting for human health and ecosystem externalities in energy planning. Alberta is endowed with a wealth of forest and agricultural biomass resources, estimated at 458 PJ of energy. Biomass has the potential to avoid 11-15% of GHG emissions and substitute 14-17% of final energy demand by 2030. The drivers for integrating bioenergy sources into Alberta's energy strategy are economic diversification, technological innovation, and resource conservation policy objectives. Bioenergy pathways significantly improved both human health and ecosystem quality from coal

  19. Self-feedbacks determine the sustainability of human interventions in eco-social complex systems: Impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Marco; Levins, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Several administrative polices have been implemented in order to reduce the negative impacts of fishing on natural ecosystems. Four eco-social models with different levels of complexity were constructed, which represent the seaweed harvest in central-northern Chile under two different regimes, Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources (MAEBRs) and Open Access Areas (OAAs). The dynamics of both regimes were analyzed using the following theoretical frameworks: (1) Loop Analysis, which allows the local stability or sustainability of the models and scenarios to be assessed; and (2) Hessian´s optimization procedure of a global fishery function (GFF) that represents each dynamics of each harvest. The results suggest that the current fishing dynamics in MAEBRs are not sustainable unless the market demand presents some type of control (i.e. taxes). Further, the results indicated that if the demand changes to a self-negative feedback (self-control) in MAEBRs, the stability is increased and, simultaneously, a relative maximum for the GFF is reached. Contrarily, the sustainability of the model/system representing the harvest (principally by cutting plants) in OAAs is not reached. The implementation of an "ecological" tax for intensive artisanal fisheries with low operational cost is proposed. The network analysis developed here is proposed as a general strategy for studying the effects of human interventions in marine coastal ecosystems under transient (short-term) dynamics.

  20. Self-feedbacks determine the sustainability of human interventions in eco-social complex systems: Impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Ortiz

    Full Text Available Several administrative polices have been implemented in order to reduce the negative impacts of fishing on natural ecosystems. Four eco-social models with different levels of complexity were constructed, which represent the seaweed harvest in central-northern Chile under two different regimes, Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources (MAEBRs and Open Access Areas (OAAs. The dynamics of both regimes were analyzed using the following theoretical frameworks: (1 Loop Analysis, which allows the local stability or sustainability of the models and scenarios to be assessed; and (2 Hessian´s optimization procedure of a global fishery function (GFF that represents each dynamics of each harvest. The results suggest that the current fishing dynamics in MAEBRs are not sustainable unless the market demand presents some type of control (i.e. taxes. Further, the results indicated that if the demand changes to a self-negative feedback (self-control in MAEBRs, the stability is increased and, simultaneously, a relative maximum for the GFF is reached. Contrarily, the sustainability of the model/system representing the harvest (principally by cutting plants in OAAs is not reached. The implementation of an "ecological" tax for intensive artisanal fisheries with low operational cost is proposed. The network analysis developed here is proposed as a general strategy for studying the effects of human interventions in marine coastal ecosystems under transient (short-term dynamics.

  1. Crude protein changes on grassland along a degradation gradient ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evapotranspiration was determined by quantifying the soil-water balance equation with the aid of runoff plots and soil-water content measurements. Crude protein ... The study shows that it is important to keep grassland in optimal condition to utilize limited soil water for sustainable plant and therefore animal production.

  2. Evaluation of semiarid grassland degradation in North China from multiple perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, D.; Wang, G.; Xue, B. L.; Xu, X.

    2017-12-01

    There has been increasing interest in grassland ecosystem degradation resulting from intensive human activity and climate change, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Species composition, grassland desertification, and aboveground biomass (AGB) are used as indicators of grassland degradation in this study. We comprehensively analyzed variations in these three indicators in semiarid grassland in North China, on multiple time scales, based on MODIS products and field sampling datasets. Since 1984, species composition has become simpler and species indicative of grassland degradation, such as Potentilla acaulis and Artemisia frigida, have become dominant. These changes indicate that serious grassland degradation has occurred since 1984. Grassland degradation was also analyzed on shorter time scales. Analyses of interannual variations during 2005-2015 showed that desertification decreased and average AGB in the growth season increased over the study area, indicating that grassland was recovering. Analyses of spatial variations showed that the position of slightly desertified grassland shifted and formed a band in the west, where the lowest AGB in the growth season was recorded but tendency ratio of AGB increased from 2005 to 2015. Climatic factors had critical effects on grassland degradation, as identified by the three indicators on different time scales. The simpler species composition resulted from the increase in average temperature and decrease in average precipitation over the past 30 years. For nearly a decade, an increase in precipitation and decreases in temperature and potential evapotranspiration reduced desertification and increased AGB in the growth season overall. Consequently, there has distinct difference in grassland degradation between analysis results on above two time scales, indicating multiple perspectives should be considered to accurately assess the state and characteristics of grassland degradation.

  3. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W; Fawcett, Megan J; Dadisman, John D

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems.

  4. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus] at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow and nesting densities increased (all 3 species in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor] at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]. Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116 and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland

  5. Grassland ecology and population growth: striking a balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, D; Duan, C; Zhang, D

    2000-06-01

    Degradation of forest and grasslands in western China attributes to the soil erosion and desertification in the country. Researchers have established that the primary reason for the degradation of grasslands is overgrazing, which in turn is caused by a number of factors, including over-population and over-reliance on animal husbandry. In addition, the existing administrative system has also proved ineffective in ensuring sustainable development. On contrary, many local governments even encourage exploitative development of grassland; thus, localities opened up grassland for growing crops in an effort to increase income. According to estimates, degraded grassland accounts for more than one-third of utilizable acreage and another one-third suffers from a profusion of rats and pests. To redress the situation, central government should implement strategies in achieving sustainable development, such as providing banking and tax incentives for the development of the secondary and tertiary industries, and supporting education and training of youths from herding areas. Moreover, government should increase spending on infrastructural construction and ecological preservation. Finally, the family planning program needs to be enforced to control population growth and improve the quality of peoples¿ lives.

  6. Sustainability in the Food-Water-Ecosystem Nexus: The Role of Land Use and Land Cover Change for Water Resources and Ecosystems in the Kilombero Wetland, Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constanze Leemhuis

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Land Use Land Cover Change (LULCC has a significant impact on water resources and ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA. On the basis of three research projects we aim to describe and discuss the potential, uncertainties, synergies and science-policy interfaces of satellite-based integrated research for the Kilombero catchment, comprising one of the major agricultural utilized floodplains in Tanzania. LULCC was quantified at the floodplain and catchment scale analyzing Landsat 5 and Sentinel 2 satellite imagery applying different adapted classification methodologies. LULC maps at the catchment scale serve as spatial input for the distributed, process-based ecohydrological model SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool simulating the changes in the spatial and temporal water balance in runoff components caused by LULCC. The results reveal that over the past 26 years LULCC has significantly altered the floodplain and already shows an impact on the ecosystem by degrading the existing wildlife corridors. On the catchment scale the anomalies of the water balance are still marginal, but with the expected structural changes of the catchment there is an urgent need to increase the public awareness and knowledge of decision makers regarding the effect of the relationship between LULCC, water resources and environmental degradation.

  7. A Choice Experiment for the Estimation of the Economic Value of the River Ecosystem: Management Policies for Sustaining NATURA (2000) species and the Coastal Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Phoebe Koundouri; Riccardo Scarpa; Mavra Stithou

    2013-01-01

    The valuation method of Choice Experiments (CEs) is often used for the economic valuation of natural areas with several nonmarket features that are either degraded or under-degradation. This method can be used to obtain estimates of Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) for the sustainability of several features of natural ecosystems. In particular, the CE method is a survey-based nonmarket valuation technique which can be used to estimate the total economic value of an environmental good in the form of a...

  8. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenhunen, J. D.; Kang, S.

    2011-12-01

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

  10. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Awasthi, Ashutosh; Singh, Kripal; O'Grady, Audrey; Courtney, Ronan; Kalra, Alok; Singh, Rana Pratap; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Steinberger, Yosef; Patra, D.D.

    2016-01-01

    Increase in human population is accelerating the rate of land use change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, triggering a serious threat to life supporting ecosystem services. Existing strategies for biological conservation remain insufficient to achieve a sustainable human-nature

  11. Sustainable utilization and conservation of plant biodiversity in montane ecosystems: the western Himalayas as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shujaul Mulk; Page, Sue E; Ahmad, Habib; Harper, David M

    2013-08-01

    Conservation of the unique biodiversity of mountain ecosystems needs trans-disciplinary approaches to succeed in a crowded colloquial world. Geographers, conservationists, ecologists and social scientists have, in the past, had the same conservation goals but have tended to work independently. In this review, the need to integrate different conservation criteria and methodologies is discussed. New criteria are offered for prioritizing species and habitats for conservation in montane ecosystems that combine both ecological and social data. Ecological attributes of plant species, analysed through robust community statistical packages, provide unbiased classifications of species assemblages and environmental biodiversity gradients and yield importance value indices (IVIs). Surveys of local communities' utilization of the vegetation provides use values (UVs). This review suggests a new means of assessing anthropogenic pressure on plant biodiversity at both species and community levels by integrating IVI and UV data sets in a combined analysis. Mountain ecosystems are hot spots for plant conservation efforts because they hold a high overall plant diversity as communities replace each other along altitudinal and climatic gradients, including a high proportion of endemic species. This review contributes an enhanced understanding of (1) plant diversity in mountain ecosystems with special reference to the western Himalayas; (2) ethnobotanical and ecosystem service values of mountain vegetation within the context of anthropogenic impacts; and (3) local and regional plant conservation strategies and priorities.

  12. Differentiating climate- and human-induced drivers of grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chunyang; Tian, Jie; Gao, Bin; Zhao, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    Quantitatively distinguishing grassland degradation due to climatic variations from that due to human activities is of great significance to effectively governing degraded grassland and realizing sustainable utilization. The objective of this study was to differentiate these two types of drivers in the Liao River Basin during 1999-2009 using the residual trend (RESTREND) method and to evaluate the applicability of the method in semiarid and semihumid regions. The relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and each climatic factor was first determined. Then, the primary driver of grassland degradation was identified by calculating the change trend of the normalized residuals between the observed and the predicted NDVI assuming that climate change was the only driver. We found that the RESTREND method can be used to quantitatively and effectively differentiate climate and human drivers of grassland degradation. We also found that the grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin was driven by both natural processes and human activities. The driving factors of grassland degradation varied greatly across the study area, which included regions having different precipitation and altitude. The degradation in the Horqin Sandy Land, with lower altitude, was driven mainly by human activities, whereas that in the Kungl Prairie, with higher altitude and lower precipitation, was caused primarily by climate change. Therefore, the drivers of degradation and local conditions should be considered in an appropriate strategy for grassland management to promote the sustainability of grasslands in the Liao River Basin.

  13. Pollination biology in a tropical high-altitude grassland in Brazil: Interactions at the community level

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, L; Sazima, M

    2006-01-01

    Surveys of local assemblages of plants and their pollinators are among the most useful ways to evaluate specialization in pollination and to discuss the patterns of plant-pollinator interactions among ecosystems. The high-altitude grasslands from southeastern Brazil constitute diminutive island-like formations surrounded by montane rainforests. We registered the floral traits of 124 species from the Serra da Bricaina grasslands (about 60% of the animal-pollinated species of this flora), and d...

  14. The Impossible Sustainability of the Bay of Brest? Fifty Years of Ecosystem Changes, Interdisciplinary Knowledge Construction and Key Questions at the Science-Policy-Community Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Ragueneau

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In this contribution, the study of the Bay of Brest ecosystem changes over the past 50 years is used to explore the construction of interdisciplinary knowledge and raise key questions that now need to be tackled at the science-policy-communities interface. The Bay of Brest is subject to a combination of several aspects of global change, including excessive nutrient inputs from watersheds and the proliferation of invasive species. These perturbations strongly interact, affecting positively or negatively the ecosystem functioning, with important impacts on human activities. We first relate a cascade of events over these five decades, linking farming activities, nitrogen, and silicon biogeochemical cycles, hydrodynamics of the Bay, the proliferation of an exotic benthic suspension feeder, the development of the Great scallop fisheries and the high biodiversity in maerl beds. The cascade leads to today's situation where toxic phytoplankton blooms become recurrent in the Bay, preventing the fishery of the great scallop and forcing the fishermen community to switch pray and alter the maerl habitat and the benthic biodiversity it hosts, despite the many scientific alerts and the protection of this habitat. In the second section, we relate the construction of the interdisciplinary knowledge without which scientists would never have been able to describe these changes in the Bay. Interdisciplinarity construction is described, first among natural sciences (NS and then, between natural sciences and human and social sciences (HSS. We finally ask key questions at the science-policy interface regarding this unsustainable trend of the Bay: How is this possible, despite decades of joint work between scientists and fishermen? Is adaptive co-management a sufficient condition for a sustainable management of an ecosystem? How do the different groups (i.e., farmers, fishermen, scientists, environmentalists, with their diverse interests, take charge of this situation

  15. 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

  16. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the annual cycle: Linking policy alternatives, landowner decisions, and biological population outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Grant, Edward C.; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, D.C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  17. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan G Drum

    Full Text Available Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  18. People-Technology-Ecosystem Integration: A Framework to Ensure Regional Interoperability for Safety, Sustainability, and Resilience of Interdependent Energy, Water, and Seafood Sources in the (Persian) Gulf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meshkati, Najmedin; Tabibzadeh, Maryam; Farshid, Ali; Rahimi, Mansour; Alhanaee, Ghena

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study is to identify the interdependencies of human and organizational subsystems of multiple complex, safety-sensitive technological systems and their interoperability in the context of sustainability and resilience of an ecosystem. Recent technological disasters with severe environmental impact are attributed to human factors and safety culture causes. One of the most populous and environmentally sensitive regions in the world, the (Persian) Gulf, is on the confluence of an exponentially growing number of two industries--nuclear power and seawater desalination plants--that is changing its land- and seascape. Building upon Rasmussen's model, a macrosystem integrative framework, based on the broader context of human factors, is developed, which can be considered in this context as a "meta-ergonomics" paradigm, for the analysis of interactions, design of interoperability, and integration of decisions of major actors whose actions can affect safety and sustainability of the focused industries during routine and nonroutine (emergency) operations. Based on the emerging realities in the Gulf region, it is concluded that without such systematic approach toward addressing the interdependencies of water and energy sources, sustainability will be only a short-lived dream and prosperity will be a disappearing mirage for millions of people in the region. This multilayered framework for the integration of people, technology, and ecosystem--which has been applied to the (Persian) Gulf--offers a viable and vital approach to the design and operation of large-scale complex systems wherever the nexus of water, energy, and food sources are concerned, such as the Black Sea. © 2016, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  19. Carbon balance of renovated grasslands: input- or output-driven?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choncubhair, Órlaith Ní; Osborne, Bruce; Lanigan, Gary

    2015-04-01

    Temperate grasslands constitute over 30% of the Earth's naturally-occurring biomes and make an important contribution towards the partial mitigation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by terrestrial ecosystems. In permanent temperate grasslands, biomass production and sward quality can deteriorate over time and periodic renovation activities, involving soil tillage and reseeding, are commonly carried out to halt this decline. Long-term cultivation of agricultural land has been associated with soil aggregate degradation and reduced soil carbon storage. However, the impact of these single tillage disturbances on C cycling in grasslands is less clear. This study evaluated gaseous and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) losses following a single tillage event by subjecting grassland lysimeters with contrasting soil drainage characteristics to simulated conventional inversion or minimum tillage. Field-scale CO2 emissions after conventional tillage were also quantified and empirically modelled over short- and medium-term timeframes to delineate the ecosystem response to environmental variables. Soil moisture was the limiting determinant of ecosystem carbon release following conventional tillage. Freshly-tilled soils were associated with reduced water retention and increased sensitivity to soil moisture, which was particularly pronounced following rewetting events. Significantly elevated but ephemeral CO2 effluxes were detected in the hours following inversion ploughing, however tillage disturbance did not generate significantly enhanced C emission rates in the medium term. Equally, DOC losses were not significantly amplified by conventional tillage compared with conservative minimum tillage and were predominantly controlled by soil drainage across tillage regimes. Our results suggest that a net ecosystem source of 120 to 210 g C m-2 over an approximately two-month period was most likely a consequence of reduced productivity and C input rather than enhanced soil CO2

  20. Regional Approach for Linking Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Strategies Under Climate Change of Pastoral Communities in the Mongolian Steppe Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojima, D. S.; Galvin, K.; Togtohyn, C.

    2012-12-01

    Dramatic changes due to climate and land use dynamics in the Mongolian Plateau affecting ecosystem services and agro-pastoral systems in Mongolia. Recently, market forces and development strategies are affecting land and water resources of the pastoral communities which are being further stressed due to climatic changes. Evaluation of pastoral systems, where humans depend on livestock and grassland ecosystem services, have demonstrated the vulnerability of the social-ecological system to climate change. Current social-ecological changes in ecosystem services are affecting land productivity and carrying capacity, land-atmosphere interactions, water resources, and livelihood strategies. The general trend involves greater intensification of resource exploitation at the expense of traditional patterns of extensive range utilization. Thus we expect climate-land use-land cover relationships to be crucially modified by the social-economic forces. The analysis incorporates information about the social-economic transitions taking place in the region which affect land-use, food security, and ecosystem dynamics. The region of study extends from the Mongolian plateau in Mongolia. Our research indicate that sustainability of pastoral systems in the region needs to integrate the impact of climate change on ecosystem services with socio-economic changes shaping the livelihood strategies of pastoral systems in the region. Adaptation strategies which incorporate integrated analysis of landscape management and livelihood strategies provides a framework which links ecosystem services to critical resource assets. Analysis of the available livelihood assets provides insights to the adaptive capacity of various agents in a region or in a community. Sustainable development pathways which enable the development of these adaptive capacity elements will lead to more effective adaptive management strategies for pastoral land use and herder's living standards. Pastoralists will have the

  1. RESTORING SUSTAINABLE FORESTS ON APPALACHIAN MINED LANDS FOR WOOD PRODUCTS, RENEWABLE ENERGY, CARBON SEQUESTRATION, AND OTHER ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Burger; J. Galbraith; T. Fox; G. Amacher; J. Sullivan; C. Zipper

    2003-12-18

    The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the biological and economic feasibility of restoring high-quality forests on mined land, and to measure carbon sequestration and wood production benefits that would be achieved from forest restoration procedures. In this quarterly report, we present a preliminary comparison of the carbon sequestration benefits for two forest types used to convert abandoned grasslands for carbon sequestration. Annual mixed hardwood benefits, based on total stand carbon volume present at the end of a given year, range from a minimum of $0/ton of carbon to a maximum of $5.26/ton of carbon (low prices). White pine benefits based on carbon volume range from a minimum of $0/ton of carbon to a maximum of $18.61/ton of carbon (high prices). The higher maximum white pine carbon payment can primarily be attributed to the fact that the shorter rotation means that payments for white pine carbon are being made on far less cumulative carbon tonnage than for that of the long-rotation hardwoods. Therefore, the payment per ton of white pine carbon needs to be higher than that of the hardwoods in order to render the conversion to white pine profitable by the end of a rotation. These carbon payments may seem appealingly low to the incentive provider. However, payments (not discounted) made over a full rotation may add up to approximately $17,493/ha for white pine (30-year rotation), and $18,820/ha for mixed hardwoods (60-year rotation). The literature suggests a range of carbon sequestration costs, from $0/ton of carbon to $120/ton of carbon, although the majority of studies suggest a cost below $50/ ton of carbon, with van Kooten et al. (2000) suggesting a cutoff cost of $20/ton of carbon sequestered. Thus, the ranges of carbon payments estimated for this study fall well within the ranges of carbon sequestration costs estimated in previous studies.

  2. Impact of socioeconomic development on ecosystem services and its conservation strategies: a case study of Shandong Province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shujun; Liu, Jian; Wang, Renqing; Ni, Zirong; Xu, Shipeng; Sun, Yueyao

    2012-05-01

    Ecosystems and their components provide a lot of benefits for the welfare of human beings. Coupled with increasing socioeconomic development, most of the rapidly developing and transitional countries and regions have been experiencing dramatic land use changes. This has resulted in a large amount of forestland, grassland, and wetland being occupied as residential and industrial land or reclaimed for arable land, which in turn results in a sharp deterioration of ecosystem services around the world. Shandong Province, an economically powerful province of China, was chosen as a case study in order to capture the impact of socioeconomic development on ecosystem services. By way of the study, land uses and their changes were categorized between 1980 and 2006, and the ecosystem services capital and changes of 111 counties of Shandong Province in different phases were evaluated, as well as the total ecosystem services capital, followed by the zoning of ecosystem services function region of Shandong Province. We found that the counties in mountainous areas and wetlands, where generally the prefectural-level cities are located with a rapid socioeconomic development, experienced a successive deterioration of ecosystem services especially during the 2000s. Finally, three conservation strategies for managing and improving ecosystem services were proposed and discussed with the aim of achieving coordinate and sustainable development of the socioeconomy, environment, and ecosystems not only in Shandong Province but also in other provinces of China, as well as in other developing and transitional countries and regions.

  3. Challenges of a transition to a sustainably managed shrimp culture agro-ecosystem in the Mahakam delta, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosma, R.H.; Sidik, S.A.; Zwieten, van P.A.M.; Aditya, A.; Visser, L.

    2012-01-01

    Around 1990, when in other countries mangrove protection took off, massive conversion of mangrove forest into shrimp ponds started in the Mahakam delta. To identify constraints to and options for sustainable management we analysed institutions and constraints with stakeholders. In 3 sites we used

  4. Counting all that matters: recognizing the value of ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sussane. Maleki

    2008-01-01

    Broadly defined, ecosystem services are the benefits healthy ecosystems provide to humans. Clean air, clean water, and flood control are just a few examples. Although the term is relatively new, the ecosystem services concept has long been a focus of natural resource and environmental economists. As the U.S. population increases and the forests and grasslands that...

  5. Restoring Sustainable Forests on Appalachian Mined Lands for Wood Products, Renewable Energy, Carbon Sequestration, and Other Ecosystem Services

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James A. Burger; J. Galbraith; T. Fox; G. Amacher; J. Sullivan; C. Zipper

    2006-05-05

    The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the biological and economic feasibility of restoring high-quality forests on mined land, and to measure carbon sequestration and wood production benefits that would be achieved from forest restoration procedures. In this quarterly report we present data that show the spatial distribution of carbon in mine soils. Soil carbon data from deep soil pits from grassland minelands located in Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia were analyzed to determine the vertical distribution and variability of soil organic carbon (SOC) down to a 2-m depth. Regression analyses were used to describe and model the distribution by soil depth of C(wt%), BD{sub fines}(g cm{sup -3}), and fines (vol%) in mine soils. The volume of excavated mine soil samples was transformed in terms of costs of digging and sampling, including sample collection and preparation, and C(wt%) analysis, in order to determine the maximum cost-effective depth (MCD) for carbon inventorying on the mined sites analyzed. Based on the horizontal variation of SOC(g m{sup -2}), we determined the sampling intensity required to achieve a desired accuracy of the amount of sequestered SOC(g m{sup -2}) at certain probability levels. The MCD and sampling intensity measurements were used to determine the minimum detectable difference (MDD) of SOC(g m{sup -2}) between two consecutive carbon inventories. We also proposed a method to determine the minimum number of years before a future C inventory event is carried out so that the measured SOC(g m{sup -2}) differences were greater than MDD. We used geostatistical analyses procedures to determine spatial dependence predictability of surface SOC(g m{sup -2}) data on the minelands analyzed. Kriging techniques were used to create surface SOC(g m{sup -2}) maps for the sites in Ohio and West Virginia. The average C sequestration rate in the surface soil layer for the Ohio (age 9) sites was estimated at 124 g C m{sup -2} yr{sup -1}, and it was

  6. Restoring Sustainable Forests on Appalachian Mined Lands for Wood Product, Renewable Energy, Carbon Sequestration, and Other Ecosystem Services

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burger, James A

    2006-09-30

    Concentrations of CO{sub 2} in the Earth’s atmosphere have increased dramatically in the past 100 years due to deforestation, land use change, and fossil fuel combustion. These humancaused, higher levels of CO{sub 2} may enhance the atmospheric greenhouse effect and may contribute to climate change. Many reclaimed coal-surface mine areas in the eastern U.S. are not in productive use. Reforestation of these lands could provide societal benefits, including sequestration of atmospheric carbon. The goal of this project was to determine the biological and economic feasibility of restoring high-quality forests on the tens of thousands of hectares of mined land and to measure carbon sequestration and wood production benefits that would be achieved from large-scale application of forest restoration procedures. We developed a mine soil quality model that can be used to estimate the suitability of selected mined sites for carbon sequestration projects. Across the mine soil quality gradient, we tested survival and growth performance of three species assemblages under three levels of silvicultural. Hardwood species survived well in WV and VA, and survived better than the other species used in OH, while white pine had the poorest survival of all species at all sites. Survival was particularly good for the site-specific hardwoods planted at each site. Weed control plus tillage may be the optimum treatment for hardwoods and white pine, as any increased growth resulting from fertilization may not offset the decreased survival that accompanied fertilization. Grassland to forest conversion costs may be a major contributor to the lack of reforestation of previously reclaimed mine lands in the Appalachian coal-mining region. Otherwise profitable forestry opportunities may be precluded by these conversion costs, which for many combinations of factors (site class, forest type, timber prices, regeneration intensity, and interest rate) result in negative land expectation values

  7. 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

  8. Restoring Sustainable Forests on Appalachian Mined Lands for Wood Products, Renewable Energy, Carbon Sequestration, and Other Ecosystem Services

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burger, James A

    2005-07-20

    The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the biological and economic feasibility of restoring high-quality forests on mined land, and to measure carbon sequestration and wood production benefits that would be achieved from forest restoration procedures. We are currently estimating the acreage of lands in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania mined under SMCRA and reclaimed to non-forested post-mining land uses that are not currently under active management, and therefore can be considered as available for carbon sequestration. To determine actual sequestration under different forest management scenarios, a field study was installed as a 3 x 3 factorial in a random complete block design with three replications at each of three locations, one each in Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. The treatments included three forest types (white pine, hybrid poplar, mixed hardwood) and three silvicultural regimes (competition control, competition control plus tillage, competition control plus tillage plus fertilization). Each individual treatment plot is 0.5 acres. Each block of nine plots is 4.5 acres, and the complete installation at each site is 13.5 acres. During the reporting period we determined that by grinding the soil samples to a finer particle size of less than 250 μm (sieve No. 60), the effect of mine soil coal particle size on the extent to which these particles will be oxidized during the thermal treatment of the carbon partitioning procedure will be eliminated, thus making the procedure more accurate and precise. In the second phase of the carbon sequestration project, we focused our attention on determining the sample size required for carbon accounting on grassland mined fields in order to achieve a desired accuracy and precision of the final soil organic carbon (SOC) estimate. A mine land site quality classification scheme was developed and some field-testing of the methods of implementation was completed. The classification model

  9. N management of European grasslands: can the exchange of gaseous N species be influenced at the operational level?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calanca, P; Neftel, A; Fuhrer, J

    2001-11-30

    Grassland ecosystems can be regarded as biochemical reactors in which large amounts of organic nitrogen (N) are converted into inorganic N, and vice versa. If managed in a sustainable manner, grasslands should operate in a quasi steady state, characterized by an almost perfect balance between total N input and output. As a consequence, the exchange of gaseous N species (NH3, NO, NO2, N2O, and N2) between grasslands and the atmosphere is very small compared to the total N turnover. In this study, the effects of two management options (mowing and fertilization) on production and emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) from a grass/clover crop were examined on the basis of observations and model results referring to an experiment carried out on the Swiss Plateau in late summer of 2000. It was found that production and emission of N2O induced by mowing were of the same order of magnitude as those brought about by fertilization, suggesting a possible transfer of N from clover to the soil after defoliation. Emissions were strongly modulated by precipitation on time scales ranging from 1 day to 1 week. This indicates that effective control of N2O emissions through management on a day-to-day basis requires reliable medium-range weather forecasts. Model calculations were not able to reproduce essential characteristics of the emissions. The model slightly overestimated the background emissions, but severely underestimated the emission peaks following fertilizer application, and largely failed to reproduce emission induced by mowing. Shortfalls in the model used for this study were found in relation to the description of soil-water fluxes, soil organic matter, and the physiology of clover.

  10. N Management of European Grasslands: Can the Exchange of Gaseous N Species Be Influenced at the Operational Level?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Calanca

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems can be regarded as biochemical reactors in which large amounts of organic nitrogen (N are converted into inorganic N, and vice versa. If managed in a sustainable manner, grasslands should operate in a quasi steady state, characterized by an almost perfect balance between total N input and output. As a consequence, the exchange of gaseous N species (NH3, NO, NO2, N2O, and N2 between grasslands and the atmosphere is very small compared to the total N turnover. In this study, the effects of two management options (mowing and fertilization on production and emission of nitrous oxide (N2O from a grass/clover crop were examined on the basis of observations and model results referring to an experiment carried out on the Swiss Plateau in late summer of 2000. It was found that production and emission of N2O induced by mowing were of the same order of magnitude as those brought about by fertilization, suggesting a possible transfer of N from clover to the soil after defoliation. Emissions were strongly modulated by precipitation on time scales ranging from 1 day to 1 week. This indicates that effective control of N2O emissions through management on a day-to-day basis requires reliable medium-range weather forecasts. Model calculations were not able to reproduce essential characteristics of the emissions. The model slightly overestimated the background emissions, but severely underestimated the emission peaks following fertilizer application, and largely failed to reproduce emission induced by mowing. Shortfalls in the model used for this study were found in relation to the description of soil-water fluxes, soil organic matter, and the physiology of clover.

  11. Engineering sustainable ecosystems: using GIS-based habitat modeling for oil sands mine reclamation and closure planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seel, K.

    1997-01-01

    A GIS model was built to predict the climax vegetation habitat types on reclaimed mine surfaces in the Fort McMurray region of the Mid-Boreal Mixedwood Ecoregion of northwestern Alberta. Regional vegetation habitat types were classified by digital remote sensing using Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite data. Terrain data was derived from a high-resolution digital elevation model. The validated model was applied to the GIS database of Syncrude Canada's Mildred Lake Mine to predict future vegetation patterns based on the final closure mine surface. The results were compared to revegetation and closure plans created by experts to analyze performance and sustainability of reclamation efforts

  12. Can Conservation Contracts Co-exist with Change? Payment for Ecosystem Services in the Context of Adaptive Decision-Making and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Tanya; Murtinho, Felipe; Cárdenas Camacho, Luis Mario; Crespo, Patricio; McHugh, Sarah; Salmerón, David

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers the ability of payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs to operate in the context of dynamic and complex social-ecological systems. Drawing on the experiences of two different PES programs in Latin America, we examine how PES institutions fit with the tenets of adaptive decision-making for sustainable resource management. We identify how the program goals and the connection to the market influence the incentive structure, information gathering, learning and feedback processes, and the structure of decision-making rights, specifically the ability to make and modify resource-use rules. Although limited in their generalizability, findings from the two case studies suggest a tension between the contractual model of PES and adaptive decision-making in natural resource systems. PES programs are not inherently decentralized, flexible management tools, as PES contracts tend to restrict decision-making rights and offer minimal flexibility mechanisms to change resource-use practices over the duration of the contract period. Furthermore, PES design and flexibility is heavily dependent on the goals and mission of the buyer and the respective market. If PES is to facilitate sustainable resource management, greater attention is needed to assess how the institutional design of the PES contracts influence the motivation and capacity of participants and program officers alike to adaptively manage the respective resource systems.

  13. Can conservation contracts co-exist with change? Payment for ecosystem services in the context of adaptive decision-making and sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Tanya; Murtinho, Felipe; Cárdenas Camacho, Luis Mario; Crespo, Patricio; McHugh, Sarah; Salmerón, David

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers the ability of payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs to operate in the context of dynamic and complex social-ecological systems. Drawing on the experiences of two different PES programs in Latin America, we examine how PES institutions fit with the tenets of adaptive decision-making for sustainable resource management. We identify how the program goals and the connection to the market influence the incentive structure, information gathering, learning and feedback processes, and the structure of decision-making rights, specifically the ability to make and modify resource-use rules. Although limited in their generalizability, findings from the two case studies suggest a tension between the contractual model of PES and adaptive decision-making in natural resource systems. PES programs are not inherently decentralized, flexible management tools, as PES contracts tend to restrict decision-making rights and offer minimal flexibility mechanisms to change resource-use practices over the duration of the contract period. Furthermore, PES design and flexibility is heavily dependent on the goals and mission of the buyer and the respective market. If PES is to facilitate sustainable resource management, greater attention is needed to assess how the institutional design of the PES contracts influence the motivation and capacity of participants and program officers alike to adaptively manage the respective resource systems.

  14. Extremely acidic mine lake ecosystems in Lusatia (Germany) : characterisation and development of sustainable, biology-based acidity removal technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fyson, A.; Deneke, R.; Nixdorf, B.; Steinberg, C.E.W.

    2003-01-01

    There are approximately 500 infilled open-cast lignite pits in Germany that are extremely acidic because of high concentrations of dissolved metals, mostly iron and aluminium. The mining lakes have pH values of 2.4 to 3.4 and also have high sulphate concentrations. Efforts are being made to neutralize the lakes for recreational purposes. The acidity can be removed from the lakes in an economical and environmentally sustainable manner by flooding through diversion of neutral, nutrient-rich river water. This paper described the living conditions of the acidic mining lakes in the Lausitz region of Germany and summarized the benefits of the controlled eutrophication approach to enhance natural, self-sustaining processes for acid neutralization. Compared to infilling with river water, eutrophication increases lake productivity and removes acidity through sediment bound and water column biologically-mediated processes. The study involved basic research on particle transport in streams and lakes, pelagic food web interactions and submerged macrophyte metabolism. It also looked at the role of wetlands, bacterial interactions at the water-sediment interface, and modelling. It was shown that the addition of phosphorus and carbon to the water column can enhance primary production. Future studies will examine environmentally acceptable treatment strategies that offer an alternative to chemical treatment. 20 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs

  15. Holistic countermeasures evaluation and the sustainable restoration and long-term management of contaminated rural, urban and industrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beresford, N.A.; Wright, S.M.; Barnett, C.L.; Howard, B.J.; Cox, G.; Crout, N.M.J.

    2002-01-01

    Emergency planning as conducted by most national authorities is often focussed upon short-term response (few days - weeks) and addresses issues such as the need for evacuation, problems associated with 1 31I and immediate requirements for restrictions on food and water. There is limited systematic consideration of the long-term management of contaminated areas to ensure their sustainability. Experience following the Chernobyl accident, most especially within the countries of the former Soviet Union (fSU) but also in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, have demonstrated that countermeasures may have to be employed for a number of decades. The evaluation criteria for the many countermeasures which have been developed needs to be extended from simply effectiveness and radiological protection criteria to a more integrated, holistic approach. Specifically, there needs to be an assessment as to whether countermeasures: can be practically applied; incur considerable direct or side-effect costs; have significant environmental side-effects; and are acceptable to society. In addition, suitable approaches for successfully communicating with a wide range of stake holders must be explored. This is an essential step in developing a decision framework and avoiding problems previously experienced in emergency management. This paper presents results from an ongoing project (see www.strategy-ec.org.uk) to develop a framework for the identification of strategies for the sustainable management of contaminated urban, rural and industrial areas

  16. Proceedings of a symposium on the reclamation and restoration of boreal peatland and forest ecosystems : towards a sustainable future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhatti, J. [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Foote, L.; Moran, S. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Nadeau, L. [Northern Alberta Inst. of Technology, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Rochefort, L. [Laval Univ., Quebec City, PQ (Canada); Short, P. [Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association, St. Albert, AB (Canada); Vitt, D.H. [Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale, IL (United States); Wieder, K. [Villanova Univ., Villanova, PA (United States)] (comps.)

    2010-07-01

    Disturbances in Canada's boreal forest occur in both upland forests and in peatlands. These disturbances originate from both anthropogenic and natural causes, particularly fire. Techniques for the restoration, as well as the reclamation of peatlands and forests impacted by agriculture, urban development, or oil and gas activities, have made significant advancement over the last decade and these techniques need to be incorporated into the regulation and management of peatland and forest ecosystems. This symposium addressed the issue of how this research is affected by climate change. The sessions were entitled: (1) reclaiming forest and forest soils impacted by oil and gas production, (2) influence of oil sands development on forest communities, (3) understanding the importance of peatland and forest carbon in the twenty-first century, (4) reclaiming wetlands on mined oil sands tailing, (5) disturbance in peatlands and its relevance to minimizing disturbance footprints and informing reclamation efforts, and (6) restoration and management of harvested peatlands. The symposium featured 37 presentations, of which 6 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs.

  17. Climatic sensitivity of hydrology and carbon exchanges in boreal peatland ecosystems, with implications on sustainable management of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea, L.) on cutaway peatlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gong Jinnan

    2013-11-01

    and western areas of Finland. Peat extraction and RCG cultivation tends to limit the influence of WT on the root-zone moisture content in a peatland ecosystem, resulting in a high sensitivity of soil moisture content to the regularity of summer rainfall. However, the phenological cycle of RCG may represent an adaptive feature of photosynthesis to the stochasticity of summer precipitation. By the end of the 21st century, climate change will decrease the CO{sub 2} sequestration by 63%-87% in a cutaway RCG peatland during a main rotation period of 12 years. Nevertheless, the site could sustain a net CO{sub 2} sink, which is comparable to the pristine peatlands in the same region. (orig.)

  18. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ng, B.J.L.; Hutyra, L.R.; Nguyen, H.; Cobb, A.R.; Kai, F.M.; Harvey, C.; Gandois, L.

    2015-01-01

    Turfgrass covers a large fraction of the urbanized landscape, but the carbon exchange of urban lawns is poorly understood. We used eddy covariance and flux chambers in a grassland field manipulative experiment to quantify the carbon mass balance in a Singapore tropical turfgrass. We also assessed how management and variations in environmental factors influenced CO 2 respiration. Standing aboveground turfgrass biomass was 80 gC m −2 , with a mean ecosystem respiration of 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1 . The contribution of autotrophic respiration was 49–76% of total ecosystem respiration. Both chamber and eddy covariance measurements suggest the system was in approximate carbon balance. While we did not observe a significant relationship between the respiration rates and soil temperature or moisture, daytime fluxes increased during the rainy interval, indicating strong overall moisture sensitivity. Turfgrass biomass is small, but given its abundance across the urban landscape, it significantly influences diurnal CO 2 concentrations. - Highlights: • We measured urban turfgrass CO 2 respiration rates and soil characteristics. • Mean observed ecosystem respiration was 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1 . • Soil temperature and moisture were largely insignificant drivers of observed flux. - We found a Singapore urban turfgrass to be approximately carbon neutral, with a mean ecosystem respiration of 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1

  19. Consequences of artichoke thistle invasion and removal on carbon and water cycling in a Mediterranean grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, D. L.; Harpole, W. S.; Suding, K. N.; Goulden, M. L.

    2006-12-01

    Changes in vegetation structure and composition may interact with management activities to influence biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of mass and energy in unforeseen ways. Increases in the distribution and density of artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus), a perennial, non-native forb in Californian coastal grasslands, may alter seasonal dynamics of ecosystem C-assimilation and evapotranspiration (ET). During spring and summer 2006, we compared midday net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ET among adjacent grassland plots where thistle was present and where it was absent. Estimates of NEE supported the prediction that deeply-rooted thistles increase ecosystem C-assimilation. Measurements of midday ecosystem respiration demonstrated that increases in ecosystem C-assimilation were associated with increased ecosystem photosynthesis rather than declines in respiration. Furthermore, the presence of C. cardunculus increased midday ET but did not influence shallow soil moisture or ecosystem water use efficiency. Following the initial sampling in late April, we removed C. cardunculus from half the thistle- containing plots with spot applications of herbicide. Three weeks later, fluxes in thistle-removal plots were indistinguishable from those in plots where thistles were never present, suggesting additive rather than interactive effects of thistles on grassland CO2 exchange and ET. Similar to woody-encroachment in some semi-arid ecosystems, C. cardunculus invasion in Californian grasslands increases ecosystem CO2 assimilation. Moreover, our results suggest that herbicide removal of C. cardunculus may be accompanied by few legacy effects. Future research should focus on the effects of C. cardunculus on early-growing season fluxes and belowground C-storage, and the interaction between the spread of non-native species and climate variability on biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of carbon and water.

  20. Protecting Mongolia's grassland steppes | CRDI - Centre de ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... windy grassland region is severely damaged, desertification can quickly set in. ... to marketing to the sound use of (grassland) resources," explains Ykhanbai, who ... is going to require improvement in the skills of researchers, adds Ykhanbai.

  1. Evaluating the Impacts of Grassland Conversions to Experimental Forest on Groundwater Recharge in the Nebraska Sand Hills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adane, Zablon A.

    The Nebraska Sand Hills grasslands provide the greatest groundwater recharge rates in the High Plains Aquifer. However, the grasslands and their ecological services have become vulnerable to land use change and degradation. This study used a series of field data to investigate the effects of grassland conversions to forest on recharge rates in a century-old experimental forest in the Sand Hills. The results show that the impact of grassland conversion on recharge was dependent on the species and plantation density. Estimated recharge rates beneath the dense plantations represent reductions of 86-94% relative to the native grassland. Results of 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectral analysis suggested that the surface soil organic carbon beneath pine plantations also contain up to 3 times the ratio of hydrophobic components than the native grasslands and may alter the soil hydraulic properties. This investigation further uncovered a previously overlooked feedback between the effect of soil organic carbon chemical shift generated by the ponderosa pine needle litter decomposition; namely that the alteration may have a link to reduced groundwater recharge rates. Thus, a global optimizer algorithm was used to estimate the effective soil hydraulic parameters from monthly soil moisture contents and recharge rates were then estimated through HYDRUS 1-D numerical modeling for grassland and pine forest soils. The impact of grassland conversion to pine was an overall reduction of groundwater recharge by nearly 100%. These outcomes highlight the significance of the grasslands for recharge, in the Sand Hills and the sustainability of the High Plains Aquifer.

  2. Ecosystem services in ECOCLIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Lise Lotte; Boegh, Eva; Bendtsen, J

    that actions initiated to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions are sustainable and not destructive to existing ecosystem services. Therefore it is important to address i.e. land use change in relation to the regulating services of the ecosystems, such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation. At present...... a thorough understanding of the ecosystem processes controlling the uptake or emissions of GHG is fundamental. Here we present ECOCLIM in the context of ecosystem services and the experimental studies within ECOCLIM which will lead to an enhanced understanding of Danish ecosystems....

  3. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

  4. Effects of 10-Year Management Regimes on the Soil Seed Bank in Saline-Alkaline Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Hongyuan; Yang, Haoyu; Liang, Zhengwei; Ooi, Mark K. J.

    2015-01-01

    species L. chinensis. This approach could be beneficial for the restoration of dominant species in a wide range of degraded grassland ecosystems. PMID:25902145

  5. Payment schemes for hydrological ecosystem services as a political instrument for the sustainable management of natural resources and poverty reduction - a case study from Belén, Nicaragua

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hack, J.

    2010-08-01

    The importance of intact ecosystems for human-wellbeing as well as the dependence on functions and services they provide is undoubted. But still neither the costs of ecosystem degradation nor the benefits from ecosystem functions and services appear on socio-economic balance sheets when development takes place. Consequently overuse of natural resources is socio-economically promoted by conventional resource management policies and external effects (externalities), equally positives and negatives, remain unregarded. In this context the potential of payments for hydrological ecosystem services as a political instrument to foster sustainable natural resource use, and rural development shall be investigated. This paper introduces the principle concept of such payments, presents a case study from Nicaragua and highlights preliminary effects of the application of this instrument on natural resource use and development.

  6. Beyond 2001: a silvicultural odyssey to sustaining terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems? Proceedings of the 2001 national silviculture workshop, May 6-10, Hood River, Oregon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharon Parker; Susan Stevens. Hummel

    2002-01-01

    The 2001 National Silviculture Workshop was held in Hood River, Oregon, and hosted by the Mt. Hood National Forest, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and the Pacific Northwest Research Station. The Washington Office Vegetation Management and Protection Research and Forest and Grassland staffs are ongoing sponsors of the biennial workshop, which began in 1973 in...

  7. Key features for more successful place-based sustainability research on social-ecological systems: a Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Balvanera

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The emerging discipline of sustainability science is focused explicitly on the dynamic interactions between nature and society and is committed to research that spans multiple scales and can support transitions toward greater sustainability. Because a growing body of place-based social-ecological sustainability research (PBSESR has emerged in recent decades, there is a growing need to understand better how to maximize the effectiveness of this work. The Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS provides a unique opportunity for synthesizing insights gained from this research community on key features that may contribute to the relative success of PBSESR. We surveyed the leaders of PECS-affiliated projects using a combination of open, closed, and semistructured questions to identify which features of a research project are perceived to contribute to successful research design and implementation. We assessed six types of research features: problem orientation, research team, and contextual, conceptual, methodological, and evaluative features. We examined the desirable and undesirable aspects of each feature, the enabling factors and obstacles associated with project implementation, and asked respondents to assess the performance of their own projects in relation to these features. Responses were obtained from 25 projects working in 42 social-ecological study cases within 25 countries. Factors that contribute to the overall success of PBSESR included: explicitly addressing integrated social-ecological systems; a focus on solution- and transformation-oriented research; adaptation of studies to their local context; trusted, long-term, and frequent engagement with stakeholders and partners; and an early definition of the purpose and scope of research. Factors that hindered the success of PBSESR included: the complexities inherent to social-ecological systems, the imposition of particular epistemologies and methods on the wider research group

  8. Carbon dynamics in an Imperata grassland in Northeast India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrabati Thokchom

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Carbon stocks and soil CO2 flux were assessed in an Imperata cylindrica grassland of Manipur, Northeast India. Carbon stocks in the vegetative components were estimated to be 11.17 t C/ha and soil organic carbon stocks were 55.94 t C/ha to a depth of 30 cm. The rates of carbon accumulation in above-ground and below-ground biomass were estimated to be 11.85 t C/ha/yr and 11.71 t C/ha/yr, respectively. Annual soil CO2 flux was evaluated as 6.95 t C/ha and was highly influenced by soil moisture, soil temperature and soil organic carbon as well as by C stocks in above-ground biomass. Our study on the carbon budget of the grassland ecosystem revealed that annually 23.56 t C/ha was captured by the vegetation through photosynthesis, and 6.95 t C/ha was returned to the atmosphere through roots and microbial respiration, with a net balance of 16.61 t C/ha/yr being retained in the grassland ecosystem. Thus the present Imperata grassland exhibited a high capacity to remove atmospheric CO2 and to induce high C stocks in the soil provided it is protected from burning and overgrazing.Keywords: Above-ground biomass, below-ground biomass, carbon stocks, carbon storage, net primary productivity, soil CO2 flux.DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(419-28  

  9. Stable carbon isotope analysis of soil organic matter illustrates vegetation change at the grassland/woodland boundary in southeastern Arizona, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, G R; Boutton, T W; Midwood, A J

    1993-02-01

    In southeastern Arizona, Prosopis juliflora (Swartz) DC. and Quercus emoryi Torr. are the dominant woody species at grassland/woodland boundaries. The stability of the grassland/woodland boundary in this region has been questioned, although there is no direct evidence to confirm that woodland is encroaching into grassland or vice versa. We used stable carbon isotope analysis of soil organic matter to investigate the direction and magnitude of vegetation change along this ecotone. δ 13 C values of soil organic matter and roots along the ecotone indicated that both dominant woody species (C 3 ) are recent components of former grasslands (C 4 ), consistent with other reports of recent increases in woody plant abundance in grasslands and savannas throughout the world. Data on root biomass and soil organic matter suggest that this increase in woody plant abundance in grasslands and savannas may increase carbon storage in these ecosystems, with implications for the global carbon cycle.

  10. Temporal and spatial changes of land use and landscape in a coal mining area in Xilingol grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Chunzhu; Zhang, Baolin; Li, Jiannan; Zhao, Junling

    2017-01-01

    Coal mining, particularly surface mining, inevitably disturbs land. According to Landsat images acquired over Xilingol grassland in 2005, 2009 and 2015, land uses were divided into seven classes, i. e., open stope, stripping area, waste-dump area, mine industrial area, farmland, urban area and the original landscape (grassland), using supervised classification and human-computer interactive interpretation. The overall classification accuracies were 97.72 %, 98.43 % and 96.73 %, respectively; the Kappa coefficients were 0.95, 0.97 and 0.95, respectively. Analysis on LUCC (Land Use and Cover Change) showed that surface coal mining disturbed grassland ecosystem: grassland decreased by 8661.15 hm2 in 2005-2015. The area and proportion of mining operation areas (open stope, stripping area, waste-dump area, mine industrial field) increased, but those of grassland decreased continuously. Transfer matrix of land use changes showed that waste-dump had the largest impacts in mining disturbance, and that effective reclamation of waste-dump areas would mitigate eco-environment destruction, as would be of great significance to protect fragile grassland eco-system. Six landscape index showed that landscape fragmentation increased, and the influences of human activity on landscape was mainly reflected in the expansion of mining area and urban area. Remote sensing monitoring of coal surface mining in grassland would accurately demonstrate the dynamics and trend of LUCC, providing scientific supports for ecological reconstruction in surface mining area.

  11. Phytoplankton bloom dynamics in coastal ecosystems: A review with some general lessons from sustained investigation of San Francisco Bay, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloern, James E.

    1996-05-01

    Phytoplankton blooms are prominent features of biological variability in shallow coastal ecosystems such as estuaries, lagoons, bays, and tidal rivers. Long-term observation and research in San Francisco Bay illustrates some patterns of phytoplankton spatial and temporal variability and the underlying mechanisms of this variability. Blooms are events of rapid production and accumulation of phytoplankton biomass that are usually responses to changing physical forcings originating in the coastal ocean (e.g., tides), the atmosphere (wind), or on the land surface (precipitation and river runoff). These physical forcings have different timescales of variability, so algal blooms can be short-term episodic events, recurrent seasonal phenomena, or rare events associated with exceptional climatic or hydrologic conditions. The biogeochemical role of phytoplankton primary production is to transform and incorporate reactive inorganic elements into organic forms, and these transformations are rapid and lead to measurable geochemical change during blooms. Examples include the depletion of inorganic nutrients (N, P, Si), supersaturation of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide, shifts in the isotopic composition of reactive elements (C, N), production of climatically active trace gases (methyl bromide, dimethylsulfide), changes in the chemical form and toxicity of trace metals (As, Cd, Ni, Zn), changes in the biochemical composition and reactivity of the suspended particulate matter, and synthesis of organic matter required for the reproduction and growth of heterotrophs, including bacteria, zooplankton, and benthic consumer animals. Some classes of phytoplankton play special roles in the cycling of elements or synthesis of specific organic molecules, but we have only rudimentary understanding of the forces that select for and promote blooms of these species. Mounting evidence suggests that the natural cycles of bloom variability are being altered on a global scale by human

  12. The history of widespread decrease in oak dominance exemplified in a grassland--forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; Daniel C. Dey; Hong S. He

    2014-01-01

    Regionally-distinctive open oak forest ecosystems have been replaced either by intensive agriculture and grazing fields or by denser forests throughout eastern North America and Europe. To quantify changes in tree communities and density in the Missouri Plains, a grassland-forest landscape, we used historical surveys from1815 to 1864 and current surveys from 2004 to...

  13. Aboveground vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore impacts on net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anita C. Risch; Martin Schutz; Martijn L. Vandegehuchte; Wim H. van der Putten; Henk Duyts; Ursina Raschein; Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz; Matt D. Busse; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Stephan Zimmerman

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground herbivores have strong effects on grassland nitrogen (N) cycling. They can accelerate or slow down soil net N mineralization depending on ecosystem productivity and grazing intensity. Yet, most studies only consider either ungulates or invertebrate herbivores, but not the combined effect of several functionally different vertebrate and invertebrate...

  14. A prototype application of state and transition simulation modeling in support of grassland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt Reeves; Paulette Ford; Leonardo Frid; David Augustine; Justin Derner

    2016-01-01

    The Great Plains grasslands of North America provide a multitude of ecosystem services including clean water, forage, habitat, recreation, and pollination of native and agricultural plants. A general lack of quantitative information regarding the effects of varied management strategies on these spatially heterogeneous landscapes complicates our understanding...

  15. Payments for Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chan, Kai M.A; Anderson, Emily K.; Chapman, Mollie

    2017-01-01

    Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are one prominent strategy to address economic externalities of resource extraction and commodity production, improving both social and ecological outcomes. But do PES and related incentive programs achieve that lofty goal? Along with considerable en...... sustainable relationships with nature, conserving and restoring ecosystems and their benefits for people now and in the future....

  16. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this document is to propose how ecological monitoring might be developed in the Grassland Biome of South Africa. Monitoring is defined as the maintenance of regular surveillance to test the null hypothesis of no change...

  17. Traditional cattle grazing in a mosaic alkali landscape: effects on grassland biodiversity along a moisture gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter Török

    Full Text Available Extensively managed pastures are of crucial importance in sustaining biodiversity both in local- and landscape-level. Thus, re-introduction of traditional grazing management is a crucial issue in grassland conservation actions worldwide. Traditional grazing with robust cattle breeds in low stocking rates is considered to be especially useful to mimic natural grazing regimes, but well documented case-studies are surprisingly rare on this topic. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of traditional Hungarian Grey cattle grazing as a conservation action in a mosaic alkali landscape. We asked the following questions: (i How does cattle grazing affect species composition and diversity of the grasslands? (ii What are the effects of grazing on short-lived and perennial noxious species? (iii Are there distinct effects of grazing in dry-, mesophilous- and wet grassland types? Vegetation of fenced and grazed plots in a 200-ha sized habitat complex (secondary dry grasslands and pristine mesophilous- and wet alkali grasslands was sampled from 2006-2009 in East-Hungary. We found higher diversity scores in grazed plots compared to fenced ones in mesophilous- and wet grasslands. Higher cover of noxious species was typical in fenced plots compared to their grazed counterparts in the last year in every studied grassland type. We found an increasing effect of grazing from the dry- towards the wet grassland types. The year-to-year differences also followed similar pattern: the site-dependent effects were the lowest in the dry grassland and an increasing effect was detected along the moisture gradient. We found that extensive Hungarian Grey cattle grazing is an effective tool to suppress noxious species and to create a mosaic vegetation structure, which enables to maintain high species richness in the landscape. Hungarian Grey cattle can feed in open habitats along long moisture gradient, thus in highly mosaic landscapes this breed can be the most suitable

  18. LivestockPlus — The sustainable intensification of forage-based agricultural systems to improve livelihoods and ecosystem services in the tropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Rao

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available As global demand for livestock products (such as meat, milk and eggs is expected to double by 2050, necessary increases to future production must be reconciled with negative environmental impacts that livestock cause. This paper describes the LivestockPlus concept and demonstrates how the sowing of improved forages can lead to the sustainable intensification of mixed crop-forage-livestock-tree systems in the tropics by producing multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. Sustainable intensification not only improves the productivity of tropical forage-based systems but also reduces the ecological footprint of livestock production and generates a diversity of ecosystem services (ES such as improved soil quality and reduced erosion, sedimentation and greenhouse gas (GHG emissions. Integrating improved grass and legume forages into mixed production systems (crop-livestock, tree-livestock, crop-tree-livestock can restore degraded lands and enhance system resilience to drought and waterlogging associated with climate change. When properly managed tropical forages accumulate large amounts of carbon in soil, fix atmospheric nitrogen (legumes, inhibit nitrification in soil and reduce nitrous oxide emissions (grasses, and reduce GHG emissions per unit livestock product. The LivestockPlus concept is defined as the sustainable intensification of forage-based systems, which is based on 3 interrelated intensification processes: genetic intensification - the development and use of superior grass and legume cultivars for increased livestock productivity; ecological intensification - the development and application of improved farm and natural resource management practices; and socio-economic intensification - the improvement of local and national institutions and policies, which enable refinements of technologies and support their enduring use. Increases in livestock productivity will require coordinated efforts to develop supportive government, non

  19. Research priorities for grassland science: the need of long term integrated experiments networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lemaire

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands have to be considered not only as a mean for providing foods for domestic herbivore but also as an important biome of terrestrial biosphere. This function of grasslands as an active component of our environment requires specific studies on the role and impact of this ecosystem on soil erosion and soil quality, quality and quantity of water resources, atmosphere composition and greenhouse gas emission or sequestration, biodiversity dynamics at different scales from field plot to landscape. All these functions have to be evaluated in conjunction with the function of providing animal products for increasing human population. So multifunctionality of grasslands become a new paradigm for grassland science. Environmental and biodiversity outputs require long term studies, being the long term retro-active processes within soil, vegetation and micro-organism communities in relation to changes in management programme. So grassland science needs to carry on long term integrated experimentation for studying all the environmental outputs and ecological services associated to grassland management systems.

  20. 内蒙古典型草原不同群落净生态系统生产力的动态变化%Net ecosystem productivity dynamics of grassland communities on the typical steppe of Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    穆少杰; 周可新; 陈奕兆; 杨齐; 李建龙

    2014-01-01

    净生态系统生产力(net ecosystem productivity,NEP)是反映生态系统碳源汇功能的重要指标.本研究选取内蒙古锡林河流域的贝加尔针茅群落、大针茅群落、克氏针茅群落和羊草群落为对象,利用BIOME-BGC模型模拟了4个草地群落年际间和年内逐日NEP动态变化,分析了4个草地群落对降水量的响应特征和可能机制,并且探讨气候变化背景下4个草地群落水分胁迫系数、降水利用率和碳转化效率的变化规律.结果表明:1954-2012年贝加尔针茅群落、大针茅群落、克氏针茅群落和羊草群落的多年平均NEP分别为11.41、-7.82、-5.03和9.30 g C·m-2·a-1.总体来看,4种草地群落多年平均日NEP的年内季节动态均呈先释放、后固碳、再释放的变化特征.4种草地群落多年平均水分胁迫系数由高到低分别为:贝加尔针茅>羊草>大针茅>克氏针茅;多年平均降水利用效率由高到低分别为:贝加尔针茅>克氏针茅>大针茅>羊草;多年平均碳素转化效率由高到低分别为:贝加尔针茅>克氏针茅>大针茅>羊草.4种草地群落NEP与年降水量均存在显著的相关性,NEP为0时,4种草地群落年降水量平均值为295.76 mm,说明在年降水量大于该值时NEP多为正值,而小于该值时NEP多为负值.

  1. Responses of soil fungal community to the sandy grassland restoration in Horqin Sandy Land, northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shao-Kun; Zuo, Xiao-An; Zhao, Xue-Yong; Li, Yu-Qiang; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Luo, Yong-Qing; Yun, Jian-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Sandy grassland restoration is a vital process including re-structure of soils, restoration of vegetation, and soil functioning in arid and semi-arid regions. Soil fungal community is a complex and critical component of soil functioning and ecological balance due to its roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling following sandy grassland restoration. In this study, soil fungal community and its relationship with environmental factors were examined along a habitat gradient of sandy grassland restoration: mobile dunes (MD), semi-fixed dunes (SFD), fixed dunes (FD), and grassland (G). It was found that species abundance, richness, and diversity of fungal community increased along with the sandy grassland restoration. The sequences analysis suggested that most of the fungal species (68.4 %) belonged to the phylum of Ascomycota. The three predominant fungal species were Pleospora herbarum, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Deconica Montana, accounting for more than one fourth of all the 38 species. Geranomyces variabilis was the subdominant species in MD, Pseudogymnoascus destructans and Mortierella alpine were the subdominant species in SFD, and P. destructans and Fungi incertae sedis were the dominant species in FD and G. The result from redundancy analysis (RDA) and stepwise regression analysis indicated that the vegetation characteristics and soil properties explain a significant proportion of the variation in the fungal community, and aboveground biomass and C:N ratio are the key factors to determine soil fungal community composition during sandy grassland restoration. It was suggested that the restoration of sandy grassland combined with vegetation and soil properties improved the soil fungal diversity. Also, the dominant species was found to be alternative following the restoration of sandy grassland ecosystems.

  2. Exchange of soil moisture between patches of wild-olive and pasture sustains evapotranspiration of a Mediterranean ecosystem in both wet and dry seasons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curreli, M.; Montaldo, N.; Oren, R.

    2017-12-01

    Partitioning evapotranspiration in water-limited environments, such as Mediterranean ecosystems, could give information on vegetation and hydraulic dynamics. Indeed, in such ecosystems, trees may survive prolonged droughts by uptake of water by dimorphic root system: deep roots and shallower lateral roots, extending beyond the crown into inter-trees grassy areas. The water exchange between under canopy areas and treeless patches plays a crucial role on sustaining tree and grass physiological performance during droughts. The study has been performed at the Orroli site, Sardinia (Italy). The landscape is covered by patchy vegetation: wild olives trees in clumps and herbaceous species, drying to bare soil in summer. The climate is characterized by long droughts from May to October and rain events concentrated in the autumn and winter, whit a mean yearly rain of about 700 mm. A 10 m micrometeorological tower equipped with eddy-covariance system has been used for measuring water and energy surface fluxes, as well as key state variables (e.g. temperature, radiations, humidity and wind velocity). Soil moisture was measured with five soil water reflectometers (two below the olive canopy and three in the pasture). To estimate plant water use in the context of soil water dynamic, 33 Granier-type thermal dissipation probes were installed 40 cm aboveground, in representative trees over the eddy covariance footprint. Early analyses show that wild olive continue to transpire even as the soil dries and the pasture desiccates. This reveled hydraulic redistribution system through the plant and the soil, and allows to quantify the reliance of the system on horizontally and vertically differentiated soil compartments. Results shows that during light hours, until transpiration decreases in midday, shallow roots uptake deplete the shallow water content. As transpiration decreases, hydraulically redistributed water provides for both transpiration of wild olives and recharge of shallow

  3. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species' ecological niches distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

  4. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species’ ecological niches distances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e. ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits and whole plant traits in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species’ ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance.

  5. Regional Approach for Managing for Resilience Linking Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Strategies for Agro-Pastoral Communities in the Mongolian Steppe Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojima, D. S.; Togtohyn, C.; Qi, J.; Galvin, K.

    2011-12-01

    Dramatic changes due to climate and land use dynamics in the Mongolian Plateau are affecting ecosystem services and agro-pastoral livelihoods in Mongolia and China. Recently, evaluation of pastoral systems, where humans depend on livestock and grassland ecosystem services, have demonstrated the vulnerability of the social-ecological system to climate change. Current social-ecological changes in ecosystem services are affecting land productivity and carrying capacity, land-atmosphere interactions, water resources, and livelihood strategies. Regional dust events, changes in hydrological cycle, and land use changes contribute to changing interactions between ecosystem and landscape processes which then affect social-ecological systems. The general trend involves greater intensification of resource exploitation at the expense of traditional patterns of extensive range utilization. Thus we expect climate-land use-land cover relationships to be crucially modified by the socio-economic forces. The analysis incorporates information of the socio-economic transitions taking place in the region which affect land-use, food security, and ecosystem dynamics. The region of study extends from the Mongolian plateau in Mongolia and China to the fertile northeast China plain. Sustainability of agro-pastoral systems in the region needs to integrate the impact of climate change on ecosystem services with socio-economic changes shaping the livelihood strategies of pastoral systems in the region. Adaptation strategies which incorporate landscape management provides a potential framework to link ecosystem services across space and time more effectively to meet the needs of agro-pastoral land use, herd quality, and herder's living standards. Under appropriate adaptation strategies agro-pastoralists will have the opportunity to utilize seasonal resources and enhance their ability to process and manufacture products from the available ecosystem services in these dynamic social

  6. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wilcox, K. R.; Shi, Z.; Gherardi, L. A.; Lemoine, N. P.; Koerner, S. E.; Hoover, D. L.; Bork, E.; Byrne, K. M.; Cahill, J.; Collins, S. L.; Evans, S.M.; Gilgen, Anna K.; Holub, Petr; Jiang, L.; Knapp, A. K.; LeCain, D.; Liang, J.; Garcia-Palacios, P.; Penuelas, J.; Pockman, W. T.; Smith, M. D.; Sun, S.; White, S. R.; Yahdjian, L.; Zhu, K.; Luo, Y.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 10 (2017), s. 4376-4385 ISSN 1354-1013 Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : net primary productivity * terrestrial ecosystems * temperate grassland * biomass allocation * plant-communities * tallgrass prairie * climate extremes * use efficiency * united-states * global-change * aboveground net primary productivity * belowground net primary productivity * biomass allocation * climate change * grasslands * meta-analysis * root biomass Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7) Impact factor: 8.502, year: 2016

  7. Grassland/atmosphere response to changing climate: Coupling regional and local scales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coughenour, M.B.; Kittel, T.G.F.; Pielke, R.A.; Eastman, J.

    1993-10-01

    The objectives of the study were: to evaluate the response of grassland ecosystems to atmospheric change at regional and site scales, and to develop multiscaled modeling systems to relate ecological and atmospheric models with different spatial and temporal resolutions. A menu-driven shell was developed to facilitate use of models at different temporal scales and to facilitate exchange information between models at different temporal scales. A detailed ecosystem model predicted that C 3 temperate grasslands wig respond more strongly to elevated CO 2 than temperate C 4 grasslands in the short-term while a large positive N-PP response was predicted for a C 4 Kenyan grassland. Long-term climate change scenarios produced either decreases or increases in Colorado plant productivity (NPP) depending on rainfall, but uniform increases in N-PP were predicted in Kenya. Elevated CO 2 is likely to have little effect on ecosystem carbon storage in Colorado while it will increase carbon storage in Kenya. A synoptic climate classification processor (SCP) was developed to evaluate results of GCM climate sensitivity experiments. Roughly 80% agreement was achieved with manual classifications. Comparison of lx and 2xCO 2 GCM Simulations revealed relatively small differences

  8. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  9. Biomass production efficiency controlled by management in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campioli, M.; Vicca, S.; Luyssaert, S.; Bilcke, J.; Ceschia, E.; Chapin, F. S., III; Ciais, P.; Fernández-Martínez, M.; Malhi, Y.; Obersteiner, M.; Olefeldt, D.; Papale, D.; Piao, S. L.; Peñuelas, J.; Sullivan, P. F.; Wang, X.; Zenone, T.; Janssens, I. A.

    2015-11-01

    Plants acquire carbon through photosynthesis to sustain biomass production, autotrophic respiration and production of non-structural compounds for multiple purposes. The fraction of photosynthetic production used for biomass production, the biomass production efficiency, is a key determinant of the conversion of solar energy to biomass. In forest ecosystems, biomass production efficiency was suggested to be related to site fertility. Here we present a database of biomass production efficiency from 131 sites compiled from individual studies using harvest, biometric, eddy covariance, or process-based model estimates of production. The database is global, but dominated by data from Europe and North America. We show that instead of site fertility, ecosystem management is the key factor that controls biomass production efficiency in terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, in natural forests, grasslands, tundra, boreal peatlands and marshes, biomass production efficiency is independent of vegetation, environmental and climatic drivers. This similarity of biomass production efficiency across natural ecosystem types suggests that the ratio of biomass production to gross primary productivity is constant across natural ecosystems. We suggest that plant adaptation results in similar growth efficiency in high- and low-fertility natural systems, but that nutrient influxes under managed conditions favour a shift to carbon investment from the belowground flux of non-structural compounds to aboveground biomass.

  10. Fishing for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin L; Pegg, Mark A; Cole, Nicholas W; Siddons, Stephen F; Fedele, Alexis D; Harmon, Brian S; Ruskamp, Ryan L; Turner, Dylan R; Uerling, Caleb C

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. [Edge influence of soil moisture at farmland-grassland boundary in agriculture-pasturage ecotone of northern China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hong-lai; Zhang, Wei-hua; Wang, Kun; Zhao, Na

    2009-03-01

    In the agriculture-pasturage ecotone of Northern China, a typical zone with linear boundary of cropland and grassland was chosen to investigate its soil moisture regime, and the moving split-window technique was adopted to study the edge influence of soil moisture at the boundary. The results showed that the edge influence was 10 m, from 6 m within grassland and 4 m within cropland, and was categorized as the acute change type boundary. Accordingly, the farmland-grassland landscape boundary could be divided into three functional zones, i.e., grassland zone, farmland zone, and compositional ecotone zone. Soil moisture content varied abruptly in the ecotone zone, but presented linear distribution in both grassland zone and farmland zone. The average soil moisture content in grassland was about 1 g x g(-1) higher than that in farmland, which was mainly caused by the decreased capillary moisture capacity of farmland. Owing to the different vegetation cover, farmland and grassland had different transpiration and evaporation, which led to the diverse soil moisture regime, making soil water potential changed and water movement from one ecosystem to another possible.

  12. Irrigation management for optimizing crop production and nitrate leaching on grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hack-ten Broeke, M.J.D.

    2001-01-01

    Six supplementary irrigation management options for grazed grassland were defined and their effects on both agricultural production and nitrate leaching to the groundwater were studied. Data were available from the De Marke experimental farm for sustainable dairy farming. The calibrated and

  13. Faunal isotope records reveal trophic and nutrient dynamics in twentieth century Yellowstone grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Nelson, Abigail A; Koch, Paul L; Leonard, Jennifer A

    2012-10-23

    Population sizes and movement patterns of ungulate grazers and their predators have fluctuated dramatically over the past few centuries, largely owing to overharvesting, land-use change and historic management. We used δ(13)C and δ(15)N values measured from bone collagen of historic and recent gray wolves and their potential primary prey from Yellowstone National Park to gain insight into the trophic dynamics and nutrient conditions of historic and modern grasslands. The diet of reintroduced wolves closely parallels that of the historic population. We suggest that a significant shift in faunal δ(15)N values over the past century reflects impacts of anthropogenic environmental changes on grassland ecosystems, including grazer-mediated shifts in grassland nitrogen cycle processes.

  14. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, Bingzhen; Zhen, Lin; Yan, Huimin; Groot, de Dolf

    2016-01-01

    Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998) a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of

  15. Ecosystem services to enhance sustainable forest management in the US: moving from forest service national programmes to local projects in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Deal; Nikola Smith; Joe Gates

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are increasingly recognized as a way of framing and describing the broad suite of benefits that people receive from forests. The USDA Forest Service has been exploring use of an ecosystem services framework to describe forest values provided by federal lands and to attract and build partnerships with stakeholders to implement projects. Recently, the...

  16. The Effects of Timing of Grazing on Plant and Arthropod Communities in High-Elevation Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Stacy C.; Burkle, Laura A.; Cross, Wyatt F.; Cutting, Kyle A.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock grazing can be used as a key management tool for maintaining healthy ecosystems. However, the effectiveness of using grazing to modify habitat for species of conservation concern depends on how the grazing regime is implemented. Timing of grazing is one grazing regime component that is less understood than grazing intensity and grazer identity, but is predicted to have important implications for plant and higher trophic level responses. We experimentally assessed how timing of cattle grazing affected plant and arthropod communities in high-elevation grasslands of southwest Montana to better evaluate its use as a tool for multi-trophic level management. We manipulated timing of grazing, with one grazing treatment beginning in mid-June and the other in mid-July, in two experiments conducted in different grassland habitat types (i.e., wet meadow and upland) in 2011 and 2012. In the upland grassland experiment, we found that both early and late grazing treatments reduced forb biomass, whereas graminoid biomass was only reduced with late grazing. Grazing earlier in the growing season versus later did not result in greater recovery of graminoid or forb biomass as expected. In addition, the density of the most ubiquitous grassland arthropod order (Hemiptera) was reduced by both grazing treatments in upland grasslands. A comparison of end-of-season plant responses to grazing in upland versus wet meadow grasslands revealed that grazing reduced graminoid biomass in the wet meadow and forb biomass in the upland, irrespective of timing of grazing. Both grazing treatments also reduced end-of-season total arthropod and Hemiptera densities and Hemiptera biomass in both grassland habitat types. Our results indicate that both early and late season herbivory affect many plant and arthropod characteristics in a similar manner, but grazing earlier may negatively impact species of conservation concern requiring forage earlier in the growing season. PMID:25338008

  17. A new framework for evaluating the impacts of drought on net primary productivity of grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Tianjie; Wu, Jianjun; Li, Xiaohan; Geng, Guangpo; Shao, Changliang; Zhou, Hongkui; Wang, Qianfeng; Liu, Leizhen

    2015-12-01

    This paper presented a valuable framework for evaluating the impacts of droughts (single factor) on grassland ecosystems. This framework was defined as the quantitative magnitude of drought impact that unacceptable short-term and long-term effects on ecosystems may experience relative to the reference standard. Long-term effects on ecosystems may occur relative to the reference standard. Net primary productivity (NPP) was selected as the response indicator of drought to assess the quantitative impact of drought on Inner Mongolia grassland based on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and BIOME-BGC model. The framework consists of six main steps: 1) clearly defining drought scenarios, such as moderate, severe and extreme drought; 2) selecting an appropriate indicator of drought impact; 3) selecting an appropriate ecosystem model and verifying its capabilities, calibrating the bias and assessing the uncertainty; 4) assigning a level of unacceptable impact of drought on the indicator; 5) determining the response of the indicator to drought and normal weather state under global-change; and 6) investigating the unacceptable impact of drought at different spatial scales. We found NPP losses assessed using the new framework were more sensitive to drought and had higher precision than the long-term average method. Moreover, the total and average losses of NPP are different in different grassland types during the drought years from 1961-2009. NPP loss was significantly increased along a gradient of increasing drought levels. Meanwhile, NPP loss variation under the same drought level was different in different grassland types. The operational framework was particularly suited for integrative assessing the effects of different drought events and long-term droughts at multiple spatial scales, which provided essential insights for sciences and societies that must develop coping strategies for ecosystems for such events. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Shift in soil microbial communities with shrub encroachment in Inner Mongolia grasslands, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, H.; Li, H.; Zhang, J.; Hu, H.; Chen, L.; Zhu, Y.; Fang, J.

    2017-12-01

    The ongoing expansion of shrub encroachment into grasslands represents a unique form of land cover change. How this process affects soil microbial communities is poorly understood. In this study, we aim to assess the effects of shrub encroachment on soil microbial biomass, abundance and composition by comparing data between shrub patches and neighboring herb patches in shrub-encroached grasslands (SEGs) in Inner Mongolia, China. Fourteen SEG sites from two ecosystem types (typical and desert grasslands) were investigated. The phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) method was used to analyze the composition and biomass of the soil microbial community. Our results showed that the top-soil microbial biomass and abundances of gram-negative bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and actinomycetes were significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in both typical and desert grasslands (P fungi to bacteria ratio was significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in desert grassland (P soil microbial communities, which makes the microbial communities toward a fresh organic carbon-based structure. This study highlights the importance of edaphic and climate factors in microbial community shifts in SEGs.

  19. [Assessment on the changing conditions of ecosystems in key ecological function zones in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Wu, Dan; Gong, Guo-li; Zhao, Guo-song

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of ecosystem macrostructure, qualities and core services during 2000 and 2010 were analyzed for the key ecological function zones of China, which were classified into four types of water conservation, soil conservation, wind prevention and sand fixation, and biodiversity maintenance. In the water conservation ecological function zones, the areas of forest and grassland ecosystems were decreased whereas water bodies and wetland were increased in the past 11 years, and the water conservation volume of forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems increased by 2.9%. This region needs to reverse the decreasing trends of forest and grassland ecosystems. In the soil conservation ecological function zones, the area of farmland ecosystem was decreased, and the areas of forest, grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were increased. The total amount of the soil erosion was reduced by 28.2%, however, the soil conservation amount of ecosystems increased by 38.1%. In the wind prevention and sand fixation ecological function zones, the areas of grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were decreased, but forest and farmland ecosystems were increased. The unit amount of the soil. wind erosion was reduced and the sand fixation amount of ecosystems increased lightly. In this kind of region that is located in arid and semiarid areas, ecological conservation needs to reduce farmland area and give priority to the protection of the original ecological system. In the biodiversity maintenance ecological function zones, the areas of grassland and desert ecosystems were decreased and other types were increased. The human disturbances showed a weakly upward trend and needs to be reduced. The key ecological function zones should be aimed at the core services and the protecting objects, to assess quantitatively on the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation and improvement.

  20. Temporal patterns of vegetation phenology and their responses to climate change in mid-latitude grasslands of the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, S.; Chen, X.; Qin, Q.; Zhang, Y.; Wu, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Grassland ecosystem is greatly sensitive to regional and global climate changes. In this study, the start (SOS) and end (EOS) date of growing season were extracted from NDVI data (1981 2014) across the mid-latitude (30°N 55°N) grasslands of Northern Hemisphere. We first validated their accuracy by ground observed phenological data and phenological metrics derived from gross primary production (GPP) data. And then, main climatic factors influencing the temporal patterns of SOS/EOS were explored by means of gridded meteorological data and partial correlation analysis. Based on the results of above statistical analysis, the similarities and differences of spring and autumn phenological responses to climate change among North American grasslands, Mid-West Asian grasslands, and Mongolian grasslands were analyzed. The main results and conclusions are as follows. First, a significant positive correlation was found between SOS/EOS and observed green-up/brown-off date (PSOS/EOS (PSOS/EOS can reflect temporal dynamics of terrestrial vegetation phenology. Second, SOS in Mid-West Asian grasslands showed a significant advancing trend (0.22 days/year, PSOS in North American grasslands and Mongolian grasslands was not significant. EOS in North American grasslands (0.31 dyas/year, PSOS/EOS inter-annual fluctuations and hydrothermal factors showed that a significant negative correlation was found between SOS and the pre-season temperature in 41.6% of pixels (PSOS and pre-season rainfall/snowfall in 14.6%/19.0% of pixels (PSOS and EOS are mainly affected by pre-season temperature and pre-season rainfall.

  1. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

    The productivity of grassland may change greatly with ageing. Frequently, a productive ley period, occurring in the first time after (re)seeding, is followed by a period in which productivity decreases. Under conditions favourable to grassland this may be temporary. A production level

  2. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, Richard J., E-mail: r.payne@mmu.ac.uk [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Stevens, Carly J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dise, Nancy B. [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Gowing, David J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Emmett, Bridget A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Ashmore, Michael R. [Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: > Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. > Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. > Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. > Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  3. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, Richard J.; Stevens, Carly J.; Dise, Nancy B.; Gowing, David J.; Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Emmett, Bridget A.; Ashmore, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: → Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. → Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. → Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. → Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  4. Estimates of grassland biomass and turnover time on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Jiangzhou; Ma, Minna; Liang, Tiangang; Wu, Chaoyang; Yang, Yuanhe; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Yangjian; Yuan, Wenping

    2018-01-01

    The grassland of the Tibetan Plateau forms a globally significant biome, which represents 6% of the world’s grasslands and 44% of China’s grasslands. However, large uncertainties remain concerning the vegetation carbon storage and turnover time in this biome. In this study, we quantified the pool size of both the aboveground and belowground biomass and turnover time of belowground biomass across the Tibetan Plateau by combining systematic measurements taken from a substantial number of surveys (i.e. 1689 sites for aboveground biomass, 174 sites for belowground biomass) with a machine learning technique (i.e. random forest, RF). Our study demonstrated that the RF model is effective tool for upscaling local biomass observations to the regional scale, and for producing continuous biomass estimates of the Tibetan Plateau. On average, the models estimated 46.57 Tg (1 Tg = 1012g) C of aboveground biomass and 363.71 Tg C of belowground biomass in the Tibetan grasslands covering an area of 1.32 × 106 km2. The turnover time of belowground biomass demonstrated large spatial heterogeneity, with a median turnover time of 4.25 years. Our results also demonstrated large differences in the biomass simulations among the major ecosystem models used for the Tibetan Plateau, largely because of inadequate model parameterization and validation. This study provides a spatially continuous measure of vegetation carbon storage and turnover time, and provides useful information for advancing ecosystem models and improving their performance.

  5. Ecosystemic forest management approach to ensure forest sustainability and socio-economic development of forest dependent communities: Evidence from Southeast Cameroon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Mbairamadji

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Forests provide a full spectrum of goods and services that contribute to the socio-economic development of forest dependent communities. In tropical countries, the diversity of stakeholders depending on forests with their divergent interests and expectations, make sustainable forest management (SFM difficult to achieve. Although several studies advocate the decentralization of forest management and public participation as important processes for SFM, little has been done to demonstrate how these processes could contribute to forest sustainability and socioeconomic development of forest dependent communities. Moreover, almost no seminal paper has demonstrated how to integrate the ecological, economical and social issues of forest management, which have nevertheless been recognized as essential for sustainable forest management. This study develops an ecosystemic forest management approach based on “Stakeholder-Resource-Usage-Institution” dynamics as an appropriate framework for ensuring forest sustainability and socio-economic development. This approach is supported with lessons drawn on the limitations and pitfalls of the traditional forest management approach in Southeast Cameroon.Les forêts fournissent toute une gamme de biens et de services qui contribuent au développement socio-économique des communautés dépendantes de la forêt. Dans les régions tropicales, la diversité des parties prenantes qui dépendent des forêts rend la gestion durable des forêts difficile du fait d’attentes et d’intérêts divergents. Bien que plusieurs études estiment la décentralisation de la gestion des forêts et la participation publique comme importantes pour la gestion durable des forêts, peu d’initiatives ont été prises pour démontrer la manière dont ces actions pourraient contribuer à la durabilité de la forêt et au développement socio-économique des communautés dépendant de la forêt. En outre, aucun article majeur n’a d

  6. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Grassland abandonment followed by forest succession is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. We studied the impact of current forest expansion on mountain grassland on changes in physical soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions along a land-use and management gradient......, focusing on changes in aggregate stability and particulate organic matter (POM). Methods. Four successional stages were investigated: managed grassland, two transitional phases in which grassland abandonment led to colonization by Picea abies (L.) Karst., and old mixed forest dominated by Fagus sylvatica L....... Results. The dimension of aggregates assessed by aggregate size fractionation tended to increase, whereas SOC allocation to stable aggregates assessed by sizedensity fractionation decreased following conversion of grassland to forest (e.g. from 81 to 59 % in the 0–5 cm layer). The amount of SOC stored...

  7. Social-ecological dynamics of change and restoration attempts in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands of Janos Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrub encroachment and grassland loss are widespread throughout the US-Mexico borderlands with negative consequences for production of livestock and ecosystem services. In this paper we detail the complex social and ecological phenomena associated with this pattern of degradation in a large area in ...

  8. Grasslands, wetlands, and agriculture: the fate of land expiring from the Conservation Reserve Program in the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morefield, Philip E.; LeDuc, Stephen D.; Clark, Christopher M.; Iovanna, Richard

    2016-09-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest agricultural land-retirement program in the United States, providing many environmental benefits, including wildlife habitat and improved air, water, and soil quality. Since 2007, however, CRP area has declined by over 25% nationally with much of this land returning to agriculture. Despite this trend, it is unclear what types of CRP land are being converted, to what crops, and where. All of these specific factors greatly affect environmental impacts. To answer these questions, we quantified shifts in expiring CRP parcels to five major crop-types (corn, soy, winter and spring wheat, and sorghum) in a 12-state, Midwestern region of the United States using a US Department of Agriculture (USDA), field-level CRP database and USDA’s Cropland Data Layer. For the years 2010 through 2013, we estimate almost 30%, or more than 530 000 ha, of expiring CRP land returned to the production of these five crops in our study area, with soy and corn accounting for the vast majority of these shifts. Grasslands were the largest type of CRP land converted (360 000 ha), followed by specifically designated wildlife habitat (76 000 ha), and wetland areas (53 000 ha). These wetland areas were not just wetlands themselves, but also a mix of land covers enhancing or protecting wetland ecosystem services (e.g., wetland buffers). Areas in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and southern Iowa were hotspots of change, with the highest areas of CRP land moving back to agriculture. By contrast, we estimate only a small amount (˜3%) of the expiring land shifted into similar, non-CRP land-retirement or easement programs. Reconciling needs for food, feed, fuel, and healthy ecosystems is an immense challenge for farmers, conservationists, and state and federal agencies. Reduced enrollment and the turnover of CRP land from conservation to agriculture raises questions about sustaining ecosystem services in this region.

  9. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive transformer species change