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Land, Volume 12, Issue 1 (January 2023) – 263 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this study, soil, microclimate, and vegetation community data were collected from geomorphologically distinct locations (quarry floor, platform with pond, quarry top, highwall edge) within an urban limestone quarry abandoned 70 years ago without reclamation. Findings indicated that abiotic mining legacies gave rise to distinct vegetation communities comprising 74 native species but also 21 non-native species. Species richness was increased near persistent edges (cliff edge, pond edge) and approached the lower range of species richness found in natural areas in the region. The results of this study are congruent with the growing body of research on spontaneous succession on abandoned surface mines worldwide in that spontaneous (vs. managed) revegetation can lead to species-rich, near-natural communities. View this paper
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14 pages, 4782 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Study on Agricultural Premium Rate and Its Distribution in China
by Yaoyao Wu, Hanqi Liao, Lei Fang and Guizhen Guo
Land 2023, 12(1), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010263 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1902
Abstract
In recent years, with the deepening of the reform of rural economic systems, the demand for disaster risk governance in land production and management is increasing, and it is urgent for the state to develop agricultural insurance to improve land production recovery capacity [...] Read more.
In recent years, with the deepening of the reform of rural economic systems, the demand for disaster risk governance in land production and management is increasing, and it is urgent for the state to develop agricultural insurance to improve land production recovery capacity and ensure national food security. The study develops a quantitative model to determine the agricultural premium rate for each county in China based on disaster risk level in order to refine agricultural insurance. The results show that: (a) in terms of the disaster situation, most of northeast and central China, part of southwest, north, and northwest China are seriously affected; (b) regarding the integrated natural disaster risk level, there are 129 counties with extremely high disaster risk in China; (c) as for agricultural premium rates based on the integrated natural disaster risk index, some counties in Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Shandong, Anhui, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hubei, and Hunan Province had extremely high rates, out of a total of 63 counties. The above results reveal regional differences in disaster risk levels and premium rates between counties, providing a reference for improving the accuracy of agricultural premium rates. This contributes to the creation of security for further improving land production capacity and promoting the intensification and sustainable development of agricultural production. Full article
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12 pages, 5093 KiB  
Article
Swelling Cities? Detecting China’s Urban Land Transition Based on Time Series Data
by Wei Pan, Jing Wang, Zhi Lu and Yurui Li
Land 2023, 12(1), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010262 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1550
Abstract
It is common to see urban land expansion worldwide, and its characteristics, mechanisms, and effects are widely known. As socio-economic transition and the change of land use policies may reverse the trend of urban expansion, in-depth research on the process of urban land [...] Read more.
It is common to see urban land expansion worldwide, and its characteristics, mechanisms, and effects are widely known. As socio-economic transition and the change of land use policies may reverse the trend of urban expansion, in-depth research on the process of urban land use change is required. Through a process perspective, this paper reveals the change paths, development stages, and spatial patterns of urban residential land use with data from 323 cities in China from 2009 to 2016. The results show that: (1) theoretically, urban residential land use change can be divided into four development stages: an initial stage (Ⅰ), a rapid development stage (Ⅱ), a transition stage (Ⅲ), and a later stage of transition (Ⅳ). The rate of land use change is low—increase—decrease—approaching zero. (2) In about 68.7% of China’s cities, urban residential land is experiencing a transition, shifting from accelerating growth to decelerating growth. Given the distinctive transition process, it has been suggested that urban planning and land use policies should give timely responses to the new trends and spatial differences. Full article
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29 pages, 30909 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Morphometric 3D Terrain Analysis of Japan Using Scripts of GMT and R
by Polina Lemenkova and Olivier Debeir
Land 2023, 12(1), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010261 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3367
Abstract
In this paper, we describe two related scripting methods of cartographic data processing and visualization that provide 2D and 3D mapping of Japan with different algorithm complexity. The first algorithm utilizes Generic Mapping Toolset (GMT), which is known as an advanced console-based program [...] Read more.
In this paper, we describe two related scripting methods of cartographic data processing and visualization that provide 2D and 3D mapping of Japan with different algorithm complexity. The first algorithm utilizes Generic Mapping Toolset (GMT), which is known as an advanced console-based program for spatial data processing. The modules of GMT combine the functionality of scripting with the aspects of geoinformatics, which is especially effective for the rapid analysis of large geospatial datasets, multi-format data processing, and mapping in 2D and 3D modes. The second algorithm presents the use of the R programming language for cartographic visualization and spatial analysis. This R method utilizes the packages ‘tmap’, ‘raster’, ‘maps’, and ‘mapdata’ to model the morphometric elements of the Japanese archipelago, such as slope, aspect, hillshade and elevation. The general purpose graphical package ‘ggplot2’ of R was used for mapping the prefectures of Japan. The two scripting approaches demonstrated an established correspondence between the programming languages and cartography determined with the use of scripts for data processing. They outperform several well-known and state-of-the-art GIS methods for mapping due to their high automation of data processing. Cartography has largely reflected recent advances in data science, the rapid development of scripting languages, and transfer in the approaches of data processing. This extends to the shift from the traditional GIS to programming languages. As a response to these new challenges, we demonstrated in this paper the advantages of using scripts in mapping, which consist of repeatability and the flexible applicability of scripts in similar works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Innovations – Data and Machine Learning)
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23 pages, 4725 KiB  
Article
The Smart Village Concept and Transport Exclusion of Rural Areas—A Case Study of a Village in Northern Poland
by Sandra Żukowska, Beata Chmiel and Marcin Połom
Land 2023, 12(1), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010260 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2520
Abstract
The aim of the article is to present transport accessibility in rural areas in Poland, with a particular emphasis on the problem of transport exclusion. The following research methods were used in the study: literature review, statistical data analysis and GIS analysis. The [...] Read more.
The aim of the article is to present transport accessibility in rural areas in Poland, with a particular emphasis on the problem of transport exclusion. The following research methods were used in the study: literature review, statistical data analysis and GIS analysis. The article presents a transportation picture of rural areas and identifies the main problem issues related to the insufficient accessibility of public transport. The conducted analyses show a significant alienation of the study area which results from underdeveloped public transport and road infrastructure, including pedestrian and bicycle routes. Measures taken by local authorities in this regard show awareness of the problems of the local community, but those authorities do not take sufficient action. The transport exclusion of inhabitants of the analyzed area can be reduced by developing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure connecting villages with the existing railway network, characterized by a high frequency of trains. Full article
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18 pages, 9165 KiB  
Review
A Critical Review on the Perspectives of the Forestry Sector in Ecuador
by Danny Daniel Castillo Vizuete, Alex Vinicio Gavilanes Montoya, Carlos Renato Chávez Velásquez and Stelian Alexandru Borz
Land 2023, 12(1), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010258 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2760
Abstract
The contribution of the Ecuadorian forest industry to the development of the country is of undeniable importance since it enables job creation, the production of goods and services, and the generation of wealth. As such, special attention should be paid to the problems [...] Read more.
The contribution of the Ecuadorian forest industry to the development of the country is of undeniable importance since it enables job creation, the production of goods and services, and the generation of wealth. As such, special attention should be paid to the problems that are affecting its development and that prevent enhancing the competitiveness of the companies in this important productive sector of the country. This review of the international literature found in relevant databases synthesizes findings on the forest wealth of Ecuador vs. deforestation. We also provide an overview on the state-of-art technology in timber harvesting and the wood processing industry. Within each of these topics, we analyze and discuss some factors such as irrational logging of native forests, incipient afforestation, as well as the elements on primary and secondary transformation of wood in Ecuador. We conclude that the participation and cooperation of all actors in the productive chain of the forestry sector in Ecuador is of the utmost importance to adequately address the demands of the national and international markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perspectives on Mountain Conservation)
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26 pages, 6113 KiB  
Article
The Rise of Specialized and Innovative Little Giant Enterprises under China’s ‘Dual Circulation’ Development Pattern: An Analysis of Spatial Patterns and Determinants
by Huasheng Zhu, Ruobin Liu and Bo Chen
Land 2023, 12(1), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010259 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2766
Abstract
As potential ‘hidden champion’ companies originating from Germany, specialized and innovative ‘little giant’ enterprises (LGEs) have become role models for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China and have been considered important actors in the strategy of ‘strengthening and supplementing national supply chains’. [...] Read more.
As potential ‘hidden champion’ companies originating from Germany, specialized and innovative ‘little giant’ enterprises (LGEs) have become role models for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China and have been considered important actors in the strategy of ‘strengthening and supplementing national supply chains’. Based on the exogenous growth theory of the firm, this article takes the perspective of the ‘dual circulation’ new development pattern of China and analyses the spatial patterns and their determinants of LGEs using the data of national-level LGEs from 2019 to 2021 and the geographical weighted regression method. The following results were obtained: (1) the national-level LGEs show the spatial distribution pattern of ‘east–central–west’ decline and are highly concentrated in the high administrative levels of the cities, especially in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Cross–Strait urban agglomeration. (2) The domestic and international circulations jointly affect the spatial distribution of LGEs. Local institutional thickness has the largest and widest impact, followed by local industrial synergy. The impact of global linkage is relatively stable. (3) The impacts of the main determinants have spatial heterogeneity. The positive impact of local government support shows a decreasing differentiation law from east to west, and local industrial synergy is mainly significant in the east area of Northeast China, Bohai Rim, Shandong Peninsula, and Huang-Huai-hai Plain. The spatial heterogeneity of the effect of international circulation comes from the difference in marginal effects among regions and the influence of the Belt and Road Initiative. The positive impact of FDI is mainly concentrated in the northeast and southwest regions. This article highlights the importance of the domestic value chain in the strategy of Innovative China, and proves that varying global-local nexus of cities creates ‘soils’ with varying fertility in which LGEs thrives as well. Full article
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17 pages, 20475 KiB  
Article
Land Use Quality Assessment and Exploration of the Driving Forces Based on Location: A Case Study in Luohe City, China
by Xinyu Wang, Xinzhi Yao, Huamei Shao, Tian Bai, Yaqiong Xu, Guohang Tian, Albert Fekete and László Kollányi
Land 2023, 12(1), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010257 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
With rapid urban population growth and industrial agglomeration, the urban land supply is becoming gradually tight. Improving land use quality (LUQ) is becoming increasingly critical. This study was carried out in the Luohe built-up zones between 2013 and 2021. The aim is to [...] Read more.
With rapid urban population growth and industrial agglomeration, the urban land supply is becoming gradually tight. Improving land use quality (LUQ) is becoming increasingly critical. This study was carried out in the Luohe built-up zones between 2013 and 2021. The aim is to explore the growth characteristics of LUQ and determine the association between the inner urban location and the growth rate from the perspective of spatial heterogeneity. Therefore, based on a socio-economic-environmental framework, we selected an integration/GDP/population/artificial-surface Rate, and a remote-sensing-based ecological index to construct a LUQ assessment framework that is more stable and applicable for developing urban areas. Additionally, then, multiscale geographical weighted regression is adopted, which can better help us explore the scale of the location factors. The results show that: (1) The LUQ overall growth is gradually slowing. High-quality areas clustered in the urban center and subsystem elements spread outward along the national and provincial highways to drive boundary expansion; (2) In the W/E/SE direction, land use tends more towards physical sprawl than usual development and expansion; (3) Location factors were distinguished as global, semi-global, and local. The global factors constitute the homogenized locational space. Semi-global and local factors constitute a heterogeneous locational space. The latter is critical to guide LUQ growth. LUQ assessment can promote intensive land use. Exploring location factors can further guide the LUQ spatial growth and provide data in support of urban planning. Full article
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12 pages, 8920 KiB  
Article
Interaction Mechanism of Fe, Mg and Mn in Karst Soil-Mango System
by Can Xu, Hui Yang, Chao Huang, Mingguo Lan, Zujian Zou, Fagui Zhang and Liankai Zhang
Land 2023, 12(1), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010256 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Manganese (Mn), an essential trace element for plants in which it is involved in redox reactions as a cofactor for many enzymes, represents an important factor in environmental contamination. Excess Mn can lead to toxicity conditions in natural and agricultural sites. Manganese toxicity [...] Read more.
Manganese (Mn), an essential trace element for plants in which it is involved in redox reactions as a cofactor for many enzymes, represents an important factor in environmental contamination. Excess Mn can lead to toxicity conditions in natural and agricultural sites. Manganese toxicity is one of the most severe growth limiting factors in acid soil, which accounts for 21% of the total arable lands in China. The more significant part of Mn-toxicity is its interactions with other mineral elements, in particular with phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca) and iron (Fe). The application of P or Ca can be beneficial in the detoxification of manganese, whereas Mn seems to interfere with Fe metabolism. Manganese toxicity varies with plant species, nutrients, and the soil environment. Mango is the main economic fruit in the karst area of the subtropical region of China. The karst soil in the mango orchard is characterized by high Fe, Mn and Mg. In order to explore the interaction among Fe, Mg, and Mn in karst soil and mango systems under high Mn conditions, a typical mango orchard in the karst depression landform in Baise in southern China was selected to study the effects of Fe and Mg on the toxic expression of Mn in mango plants and the interaction mechanism of Fe-Mn-Mg in mango plants. The results show that: (1) the mango growth status is closely correlated with Fe2+ (active iron) and Mg under the same soil Mn concentration; (2) The black spots on mango leaves were mainly caused by Fe and Mn. There is a lot of Fe3+ and Mn3+ in the black spots, which accounts for more than 90% of the total; (3) In addition, the studies also showed that the Fe and Mg inhibited the expression of Mn toxicity in mango. Conclusively, the interaction effect of Fe, Mn, and Mg is an important factor that affects mango growth, which can indicate the status of the soil and plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Soil Quality and Management in Karst Ecosystem)
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20 pages, 3447 KiB  
Article
Modelling the Whole Profile Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics Considering Soil Redistribution under Future Climate Change and Landscape Projections over the Lower Hunter Valley, Australia
by Yuxin Ma, Budiman Minasny, Valérie Viaud, Christian Walter, Brendan Malone and Alex McBratney
Land 2023, 12(1), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010255 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2535
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and redistribution across the landscape (through erosion and deposition) are linked to soil physicochemical properties and can affect soil quality. However, the spatial and temporal variability of soil erosion and SOC remains uncertain. Whether soil redistribution leads to [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and redistribution across the landscape (through erosion and deposition) are linked to soil physicochemical properties and can affect soil quality. However, the spatial and temporal variability of soil erosion and SOC remains uncertain. Whether soil redistribution leads to SOC gains or losses continues to be hotly debated. These considerations cannot be modelled using conventional soil carbon models and digital soil mapping. This paper presents a coupled-model combining RothPC-1 which considers soil carbon (C) down to 1 m and a soil redistribution model. The soil redistribution component is based on a cellular automata technique using the multi-direction flow (FD8) algorithm. With the optimized input values based on land use, we simulated SOC changes upon soil profiles to 1 m across the Lower Hunter Valley area (11,300 ha) in New South Wales, Australia from the 1970s to 2016. Results were compared to field observations and showed that erosion was predicted mostly in upslope areas and deposition in low-lying areas. We further simulated SOC trends from 2017 until ~2045 in the area under three climate scenarios and five land use projections. The variation in the magnitude and direction of SOC change with different projections shows that the main factors influencing SOC changes considering soil redistribution are climate change which controlled the trend of SOC stocks, followed by land use change. Neglecting soil erosion in carbon models could lead to an overestimation of SOC stocks. This paper provides a framework for incorporating soil redistribution into the SOC dynamics modelling and also postulates the thinking that soil erosion is not just a removal process by surface runoff. Full article
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29 pages, 6305 KiB  
Article
Meeting Human and Biodiversity Needs for 30 × 30 and beyond with an Iterative Land Allocation Framework and Tool
by John A. Gallo, Amanda T. Lombard, Richard M. Cowling, Randal Greene and Frank W. Davis
Land 2023, 12(1), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010254 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4191
Abstract
Spatial conservation prioritization does not necessarily lead to effective conservation plans, and good plans do not necessarily lead to action. These “science-action” gaps are pernicious and need to be narrowed, especially if the international goal of conserving 30% of the planet by 2030 [...] Read more.
Spatial conservation prioritization does not necessarily lead to effective conservation plans, and good plans do not necessarily lead to action. These “science-action” gaps are pernicious and need to be narrowed, especially if the international goal of conserving 30% of the planet by 2030 is to be realized. We present the Earthwise Framework, a flexible and customizable spatial decision support system (SDSS) architecture and social process to address the challenges of these science-action gaps. Utilizing case study experience from regions within California, South Africa, and British Columbia, we outline the framework and provide the Little Karoo, South Africa SDSS data, code and results to illustrate five design strategies of the framework. The first is to employ an “open science” strategy for collaborative conservation planning and action. Another is that marginal value functions allow for the continuous accounting of element (e.g., habitat) representation in prioritization algorithms, allowing for an SDSS that is more automated and saves valuable time for stakeholders and scientists. Thirdly, we program connectivity modeling integrated within the SDSS, with an algorithm that not only automatically calculates all the least cost corridors of a region, but prioritizes among them and removes the ones that do not make ecological sense. Fourth, we highlight innovations in multi-criteria decision analysis that allow for both cost-efficient plan development, like representative solution sets, but also land-use planning requirements, like site specific valuation, in what appears to be a more transparent, understandable, and usable manner than traditional approaches. Finally, strategic attention to communicating uncertainty is also advocated. The Earthwise Framework is an open science endeavor that can be implemented via a variety of software tools and languages, has several frontiers for further research and development, and shows promise in finding a better way to meet the needs of both humans and biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Planning and Architecture Section)
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23 pages, 25182 KiB  
Article
Simulating Future Land Use and Cover of a Mediterranean Mountainous Area: The Effect of Socioeconomic Demands and Climatic Changes
by Diogenis A. Kiziridis, Anna Mastrogianni, Magdalini Pleniou, Spyros Tsiftsis, Fotios Xystrakis and Ioannis Tsiripidis
Land 2023, 12(1), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010253 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
Land use and cover (LUC) of southern European mountains is dramatically changing, mainly due to observed socioeconomic demands and climatic changes. It is therefore important to understand LUC changes to accurately predict future landscapes and their threats. Simulation models of LUC change are [...] Read more.
Land use and cover (LUC) of southern European mountains is dramatically changing, mainly due to observed socioeconomic demands and climatic changes. It is therefore important to understand LUC changes to accurately predict future landscapes and their threats. Simulation models of LUC change are ideal for this task because they allow the in silico experimentation under different socioeconomic and climatic scenarios. In the present study, we employed the trans-CLUE-S model, to predict for 2055 the LUC of a typical southern European sub-mountainous area, which has experienced widespread abandonment until recently. Four demand scenarios were tested, and under each demand scenario, we compared three climatic scenarios, ranging from less to more warm and dry conditions. We found that farmland declined from 3.2% of the landscape in 2015 to 0.4% in 2055 under the business-as-usual demand scenario, whereas forest further increased from 62.6% to 79%. For any demand scenario, differences in LUC between maps predicted under different climatic scenarios constituted less than 10% of the landscape. In the less than 10% that differed, mainly farmland and forest shifted to higher elevation under a warmer and drier climate, whereas grassland and scrubland to lower. Such insights by modelling analyses like the present study’s can improve the planning and implementation of management and restoration policies which will attempt to conserve ecosystem services and mitigate the negative effects of socioeconomic and climatic changes in the mountainous regions of southern Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling Land Use in Challenging Terrains)
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20 pages, 4267 KiB  
Article
Brownfield Data and Database Management—The Key to Address Land Recycling
by Lea Rebernik, Barbara Vojvodíková and Barbara Lampič
Land 2023, 12(1), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010252 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Brownfields sometimes represent a development problem but at the same time also hold development potential. With accurate and up-to-date information it is possible to assure the regeneration process is effective; therefore we investigated in detail the development of the process of brownfields management [...] Read more.
Brownfields sometimes represent a development problem but at the same time also hold development potential. With accurate and up-to-date information it is possible to assure the regeneration process is effective; therefore we investigated in detail the development of the process of brownfields management in two countries: Slovenia and the Czech Republic (the Moravian-Silesian Region). The article compares the process of development of databases and the data itself in both selected case studies, and evaluates and identifies the patterns of change in brownfields with a focus on regenerated sites. In the period 2017–2022 we have noticed a growing number of brownfields included in databases in both selected cases, despite the share of regenerated brownfield sites that have been excluded from the database. Both study cases show that ensuring continuity of work in the process of monitoring brownfields and knowledge transfer are critical for sustainable brownfield management and successful regeneration. Based on the comparisons, recommendations are summarised on how to make the database an effective tool that could be relevant to more sustainable brownfield development and land recycling. Full article
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11 pages, 2353 KiB  
Article
The Causes of the Occurrence and Spheres of Restoration of Chateau Brownfields: A Search for Causality on the Example of Properties in the Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic
by Kamila Turečková
Land 2023, 12(1), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010251 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Scientific research in the area of chateau brownfields is quite new and thus offers room for interesting findings and insights. This text presents the results of a pilot study in search of causality between the causes of the occurrence and spheres of restoration [...] Read more.
Scientific research in the area of chateau brownfields is quite new and thus offers room for interesting findings and insights. This text presents the results of a pilot study in search of causality between the causes of the occurrence and spheres of restoration of chateau brownfields in the Moravian-Silesian region in the Czech Republic, where chateau settlements are considered an urban phenomenon of the cultural landscape. Out of a total of 88 chateaux, 40 have received brownfield status over the years, of which 28 are currently regenerated. The main reason why the chateaux were abandoned can be found in the inappropriate economic activities that took place in them, which originated mainly in the directive decision on their functionality at the end of the Second World War. Most of the chateau brownfield sites are still abandoned or currently for sale, and many others have been regenerated for tourism and public sector services. The causality analysed between the causes of their occurrence and their restored function reflects the logical and economic context characteristic of a time of restoration and the general desire of the public sector to reduce the number of brownfield sites in its cadastral area. Full article
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23 pages, 17789 KiB  
Article
The Role of Modeling Landscape Values by Harmonizing Conservation and Development Requirements
by Dora Tomić Reljić, Ines Hrdalo, Monika Kamenečki, Petra Pereković and Sonja Butula
Land 2023, 12(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010250 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1398
Abstract
This paper investigated the need for the inquiry of landscape values and public participation within the decision-making process on spatial changes. They are taken into account as an important segment in the harmonization of conservation and development requirements in the planning of sustainable [...] Read more.
This paper investigated the need for the inquiry of landscape values and public participation within the decision-making process on spatial changes. They are taken into account as an important segment in the harmonization of conservation and development requirements in the planning of sustainable spatial development. The method for obtaining that information was established, and new approaches in landscape research were tested through the perception of its values as the first step to solving the conflicts between spatial conservation and development. Through the research of the experiences and theoretical knowledge on the nature protection issues within the spatial planning context, this paper indicated the need for determination of the effectiveness of the standardization approach to nature protection. Also, it emphasized the importance of testing a possible application of new approaches, which would be based on a mutually agreed approach to the protection and development of space. Modeling the landscape qualities of the space was presented as a basic tool within the presentation methodology and within the inclusion of different public segments in the spatial planning procedure. Its usefulness has been shown in the possibility of preparing the cartographic presentation of the harmonized model, which simultaneously includes the opinions of all relevant groups and can be easily implemented in the planning procedure using the GIS tools before decision-making. This paper pointed out that such an approach contributes to solving the practical problems in the protection of landscape qualities that represent public good and the link between nature and culture, and biophysical, perceptional, social, and developmental elements within the space. Full article
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22 pages, 15393 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Multi-Scale Socioeconomic Parameters from Long-Term Nighttime Lights Satellite Data Using Decision Tree Regression: A Case Study of Chongqing, China
by Tingting Xu, Yunting Zong, Heng Su, Aohua Tian, Jay Gao, Yurui Wang and Ruiqi Su
Land 2023, 12(1), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010249 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1466
Abstract
The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) and the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (NPP/VIIRS) nighttime light (NTL) data provide an adequate proxy for reflecting human and economic activities. In this paper, we first proposed a [...] Read more.
The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) and the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (NPP/VIIRS) nighttime light (NTL) data provide an adequate proxy for reflecting human and economic activities. In this paper, we first proposed a novel data processing framework to modify the sensor variation and fit the calibrated DMSP/OLS data and NPP/VIIRS data into one unique long-term, sequential, time-series nighttime-lights data at an accuracy higher than 0.950. Both the supersaturation and digital value range have been optimized through a machine learning based process. The calibrated NTL data were regressed against six socioeconomic factors at multi-scales using decision tree regression (DTR) analysis. For a fast-developing city in China—Chongqing, the DTR provides a reliable regression model over 0.8 (R2), as well explains the variation of factor importance. With the multi-scaled analysis, we matched the long-term time-series NTL indices with appropriate study scale to find out that the city and sub-city region are best studied using NTL mean and stander derivation, while NTL sum and standard deviation could be better applied the scale of suburban districts. The significant factor number and importance value also vary with the scale of analysis. More significant factors are related to NTL at a smaller scale. With such information, we can understand how the city develops at different levels through NTL changes and which factors are the most significant in these development processes at a particular scale. The development of an entire city could be comprehensively explained and insightful information can be produced for urban planners to make more accurate development plans in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Land – Observation and Monitoring)
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19 pages, 7878 KiB  
Article
Alaska Native Allotments at Risk: Technological Strategies for Monitoring Erosion and Informing Solutions in Southwest Alaska
by Jonathan S. Lim, Sean Gleason, Hannah Strehlau, Lynn Church, Carl Nicolai, Jr., Willard Church and Warren Jones
Land 2023, 12(1), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010248 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1828
Abstract
After the United States’ purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867, Alaska Native lands have existed in a legal state of aboriginal title, whereby the land rights of its traditional occupants could be extinguished by Congress at any time. With the passage of [...] Read more.
After the United States’ purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867, Alaska Native lands have existed in a legal state of aboriginal title, whereby the land rights of its traditional occupants could be extinguished by Congress at any time. With the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) in 1971, however, Alaska Native individuals were given the opportunity to select and secure a title to ancestral lands as federally administered ANCSA 14(c) allotments. Today, though, these allotments are threatened by climate-change-driven erosion. In response, our article provides an erosion monitoring tool to quantify the damage caused by coastal and riverine erosion. Using the Yup’ik (pl. Yupiit) community of Quinhagak as a case study, we employ high-precision measurement devices and archival spatial datasets to demonstrate the immense scale of the loss of cultural lands in this region. From 1976 to 2022, an average of 30.87 m of coastline were lost according to 9 ANCSA 14(c) case studies within Quinhagak’s Traditional Land Use Area. In response, we present a free erosion monitoring tool and urge tribal entities in Alaska to replicate our methods for recording and quantifying erosion on their shareholders’ ANCSA 14(c) properties. Doing so will foster urgent dialogue between Alaskan Native communities and lawmakers to determine what measures are needed to protect Alaska Native land rights in the face of new environmental challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Landscape Archaeology)
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21 pages, 5965 KiB  
Article
Current and Potential Future Distribution of Endemic Salvia ceratophylloides Ard. (Lamiaceae)
by Valentina Lucia Astrid Laface, Carmelo Maria Musarella, Gianmarco Tavilla, Agostino Sorgonà, Ana Cano-Ortiz, Ricardo Quinto Canas and Giovanni Spampinato
Land 2023, 12(1), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010247 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1885
Abstract
Human activities and climate change are the main factors causing habitat loss, jeopardising the survival of many species, especially those with limited range, such as endemic species. Recently, species distribution models (SDMs) have been used in conservation biology to assess their extinction risk, [...] Read more.
Human activities and climate change are the main factors causing habitat loss, jeopardising the survival of many species, especially those with limited range, such as endemic species. Recently, species distribution models (SDMs) have been used in conservation biology to assess their extinction risk, environmental dynamics, and potential distribution. This study analyses the potential, current and future distribution range of Salvia ceratophylloides Ard., an endemic perennial species of the Lamiaceae family that occurs exclusively in a limited suburban area of the city of Reggio Calabria (southern Italy). The MaxEnt model was employed to configure the current potential range of the species using bioclimatic and edaphic variables, and to predict the potential suitability of the habitat in relation to two future scenarios (SSP245 and SSP585) for the periods 2021–2040 and 2041–2060. The field survey, which spanned 5 years (2017–2021), involved 17 occurrence points. According to the results of the MaxEnt model, the current potential distribution is 237.321 km2, which considering the preferred substrates of the species and land-use constraints is re-estimated to 41.392 km2. The model obtained from the SSP245 future scenario shows a decrease in the area suitable for the species of 35% in the 2021–2040 period and 28% in the 2041–2060 period. The SSP585 scenario shows an increase in the range suitable for hosting the species of 167% in the 2021–2040 period and 171% in the 2041–2060 period. Assessing variation in the species distribution related to the impacts of climate change makes it possible to define priority areas for reintroduction and in situ conservation. Identifying areas presumably at risk or, on the contrary, suitable for hosting the species is of paramount importance for management and conservation plans for Salvia ceratophylloides. Full article
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18 pages, 2706 KiB  
Article
Simulation of Carbon Sink of Arbor Forest Vegetation in Henan Province of China Based on CO2FIX Model
by Kaili Cheng, Jing Wu, Xiaozhe Ma and Leying Wu
Land 2023, 12(1), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010246 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1348
Abstract
Mitigating carbon emissions has become a pressing concern in the process of economic development across China due to China’s key strategic goal of reaching peak carbon and carbon neutrality. Henan Province, which is located in the Central Plains, has less forest area and [...] Read more.
Mitigating carbon emissions has become a pressing concern in the process of economic development across China due to China’s key strategic goal of reaching peak carbon and carbon neutrality. Henan Province, which is located in the Central Plains, has less forest area and coverage than other areas of the nation, but consumes plenty of energy. Therefore, the quantification of Henan’s potential carbon sink is crucial for the province’s response to climate change due to the national commitment to carbon reduction targets. This research estimated the carbon sink of tree forest vegetation in Henan Province from 2019 to 2060 based on the CO2FIX model using data from the 9th Forest Inventory Report and the forest planning targets of Henan Province. The results show the following: (1) The carbon sink of existing arbor forests is mainly composed of ecological public welfare forests, and a small-year fluctuation in the carbon sink will result from the rotation of commercial forests. (2) The peak carbon sink years for existing forests and new afforestation are between the young and middle ages of the trees, and the peak of the carbon sink in Henan Province as a whole was in 2032. (3) More than 72.4% of the overall carbon sink in Henan Province’s arbor forest vegetation comes from the above-ground portion. (4) The energy substitution effect of traditional and improved cookstoves is significantly enhanced during the main cutting period of the existing commercial arbor forest in Henan Province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Urban Land Expansion in China)
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33 pages, 5236 KiB  
Article
Protection of Environmental and Natural Values of Urban Areas against Investment Pressure: A Case Study of Romania and Poland
by Paulina Legutko-Kobus, Maciej Nowak, Alexandru-Ionut Petrisor, Dan Bărbulescu, Cerasella Craciun and Atena-Ioana Gârjoabă
Land 2023, 12(1), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010245 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
Although conservation and development are two facets of sustainability, they are often placed in contradictory positions. In this context, planning systems are able to respond to investment pressure, especially in countries with underdeveloped institutional solutions for this purpose, and are consequently characterized by [...] Read more.
Although conservation and development are two facets of sustainability, they are often placed in contradictory positions. In this context, planning systems are able to respond to investment pressure, especially in countries with underdeveloped institutional solutions for this purpose, and are consequently characterized by a shifting relationship between spatial planning and environmental protection. Although these issues have been relatively well conceptualized, the literature still lacks more in-depth analyses of selected case studies. In order to fill the gap, this study aimed to identify potential ways to protect the environment and natural values in urban areas from investment pressures in countries with less developed planning systems, based on a comparative Polish-Romanian perspective. The method consisted of comparing the national legal frameworks for environmental protection and spatial development and analyzing in detail two case studies from each country. The findings indicate that national protection is required in both countries to ensure the effective protection of natural areas situated within city administrative limits that provide important ecosystem services. Moreover, the results reveal the need for more research on similar areas using multi-scale interdisciplinary approaches and reviewing planning theory with respect to its efficiency in protecting nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Bio- and Geo-Diversity and Landscape Changes II)
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21 pages, 8286 KiB  
Article
Modeling on Urban Land Use Characteristics and Urban System of the Traditional Chinese Era (1930s) Based on the Historical Military Topographic Map
by Zhiwei Wan and Hongqi Wu
Land 2023, 12(1), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010244 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1446
Abstract
The quantitative urban system structure in historical periods and the long time-scale urban land area grid dataset with spatial attributes are important for land use and land cover change (LUCC) research. In this study, we aimed to measure the area of county level [...] Read more.
The quantitative urban system structure in historical periods and the long time-scale urban land area grid dataset with spatial attributes are important for land use and land cover change (LUCC) research. In this study, we aimed to measure the area of county level and above cities in mainland China in the 1930s, also known as the traditional Chinese era (TCE), using a geographic information system (GIS) model and 1:50,000 military topographic maps. Furthermore, we aimed to identify the structure and characteristics of the urban system in the TCE according to the administrative area division using methods such as the rank size law. The results of this study revealed that 1265 county level and above cities existed in the TCE, including 25 provincial level or above cities, 179 prefectural level cities, and 1061 county level cities. The total land area of all of the cities was 1396.48 km2, with a mean value of 1.1 km2 and a standard deviation of 2.37 km2. The rank-size analysis indicated that the urban system in TCE was characterized by large cities with insignificant development (q = 0.829 < 1, R2 = 0.905). The results of the Lorenz curve and Moran analyses showed that the spatial distribution of the urban systems in China during the traditional period exhibited nonuniform agglomeration. Large-scale military topographic maps of historical periods have proven to be a good source for land use reconstruction. The 1° × 1° grid urban land area dataset constructed based on a GIS model in the TCE is important for future research on historical LUCC and can provide basic data for climate change models, urban economic history, and other disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling Land Use Change Using Historical and Archaeological Datasets)
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17 pages, 1402 KiB  
Article
Impact of Intellectualization of a Zoo through a FCEM-AHP and IPA Approach
by Yuxuan Lin and Ryosuke Shimoda
Land 2023, 12(1), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010243 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1388
Abstract
As urbanization is growing faster, the term “Smart” is becoming more widely used. However, it is difficult to define how to objectively evaluate intellectualization. This study aims to explore an objective method of evaluating intellectualization in Japanese zoos and suggest project directions for [...] Read more.
As urbanization is growing faster, the term “Smart” is becoming more widely used. However, it is difficult to define how to objectively evaluate intellectualization. This study aims to explore an objective method of evaluating intellectualization in Japanese zoos and suggest project directions for their future development. First, we will define the unique Japanese zoo smart projects. Then, an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) will be used to determine the weights of each item, and the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method (FCEM) will be used to evaluate the degree of construction. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of each project will be analyzed by importance–performance analysis (IPA). The findings showed that the research subject, Ueno Zoo, is still in the early stage of smartening, and most of the items are not sufficient for users to have a full tourist experience. There is a need to increase the level of intellectualization and ease-of-use for the construction of the zoos of Tokyo. This study provides an objective approach for evaluating the intellectualization of zoos in Japan and provides a method of construction advice for intellectualization construction. Full article
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25 pages, 9451 KiB  
Article
Multilayer Perceptron and Their Comparison with Two Nature-Inspired Hybrid Techniques of Biogeography-Based Optimization (BBO) and Backtracking Search Algorithm (BSA) for Assessment of Landslide Susceptibility
by Hossein Moayedi, Peren Jerfi Canatalay, Atefeh Ahmadi Dehrashid, Mehmet Akif Cifci, Marjan Salari and Binh Nguyen Le
Land 2023, 12(1), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010242 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2072
Abstract
Regarding evaluating disaster risks in Iran’s West Kurdistan area, the multi-layer perceptron (MLP) neural network was upgraded with two novel techniques: backtracking search algorithm (BSA) and biogeography-based optimization (BBO). Utilizing 16 landslide conditioning elements such as elevation (aspect), plan (curve), profile (curvature), geology, [...] Read more.
Regarding evaluating disaster risks in Iran’s West Kurdistan area, the multi-layer perceptron (MLP) neural network was upgraded with two novel techniques: backtracking search algorithm (BSA) and biogeography-based optimization (BBO). Utilizing 16 landslide conditioning elements such as elevation (aspect), plan (curve), profile (curvature), geology, NDVI (land use), slope (degree), stream power index (SPI), topographic wetness index (TWI), rainfall, and sediment transport index (STI), and 504 landslides as target variables, a large geographic database is constructed. Applying the techniques mentioned above to the synthesis of the MLP results in the suggested BBO-MLP and BSA-MLP ensembles. As accuracy standards, we benefit from mean absolute error, mean square error, and area under the receiving operating characteristic curve to assess the utilized models, we have also designed a scoring system. The MLP’s accuracy increases thanks to the application of the BBO and BSA algorithms. Comparing the BBO with the BSA, we find that the former achieves higher average MLP optimization ranks (20, 15, and 14). A further finding showed that the BBO is superior to the BSA at maximizing the MLP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Application in Landslide Detection and Assessment)
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19 pages, 2334 KiB  
Article
Land Administration As-A-Service: Relevance, Applications, and Models
by Rohan Mark Bennett, Jerome Donovan, Eryadi Masli and Kirsikka Riekkinen
Land 2023, 12(1), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010241 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2318
Abstract
The ‘as-a-Service’ (aaS) concept of the IT sector is suggested to reduce upfront and ongoing costs, enable easier scaling, and make for simpler system upgrades. The concept is explored in relation to the domain of land administration, with a view to examining its [...] Read more.
The ‘as-a-Service’ (aaS) concept of the IT sector is suggested to reduce upfront and ongoing costs, enable easier scaling, and make for simpler system upgrades. The concept is explored in relation to the domain of land administration, with a view to examining its relevance, application, and potential adaptation. Specifically, these aspects are analysed against the long-standing problem of land administration system maintenance. Two discrete literature reviews, a comparative analysis, and final modelling work constitute the research design. Of the 35 underlying land administration maintenance issues identified, aaS is found to directly respond to 15, indirectly support another 15, and provide no immediate benefit to 5. Most prominent are the ability of aaS to support issues relating to financial sustainability, continuous innovation, and human capacity provision. The approach is found to be already in use in various country contexts. It is articulated by the UNECE as one of four scenarios for future land administration development. In terms of adaptation, the 4-tier framework from Enterprise Architecture—consisting of Business, Application, Information, and Technology layers—is used to model and describe five specific aaS approaches: (i) On Premises; (ii) Basic Outsourcing; (iii) Public Private Partnership; (iv) Fully Privatised; and (v) Subscription. Several are more theoretical in nature but may see future adoption. Each requires further development, including case analyses, to support more detailed definitions of the required underlying legal frameworks, financial models, partnerships arrangements, data responsibilities, and so on. Decisions on the appropriate aaS model, and the application of aaS more generally, are entirely dependent on the specific country context. Overall, this work provides a platform for land administration researchers and practitioners to analyse the relevance and implementation options of the aaS concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation and Social Good 2.0)
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21 pages, 8558 KiB  
Article
Drought Monitoring in Terms of Evapotranspiration Based on Satellite Data from Meteosat in Areas of Strong Land–Atmosphere Coupling
by Julia S. Stoyanova, Christo G. Georgiev and Plamen N. Neytchev
Land 2023, 12(1), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010240 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
This study was focused on a key aspect of drought monitoring that has not been systematically studied in the literature: evaluation of the capacity of evapotranspiration data retrieved using geostationary meteorological satellites for use as a water stress precursor. The work was methodologically [...] Read more.
This study was focused on a key aspect of drought monitoring that has not been systematically studied in the literature: evaluation of the capacity of evapotranspiration data retrieved using geostationary meteorological satellites for use as a water stress precursor. The work was methodologically based on comparisons between constructed indexes of vegetation water stress (evapotranspiration drought index (ETDI) and evaporative stress ratio (ESR)) derived from the EUMETSAT LSASAF METREF and DMET satellite products and soil moisture availability (SMA) from a SVAT model. Long-term (2011–2021) data for regions with strong land–atmosphere coupling in Southeastern Europe (Bulgaria) were used. Stochastic graphical analysis and Q–Q (quantile–quantile) analyses were performed to compare water stress metrics and SMA. Analyses confirmed the consistency in the behavior of vegetation water-stress indexes and SMA in terms of their means, spatiotemporal variability at monthly and annual levels, and anomalous distributions. The biophysical aspects of the drought evaluation confirmed the complementary and parallel interaction of potential (METREF) and actual (DMET) evapotranspiration (in view of the Bouchet hypothesis) for the studied region. Anomalies in evapotranspiration stress indexes can provide useful early signals of agricultural/ecological drought, and the results confirm the validity of using their satellite-based versions to characterize SMA in the root zone and drought severity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Surface Monitoring Based on Satellite Imagery II)
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16 pages, 5973 KiB  
Article
Reduction in Water Erosion and Soil Loss on Steep Land Managed by Controlled Traffic Farming
by Miroslav Macák, Jana Galambošová, František Kumhála, Marek Barát, Milan Kroulík, Karol Šinka, Petr Novák, Vladimír Rataj and Paula A. Misiewicz
Land 2023, 12(1), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010239 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
Controlled traffic farming (CTF) is used to confine soil compaction to the least possible area of the field, thereby achieving economic and environmental benefits. In the context of climate change, soil erosion is one of the most discussed topics, and there is a [...] Read more.
Controlled traffic farming (CTF) is used to confine soil compaction to the least possible area of the field, thereby achieving economic and environmental benefits. In the context of climate change, soil erosion is one of the most discussed topics, and there is a research gap in understanding the effects of CTF on soil erosion in Central Europe. The aim of this work was to show the potential of CTF to reduce water erosion, in terms of water runoff and soil loss on steep land. A 16 ha experimental field with a CTF technology implemented since 2009 at the Slovak University of Agriculture was used in this research. Three traffic intensity locations were selected and watered using a rainfall simulator. The results showed that the soil which had not been wheeled for 12 years had the lowest water runoff: its intensity after 20 min of simulated rain was 10 times lower compared to the multiple traffic treatment. The soil loss, expressed as the total soil sediments collected after 35 min, in the no traffic area was lower by 70%, compared to the soil with one-pass treatment and only 25% of the loss in the multiple traffic areas. These results show that CTF can significantly reduce soil loss through water runoff on steep land. Full article
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19 pages, 3274 KiB  
Article
Productivity and Efficiency of Community Gardens: Case Studies from the UK
by Silvio Caputo, Victoria Schoen and Chris Blythe
Land 2023, 12(1), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010238 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2918
Abstract
The extensive and burgeoning literature on the productivity of urban farms and gardens is largely focused on measures of crop yield and resource use, with little offered to date on their contribution to social productivity and sustainability. This paper suggests that evaluation of [...] Read more.
The extensive and burgeoning literature on the productivity of urban farms and gardens is largely focused on measures of crop yield and resource use, with little offered to date on their contribution to social productivity and sustainability. This paper suggests that evaluation of urban agriculture should consider all types of resource consumption and productivity simultaneously. The research reported here used a citizen science approach to collect data from seven community gardens and one community farm in London, UK in the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons. The paper examines the many variables that impact the sites’ overall performance, highlighting the complex nature and relationship between the many benefits and outcomes of urban farms and gardens. Data are presented on crop yield, equivalent fruit and vegetable portions, input use (including water and fertilizer), journeys made to the garden by volunteers, social benefits, and social outreach. Results show very mixed levels of crop and social productivity, depending on the organizational structure and agenda of the various sites included in the study. With no clear pattern emerging, this paper suggests that the evaluation of citywide productivity, often based on projections of small data samples, may not be reliable. By ensuring that training opportunities for volunteers are made available, higher resource efficiency as well as higher productivity could be attained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Water, Energy, Land and Food (WELF) Nexus)
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17 pages, 3069 KiB  
Article
System Cognition and Analytic Technology of Cultivated Land Quality from a Data Perspective
by Huaizhi Tang, Jiacheng Niu, Zibing Niu, Qi Liu, Yuanfang Huang, Wenju Yun, Chongyang Shen and Zejun Huo
Land 2023, 12(1), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010237 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
As cultivated land quality has been paid more and more scientific attention, its connotation generalization and cognitive bias are widespread, bringing many challenges to the investigation and evaluation of regional cultivated land quality and its data analysis and mining. Establishing a systematic and [...] Read more.
As cultivated land quality has been paid more and more scientific attention, its connotation generalization and cognitive bias are widespread, bringing many challenges to the investigation and evaluation of regional cultivated land quality and its data analysis and mining. Establishing a systematic and interdisciplinary cognitive approach to cultivated land quality is urgent and necessary. Therefore, we explored and developed a conceptual framework of the model for the cultivated land quality analysis from the data perspective, including cultivated land quality ontology, mapping, correlation, and decision models. We identified the primary content of cultivated land quality perceptions and four cognitive mechanisms. We built vital technologies, such as the collaborative perception of the quality of cultivated land, intelligent treatment, diagnostic evaluation, and simulation prediction. Applying this analysis framework, we sorted out the frequency of indicators that characterize the function of cultivated land according to the literature in recent years and have built the cognitive system of cultivated land quality in the black soil region of Northeast China. The system’s central component was production capacity and it had three components: a foundation, a guarantee, and an effect. The black soil region cultivated land quality evaluation system has seven purposes involving 20–31 key indicators: production supply, threat control, farmland infrastructure regulation, cultivated land ecological maintenance, economics, social culture, and environmental protection. In various application contexts, the system had many critical supporting technologies. The results demonstrate that the framework has strong adaptability, efficiency, and scalability, which might offer a theoretical direction for further studies on the evaluation of the quality of cultivated land in the area. The analysis framework established in this study is helpful to deepen the understanding of cultivated land quality systems from the perspective of big data. Taking the big data of cultivated land quality as the driving force, combined with the technical methods of cultivated land quality analysis, the evaluation results of cultivated land quality under different scenarios and different objectives are optimized. In addition, the framework can serve the practice of farmland management and engineering improvement, adapt to the management needs of different objects and different scales, and achieve the combination of theory and practice. Full article
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18 pages, 3743 KiB  
Article
Ecosystem Service Trade-Offs and Spatial Pattern Optimisation under Different Land Use Scenarios: A Case Study in Guanzhong Region, China
by Yijie Sun, Jing Li, Zhiyuan Ren and Feipeng Yang
Land 2023, 12(1), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010236 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1523
Abstract
Understanding the complex interactions (i.e., trade-offs and synergies) among ecosystem services (ESs) and exploring land use optimisation are important to realize regional ecological governance and sustainable development. This study examined Guanzhong Region, Shaanxi Province, as the research object. We established 12 future land [...] Read more.
Understanding the complex interactions (i.e., trade-offs and synergies) among ecosystem services (ESs) and exploring land use optimisation are important to realize regional ecological governance and sustainable development. This study examined Guanzhong Region, Shaanxi Province, as the research object. We established 12 future land use scenarios and projected the future land use patterns under the future climate change scenarios and local development policies. Next, we assessed the four main ecosystem services—carbon sequestration (CS), habitat quality (HQ), soil conservation (SC), and food supply (FS) by using related formulas and the InVEST model. Furthermore, the production possibility frontier (PPF) was used to measure trade-offs and synergistic relationships among ESs, and extract the optimal ES group under the different target needs. The results are as follows: (1) In the future 12 land use scenarios of 2050 in Guanzhong Region, forested land increased evidently in the RCP2.6 ecological protection scenario (18,483.64 km). In the RCP6.0 rapid urban development scenario, construction land showed evident expansion in the central and northeastern areas (4764.52 km2). (2) Compared with the ESs under the future multiple scenarios, CS and HQ achieved the maximum value in the RCP8.5 ecological protection scenario. In the RCP2.6 ecological protection scenario, the amount of SC was the largest (3.81 × 106 t). FS in the RCP2.6 business as usual scenario got the maximum value (18.53 × 106 t). (3) By drawing the optimal PPF curve of multiple scenarios in 2050, trade-off relationships were found between FS and CS, HQ, and SC, and synergistic relationships were found between CS, HQ, and SC. Next, the optimal ES groups under the fitted curve were selected by comparing with the ESs of 2018, and adjusting the land use areas and spatial pattern to finally optimise the relationships between ES and achieve the best land use spatial pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrating Ecosystem Service Assessments into Land Use Decisions)
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17 pages, 7358 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Vegetation Coverage in Urban Built-Up Areas
by Jinlong Chen, Zhonglei Yu, Mengxia Li and Xiao Huang
Land 2023, 12(1), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010235 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
As the main carbon sink in the carbon cycle process, vegetation is an important support for achieving “carbon peaking” and “carbon neutrality. How does the vegetation coverage of urban built-up areas change in the process of urbanization in China? Taking advantage of Landsat [...] Read more.
As the main carbon sink in the carbon cycle process, vegetation is an important support for achieving “carbon peaking” and “carbon neutrality. How does the vegetation coverage of urban built-up areas change in the process of urbanization in China? Taking advantage of Landsat remote sensing data, we extract urban built-up areas, calculate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), estimate fractional vegetation cover (FVC), and analyze the temporal and spatial dynamics of vegetation coverage in built-up areas of provincial capitals from the national and individual city levels in China. Major conclusions are as follows: (1) The FVC in the urban built-up areas has increased by 7.97%, and the urban green space has gradually changed from the “green core” distribution model to the “green vein” distribution mode. (2) The disparities in FVC of built-up areas of provincial capitals are notable, presumably due to a variety of factors that include the natural geographic environment, economic development level, built-up area expansion, land type conversion, afforestation of greening policy, etc. (3) Not just simply raise or lower, the FVC curves in the built-up areas of provincial capital cities present oscillating patterns with gradually weakening amplitude. Our study is expected to provide scientific references of an important theoretical basis for urban ecological construction and practical support for promoting the harmonious development of urban residents and urban environments in China. Full article
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22 pages, 1259 KiB  
Review
Bioeconomy—A Systematic Literature Review on Spatial Aspects and a Call for a New Research Agenda
by Franz Grossauer and Gernot Stoeglehner
Land 2023, 12(1), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010234 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2541
Abstract
Over the last 10 to 15 years, bioeconomy (BE) has evolved to a widely accepted alternative to the dominant use of finite raw materials around the globe. One of the essential prerequisites for the sustainable implementation of this future-oriented economic system is the [...] Read more.
Over the last 10 to 15 years, bioeconomy (BE) has evolved to a widely accepted alternative to the dominant use of finite raw materials around the globe. One of the essential prerequisites for the sustainable implementation of this future-oriented economic system is the consideration of spatial framework conditions. This review assesses whether spatial aspects are addressed in the scientific discourse on the bioeconomy. Between 2010 to 2021, 8812 articles were published dealing with the thematic field of bioeconomy. Using a keyword list covering themes related to spatial issues, 107 articles were identified. It was possible to demonstrate that spatial aspects are rarely discussed and large research gaps are evident. These gaps relate, for example, to the development of planning instruments for the protection of agricultural land or the assessment of the influence of intensification of agriculture on biodiversity or the multifunctionality of landscapes. In addition, the social aspects of transitioning to a bioeconomy, the role of regional planning with respect to decentralised versus centralised models, and the influence of policy and governance to foster a sustainable transition process and to avoid land use conflicts are all topics which need to be addressed in research. Based on these results, a research agenda was developed covering these and further issues to enable a sustainable spatial implementation of different forms of bioeconomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land-Based Bioeconomy Development)
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