Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Systems and Global Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 24 April 2024 | Viewed by 9069

Special Issue Editors

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
Interests: remote sensing; land cover; agriculture; ET; time series

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue: “Feature Papers for Land System and Global Change Section” welcomes contributions concerning the observation and modelling of land system changes. Innovative and transparent datasets and models are vital elements and tools to foster land science.

We welcome reviews and outstanding articles to this Special Issue in order to improve the current knowledge on the datasets and models for land system and global change studies. Interdisciplinary manuscripts are particularly welcome.

Prof. Dr. Le Yu
Dr. Pengyu Hao
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • land system
  • global change
  • datasets
  • models
  • time series

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

26 pages, 4088 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Papyrus Wetlands on Flow Regulation in a Tropical River Catchment
Land 2023, 12(12), 2158; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12122158 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 802
Abstract
Africa has the largest area of wetlands of international importance, and papyrus constitutes the most dominant species for many of these wetlands. This hydrological modelling study assesses and quantifies the impacts of these papyrus wetlands on historical baseflow and quickflow, as well as [...] Read more.
Africa has the largest area of wetlands of international importance, and papyrus constitutes the most dominant species for many of these wetlands. This hydrological modelling study assesses and quantifies the impacts of these papyrus wetlands on historical baseflow and quickflow, as well as future flood and low flows in the Mpologoma catchment in Uganda. Assessment over the historic period shows that wetlands strongly attenuate quickflow while moderately enhancing baseflow. They play a moderating role in most months, except for the first dry season (June and July), due to the reversal of flows between wetlands and rivers that often occur during this period. Annual estimates show that wetlands are four times better at regulating quickflow than baseflow. Examination of changes at 2 and 4 °C global warming levels (GWLs) indicate that wetlands will play critical roles in mitigating flood risks, with a lesser role in supporting low flows. Wetlands are predicted to lower future mean flood magnitude by 5.2 and 7.8% at GWL2 and GWL4, respectively, as well as halving the average number of flood events in a year, irrespective of the warming level. This work shows that papyrus-dominated wetlands strongly influence catchment hydrology, with significant roles on quickflow, including floods, and highlights the need for their conservation and protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section)
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15 pages, 15294 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Effects of Climate Change on Farming System Choice: A Farm-Level Space-for-Time Approach
Land 2023, 12(12), 2113; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12122113 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Climate change is expected to affect the agricultural sector in ways that are often unclear to predict. If in the short- and medium-terms farmers may adapt to climate change by adjusting their agricultural practices, in the long-term, these adjustments may become insufficient, forcing [...] Read more.
Climate change is expected to affect the agricultural sector in ways that are often unclear to predict. If in the short- and medium-terms farmers may adapt to climate change by adjusting their agricultural practices, in the long-term, these adjustments may become insufficient, forcing farmers to change their farming systems. The extent and direction in which these farming system transitions will occur is still a subject that is underexplored in the literature. We propose a new framework to explore the effect of climate change on the choice of farming system while controlling the effect of other drivers that are also known to influence the farming system choice. Using a spatially explicit farming system choice model developed by a previous study in an extensive agricultural region of southern Portugal, we applied a space-for-time approach to simulate the effect of climate change on the future dynamics of the farming systems in the study area. The results suggest that climate change will force many farmers to change the farming system in a foreseeable future. The extent of the projected changes in farming systems is likely to trigger significant social, economic, and environmental impacts, which should require early attention from policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section)
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14 pages, 4732 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Resilience of Stream Ecosystems to Rainfall Impact
Land 2023, 12(11), 2072; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12112072 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 641
Abstract
In Republic of Korea, pronounced seasonal precipitation variability poses substantial challenges for stream water quality management and the effective utilization of water resources. Ecologically degraded streams are particularly vulnerable to these fluctuations, which can exacerbate their already fragile condition. We assessed the resilience [...] Read more.
In Republic of Korea, pronounced seasonal precipitation variability poses substantial challenges for stream water quality management and the effective utilization of water resources. Ecologically degraded streams are particularly vulnerable to these fluctuations, which can exacerbate their already fragile condition. We assessed the resilience of reference and impaired streams in response to rainfall through water quality system performance (WQSP). The WQSP is quantified as the concentration of BOD, T-N, and T-P, which represent streams’ eutrophication and anaerobic conditions and respond quickly to disturbances. Reference and impaired streams are classified according to the biological condition and habitat environment of the streams in the Han River watershed of Republic of Korea. The resilience of the stream ecosystem was estimated using WQSP, the linear multiple regression model, and the generalized additive model for rainfall and WQSP. The WQSP reference streams have a lower sensitivity to disturbance and recover more quickly from the influence of rainfall; therefore, they have higher resilience than impaired streams to rainfall events. This study facilitates understanding changes in stream ecosystems of varying conditions in response to rainfall for ensuring long-term stability and adaptability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section)
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16 pages, 6785 KiB  
Article
Delineation of Urban Development Boundary and Carbon Emission Effects in Xuzhou City, China
Land 2023, 12(9), 1819; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091819 - 21 Sep 2023
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Urban development boundary (UDB) has always served as a crucial aspect of urban sprawl research. The objective of this paper is to investigate boundary delineation and carbon emission effects. Firstly, we examined the patterns of land use changes. Additionally, this paper utilized the [...] Read more.
Urban development boundary (UDB) has always served as a crucial aspect of urban sprawl research. The objective of this paper is to investigate boundary delineation and carbon emission effects. Firstly, we examined the patterns of land use changes. Additionally, this paper utilized the FLUS model and land use carbon emission calculation model to delineate UDB and calculate carbon emission effects within UDB under typical scenarios. The research results are as follows: (1) Xuzhou city witnessed a significant increase in both forest land and construction land from 2010 to 2020. (2) Under the CPS, the area of cultivated land increased by 217.05 km2 compared to the NDS. The UDB area under the NDS and CPS was 971.50 km2 and 968.99 km2, respectively. (3) Compared to the NDS, the CPS led to a net carbon emission increase of 4759.93 t within the UDB. Therefore, we should enhance the carbon sequestration and emission reduction capacity of the agricultural system. This study is beneficial for expanding the depth of research on the UDB and guiding the low-carbon urban development. We sincerely encourage readers to download this paper to improve this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section)
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23 pages, 5804 KiB  
Article
New Insights into Urbanization Based on Global Mapping and Analysis of Human Settlements in the Rural–Urban Continuum
Land 2023, 12(8), 1607; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12081607 - 15 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1333
Abstract
The clear boundary between urban and rural areas is gradually disappearing, and urban and rural areas are two poles of a gradient with many continuous human settlements in between, which is a concept known as the rural–urban continuum. Little is known about the [...] Read more.
The clear boundary between urban and rural areas is gradually disappearing, and urban and rural areas are two poles of a gradient with many continuous human settlements in between, which is a concept known as the rural–urban continuum. Little is known about the distribution and change trajectories of the various types in the rural–urban continuum across the globe. Therefore, using global land-cover data (FROM-GLC Plus) and global population data (Worldpop) based on the decision-making tree method, this study proposed a method and classification system for global rural–urban continuum mapping and produced the mapping results on a global scale in the Google Earth Engine platform. With the expansion of built-up areas and the increase in population, the global human settlements follow the pattern that develops from wildland to villages (isolated—sparse—dense), and then to towns (sparse—dense), and finally to urban areas (edge—center). From a regional perspective, there are some obvious differences: Africa is dominated by sparse villages; Asia has the highest proportion of densely clustered towns; the proportion of dense villages in Europe is high. Rural–urban continuum mapping and analysis provide a database and new insights into urbanization and differences between urban and rural areas around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section)
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21 pages, 3494 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Contribution of Land Registration to Sustainable Land Management in East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia
Land 2023, 12(6), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12061157 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1142
Abstract
Land registration programs on a large scale aimed at strengthening the land rights of farm households in Ethiopia have been executed in different degrees across different regions since 1998. This study investigates the contribution of land registration on the perceived tenure security of [...] Read more.
Land registration programs on a large scale aimed at strengthening the land rights of farm households in Ethiopia have been executed in different degrees across different regions since 1998. This study investigates the contribution of land registration on the perceived tenure security of farmers, farmer confidence, women and marginalized groups, and sustainable land-management practice after receiving a land holding certificate in the dryland areas of East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 385 households selected by using stratified random sampling techniques. Furthermore, focus group discussions and key informants are primary data sources. According to an investigation of qualitative and quantitative data, 163 households have a mean of 0.40 ha of agricultural land on steep slope areas, and approximately 26% of households are afraid of land redistribution and farm loss in the next five years. Moreover, 22% of households fear the government taking their farm plot at any time. Respondents, on the other hand, believe that land registration has reduced the landlessness of women, the disabled, and the poorest of the poor while increasing the landlessness of youths. After land registration, household participation in land-management practices increased by 15%. Despite this, the difference in the mean of major crop yields per household is insignificant, except for wheat, which decreased significantly at the p < 0.1 level. The study determined household head age, household size, land management training and advice, livestock holdings, and the mean distance from farm to settlement as influential factors for increasing construction of water-harvesting systems. Land registration, in general, enhances land tenure security, land-management practice, and land rights of women and marginalized groups of societies, but did not improve crop productivity. The findings should persuade policymakers to address potential sources of insecurity, such as future land redistribution issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section)
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15 pages, 5989 KiB  
Article
Forest Transition and Fuzzy Environments in Neoliberal Mexico
Land 2023, 12(4), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12040840 - 06 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Although deforestation remains a continuing threat to both the natural world and its resident human populations, a countervailing land cover dynamic has been observed in many nations. This process of landscape turnaround, the so-called forest transition, holds the potential of regenerating ecosystem services [...] Read more.
Although deforestation remains a continuing threat to both the natural world and its resident human populations, a countervailing land cover dynamic has been observed in many nations. This process of landscape turnaround, the so-called forest transition, holds the potential of regenerating ecosystem services by sparing land from agricultural activities and abandoning it to forest succession. Here, we present a case study of a long-term process of forest transition that is ongoing in the Patzcuaro watershed of the state of Michoacán, Mexico. The research to be discussed comprises a remote sensing analysis designed to (1) capture the land cover impacts of a multidecadal process of trade liberalization (1996–2018); (2) ascertain the role that land tenure plays in land use dynamics affecting forest cover, and (3) resolve forest cover types into native forest, secondary vegetation, and “commodity” covers of fruit trees, in this case, avocado. Mexico presents a useful case for addressing these three design elements. Our analysis, undertaken for both private property and collective modes of resource management in five communities, reveals a forest transition annualized at 20 ha-yr−1, or a gain of eight percent for the period. This translates into a relative rate of forest transition of 0.39%-yr−1 which is three times faster than what is occurring in the temperate biome on a national scale (0.07%-yr−1). Most of the forest transition is occurring on private holdings and stems from field abandonment as farming systems intensify production with avocado plantations and cow–calf operations. As this study demonstrates, forest transitions are not occurring ubiquitously across nations but instead are highly localized occurrences driven by a myriad of distal and proximate factors involving disparate sets of stakeholders. Consequently, policy makers who are keen to expand forest transitions to fulfill their national climate action commitments under the Paris Agreement must first promote research into the complexity of landscapes and drivers of land change at regional and local scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section)
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18 pages, 3878 KiB  
Article
How Do Rising Farmland Costs Affect Fertilizer Use Efficiency? Evidence from Gansu and Jiangsu, China
Land 2022, 11(10), 1730; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11101730 - 06 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1158
Abstract
As the farmland transfer market in China develops, moderate-scale operations increasingly grow but without much improvement in fertilizer use efficiency. This study theoretically analyzes the mechanism and effect of rising farmland costs on fertilizer use efficiency using multiple quadratic regression and mediating effects [...] Read more.
As the farmland transfer market in China develops, moderate-scale operations increasingly grow but without much improvement in fertilizer use efficiency. This study theoretically analyzes the mechanism and effect of rising farmland costs on fertilizer use efficiency using multiple quadratic regression and mediating effects models. It empirically tests a micro-sample of 806 farmers in Gansu and Jiangsu provinces in China from two dimensions: the full samples and farmer heterogeneity. The results showed 0.544 as the average fertilizer use efficiency (hereinafter, fe) of farmers in Gansu and Jiangsu, highlighting the severe loss of fe caused by excessive fertilizer inputs. The multiple quadratic regression model further revealed an inverted U-shaped relationship between farmland costs and fe, with the U-shaped curve showing a remarkable inflection point at the USD 708/mu mark. When farmland costs are excessive (cost > CNY 708/mu), the increase in farmland costs inhibits the fe. An investigation of the corresponding impact mechanism for this scenario (i.e., cost > USD 708/mu) revealed that farmland costs directly suppress fe (−0.485) by distorting the fertilizer factor substitution effect and indirectly suppress fe (−0.037) by impeding the technology spillover effect of production specialization and production scale-up. We also found heterogeneity between two groups: ordinary farmers and new agricultural operators (e.g., large grain and family farmers), with the peak kernel density function of fe of new agricultural operators (0.85) being much higher than that of ordinary farmers (0.30). Moreover, the multiple quadratic regression between the groups revealed a lower inflection point for ordinary farmers (CNY 638/mu) than new agricultural operators (CNY 823/mu), highlighting that the fe of ordinary farmers was more likely to be inhibited by the excessive rise in farmland costs. To promote the sustainable development of China’s agricultural production, we propose reducing the cost of farmland, promoting service-scale operations, and fostering new agricultural operators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Systems and Global Change Section)
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