Ecology of the Landscape Capital and Urban Capital

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Landscape Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (21 May 2024) | Viewed by 13443

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Guest Editor
Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET-URT Lecce), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Campus Ecotekne, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: biodiversity; ecology; ecosystem services (ES); landscape and urban planning; strategic environmental assessment (SEA, Directive 2001/42/CE); geographic information systems (GIS)
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to promote innovative research on the planning of green infrastructure and the impact assessment of ecosystem services by considering natural capital and human capital as components of an integrated part of an ecosystem, rather than as nested elements.

Land use change generated by human actions, such as through urbanization and agricultural use, leads to the simplification of biodiversity in the world, with an important loss of ecological biophysical structures and functions that support human well-being. Indeed, ecosystems provide important goods and services, defined as ecosystem services, that directly and indirectly are used by humans throughout our lives (De Groot et al., 2010).

Currently, there is a strong awareness of the need to develop human actions considering the carrying capacity of the ecosystems and the conservation of their ecological functions to support ecosystem services (Semeraro et al., 2021a). In this context, many European strategies and policies, such as Horizon 2020, the Biodiversity Strategy, and Climate adaptation strategies, promote the realization of green infrastructure and multifunction land use through the creation of natural and seminatural areas in landscapes and urban areas to support biodiversity networks and ecosystem service provisioning (COMM, 2013).

Many approaches to the assessment and planning of ecosystem services imply a separation between natural capital and the built capital of the landscape and urban areas without considering the added value generated by potential feedback or synergy between economic and social interest with ecological processes (Tan et al., 2020; Semeraro et al., 2021a). This can produce a gap between the realization of green infrastructure, ecological functions generated, and goods and services used by humans. Under these conditions, the landscape and urban system can be studied as a socioecological system characterized by the coevolution of ecological, economic, and social components, producing specific and distinctive features. Therefore, landscape evolution can be influenced by different values and the importance that humans give to biodiversity at a certain time, based on human needs, the manner that they use the goods and services, and their awareness of benefits (Semeraro et al., 2021b; 2021c;  Virapongse et al., 2016).

This Special Issue aims to address the integration of the concept of ecosystem services in landscape and urban planning, passing from the concept of "ecosystems in landscape and urban systems" to "landscape and urban systems as ecosystems", and implying a concept leap from "ecology in socioecological systems" to the "ecology of socioecological systems".

References

  1. De Groot, R.S.; Alkemade, R.; Braat, L.; Hein, L.; Willemen, L. Challenges in integrating the concept of ecosystem services and values in landscape planning, management and decision making. Ecol. Complex. 2010, 7, 260–272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecocom.2009.10.006.
  1. European Commission (EC). Green Infrastructure (GI)—Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital; Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions; European Commission: Brussels, Belgium, Brussels, 2013.
  1. Semeraro T.*, Radicchio R, Medagli P., Arzeni, A., Turco, A., Geneletti, D. Integration of Ecosystem Services in Strategic Environmental Assessment of a Peri-Urban Development Plan. Sustainability 2021a, 13, 122. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su13010122.
  1. Semeraro, T.; Gatto, E.; Buccolieri, R.; Catanzaro, V.; De Bellis, L.; Cotrozzi, L.; Lorenzini, G.; Vergine, M.; Luvisi, A. How Ecosystem Services Can Strengthen the Regeneration Policies for Monumental Olive Groves Destroyed by Xylella fastidiosa Bacterium in a Peri-Urban Area. Sustainability 2021b, 13, 8778. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168778.
  1. Semeraro, T.; Turco, A.; Arzeni, S.; La Gioia, G.; D’Armento, R.; Taurino, R.; Medagli, P. Habitat Restoration: An Applicative Approach to “Biodiversity Heritage Relicts” in Social-Ecological Systems. Land 2021c, 10, 898. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090898.
  1. Semeraro, T., Scarano, A., Santino, A., Emmanuel, R. An innovative approach to combine solar photovoltaic gardens with agricultural production and ecosystem services. Ecosystem Services 2022, 56, 101450. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2022.101450.
  1. Virapongse, A.; Brooks, S.; Metcalf, E.C.; Zedalis, J.G.; Kliskey, A.; Alessa, L. A social-ecological systems approach for environmental management. J. Environ. Manag. 2016, 178, 83–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.02.028.
  1. Tan, P. Y., Zhang, J., Masoudi, M., Alemu, J. B., Edwards, P. J., Grêt-Regamey, A., Richards, D.r. et al. A conceptual framework to untangle the concept of urban ecosystem services. Landscape and Urban Planning 2020, 200, 103837. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103837.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Sustainability.

Dr. Teodoro Semeraro
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • ecosystem services
  • natural-based solution
  • green infrastructure
  • urban planning
  • landscape planning

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

27 pages, 8899 KiB  
Article
The Foundational Components of Self-Regulating (Sustainable) Economies and Ecosystems: Implications for Green Infrastructure and Economic Restoration
by John H. Giordanengo
Land 2023, 12(11), 2044; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12112044 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1054
Abstract
The current global economic system undermines sustainability efforts such as green infrastructure and circularity, while jeopardizing social and environmental values in rich and poor countries alike. These chronic failures stem in part from a poor understanding of an economy’s structure. While many scientists [...] Read more.
The current global economic system undermines sustainability efforts such as green infrastructure and circularity, while jeopardizing social and environmental values in rich and poor countries alike. These chronic failures stem in part from a poor understanding of an economy’s structure. While many scientists view economic and ecological systems as homologous to one another (i.e., similar structures and processes), an understanding of the foundational components of these systems is lacking. A primary objective of this paper is to refine the understanding of those foundational components, and their interactions. Dozens of ecological processes have functional equivalents in economies, such as succession, evolution, symbiosis, and competition. The central hypothesis here is that three components—diversity, energy, and trade (i.e., resource transfers)—constitute the foundational components of self-regulating economies and ecosystems. A secondary hypothesis is that the interaction of these components regionally, rather than at a global scale, is a limiting factor to the long-term success of sustainability elements such as circularity, green infrastructure, and others. This article evaluates diversity, energy, and trade relative to measures such as net productivity, stability, resource-use efficiency, and biomass (i.e., capital) accumulation. In closing, the concept of economic restoration is summarized, as informed by principles of ecological restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of the Landscape Capital and Urban Capital)
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13 pages, 2213 KiB  
Article
Land Suitability of Urban and Industrial Development Using Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) and A New Model by GIS in Fasa County, Iran
by Masoud Masoudi, Mostafa Aboutalebi, Elham Asrari and Artemi Cerdà
Land 2023, 12(10), 1898; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12101898 - 10 Oct 2023
Viewed by 990
Abstract
Land use planning is a science that specifies the optimized use of land based on ecological and socioeconomic characteristics. In many parts of Iran, the selection and management of land use (development, especially) is performed regardless of land capability, which causes disinvestment and [...] Read more.
Land use planning is a science that specifies the optimized use of land based on ecological and socioeconomic characteristics. In many parts of Iran, the selection and management of land use (development, especially) is performed regardless of land capability, which causes disinvestment and reduces the environmental capacity. The main objective of this study is to evaluate and reform the ecological model of urban, rural, and industrial development in the study area. This study was conducted in Fasa County in the southern part of Iran, and the investigated methods included Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) or Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE), with two views, without limitation and with limitation, and the proposed geometric mean method through the integration of maps in GIS. The results showed that the geometric mean evaluation model (with kappa = 0.69) is the best and easiest compared to other models in the estimation of environmental capability. It should be mentioned that the lowest precision (with kappa = 0.59) between the methods was observed in the MCE method without a limiting factor, and it is clear that the limiting factor has a decisive role in assessing ecological capability and increasing accuracy. It is concluded that the proposed geometric mean method, due to the simplicity and high accuracy of the calculations, has a significant contribution to increasing efficiency and reducing the costs associated with the assessment of ecological capability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of the Landscape Capital and Urban Capital)
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13 pages, 2109 KiB  
Article
Urban Areas as Potential Sinks for Tropical Swallowtail Moth Lyssa zampa
by Anuj Jain, Lin Yu Ng and N Sivasothi
Land 2023, 12(3), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12030589 - 1 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2229
Abstract
(1) The tropical swallowtail moth Lyssa zampa received much public attention during its years of mass emergence in Singapore and Southeast Asia. However, despite its prominence, little is known about its population demographics and spatial ecology. This study aims to establish the annual [...] Read more.
(1) The tropical swallowtail moth Lyssa zampa received much public attention during its years of mass emergence in Singapore and Southeast Asia. However, despite its prominence, little is known about its population demographics and spatial ecology. This study aims to establish the annual abundance of L. zampa, determine its spatial patterns of occurrence, and examine morphological variation demonstrated by L. zampa with an emphasis on comparing urban vs. forest areas in Singapore. (2) Various sources (field surveys across 18 sites, citizen science datasets and expert knowledge) were used to catalogue L. zampa records from 2011 to 2020 and analyse its seasonal abundance. (3) We confirmed the seasonal peak of L. zampa emergence to be between May and July, with an unusually high mass emergence in 2014. The intensity of emergence was associated with the intensity of a dry spell in February of that year. The total number of L. zampa sighted in urban areas was higher despite the moth’s host plant being a tree that is restricted to mature forests and is absent from urban areas. This suggests that the occurrence of L. zampa in urban areas is likely due to the moth’s attraction to bright city lights. Our morphometric measurements further show that L. zampa individuals in urban areas have greater wing length and lighter body weights (smaller body widths) than their forest counterparts. (4) This implies that urban areas are not only drawing moths that are unable to find the host plants and, therefore, cannot produce offspring but are also attracting larger and better flyers out of forest areas. This situation is only likely to worsen as climate change intensifies and dry spells become longer and more intense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of the Landscape Capital and Urban Capital)
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23 pages, 3671 KiB  
Article
Pull and Push Drivers of Giant-Wave Spectators in Nazaré, Portugal: A Cultural Ecosystem Services Assessment Based on Geo-Tagged Photos
by António Azevedo
Land 2023, 12(2), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020360 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4131
Abstract
This paper maps the cultural ecosystem services (CES) of a well-known giant-wave hotspot located in Nazaré, Portugal. The paper adopts a qualitative approach combining an auto-ethnographic direct observation of a journey and the content analysis of photos and videos posted on the YouTube [...] Read more.
This paper maps the cultural ecosystem services (CES) of a well-known giant-wave hotspot located in Nazaré, Portugal. The paper adopts a qualitative approach combining an auto-ethnographic direct observation of a journey and the content analysis of photos and videos posted on the YouTube and Facebook pages of tourists and operators. A total of 44 geotagged photos from a sample of 6914 photos retrieved from Flickr allowed the classification and spatial distribution of several CES: (1) recreational—surf activities; (2) aesthetic—photography; (3) spiritual—dark tourism and risk recreation; (4) intangible heritage—maritime knowledge; (5) scientific—wave height forecast; (6) sense of place; and (7) social relations. The paper also proposes a theoretical framework that highlights the pull drivers (risk recreation, storm chasing, or spectacular death voyeurism) and the push drivers (e.g., marketing campaigns and wave forecasts alerts) that explain the behaviors of the big-wave spectators/chasers during the experience journey. Public decision-makers, destination marketing organizations, tourism operators, and business entrepreneurs must acknowledge the relevance of journey mapping in order to identify the moments of stress and the touchpoints associated with peak/positive experiences generated by these CES. This study confirms some push and pull factors assessed by previous studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of the Landscape Capital and Urban Capital)
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22 pages, 8621 KiB  
Article
Identification of Facade Elements of Traditional Areas in Seoul, South Korea
by Donghwa Shon, Giyoung Byun and Soyoung Choi
Land 2023, 12(2), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020277 - 18 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
The Bukchon area in Seoul boasts a high density of Hanok, the traditional Korean architecture representing the region. Because the Hanok facade plays a vital role in the streetscape formation, we must record it in terms of social, cultural, historical, artistic, and scenic [...] Read more.
The Bukchon area in Seoul boasts a high density of Hanok, the traditional Korean architecture representing the region. Because the Hanok facade plays a vital role in the streetscape formation, we must record it in terms of social, cultural, historical, artistic, and scenic values. However, recording the facade of an existing Hanok building through drawing or image information is time consuming and labor intensive, and therefore costly. Further, its digital conversion is inherently difficult. This study proposes the use of deep learning to identify the form elements that comprise the Hanok facade. Three-dimensional modeling was performed on 405 well-preserved Hanok facades in the region, and 2808 items of image data were created under similar conditions and at differing angles. Labeling was performed on the shape elements of the Hanok facade, and a methodology was established to identify the facade elements using MASK R-CNN. The type of roof, windows, the lower part of the outer wall, and the design were identified with high accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of the Landscape Capital and Urban Capital)
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20 pages, 5746 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Relationship between Climate Change, Drought, and Land Use and Land Cover Changes in a Semi-Mountainous Area of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta
by Tran Van Ty, Kim Lavane, Phan Chi Nguyen, Nigel K. Downes, Nguyen Dinh Giang Nam, Huynh Vuong Thu Minh and Pankaj Kumar
Land 2022, 11(12), 2175; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11122175 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1840
Abstract
Agriculture in the Global South is innately susceptible to climatic variability and change. In many arid and semi-mountainous regions of the developing world, drought is regularly cited as a significant threat to agricultural systems. The objective of this study is to assess the [...] Read more.
Agriculture in the Global South is innately susceptible to climatic variability and change. In many arid and semi-mountainous regions of the developing world, drought is regularly cited as a significant threat to agricultural systems. The objective of this study is to assess the impacts of climate change on drought and land use and land cover (LULC) change in a semi-mountainous region of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. We assessed previous drought trends (1980–2020) and future drought in the context of climate change, in accordance with three selected scenarios from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 global climate models which have recently been released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2021–2060) using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The change of land use for the period 2010–2020 was then assessed and the associated climatic variability explored. The results show that for the period 1980–2019, SPI 3 responds quickly to changes in precipitation, whereas SPI 9 showed a clear trend of precipitation over time. The first longest duration occurrence of drought for SPI 3, SPI 6, and SPI 9 patterns were respectively 15–16, 21, and 25 months at Chau Doc station, and respectively 11, 14–15, and 16–17 months at Tri Ton station. Future precipitation and both maximum/minimum temperatures are projected to increase in both the wet and dry seasons. In addition, for all-time series scales and climate change scenarios, the levels of drought were slight, followed by moderate. In the future, the humidity at Chau Doc station is expected to decrease, while the occurrence of drought events is expected to increase at Tri Ton station, particularly in SPI 6 patterns (110 drought events in 1980–2020, and up to 198 drought events in the future). Moreover, between 2010–2020, the agricultural land area was seen to decrease, replaced by non-agricultural land uses that were found to increase by 22.4%. Among the agricultural land area, forestry, rice crops, and upland rice were found to reduce by 7.5, 16.0, and 21.2%, respectively, while cash crops and perennial crops increased by 26.4% and 170.6%, respectively. Amongst other factors, it is concluded that the variability of climate has led to drought and thus impacted on the conversion of LULC in the study area. Due to low economic efficiency, changing climate conditions, and a lack of irrigated water, the area of rice crops, forestry, aquaculture, and upland rice decreased, replaced by land for orchards for fruit production and other cash crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of the Landscape Capital and Urban Capital)
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