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Environmental Management and Sustainable Agriculture: Soil, Water and Crops

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 26 October 2024 | Viewed by 1539

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Water Resources, Irrigation & Environmental Geoinformatics Lab, Institute for Olive Tree, Subtropical Plants and Viticulture, Directorate General of Agricultural Research, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DIMITRA”, 73100 Chania, Greece
Interests: agricultural water management; climate-water effects; GIS/modelling approaches; hydrological extremes; precision agriculture
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The journal Sustainability is launching a multi-disciplinary Special Issue on "Environmental Management and Sustainable Agriculture: Soil, Water and Crops" and invites researchers, experts, and professionals from research institutions, universities, national and international organizations, and enterprises to contribute their research achievements in this field. In the last half century, environmental resources have been facing significant stress, resulting in water, soil and crop-related degradation, while, at the same time, climate change has been affecting the intensity of the hydrological cycle.

Based on the above, it is very importance to increase water/soil and crop productivity under anthropogenic interventions and/or extreme climate conditions, through various measures such as adaptive agronomic practices and geoinformatics approaches (advantages in modelling, GIS, precision agriculture, and remote sensing applications).

The main aim of this Special Issue is to enhance scientific knowledge on agriculture, environment, and agroecosystems with emphasis on the interactions among water/soil resources, crop management, and climate change impacts at local, regional, and global scales. In addition, studies that focus on new developments in the processes governing agroecosystem functions, interactions with the environment, and the provision of ecosystem services are of great importance. One of the main aims of this Special Issue is to advance our understanding of how agriculture influences the environment and how changes in that environment impact agroecosystems. We particularly encourage studies of agroecosystems that deal with new knowledge and modelling approaches relevant to soil, water, and crop management.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Nektarios N. Kourgialas
Guest Editor

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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • soil-water and crop management approaches for a sustainable agriculture
  • geoinformatics & decision support systems
  • precision agriculture and irrigation technologies
  • climate, environmental and agronomic adaptive practices
  • hydrological extremes and water/soil erosion in agroecosystems
  • water/soil pollution and reuse of treated water

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 9079 KiB  
Article
Simulating Tree Root Water Uptake in the Frame of Sustainable Agriculture for Extreme Hyper-Arid Environments Using Modeling and Geophysical Techniques
by Arya Pradipta, Nektarios N. Kourgialas, Yassir Mubarak Hussein Mustafa, Panagiotis Kirmizakis and Pantelis Soupios
Sustainability 2024, 16(8), 3130; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16083130 - 09 Apr 2024
Viewed by 332
Abstract
In order to ensure sustainability in the agricultural sector and to meet global food needs, a particularly important challenge for our time is to investigate the possibility of increasing agricultural production in areas with extreme hyper-arid environments. Warming air temperatures and sandy soils [...] Read more.
In order to ensure sustainability in the agricultural sector and to meet global food needs, a particularly important challenge for our time is to investigate the possibility of increasing agricultural production in areas with extreme hyper-arid environments. Warming air temperatures and sandy soils significantly influence tree root water uptake (RWU) dynamics, making accurate estimation of RWU depth distribution and magnitude crucial for effective resource management, particularly in the context of precision irrigation within agroecosystems. This study employed two non-invasive techniques, namely HYDRUS 1D and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), to simulate RWU under controlled experimental conditions and under an extreme hyper-arid environment. The results revealed that the highest RWU rates occurred during the morning (08:00–11:00). RWU activity predominantly concentrated in the upper soil profile (0–30 cm), and the soil water content in this area was notably lower compared to the deeper soil layers. With increasing temperature, there was a tendency for the RWU zone to shift to lower depths within the soil profile. The findings of this study could have important implications for farmers, providing valuable insights to implement irrigation water management strategies. Full article
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16 pages, 16262 KiB  
Article
The Nitrate Fate Tool: A Decision Support System for the Assessment of the Groundwater Vulnerability to Nitrate in Support of Sustainable Development Goals
by Marialaura Bancheri, Angelo Basile, Marco Botta, Giuliano Langella, Federica Cavaliere, Antonello Bonfante, Giuliano Ferraro, Marco Acutis and Alessia Perego
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14164; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914164 - 25 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
This article introduces a new web-based and freely accessible tool, the Nitrate Fate tool (NFt), for the assessment of groundwater vulnerability to nitrate pollution in a variety of pedoclimatic conditions. The contamination of water resources by nitrate, in fact, represents a growing [...] Read more.
This article introduces a new web-based and freely accessible tool, the Nitrate Fate tool (NFt), for the assessment of groundwater vulnerability to nitrate pollution in a variety of pedoclimatic conditions. The contamination of water resources by nitrate, in fact, represents a growing and persistent global environmental problem, and the utilization of practical tools to assist personnel working in the agricultural sector is key for mitigating the impact on land use, while maintaining farmers’ incomes. The (NFt) has been developed and integrated into the geospatial decision support system, LandSupport, as a way to support multiple stakeholders in conducting the so-called what-if scenario analysis (e.g., what would happen to the crop production if I substitute a quote of inorganic fertilizer with the same quote of an organic one?). The tool couples a state-of-art crop-growth model—which simulates crop growth dynamics, the nitrogen and carbon cycles—with a novel transfer function model in order to assess the transport of nitrate through the unsaturated zone to the groundwater table. Within the LandSupport platform, the results are shown both as coloured maps and as cumulative charts representing the travel times and the concentrations of root leachate to groundwater table depths. This work details the tool’s rationale, the coupling of the models, and their implementation. Moreover, this article shows examples of applications supporting several public authorities and end-users, underlining that, by combining all of the information on soils, groundwater table depths, management and climates, it is possible to obtain a comprehensive understanding of nitrogen transport dynamics. Two case studies are presented: the Piana del Sele and the eastern plain of Naples, both located in the Campania region of Italy. The results of the tool’s applications reveal significant groundwater vulnerability in both plains, mainly due to the shallow groundwater table depths, resulting in remarkably fast mean nitrate travel times ranging from 0 to 6 years. Finally, the tool provides a reproducible and replicable solution, and future implementation is foreseen for additional case studies all over the world. Full article
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