CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0202.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: ecosystem concept; ecosystem hallmarks; ecosystem representation; living worlds
Online: 17 February 2022 (06:45:22 CET)
The ecosystem is an essential biological concept linking the living and the inanimate and represents the main structural and functional unit of nature. The biodiversity that exists on our planet can be organized into closely interconnected living worlds: acellular (viruses and capsidless genetic elements), prokaryotic (bacteria and archaea), and eukaryotic (all nucleated organisms). I want to highlight the presence of viruses as components of biodiversity because they are often overlooked in many studies despite their essential ecological and evolutionary role. Furthermore, I propose seven distinctive hallmarks that are inherent to any ecosystem: biodiversity, physical environment, hierarchy, interactivity, openness, “homecostasis”, and evolutionary. From the interaction and coupling of these living worlds with the environment (the environmental world), I define the ecosystem as a specific and dynamic ensemble of living and non-living worlds that functions as an open, hierarchical, and evolving system. This complex web of interactions that we call ecosystem can be graphically represented as a triangle reflecting the dynamic equilibrium between all the worlds. Finally, I propose a new way of graphically relating the ecosystem to biodiversity by taking the ecosystem as the nucleus from which all living worlds emerge.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0210.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: ecosystem disservice; ecosystem service cycle; natural capital; built capital; beneficiaries; interactions; ecosystem service flow
Online: 12 January 2021 (08:34:09 CET)
To sustain water-dependent economic and socio-ecological systems, natural capital and its interactions with other capitals is gaining attention, but a clear understanding of how to manage natural capital sustainably and how to make decisions relevant to water-related ecosystem services is yet to be achieved. In this study, we extended the framing of water-related ecosystem service flows as a cycle, integrating water quantity and quality and capturing the flows of ecosystem services (i.e., green phase) and ecosystem disservices (i.e., red phase), and connecting natural capital, built capital, and beneficiaries. We applied this framework to the Jiulong River watershed in China, using hydrological models to model water quantity and quality based on historical observations and experimental data. Our results showed that, during the green phase, the interactions of natural capital and built capital significantly improved water quality in downstream areas with higher flows. During the red phase, built capital reduced ecosystem disservices by ~10% while natural capital further reduced it by over one half. Our framework can provide information for natural capital management, eco-compensation, and pollutant management relevant to water-related ecosystem services.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0916.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: coral reefs; macroalgae; ecosystem services; ecosystem functions; phase-shifts
Online: 14 July 2023 (03:24:08 CEST)
In the past decades, one of the most widely reported phenomena on Caribbean reefs is the general fall in coral cover and rise in macroalgae. Reefs with low coral cover and high macroalgal abun-dances are often presumed to provide poorer ecosystem functions and services. In this study, we assessed the condition of coral reefs on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica and determined how eight key ecosystem metrics varied in response to differential coral and fleshy macroalgae covers. Most reefs surveyed had high fleshy macroalgae and low live coral covers, with an average (± SD) of 31 ± 28% and 14 ± 13% per site. We found that the rugosity, urchin density, fish richness, total fish biomass, large fish density, and the potential fishery value of the reef were higher in sites with low fleshy macroalgae covers (>10%). The value of many of the ecosystem metrics estimated for coral reefs of the region appears to be lower than what’s been reported for other areas in the Caribbean, which may be related to the high macroalgae covers found on the reefs. Our results concur with the prevailing paradigm that an increase in macroalgae abundance could reduce the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Net ecosystem exchange; Gross ecosystem production; Mesocosm; Rotation; Tillage
Online: 25 March 2021 (14:42:07 CET)
Atmospheric CO2 concentration, temperature and precipitation escalate and it is critical to investigate the agricultural practices best suited to face such new conditions. An important aspect is soil management, which alters soil organic matter content, nutrients and structure, and thus soil/atmosphere interactions and ultimately production. This in vitro study addresses greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from two long-term soil management experiments in France. One set of soil columns were managed with either grain legume + cover crops or no grain legumes + bare fallow. The other with either plowed or reduced tillage soils. GHG exchange (CO2, N2O) measurements was conducted under different environmental conditions, before and during growth of barley and eventually with three levels of barley biomass cuts (everything removed, cut halfway, intact). The gas exchange was influenced by time and environmental settings, and to a smaller degree management history, with highly variable emissions of N2O. The environmental treatments induced different patterns of effect depending on the management history of the soils. The gas exchange from soil with grain legume was more responsive to the environmental treatments than the rotation without grain legumes. Depending on the history of tillage, the gas exchange responded likewise differently to the induced environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0033.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: river; restoration; ecosystem; management; water framework directive; ecosystem services
Online: 6 December 2017 (06:57:11 CET)
The purpose of the present research was to analyze the available data on river restoration projects. As the framework of our study, we conducted a structured international survey. We asked selected entities and experts from among those responsible for river restoration in European countries about the details and costs of European Union river restoration projects. We examined 119 river restoration projects that were implemented in Europe between 1989 and 2016; some of the projects were still ongoing. We observed that the number of river restoration projects has been increasing since 1989, which expresses society’s growing interest in improving the quality of aquatic environments. We revealed that 56% of these European river restoration projects have been implemented by dedicated entities and stakeholders, not as part of any structured, larger-scale river restoration policy; this indicates that most European countries do not have integrated plans for river restoration. Our analysis showed that 52% of the projects analyzed have been designed and implemented without the participation of local stakeholders. It also showed that the budgets for river restoration projects did not differ significantly across various time horizons from 1981 to 2016. In our study, the average cost of restoring 1 ha of an average European river was 310 000 EUR (or 195 000 EUR if 4 outlying values are excluded). Considering these projects’ permanent assets and including their amortization, for European river systems, we calculated the average unit price of a river restoration’s value in terms of ecosystem meta-service to be 7 757 EUR · ha-1 · year-1 (4 875 EUR · ha-1 · year-1 if 4 outlying values were excluded).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0141.v3
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Forest ecosystem; Fluxnet; Soil respiration; Net ecosystem Exchange; Phenology
Online: 15 June 2017 (15:45:04 CEST)
Understanding the dynamics of Organic Carbon mineralization is fundamental in forecasting biosphere to atmosphere Net Carbon Ecosystem Exchange (NEE). With this perspective, we developed 3D-CMCC-PSM, a new version of the hybrid Process Based Model 3D‐CMCC FEM where also heterotrophic respiration (Rh) is explicitly simulated. The aim was to quantify NEE as a forward problem, by subtracting Ecosystem Respiration (Reco) to Gross Primary Productivity (GPP). To do so, we developed a simplification of the Soil Carbon dynamics routine proposed in DNDC . The method calculates decomposition as a function of soil moisture, temperature, state of the organic compartments, and relative abundance of microbial pools. Given the pulse dynamics of soil respiration, we introduced modifications in some of the principal constitutive relations involved in phenology and littering sub-routines. We quantified the model structure related uncertainty in NEE, by running our training simulations over 1000 random parameter-sets extracted from parameters distributions expected from literature. 3D-CMCC-PSM predictability was tested on independent time series for 6 Fluxnet sites. The model resulted in daily and monthly estimations highly consistent with the observed time series. It showed lower predictability in Mediterranean ecosystems, suggesting that it may need further improvements in addressing evapotranspiration and water dynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0148.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics And Combinatorics Keywords: Internet of Things; Big Data Ecosystem; Hadoop Ecosystem; Storage Computing
Online: 5 September 2023 (10:33:33 CEST)
To handle the huge amount of data generated by IoT devices, Big Data processing tools make it easier. This paper discusses the Big Data concept and its main V’s characteristics. It further describes IoT-enabling technologies; nominally cloud computing such as SaaS and PaaS. The centralization and infrastructure of Big Data systems, and how Cloud Computing gives a platform access to the data from anywhere. The paper explores IoT with big data architectural solutions for various use cases across the healthcare and transportation sectors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1760.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: ecosystem disservices; ecosystem services; environmental equity; landcover; urban forest governance
Online: 25 May 2023 (08:00:48 CEST)
Background: Public engagement is needed to make sure urban forestry management efforts align with the values of the public being served. Noting this, we determined current and desired urban forest access of Florida (United States) residents using the criteria from the 3-30-300 rule (i.e., 3 trees visible from home, 30% canopy in neighborhood, and a green space within 300 meters of home). Methods: A survey of 1,716 Florida residents was conducted to assess canopy coverage and green space access. Respondents were then asked if this level of urban forest access was sufficient for their needs. We also asked their perceptions of the benefits and drawbacks of urban trees and whether they had any negative interactions with trees in the past. Results: We found that 37.3% of Florida residents met all three criteria of the 3-30-300 rule. Despite this, half the respondents would prefer more trees in their neighborhoods. When asked to name the top benefits provided by trees, the most common responses were shade, beauty, and attracting wildlife. The most common drawbacks to urban trees included risk to property, leaves/debris, and fears regarding storms and hurricanes. Conclusions: Florida residents largely value their urban forest and would like to see it maintained or enhanced. Improving access to greenspaces for recreation is the most pressing concern for urban forest managers in Florida looking to meet the requirements of the 3-30-300 rule. Results from this study can inform and test urban forest management at national and global scales.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: non-native populations; geographic expansion; invasiveness; invasibility; dispersal; phenotypic plasticity; evolution; historical ecosystem; hybrid ecosystem; novel ecosystem
Online: 30 October 2019 (07:13:34 CET)
Biological invasions have reached an unprecedented level and the number of introduced species is still increasing worldwide. Despite major advances in invasion science, the determinants of success of introduced species, the magnitude and dimensions of their impact, and the mechanisms sustaining successful invasions are still debated. Empirical studies show divergent impacts of non-native populations on ecosystems and contrasting effects of biotic and abiotic factors on the dynamics of non-native populations; this is hindering the emergence of a unified theory of biological invasions. We propose a synthesis that merges perspectives from population, community, and ecosystem levels. Along a timeline of ecosystem transformation driven by non-native species, from historical to human-modified ecosystems, we order invasion concepts and theories to clarify their chaining and relevance during each step of the invasion process. This temporal sorting of invasion concepts shows that each concept is relevant at a specific stage of the invasion. Concepts and empirical findings on non-native species may appear contradictory. However, we suggest that, when mapped onto an invasion timeline, they may be combined in a complementary way. An overall scheme is proposed to summarise the theoretical dynamics of ecosystems subjected to invasions. For any given case study, this framework provides a guide through the maze of theories and should help choose the appropriate concepts according to the stage of invasion.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0236.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Biogeochemistry; Carbon; Carbon balance; Ecosystem; Ecosystem processes; Mangrove; Salt marsh; Wetland
Online: 10 September 2020 (11:22:38 CEST)
Mangroves and salt marshes are among the most productive ecosystems in the global coastal ocean. Mangroves store more carbon (739 Mg CORG ha-1) than salt marshes (334 Mg CORG ha-1), but the latter sequester proportionally more (24%) net primary production (NPP) than mangroves (12%). Mangroves exhibit greater rates of gross primary production (GPP), above-ground net primary production (NPP) and plant respiration (RC) with higher PGPP/RC ratios, but salt marshes exhibit greater rates of below-ground NPP. Mangroves have greater rates of subsurface DIC production and, unlike salt marshes, exhibit significant microbial decomposition to a soil depth of 1 m. Salt marshes release more soil CH4 and export more dissolved CH4 , but mangroves release more CO2 from tidal waters and export greater amounts of POC, DOC and DIC to adjacent waters. Both ecosystems contribute only a small proportion of GPP, RE (ecosystem respiration) and NEP (net ecosystem production) to the global coastal ocean due to their small global area, but contribute 72% of air-sea CO2 exchange from the world’s wetlands and estuaries and contribute 34% of DIC export and 17% of DOC + POC export to the world’s coastal ocean. Thus, both wetland ecosystems contribute disproportionately to carbon flow of the global coastal ocean.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0083.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Ecosystem services; Natural resource management; Natural capital; Ecosystem service provisioning; Cost-benefit ratio
Online: 5 January 2021 (11:27:39 CET)
Natural capital is the wealth of nations that give them the economic status they represent. Worldwide, vulnerable people depend on natural capital for employment, salaries, wealth, and livelihoods and, in turn, determine the developmental index of the nation to which they belong. The availability of ecological services is crucial for clean water and air, food and fodder, and agricultural development. In this short commentary, we have tried to sum up the ideas and discussions over natural capital's role in ascribing economic status to countries. We have discussed how the prosperity of humans is intertwined with the services ecosystems provide and how poor natural resource management (NRM) has adversely cost human well-being. The paper concludes that to ensure the current and future human well-being, an in-depth understanding of the services ecosystems provide, is essential.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0336.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: Dam; River estuary; Ecosystem; Effect
Online: 25 February 2022 (13:16:40 CET)
Dams have made great contributions to human society, facilitating flood control, power generation, shipping, agriculture and industry. However, the construction of dams greatly impacts downstream ecological environments and nearby marine areas. To summarize these impacts, this review used recent research to comprehensively analyze how dam construction has affected river hydrology, geomorphology, and ecosystem of downstream reaches globally. Effects of dams on ecosystems occur through reduced river flow, reduced sediment flux, altered water temperature, changed estuary delta, altered composition and distribution of nutrients, altered structure and distribution of phytoplankton populations, caused habitat fragmentation, and blocked migration routes in river sections and adjacent seas. Besides, exploring new reservoir management strategies (including targeted control of dam storage and flushing sediment operations), banning fishing activities, and removing unnecessary dams (obsolete or small dams) are becoming crucial tools for ecosystem restoration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0254.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Insects; Diversity; ecosystem health; Ambon
Online: 9 March 2021 (10:03:23 CET)
Insects are the dominant group of organisms and act as indicators of biodiversity, ecosystem health, and landscape degradation. The research objective was to determine the spread of insects in the Mount Nona Ambon Protected Forest. The research was conduct in January - March 2020 using Pitfall traps, light traps, Sweep nets, Bait traps, namely detergent, sugar solution and tuna fish. The research was carried out in 2 ha as many as five lanes with a systematic inventory sampling method where the length of the line was 100 meters, 20 m wide and 20 m spacing between lanes. The analysis use descriptively quantitative by calculating the Diversity Index (H ') of Shannon Winner, Abundance Index (K), Dominance Index (C) and Evenness Index. The results of the study found 4063 individuals, 13 species in five orders. The Hymenoptera order dominated the spread of insects in the protected forest of Mount Nona, the Formicidae family with the smallest number of 12 individuals, namely Isodontia auripes from the order Hymenoptera family Sphecidae, and the largest number of them was Anoplolepis gracilipes with 401 individuals from the order Hymenoptera family Formicidae. The difference in insects' spread in the observation path is thought to be caused by differences in microclimate, altitude, vegetation cover, insect movement, light intensity and food availability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0409.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Synthetic ecosystem; Experimental ecosystem; Microcosm; Information; Entropy; Diversity; Adaptability; Adaptation; Evolution; Homeorhesis; Homeostasis; Constraints
Online: 7 November 2023 (10:20:59 CET)
The increase in ecosystem biodiversity can be perceived as one of the universal processes converting energy into information across a wide range of living systems. This study delves into the dynamics of living systems, highlighting the distinction between ex-post adaptation, typically associated with natural selection, and its proactive counterpart, ex-ante adaptability. Through coalescence experiments using synthetic ecosystems, we (i) quantified an ecosystem stability, (ii) identified correlations between species richness and the stability, (iii) proposed a mechanism for increasing biodiversity through moderate inter-ecosystem interactions, and (iv) inferred that the information carrier of ecosystems is species composition, or merged genomic information. Additionally, we observed that (v) changes in ecosystems are constrained to a low-dimensional state space, with three distinct alteration trajectories—fluctuations, rapid environmental responses, and long-term changes—converging into this state space in common. These findings suggest that daily fluctuations may predict broader ecosystem changes. Our experimental insights, coupled with an exploration of living systems' information dynamics from an ecosystem perspective, enhance our predictive capabilities for natural ecosystem behavior, providing a universal framework for understanding a broad spectrum of living systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1800.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Fruit; forest; ecosystem; wood; native; Ecuador
Online: 26 July 2023 (12:22:04 CEST)
This study investigated the presence and characteristics of Juglans neotropica in three ecosystems in Southern Ecuador: Montane Evergreen Forest, Evergreen Seasonal Lower Montane Forest, and Semideciduous Foot Montane Forest. The main focus was on the species' multipurpose nature as both a fruit and timber source. Six study sites, totaling at least 0.5 hectares each, were established, with four in Loja province and two in Zamora Chinchipe province.The results showed significant differences in dendrometric variables across the sites, with the most favorable growth recorded in The Tundo, where trees exhibited an average diameter at breast height (DBH) of 45.16 cm, basal area (G) of 1.41 m2, total height (TH) of 19.22 m, canopy height (CH) of 13 m, cubic volume (CV) of 3.55 m3, and total volume (TV) of 5.22 m3. The species displayed a clumped distribution pattern, as indicated by a Morisita index greater than 1. Regarding abundance, the highest density of 297 trees per hectare was found in Argelia, while Victoria had the lowest density of 46 trees per hectare. This research highlights the importance of Juglans neotropica as a multipurpose species, providing both valuable fruits and wood resources in the studied ecosystems of Southern Ecuador.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0599.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Genetics; forest; ecosystem; wood; native; extinction
Online: 8 June 2023 (07:13:55 CEST)
The study was carried out in zone 7 of Ecuador, in ecosystems of the Southern Montane Evergreen Forest of the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes that goes from 2200 to 3000 masl. In the Evergreen Seasonal Lower Montane Forest of Catamayo-Alamor, which ranges from 1600-2000 meters above sea level and finally in the Semideciduous Foot Montane Forest of Catamayo-Alamor, which ranges from 400-1600 meters above sea level. The objective was to know the occurrence, structure and abundance of J. neotropica. The investigation consisted of collecting secondary information on the occurrence of the species, to later verify it in situ. Six sites with areas ≥ 0.5 hectares were identified, four in the province of Loja and two in the province of Zamora Chinchipe. Regarding the structure, it was determined that there are significant statistical differences as well as in the dasometric variables between one site and another, presenting better growths El Tundo with average values in DAP(cm)= 45.16; G(m2) = 1.41; HT(m)= 19.22; HC(m)= 13; VC(m3) = 3.55; VT(m3) = 5.22. Regarding the Morisita index, the species presents adistribution pattern >1. Regarding abundance, it was determined that Algeria presented a maximum of 297 (ind/ha), and La Victoria 46 (ind/ha) with a minimum.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0498.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Sun bear; ecosystem; habitat; spatial modeling
Online: 24 August 2020 (02:58:29 CEST)
The sun bear is conservation mammal in Indonesia. The ecological problems as conflict among mammals and human often happen around wildlife, the one of the case is the conflict between sun bear (helarctos malayanus) with human. In Pasaman where around the anthropogenic landscape is bounded by natural forest as sun bear habitat. In this decade, the story has recorded about ±16 incidents. The aim of this research is to geospatial modeling the area of potential conflict between sun bear- human. The method in this research is to use natural logarithmic and regression logistic. The tool is geographical information system and maximum entropy. The result of this research, there has found the distribute energy each variable landscape ecosystem. The statistical model of the potential conflict it has spread on landscape ecosystem. The average value of AUC prediction in this model is at number of 0.91. The variable contribution which affect are forest edge at number of 39.2%, the alternative food (plantation) at number of 31.4%, and forest fragmentation at number of 16.9%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0246.v3
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: property-carrying particle model; coupled models; ecosystem simulation; biophysical modeling; Sandusky bay; great lakes
Online: 17 September 2018 (11:23:12 CEST)
Current numerical methods for simulating biophysical processes in aquatic environments are typically constructed in a grid-based Eulerian framework or as an individual-based model in a particle-based Lagrangian framework. Often, the biogeochemical processes and physical (hydrodynamic) processes occur at different time and space scales, and changes in biological processes do not affect the hydrodynamic conditions. Therefore, it is possible to develop an alternative strategy to grid-based approaches for linking hydrodynamic and biogeochemical models that can significantly improve computational efficiency for this type of linked biophysical model. In this work, we utilize a new technique which links hydrodynamic effects and biological processes through a property-carrying particle model (PCPM) in a Lagrangian/Eulerian framework. The model is tested in idealized cases and its utility is demonstrated in a practical application to Sandusky Bay. Results show the integration of Lagrangian and Eulerian approaches allows for a natural coupling of mass transport (represented by particle movements and random walk) and biological processes in water columns which is described by a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton-detritus (NPZD) biological model. This method is far more efficient than traditional tracer based Eulerian biophysical models for 3-D simulation, particularly for a large domain and/or ensemble simulations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0006.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: agrobiodiversity; environment; ecosystem; culture; farms; planning
Online: 9 May 2018 (07:37:48 CEST)
This document presents, from environmental thinking (ecosystem - culture relations), the concept of the Main Agroecological Structure of Agroecosystems (MAS, EAP, for its acronym in Spanish), considered as a dissipative cultural structure. It discusses its possible applications (resilience, production, diversity) both inside and outside the farms. The MAS can be useful in the land planning on the farms, based on the concept of potential MAS that allows the quantification of the management of internal and external corridors, including natural vegetation. At the same time, it can be useful in the context of landscape management because it shows a series of cultural relations (economic, social, symbolic and technological) hidden from the partial analysis of landscape ecology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1683.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Spatial model; Urban Green Space; Human health; Ecosystem services; Ecosystem disservices; Participatory design, GIS; Quantitative assessment
Online: 27 November 2023 (11:17:02 CET)
Urban Green Space (UGS) has important impacts on human health, but an integrated participatory approach to UGS design for improved residents’ health was lacking to date. The aim of our study was to develop and evaluate such a novel approach to address this gap. The approach was developed following guiding principles from the literature, and tested with groups of children and elderly as participants in two neighborhoods of Maastricht (The Netherlands) with a low score on economic and health indicators. Novel aspects of the approach are the inclusion of both positive and negative health effects, the combination of participant self-assessment and model-based assessment of the health effects of UGS designs, and the use of maps to visualize UGS designs and health effects. The participant-generated UGS designs resulted in a considerable self-assessed increase in use of the UGS for meeting, stress reduction or leisure-based physical activity, as compared to the current situation. The model-assessed positive and negative health effects of the participant-generated UGS designs were limited. The major strength of the developed approach is that it combines active participation of residents in UGS (re)design with assessment of the health effects of these UGS designs. Whereas in other participatory approaches to UGS design it often remains unclear whether the resulting designs represent an improvement in terms of health, our combination of computer model-based assessment and a participatory process produced clear outcomes regarding the health benefits and use of UGS designs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0150.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Fujian; coupling and coordination mechanism; intensity of land use; extent of ecosystem health; quality of the ecosystem
Online: 10 April 2023 (05:05:20 CEST)
As the first pilot ecological civilization zone in China, Fujian Province has an excellent ecological environment quality, and its ecological environment-related indices continue to be among the highest in the country. In order to investigate the causes of the excellent ecological quality in Fujian Province in the past 15 years, this paper selects MODIS images, land use data and provincial and municipal statistical yearbook data of Fujian province from 2005 to 2020 as data sources, evaluates the ecological system health of Fujian Province by remote-sensing ecological index (i.e. RSEI), constructs the land use intensity system of Fujian Province at the same time, and uses a coupled coordination model to analyze the coupling between RSEI and The coupled coordination model was used to analyze the coupling relationship between RSEI and land use intensity, and finally the spatial and temporal evolution of ecological health in Fujian Province from 2005 to 2020 was analyzed. The results show that the coupled coordination between land use intensity and ecosystem health in Fujian province showed a continuous increase between 2005 and 2020, especially in Ningde, where the increase was most significant, from 0.0993 to 0.963, this pattern of spatial distribution is lower in the south-eastern coastal region than in the north-western interior, higher in the south-western region than in the north-western region, and higher in the north-eastern region than in the south-eastern region. In terms of the type of role, the land use intensity of most cities in Fujian Province in 2005 played an obvious role in blocking the degree of ecosystem health, but as time changed, urban land use continued to be optimized and reached moderate or even high quality coordination with the quality of the ecological environment, but Xiamen City developed relatively slowly and its 2020 coupling degree value was 0.315, which was still in mild disorder. This study fills a gap in the research mechanism of the interaction between the degree of ecosystem health and land use intensity, and also provides a new perspective for the construction of ecological civilization and the assessment of the degree of ecosystem health in Fujian Province and the whole country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0117.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Backward Design; Virtual Learning; Ecosystem; Design; Thinking
Online: 3 May 2023 (08:36:19 CEST)
Active learning has demonstrated its effectiveness regarding the improvement of the capacities of abstraction, comprehension, and development of cognitive, expression and relationship skills of the students. In this study, the redesign and implementation of an electromagnetism course for engineering students is presented, under the methodology of Backward Design (BD), recognized for its attributes for the development of active learning and its possibility of specifying the fun-damentals and principles of engineering education in the development of syllabus in higher ed-ucation. The purposes of this study were: 1) To implement the Backward Design (BD) methodology to develop argumentative, purposeful and interpretive skills in an electromagnetism course; 2) Design and apply rubrics to evaluate tests and laboratory reports, determine the level that best suits the knowledge, skills and competencies of students. 3) Assess the perception of students regarding the use of the methodology, their contributions to the development and understanding of the concepts of the course. The results of this educational research experience shown that the BD teaching approach was pedagogical and significantly superior to conventional models towards improving knowledge and skills of electromagnetism based on Hake's statistic (h) reached 0.73 that allow us to conclude that there was a learning gain in the students.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0485.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: mangrove; ecosystem service; landscape; livelihood; income structure
Online: 26 January 2023 (17:16:00 CET)
Mangrove ecosystems play an important role in local livelihoods in coastal regions of tropical and subtropical countries. However, in recent years urbanisation has changed the income structure of residents near mangroves. Different landscapes provide different job opportunities; thus, analysis of regional landscape patterns is important for understanding income structures. In this study, surveys on the income structure and landscape patterns of the surrounding areas of three mangrove sites were conducted in the Hau and Hoang Mai River estuaries in Nghe An Province, North-Central Vietnam. The results revealed that both natural and socio-economic landscape components affected income structure. The major occupations in the study area were agriculture, including husbandry, sea fishing, and trading. Land morphology and river type were the major factors influencing the income from agriculture, while coastline morphology primarily affected income from sea fishing. Community-based trading was carried out in the study area; thus, the population inside each administrative unit was a significant factor increasing income, while the retail market size in an area had significant negative effects, potentially due to the increasing number of competitors. Our study aimed to evaluate mangrove ecosystem importance for local livelihoods in relation to landscape patterns, and the results contribute to urban planning based on the conservation and sustainable use of mangrove ecosystems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0250.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: innovation platform; ecosystem; stakeholder engagement; challenge landscapes
Online: 12 July 2021 (11:48:45 CEST)
Background: South Africa’s public healthcare sector is overburdened, especially its under-resourced primary healthcare delivery system. This burden could be relieved by alleviating the population’s ill-health, focusing on the social determinants of health. These include living conditions and levels of social cohesion. In an attempt to address the aforementioned ‘challenge landscape’, this article considers socio-economic empowerment of those marginalised members of society living at the base of the pyramid (BOP) to improve factors contributing to poor health. We propose that Innovation Platforms (IPs) offer opportunities to achieve this by drawing diverse stakeholders together, which should include marginalised individuals, to pool resources and knowledge and collaborate around a specific set of challenges. Method: A Grounded Theory approach is utilised to develop the framework comprising concept definition from a systemized literature review. It is evaluated through various progressive stages through three phases of evaluation: 1) the initial framework was subjected to scrutiny in a theoretical case study, 2) a first-pass semi-structured interview and later four more semi-structured interviews with subject matter experts, and 3) an instrumental case study to refine the framework and to understand its application in a particular situation (this included four stakeholder interviews and a workshop and feedback session with the project champion). Results: This article contributes to the extant literature by addressing the lack of guidance on stakeholder engagement practices critical to the proper functioning of IPs in the context of overcoming the complex challenges associated with social determinants of health. The final output of the study is a refined management tool for stakeholder engagement in IPs. The tool provides practical recommendations to support policy makers, researchers and practitioners in 1) establishing IPs, 2) identifying areas for improvement and 3) identifying reasons for an IP’s failure and lessons to learn.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0460.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Climate Change; Ecosystem Services; Impact; adaptation; Nepal
Online: 27 August 2018 (12:55:03 CEST)
Ecosystem services (ES) are increasingly recognized as a means to adapt to the ongoing impact of climate change and associated impacts. However, these ES itself are facing adverse impact of climate change especially in developing countries where most of the people are dependent on these services for their livelihood. Very little is known about the relationship between the climate change and ES. Here we assess the impact of climate change on ecosystem services in ES rich landscape of Panchase Mountain Ecological Region of western Nepal. The study area was divided into three ecoregions from lowland through midland to the upland region. Focus group discussion, and key informant interview were used to elicit the required data for the study, which was further supported by transect walk, field observation and secondary source of information. Major impacts of climate change were observed are, reduced availability of water, reduced food production, forest ecosystem, shifting species composition in forest ecosystem, farmland abandonment, and their associated ecosystem services. We recommend to initiate the management actions to help ES adapt to climate change, and which in return could support the ecosystem itself and people dependent on the ES in adaptation to climate change by providing various goods and services.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0009.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: ecosystem services; urban water; Warsaw; Poland; environment
Online: 13 February 2017 (09:30:21 CET)
Urban lakes, especially those of natural origin, provide ecosystem services, recreation being one of the most important and highly valued by the city dwellers. Fulfilling the needs of city residents to relax and have contact with nature has become a priority in urbanized areas and has been proved to positively affect people’s health and well-being. The recreational potential of water bodies was identified to be most important aspect of ecosystem services to the residents of the neighboring areas. An assessment of recreational ecosystem services (RES) provisioning to society based on the real time spent by the citizens and housing values in the rural-urban gradient revealed that the economic benefits of lakes differ in urbanized, suburban and rural landscapes. The growth of cities has led to an increased population density in the surroundings of ecologically valuable areas, resulting in higher pressure from visitors seeking recreational areas. Along with urbanization, the impoverishment of ecosystem functions takes place, limiting their capability to provide ecosystem services. In this work provisioning of recreational ecosystem services of 28 floodplain lakes located along the urban-rural gradient of the Warsaw agglomeration was assessed. The relationship between the ecological value of the water bodies, measured using naturalness indices, and the recreational ecosystem services they can provide was assessed. The results showed that the floodplain lakes located along the urban-rural gradient are of a great importance to the citizens due to their recreational potential. The provisioning of recreational ecosystem services is poorly connected with the ecological characteristics of the floodplain lakes. Only hemeroby, was significantly correlated with provisioning, and there was no relationship with factors such as naturalness of vegetation or water quality, demonstrating that public preference was not generally influenced by high ecological quality. These data should be available to potential buyers and be integrated in spatial planning management plans in order to shape future housing policy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0119.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: land use preference; ecosystem service; natural conservation
Online: 23 November 2016 (18:08:51 CET)
This paper aims to build up a preference function to evaluate the public benefits of the type of agricultural farming, biodiversity, water provisions, land use type, ecotourism modes, and a monetary attribute (environmental trust fund and willingness to contribute) associated with an ecosystem service and land use program in a forest park. This study used the choice experiments to build a random utility model, analyze the average preference for the above land use attributes based on the conditional logit and used a latent class model to test the resident’s heterogeneous preferences for land use planning in the forest park. We also estimated the welfare derived from various land use programs. The empirical result had shown that: (1) increasing organic farming area, maintaining the status quo of species biodiversity, increasing the surface water provision, increasing the area of custom flora, increasing the wetland area, and setting up an integrated framework for ecotourism increase the public’s preference for the land use program; (2) we found that farmer and non-farmer haven’t the same land use preferences; (3) the ecotourism development program incorporating biodiversity, organic farming, ethnobotany, and wetland area with integrated ecotourism are more preferred than other land use program scenarios.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0015.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: coastal wetland; carbon; nitrogen; coupling; stoichiometry; meta-ecosystem
Online: 1 October 2023 (08:52:35 CEST)
The dynamics of hydrological lateral nutrient fluxes contribute to our understanding of ecological functions related to energy, materials, and organism flows across various spatiotemporal scales. To explore the connectivity between multiple spatial flow processes, we conducted a one-year field measurement to assess lateral hydrologic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) fluxes over the continental shelf in the Yangtze estuary. We observed a significant correlation between the differences in remote sensing-based estimates of gross primary production (GPP) (∆GPPMODIS) and the differences in eddy covariance (EC) tower-based GPP (∆GPPEC) at both high-elevation and low-elevation sites. Over the course of a year, our predicted daily maximum tidal elevation (TE) closely matched the observed values in the creek, which facilitated the development of theoretical models to simulate biogeochemical cycling processes and aquatic ecosystem functions. Our findings indicate that the studied saltmarsh acts as a net exporter of dissolved total C (DTC) while serving as a net sink for dissolved total N (DTN). Furthermore, there is a significant correlation in the total dissolved stoichiometry of the C/N ratio between imports and exports. These findings highlight the importance of integrating ecological stoichiometric principles to gain a deeper understanding of the complex relationships between physical, chemical, and biological processes, particularly within the context of the meta-ecosystem framework. Additionally, when considering reciprocal hydrological lateral C and N flows, single ecosystem can function both as sources and sinks within the meta-ecosystem framework.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0255.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Fagus sylvatica; emergy accounting; natural capital; ecosystem functions
Online: 9 March 2021 (10:07:16 CET)
Forest ecosystems are important providers of ecosystem functions and services belonging to four categories: supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural ecosystem services. Forest management, generally focused on timber production, has consequences on the ability of the system to keep providing services. Silviculture, in fact, may affect ecological structures and processes from which services arise. In particular, the removal of biomass causes a radical change in the stocks and flows of energy characterizing the system. Aiming at the assessment of differences in stored natural capital and ecosystem functions and services provision, three differently managed temperate forests of common beech (Fagus sylvatica) were considered: (1) a forest in semi-natural condition, (2) a forest carefully managed to get timber in a sustainable way and (3) a forest exploited without management. Natural capital and ecosystem functions and services are here accounted in biophysical terms. Specifically, all the resources used up to create the biomass (stock) and maintain the production (flow) of the different components of the forest system were calculated. Both stored emergy and empower decrease at increasing human pressure on the forest, resulting in a loss of natural capital and a diminished ability of the natural system to contribute to human well-being in terms of ecosystem services provision.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0273.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Landscape Ecology; Lake; River; Urban Ecosystem; Urban Forest
Online: 11 February 2021 (09:46:04 CET)
Within the town, Abiotic is a built environment that includes buildings, roads, pedestrians, and other elements that interact with biotics, which are living things including plants, animals, and humans. From a landscape ecological perspective, the urban structure consists of (1) a matrix, which is a collection of dominant buildings and homogeneous elements, (2) Patches are grouped as housing, urban forests, parks, lakes, and finally (3) Corridors such as roads, rivers, and pedestrians. The dominance of watertight areas over green open spaces in urban development can lead to increased temperatures and runoff. The condition of the soil structure and the steep slope of the soil can cause landslides, therefore urban development must pay attention to the natural conditions of the area being built. This research was conducted in Kota Baru, Bogor, South Tangerang, and Cikarang (Bekasi Regency). The purpose of this study is to determine the natural environment and the built environment as well as changes in the ecosystem and their consequences for the new town and its surroundings. This research uses quantitative and qualitative approaches. Analysis of land-use change uses spatial and temporal methods, while Nieuwolt's equation is used to measure comfort. This study finds comfortable environmental planning, with green open spaces such as urban forests, city parks, and bodies of water, such as lakes, as a space for interaction between fellow new city residents and people outside the new towns.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0244.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: microbial communities; synergistic interactions; ecosystem processes; multi-omics
Online: 9 February 2021 (16:59:36 CET)
Mining interspecies interactions remain a challenge due to the complex nature of microbial communities and the need for computational power to handle big data. Our meta-analysis indicates that genetic potential alone does not resolve all issues involving mining of microbial interactions. Nevertheless, it can be used to define the building blocks to infer synergistic interspecies interactions and to limit the search space (i.e., number of species and metabolic reactions) to a manageable size. A reduced search space decreases the number of additional experiments necessary to validate the inferred putative interactions. As validation experiments, we examine how multi-omics and state of the art imaging techniques may further improve our understanding of species interactions’ role in ecosystem processes. Finally, we analyze pros and cons from the current methods to infer microbial interactions from genetic potential and propose a new theoretical framework based on: (i) genomic information of key members of a community; (ii) information of ecosystem processes involved with a specific hypothesis or research question; (iii) the ability to identify putative species’ contributions to ecosystem processes of interest; and, (iv) validation of putative microbial interactions through integration of other data sources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0390.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: fragmentation; Green Infrastructure; ecosystem; edge effect; spatial planning
Online: 15 December 2020 (16:00:29 CET)
This paper discusses Green Infrastructure, which can be considered a useful tool in the process of ensuring the sustainable development of urban structures in the Carpathian region. It allows for achieving a better quality of the environment of human life and healthy wildlife linkages. The element that supports defining information about the existing state of Green Infrastructure and its resources is the Green Infrastructure fragmentation coefficient based on edge effect calculations, which is the relation between the edge of the patch (circumference) to its surface area [1, 2]. With the use of model analysis of Green Infrastructure, it is possible to implement the provisions of the Carpathian Convention and coordinate planning documents that facilitate the sustainable development of spatial structures. Our study on the state of Green Infrastructure in rural areas of the Polish Carpathian Mountains is a source of knowledge about the quality of this area, its natural environment and fragmentation. Determining the territory’s Green Infrastructure fragmentation coefficient provides an opportunity for higher-precision studies and the detection of threats and integration of GI fragments and addressing proper solutions in conflict areas.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0127.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Case study; Collaborative ecosystem; Governance; Smart city; Sustainability
Online: 6 October 2020 (12:55:13 CEST)
Despite the increasing interest in ‘smart city’ initiatives worldwide, current literature still lacks the approaches and models that address challenges in organization and collaboration, which boost sustainability and ‘smartness’ in modern cities. This paper provides an overview of ‘smart city’ ecosystems as a mechanism to promote the expected outcomes of their sustainable development, and highlights the importance of conceptualizing cities from organizational and managerial perspectives. Representative exploratory models of ‘city organization’, which emphasize on the role of ‘governance’ and synergies, are presented to ‘decode’ complex city mechanisms and to determine key components that lead to ‘smart’ initiatives. Interesting case studies and applications are then analysed to examine the practical dimension of these approaches. As a review paper, this article lays out a general framework on the importance of ‘collaboration’, ‘governance’, ‘management’, and ‘ecosystem’. However, 'planning smartly’ and achieving ‘sustainability’ at the level of city ‘organization’ remain as challenges in this pioneering study of smart cities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1055.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: wetland; ecosystem services; land cover; biodiversity; sustainability; citizen science
Online: 16 November 2023 (07:47:05 CET)
Wetland ecosystems provide valuable services to human beings, but they are also among the most threatened ecosystems in the world (1). Sixteen ecosystem services are identified through the South African Water Research Commission's Wet-Health Tool (2). This study sought to establish which of these ecosystem services are highly ranked/rated by the community members living in the Soutpansberg area in South Africa. This area is a strategic water source/watershed. The area is rich in biodiversity and is also experiencing competing administrative jurisdictions: the local traditional leadership and the municipal council. This study also sought to determine the influence of age, education status, employment status, and family income, among other demographic factors, on how people view the importance of services derived from wetlands. It also sought to establish whether people in urban settings view the ecosys-tem services obtained from wetlands similarly to people in rural settings. A literature review was conducted to understand the wetland ecosystem services and how communities benefit from these services. A close-ended questionnaire was used to collect data for the current study, which was circulated among the villagers around the wetlands, particularly those living close to the wetlands. One hundred and sixteen responses from the study were recorded. Food for livestock was ranked the greatest benefit or service derived from the wetlands rated by 82% of the participants, followed by the provision of cultivated foods at 60%, provision of water for human use at 58%, provision of harvestable resources at 42% and erosion control at 38% completes the top 5 ranked ecosystem services in the area. The study concluded that the participants living in rural areas had greater awareness of wetlands' ecosystem services than their urban counterparts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0786.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: mangrove; spatial structure; ecosystem service value; remote sensing; Guangxi
Online: 13 November 2023 (09:00:41 CET)
Mangrove forests play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of coastal regions. Ac-curately assessing changes in their ecosystem service value (ESV) requires more than precise mangrove distribution data, an appropriate set of evaluation methods is also needed. In this study, we obtain the spatial distribution and structural changes of mangrove forests based on Sentinel-2 imagery and build a mangrove forest ESV evaluation system by combining spatial pattern and the millennium ecosystem services. The results showed that: (1) the area of mangroves in Guangxi increased from 6245.15 ha in 2016 to 6750.01 ha to 2020, with a net increase of 504.81 ha which mainly concentrated in Lianzhou Bay, Tieshan Harbour and Dandou Bay; (2) the ESV of mangrove forests was 379.85 million U.S. dollars (USD) in 2016 and 413.13 million USD in 2020; (3) the value of fishery, soil conservation, wave absorption, and pollution purification comprise the largest proportion of the ESV of mangrove forests. From 2016 to 2020, mangroves in Guangxi had demonstrated a positive development trend and was undergoing a process of recovery. Results and conclusions of this study provide valuable insights and information to facilitate a more profound comprehension of the relationship between the mangrove forest and its ecological significance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1416.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ecosystem services; ecological risk; spatial relationships; driving factors; Chongqing
Online: 21 August 2023 (08:08:56 CEST)
The rapid development of the regional economy in China has led to the rise of local ecological risks. It is very important to provide enjoyable ecosystem services to residents while reducing ecological risks. In order to understand spatial relationships between ecosystem services and ecological risks, we took Chongqing as an example in this study to assess the spatial relationship between ecosystem services and ecological risks at the county scale based on the ES-DPSIR system. The main findings include: (1) significant variation in the spatial distribution of the comprehensive ecosystem service index, where the lowest ecosystem service index (0.013) was found in the main urban area of Chongqing and the scores gradually increased outward from this center, reaching 0.689 in the outermost areas, (2) the increase of the comprehensive ecological risk index from east to west, ranging from -0.134 to 0.333, (3) the spatial relationship between ecosystem services and ecological risks was prominent, with 52.63% of the districts and counties being imbalanced or mild imbalanced, and (4) the significant differences between development trends of ecosystem services-ecological risks, including 60.53% being imbalanced districts and 30.47% mildly balanced. Overall, it was necessary to improve the relationship between ecosystem services and ecological risks in Chongqing by reducing ecological risks., and these research results could provide effective approaches and technical support for improving regional ecological security and enhancing ecosystem service capabilities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2070.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: agroforestry; rice-fish-duck-forest; ecosystem services; sustainable development
Online: 31 July 2023 (12:04:00 CEST)
Agroforestry with a sustainable model of production is considered to be an effective solution to the unsustainability of the existing model in agricultural production, and it is also an important topic for ecosystem services and sustainable development goals to improve human well-being. In addition, existing literatures confirm that the importance of forest functions in increasing agricultural production and maintaining agro-ecological sustainability. The "rice-fish-duck-forest" is an important representative of the agroforestry complex ecosystem because of its unique management mechanism and characteristic social culture. As a result, "rice-fish-duck-forest" ecosystem services are beginning to be studied. In the absence of a systematic scientific understanding of the ecosystem services of "rice-fish-duck-forest", there are potential challenges to its sustainable development. This study thoroughly analyzed the current literature on rice-fish-duck-forest ecosystem services in order to have a more thorough grasp of it and to be more sustainable. This research found that research on the ecosystem services of "rice-fish-duck-forest" involves four themes: "regulational", "ecology", "economy", and "socio-culture". Deforestation, socio-cultural marginalization, and Low community management participation are the three main issues facing the "rice-fish-duck-forest" ecosystem service. To address these issues, this paper builds a framework for the sustainable development of rice-fish-duck-forest ecosystem services within the context of current management frameworks for agriculture and forestry, and further discusses its relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals. This study will provide a theoretical decision-making guide for the transformation of agriculture to agroforestry and the sustainable development of agroforestry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0253.v2
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Algebra And Number Theory Keywords: Minimax principle; linear approximation theory; ecosystem; steady state solution
Online: 5 August 2021 (11:33:07 CEST)
This paper reports applying Minimax principle and impulsive differential inequality to derive the existence of multiple stationary solutions and the global stability of a positive stationary solution for a delayed feedback Gilpin-Ayala competition model with impulsive disturbance. The conclusion obtained in this paper reduces the conservatism of the algorithm compared with the known literature, for the impulsive disturbance is not limited to impulsive control.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0101.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: intelligent city; smart city; smart ecosystem; ontology; city smartness
Online: 4 August 2021 (08:38:31 CEST)
The paper is a follow-up of a previous investigation and effort to develop the ontology of the smart city (Komninos, N., Bratsas, C., Kakderi, C., and Tsarchopoulos, P. "Smart city ontologies: Improving the effectiveness of smart city applications". Journal of Smart Cities, vol. 1(1), 1-17. https://www.komninos.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2015-Smart-City-Ontologies-Published.pdf). Since the publication of this article in 2015, research and literature on smart cities have evolved significantly, as have the technologies for digital spaces and applications that support city functions. These developments are reflected in the present form of the smart city ontology 2.0 we propose. It depicts the building blocks of the smart city ontology (technologies, structure, function, planning), and the object properties and data properties that connect structural blocks and classes. The aim of the SCO 2.0 is to provide a better understanding and description of the smart/intelligent city landscape; identify the main components and processes, the terms used to describe them, their definition and meaning; clarify key processes related to the integration of the different dimensions of the smart city, mainly the physical, social, and digital dimensions. The paper is accompanied by an owl file, developing the ontology through the editor Protégé.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0497.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Ecosystem services; Benefit transfer; Meta-analysis; Meta-regression function.
Online: 21 June 2021 (10:04:14 CEST)
Meta-analysis has increasingly been used to synthesize the ecosystem services literature, with some testing of the use of such analyses to transfer benefits. These are typically based on local primary studies. However, meta-analyses associated with ecosystem services are a potentially powerful tool for transferring benefits, especially for environmental assets for which no primary studies are available. In this study we use the Ecosystem Service Valuation Database (ESVD), which brings together 1350 value estimates from more than 320 studies around the world, to estimate meta-regression functions for provisioning, regulating & maintenance and cultural ecosystem services across 12 biomes. We tested the reliability of these meta-regression functions and found that even using variables with high explanatory power, transfer errors could still be large. We show that meta-analytic transfer performs better than simple value transfer and, in addition, that local meta-analytical transfer (i.e. based on local explanatory variable values) provides more reliable estimates than global meta-analytical transfer (i.e. based on mean global explanatory variable values). Thus, we conclude that when taking into account the characteristics of the study area under analysis, including explanatory variables such as income, population density and protection status, we can determine the value of ecosystem services with greater accuracy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0756.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Intelligent Procurement; Supply Chain; Procurement Ecosystem; Energy Business Procurement
Online: 28 April 2021 (15:36:26 CEST)
With the development of big data analysis, blockchain and other technologies, the supply chain of enterprises is transforming to lean and intelligent. As an important link in the enterprise supply chain, the intelligent transformation of procurement plays an important role in the improvement of the supply chain efficiency, therefore, the construction of a common method supporting the intelligent upgrade of the enterprise procurement business has become a key concern for enterprise managers. Based on the balanced scorecard theory and the supply chain maturity model, this study combines the actual situation of procurement management in Chinese energy enterprises and constructs a procurement benchmarking system that balances the development direction of the industry and the actual needs of enterprises. Meanwhile, based on the grounded theory, three major themes of the intelligent procurement system (digital business module, procurement synergy mechanism and procurement ecosystem) are extracted to provide a methodological reference for the construction of intelligent procurement systems of energy enterprises. The study concludes with a case study of China National Energy Group Materials Company to demonstrate the application of the intelligent procurement system built in this paper, with a view to providing methodological reference for the intelligent procurement management in energy enterprises.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0278.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biomonitoring; metabarcoding; environmental DNA; biodiversity; implementation strategy; ecosystem management
Online: 24 January 2020 (11:01:41 CET)
A decade after environmental scientists integrated high-throughput sequencing technologies in their toolbox, the genomics-based monitoring of anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems is yet to be implemented by regulatory frameworks. Despite the broadly acknowledged potential of environmental DNA and RNA to cost-efficiently and accurately monitor biodiversity, technical limitations and conceptual issues still stand in the way of its routine application by end-users. In addition, the multiplicity of potential implementation strategies may contribute to a perception of the methodology as being premature or “in development”, hence restraining regulators from binding these tools into legal frameworks. This review focuses on the strengths and limitations of genomics-based strategies that have emerged over the past ten years and have been classified for this purpose into three broad strategies: (A) Taxonomy-based approaches that focus on known bio-indicators or the diversity of taxonomically described taxa, (B) De novo approaches that do not require well-established taxonomy, and (C) Function-based approaches that rely on community-wide metrics, where taxa are interchangeable, or on functional profiles instead of compositional turnovers. We finally propose a roadmap for the implementation of environmental genomics into routine monitoring programs that leverage recent analytical advancements, upon which some critical limitations are alleviated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0661.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: national parks; ecosystem service value; natural infrastructure; natural capital
Online: 29 October 2018 (07:11:30 CET)
The annual budget for the United States National Park Service was roughly three billion dollars in 2016. This is distributed amongst 405 National Parks, 23 national scenic and historic trails, and 60 wild and scenic rivers. Entrance fees and concessions generate millions of dollars in income for the National Park Service; however, this metric fails to account for the total value of the National Parks. In failing to consider the value of the ecosystem services provided by the National Parks we fail to quantify and appreciate the contributions our parks make to society. This oversight allows us to continue to underfund a valuable part of our natural capital and consequently damage our supporting environment, national heritage, monetary economy, and many of our diverse cultures. We explore a simple benefits transfer valuation of the United States national parks using National Land Cover Data from 2011 and ecosystem service values determined by Costanza (et al). This produces an estimate suggesting the parks provide $84 billion / year in ecosystem service value. If the natural infrastructure 'asset' that is our national park system had a budget comparable to a piece of commercial real estate of this value, the annual budget of the National Park Service would be roughly an order of magnitude larger at something closer to $30 billion rather than $3 billion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.2060.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Aboveground carbon stock; tropical forest; Landsat; Malaysia ecosystem; spectral indicators
Online: 31 October 2023 (09:56:37 CET)
The accurate estimation of biomass carbon in forests is of paramount importance for effective forest management and mitigating climate change. This study presents a novel approach to produce a high-resolution map of biomass carbon over forests in Malaysia using the Aboveground Carbon Density Indicator (ACDI) and a comprehensive collection of 12 years of inventory data, i.e., from 2012 to 2023. The ACDI was derived based on several vegetation indices (VIs) that were produced from the original Landsat images to indicate the level of aboveground biomass carbon (AGC) stock in the forested areas. The VIs includes Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalised Burn Ratio (NBR), Shadow Index (SI), Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Iron Oxide Index (IO), Modified Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI), and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). The ACDI was then integrated with ground-based measurements, and serves as a robust indicator for estimating AGC. This calculation was conducted on Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform to match the date of field observation with the satellite imagery datasets. The production of seamless mosaic of the latest date of Landsat imagery and the forest type classification were also performed on GEE. The forested areas were classified into three major types, which are dry inland forest, mangrove forest, and peat swamp forest. Results indicated significant spatial variations in AGC across Malaysia's forests. The derived AGC prediction models based on the ACDI varied among the forest types. Based on the estimates, a 30-metre resolution, wall-to-wall map of AGC across the entire forested region of Malaysia has been created. The ACDI was calibrated and validated using a separate validation plots dataset to ensure the accuracy of the AGC estimates. The total AGC in all types of forests in Malaysia was estimated at 3.0 billion Mg C with an attainable accuracy of about 80%. These estimates were also divided into categories and reported to the AGC at the state level. This high-resolution map provides essential information for various stakeholders, with critical implications for carbon sequestration efforts, conservation priorities, and sustainable forest management. The presented methodology not only showcases the value of combining advanced remote sensing techniques with long-term inventory data but also underscores the potential for similar approaches in other tropical forest regions globally. Ultimately, this study contributes to the understanding of carbon dynamics in Malaysian forests and promotes effective strategies for mitigating climate change through better-informed forest conservation and management practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0604.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Urban Studies And Planning Keywords: smart city ecosystem; urban economy; smart city; entrepreneurship; smart economy
Online: 11 September 2023 (04:08:09 CEST)
As digital technology has become an integral part of urban’s daily operations; the urban landscape is constantly evolving with the needs of its society. This new reality allowed Municipalities to exert a higher influence in the national and local economy. Through deliberate planning and executing initiatives, they can ignite the local financial ecosystem to growth. In line with this, the paper aims to understand the possibilities available to the Greek Municipalities to exploit the smart city benefits to foster economic development. It is essential to understand the role of different factors including the strategy during the planning and implementing phases of initiatives concerning economy and innovation in a smart city. To achieve this, a tailor-made questionnaire and advanced statistical techniques are applied. The main findings highlight the importance to plan initiatives aligned with the needs of the municipality and the business environment. The existence of a smart city strategy has a catalytic effect on the final impact of the implemented initiatives on the urban environment. A systematic analysis of the smart cities’ dynamics and the new state of the urban environment can help the local actors focus on the value creation and public service provision, fostering innovation and profitability.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1012.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Sustainable,forest management,innovations,participatory,growing stock, ecosystem services; biodiversity
Online: 7 July 2023 (08:27:26 CEST)
Forest ecosystems provide diverse services and values that contribute to human well-being. Although high proportion of species is still undiscovered, tropical forests alone are thought to host more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity. Beyond supporting via direct use of products like timber, fiber and biomass energy, they play an important role in providing a wide range of ecosystem services such as regulating water flow and quality, water purification, improving infiltration, fresh water, erosion control, carbon sequestration and sedimentation control. They are one of the important parts of terrestrial and the largest carbon pool, occupying an integral position in the global carbon cycle. However, these days, deterioration of nature and forest biodiversity is a severe danger to the global environment. This will be accompanied by increased strains on food supply, causing increased pressure on already delicate ecological systems. Thus, better forest management strategies are necessary for managing forests sustainably. Nevertheless, little is known regarding the existing forest management approaches and their associated benefits and challenges. Multidisciplinary approaches are needed to achieve sustainable management of forests. These can be accomplished if suitable forest management innovations are put in place. Various technologies can also be adopted through applying different forest assessment tools like remote sensing using light detection and ranging technology (LiDAR) in forest management. Harnessing such technologies will definitely result in providing increased socio-economy as well as improved environmental sustainability. However, the speed of transformation depends much on level of commitment of stakeholders including policy makers. As a result, this review is intended to explore existing forest management innovations which are suitable both ecologically as well as socio-economically. This shows that while there is a lot to be improved, there are already developed forest management innovations that are already in use including PFM and MFM, which helps to achieve SFM.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2119.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Innovation Ecosystem; Technology Innovation; Entrepreneurship; Hydrocarbon-Based Economies; Innovation Systems
Online: 30 May 2023 (11:00:58 CEST)
Innovation is rapidly growing and affecting various industries, including hydrocarbon processing. This study aims to conduct a comprehensive and organized review of the literature on innovation ecosystems and their performance. It will examine existing definitions of innovation ecosystems and related concepts and identify metrics and indicators for measuring innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. The term "innovation ecosystem" has gained considerable attention from scholars and practitioners over the past fifteen years. Despite the proliferation of research in this area, there are concerns about its fragmented knowledge base. While previous reviews have highlighted the theoretical connections between innovation ecosystems and related concepts, there is still a need for a more comprehensive understanding of the current state of innovation ecosystem research. The study used a systematic literature review approach that combines bibliographic coupling and content analysis methods, drawing on over 100 studies to identify five streams of current innovation ecosystem research: technology innovation, platform innovation ecosystems, regional development, innovation ecosystem conceptualization and theorization, and entrepreneurship and innovation. The study's contribution lies in decoding the intellectual structure of current innovation ecosystem research and providing targeted recommendations for future research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0204.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Ecosystem service values; Land cover change; Proximate causes; Underlying causes
Online: 12 December 2022 (13:21:24 CET)
Land use/cover (LULC) change is one of the most important environmental phenomena that have affected the earths’ systems and its ecosystem services. Hence, this study was conducted with the main objective of assessing LULC change, its drivers andimpactson ecosystem services in Jimma Rare district for the year 1974–2019. In order to understand the spatial and temporal changes of LULC and its drivers four satellite images for the year1974, 1991, 2005 and 2019 were obtained and respondent interviews, focus group discussions (FGD) and field observations were employed. Moreover, the ecosystem service value coefficients developed at a global level were used to assess the impacts of LULC on ecosystem service provision of the study area. The results of the study revealed that grass land and forest land decreased from 4518.87ha (13.09%) to 902.42ha (2.61%) and 3287.79ha (9.52%) to 2506.63ha (7.26%) from 1974-2019 respectively. Similarly, wetland declined from1182.08ha (3.42%) to 562.37ha (1.63%) in the stated period.The greatest expansion of cultivated land and settlement area occurred during the year 1974-1991. Agricultural expansion, deforestation, overgrazing and expansion of rural and urban settlement were among the major proximate causes. Likewise, the major underlying drivers of LULC dynamics include population increase, the presence of weak policy and institutions, poverty and lack of awareness were identified by respondents and focus group discussants. The total natural capital value reduced from 662.75 (million $/ha/yr) to 577.03 (million $/ha/yr) in the study period indicating the impacts of LULC on ecosystem services. From this study, it is possible to conclude that Jimma Rare District has experienced a significant change in LULC and ecosystem service values over the past 45 years. Hence, appropriate policy packages of land use are required to curb the negative impacts of such changes in the study district in the provision of the required services for sustainable development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0487.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: water quality monitoring; wetland ecosystem services; spatial variation; temporal variation
Online: 29 August 2022 (10:46:13 CEST)
Stream chemistry effectively integrates watershed ecosystem processes on both spatial and temporal scales. Streams of coastal areas integrate a more homogeneous, flat topography wherein there can be interactions between the stream and the body of water into which it drains, especially where tidal fluxes occur. The present study assessed water quality of Thompson Bayou, which comes to the campus of the University of West Florida in a wetland after flowing through 4 km of commercial and private property with associated impacts on water quality. Sampling was carried out for one year at eight discrete sites along Thompson Bayou from the UWF campus to the Escambia River. We used a portable field meter to measure temperature, pH, dissolved O2 (DO), and specific conductivity (SC). Except for temperature, all variables exhibited a spatial pattern of significant variation with distance, with consistent increases in DO and SC as the stream approached the river. These variables also exhibited a temporal pattern of significant seasonal variation, including—and especially—temperature. Data suggest that spatial and temporal patterns of water quality of Thompson Bayou are determined by (1) processing of water by the wetland, (2) interactions of the stream channel with upland forest stands, and (3) the tidal hydrology of the Escambia River.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0173.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Tarim river; ecological service function value; river ecosystem; evaluation indicators
Online: 13 June 2022 (09:33:56 CEST)
The estimation of ecological service system value of water resources in Tarim river basin is of great significance for resource allocation management and ecological protection. However, there is still no unified and complete evaluation method for ecological service system value of inland river in China. Based on the perspective of the whole value chain, the study classifies its ecological service functions, and divides 11 sub-categories into 4 categories (supply, regulation, culture and support) as evaluation indicators to carry out quantitative evaluation. The results showed that the total value of ecological service system in Tarim river basin in 2018 was 4156.5247×108 Yuan, and the value of regulating function, cultural function, supporting function and supply function were successively from high to low, which were as follows: 2565.6825×108 Yuan, 1009.5471×108 Yuan, 884.0770×108 Yuan, 20.3350×108 Yuan, among which the value of regulation function is dominant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0102.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Architecture Keywords: Design Morphology; Ecosystem Thinking and Methods; Ecological Environment; Form Community
Online: 7 February 2022 (16:31:36 CET)
As an emerging discipline, Design Morphology, with the advantage of "Form Study", has been integrated with many disciplines, and gradually formed its collaborative innovation paradigm. The inclusion of "Ecology" into Design Morphology is expected to promote the research of Design Morphology with the help of the systematic thinking and methods of ecology. The ecosystem of Design Morphology includes the natural ecosystem and the quasi-ecosystem closely related to human beings, and also put forward the concept of "Form Community" for the first time in the design field. In fact, this is exactly the research scope of Design Morphology. Advocating the ecological view of Design Morphology, can not only help to design researchers improve their values and world view, with new thinking and method to engage in "Form Study", but also contribute to the theoretical construction and thinking expansion of Design Morphology, and play a positive role in promoting interdisciplinary collaborative innovation led by Design Morphology. In addition, it can be used to evaluate the overall research and future development trend of Design Morphology, and provide the new research ideas and approaches for the development of design.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0336.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: nature-based solutions; climate change adaptation; biodiversity; ecosystem-based adaptation
Online: 23 October 2021 (14:19:30 CEST)
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are increasingly recognised for their potential to address both the climate and biodiversity crises. These outcomes are interdependent, and both rely on the capacity of NbS to support and enhance the health of an ecosystem: its biodiversity, the condition of its abiotic and biotic elements, and its capacity to function normally despite environmental change. However, while understanding of ecosystem health outcomes of nature-based interventions for climate change mitigation is growing, the outcomes of those implemented for adaptation remain poorly understood with evidence scattered across multiple disciplines. To address this, we conducted a systematic review of the outcomes of 109 nature-based interventions for climate change adaptation using 33 indicators of ecosystem health across eight broad categories (e.g. diversity, biomass, ecosystem functioning and population dynamics). We showed that 88% of interventions with positive outcomes for climate change adaptation also reported measurable benefits for ecosystem health. We also showed that interventions were associated with a 67% average increase in local species richness. All eight studies that reported benefits in terms of both climate change mitigation and adaptation also supported ecosystem health, leading to a triple win. However, there were also trade-offs, mainly for forest management and creation of novel ecosystems such as monoculture plantations of non-native species. Our review highlights two major limitations of research to date. First, only a limited selection of metrics are used to assess ecosystem health and these rarely include key aspects such as functional diversity and habitat connectivity. Second, taxonomic coverage is poor: 67% of outcomes assessed only plants and 57% did not distinguish between native and non-native species. Future research addressing these issues will allow the design and adaptive management of NbS to support healthy and resilient ecosystems, and thereby enhance their effectiveness for meeting both climate and biodiversity targets.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: ecosystem disservices; green infrastructure; site design; tree selection; urban forestry
Online: 31 August 2021 (11:42:48 CEST)
As urban development increases in density, the space to grow urban trees becomes more constrained. In heavily developed areas, small stature trees can be planted to reduce both above- and below-ground conflicts with infrastructure elements. However, even these species have their limits when placed in extremely confining conditions. In this study, we build on past work to determine the minimum planting widths of small stature urban trees. We found that species, stem diameter, and the height at which stem diameter measurements occurred were all strong predictors of trunk flare diameter (adjusted R2 of 0.843). Additionally, we modelled the relationship between planting space and the presence or absence of hardscape conflicts – using the predictions derived from this effort to project the potential cost savings in two United States cities. Study results provide a guideline to create sufficient space for urban trees and minimize infrastructure damage and associated cost savings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0603.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Ecosystem Services; Spatial Modelling; Soil Erosion; Sediment retention; InVEST model
Online: 24 March 2021 (16:22:25 CET)
Soils provide important regulating ecosystem services and have crucial implications for human well-being and environmental conservation. However, soil degradation and particularly soil erosion jeopardize the maintenance and existence of these services. This study explores the spatio-temporal relationships of soil erosion to understand the distribution patterns of sediment retention services in mainland Portugal. Based on Corine Land Cover maps from 1990 to 2018, the InVEST Sediment Delivery Ratio (SDR) model was used to evaluate the influence of sediment dynamics for soil and water conservation. Spatial differences in the sediment retention levels were observed within the NUTS III boundaries, showing which areas are more vulnerable to soil erosion processes. Results indicated that the Region of Leiria, Douro and the coastal regions have decreased importantly sediment retention capacity over the years. However, in most of the territory (77.52%) changes in sediment retention were little or not important (i.e., less than 5%). The statistical validation of the model proved the consistency of the results, highlighting the usefulness of this methodology to analyse the state of soil erosion in the country. These findings can be relevant to support strategies for more efficient land use planning regarding soil erosion mitigation practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0568.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Participatory mapping; Ecosystem services; Forest degradation; Deforestation; Indigenous communities; Vulnerability.
Online: 23 November 2020 (09:11:07 CET)
Agricultural expansion is altering the provision of ecosystem services and seriously affecting the well-being of the indigenous communities still living in forests. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of forest loss and degradation on the indigenous forest dependent communities of Eastern Salta, Argentina, between 2001 and 2015. First, we identified the demand area of ten final ecosystem services for 202 indigenous communities using participatory mapping data. Second, we calculated the remaining usage area using a deforestation geodatabase based on Landsat images. Third, we analyzed the significance of trends in forest productivity processing vegetation spectral indices from MODIS products. By last, we detected changes in the growing season length by evaluating monthly trends in spectral indices. Our results show a reduction of 21% in the area used by indigenous communities for capturing final ecosystem services, and significant negative trends in forest productivity for the demand area of 64% of the communities, indicating that the area of use is not only being reduced, but also remnant forest area is being degraded and the growing season is being shortened. These aspects indicate an important loss in the provision of ecosystem services that deeply affects the wellbeing of indigenous communities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0397.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Sugarcane, impacts, ecosystem services, human well-being, agro-systems, sustainability
Online: 27 February 2020 (10:56:50 CET)
Since the 1950s sugarcane production has grown rapidly from less than 0.5 billion tonnes in the late 50s to reach over 1.9 billion tonnes in 2012 on about 27 million hectares of agricultural land. This expansion has been boosted by the high demand for bioethanol promoted as a sustainable bioenergy source which accounted in 2010 for the biggest share of the global biofuel market. Despite its benefits, the scientific debate on sugar is growing especially that counterarguments are so many, including negative impacts on different interacting ecosystems and human well-being, e.g. bigger stress on land and water resources, environmental externalities on air, a harmful impact on the biodiversity and endemic species, negative environmental externalities, health, and socio-economic aspects. This paper provides a narrative systematic review (SR) of the impacts of sugarcane production on these different ecosystems employing the ecosystem services framework for its acceptance by policy-makers. The references included for the SR were 163 and results showed that the majority of the studies are from Brazil, Australia, South Africa and the USA (≈ 75% of the literature), most of them were from peer-reviewed journals (85%), and most of the case studies adopted a quantitative research approach (93%). The literature assessed showed that sugarcane, like all agro-systems, depends on the practices and techniques to transform negative impacts into positive externalities on ecosystems and human well-being. However, the literature studied failed to include the inter-linkage in sugarcane production impacts’ and therefore to evaluate the related ecosystem services with respect to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) framework to account for existing trade-offs. Therefore, the findings are addressed to the scientific community and decision-maker for an intensification of interdisciplinary and integrated research based on the MA framework to cover all ecosystem services, for sustainable development of the sugarcane sector.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0150.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Bayesian methods; digital media; ecosystem services; Sustainable development; youth health
Online: 13 May 2019 (10:03:54 CEST)
Along with the advantages associated with access to information and fast communication, screen time from increased digital media consumption has recently been associated with adverse effects on youth well-being. To get a clearer picture of its value for global youth based sustainability initiatives, this study investigates the effects of increased digital media consumption on youth's interests in ecosystem services, sustainability and science as a means for disease prevention. We achieve this, using data on 187821 adolescent students from 50 countries worldwide. Methodologically, we rely on a mixed bivariate ordered probit representation of youth's joint interest in the biosphere (ecosystem services and sustainability) and science as a means for disease prevention, which we then estimate using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) Methods. We found that each level increase in adolescent students' reported frequency of news blogs visits and web browsing on broad science adversely affect their interests in ecosystem services, sustainability and science as a means for disease prevention. Although each level increase in youth's frequency of ecological website visits also reduces by 20% (with 95% CI [-0.36; -0.32]) their interests in the biosphere, it is found to increase however by 3% (with 95% CI [0.02; 0.05]) their interest science as a means for disease prevention. Overall, our results highlight heterogeneous effects of digital media consumption on adolescents' well-being in terms of their interests in ecosystem services, sustainability, and science as a means for disease prevention.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0288.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: ecosystem services; valuation; monetization; assessment; mapping, biodiversity; geographic information technologies
Online: 12 November 2018 (11:51:07 CET)
Putting value to ecosystem services is something that society still refuses or simply ignores because it is not aware of the benefits that ecosystems provide us. In fact, people should be aware that a good understanding of ecosystem services can lead to win-win situations. Being aware of the importance of preserving the ecosystem and attaching value to its services will enable the development of self-sustaining strategies and appropriate policies for better ecological governance. Decades of over exploitation of natural resources, introduction and spread of alien species and, also, climate change, forest fires among other threats, have fostered biodiversity loss. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy has as one of its main goals to stop biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystem services; if possible, to recover the most threatened and degraded ecosystems, based on 20 Actions divided into 6 Targets. The present work falls within the scope of Action 5 of Target 2 – Improve knowledge of ecosystems and their services in the EU. The specific focus of this study is the Site of Community importance “Dunas de Mira, Gândara and Gafanhas” (Portugal) and the assessment of its ecosystem services, in accordance with the methodology proposed by the MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services) Working Group. The work currently under way, a small segment of which is presented here, aims to identify, map and, when possible, assign value to the ecosystem services. For this purpose, modern GIS technologies will be used. This approach was implemented using a combination of data and tasks, including the photo-interpretation of Sentinel 2 (COPERNICUS Program) satellite imagery. The data geoprocessing tasks and image segmentation were developed using QGIS software and IMPACT Toolbox software (developed by the Joint Research Center – JRC, of the European Union), respectively. The analysis of Land Use and Burned Areas maps for the SCI "Dunas de Mira, Gândara and Gafanhas" led us to conclude that Forests ecosystems, the most affected by the fire of October 2017, continue to have the greatest expression in the area under study even though they have lost more than 50% of the area, and their services were also the ones most affected by the fire.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0301.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: adaptation; complex adaptative systems; ecosystem services; governance; resilience; sustainability; transdisciplinary
Online: 17 July 2018 (10:06:22 CEST)
In the last decade, probably in response to global changes and environmental crisis, the use of the term “social-ecological system” (SES) in the scientific literature has been growing. This is certainly a sign of the recognition of the need and importance of transdisciplinary research. Here, we explore whether the use of the term is a buzzword, or it actually represents a key concept toward the integration of social and ecological research. We compiled a data base of publications (N = 1289) that mentioned SES in title, keywords and abstract. Subsequently, we analyzed: authors affiliations, type of work (conceptual, empirical, review), study site, prevailing human use, temporal and spatial scales of analysis, kind of variables analyzed (socioeconomic, biophysical), and the method/s used to integrate them. We detected four time spans in the use of the term (1975–1997, 1998–2006, 2007–2012, 2013–2016). Our results suggest that SES is a widely invoked concept to study the interface between social and ecological systems. Most works show some common elements such as the analysis of resilience, ecosystem services, sustainability, governance and adaptive management. However, the majority of studies does not study SES as a whole, integrating both social and ecological variables and their feedback loops. We consider that SES is still a concept in construction in order to build a necessary framework to integrate social and ecological sciences. For a robust evolution we recommend to focus on 1. a conscious, discussed and agreed effort of scientists to conduct transdisciplinary research needed to study SES; 2. developing methodological tools for the true integration of social and ecological data.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0029.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: ecosystem services; agricultural systems; mapping; values; cross-scale; participatory; local
Online: 3 July 2018 (08:16:24 CEST)
Given the cross-scale interactions of agricultural ecosystems, it is important to collect ecosystem service data at the multiple spatial scales they operate at. Mapping of ecosystem services helps to assess their spatial and temporal distribution and is a popular communication tool of their availability and value. For example, maps can be used to quantify distance between areas of available ecosystem services and their beneficiaries and how services fluctuate with changes in land use patterns over time, allowing identification of synergies and trade-offs. However, a lack of local context and too large a resolution can reduce the utility of these maps, whilst masking heterogeneities in access due to equity dynamics. This review identifies and summarizes eight main methods of ESS mapping found in the literature—remote sensing, biophysical modelling, agent based modelling, economic valuation, expert opinion, user preference, participatory mapping, and photo-elicitation. We consider what spatial scales these methods are utilized at and the transferability of data created by each method. The analysis concludes with a methodological framework for mapping ecosystem services, intended to help researchers identify appropriate methods for a multi-scale research design. The framework is exemplified with an overview of a research project in Ethiopia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0429.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Mixed forests; Questionnaire Survey; Ecosystem Services; Stepwise Regression; Climate Change
Online: 26 June 2018 (15:48:31 CEST)
Scientific studies had shown that mixed forests of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) provide higher ecosystem services than monospecific forests. Mixed forests are known for their high resilience to climate change impacts and superior biodiversity compared to monospecific forests. In many countries, promotion of mixed forests in forest management is becoming a government policy since they can contribute to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nation, respectively Goal 13 and 15. However, not much is known about public perceptions on mixed forests compared to monoculture forests. Our study on ecosystem services provided by mixed and monospecific forests in southwest Germany fill this gap. Based on a survey with 520 valid responses we analyzed people’s perception on 18 different supporting, cultural, regulating and provisioning ecosystem services measured by Likert scale. Stepwise regression analyses show relations between social profiles (gender, age, education, profession) and preferences on respondents’ perceptions. Our findings show that people perceive that mixed forests provide better cultural, regulating and supporting ecosystem services than monospecific forests of fir and beech whereas provisioning services were perceived as being equally or better provided by monospecific forests. Significant effects towards a positive perception on ecosystem services provided by mixed forests were mainly influenced by the perceived abundance of old trees, feeling of pleasantness in mixed forests, age, profession, and education. Our findings indicate that there is a high public support for the promotion of silver fir and beech mixed forests in Southwest Germany.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0371.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: ecosystem service; conservation planning; trade-offs; protected areas; Yangtze River Basin
Online: 7 November 2023 (11:38:36 CET)
Biodiversity has long been the main objectives in conservation planning while protecting ecosystem services are rarely concerned with. Protecting ecosystem services are gradually recognized by researchers to be included in conservation planning as its significant benefits to human beings. Currently, the most commonly used protecting strategies only focused on high-value areas so that not all the valuable areas would be protected. Furthermore, there are correlation of trade-off and synergy between ecosystem services, aiming at protecting one ecosystem service may have to sacrifice the conservation effectiveness for others. To ensure all the ecosystem services are adequately protected, spatial explicit relations between all the paired ecosystem services were identified via the calculation of Local Moran’s I, a local scale relationship between ecosystem services were defined and they were classified into 5 kinds of cluster. To alleviate the conflict solutions for multiple ecosystem services goals, we used methodology of Systematic Conservation Planning to identify the priority areas for ecosystem service protection, which act the plan with principles of representativeness, complementarity and persistence. By setting scenarios of optimizing each and all the ecosystem services at the target level from 10% to 90%, we found that positive correlation between each of the 4 ecosystem services occupied large areas in the Yangtze River Basin and all the high-value areas were not congruence in spatial distributions. The optimal conservation spatial pattern showed that the priority areas were quite different when the target level was low. Our results implicated that an integrated conservation planning of achieving objectives of all the ecosystem services is more efficient than superposing multiple planning time after time.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1586.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: carbon dioxide fluxes; net ecosystem exchange; photosynthetically active radiation; salt marshes
Online: 26 September 2023 (08:19:12 CEST)
Abstract: This study observes the characteristics and influencing factors of carbon fluxes of the Momoge salt marsh ecosystem over four years, which behaves as a CO2 sink. The daily, seasonal, and interannual variations of CO2 fluxes in the Momoge salt marshes were observed using the eddy covariance method and compared with various environmental factors. An overall daily “U” shaped distribution was observed, with uptake during the day (negative values) and release at night (positive values). Annually, the carbon fluxes in the study area roughly exhibit a “V” shape. Carbon fluxes during the non-growing season predominantly showed positive values, indicating the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. Photosynthetically active radiation was the primary influencing factor affecting hourly and daytime variations in net ecosystem exchange (NEE) during the growing season, while temperature was the main factor influencing nighttime NEE dynamics. Air temperature, soil temperature, photosynthetically active radiation, precipitation, and water level all had significant impacts on daily net CO2 exchange. At the monthly scale, larger values of soil temperature, air temperature, photosynthetically active radiation, and aboveground biomass correspond to a stronger carbon absorption capacity of the ecosystem. Overall, temperature remains the primary factor for carbon fluxes in the Momoge wetlands.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1260.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: marine ecosystem restoration; habitat restoration; artificial reef; restoration strategies; biodiversity conservation
Online: 17 August 2023 (07:30:05 CEST)
Maldivian coral reefs have been experiencing significant degradation due to a combination of global climate change and local anthropogenic pressures. To enforce the conservation of coral reefs worldwide, coral restoration is becoming a popular tool to restore ecosystems actively. In the Maldives, restoration interventions are performed only around touristic islands, where there are economic resources available to support these projects. Unfortunately, on local islands, coral restoration does not benefit from the same support and is rarely boosted. A challenging coral restoration intervention has been performed, for the first time, a on a local island of the Maldives affected by intense human pressures that caused the degradation of its reefs. A total of 242 coral fragments were collected from impacted colonies and transferred to the coral nursery of the island. Survival and growth rates of the fragments were monitored for 12 months. After one year, a survival rate of 70.2% was recorded. Although this rate might appear lower when compared to other restoration experiences, it is very promising considering the origin of the fragments and the poor quality of the environment where they have been transplanted. Some potential threats to the success of this restoration have also been identified, i.e., water temperature anomaly, diseases and parasites, the latter being the leading causes of coral mortality. The procedure presented here is comparatively less expensive than the typical relocation of entire coral colonies from donor healthy reefs to degraded reefs, thus providing an opportunity and a viable option also for local islands to restore their reefs and preserve local biodiversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0126.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Fire ecology; cerrado stricto sensu; savanna ecosystem; woody vegetation; plant ecology
Online: 2 August 2023 (10:34:48 CEST)
Fire is a common disturbance in the Brazilian savanna (Cerrado), wherein high-frequency fires drive the vegetation structure, composition, function, and dynamics of savanna ecosystems. Under climate change pressure, further understanding of fire-vegetation relationships and interactions can provide new approaches for establishing strategies for integrated fire management and promote savanna vegetation recovery post-fire. To understand how 15 years of yearly manipulated burning affects the vertical and horizontal structure of the vegetation, the species composition and diversity metrics (species richness, Shannon's diversity, and Pielou's evenness), and the aboveground carbon stocks, we surveyed all woody plant species with a diameter greater than three centimeters in 15 plots of a typical Brazilian savanna (cerrado stricto sensu) at an experimental research station in central Brazil (Cerrado biome). Fifteen plots (five per treatment) were differently affected by fire events over a decade, comprising three treatments: (i) annual fire, (ii) legacy fire (> 11 years since the last fire event), and control (not burned in the past 30 years). Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis indicated a significant effect of fire on the species composition among treatments and that some species benefited from fire, such as Erythroxylum suberosum, whereas others propagated better without fire, such as Camisala montana and Dalbergia miscolobium. Over a decade of annual fire events led to decreases in Shannon's diversity, species richness, and stem density, which were significantly lower in the annual fire treatment than in the control and legacy fire treatments. Stem density by diameter and height size class (except for the 1-2 m class and above 8 m) was higher in the control than in the annual fire treatment, but the number of dead trees did not differ between the control and annual fire treatments. Our results also showed that fire was a factor in changes in the evaluated parameters, such as annual fire treatment, which reduced the amount of biomass and, therefore, the carbon stock. This study suggests that, if burned yearly, typical Brazilian savannas can become less biodiverse in terms of woody plant species and negatively affect their fire resilience. Therefore, fire management practices should focus on determining the frequency with which these ecosystems may benefit the most from fire disturbances.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1802.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Soil Science Keywords: soil erosion; fire severity; ecosystem recovery; flooding risk; Chilean mega-fires
Online: 27 June 2023 (07:36:38 CEST)
The 2022-2023 Chilean summer showed increased temperatures and similar burned area, compared to the 2016-2017 season, where more than 500,000 hectares were compromised, mainly in the rural areas. After a brief review, it is revealed that the effects of forest fires on soil and hydrological properties are barely debated in Chile. Here, we showed a climatological analysis where temperature records in the 2016-2017 season were unusual, as well as another unexpected increase in the summer of 2022-2023, resulting in high-severity fires known as ‘mega-fires’ or “storm-fires”. Mega-fires affect forest plantations and native forests mainly from 33º S (Maule Region) to 39º S (Los Ríos Region) and they are expected to become frequent due to climate change, moving from the north to the south. We present an overview of the influence of wildfires on soil components in the most affected areas (inland, Coastal, and Andes ranges), their hydrological impacts, and potential erosion risk due to high winter precipitation. We propose several management practices that could help to prevent or mitigate these events, including pre-and post-fire interventions, such as afforestation and seeding, selective logging, mulching, erosion barriers, soil preparation, and dam monitoring. We argue that any effective plan in fire-prone and affected areas should include a combination of actions taken at the hillslope scale at integral ecosystem management, whose effectiveness should be monitored and verified regionally at the watershed scale.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1725.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control And Systems Engineering Keywords: multirotor UAV; engineering education; Croatian Qualifications Framework; PX4 ecosystem; rapid prototyping
Online: 25 June 2023 (08:05:34 CEST)
In this paper, a multirotor UAV platform based on the PX4 ecosystem was discussed, which in combination with the MATLAB Simulink programming environment enables utilization in various aspects of mechatronic engineering education. Extensive testing of the UAV platform control module was performed, in order to enable implementation in engineering education. In the design phase of the educational platform, take-off-the-shelf components were selected and tested, and airframe parts were manufactured using rapid prototyping technologies. The proposed educational platform with four rotors was presented and tested. The learning outcomes of the undergraduate mechatronics professional study program according to the Croatian Qualifications Framework and related to the considered platform are shown. A preliminary framework of laboratory exercises for the field of mechatronic systems control is investigated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1402.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ecosystem services; optimisation; InVEST model; NSGA II; Central Plains Urban Agglomeration
Online: 20 June 2023 (08:11:13 CEST)
Based on multi-source remote sensing data, scenario analysis, and model simulation, the Pareto optimal solutions for water supply, water purification (N retention), and carbon storage and sequestration services under different scenarios were sought by adjusting its land use structure. The results showed that. In Scenario 1(S1), the water supply service needs to increase by 86.820 to 11.211 billion cubic metres, the water purification (N retention) service needs to decrease by 11,400 to 11,700 tons, and the carbon storage and sequestration service need to decrease by 2.070 to 2.487 billion tons. In Scenario 2(S2), the water supply service needs to increase by 8.243–10.666 billion cubic metres, the water purification (N retention) service needs to decrease by 11,300–1.10 million tons, and the carbon storage and sequestration service needs to decrease by 2.033 to 2.466 billion tons. In Scenario 3 (S3), the water supply service needs to increase by 7.832–11.437 billion cubic metres, the water purification (N retention) service needs to decrease by 1.16–10,800 tons, and the carbon storage and sequestration service needs to decrease by 19.220 to 2.380 billion tons. After land use optimisation and adjustment, the S3 ecological land structure is complete and consistent with the vision of ecological protection and urban development in the study area, which is the optimal scenario. After optimising the S3 ecosystem service supply pattern, the water supply, water purification (N retention), and carbon storage and sequestration services could connect the western and eastern ecosystem service supply areas, balance the overall ecosystem service supply pattern of the study area and meet the demand for ecosystem services. The results can guide regional land planning and ecosystem service management optimisation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0088.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Soil quality indicators; Grazing management; Ecosystem services; Permanent grasslands; Management practices
Online: 6 April 2023 (10:17:55 CEST)
Grasslands are at risk of degradation due to unsustainable management practices and climate change. Sustainable grassland soil management can promote ecosystem service delivery and improve the resilience of the entire grassland ecosystem to anthropogenic change. Here, we re-view the principal soil quality indicators (SQIs) and how they have been used to evaluate the sustainability of different grassland management practices globally. We then discuss sustainable grazing management practices, before reviewing some novel grassland species which may im-prove grassland resilience with relevance for grassland management in Europe and the UK. We also give an overview of current sustainable grassland management methods and their assessment at field scale. From this, we suggest that sustainable Grazing Management Plans (GMPs), together with the testing of drought-resistant grass species and appropriate SQIs monitoring, is key to increasing resilience of grassland ecosystems to anthropogenic change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0242.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: Cities; urban residents; human perception; ecosystem services; nature-based so-lutions
Online: 13 January 2023 (07:56:25 CET)
Residents’ perceptions on ecosystem services (ESs) provided by urban green spaces (UGSs) are vital for developing sustainable cities. However, there has been limited research on this issue in Malaysia. The aim of this paper is to assess Malaysians’ perceptions on ESs provided UGSs and how their perceptions are influenced by different socio-demographic factors. We used a structured online questionnaire and obtained 645 responses on 16 ESs from regulatory, cultural, and supporting ES categories. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regressions were used for data analysis. In general, city dwellers have high positive perceptions on ESs provided by UGSs. Their perceptions for global climate regulation, noise buffering, pest regulation, spiritual, and research and education services would likely to significantly increase as they grow older. Households with moderate income have significantly greater perceptions of microclimate regulation, air filtration and aesthetic services. Having non-tertiary level education would significantly lower their perceptions of global climate and microclimate regulation, spiritual, aesthetics, and recreational services. Tertiary educated residents with non-environmental degrees also showed similar associations. Infrequent visits to UGSs would likely to significantly reduce the perception of global climate regulation, noise buffering, runoff reduction, erosion control, spiritual, and aesthetics services. People living far (>5km) from the UGSs also have significantly lower perceptions of microclimate regulation, air filtration services. Suggestions are made to incorporate ESs related content in pre-university curriculum and establishing small parks in neighborhoods to improve knowledge and uses of UGSs. These findings would assist urban planners designing environmentally sound urban policies and thereby improving human wellbeing in the cities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0273.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: net ecosystem exchange; eddy-covariance; regression; upscaling; data augmentation; feature selection
Online: 19 September 2022 (10:17:33 CEST)
Despite a rapid rise in NBS development in recent years, the methods for evaluating NBS still have certain gaps. We propose an approach based on a combination of remote sensing data and meteorological variables to reconstruct the spatio-temporal variation of net ecosystem exchange from eddy-covariance stations. Lagrangian particle dispersion model was used for upscaling of satellite images and flux towers. We trained data-driven models based on kernel methods separately for each selected land cover class. The results suggest that the proposed approach to quantifying carbon exchange on a medium-to-large scale by blending eddy covariance flux data with moderate resolution satellite and weather data provides a set of key advantages over previously deployed methods: (1) scalability, achieved via the validation design based on a separate set of eddy covariance stations; (2) high spatial and temporal resolution due to use of the Landsat imagery; (3) robust and accurate predictions due to improved data quality control, advanced machine learning techniques, and rigorous validation. The machine learning models yielded high cross-validation results. Overall we present here globally scaled technology for the land sector based on high resolution remote sensing imagery, meteorological variables, and direct carbon flux measurements of eddy covariance flux stations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0219.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Bangladesh; Land surface temperature; Coastal build-up; Vegetation index; Mangrove ecosystem
Online: 14 October 2021 (14:21:53 CEST)
Mangrove vegetation plays a vital role in habitat and nursing ground for different organisms and prevents coastal erosion caused by wave and tide action. In recent years the mangrove vegetation in Chattogram coast, Bangladesh, has been interrupted by other infrastructural development, which has a destructing effect on the surrounding environment. Land surface temperature analysis of an area helps learn about different environmental conditions, weather, and climate. It is also essential to monitor the rising temperature and global warming, the biggest threat to humanity. NDBI and NDVI are the efficient process for monitoring vegetation and build up areas of a geographical location. This study focused on those analyses to understand the importance of mangrove vegetation in the Salimpur area and surrounding coastal areas of Chattogram by studying the relationship between NDVI and NDBI, NDVI and LST, NDBI, and LST. The outcome indicates that a higher vegetation index results in lower land surface temperature during different periods, negatively correlated. This study also found a strong positive correlation between buildup index (NDBI) and land surface temperature (LST), which means Land Surface temperature was found higher in Buildup areas. The vegetation areas are greatly affected by the buildup areas. The correlation between buildup areas and vegetation areas was strongly negative, which means an increase of NDBI decreases NDVI, and a decrease of NDBI increases NDVI.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0378.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: Trace metals; COVID-19; Lagoon ecosystem; Anthropogenic pollution; Water quality; India
Online: 14 June 2021 (15:56:06 CEST)
A complete halt on all anthropogenic activities and human movement due to COVID-19 lockdown has provided a great opportunity to assess the impact of human activities on coastal marine ecosystems. The current study assessed the concentration of the metals in water samples of the largest brackish water lagoon of Asia; the Chilika lagoon in the state of Odisha, India between pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 lockdown scenarios. Monthly water samples (n=30 stations) from 0.3 m depth were collected from three sectors of the lagoon seasonally; pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon. In addition to various physical parameters [pH, salinity, alkalinity, (DO) dissolved oxygen, (TDS) total dissolved solids, and (EC) electrical conductivity] the collected water samples were analysed for 18 trace metals (Al, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sr, Th, Tl, U, V). Most of the physical parameters showed a significant variation between pre-and post-COVID-19 scenarios, except for pH and DO. The concentration of five metals (Be, Cd, Co, Ni, and Pb) remained below detection limits in all water samples. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the concentration of the metal in the water samples was noticed along with the three sectors of the lagoon. However, eight metals (Al, As, Cr, Fe, Mn, Th, U, and V) were significantly different between the COVID-19 scenarios and the remaining five metals were not statistically significant. The mean concentration of Al, As, Fe, Th, and V were higher in the pre-COVID-19 scenarios, whereas only Cr and Mn were higher in the post-COVID-19 scenarios. The mean concentration of U was similar among both COVID-19 scenarios, even though there were seasonal and sectoral differences. The seasonal influence of riverine influx was more evident on metal concentration during the monsoon season, whereas the difference between sectors was more prominent during the post-monsoon season. An increased number of correlations between physical parameters and metal concentration were observed in the post-monsoon season and post-COVID-19 scenario. This study provides evidence that the imposition of COVID-19 lockdown reduced metal influx in the water column and improved the water quality of the Chilika lagoon. Our results can be used as baseline for metal concentration in surface waters of the lagoon.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0355.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Ecosystem services; Biodiversity hotspot; Sri Lanka; Forest; coastal ecosystems; management; policy
Online: 12 March 2021 (20:41:59 CET)
Tropical island countries are often highly populated and deliver immense ecosystem service benefits. As human wellbeing depends on these ecosystems proper management is crucial in the resource-rich tropical lands where related research is less. Though the ecosystem service and biodiversity studies are a promising path to inform the ecosystem management for these mostly developing countries published evidence of using ecosystem service studies in decision-making is lacking. The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of ecosystem services and related research in Sri Lanka examining trends and gaps and how these studies are conceptualized. Out of considered 139 peer-reviewed articles majority of articles 42.4% were terrestrial and forest related while coastal ecosystems were considered in 34.5% of studies. In most studies, the ecosystem service category was provisioning (33.8%) followed by regulatory service (30.9%). Studies investigating and quantifying ecosystem services, pressures on ecosystems, and their management were fewer compared to studies related to biodiversity or species introduction. Moreover, studies investigating the value of ecosystem services and biodiversity to the communities or involvement of stakeholders in the development of management actions regarding the ecosystem services were rare in Sri Lanka and intense focus of future studies in these aspects are timely and necessary.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0228.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: political borders; ecosystem edges; green infrastructure, blue infrastructure; opportunities; threats; sustainability.
Online: 9 December 2020 (13:40:19 CET)
Cities are small on earth’s surface but they are the most attractive places for people to live and work; cities are developing quickly, thus it’s important to keep it a better quality place to live as it has the major of the economic activities and more job opportunities and other social and economic advantages to be a more green and sustainable place. Seeking to achieve sustainable use of ecosystems and conserve natural resources in the city of Prague; integrating ecological sustainability goals, the political borders as a reflection of urban development in the city, and ecosystems edges in blue and green functions impact the city development, and present opportunities to create strategies for green and blue infrastructure and clarifying threats could slow down the process to achieve the sustainability and greenery application. Also checking possible urban areas for development like brownfields and clarifying their relationship with political borders and ecosystems to find possible areas to add for sustainable green use, which will create better places for people to live and raise the value of life as well.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0124.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: landscape; land and water management; restoration of ecosystem services; AM; Ethiopia
Online: 6 October 2020 (11:21:16 CEST)
Ethiopia has decades of experience in implementing land and water management interventions. Nonetheless, there remains persisting challenges to follow an adaptive management (AM) approach in efforts of restoring and transforming agricultural landscapes. This review was carried out to synthesize evidences on the impact on agricultural landscapes following the implementation of land and water management practices and to evaluate the use of AM approaches. We explored how elements of the structures and functions of landscapes have been transformed, and how the components of AM, such as structured decision-making and learning processes, have been applied. Despite numerous environmental and economic benefits of land and water management interventions in Ethiopia, this review revealed gaps in AM approaches. These include: (i) insufficient efforts in relation to evidence based contextualization of interventions, (ii) insufficient efforts in monitoring of bio-physical and socio-economic processes and changes post implementation, (iii) lack of trade-off analyses, and (iv) inadequacy of local community engagement and provision of feedback. Given the many uncertainties we must deal with, efforts to restore and transform agricultural landscapes cannot follow a business-as-usual approach. Future investment, in AM approach, tailored to the needs and context would help to achieve the goals of sustainable agricultural landscape transformation. The success depends on three interdependent pillars of action: the ability to make a robust, co-developed plan of interventions, the ability to continuously monitor changes based on key variables, and to learn from the knowledge generated and apply the learning as implementation evolves.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: climate change; sustainable development goals; wildlife; wetlands; water resources; ecosystem services
Online: 30 September 2020 (03:56:50 CEST)
Plans are currently being drafted for the next decade of action on biodiversity – both the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Biodiversity Strategy of the European Union (EU). Freshwater biodiversity is disproportionately threatened and under-prioritized relative to the marine and terrestrial biota, despite supporting a richness of species and ecosystems with their own intrinsic value and providing multiple essential ecosystem services. Future policies and strategies must have a greater focus on the unique ecology of freshwater life and its multiple threats, and now is a critical time to reflect on how this may be achieved. We identify priority topics including environmental flows, water quality, invasive species, integrated water resources management, strategic conservation planning, and emerging technologies for freshwater ecosystem monitoring. We synthesize these topics with decades of first-hand experience and recent literature into 14 special recommendations for global freshwater biodiversity conservation based on the successes and setbacks of European policy, management and research. Applying and following these recommendations will inform and enhance the ability of global and European post-2020 biodiversity agreements to halt and reverse the rapid global decline of freshwater biodiversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0415.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: seagrass; anthropogenic disturbance; boat anchoring; meadow traits; habitat loss; island ecosystem
Online: 18 September 2020 (04:03:57 CEST)
Seagrass ecosystems are lost due to habitat disturbance, coastal development and human pressure. We assessed the impact of boat anchors from traditional fishing and recreational activities on the seagrass Halophila ovalis from the Andaman and Nicobar Isalnds of India. The plant density, biomass, morphometrics, canopy height and percentage cover were estimated from two sites of Govind Nagar beach of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The shoot density of H. ovalis was reduced by physical damage caused by boat anchors. The morphometrics of H. ovalis, such as number of leaves per ramet, leaf length, width and horizontal rhizome length were significantly reduced when impacted by boat anchors. Seagrass canopy height and percentage cover were reduced by 41% and 47% respectively. Though the impact of boat anchors reported here is on small-scale, it may impact feeding grounds of locally endangered dugongs. Therefore, proper management and preventive measures should be implemented to prevent the loss of dugong grass habitats from tourism, recreational and fishing activities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0213.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: ecosystem services; voluntary sustainability certification; state regulation; plural governance arrangements; Indonesia
Online: 16 February 2020 (04:57:20 CET)
The Forest Stewardship Council initiated a pilot Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (ForCES) project from 2011 to 2017 to improve and promote sustainable forest management addressing a range of ecosystem services. Three sites in Indonesia were studied in the pilot. Whilst the development of the certification standard was largely by a partnership between the certification standard organization, civil society and research organisations, implementation and monitoring of the impact of this voluntary sustainability standard will entail interaction with state regulations. This study sought to understand how certification and state regulations concerning ecosystem services in Indonesia interplay, particularly in the agenda setting and negotiation stage. Using the conceptual lenses of transition theory and state and non-state market-based governance, the interrelationships between ecosystem services certification and regulations were found to be both complementary, supporting and antagonistic. The majority were complementary. Antagonism occurred where regulations do not accommodate land use issues and due to different contradictory state regulations. The voluntary instruments were developed largely in the absence of state involvement and without any substitution with regulatory standards. Given the increasing proliferation of voluntary market-driven initiatives at farm, forest concession and landscape level, stakeholders developing and managing voluntary standards need to collaborate with national and local governments to create synergy to enable their acceptance, adoption and effectiveness to positively enhance the conservation of ecosystem services through incentivizing market-based instruments.
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: value co-creation; National Health Insurance; My Health Bank; Service Ecosystem
Online: 22 January 2020 (02:55:28 CET)
Objective: Taiwan Government’s organizations have endeavored to promote the applications of big data and open data. The “My Health Bank” is one of the measures promoted by the National Health Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare. This study proposes the perspective of the “value co-creation” with the attempt to extend the concept of service ecosystem and apply it on the platform of My Health Bank to examine whether people (patients, families, and caregivers) can promote their health literacy? Method: This cross-sectional study, with people that have registered at “My Health Bank” as subjects. Complying with the inclusion criteria, 401 questionnaires were delivered, with 391 valid ones, excluding those incompletely and inaccurately filled. Result: That the affecting factors of the co-creation of values: age, education level, annual income, and platform operation show to be significant ( p＜0.05); and gender, occupation, and resource exchange do not reach the significant level (p＞0.1). Conclusion: We found My Health Bank changed the inertia of “value creation” in the traditional medical value, it allows the traditional medical and healthcare industry to expose to the impacts of the mega trend of the internet, the transformation of the platform in a necessary trend.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0104.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: biodiversity; conserved areas; ecosystem services; effectiveness; management; protected areas; representative; targets
Online: 11 January 2020 (10:58:38 CET)
Humanity will soon define a new era for nature – one that seeks to correct decades of underwhelming responses to the global biodiversity crisis. Area-based conservation efforts, which include both protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, are likely to extend and diversify. But persistent shortfalls in ecological representation, management effectiveness and measurable biodiversity outcomes diminish the potential role of area-based conservation in stemming biodiversity loss. Here we show how protected area expansion by governments since 2010 has had limited success in increasing biodiversity coverage, and identify four emergent issues that –if addressed – will enhance the performance of area-based conservation post-2020. We close with recommendations for a broad biodiversity agenda that maximises the potential of area-based conservation. Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity must recognise that area-based conservation primarily focuses on local threats to species and ecosystems, and needs enhanced emphasis on biodiversity outcomes to better track and fund its contribution to global conservation efforts.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: diversity; ecosystem functioning; stand growth; resistance; recovery; climate change; forests; Alps
Online: 15 April 2019 (10:57:38 CEST)
As climate change should lead to an increase in the vulnerability and the sensitivity of forests to extreme climatic events, quantifying and predicting their response to more severe droughts remains a key task for foresters. Furthermore, recent works have suggested that tree diversity may affect forest ecosystem functioning, including their response to extreme events. In this study we aimed at testing whether the growth response of forest stands to stressful climatic events varied between mixed and monospecific stands, under various environmental conditions. We focused on beech-fir forests (Fagus sylvatica [L.] and Abies alba [L.]) and beech-oak forests (Fagus sylvatica [L.] and Quercus pubescent [L.]) in the French Alps. We used a dendrochronological dataset sampled in forest plots organized by triplets (one mixture and two monospecific stands) distributed in six sites along a latitudinal gradient. We tested (1) whether stand diversity (two-species stands vs monospecific stands) modulates the stands’ response to drought events in terms of productivity, (2) whether species identity may drive the diversity effect on resistance and recovery, and (3) whether this can be explained by interspecific interactions. We found that (1) interspecific differences in response to extreme drought events (possibly due to interspecific differences in hydraulic characteristics) can induce a mixture effect on stand growth, although it appeared (2) to be strongly depending on species identity (positive effect only found for beech-fir mixed stands), while (3) there were no significant non-additive effects of diversity on stand resistance and recovery, except for some specific cases. Overall, our study shows that promoting selected mixed stands management may buffer extrem drought effect on stand productivity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0094.v3
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Agroforestry; ecosystem services; measurable criteria; certification standard; biodiversity; agroecosystem; regenerative agriculture
Online: 12 September 2018 (13:56:22 CEST)
Agroforestry is increasingly being recognized as a holistic food production system that can have numerous significant environmental, economic, and social benefits. This growing recognition is paralleled in the U.S. by the budding interest in regenerative agriculture and motivation to certify regenerative practices. Current efforts to develop a regenerative agriculture certification offer an opportunity to consider agroforestry’s role in furthering regenerative goals. To understand this opportunity, we first examine how agroforestry practices can advance regenerative agriculture’s five core environmental concerns: soil fertility and health, water quality, biodiversity, ecosystem health, and carbon sequestration. Next, we review a subset of certification programs, standards, guidelines, and associated scientific literature to understand existing efforts to standardize agroforestry. We determine that development of an agroforestry standard alongside current efforts to certify regenerative agriculture offers an opportunity to leverage common goals and strengths of each. Additionally, we determine that there is a lack of standards with measurable criteria available for agroforestry, particularly in temperate locations. Lastly, we propose a framework and general, measurable criteria for an agroforestry standard that could potentially be implemented as a standalone standard or built into existing agriculture, forestry, or resource conservation certification programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1811.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: sustainability; social-ecological system; natural capital; ecosystem services; biodiversity agent-based model
Online: 29 November 2023 (02:11:36 CET)
At the Rio Conference in 1992, the sustainable development agenda promised a new era for natural resource management, where the well-being of human society would be enhanced through the sustainable use of natural capital. Several decades on, economic growth continues unabated at the expense of natural capital, as evidenced by biodiversity loss, climate change and further environmental issues. Why is this happening and what can be done about it? In this research, we present three Agent-Based Models that explore the social, economic and governance factors driving (un)sustainability in complex social-ecological systems. Our modelling results reinforce the idea that the current economic system does not protect the natural capital on which it depends. This is due to a disjunction between the economic and environmental elements upon which the sustainable development paradigm is founded. Additionally, various factors appear to enhance social-ecological system unsustainability: the role of financial entities and monetary debt; economic speculation; technological development and efficiency; lack of long-term views and late government interventions; inefficient tipping point management; and the absence of strong top-down and bottom-up conservation forces. Interestingly, alternative scenarios showed that these same factors could be redirected to enhance sustainable development. The current economic system may, therefore, not be inherently unsustainable, but rather specific economic mechanisms, agents’ decision-making, and the kinds of links between economic and natural systems could be at the root of the problem. We argue that short- and medium-term sustainability can be enhanced by implementing mechanisms that shift capitalist forces to support environmental conservation. Long-term sustainability, however, requires further paradigm change: where the economy integrates, and fully accounts for, externalities and recognises the actual value of natural capital.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2182.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Carpathian foothills; ecosystem services; grazing ecology; land abandonment; wood-pasture; tree hay
Online: 31 August 2023 (15:06:14 CEST)
Recent Socio-economic changes resulted to mass abandonment of agricultural lands in Central-Eastern Europe. This leads to landscapes homogenisation, especially the disappearance of semi-open habitats of the farmland-woodland interface. The information on potentials of transforming feral, abandoned landscapes to wood-pastures is limited. We studied the ecological features and silvopastoral benefits of a landscape subjected to intensive cattle grazing after ~20 years of abandonment, i.e. the mosaic of habitats, cattle’s preference for habitats and for arboreal forages. The nutritional characteristics of arboreal forage and herbaceous forage were compared. After the initial increase in the landscape’s woodland share, cattle grazing halted further woody succession and stabilised the landscape structure, with treeless grassland occupying 49% of the landscape (most preferred by cattle with regard to the time spent), followed by treed grassland (19%), pioneering birch/alder groves (13%), riparian vegetation (12%, least preferred by cattle), and close-canopy woods (6%). The consumption intensity of arboreal forages was on about 4.5 folds higher than that of herbaceous forage. Our study proved that the grazing herd of arobust cattle breed can turn a feral, post-agricultural land into a working wood pasture, consisting of interconnected open grasslands and various facets of woodland, which seldom occur in contemporary high forests. We advocate for the transition management of abandoned farmlands towards integrated silvopastoral landscapes for sustainable provision of multiple ecosystem services that cannot be provided by segregated agriculture and forestry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1875.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ecosystem network connectivity; fragmentation; land cover change; Tesso Nilo National Park; forest
Online: 29 August 2023 (03:39:58 CEST)
Tesso Nilo National Park is one of the protected areas designated as KPA by the Decree of the Minister of Forestry No.225/Menhut-II/2004 dated July 19, 2004 covering an area of 38,576 ha, then expanded again through the Decree of the Minister of Forestry No.663/Menhut/2009 dated 19 October 2009 with an area of ± 83,068 ha. The Tesso Nilo National Park area is experiencing the dynamics of land cover changes, namely the conversion of forest land which causes the forest area to become increasingly narrow in this area. With the reduction in forest area in this area, it causes a decrease in ecosystem network connectivity due to forest fragmentation that occurs, so that forests are separated and further apart. This study aims to analyze changes in land cover in the Tesso Nilo National Park area to find out information on changes in habitat ecosystems in the last 20 years. the observations were made using satellite images in 1999, 2010 and 2019. so that it can be seen the effect of forest fragmentation on ecosystems in the Tesso Nilo National Park area. From the results of the analysis, it was found that the area of forest cover in the Tesso Nilo National Park decreased from 1999 to 2019 and caused changes in the connectivity network of forest ecosystems, which was found in the study, the weakest connectivity separated forest fragments as far as 17394.47 meters due to forest cover fragmentation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0694.v2
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Salt Marsh; Coastal Protection; Long Island Sound; Connecticut; Green Structures; Ecosystem based
Online: 17 July 2023 (10:36:40 CEST)
Coastal areas are influenced by natural coastal hazards such as hurricanes, storm surges and tsunamis. For centuries coastal structures such as seawalls, detached breakwaters, groins, and revetments have been constructed to protect coastal properties. However, their effectiveness diminishes with time, and they are not adaptable to changing coastal conditions. Ecosystem-based approaches offer protection against erosion and the creation or restoration of coastal habitats. However, the protection properties and the sustainability provided by these systems are not well understood. Salt marshes have been known as one of the ecosystem-based protection systems. They protect coasts and lands by dissipating energy, stabilizing sediments and producing organic matter through blow ground production. Stems of plants dissipate waves propagating over salt marsh and plant roots stabilize soils and sediments. The dissipation rate varies with wave frequency; the low-frequency swell wave is dissipated less on the edge of the marsh than wind-sea waves. Salt and wetlands can also be used for reducing coastal flooding and storm surges, but a wetland is required to successfully attenuate storm surges. A salt marsh can be resilient to sea-level rise in certain conditions. Large sediment supply and gentle upland slope increase salt marsh resiliency to relative sea-level rise. Connecticut marshes, like other marshes in the world, are vulnerable to anthropogenic and climate change effects. However, an assessment of current sea level rise and average marsh accretion rates in Connecticut demonstrates sea level rise is not the main vulnerable factor for salt marshes loss. The study on the feasibility of developing an ecosystem based on two coastlines in Connecticut, Guilford and Stratford, shows that both coastlines, like other coastlines in Connecticut, have limited wave energy, which is a positive factor for marsh growth. The available data assessment represents that sediment supply is the most important parameter to guarantee the resilience and sustainability of a newly developed salt marsh system in Connecticut. In Stratford, conditions for establishing a new ecosystem seem to be better, as the fetch length is pretty small, and there is some sediment supply for the ecosystem. In Guilford, wave energy is limited, but it is more than in Stratford case. In addition, sediment availability is low and the coastline experienced a large erosion during Hurricane Sandy and has not recovered yet.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0171.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: national park; social-ecological system; ecosystem services; tea cultivation; protected area management
Online: 11 March 2022 (14:47:43 CET)
A healthy park-people relation depends essentially on the fair and sustainable maintenance of rural livelihood. When protected area is designated, rural people may face restrictions of access to land and resource use for multiple ecosystem services. In Wuyishan of China, we analysed the role of traditional tea cultivation during consistent protected area management to find ways to maintain stability of this social-ecological system in the new national park era. We used an intensive social survey to investigate tea’s role, perception of ecosystem services and impacts on tea cultivation from consistent conservation policies. Results showed that tea cultivation brought major household income and associated with multiple culture services. Protected area management affected land use and conservation outcomes were more obvious to farmers than economic and social ones. From the perspective of a social-ecological system, tea cultivation in national should be conservation-compatible activities from which the potentially lost economic value is remedied by ecological and cultural valorisation. To sustain the resilience of the social-ecological system, we proposed a three-scale management framework to regulate biophysical elements at land plot scale, to link production and market at the mountain level, and to secure tenure and encourage community participation at the landscape level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0302.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: independent learning independent campus; educational ecosystem; link and match; industrial revolution 4.0
Online: 24 February 2022 (08:02:46 CET)
Independent Learning Independent Campus (MBKM) is a program to develop an educational ecosystem that is in harmony with learning in higher education and the needs of industry. The limited link and match between universities and the business and industrial world in Indonesia are obstacles in realizing Indonesia as a developed country in the Industrial Revolution 4.0 era. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of the Independent Learning Independent Campus (MBKM) program on improving the performance of Ibn Khaldun University Bogor. The method used in this study is descriptive statistics with quantitative analysis. The sample that participated in this study consisted of all active students, lecturers, and administration staff. The research data was obtained through distribution to 6100 students, 233 lecturers, and 150 education staff. The research stages include socializing the understanding of MBKM, filling out the survey, calculating the distribution of respondents' filling, and concluding the assessment category using the weighted mean score (WMS) method. Based on the result, the implementation of MBKM in University of Ibn Khaldun Bogor based on all indicators can conclude that MBKM improve the performance of Ibn Khaldun Bogor University in the good category with an average percentage assessment criteria above 75%
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0419.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: a single-species ecosystem; variational methods; global stability; reaction-diffusion; Sobolev spaces
Online: 20 August 2021 (14:04:04 CEST)
In this paper, impulsive control on a single-species Markovian jumping ecosystem leads to a stability criterion, and the newly-obtained theorems improve the related existing results. Numerical examples illuminate the effectiveness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0080.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Urban Studies And Planning Keywords: intelligent city; smart city; ecosystem; city planning; urban project; city smartness; innovation
Online: 3 August 2021 (13:12:25 CEST)
Intelligent cities or smart cities evolve bottom-up along with the digitisation and the creation of digital entities linked to human activities, physical space, and institutional settings of cities; but also, they progress top-down through smart city strategies and projects designed and implemented by public authorities. Yet, thirty-five years since the first use of the term “smart city” or “intelligent city” in the second half of the 1980s, and more than ten years of intense publications in this field, since 2009, there is still a great deal of fuzziness about the projects that make cities intelligent or smart. There is low awareness about the big differences between large, complex urban projects, such as ‘Zero Energy Districts’ or “Mobility-as-a-Service” and projects for automation of city infrastructures, such as smart city lighting, smart metering or finding a parking place. There is a widespread misconception that city intelligence or smartness, the core attribute of smart cities, can be achieved through automation of the city infrastructure. This paper focuses on projects that make cities intelligent or smart. Our intention is to show the complexity and effort needed to achieve this objective. It is an inquiry on projects and data from a large number of smart cities around the world. We analyse core properties of smart city projects, such as (a) interventions on the physical, social, and digital space of cities, (b) the relation to city sectors and ecosystems, (c) engagement of users and stakeholders in decision-making, and (c) impact through optimisation and innovation of city processes and routines. We discuss also projects we have designed and implemented in the framework of URENIO Research and ITI-CERTH. Our conclusions are two-fold. First, we propose a typology of smart city projects along 3 axes and 9 properties. Second, we argue that success and failure to achieve city smartness are mainly institutional. Most barriers to implementation are organisational, legal, and institutional. This can be explained by the social and institutional inertia of the urban system against new solutions, especially when innovation and radical change of existing routines take place. Change management should be a permanent companion of smart city projects implementation, and the modification of routines should be clearly defined and considered already at the design phase of projects.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0476.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Organic Farming; Sustainable Agriculture; Ecosystem Services; Life Cycle Assessment; EU Green Deal
Online: 18 November 2020 (12:39:42 CET)
The European Union green deal has proposed the “organic farming action plan” to render this farming system more sustainable for climate mitigation and adaptation and to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs). While this policy instrument is fundamental to reach sustainable agriculture, there is still no agreement on what sustainable agriculture is and how to measure it. This opinion paper proposes an ecosystem-based framework on the crop life-cycle to determine the balance between economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainability to support decision-making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0065.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: agroecology; biodiversity; ecosystem services; post-normal science; socio-ecological systems; sustainability; stakeholders
Online: 6 May 2019 (12:28:18 CEST)
Sustainable agriculture is essential to provide food security for a growing world population without further sacrificing the integrity of the environment. To make progress towards agricultural sustainability we must consider ecological and socioeconomic processes within the agricultural socio-ecosystem and involve stakeholders in the research process. We propose an innovative experimental approach for examining how natural regulation of ecosystems may provide an alternative to increasing external inputs in agriculture while improving the socio-economic welfare of farmers. These “social-ecological experiments” go further to participatory action research by not only involving stakeholders in the research process but also by manipulating simultaneously socioeconomic and ecological processes under real field conditions to give a faster route to sustainability. Social-ecological experiments are undertaken in real field conditions, explicitly involving stakeholders, and help untangle the drivers of social-ecological dynamics under various land management and farming practices. Social-ecological experiments are distinct from adaptive management and scenario-planning approaches as they highlight the interactions between ecological and social processes, manipulate the social and ecological processes shaping the system and show causal links between patterns and processes. As an example, we describe a social-ecological experiment for reducing herbicide use. Social-ecological experiments offer great opportunities for increasing stakeholders’ acceptance of environmental policies implemented through adaptive management. These experiments may help to identify management practices that optimize multiple objectives, deliver a portfolio of ecosystem services and satisfy key stakeholders.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0266.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: climate change impact; ecosystem functionality; freshwater ecosystems; UKCP09; hydroecological impact; river health
Online: 24 December 2018 (04:37:17 CET)
Climate change represents a major threat to lotic freshwater ecosystems and their ability to support the provision of ecosystem services. England’s chalk streams are in a poor state of health, with significant concerns regarding their resilience, the ability to adapt, under a changing climate. This paper aims to quantify the effect of climate change on hydroecological response, the health of the river, for the River Nar, a SSSI in the south-east of England. To this end, we apply a coupled hydrological and hydroecological modelling framework, with the UKCP09 probabilistic climate projections serving as input (A1B high emissions scenario). Results show that, from 2021 to the end of the century, hydroecological response becomes more heterogeneous. Despite the limited range of the functional feeding groups on the baseline, the River Nar has been able to adapt to extreme events due to inter-annual variation. In the future, this variation is greatly reduced, raising real concerns over the resilience of the river ecosystem under climate change. These new insights into the health of the River Nar, and chalk streams more generally, highlights the necessity of further study and the real need to for changed river management practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0097.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: conservation practice, ecosystem, impact, IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, monitoring, risk assessment
Online: 7 December 2018 (17:50:24 CET)
In 2014, the International Union for Conservation of Nature adopted the Red List of Ecosystems (IUCN RLE) criteria as the global standard for assessing risks to terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. Identifying and quantifying the impacts of biodiversity assessments on the status of nature is key to justifying continued investment in assessments and enabling strategic planning to maximize future impact. In this policy perspective, we use an established impact evaluation framework to identify the impacts of the IUCN RLE since its inception. To date, 1,397 ecosystem units in 100 countries have been assessed following the IUCN RLE protocol. Systematic assessments are complete or underway in more than 25 countries and two continental regions (the Americas and Europe). Countries with established ecosystem red lists have already used them to inform legislation, land-use planning, protected area expansion, monitoring and reporting, and ecosystem management. IUCN RLE indices based on systematic assessments have high potential to inform global biodiversity reporting for the Aichi Targets and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Expanding the coverage of IUCN RLE assessments, building capacity to undertake them, and establishing stronger policy instruments to manage red-listed ecosystems will be key to maximizing conservation impacts over the coming decades.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201607.0068.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Fishermen; Lake Ziway; Small scale irrigation users; Socioeconomic benefit; Wetland ecosystem service
Online: 22 July 2016 (16:02:46 CEST)
ABSTRACT This study focused for socio-economic benefit of Western shoreline of Lake Ziway ecosystem. The data collected from two woredas they are Adami Tulu Jidu Kombolch (ATJK) and Dugda woreda of fishermen and small scale irrigation users. Lake Ziway great importance food and water for both groups of respondents and additionally sources of raw material, energy, cultivation, organic fertilizers, genetic and medicinal plants. Lake Ziway also has a major economic benefit for both groups of respondents. The sampled fishermen cached mean amount of 2,524Kg per year with minimum and maximum amount of fish 504Kg and 16,800Kg per year respectively and with this fish catching they got average income of 51,398 Birr ($2,570) per year with range of 7,200 Birr ($360) and 288,000 Birr ($14,400) per year. As like of fishermen small scale irrigation also got economic benefit with their production of cereal crops, fruits and vegetables. They produce in average 13.47Quintal of cereal crop and 69.56Quintal of fruits and vegetables per year and they got average income of 7,727 Birr ($386) and with range of 13,714 Birr ($686) per year respectively. this incurred that wetland ecosystem has a lot of socio-economic benefit for the people live near by specially for developing countries like Ethiopia they are more dependent on natural ecosystem like of Lake Ziway. Because of its high importance, we have to protect and conserve and use sustainably of Lake Ziway and similar wetland ecosystems. Key Words: Wetland ecosystem service; Lake Ziway; Socioeconomic benefit; Fishermen; Small scale irrigation users
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0683.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Other Keywords: circular city; wastescapes; Regenerative Design; Landscape Services (LS); Ecosystem Services (ES); Ecosystem Disservices (EDS); fundamental human needs (FHN); multi-dimensional evaluation; decision-making process; MCDA; PROMETHEE-GAIA method.
Online: 28 July 2020 (12:39:34 CEST)
The unresolved territories are privileged places for the proliferation of degradation phenomena that affect the environment and human well-being. The impacts of their critical conditions go beyond the limits of the damaged urban fragments, involving the built environment, society, economy, culture and conditioning quality of life. This paper proposes a methodological approach to landscape design supported by an evaluation framework to orient strategic design planning with specific attention to unresolved territories consistent with circular economy perspective. The circular city principles are applied to spatial planning of landscape, by operationalising Ecosystem Services, Landscape Services, and Ecosystem Disservices, as interpretative categories for multi-dimensional regenerative strategies. Starting from the theoretical framework, the objective of the analysis is to implement an approach to the regenerative design of landscapes of waste, defined wastescapes. The industrial area of East Naples is the case study where an incremental evaluative approach has been defined to design scenarios to provide services and values, aimed to drive the conversion in a regenerativescape. A multi-criteria analysis through PROMETHEE-GAIA method has been implemented to compare the base case scenario with two incremental new scenarios and identify situated sustainable priorities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0901.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: land-use and land cover-change; monitoring ecosystem dynamics; remote sensing; Mangrove forests
Online: 16 October 2023 (08:47:29 CEST)
Detecting abrupt transitions in ecosystems, known as regime shifts, holds immense implications for conservation and management endeavors. This research aims to investigate the feasibility of developing an early warning system capable of identifying an upcoming critical transition within Mangrove Forest ecosystems. Employing a fusion of remote sensing analysis, time series analysis, and the critical slowing down theory, Mangrove Forests' state change was explored across two distinct study sites. One site has been adversely affected by disturbances stemming from land use and land cover changes, while the other serves as an unaffected reference ecosystem. The study uses data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite, quantifying three remotely sensed indices: the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MNDWI), and the Modified Vegetation Water Ratio (MVWR). Furthermore, temporal alterations in land-use and land cover are scrutinized using Landsat data from 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014. To identify early warning signals of critical transitions, indicators such as autocorrelation, skewness, and standard deviation are applied. The results show the robust capabilities of remote sensing in generating early warning signals of critical transition in Mangrove Forests. NDVI outperformed MVWR and MNDWI as ecosystem state indicators. This study not only highlights the potential of remote in identifying the approaching regime shifts in Mangrove Forest ecosystems but also adds knowledge on ecosystem dynamics. This is the first report of the successful application of remote sensing in generating early warning signals for imminent critical transitions within Mangrove forests in the Middle East.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1461.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: Entrepreneurial intentions; Female students; Saudi Arabia; Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB); University ecosystem
Online: 21 August 2023 (12:00:51 CEST)
Abstract: This paper aimed to investigate the entrepreneurial intentions of female students in Saudi Arabia, utilizing the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as the theoretical framework. Employing a quantitative research methodology, data was collected through a questionnaire administered to female students at Princess Nourah University. The results revealed a positive inclination towards entrepreneurship, with over 64% expressing a desire to pursue entrepreneurial ventures in the future. This optimistic trend among female students suggests a potential pool of future entrepreneurs. Interestingly, a small percentage (3.21%) categorically rejected entrepreneurship as a career option, indicating a relatively low level of disinterest in entrepreneurial pursuits. However, many respondents (32%) remained undecided, presenting a valuable opportunity for mentorship and support to cultivate their entrepreneurial intentions. These findings underscore the significance of providing guidance and education to encourage entrepreneurship among female students. The TPB analysis highlighted that attitudes and perceived behavioral control towards entrepreneurship were favorable among female students, indicating a positive mindset and belief in their ability to embark on entrepreneurial endeavors. However, societal norms still exert a negative influence on some student’s entrepreneurial intentions, suggesting a need to address cultural barriers that might hinder female students' willingness to pursue entrepreneurship. The study suggests enhancing female entrepreneurship through societal encouragement and support from personal networks. It highlights the importance of fostering entrepreneurial aspirations in female students. Crucially, the study underscores the role of universities in cultivating entrepreneurial intentions by proposing the implementation of entrepreneurship-focused curricula and the creation of university-based training units or incubators.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1723.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Transdisciplinary synthesis; environmental policy; sustainable landscape; ecosystem services; landscape governance; land use framework
Online: 25 June 2023 (07:45:59 CEST)
The development of a decision framework for landscape governance and management has become one of the prioritised policy instruments for actualising policy objectives relating to agri-food system, biodiversity conservation, nature restoration, environmental management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, net zero greenhouse gas emissions, and the transition to renewable energy supplies in the United Kingdom (UK). However, the landscape lens in policy-making is challenging because of the diverse landscape archetypes, environmental problems, and diverging policy targets that it must address. This highlights the importance of having a robust, evidence-based landscape decisions framework. To address this issue, this study undertakes a systematic review and transdisciplinary synthesis of research outputs from the Landscape Decisions Programme (LDP). This study compiles and synthesizes outputs from the LDP projects in the context of the relevant literature to develop an understanding of the relationships among the emerging evidence with respect to decision-making for more sustainable and multifunctional landscapes. The synthesis analyzed the drivers of landscape decisions, and methodological approaches used to generate evidence for decision-making. The emerging themes from the synthesis were distilled into five principles that can be used as a basis for a roadmap towards the development of a holistic landscape decisions framework.