CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0202.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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.
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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.
Subject: Biology, Ecology 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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
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
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0498.v1
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: 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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/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
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, 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: Social Sciences, 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/preprints202103.0255.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Social Sciences, Accounting 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, Anatomy & Morphology 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Social Sciences, Accounting 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/preprints202107.0253.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & 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: Social Sciences, Accounting 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Social Sciences, Accounting 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, Ecology 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 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/preprints202208.0487.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Social Sciences, 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 & Humanities, Architecture And Design 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, Ecology 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, 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Life Sciences, Other 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: Social Sciences, 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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 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, 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/preprints202209.0273.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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, Anatomy & Morphology 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, Anatomy & Morphology 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, Ecology 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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, 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, Agricultural Sciences & 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/preprints202203.0171.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Social Sciences, 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: 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: 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0694.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Salt Marsh; Coastal Protection; Long Island Sound; Connecticut; Green Structures; Ecosystem based
Online: 28 December 2020 (12:08:11 CET)
Connecticut marshes, like other marshes in the world, are vulnerable to anthropogenic and climate change effects. However, assessment of current sea level rise and average marsh accretion rates in Connecticut demonstrate 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. Besides, sediment availability is low and the coastline experienced considerable erosion during hurricane Sandy and has not recovered yet.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0476.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry 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, Ecology 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: 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: Social Sciences, 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: Mathematics & Computer Science, 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/preprints202208.0517.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: city trees; landscape design; landscape architecture; socio-ecological system; urban ecosystem; urban forest
Online: 30 August 2022 (09:54:35 CEST)
Despite the abundance of tree diversity in the natural world, and generally high tree species richness in urban areas, urban forests continue to be dominated by a limited number of species. As socio-ecological systems, urban forests are shaped by historical and current management efforts and decision-making of a wide range of human actors. Drawing on past research, we offer a conceptual framework for describing the complex interactions among tree producers and consumers as trees are selected, grown, specified, and planted in private and public urban areas. We illustrate how multiple layers of selection criteria filter down the entirety of potential local tree diversity to a handful of commonly used and accepted tree species. We detail the actors and decision makers who impact tree composition and diversity across several land types. Finally, we identify research, education and outreach needs as they relate to creating more diverse and resilient urban forest ecosystems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0569.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: ecosystem dynamics; discrete-event model; qualitative modelling; boolean model; state-and-transition model
Online: 30 November 2021 (12:39:11 CET)
Sub-Saharan social-ecological systems are undergoing changes in environmental conditions, including modifications in rainfall pattern and biodiversity loss. Consequences of such changes depend on complex causal chains which call for integrated management strategies whose efficiency could benefit from ecosystem dynamic modelling. However, ecosystem models often require lots of quantitative information for estimating parameters, which is often unavailable. Alternatively, qualitative modelling frameworks have proved useful for explaining ecosystem response to perturbations, while requiring fewer information and providing more general predictions. However, current qualitative methods have some shortcomings which may limit their utility for specific issues. In this paper, we propose the Ecological Discrete-Event Network (EDEN), an innovative qualitative dynamic modelling framework based on "if-then" rules which generates many alternative event sequences (trajectories). Based on expert knowledge, observations and literature, we use this framework to assess the effect of permanent changes in surface water and herbivores diversity on vegetation and socio-economic transitions in an East African savanna. Results show that water availability drives changes in vegetation and socio-economic transitions, while herbivore functional groups had highly contrasted effects depending on the group. This first use of EDEN in a savanna context is promising for bridging expert knowledge and ecosystem modelling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0068.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Composite ecosystem; Carbon neutralization; Coal-fired power; Environmental management zoning; Coordination and control
Online: 3 November 2021 (09:00:42 CET)
The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions directly or indirectly generated by thermal power enterprises at any given time can be offset through afforestation, energy conservation and emission reduction. The present situation and control methods of CO2 emission in China's coal-fired thermal power industry are introduced. The complex ecosystem is a unity of ecological functions composed of human society, economic activities and natural conditions. In the context of carbon neutrality and based on the theory of composite ecosystem, this paper divides the coal-fired thermal power plants in China into environmental management zones, calculates the atmospheric environmental capacity, and puts forward the concept of regional atmospheric environmental capacity, classification and zoning control. Finally, the management and control units are classified, and differentiated management and control requirements are put forward to provide a reference for regional air quality standard planning.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0277.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: socioecological systems; water ecosystem services; participatory mapping; stakeholder values; spatial analysis; river basin
Online: 13 September 2020 (11:43:38 CEST)
Reductions in water availability and increasing rainfall variability are generating a narrative of growing competition for water in the Mediterranean basin. In this article, we explore the distribution and importance of water resources in the Muga River Basin (Catalonia, Spain) based on key stakeholders’ perceptions. We performed a sociocultural evaluation of the main water ecosystem services in the region through stakeholder interviews and participatory mapping. The basin was generally perceived as a hotspot of ecosystem services, but we detected varying opinions and considerable differences in the perceptions of importance and spatial distribution of water ecosystem services. These discrepancies were linked to the varying levels of stakeholders’ dependence on water. Our findings are important for contributing to correct water planning and management in the river basin, which is a complex water social system marked by conflicts between different stakeholder groups vying for the same resource. This complex situation requires bottom-up strategies to create transparent, participatory decision-making models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0104.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: GEOBIA; canga ecosystem; Carajás National Forest; mine land revegetation; satellite images; environmental assessment
Online: 8 August 2019 (12:00:50 CEST)
Remote sensing technologies may play a fundamental role in the environmental assessment of open-cast mining and the accurate quantification of mine land rehabilitation efforts. Here, we developed a systematic geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) approach to map the amount of revegetated area and to quantify the land-use changes in open-cast mines in the Carajás region situated in the eastern Amazon. Based on high-resolution satellite images from 2011 to 2015 from different sensors (GeoEye, WorldView-3 and Ikonos), we quantified forests, cangas (natural metalliferous savanna ecosystems), mine land, revegetated areas and water bodies. Based on the GEOBIA approach, threshold values were established to discriminate land cover classes using spectral bands, and the NDVI and NDWI indices and LiDAR digital ground and slope models. The overall accuracy was higher than 90%, and the Kappa indices varied between 0.82 and 0.88. During the observation period, the mining complex expanded; for that, canga and forest vegetation was converted to mine land. At the same time, the amount of revegetated area increased. Thus, we conclude that our approach is capable of providing consistent information regarding land cover changes in mines, with a special focus on the amount of revegetation necessary to fulfill environmental liabilities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0279.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: contingent valuation method; open water body development; valuation of ecosystem; willingness to pay
Online: 30 January 2018 (06:53:16 CET)
Revitalization of open water bodies into recreational areas are becoming widely popular in many parts of Sri Lanka. Understanding community perception and expectation on recreational development have important policy and cost-effectiveness implications. This paper explores the public perspectives on development, conservation and value of the open water recreational development at Diyatha Uyana and surrounding area. Contingent Valuation Method has been applied to estimate peoples’ Willingness To Pay for recreational spaces in the selected area. A total of 300 residents from different socioeconomic backgrounds were selected randomly for the study. Enjoying peace and relaxation, taking children to play and breath clean air were mentioned as most important aspects of open water body areas. More frequent visits occur to enjoy peace and relaxation, breath clean air and enjoy the natural landscape. Almost all the participants were agreed upon conserving open water body areas in urban settings. Willingness to pay was significantly associated with income and occupation status. It yielded a monthly average payment of Rs.446.93 per household for another five years’ time. The limited budget was the main reason for not willing to pay. This paper is significant as there is no contingent valuation method study has been carried on water body development in Sri Lanka.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0428.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: ALOS-3; Land Cover; Vegetation; Machine learning; Classification; Mapping; Ge-nus-Physiognomy-Ecosystem level
Online: 13 May 2022 (14:45:48 CEST)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is going to launch Advanced Land Observing Satellite 3 (ALOS-3) after 2022. ALOS-3 satellite is capable of observing global land areas with wide swath (4000 km along-track direction and 70 km cross-track direction) at high spatial resolution (panchromatic: 0.8m, multispectral: 3.2m). Maintenance and updating of land cover and vegetation information at national level is one of the major goals of the ALOS-3 mission. This paper presents the potential of simulated ALOS-3 images for the classification and mapping of land cover and vegetation types at Genus-Physiognomy-Ecosystem (GPE) level. We acquired and simulated WorldView-3 images according to the configuration of the ALOS-3 satellite sensor and the simulated ALOS-3 images were utilized for the classification and mapping of land cover and vegetation types in three sites (Hakkoda, Zao, and Shiranuka) in northern Japan. This research dealt with 17 land cover and vegetation types in Hakkoda site, 25 land cover and vegetation types in Zao site, and 12 land cover and vegetation types in Shiranuka site. Ground truth data were newly collected in three sites, and we employed eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) classifier with the implementation of 10-fold cross-validation method for assessing the potential of ALOS-3S images. The classification accuracies obtained in Hakkoda, Zao, and Shiranuka sites in terms of f1-score were 0.810, 0.729, and 0.805 respectively. The fine scale (3.2m) land cover and vegetation maps produced in the study sites showed clear and detailed view of the distribution of plant communities. Regardless of the limited number of the temporal images, ALOS-3S images showed high potential (at least 0.729 F1-score) for the land cover and vegetation classification in all three sites. The availability of more cloud free temporal scenes is expected for improved classification and mapping in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0289.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: adaptation failure; adaptation planning; economic interests; climate change; ecosystem spillovers; policy; risk perception; transformation
Online: 27 October 2019 (02:54:10 CET)
The failure to acknowledge and account for environmental externalities or spillovers in climate change adaptation policy, advocacy and programming spaces exercabates the risk of ecological degradation, more so, degradation of land. In particular use of unsuitable water sources for irrigation may increase salinisation risks. However, little if any policy assessments and research effort has been directed at investigating how farmer perceptions mediate spillovers from the ubiquitous irrigation adaptation strategy. In this study cognitive failure and/or bias construct is examined and proposed as an analytical lens in research, policy and learning and the convergence of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation discourses. The findings from small-scale farmers, Machakos and Kakamega counties, Kenya, suggest multifaceted biases and failures about the existence and importance of externalities in adaptation planning discourses. Among other dimensions, cognitive failure which encompasses fragmented approaches among institutions for use and management of resources, inadequate policy and information support, as well as, poor integration of actors in adaptation planning accounts for adaptation failure. The failures in such Human-Environment system interactions have the potential to exercabate existing vulnerability of farmer production systems in the long run. The findings further suggest that in absence of risk message information dissemination, education level, farming experience and information accumulation, as integral elements to human capital, do not seem to have significant effect on behaviour about mitigation of environmental spillovers. Implicitly, reversing the inherent adaptation failures calls for system approaches that enhance coordinated adaptation planning, prioritises proactive mitigation of slow onset disaster risks and broadens decision support systems, such as, risk information dissemination integration into the existing adaptation policy discourses and practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0233.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: urban rivers; ecological status; ecosystem services; developing countries; Nicaragua; nature-based solutions; green infrastructure
Online: 20 May 2019 (09:07:23 CEST)
Natural rivers in urban areas bear significant potential to provide ecosystem services for the surrounding inhabitants. However, surface sealing by houses and street networks, urban drainage, disposal of waste and wastewater resulting from advancing urbanization usually lead to the deterioration of urban rivers and their riparian areas. This ultimately damages their ability to provide ecosystem services. This paper presents an innovative methodology for a rapid and low-cost assessment of the ecological status of urban rivers and riparian areas in developing countries under data scarce conditions. The methodology uses a combination of field data and freely available high-resolution satellite images to assess three ecological status categories: river hydromorphology, water quality, and riparian land cover. The focus here is on the assessment of proxies for biophysical structures and processes representing ecological functioning that enable urban rivers and riparian areas to provide ecosystem services. These proxies represent a combination of remote sensing land cover- and field-based indicators. Finally, the three ecological status categories are combined to quantify the potential of different river sections to provide regulating ecosystem services. The development and application of the methodology is demonstrated and visualized for each 100 m section of the Pochote River in the City of León, Nicaragua. This spatially distributed information of the ecosystem service potential of individual sections of the urban river and riparian areas can serve as important information for decision making regarding the protection, future use, and city development of these areas, as well as the targeted and tailor-made development of nature-based solutions such as green infrastructure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0150.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Ecosystem conservation, Policy instruments, Conservation planning, Assessment criteria, land use planning, Threatened ecosystems, Prioritization
Online: 12 December 2018 (13:09:56 CET)
Threats to natural ecosystems are closely linked to human development, and the lack, insufficiency or inefficiency of public policies are some of the most important drivers of negative effects on the environment. The contribution of the IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) to conservation topics has been discussed in previous studies; however, to date its implications for conservation in public policies have not been addressed. This perspective discusses how the RLE may support the improvement and development of these policies, specifically through the implications for public policy of each of the criteria that substantiate the threat status of ecosystems. We aim to provide a plausible baseline to the operationalization of RLE in public and conservation policy, facilitating the work of governments, practitioners and decision makers. Finally, we provide recommendations and examples as to how to proceed in creating and modifying different public policy instruments, such as land-use planning, spatial zoning, tax reduction, compensation schemes, climate change adaptation plans, management of introduced species, development offsets and restoration investment. This perspective contributes to implement RLE into public policy and to improve ecosystem conservation by expanding the current scope of RLE into practical and political dimensions through plausible actions, policies and strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0059.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: riparian zone; transitional environment; riparian forest buffer; spatial modelling; mapping; spatial ecology; ecosystem functions
Online: 6 August 2016 (06:07:11 CEST)
Riparian zones represent ecotones between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and are of utmost importance to biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Modelling/mapping of these valuable and fragile areas is needed for an improved ecosystem management, based on an accounting of changes and on monitoring of their functioning in time. In Europe, the main legislative driver behind this goal is the European Commission’s Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, on one hand aiming at reducing biodiversity loss, on the other hand enhancing ecosystem services by 2020, and restoring them as far as feasible. A model, based on Earth Observation data, including Digital Elevation Models, hydrological, soil, land cover/land use data, and vegetation indices is employed in a multi-modular and stratified approach, based on fuzzy logic and object based image analysis, to delineate potential, observed and actual riparian zones. The approach is designed in an open modular way, allowing future modifications and repeatability. The results represent a first step of a future monitoring and assessment campaign for European riparian zones and their implications on biodiversity and on ecosystem functions and services. Considering the complexity and the enormous extent of the area, covering 39 European countries, including Turkey, the level of detail is unprecedented. Depending on the accounting modus, 0.95%–1.19% of the study area can be attributed as actual riparian area (considering Strahler’s stream orders 3-8, based on the Copernicus EU-Hydro dataset), corresponding to 55,558–69.128 km2. Similarly depending on the accounting approach, the potential riparian zones are accounted for about 3-5 times larger. Land cover/land use in detected riparian areas was mainly of semi-natural characteristics, while the potential riparian areas are predominately covered by agriculture, followed by semi-natural and urban areas.
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: skin microbiome; skin microbiome biodiversity; biodiversity; skin ecosystem; skin allergy epidemic; benchmark skin health values; skin bacteria; 21st century skin ailments; measure skin health; healthy skin ecosystem; healthy skin bacteria; damaged skin bacteria;
Online: 18 June 2020 (12:40:57 CEST)
A catastrophic loss of microbial biodiversity on the skin has led to alarming increase in the prevalence of allergies and long-term damage to the skin, which could also have damaging knock on effects to overall health. This study uses 50 human participants, to obtain an average (benchmark) value for the biodiversity of ‘healthy’ western skin, which is crucial in updating our 2017 skin health measuring mechanism to use standardised methodology. Previous work with a larger sample size was unsatisfactory for use as a benchmark due to its use of different and outdated diversity indices. We also investigated the effect of age and sex, two known skin microbiome affecting factors. Although no statistical significance is seen for age- and sex- related changes in diversity, there appear to be changes related to age which elaborates on previous work which used larger, more general age ranges. Our study indicates adults age 28-37 have highest diversity, and age 48-57 the lowest. Crucially, because of this study we are now able to update the skin health measuring mechanism from our 2017 work. This will aid diagnostic assessment of susceptibility to cutaneous conditions or diseases, and treatment. Testing any human subject will be rapidly improved by obtaining future benchmark diversity values for any age, sex, body site and area of residence, to which they can be compared. This improvement means we can also more accurately investigate the ultimate question: What factors in the western world are a main cause of the skin allergy epidemic? This could lead to future restriction of certain synthetic chemicals or products found to be particularly harmful to the skin.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0055.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Case-study analysis; Citizen engagement; Collaborative ecosystem; Governance; Innovation systems; n-Helix model; Smart city
Online: 2 June 2021 (08:49:42 CEST)
Despite the rising interest in smart city initiatives worldwide, governmental theories along with the managerial perspectives of city planning are a great lack in the literature. It is definitely understandable that the adoption of configurational pathways towards the ‘smart’ ‘governance’ models is required as key factor and smartness’ facilitator in modern cities. In this manuscript, we display an exhaustive analysis on the importance of the n-Helix models along with a benchmarking critical approach through selected European case-studies. The study, through the literature review, revealed the lack of exhaustive analyses for the methodological investigation, identification and adoption of the most appropriate governance model and collaborative approaches per project and collaborative approaches and create modular frameworks to address efficiently the continuous urban challenges, such as the rapid urbanization or the climate change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0253.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Birch effect; carbon flux; ecosystem function; intraspecific variation; plant-soil interaction; soil respiration; tree ontogeny
Online: 10 December 2020 (11:52:21 CET)
Soil CO2 efflux (FCO2) plays a dominant role in the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle but interpreting constraints on local observations is impeded by challenges in disentangling belowground CO2 sources. Trees contribute most C to forest soils, so linking aboveground properties to FCO2 could open new avenues to study plant-soil feedbacks and facilitate scaling; furthermore, FCO2 responds dynamically to meteorological conditions, complicating predictions of total FCO2 and forest C balance. We tested for proximity effects of individual Acer saccharum Marsh. trees on FCO2, comparing FCO2 within 1 m of mature stems to background fluxes before and after an intense rainfall event. Wetting significantly increased background FCO2 (6.4±0.3 vs. 8.6±0.6 s.e. μmol CO2 m-2s-1), with a much larger enhancement near tree stems (6.3±0.3 vs. 10.8±0.4 μmol CO2 m-2s-1). FCO2 varied significantly among individual trees and post-rain values increased with tree diameter (with a slope of 0.058 μmol CO2 m-2s-1 cm-1). Post-wetting amplification of FCO2 (the ‘Birch effect’) in root zones often results from the improved mobility of labile carbohydrates and further metabolization of recalcitrant organic matter, which may both occur at higher densities near larger trees. Our results indicate that plant-soil feedbacks change through tree ontogeny and provide evidence for a novel link between whole-system carbon fluxes and forest structure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0157.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; sustainability; ecosystem-based approach; blue economy; coral reef; coastal systems; landscape; seascape
Online: 6 November 2019 (08:49:04 CET)
The Sustainable Development Goals, while complex at first sight, express a simple narrative about the relationships between people and nature. This paper illustrates this in the context of a coral reef land or seascape supporting coastal people. Coral reefs, their health described by measures of coral and fish diversity and abundance, provide key services and benefits to people. These services directly support 10s of millions of jobs in multiple economic sectors in coastal and distant states, protect and harbor communities and cities across tropical coastlines, sustain use of living and non-living resources, provide transport infrastructure and valuable natural products, and in future may provide energy solutions. Through these multiple benefits, coral reefs contribute to reducing hunger and poverty, thus improving health, and potentially strengthening gender and social equality. However, access and use result in pressures that may drive decline in coral reef health. Broader land and seascape factors also affect reef health and therefore delivery of benefits, including land-use change and altered freshwater flows, as well as climate change. Managing this complex system requires appropriate awareness and knowledge, governance mechanisms and investments by stakeholders. This ‘SDG narrative’ can be used from local to global levels, motivating actions and policy at and across these scales to sustain ecosystem function and use, for the oceans what is also increasingly called a blue economy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0202.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Inland saline wetland; lake; ecosystem; biodiversity; human interventions; Google Earth Engine; Normalized Difference Water Index; Restoration
Online: 13 October 2021 (13:09:59 CEST)
Globally, saline lakes occupying 23% by area 44% by volume among all the lakes might desiccate by 2025 due to agricultural diversion, illegal encroachment, pollution, and invasive species. India’s largest saline lake, Sambhar is currently shrinking at the rate of 4.23% due to illegal saltpan en-croachment. This research article aims to identify the trend of migratory birds and monthly wetland status. Birds survey was conducted for 2019, 2020 and 2021 and combined with literature data of 1994, 2003, and 2013 for visiting trend, feeding habit, migratory and resident ratio, and ecological diversity index analysis. Normalized Difference Water Index was scripted in Google Earth Engine. Results state that it has been suitable for 97 species. Highest NDWI values for the was whole study period was 0.71 in 2021 and lowest 0.008 in 2019 which is highly fluctuating. The decreasing trend of migratory birds coupled with decreasing water level indicates the dubious status for its existence. If the causal factors are not checked, it might completely desiccate by 2059 as per its future prediction. Certain steps are suggested that might help conservation. Least, the cost of restoration might exceed the revenue generation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0407.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: cloud computing; cloud resource management; task scheduling; ecosystem; geometric mean; symbiotic organisms search algorithm; convergence speed
Online: 23 September 2021 (12:31:06 CEST)
The search algorithm based on symbiotic organisms’ interactions is a relatively recent bio-inspired algorithm of the swarm intelligence field for solving numerical optimization problems. It is meant to optimize applications based on the simulation of the symbiotic relationship among the distinct species in the ecosystem. The modified SOS algorithm is developed to solve independent task scheduling problems. This paper proposes a modified symbiotic organisms search based scheduling algorithm for efficient mapping of heterogeneous tasks to access cloud resources of different capacities. The significant contribution of this technique is the simplified representation of the algorithm's mutualism process, which uses equity as a measure of relationship characteristics or efficiency of species in the current ecosystem to move to the next generation. These relational characteristics are achieved by replacing the original mutual vector, which uses an arithmetic mean to measure the mutual characteristics with a geometric mean that enhances the survival advantage of two distinct species. The modified symbiotic organisms search algorithm (G_SOS) aimed to minimize the task execution time (Makespan), response, degree of imbalance and cost and improve the convergence speed for an optimal solution in an IaaS cloud. The performances of the proposed technique have been evaluated using a Cladism toolkit simulator, and the solutions are found to be better than the existing standard (SOS) technique and PSO.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0204.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Sponge City; Residential Community; SWMM (Storm Water Management Model); Ecosystem Services; Low Impact Development (LID); China
Online: 9 September 2020 (09:40:28 CEST)
Stormwater management is a key urban issue in the world, in line with the global issues of urban sprawl and climate change. It is urgent to investigate the effectiveness in managing stormwater with different strategies for maintain urban resilience. A method based on a storm water management model (SWMM) was developed for assessing the control of stormwater runoff volume and the percentage removal of suspended solids by implementing a Sponge City strategy. An interdisciplinary approach was adopted incorporating Low Impact Development (LID) with urban Green Infrastructure and Gray Infrastructure paradigms in a typical old residential community in Suzhou, China. Four types of sponge facilities for reducing stormwater runoff were bio-retention cells, permeable pavements, grassed pitches, and stormwater gardens. The simulation results indicate that the stormwater pipe system can meet the management standard for storms with a five-year recurrence interval. The volume capture ratio of annual runoff is 91% and the reduction rate of suspended solids is 56%. This study demonstrates that Sponge City strategy is an effective approach for managing stormwater, particularly in old and densely populated urban areas. Implementing spongy facilities with a LID strategy for stormwater management can significantly enhance urban water resilience and increase ecosystem services.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0123.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Sentinel-2; Land cover; Vegetation; Mapping; Plant communities; Machine learning; Genus-Physiognomy-Ecosystem; Gradient Boosting Decision Trees; Solar panel; Vegetation disturbance
Online: 4 April 2022 (10:40:26 CEST)
This research introduces Genus-Physiognomy-Ecosystem (GPE) mapping at a prefecture level through machine learning of multi-spectral and multi-temporal satellite images at 10m spatial resolution, and later integration of prefecture wise maps into country scale for dealing with 88 GPE types to be classified from a large size of training data involved in the research effectively. This research was made possible by harnessing entire archives of Level-2A product, Bottom of Atmosphere reflectance images collected by MultiSpectral Instruments onboard a constellation of two polar-orbiting Sentinel-2 mission satellites. The satellite images were pre-processed for cloud masking and monthly median composite images consisting of 10 multi-spectral bands and 7 spectral indexes were generated. The ground truth labels were extracted from extant vegetation survey maps by implementing systematic stratified sampling approach and noisy labels were dropped out for preparing a reliable ground truth database. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) implementation of Gradient Boosting Decision Trees (GBDT) classifier was employed for classification of 88 GPE types from 204 satellite features. The classification accuracy computed with 25% test data varied from 65-81% in terms of F1-score across 48 prefectural regions. This research produced seamless maps of 88 GPE types first time at a country scale with an average 72% F1-score. In addition, mapping of solar panels and vegetation disturbance are added.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0443.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Sentinel-2; Land cover; Vegetation; Mapping; Plant communities; Machine learning; Genus-Physiognomy-Ecosystem; Gradient Boosting Decision Trees
Online: 28 December 2021 (10:49:28 CET)
Classification and mapping of plant communities is an essential step for conservation and management of ecosystems and biodiversity. We adopt the Genus-Physiognomy-Ecosystem (GPE) system developed in previous study for satellite-based classification of plant communities. This paper assesses the potential of multi-spectral and multi-temporal images collected by Sentinel-2 satellites. This research was conducted in five representative study sites in a temperate region. It consists of 44 types of plant communities including a few land cover types as well. The plant community types were enumerated in the study sites and ground truth data were prepared with reference to extant vegetation surveys, visual interpretation of high-resolution images, and onsite field observations. We acquired all Sentinel-2 Level-1C product images available for the study sites between 2017-2019 and generated monthly median composite images consisting of ten spectral and twelve spectral-indices. Gradient Boosting Decision Trees (GBDT) classifier was employed as an efficient and distributed gradient boosting technique for the supervised classification of big datasets involved in the research. The cross-validation accuracy in terms of kappa coefficient varied from 87% in Oze site with 41 land cover and plant community types to 95% in Hakkoda site with 19 land cover and plant community types; with average performance of 91% across all sites. In addition, the resulting maps demonstrated a clear distribution of plant community types involved in all sites, highlighting the potential of Sentinel-2 multi-spectral and multi-temporal images with GPE classification system for operational and broad-scale mapping of land cover and plant communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0151.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: American Carbon Registry; California Action Reserve; California Air Resources Board; VERRA; Clean Development Mechanism; net ecosystem exchange
Online: 7 July 2021 (11:54:59 CEST)
Despite the use of commercial forest carbon protocols (CFCPs) for more than two decades, claiming ~566 MMtCO2e and a market value of ~USD $15.7 billion, comparative analysis of CFCP methodology and offset results is limited. In this study, five widely used biometric-based CFCPs are characterized, and common characteristics and differences are identified. CFCP claims of net forest carbon sequestration are compared with results of directly measured CO2 by eddy covariance, a meteorological method integrating gross vertical fluxes of forest and soil carbon, and the only alternative non-biometric source of net forest carbon sequestration data available. We show here that CFCPs share a structural feature delimiting forest carbon values by zero-threshold carbon accounting (gC m-2 ≤ 0), a pattern opposite to natural emissions of forest CO2 exchange based on direct measurement and a fundamental biological constraint on net forest carbon storage (i.e., soil efflux, ecosystem respiration). Exclusion of forest CO2 sources to the atmosphere precludes net carbon accounting, resulting in unavoidable over-crediting of CFCP project offsets. CFCP carbon results are significantly different from global forest CO2 net ecosystem exchange population results (FluxNet2015 gC m-2) at the 95% to 99.99% confidence levels, inferring an annual median error of ~247% (gC m-2), consistent with over-crediting. Direct CO2 measurement provides an urgently needed alternative method for commercial forest carbon products that has the potential to harmonize global markets and catalyze the role of forests in managing climate change through nature-based solutions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0088.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Microbiome; sound exposure; noise pollution; microalgae; artificial light; bioacoustics; ecosystem health; light pollution; photo-sonic restoration hypothesis
Online: 2 February 2021 (13:12:10 CET)
Globally, anthropogenic sound and artificial light pollution have increased to alarming levels. Evidence suggests that these can disrupt critical processes that impact ecosystems and human health. However, limited focus has been given to the potential effects of sound and artificial light pollution on microbiomes. Microbial communities are the foundations of our ecosystems. They are essential for human health and provide myriad ecosystem services. Therefore, disruption to microbiomes by anthropogenic sound and artificial light could have important ecological and human health implications. In this mini-review, we provide a critical appraisal of available scientific literature on the effects of anthropogenic sound and light exposure on microorganisms and discuss the potential ecological and human health implications. Our mini-review shows that a limited number of studies have been carried out to investigate the effects of anthropogenic sound and light pollution on microbiomes. However, based on these studies, it is evident that anthropogenic sound and light pollution have the potential to significantly influence ecosystems and human health via microbial interactions. Many of the studies suffered from modest sample sizes, suboptimal experiments designs, and some of the bioinformatics approaches used are now outdated. These factors should be improved in future studies. This is an emerging and severely underexplored area of research that could have important implications for global ecosystems and public health. Finally, we also propose the photo-sonic restoration hypothesis: does restoring natural levels of light and sound help to restore microbiomes and ecosystem stability?
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0592.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Microbial consortia; Arbuscular mycorrhizas; Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria; actinobacteria; Ecosystem functions; Agriculture; Sustainability; Resilience; Multifunctionality; Soil microorganism
Online: 28 October 2020 (14:06:00 CET)
Knowledge of the agricultural soil microbiota, of the microbial consortia that comprise it, and the promotion of agricultural practices that maintain and encourage them, is a promising way to improve soil quality for sustainable agriculture and to provide food security. Although numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects of beneficial soil microorganisms on crop yields and quality, the use of microbial consortia in agriculture remains low. Microbial consortia have more properties than an individual microbial inoculum, due to the synergy of the microorganisms that make them up. This review describes the main characteristics, ecosystem functions, crop benefits and biotechnological applications of microbial consortia composed of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, plant growth promoting bacteria and actinobacteria, to promote the restoration of agricultural soils and, consequently, the quality and health of agricultural crops. The aim is to provide knowledge that will contribute to the development of sustainable and sufficiently productive agriculture, which will adapt in a good way to the pace of the growing human population and to climate change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0286.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Applied Mathematics Keywords: strong solution; regularity of weak Solutions; a single-species ecosystem; Lyapunov function; Mountain Pass Lemma; unique existence
Online: 13 September 2020 (12:26:12 CEST)
In this paper, the authors employ Mountain Pass Lemma, the method of weak solution regularization and Lyapunov function method to derive the unique existence of globally exponential stable positive stationary solution of a single-species model with diffusion and delayed feedback. The obtained stability criterion illuminates that under some suitable conditions, a certain internal competition is conducive to the overall stability of the population, and a certain amount of family planning is conducive to the overall stability of the population. A numerical example and three tables show the effectiveness of the proposed methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0013.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Architecture And Design Keywords: green infrastructure; riparian restoration; green corridor; drainageway; urban valley; stormwater management; flooding; arid landscape; sustainability; urban ecosystem
Online: 3 September 2018 (07:57:32 CEST)
This paper describes the feasibility and probable benefits associated with greening the Tahliah Channel, a concrete drainage channel that was originally built to relieve urban flooding in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia. It includes an estimation of irrigation needs for channel greening based on a standardized planting specification. The study also demonstrates alternative strategies for meeting the required irrigation demand, including water harvesting and graywater reuse on a residential scale. The study shows that greening Tahliah Channel is possible relying mainly on graywater reuse from the surrounding buildings. Also, the study shows that rainwater harvesting is not a reliable source for irrigation. Rather, it can cover only part of the irrigation needs (6%) and so can be used as a secondary supporting source. The positive results of this case study will be of interest to those in arid countries who are looking to upgrade and replace traditional, single function drainage infrastructure with more sustainable, green infrastructure systems. More specifically, the objectives of the study are consistent with the goals of the Saudi government’s ongoing initiative that advocates for more resilient and sustainable cities. (Vision 2030 year).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0249.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Land system science; governance; natural resource management; resource conflict; conservation; development; stakeholder en-gagement; ecosystem management; wicked problems
Online: 15 August 2022 (04:35:26 CEST)
Integrated landscape approaches (ILA) aim to reconcile multiple, often competing, interests across agriculture, nature conservation, and other land uses. Recognized ILA design principles provide guidance for their implementation, yet application remains challenging, and a strong performance evidence-base is yet to be formed. A comprehensive literature review and focus group discussions with practitioners identified considerable diversity of ILA in actors, temporal, and spatial scales, inter alia. This diversity hampers learning from and steering these integrated planning approaches because of its intractable nature. Therefore, we developed a tool—an ‘ILA mixing board’—to structure the complexity of ILA into selectable and scalable attributes in a replicable way to allow planning, diagnostics, and comparative assessment of ILA. The ILA mixing board tool presents seven qualifiers, each representing a key attribute of ILA design and performance such as project flexibility, inclusiveness of the dialogue, and the centrality of the power distribution. Each qualifier has five (non-normative) outcome indicators that can be registered as present or absent. This process in turn guides planners, evaluators and other participating stakeholders involved in landscape management to diagnose the ILA type, and or its performance. We apply the ILA mixing board as a diagnostic tool to three ILA cases in Nicaragua, Madagascar, and the Congo Basin to show some of the many possible configurations of qualifiers on the mixing board. Overall, the tool allows comparative analyses of the complexity of ILA in a structured and manageable way.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0336.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: Environmental Accounting; Life Cycle Assessment; Marine Ecosystem Service; Indicators; Cost Benefit Analysis; Porto Cesareo Marine Protected Area; CICES
Online: 22 July 2022 (11:43:53 CEST)
The article focuses on the integrated environmental accounting model called 'eValue', developed for protected areas and applied in the research programme coordinated by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and aimed at implementing an environmental accounting system for Italian Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). eValue adopts a cost-benefit analysis approach. Financial accounting based on costs and revenues is integrated with environmental accounting, which reflects environmental costs and environmental revenues, i.e. environmental benefits. The environ-mental costs assess the impacts related to human activities in the MPA expressed by calculating the carbon footprint and the environmental benefits of the marine ecosystem services calculated by applying monetary valuation techniques. The values thus estimated flow into the annual flow account, where the value produced (or consumed) by the MPA is estimated by difference. The eValue model was applied to the Porto Cesareo MPA (Italy). eValue showed that the annual benefit-cost ratio reaches a value of 3.4. Furthermore, the ratio of net benefit to public funding is 3.7, completely covering the amount of public transfers and thus summarizing the MPA overall value for money.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0050.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Smart City; smart technology; internet of things; cloud technologies; mobile applications; innovation system; smart city concept; smart ecosystem
Online: 4 July 2022 (10:18:11 CEST)
The article describes the application of the Smart City concept and the economic opportunities it creates, infrastructure and services, and opportunities to improve governance. The main features of the Smart City concept, development directions and evolution, standards and solutions, factors and obstacles to its implementation have been analyzed by the author. The experience of different countries in the application of digital technologies is discussed. The article provides the scope and structure of the "smart" market, application stages and scenarios. International experience in this field was widely analyzed and examples were given, comparisons were made and suggestions were made. The article talks about smart cities, the construction of which has already begun in Azerbaijan. The application of the smart city concept in Azerbaijan has been studied. It is stressed that the spread of digital technologies for the construction of a smart city in Azerbaijan is a prerequisite. The Network Readiness Index (NRI) identifies the indicators that are holding back Azerbaijan in the ranking for 2021. In our study, based on the growth dynamics for 2017-2020, the forecast was calculated by analyzing the trend in the ICT development index in Azerbaijan for 2022-2025.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0417.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Cultural ecosystem services; urban green space management; Singapore; public participation geographic information system; social media text mining analysis
Online: 27 December 2021 (09:48:44 CET)
Cultural ecosystem services has been increasingly influential in both environmental research and policy decision-making, such as for urban green spaces However, its popular definition conflates the concepts of ‘services’ and ‘benefits’ which made it challenging for planners to employ it directly for urban green space management. One the most widely used definition of this non-tangible ecosystem services are “functions of environmental spaces and cultural activities which may then result in the enjoyment of cultural ecosystem benefits”; yet the latter itself have never found its way into official laws and regulations. In this study, via a case study in Singapore, we propose new evidence to re-evaluate and re-position the two of the most important emerging concepts in managing the green spaces in urban areas. Using the transdisciplinary mixed methods of public participation GIS and social media text mining analysis, a wealth of cultural ecosystem services and their associated benefits were reported. This was especially so with regards to recreational and aesthetic services and experiential benefits. Recommendations to improve the park were also suggested, alongside sharing of methodological considerations for future research. Overall, this paper recommends the employment of the redefined cultural ecosystem services conceptual framework to generate relational, data-driven and actionable insights to better support urban green space management, which is not only useful to Singapore governments but also world-wide relevant.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0053.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: bio-prospecting; biopiracy; collective action; common property resources; ecosystem sustainability; natural resource management; institutions; property rights; value chain
Online: 2 November 2018 (11:06:20 CET)
Though innovations for sustainable management of natural resources have emerged over time, the rising demand for nature based health solutions and integration of endemic flora into global value chains could have adverse impacts on ecosystems. The ecological risks in the exploitation of wild medicinal plant resources are exacerbated by a myriad of agrotechnological risks and challenges that highly constrain their domestication. Successful exploitation and commercialization of medicinal plants thus require a clear understanding of their demand and production systems or value chain analysis. Accordingly there is need for innovative approaches towards their integration into global value chains. Since quality and safety, traceability, certification, as well as, consumer tastes and preferences are critical drivers in purchasing decisions by global consumers, they are inadvertently exploited to weaken Indigenous knowledge (IK), undermine common property rights and entrench value chains that favour a few elite buyers. This tend to create pervasive incentives for overexploitation of medicinal plant resources and environmental degradation. Potential solution lies in the recognition of drivers of vulnerability to environmental degradation and the innovative use of policy bricolage, feedback loops and interactions between knowledge, power and agency on one hand, and collective action and property rights institutions on the other hand. We conceptualise a framework that can mediate a transformational agenda and enhance systematic understanding of sustainability lenses in endemic medicinal plant resources value chains. This could in turn strengthen IK, enhance collective action and promote participation of local actors with positive impact on the utilisation and integration of endemic medicinal plant resources into global value chains.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0510.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: start-up; innovation ecosystem; food system; transformation; Germany; food science; entrepre-neurship; food technology; sustainable development goals; learning from other countries
Online: 31 December 2021 (11:14:06 CET)
The food system represents a key industry for Europe and particularly Germany. However, it is also the single most significant contributor to climate and environmental change. A food system transformation is necessary to overcome the system's major and constantly increasing challenges in the upcoming decades. One possible facilitator for this transformation are radical and disrup-tive innovations that start-ups develop. There are many challenges for start-ups in general and food start-ups in particular. Various support opportunities and resources are crucial to ensure the success of food start-ups. One aim of this study is to identify how the success of start-ups in the food system can be supported and further strengthened by players in the innovation ecosystem in Germany. There is still room for improvement and collaboration toward a thriving innovation ecosystem. A successful innovation ecosystem is characterised by a well-organised, collaborative, and supportive environment with a vivid exchange between the members in the ecosystem. The interviewees confirmed this, and although the different actors are already cooperating, there is still room for improvement. The most common recommendation for improving cooperation is learning from other countries and bringing the best to Germany.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: incurable disease; chronic disease; cancer theory; central nervous system; state memory; mutation; tissue ecosystem; emotion; stress; exercise; baseline biochemical and cellular processes
Online: 24 November 2019 (14:50:49 CET)
We examined special roles of the Central Nervous System (CNS) in an attempt to resolve the puzzle that chronic diseases cannot be cured by medicine. By exploring a skill-learning model, we found that the CNS is able to remember certain information reflecting biochemical and cellular (B&C) processes in the body. From the skill using ability, we found that the CNS is able to control basic B&C processes that drive and power the skill. From the ability to adjust forces and force direction of a physical act, we found that the CNS is able to adjust B&C processes that drive the physical act. From this adjustment capability, we further inferred that the CNS must also store information on the baseline B&C processes. As a whole, we found that the CNS can maintain information on baseline B&C processes, up-regulate or down-regulate the processes, and make comparisons in performing its regulatory functions. We found that chronic diseases are the results of deviated baseline B&C processes. Per the proved hypothesis, the CNS maintains deviated baseline B&C processes, and thus protects the body states of fully developed diseases. We then used the three CNS roles to explain that cancer progresses with increasing malignancy, cancer quickly returns after a surgery, cancer cells repopulate after chemotherapy and radiotherapy, cancer develops drug resistance inevitably, immune cells rebound after suppression, generally poor benefits of cancer drugs such as beta-blockers, etc. We further showed that long-term exercises generally push most, if not all, baseline B&C processes in diametrical opposing directions against the diseased B&C processes, implying that exercises play unique roles in reversing chronic diseases. Finally, we proposed several strategical approaches to resetting the CNS’ state memory as the essential condition for curing chronic diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0235.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Sustainability; Urban Ecosystem Services (UES); Landscape Services (LS); Larger Urban Zones (LUZ); LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR); Multi-Criteria Analytical Scoring Tool (MASCOT)
Online: 19 June 2020 (04:30:48 CEST)
The complexity of urban spatial configuration, which affects human-well being and landscape functioning, needs acquisition and 3d visualisation data to inform decision-making process better. One of the main challenges in sustainability research is to conceive spatial models which are capable of adapting to changes in scale and recalibrating the related indicators depending on the degree of detail and data availability. In this perspective, the inclusion of the third dimension into Urban Ecosystem Services (UES) assessment studies highlights the details of urban structure-function relationships, improves modelling and visualisation of data and impacts, aiding decision-makers to localise, assess and manage urban development strategies. The main goal of the proposed framework concerns mapping, evaluating and planning of the UES within a 3d-virtual environment to improve the visualisation of the spatial relationships among the services allocation and the urban fabric density.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0349.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: decision support; multi-criteria decision analysis; multiple criteria pareto frontier methods; criterium decision plus; net weaver developer; SADfLOR; ecosystem management decision support system
Online: 24 May 2018 (10:35:18 CEST)
This study examines the potential of combining decision support approaches to identify optimal bundles of ecosystem services. A forested landscape, Zona de Intervenção Florestal of Paiva and Entre-Douro and Sousa (Portugal), is used to test and demonstrate this potential. The landscape extends over 14,000 ha, representing 1,976 stands. The property is fragmented into 376 holdings. The overall analysis was performed in three steps. First, we selected six alternative solutions (A to F) in a Pareto frontier generated by a multiple criteria method within a decision support system (SADfLOR) for subsequent analysis. Next, an aspatial strategic multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) analysis was performed with the Criterium DecisionPlus (CDP) component of another decision support system (EMDS) to assess the aggregate performance of solutions A to F for the entire forested landscape with respect to their utility for delivery of ecosystem services. For the CDP analysis, SADfLOR data inputs were grouped into two sets of primary criteria: Wood Harvested and Other Ecosystem Services. Finally, a spatial logic-based assessment of solutions A to F for individual stands of the study area was performed with the NetWeaver component of EMDS. The NetWeaver model was structurally and computationally equivalent to the CDP model, but the key NetWeaver metric is a measure of the strength of evidence that solutions for specific land stands were optimal for the unit. Solutions D and B performed best in the aspatial strategic MCDA analysis, and a composite of the maps generated by NetWeaver demonstrated the spatial basis for the performance of solutions D and B in individual land stands. We conclude with a discussion of how the combination of decision support approaches encapsulated in the two systems could be further automated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0021.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: bioeconomy 1; footprint analysis 2; land use modelling 3; Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) model 4; land conversion 5; biodiversity 6; ecosystem functions 7
Online: 1 December 2021 (18:08:00 CET)
Footprints are powerful indicators for evaluating the impact of the bioeconomy of a country on environmental goods, domestically and abroad. In this study, we apply a hybrid approach combining a Multi-Regional Input-Output model and land use modelling to compute the agricultural land footprint (aLF). Furthermore, we added information on land-use change to the analysis and allocated land conversion to specific commodities. The German case study shows that the aLF abroad is larger by a factor of 2.5 to 3 than the aLF in Germany. In 2005 and 2010, conversion of natural and semi-natural land-cover types abroad allocated to Germany due to import increases was 2.5 times higher than the global average. Import increases to Germany slowed down in 2015 and 2020, reducing land conversion attributed to the German bioeconomy to the global average. The case study shows that the applied land footprint provides clear and meaningful information for policymakers and other stakeholders. The presented methodological approach can be applied to other countries and regions covered in the underlying database EXIOBASE. It can be adapted, also for an assessment of other ecosystem functions, such as water or soil fertility.