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ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0029.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: PLUS model; InVEST model; Land use; Habitat quality; Temperate desert subzone of Ordos Plateau
Online: 1 June 2023 (05:33:45 CEST)
Habitat quality has great significance for regional ecological conservation and human welfare. In this study, we evaluated the spatial and temporal characteristics of land use and habitat quality in the temperate desert sub-region of Ordos Plateau using patch-generating land use simulation (PLUS) and integrated valuation of ecosystem services and trade-offs (InVEST) models. From 2000 to 2020, the areas of grassland, cropland, and unused land in the study area increased significantly; the areas of water bodies and woodland increased slightly; and the area of wasteland decreased significantly. Moreover, the habitat quality in the temperate desert subzone of the Ordos Plateau showed a trend of increasing and then decreasing from 2000 to 2020. The areas of lower and low habitat quality first decreased and then increased, and the overall area decreased over time. Conversely, the areas of high and higher habitat quality initially increased and then decreased, and the overall area increased over time. The area of medium habitat quality first decreased and then increased, although the overall change was minimal. Based on the PLUS model, the habitat quality of the study area in 2025 predicted under the natural development scenario was compared with that predicted under the ecological conservation scenario, showing higher habitat quality and lower habitat degradation under the ecological conservation development scenario. These results can be used to provide a scientific basis and decision reference for the sustainable use of land resources and high-quality socio-economic development in the temperate desert sub-region of the Ordos Plateau.
Tue, 30 May 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2035.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Levilactobacillus brevis; mould; enterococci; spoilage; goose sausage
Online: 30 May 2023 (04:08:51 CEST)
The aim of this work was to investigate the microorganisms and their metabolites responsible for the spoilage of goose sausages produced in a small facility in Lombardy, a northern region of Italy. Spoilage was first detected by sensorial analysis using the “needle probing” technique; however, the spoiled sausages were not marketable due to the high ammonia and vinegar smell. The added starter culture did not limit or inhibit the spoilage microorganisms, which were represented by Levilactobacillus brevis, the predominant species, and by Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium. These microorganisms grew during ripening and produced a large amount of biogenic amines, which could represent a risk for consumers. Furthermore, Lev. brevis, being a heterofermentant, also produced ethanol, acetic acid and a variation in the sausage colour. The production of biogenic amines was confirmed in vitro. Furthermore, as observed in a previous work, a second cause of spoilage can be attributed to moulds that grew during ripening; both the isolated strains, Penicillium nalgiovense, added as starter culture, and P. lanoso-coeruleum, present as environmental contaminant, grew between the meat and casing, producing a large amount of total volatile nitrogen, responsible for the ammonia smell perceived either in the ripening area or in the sausages. This is the first description of Levilactobacillus brevis predominance in spoiled goose sausage.
Fri, 26 May 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1892.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Urban Ecosystem Services; perceptions; Socio-ecological analysis; urban adaptation planning; sustainable cities; Cotonou.
Online: 26 May 2023 (08:30:31 CEST)
Anarchic urbanization and land artificialization expose urban ecosystems and Ecosystem Services (ES) to the threat. Urban ecosystems and trees play a crucial role in improving urban environments, and their management depends on the perceptions and preferences of urban residents. An assessment of the socio-ecological factors determining the perception of the actors allows for the proper design and planning of ecological urban policies and urban adaptation to climate change. In this study, we assessed the perception and discriminating variables of the different stakeholders of urban ES provided in the city of Cotonou. Thus, 381 city dwellers were individually interviewed after statistical sampling. Focus group discussions with the stakeholders also made it possible to highlight the ES provided in the different Land Use Units (LU). The results show that 73.23% of the city dwellers agreed that they were aware of ecosystem services. The hierarchical classification shows two homogeneous groups of perceivers with ethnicity, age and education as statistically discriminating sociological variables (pv˂0.001). Urban dwellers in the city of Cotonou perceived more SEs in the cultural and regulatory services category significantly (pv<0.001; v-test>3). The principal component analysis (PCA) reveals the varying availability of ES according to the different LU in the city. This study adds scientific value in the application of urban ecology to decision-making in climate and environment policy planning for sustainable cities in Africa and all over the world.
Wed, 24 May 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1676.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Agropastoralism; Central Asia; Archaeology; Archaeobotany; Turkic burial mound; Iron Age settlement; Ecotones; Mountainous ecoclines
Online: 24 May 2023 (03:17:20 CEST)
This paper uses preliminary studies of archaeological sites (burial mounds and settlements) from the Iron Age through Medieval periods (ca. 800 BCE to 1200 CE) in the Juuku Valley on the South side of Lake Issyk-Kul to model land-use across vertical mountain zones. To do so, we have established a radiometric chronology, conducted test excavations of an Iron Age settlement and a Turkic period burial, undertaken preliminary archaeobotanical research, and pedestrian surveys. Seed remains of wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), broomcorn millet (Panicum milaceum) and foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and legumes were recovered in very small quantities from an Iron Age upland settlement at 2100 m asl and a Turkic period burial mound at 1934 m asl. These preliminary archaeobotanical results are compared to the Talgar Iron Age settlements on the north side of the Tian Shan Mountain range in Kazakhstan studied earlier by Robert Spengler. Small samples of faunal remains found at the Turkic period kurgan and from a profile at the upland Iron Age settlement indicate livestock herding of sheep/goats, cattle, and horses in Juuku Valley. The goal of this paper is to test the hypothesis that pastoral transhumance and agropastoralism were economic strategies used by ancient societies during the Iron Age through Medieval periods in mountain-river valley areas between 750 m to 2500 m asl. These economic strategies that combined the pasturing of sheep, goats, cattle and horses with the cultivation of cereals were adapted to the use of different vegetational zones along a vertical gradient. This paper based on preliminary research of upland sites of the Juuku Valley in Kyrgyzstan, initiates a long-term research study of four millennia of settlements that ranged from pastoral transhumance, pastoral nomadism, and combined mountain agriculture using survey data and test excavations.
Tue, 9 May 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0613.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Yucatan; Puuc; Landsat; Carbon; Species Diversity; ALOS-2 PALSAR-2; tropical dry forests
Online: 9 May 2023 (08:46:10 CEST)
In the Neotropics, the integration of remotely sensed products to understand socioecological processes at local scales is limited by the physical difficulties and financial costs of collecting field data to train and validate these models. In this study, we used carbon density and tree species richness models generated from ALOS-2 PALSAR 2 imagery and national scale forest inventory data and compared these products to a Landsat-based continuous change detection product for the 2000-2021 period. This was performed to evaluate forest clearing dynamics in and around the Puuc Biocultural State Reserve (PBSR) in Mexico. The estimated error-adjusted area of detected annual forest clearings from the year 2000 until the year 2021 was 230,511 ha in total (+19,979 ha). The analysis of annual forest clearing frequency and area suggests that although forest clearing was significantly more intensive outside of the PBSR than within the PBSR during the entire 2000-2021 period, there is no evidence suggesting that the frequency and magnitude of forest clearing has changed over the years after the creation of the PBSR in 2011. The emerging hotspot analysis shows, however, that forest clearing spatiotemporal clustering (hotspots) during the 2012-2021 period was less widespread and mostly confined to areas outside the PBSR. In addition, the analysis shows forest clearing clustering is on a downward trend within the PBSR. After comparing forest clearing events to carbon density and tree species richness models, our data also suggests that land owners within the PBSR might be practicing longer barbecho (fallow) periods in contrast to land owners outside the PBSR allowing forests to attain higher carbon density and tree species richness and hence better soil nutrient recovery after land abandonment. In conclusion, our results show that the PBSR effectively acts as stabilizing forest management scheme that minimizes the impact of productive activities by lowering the frequency of forest clearing events and preserving late secondary forests. We recommend the continuation of efforts for providing alternative optimal field data collection strategies and modeling techniques to spatially predict key tropical forest attributes. The combination of these models with continuous change detection datasets will allow to reveal underlying ecological processes and generate information better adapted to forest governance scales.
Mon, 8 May 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0430.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Phenology; total climate production factors; S. krylovii plant; simulation; triggering threshold
Online: 8 May 2023 (03:23:33 CEST)
In response to the new concept of the impact of total climate production factors on plant phenology, this study will verify the feasibility of simulating plant phenology and triggering thresholds based on total climatic production factors by using the phenological and meteorological observation data of S. krylovii plant from 1985 to 2018 at the Xilinhot National Climate Observatory of China Meteorological Administration. The results indicate that the total climate production factors influencing plant phenological changes can be well used for phenological simulation and its triggering thresholds. The mutation of cumulative climate production potential based on total climate production factors can effectively indicate the green-up date and the wilting date of S. krylovii plant, and their triggering thresholds depend on the parameters of climate resource change and plant biology, which are (0.085, –5.363) and (0.086, –27.620), respectively. The cumulative climate production potential based on total climate production factors can effectively indicate the heading date of S. krylovii plant, and its triggering thresholds also depends on the parameters of climate resource change and plant biology, which is (394.632，–38026.268). Furthermore, the results support the viewpoint that the climate abrupt changes determine the beginning and the ending of plant growth, while the accumulative climate resources determine the other phenological dates. This study provides new ideas for the study of plant phenology.
Fri, 5 May 2023
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0325.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: basal area; commercial thinning; crown ratio; density management; pine; spruce
Online: 5 May 2023 (07:51:45 CEST)
A significant portion of the harvested land base in western Canada is becoming old enough or entering a phase where thinning is a legitimate option. A comprehensive review of the existing knowledge of commercial thinning (CT) treatments applied to pine and spruce-dominated stands in Alberta was conducted, with particular regard to the intensity, the timing of interventions, method and impacts on crop tree growth responses. Although the geographical focus of this review is Alberta, information on this topic is more complete in other areas of North America, and Europe, where there is a long history of density management. In areas of eastern North America, our review revealed that CT from below, with tree removal levels from 27 to 43% of the basal area could increase the merchantable wood volume from 11 to 60 m3 ha-1, depending on stand age and intensity of thinning. For Alberta conditions, and considering the risks, we conclude that commercial thinning basal area removal should be in the range of 25 to 40%, depending on a variety of factors such as species, wind firmness and insect or disease incidence and risk. Thinning too aggressively and/or too late will increase the blowdown risk but the literature is fairly consistent in suggesting that live crown ratios should be >40% to maximize the chance of growth response and minimize the blowdown risk. In cases where stands are also threatened by stressors such as drought, wind, and insect or disease outbreaks, CT treatments likely offer the potential at limiting the overall risk, but localized knowledge and experience are critical. It is intended that the information presented may support ongoing and future research trials and growth and yield (G&Y) model development with regard to potential CT treatments to apply and the likely results of practical application to commercial forestry.
Thu, 4 May 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0206.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Africa; forest; savanna; phylogenetic; diversity; transition
Online: 4 May 2023 (06:04:39 CEST)
In tropical Africa, forests and savannas are the two most widespread biomes and potentially represent alternative stable states with divergent species composition. A classic, but untested, hypothesis posited by White (1983) suggests that the transition zones between forests and savannas contain a floristically impoverished assemblage with few representatives from each biome. Further, the evolutionary dimension of diversity has received limited attention, despite its importance for understanding the biogeographic history of biomes. Here, we quantify species richness and several measures of evolutionary diversity in 1° grid cells, using c. 300K occurrence records of trees and shrubs combined with biome affiliation data for 3,125 species. We find that assemblages in transition zones hold fewer woody species than assemblages in forest and savanna zones, as posited by White. However, transition zones hold more phylogenetic diversity than expected given their species richness, whether one considers forest and savanna assemblages separately or together. We also show that the Congo basin forest has low levels of phylogenetic diversity given the number of species and highlight south-eastern African savannas as a centre of savanna woody species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Regions with high phylogenetic diversity given the number of both forest and savanna species were centred around the Dahomey Gap and Cameroon, mainly in transition zones. Overall, our study shows that even if floristically impoverished, transition zones lead to unexpectedly high evolutionary diversity, suggesting they are important centres of evolutionary innovation and diversification.
Wed, 3 May 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0150.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: acoustic tag; detection efficiency; drifter; tidal energy; MHK turbine; fish-turbine encounter; encounter probability; acoustic telemetry
Online: 3 May 2023 (12:41:30 CEST)
An area has been designated for demonstrating the utility of marine hydrokinetic turbines in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy. Marine renewable energy may be useful for the transition from carbon-based energy sources but there is concern for the safety of fish that might encounter turbines. Acoustic receivers that detect signals from acoustically tagged fish that pass through the tidal demonstration area and detection efficiency of tag signals might be used to estimate the likelihood of fish encountering marine hydrokinetic turbines. The method requires that tagged fish passing through the development area will be reliably detected by a receiver array. The present research tests the reliability with which passing tags are detected by suspending tags beneath GPS-tracked drifters. Drifters carrying high residency Innovasea tags that transmitted every 2 seconds were usually detected by the receiver array even in fast currents during spring tides but pulse position modulation tags were inadequate. Sometimes very few high residency tag signals were detected when fast tidal currents swept a drifter through the receiver array, so increasing the transmission interval degrades performance at the tidal energy development area. High residency tags suspended close to the sea surface were slightly less likely to be detected if they passed by during calm conditions. Previously measured detection efficiencies were found to slightly overestimate the chances of a high residency tag carried by a drifter being detected as it passed by a receiver. This works elucidates the effectiveness with which acoustically tagged fish are detected in fast, highly turbulent tidal currents and informs the application of detection efficiency measurements to calculate the probability that fish encounter a marine hydrokinetic turbine.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0140.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: detection efficiency; effective detection range; abundance; tidal energy; MHK turbine; fish-turbine encounter
Online: 3 May 2023 (10:56:44 CEST)
Semidiurnal tidal currents can exceed 5 ms−1 in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, where a tidal energy demonstration area has been designated to generate electricity using marine hydrokinetic turbines. The risk of harmful fish-turbine interaction cannot be dismissed for either migratory or local fish populations. Individuals belonging to several fish populations have been acoustically-tagged and monitored by using acoustic receivers moored within Minas Passage. Detection efficiency ρ is required as the first step to estimate probability of fish-turbine encounter. Moored Innovasea HR2 receivers and high residency (HR) tags were used to obtain detection efficiency ρ as a function of range and current speed, for near-seafloor signal paths within the tidal energy development area. Strong tidal currents moved moorings so HR tag signals, and their reflections from the sea surface, were used to measure ranges from tags to receivers. HR2 self-signals that reflected off the sea surface showed which moorings were displaced to lower and higher levels on the seafloor. Some of the range testing paths had anomalously low ρ which might be attributed to variable bathymetry blocking the line of sight signal path. Clear and blocked signal paths accord with mooring levels. Application of ρ is demonstrated for calculation of abundance, effective detection range, and detection-positive intervals. High residency signals were better detected than pulse position modulation (PPM) signals. Providing the presently obtained ρ applies to tagged fish that swim higher in the water column, there is a reasonable prospect that probability of fish-turbine encounter can be estimated by monitoring fish that carry HR tags.
Mon, 1 May 2023
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0009.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Agroecology; Local Resources; Sustainable Food Production; Climate Change; Policy; Sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 1 May 2023 (03:46:44 CEST)
Agroecology is a holistic approach to farming that emphasizes the use of local resources and ecological processes to increase productivity, reduce environmental impact, and enhance resilience. Despite its potential benefits, the adoption of agroecological practices in Sub-Saharan Africa has been slow. This paper examines the opportunities for promoting agroecology in the region, including the growing demand for organic and sustainable food, the availability of local knowledge and resources, and the potential for agroecology to improve rural livelihoods and support climate change adaptation. The premise is that the promotion of agroecology faces several challenges. which include, inadequate policy and institutional support, lack of access to credit and markets, limited extension services, and weak land tenure systems. The paper draws on case studies from across Sub-Saharan Africa to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of promoting agroecology in the region. These case studies highlight the diversity of agroecological practices and the importance of context-specific approaches. Overall, the paper maintains that agroecology has the potential to transform agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, but that realizing this potential will require concerted efforts from governments, civil society, and the private sector.
Sat, 29 April 2023
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1192.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Rapa Nui; Easter Island; Azores Islands; human settlement; anthropization; deforestation; ladnscape; vegetation; paleoecology; palynology
Online: 29 April 2023 (03:07:56 CEST)
The flora and vegetation of oceanic islands have been deeply affected by human settlement and further landscape modifications during prehistoric and historical times. The study of these transformations is of interest not only for understanding how current island biotas and ecological communities have been shaped but also for informing biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. This paper compares two oceanic insular entities of disparate geographical, environmental, biological, historical and cultural characteristics – Rapa Nui (Pacific Ocean) and the Azores Islands (Atlantic Ocean) – in terms of human settlement and further landscape anthropization. The similarities and differences between these islands/archipelagos are discussed considering their permanent colonization, the possibility of earlier settlements, the removal of the original forests and the further landscape transformations leading to either full floristic/vegetational degradation (Rapa Nui) or major replacement (Azores). This comparison uses evidence from varied disciplines, notably paleoecology, archaeology, anthropology and history, to obtain a holistic view of the development of the respective socioeconomic systems from a human ecodynamic perspective. The most relevant issues still to be resolved are identified and some prospects for future research are suggested. The cases of Rapa Nui and Azores Islands may help set a conceptual basis for ocean-wide global comparisons among oceanic islands/archipelagos.
Fri, 28 April 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1136.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Bacterial communities; Fungal communities; Mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums; Robinia pseudoacacia L.
Online: 28 April 2023 (07:29:24 CEST)
The addition of mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums is a kind of biological measure for vegetation restoration of rock mining areas. Its function is to accelerate soil weathering, improve soil fertility, improve the ability of plants to fix soil. Through understanding the response of plant rhizosphere microbial community to the mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums, it is helpful to popularize the use of mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums. However, little is known about the changes of plant rhizosphere soil microbial communities after the addition of mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to reveal the pasthways through which different mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums positively affect underground part of R. pseudoacacia. A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the responses of rhizosphere soil bacterial and fungal communities in R. pseudoacacia by taking 32 samples from four different mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums treatments. The results showed that the effect of mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums on the structure of fungal community was greater than that of bacterial community. But the relative abundance of Proteobacteria was increased, which had a strong positive correlation with root nodulation. In terms of microbial diversity, mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums had a greater effect on the diversity and evenness of bacterial community. It is worth noting that correlation analysis showed that Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia in bacteria and Ascomycota and Zoopagomycota in fungi were positively correlated with soil enzyme activity and plant growth. RDA analysis showed that the relative abundance of these two phyla in bacteria also had positive effects on plant root nodulation. Our results showed that the addition of mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums can optimize the rhizosphere soil microbial community structure, promote R. pseudoacacia root nodulation, and enhance the nitrogen fixation capacity of plants. In addition, this study can provide a theoretical basis for the application of mineral-solubilizing microbial inoculums to a wide range of slope ecological restoration.
Thu, 27 April 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1022.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: fish; MHK turbine; probability of encounter; tidal energy; Atlantic salmon; smolt; acoustic telemetry
Online: 27 April 2023 (03:58:04 CEST)
Tidal stream energy is a renewable energy resource that might be developed to offset carbon emissions. A tidal energy demonstration (TED) area has been designated in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, for testing and installing marine hydrokinetic (MHK) turbines. Regulations require quantification of the potential for MHK turbine installations to harm local populations of marine animals. Here we use acoustic telemetry to quantify probability that post smolt Inner Bay of Fundy salmon encounter a turbine installation at the TED area. Previous work has quantified detection efficiency of Innovasea HR acoustic tags as a function of current speed and range from a moored HR2 receiver and also demonstrated that drifters carrying HR tags will be effectively detected when the drifter track crosses the array of HR2 receivers in Minas Passage. Salmon smolts were tagged and released in Gaspereau and Stewiacke Rivers, Nova Scotia, in order that the HR2 receiver array could monitor seaward migration of the post smolts through Minas Passage and particularly through the TED area. Presently we demonstrate methods by which tag signals detected by the HR2 array can be used to estimate the expected number of times that a post smolt would encounter a single near-surface MHK turbine installation during its seaward migration.
Mon, 24 April 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0814.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: environmental geotechnology; landscape ecology; forest recovery
Online: 24 April 2023 (03:53:36 CEST)
Ecological corridors function as a viable way to mitigate the environmental impact arising from forest fragmentation by interconnecting forest fragments through various techniques. In this context, the objective of this study is to propose a route for the implementation of an ecological corridor in the Itapemirim river watershed. The specific objectives were: (i) to delimit the permanent preservation areas (APP) of the Itapemirim river watershed and compare land use and land cover in the delimited areas; (ii) to calculate landscape ecology indices and select the forest fragments with the highest potential for ecological corridor implementation using Fuzzy logic; (iii) to assess costs and trace the best route for ecological corridor implementation, considering distance and physical impediments; (iv) to assess land costs and expropriation costs to delimit the ecological corridor in the study area. To map land use and land cover, the MapBiomas platform was used, based on Landsat 8 satellite images. The permanent preservation areas were delimited according to criteria established by Law No. 12.651 of May 25, 2012, which establishes parameters, definitions, and limits for APP. The characterization and structural quantification of some landscape ecology indices were performed using the QGIS 3.26 computational application, through the LecoS 3.0.1 plugin and Fragstats 4.2. The connected forest fragments were the Caparaó National Park, the Serra das Torres State Natural Monument, and the fragments selected through the application of Fuzzy logic to the landscape ecology indices. The corridor was delimited according to the lowest cost route, considering land use and land cover, APP, fragment potential, slope, and subnormal clusters. For each cost raster image, its respective statistical weights were calculated using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) hierarchical method, as well as for the analysis of priority areas for forest restoration, considering land use and land cover, APP, pedology, lithology, and biological importance. The interconnection between protected areas and fragments with the ecological corridor followed the orientation described by CONAMA nº 09/96. Based on the development of the work, the following results were identified: the highest land use and land cover class is pasture. Of the area designated for permanent preservation, 68.58% is in conflicting use with the legislation. The bare land value per hectare of the pasture class is the second highest among the bare land value per LULC values, representing 64.28% of the total. The priority area map showed that 31.86% of the area was classified as of very high or high importance and 42.97% as low or very low priority for forest restoration. Thus, it is concluded that the least cost path algorithm associated with the result generated by the multi-criteria decision method (AHP) constitutes an important tool for planning and implementing an ecological network by taking into account the primary factors for decision-making regarding the location of the best route.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0808.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: terraced landscape; agricultural heritage; mapping with drone; density index; size index; Uzundere
Online: 24 April 2023 (02:29:02 CEST)
The history of agricultural terraces dates back to agricultural society; and throughout history, they have enabled agricultural activities to be carried out on lands with irregular relief. They have also served as an essential element of rural landscapes due to their architectural features, building materials, and techniques, as well as the landscapes they create. Furthermore, terraces also contribute to soil conservation by preventing erosion, adding organic matter to the soil, and harvesting rainwater. The significance of agricultural terraces in the cultural landscape has triggered the need to define and classify them. In this regard, agricultural terraces across many different locations have found their place on the List of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Sites (GIAHS) and UNESCO cultural heritage lists. In the present study, the agricultural terraces of the Erikli neighborhood of the Uzundere district were mapped through surveys, drone shots, and orthophotos, and analyzed based on the size and density indices previously used in the classification of Alpine terraces. The study is important in terms of demonstrating the use of drone technology in mapping agricultural terraces. The results of the study revealed that 51.6% of the agricultural terraces in the study area had very steep slopes and 22195 meters of total stone wall length, the average density index was 523.29 m/ha, and 76.4% of the terraces were meso and macro in character. Moreover the study shows that the terraces in the region are more susceptible to deterioration.
Tue, 11 April 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0258.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Humus; soil biota; organic soil carbon; atmospheric CO2; carbon credits and deficits
Online: 11 April 2023 (11:32:38 CEST)
Land’s basic metric is soil organic carbon (SOC) yet global estimates range 1,417–15,000 Gt C. Erosion of ancient topsoil and loss of soil taxa are most urgent of all context-triage concerns, and most ignored. Re-evaluation of topographical terrain on a non-flat Earth increases most soil dynamic inventories. Carbon credits of our neglected and disappearing SOC stocks are enumerated for mineral soils (~4,100 Gt C plus ca. 20–30% glomalin), Permafrost (>4,200 Gt C), peat (1,123 Gt C), plant roots (916 Gt C), litter (600 Gt C), microbes (200 Gt C), fungi (30 Gt C), biocrust (10–20 Gt C), earthworms (2.3–3.6 Gt C), termites (0.15 Gt C), nematodes (0.06 Gt C), ants (0.024 Gt C), and soil viruses (0.02–4.0 Gt C). Net contribution to atmospheric CO2 is more from biotic topsoil loss (>10 Gt C/yr) than fossil fuels (<10 Gt C/yr). Although higher CO2 results in a terrestrial greening effect with Net Primary Productivity (NPP) now ~220 Gt C/yr (cf. ~20 Gt C/yr Ocean NPP), this is arguably offset by topsoil erosion, desert expansion, plus fire at net ~16–20 Gt C/yr lost due, in part, to extravagant meat-eating with unsupportable, humus-depleting farm management. In particular, excess synthetic Nitrogen acidifies topsoil and destroys the natural SOC biota. Review shows critical topsoil loss up to 20,000 tonnes per second and, when soil microbes/invertebrates are properly considered, extinctions as high as 23 taxa per second. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) fail without solid soil foundation. Rather, heritage farm-data points to resolution in organic husbandry. Remedy via natural vermi-compost, 100% organic farming and practical Permaculture is under a simple premise that the Problem (i.e., SOC loss) is the Solution (viz., SOC restoration).
Mon, 3 April 2023
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0008.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Anthropocene; Ecological system; Human impacts; Artificial intelligence; Machine learning
Online: 3 April 2023 (05:17:10 CEST)
The current epoch, known as the Anthropocene, is characterized by significant human impact on the global ecological system, including altered species survival and distribution patterns due to global warming resulting from industrialization. Accurately quantifying and assessing the extent of human impact on the environment is of utmost importance. To this end, four primary methods have been developed to measure human impact: (1) ecological footprint, (2) Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), (3) Planetary boundary, and (4) Living Planet Index. In this paper, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of these methods, including their strengths and weaknesses, to evaluate their efficacy in accurately assessing the impact of human activities on the global ecosystem. Furthermore, we explore the potential of utilizing novel machine learning modelling for future predictions in this area. By analyzing and comparing these methods, we can gain insight into the ways in which human activities impact the environment and use this knowledge to inform future policies and practices to mitigate negative effects.
Thu, 16 February 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0261.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: wetlands; Interreg Italy-Croatia; governance; biodiversity; protection; participation
Online: 16 February 2023 (02:24:32 CET)
Wetlands are complex ecosystems, considered among the most productive environments of the world. They contain major biodiversity hotspots, providing the resources upon which countless species of plants and animals depend and they perform important environmental and economic functions. Wetlands reduce flooding events, improve water quality and represent a valuable cultural and natural heritage. It is estimated that 2/3 of Europe wetlands have disappeared since the beginning of the 20th Century, mainly lost through development processes which did not take their functions and values adequately into account. The European Directive (2000/60/EC) re-quires to foster an integrated approach for wetland management through collaborative governance processes. The Wetland Contract is a tool that has been developed and implemented to set the ground for voluntary-based commitments for the sustainable governance of water systems. Among the Mediterranean countries, Italy and Croatia count on a rich variety of coastal wetlands that, together with the plants and animals inhabiting and crossing them, constitute an extremely precious natural heritage. The aim of this paper is to present and discuss, whit a critical approach, the output of the Interreg Project CREW that, between 2018-21, contributed to the drafting of seven new Wetland Contracts.
Thu, 26 January 2023
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0485.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: mangrove; ecosystem service; landscape; livelihood; income structure
Online: 26 January 2023 (17:16:00 CET)
Mangrove ecosystems play an important role in local livelihoods in coastal regions of tropical and subtropical countries. However, in recent years urbanisation has changed the income structure of residents near mangroves. Different landscapes provide different job opportunities; thus, analysis of regional landscape patterns is important for understanding income structures. In this study, surveys on the income structure and landscape patterns of the surrounding areas of three mangrove sites were conducted in the Hau and Hoang Mai River estuaries in Nghe An Province, North-Central Vietnam. The results revealed that both natural and socio-economic landscape components affected income structure. The major occupations in the study area were agriculture, including husbandry, sea fishing, and trading. Land morphology and river type were the major factors influencing the income from agriculture, while coastline morphology primarily affected income from sea fishing. Community-based trading was carried out in the study area; thus, the population inside each administrative unit was a significant factor increasing income, while the retail market size in an area had significant negative effects, potentially due to the increasing number of competitors. Our study aimed to evaluate mangrove ecosystem importance for local livelihoods in relation to landscape patterns, and the results contribute to urban planning based on the conservation and sustainable use of mangrove ecosystems.
Thu, 12 May 2022
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0162.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: anastomosing; erodibility; planform; Fourier transform; power spectral density; sample entropy; approximate entropy
Online: 12 May 2022 (08:03:34 CEST)
The Brahmaputra is one of the largest rivers in the world, ranking fifth in average discharge. As a result, it is heavily braided with various intricate paths in order to dissipate its huge energy. Although this river is normally classed as a braided river, it has recently been classified as an anastomosing river due to its multi-channel features over alluvial plains. Additionally, the Brahmaputra river’s morphology is random in nature as a result of its high flow variability and bank erodibility. Its anastomosing planform changes in response to seasonal water and sediment waves, resulting in a morphology that is extremely complex. The purpose of this study is to examine the Brahmaputra river’s anastomosing planform entropy as a measure of complexity, power spectral density as a measure of fluctuation and their relationship to the energy expenditure as an imprint of flflow rate of river systems on alluvial landscapes.
Sat, 7 May 2022
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0088.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ecological corridors; green infrastructure; protected areas; landscape components
Online: 7 May 2022 (03:21:34 CEST)
An important set of Ecosystem services (ES) provided by Green infrastructures (GI) consists of habitats and species protection and improvement, which coincides with biodiversity conservation and enhancement. From this perspective, one of the most outstanding features of GI is its attitude towards addressing the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation on the supply of ES related to biodiversity by strengthening the effectiveness of connections between protected areas. Building on a methodological approach defined in previous studies by Cannas, published in a set of articles between 2017 and 2018 [1–4], this study identifies ecological corridors (EC) with reference to the spatial layout of a set of protected areas. Moreover, such methodological approach is implemented into the context of the Sardinian region to map EC, which form, together with protected areas, a network representing the spatial framework of a regional GI. Finally, the relation between the EC and the spatial taxonomy of the landscape components featured by environmental relevance (LCFER), identified by the Regional Landscape Plan is analyzed, in order to assess if, and to what extent, the present regional spatial zoning code can be used as a basis to implement regulations aimed at protecting EC.
Mon, 27 December 2021
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0417.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology 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.
Fri, 24 December 2021
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0404.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Spatiotemporal Modelling; Ecological Modelling; Sparse Data; Minkowskian Geometry; Time Series Analysis; Spatial Statistics; Isoscapes
Online: 24 December 2021 (11:16:17 CET)
We developed a novel approach in the field of spatiotemporal modelling, based on the spatialisation of time: the Timescape algorithm. It is especially aimed at sparsely distributed datasets in ecological research, whose spatial and temporal variability is strongly entangled. The algorithm is based on the definition of a spatiotemporal distance that incorporates a causality constraint and that is capable of accommodating the seasonal behaviour of the modelled variable as well. The actual modelling is conducted exploiting any established spatial interpolation technique, substituting the ordinary spatial distance with our Timescape distance, thus sorting, from the same input set of observations, those causally related to each estimated value at a given site and time. The notion of causality is expressed topologically and it has to be tuned for each particular case. The Timescape algorithm originates from the field of stable isotopes spatial modelling (isoscapes), but in principle it can be used to model any real scalar random field distribution.
Thu, 1 July 2021
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0015.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: characterization; life cycle assessment; life cycle impact assessment; normalization; particulate matter; respiratory inorganics; water vapor
Online: 1 July 2021 (11:16:42 CEST)
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is being included formally in EcoDesign regulations. Especially product carbon footprint will be mandatory in Europe. However, life cycle impact assessment including global warming potential (GWP) in LCA is hampered by several challenges. One of these is lack of water vapor characterization indexes for GWP. A life cycle inventory profile for air transport fuel including water vapor emissions is evaluated with state-of-the-art practice, i.e. EF Method and ILCD 2011 Midpoint+ and neglecting water vapors high altitude GWP compared to carbon dioxide. Then the characterization factor in GWP100 for water vapor and alternate normalization for particulates are introduced. The results are compared. The main findings are that the EF method and ILCD both generate rather realistic results for Particulate Matter and Respiratory Inorganics mid-point indicators, respectively, but the amount of premature deaths should be better allocated to different specific emissions, and that water vapor may dominate the GWP100 result over the usual carbon dioxide. LCIA mid-points need measurable and understandable bases. The common knowledge of water vapor’s GWP100 should not be neglected in LCIA for air transport and beyond where relevant.
Sun, 19 January 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0212.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: climate change; sustainable development goals; wildlife; wetlands; water resources; ecosystem services
Online: 19 January 2020 (05:05:23 CET)
The drafting of a new Global Biodiversity Framework for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Biodiversity Strategy for the European Union (EU) render 2020 a critical crossroad for biodiversity conservation. Freshwater biodiversity is disproportionately threatened and poorly studied relative to marine and terrestrial biota, despite providing numerous essential ecosystem services. The urgency of the mounting freshwater biodiversity crisis necessitates approaches catered to the unique ecology and threats of freshwater life, which are not adequately addressed by current strategies. We present a set of 15 special recommendations for freshwater biodiversity to guide the CBD’s post-2020 framework and the 2020 EU strategy based on European case studies, both challenges and successes. Our recommendations cover key outcomes and guiding concepts, enabling conditions and methods of implementation, planning and accountability modalities, and cross-cutting issues. They address topics including invasive species, integrated water resources management, strategic conservation planning, data management, and emerging technologies for freshwater monitoring, among others. These recommendations will enhance the ability of global and European post-2020 biodiversity agreements to halt and reverse the rapid global decline of freshwater biodiversity.
Tue, 29 October 2019
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: River restoration; wetlands; freshwater conservation; Sustainable Development Goals; Convention on Biological Diversity
Online: 29 October 2019 (11:13:47 CET)
Despite their limited spatial extent, freshwater ecosystems host remarkable biodiversity, including one third of all vertebrate species. This biodiversity is declining dramatically: globally, wetlands are vanishing three times faster than forests and freshwater vertebrate populations have fallen more than twice as steeply as terrestrial or marine populations. Threats to freshwater biodiversity are well- documented but co-ordinated action to reverse this decline is lacking. We present an Emergency Recovery Plan to “bend the curve” of freshwater biodiversity loss. Priorities for action include: 1) accelerating implementation of environmental flows, 2) improving water quality, 3) protecting and restoring critical habitats, 4) managing exploitation of freshwater species and riverine aggregates, 5) preventing and controlling non-native species invasions, and 6) safeguarding and restoring river connectivity. We recommend revised targets and indicators for the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sustainable Development Goals, and investment in enabling conditions at national, river basin and local scales.
Sun, 27 October 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0289.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology 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.
Sat, 28 September 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0316.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Quercus suber; cork oak decline; sentinel-2; time series; vegetation indices
Online: 28 September 2019 (15:01:45 CEST)
In Portugal, cork oak (Quercus suber L.) stands cover 737 Mha, being the most predominant species of the montado agroforestry system, contributing for the economic, social and environmental development of the country. Cork oak decline is a known problem since the late years of the 19th century that has recently worsen. The causes of oak decline seem to be a result of slow and cumulative processes, although the role of each environmental factor is not yet established. The availability of Sentinel-2 high spatial and temporal resolution dense time series enables gradual processes monitoring. These processes can be monitored using spectral vegetation indices (VI) once their temporal dynamics are expected to be related with green biomass and photosynthetic efficiency. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is sensitive to structural canopy changes, however it tends to saturate at moderate-to-dense canopies. Modified VI have been proposed to incorporate the reflectance in the red-edge spectral region, which is highly sensitive to chlorophyll content while largely unaffected by structural properties. In this research, in-situ data on the location and vitality status of cork oak trees are used to assess the correlation between chlorophyll indices (CI) and NDVI time series trends and cork oak vitality at the tree level. Preliminary results seem to be promising since differences between healthy and unhealthy (diseased/dead) trees were observed.
Thu, 26 September 2019
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0292.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Casiquiare; Orinoco; Amazon; bifurcation; hydro-sedimentary budget
Online: 26 September 2019 (03:59:13 CEST)
The Casiquiare River is a natural channel that connects two of the greatest rivers in the world, the Orinoco and the Amazon in the South American Continent. The aim of this paper is to present a review and synthesis of the hydrological and sedimentological knowledge of the Casiquiare River, including the first hydro-sedimentary balance of the Casiquiare fluvial system conducted at the bifurcation and at the mouth on September 9-12, 2000, during the expedition ‘Humboldt-Amazonia 2000’. Bathymetric, flow discharge and physico-chemical measurements were made at the inlet and at the outlet of the Casiquiare Channel. The main conclusions of this study indicate that Casiquiare is taking a significant proportion of flow (20 to 30%) from the Upper Orinoco basin to the Amazon basin. Throughout its 356 km-course, this chameleon channel undergoes significant morphological, hydrological and bio-geochemical variations between the inlet and the outlet, whose most visible witnesses are the increase in its width (3 to 4 times), flow (7 to 9 times) and its change in water color (white to black water), under the influence of tributaries coming from vast forest plains.
Sat, 14 September 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0203.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: biodiversity; climate change adaptation; ecosystems; Paris agreement; policy; nature-based solutions
Online: 14 September 2019 (12:07:15 CEST)
Ecosystems are not merely vulnerable to climate change but, if sustainably restored and protected, are a major source of human resilience. Not only is the evidence-base for the importance of these “Nature-based Solutions” (NbS) growing rapidly, but NbS are featuring with increasing prominence in global climate change policy. Here we report on the prominence of NbS in the 141 adaptation components of the 167 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that were submitted to UNFCCC by all signatories of the Paris Agreement. In total, 103 nations include NbS in the adaptation component of their NDC, 76 nations include them in both their adaptation and mitigation component, and an additional 27 include them as part of their mitigation plans only. In other words, 130 nations—or 66% of all signatories to the Paris Agreement—have articulated intentions of working with ecosystems, in one form or another, to address the causes and consequences of climate change. However, commitments rarely translate into robust science-based targets. As climate pledges are revised in 2020, we urge the ecosystem science community to work closely with policymakers to identify meaningful adaptation targets that benefit both people and the ecosystems on which they depend.
Wed, 24 July 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0275.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Accuracy Assessment, Analysis Change, Detection analysis, Environmental change, GIS and Remote Sensing, Jarmet and others wetland change,LULC, change population growth
Online: 24 July 2019 (12:04:29 CEST)
Wetlands are one of the crucial natural resources. They provide invaluable biodiversity resources, aid in water quality improvement, support ground water recharge, help in moderating climate change and support flood control. Environment is in the other hand, where we live and something, we are very familiar with our day to day life. Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing and Global Positioning System (GPS) were a useful tool for wetland and environmental change analysis and to improve on the classification accuracy. This study investigates population and environmental change of Jarmet wetland and its surrounding area change analysis over the period of 1972 to 2015. The purpose of this study was to show land use/ land cover change of Jarmet wetland and its surrounding environment over years as a response to population growth. For this purpose, multi-temporal satellite imageries (Landsat MSS 1972, TM1986, ETM+ 2000, 2005 and 2015 and SRTM 2000) were obtained and used for LULC change analysis, elevation analysis and change detection analysis. ERDAS Imagine 2015, ARC GIS 10.5.1, Global Mapper11, ENVI 5.0 and DNR Garmin softwares were used to process the image data and accuracy assessment analysis. The result of LULC showed that there is spatial reduction in wetland, forest, Shrubland and grassland in the period of 43 years (1972-2015) by -1,722.8 ha, -296.2 ha, -1,718.7 ha and -661.9 ha respectively, due to increase in the farmland and plantation area as a response to overpopulation, lack of environmental policy implementation and irresponsible for natural resource degradation. The accuracy assessment of LULC change are done for recent satellite image showed the overall accuracy of 84.06% with Kappa index 75.19% this means this classification is accurately classified and handle greater than 75% of error. Finally, this study suggests that create strictly natural resource conservation law, stopping illegal expansion of farmland, educating society about the value of natural resource especially wetland and create a source of income for society rather than farming.
Mon, 13 May 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0161.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Landuse and landcover; LULC change; remote sensing; LandSat image; Bahir Dar city
Online: 13 May 2019 (13:33:35 CEST)
Spatio-temporal Land-Use and Land-Cover (LULC) changes have been affecting geo-environmental and climate change globally. This study aims to analyze LULC changes in Bahir Dar city and its surrounds. Landsat 5 TM (1987), Landsat 7 ETM+ (2002) and Landsat 8 OLI (2017) and SPOT images, and aerial photographs, master plan map and Google Earth Landsat images were used to analyze changes. In Bahir Dar city and its surrounds, LULC has been changing in space and time. During 1987-2017, more than 50% of the study area was covered with cropland. Settlement areas have increased from 3.3% in 1987 to 9.13% in 2017. However, wetland vegetation, shrubland, grassland, forest, and waterbodies have degraded. These changes are mainly attributed to population growth and its effect on the environment. Land-use and land-cover is a serious problem and it causes land and environmental degradation, climate change and loss of the biological environment.
Fri, 7 December 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0097.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: conservation practice, ecosystem, impact, IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, monitoring, risk assessment
Online: 7 December 2018 (17:50:24 CET)
In 2014, the International Union for Conservation of Nature adopted the Red List of Ecosystems (IUCN RLE) criteria as the global standard for assessing risks to terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. Identifying and quantifying the impacts of biodiversity assessments on the status of nature is key to justifying continued investment in assessments and enabling strategic planning to maximize future impact. In this policy perspective, we use an established impact evaluation framework to identify the impacts of the IUCN RLE since its inception. To date, 1,397 ecosystem units in 100 countries have been assessed following the IUCN RLE protocol. Systematic assessments are complete or underway in more than 25 countries and two continental regions (the Americas and Europe). Countries with established ecosystem red lists have already used them to inform legislation, land-use planning, protected area expansion, monitoring and reporting, and ecosystem management. IUCN RLE indices based on systematic assessments have high potential to inform global biodiversity reporting for the Aichi Targets and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Expanding the coverage of IUCN RLE assessments, building capacity to undertake them, and establishing stronger policy instruments to manage red-listed ecosystems will be key to maximizing conservation impacts over the coming decades.
Thu, 6 December 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0077.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: biodiversity; climate change; forests; nature-based solutions; policy; resilience
Online: 6 December 2018 (07:39:13 CET)
The current focus on afforestation in climate policy runs the risk of compromising both longterm carbon storage and human adaptation. It also works against efforts to stem the tide of biodiversity loss. We outline why an emphasis on diverse, intact natural ecosystems—as opposed to tree plantations with fast-growing exotic species—will help nations deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and much more.
Tue, 9 October 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0188.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ecological sensitivity; ecological sensitivity evaluation; land consolidation; ecological value; Guanling
Online: 9 October 2018 (14:35:04 CEST)
Land consolidation engineering inevitably interferes with terrestrial ecosystems, leading to natural capital loss. Therefore, conducting an ecological sensitivity evaluation of a project area before consolidation engineering is very important for reducing unnecessary human interference. Conservation of terrestrial ecosystems and the biodiversity therein to the greatest possible extent is urgently needed. This research analyzes the interference by human activities caused by land consolidation engineering in terrestrial ecosystems. GIS technology, ecological values, landscape pattern indexes, and an ecological risk evaluation were used to construct an ecological sensitivity evaluation index. The coefficient of variation method and a comprehensive sensitivity rating evaluation were used to calculate the weights and results. The project area was divided into sensitivity zones according to the results, and the results and suggestions are as follows: In the highly eco-sensitive zone, where bare rocks, gravel, and grass-covered areas compose the main landscape type, vegetation should be restored, and forests should be planted. In the medium eco-sensitivity zone, where irrigated paddy fields and arid land compose the main landscape type, land parcels should be merged, and agricultural infrastructure should be constructed or improved. In the low eco-sensitivity zone, where forests compose the main landscape type, roads should be closed, natural habitat should be restored, and buffer zones should be created. This study provides suggestions for future land management decisions.
Mon, 27 August 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0460.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Climate Change; Ecosystem Services; Impact; adaptation; Nepal
Online: 27 August 2018 (12:55:03 CEST)
Ecosystem services (ES) are increasingly recognized as a means to adapt to the ongoing impact of climate change and associated impacts. However, these ES itself are facing adverse impact of climate change especially in developing countries where most of the people are dependent on these services for their livelihood. Very little is known about the relationship between the climate change and ES. Here we assess the impact of climate change on ecosystem services in ES rich landscape of Panchase Mountain Ecological Region of western Nepal. The study area was divided into three ecoregions from lowland through midland to the upland region. Focus group discussion, and key informant interview were used to elicit the required data for the study, which was further supported by transect walk, field observation and secondary source of information. Major impacts of climate change were observed are, reduced availability of water, reduced food production, forest ecosystem, shifting species composition in forest ecosystem, farmland abandonment, and their associated ecosystem services. We recommend to initiate the management actions to help ES adapt to climate change, and which in return could support the ecosystem itself and people dependent on the ES in adaptation to climate change by providing various goods and services.
Mon, 12 March 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0083.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: ladybeetles; guide for identification; aborigenous species; introduced species
Online: 12 March 2018 (06:54:21 CET)
Although ladybirds of European Russia and the Caucasus have been the subject of numerous ecological and faunistic investigations, there is an evident lack of appropriate identification key for them. All previous keys have been published in Russian. The most modern key was published more than 50 years ago and included only about 60 % of species. Guides for identification of Coccinellidae of other countries are not appropriate for European Russia, since do not include many species occurring in the regions. New, original key to subfamilies, genera, and species of ladybirds (Coccinellidae) of the European Russia and Russian Caucasus is presented. All native species recorded in the region and all alien species introduced to this region are included. Some species from the adjacent regions are added. In total, 110 species are keyed and illustrated with line drawings. Photographs of rare and endemic species are provided. Information on the distribution of species within the region under consideration is provided. Synonymy of Chilocorus kuwanae with Ch. renipustulatus is presented and discussed.