Increasing land use pressure is a primary force for degradation of agricultural areas. The drivers for these pressures are initiated by a series of interconnected processes. This study presents a novel methodology to analyze drivers of changing land use pressure and the effects on society and landscape. The focus was on characterizing these drivers and relate them to land use statistics obtained from geospatial data from the important semiarid Merguellil Wadi between 1976 and 2016. Cause-and-effect relationships between different drivers of land use change were analyzed using the DPSIR approach. Results show that during the 40-year period cultivated land increased and wetland areas decreased substantially. Drivers for change were pressure from economic development, cultivation practices, and hydro-agricultural techniques. This leads to stress on water and soil resulting in soil erosion, poverty increase, and rural exodus. We show that hydro-agricultural techniques adapted to the semiarid climate, allocation of land property rights, resource allocation, and improved marketing of agricultural products can help rural residents to diversify their economy, and thus better preserve the fragile semiarid landscape. Results of this study can be used to ensure sustainable management of water and soil resources in areas with similar climate and socio-economic conditions.
Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) can be a valuable tourism resource for both government and local communities. However, the complex definition and the massive and fragmented nature of ICH data make it hard to review and conclude research trends and future directions of ICH tourism. In this study, 85 keywords extracted from ICH definitions are input in the Web of Science database before collecting papers indexed in the Social Sciences Citation Index, the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, and the Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Social Science and Humanities. Later, a systematic literature review of 418 ICH tourism studies from 76 countries published between 2000 and 2021 were conducted based on three groups of questions. The findings mainly illustrated that: (1) Currently research in ICH tourism is mainly composed of three themes: resource planning and sustainability, the impact of tourism development, and tourist behavior and destination marketing; (2) topics related to food tourism, sacred knowledge, traditional management systems, traditional management systems, legends, and myths can achieve high impact; (3) in the last five years, scholars have reduced using the official full name of ICH in tourism studies, while the category of “social practices, rituals and festive events” has become a hot topic since 2010; (4) ecotourism, culinary tourism, festival tourism, and religious tourism are the most discussed in ICH tourism research, and they will still be intensive topics in near future; (5) future directions in ICH tourism research are resultant of three vectors: place making, technology, and environment. The results present a comprehensive picture of current popular ICH topics and predict future directions in the field of ICH tourism. The systematic review of literature can help contribute to both theoretical construction, heritage preservation, and tourism practices.
The most important component of agricultural system are soils as the basis for the growth of plants, accumulation of water, plant nutrients and organic matter. The main task of our research was to ascertain changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) and mobile humified carbon fractions in digestate-treated soils. We have performed three field experiments using the same design on two soil types in 2019–2020. We studied the fertilization effects of different phases of digestate on Retisol and Fluvisol. Fertilization treatments: control; separated liquid digestate 85 kg ha−1 N; and 170 kg ha−1 170 N; separated solid digestate 85 kg ha−1 N; and 170 kg ha−1 N. We have found a greater positive effect on the increase in SOC because of the use of the maximum recommended fertilization rate of the solid digestate. The content of mobile humic substances (MHS) tended to increase in grassland and crop rotation field in digestate-treated soil. In our experiment, maximum concentration of SOC was found in 0–10 cm soil layer, while in the deeper layers the amount of SOC, MHS and mobile humic acids proportionally decreased. We concluded, that long-term factors as soil type and land use strongly affected the humification level expressed as HD (%) in the soil and the highest HD was determined in the grassland soil in Fluvisol.
Soil erodibility K factor is an important parameter for evaluating soil erosion vulnerability and is required for soil erosion prediction models. It is also necessary for soil and water conservation management. In this study, we investigated the spatial variability characteristics of soil erodibility K factor in a watershed (Changyan watershed with an area of 8.59 km2) of Enshi, southwest of Hubei, China, and evaluated its influencing factors. The soil K values were determined by the EPIC model using the soil survey data across the watershed. Spatial K value prediction was conducted by regression-kriging using geographic data. We also assessed the effects of soil type, land use, and topography on the K value variations. The results showed that soil erodibility K values varied between 0.039–0.052 t·hm2·h/(hm2·MJ·mm) in the watershed with a block-like structure of spatial distribution. The soil erodibility, soil texture, and organic matter content all showed positive spatial autocorrelation. The spatial variability of the K value was related to soil type, land use, and topography. The calcareous soil had the greatest K value on average, followed by the paddy soil, the yellow-brown soil (an alfisol), the purple soil (an inceptisol), and the fluvo-aquic soil (an entisol). The soil K factor showed a negative correlation with the sand content but was positively related to soil silt and clay contents. Forest soils had a greater ability to resist to erosion compared to the cultivated soils. The soil K values increased with increasing slope and showed a decreasing trend with increasing altitude.
Land managers are currently faced with a nexus of challenges, both ecological and social, when trying to govern natural open spaces. While social media has led to many challenges for effective land management and governance, the technology has the potential to support key activities related to habitat restoration, awareness-raising for policy changes, and increased community resilience as the impacts of increased use and climate change become more apparent. Through the use of a case study examining the work of the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance’s social media ambassadorship and its app-supported community science projects, we examine the potential and realized positive impact that technology such as social media and smartphone apps can create for land managers and surrounding communities.
The article presents the process of creating a tool using GIS systems to describe the city’s spatial structure. Therefore, the subject of this research was the method of describing the city structure using non-functional zoning, in conjunction with the use of urban indicators. Using the relationships between the values of urban indicators and individual typologies of buildings, they can be assigned to subsequent zones from the Rural-to-Urban Transect methodology. Therefore, in this article, urban indicators have been defined, thanks to which it is possible to distinguish different typologies of buildings. Next, the relationships between selected indicators and transect zones have been examined, and thanks to the obtained conclusions, transect zones for Warsaw have been defined. Finally, the spatial structure of a selected part of Warsaw has been described using these zones. The purpose of this study is also to initially assess the usefulness of the developed tool for the needs of urban planners.
Island ecosystems have distinct and unique vulnerabilities that place them at risk from threats to their ecology and socioeconomics. Spatially exhibiting the fragmentation process of island landscapes and identifying their driving factors are the fundamental prerequisites for the maintenance of island ecosystems and the rational utilization of islands. Haitan Island was chosen as a case study for understanding landscape fragmentation on urbanizing Islands. Based on remote sensing technology, three Landsat images from 2000 to 2020, landscape pattern index, transect gradient analysis, and moving window method were used in this study. The results showed that from 2000 to 2020, impervious land increased by 462.57%. In 2000, the predominant landscape was cropland (46.34%), which shifted to impervious land (35.20%) and forest (32.90%) in 2020. Combining the moving window method and Semivariogram, 1050 m was considered to be the best scale to reflect the landscape fragmentation of Haitan Island. Under this scale, it was found that the landscape fragmentation of Haitan Island generally increased with time and had obvious spatial heterogeneity. We set up sampling bands along the coastline and found that the degree of landscape fragmentation, advancing from the coast inland, was decreasing. Transects analysis showed the fragmentation intensity of the coastal zone: the north-western and southern wooded zones decreased, while the concentration of urban farmland in the north-central and southern areas increased. The implementation of a comprehensive experimental area plan on Haitan Island has disturbed the landscape considerably. In 2000, landscape fragmentation was mainly influenced by topography and agricultural production. The critical infrastructure construction, reclamation and development of landscape resources have greatly contributed to the urbanisation and tourism of Haitan Island, and landscape fragmentation in 2013 was at its highest. Due to China’s “Grain for Green Project” and the Comprehensive Territorial Spatial Planning policy (especially the protection of ecological control lines), the fragmentation of Haitan Island was slowing. This study investigated the optimal spatial scale for analyzing spatiotemporal changes in landscape fragmentation on Haitan Island from 2000 to 2020, and the essential influencing factors in urban islands from the perspective of natural environment and social development, which could provide a basis for land use management and ecological planning on the island.
Lately, the Hill Pond Rice System (HPRS) is being promoted as a form of alternative farming systems in selected northern provinces of Thailand, in which the land conversion is designed to maximize rainwater harvesting in farmland consisting of forest trees, water reservoirs, paddy fields, and high-value crop cultivation to serve environmental and livelihood needs. This study employed the double-hurdle model and the tobit technique to investigate the farm-level factors associated with land conversion from maize monocropping to the HPRS using primary data collected from 253 households in Nan, Chiang Mai, Tak, and Lampang Provinces. It was found that education, farming knowledge, understanding benefits of the HPRS, access to water sources, access to advis, and workforce sharing raised the likelihood and extent of farmland conversion into the HPRS. In contrast, perceived complexity of the HPRS, experiences with negative shocks, and land tenure security lowered the likelihood and extent of land conversion. The findings suggest that on-farm collective action should be promoted to mitigate labor constraints in implementation and that access to equipment should be enhanced through HPRS advisors’ visits.
Changes of soil properties along elevational gradients were studied in a less accessible and explored forest-tundra ecotone in the NW part of Central Siberia. Data on soil physical and chemical properties were collected along three horizontal transects at an elevation of 100–420 m a.s.l., at two localities differing in the slope angle. At each transect, five soil pits were excavated to a depth of 0.3–0.4 m. Soil samples were taken from the depths of 0–0.1 m, 0.1–0.2 m, and 0.2–0.3 m. The results showed a pronounced effect of slope angle on the pattern of soil properties along the elevational gradient. At the locality with a gentle slope, soils exhibited 2.5 times larger thickness of the surface organic layer (SOL), higher pH, and Na+ content, and lower C, N, Ald, and Fed concentration indicating slower pedogenic processes on this site. On the other hand, at the locality with a steeper slope, soil properties were better differentiated between transects situated along elevational gradient especially at the depths of 0.1–0.2 and 0.2–0.3 m. However, a clear positive or negative trend with the altitude was observed only for some soil characteristics, e.g., SOL, C, N, or Ald concentrations on the Lama location.
Soil quality is declining in many parts of the world, with implications for the productivity, resilience and sustainability of agri-food systems. Research suggests multiple causes of soil degradation with no single solution and a divided stakeholder opinion on how to manage this problem. However, creating socially acceptable and effective policies to halt soil degradation requires engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders who possess different and complementary knowledge, experiences and perspectives. To understand how British and Norwegian agricultural stakeholders perceived the causes of and solutions to soil degradation, we used Q-methodology with 114 respondents, including farmers, scientists and agricultural advisers. For the UK, respondents thought the causes were due to loss of soil structure, soil erosion, compaction and loss of organic matter; the perceived solutions were to develop more collaborative research between researchers and farmers, invest in training, improve trust between farmers and regulatory agencies, and reduce soil compaction. In Norway, respondents thought soils were degrading due to soil erosion, monocultures and loss of soil structure; they believed the solutions were to reduce compaction, increase rotation and invest in agricultural training. There was an overarching theme related to industrialised agriculture being responsible for declining soil quality in both countries. We highlight potential areas for land use policy development in Norway and the UK, including multi-actor approaches that may improve the social acceptance of these policies. This study also illustrates how Q-methodology may be used to co-produce stakeholder-driven policy options to address land degradation.