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Land Cover change

Tim Theissen, Joachim Aurbacher, David Bedoshvili, Peter Felix-Henningsen, Thomas Hanauer, Sarah Hüller, Besik Kalandadze, Ingrid-Ute Leonhäuser, Anja Magiera, Annette Otte, Rati Shavgulidze, Giorgi Tedoradze, Rainer Waldhardt
Mountain regions cover one quarter of the Earth's terrestrial surface, and are both valuable and vulnerable areas with complex human-environmental interrelationships. In this coupled system, land-use changes induced by political or socio-economic transformations generate consequences for ecological landscape functions like soil productivity and species richness, and integrative land-use concepts provide the potential of a sustainable land development. In the Kazbegi region in the central Greater Caucasus of Georgia, these transformations further lead to landscape-structure change and population marginalization...
November 26, 2018: Journal of Environmental Management
Julia Hidalgo, Aude Lemonsu, Valéry Masson
Cities modify their local climate, and at the same time they suffer from the local impacts of climate change. Our paper discusses the progress and obstacles in three active research topics that contribute to increasing the capability within the urban climate research community for transferring local climate knowledge to society. The first is linked to the production of urban surface descriptions useful for urban climate studies. The concept of local climate zones is now widely used to represent urban climate variability at the neighborhood scale...
November 29, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Aristeidis G Koutroulis
Drylands are vital ecosystems which cover almost 47% of the Earth's surface, hosting 39% of the global population. Dryland areas are highly sensitive to climatic changes and substantial impacts are foreseen under a warming climate. Many studies have examined the evolution of drylands in the future highlighting the need for improved capability of climate models to simulate aridity. The present study takes advantage of new higher resolution climate projections by the HadGEM3A Atmosphere Global Climate Model using prescribed time varying SSTs and sea ice, provided by a range of CMIP5 climate models under RCP8...
November 18, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Mingquan Wu, Dailiang Peng, Yuchu Qin, Zheng Niu, Chenghai Yang, Wang Li, Pengyu Hao, Chunyang Zhang
Agricultural areas are often surveyed using area frame sampling. Using non-updated area sampling frame causes significant non-sampling errors when land cover and usage changes between updates. To address this problem, a novel method is proposed to estimate non-sampling errors in crop area statistics. Three parameters used in stratified sampling that are affected by land use changes were monitored using satellite remote sensing imagery: (1) the total number of sampling units; (2) the number of sampling units in each stratum; and (3) the mean value of selected sampling units in each stratum...
2018: PeerJ
Azalea Judith Ortíz-Rodríguez, Carlos Muñoz-Robles, Lorenzo Borselli
Fire modifies soil surface, and hence soil hydrological properties change after wildland fires. High fire severity causes partial or total removal of vegetation, reduction of soil aggregate stability and increased water repellency, which are associated with high runoff and erosion. The spatial connection among these runoff sources is an important factor to consider when evaluating fire-induced changes on hillslope and catchment hydrology, as fire generates connected areas of bare soil, which may increase hydrological connectivity and hence post-fire runoff and erosion...
November 18, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Emma Asbridge, Richard Lucas, Kerrylee Rogers, Arnon Accad
Cyclones are significant drivers of change within mangrove ecosystems with the extent of initial damage determined by storm severity, location and distribution (exposure), and influenced by species composition and structure (e.g., height). The long-term recovery of mangroves is often dependent upon hydrological regimes, as well as the frequency of storm events. On February 3, 2011, Tropical Cyclone Yasi (Category 5) made landfall on the coast of north Queensland Australia with its path crossing the extensive mangroves within and surrounding Hinchinbrook Island National Park...
November 2018: Ecology and Evolution
C Piedallu, V Chéret, J P Denux, V Perez, J S Azcona, I Seynave, J C Gégout
Several studies use satellite-based normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) to monitor the impact of climate change on vegetation covers. Good understanding of the drivers of NDVI patterns is hindered by the difficulties in disentangling the effects of environmental factors from anthropogenic changes, by the limited number of environmental predictors studied, and by the diversity of responses according to periods and land covers. This study aims to improve our understanding of the different environmental drivers of NDVI spatial variations for different stand type characteristics of mountain and Mediterranean biomes...
February 15, 2019: Science of the Total Environment
Rafael Barbizan Sühs, Eduardo Luís Hettwer Giehl, Nivaldo Peroni
In the southern Brazilian highlands, pre-Columbian societies created domesticated landscapes through the use and management of forests, including nurse Araucaria angustifolia trees, a common conifer in these regions. Nowadays, local smallholders still use traditional practices, such as burning, to promote vegetation for cattle grazing in highland grasslands. Even though burning is normally of small extent and low frequency, such management can slow down natural forest expansion and contribute to the maintenance of grasslands, by opposing the facilitative effect of nurse araucaria trees...
2018: PloS One
Jun Huang
Soil erosion is a major global environmental problem. Therefore, a method of calculating potential soil erosion is necessary for soil and water resource management, as well as for assessing the risk of soil erosion. This study aimed to develop a simple method for calculating potential soil erosion change (PSEC) by combining the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and a Geographic Information System (GIS). The USLE model includes a rainfall erosivity factor (R), soil erodibility factor (K), cover management factor (C), slope gradient factor (S), length factor (L), and the supporting practice factor (P)...
November 20, 2018: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Azeb W Degife, Florian Zabel, Wolfram Mauser
The pace of change in land use and cover in Ethiopia depends on three main factors that cause pressure on agriculture land: resettlement programmes, population growth and increasing agricultural investments. Gambella is one of the regions of Ethiopia that attracts large-scale agricultural investments that extensively drive land use and cover changes in the region. The aim of this study is to examine the rate, extent and distribution of various land use and cover changes in Gambella Regional State, Ethiopia, from 1987 to 2017...
November 2018: Heliyon
Tibebu Kassawmar, Gete Zeleke, Amare Bantider, Gizaw Desta Gessesse, Lemlem Abraha
This paper demonstrates synoptic ways of presenting and characterizing land change processes across Ethiopia's large, complex Rainfed Agricultural Area (RAA). We translated pixel-level detected changes into neighbourhood-level changes that are useful to decision-makers. First, we identified pixel-level changes without and with type/direction of change, based on land cover maps from the years 1986 and 2010. For type-/direction-based characterization, we sorted observed transitions into four categories of prominent land change processes ("forest degradation", "deforestation", "afforestation", and "no change")...
November 2018: Heliyon
Thomas R Holmes, Christopher Hain, Wade T Crow, Martha C Anderson, William P Kustas
A newly developed microwave (MW) land surface temperature (LST) product is used to substitute thermal infrared (TIR) based LST in the Atmosphere Land Exchange Inverse (ALEXI) modelling framework for estimating ET from space. ALEXI implements a two-source energy balance (TSEB) land surface scheme in a time-differential approach, designed to minimize sensitivity to absolute biases in input records of LST through the analysis of the rate of temperature change in the morning. Thermal infrared (TIR) retrievals of the diurnal LST curve, traditionally from geostationary platforms, are hindered by cloud cover, reducing model coverage on any given day...
2018: Hydrology and earth system sciences
Yuan Xue, Barton A Forman, Rolf H Reichle
To estimate snow mass across North America, brightness temperature observations collected by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer from 2002 to 2011 were assimilated into the Catchment model using a support vector machine (SVM) as the observation operator and a one-dimensional ensemble Kalman filter. The performance of the assimilation system is evaluated through comparisons against ground-based measurements and reference snow products. In general, there are no statistically significant skill differences between the domain-averaged, model-only ("open loop", or OL) snow estimates and assimilation estimates...
September 2018: Water Resources Research
Natália Mossmann Koch, Paula Matos, Cristina Branquinho, Pedro Pinho, Fabiane Lucheta, Suzana Ma de Azevedo Martins, Vera Ma Ferrão Vargas
Air pollution and the urban heat island effect are known to directly affect ecosystems in urban areas. Lichens, which are widely known as good ecological indicators of air quality and of climatic conditions, can be a valuable tool to monitor environmental changes in urban environments. The objective of this work was to select lichen functional traits and functional groups that can be used as ecological indicators of the effects of urbanization, with emphasis in the Southern subtropics, where this had never been done...
November 10, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Sandro Dettori, Maria Rosaria Filigheddu, Giovanni Deplano, Juan Escamilla Molgora, Maddalena Ruiu, Luigi Sedda
Land cover change analyses are common and, especially in the absence of explanatory variables, they are mainly carried out by employing qualitative methods such as transition matrices or raster operations. These methods do not provide any estimation of the statistical significance of the changes, or the uncertainty of the model and data, and are usually limited in supporting explicit biological/ecological interpretation of the processes determining the changes. Here we show how the original nearest-neighbour contingency table, proposed by Dixon to evaluate spatial segregation, has been extended to the temporal domain to map the intensity, statistical significance and uncertainty of land cover changes...
November 16, 2018: Scientific Reports
Yuhai Yang, Yaning Chen, Zhi Li, Yapeng Chen
Soil organic carbon (SOC) constitutes a large pool within the global carbon cycle. Changes in land-use/cover strongly drive variation of SOC stocks. We analyzed the changes in four types of land use/cover and their influence on SOC content, density, and regional stocks along the main channel of the Tarim River in China for 2000-2010 obtained from remotely sensed images and field surveys. The areas and structures of the land uses/covers changed greatly during this period. Specifically, the areas of cultivated, industrial and residential, and shrub land increased, particularly cultivated and shrub land...
2018: PloS One
Mart-Jan Schelhaas, Jonas Fridman, Geerten M Hengeveld, Helena M Henttonen, Aleksi Lehtonen, Uwe Kies, Nike Krajnc, Bas Lerink, Áine Ní Dhubháin, Heino Polley, Thomas A M Pugh, John J Redmond, Brigitte Rohner, Cristian Temperli, Jordi Vayreda, Gert-Jan Nabuurs
BACKGROUND: European forests have a long record of management. However, the diversity of the current forest management across nations, tree species and owners, is hardly understood. Often when trying to simulate future forest resources under alternative futures, simply the yield table style of harvesting is applied. It is now crucially important to come to grips with actual forest management, now that demand for wood is increasing and the EU Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation has been adopted requiring 'continuation of current management practices' as a baseline to set the Forest Reference Level carbon sink...
2018: PloS One
Damaris Zurell, Catherine H Graham, Laure Gallien, Wilfried Thuiller, Niklaus E Zimmermann
Many species migrate long distances annually between their breeding and wintering areas1. While global change affects both ranges, impact assessments have generally focused on breeding ranges and ignore how environmental changes influence migrants across geographic regions and the annual cycle2,3. Using range maps and species distribution models, we quantified the risk of summer and winter range loss and migration distance increase from future climate and land cover changes on long-distance migratory birds of the Holarctic (n=715)...
November 2018: Nature Climate Change
Felix Op de Hipt, Bernd Diekkrüger, Gero Steup, Yacouba Yira, Thomas Hoffmann, Michael Rode, Kristian Näschen
This study investigates the effect of land use and land cover (LULC) and climate change on catchment hydrology and soil erosion in the Dano catchment in south-western Burkina Faso based on hydrological and soil erosion modeling. The past LULC change is studied using land use maps of the years 1990, 2000, 2007 and 2013. Based on these maps future LULC scenarios were developed for the years 2019, 2025 and 2030. The observed past and modeled future LULC are used to feed SHETRAN, a hydrological and soil erosion model...
October 28, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Zhihua Zhu, Zhihe Chen, Xiaohong Chen, Guo Yu
This study represents an approach to assess the hydrologic effectiveness of low impact development (LID) practices based on the expected runoff process with different objectives and land utilization. The proposed approach is to simulate runoff hydrograph rather than several indices (e.g., runoff initiation, peak flow, and runoff volume) to avoid the uncertainties under a certain rainfall scenario. A rainfall-runoff model of a residential district in China, constructed based on the stormwater management model (SWMM), is auto-calibrated (validated) based on 12 (25) observed rainfall and runoff events using model-independent parameter estimation (PEST)...
October 26, 2018: Journal of Environmental Management
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