Browsing by Subject "LAND"

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  • McCrackin, Michelle L.; Gustafsson, Bo G.; Hong, Bongghi; Howarth, Robert W.; Humborg, Christoph; Savchuk, Oleg P.; Svanback, Annika; Swaney, Dennis P. (2018)
    While progress has been made in reducing external nutrient inputs to the Baltic Sea, further actions are needed to meet the goals of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), especially for the Baltic Proper, Gulf of Finland, and Gulf of Riga sub-basins. We used the net anthropogenic nitrogen and phosphorus inputs (NANI and NAPI, respectively) nutrient accounting approach to construct three scenarios of reduced NANI-NAPI. Reductions assumed that manure nutrients were redistributed from areas with intense animal production to areas that focus on crop production and would otherwise import synthetic and mineral fertilizers. We also used the Simple as Necessary Baltic Long Term Large Scale (SANBALTS) model to compare eutrophication conditions for the scenarios to current and BSAP-target conditions. The scenarios suggest that reducing NANI-NAPI by redistributing manure nutrients, together with improving agronomic practices, could meet 54-82% of the N reductions targets (28-43 kt N reduction) and 38-64% P reduction targets (4-6.6 kt P reduction), depending on scenario. SANBALTS output showed that even partial fulfillment of nutrient reduction targets could have ameliorating effects on eutrophication conditions. Meeting BSAP targets will require addressing additional sources, such as sewage. A common approach to apportioning sources to external nutrients loads could enable further assessment of the feasibility of eutrophication management targets.
  • Ghinoi, Stefano; Wesz Junior, Valdemar Joao; Piras, Simone (2018)
    The literature on rural development focuses on the socio-economic effects of agricultural support policies; the process of policy design, however, is devoted less attention. Identifying policy coalitions may help provide clarity on the motivations behind a given agricultural support system. Using Discourse Network Analysis, this paper studies the debates preceding the approval of the National Program for Strengthening Family Agriculture (Pronaf) in Brazil in the Nineties. This represented a relevant overturn of the preceding policy framework. Two coalitions that opposed each other have been identified: while large farm business associations favoured measures to enhance productivity, movements comprising of family farmers aimed at introducing credit instruments for small producers. The strong pressure from social movements was key to the adoption of Pronaf. However, findings suggest that the Workers' Party, which found itself in a less conflicting position, played a brokerage role in the negotiation of the final policy package.
  • D'amato, Dalia; Bartkowski, Bartosz; Droste, Nils (2020)
    The bioeconomy is currently being globally promoted as a sustainability avenue involving several societal actors. While the bioeconomy is broadly about the substitution of fossil resources with bio-based ones, three main (competing or complementary) bioeconomy visions are emerging in scientific literature: resource, biotechnology, and agroecology. The implementation of one or more of these visions into strategies implies changes to land use and thus ecosystem services delivery, with notable trade-offs. This review aims to explore the interdisciplinary space at the interface of these two concepts. We reviewed scientific publications explicitly referring to bioeconomy and ecosystem services in their title, abstract, or keywords, with 45 documents identified as relevant. The literature appeared to be emerging and fragmented but eight themes were discernible (in order of decreasing occurrence frequency in the literature): a. technical and economic feasibility of biomass extraction and use; b. potential and challenges of the bioeconomy; c. frameworks and tools; d. sustainability of bio-based processes, products, and services; e. environmental sustainability of the bioeconomy; f. governance of the bioeconomy; g. biosecurity; h. bioremediation. Approximately half of the documents aligned to a resource vision of the bioeconomy, with emphasis on biomass production. Agroecology and biotechnology visions were less frequently found, but multiple visions generally tended to occur in each document. The discussion highlights gaps in the current research on the topic and argues for communication between the ecosystem services and bioeconomy communities to forward both research areas in the context of sustainability science.
  • Räsänen, Aleksi; Schönach, Paula; Jurgilevich, Alexandra; Heikkinen, Milja; Juhola, Sirkku (2019)
    To tackle problems related to water quantity and quality, transformations in water management systems have become of increasing interest. Transformative capacity can be defined as the ability first to adapt to changes, and if needed, to carry out fundamental changes in a specific system. Using a framework of ten components of transformative capacity and an analysis of earlier historical research, policy documents and data gathered in a stakeholder scenario workshop, we examine the relationship between past and future transformations and transformative capacity in river basin management in the River Vantaa basin, located in southern Finland. In the past, River Vantaa was heavily polluted by municipal wastewater. The water quality has gradually improved but is still not considered good. The most successful changes have been concentrated on point source pollution, such as municipal wastewater, and they have mostly been driven by public administration and municipal coordination. In the future, more effort should be put on diffuse pollution, especially agricultural loading, and this requires changes in societal values and new forms of governance. We show how the past transformations have partly been driven by transformative capacity, but some transformations have enabled changes in the components of transformative capacity, indicating the interconnectedness of the different components. Furthermore, the interplay between transformations and transformative capacity occurs across spatial and temporal scales. We discuss how transformations take time, how transformative capacity evolves over longer time-spans, and how capacity and trajectories in local and wider scales are in a continuous interaction.
  • Pukkala, Timo; Vauhkonen, Jari; Korhonen, Kari T.; Packalen, Tuula (2021)
    Finnish forest structures vary from even-aged planted forests to two- and multi-storied mixed stands. Also, the range of silvicultural systems in use has increased because thinning from above and continuous cover management are gaining popularity. The data currently available for modelling stand dynamics are insufficient to allow the development of unbiased and reliable models for the simulation of all possible transitions between various current and future stand conditions. Therefore, the models should allow temporal and regional calibration along the accumulation of new information on forest development. If the calibration process is automated, the simulators that use these models constitute a self-Learning system that adapts to the properties of new data on stand dynamics. The current study first developed such a model set for stand dynamics that is technically suitable for simulating the stand development in all stand structures, silvicultural systems and their transitions. The model set consists of individual-tree models for diameter increment and survival and a stand-Level model for ingrowth. The models were based on the permanent sample plots of the 10th and 11th national forest inventories of Finland. Second, a system for calibrating the models based on additional data was presented. This optimization-based system allows different types and degrees of calibration, depending on the intended use of the models and the amount of data available for calibration. The calibration method was demonstrated with two external datasets where a set of sample plots had been measured two times at varying measurement intervals.
  • Norton, Michael; Baldi, Andras; Buda, Vicas; Carli, Bruno; Cudlin, Pavel; Jones, Mike B.; Korhola, Atte; Michalski, Rajmund; Novo, Francisco; Oszlányi, Július; Santos, Filpe Duarte; Schink, Bernhard; Shepherd, John; Vet, Louise; Walloe, Lars; Wijkman, Anders (2019)
    Abstract In recent years, the production of pellets derived from forestry biomass to replace coal for electricity generation has been increasing, with over 10 million tonnes traded internationally?primarily between United States and Europe but with an increasing trend to Asia. Critical to this trade is the classification of woody biomass as ?renewable energy? and thus eligible for public subsidies. However, much scientific study on the net effect of this trend suggests that it is having the opposite effect to that expected of renewable energy, by increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide for substantial periods of time. This review, based on recent work by Europe's Academies of Science, finds that current policies are failing to recognize that removing forest carbon stocks for bioenergy leads to an initial increase in emissions. Moreover, the periods during which atmospheric CO2 levels are raised before forest regrowth can reabsorb the excess emissions are incompatible with the urgency of reducing emissions to comply with the objectives enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We consider how current policy might be reformed to reduce negative impacts on climate and argue for a more realistic science-based assessment of the potential of forest bioenergy in substituting for fossil fuels. The length of time atmospheric concentrations of CO2 increase is highly dependent on the feedstocks and we argue for regulations to explicitly require these to be sources with short payback periods. Furthermore, we describe the current United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change accounting rules which allow imported biomass to be treated as zero emissions at the point of combustion and urge their revision to remove the risk of these providing incentives to import biomass with negative climate impacts. Reforms such as these would allow the industry to evolve to methods and scales which are more compatible with the basic purpose for which it was designed.
  • Xiao, Mingzhong; Yu, Zhongbo; Kong, Dongdong; Gu, Xihui; Mammarella, Ivan; Montagnani, Leonardo; Arain, M. Altaf; Merbold, Lutz; Magliulo, Vincenzo; Lohila, Annalea; Buchmann, Nina; Wolf, Sebastian; Gharun, Mana; Hörtnagl, Lukas; Beringer, Jason; Gioli, Beniamino (2020)
    Terrestrial evapotranspiration (ET) is thermodynamically expected to increase with increasing atmospheric temperature; however, the actual constraints on the intensification of ET remain uncertain due to a lack of direct observations. Based on the FLUXNET2015 Dataset, we found that relative humidity (RH) is a more important driver of ET than temperature. While actual ET decrease at reduced RH, potential ET increases, consistently with the complementary relationship (CR) framework stating that the fraction of energy not used for actual ET is dissipated as increased sensible heat flux that in turn increases potential ET. In this study, we proposed an improved CR formulation requiring no parameter calibration and assessed its reliability in estimating ET both at site-level with the FLUXNET2015 Dataset and at basin-level. Using the ERA-Interim meteorological dataset for 1979-2017 to calculate ET, we found that the global terrestrial ET showed an increasing trend until 1998, while the trend started to decline afterwards. Such decline was largely associated with a reduced RH, inducing water stress conditions that triggered stomatal closure to conserve water. For the first time, this study quantified the global-scale implications of changes in RH on terrestrial ET, indicating that the temperature-driven acceleration of the terrestrial water cycle will be likely constrained by terrestrial vegetation feedbacks.
  • Jokinen, Ari; Leino, Helena; Bäcklund, Pia; Laine, Markus (2018)
    The aim of our article is to follow how global policy models affect local policy making. Each city has unique local challenges in promoting development, e.g. economic growth, but also needs to find a balance between these targets and demands for sustainable city solutions. In our empirical study, we follow how ideas of waterfront development - to attract new inhabitants and promote economic growth - and global demands of carbon control were used interactively in a strategic spatial planning process in the city of Tampere, Finland. During the six-year planning process, these two policy targets became interdependent, created a new policy-making domain, and led to a combinatorial development of sustainability elements arising from this domain. These findings demonstrate the serial use of global policy models in the creation of a local urban sustainability fix'. To conclude, the intertwinement of diverse global policy models in a city planning process creates easily a recursive cycle that redefines urban sustainability within cities and intercity networks. This perspective makes local policy narratives and strategic planning highly important in urban sustainability research as promoting urban sustainability becomes an inherently ambivalent practice.
  • Terraube, Julien; Fernandez-Llamazares, Alvaro (2020)
    The current COVID-19 pandemics is having a major impact on our global health and economies. There is widespread recognition that ecosystem disruption, including land-use change and illegal wildlife trade, is linked to the increasing emergence of zoonotic diseases. Here, we emphasize that protected areas play a fundamental role in buffering against novel disease outbreaks by maintaining ecosystem integrity. However, protected areas worldwide are facing increasing human pressures, which are being amplified by the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. Increased resources are thus urgently needed to mainstream a One Health approach to protected area management, focusing specifically on i) monitoring illegal wildlife trade, ii) biodiversity trends and iii) surveillance of zoonotic pathogens. Improving integration of public health into global biodiversity conservation policies should be a top priority to reduce the risk of future pandemics.
  • Ruosteenoja, Kimmo; Jylha, Kirsti; Räisänen, Jouni; Mäkelä, Antti (2017)
    In 17 out of the 29 Phase 5 of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) climate models examined in this work, near-surface air relative humidity (RH) frequently exceeded 100% with respect to ice in polar areas in winter. The degree of supersaturation varied considerably across the models, and the same evidently applies to the causes of the phenomenon. Consultations with the modeling groups revealed three categories of explanations for supersaturation occurrence: specification of RH with respect to ice rather than liquid water; inconsistencies in the determination of specific humidity and air temperature for the near-surface level; and the nonlinearity of saturated specific humidity as a function of temperature. Modeled global warming tended to reduce the artificial supersaturations, inducing a spurious negative trend in the future RH change. For example, over East Antarctica under Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, the multimodel mean RH would decrease by about 10% by the end of the ongoing century. Truncation of overly high RHs to a maximum value of 100% cut the RH response close to zero. In Siberia and northern North America, truncation even reversed the sign of the response. The institutes responsible for the CMIP6 model experiments should be aware of the supersaturation issue, and the algorithms used to produce near-surface RH should be developed to eliminate the problem before publishing the RH output data. Plain Language Summary In the atmosphere, observed relative humidity is between 0% and 100%. However, some climate models produce spurious higher than 100% humidities. The problem only concerns polar areas in winter. As temperatures rise in the future, such model-produced excessively high relative humidities partially vanish. Unfortunately, this induces a spurious negative trend in the future humidity projections. Such a spurious component in the simulated trend complicates discerning the real physically based trend. The spurious trend could be eliminated by truncating the portion of relative humidity that exceeds 100% in the model output data. Even so, this may not be fully adequate for elaborating reliable humidity projections for polar areas. Therefore, it is highly desirable that the relative humidity calculations in the climate models would be developed so that unrealistic relative humidities would not occur in future model generations. We emphasize that this issue only concerns humidity projections and does not affect model-based predictions of temperature and precipitation change.
  • Dudley, Nigel; Jonas, Holly; Nelson, Fred; Parish, Jeffrey; Pyhälä, Aili Adelita; Stolton, Sue; Watson, James (2018)
    Continued biodiversity loss has prompted calls for half of the planet to be set aside for nature - including E. O Wilson's "Half-Earth" approach and the Wild Foundation's "Nature Needs Half" initiative. These efforts have provided a necessary wake-up call and drawn welcome global attention for the urgent need for increased action on conserving biodiversity and nature in general. Yet they have also sparked debate within the conservation community, particularly due to the huge practical and political obstacles to establishing or expanding protected areas on this scale. The new designation of "other effective area-based conservation measures" (OECMs) provides the opportunity for formal recognition of and support for areas delivering conservation outcomes outside the protected area estate. We argue that OECMs are essential to the achievement of big and bold conservation targets such as Half-Earth. But integration of OECMs into the conservation estate requires fundamental changes in protected area planning and how the conservation community deals with human rights and social safeguards issues; it therefore challenges our understanding of what constitutes "conservation". It will only succeed if the key drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss are addressed in the whole planet. A broad, multifaceted and innovative approach, coupled with ambitious targets, provides our best hope yet of addressing complex conservation challenges. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Veach, Victoria; Moilanen, Atte; Di Minin, Enrico (2017)
    Including threats in spatial conservation prioritization helps identify areas for conservation actions where biodiversity is at imminent risk of extinction. At the global level, an important limitation when identifying spatial priorities for conservation actions is the lack of information on the spatial distribution of threats. Here, we identify spatial conservation priorities under three prominent threats to biodiversity (residential and commercial development, agricultural expansion, and forest loss), which are primary drivers of habitat loss and threaten the persistence of the highest number of species in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and for which spatial data is available. We first explore how global priority areas for the conservation of vertebrate (mammals, birds, and amphibians) species coded in the Red List as vulnerable to each threat differ spatially. We then identify spatial conservation priorities for all species vulnerable to all threats. Finally, we identify the potentially most threatened areas by overlapping the identified priority areas for conservation with maps for each threat. We repeat the same with four other well-known global conservation priority area schemes, namely Key Biodiversity Areas, Biodiversity Hotspots, the global Protected Area Network, and Wilderness Areas. We find that residential and commercial development directly threatens only about 4% of the global top 17% priority areas for species vulnerable under this threat. However, 50% of the high priority areas for species vulnerable to forest loss overlap with areas that have already experienced some forest loss. Agricultural expansion overlapped with similar to 20% of high priority areas. Biodiversity Hotspots had the greatest proportion of their total area under direct threat from all threats, while expansion of low intensity agriculture was found to pose an imminent threat to Wilderness Areas under future agricultural expansion. Our results identify areas where limited resources should be allocated to mitigate risks to vertebrate species from habitat loss.
  • Castro-Morales, Karel; Schuermann, Gregor; Koestler, Christoph; Roedenbeck, Christian; Heimann, Martin; Zaehle, Soenke (2019)
    During the last decade, carbon cycle data assimilation systems (CCDAS) have focused on improving the simulation of seasonal and mean global carbon fluxes over a few years by simultaneous assimilation of multiple data streams. However, the ability of a CCDAS to predict longer-term trends and variability of the global carbon cycle and the constraint provided by the observations have not yet been assessed. Here, we evaluate two near-decade-long assimilation experiments of the Max Planck Institute-Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (MPI-CCDAS v1) using spaceborne estimates of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (FAPAR) and atmospheric CO2 concentrations from the global network of flask measurement sites from either 1982 to 1990 or 1990 to 2000. We contrast these simulations with independent observations from the period 1982-2010, as well as a third MPI-CCDAS assimilation run using data from the full 1982-2010 period, and an atmospheric inversion covering the same data and time. With 30 years of data, MPI-CCDAS is capable of representing land uptake to a sufficient degree to make it compatible with the atmospheric CO2 record. The long-term trend and seasonal amplitude of atmospheric CO2 concentrations at station level over the period 1982 to 2010 is considerably improved after assimilating only the first decade (1982-1990) of observations. After 15-19 years of prognostic simulation, the simulated CO2 mixing ratio in 2007-2010 diverges by only 2 +/- 1.3 ppm from the observations, the atmospheric inversion, and the MPI-CCDAS assimilation run using observations from the full period. The long-term trend, phenological seasonality, and interannual variability (IAV) of FAPAR in the Northern Hemisphere over the last 1 to 2 decades after the assimilation were also improved. Despite imperfections in the representation of the IAV in atmospheric CO2, model-data fusion for a decade of data can already contribute to the prognostic capacity of land carbon cycle models at relevant timescales.
  • Malkamäki, Arttu; Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas; Brockhaus, Maria; Toppinen, Anne; Wagner, Paul (2021)
    Competing coalitions can stabilise policymaking and hinder policy changes that are required to address the mounting pressures on land use systems across the globe. Thus, understanding the driving forces of coalition formation is important. This paper builds on the Advocacy Coalition Framework to determine the relative contributions of two sets of beliefs (more general policy core beliefs and more specific beliefs concerning policy instruments) to coalition formation in South African tree plantation politics and to identify coalitions therein. Discourse Network Analysis was used to code 656 statements regarding 40 beliefs to create network data from 55 interviews with organisational elites. Results from a network analysis of the twelve most salient beliefs indicate that dissimilar policy core beliefs about the validity of environmental regulation, social costs of tree plantations, and the conditionality of land reform in South Africa divide actors into two coalitions: the hegemonic “business-as-usual” coalition and the minority “justice and change” coalition. These boundaries were confirmed by comparing the network based on shared policy core beliefs with a co-ordination network. Dissimilar beliefs concerning policy instruments, including eco-certification and an indicative zoning, also divide actors, yet actors’ reasoning for or against these instruments differ to the degree that united fronts are unlikely to form. Hegemonic coalitions that combine selected state and business interests with labour arguments and prioritise short-term economic efficiency threaten to delay the necessary changes away from business-as-usual across land use systems in South Africa and beyond.