Browsing by Subject "LAND-USE"

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  • Reckling, Moritz; Hecker, Jens-Martin; Bergkvist, Goeran; Watson, Christine A.; Zander, Peter; Schlaefke, Nicole; Stoddard, Frederick L.; Eory, Vera; Topp, Cairistiona F. E.; Maire, Juliette; Bachinger, Johann (2016)
    Methods are needed for the design and evaluation of cropping systems, in order to test the effects of introducing or reintroducing crops into rotations. The interaction of legumes with other crops (rotational effects) requires an assessment at the cropping system scale. The objective of this work is to introduce a cropping system framework to assess the impacts of changes in cropping systems in a participatory approach with experts, i.e., the integration of legumes into crop rotations and to demonstrate its application in two case studies. The framework consists of a rule-based rotation generator and a set of algorithms to calculate impact indicators. It follows a three-step approach: (i) generate rotations, (ii) evaluate crop production activities using environmental, economic and phytosanitary indicators, and (iii) design cropping systems and assess their impacts. Experienced agronomists and environmental scientists were involved at several stages of the framework development and testing in order to ensure the practicability of designed cropping systems. The framework was tested in Vastra Gotaland (Sweden) and Brandenburg (Germany) by comparing cropping systems with and without legumes. In both case studies, cropping systems with legumes reduced nitrous oxide emissions with comparable or slightly lower nitrate-N leaching, and had positive phytosanitary effects. In arable systems with grain legumes, gross margins were lower than in cropping systems without legumes despite taking pre-crop effects into account. Forage cropping systems with legumes had higher or equivalent gross margins and at the same time higher environmental benefits than cropping systems without legumes. The framework supports agronomists to design sustainable legume-supported cropping systems and to assess their impacts. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Kangas, Johanna; Ollikainen, Markku (2022)
    Forests can play a significant role both in halting biodiversity loss and in mitigating climate change. A variety of payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes exists to promote biodiversity conservation in forests. These schemes could be used to strengthen the role of forests as carbon sinks as well. This paper analyzes the implications of supplementing a PES scheme that targets boreal forest biodiversity with a carbon index. We use a site selection framework to examine how the proposed scheme impacts the promotion of both targets. We compare a case where the selection is done solely based on biodiversity values to a case where the selection is done based on both biodiversity and carbon benefits. The carbon index is formulated as current carbon storage or as future carbon sink. Correspondingly, biodiversity is maximized based on either current ecological values or potential ones. We compare equal or differing weights for biodiversity and carbon indexes, and examine trade-offs between biodiversity and CO2 in current and future values. Combined index values increase with the carbon index, but there is a trade-off between biodiversity and CO2 values if the conservation budget is not increased when the carbon index is introduced. There is a temporal trade-off in biodiversity and carbon values between selecting sites based on current or future values. Younger stands are preferred at the expense of old-growth stands with the carbon index. Weights can be used to balance the trade-off between biodiversity and carbon benefits. Overall, risks to losing significant ecological value from the conservation network are negligible, but the limited number of sites decreases the generalizability of the results.
  • Sabrekov, A. F.; Glagolev, M. V.; Alekseychik, P. K.; Smolentsev, B. A.; Terentieva, I. E.; Krivenok, L. A.; Maksyutov, S. S. (2016)
    This study combines a literature survey and field observation data in an ad initio attempt to construct a process-based model of methane sink in upland soils including both the biological and physical aspects of the process. Comparison is drawn between the predicted sink rates and chamber measurements in several forest and grassland sites in the southern part of West Siberia. CH4 flux, total respiration, air and soil temperature, soil moisture, pH, organic content, bulk density and solid phase density were measured during a field campaign in summer 2014. Two datasets from literature were also used for model validation. The modeled sink rates were found to be in relatively good correspondence with the values obtained in the field. Introduction of the rhizospheric methanotrophy significantly improves the match between the model and the observations. The Q10 values of methane sink observed in the field were 1.2-1.4, which is in good agreement with the experimental results from the other studies. Based on modeling results, we also conclude that soil oxygen concentration is not a limiting factor for methane sink in upland forest and grassland ecosystems.
  • Holopainen, Sari; Cehovska, Marketa; Jaatinen, Kim; Laaksonen, Toni; Linden, Andreas; Nummi, Petri; Piha, Markus; Pöysä, Hannu; Toivanen, Tero; Väänänen, Veli-Matti; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2022)
    Certain species experience rapid population increases in human-modified and -affected environments. Conservation actions and increased wintertime food availability have led to a population increase of several large herbivorous waterbird species. In Northern Europe, this trend is opposite to the overall decrease of several smaller waterbird species. We examined whether the recovery of a flagship species, the whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus), and the spreading of the nonnative Canada goose (Branta canadensis), cause asymmetric competition with other sympatric waterbirds at their breeding sites. We used data from the national Finnish waterbird surveys collected in the late 1980s and early 2020 s at 942 sites, to assess the site-level effects of large herbivore occurrence on other waterbird species, while considering their trophic overlap. We hypothesised that there could be competitive effects of large herbivorous on smaller species, especially those with similar foraging niches. We however found that other waterbird populations have decreased less at sites occupied by whooper swans since the 1980 s. Canada goose site occupation was not associated with the abundance of other waterbirds. Thereby, our findings are not consistent with the suggestion that population increases of large herbivore species lead to asymmetric competition on the breeding wetlands. The whooper swan may potentially act as an indicator of habitat quality and further on as a flagship umbrella species with multidisciplinary conservation benefits, of which may accrue benefits also to other waterbirds exhibiting declining population trends. Our findings underline the importance of considering species interactions when designing and implementing management actions in conservation strategies.
  • Villa, Ana; Eckersten, H.; Gaiser, Thomas; Ahrends, Hella Ellen; Lewan, E. (2022)
    Predicting areas of severe biomass loss and increased N leaching risk under climate change is critical for applying appropriate adaptation measures to support more sustainable agricultural systems. The frequency of annual severe biomass loss for winter wheat and its coincidence with an increase in N leaching in a temperate region in Germany was estimated including the error from using soil and climate input data at coarser spatial scales, using the soil-crop model CoupModel. We ran the model for a reference period (1980–2010) and used climate data predicted by four climate model(s) for the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5. The annual median biomass estimations showed that for the period 2070–2100, under the RCP8.5 scenario, the entire region would suffer from severe biomass loss almost every year. Annual incidence of severe biomass loss and increased N leaching was predicted to increase from RCP4.5 to the 8.5 scenario. During 2070–2100 for RCP8.5, in more than half of the years an area of 95% of the region was projected to suffer from both severe biomass loss and increased N leaching. The SPEI3 predicted a range of 32 (P3 RCP4.5) to 55% (P3 RCP8.5) of the severe biomass loss episodes simulated in the climate change scenarios. The simulations predicted more severe biomass losses than by the SPEI index which indicates that soil water deficits are important in determining crop losses in future climate scenarios. There was a risk of overestimating the area where “no severe biomass loss + increased N leaching” occurred when using coarser aggregated input data. In contrast, underestimation of situations where “severe biomass loss + increased N leaching” occurred when using coarser aggregated input data. Larger annual differences in biomass estimations compared to the finest resolution of input data occurred when aggregating climate input data rather than soil data. The differences were even larger when aggregating both soil and climate input data. In half of the region, biomass could be erroneously estimated in a single year by more than 40% if using soil and climate coarser input data. The results suggest that a higher spatial resolution of especially climate input data would be needed to predict reliably annual estimates of severe biomass loss and N leaching under climate change scenarios.
  • Huttunen, Inese; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Huttunen, Markus; Sihvonen, Matti; Veijalainen, Noora; Korppoo, Marie; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina (2021)
    This paper introduces a framework for extending global climate and socioeconomic scenarios in order to study agricultural nutrient pollution on an individual catchment scale. Our framework builds on and extends Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) at the spatial and temporal scales that are relevant for the drivers of animal husbandry, manure recycling and the application of inorganic fertilisers in crop production. Our case study area is the Aura river catchment in South-West Finland, which discharges into the heavily eutrophic Baltic Sea. The Aura river catchment has intensive agriculture - both livestock and crop production. Locally adjusted and interpreted climate and socioeconomic scenarios were used as inputs to a field-level economic optimisation in order to study how farmers might react to the changing markets and climate conditions under different SSPs. The results on economically optimal fertilisation levels were then used as inputs to the spatially and temporally explicit nutrient loading model (VEMALA). Alternative manure recycling strategies that matched with SSP narratives were studied as means to reduce the phosphorus (P) overfertilisation in areas with high livestock density. According to our simulations, on average the P loads increased by 18% during 2071-2100 from the current level and the variation in P loads between scenarios was large (from & minus;14% to +50%). By contrast, the nitrogen (N) loads had decreased on average by & minus;9% (with variation from & minus;20% to +3%) by the end of the current century. Phosphorus loading was most sensitive to manure recycling strategies and the speed of climate change. Nitrogen loading was less sensitive to changes in climate and socioeconomic drivers. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
  • Figueroa, D.; Rowe, O. F.; Paczkowska, J.; Legrand, C.; Andersson, A. (2016)
    Heterotrophic bacteria are, in many aquatic systems, reliant on autochthonous organic carbon as their energy source. One exception is low-productive humic lakes, where allochthonous dissolved organic matter (ADOM) is the major driver. We hypothesized that bacterial production (BP) is similarly regulated in subarctic estuaries that receive large amounts of riverine material. BP and potential explanatory factors were measured during May-August 2011 in the subarctic RAyenne Estuary, northern Sweden. The highest BP was observed in spring, concomitant with the spring river-flush and the lowest rates occurred during summer when primary production (PP) peaked. PLS correlations showed that similar to 60 % of the BP variation was explained by different ADOM components, measured as humic substances, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM). On average, BP was threefold higher than PP. The bioavailability of allochthonous dissolved organic carbon (ADOC) exhibited large spatial and temporal variation; however, the average value was low, similar to 2 %. Bioassay analysis showed that BP in the near-shore area was potentially carbon limited early in the season, while BP at seaward stations was more commonly limited by nitrogen-phosphorus. Nevertheless, the bioassay indicated that ADOC could contribute significantly to the in situ BP, similar to 60 %. We conclude that ADOM is a regulator of BP in the studied estuary. Thus, projected climate-induced increases in river discharge suggest that BP will increase in subarctic coastal areas during the coming century.
  • Herzon, Irina; Marja, Riho; Le Viol, Isabelle; Menshikova, Svetlana; Kondratyev, Aleksander (2018)
    Use of community trait-based metrics has been increasingly implemented for achieving an integrated view of biodiversity in conservation planning. We examined the extent, to which the use of community metrics based on species traits reflecting plausible sensitivity to change would contribute to our understanding of landscape characteristics of importance to the conservation of farmland birds in a poorly studied region of Northwest Russia. We collected species data on farmland from 230 transects covering a total 215 km for each year of 2008, 2010 and 2011 and analysed them using generalised linear mixed modelling. We derived community indices from species traits of habitat specialisation, trophic position, relative brain size and body mass. By relating these indices to the numbers of all species regarded farmland and Species of European Conservation Concern (SPEC), and by analysing them against the type of field and occurrence in typical non-cropped landscape elements, we showed consistent, albeit weak, congruence among the taxonomic and trait-based community descriptors. All community descriptors had their lowest estimates in arable fields. Community specialisation was the highest in open abandoned fields, which confirms the importance of such fields as refuges for regionally specialised species. Pastures were characterised by the highest community biomass, which indicates a particularly good resource base. Presence of ditches, of all non-cropped elements, had the strongest positive relationship with the community descriptors. The SPEC number strongly correlated with the overall species richness of farmland birds. A relatively weak congruence between taxonomic and trait-based community descriptors highlights their cornplementarity in understanding the underlying mechanisms of community changes. However, similarity in patterns among field types means that, under the current level of production in the region, accounting for the species richness of farmland birds seems to be sufficient to rapidly assess community sensitivity to agricultural change.
  • Pajunen, Virpi; Jyrkänkallio-Mikkola, Jenny; Luoto, Miska; Soininen, Janne (2019)
    Species occurrences are influenced by numerous factors whose effects may be context dependent. Thus, the magnitude of the effects and their relative importance to species distributions may vary among ecosystems due to anthropogenic stressors. To investigate context dependency in factors governing microbial bioindicators, we developed species distribution models (SDMs) for epilithic stream diatom species in human-impacted and pristine sites separately. We performed SDMs using boosted regression trees for 110 stream diatom species, which were common to both data sets, in 164 human-impacted and 164 pristine sites in Finland (covering similar to 1,000 km, 60 degrees to 68 degrees N). For each species and site group, two sets of models were conducted: climate model, comprising three climatic variables, and full model, comprising the climatic and six local environmental variables. No significant difference in model performance was found between the site groups. However, climatic variables had greater importance compared with local environmental variables in pristine sites, whereas local environmental variables had greater importance in human-impacted sites as hypothesized. Water balance and conductivity were the key variables in human-impacted sites. The relative importance of climatic and local environmental variables varied among individual species, but also between the site groups. We found a clear context dependency among the variables influencing stream diatom distributions as the most important factors varied both among species and between the site groups. In human-impacted streams, species distributions were mainly governed by water chemistry, whereas in pristine streams by climate. We suggest that climatic models may be suitable in pristine ecosystems, whereas the full models comprising both climatic and local environmental variables should be used in human-impacted ecosystems.
  • Ruiz-Benito, Paloma; Vacchiano, Giorgio; Lines, Emily R.; Reyer, Christopher P.O.; Ratcliffe, Sophia; Morin, Xavier; Hartig, Florian; Mäkelä, Annikki; Yousefpour, Rasoul; Chaves, Jimena E.; Palacios-Orueta, Alicia; Benito-Garzón, Marta; Morales-Molino, Cesar; Camarero, J. Julio; Jump, Alistair S.; Kattge, Jens; Lehtonen, Aleksi; Ibrom, Andreas; Owen, Harry J.F.; Zavala, Miguel A. (2020)
    Climate change is expected to cause major changes in forest ecosystems during the 21st century and beyond. To assess forest impacts from climate change, the existing empirical information must be structured, harmonised and assimilated into a form suitable to develop and test state-of-the-art forest and ecosystem models. The combination of empirical data collected at large spatial and long temporal scales with suitable modelling approaches is key to understand forest dynamics under climate change. To facilitate data and model integration, we identified major climate change impacts observed on European forest functioning and summarised the data available for monitoring and predicting such impacts. Our analysis of c. 120 forest-related databases (including information from remote sensing, vegetation inventories, dendroecology, palaeoecology, eddy-flux sites, common garden experiments and genetic techniques) and 50 databases of environmental drivers highlights a substantial degree of data availability and accessibility. However, some critical variables relevant to predicting European forest responses to climate change are only available at relatively short time frames (up to 10-20 years), including intra-specific trait variability, defoliation patterns, tree mortality and recruitment. Moreover, we identified data gaps or lack of data integration particularly in variables related to local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity, dispersal capabilities and physiological responses. Overall, we conclude that forest data availability across Europe is improving, but further efforts are needed to integrate, harmonise and interpret this data (i.e. making data useable for non-experts). Continuation of existing monitoring and networks schemes together with the establishments of new networks to address data gaps is crucial to rigorously predict climate change impacts on European forests.
  • Yan, Lijuan; Penttinen, Petri; Mikkonen, Anu; Lindstrom, Kristina (2018)
    We investigated bacterial community dynamics in response to used motor oil contamination and perennial crop cultivation by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing in a 4-year field study. Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, and Gemmatimonadetes were the major bacterial phyla, and Rhodococcus was the most abundant genus. Initially, oil contamination decreased the overall bacterial diversity. Actinobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria were sensitive to oil contamination, exhibiting clear succession with time. However, bacterial communities changed over time, regardless of oil contamination and crop cultivation. The abundance difference of most OTUs between oil-contaminated and non-contaminated plots remained the same in later sampling years after the initial abundance difference induced by oil spike. The abundances of three oil-favored actinobacteria (Lysinimonas, Microbacteriaceae, and Marmoricola) and one betaproteobacterium (Aquabacterium) changed in different manner over time in oil-contaminated and non-contaminated soil. We propose that these taxa are potential bio-indicators for monitoring recovery from motor oil contamination in boreal soil. The effect of crop cultivation on bacterial communities became significant only after the crops achieved stable growth, likely associated with plant material decomposition by Bacteroidetes, Armatimonadetes and Fibrobacteres.
  • Halliday, Fletcher W.; Rohr, Jason R.; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2020)
    The dilution effect predicts increasing biodiversity to reduce the risk of infection, but the generality of this effect remains unresolved. Because biodiversity loss generates predictable changes in host community competence, we hypothesised that biodiversity loss might drive the dilution effect. We tested this hypothesis by reanalysing four previously published meta-analyses that came to contradictory conclusions regarding generality of the dilution effect. In the context of biodiversity loss, our analyses revealed a unifying pattern: dilution effects were inconsistently observed for natural biodiversity gradients, but were commonly observed for biodiversity gradients generated by disturbances causing losses of biodiversity. Incorporating biodiversity loss into tests of generality of the dilution effect further indicated that scale-dependency may strengthen the dilution effect only when biodiversity gradients are driven by biodiversity loss. Together, these results help to resolve one of the most contentious issues in disease ecology: the generality of the dilution effect.
  • Virkkala, Raimo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2017)
    Species richness is predicted to increase in the northern latitudes in the warming climate due to ranges of many southern species expanding northwards. We studied changes in the composition of the whole avifauna and in bird species richness in a period of already warming climate in Finland (in northern Europe) covering 1,100km in south-north gradient across the boreal zone (over 300,000km(2)). We compared bird species richness and species-specific changes (for all 235 bird species that occur in Finland) in range size (number of squares occupied) and range shifts (measured as median of area of occupancy) based on bird atlas studies between 1974-1989 and 2006-2010. In addition, we tested how the habitat preference and migration strategy of species explain species-specific variation in the change of the range size. The study was carried out in 10km squares with similar research intensity in both time periods. The species richness did not change significantly between the two time periods. The composition of the bird fauna, however, changed considerably with 37.0% of species showing an increase and 34.9% a decrease in the numbers of occupied squares, that is, about equal number of species gained and lost their range. Altogether 95.7% of all species (225/235) showed changes either in the numbers of occupied squares or they experienced a range shift (or both). The range size of archipelago birds increased and long-distance migrants declined significantly. Range loss observed in long-distance migrants is in line with the observed population declines of long-distance migrants in the whole Europe. The results show that there is an ongoing considerable species turnover due to climate change and due to land use and other direct human influence. High bird species turnover observed in northern Europe may also affect the functional diversity of species communities.
  • Kulmala, Markku; Ezhova, Ekaterina; Kalliokoski, Tuomo; Noe, Steffen; Vesala, Timo; Lohila, Annalea; Liski, Jari; Makkonen, Risto; Bäck, Jaana; Petäjä, Tuukka; Kerminen, Veli-Matti (2020)
    Forests cool the climate system by acting as a sink for carbon dioxide (CO2) and by enhancing the atmospheric aerosol load. whereas the simultaneous decrease of the surface albedo tends to have a warming effect. Here, we present the concept of CarbonSink+. which considers these combined effects. Using the boreal forest environment as an illustrative example, we estimated that accounting for the CarbonSink+ enhances the forest CO2 uptake by 10-50% due to the combined effects of CO2 fertilization and aerosol-induced diffuse radiation enhancement on photosynthesis. We further estimated that with afforestation or reforestation, i.e., replacing grasslands with forests in a boreal environment, the radiative cooling due to forest aerosols cancels most of the radiative warming due to decreased surface albedos. These two forcing components have. however, relatively large uncertainty ranges. resulting in large uncertainties in the overall effect of CarbonSink+. We discuss shortly the potential future changes in the strength of CarbonSink+ in the boreal region, resulting from changes in atmospheric composition and climate.
  • Brandao, Joao; Weiskerger, Chelsea; Valerio, Elisabete; Pitkänen, Tarja; Meriläinen, Päivi; Avolio, Lindsay; Heaney, Christopher D.; Sadowsky, Michael J. (2022)
    Beach sand and water have both shown relevance for human health and their microbiology have been the subjects of study for decades. Recently, the World Health Organization recommended that recreational beach sands be added to the matrices monitored for enterococci and Fungi. Global climate change is affecting beach microbial contamination, via changes to conditions like water temperature, sea level, precipitation, and waves. In addition, the world is changing, and humans travel and relocate, often carrying endemic allochthonous microbiota. Coastal areas are amongst the most frequent relocation choices, especially in regions where desertification is taking place. A warmer future will likely require looking beyond the use of traditional water quality indicators to protect human health, in order to guarantee that waterways are safe to use for bathing and recreation. Finally, since sand is a complex matrix, an alternative set of microbial standards is necessary to guarantee that the health of beach users is protected from both sand and water contaminants. We need to plan for the future safer use of beaches by adapting regulations to a climate-changing world.
  • Räsänen, Aleksi; Juhola, Sirkku; Nygren, Anja; Käkönen, Mira; Kallio, Maarit; Monge Monge, Adrian; Kanninen, Markku (2016)
    We systematically reviewed current climate change literature in order to examine how multiple processes that affect human vulnerability have been studied. Of the 125 reviewed articles, 79 % were published after 2009. There are numerous concepts that point out to stressors other than climate change that were used in reviewed studies. These different concepts were used interchangeably, and they illustrate processes that act on different scales. Most widely used concepts included non-climatic (40 % of the articles), multiple stressors (38 %) and other factors (37 %). About 75 % of the studies either acknowledged or carefully analyzed the social and environmental context in which vulnerability is experienced. One-third of the studies recognized climate change-related stressors as the most important, one-third argued that stressors other than climate are more important, and the rest of the studies did not analyze the relative importance of the different processes. Interactions between different stressors were mentioned in 76 % and analyzed explicitly in 28 % of the articles. Our review shows that there are studies that analyze the social context of vulnerability within climate change-related literature and this literature is rapidly expanding. Reviewed studies point out that there are multiple interacting stressors, whose interlinkages need to be carefully analyzed and targeted by policies, which integrate adaptation to climate change and other stressors. In conclusion, we suggest that future studies should include analytical frameworks that reflect dissimilarities between different types of stressors, methodological triangulation to identify key stressors and analysis of interactions between multiple stressors across different scales.
  • Milicic, Marija; Popov, Snezana; Vujic, Ante; Ivosevic, Bojana; Cardoso, Pedro (2020)
    1. Dark diversity represents the set of species that can potentially inhabit a given area under particular ecological conditions, but are currently 'missing' from a site. This concept allows characterisation of the mechanisms determining why species are sometimes absent from an area that seems ecologically suitable for them. 2. The aim of this study was to determine the dark diversity of hoverflies in south-eastern Europe and to discuss the role of different functional traits that might increase the likelihood of species contributing to dark diversity. Based on expert opinion, the Syrph the Net database and known occurrences of species, the study estimated species pools, and observed and dark diversities within each of 11 defined vegetation types for 564 hoverfly species registered in south-eastern Europe. To detect the most important functional traits contributing to species being in dark diversity across different vegetation types, a random forest algorithm and respective statistics for variable importance were used. 3. The highest dark diversity was found for southwest Balkan sub-Mediterranean mixed oak forest type, whereas the lowest was in Mediterranean mixed forest type. Three larval feeding modes (saproxylic, and phytophagous on bulbs or roots) were found to be most important for determining the probability of a species contributing to hoverfly dark diversity, based on univariate correlations and random forest analysis. 4. This study shows that studying dark diversity might provide important insights into what drives community assembly in south-eastern European hoverflies, especially its missing components, and contributes to more precise conservation prioritisation of both hoverfly species and their habitats.
  • Danquah, Jones Abrefa; Appiah, Mark; Ari, Pappinen (2011)
  • Torres-Miralles, Miriam; Särkelä, K.; Koppelmaki, K.; Lamminen, Marjukka; Tuomisto, Hanna; Herzon, Iryna (2022)
    Sustainability of livestock production is a highly contested issue in agricultural sustainability discourse. This study aimed to assess the environmental impact of farms using semi-natural grasslands in Finland, or so-called High Nature Value (HNV) farms. We estimated the environmental impact of 11 such farms, including greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), nitrogen (N) balance, land occupation, and carbon storage. We also accounted for unique biodiversity, defined in this study as communities that are dependent on semi-natural grasslands. We compared these to the alternative states of the farms, specifically a hypothetical farm with the same production output but without access to semi natural grasslands. GHG emissions at the farm level (tCO(2eq)/ha) in HNV farms were 64% lower than on the alternative farms; GHG emissions at the product level (tCO(2eq)/t LW) and N balance (N kg/ha) were 31% and 235% lower, respectively. The carbon stocks were 163% higher at farm level. Biodiversity values, indicated by the share of semi-natural grassland in management, ranged from 23% to 83% on HNV farms. Six out of eleven farms would need to increase their arable land occupation by an average of 39% of arable land to fulfil their needs for animal feed if they did not utilize semi-natural grassland. This study contributes to growing evidence that HNV farming systems can support sustainable production by minimising arable land occupation, reducing nutrient loses, and increasing carbon storage while maintaining unique biodiversity.
  • Aaltonen, Heidi; Tuukkanen, Tapio; Palviainen, Marjo; Laurén, Annamari (Ari); Tattari, Sirkka; Piirainen, Sirpa; Mattsson, Tuija; Ojala, Anne; Launiainen, Samuli; Finér, Leena (2021)
    Understanding the anthropogenic and natural factors that affect runoff water quality is essential for proper planning of water protection and forest management, particularly in the changing climate. We measured water quality and runoff from 10 unmanaged and 20 managed forested headwater catchments (7-12,149 ha) located in Finland. We used linear mixed effect models to test whether the differences in total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) export and concentrations observed can be explained by catchment characteristics, land use, forest management, soil fertility, tree volume and hydrometeorological variables. Results show that much of variation in TOC, TN and TP concentrations and export was explained by drainage, temperature sum, peatland percentage and the proportion of arable area in the catchment. These models explained 45-63% of variation in concentrations and exports. Mean annual TOC export in unmanaged catchments was 56.4 +/- 9.6 kg ha(-1) a(-1), while in managed it was 79.3 +/- 3.3 kg ha(-1) a(-1). Same values for TN export were 1.43 +/- 0.2 kg ha(-1) a(-1) and 2.31 +/- 0.2 kg ha(-1) a(-1), while TP export was 0.053 +/- 0.009 kg ha(-1) a(-1) and 0.095 +/- 0.008 kg ha(-1) a(-1) for unmanaged and managed, respectively. Corresponding values for concentrations were: TOC 17.7 +/- 2.1 mg L-1 and 28.7 +/- 1.6 mg L-1, for TN 420 +/- 45 mu g L-1 and 825 +/- 51 mu g L-1 and TP 15.3 +/- 2.3 mu g L-1 and 35.6 +/- 3.3 mu g L-1. Overall concentrations and exports were significantly higher in managed than in unmanaged catchments. Long term temperature sum had an increasing effect on all concentrations and exports, indicating that climate warming may set new challenges to controlling nutrient loads from catchment areas.