Browsing by Subject "Land use"

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  • Balotari-Chiebao, Fabio; Brommer, Jon E.; Saurola, Pertti; Ijäs, Asko; Laaksonen, Toni (2018)
    The expansion of wind energy over large areas may be accompanied by major conflicts with birds, including birds of prey. Hence, it is desirable that the space use of species known to be vulnerable to wind energy be assessed in light of current and future developments. Here, we report on the large-scale dispersal movements of pre-breeding white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Finland, where a currently modest wind-energy capacity is expected to increase in the near future. We studied white-tailed eagle space use with a particular focus on the potential for annual power production (GWh) at specific locations, as estimated by the Finnish Wind Atlas. Also, we aimed to detect a potential human-wildlife conflict by assessing white-tailed eagle space use against the spatial distribution of existing and recently proposed wind farms. We found that, despite visiting a large proportion of the country, the eagles stayed primarily within coastal areas and islands, restricted to where human infrastructure was present only at very small amounts. Because of the distribution of wind resources, such areas were found to contain considerable potential for power production. The eagles visited most of the areas targeted for wind-energy development. However, these areas did not coincide with a higher-than-average eagle relocation frequency, suggesting that the existing and recently proposed wind farms do not represent an elevated threat to dispersing eagles. Caution should nevertheless be taken against interpreting that co-occurrence poses no threat at any given site, as site selection is paramount to avoid conflicts with avian conservation.
  • Hurskainen, Pekka; Adhikari, Hari; Siljander, Mika; Pellikka, Petri; Hemp, Andreas (2019)
    Classifying land use/land cover (LULC) with sufficient accuracy in heterogeneous landscapes is challenging using only satellite imagery. To improve classification accuracy inclusion of features from auxiliary geospatial datasets in classification models is applied since 1980s. However, the method is mostly limited to pixel-based classifications, and the coverage, accuracy and resolution of free and open-access auxiliary datasets have been poor until recent years. We evaluated how recent global coverage open-access geospatial datasets improve object-based LULC classification accuracy compared to using only spectral and texture features from satellite images. We applied feature sets topography, population, soil, canopy cover, distance to watercourses and spectral-temporal metrics from Landsat-8 time series on the southern foothills and savanna of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, where the landscape is characterized by heterogeneous and fragmented mosaic of disturbed savanna vegetation, croplands, and settlements. The classification was based on image objects (groups of spectrally similar pixels) derived from segmentation of four Formosat-2 scenes with 8m spatial resolution using 1370 ground reference points for training, validation, and for defining 17 LULC classes. We built six Random Forest classification models with different sets of object features in each. The baseline model having only spectral and texture features was compared with five other models supplemented with auxiliary features. Inclusion of auxiliary features significantly improved classification overall accuracy (OA). The baseline model gave a median OA of 60.7%, but auxiliary features in other models increased median OA between 6.1 and 16.5 percentage points. The best OA was achieved with a model including all features of which elevation was the most important auxiliary feature followed by Enhanced Vegetation Index temporal range and slope degree. Applying object-based classification to geospatial information on topography, soil, settlement patterns and vegetation phenology, the discriminatory potential of challenging LULC classes can be significantly improved. We demonstrated this for the first time, and the technique shows good potential for improving LULC mapping across a multitude of fragmented landscapes worldwide.
  • Ahonen, Salla; Hayden, Brian; Leppänen, Jaakko Johannes; Kahilainen, Kimmo Kalevi (2018)
    Climate change is resulting in increased temperatures and precipitation in subarctic regions of Europe. These changes are extending tree lines to higher altitudes and latitudes, and enhancing tree growth enabling intensification of forestry into previously inhospitable subarctic regions. The combined effects of climate change and land-use intensification extend the warm, open-water season in subarctic lakes and increase lake productivity and may also increase leaching andmethylation activity of mercury within the lakes. To assess the joint effects of climate and productivity on total mercury (THg) bioaccumulation in fish, we conducted a space-for-time substitution study in 18 tributary lakes of a subarcticwatercourse forming a gradient fromcold pristine oligotrophic lakes in the northern headwaters to warmer and increasingly human-altered mesotrophic and eutrophic systems in the southern lower reaches. Increasing temperature, precipitation, and lake productivity were predicted to elevate length-and age-adjusted THg concentrations, as well as THg bioaccumulation rate (the rate of THg bioaccumulation relative to length or age) in muscle tissue of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), vendace (Coregonus albula), perch (Perca fluviatilis), pike (Esox lucius), roach (Rutilus rutilus) and ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua). A significant positive relationship was observed between age-adjusted THg concentration and lake climateproductivity in vendace (r(2) = 0.50), perch (r(2) = 0.51), pike (r(2) = 0.55) and roach (r(2) = 0.61). Higher climate-productivity values of the lakes also had a positive linear (pike; r(2) = 0.40 and whitefish; r(2)= 0.72) or u-shaped (perch; r(2) = 0.64 and ruffe; r(2) = 0.50) relationship with THg bioaccumulation rate. Our findings of increased adjusted THg concentrations in planktivores and piscivores reveal adverse effects of warming climate and increasing productivity on these subarctic fishes, whereas less distinct trends in THg bioaccumulation rate suggest more complex underlying processes. Joint environmental stressors such as climate and productivity should be considered in ongoing and future monitoring of mercury concentrations. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Räsänen, Aleksi; Nygren, Anja; Monge Monge, Adrian Antonio; Käkönen, Mira; Kanninen, Markku; Juhola, Sirkku (2018)
    Land use changes have been recognized to have considerable impacts on water; and vice versa, changes in water use and governance may have implications on land use and governance. This study analyzes recent land use/land cover (LULC) changes, and how changes in land use and water governance are perceived to affect land use and water-related risks in three case-study areas exposed to frequent flooding and inadequate or deteriorating water quality. The areas studied included the Vantaa basin in Finland, a section of the Grijalva basin in Mexico, and the Lower Xe Bang Fai basin in Laos. We show how there are complex and context-specific interrelationships between land use, water governance, and water-related risks in each study area. In a remote sensing analysis of LULC changes during the past 30 years, we found that LULC changes have been the most dramatic in Xe Bang Fai, Laos in the form of expanding agriculture and built-up areas; however, there has also been an expansion of built-up areas in the two other sites. According to our stakeholder scenario workshop data, analysis of policy documents and field visits, the nexus between land, water and risks is recognized to some extent in each study area. There have been modest shifts toward more integrated land use and water governance in Vantaa and Grijalva, while the integrated governance seems to have been most absent in Xe Bang Fai. Tighter integration of land and water policies is needed in all the three cases to manage the land use changes in a way that their effects on water-related risks will be minimized.
  • Laine, A. M.; Mehtätalo, L.; Tolvanen, A.; Frolking, S.; Tuittila, E-S (2019)
    Northern wetlands with organic soil i.e., mires are significant carbon storages. This key ecosystem service may be threatened by anthropogenic activities and climate change, yet we still lack a consensus on how these major changes affects their carbon sink capacities. We studied how forestry drainage and restoration combined with experimental warming, impacts greenhouse gas fluxes of wetlands with peat. We measured CO2 and CH4 during two and N2O fluxes during one growing season using the chamber method. Gas fluxes were primarily controlled by water table, leaf area and temperature. Land use had a clear impact of on CO2 exchange. Forestry drainage increased respiration rates and decreased field layer net ecosystem CO2 uptake (NEE) and leaf area index (LAI), while at restoration sites the flux rates and LAI had recovered to the level of undrained sites. CH4 emissions were exceptionally low at all sites during our study years due to natural drought, but still somewhat lower at drained compared to undrained sites. Moderate warming triggered an increase in LAI across all land use types. This was accompanied by an increase in cumulative seasonal NEE. Restoration appeared to be an effective tool to return the ecosystem functions of these wetlands as we found no differences in LAI or any gas flux components (PMAX, Reco, NEE, CH4 or N2O) between restored and undrained sites. We did not find any signs that moderate warming would compromise the return of the ecosystem functions related to C sequestration. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Malkamäki, Arttu; Toppinen, Anne; Kanninen, Markku (2016)
  • Lehikoinen, Petteri; Tiusanen, Maria; Santangeli, Andrea; Rajasärkkä, Ari; Jaatinen, Kim; Valkama, Jari; Virkkala, Raimo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2021)
    Climate change has ubiquitous impacts on ecosystems and threatens biodiversity globally. One of the most recognized impacts are redistributions of species, a process which can be hindered by habitat degradation. Protected areas (PAs) have been shown to be beneficial for preserving and reallocating species occurrences under climate change. Yet, studies investigating effects of PA networks on species' range shifts under climate change remain scarce. In theory, a well-connected network of PAs should promote population persistence under climate change and habitat degradation. To study this, we evaluated the effects of PA coverage on avian communities in Finland between two study periods of 1980-1999 and 2000-2015. Climate-driven community impacts were investigated by using community temperature index (CTI). We used linear models to study the association of PA coverage and the CTI changes in southern, central and northern Finland. In northern and central Finland, higher PA coverage was associated with lower changes in CTI and 45% PA coverage in northern and 13% in central Finland corresponded with complete mitigation of CTI increase. These results indicate that higher PA coverage strongly increases community resilience to warming climate. However a similar association between PA coverage and changes in CTI was not apparent in southern Finland. The PA coverage in southern Finland was much lower than in the two other sections and thus, may be too sparse to favour community resilience against climate change. The results provide empirical evidence for the international need to rapidly expand PA networks and halt biodiversity loss.
  • Vauhkonen, Jari; Mutanen, Antti; Packalen, Tuula; Asikainen, Antti (2021)
    Background The current EU LULUCF regulation calls for member state-specific Forest Reference Levels (FRLs) for benchmark in the accounting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals of managed forest land during the compliance period (2021-2030). According to the technical guidance on developing and reporting the FRLs, it could be actualized by projecting a ratio of harvested to total available biomass. We tested how the initial age distribution may affect the aforementioned ratio by simulating the continuation of forest management based on several descriptive shapes of forest age class distribution. Results Our simulations suggest that when the FRLs are prepared by employing the harvest ratio and forest management is assumed strictly age dynamics driven, the shape of the initial forest age class distribution gives rise to computational sinks or sources of carbon in managed forest land. Harvests projected according to the ratio corresponded those resulting from the age dynamics only in the case of uniform age distribution. Conclusions The result calls for a better consideration of variation in initial states between countries when determining the future LULUCF regulation. Our exercise demonstrates how generic simulations in a standardized modeling framework could help in ex-ante impact assessment of proposed changes to the LULUCF regulation.
  • Rasmus, Sirpa; Wallen, Henri; Turunen, Minna; Landauer, Mia; Tahkola, Juho; Jokinen, Mikko; Laaksonen, Sauli (2021)
    Drivers of change in the reindeer management system are rather well-known. But when developing the gover-nance to support the traditional livelihoods, it is crucial to understand also practitioner perceptions. Systematic research on these is lacking. We analyzed the land-use and climate related drivers within the reindeer man-agement area (RMA) in Finland, and, using a perception geography approach, studied the herder perceptions towards these. We conducted an on-site questionnaire survey with herders from 51 herding districts. Factors directly affecting the welfare of reindeer were perceived as crucial by herders, for example basal icing affecting the forage availability, and land-use related factors limiting the seasonal pasture access. Perceptions of herders on biophysical factors were rather homogeneous. The regional heterogeneities in perceptions towards land-use related factors could be explained by spatial differences in land-use and varying herding traditions. Cumulative land-use impacts raised particular concerns. Our approach can be utilized in the co-planning of the northern land-use and more widely in the co-management of natural resources.
  • Sandstrom, Vilma; Kauppi, Pekka E.; Scherer, Laura; Kastner, Thomas (2017)
    The agricultural products consumed in Finland are increasingly grown on foreign farms. We analyze the Finnish imports of food and feed crops from 1986 to 2011 by products and by their geographic origin drawing a link to environmental impacts. The share of foreign crops consumed in Finland nearly doubled in the study period. The imports increased especially with commodities that could also be produced domestically. While the production of food increasingly shifted abroad, also the exports from Finland increased. >90% of the blue water of the Finnish crop supply came from foreignwater resources. Wemap the results of land and water use together with their impacts on global biodiversity, and show thatmost of the land and water use related biodiversity impacts (>93%) associated with the Finnish food consumption are related to the imports and therefore taken place outside the Finnish borders. The use ofmultiple environmental indicators can help identifying products and spatial hotspots associated with themost severe environmental impacts of the Finnish crop imports contributing to a more holistic decision-making and the promoting of sustainable food consumption both domestically and globally. (C) 2016 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.
  • Di Gregorio, Monica; Fatorelli, Leandra; Paavola, Jouni; Locatelli, Bruno; Pramova, Emilia; Nurrochmat, Dodik Ridho; May, Peter H.; Brockhaus, Maria; Sari, Intan Maya; Kusumadewi, Sonya Dyah (2019)
    This article proposes an innovative theoretical framework that combines institutional and policy network approaches to study multi-level governance. The framework is used to derive a number of propositions on how cross-level power imbalances shape communication and collaboration across multiple levels of governance. The framework is then applied to examine the nature of cross-level interactions in climate change mitigation and adaptation policy processes in the land use sectors of Brazil and Indonesia. The paper identifies major barriers to cross-level communication and collaboration between national and sub-national levels. These are due to power imbalances across governance levels that reflect broader institutional differences between federal and decentralized systems of government. In addition, powerful communities operating predominantly at the national level hamper cross-level interactions. The analysis also reveals that engagement of national level actors is more extensive in the mitigation and that of local actors in the adaptation policy domain, and specialisation in one of the climate change responses at the national level hampers effective climate policy integration in the land use sector.
  • Salomaa, Anna; Paloniemi, Riikka; Ekroos, Ari (2018)
    Peatlands that are close to a natural state are rich in biodiversity and are significant carbon storages. Simultaneously, peat resources are of interest to industry, which leads to competing interests and tensions regarding the use and management of peatlands. In this case study, we studied knowledge-management interactions through the development of participation and the resulting representation of nature (how nature was described), as well as the proposed and implemented conservation policy instruments. We focused on the years 2009-2015, when peatland management was intensively debated in Finland. We did an interpretative policy analysis using policy documents (Peatland Strategy; Government Resolution; Proposal for Conservation Programme) and environmental legislation as central data. Our results show how the representation of nature reflected the purpose of the documents and consensus of participants' values. The representation of nature changed from skewed use of ecosystem services to detailed ecological knowledge. However, simultaneously, political power changed and the planned supplementation programme for peatland conservation was not implemented. The Environment Protection Act was reformulated so that it prohibited the use of the most valuable peatlands. Landowners did not have the chance to fully participate in the policy process. Overall, the conservation policy instruments changed to emphasize voluntariness but without an adequate budget to ensure sufficient conservation.