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Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 3 (March 2011), Pages 500-561

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Environmental Laws and Sustainability: An Introduction
Sustainability 2011, 3(3), 531-540; doi:10.3390/su3030531
Received: 15 March 2011 / Accepted: 23 March 2011 / Published: 23 March 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (175 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this introduction to the special issue of Sustainability on environmental laws and sustainability, we attempt to synthesize key lessons from the issue’s ten substantive articles. These lessons involve the use of law to achieve integrated decision-making, the use of pre-existing laws [...] Read more.
In this introduction to the special issue of Sustainability on environmental laws and sustainability, we attempt to synthesize key lessons from the issue’s ten substantive articles. These lessons involve the use of law to achieve integrated decision-making, the use of pre-existing laws to foster sustainability, the centrality of sub-national governments in achieving sustainability, the background law of unsustainable development, the growing importance of climate change, the need to use law to protect and restore ecological integrity, the importance of judicial review and nongovernmental organizations, the need to translate sustainability into specific legal principles, the challenge of creating an appropriate national legal structure for sustainability, the importance of sustainability assessment tools and institutions before and after laws are adopted, and the importance of “soft” law. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Laws and Sustainability)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle The Soil Microbial Community and Grain Micronutrient Concentration of Historical and Modern Hard Red Spring Wheat Cultivars Grown Organically and Conventionally in the Black Soil Zone of the Canadian Prairies
Sustainability 2011, 3(3), 500-517; doi:10.3390/su3030500
Received: 6 January 2011 / Revised: 26 February 2011 / Accepted: 2 March 2011 / Published: 4 March 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Micronutrient deficiencies in the diet of many people are common and wheat is a staple food crop, providing a carbohydrate and micronutrient source to a large percentage of the world’s population. We conducted a field study to compare five Canadian red spring [...] Read more.
Micronutrient deficiencies in the diet of many people are common and wheat is a staple food crop, providing a carbohydrate and micronutrient source to a large percentage of the world’s population. We conducted a field study to compare five Canadian red spring wheat cultivars (released over the last century) grown under organic and conventional management systems for yield, grain micronutrient concentration, and soil phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile. The organic system had higher grain Zn, Fe, Mg and K levels, but lower Se and Cu levels. There was no trend in the results to suggest that modern western Canadian hard red spring cultivars have lower grain micronutrient content than historical cultivars. Wheat cultivar choice is important for maximizing grain nutrient levels, which was influenced by management system. It is evident that the emphasis on elevated grain quality in the western Canadian hard red spring class has resulted in the retention of micronutrient quality characters. Three fungal PLFAs were indicators for the organic system, and all three of these indicators were positively correlated with grain Cu concentration. In the organic system, percent arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were negatively correlated with grain Zn and Fe concentrations, and positively correlated with grain Mn, Cu, K concentrations and grain yield. The organic system had higher levels of fungi in the soil, including arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Organic management practices appear to result in elevated levels of grain micronutrient concentration. The hard red spring breeding effort in and for the black soil zone of the northern Great Plains also appears to have led to no diminishment of grain micronutrient concentration. It is evident that both the agronomic system and breeding strategies in this region can be exploited for future increases in grain micronutrient concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding for Sustainable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of a Biorefinery Complex in Thailand
Sustainability 2011, 3(3), 518-530; doi:10.3390/su3030518
Received: 1 February 2011 / Revised: 16 February 2011 / Accepted: 28 February 2011 / Published: 21 March 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a biorefinery complex in Thailand was assessed vis-à-vis sustainability. The complex studied includes plantations of sugarcane and a biorefinery system composed of several units including, a sugar mill, power plant, ethanol factory and fertilizer plant. The assessment aimed at [...] Read more.
In this paper, a biorefinery complex in Thailand was assessed vis-à-vis sustainability. The complex studied includes plantations of sugarcane and a biorefinery system composed of several units including, a sugar mill, power plant, ethanol factory and fertilizer plant. The assessment aimed at evaluating the environmental and socio-economic implications relating to molasses-based ethanol production and use, and maximized utilization of the biomass materials produced as part of the biorefinery complex. Global warming potential, human development index and total value added are the three indicators that were selected to perform the assessment. The results obtained revealed that the maximization of biomass utilization at the level of the biorefinery complex provide greenhouse gases emissions reduction benefits, enhanced living conditions for sugarcane farmers and employees of the biorefinery, and economic benefits, particularly with regard to profit and income generation. These results could serve as a first step to further improve and design indicators for sustainability assessment of biomass utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Food Production Systems and Food Security: Economic and Environmental Imperatives in Yam Cultivation in Trelawny, Jamaica
Sustainability 2011, 3(3), 541-561; doi:10.3390/su3030541
Received: 2 September 2010 / Revised: 13 February 2011 / Accepted: 18 March 2011 / Published: 23 March 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1112 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Members of the genus Dioscorea, food yams, were introduced to Jamaica from Africa during the slave era and have remained a staple in local diets and national cuisine. Yam cultivation has also been an important economic activity providing employment for thousands of [...] Read more.
Members of the genus Dioscorea, food yams, were introduced to Jamaica from Africa during the slave era and have remained a staple in local diets and national cuisine. Yam cultivation has also been an important economic activity providing employment for thousands of rural Jamaicans. Until the 1960s yams were grown for local use by subsistence growers for home consumption or by commercial growers for sale in local produce markets. Since then, however, yam has also grown to become an important export crop. With its value added potential virtually untouched, this crop possesses intriguing possibilities from the standpoint of food security and rural livelihoods in yam growing areas of Jamaica. At the same time there are concerns about the ecological and economic sustainability of yam farming under current conditions. In this paper we will analyze the sustainability of yam cultivation and consider concrete strategies for increasing the environmental sustainability and enhancing its contribution to food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)

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