Next Issue
Previous Issue

Table of Contents

Land, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2013), Pages 534-796

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-12
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle Land Cover Change Detection in Ulaanbaatar Using the Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend Method
Land 2013, 2(4), 534-549; doi:10.3390/land2040534
Received: 20 August 2013 / Revised: 11 September 2013 / Accepted: 5 October 2013 / Published: 11 October 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (770 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, has expanded rapidly over the past decade. Insufficient authority is in place to address this expansion, and many residential plots have been developed in the peripheral regions of the city. The aim of this study is to [...] Read more.
Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, has expanded rapidly over the past decade. Insufficient authority is in place to address this expansion, and many residential plots have been developed in the peripheral regions of the city. The aim of this study is to estimate changes in land cover within the central part of Ulaanbaatar, which has been affected by anthropogenic disturbances. The breaks for additive seasonal and trend (BFAST) method is a powerful tool for implementing this study because it is able to robustly and automatically derive the timing and locations of land cover changes from spatio-temporal datasets. We applied the BFAST method for the first time to urban expansion analysis, with NDVI time series calculated from MODIS (MOD09A1 product) during the period 2000–2010. The results show that land cover has changed across 22.51% of the study area, and that the change occurs at a later time with increasing distance from the city center. Bi-temporal high-resolution satellite images of a sample area in 2000 and 2008 confirmed that the detection of land cover changes by BFAST corresponds to areas in which residential development is dominant. This study demonstrates that BFAST is an effective method for monitoring urban expansion. In addition, it increases the applicability of NDVI time series. Full article
Open AccessArticle Incorporating Topography into Landscape Continuity Analysis—Hong Kong Island as a Case Study
Land 2013, 2(4), 550-572; doi:10.3390/land2040550
Received: 25 July 2013 / Revised: 22 September 2013 / Accepted: 9 October 2013 / Published: 16 October 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3080 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increase in population and the expansion of built-up areas into natural and agricultural areas results in more than just loss of open spaces surrounding cities. Reduced accessibility to nature, visual intrusion of buildings into natural viewsheds, and changes in runoff requires [...] Read more.
The increase in population and the expansion of built-up areas into natural and agricultural areas results in more than just loss of open spaces surrounding cities. Reduced accessibility to nature, visual intrusion of buildings into natural viewsheds, and changes in runoff requires us to assess these impacts on open spaces. Our aim in this paper was to examine and demonstrate how topography can be incorporated into modeling and analyzing environmental impacts of cities. Taking Hong Kong Island as a case study, we used historical topographic maps to map changes in the built-up areas between 1930 and 2006. We analyzed changes in three variables representing different kinds of human impacts: landscape continuity, visibility of built-up areas, and runoff from built-up areas. We show that consideration of topography (both natural and artificial) is critical to understand spatial patterns of land use and of human impacts on open spaces. The methods employed here can be applied to examine and visualize the potential effects of future and proposed development plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
Open AccessArticle The Impacts of Weather and Conservation Programs on Vegetation Dynamics in China’s Loess Plateau
Land 2013, 2(4), 573-594; doi:10.3390/land2040573
Received: 31 August 2013 / Revised: 29 September 2013 / Accepted: 9 October 2013 / Published: 24 October 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present an analysis of the impacts of weather change and large-scale vegetation conservation programs on the vegetation dynamics in China’s Loess Plateau from 2000 through 2009. We employed a multiple lines of evidence approach in which multi-scale data were used. We [...] Read more.
We present an analysis of the impacts of weather change and large-scale vegetation conservation programs on the vegetation dynamics in China’s Loess Plateau from 2000 through 2009. We employed a multiple lines of evidence approach in which multi-scale data were used. We employed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) at 500 m to identify significant vegetation increases in the Loess Plateau since 2000. We found increases in NDVI for 48% of the Loess Plateau between 2000 and 2009. We were able to attribute up to 37.5% of the observed vegetation increases to weather change, vegetation conservation activities and crop yield increases. We demonstrate that the impact of vegetation conservation programs on vegetation change in the Loess Plateau is twofold. On the one hand, vegetation conservation programs target marginal lands. Thus, significant vegetation increases due to cropland conversion and afforestation can be found in these regions. On the other hand, intensified agricultural production can be found in croplands with suitable topography and well-established irrigation systems, which were not enrolled in conservation programs to offset the agricultural production loss caused by vegetation conservation programs elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
Open AccessArticle An Application for Regional Coastal Erosion Processes in Urban Areas: A Case Study of the Golden Horseshoe in Canada
Land 2013, 2(4), 595-608; doi:10.3390/land2040595
Received: 5 September 2013 / Revised: 19 October 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 13 November 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (579 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban growth has had unprecedented consequences on environmental sustainability and anthropogenic activity. The eroding coastlines throughout the world are subject to the massive expansion of urban areas and the accountability of sustainable hinterland landscapes. The Golden Horseshoe is Canada’s fastest growing region [...] Read more.
Urban growth has had unprecedented consequences on environmental sustainability and anthropogenic activity. The eroding coastlines throughout the world are subject to the massive expansion of urban areas and the accountability of sustainable hinterland landscapes. The Golden Horseshoe is Canada’s fastest growing region extending from the Niagara Peninsula and one of the most active economic regions in North America. This paper adopts a combined assessment of land use change and transitions in the coastal stretches of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Comprising the urban expansion of the region between 1990 and 2011, an integrated assessment was carried out to: (i) detect changes in coastal lines along Lake Ontario; (ii) derive land use changes along the coast through spatial accounting matrices; and (iii) integrate climate change data for a combined assessment of future erosion loci. Visible erosion was found between the decade of 1990 and 2000, while certain areas have shown coastal recession in the southern region. The maximum recession was found to be 30 m, with an increasing urban sprawl of 19.8% between 1990 and 2000. A combined temperature increase of 2 °C over the coming decades brings the increase in urban heat islands leading to the importance of combined land policies to mitigate the common problem of erosion in vulnerable urban stretches and liveability concerning spatial resilience of growing urban regions in North America. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrating Land Change Science and Savanna Fire Models in West Africa
Land 2013, 2(4), 609-636; doi:10.3390/land2040609
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 11 November 2013 / Published: 18 November 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2060 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fire is a key component of many land use systems and a determinant of land change. There is a growing concern that climate change will cause more catastrophic fires, but in many areas the impacts will be mediated by human land use [...] Read more.
Fire is a key component of many land use systems and a determinant of land change. There is a growing concern that climate change will cause more catastrophic fires, but in many areas the impacts will be mediated by human land use practices. In African savannas, for example, fires are frequent and research finds low inter-annual variability in burned areas in places with highly variable rainfall. This regularity of fire suggests that African regimes are humanized, meaning that they are governed by human practices more than climate variation. Although these fire regimes are stable, they vary greatly over space. This paper will determine the reasons for two distinctly different fire regimes in Mali by integrating land change and savanna fire science. The study takes a two pronged approach to examine the causes of fire regimes and the reasons they change. It tests the notion that land cover (not land use) governs fire regimes by combining long term burn scar and vegetation analysis with local interviews. Results indicate that efforts to link fire and land change science, need to focus more on subtle differences in land cover, landscape pattern and human practices, than on drought, land use or fire policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Systems Science Symposium at AAG 2013)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Dendrochronology, Climate and Satellite Remote Sensing to Better Understand Savanna Landscape Dynamics in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Land 2013, 2(4), 637-655; doi:10.3390/land2040637
Received: 19 September 2013 / Revised: 16 October 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 20 November 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research examines the integration and potential uses of linkages between climate dynamics, savanna vegetation and landscape level processes within a highly vulnerable region, both in terms of climate variability and social systems. We explore the combined applications of two time-series methodologies: [...] Read more.
This research examines the integration and potential uses of linkages between climate dynamics, savanna vegetation and landscape level processes within a highly vulnerable region, both in terms of climate variability and social systems. We explore the combined applications of two time-series methodologies: (1) climate signals detected in tree ring growth, from published literature, chronologies from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, and minimal preliminary field data; and (2) new primary production (NPP) data of vegetation cover over time derived from remotely sensed analyses. Both time-series are related to the regional patterns of precipitation, the principle driver of plant growth in the area. The approach is temporally and spatially multiscalar and examines the relationships between vegetation cover, type and amount, and precipitation shifts. We review literature linking dendrochronology, climate, and remotely sensed imagery, and, in addition, provide unique preliminary analyses from a dry study site located on the outer limit of the Okavango Delta. The work demonstrates integration across the different data sources, to provide a more holistic view of landscape level processes occurring in the last 30-50 years. These results corroborate the water-limited nature of the region and the dominance of precipitation in controlling vegetation growth. We present this integrative analysis of vegetation and climate change, as a prospective approach to facilitate the development of long-term climate/vegetation change records across multiple scales. Full article
Open AccessArticle Housing Density and Ecosystem Function: Comparing the Impacts of Rural, Exurban, and Suburban Densities on Fire Hazard, Water Availability, and House and Road Distance Effects
Land 2013, 2(4), 656-677; doi:10.3390/land2040656
Received: 20 September 2013 / Revised: 5 November 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (894 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many amenity-rich regions are experiencing rapid land-use change through low-density residential development or exurbanization. Those same natural-resource amenities that attracted migration are often degraded by housing growth and associated development. This study examines the impacts of exurbanization on three ecosystem indicators (fire [...] Read more.
Many amenity-rich regions are experiencing rapid land-use change through low-density residential development or exurbanization. Those same natural-resource amenities that attracted migration are often degraded by housing growth and associated development. This study examines the impacts of exurbanization on three ecosystem indicators (fire hazard, water availability, and generalized distance effects of houses and roads) and compares them to areas with rural and suburban housing densities in the Sonoita Plain, southeastern Arizona. We found that although they support significantly lower population densities, exurban areas have impacts on ecosystem function comparable to suburban areas. Exurban areas had the highest potential for fire, suggesting that it is the presence of people rather than the density that increases fire hazard. The increase in the number of wells in exurban areas far exceeded suburban areas and matched increases for agricultural use in rural areas. When the impacts of houses and roads on ecosystem function were considered, 98% of exurban areas were “highly” or “very highly” impacted, compared to 100% for suburban areas and 35% for rural areas. Since development in the area is not readily visible, assessing the spatial extent of impacts is important for understanding the vulnerability of systems and guiding decisions about development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Compensation and Resettlement Policies after Compulsory Land Acquisition for Hydropower Development in Vietnam: Policy and Practice
Land 2013, 2(4), 678-704; doi:10.3390/land2040678
Received: 7 October 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 11 November 2013 / Published: 22 November 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (590 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under Vietnam’s State land ownership regime, the Government holds supreme authority over compulsory land acquisition. The results show that many improvements in land acquisition policies have been made, but poor implementation measures largely cannot prevent or even mitigate the adverse impacts on [...] Read more.
Under Vietnam’s State land ownership regime, the Government holds supreme authority over compulsory land acquisition. The results show that many improvements in land acquisition policies have been made, but poor implementation measures largely cannot prevent or even mitigate the adverse impacts on displaced persons. In particular, ineffective compensation measures and a lack of production land and livelihood alternatives accelerate the resistance of communities displaced as a result of hydropower development. The close alliance between the local government and the investor, which is considered as an “interest group”, is the main factor that leads to the ignorance of benefits of displaced people within the compulsory land acquisition process. Full article
Open AccessArticle Designing an Index to Reveal the Potential of Multipurpose Landscapes in Southern Africa
Land 2013, 2(4), 705-725; doi:10.3390/land2040705
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1097 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multipurpose mosaic (“ecoagriculture”) landscapes can serve the purpose of land sharing to combine objectives of agricultural production and biodiversity conservation. Rewarding the people who shape and maintain those landscapes could act as a mechanism to generate added-value representing an indirect payment for [...] Read more.
Multipurpose mosaic (“ecoagriculture”) landscapes can serve the purpose of land sharing to combine objectives of agricultural production and biodiversity conservation. Rewarding the people who shape and maintain those landscapes could act as a mechanism to generate added-value representing an indirect payment for ecosystem services. We investigated the feasibility of such an approach in two areas in Southern Africa differing in spatial configurations, history and socio-economic context. We designed and tested a composite index describing the state of each landscape in terms of ecoagriculture criteria (conservation, production, institutions and livelihood) and ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating and cultural services). The resulting index is made up of different sets of data each comprising 40 scores, obtained from stakeholders’ participatory interviews. Ecosystem services are in general assigned more importance than ecoagriculture criteria. In both cases, cultural services receive the highest scores, whereas the lowest ones are attributed to the livelihood and institutions in the Zimbabwean and South African sites, respectively. Index values reveal that the South African site, where there is more integration between land-use units, does better in terms of a landscape performing multiple functions. Provided relevant stakeholders are involved and a certification mechanism is developed, the landscape labelling index can be used to recognize and reward the value of outstanding rural landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Sustainability of Different Small-Scale Livestock Production Systems in the Afar Region, Ethiopia
Land 2013, 2(4), 726-755; doi:10.3390/land2040726
Received: 18 September 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1115 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Livestock production is a key income source in eastern Africa, and 80% of the total agricultural land is used for livestock herding. Hence, ecological and socio-economically sustainable rangeland management is crucial. Our study aimed at selecting operational economic, environmental and social sustainability [...] Read more.
Livestock production is a key income source in eastern Africa, and 80% of the total agricultural land is used for livestock herding. Hence, ecological and socio-economically sustainable rangeland management is crucial. Our study aimed at selecting operational economic, environmental and social sustainability indicators for three main pastoral (P), agro-pastoral (AP), and landless intensive (LI) small scale livestock production systems for use in sustainability assessment in Ethiopia. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through grey literature and semi-structured interviews, assessing livestock and feed resources, production technology, land tenure, financial and gender issues. Our results suggested that feed shortages (FS) are directly related to grazing pressure (G) and inversely related to grass recovery rates (R). According to our indicators, AP was the most sustainable while P and LI were only conditionally sustainable production systems. 93% of 82 interviewees claimed that private land ownership was the best land tenure incentive for efficient rangeland management. Farmers perceived Prosopis juliflora expansion, sporadic rainfall, and disease infestation as the most significant causes for decreasing livestock productivity. Landless intensive farmers had the highest equality in income distribution (Gini Index: GI = 0.4), followed by P and AP (each with a GI = 0.5). Neither educational background nor income seemed to determine grazing species conservation efforts. We claimed that sustainability indicators are valuable tools to highlight shortcomings and strengths of the three main livestock production systems and help with future livestock management in Ethiopia. Selecting suitable indicators, however, is crucial as data requirements and availability can vary across livestock systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Uncovering Dominant Land-Cover Patterns of Quebec: Representative Landscapes, Spatial Clusters, and Fences
Land 2013, 2(4), 756-773; doi:10.3390/land2040756
Received: 31 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4492 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mapping large areas for planning and conservation is a challenge undergoing rapid transformation. For centuries, the creation of broad-extent maps was the near-exclusive domain of expert specialist cartographers, who painstakingly delineated regions of relative homogeneity with respect to a given set of [...] Read more.
Mapping large areas for planning and conservation is a challenge undergoing rapid transformation. For centuries, the creation of broad-extent maps was the near-exclusive domain of expert specialist cartographers, who painstakingly delineated regions of relative homogeneity with respect to a given set of criteria. In the satellite era, it has become possible to rapidly create and update categorizations of Earth’s surface with improved speed and flexibility. Land cover datasets and landscape metrics offer a vast set of information for viewing and quantifying land cover across large areas. Comprehending the patterns revealed by hundreds of possibly relevant landscape metric values, however, remains a daunting task. We studied the information content of a large set of landscape pattern metrics across Quebec, Canada, asking whether they were capable of making consistent, spatially cohesive distinctions among patterns in landscapes. We evaluated the possibility of metrics to identify representative landscapes for efficient sampling or conservation, and determined areas where differences in nearby landscape patterns were the most and least pronounced. This approach can serve as a template for a landscape perspective on the challenges that will be faced in the near future by planners and conservationists working across large areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Patterns and Socioeconomic Contexts of Vegetative Cover in Altamira City, Brazil
Land 2013, 2(4), 774-796; doi:10.3390/land2040774
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
PDF Full-text (4809 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem services provided by urban vegetation can ameliorate problems common to urban environments while improving the quality of life of urban residents. Much research in urban ecology has analyzed urban environmental dynamics in the global north; rapidly urbanizing areas in the global [...] Read more.
Ecosystem services provided by urban vegetation can ameliorate problems common to urban environments while improving the quality of life of urban residents. Much research in urban ecology has analyzed urban environmental dynamics in the global north; rapidly urbanizing areas in the global south have not received commensurate attention. The land cover dynamics of mid-sized cities in the global south remain under-explored in particular. In this article, we investigate the spatial patterns and socioeconomic contexts of urban vegetation in Altamira, Brazil, a mid-sized but rapidly expanding city in the Amazon. Using time series remotely sensed imagery, we profile changes in urban land cover, and link them to socioeconomic indicators at the census sector (tract) level. While studies of urban environmental justice in the global north largely report that greener urban landscapes prevail in affluent neighborhoods, our analysis reveals significantly lower vegetative cover in higher-income sectors of Altamira. Vegetative cover is also significantly lower in sectors with higher housing density, time since urbanization and better infrastructure, and appears linked to housing tenure. Studies of vegetative outcomes in similar urban environments should investigate socioeconomic and demographic contexts while also integrating recent infrastructure development and density-dependent growth patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Figures

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Land Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
land@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Land
Back to Top