Articles by Publication Number

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Volume 8 - 2014

  • lrlr-2014-4 NEW: 2014-10-31
    Programs addressing land conservation are not succeeding where they are most needed. Understanding, preventing and mitigating land degradation (LD) at the local scale seem to require more than technical knowledge and perception by external agents such as agricultural advisors and government officials. The main purpose of this paper is to identify the factors determining farmers’ decisions to adopt land conservation practices in the local context. We argue that peasant decision-making procedures are strongly based on their perceptions of the forces that drive degradation. First, we summarize and rank prominent driving forces in LD particularly at the local level. Next, we discuss how local perception and traditional knowledge, including local indicators, have been addressed in published studies. Finally, we inspect the attitudes and strategies to cope with degradation from the perspective of local communities as reported in the scientific literature. We conclude that local communities should not be expected to simply adopt suggested practices; they may rather be supported to develop their own projects on the basis of their indicators and perception of LD, and their own survival priorities.
  • lrlr-2014-3
    River bank erosion is one of the critical public concerns in the world at least in some countries. River bank erosion has a long-term consequence on human life. The victims are compelled to displace as they become destitute. On the other hand, the altered flow of rivers (natural or man-made) due to bank erosion also effects river ecology. In this review paper some cases of river bank erosion and their impacts are discussed. The Indian scenario is reviewed in detail to understand the gravity of the problem. It is observed that after forced human migration due to bank erosion, displaced people face economic insecurity due to loss of agricultural land and become unemployed. The victims also suffer from social insecurity due to deprivation of civic rights, health insecurity due to lack of basic infrastructure, etc. All these insecurities caused by forced displacement lead to deprivation, destitute, fragility and increased vulnerability of the families.
  • lrlr-2014-2
    In the past 30 years, the notion of landscape has emerged in ecology as a result of both theoretical considerations and practical aspects of land use and land cover. This has generated a variety of numerical models addressing both methodological and thematic objectives. Scientists model landscapes for at least two reasons: to better understand the landscape dynamics themselves (called intrinsic needs) and to offer a realistic frame to support other ecological processes (extrinsic needs). This paper mainly concerns the intrinsic needs; it reviews and discusses the way the socioeconomic and/or ecological mechanisms of various landscapes have been explored through modelling approaches in the past. Our objective is to identify the possible lack of understanding in landscape dynamics and to propose a unified view of this complex object. We outline the links between the concepts of landscape and of models using a double-entry matrix, focusing on one hand on the four main terrestrial landscapes (agricultural, forested, arid and urban) and on the other hand on the main landscape model characteristics (explicit or neutral, patchy or continuous, and multi- or mono-scale). The patterns and processes of each of the four landscape types, in particular, are analysed within a coherent framework. The heterogeneity of this yet coherent analytical matrix implies the need for unifying concepts and formalisms. The complexity theory and related concepts such as self-organization or formal grammar applied to landscape mosaics could help to further develop the mathematical formalisms necessary to assemble the various inner landscape processes. The discipline can now offer a theoretical dimension to dynamic landscape modelling aiming at understanding the mechanism unity underlying this complex object.
  • lrlr-2014-1
    This article deals with the contemporary situation in the study of past landscapes. An overview of past landscapes' nature is given, then different categories of research approaches are described and explained, and in the main part of the article diverse methodologies of past landscape research are explained and exemplified. The approaches mentioned in the article are settlement archaeology and field-system analysis, path dependency, phenomenology and landscape biography. Those approaches are the most common and modern ways of studying past landscapes, but the authors will argue that the best results will be gained combining different aspects of those approaches.

Volume 6 - 2012

  • lrlr-2012-1
    This review explores landscape science in the proposed age of the Anthropocene and Fourth Paradigm. Both the Anthropocene and the Fourth Paradigm put landscape science to task, due to the severity of landscape challenges. The article aims to link the concepts of the Anthropocene, the Fourth Paradigm and landscape sustainability in the 21st century. Different sources of publications and information were used to analyse, synthesise and explain the state of landscape research. We searched Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge, Scopus, and Google Scholar for contents on this article’s key themes – globalisation, urbanisation, the Anthropocene and the Fourth Paradigm. We argue that globalisation and urbanisation are the key driving forces behind landscape change. These driving forces represent the scales of human impact on landscapes. Landscape science plays a major role in the age of data revolution and unprecedented landscape change. The review suggests that landscape scientists and landscape societies should chart a new course for landscape research to exploit the benefits of data to advance landscape sustainability.

Volume 5 - 2011

  • lrlr-2011-3
    This paper deals with the question of the role landscape metrics can play in the investigation, evaluation and monitoring of landscape structure, and which linkages between landscape structure and biodiversity are known. In the first part, the scientific state of the art is presented; in the second part, the meaning of landscape metrics for nature protection, landscape management and biodiversity monitoring is discussed. A number of studies indicate that such metrics on an aggregated, overall landscape level are quite appropriate to describe the state of biodiversity. On the other hand, gaps in the knowledge become apparent, and the results of such studies are strongly dependent on the scale of investigation and the underlying database. Nevertheless, the landscape structure approach seems to be expedient for management and planning at the landscape level.
  • lrlr-2011-2
    To address the multiplying conservation challenges and resource constraints in face of breakneck economic growth, policymakers in China have become increasingly interested in developing new approaches in environmental policy. For this reason, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) is becoming a topic of discussion in society. This paper provides a general review of PES in China from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. It starts with an outline of relevant terms used by the international community, and is followed by a discussion of major components covered in PES for implementation, including basic principles, methods to determine compensation standards and approaches. The main PES programmes that have been implemented are presented. The paper reveals that PES in China has unique characteristics, compared to other countries, and that the necessary policy frameworks for developing PES and purely market-based instruments in China are rapidly taking shape. However, to successfully implement PES, the relations and conflicts between central government and local governments, between the government and the market, and between PES and poverty alleviation must be taken into consideration.
  • lrlr-2011-1
    The awareness that natural and semi-natural ecosystems provide benefits to human society, which are of great economic, ecological and socio-cultural value, can be dated back to the mid-1960s and early 1970s. More recently, there has been an almost exponential growth in publications on the benefits of natural ecosystems to human society. However, despite the enhancing interest in ecosystem service research, still many open questions remain to fully integrate the ecosystem service concept in landscape research and decision making. The paper aims at providing the state-of-the-art of ecosystem service assessment regarding landscape research and to present a coherent knowledge base for further discussions. First the paper gives an overview of the different ways defining and classifying ecosystem services. Five selected typologies, very common in the literature are discussed in detail. The second main part of this review focuses on quantifying and mapping ecosystem services as well as on the different valuation approaches. As there are still a lot of challenges that have to be faced regarding quantifying, visualising as well as valuing ecosystem services the paper emphasizes the importance of further research, initiatives and projects to improve the implementation of the ecosystem service concept in environmental planning and management at all levels of decision making. To meet all these challenges research effort needs to be conducted side by side to understand underlying relationships and to improve ecological as well as socio-economic understanding.

Volume 4 - 2010

  • lrlr-2010-4
    This article gives an overview of contemporary studies on landscape accessibility. We focus on the broadened meaning of the term, where accessibility is not delimited with territorial access. The overview of landscape accessibility is widened by post-structural approaches. Discursive, socio-political and semiotic aspects are introduced, and the examples of different emerging conflicts, such as exclusion, segregation, or the creation of different social identities, are presented. In the discussion, additional need for understanding accessibility as the creation of spaces for communication is argued pointing to the valuing of conflicting meanings in accessibility-inaccessibility opposition.
  • lrlr-2010-3
    Genetically modified herbicide-resistant (GMHR) sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) has been cultivated in the US for several years and an application has been submitted for cultivation in Europe. Concerns have been raised about how GMHR sugar beet cultivation might impair the agro-environment. European legislation for GM plants requires, prior to their commercial import and/or cultivation, a stepwise reduction of the containment and a gradual increase in the scale of release. Experimental results gained during this procedure enter an environmental risk assessment; after the GM plant approval, a systematic monitoring of potential adverse environmental effects is required. We collected information on sugar beet biology and cultivation and the HR technology. We categorised the literature findings, evaluated the evidence of agro-environmental effects and indicated adverse effects. The impacts are directly and indirectly linked to sugar beet biology and/or to the HR technology. Most likely are a) adverse herbicide effects on field organisms, aquatic communities and soil microbial communities, b) persistence of the GM plant triggered by a potential selective advantage and/or genetic drift after hybridisation of GMHR cultivated, feral and weed beet with neighbouring beets and wild relatives, c) the increase of HR in weeds and subsequent increase and/or change in the herbicide application regime after several years of glyphosate application, and d) decline in agrobiodiversity (weed communities, herbivores, pollinators and beneficial species). Our study reveals a lack of experimental data on potential agro-environmental effects. This suggests that the principle of a stepwise scale increase of release is inadequately applied to the GMHR sugar beet approval process. The adverse effects identified should prompt further research experiments to gain information for the ERA and/or specific monitoring activities at the respective identified spatial scale levels.
  • lrlr-2010-2
    Migration within Europe and between Europe and other parts of the world is a major driver of population change and has far reaching effects on land use. The theory, historical trends and actual patterns of migration were reviewed and from these an understanding of different categories of migration was developed. The pressures for land use change caused by different types of migration were developed and interpreted into a map of Europe, resolved at NUTSx level and a set of descriptions of land use change projections, examples of which are presented. The paper suggests that the implications of migration on land use change need further research and better data in order to be able to be more certain of trends. In the modern world migration will continue to be a major influence on land use and European policies which consider migration and land use as separate issues are likely to miss important connections.
  • lrlr-2010-1
    Identifying and quantifying relationships among landscape patterns, anthropogenic disturbances, and aquatic ecosystems is a new and rapidly developing approach to riverine ecology. In this review, we begin by describing the policy and management drivers for landscape-scale riverine research and we synthesize the technological advances that have enabled dramatic progress in the field. We then describe the development of landscape-scale riverine research through a series of landmark theoretical and review papers. Focusing on landscape-fish relationships, we consider the degree to which past efforts have been successful at meeting three key challenges: (1) Has new research effectively incorporated the strengths of new technologies or are we doing the same old thing with more expensive data? (2) Have we incorporated key concepts from landscape ecology to improve our understanding of how landscapes affect rivers? (3) Have we been able to use landscape analyses to address management and policy needs? We conclude with a review of opportunities for advancement in the field of landscape-scale riverine research. These include moving toward the development of mechanistic theories of how landscapes affect rivers across disparate regions; considering the spatio-temporal structure of human impacts to landscapes; harnessing new statistical tools; and carefully defining landscape and response metrics to capture specific features.

Volume 3 - 2009

  • lrlr-2009-3
    This article aims to give an overview of how place meanings are created and how they influence people's sense of belonging. It should be noted that the current literature has various shortcomings which mostly result from the lack of interdisciplinary research. The studies in place attachment usually focus on personal sense of belonging leaving aside those extending over various scales -- such as, for instance, national identity. Also, place meanings and identity are primarily discussed as the very personal phenomena. On the contrary, place making and shaping is usually seen through more structural viewpoint by claiming that places mainly change in result of political or economic processes. Nowadays, there are even claims that due to the influx of globalization place no more matters and similar processes will happen everywhere. This notion does not take into account the special character of every place and the fact that outside forces come together in different ways in every place. Authors suggest that these different perspectives need to be united in order to fully grasp the character of place making and place meanings. In current articles, authors have adopted the multi-disciplinary approach and understood the place as uniting different processes starting from deeply personal meaning creation and ending with changes happening in global scale.
  • lrlr-2009-2
    Urbanisation belongs to the most complex and dynamic processes of land use and landscape change. At present, we claim ``the millennium of the cities,'' since more than half of the currently 6.6 billion world population is living in urban areas. Due to the huge impact of urban land consumption on environment and landscape, this paper provides a review of existing urban land use models. The review analyses non-spatially explicit economic and system dynamics models, spatially explicit cellular automata and agent-based model approaches by addressing the respective conceptual approach, model components and causal relationships, including feedbacks. Based upon the review, conclusions are drawn regarding the future development of urban landscape models, as well as on indispensable causal relationships and their representation when modelling urban systems.
  • lrlr-2009-1
    The aim of this overview paper is to analyze the use of various landscape metrics and landscape indices for the characterization of landscape structure and various processes at both landscape and ecosystem level. We analyzed the appearance of the terms landscape metrics/indexes/indices in combination with seven main categories in the field of landscape ecology [1) use/selection and misuse of metrics, 2) biodiversity and habitat analysis; 3) water quality; 4) evaluation of the landscape pattern and its change; 5) urban landscape pattern, road network; 6) aesthetics of landscape; 7) management, planning and monitoring] in the titles, abstracts and/or key words of research papers published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals indexed by the Institute of Science Information (ISI) Web of Science (WoS) from 1994 to October 2008. Most of the landscape metrics and indices are used concerning biodiversity and habitat analysis, and also the evaluation of landscape pattern and its change (up to 25 articles per year). There are only a few articles on the relationships of landscape metrics/indices/indexes to social aspects and landscape perception.

Volume 2 - 2008

  • lrlr-2008-3
    Urbanization is a well-known topic in sustainable development debates as it is known to have great impacts on landscape and environment. Low density, apparently random, scattered or fragmented and leap frogging forms of urban land use, not classified as core urban fabric (town, city, ...) nor classified as real ‘countryside’ are studied in this paper. With a thorough literature study of more than 200 publications, a number of interesting conclusions about this important environmental and socio-economical phenomenon can be made. At first, it is generally described as either a type of land use or land use dynamic functioning as ‘divide’ between city and countryside (the urban fringe theory), or it is very often described as the dynamic and fast transformation of rural land into urban land (the sprawl approach). In some cases it forms its own ‘landscape’ and it is called the peri-urban or more correctly semi-urban area. Generally, there seems to be a lack of good definitions and frameworks, although it is studied often and in various scientific disciplines. Prominently, there is an always present dichotomy between rural and urban in all concepts, theories and definitions proposed.
  • lrlr-2008-2
    It is increasingly expected from environmental research such as landscape research that science directly contributes to the solving of pressing societal problems. However, despite increased efforts to direct research towards societal problems, it is not obvious if science has become more effective in supporting environmental problem-solving. We present in this article a framework that facilitates the analysis and design of problem-orientation in research fields. We then apply the proposed framework to a concrete example of a problem-oriented landscape research field - namely research on biotic invasions. Invasion research addresses the problem that some organisms, that have been introduced by humans to a new geographic area where they were previously not present, spread in the landscape and pose negative impacts. We argue that problem-oriented research is more than applied research. Besides research on specific questions it also encompasses boundary management, i.e., deliberations among experts and stakeholders on the framing of adequate research questions about processes, values and practices for effective problem-solving. We postulate that such research may assist problem-solving in three ways, by analysing causal relationships (systems knowledge), clarifying conflicts of interests and values (target knowledge), or contributing to the development of appropriate means for action (transformation knowledge). We show that over the past decades a broad range of different research approaches has emerged in the young field of invasion research in order to produce systems, target and transformation knowledge for invasive species management. Early research in the field was dominated by the development of systems knowledge, but increasingly the three knowledge forms are treated more equally. The research field has also become more interdisciplinary and context-specific. Boundary management in invasion research is mainly restricted to informal networks (communities of practice), while formal processes such as transdisciplinary research are scarce. We suggest that the paucity of structured and explicit boundary management processes will limit the future development of a more effective science for invasive species management. In particular, we envisage three obstacles that can only be removed through explicit boundary management. First, the existing theoretical frameworks are currently only partly able to integrate natural and social sciences research on the processes underlying invasions. Second, a clarification of the normative thinking about alien plant invasions is needed. Third, research on transformation knowledge has so far not fundamentally challenged the existing conceptual framing and institutional setup of invasive species management.
  • lrlr-2008-1
    Land-use change has been identified as one the most important processes to understand and to model global change. It is the result of complex interactions between human and environmental driving factors. A key to capturing this complexity is the analytical framework of land systems as coupled human-environment systems, a concept that is a central component of the science plan of the Global Land Project. Based on this framework, this paper presents an overview of eight integrated models of the land system. The review concentrates on model approaches that include processes of both the human and the environment sub-system and which operate in a spatially explicit manner on a regional to global scale. Another criterion used to select models is that they take into account interplay and competition between different land-use activities, e.g. between agriculture and urban development. Each model is reviewed separately in detail with focus on the different aspects of the land system that are represented within the model and on the implemented modelling concepts. This is done by systematically addressing the following topics: model purpose and application, model concepts for the human sub-system and for the environment sub-system and linkages between the sub-systems (model integration). Based on these findings commonalities and differences between the models are discussed and further research needs are identified.

Volume 1 - 2007

  • lrlr-2007-3
    In this contribution we try to look at the new role for agriculture in rural areas by reviewing the concept of multifunctional agriculture as well as the analytical frameworks used. Next, we review the existing evidence about the multifunctional role of farming. Although not overwhelming, the existing literature shows that agriculture contributes to the rural wealth not only through the production of commodities, but also by the delivery of non-tradable goods. This contribution can be both direct through increased values for properties or economic benefits in the tourism sector, but also indirect through conservation of rural heritage or agri-ecological systems. Next we focus on how this role of agriculture can be stimulated. It is argued that multifunctionality can be a unifying principle to bring the productive and non-productive functions into harmony. This requires the development of new institutional arrangements and a major change in policy incentives.
  • lrlr-2007-2
    Recreation and nature tourism are increasingly important activities with many implications both economic and environmental. As society changes so the demands and trends for recreation and nature tourism change and develop. This poses many challenges for planners and managers of recreational areas and providers of services. This review article focuses on the situation in Europe but does not ignore some major trends and issues arising elsewhere, while much of the research can be traced back to ideas and methods developed elsewhere, such as the U.S.A. To set the scene the main social and environmental trends are presented that show how the changing nature of society feeds through in expectations and demands for recreation and nature tourism. Demographic changes, consumer behaviour and the increasingly mobile and connected lifestyles of European citizens have produced trends for outdoor recreation preferences and for broadening travel horizons. Knowing about these trends enables planners and entrepreneurs to change their recreation or tourism offer to meet these demands. However, these demands have to be seen in the context of changing pressures and sensitivities of the environments, frequently natural, in which recreation and nature tourism activities are located. Climate change is a prime example of these pressures. Many countries have developed sophisticated survey and other monitoring tools and instruments to identify demand, to monitor levels and types of activity, changing preferences and pressures on the environment. While recreation is often led by demand from people who wish to participate in certain activities there are also increasingly well recognised benefits to health and well-being from closer contact with nature. Policy makers in the health sphere are taking a keen interest in this and in the means for encouraging sedentary populations to engage with physical activity in natural environments. The evidence base for this is improving and is reviewed in this paper. Management of environments and visitors produces many conflicts which must be resolved. Recent surveys of forest recreation have enabled a European-wide pattern to be identified which will help planners and managers identify issues to be considered. The paper draws on work being undertaken as part of two EU funded Cost Actions: ``Cost E33: Forest Recreation and Nature Tourism'' and ``Cost E39: Forests, Trees and Human Health and Well-being''. These allow experts from around Europe to network and to pool research and practice.
  • lrlr-2007-1
    In the absence of drainage systems, runoff is a major transport pathway of pesticides from agricultural areas to aquatic systems. We provide an overview of existing runoff models eligible to describe the transport and fate of pesticides in the terrestrial environment. We distinguish between leaching, erosion, and hydrological models. Recent developments in runoff modelling include the evolution of complex deterministic models, combinations of models and probabilistic approaches on a GIS-platform. The latter enable users to make geo-referenced predictions of diffuse pesticide emissions from small to large scales. Simulated loads mostly correlate well with measured pesticide loads and concentrations on a catchment scale, but often overestimate measured concentrations, because the edge-to-field approach applied does not consider any attenuation by degradation or sorption between the location of pesticide application and surface waters. Therefore, future developments of horizontal pesticide transport models should focus on detention and retention mechanisms during transport on highly resolved temporal and spatial scales. Additionally, for the simulation of realistic scenarios of pesticide emissions on a catchment scale, the evaluation and standardization of probabilistic approaches can be helpful.


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ISSN 1863-7329