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Use of Spectral Indices to Identify the Changes in the Vegetation Community Over Time After Restoring a Palustrine Wetland: a Case Study of Spencer Island Regional Park, Everett, WA

Abstract

Wetland restoration can be measured over time using community vegetation as an effectiveness indicator of restoration actions. Spencer Island Regional Park is part of the tidal freshwater wetlands along the Snohomish river basin. Those wetlands are part of a complex ecosystems, in which they are included as a salmon corridor. This research analyzes the vegetation community changes over time after restored in 1996 on Spencer Island Regional Park, Everett, Washington State, U.S. I analyzed three spectral indices using segmentation and supervised classification of land cover from 1997 to 2018. I found that in the last 21 years, the areas with emergent palustrine vegetation and forests increased, in contrast to diminishing areas of upland and scrub-shrub classes. Those finds can be interpreted that the community vegetation advanced to higher wetland successional stages as upland areas have been colonized by emergent wetland plant communities. A linear regression model predicted that by 2025, the difference between emergent and upland classes should increase. Empirical evidence is presented that support the integration of spectral indices to identify changes in community vegetation. However, it is recommended for future studies to include spectral indices and spatial information for soil and hydrology to deepen these results.

Open access
Proposal of an Operational Model to Measure Feelings and Emotions in Urban Space

Abstract

People of different cultural backgrounds show different emotional reactions to different urban areas. Finding out how a constructed environment and emotional aspects are related and influence human behavior can be of a great significance in urban planning. Such studies are rooted in environmental psychology and socials sciences; there is a dearth of proper methods and techniques of evaluation with this regard. Moreover, so far there has been no academic study even a review of the relevant practical methods. Thus, there is a need for finding a valid objective evaluation procedure for emotional responses people make to urban space aiming to improve the design of urban areas and urban plan policymaking. In the present research, initially, a review of the research methodologies in environmental psychology, affect and emotions was done. Then, a qualitative content analysis of 30 of the latest projects and research was done in terms of the methodology and tools. Then, the final model was proposed in five stages based on the methods and tools of operationalizing the measurement of feelings and emotions in urban areas. The proposed model combined different research types and different methods applied in different disciplines and thus contribute greatly to solving urban problems.

Open access
A Review of Approaches for Automated Habitat Mapping and their Potential Added Value for Biodiversity Monitoring Projects

Abstract

Habitats are important indicators of biodiversity in their own right, as well as being linked to species, hence their widespread use in reporting on nature conservation planning and policy. For reporting consistent mapping and monitoring habitat extent and change is important. Remote Sensing techniques are becoming an important tool for this. In this paper we describe four examples of methods of semi-automated mapping using Remote Sensing. Because the most effective way of improving the accuracy of the estimation of habitat area is by increasing the sample number, it is important to develop methods for reducing in situ surveys which are expensive. Remote Sensing has the major advantage of comprehensive coverage and the four examples illustrate the potential of extrapolation from semi-automated habitat classifications. The potential for using these methods at national scales is likely to be limited by the need for validation of the automated images and the subsequent calculation of error terms. Existing major national monitoring programs are described, which still use mainly traditional in situ methods. The selection of relatively small numbers of representative samples from environmental classifications to obtain regional estimates reduces the need for large numbers of in situ survey sites and is therefore discussed. The recent development of the use of drones to acquire detailed imagery to support in situ habitat surveys is also covered. Finally, practical problems linked to the methods described in the paper are considered, as in some cases these will override the theoretical benefits of a particular approach. It is concluded that automated methods can enhance existing monitoring systems and should be considered in any biodiversity monitoring system as they represent an opportunity for reducing costs, if integrated with an in situ program.

Open access
Thermal Comfort Characteristic of 5 Patterns of a Persian Garden in a Hot-Arid Climate of Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Thermal comfort in the open spaces is a significant parameter in public mentally and physically healthy. Increased hot days of cities because of the urban heat island is the common phenomenon in cities. This phenomenon effect cites quality by a different aspect such as air quality, Use of fossil fuels etc. therefore, cooling strategies in the urban and urban park's design is one of the important issues of the designers. Urban parks have a significant effect on heat stress mitigation. Persian garden is known for its microclimate effect on pedestrians, so different patterns of Persian garden is selected to be analyzed in terms of thermal comfort condition on the hottest day of summer so far in the dry hot climate of the Shiraz(12th of July 1998 with the maximum 42°C Ta). In this paper 8 conditions are simulated by Envi-met3.1 to get environment data of these patterns and also the Rayman model is used to calculate the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) as the proper thermal index for outdoor condition. The results demonstrate that alteration of Shortwave radiation both direct and diffuse conditions and mean radiant temperature are affected by both sky view factor and the orientation of the Persian garden. Pavilion location has an important effect in mitigation of the Tmrt by preventing the afternoon powerful sun rays through to the paths in the End.E-W pattern. Therefore, this pattern has a better condition of PET value than the others in Shiraz setting.

Open access
Cross-Border Comparison of Non-Forest Woody Vegetation in the White Carpathians (Central Europe) Over Last 65 Years

Abstract

Landscape structure is determined by human activities and natural processes. Despite both influences are described in many studies, there remains still question, how the landscape structure reflects the individual socio-economic predictors. To answer this question we compared landscape structure, with emphasis on non-forest woody vegetation, of two states, however, with common socio-economic and political history. Non-forest woody vegetation represents characteristic feature in rural landscape, which increases water retention, biodiversity and bio-migration using green structures. In our study we supposed, that non-forest woody vegetation will have high sensitivity to societal changes and nature conservation measures. On an example of border region in former Czechoslovakia we compared three classes of non-forest woody vegetation (solitaires, patches and linear elements) in three time horizons (1950, 1986, 2011). The most significant differences in spatial structure of non-forest woody vegetation between countries were in the number and area of solitaires, which decreased during the entire period. However, the largest solitaire decrease was in 1950-1986, mainly in correspondence with socialist collective farming. Moreover, the decrease was higher in the Slovak part compared to the Czech part. The primary reason for this was the removal of non-forest woody vegetation on one side and the joining crowns into bigger patches on the other side. The current trend of increasing area of patch and linear elements is related to natural succession. We assume that the main drivers of different development in non-forest woody vegetation in the border region after the split of Czechoslovakia were different management measures applied in nature and landscape conservation and social development.

Open access
Forest Management Plan in Domogt Sharyn Gol, Mongolia is Elaborated on Ecological and Sustainable Principles

Abstract

A forest management plan based on ecological principles and forest management sustainability was elaborated for the Domogt Sharyn Gol Company, Mongolia. We presented possibility of use of principles and methods traditionally utilized in forest management planning in the Czech Republic. A used methodology was adjusted for the forestry legislature in Mongolia.

A stratification of site characteristics and the forest development type concept was used as a framework for assessment of a forest property state via an operational forest inventory. A randomly generalized network of 354 inventory plots on the total area of 3 194 ha with spacing of 300 × 300 m was established for measurements of tree species, natural regeneration and a volume of lying deadwood.

We produced a text, table, graph, figure and map material consisted of areal, tree species and wood volume structuring including calculation of decenal logging, thinning treatments, plantation activities and natural regeneration support.

This forest management plan provides a feasible perspective not only towards immediate commercial benefits but also towards sustainability of forest yield and other ecological forest functions. This way of management planning is also a save way towards mitigation of current environmental issues in a Mongolian forest landscape.

Open access
Geospatial Approach for Quantitative Drainage Morphometric Analysis of Varuna River Basin, India

Abstract

An assessment of Varuna river basin of India was performed to study the various drainage parameters in GIS platform. The delineation of drainage network is possible either physically from topographic sheets or with the help data of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) by methods for calculation techniques. Extraction of the basin and sub-basins, stream network has been produced to evaluate the drainage characteristics in the study zone. The entire Varuna river basin has been subdivided into 3 sub-watersheds and 41 morphometric parameters have been computed under four broad categories i.e. drainage network, basin geometry, drainage texture, and relief characteristics. The morphometric analysis has been performed and different parameters have been correlated with each other to understand their underlying connection and their role over the basin hydro geomorphology. The study discloses different types of morphometric analysis and how they influence the soil and topography of the basin. The investigation and estimation of basin morphometry and relief parameters in GIS will be of massive utility in catchment area advancement, understanding the watershed for natural resource evaluation, planning and administration at any scale. The outcomes thus generated equip us with significant knowledge and may also provide an input that are essential in decision making for watershed planning and drainage development of the watershed.

Open access
Land Use and Landscape Pattern Changes on the Inside and Outside of Protected Areas in Urbanizing Selangor State, Peninsular Malaysia

Abstract

Unabated land use changes in developing countries have imperilled the urban ecosystem resilience. An urban protected area is one of the critical systems to absorb disturbance regimes in the metropolitan area, but it is increasingly pressured by urbanization. Therefore, assessing their land use and landscape pattern changes are pivotal to identify the conservation capacity. We developed land use maps for Klang Gate, Bukit Kutu, and Sungai Dusun wildlife reserves to assess their spatial and temporal land use changes between 1988 and 2012. The degree of fragmentation, the intensity of human impact and structural connectedness for these wildlife reserves were also quantified. The findings revealed that Klang Gate which located adjacent to the highly urbanizing area experienced a very significant loss of forest while built-up area and commercial agriculture gradually encroached into the reserve. It also has a higher degree of fragmentation and human impact than the other two reserves. Human impact inside of Klang Gate was concomitant to the outside. However, Bukit Kutu almost undisturbed and Sungai Dusun was slightly intruded by commercial agriculture. The results help different stakeholders, such as managing authorities and policy planners to strategize new land use planning that utilize limited land-based resources for future economic and social development. As the findings showed that urban protected areas alone are not sufficient in maintaining the urban ecosystem; therefore new conservation planning that integrates other urban green spaces at their surrounding is critical to ameliorating the conservation on a long-term basis.

Open access
Mangrove Vegetation Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing Indices for Tanjung Piai, Malay Peninsular

Abstract

Mangroves critically require conservation activity due to human encroachment and environmental unsustainability. The forests must be conserving through monitoring activities with an application of remote sensing satellites. Recent high-resolution multispectral satellite was used to produce Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Tasselled Cap transformation (TC) indices mapping for the area. Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT) SPOT-6 was employed for ground truthing. The area was only a part of mangrove forest area of Tanjung Piai which estimated about 106 ha. Although, the relationship between the spectral indices and dendrometry parameters was weak, we found a very significant between NDVI (mean) and stem density (y=10.529x + 12.773) with R2=0.1579. The sites with NDVI calculated varied from 0.10 to 0.26 (P1 and P2), under the environmental stress due to sand deposition found was regard as unhealthy vegetation areas. Whereas, site P5 with NDVI (mean) 0.67 is due to far distance from risk wave’s zone, therefore having young/growing trees with large lush green cover was regard as healthy vegetation area. High greenness indicated in TC means, the bands respond to a combination of high absorption of chlorophyll in the visible bands and the high reflectance of leaf structures in the near-infrared band, which is characteristic of healthy green vegetation. Overall, our study showed our tested WV-2 image combined with ground data provided valuable information of mangrove health assessment for Tanjung Piai, Johor, Malay Peninsula.

Open access
The Principal Threats to the Standing Water Habitats in the Continental Biogeographical Region of Central Europe

Abstract

This paper discusses threats of standing water habitats of high importance to the European Community in the Continental Biogeographical Region (CBR) of Europe, specifically in Poland, as a reference. The study covers five standing water habitats types distinguished in Natura 2000: 3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160, occurring in 806 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in Poland. The most significant threats to standing water habitats in the Continental biogeographical region, result from human-induced changes in hydrological conditions that have modified whole natural systems. Based on multivariate analysis, we found that significant differences in the conservation status of the standing water habitats resulted from a variety of threats, pressures, and activities, among which the most significant are decreased and unstable water resources (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), fishing and harvesting aquatic resources (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), pollution from use of the catchment (3130, 3140, 3150), improper management and use of the agricultural catchment (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160) and forest catchment (3110, 3140, 3160), urbanisation, residential and commercial development (3150, 3140), transportation and service corridors (3140> 3160 > 3110, 3150), including parking areas (3140), changes in biocenotic evolution, succession, plant species composition (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160), succession of invasive species (3130), and more intense touristic exploration (3110, 3130, 3140, 3150, 3160). Only in the case of habitats 3110, 3130, 3140 changes in their conservation status have been associated with climate change.

Open access