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Abstract

The system of Maasai-pastoralism, practiced in the savanna rangelands of Kenya, epitomizes an ideal learning platform upon which the dynamics of factors and/or processes that shape sustainability and drought resilience in a coupled socio-ecological system can be unravelled. This study engaged an integrated approach to examine the dynamics of drought-adaptation strategies utilized in Maasai-pastoralism, a strongly coupled socio-ecological system. The current empirical evidence reveals the integrative utilization of varied and multipurpose adaptation strategies. Migrate-livestock, diversify-livelihood, and diversify-livestock, in that order, dominate as the most widely utilized drought-adaptations in Maasai-pastoralism. In this system, drought-adaptation strategies that take advantage of drought conditions are rare. In addition, over 50% of the Maasais’ households frequently use an admixture of over half of the existing strategies. The study reveals that drought-adaptation strategies in Maasai-pastoralism are inextricably interconnected systematic endeavours that simultaneously help alleviate deleterious drought-impacts and livelihood-risks, manage resilience, ensure sustainability of the core socioeconomic sector and of critical rangeland resources, and deal with cross-scale social and biophysical happenings and conditions within which this system is entrenched. As drought recurrences intensify, and shifts in social, political, economic, ecological factors and processes persist, the Maasai’s adaptation strategies and livelihood subsistence, as well as pathways of development, will be transformed in ways that we are yet to understand. Therefore, efforts toward enhancing drought-adaptations and the Maasai’s livelihoods should be based on a holistic understanding of the social-biophysical landscapes within which this system is entrenched. In policy terms, such efforts should be participatory and be mainstreamed within policies and/or programs related to, and/or operating in, Maasai-inhabited regions.

Abstract

Development within the River Little Vistula valley undoubtedly started at the very beginnings of the Polish state. At that stage, human activity focused on finding and adapting sites that were suitable for permanent settlement and also on utilising the resources found in the valley and afforded by the river such as fishing and shipping opportunities. The shape of the River Little Vistula alluvial fan also allowed the construction of numerous canals branching from the river channel, on which mills, fulleries and sawmills were established. The characteristics of the landscape changes which have taken place in the study area have been presented on the basis of analyses of large-scale (1:28,800) topographic maps from the mid-18th and 19th centuries, modern topographic maps and also from visits to the study area (General-Mappa des Merzogthums Ober-Schleisien 1763–1764 and Übersicht der Militar Aufmahme von Mähren und Schlesien, 1839-1840). It was found that landscapes of the River Little Vistula alluvial fan are “landscapes of valleys and plains subject to water accumulation and floods”. Such areas are characterised by the presence of groundwater at low depths and are subject to periodic flooding by river waters, which are rich in mineral substances. Their habitats include riparian forests and flood meadows, which have often been transformed into arable fields. Characteristic types of soils in these areas include alluvial soils and peats, and typical elements of the landscape are water bodies, mainly fish ponds.

Abstract

Between 1997 and 2016 we observed important changes in hard coal extraction and methane emission in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. Hard coal extraction in the near future will be very dangerous because it will be necessary to reach deeper methane-rich coal seams. Permanent monitoring of the volume of emitted and captured methane is necessary to combat the methane hazard. The predictability of gaseous hazards are important in order to keep underground work safe. We gathered and analysed data from three coal companies: Katowice Coal Holding, the Coal Company, Jastrzębie Coal Company and in the whole of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin for the last twenty years and this allowed us to notice changes and CH4 trends in ventilation emission and demethanation. There is a decrease in the extraction of hard coal from year to year. At the same time there is an increase in the total methane emissions which forces actions aimed to effective contracting the methane hazard. Specifically, methane emission has been increasing for years, making hard coal extraction very dangerous. We observed increases in CH4 vent emission and volume of methane coming from underground drainage systems. Much more methane is released during hard coal extraction at deeper mine levels. Throughout the entire research period the methane hazard increased. Therefore, the development of modern technologies for methane capturing should contribute to improvement of hazardous conditions for coal mining in the basin.

Abstract

The study of potential possibilities of mesofauna as bioindicator of soil contamination by heavy metals is one of the most important areas of urban ecology and soil biology. The work presents the results of ecotoxicological and bioindicative assessment of the environment and the biota of the Melitopol urbosystem of Ukraine. The dynamics of chemical properties of soils in different functional zones of the city is analysed. The complex indices of pollution of environmental components are determined. A bioindicative assessment of the ecological condition of the territory of the urbosystem on the indicators of vitality of the soil mesofauna is carried out. For the first time, regional species-bioindicators for the territory of the city of Melitopol were determined. The ecomorphic structure of soil mesofauna of various functional zones of the city was revealed.

Abstract

Wetlands in Uganda are believed to be socio-economically important for providing water for drinking, irrigation, fisheries, recreation, transport and agriculture among others. Bearing in mind the host of benefits wetlands provide to local communities, if they are harnessed without the mind, they could end up being over utilized and ultimately degraded and not continue to provide a stream of functions, attributes and services. This could be one of the primary reasons why special Departments and Institutions like the National Environment Management Authority and Wetlands Management Department were created to manage the country’s natural resources including wetlands. The study was initiated to explore how wetland management agencies influence members of the local community on matters concerning the conservation of wetlands in Uganda. A cross-sectional research design was used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. A questionnaire survey was conducted amongst four hundred households to collect information concerning the role of wetland management agencies among members of the local community for the conservation of wetlands in Uganda. More information was obtained from senior officials from the National Environment Management Authority, Wetland Management Department, and District Natural Resources Officers from the study area using a non-structured questionnaire. Key informant interviews and direct observations were also used to collect data. The study revealed that gathering materials for building and for making crafts, agricultural activities, unsustainable mining of clay and sand for building contributed to wetland degradation. Some circumstances like high population growth, unclear wetland ownership, unawareness of the indirect functions of wetlands also contributed to wetland degradation. It was found that the wetland management agencies have been ineffective towards the conservation of wetlands mainly due to inadequate funding, political interference, and lack of specific judges for wetland related court cases among others. For wetland management agencies to effectively perform their duties leading to the protection and conservation of wetlands in Uganda, the study recommends that members of the local community should be allowed to practice wetland edge farming, fish farming in ponds constructed in wetlands, and to leave some parts of these vital wetlands that have been reclaimed to regenerate, in addition to addressing the main reported hindrances that are stifling the smooth running of the activities of the agencies.

Abstract

The study was conducted within the actual area of Krempna commune in Jaslo county Podkarpackie voivodeship in Poland. Historical data and maps were analysed using the ArcGIS 10.3 program. The changes in the number of villages, householders and human population were presented. Religious composition for the year 1785 and ethnic composition for the year 1939 were evaluated. Only in the case of Ukrainian population, the Moran’s test has shown dispersed distribution (Index Moran’s for Ukrainians = −0.478664; Z = −1.684100; P = 0.092162). The total number of householders increased from 915 in the year 1785 to 1,409 householders in the year 1939 and decreased to 349 in the year 1965 and 333 in the year 2018. The traditional village system (TVS) of Krempna commune was depopulated after World War II. As a result, the agricultural abandonment and forest succession developed. Class area (CA) of settlements decreased from 1174.02 ha in the year 1939 to 248.13 ha in the year 1965 and 240.2 ha in the year 2018, and CA of forests increased from 7,268.20 ha in the year 1939 to 15,465.20 ha in the year 1965 and 15,841.3 ha in the year 2018. Villages that had begun the core of TVS together with tserkvas and chapels in the centre of village, roadside crosses and traditional private farms were lost. The scale and results of such changes are interesting for future research, mainly in terms of change in TVS infrastructure and culture.

Abstract

In many countries urban green spaces are stated in a set of different administrative regulatory framework. However, their definition and characteristics are inconsistent and developing a systematic classification has been recognized to avoid the inconsistency. Several efforts have been made but the approach mainly based on a few criteria and classified manually according to the types that stated in the regulatory framework. Therefore, this study developed a classification system based on multi-criteria that represents the structure and function of urban green spaces using Kuala Lumpur City, Malaysia as a model. The useful of the systematic classification for urban green spaces planning and management was interpreted through landscape pattern analysis. In this study, land use map of Kuala Lumpur City was used as a based. Through field observation, information from Kuala Lumpur City Hall and satellite image interpretation, seven criteria were identified to develop the classification system. Landscape pattern was based on landscape metrics analyzed using FRAGSTAT 3.3. The analysis defined five categories of urban green spaces: conservation green space, greenway, community green space, residential green space and amenity green space. Landscape pattern analysis has allowed to interpret what category needs attention to improve their quality and quantity as well as to protect them from any land use development. It can be assumed that the multi-criteria approach can be considered as a first step to introduce a more systematic way to categorize urban green spaces and addressing the inconsistency issue which is important for the city to develop sustainably.

Abstract

The use of materials for remote sensing of the Earth made it possible to identify a new type of crustal structures and features of their expression in relief. These are ring structures that complicate the structure of the studied structures of a linear type. As a result of the study of the morphology, geological and tectonic structure of ring structures, it was established that they represent formations of various origins: pluton-volcanic, cosmogenic, and anthropogenic. Cosmogenic structures of different ages and differ in various degrees of transformation.

The relief of the identified cosmogenic structures within the limits of the Turan Plains, the Kazakh small hills and mountains of South-Eastern Kazakhstan is transformed by exogenous processes. The defining indicator features of cosmogenic structures include geomorphological, geological, structural tectonic, and also landscape. The degree of change in the initial cosmogenic relief depends on the time of formation, paleogeographic and modern physiographic conditions of the territories. Under the arid conditions of Kazakhstan’s epyhercynian platform, the main factor in the preservation of the “primary” morphology of meteorite craters is the lithologic stratigraphic complexes of the ring shaft. For the studied cosmogenic structures, in particular, the meteorite craters of Saryarka, a distinct geodynamic zoning of the development of exomorphogenesis processes is characteristic. The main exogenous processes include gravity-slope, surface washout, ravine and river erosion, processes of complex denudation and accumulation. The factors and processes of creating a modern crater relief morphology are established.

These studies of cosmogenic ring structures of Kazakhstan have not only theoretical significance, revealing the role of cosmogenic processes of the formation of the Earth as a planet, but also have immediate practical importance. Meteorite craters are indicators of mineral deposits.

Abstract

In landscape ecology, forest fragmentation studies with emphasis on effects of scale on fragmentation patch metrics, is an important research area. With increasing availability of satellite data at multiple scales and varied resolutions, it has become important to understand effects of comparing fragmentation metrics acquired from coarse resolution images and those from finer resolution imagery. This is crucial because coarse resolution images such as Landsat imagery, are relatively easier to find because of their cheaper costs, availability and broad coverage, whereas finer resolution imagery is more expensive and therefore, spans only small areas. This paper examines effects of varied spatial resolutions on common fragmentation metrics using Landsat, Sentinel, National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery obtained in November, 2017 of the Whitethorne area near Blacksburg, Virginia. The images are analyzed using FRAGSTATS and ArcGIS software programs. The results show significant differences in fragmentation metrics despite simultaneous acquisition of all images in the same area. Discussion of results obtained in this study centers on the reasons for this disparity, and examines uses of imagery of different resolutions for forest fragmentation analysis.

Abstract

Climate change impacts are related to the state and land-use of agriculture landscape. Best agriculture practice principles in climate change conditions should be focused on agriculture management maintaining and enhancing the organic matters stocks in the soils. Biogeochemical carbon cycle has a serious role there. The paper deals with sugar beet dominance among agriculture crop in the frame of carbon quantification in the Czech Republic. Modelling of carbon quantification in arable lands and aboveground biomass of agriculture crop indicate importance of sugar beet, which is a dominant kind of agriculture crop for carbon sequestration in the Czech Republic.