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Abstract

Growth of forest plantations on soils causes changes in their properties. These changes, their behavior, and magnitude depend on the original soil characteristics and also on the effect of forest plantations being grown. In the steppe zone of Ukraine, Robinia pseudoacacia L. and Quercus robur L. are the woody species most widely used in planting of forest plantations on chernozem soil. Chernozem soil formed exclusively under zonal steppe vegetation and chernozem soil under Robinia pseudoacacia and Quercus robur plantations were studied in this work to analyze the changes in soil properties caused by growth of these tree species. Dry aggregate size distribution, density, particle density, total porosity, organic carbon content, cation exchange capacity, pH values, hydrolytic soil acidity and dry residue, and the available nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content were analyzed. The studies found that Robinia pseudoacacia and Quercus robur plantations contribute to an increase in the share of aggregates 2–1 mm in size, as well as formation of aggregate fraction >10 mm, which are completely absent in the Calcic chernozem developed under the steppe vegetation. An increase in the density and particle density, as well as a decrease in the total porosity values were observed under the influence of forest stands studied. This is more common with chernozem under Q. robur plantation. It was found that the carbon percentage decreased in chernozem under the influence of Robinia pseudoacacia growth (on average, 0.4% by a meter-deep layer), but under Quercus robur planting it increased (on average 0.3% by meter-deep layer). Effect of Robinia pseudoacacia plantings on chernozem was also manifested by a decrease in cation exchange capacity (on average, 11 cmol/100 g by a meter-deep layer). The growth of R. pseudoacacia and Quercus robur plantations results in decrease of pH values (0.2 by a meter-deep layer) and increase of hydrolytic soil acidity and dry residue in chernozem water extract. Effect of Robinia pseudoacacia planting leads to a decrease in carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus content in chernozem. The change in chernozem properties under the influence of Quercus robur plantation is reflected in accumulation of these nutrients. Growth of Robinia pseudoacacia and Quercus robur plantations leads to a decrease in potassium reserves in chernozem, which may indicate its active uptake by these woody species. In general, Q. robur planting is characterized by a large positive effect on the physical and chemical properties of chernozem than Robinia pseudoacacia planting. The findings obtained serve as a ground for making a recommendation for growing Quercus robur plantations under climate conditions of the steppe zone of Ukraine in order to improve the zonal chernozems’ state and fertility.

Abstract

The argan tree is a multi-purpose tree (fruit tree, medicinal, cosmetic, and pastoral plant) found in the semi-arid and arid regions of North Africa. It is under strong human pressure such as the impact of population growth, crop expansion, overgrazing, and wood and fruit exploitation that are also the main causes of desertification in the rest of the world. Over the years, interest in this beneficial tree and demand for its products have increased: especially with the increase in the price of argan oil, which is now one of the most expensive and much in demand oils in the world. This increase has led to many socio-political, economic and cultural changes at the national, regional and local levels, especially in farming behaviour and the habits of the local population. This bibliographic research was therefore conducted in order to analyse the various changes and their consequences on the planning, conservation, and management methods implemented in the argan tree area and their effects on the habits of the local population in order to ensure the sustainability of the Argan Tree Biosphere Reserve in Morocco. Indeed, the aims of this study were, firstly, to analyse the change dynamic of argan forest area in the ABR; and secondly, to investigate the impact of various socio-political, economic and cultural changes resulting from increased prices of argan oil on planning, conservation, and management methods of argan tree ecosystem and on the habits of the local population.

Abstract

Over the years, it has been the subject of discussions whether efficiency-oriented interventions contribute to an equity distribution of wealth across regions and whether equity orientation is a source of inefficiency. While efficiency refers to the maximization of growth in the national economy, convergence-oriented policy is focused on equalizing the level of development at interregional level. The case of Georgia was studied as a developing country facing various challenges in terms of economic growth and regional divergence. This article provides an overview of the economic development trends taking place in the regions of Georgia and reveals the high level of divergence within the country. A logarithmic model was created and used to run simulations to predict the possible results of convergence-oriented policy in Georgia. In order to make the forecast we estimated GDP per capita and average growth rates in all the Georgian regions. Use of the model allowed us to answer two main questions: (1) If the last 5 and 10 year average growth rates are maintained, how long will it take for the poorest region to converge to the wealthiest one? (2) What should be the minimum growth rate in the poorest region for the upcoming 5, 10 and 20 years in order to converge to the wealthiest capital? Results of the calculations showed that convergence between regions can only be achieved by slowing down economic growth in relatively wealthier regions and by focusing on the development of the poorest ones. The results of the study revealed that the convergence process will be faster for the regions with medium or big cities and growth centres. Therefore, creating competitive growth centres would be a reasonable regional policy objective to promote fast economic growth and future convergence without redirecting the growth process from more developed areas to lagging ones.

Abstract

The aim of the research was to verify the functionality of the ecological network elements from the point of view of wildlife mammal migrations in the observed territory. Theoretical basis defines fragmentation of the landscape, the migrations of forest animals, ecological networks, and their connectivity. In the research territory, species such as Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Sus scrofa, Vulpes vulpes, Castor fiber and Lepus europaeus were recognized. The result of the issue is the confirmation or reversal of the functionality of the ecological network elements of the forest animal migrations and the actual status in the observed area. In the contact areas of the Small Carpathians forests and the lowland areas, the research was carried out during 2015, 2016, and 2017. The results have shown that the game tends to migrate between the Small Carpathian forests and the adjacent lowland, but the migration potential is very limited because of the presence of strong migration barriers. Biocenters located in the monitored area provide a variety of conditions and are widely used by almost all species, and we consider them to be functional in terms of game migration. Biocorridors are problematic, whose functionality with regard to the migration of wildlife is considerably limited because of the location of the D2 highway and first- and second-class roads.

Abstract

Geospatial technology has an enormous capacity to analyze large and diversified datasets for evaluating the hidden spatial relationship which provides a better comprehension of the subject and helps significantly in policymaking and planning future strategies.

This study has examined the relationship among diversified remote sensing and GIS datasets such as GHG emission from cropland, rice cultivation area, agro-ecological region, Land use/Land cover (LULC) categories, long-term NDVI (1982−2006) based negative changes, agriculture vulnerability, drought-prone area and future (2021, 2050) climate change anomalies (RCP-6) of India for better understanding and knowledge of the GHG emission scenario, vegetation health, LULC, agriculture vulnerability, and future climate change impact. The LULC analysis revealed that 49.6% (1 628 959 km²) of the geographical area was found to be under category ‘cropland’. The 32.5% of the total cropland areas are used for rice cultivation whereas around 76% of this rice cultivation area is producing high GHG emission (>1000 Mg CO2 e/yr.). LULC categories ‘Cropland’ and ‘Plantation’ show the long-term (1982−2006) negative change equivalent to 19.7 and 70.2% respectively. Similarly, around 56% of LULC categories representing the forest show the long-term negative change whereas the maximum change (139 867 km²) was found in the category of ‘Deciduous Broadleaf Forest’. The 30.6% of the LULC category of ‘cropland’ falls in very high agriculture vulnerable areas whereas 31.7% of the same category falls in the drought-prone area. The significant increase in temperature and abrupt rainfall patterns were observed during Kharif and Rabi seasons in the future. Such variation of climate parameter in the future not only adversely affect the agriculture crop production but also the natural vegetation of India.

The outcomes of the present study would support the policymakers of India to implement the climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and REDD+ on an urgent priority based on a proper evaluation of the socio-economic condition of the poor people. It will certainly help in the reduction of GHG emission, forest amelioration, will bring the resilience in livelihood and mitigate the poverty among the rural communities for the betterment of people.

Abstract

We studied photosynthetic pigments in needles of Pісеа аbies and P. pungens in plantings exposed to aerotechnogenic influence of various levels in the big industrial center of steppe zone of Ukraine (Kryvyi Rih). We analyzed the pigment content in needles of the second year of life sampled from 30 to 40-year-old trees of both species in 6 monitoring sites for 5 months. For the needles of P. аbies and P. pungens from all the sites, we noticed the decreasing content of chlorophyll a (to 27.2 and 25.0%, respectively) and chlorophyll b (to 17.9 and 20.0%, respectively) from May till September, in comparison with background territory. At the same time, the content of carotenoids performing the protective function in photosynthetic reactions increased up to 26.1 and 24.0%, respectively. For P. аbies and P. pungens growing in conditions of intensive technogenic pressure, we ascertained that, during investigations, the sum of chlorophylls (a + b) rate decreased to 24.4 and 23.6%, respectively; ratio (a/b) decreased to 11.4 and 12.3%, respectively; ratio (chlorophylls [a + b]/carotenoids) also decreased to 30.1 and 38.0%, respectively, in comparison with plants from the least polluted site. It is shown that the most intensive negative influence on plantings is caused by industrial pollution and exhaust gases: the minimum or, more rarely, the maximum rates of pigment content appeared in needles of the plants exactly from these sites. Our research results demonstrate the feasibility of using the pigment complexes of P. аbies and P. pungens, with the assimilative apparatus sensitive to air pollution damage, as indicators of air environmental conditions.

Abstract

Climate change is a major global issue, which is becoming increasingly important on the international scene. As it has a direct impact on ecosystems and societies. Water is at the heart of these changes. The aim of this article was to capture all the microeconomic and macroeconomic effects of resource availability, and to propose a sequential dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model that takes into account long-term changes in the availability of the primary resource (water supply) with regard to population growth (demand). The results show that the very negative effects on the economy of water shortages could be counteracted by the introduction of a marginal cost demand management policy. This makes it possible to better manage the scarcity of this resource. In fact, the model shows that when Algeria is facing water deficits, the marginal cost tariff policy reverses the trends of an economy that would maintain a tariff policy at average cost. Total investment increases, and total welfare deteriorates less. The drop in the price of water (input and final good), generated by the transition from an average cost pricing to a marginal cost pricing, generates an expansion of many sectors, and stimulates economic activity which reduces the rate of unemployment.

Abstract

The construction of highways leads to several environmental and landscape impacts, including the fragmentation of natural habitats for many animal species. Highway projects are therefore generally accompanied by mobilisations from the inhabitants of the areas concerned and environmental associations. This work aims to model the potential impacts of a highway project in France on ecological networks and to study the reception of the results by the opponents of this project. We have adopted a three-step approach. First, a land-cover map of the study area was produced at a fine scale of 10 m resolution. Second, we developed a multi-species approach by defining fifteen species groups representative of different habitats of our study area. Third, the design of landscape graphs and the resulting calculation of connectivity metrics allowed mapping the impact of the highway on multi-species ecological connectivity. Reflexive feedback from comments on these results by the public during a mobilisation day against the highway project allows assessment of the relevance of such a modelling approach in this context.

Abstract

Providing a live data monitoring of raptor abundances and spatial localization of their most important nesting areas is very helpful in building a strong future study and applying a sound strategy for effective safeguarding of these emblematic species. Using geographic information system (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS) techniques, we investigated spatial patterns of raptors distribution in the northeastern areas of Algeria during two consecutive breeding seasons (2014 and 2015). The total area sampled (31,000 km2) host diverse raptor species (14 species), among them, the threatened species Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus; 108 individuals and 19 active nests) and red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus; 12individuals). The value of the region is attested by the presence of an abundant population of nesting black kite (Milvus migrans; 337 individuals). The large-scale spatial analyses of the studied region illustrate certain similarities in nesting habitat selection among raptors. Almost all species (90% of 209 nests detected) preferred to nest within multispecies assemblages (20 raptor assemblages found) and occupied altitudinal rocky cliffs across the inland region (semi-arid zones) rather than coastal region (sub-humid zones). Among all raptor species, exclusively, the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is relatively synanthropic, because it was found to breed within cities (tolerate human activities). The raptor community in the coastal versus inland regions differed by 14%. The latter area seems to be more preferred in nest building, probably consequence of their semi-arid bioclimatic and landscapes characteristics, where high elevations and grasslands forming mosaics with Oak, Alpine, and Cedar forests are patchily distributed. The study is a first mapping database of important nesting sites dispatched across the northeastern areas of Algeria, and it can be effectively used in future complementary researches that aim to elucidate environmental factors that affect raptors life cycle.

Abstract

With a growing number of negative environmental burdens, several countries have increasingly begun to address the issue of environmental protection through a number of measures. Such measures include higher spending on public health, conservation of natural resources, less emission to the air, efficiency of waste sorting, reduction of water pollution, and groundwater. The contribution is based on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) values to perform a cluster analysis of selected countries - especially OECD (organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. The database needed for analysis is the EPI indicator for the years for 2008 to 2018. The result will be clusters that will include countries with similar results of the EPI indicators for the reference period. It will be important for us to track the position of the Slovak Republic in this analysis.