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Abstract

This study aims to assess and quantify the economic value of coastal ecosystem services (CES) in the coastal areas of Jayapura City based on the perceptions of Papuan indigenous peoples. Data collection was conducted from March to April 2018 using the direct interview method based on questionnaires to 228 respondents in Enggros, Tobati, and Nafri villages. The CES value in Jayapura City is estimated to be around USD 5,427,212.34/year, which consists of service values of mangrove, coral reef, and seagrass ecosystems that are USD 4,447,802.85/year or USD 19,079.46/ha/year, USD 424,333.06/year or USD 11,303.49/ha/year, and USD 555,076.43/year or 5,008.36/ha/year, respectively. The value of CES as a provider of fishery products is quite high because of the high desire of the community to exploit and utilize natural resources such as fish, crabs, shrimp, and shellfish in coastal ecosystems to as a food resource. Therefore, with the description of the CES value in this study, good coastal ecosystem management and integrated coastal area development policies are needed to maintain the quality of the environment and the sustainability of coastal ecosystems, as well as efforts to increase public awareness of the importance of coastal ecosystems and the important role that they play in improving the welfare of the Papuan indigenous people.

Abstract

The choice of suitable biodiversity assessment methods for practical purposes in city planning and decision-making is still a challenging problem. Despite the availability of a wide variety of methods for almost all dimensions of diversity (mainly species and habitat diversity, including spatial aspects), few of them have entered the practical ‘daily’ work. In the example of in-depth examinations in German and Czech cities (e.g., Dresden and Liberec), it was found that the most frequently applied analyses are those of protected species and habitats in urban nature conservation in general, and particularly in city development planning to derive avoidance, protection and compensation measures. Preference analyses (questionnaires, structured interviews) are becoming increasingly popular. Economic calculations of habitat values and the valuation of ecosystem services are still in their infancy. We will present methods that are presently being applied or could be included in a practical methodological toolkit to analyse and valuate biodiversity in urban nature conservation, city planning and decision-making.

Abstract

This study is focused on the evaluation of the values of the diversity indices of semi-natural dry calcareous grasslands of the Festuco-Brometea class in the area of Devínska Kobyla National Nature Reserve 50 years after abandonment of traditional management (grazing and mowing). The values of the species richness, the Shannon–Wiener index of diversity, the Simpson index, and Pielou’s measure of species evenness in the communities in the old and recent data, and the values of the environmental variables based on the Ellenberg indicator values of species were analyzed. For most of these analyses, we used Kruskal–Wallis in R 3.5.1. Compared to the past, we have recorded a significant lower values of the species richness, biodiversity, and species evenness in some communities. In some communities, no significant changes were recorded. Only in one community—Poo badensis-Festucetum pallentis, the higher values of Shannon–Wiener index was recorded compared to the past. The analysis of the Ellenberg indicator values revealed a statistically significant higher Ellenberg indicator values for moisture and nutrients and lower values for light in more recent period compared to the old period. The recorded results could be caused by the changes in the management after the year 1965, after abandonment of grazing and the gradual overgrowing by woody species took place in the area. The frequency of occurrence of some woody species (e.g., Populus alba, P. nigra, and Robinia pseudoacacia) in some communities increased compared to the past.

Abstract

In terms of spatial planning and environment protection procedures in Croatia, geomorphological features as a component of geodiversity are mostly considered marginally. They are considered locally in the scope of certain operations such as urban development, mining, or activities that are being assessed in the environment impact assessment procedures or spatial and strategical planning. Regarding the protection and the planning processes connected with it, geomorphological features should be considered in the right scale and with all of its values and services that are being provided to the environment on a landscape scale. In this paper, geodiversity and its role in landscape evolution will be connected and explained with the example of subgeomorphological region Ogulinsko-plašćanska Zavala, in the mountainous Dinaric karst part of Croatia. As it has been a region with long human and nature interaction, and a region with preserved natural and seminatural landscapes, it is a suitable area for such an analysis. In order to properly assess the geomorphological features as one of the determinants of landscape, the basis for environment impact assessment procedures and spatial planning procedures, geoecological analysis of geodiversity and landscape services occurrence and spatial distribution is carried out.

Abstract

The number of serious and extreme drought events is increasing, causing a serious threat to ecosystems, food security, livelihood security, social stability, and sustainable development. The Marathwada region of India is highly vulnerable to the impacts of drought and has been severely affected because of consecutive drought events from 2012 to 2016. This article aims to understand the rural farming household’s perceptions of the impacts of drought, their adaptation and mitigation measures, and also attempts to assess the level of satisfaction of rural households with government mitigation measures. This study is based on primary and secondary sources of data collected from 192 farming households following a structured questionnaire survey. The survey reveals that crop failure, livelihood insecurity, declines in livestock production, livestock loss, water conflicts, and problems in meeting agricultural expenses, increased school dropout rates of children, and both psychological and health problems, were the most immediate socio-economic impacts of drought. The various environmental impacts of drought perceived by farmers included depleted groundwater levels, poor groundwater quality, land degradation, a decrease in seasonal river flows, degradation of pastures and declines in soil fertility. It was found that small and medium sized farmers were highly affected by drought compared with marginal and large scale farmers because of their high dependency on agriculture and poor adaptation strategies.

Abstract

The soil aggregation and structure, water stability of aggregates, and peculiarities of microstructure formation of the ravine forest soils in Dnipropetrovsk region on the example of the northern variant of the ravine forest “Kapitanivskiy” have been identified. The soil properties of southern and northern ravine exposures have been compared. The soil structure, aggregate composition, water stability of aggregates as well as soil-forming processes of the ravine ecosystem have been analyzed. Micro-morphological studies have shown a high degree of aggregation of the upper (0–60 cm) horizons of the soil profile. The structure-forming process is of a zoogenic origin. Aggregates of coprolite nature contain well-disintegrated plant remains. Dark gray, almost black color along the entire area of the micromorphological slide is due to a large amount of organic compounds, which indicates active processes of humification. Fine-dispersed humus consists of a large number of evenly spaced humus clusters. The type of humus is mull. The skeleton consists of minerals of various sizes, dominated by quartz and feldspars. Plasma is humus-clay, homogeneous throughout the entire slide, anisotropic with speckled glowing. Microstructure is mainly aggregated and, in some places, spongy, depending on a microzone of the soil slide. Elemental microstructure is of plasma-silty type. The area of the visible surface of the pores in the upper horizons of the soil profile is fairly large (40%). Pores are round and elongated, of regular shape, here and there with remains of small invertebrates. The deeper the soil slide is, the smaller the area of visible pores along with aggregation becomes. Correlating with micromorphological characteristics, water resistance of structural aggregates reaches very high (90.01% ± 3.07) values in the upper horizons of the soil slide, decreasing at depths. The coefficient of pedality is rather high (7.83 ± 0.81) in the upper horizons, decreasing at depths.

Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) in agricultural land forms part of the global terrestrial carbon cycle and it affects atmospheric carbon dioxide balance. SOC is sensitive to local agricultural management practices that sum up into regional SOC storage dynamics. Understanding regional carbon emission and sequestration trends is, therefore, important in formulating and implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation policies. In this study, the estimation of SOC stock and regional storage dynamics in the Ondavská Vrchovina region (North-Eastern Slovakia) cropland and grassland topsoil between 1970 and 2013 was performed with the RothC model and gridded spatial data on weather, initial SOC stock and historical land cover and land use changes. Initial SOC stock in the 0.3-m topsoil layer was estimated at 38.4 t ha−1 in 1970. The 2013 simulated value was 49.2 t ha−1, and the 1993–2013 simulated SOC stock values were within the measured data range. The total SOC storage in the study area, cropland and grassland areas, was 4.21 Mt in 1970 and 5.16 Mt in 2013, and this 0.95 Mt net SOC gain was attributed to inter-conversions of cropland and grassland areas between 1970 and 2013, which caused different organic carbon inputs to the soil during the simulation period with a strong effect on SOC stock temporal dynamics.

Abstract

Local community participation in wildlife conservation and management is known to have existed for many years. However, the socio-economic activities regarding community participation remain questionable. Incorporating the views of the local community in the process of decision-making and providing alternative livelihood solutions are important steps towards sustainable conservation. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effects of community participation in sustainable wildlife management in Rungwa Game Reserve. A survey was conducted of the households in Rungwa and Mwamagembe villages with a sample size of 98 respondents. The study used a cross-sectional research design. Data were collected from different respondents at a single point in time. The main research methods used for data collection included: questionnaire surveys, key informant interviews, field observations, focus group discussions and a review of documents. Descriptive data were summarised and presented in frequency tables and charts. Content analysis was also used to determine relationships between the variables measured. The findings revealed both positive and negative effects of wildlife conservation and management. The results revealed that local communities provided confidential information pertaining to illegal activities. The findings further indicated that there was a failure of the game reserve authorities to allow meaningful local participation and equitable sharing of the benefits, which could be attributed to hatred, resentment, and illegal harvesting of natural resources from the game reserve, resulting in poor wildlife conservation. This study recommends the encouragement and a strengthening of the involvement of local communities in wildlife conservation for the sustainable utilisation of natural resources.

Abstract

During the last few decades, many case studies have focused on landscape transformations in response to water erosion, human impact, and climate changes. This article presents a review and comparison of the current state of knowledge on conducted research on the impact of the activities of early humans on the relief and forms of loess areas in Poland based on the results of a variety of dating methods (OSL, TL, C14, 137Cs, palynology, dendrochronology etc.). The influence of land-use activity since the first permanent settlements (8,000–5,200 BP) played a major role in the development of certain sand sediment terrain forms: gullies, river terraces, the filling of isolated depressions and alluvial fans in the loess areas. As a result, a simplified scheme of landscape evolution was created along with a map of the most investigated areas by authors. The main problem was to differentiate the influence of anthropogenic factors from natural ones occurring either simultaneously or alternatively. The developed deposits form a geo-archive which has recorded the history of environmental changes. A detailed analysis of the sedimentary structures provides the possibility to reconstruct and understand past functional responses in natural systems. It is important to consider the impact of climate change and human influence over the course of history on a specific geomorphological system. This can help to predict future land changes and likely hazards.

Abstract

As a result of studying the vegetation cover of artificial (possibly spontaneous) tree plantations on the hills of the right bank of the River Dnieper in the Forest-Steppe of Ukraine we discovered the formation of natural populations of Cephalanthera damasonium (Mill.) Druce. Information on the growth of this species was previously presented (more than 80 years ago) by F. Gryn (samples of which are in The National Herbarium of Ukraine, Kiev), who noted its distribution in these locations. The ecological and coenotic features of the distribution of this species as a part of available populations in the communities of classes Carpino-Fagetea sylvaticae, Quercetea pubescentis, Crataego-Prunetea, Alno glutinosae-Populetea albae have been studied. The largest eight new populations of C. damasonium have been identified on the eastern border of Ukraine. Habitat conditions, number and structure of all new populations were determined. Micropopulations of the species occupy an area from several to 750 m2 with a total population of more than 1,200 specimens. The ontogenetic spectrum is right-sided, with a dominance of generative individuals, and their share is 4/5 of the total number of individuals. The peculiarity of this locality is the high number of individuals in most of these populations, which may be due to favourable ecological-coenotic conditions and the absence of intensive anthropogenic influences. The identified habitats of the study species need protection.