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Publisher: Elsevier   (Total: 3183 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 3183 Journals sorted alphabetically
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37, SJR: 1.655, CiteScore: 2)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 1.015, CiteScore: 2)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 100, SJR: 1.462, CiteScore: 3)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.932, CiteScore: 2)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 38, SJR: 1.771, CiteScore: 3)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 434, SJR: 0.758, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 7)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.18, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.661, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 295, SJR: 3.263, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Mathematica Scientia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.542, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Oecologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.834, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Otorrinolaringologica (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.307, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.793, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Poética     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 1.331, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Sociológica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Tropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.052, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Urológica Portuguesa     Open Access  
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.374, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.344, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Acute Pain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.671, CiteScore: 5)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.53, CiteScore: 4)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.29, CiteScore: 3)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.755, CiteScore: 2)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 2.611, CiteScore: 8)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 178, SJR: 4.09, CiteScore: 13)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 1.167, CiteScore: 4)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 2.384, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 0.126, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.992, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Applied Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 2.089, CiteScore: 5)
Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 0.572, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.61, CiteScore: 7)
Advances in Botanical Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.686, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33, SJR: 3.043, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.453, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.992, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Cell Aging and Gerontology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.156, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.713, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.316, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.562, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 1.977, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.205, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Dermatology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 44, SJR: 2.524, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.159, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 49, SJR: 5.39, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Exploration Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Fluorine Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 65, SJR: 0.591, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 1.354, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 12.74, CiteScore: 13)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.193, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.368, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.749, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.193, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 36, SJR: 4.433, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.163, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.938, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.176, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.682, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Lipobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Magnetic and Optical Resonance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 0.88, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, SJR: 3.027, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.158, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Molecular Toxicology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.182, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Nanoporous Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Organ Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Organometallic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.875, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Parallel Computing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.174, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.579, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Pediatrics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.461, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.536, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.574, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Phytomedicine     Full-text available via subscription  
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.109, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 0.791, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 65)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.371, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.263, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Space Biology and Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Space Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 419, SJR: 0.569, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.555, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 36, SJR: 2.208, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.262, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 53, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 3)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.117, CiteScore: 3)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 373, SJR: 0.796, CiteScore: 3)
AEU - Intl. J. of Electronics and Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.42, CiteScore: 2)
African J. of Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.296, CiteScore: 0)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 3.671, CiteScore: 9)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 469, SJR: 1.238, CiteScore: 3)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.13, CiteScore: 0)
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.818, CiteScore: 5)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 1.156, CiteScore: 4)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 1.272, CiteScore: 3)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58, SJR: 1.747, CiteScore: 4)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.589, CiteScore: 3)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.26, CiteScore: 0)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 1.153, CiteScore: 3)
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Alergologia Polska : Polish J. of Allergology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Alexandria Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 3)
Alexandria J. of Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.191, CiteScore: 1)
Algal Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.142, CiteScore: 4)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.148, CiteScore: 2)
Alpha Omegan     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 3.521, CiteScore: 6)
ALTER - European J. of Disability Research / Revue Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.201, CiteScore: 1)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 53, SJR: 4.66, CiteScore: 10)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.796, CiteScore: 4)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.108, CiteScore: 3)
Ambulatory Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58, SJR: 3.267, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 63, SJR: 1.93, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.524, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, SJR: 7.45, CiteScore: 8)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.062, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, SJR: 2.973, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50)
American J. of Medicine Supplements     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Obstetrics and Gynecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 242, SJR: 2.7, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66, SJR: 3.184, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology Case Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.265, CiteScore: 0)
American J. of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.289, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Otolaryngology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.59, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 2.139, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 2.164, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 1.141, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of the Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.767, CiteScore: 1)
Ampersand : An Intl. J. of General and Applied Linguistics     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.144, CiteScore: 3)
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 64, SJR: 0.138, CiteScore: 0)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 1)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 0)
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría Continuada     Full-text available via subscription  
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 4.849, CiteScore: 10)
Analytica Chimica Acta     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 1.512, CiteScore: 5)
Analytica Chimica Acta : X     Open Access  
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 206, SJR: 0.633, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.683, CiteScore: 2)
Angiología     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.121, CiteScore: 0)
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.111, CiteScore: 0)
Animal Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 210, SJR: 1.58, CiteScore: 3)
Animal Feed Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.937, CiteScore: 2)
Animal Reproduction Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.704, CiteScore: 2)

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Similar Journals
Journal Cover
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.747
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 58  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0167-8809 - ISSN (Online) 1873-2305
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3183 journals]
  • Effects of organic farming on plant and butterfly functional diversity in
           mosaic landscapes
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Sandra Goded, Johan Ekroos, Joaquín G. Azcárate, José A. Guitián, Henrik G. Smith Organic farming can benefit plants and butterflies in terms of species richness and abundance, in particular in homogeneous landscapes. Nevertheless, whether organic farming can benefit functional diversity of these two organism groups is not well understood. Organic farming could benefit functional diversity by counteracting simplification and homogenisation of biotic communities caused by earlier agricultural intensification, and therefore contribute to communities more resilient to environmental or land use changes. We analysed species richness and four functional diversity indices (functional richness, evenness, divergence and dispersion) of plants and butterflies on 15 pairs of organic/conventional farms in North-West Spain, whilst accounting for independent and joint effects of landscape context. To better understand links between functional diversity and taxonomic species assemblages, we applied an indicator species analysis to determine whether any particular plant or butterfly species were significantly more abundant on organic or conventional farms. Both butterfly species and functional richness were higher on organic than on conventional farms. In addition, when the farms were surrounded by low proportions of agriculture, butterfly functional evenness was higher on organic farms. In contrast, organic farming did not affect plant species richness or functional diversity. Nevertheless, plants were affected by landscape openness and field size, so that plant functional richness decreased with increasing landscape openness while functional evenness showed a complex relationship to the interaction between field size and landscape openness. Indicator analyses revealed that three plant species, but no individual butterfly species, were significantly related to organic farming. In conclusion, organic farms provide higher-quality habitat for butterflies than conventional farms, either by promoting specific grassland plants benefiting butterflies, or more generally by providing a wider niche space, fostering functionally diverse butterfly communities.
  • Leaf spectral responses of Poa crymophila to nitrogen deposition and
           climate change on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Qiaoyi Hua, Yi Yu, Shikui Dong, Shuai Li, Hao Shen, Yuhui Han, Jing Zhang, Jianan Xiao, Shiliang Liu, Quanming Dong, Huakun Zhou, Kelly Wessell Temperature and nitrogen (N) are limited factors on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Climate change and increasing N deposition on the QTP have posed threats to the sustainability of alpine ecosystems. To examine plant spectral responses to N deposition and climate change, we measured leaf spectral reflectance of Poa crymophila, a common forage species grown in alpine meadow (AM) and alpine steppe (AS) on the eastern QTP under four N addition treatments (CK, 8, 40, 72 kg N ha −1 yr −1). We used natural climate gradients from colder and drier AS to warmer and wetter AM to simulate the climate change on the QTP. Results showed that both N deposition and climate change had significant effects on entire visible and near-infrared regions (p < 0.05), but the interactive effects were insignificant (p> 0.05). Enhanced visible absorption, increased near-infrared reflection, a red shift for red edge and a blue shift for green peak were observed with increasing N addition levels. The modified red edge simple ratio index and photochemical reflective index increased gradually in response to N addition (p < 0.05). These responses indicated that N deposition may make leaf wider and thicker, increase leaf chlorophyll content and photochemical efficiency, and enhance photosynthetic capacity. Climate warming and wetting had opposite effects from N deposition on leaf reflectance of Poa crymophila. These observations showed the potential to monitor the status of Poa crymophila under future climate change and N deposition with leaf spectral measurements.
  • Size, age and surrounding semi-natural habitats modulate the effectiveness
           of flower-rich agri-environment schemes to promote pollinator visitation
           in crop fields
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Elena Krimmer, Emily A. Martin, Jochen Krauss, Andrea Holzschuh, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter Animal pollination is of major importance to wild plants and a wide variety of crops, yet agricultural intensification has led to pollinator declines and yield gaps in agroecosystems. Agri-environment schemes (AES) aim to restore biodiversity and ecosystem services by providing suitable habitats and key resources. Sown flower fields are often implemented as AES and are assumed to partly compensate for the lack of semi-natural habitats (SNH). But the combined effects of local management, size and landscape context on the effectiveness of flower fields remain unclear. We studied five pollinator groups (honey bees, bumble bees, other wild bees, hover flies and other flies) in three types of AES flower fields differing in age, size, and local management along a SNH gradient. We used calcareous grasslands as control sites. Further, we examined distance decay functions of flower visitation rates in adjacent oilseed rape (OSR) fields. Young flower fields in the first year after establishment characterised with high flower cover were very attractive for pollinators, however pollinators tended to remain in these fields when they were large (>1.5 ha). High amounts of SNH in the surrounding landscape enhanced the value of small flower fields as starting points for pollinators and their subsequent movement into crops. Distance decay of pollinators was reduced in the presence of high amounts of SNH in the surrounding landscape. Based on our results, we recommend establishing smaller sown flower fields in landscapes with high amounts of SNH and larger flower fields in landscapes with low amounts of SNH. Importantly, sown flower fields were no substitute for perennial semi-natural habitats, underpinning the importance of SNH conservation in agricultural landscapes to maintain pollinators visiting flowers in crops.
  • Crop yield, weed cover and ecosystem multifunctionality are not affected
           by the duration of organic management
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Chantal Herzog, Adrian Honegger, Django Hegglin, Raphaël Wittwer, Anne de Ferron, Erik Verbruggen, Philippe Jeanneret, Michael Schloter, Samiran Banerjee, Marcel G.A. van der Heijden Organic farming is gaining importance in view of its beneficial effects on soil quality, environmental performance and biodiversity. However, it is still unclear how organic management performs over time and whether the duration of organic management influences crop yield and ecosystem functioning. Here we compared 34 fields in Swiss farms assigned to four groups: 1) conventionally managed farms; 2) farms in transition to organic farming (in the 1st – 3rd year); 3) farms converted moderately long ago (9–13 years); and 4) farms subjected to long-term organic farming (15–32 years). We selected one field per farm and examined in two subsequent years whether management practices (conventional vs. organic farming) and the duration of organic management affected crop yield, weed cover, soil fertility and biodiversity as well as the overall system performance, assessed as ecosystem multifunctionality. Maize yield (-6.0%) and wheat yield (-22.2%) decreased in organic compared to conventional fields. However, the duration of organic management did not affect crop yield. There was also no effect of the duration of organic management on weed cover but it was much higher under organic management, with mean values of 33.0% in organic compared to 2.0% in conventional fields in maize, and 13.4% compared to 1.2% in wheat, respectively. Soil fertility and microbial activities were not significantly different between management practices, which might be due to the large variation among fields. Root colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi increased (+19.7%) under organic management in wheat. Overall, this study demonstrates a rapid shift of agro-ecological functions after conversion to organic farming and that the duration of organic management has no impact on crop yield, weed cover and soil fertility.
  • Adding another dimension: Temporal development of the spatial distribution
           of soil and crop properties in slow-forming terrace systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Nadine Kraemer, Gerd Dercon, Pedro Cisneros, Felipe Arango Lopez, Camilla Wellstein The cultivation of marginal land in the Andes makes it one of the hot-spots of soil erosion. Since the 1980s an alternative soil conservation method denominated “slow-forming terraces” has been introduced to the area, since it is not labour or cost intensive and therefore more likely to be applied by the small-holder farmers. Research investigating the short-term effect on soil properties and crop productivity in these terrace systems showed reason for concern regarding the sustainability of the method, since there were position-dependent drops in crop productivity and related soil properties especially on shallow soils. Here, we investigate in the same terrace systems the temporal change of the observed properties 21 years after establishment. The terraces are managed by subsistence farmers and thus provide a valuable insight: if the spatial heterogeneity disappears, this renders slow-forming terraces agronomically sustainable in the long-term. Our results show a significant improvement of soil properties in general and furthermore to most extent a disappearance of the spatial heterogeneity in plant properties. These findings outline that the initial disadvantages of this soil conservation practice can be overcome in the long-term making slow-forming terraces a valuable measure for soil conservation and a sustainable system for small-holder subsistence farming. A support in farm planning, informing about both short- and long-term agronomic effects, while also considering social, economic and cultural/traditional aspects, could increase the adoption and maintenance of conservation measures and also symbiotically increase family income.
  • Publisher’s Note
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 July 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & EnvironmentAuthor(s):
  • Agri-environment effects on birds in Wales: Tir Gofal benefited woodland
           and hedgerow species
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Daria Dadam, Gavin M. Siriwardena Agri-environment schemes (AESs) have shown mixed success across Europe in terms of meeting environmental targets. Tir Gofal, the first widespread AES in Wales, ran from 1999 to 2013. Here we test the effects of its options on bird population growth rates, using the annual BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). Using over 400 1-km BBS squares, we applied a log-linear analytical approach that models the average change in expected abundance of individual species between consecutive years, testing the effects of spatio-temporal covariates (here, local quantities of Tir Gofal management and appropriate controls). Management options within the scheme were grouped according to their intended mode of impact on birds and commonalities in the habitat changes that they describe. Overall, 28/97 tests conducted produced positive results, and only four negative ones, a pattern that was also found among priority species alone (14 and two of 58 tests, respectively), involving eight of 17 priority species in Wales. Out of the ten groups of options considered, those concerning woodland, scrub and hedgerows were the most successful, each showing a predominance of positive effects across the bird species tested. Arable and grassland open-field options produced some positive effects, but failed to deliver detectable benefits for priority species, with wet grassland and waders being a particular gap. The non-significant effects found may reflect low analytical power, confounded option and landscape variation or failures of those options to address the key factors limiting species’ populations. Overall, however, this study provides good evidence that Tir Gofal had positive effects on many target bird populations in Wales, showing that the scheme contributed positively to key conservation policy targets, even if significant effects were not detectable on all such species.
  • Changes in vegetation parameters and soil nutrients along degradation and
           recovery successions on alpine grasslands of the Tibetan plateau
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Na Guo, A. Allan Degen, Bin Deng, Fuyu Shi, Yanfu Bai, Tao Zhang, Ruijun Long, Zhanhuan Shang Understanding the changes in vegetation parameters and soil nutrients in the different stages of grasslands degradation and recovery is crucial for assessing and restoring degraded grasslands. Consequently, we determined above-ground vegetation and soil C, N and P concentrations and their stoichiometry in different degradation and recovery stages on the Tibetan Plateau. Four degradation succession stages, GKC: Grass-Kobresia community, KHC: Kobresia humilis community, KPC: Kobresia pygmaea community, and FBC: forbs - black soil beach community, and three recovery succession stages, FG: freely grazed, RG: restricted grazed, and NG: non-grazed, were identified. Above-ground biomass and vegetation coverage decreased with degradation succession and there was a concomitant shift of plant functional groups to more above-ground biomass of forbs and less biomass of grasses and sedges. The highest species diversity emerged in the K. pygmaea succession stage, mainly due to an influx of Compositae. Significant differences in soil total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) and soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations occurred in the 0–10 and 10–20 cm layers among degradation successions. Vegetation cover, above-ground biomass, soil TN and SOC, as well as C:N and C:P ratios increased in non-grazed grasslands when compared to grazed grasslands. Soil TN, TP and SOC concentrations decreased with increasing soil depths across all degradation and recovery successions. In addition, soil nutrients and their stoichiometry were affected by above-ground biomass. We concluded that grazing exclusion could improve the above-ground vegetation and soil nutrients of degraded alpine grasslands, but that the rate of recovery was related to the degree of degradation.
  • Adaptation opportunities for smallholder dairy farmers facing resource
           scarcity: Integrated livestock, water and land management
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Caroline K. Bosire, James Rao, Voster Muchenje, Mark Van Wijk, Joseph O. Ogutu, Mesfin M. Mekonnen, Joseph Auma, Ben Lukuyu, James Hammond Dairy intensification is a widely used means of achieving food security, improving farmer incomes and enhancing overall economic growth. However, intensification is dependent upon the availability and suitability of natural resources to sustain growth in production. Here, land and water footprints of milk production in three contrasting agro-ecological zones ranging from humid to semi-arid across nine counties of Kenya are quantified. Water and land use footprints across three potential intensification pathways are also outlined and evaluated against the baseline scenario, the currently prevailing practices or the S1 Futures scenario, treated as the benchmark. Intensification pathways focusing on improving livestock breeds, feed provisioning and milk output per cow and distinguished by contrasting management practices perform differentially across the three agro-ecological zones. Total water and land footprints increase for all scenarios relative to the baseline scenario. In particular, all the breed improvement scenarios, have much larger total water footprints than the baseline scenario. Improvement in breed to pure bred cattle across all production systems has the largest total water footprint across all the production systems. Across all the scenarios, the largest reduction in water footprint of milk production (75%) occurs with improvement in breed and feeding practices from two scenarios in the lowlands. Milk production by the cross-bred cattle is most efficient in the lowlands system whereas milk production by the pure breed Ayrshire is most land use efficient in the midlands system. Across the three agroecological zones, improving breeds, feed provisioning and milk production per cow may achieve production intensification but concurrently exacerbates resource limitation. Consequently, the heterogeneity inherent in resource availability across dairy production zones should be considered when developing strategies for increasing dairy production.
  • Integrating multipurpose perennial grains crops in Western European
           farming systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Olivier Duchene, Florian Celette, Matthew R. Ryan, Lee R. DeHaan, Timothy E. Crews, Christophe David Western European agriculture is largely defined by the high level of productivity of its cereal grain production. Such productivity is largely a result of farm specialization and intensification. This approach however has led to environmental problems and farm sensitivity to climatic and economic hazards. Recently, perennial grains have been promoted as a potential alternative, particularly with intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium). Perennial grains bring new perspectives and innovation, and can contribute to both system diversification and environmental performance. Above all, the value of year-round ground cover and root activity, as well as the ability to harvest both grain and forage production, offers a large range of interest and potential application for such a grain crop. Realization of the potential benefits from perennial grains depends on the development of suitable seed material and the identification of tangible economic and environmental benefits coming from the integration of perennial grains into crop rotations. Although more work is needed, perennial grains are compatible with the current European interests and policies for food security, soil health, water quality, and farmer interest in innovative practices and sustainable cropping systems.
  • Seasonal and microhabitat differences alter ant predation of a globally
           disruptive coffee pest
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Katherine K. Ennis, Stacy M. Philpott Agroecosystems benefit from biological control services, yet predatory activity by natural enemies, like ants, can be highly spatio-temporally variable. Heterogeneity in perennial coffee agroecosystems is not driven by the crop itself, but rather climate at the regional scale and managed shade trees and herbaceous plant layers at the local scale. We examined the effects of both inter-annual seasonal and microhabitat variation on the predatory function of ground-foraging ants on a globally disruptive coffee pest, the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei). During the dry and rainy seasons, we measured prey removal rates of the borer by ants across three distinct litter treatments. We found significantly higher rates of prey removal during the dry season and, to a lesser extent, in plots with greater leaf litter and lower soil temperatures. Our results indicate that both large scale processes like inter-annual seasonal variation in climate and small-scale differences in microhabitat refugia can influence pest predation activity by natural pest control agents in coffee agroecosystems.
  • Influence of Highland and production-oriented cattle breeds on pasture
           vegetation: A pairwise assessment across broad environmental gradients
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Caren M. Pauler, Johannes Isselstein, Thomas Braunbeck, Manuel K. Schneider Highland cattle are lighter, slower-growing and less demanding on forage than most production-oriented cattle breeds, which may affect vegetation composition. This study aimed at identifying the importance of breed-dependent impact on the composition of pasture vegetation in comparison to well-investigated factors such as site properties and grazing management. Vegetation was investigated in 50 paired pastures at 25 locations ranging from Swiss mountain areas to lowlands in southern Germany. Pastures in a pair had been grazed by either Highland cattle or a more production-oriented cattle breed for at least 5 years. Plant species composition was assessed on 150 subplots, three per pasture in areas representing different grazing intensities. Generalized linear mixed-effects models, (partial) constrained correspondence analysis and structural equation models were used for data analysis. Despite similar site conditions between the paired pastures at each location, plants on pastures of Highland cattle showed significantly lower indicator values for grazing and trampling tolerance. Both, grazing and trampling were strongly connected and had a common negative effect on plant species diversity. Moreover, Highland cattle had a direct positive influence on diversity, likely due to reduced woody plant species cover and a higher cover of epizoochoric species. This resulted in significantly higher plant species richness (alpha and gamma) on pastures of Highland cattle than those of production-oriented breeds. The observed differences in plant species richness between pastures of different grazing breeds increased with duration of adaptation, i.e. the time a pasture was grazed by a certain breed. The study demonstrates a clear impact of cattle breed on vegetation, which is consistent with the phenotypical differences of the animals. Largely overlooked, cattle breed may explain some of the frequently contrasting responses of vegetation to grazing. The findings have important implications for management decisions and breeding endeavours which go beyond mere productivity objectives. They highlight the potential of low-production Highland cattle to sustain and promote ecosystem services on species-rich, semi-natural grasslands.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Quantifying the impact of no-tillage on soil redistribution in a
           cultivated catchment of Southern Brazil (1964–2016) with 137Cs inventory
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Elizeu Jonas Didoné, Jean Paolo Gomes Minella, Fabio José Andres Schneider, Ana Lúcia Londero, Irène Lefèvre, Olivier Evrard No-tillage is a soil management practice that results in reduced soil losses when compared to conventional tillage systems. However, when this practice is overly simplified, it may lead, over the years, to higher levels of soil loss than expected. In this context, this study sought to compare the rates of long-term soil redistribution on three hillslopes used for grain production under different soil management on deep weathered soils (Ferralsols) in southern Brazil. Soil samples were collected along three transects in different hillslopes characterized by either no-tillage or conventional tillage. Cs-137 inventories were used to estimate the soil redistribution rates based on Mass Balance Model - 2. The results indicate that along the three slopes and during the last five decades, changes in soil management impacted the patterns of soil erosion in the landscape, showing the occurrence of significant soil loss in the upper and backslope segments, and deposition in the lower parts of the three hillslopes studied. Even with no-tillage, erosion has continued to occur, although at lower rates when compared to conventional tillage. The use of the 137Cs marker associated with the Mass Balance Model - 2 (MBM - 2) conversion model provided an effective tool for estimating soil redistribution rates under different management systems. Although the introduction of no-tillage in the last 28 years has reduced erosion rates, these processes remain significant and the implementation of additional runoff and/or erosion control practices is recommended in order to keep erosion rates at sustainable levels.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • The role of legumes in the sustainable intensification of African
           smallholder agriculture: Lessons learnt and challenges for the future
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): B. Vanlauwe, M. Hungria, F. Kanampiu, K.E. Giller Grain legumes play a key role in smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), in relation to food and nutrition security and income generation. Moreover, because of their N2-fixation capacity, such legumes can also have a positive influence on soil fertility. Notwithstanding many decades of research on the agronomy of grain legumes, their N2-fixation capacity, and their contribution to overall system productivity, several issues remain to be resolved to realize fully the benefits of grain legumes. In this paper we highlight major lessons learnt and expose key knowledge gaps in relation to grain legumes and their contributions to farming system productivity. The symbiosis between legumes and rhizobia forms the basis for its benefits and biological N2-fixation (BNF) relies as much on the legume genotype as on the rhizobial strains. As such, breeding grain legumes for BNF deserves considerably more attention. Even promiscuous varieties usually respond to inoculation, and as African soils contain a huge pool of unexploited biodiversity with potential to contribute elite rhizobial strains, strain selection should go hand-in-hand with legume breeding for N2-fixation. Although inoculated strains can outcompete indigenous strains, our understanding of what constitutes a good competitor is rudimentary, as well as which factors affect the persistence of inoculated rhizobia, which in its turn determines whether a farmer needs to re-inoculate each and every season. Although it is commonly assumed that indigenous rhizobia are better adapted to local conditions than elite strains used in inoculants, there is little evidence that this is the case. The problems of delivering inoculants to smallholders through poorly-developed supply chains in Africa necessitates inoculants based on sterile carriers with long shelf life. Other factors critical for a well-functioning symbiosis are also central to the overall productivity of grain legumes. Good agronomic practices, including the use of phosphorus (P)-containing fertilizer, improve legume yields though responses to inputs are usually very variable. In some situations, a considerable proportion of soils show no response of legumes to applied inputs, often referred to as non-responsive soils. Understanding the causes underlying this phenomenon is limited and hinders the uptake of legume agronomy practices. Grain legumes also contribute to the productivity of farming systems, although such effects are commonly greater in rotational than in intercropping systems. While most cropping systems allow for the integration of legumes, intercropped legumes provide only marginal benefits to associated crops. Important rotational benefits have been shown for most grain legumes though those with the highest N accumulation and lowest N harvest index appear to demonstrate higher residual benefits. N balance estimates often results in contradictory observations, mostly caused by the lack of understanding of belowground contributions of legumes to the N balance. Lastly, the ultimate condition for increased uptake of grain legumes by smallholder farmers lies in the understanding of how legume technologies and management practices can be tailored to the enormous diversity of agroecologies, farming systems, and smallholder farms in SSA. In conclusion, while research on grain legumes has revealed a number of important insights that will guide realization of the full potential of such legumes to the sustainable intensification of smallholder farming systems in SSA, many research challenges remain to be addressed to realize the full potential of BNF in these systems.
  • Nitrogen retention efficiency of a surface-flow constructed wetland
           receiving tile drainage water: A case study from north-eastern Germany
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Jörg Steidl, Thomas Kalettka, Andreas Bauwe A surface-flow constructed wetland to retain nitrogen was created between an agricultural tile-drainage plot and the outflow-receiving river in a maritime rural area of north-eastern Germany close to the southern Baltic Sea. The nitrogen loads were monitored from October to May over a period of four years at the inlet and outlet using high-frequency water sampling and flow measuring to assess the performance of the wetland. The effects of the physical boundary conditions on the nitrogen retention processes were analyzed by measuring meteorological indicators and water temperatures in the wetland as well as by a detailed mass balance calculation. The development of vegetation and the sedimentation of carbon and nitrogen in the wetland were also recorded. The results showed that the nitrogen retention efficiency of the wetland decreased with increasing nitrogen loading, while it increased with increasing residence times and temperatures. We conclude that the hydraulic retention time should be>20 days and the water temperature should be>8 °C in order to be able to effectively retain nitrogen. However, both conditions were only met from spring to autumn. In these periods, the development of dense, structure-rich macrophyte vegetation and the sedimentation of carbon and nitrogen quickly provided good conditions for nitrogen retention. In autumn and spring, however, less than 20% of the annual nitrogen load was observed. The total nitrogen loading was reduced by only 2.9% during the four monitored years. The study results suggest that the meteorological and hydrological conditions were not conducive to achieve a significant nitrogen retention with the help of surface-flow constructed wetlands in this climatic region. The successful implementation of wetlands in the maritime rural area close to the Baltic Sea should therefore consider the inner-annual distribution of the outflows from the tile drainage plot.
  • “Everyone does it a bit differently!”: Evidence for a positive
           relationship between micro-scale land-use diversity and plant diversity in
           hay meadows
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Róbert Kun, Sándor Bartha, Ákos Malatinszky, Zsolt Molnár, Attila Lengyel, Dániel Babai High nature-value grasslands including mountain hay meadows are among the most species-rich habitats in Europe. Mountain hay meadows were developed and maintained by traditional, small-scale management systems having high micro-scale land-use diversity (MSLUD), i.e. the parcel-scale diversity of management elements which usually depend on individual decisions and family traditions of local farmers. Detailed studies documenting the effects of micro-scale land-use diversity on vegetation are absent. The main objectives of our study were to analyse the effect of micro-scale land-use diversity and evenness on local plant diversity and cover of the main plant functional types. Field work was carried out in the Gyimes region (Eastern Carpathians, Romania).We conducted semi-structured interviews with the owners and managers of the studied meadow parcels in order to reveal the number of applied management elements (Nm) and applied frequencies of these management elements (e.g. manuring, mowing, seed sowing and weed control) per parcel and to determine the three differently used hay meadow types from interviews. For quantifying MSLUD, the Shannon diversity formula was used, in the case of micro-scale land-use evenness (MSLUE), the original Pielou’s evenness formula was applied. To document parcel-scale vegetation features, 4 × 4-meter quadrats were surveyed in every parcel.We found significant differences in the Nm, MSLUD and MSLUE among the three management types. In models where MSLUD, MSLUE and Nm were built in, we got better model fits and more parsimonious models than in cases where just management type was built into the models. Management elements (e.g. manuring, seed sowing) also had a significant effect on vegetation.Our results highlight that micro-scale land-use diversity plays a significant role in the maintenance of plant diversity in traditional, small-scale farming systems. The main drivers behind the high micro-scale land-use diversity may be farmers’ personal decisions and family traditions. We argue that for an adequate ecological understanding and conservation of these traditional, small-scale land-use systems, the development of adequate ways of evaluation as well as detailed studies of the effects of several different management elements and land-use diversity on vegetation are needed.
  • Precipitation and soil water thresholds associated with drought-induced
           mortality of farmland shelter forests in a semi-arid area
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Libo Sun, Xiaomin Chang, Xinxiao Yu, Guodong Jia, Lihua Chen, Ziqiang Liu, Xuhui Zhu Shelter forests in the agricultural field are critical ecological barriers against harsh environmental conditions and agricultural soil erosion in northern China; however, shelter forests have been extensively degraded in the past decades. It is unknown how patterns of mortality of shelter forests relate to highly variable spatial precipitation and soil water content (SWC). Here, we explore the relationships of precipitation and SWC with the mortality of Populus simonii Carr (poplar) shelter forests in the semi-arid Bashang Plateau, northern China. Mortality of poplar shelter forests and its relationship with precipitation and SWC are spatially quantified in an area with an uneven distribution of precipitation by combining standard field plot measurements, precipitation, and SWC spatial distribution grid data. The mortality patterns of poplar shelter forests revealed threshold responses to precipitation and SWC, with lower mortality ( 16.56%. Results indicate that a threshold response is evident when precipitation is 60% of the average precipitation. In addition, our results show that wind speed, low temperature, and stand density also had significant effects on the mortality of poplar shelter forests. Our results show how precipitation and SWC patterns within a region influence the mortality of poplar shelter forests. Moreover, this study reveals other factors influencing stand structure and landscape heterogeneity, which have been largely overlooked in previous studies.
  • Carabid functional diversity is enhanced by conventional flowering fields,
           organic winter cereals and edge habitats
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Christoph Gayer, Gábor L. Lövei, Tibor Magura, Martin Dieterich, Péter Batáry The continued decline in farmland biodiversity in Europe despite substantial funding for agri-environment schemes (AES) has prompted calls for more effective biodiversity conservation measures. The current AES regime allows for both holistic measures, such as organic farming, that broadly target the agricultural environment and biodiversity-specific measures, such as flowering fields, but little is known of their relative efficacies. To address this gap, we studied carabids in 48 arable fields that presented four crop types under different management practices along a gradient of landscape complexity: (a) conventionally managed crop (winter wheat), (b) biodiversity-specific AES under conventional management (sown flowering field), (c) organically managed mono-crop (winter spelt) and (d) organically managed lentil-mixedcrop (lentil intercropped with cereal or camelina). For these crop-use types, we compared functional diversity of carabid assemblages at the edge and center of the fields. Using pitfall traps, we collected more than 55,000 carabids of 95 species over two years. We characterized diversity using community weighted means and functional divergence of three ecological traits – body size, feeding type, and flight ability. Conventional flowering fields and organic winter spelt, but not organic spring sown lentil-mixed-crop, increased the proportion of plant-feeding carabids; moreover, trait characteristics and their divergences were most affected by field edges, with smaller, less carnivorous and more flight-enabled carabid assemblages found there than in the center. Divergence of body size and feeding type but not of flight ability was larger at the field edges than centres. Surrounding landscape complexity did not affect carabid traits. We conclude that future AES policy should avoid strict decisions between biodiversity specific- and holistic measures. Instead, priority should be given to a diversity of different measures, targeting the enhancement of edge habitats as well as productive and non-productive measures.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Pollinator diversity, floral resources and semi-natural habitat, instead
           of honey bees and intensive agriculture, enhance pollination service to
           sweet cherry
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Maxime Eeraerts, Guy Smagghe, Ivan Meeus Declines of pollinator diversity are causing concern about pollination service security for agriculture and natural ecosystems. Landscape composition has been found to regulate the diversity of pollinator communities and their corresponding pollination services in agricultural fields, with previous research concluding positive effects of semi-natural habitat or negative effects of intensive agriculture. In our study we assessed pollinator diversity and pollination services in sweet cherry orchards (Prunus avium) along two non-collinear, independent gradients of semi-natural habitat and intensive agriculture (i.e. percentage of cultivated land) around the orchards. The influence of floral resources in the herb layer in the orchards was also assessed. Our results show that semi-natural habitat clearly support pollinator species richness and wild pollinator abundance. Next to semi-natural habitat, flowering plants in the herb layer of the orchards was an additional driver of pollinator diversity in sweet cherry orchards. Although approximately 80% of all flower visitors were managed honey bees, fruit set of sweet cherry was only clearly linked to pollinator species richness and wild pollinator abundance. Management strategies to support sweet cherry production might include the creation of semi-natural habitat around orchards and the promotion of floral resources in the orchard’s herb layer to support pollinating insects.
  • Farmers’ management of functional biodiversity goes beyond pest
           management in organic European apple orchards
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): S. Penvern, S. Fernique, A. Cardona, A. Herz, E. Ahrenfeldt, A. Dufils, L. Jamar, M. Korsgaard, D. Kruczyńska, S. Matray, L. Ozolina-Pole, M. Porcel, B. Ralle, B. Steinemann, W. Świergiel, M. Tasin, J. Telfser, F. Warlop, L. Sigsgaard Supporting functional biodiversity (FB), which provides natural pest regulation, is an environmentally sound and promising approach to reduce pesticide use in perennial cultures such as apple, especially in organic farming. However, little is known about farmers’ practices and motivations to implement techniques that favor FB, especially whether or not they really expect anything from FB in terms of pest regulation. In fact, FB-supporting techniques (FB-techniques) are massively questioned by practitioners due to inadequate information about their effectiveness. An interview survey was performed in eight European countries(i) to describe farmers’ practices and identify promising FB-techniques: (ii) to better understand their perceptions of and values associated with FB; and (iii) to identify potential drivers of (non-)adoption. Fifty-five advisors and 125 orchard managers with various degrees of experience and convictions about FB were interviewed and a total of 24 different FB-techniques which can be assigned to three different categories (ecological infrastructures, farming practices and redesign techniques) were described. Some were well-established measures (e.g., hedges and bird houses), while others were more marginal and more recent (e.g., animal introduction and compost). On average, farmers combined more than four techniques that had been implemented over a period of 13 years, especially during their establishment or conversion period. In general, it was difficult for farmers to evaluate the effectiveness of individual FB-techniques on pest regulation. They considered FB-techniques as a whole, targeting multiple species, and valued multiple ecosystem services in addition to pest regulation. The techniques implemented and their associated values differed among farmers who adopted various approaches towards FB. Three different approaches were defined: passive, active and integrated. Their appraisal of FB is even more complex because it may change with time and experience. These findings provide empirical evidence that the practical implementation of promising techniques remains a challenge, considering the diversity of situations and evaluation criteria. Increased cooperation between researchers, farmers and advisors should more effectively target research, advisory support and communication to meet farmers’ needs and perceptions.
  • Making trees count: Measurement and reporting of agroforestry in UNFCCC
           national communications of non-Annex I countries
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Todd S. Rosenstock, Andreas Wilkes, Courtney Jallo, Nictor Namoi, Medha Bulusu, Marta Suber, Damaris Mboi, Rachmat Mulia, Elisabeth Simelton, Meryl Richards, Noel Gurwick, Eva Wollenberg Agroforestry—the integration of trees with crops and livestock—generates many benefits directly relevant to the UNFCCC’s Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, including: (i) building resilience, (ii) increasing soil carbon and improving soil health, (iii) providing fodder and shade for sustainable livestock production and (iv) diversifying human diets and economic opportunities. Despite its significance to the climate agenda, agroforestry may not be included in measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems under the UNFCCC. Here we report on a first appraisal of how agroforestry is treated in national MRV systems under the UNFCCC. We examined national communications (NCs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of 147 countries, REDD + strategies and plans of 73 countries, and 283 Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), as well as conducted interviews with representatives of 12 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We found that there is a significant gap between national ambition and national ability to measure and report on agroforestry. Forty percent of the countries assessed explicitly propose agroforestry as a solution in their NDCs, with agroforestry being embraced most widely in Africa (71%) and less broadly in the Americas (34%), Asia (21%) and Oceania (7%). Seven countries proposed 10 agroforestry-based NAMAs. Of 73 developing countries that have REDD + strategies, about 50% identified agroforestry as a way to combat forest decline. Despite these intentions, however, agroforestry is not visible in many MRV systems. For example, although 66% of the countries reported non-forest trees in the national inventory, only 11% gave a quantitative estimate of number of trees or areal extent. Interviews revealed institutional, technical and financial challenges preventing comprehensive, transparent inclusion of agroforestry in MRV systems. The absence has serious implications. If such trees are not counted in inventories or climate change programs, then a major carbon sink is not being accounted for. Only if agroforestry resources are measured, reported and verified will they gain access to finance and other support. We discuss four recommendations to better match ability to ambition.
  • Rill and gully erosion on unpaved roads under heavy rainfall in
           agricultural watersheds on China’s Loess Plateau
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Yan Zhang, Yiyang Zhao, Baoyuan Liu, Zhiqiang Wang, Shuai Zhang Soil erosion causes agricultural land degradation. As one of the indispensable components of the agricultural system, unpaved roads are significant sediment sources, but road erosion is often overlooked because of the relatively small areas that roads cover. This study aims to investigate the severity of road erosion under extreme rainfall and ascertain the dominating factor. We investigated road erosion in two small watersheds after a heavy rainstorm to measure rill and gully erosion on three types of road in the field and determine the factors affecting that erosion with remote sensing images and geographic information system (GIS). Using Google images before the storm and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images after the storm, we interpreted land use and measured geomorphological and vegetation factors. In 579 road cross-sections within 63 road erosion segments found along the 10.42 km roads surveyed, the average soil loss was 804.77 t ha^-1 from main unpaved roads, 471.78 t ha^-1 from secondary unpaved roads, and 147.46 t ha^-1 from trails. Gully erosion predominated over rill erosion on all three types of road. The average rill erosion was 0.41, 0.17, and 0.02 cm, compared with 4.88, 3.15, and 1.05 cm of gully erosion on the main unpaved roads, secondary unpaved roads, and trails, respectively. The contributing area dominated over other factors associated with road erosion under heavy rainfall and could explain 84.9% of the erosion from the road segment to which it drains based on the linear regression analysis. Furthermore, a nonlinear regression model with the contributing area and road segment gradient as predictors precisely predicted road erosion (coefficient of determination, 0.970).Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Erosional response to land abandonment in rural areas of Western Europe
           during the Anthropocene: A case study in the Massif-Central, France
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 284Author(s): Anthony Foucher, Olivier Evrard, Clément Chabert, Olivier Cerdan, Irène Lefèvre, Rosalie Vandromme, Sébastien Salvador-Blanes Abandonment of agricultural land is widespread in many developed countries. These surfaces are projected to increase significantly worldwide during the 21th century. Identifying potential relationships between land abandonment and soil erosion dynamics over the long term (100 years) is therefore essential for predicting the environmental consequences of this extensive land use change. Accordingly, sediment cores were collected in two highland catchments of central France in order to reconstruct the change of sediment delivery during the last century. The results showed a substantial decline (71–78%) of rural population in both sites since 1900. This decrease occurred simultaneously with a sharp decline (85–95%) of the surface of arable land: previously cultivated areas were mainly converted into forests as the result of natural and anthropogenic processes. Consequently, sediment deliveries significantly decreased (75–99%) in both catchments. These trends were nevertheless interrupted by the implementation of afforestation works between 1945 and 1970 in one of the catchments. During these works, erosion rates increased three-fold because of extensive soil disturbance, and sediment delivery stabilized only 15 years after the onset of these management operations. Overall, this study demonstrates the long-term effect of land abandonment on soil erosion, which supplements the more widely reported acceleration trend of soil erosion because of agricultural intensification.
  • Pollen feeding habits of Chrysoperla carnea s.l. adults in the
           olive grove agroecosystem
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): María Villa, Iana Somavilla, Sónia A.P. Santos, José António López-Sáez, José Alberto Pereira Chrysoperla carnea s.l. (Stephens) larvae are important natural enemies in agroecosystems. However, adults feed on honeydew excreted by hemipterans, and pollen and nectar from flowering plants. Pollen is essential for egg production, but to our knowledge, the pollen diet of C. carnea in perennial crops has never been addressed. In this work, the objective was to study the diversity and potential selection of pollen types consumed by C. carnea in the olive grove agroecosystem. For this study, C. carnea adults were captured from April to December of 2012 and 2013, and simultaneously, inventories of the plant diversity were obtained in olive orchards and adjacent scrubland and herbaceous patches. The pollen types contained in C. carnea guts were identified by microscopy and compared with the pollen types in the environment using Jacobs`s second selection index. The results indicated that (i) C. carnea females and males captured in the olive tree canopy visited scrub and herbaceous vegetation patches; (ii) they fed on different anemophilous and entomophilous pollen types from tree and scrub (Olea europaea, Fabaceae, Pinaceae, Cistaceae or Ericaceae) and herbaceous (Asteraceae, Apicaceae, Brassicaceae, Poaceae, Rumex type or Plantago type) strata; and (iii) adults fed not only on flowers but also on pollen settled on vegetation surfaces. Here, we demonstrated that C. carnea could benefit not only from the diversity of entomophilous pollen during the plant flowering periods but also from other pollens that could remain in the environment in different periods. This has important implications for the management of the floral diversity adjacent to the crop.
  • Mixed-species tree plantings enhance structural complexity in oil palm
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Delphine Clara Zemp, Martin Ehbrecht, Dominik Seidel, Christian Ammer, Dylan Craven, Joshua Erkelenz, Bambang Irawan, Leti Sundawati, Dirk Hölscher, Holger Kreft Conversion of structurally complex rainforests into simplified oil palm monocultures leads to dramatic losses of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. To alleviate negative ecological impacts, enrichment with native tree species may rapidly restore structural complexity in existing oil palm plantations. However, the mechanisms underlying the recovery of structural complexity in mixed-species tree plantings remain poorly understood. We measured structural complexity from terrestrial laser scanning in a biodiversity enrichment experiment with multiple tree species planted in an oil palm monoculture, forming agroforestry plots of varying tree species diversity and plot size. We find that three years after tree planting, structural complexity in oil palm increased by one third, representing 25% of the increase needed to restore the structural complexity of tropical forests. Changes in structural complexity were associated with denser and more complex filling of three-dimensional space, whereas vertical stratification was mainly influenced by oil palm. Furthermore, structural complexity increased with tree species diversity in the agroforestry plots. This relationship was mainly due the presence of well-performing species that contributed to higher levels of structural complexity. However, interactions among multiple species independently from the species identity were also detected. Finally, increasing plot size had a positive effect on a scale-independent measure of structural complexity. Our results provide evidence that planting multiple tree species in large agroforestry plots is a suitable strategy to rapidly enhance structural complexity in oil palm plantations.
  • Climate and tillage system drive weed communities’ functional diversity
           in a Mediterranean cereal-legume rotation
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): R. Alarcón Víllora, E. Hernández Plaza, L. Navarrete, M.J. Sánchez, A.M. Sánchez The first step to develop an environmentally sound weed management is to know how weed communities respond to environmental drivers. Among these, climate and management practices are probably the more determinant factors for annual plants community assembly. In this framework, a trait based approach may be useful to assess weed community responses and the processes behind them. Here, we focused on three non-inversion tillage practices which differently affect soil conditions and the vertical distribution of weed seeds. We also took into account the climate variability across years. We specifically asked whether the type of non-inversion tillage system and the annual variability in climatic conditions explain the differences in the functional structure of weed communities. To assess this question we conducted a nine yearlong field experiment in which three non-inversion tillage systems were compared: subsoil tillage, minimum tillage and no-tillage. We characterized the functional structure of weed communities by first obtaining data on three resource acquisition traits (specific leaf area, plant height and growth habit) and five regenerative traits (seed weight, longevity index, dispersal structures, seed cover and emergence time). Then, we computed the community weighted mean (CWM) and the mean pairwise distance (MPD) of each trait as well as a multi trait MPD index. Climate annual conditions were characterized based on autumn-winter precipitation, average temperature and number of frost days. We found that tillage systems and climatic factors mainly sorted weed species according to their emergence time and seed weight. Weed communities from no-tillage plots were characterized by having an earlier emergence and seeds without pericarp. Regarding climatic conditions, we found that warmer and rainier autumn-winter conditions were related to lower functional diversity of regenerative traits and higher diversity in terms of resource acquisition traits. Our results highlight that factors affecting seedling emergence as well as traits related to these processes are critical during weed community assemblage. Our results also showed that none of the compared tillage systems was clearly outstanding in terms of functional diversity, but that each system benefited certain functional design. Furthermore, the relative importance of these management practices to drive weed functional structure was clearly lower than the effects of climatic inter-annual fluctuations.
  • Prediction of enteric methane production, yield and intensity of beef
           cattle using an intercontinental database
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Henk J. van Lingen, Mutian Niu, Ermias Kebreab, Sebastião C. Valadares Filho, John A. Rooke, Carol-Anne Duthie, Angela Schwarm, Michael Kreuzer, Phil I. Hynd, Mariana Caetano, Maguy Eugène, Cécile Martin, Mark McGee, Padraig O’Kiely, Martin Hünerberg, Tim A. McAllister, Telma T. Berchielli, Juliana D. Messana, Nico Peiren, Alex V. Chaves Enteric methane (CH4) production attributable to beef cattle contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions. Reliably estimating this contribution requires extensive CH4 emission data from beef cattle under different management conditions worldwide. The objectives were to: 1) predict CH4 production (g d−1 animal−1), yield [g (kg dry matter intake; DMI)−1] and intensity [g (kg average daily gain)−1] using an intercontinental database (data from Europe, North America, Brazil, Australia and South Korea); 2) assess the impact of geographic region, and of higher- and lower-forage diets. Linear models were developed by incrementally adding covariates. A K-fold cross-validation indicated that a CH4 production equation using only DMI that was fitted to all available data had a root mean square prediction error (RMSPE; % of observed mean) of 31.2%. Subsets containing data with ≥25% and ≤18% dietary forage contents had an RMSPE of 30.8 and 34.2%, with the all-data CH4 production equation, whereas these errors decreased to 29.3 and 28.4%, respectively, when using CH4 prediction equations fitted to these subsets. The RMSPE of the ≥25% forage subset further decreased to 24.7% when using multiple regression. Europe- and North America-specific subsets predicted by the best performing ≥25% forage multiple regression equation had RMSPE of 24.5 and 20.4%, whereas these errors were 24.5 and 20.0% with region-specific equations, respectively. The developed equations had less RMSPE than extant equations evaluated for all data (22.5 vs. 23.2%), for higher-forage (21.2 vs. 23.1%), but not for the lower-forage subsets (28.4 vs. 27.9%). Splitting the dataset by forage content did not improve CH4 yield or intensity predictions. Predicting beef cattle CH4 production using energy conversion factors, as applied by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicated that adequate forage content-based and region-specific energy conversion factors improve prediction accuracy and are preferred in national or global inventories.
  • Variations in soil bacterial taxonomic profiles and putative functions in
           response to straw incorporation combined with N fertilization during the
           maize growing season
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Hui Li, YongYong Zhang, Shan Yang, Zhirui Wang, Xue Feng, Heyong Liu, Yong Jiang Integrating nitrogen (N) fertilization with crop residue amendments is usually used to enhance soil nutrient levels and promote crop growth in regions with intensive agriculture. However, the interactive effects of straw incorporation and N fertilization on the abiotic and biological properties of soil are not fully understood, especially under field conditions at different crop growth stages. In this study, we estimated the dynamic changes in the soil physicochemical properties and bacterial communities in response to N fertilization, straw incorporation, and their combinations during the maize growing season in black soil region in Harbin, China. N fertilization increased the relative abundance of the typical copiotrophic bacterial taxa, Alphaproteobacteria, but reduced that of the oligotrophic group, Acidobacteria. The straw incorporation enhanced the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and Gammaproteobacteria, within which a variety of cellulolysis-related species phylogenetically fell. Interestingly, the straw amendments changed the effects of N fertilization on the overall soil bacterial community composition, possibly by altering the soil total carbon, C/N ratio, fixed ammonium, and moisture level. N fertilization stimulated most of the carbon (C) transformation and N cycling processes, and the straw incorporation increased the cellulolysis, N fixation, ureolysis, ammonia oxidation and denitrification functions. There were no differences in the soil chemical properties, microbial taxa profiles or predicted functions between the conventional N fertilizer usage (high N level) and the optimized N fertilization management scheme (low N level), irrespective of straw incorporation, implying that moderately reducing the usage of N fertilizer will not change the ecosystem service and function in this organic matter-rich black soil region. The relative abundance of the copiotrophic bacterial taxa decreased at the mid-growing season, which might be caused by the low soil C and N availability. In contrast, the oligotrophic bacterial groups showed predominance at the mid-growing season, which might aim to mineralize soil organic matter to meet the growth needs of both the crops and the microbes. The nitrifiers (Nitrospirae) and nitrification process were sharply activated at the mid-growing season, especially under the straw amendment condition, inferring that the combination of straw application with N fertilizer could serve as an effective measure for improving soil fertility in Northeast China. The present study enhanced our knowledge on the dynamic changes in soil biotic and abiotic parameters in response to straw incorporation and N fertilization during the maize growing season. Still, this study provides a reference for designing an environmentally friendly fertilization strategy that both alleviates environmental stress and maintains a high crop yield in Northeast China.
  • Linking the human appropriation of net primary productivity-based
           indicators, input cost and high nature value to the dimensions of land-use
           intensity across French agricultural landscapes
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Claire Lorel, Christoph Plutzar, Karl-Heinz Erb, Maud Mouchet The intensification of European land use accelerated substantially in a few decades, particularly in agro-ecosystems that are facing an increasing demand for agricultural products and whose area is also constrained by other uses (e.g. urbanization). Increases in land use intensity (LUI) are characterized by increases of the agricultural outputs per land unit through management practices and/or by increasing amounts of inputs. LUI is a complex and multi-dimensional issue in which each dimension needs to be considered to have a better understanding of the impact of LUI on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. Here, we focused on five existing LUI indicators: the Input Cost per hectare (IC/ha), assessing the expenses in inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.), the High Nature Value (HNV), a scoring system of agricultural areas accounting for the presence of landscape elements and practices favorable to biodiversity, and three indices of the Human Appropriation of Net Primary Productivity (HANPP) framework, i.e. the harvested biomass (HANPPharv), the living biomass flow remaining available after harvests (NPPeco) and HANPP which combines harvested biomass and effects of land use conversion. First, we discussed how these indicators can relate to the dimensions of LUI. Then, we tested whether HANPP, HANPPharv and NPPeco were redundant with IC/ha and HNV throughout 25,758 French metropolitan municipalities, using Pearson’s correlation coefficient and Linear Mixed-effects Models, while accounting for climatic and landscape parameters. As expected, HANPP, NPPeco and HANPPharv were highly correlated with each other, but weakly to HNV and IC/ha. HNV showed a positive relationship with NPPeco but negative with HANPP and HANPPharv. The opposite findings were observed with IC/ha. These three indicators seem complementary to HNV and IC/ha indicators, linking farmland structural properties and inputs intensity. Finally, we showed how these indicators can be linked, i.e. particular combinations of the indicator values could reveal contrasting agro-ecosystems types (e.g. intensive vs extensive crop farming).
  • Nitrous oxide emissions from cropping systems producing biomass for future
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Khagendra R. Baral, Poul E. Lærke, Søren O. Petersen A growing bioeconomy demands high, but sustainable production of biomass. In contrast to annual crops, perennial crops may combine high biomass yields with low nitrogen (N) leaching losses despite intensive management. However, there is an important trade-off between N fertilization to increase biomass production and the associated nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions when estimated with the IPCC default emission factor (EF) of 1% of applied N. Actual N2O emissions may vary with crop species and site conditions, and a field experiment was therefore conducted to determine N2O emissions and biomass yields from selected perennial crops. Three perennial crops were established five years prior to this study, including festulolium (x Festulolium braunii) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), both receiving 425 kg N ha−1 in NPK fertilizer with 60% ammonium-N and 40% nitrate-N, and grass-clover (Lolium perenne-Trifolium pretense) receiving PK fertilizer only. Maize (Zea mays) receiving 140 kg N ha−1 in NPK was included as a reference annual crop; all treatments had unfertilized subplots. The total biomass yields of fertilized maize (14.3 Mg DM ha−1), festulolium (15.3 Mg DM ha−1) and tall fescue (16.2 Mg DM ha−1) were similar, and higher than grass-clover yield (8.4 Mg DM ha−1). There were three cuts in perennial crops, and peak emissions of N2O occurred after cutting and fertilization. Unexpectedly, PK fertilization increased N2O emissions by 89% compared to unfertilized grass-clover. A mixed-effect model examining drivers of N2O emissions after each fertilization indicated that temperature and nitrate were more important for N2O emissions than soil wetness, whether this was expressed as water-filled pore space or relative gas diffusivity, Dp/D0. The overall highest emissions of N2O, which occurred in festulolium and tall fescue after the 1st cut and 2nd fertilization, coincided with rainfall after a dry period. Measurements of soil respiration indicated that these high N2O emissions were triggered by a release of labile carbon after the rapid wetting, and hence that denitrification of nitrate in the fertilizer applied was a significant source. Fertilization increased N2O emissions two- to three-fold compared to treatments without fertilization, but the annual emission factors for fertilizer N were consistently below the default IPCC emission factor of 1% with 0.23 ± 0.04, 0.32 ± 0.03 and 0.54 ± 0.13% for, respectively, festulolium, tall fescue and maize. Hence, this study suggests that intensively managed perennial crops can be used for biomass production on sandy loam soil without excessive N2O emissions compared to annual crops.
  • Sustainable grazing management in rangelands: Over a century searching for
           a silver bullet
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Agustina di Virgilio, Sergio A. Lambertucci, Juan M. Morales Rangelands represent 91% of the surface devoted to livestock production and a high proportion of them are exposed to some sort of degradation. Considerable research interest has been centered in the effect of grazing strategies on different indicators of rangeland sustainability (e.g., vegetation dynamics, soil properties, livestock productivity and grazing distribution). Considering the large amount of experimental evidence collected during a century of range science, a quantitative study assessing the performance of grazing schemes is timely and necessary. Therefore, we assessed the performance of grazing strategies on sustainability indicators worldwide, considering rangeland type (i.e., grasslands, shrublands, woodlands and forests) and other management variables (e.g., livestock type, grazing level, paddock sizes, precipitation) through a meta-analysis using experimental publications. Our results show that complete destocking does not improve soil or vegetation in comparison to grazed systems, but it could have less negative impacts if it is applied on woodlands, deserts and forests, particularly in areas of higher precipitation. Even though continuous grazing was thought as detrimental, we only observed negative impacts on vegetation on woodlands or under heavy grazing levels. Moreover, continuous grazing is less likely to impact negatively on livestock productivity in forest ranges. Also, it can maintain grazing distribution (except in woodland ranges) when applied for shorter periods of time. For multi-paddock schemes, we observed that rotational grazing is less likely to impact negatively on vegetation under moderate grazing levels, while Savory grazing method is more likely to show negative impacts on livestock productivity (particularly when applied for short time periods). Although many grazing schemes are applied worldwide, their effects can be very different in different range types. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of under which scenarios the different strategies can have negative, positive or neutral outcomes on rangelands. In addition, other management decisions, such as grazing intensity, livestock type and the length of the application period, together with environmental factors such as precipitation level, showed to be key to prevent negative impacts of grazing schemes on rangeland sustainability. Considering that the length of the application periods was very influential for many grazing schemes and indicators, we believe this is highlighting the need for more adaptive grazing strategies with more flexible decisions to allow rangeland sustainability. Finally, we found important information gaps, particularly related to potential interactions with livestock type, alternative rest periods length in rotational schemes, and notably about socio-economic factors. Filling these gaps could lead to more integrative range science and management.
  • Decreasing ammonia loss from an Australian pasture with the use of
           enhanced efficiency fertilizers
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Shu Kee Lam, Helen Suter, Mei Bai, Charlie Walker, Arvin R. Mosier, Hans van Grinsven, Deli Chen Mitigating ammonia (NH3) volatilization from intensive pasture systems is critical for environmental sustainability. However, field-scale evaluation on the potential of enhanced efficiency fertilizers (e.g. urease inhibitors and controlled-release fertilizers) in mitigating NH3 volatilization is limited. Using a micrometeorological technique, we conducted two field trials to investigate the effects of Green UreaNV® (urea coated with the urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl)thiophosphoric triamide, NBPT) and polymer-coated urea (a controlled-release fertilizer) on NH3 volatilization from an intensive rainfed pasture in southern Australia. We found that NH3 volatilization from urea was 5.8 and 5.6 kg N ha–1, respectively, in the autumn and spring trials, equivalent to 11–12% of the applied urea in each season. The use of Green UreaNV® and polymer-coated urea decreased the cumulative NH3 volatilization by 45–55% and 80%, respectively. Taking into consideration the high environmental damage cost of NH3 as found in the European Union, we hypothesize that both Green UreaNV® and polymer-coated urea can be cost-effective in mitigating NH3 loss from this pasture. Our findings suggest that the extra cost of using these enhanced efficiency fertilizers for farmers is not compensated by the fertilizer N value of decreased NH3 loss. However, from a societal perspective the extra cost for Green UreaNV® is likely outweighed by reduced environmental cost of NH3. New fertilizer technology should be developed to improve the cost-effectiveness of polymer-coated urea to the farmers.
  • An overview of contemporary advances in the usage of 15N natural abundance
           (δ 15N) as a tracer of agro-ecosystem N cycle processes that impact the
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Phillip M. Chalk, Caio T. Inácio, Deli Chen During the past 20 years there have been major advances in the application of 15N natural abundance (NA) measurements to trace the pathways and magnitudes of N fluxes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. However, estimates are often not quantitative due to the unknown extent of isotopic fractionation during a particular N transformation under study, when other processes compete simultaneously for substrate. Examples are the estimation of N fertilizer use efficiency or the transfer of biologically-fixed N2 to non-fixing companion species in intercrops or crop sequences. In some cases it has been possible to identify a particular process or source leading to a change in the relative isotopic composition (δ15N signature) of a system component, by innovative selection of experimental conditions that isolate the source or process from confounding factors. Nevertheless, there are examples where significant contemporary advances have occurred in the application of NA as a quantitative tracer, such as in the estimation of the symbiotic dependence of a range of N2 fixing plants. The key is the estimation of isotopic fractionation during N2 fixation and assimilation, and new knowledge has been obtained on factors contributing to variation, and new approaches devised to obtain more accurate estimates of fractionation. A second example is the innovative application of isotopomer measurements of the potent greenhouse gas N2O that enable presumptive identification of the biological and chemical processes resulting in its production under various agricultural scenarios.
  • Impact of transition from permanent pasture to new swards on the nitrogen
           use efficiency, nitrogen and carbon budgets of beef and sheep production
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): A.M. Carswell, K. Gongadze, T.H. Misselbrook, L. Wu There is currently much debate around the environmental implications of ruminant farming and a need for robust data on nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) fluxes from beef and sheep grazing systems. Here we use data collected from the North Wyke Farm Platform along with the SPACSYS model to examine the N and C budgets and the N use efficiency (NUE) of grassland swards at different stages of establishment. We assessed the transition from permanent pasture (PP) to a high-sugar grass (HSG), and a mixed sward of HSG with white clover (HSGC), identifying data specifically for the reseed (RS) years and the first year following RS (HSG-T and HSGC-T). Dominant fluxes for the N budget were N offtake as cut herbage and via livestock grazing, chemical-N fertiliser and N leaching at 88–280, 15–177, and 36–92 kg N ha−1 a−1, respectively. Net primary productivity, soil respiration and C offtake as cut herbage and via livestock grazing at 1.9–15.9, 1.74–12.5, and 0.34–11.7 t C ha−1 a−1, respectively, were the major C fluxes. No significant differences were found between the productivity of any of the swards apart from in the RS year of establishment. However, NUE of the livestock production system was significantly greater for the HSGC and HSGC-T swards at 32 and 42% compared to all other swards, associated with the low chemical-N fertiliser inputs to these clover-containing swards. Our findings demonstrate opportunities for improving NUE in grazing systems, but also the importance of setting realistic NUE targets for these systems to provide achievable goals for land-managers.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Contribution of agroforestry systems to sustaining biodiversity in
           fragmented forest landscapes
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Jeremy Haggar, Diego Pons, Laura Saenz, Margarita Vides Agroforestry systems maintain intermediate levels of biodiversity between natural forests and purely agricultural land-uses and may therefore increase connectivity or sustain biodiversity in fragmented forest landscapes. This hypothesis is tested by comparing the species richness and similarity in species composition between forest fragments and agroforestry systems in two landscapes in Guatemala. Connectivity indices were calculated based on the similarity of biodiversity held between forest and agroforestry. Tree and ant species richness was significantly higher for forest than agroforestry land-uses. Conversely, species richness of leaf hoppers (Cicadellidae) was lower in forests compared to agroforests. Chao-Sorensen estimates indicated a high proportion of ant species were shared (0.78–0.99) between different agroforestry land-uses and forest fragments, but lower proportions of tree (0.39–0.55) and leaf hopper species (0.42–0.65). Including the contribution of agroforestry systems in estimates of forest connectivity, based on their biodiversity relative to forest, substantially increased the land area rated with high connectivity (by 100–300%) and forest edge connectivity (by 70–170%), but had negligible impact on land area rated as dense forest. The major forest fragments in the two landscapes were linked by land rated as medium connectivity for forest biodiversity. Thus, agroforestry contributes to the capacity of the landscape to support biodiversity, but only partially increases connectivity between forest fragments in the two landscapes studied. If these benefits are to be sustained, consideration needs to be given to the incentives for land-owners to maintain agroforestry systems.
  • Herbicide resistance gene flow in weeds: Under-estimated and
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Hugh J. Beckie, Roberto Busi, Muthukumar V. Bagavathiannan, Sara L. Martin Interest in the magnitude and consequences of intra- and inter-specific herbicide resistance gene flow, particularly that mediated by pollen, increased in the mid-1990s with the introduction of herbicide-resistant (HR) transgenic crops. During that time, less attention was paid to the movement of HR alleles via pollen or seed among weed populations. Incidence of HR weeds in a region is often attributed to independent evolution through herbicide selection; the role or contribution of HR allele movement via pollen, seeds and/or vegetative propagules is often under-estimated and under-appreciated. Once a new HR weed biotype has been confirmed in a jurisdiction, how often have we been surprised at its rapid areawide expansion' In genotypic studies of HR weed populations, the contribution of gene flow to incidence of resistance is frequently similar or greater than that of independent evolution. Simulation models have consistently predicted that frequent widespread applications of highly effective herbicides (e.g., acetolactate synthase inhibitors, glyphosate) provide connective high-fitness habitats across the landscape, which facilitate a rapid increase in the frequency and movement of an HR trait within and among populations. Such habitats, characterized by minimal heterogeneity but high selection intensity due to frequent herbicide ‘on’ vs. ‘off’ exposure periods, strongly favour the fitness of HR propagules at great disadvantage of herbicide-susceptible individuals. The unanticipated speed of areawide expansion of some HR weed biotypes has spurred numerous calls over the past decade for a collective community or regional response to mitigate this unhindered spread of HR alleles. The best mitigation strategy is minimizing weed population abundance and seed bank replenishment in fields and adjacent ruderal areas. This goal is difficult, but necessary for preserving the remaining public good and common pool resource of herbicide susceptibility.
  • Evolution of soil organic carbon in a carbonaceous glacial till as an
           effect of crop and fertility management over 50 years in a field
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): Karin Kauer, Alar Astover, Rein Viiralt, Henn Raave, Thomas Kätterer Changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) content depending on different factors are extensively investigated when the soil is in steady-state equilibrium between formation and decomposition of soil organic matter. However, studies of SOC formation and dynamics in initally organic matter free soil are rare. Evolution of soil organic carbon was studied in a field experiment established in 1964 on a carbonaceous glacial till soil with very low initial SOC content (1.28 g kg−1). The effects on SOC content changes of bare fallow, barley and different perennial fodder crops such as grasses, clover-grass mixture, galega, hybrid lucerne and a turfgrass mixture, with or without mineral N and PK fertilisation and manure, were studied. There were 19 treatments in total and most had unchanged plant cover composition throughout the experiment. During 1964–2014, SOC stock increased in all treatments, by 0.11 Mg ha−1 y−1 in bare fallow and by at most 0.50 Mg ha−1 y−1 in the treatment with hybrid lucerne and manure. Average SOC sequestration rate was 0.35 ± 0.11 Mg ha−1 y−1. SOC changes were highly correlated with estimated C inputs and were therefore higher in treatments with perennials than with an annual barley crop. C retention efficiency for total crop-derived C inputs and for organic amendments was 6.1% and 22%, respectively. Water-soluble C measured in 2014 increased linearly with SOC, indicating that the quality of recently formed SOC was not strongly affected by the treatments. However, water-soluble C as a fraction of SOC was significantly lower in treatments with legumes than in treatments with bare fallow or a barley or grass crop. These results demonstrate that the quantity and quality of C inputs were both main drivers for observed changes in SOC. However, C retention efficiency of C inputs was relatively low. This may be related to soil texture with high sand proportion, suggesting that SOC sequestration rates in light-textured soils may be lower than expected even in case of low initial SOC content.
  • Challenges and solutions in identifying agricultural pollution hotspots
           using gross nitrogen balances
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 November 2019Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 283Author(s): João Serra, Cláudia M.d.S. Cordovil, Soraia Cruz, Nicholas J. Hutchings Gross nitrogen balances (GNB) at the national level are a broad indicator of reactive nitrogen (N) pollution but the identification of pollution hotspots is necessary for designing cost-effective abatement policies. This requires a spatial disaggregation of GNBs to finer resolutions, but key inputs are often only available at high spatial scales. Modelling offers a method to provide these inputs but introduces additional error. Here we develop methods to estimate the main inputs (manure, synthetic fertiliser) and outputs (roughage feed and crop products) for mainland Portugal for the NUTS2, NUTS3 and municipality levels for the years 1989, 1999 and 2009. Our results show that despite the declining of the mainland GNBs over this period (47 to 38 kg N ha-1),the range of GNBs at progressively finer resolutions increased from 26 to 95 at the NUTS3 to −50–963 kg N ha−1 at the municipality levels. The increased concentration of livestock in some areas appears to be leading to an inefficient use of manure for crop production whereas there appears to be a depletion of soil N stocks in other areas. A comparison of our results with those from Denmark leads us to conclude that themunicipality level is the most suitable to identify hotspots, even thougherrors can arise when there is a poor correspondence between agrienvironmental conditions and the socioeconomic administrative boundaries at which statistical data are often available.
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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