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Land
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2073-445X
Published by MDPI Homepage  [258 journals]
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 264: Plant Diversity Response to Environmental
           Factors in Yellow River Delta, China

    • Authors: Zhen Xu, Renqiang Li, Wenjun Dou, Hui Wen, Shulin Yu, Pan Wang, Lehua Ning, Jiaquan Duan, Jichun Wang
      First page: 264
      Abstract: Plant diversity plays a crucial role in maintaining the functionality of a community and providing essential ecosystem services. Studying the plant diversity and its response to environmental factors in the Yellow River Delta, China, as a newly formed coastal land, is beneficial for protecting plant diversity in coastal areas and maintaining ecosystem stability. In this study, 56 sites were sampled to investigate the diversity of shrubs and herbaceous plant community and its response to environmental factors. The results indicate that the plants growing in the Yellow River Delta are predominantly from the Poaceae and Asteraceae families, with dominant communities consisting of species such as Suaeda salsa, Phragmites australis, Setaria viridis, Imperata cylindrica, and Tamarix chinensis. The Shannon–Wiener index, Simpson diversity index, and Pielou’s evenness index exhibit average values of 0.34, 0.21, and 0.25, respectively, within the Yellow River Delta. These values collectively indicate a low diversity in the vegetation community, reflecting a relatively uncomplicated ecological structure in this area. Additionally, there were no significant differences in biodiversity indices under different soil formation times, but under different land cover types, the biodiversity index of cropland was significantly higher than that of impervious land. Soil salinity index exhibited a significant negative correlation with plant diversity (R2 = 0.279, p < 0.001) in the Yellow River Delta. Moreover, elevation (R2 = 0.247, p < 0.001) and temperature (R2 = 0.219, p < 0.001) showed significant positive effects on plant diversity. Regarding the ecological stoichiometry of plant elements, soil organic carbon exhibited a negative effect on the biodiversity index, while litter carbon showed a positive effect. This may be attributed to the unique topographical conditions and soil salinization in the Yellow River Delta. Our findings provide important references for the sustainable management of wetlands in the Yellow River Delta under conditions of soil salinization.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-20
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030264
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 265: Green Manuring and Irrigation Strategies
           Positively Influence the Soil Characteristics and Yield of Coriander
           (Coriandrum sativum L.) Crop under Salinity Stress

    • Authors: Antonio Sánchez-Navarro, Aldara Girona-Ruíz, María José Delgado-Iniesta
      First page: 265
      Abstract: This study shows the influence of soil salinity and irrigation dose on biomass production and its impact on some edaphic indicators and functions. For this purpose, an experiment was carried out in two representative soils from Murcia (SE Spain), one slightly saline (LS) and the other saline (S), where an oat–vetch green manure was intercalated between a spinach cycle and a coriander cycle; the latter being subjected to three different irrigation doses (deficient, optimum and surplus). Rapid response indicators (ECext, cations and anions in the soil solution, etc.) were monitored, as well as the material balances, in particular C and salts. Green manure and crop residues increased soil OC by 12.5% and reduced Na+ and NO3− concentrations. Total biomass production was also affected by salinity, both in oat–vetch, 35.9 and 31. 9 tm ha−1 in LS and S, respectively, and in the coriander crop, where the irrigation dose was decisive, obtaining around 29 tm ha−1 with the optimum and surplus doses and significantly lower amounts with the deficit dose: 20.4 tm ha−1 in LSD and 14. 0 in SD. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust the irrigation doses, since deficit irrigation significantly reduces production and the surplus does not lead to an increase with respect to the optimum, while also causing ions to leach to depth horizons, as is the case for NO3−, Cl− and Na+, with the consequent risk of contaminating the water table.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-20
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030265
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 266: Navigating Climate Change Challenges through
           Smart Resilient Cities: A Comprehensive Assessment Framework

    • Authors: Hamed Khatibi, Suzanne Wilkinson, Lukuba N. Sweya, Mostafa Baghersad, Heiman Dianat
      First page: 266
      Abstract: The rapid increase in the global population is contributing to the urgent challenges we face in ensuring the sustainability of our planet. This demographic shift, which gained momentum in the 1990s, is closely linked to a surge in natural disasters, both in terms of their frequency and severity. The quest for resources and improved quality of life, including the need for housing and essential services, has compounded these challenges. With the world’s population projected to double by 2050, and approximately two-thirds of this population expected to reside in urban areas, we are facing a complex web of interconnected issues that will significantly magnify the impacts of climate change-induced disasters. It is imperative that we build resilient cities capable of withstanding and adapting to these changes. However, the growing complexity of urban services and the necessity for integrated management raise questions about the preparedness of these resilient cities to comprehend and address the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change. In response to these critical concerns, this study endeavors to address the intersection of resilience and climate change. We propose the development of a Smart Resilient City Assessment Framework, comprising two core components: resilience re-evaluation and smartness evaluation. Each component consists of eight essential steps. The culmination of these steps results in a semi-quantitative index that accurately reflects the city’s position regarding resilience and smartness in the face of climate change-related disasters. To demonstrate the framework’s practicality and suitability, we present results from a hypothetical scenario focusing on water supply management, a critical aspect of climate change adaptation. The framework equips city managers with the necessary tools to re-evaluate their cities’ resilience, evaluate their capacity to address climate change-induced challenges, and make informed decisions on integrating resilience and smart solutions to pave the way for a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-20
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030266
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 267: Spatiotemporal Evolution and Prediction of Land
           Use and Carbon Stock in Shanghai

    • Authors: Di Xu, Chuanqing Yu, Wenpeng Lin, Jiang Yao, Wenying Zhou
      First page: 267
      Abstract: Soil organic carbon (SOC) constitutes a critical component of carbon reservoirs within terrestrial ecosystems. The ramifications of urban land use transitions on SOC dynamics, particularly in rapidly urbanizing regions such as Shanghai, remain insufficiently elucidated. This investigation synergizes a predictive land use change model (Logistic-CA-Markov) with an ecosystem service quantification framework (InVEST), aiming to delineate the interplay between SOC variability and Land Use and Land Cover Change (LUCC) under natural development and ecological protection scenarios. Empirical observations from 2010 to 2020 reveal a contraction in Shanghai’s agricultural land of 34,912.76 hectares, juxtaposed with an expansion of urban built-up areas of 36,048.24 hectares. Projections for 2030 under an ecological protection scenario indicate a moderated urban sprawl, reducing built-up area expansion by 13,518 hectares relative to the natural development scenario. Notably, the net carbon sequestration capacity of Shanghai is anticipated to diminish by approximately 0.418 million tons between 2020 and 2030. This trend is observed under both considered scenarios, forecasting a cumulative reduction in SOC stocks exceeding 1 million tons by 2030. The natural development pathway portends a more pronounced and accelerated depletion of SOC reserves. Although ecological conservation measures show the potential to decelerate this loss, they appear insufficient to reverse the ongoing decline in SOC stocks. This study advocates for strategic urban planning interventions focused on constraining the growth of building densities and augmenting the preservation and management of eco-lands. Such measures are imperative for bolstering Shanghai’s carbon sequestration capacity.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030267
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 268: Integration of Climate Change Strategies into
           Policy and Planning for Regional Development: A Case Study of Greece

    • Authors: Stavros Kalogiannidis, Dimitrios Kalfas, Olympia Papaevangelou, Fotios Chatzitheodoridis, Katerina-Navsika Katsetsiadou, Efthymios Lekkas
      First page: 268
      Abstract: Climate change presents a pressing challenge to regional development, impacting economies, environments, and societies across the globe. Europe, with its diverse regions and commitment to sustainability, serves as a unique case study for exploring the integration of climate change strategies into regional policy and planning. The purpose of this study is to analyze the integration of climate change strategies into policy and planning for regional development in Europe, especially in Greece. Data was collected from 270 environmental experts across Greece using a questionnaire. The results highlight the significance of regional economic growth (gross regional product), infrastructure quality, educational attainment, and a conducive business environment as key measures of regional development. Opportunities arising from climate change strategy integration are explored, revealing economic benefits, environmental opportunities, social enhancements, and technological advancements. These opportunities not only mitigate climate change’s adverse impacts but also foster innovation, economic growth, and community resilience. Successful integration can position regions as global leaders in sustainability and innovation. Correlation and regression analyses reveal that opportunities for integration and common climate change strategies positively influence regional development, while barriers exhibit a counterintuitive positive relationship. However, several barriers hinder integration efforts, including institutional fragmentation, resource constraints, conflicting political and economic priorities, and insufficient stakeholder engagement. This study sheds light on the intricate relationship between climate change, policy integration, and regional development in Greece. It supports the potential for regions to drive sustainability and innovation while navigating the challenges of climate change, ultimately contributing to a more resilient and prosperous future.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030268
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 269: Agency within Neighborhoods: Multi-Scalar
           Relations between Urban Form and Social Actors

    • Authors: Ilaria Geddes, Christakis Chatzichristou, Nadia Charalambous, Ana Ricchiardi
      First page: 269
      Abstract: This research provides an abstract representation of neighborhoods, accounting for the actors involved in the process of their formation and transformation as local entities embedded in a complex yet specific configuration of historical, social, structural, and political contexts. The analysis uses a conceptual framework combining Assemblage Theory and Actor–Network Theory to examine how both human and non-human actors or agents interact and consequently exert an impact on three different neighborhoods in Limassol, Cyprus. The methodology combines both qualitative as well as quantitative approaches. The tools used include space syntax, land use, and building typology, descriptive statistics of social factors, a photographic survey, observation of the built environment’s expressive features, and archival research of press articles. The findings reveal the extent to which global factors, such as colonialism and the mobility of wealthy populations from former Soviet countries, have an impact on the social makeup and expressive features of the environment, while local factors, such as block size and housing typology, have a strong impact on the use of public space. Furthermore, more complex networks may exhibit structural resilience or adaptability but may be, at the same time, more sensitive to varying and conflicting interests.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030269
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 270: The Value Expression and Driving Factors of
           Rural Spatial Ecological Products: A Case Study of B&Bs in Jiangsu and
           Zhejiang Provinces, China

    • Authors: Jie Yin, Lili Zhao
      First page: 270
      Abstract: In the context of rural revitalization strategies and humans’ increasing leisure pursuits, rural tourism has begun to act as a new development path of rural economic growth and industrial transformation. This phenomenon generally occurs in rural areas around metropolitan areas, manifesting as the transformation or reconstruction of rural spaces. As a result, many new types of tertiary industry spaces utilizing rural land for leisure activities have emerged. We analyze the connotations of rural spatial and industrial transformation from the perspective of spatial production and innovatively propose that the transformed space is an ecological product, which includes three types in practice: industrial space, consumption space, and residential space. This study facilitates urban–rural integration and common prosperity. Given the lack of analysis of rural ecological products, especially rural spatial ecological products (e.g., rural B&Bs and other tertiary industry spaces), this study aims to explore the value expression and driving factors of rural spatial ecological products based on geo-visual (spatially visualizing) analytical tools looking at 10361 B&Bs in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces of China as typical examples. Our results show that (1) the value of rural spatial ecological products is reflected in the price that urban consumers are willing to pay for rural natural landscapes, which constitutes an ecological premium; and (2) the prices of rural spatial ecological products are strikingly different at multiple spatial scales, and this difference is related to the local ecological resources. This study provides insights into the rational allocation of the limited resources required for rural construction, which helps optimize the spatial planning of rural ecotourism and enhance the gametogenous development momentum of rural areas. At the same time, this study theoretically expands the research results of cultural ecosystem services.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030270
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 271: Identifying Land Use Functions in Five New
           First-Tier Cities Based on Multi-Source Big Data

    • Authors: Wangmin Yang, Yang Ye, Bowei Fan, Shuang Liu, Jingwen Xu
      First page: 271
      Abstract: With the continuous development of big data technology, semantic-rich multi-source big data provides broader prospects for the research of urban land use function recognition. This study relied on POI data and OSM data to select the central urban areas of five new first-tier cities as the study areas. The TF-IDF algorithm was used to identify the land use functional layout of the study area and establish a confusion matrix for accuracy verification. The results show that: (1) The common feature of these five cities is that the total number and area of land parcels for residential land, commercial service land, public management and service land, and green space and open space land all account for over 90%. (2) The Kappa coefficients were all in the range [0.61, 0.80], indicating a high consistency of accuracy evaluation. (3) Chengdu and Tianjin have the highest land use function mixing degree, followed by Xi‘an, Nanjing, and Hangzhou. (4) Among the five new first-tier cities, Hangzhou and Nanjing have the highest similarity in land use function structure layout. This study attempts to reveal the current land use situation of five cities, which will provide a reference for urban development planning and management.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030271
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 272: Roadside Vegetation Functions, Woody Plant
           Values, and Ecosystem Services in Rural Streetscapes: A Qualitative Study
           on Rural Settlements in Western Slovakia

    • Authors: Gabriel Kuczman, Denis Bechera, Zdenka Rózová, Attila Tóth
      First page: 272
      Abstract: Woody plants in roadside green spaces of rural settlements provide a wide range of ecosystem functions and services. The study presented in this paper was conducted in three rural settlements in Western Slovakia, representing three different rural landscape types—lowland, basin, and mountainous landscapes. The assessed woody vegetation is situated in diverse settlement structures, with various spatial patterns. A comprehensive woody plant assessment was conducted in selected central streetscapes of three model settlements, examining spatial, compositional, visual, aesthetic, and other values, as well as the characteristics of woody plants. These attributes were clustered according to five main functions and fourteen value parameters and the results were assigned to three quality categories, to objectivise a qualitative woody plant assessment in roadside vegetation structures in the countryside. The findings show the level of suitability of woody plants based on how they fulfil aesthetic, compositional, climate, safety, cultural, and historical functions.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030272
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 273: Quantitative Changes in the Surface Frozen Days
           and Potential Driving Factors in Northern Northeastern China

    • Authors: Dongyu Yang, Yang Xiao, Miao Li, Haoran Man, Dongliang Luo, Shuying Zang, Luhe Wan
      First page: 273
      Abstract: Surface freezing and thawing processes pose significant influences on surface water and energy balances, which, in turn, affect vegetation growth, soil moisture, carbon cycling, and terrestrial ecosystems. At present, the changes in surface freezing and thawing states are hotspots of ecological research, but the variations of surface frozen days (SFDs) are less studied, especially in the permafrost areas covered with boreal forest, and the influence of the environmental factors on the SFDs is not clear. Utilizing the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSRE) and Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) brightness temperature data, this study applies the Freeze–Thaw Discriminant Function Algorithm (DFA) to explore the spatiotemporal variability features of SFDs in the Northeast China Permafrost Zone (NCPZ) and the relationship between the permafrost distribution and the spatial variability characteristics of SFDs; additionally, the Optimal Parameters-based Geographical Detector is employed to determine the factors that affect SFDs. The results showed that the SFDs in the NCPZ decreased with a rate of −0.43 d/a from 2002 to 2021 and significantly decreased on the eastern and western slopes of the Greater Khingan Mountains. Meanwhile, the degree of spatial fluctuation of SFDs increased gradually with a decreasing continuity of permafrost. Snow cover and air temperature were the two most important factors influencing SFD variability in the NCPZ, accounting for 83.9% and 74.8% of the spatial variation, respectively, and SFDs increased gradually with increasing snow cover and decreasing air temperature. The strongest explanatory power of SFD spatial variability was found to be the combination of air temperature and precipitation, which had a coefficient of 94.2%. Moreover, the combination of any two environmental factors increased this power. The findings of this study can be used to design ecological environmental conservation and engineer construction policies in high-latitude permafrost zones with forest cover.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030273
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 274: Importance of STEM and STEAM Education for
           Improvement of the Land in the RURAL Environment: Examples in Latin
           America

    • Authors: Elisa Gavari-Starkie, Patricia-Teresa Espinosa-Gutiérrez, Cristina Lucini-Baquero, Josep Pastrana-Huguet
      First page: 274
      Abstract: Interdisciplinary STEM and STEAM education gives us the opportunity for training students to achieve all educational objectives in a sustainable development framework. Land in a rural area is a scenario with a range of educational resources for the development of STEM and STEAM projects to train students to interact with the rural environment. The possibilities of the land in order to prepare students for the needs of today’s world are linked and sensitized to the environment. In this article, we will offer contemporary examples of STEM and STEAM projects that have been carried out in Latin America. These projects are being developed in which young people establish links with their environment, territory, and the local environment surrounding them. We must look carefully at projects and works in which students’ ties to their land and environment are valued through the STEM and STEAM education necessary today. In this scenario, a comparison has been made between the projects in Latin American countries and Spain.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-22
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030274
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 275: The Value of Reentry Housing, Zoning, and
           “Not in My Back Yard” (NIMBY) Obstacles, and How to Overcome
           Them

    • Authors: Ivis García
      First page: 275
      Abstract: Given the housing issues that people who have been in prison face, this article examines the permitting process to operate a vocational and life skills training program for the formerly incarcerated in Salt Lake City, UT, called The Other Side Academy (TOSA). This article employs participant observation, personal and public meeting conversations, planning division staff reports, public comments, and newspaper articles to answer the following question: How was TOSA described in the public input process for a conditional use permit' The author examines how TOSA neighbors first opposed the project and then came to support it. But even with community support, planning staff struggled to find a zoning code that would allow TOSA operations. In the end, the final decision to approve the conditional use permit came to the hearing officer, who sided in favor of TOSA. In this case, planners can learn about the zoning obstacles that reentry housing faces and how those obstacles can be overcome. Finally, academia and planning divisions need to better educate planners involved in administrative process into understanding the intent of the code to achieve just outcomes.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-22
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030275
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 276: Ecosystem Service Value Assessment of the Yellow
           River Delta Based on Satellite Remote Sensing Data

    • Authors: Hui Li, Qingchun Guan, Yanguo Fan, Chengyang Guan
      First page: 276
      Abstract: The Yellow River Delta (YRD) stands as a globally significant wetland, playing a pivotal role in sustaining regional ecosystem stability and offering crucial ecosystem services to humanity. However, anthropogenic activities, particularly resource development, unavoidably disrupt the ecosystem, leading to the degradation of these vital services. Utilizing satellite remote sensing data, the InVEST model, and energy analysis, this study introduces the concept of ‘emergy’ as an ‘intermediate variable’ to investigate the spatiotemporal changes in the ecosystem service value of the YRD. Five distinct types of ecosystem services are selected for quantitative assessment and analysis of the YRD’s spatiotemporal evolution from 1990 to 2020. Results indicate a 63.7% decline in the total value of ecosystem services from 1990 to 2010, followed by a 16.5% increase from 2010 to 2020. The study also unveils spatial shifts in high- and low-value areas of ecosystem services and attributes these changes to rapid urbanization and alterations in land use and cover. The assessment of ecosystem service values concretizes the intangible ecosystem service functions of natural resources. This lays the foundation for establishing a mechanism that combines positive incentives and reverse pressure to achieve the economic valuation of ecosystem service.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-22
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030276
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 277: Spatio–Temporal Patterns and Driving
           Mechanisms of Urban Land High-Quality Use: Evidence from the Pearl River
           Delta Urban Agglomeration

    • Authors: Yuying Li, Danling Chen, Xiangqian Tao, Xiaotao Peng, Xinhai Lu, Ziyang Zhu
      First page: 277
      Abstract: Efficient urban land use plays a crucial role in promoting regional development and ensuring economic growth. Analyzing the spatio–temporal pattern of urban land high-quality use (ULHU) and identifying its key influencing factors and pathways can contribute to enhancing land use efficiency and achieving high-quality development. This study established a comprehensive measurement indicator system for evaluating ULHU using the entropy method and investigated the spatio–temporal evolution pattern of ULHU in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) urban agglomeration in the years 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2020. Furthermore, a multi-period fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis method was adopted to explore the concurrent driving mechanisms that impact ULHU from the configuration perspective. The findings reveal that the level of ULHU has exhibited a significant improvement, increasing from 0.1150 in 2005 to 0.2758 in 2020, with an annual growth rate of 8.739%. The spatial pattern in the PRD region exhibits an incremental distribution, characterized by higher values in the central region and lower values in the peripheral area, as this pattern reveals significant heterogeneity across the region. The configurations for ULHU in the PRD were identified, such as Population-industry-talent driven, Openness-fiscal-talent driven, Population-led, and Population-industry driven. Among these configurations, population density and industrial structure were identified as the core driving factors, while the role of talent resources is gradually diminishing. This study provides practical guidance for promoting the ULHU and optimizing national spatial planning.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-23
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030277
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 278: Quantifying Spatiotemporal Characteristics and
           Identifying Influential Factors of Ecosystem Fragmentation in Karst
           Landscapes: A Comprehensive Analytical Framework

    • Authors: Xiaopiao Wu, Zhongfa Zhou, Meng Zhu, Jiale Wang, Rongping Liu, Jiajia Zheng, Jiaxue Wan
      First page: 278
      Abstract: Guanling-Zhenfeng County, a microcosm of the ecologically fragile karst area in southwest China, experiences rapid population growth and urban expansion which intensifies land use transformation and ecological landscape fragmentation. Exploring the spatiotemporal characteristics of landscape fragmentation and its causes in Guanling-Zhenfeng County is of great significance in maintaining the stability of the ecosystem and ecological protection in karst areas. In this study, a comprehensive landscape fragmentation index (FI), geographic probe, multi-scale geographically weighted regression (MGWR), and PLUS model were used to quantitatively explore the spatiotemporal characteristic heterogeneity, causes, and future scenario projections of landscape fragmentation in Guanling-Zhenfeng County from 2000 to 2020. The results showed that: (1) the distribution of each landscape index was characterized by obvious spatial differentiation. Among them, the spatial distribution trends of patch density (PD) and largest patch index (LPI) were opposite and the distribution trends of Shannon diversity index (SHDI) and Shannon evenness index (SHEI) were similar. There were fewer heterogeneous patches in the study area from 2000 to 2020, and the landscape shape was more regular and less fragmented. (2) The overall landscape fragmentation in Guanling-Zhenfeng County from 2000 to 2020 was dominated by moderate fragmentation, with the smallest percentage of extreme fragmentation, and heavy fragmentation was mainly distributed in the north-central part of the study area. (3) Natural and social factors jointly affect the landscape fragmentation in Guanling-Zhenfeng County, and there is a significant interactive enhancement effect among the factors, with population density being the most important influence factor. In addition, the effects of the factors on landscape fragmentation showed significant spatial non-stationarity. (4) The characteristics of landscape fragmentation changes in Guanling-Zhenfeng County under different scenarios varied significantly, with the largest percentage of increase in heavy landscape fragmentation under the business-as-usual scenario (BAU), the next under the land use planning scenario (LUP), and the smallest under the ecological protection scenario (ESP).
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-23
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030278
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 279: Land Use Carbon Emissions or Sink: Research
           Characteristics, Hotspots and Future Perspectives

    • Authors: Lina Liu, Jiansheng Qu, Feng Gao, Tek Narayan Maraseni, Shaojian Wang, Suman Aryal, Zhenhua Zhang, Rong Wu
      First page: 279
      Abstract: The land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector, as a source and a sink of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is critical for achieving carbon neutrality. Many academic journals have published papers on land use carbon emission or sink (LUCES), but LUCES reviews are relatively rare, which poses great challenges in accurately understanding the research progress and future prospects. This work analyzes the research characteristics, hotspots and future perspectives of LUCES research by using a bibliometric analysis (such as DDA, VOSviewer, CiteSpace software) and a review based on the data (6115 scientific papers) during 1991–2023 from the Web of Science (WOS) platform. We found that (1) over the past 33 years, it first presented a steady growth, then fluctuating growth, and finally a rapid growth trend in the yearly number of publications in LUCES research. The USA (17.31%), China (14.96%), and the UK (7.37%) occupy a dominant position in this research field. (2) The related LUCES research is interdisciplinary, which mainly cover science and technology, meteorology and atmospheric sciences, geology, and environmental sciences and ecology disciplines. (3) The research hotspot analysis on LUCES shows that these articles mostly covered the follow three aspects: ecosystem services, climate change, and carbon neutrality. (4) A review of the past LUCES literature suggests that it is mainly focused on exploring the forefront issues in terms of the definition and boundaries, evaluation method and influencing factors, etc. This work suggests that further research could explore the main scientific problems on quantification of land-based carbon neutrality, quantitative analysis of the impact mechanisms, as well as interdisciplinary research and collaborative governance needed for carbon neutrality.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-23
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030279
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 280: Scenario Analysis of Green Infrastructure to
           Adapt Medium-Size Cities to Climate Change: The Case of Zaragoza, Spain

    • Authors: Elie Hanna, María R. Felipe-Lucia, Francisco A. Comín
      First page: 280
      Abstract: Planning a well-structured urban green infrastructure (UGI) is essential for cities to counteract the impacts of climate change. Soil carbon and air temperature differences between open and plant-covered sites were used as proxies of carbon sequestration (CS) and temperature regulation (TR) to evaluate the current conditions of UGI in Zaragoza, a medium-sized city in northeastern Spain. Alternative scenarios were constructed, after a stakeholder consultation, at both city and municipal (city plus peri-urban zone) scales, extrapolating the highest values of CS and TR to two groups of UGI types grouped based on the state of their ecological functioning. We employed analysis of variance to compare mean values of CS and TR across diverse scenarios at both city and municipality scales. Statistically significant differences were found in city-scale and municipality-scale scenarios for both CS and TR. Multiplying CS by area did not show significant variation in city scale. Significant differences were found when multiplying TR by area at both scales, with exceptions in certain scenario combinations. These results suggest favoring the restoration of UGI sites in peri-urban zones (such as forests and steppe zones) to increase CS and those in densely urbanized zones (such as urban parks) to provide TR benefits.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-23
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030280
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 281: Tree Diversity and Its Ecological Importance
           Value in Silvopastoral Systems: A Study along Elevational Gradients in the
           Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, Ecuadorian Amazon

    • Authors: Bolier Torres, Robinson J. Herrera-Feijoo, Alexandra Torres-Navarrete, Carlos Bravo, Antón García
      First page: 281
      Abstract: This study analyzes tree diversity and its ecological importance value in silvopastoral systems in the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve (SBR), Ecuador, along an altitudinal gradient of 400–2000 masl. Twenty-six plots distributed into low (400–700 masl), medium (701–1600 masl) and high (1601–2000 masl) zones were used. The Shannon index and the importance value index (IVI), based on abundance, dominance and relative frequency, were estimated. The results highlight that in pastures with dispersed trees, the richness of trees decreases with increasing altitude in the elevational gradient; they also show a higher tree density at lower altitudes in contrast to the Andean–Amazonian primary forests. The lower and middle zones showed higher diversity, linked to regeneration and the presence of nearby forests. Species of high commercial value, such as Cedrela odorata and Jacaranda copaia, were common, reflecting knowledge of the local timber market. In the lower and middle zones, the 10 most important species accounted for more than 70% of the trees, with up to 96% in the upper zone. A total of 51 taxa (including 42 species and nine taxa at the rank of genus) were identified, which were mostly native; 64.7% are classified by the IUCN as least-concern (LC) species, 31.4% as not evaluated (NE) species and 3.9% as vulnerable (VU) species, specifically highlighting Cedrela odorata and Cedrela montana. The study concludes with policy recommendations related to the importance of trees in silvopastoral systems for the conservation of species and the livelihoods of local communities, highlighting the need for responsible management of Amazonian pasturelands.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-24
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030281
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 282: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Coupling
           Coordination Analysis of Multiscale Social–Economic–Ecological
           Effects in Ecologically Vulnerable Areas Based on Multi-Source Data: A
           Case Study of the Tuha Region, Xinjiang Province

    • Authors: Yanfei Kou, Sanming Chen, Kefa Zhou, Ziyun Qiu, Jiaming He, Xian Shi, Xiaozhen Zhou, Qing Zhang
      First page: 282
      Abstract: Ecologically fragile areas are confronted with the contradiction between economic development and ecological protection, especially in the Tuha region (Turpan and Hami), where the extremely vulnerable ecological environment limits local sustainable development. To address this, this study utilizes POI (Point of Interest) data, land use, and socioeconomic statistical data to achieve spatial quantification of indicators on a kilometer grid scale, constructing a multi-factor, multi-dimensional evaluation system for the socioeconomic and ecological effects of sustainable development based on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The entropy method, comprehensive evaluation method, coupling coordination degree model, and geographical detector method are used to analyze the coupling relationships between systems at different scales and the factors influencing the system’s coupling coordination degree. The results indicate that from 2010 to 2020, the economic, social, and ecological systems of the Tuha region, as well as their comprehensive scores, exhibited spatial similarity. The economic system showed an upward trend, the social system displayed an inverted U-shaped trend of rising then declining, while the ecological system presented a U-shaped trend of declining then increasing. At the county scale, the coupling coordination degree closely approximates the trend of the comprehensive coordination index, showing a continuous upward trajectory. Compared with Turpan city, Hami city, especially Yizhou district, exhibits the best development in coupling coordination degree, while the growth in coupling coordination degree is most significant in Gaochang district. The main factors influencing the degree of coupling coordination are grain production and GDP (gross domestic product). This study provides a new perspective on the quantification of sustainable development indicators, which is of great significance for balancing economic and social development with ecological protection and promoting the coupled and coordinated development of society, economy, and ecology in ecologically fragile areas.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-24
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030282
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 283: Spatial Patterns, Drivers, and Sustainable
           Utilization of Terrace Abandonment in Mountainous Areas of Southwest China
           

    • Authors: Weiying Ren, Aoxi Yang, Yahui Wang
      First page: 283
      Abstract: Sloping farmland abandonment has become a typical land use pattern worldwide. Along with the aggravation of sloping farmland abandonment, terrace abandonment is also showing an increasing trend. Systematically clarifying the pattern and mechanism of terrace abandonment is a prerequisite for effective management. Based on the survey data of 145 villages, 697 rural households, and satellite remote sensing in Southwest China, this study uses spatial analysis and the Logit model to reveal the scale, pattern, and driving mechanism of terrace abandonment in the study area to provide scientific references for the sustainable utilization of terrace resources in mountainous areas. This study found that in the study area, 63% of the villages had experienced terrace abandonment, and nearly one-fifth of the rural households had abandoned terraces. The area of abandoned terraces accounted for 7.65% of the total area, and the scale of abandoned terraces reached 449,360 hectares, of which Chongqing has the highest proportion of terrace abandonment (11.5%), while Yunnan Province has the lowest (5.1%); the overall abandoned terraces show a pattern of higher in the east and lower in the west. Terrace abandonment is influenced by multiple factors. The rise in non-agricultural wages attracts rural labor migration as an external force, while the rising operating costs of mountain agriculture serve as internal drivers. Under the combined influence of internal and external factors, the abandonment of terraces in southwest mountainous areas is intensifying. The government should actively conduct assessments of terrace resources within the region and implement targeted measures to address terrace abandonment.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030283
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 284: How Does Land Fragmentation Affect Agricultural
           Technical Efficiency' Based on Mediation Effects Analysis

    • Authors: Chunfang Zhou, Yuluan Zhao, Mingshun Long, Xiubin Li
      First page: 284
      Abstract: The scientific revelation of the mechanism underlying land fragmentation’s influence on agricultural technical efficiency is extremely important. This study utilized survey data from 305 villages across 12 provinces in Southern China in 2020 to assess technical efficiency through the application of the stochastic frontier production function. Moreover, we investigated the direct impact of land fragmentation on technical efficiency and the indirect impact transmitted through crop diversification and part-time farming by employing Tobit and mediating effect models, respectively. The key findings are as follows: (1) The sampled farmers, on average, operated 0.614 hectares of land with 17.395 plots, and the mean of their technical efficiency was 0.630. (2) The overall effect of land fragmentation on technical efficiency demonstrated a “U”-shaped relationship. (3) Crop diversification and part-time farming were mediating factors in the impact of land fragmentation on technical efficiency. Specifically, an “inverted U”-shaped relationship existed between land fragmentation and crop diversification, whereas a negative linear relationship was observed between land fragmentation and part-time farming. Conversely, crop diversification presented a positive linear relationship with technical efficiency, and part-time farming had an “inverted U”-shaped relationship with technical efficiency. (4) The impact of land fragmentation on technical efficiency varied across altitude zones. It is recommended to control land fragmentation based on local conditions, encourage crop diversification, and strengthen employment guidance and skills training for farmers to ensure the orderly transfer of land.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030284
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 285: Urbanization Effect on Changes in Extreme
           Climate Events in Urumqi, China, from 1976 to 2018

    • Authors: Aerzuna Abulimiti, Yongqiang Liu, Lianmei Yang, Abuduwaili Abulikemu, Yusuyunjiang Mamitimin, Shuai Yuan, Reifat Enwer, Zhiyi Li, Abidan Abuduaini, Zulipina Kadier
      First page: 285
      Abstract: This study investigates, for the first time, the urbanization effect (UE) on local extreme climate events in Urumqi, China, based on 22 indices of climate extremes, which are calculated with daily observation data from 1976 to 2018. These analyses reveal a pronounced nocturnal urban heat island (UHI) effect and a daytime urban cold island (UCI) effect. Due to Urumqi’s arid climate background, the UCI effect is considered a unique feature of the UE, which significantly differs from those in eastern and northern China. The UE on the TR20 index (number of days with minimum daily temperature exceeding 20 °C) reached 5.22 d/10a, indicating that urbanization has led to a fast increase in the number of hot nights in Urumqi. The absolute averaged UE on the indices measuring the frequency of warm events is about twice as large as that on the indices measuring the frequency of cold events, while that on the indices measuring the intensity of warm events is about one third of that on the indices measuring the intensity of cold events. The highest averaged urbanization contributions (UCs) to the extreme warm and cold events are represented by the frequency indices and the intensity indices, respectively, while those contributing to the extreme precipitation events are represented by the duration indices. Moreover, urbanization probably exacerbates the degree of wetting in the overall “warming and wetting” climate trend of the region. These findings can be seen as new evidence to provide scientific basis for further investigation of the UE on climate changes in arid regions.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030285
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 286: Value Perception, Government Regulation, and
           Farmers’ Behavior toward Continuing to Maintain the Sloping Land
           Conversion Program

    • Authors: Chen Chen, Qiheng Zhong, Liqun Wang
      First page: 286
      Abstract: As a major ecological project with the largest investment scale, strongest policy support, most extensive involvement, and the highest level of public participation in the world, the Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP) implemented by China is important for protecting the ecological environment and achieving long-term stability. Consolidating the SLCP’s achievements is key to its sustainable operation. Based on a sample of 612 farmers in Guizhou Province, this paper discusses the impact of value perception and government regulation on farmers’ behavior in terms of their continued SLCP maintenance. The results show that (1) value perception and government regulation are important factors affecting the sustainability of farmers’ behavior of continuing to maintain the SLCP. Perceived economic value and perceived cost input, as dimensions of value perception, and policy publicity and economic incentives, as dimensions of government regulation, have important influences on farmers’ continued SLCP maintenance. (2) There are complementary effects between value perception and government regulation. Policy publicity and perceived ecological value, technical guidance and perceived economic and social value, and economic incentives and perceived economic value can have complementary effects on farmers’ continued maintenance behavior. (3) Value perception and government regulation heterogeneously impact different groups of farmers. In terms of intergenerational differences, perceived cost inputs and punitive measures significantly affect only new-generation farmers. In terms of farmer type, perceived economic value does not significantly affect nonfarmers; perceived cost input significantly affects part-time farmers engaged mainly in off-farm employment, and technical guidance and economic incentives have the greatest impact on pure farmers. In terms of tree species, perceived cost input and policy publicity significantly impact only ecological forest farmers, while technical guidance has a greater impact on economic forest farmers. The findings provide an in-depth understanding of the mechanism underlying farmers’ behavior in maintaining the SLCP and offer a reference for promoting the goals of forestry ecological policies against the background of rural revitalization and green development.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030286
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 287: Soil Substrate Characteristics for Planting Hole
           Greening Technology for High, Steep, Rocky Slope Vegetation in Semi-Arid
           Areas

    • Authors: Xiaodong Chen, Tongqian Zhao, Xiaojun Nie, Xiaoming Guo, Pengbo Li
      First page: 287
      Abstract: Soil substrate plays a central role in the vegetation restoration of high and steep slopes, especially in semi-arid regions. This study aims to develop an optimal soil substrate that can provide a favorable environment for the vegetation growth of the high and steep rocky slopes in semi-arid areas. Within the framework of planting hole greening technology, we developed a synthetic substrate comprising base soil, peat, water-retaining and agglomerating agents, biochar, and controlled-release compound fertilizer. We conducted pot experiments to assess the impact of compound additions on soil properties and Parthenocissus himalayana growth. Field tests on exposed, high, and steep rocky slopes in a semi-arid region validated the optimal ratio of substrate components. The results showed that the base soil-to-peat ratio significantly influenced soil density, moisture, pH, organic matter, nitrogen content, and vegetation growth (Ps < 0.05). The controlled-release compound fertilizer significantly affected soil electrical conductivity and alkali-hydrolyzable nitrogen content (Ps < 0.05). Meanwhile, the water-retaining agent, biochar, and agglomerating agent had inconsequential effects on soil characteristics and plant growth. The optimal substrate composition included a 7:3 ratio of base soil to peat, 1.5 g/L of water retainer, 10 mg/L of agglomerating agent, 5 g/L of biochar, and 5 g/L of controlled-release compound fertilizer. The field verification showed that the developed optimal substrate possessed desirable pore structure, moisture, and nutrients, resulting in excellent growth of Parthenocissus himalayana. This optimal soil substrate could be suitable for establishing vegetation on high, steep, rocky slopes in semi-arid areas using planting hole greening technology.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030287
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 288: Assessment of the Coupling Degree between
           Agricultural Modernization and the Coordinated Development of Black Soil
           Protection and Utilization: A Case Study of Heilongjiang Province

    • Authors: Guiling Zhao, Zhongji Deng, Chang Liu
      First page: 288
      Abstract: Agricultural management encompasses various processes, including agricultural modernization and land protection and utilization; however, these aspects are seldom considered simultaneously. This study focuses on Heilongjiang Province, a major grain-producing region in China, in efforts to address this gap. The objective is to facilitate the mutual sustainable development of agricultural modernization as well as the protection and utilization of black soil through research and coordination. Statistical data from a case study conducted in Heilongjiang Province serve as the basis for this investigation, aiming to identify contradictions in the coordinated development of agricultural modernization and black soil protection and utilization in the province, design mechanisms to sustain this development, and ensure the mutually supportive progress of both aspects. This research delves into an infrequently explored dimension of the current policies surrounding black soil imposed by the Chinese authorities, offering significant insights into agricultural modernization.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030288
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 289: The Mechanism of Street Markets Fostering
           Supportive Communities in Old Urban Districts: A Case Study of Sham Shui
           Po, Hong Kong

    • Authors: Yueyi Tan, Jusheng Song, Lei Yu, Yunxi Bai, Jianfeng Zhang, Man-Ha (Sylvia) Chan, Jeroen van van Ameijde
      First page: 289
      Abstract: In old urban districts with tenement buildings, street markets address the working class’s social and economic needs. They are pivotal in fostering supportive communities, in particular for low-income residents in sub-standard housing. However, their outdated overall environment impedes the delivery of adequate support to residents. Prior research on street markets has focused on those in the Americas and Europe, and has revealed the societal support values of these markets. However, studies on street markets in high-density cities like Hong Kong are lacking. This study introduces an evaluation framework to assess the impact of street markets on the development of supportive communities for Hong Kong’s sub-divided apartment residents. Employing the Pei Ho Street market in Sham Shui Po as a case study, an importance-performance analysis highlights critical but underperforming factors including public facilities, activity venues, commerce, and employment. Based on these findings, the study proposes four improvement strategies for the renewal of street markets in high-density communities, which could apply to other cities with similar high-density urban environments. It concludes that street markets in Hong Kong display unique spatial characteristics shaped by low-income lifestyles in a high-density urban environment, enriching daily social life and promoting sustainable community development.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030289
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 290: The Potential Health Benefits of Urban Tree
           Planting Suggested through Immersive Environments

    • Authors: Christopher Hassall, Michael Nisbet, Evan Norcliffe, He Wang
      First page: 290
      Abstract: Disruptive change in urban landscapes, such as large-scale tree planting, is complicated by the different priorities of the wide range of urban stakeholders. Here, we demonstrate an approach to the planning of urban green spaces using virtual reality simulations. We evaluate the health benefits (restorative benefits) and safety concerns of participants using virtual reconstructions of 10 urban parks in Bradford, UK, to simulate changes in woodland cover. Participants experienced each of the 10 parks as immersive environments with each of three scenarios: (i) no trees, (ii) real tree distribution, and (iii) doubling of tree numbers. Participants answered a short questionnaire while in each virtual park to quantify their feelings of safety and the restorative benefit that they thought they would experience. The results show that our VR approach produces reported restorative benefits that are not significantly different from those reported in the physical parks during visits by participants. We then demonstrate that increased tree cover is associated with significant increases in perceived restorative benefit, with some evidence of saturation at higher tree densities. Reductions in tree cover lead to a reduction in reported restorative benefit. We suggest that immersive technologies present a useful tool for the consultation and co-design of urban landscapes.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030290
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 291: Exploring the Built Environment Factors
           Influencing Town Image Using Social Media Data and Deep Learning Methods

    • Authors: Weixing Xu, Peng Zeng, Beibei Liu, Liangwa Cai, Zongyao Sun, Sicheng Liu, Fengliang Tang
      First page: 291
      Abstract: The representational image of the city has attracted people’s long-term attention. Nevertheless, the mechanism of interaction between the image and the built environment (BE) and image studies at the town scale have not been fully explored. In this study, we collected multi-source data from 26 characteristic towns in Tianjin, China. We explored a deep learning approach to recognize social media data, which led to the development of quantifiable town uniqueness image (UI) variables. We studied the influence of the BE on the town UI and the moderating effects of positive emotions on the relationship between the two. The results showed that positive emotions had significantly positive moderating effects on the water system ratio’s effect on UI, but weakened sidewalk density and tourist attraction density. They also inhibited the negative effects of road connectivity but could strengthen the negative effects of the sky view factor and points of interest (POI) mix. The moderating effects on other variables are relatively mediocre. This study helps to reveal the inner mechanism of BE and town image. It is conducive to accurately coordinating the relationship between planning policies and design strategies, optimizing resource allocation, and promoting sustainable town development.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030291
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 292: Study on the Coupling Coordination Development
           between the Digital Economy and Innovation Efficiency: Evidence from the
           Urban Agglomeration in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River

    • Authors: Min Jiang, Shuwang Yang, Guohua Zhou
      First page: 292
      Abstract: The urban agglomeration in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River holds a crucial strategic position in China’s economic and social development landscape. Exploring the coordinated development effects within the digital economy and innovation in this area is conducive to promoting the development of the central region of China and the Yangtze River Economic Belt. This paper uses the 28 sample cities in urban agglomeration in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River as the study sample, and constructs a digital economy indicator system and an urban innovation efficiency indicator system. Based on the coupling coordination degree model, we use kernel density estimation, the Markov chain algorithm, and the Dagum Gini coefficient decomposition method to empirically investigate the dynamic trends in coupling coordination development between the digital economy and urban innovation efficiency from 2012 to 2021. The research results reveal an overall upward trend in the digital economy, innovation efficiency, and coupling coordination development stages. However, the upward trend is accompanied by the risk of recession. Moreover, there are significant differences between cities, as highlighted by the differences between Wuhan and other cities. In the light of the findings, it is recommended that government departments take measures, including being alert to the risk of regressive development, developing cities in a realistic manner, and drawing on the experiences of outstanding cities in development. This research can provide new insights and empirical references for government entities to take measures for a more coordinated development of the digital economy and innovation efficiency in the urban agglomeration in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030292
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 293: Can a Crop Rotation and Fallow System Reduce the
           Carbon Emission Intensity of Agriculture'

    • Authors: Xuefeng Zhang, Hui Sun, Xuechao Xia, Zedong Yang, Shusen Zhu
      First page: 293
      Abstract: Under the carbon emission pattern of “peak carbon and carbon neutrality”, the policy of crop rotation and fallow system (CRFS) is regarded as an important initiative to promote the green, low-carbon, and high-quality development of agriculture. Focusing on balanced panel data from 30 provinces in China from 2010 to 2021, this paper empirically examines the impact of CRFS on agricultural carbon emissions (ACEI) and its internal mechanism using a multi-temporal difference-in-differences model. The benchmark regression results show that CRFS can significantly reduce ACEI, and the results remain robust after validation by multiple methods. Mechanism results show that CRFS is able to reduce ACEI by reducing factor mismatch and promoting the level of agricultural services. Heterogeneity analysis results show that the arable land fallow rotation system is more conducive to promoting the reduction in agricultural carbon emission intensity in the main grain producing areas, main grain marketing areas, high land transfer areas, and plantation areas than in the grain production and marketing balanced areas, low land transfer, and animal husbandry areas. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of the CRFS policy implementation, provides a doctrinal basis for expanding the scope of CRFS implementation, and provides policy recommendations for relevant departments to improve the CRFS policy.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030293
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 294: The Relationship between Emotional Perception
           and High-Density Built Environment Based on Social Media Data: Evidence
           from Spatial Analyses in Wuhan

    • Authors: Wei Liu, Dong Li, Yuan Meng, Chuanmin Guo
      First page: 294
      Abstract: The utilization of Social Media Data (SMD) from location-based services offers a wealth of information to analyze changes in human emotional perception influenced by high-density built environments. This study aimed to examine the impact of high-density built environment factors on human emotion perception. First, a set of indicators for high-density built environments was established. Subsequently, Natural Language Processing (NLP) was employed to analyze SMD for sentiment identification and classification. Finally, the Multi-scale Geographically Weighted Regression (MGWR) model was utilized to investigate the spatial differentiation of human emotional perception in high-density built environments. The findings revealed that positive emotions display spatial variations in high-density built environments. Additionally, positive emotions were found to be influenced by multiple variables, with different variables simultaneously affecting individuals’ positive emotions. Specific built environment indicators showed positive correlations with Open Space Ratio (OSR), Green Space Ratio (GSR), POI Functional Density (PFD), and Road Network Density (RND), while negative correlations with Floor Space Index (FSI), Ground Space Index (GSI), Building Average Layer (BAL), Water Index (WI), and Space Syntax Integration (SSI) were observed. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), POI Functional Mixture (PFM), Space Syntax Choice (SSC), and Population Density (PD) exhibited mixed results in different spatial contexts. This research on human perception provides insights for refined urban design and governance, addressing the limitations of top-down approaches in dense urban renewal.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030294
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 295: Comparison of Electromagnetic Induction and
           Electrical Resistivity Tomography in Assessing Soil Salinity: Insights
           from Four Plots with Distinct Soil Salinity Levels

    • Authors: Maria Catarina Paz, Nádia Luísa Castanheira, Ana Marta Paz, Maria Conceição Gonçalves, Fernando Monteiro Santos, Mohammad Farzamian
      First page: 295
      Abstract: Electromagnetic induction (EMI) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) are geophysical techniques measuring soil electrical conductivity and providing insights into properties correlated with it to depths of several meters. EMI measures the apparent electrical conductivity (ECa, dS m−1) without physical contact, while ERT acquires apparent electrical resistivity (ERa, ohm m) using electrodes. Both involve mathematical inversion to obtain models of spatial distribution for soil electrical conductivity (σ, mS m−1) and electrical resistivity (ρ, ohm m), respectively, where ρ is the reciprocal of σ. Soil salinity can be assessed from σ over large areas using a calibration process consisting of a regression between σ and the electrical conductivity of the saturated soil paste extract (ECe, dS m−1), used as a proxy for soil salinity. This research aims to compare the prediction abilities of the faster EMI to the more reliable ERT for estimating σ and predicting soil salinity. The study conducted surveys and sampling at four locations with distinct salinity levels in Portugal, analysing the agreement between the techniques, and obtained 2D vertical soil salinity maps. In our case study, the agreement between EMI and ERT models was fairly good in three locations, with σ varying between 50 and 500 mS m−1. However, this was not the case at location 4, where σ exceeded 1000 mS m−1 and EMI significantly underestimated σ when compared to ERT. As for soil salinity prediction, both techniques generally provided satisfactory and comparable regional-level predictions of ECe, and the observed underestimation in EMI models did not significantly affect the overall estimation of soil salinity. Consequently, EMI demonstrated an acceptable level of accuracy in comparison to ERT in our case studies, supporting confidence in utilizing this faster and more practical technique for measuring soil salinity over large areas.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030295
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 296: Inequalities and Injustices of Urban Green
           Regeneration: Applying the Conflict Analysis Perspective

    • Authors: Annegret Haase
      First page: 296
      Abstract: Green regeneration has become one of the most powerful strategies for improving the quality of life in cities, supporting climate change adaptation, and reducing the carbon footprints of cities. While it is the ambition of most green regeneration projects to create benefits for residents and users, reality shows that green regeneration also reinforces existing or even shapes new ‘green inequalities’. These can result from green gentrification and displacement, procedural injustices, and exclusion from participation or barriers to the access and use of newly created urban green spaces. Set against this background, the paper uses a conflict analysis perspective to look at the inequalities and injustices that evolve within the context of green regeneration. Applying social conflict theory, it seeks to understand (1) why and how green regeneration may lead to inequality and justice conflicts and (2) how conflict analysis helps to understand the nature and implications of green regeneration conflicts in more depth. As for its empirical foundation, the paper reanalyses empirical evidence that was examined in earlier projects on a residential area in the city of Leipzig, Germany.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030296
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 297: Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of Carbon Budgets and
           Carbon Balance Zoning: A Case Study of the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze
           River Urban Agglomerations, China

    • Authors: Yiqi Fan, Ying Wang, Rumei Han, Xiaoqin Li
      First page: 297
      Abstract: Analysis of the spatial variation characteristics of regional carbon sources/sinks is a prerequisite for clarifying the position of carbon balance zones and formulating measures to reduce emissions and increase sinks. Studies of carbon sinks have often used the coefficient method, which is limited by sample size, measurement error, and low spatial resolution. In this study, 31 cities in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River urban agglomerations (MRYRUA) were studied with the improved CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) model to estimate the grid-scale net ecosystem productivity (NEP) and explore the spatial-temporal evolution of carbon budgets from 2005 to 2020. By calculating the carbon balance index (CBI), economic contribution coefficient (ECC), and ecological support coefficient (ESC), carbon balance zoning was conducted. Corresponding suggestions are based on the carbon balance zoning results. From 2005 to 2020, carbon budgets increased and were high in the north-central region and low in the south. In addition, carbon sink functional zones were distributed in cities with rich ecological resources. Low-carbon economic zones shifted from the Poyang Lake Urban Agglomeration to the Wuhan City Circle; low-carbon optimization zones occurred from the Wuhan City Circle to the Poyang Lake Urban Agglomeration. Carbon intensity control and high-carbon optimization zones were distributed in cities with rapid economic development. Our results support the MRYRUA in achieving “double carbon” targets and formulating regional collaborative emissions reduction policies.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030297
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 298: Perspective Swap from Central Europe to East
           Asia: How Relevant Is Urban Environmental Acupuncture in Small-Scale Green
           Space Development in the Context of the Republic of Korea'

    • Authors: Jiyoon Song, Jessica Hemingway, Chang Sug Park
      First page: 298
      Abstract: A lack of green space, driven by intense urbanization, has resulted in adverse effects on human life and ecosystems. These adverse effects include, but are not limited to, urban heat islands, disruption to ecological networks, and fragmentation of human and animal habitats. Despite the critical need to improve climate resilience through green infrastructure expansion, not enough is being done to improve conditions globally. This study investigates the Urban Environmental Acupuncture (UEA) concept, exploring its potential application in Korea to implement green infrastructure in dense urban areas. Korea was selected as a case study due to its high population density and the urgent long-term need to safeguard urban green spaces. Semi-structured interviews with experts working in park and green space policy among Korean local governments were conducted. The interviews were analyzed using content analysis based on research questions. The results point to challenges in applying the UEA concept related to Korea’s urban green space policies, including land acquisition difficulties, insufficient information and research, and difficulties in continuous management with micro green spaces. Moreover, we provide strategies to overcome the challenges of UEA implementation within Korea. The findings and proposed strategies offer insight to those facing similar conditions such as high population density and limited delegated land for green space expansion.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030298
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 299: Field-Scale Winter Wheat Growth Prediction
           Applying Machine Learning Methods with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery and
           Soil Properties

    • Authors: Lwandile Nduku, Cilence Munghemezulu, Zinhle Mashaba-Munghemezulu, Wonga Masiza, Phathutshedzo Eugene Ratshiedana, Ahmed Mukalazi Kalumba, Johannes George Chirima
      First page: 299
      Abstract: Monitoring crop growth conditions during the growing season provides information on available soil nutrients and crop health status, which are important for agricultural management practices. Crop growth frequently varies due to site-specific climate and farm management practices. These variations might arise from sub-field-scale heterogeneities in soil composition, moisture levels, sunlight, and diseases. Therefore, soil properties and crop biophysical data are useful to predict field-scale crop development. This study investigates soil data and spectral indices derived from multispectral Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery to predict crop height at two winter wheat farms. The datasets were investigated using Gaussian Process Regression (GPR), Ensemble Regression (ER), Decision tree (DT), and Support Vector Machine (SVM) machine learning regression algorithms. The findings showed that GPR (R2 = 0.69 to 0.74, RMSE = 15.95 to 17.91 cm) has superior accuracy in all models when using vegetation indices (VIs) to predict crop growth for both wheat farms. Furthermore, the variable importance generated using the GRP model showed that the RedEdge Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (RENDVI) had the most influence in predicting wheat crop height compared to the other predictor variables. The clay, calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K) soil properties have a moderate positive correlation with crop height. The findings from this study showed that the integration of vegetation indices and soil properties predicts crop height accurately. However, using the vegetation indices independently was more accurate at predicting crop height. The outcomes from this study are beneficial for improving agronomic management within the season based on crop height trends. Hence, farmers can focus on using cost-effective VIs for monitoring particular areas experiencing crop stress.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030299
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 300: Measurement of Agricultural Eco-Efficiency and
           Analysis of Its Influencing Factors: Insights from 44 Agricultural
           Counties in Liaoning Province

    • Authors: Zhengyu Zhang, Gui Jin
      First page: 300
      Abstract: Agricultural eco-efficiency (AEE) considers economic and environmental benefits and is a key indicator of green agricultural development. To achieve the multiple goals of improving agricultural production efficiency, reducing agricultural environmental damage, and reducing the input of agricultural resources, this study enriches the case study of agricultural production performance evaluation at the county level by measuring the AEE of 44 agricultural counties in Liaoning Province based on panel data and a super-efficient slacks-based measure model including undesired outputs. A two-way fixed-effects model was used to analyze the impact of agricultural development, macro-environment, and policy support on AEE. We found that the average AEE of the counties in Liaoning Province in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 was 0.716, 0.735, 0.749, and 0.813, respectively, indicating a cumulative improvement rate of 13.55%. The average AEE levels gradually improved during the study period. Notably, the development of AEE among the counties was uneven. AEE was distributed in a “block-like” manner, and its local correlation presents a phenomenon of “small agglomeration and large dispersion”. In addition, the level of the agricultural economy, industrialization, and urbanization significantly promoted the improvement of AEE, and the promoting effects varied between different income levels and regions. Therefore, Liaoning Province needs to improve the AEE of each county according to local conditions and narrow the differences in AEE between counties. To continuously improve the level of rural economic development, lead the development of agricultural modernization with new urbanization, and comprehensively improve the overall AEE of counties. The research results are of guiding significance for deepening the study of AEE and can provide decision-making support for optimizing the mode of agricultural production and promoting the green development of regional agriculture.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030300
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 301: Assessing the Accuracy and Consistency of
           Cropland Products in the Middle Yangtze Plain

    • Authors: Haixia Xu, Luguang Jiang, Ye Liu
      First page: 301
      Abstract: With the evolution of remote sensing, more data products concerning cropland distribution are becoming available. However, the accuracy and consistency across all datasets in crucial regions are inherently uncertain. We delved into the Middle Yangtze Plain, a complex and vital agricultural area with relatively high cultivation intensities in China. We used confusion matrices and consistency analysis to compare the accuracy and consistency of four multi-year cropland distribution data products. These include Global Land Analysis & Discovery Cropland Data (GLAD), Annual Global Land Cover (AGLC), the China Land Cover Dataset (CLCD), and China’s Annual Cropland Dataset (CACD). Key findings include the following: GLAD has the highest precision at 96.09%, the CLCD has the highest recall at 98.41%, and AGLC and CACD perform well in achieving a balance between precision and recall, with F1 scores of 90.30% and 90.74%, respectively. In terms of consistency, GLAD and the CLCD show inconsistency at 69.58%. When all four products unanimously classify a pixel as cropland, the identified cropland area closely corresponds to the statistical data reported in the yearbook. The Jianghan Plain holds the majority of cropland in the Middle Yangtze Plain, constituting 50.88%. From 2003 to 2019, the cropland area experienced fluctuating and ascending trends. Shangrao City witnessed the most notable rise in cropland area, with an increase of 323.0 km2, whereas Wuhan City underwent the most substantial decline, amounting to 185.8 km². These findings contribute valuable insights into the precision and consistency of existing cropland distribution products, offering a foundation for further research.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030301
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 302: Soil Erosion Characteristics in Tropical Island
           Watersheds Based on CSLE Model: Discussion of Driving Mechanisms

    • Authors: Yi Zou, Yimei Wang, Yanhu He, Lirong Zhu, Shiyu Xue, Xu Liang, Changqing Ye
      First page: 302
      Abstract: Previous research has primarily focused on soil erosion issues in arid and semi-arid regions, with a limited understanding of soil erosion mechanisms in tropical areas. Additionally, there is a lack of a holistic perspective to determine the spatial attribution of soil erosion. The conversion of tropical rainforests into economically driven plantations, like rubber and pulpwood, has resulted in distinct soil erosion characteristics in specific regions. To enhance our knowledge of soil erosion patterns and mechanisms in tropical regions, it is necessary to examine soil erosion in the three major watersheds of Hainan Island from 1991 to 2021, which encompass significant geographical features such as tropical island water sources and tropical rainforest national parks. The study employed the China Soil Loss Equation (CSLE) model, slope trend analysis, Pearson correlation analysis, land-use transfer matrix, and spatial attribution analysis to examine soil erosion under different scenarios. The research results indicate that scenarios driven by the combination of natural and human factors have the greatest impact on soil erosion changes in the entire study area. Co-driven increases affected 53.56% of the area, while co-driven decreases affected 21.74%. The 31-year soil erosion showed an overall increasing trend. Human factors were identified as the primary drivers of increased soil erosion in the Nandu River basin, while a combination of climate and anthropogenic factors influenced the decrease in soil erosion. In the Changhua River basin, climate and human activities contributed to the soil erosion increase, while human activities primarily caused the decrease in soil erosion. In the Wanquan River basin, climate intensified soil erosion, whereas human activities mitigated it. This study underscores the significant combined impact of human activities and natural factors on soil erosion in tropical regions. It emphasizes the importance of considering human-induced factors when implementing soil erosion control measures in tropical regions.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030302
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 303: Exploring the Ecological Effects of Rural Land
           Use Changes: A Bibliometric Overview

    • Authors: Haojun Xie, Quan Sun, Wei Song
      First page: 303
      Abstract: Land use change is a significant contributor to global environmental change. The expansion of urban areas has increasingly impacted rural ecological environments, in particular the shift from agro-ecosystems to urban ecosystems, leading to alterations in land use patterns. Rural land use has led to economic, social, and environmental problems, including poor economic efficiency, emissions of pollutants, and increased environmental crises. The research of alterations in rural land use and their consequential environmental ramifications has garnered escalating attention, evolving into an indispensable subject of inquiry within pertinent academic disciplines. This study aims to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the ecological impacts of rural land use change. We examined 1237 literature sources through the Web of Science database and conducted a bibliometric analysis utilizing the Bibliometrix tool. Secondly, based on the results of bibliometric analysis, we conducted a review study on the impact of rural land use changes on the ecological environment, clarified the current research status in this field, and looked forward to future research directions. The study’s findings indicate that there has been a steady rise in publication volume from 1982 to 2023 and a significant potential for growth. The top three journals by publication volume are Sustainability, Land Use Policy, and Land. (2) A total of 4768 scholars from 95 countries or regions have contributed publications in this domain, notably led by researchers and institutions predominantly based in China. Developed nations, exemplified by the U.S., exhibit a notable citation frequency and robust research prowess within this field. (3) Land use, urbanization, China, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and remote sensing emerge as keywords of elevated frequency within the field, indicative of the scholarly emphasis on these subjects. (4) Studies in this domain are directed towards evaluating the effects on intrinsic components of the environment, including but not limited to soil quality, atmospheric conditions, water resources, and biodiversity. The implementation of sustainable rural land use strategies is essential for the realization of rural development and environmental protection. In future research efforts, the use of remote sensing technology holds immense potential as a robust technical tool for investigating both land use change and rural ecology, offering viable strategies for addressing environmental challenges in specific, localized regions. The results of this study can assist in comprehending the current state and direction of research in this field.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030303
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 304: Assessment of Soil Quality of Smallholder
           Agroecosystems in the Semiarid Region of Northeastern Brazil

    • Authors: Rodrigo Santana Macedo, Renato Pereira Lima, Kalline de Almeida Alves Carneiro, Letícia Moro, Daiana Caroline Refati, Milton Cesar Costa Campos, Raphael Moreira Beirigo, Gislayne Kayne Gomes da Cruz, Antonio Augusto Pereira de Sousa, José Félix de Brito Neto, Josivânia Araújo Duarte, Deibson Teixeira da Costa
      First page: 304
      Abstract: The assessment of soil quality is crucial for the sustainable development of agriculture in semiarid regions. Due to their sensitivity to management practices, soil chemical and physical quality indicators are used for investigating soil quality. This study aimed to assess the soil quality of smallholder agroecosystems from the Brazilian semiarid region. Soil physical and chemical attributes were screened using principal component analysis (PCA) and integrated into a weighted additive soil quality index (SQI). Soil quality was obtained using linear and non-linear scoring methods, a total data set (TDS), and a minimum data set (MDS). The soil quality of the agroecosystems was designated as being of moderate grade. The MDS for soil quality assessment includes cation exchange capacity, C stock, exchangeable sodium percentage, flocculation degree, pH, electrical conductivity, available P, and K+ from twenty-five indicators of the TDS. This MDS mainly reflects the input of manure and crop residues associated with moderate weathering of easily weatherable minerals given the semiarid conditions. The SQI obtained can be used to synthesize the information of the TDS and is a valuable tool to indicate the soil quality of agroecosystems; thereby, it can be used with indicators of sustainable management for application at a regional scale.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-29
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030304
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 305: Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Land Use and Cover
           Change in the Lancang–Mekong River Basin during 2000–2020

    • Authors: Fansi Lang, Yutian Liang, Shangqian Li, Zhaofeng Cheng, Guanfeng Li, Zijing Guo
      First page: 305
      Abstract: Exploring the mechanisms that drive land use and cover change (LUCC) is essential for informing the formulation and implementation of effective policies aimed at optimizing land use patterns. In this study, we examined the spatial and temporal patterns of LUCC within the Lancang–Mekong River Basin (LMRB) using Globeland30 data for the years 2000, 2010, and 2020. Firstly, we analyzed the quantitative characteristics of LUCC within the LMRB in terms of the value of change and rate of change. Additionally, we investigated the converting characteristics of LUCC within the LMRB by employing land use transition matrices and land use transition probability matrices. Furthermore, we depicted the spatial distribution of LUCC within the LMRB through land use mapping and statistical analysis. The results indicate a substantial decline in forests, coupled with a notable expansion in cultivated land. Given the vital role of forests as carbon sinks, reforestation can enhance ecological services and address challenges related to climate change. Converting cultivated land to forests is an effective human intervention promoting forest transition. This study applies binary logistic models to explore the mechanisms that influence the conversion from cultivated land to forests. The results reveal that slopes ranging from 5° to 15° have the lowest probability of conversion, whereas distances between the cultivated land and the nearest tourist attraction ranging from 9 km to 18 km have the highest probability. Moreover, the conversion process is positively associated with traffic conditions and significantly influenced by human interventions. Within the study area, China, Laos, and Myanmar show a tendency to convert cultivated land into natural LULC types, while Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam tend to encroach on cultivated land and expand artificial surfaces. Promoting ecological restoration in the LMRB requires cooperation among these countries.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-29
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030305
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 306: Dynamical Identification of Urban-Rural Gradient
           and Ecosystem Service Response: A Case Study of Jinghong City, China

    • Authors: Qingchun Guan, Li Chen, Qiuru Wang, Chengyang Guan, Hui Li
      First page: 306
      Abstract: Understanding ecosystem service characteristics along urban-rural gradients is vital for enhancing the well-being of urban and rural residents. Despite this importance, prior research has neglected the dynamic evolution of urban-rural gradients during urbanization. This study investigates the spatiotemporal variations of four ecosystem services—habitat quality, carbon sequestration, water yield, and soil retention—along the urban-rural gradient in Jinghong City, China. We propose a method for identifying the gradient using the inverse S function of urban land density distribution and concentric analysis. From 2000 to 2020, ecosystem service supply capacity in Jinghong City continuously declined, indicating degradation over the two decades. The urban-rural gradient zone is classified as core area, inner urban area, suburban area, and urban periphery, each experiencing outward expansion, reflecting significant urbanization. Changes in ecosystem services along the gradient revealed consistently high losses in habitat quality, carbon sequestration, and overall services in the inner urban area, while water yield and soil retention suffered the greatest losses in the urban periphery. As urbanization expanded outward, the loss of these services shifted from the inner urban area to the suburban and urban periphery. These results support decision-making in urban planning and sustainable development for urban-rural regions.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-29
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030306
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 307: Seasonal Drought Dynamics and the Time-Lag
           Effect in the MU Us Sandy Land (China) Under the Lens of Climate Change

    • Authors: Fuqiang Wang, Ruiping Li, Sinan Wang, Huan Wang, Yanru Shi, Yin Zhang, Jianwei Zhao, Jinming Yang
      First page: 307
      Abstract: Sand prevention and control are the main tasks of desertification control. The MU Us Sandy Land (MUSL), one of China’s four main deserts, frequently experiences droughts and has a very fragile biological environment. Climate change is the main factor leading to drought, and it may result in more serious drought situations in the future. The Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI) was established using land surface temperature and normalized difference vegetation index data. In this paper, we investigate spatial and temporal change characteristics, future change trends, and the time-lag effect of TVDI on climate factors at different scales in MUSL from 2001 to 2020 using Sen + Mann–Kendall trend analysis, Hurstexponent, partial correlation analysis, and lag analysis methods. The results show that (1) the overall drought shows a spatial characteristic of gradually alleviating from west to east (TVDI = 0.6). A significant drying trend dominated 38.5% of the pixels in the fall (Z = 1.99), and a highly significant drying trend dominated the rest of the three seasons (Z average = 2.95) and the whole year (Z = 3.47). (2) In the future, dry autumn, winter, and the whole year will be dominated by continuous drying, and spring and summer will mainly change from dry to wet. The main relationships between winter TVDI and temperature (−0.06) and precipitation (−0.07) were negative, while evapotranspiration (0.18) showed a positive correlation. The six land use types in spring, summer, fall, and the whole year were primarily non-significantly positively correlated with temperature and evapotranspiration. (3) At the seasonal scale, the sensitive factors in spring and autumn were opposite, with spring TVDI responding quickly to precipitation (0.3 months) and being less sensitive to temperature (1.8 months) and evapotranspiration (2 months). At the interannual scale, desert land TVDI was most sensitive to precipitation (2.6 months) and least responsive to temperature (3 months).
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-29
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030307
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 308: Exploring the Coordinated Development of
           Smart-City Clusters in China: A Case Study of Jiangsu Province

    • Authors: Guoqing Shi, Bing Liang, Taotao Ye, Kexin Zhou, Zhonggen Sun
      First page: 308
      Abstract: As urbanization has accelerated, China has started to build smart cities, which have formed smart-city clusters. It is critical to coordinate development within smart-city clusters to enhance the efficiency of city-cluster construction. From the perspective of demographic economics, this study innovatively constructed an evaluation system for the coordinated development of smart-city clusters and utilized the coupled coordination degree model to conduct an in-depth study of smart-city clusters in Jiangsu Province. The results show that there are clear differences in the development between the three regions of Jiangsu Province: Southern Jiangsu, Central Jiangsu, and Northern Jiangsu. The development within Jiangsu Province is imbalanced, where the overall development trend is high in the southern region and low in the northern region. The main driving factors include geography, the Matthew effect, game thinking, and industrial structure. Accordingly, the results suggest the following recommendations for the coordinated development of smart-city clusters: strengthening cross-regional cooperation, promoting data sharing and interoperability, deepening synergistic industrial development, and expanding innovation capacity.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-29
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030308
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 309: Application of the Sustainable Sites Initiative
           Rating System in Urban Green Space Construction in China—The Case of
           Xuhui Runway Park

    • Authors: Guangsi Lin, Xin Zhu, Xiaoqi He
      First page: 309
      Abstract: The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) is a comprehensive evaluation system for sustainable landscape, which has been promoted successfully and widely recognized in the landscape architecture industry. However, the existing research lacks attention to the applicability of SITES to urban green space construction projects in China. Therefore, exploring the application of the SITES evaluation system in the context of Chinese urban green space development is of great importance. Building upon theoretical research on sustainable landscapes, this study focuses on urban green space projects as the research carrier, with SITES as the subject of investigation. Utilizing the case study method, a thorough description and analysis of Xuhui Runway Park, a representative case officially certified by SITES in China, is provided. Across four stages—project initiation and planning, scheme design, construction, and operation—this study discusses the approaches employed in Chinese urban green space projects to meet the requirements of the SITES evaluation system. By evaluating the applicability of SITES to Chinese urban green space projects, identifying limitations in system promotion, and offering references for sustainable design practices, this study advances the application and promotion of SITES in China and contributes to the sustainable development of the landscape architecture industry.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-29
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030309
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 310: Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activity on
           Lakes around the Depression of Great Lakes in Mongolia

    • Authors: Song Yang, Hongfei Zhou, Yan Liu, Batsuren Dorjsuren, Otgonbayar Demberel, Dashlkham Batmunkh
      First page: 310
      Abstract: The western region of Mongolia is characterized by an arid climate and a fragile ecological environment. It is a sensitive zone in response to global climate change and one of the major sources of dust globally. This region is home to numerous lakes, and their dynamic changes not only reflect global climate variations but also have implications for the global ecological environment quality. In this study, Landsat images were used as the data source, and Google Earth Engine (GEE) was employed to extract lakes with an area larger than 1 km2 from 1992 to 2021. The spatiotemporal characteristics of lake water area (LWA) changes were analyzed, and a structural equation model was applied to attribute the lake changes. The results indicate an overall trend of increasing lake area followed by a decrease in the study area. Specifically, lakes in the provinces of Khovd and Gobi-Altai exhibited a decreasing trend followed by an increasing trend, while lakes in the provinces of Uvs and Zavkhan showed an increasing trend followed by a decreasing trend. Three typical types of lakes, namely, alpine lakes, throughflow lakes, and terminal lakes, all exhibited a trend of increasing area followed by a decrease. The analysis of driving forces behind lake area changes reveals that climate change and human activities primarily exert indirect influences on the lake area changes in each province. Specifically, climate change and human activities lead to changes in soil moisture, which have a significant explanatory power for lake area changes. Regarding the typical types of lakes, climate change serves as the primary driving force for alpine lakes, while human activities are the main driving forces for throughflow lakes and terminal lakes.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-29
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030310
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 311: Exploring the Impact of Multimodal Access on
           Property and Land Economies in Shanghai’s Inner Ring Districts:
           Leveraging Advanced Spatial Analysis Techniques

    • Authors: Wei He, Ruqing Zhao, Shu Gao
      First page: 311
      Abstract: This study explores the impact of accessibility on property pricing and land economies by advanced spatial analysis techniques, focusing on Shanghai as a representative metropolis. Despite the impact of metro systems on residential property values, which has been frequently assessed, a research gap exists in understanding this phenomenon in Asian, particularly Chinese, urban contexts. Addressing this gap is crucial for shaping effective urban land use policy and improving the land economy rationally in China and similar settings facing urban challenges. To assess the impact of metro station accessibility on property prices in Shanghai, with extensive rail transit, and to deeply explore the overall impact of land value varieties driven by metro on urban development, we conducted a comprehensive analysis, with discussion about future aspirations for land planning and management along with landscape and facility design, and measures to improve land economy. The procedures involved creating neighborhood centroids to represent accessibility and using the Euclidean distance analysis to determine the shortest paths to metro stations. Our evaluation incorporated a hedonic pricing model, considering variables like neighborhood characteristics, housing attributes, and socio-economic factors. Advanced spatial analysis encompassing Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression and XGBoost analysis were employed to explore spatial effects, and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) helped examine spatial patterns and address autocorrelation challenges. Results revealed a negative association between distance to metro station and property prices, indicating a non-linear and spatially clustered relationship and heterogeneous spatial pattern. We dissected the non-linear results in detail, which complemented the conclusion in existing research. This study provides valuable insights into the dynamic interplay between metro accessibility and housing market behaviors in a significant Asian urban context, offering targeted suggestions for urban planners and governors to decide on more reasonable land use planning and management strategies, along with landscape and infrastructure design, to promote not only the healthy growth of the real estate market but also the sustainable urban development in China and similar regions.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-29
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030311
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 312: Urban Complexity and the Dynamic Evolution of
           Urban Land Functions in Yiwu City: A Micro-Analysis with Multi-Source Big
           Data

    • Authors: Liangliang Zhou, Yishao Shi, Mengqiu Xie
      First page: 312
      Abstract: The diversification of business forms leads to functional and spatial complexity in cities. The efficient determination of the complexity of an urban system is the basis for the scientific monitoring of the multi-functional aggregation within cities. Previous studies on the urban spatial structure were limited by the difficulty of collecting micro-data and the high time cost, and they focused on the macro-spatial structure, lacking fine-grained investigations of the micro-spatial structure. Additionally, high-resolution remote sensing images, which mainly rely on the textural characteristics of the spectrum of ground objects, cannot detect the social and economic functions of ground objects. Thus, it is difficult to meet the actual needs of urban planning and management. The purpose of this paper is to automatically identify the spatial heterogeneity and temporal variation of urban land use functions in the context of complex urban systems. The TF-IDF (term frequency–inverse document frequency) algorithm, a machine learning classification algorithm, and other methods are applied to identify the urban functions and distribution characteristics of the main urban area based on the POI (point of interest) data and urban form data. The results show the following: (1) From 2012 to 2022, all types of land use in Yiwu city grew at different rates, with logistics and warehousing space growing the fastest, which is in line with Yiwu’s goal of building a national logistics center for trade and services. (2) The residential area has a spatial structure with a dense central circle and a scattered periphery extending from northeast to southwest and from east to west. (3) The commercial service sector shows clear spatial differentiation between the core and the periphery. The commercial functional areas of Niansanli, Houzhai, and Chengxi, where the number of commercial POIs is relatively small, are located at the intersection of the administrative subdistricts near the city center, indicating that the commercial economic activities of the downtown subdistrict have a certain spillover effect on adjacent subdistricts. (4) The public facilities of each subdistrict are generally located in the core of each subdistrict, which ensures better convenience and accessibility. (5) Industrial land with a large total area that is scattered and mixed with urban residential land gradually tends to be centralized, forming an industrial belt around the city. This study comprehensively considers the aggregation relationship between urban buildings and land use and improves the accuracy of land identification and functional zoning.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-03-01
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030312
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 313: Effects of Water-Level Fluctuation on Soil
           Aggregates and Aggregate-Associated Organic Carbon in the Water-Level
           Fluctuation Zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir, China

    • Authors: Xizao Sun, Shiwei Liu, Hanya Tang, Feng Zhang, Luyao Jia, Cheng Li, Lei Ma, Jinlian Liu, Ke Jiang, Zhi Ding, Pujia Yu
      First page: 313
      Abstract: Water-level fluctuation (WLF) can destroy soil aggregates and induce soil organic carbon (SOC) loss, potentially triggering impacts on the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, responses of soil aggregate content and aggregate-associated organic carbon to WLF have not been well studied, especially in the water-level fluctuation zone (WLFZ) of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR). Therefore, samples from different elevations (145 m, 155 m and 165 m) in the WLFZ of the TGR were collected for experiments. The wet sieving method was used to divide soil into silt and clay (<0.053 mm), micro-aggregate (0.053–0.25 mm) and macro-aggregate (>0.25 mm). The K2Cr2O7-H2SO4 oxidation method was used to measure total SOC content in different soil aggregates. A modified Walkley and Black method was used to measure labile carbon in different soil aggregates. Results showed that macro-aggregate content substantially decreased, while micro-aggregate content remained stable and silt and clay fraction accumulated with a decrease in water-level elevations. Moreover, total SOC content and labile carbon in macro-aggregate were obviously higher than those in the micro-aggregate and the silt and clay fraction. Macro-aggregate contributed the most to SOC sequestration, while micro-aggregate contributed the least, and the contribution of macro-aggregate increased with a decrease in water-level elevations. We concluded that the macro-aggregate was the most active participant in the SOC sequestration process, and preferentially increasing the macro-aggregate content of the lowest water-level elevation was conducive to an improvement in soil carbon sequestration potential and would mitigate climate change.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-03-01
      DOI: 10.3390/land13030313
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 3 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 214: Identifying Ecological Security Patterns
           Considering the Stability of Ecological Sources in Ecologically Fragile
           Areas

    • Authors: Jianfang Ma, Lin Li, Limin Jiao, Haihong Zhu, Chengcheng Liu, Feng Li, Peng Li
      First page: 214
      Abstract: Ecological security patterns (ESPs) provide an effective spatial approach for identifying critical conservation areas and ensuring regional ecological security. However, prior research has not paid much attention to the importance of the stability of ecological sources in time-series changes, which is especially critical for maintaining ecological functions in ecologically fragile areas. Focusing on the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR) of China, this study evaluated the spatiotemporal change patterns in ecosystem services importance (ESI) from 2000 to 2020, integrating the spatial principal component analysis (SPCA) and circuit theory to propose a novel ESP construction framework that aims to address the issue of insufficient consideration of source stability. A total of 93 stable ecological sources were identified, with the capacity to ensure the continuous provision of high-level ecosystem services and resistance to external disturbances. The extraction of 234 ecological corridors and 430 ecological nodes effectively enhanced the stable flow of ecological processes and connectivity. The stable ESP, constituted by the above ecological elements, can serve as core ecological space and basic skeleton to maintain the regional sustainable landscape. This study provides scientific references for identifying key priority conservation areas and formulating targeted ecological conservation and restoration strategies in ecologically fragile areas.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020214
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 215: County-Level Land Use Carbon Budget in the
           Yangtze River Economic Belt, China: Spatiotemporal Differentiation and
           Coordination Zoning

    • Authors: Chong Liu, Xiaoman Wang, Haiyang Li
      First page: 215
      Abstract: The local land use carbon budget (LUCB) balance is an important factor in achieving regional carbon neutrality. As the basic unit of China’s economic development and social governance, the county level is an important part of the realization of the “double carbon” goal. This paper focuses on 1069 county units within the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB). It utilizes data on land use, nighttime light, energy consumption, and social and economic factors to construct carbon emission models. The spatiotemporal characteristics of LUCB in these county units are analyzed using standard deviational ellipse (SDE) and spatial autocorrelation methods. Additionally, a zoning study is conducted by examining the economic contribution coefficient (ECC) of carbon emissions, the ecological support coefficient (ESC), and their coupling relationship. The results show that (1) the total land use carbon emissions (LUCE) increased significantly during the research period, and the total carbon sink was relatively stable. (2) The LUCB is spatially high in the east and low in the west, with the center of gravity moving to the southwest as a whole. (3) The LUCB shows positive spatial autocorrelation and has significant spatial agglomeration characteristics, which are mainly high–high and low–low regional agglomeration types. (4) The ECC is high in the east and low in the west, the ESC is high in the west and low in the east, and the coordination and coupling degrees of the two are low. (5) According to the ECC and ESC, the county unit is divided into a low-carbon conservation area, an economic development area, a carbon sink development area, and a comprehensive optimization area. This study is helpful in promoting the sustainable development of carbon neutrality and low carbon in the YREB.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020215
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 216: The Evolution and Economic and Social Effects of
           the Spatial and Temporal Pattern of Transport Superiority Degree in
           Southern Xinjiang, China

    • Authors: Songhong Li, Hongwei Wang, Xiaoyang Liu, Zhen Yang
      First page: 216
      Abstract: Transportation significantly influences economically underdeveloped arid regions, impacting economic growth and social progress. Analyzing Transport Superiority Degree (TSD) and its implications in such regions is crucial. A new arid region-specific evaluation framework addresses traditional limitations by considering indicators like route connectivity and desert interference. This article conducts an empirical study using Southern Xinjiang as a research case. It combines comprehensive evaluation methods, spatial autocorrelation methods, spatial Durbin models, and coupling coordination models to depict Transport Support Capability (TSC), Transport Access Capacity (TAC), and Transport Guarantee Capacity (TGC) at different scales in Southern Xinjiang from 2000 to 2020. The study reveals spatial patterns, evolutionary characteristics, economic impacts, and social effects of TSD at various scales. Key findings include: (1) Rapid expansion of transportation infrastructure in Southern Xinjiang. The levels of TSD at different scales have gradually increased, and spatial and temporal pattern differences are evident. At the county level, TSD forms a “core-periphery” spatial pattern centered around the Southern Xinjiang Railway, with “high-high” agglomeration areas centered around Kashgar city and “low-low” agglomeration areas centered around Qiemo County. (2) Prefectural-level TSD improvements have limited impacts on regional development, while county-level TSC, TAC, TGC, and TSD positively affect economic and social growth but also exhibit competitive effects. (3) TSD is transitioning from non-coordinated to coordinated development with economic and social progress at different scales. This research informs transportation facility evaluation in arid regions.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020216
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 217: Conceptualizing Forest Operations Planning and
           Management Using Principles of Functional Complex Systems Science to
           Increase the Forest’s Ability to Withstand Climate Change

    • Authors: Stergios Tampekis, Apostolos Kantartzis, Garyfallos Arabatzis, Stavros Sakellariou, Georgios Kolkos, Chrisovalantis Malesios
      First page: 217
      Abstract: The sustainable management of forest resources is greatly influenced by forest operations (FO). Interactions between humans and nature describe how people engage with and are impacted by the natural world. As we enter the Anthropocene epoch, we are being compelled to reevaluate our past and present methods of managing and planning our forest operations in order to find new ones that are more adaptable and successful at addressing the growing unpredictability resulting from accelerating global change. We briefly discuss the goals and constraints of the prior and current management and planning principles for forest operations in this study, focusing on how these principles have evolved on a worldwide scale. We then propose a promising idea, such as managing forest operations as complex adaptive systems and approaches based on resilience and sustainable use of forest resources, in order to achieve the necessary economic, social, and ecological goals. An in-depth understanding of the ecological, economic, and social factors that influence forest resilience is necessary for planning and managing forest operations efficiently. The proposed strategy combines the effectiveness of forest operations with a functional, complex network approach in order to manage forests for the Anthropocene.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020217
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 218: Distinguishing Geogenic Load and Anthropogenic
           Contribution to Soil Contamination in Mineralised Mountain Landscape of
           Ore Mountains (Czech Republic) Using Cumulative Distribution Functions

    • Authors: Michal Hošek, Petra Pavlíková, Matěj Šoltýs, Štěpánka Tůmová, Tomáš Matys Grygar
      First page: 218
      Abstract: In ore regions impacted by mining and metal smelting emissions, distinguishing between geogenic anomalies and anthropogenic contamination poses a significant challenge. In a study from two areas with different mining histories in the Ore Mountains, Czech Republic, we demonstrate that sampling of topsoils and subsoils respecting local geology and correct soil data treatment respecting soil textural variability effects are indispensable to the correct construction and interpretation of geochemical maps and identification of anthropogenic contamination by As, Cu, Pb, and Zn. The list of analysed elements must include both potentially toxic and lithogenic elements, otherwise natural controls of soil composition cannot be deciphered. By using empirical cumulative distribution functions, we found that local backgrounds for As/Fe and Pb/Ti are naturally elevated (5.7 to 9.8 times and 2.1 to 2.7 times higher, respectively) compared to the global averages. We constructed geochemical maps with topsoil minus subsoil concentrations to show the main directions of spreading anthropogenic contamination. The anthropogenic diffuse contamination contribution was calculated and expressed as an enrichment relative to the local background (16% and 12% for As/Fe and 17% and 14% for Pb/Ti, respectively). This corresponds to topsoil enrichment by ca. 15 and 14 mg kg−1 for As and ca. 35 and 42 mg kg−1 for Pb in the two study areas. The obtained estimates were comparable to the results from the local peat archives. The approach we used is efficient in deciphering natural and anthropogenic controls of PTEs in geochemically complicated areas.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020218
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 219: Spatial–Temporal Characteristics and
           Influencing Factors of Eco-Efficiency of Cultivated Land Use in the
           Yangtze River Delta Region

    • Authors: Yeting Fan, Wenjing Ning, Xinyuan Liang, Lingzhi Wang, Ligang Lv, Ying Li, Junxiao Wang
      First page: 219
      Abstract: The sustainable utilization of regional cultivated land systems in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region over the past 40 years has been severely impacted by rapid urbanization processes. Improving the eco-efficiency of cultivated land use (ECLU) plays a significant role in achieving the sustainable utilization of farmland and high-quality development of agriculture and rural areas. In this study, the spatial–temporal features and influencing factors of the ECLU in the YRD are investigated by various methods, such as a super-efficient SBM model, hot spot analysis, Dagum Gini coefficient, and panel tobit model. The findings indicate the following: the ECLU showed an overall high level from 2000 to 2020; the ECLU varied significantly over time and space in the YRD. The ECLU presented obvious spatial agglomeration in the YRD: southern regions exhibited a concentration of cold spots, while hot spots were primarily found in the east and north of the YRD. The trend of regional differences in ECLU during the research period fluctuated upwards in the YRD, and the density difference super-variable was the main source of regional differences. Increases in urbanization level and GDP per capita contributed to ECLU enhancement in the YRD, and agricultural intensity levels and agricultural industrial structures played a negative role in ECLU improvement. Finally, we suggest that different regions should adapt to local conditions, scientifically and reasonably allocate cultivated land production resources, and promote the coordinated improvement of ECLU. This study could provide a reference for policymakers to formulate better decisions on cultivated land utilization and management.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020219
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 220: Policy Development in China’s Protected
           Scenic and Historic Areas

    • Authors: Qiaoqiao Zhan, Katsunori Furuya, Xiaolan Tang, Zhehui Li
      First page: 220
      Abstract: In China, scenic and historic areas are protected areas which are highly integrated with natural and cultural resources. The study analyzed policies based on the theory of policy instruments using quantitative and content analyses. The results demonstrated that China’s scenic and historic areas have experienced four phases of development: primary development (1980–1994), exploration and growth (1995–2006), deepening and maturity (2007–2018), and integration and optimization (2019–2023). Policy intensity is trending upwards, and contemporary policy authority and restraints are insufficient. The policy instruments showed an imbalance, and are mainly environmentally based, with only a few supplies and demand based. Policy topics mainly include management and planning protection. The Chinese government has played a leading role, taking many restraining measures to quickly protect scenic resources. Stronger and more effective policies with more specific content will favor the protection of scenic areas. In the future, financial input, international exchanges, and outsourcing services should be increased to promote the vital development of scenic areas. Legislation, establishment, social participation, operation, and ticket systems must be comprehensive. Overall, the study provides theoretical support for further reforms of China’s scenic areas and lessons for improving the conservation quality of the world’s protected areas.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020220
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 221: Integrated Land-Use Systems Contribute to
           Restoring Water Cycles in the Brazilian Cerrado Biome

    • Authors: Glatzle, de Almeida, Pereira Barsotti, Bungenstab, Giese, Macedo, Stuerz, Asch
      First page: 221
      Abstract: Cerrado, constituting native Brazilian vegetation in the tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, has been extensively replaced by crop and pastureland, resulting in reduced water recycling to the atmosphere via evapotranspiration (ET). Re-introducing trees via integrated land-use systems potentially restores soil health and water-related processes; however, field data are scarce. During two years, we monitored soil moisture dynamics of natural Cerrado (CER), continuous pasture (COP), integrated crop-livestock (ICL), and integrated crop-livestock-forestry (ICLF) systems across 100 cm soil depth. Across years, mean soil moisture was highest for ICL, followed by COP and lowest in systems with trees (ICLF and CER). However, seasonal and spatial analyses revealed pronounced differences between soil layers and systems. COP and ICL mainly lost water from upper soil layers, whereas in ICLF, the strongest water depletion was observed at 40–100 cm depth, almost reaching a permanent wilting point during the dry season. CER was driest in the upper 40 cm, but water storage was highest below 60 cm depth. Our results suggest that compared to conventional land-use practices, integrated systems, including trees, increase water recycling to the atmosphere via ET and potentially compensate for the loss of key ecological functions of degraded or replaced Cerrado.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-10
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020221
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 222: Spatiotemporal Pattern, Evolutionary Trend, and
           Driving Forces Analysis of Ecological Quality in the Irtysh River Basin
           (2000–2020)

    • Authors: Wenbo Li, Alim Samat, Jilili Abuduwaili, Wei Wang
      First page: 222
      Abstract: Considering climate change and increasing human impact, ecological quality and its assessment have also received increasing attention. Taking the Irtysh River Basin as an example, we utilize multi-period MODIS composite imagery to obtain five factors (greenness, humidity, heat, dryness, and salinity) to construct the model for the amended RSEI (ARSEI) based on the Google Earth Engine platform. We used the Otsu algorithm to generate dynamic thresholds to improve the accuracy of ARSEI results, performed spatiotemporal pattern and evolutionary trend analysis on the results, and explored the influencing factors of ecological quality. Results indicate that: (1) The ARSEI demonstrates a correlation exceeding 0.88 with each indicator, offering an efficient approach to characterizing ecological quality. The ecological quality of the Irtysh River Basin exhibits significant spatial heterogeneity, demonstrating a gradual enhancement from south to north. (2) To evaluate the ecological quality of the Irtysh River Basin, the ARSEI was utilized, exposing a stable condition with slight fluctuations. In the current research context, the ecological quality of the Irtysh River Basin watershed area is projected to continuously enhance in the future. This is due to the constant ecological protection and management initiatives carried out by countries within the basin. (3) Precipitation, soil pH, elevation, and human population are the main factors influencing ecological quality. Due to the spatial heterogeneity, the driving factors for different ecological quality classes vary. Overall, the ARSEI is an effective method for ecological quality assessment, and the research findings can provide references for watershed ecological environment protection, management, and sustainable development.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-10
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020222
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 223: Toxic Prisons' Local Environmental Quality and
           the Wellbeing of Incarcerated Populations

    • Authors: Dominique Moran, Jacob A. Jordaan, Phil I. Jones
      First page: 223
      Abstract: A growing body of scholarship draws attention to prisons and environmental justice, pointing out the propensity for prisons to be located on contaminated sites and to be in close proximity to polluting industries, as well as for prisons themselves to contribute to local environmental degradation. Prisoners’ immobility renders them unable to relocate away from harmful environments, and there are now numerous suggestions that their wellbeing suffers as a result of the poor quality of many local environments. However, since a relationship between environmental quality and prisoner wellbeing is yet to be robustly demonstrated, there is currently no firm evidence base from which to argue for positive change. This paper therefore examines the effect of the environmental quality of the locations of prisons, approximated as the presence of greenspace in the immediate vicinity of prisons, local species biodiversity and local levels of air and noise pollution, on wellbeing outcomes in a set of prisons in England and Wales. It finds that good environmental quality, in the form of high biodiversity and/or low air pollution, enhances the already-recognized positive effects of greenspace on the wellbeing of incarcerated populations. On the basis of these findings, this paper makes evidence-based policy recommendations intended to enhance the wellbeing of incarcerated populations.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-10
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020223
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 224: Urban Disparities in Energy Performance Premium
           Prices: Towards an Unjust Transition'

    • Authors: Ezio Micelli, Giulia Giliberto, Eleonora Righetto, Greta Tafuri
      First page: 224
      Abstract: In recent years, numerous studies have explored how energy and environmental performance impact property values. Superior energy efficiency is the basis for value disparities in real estate markets. However, measurements of these variations vary significantly. This research aims to investigate the relationship between market size and vitality and market value differences. This has significant implications for the nature of the energy transition, potentially determining fairness or inequality. The study considers the real estate market in six Italian cities: three metropolitan (Milan, Turin, and Florence) and three medium-sized cities (Padua, Mestre, and Bergamo). The sample includes 2935 properties. In metropolitan cities, hedonic pricing models confirm the relevance of energy performance in market value formation, highlighting a potential depreciation in property values by up to 30% between properties belonging to the highest energy class (A) compared to the lowest (G), and 14% between class D and G. Such premium gaps are halved in medium-sized cities. Conclusions foresee a scenario of socially and economically unjust transition that must be considered in policies aimed at improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings, with a specific concern for the nature and characteristics of the real estate markets involved.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-11
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020224
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 225: Time-Lapse Electromagnetic Conductivity Imaging
           for Soil Salinity Monitoring in Salt-Affected Agricultural Regions

    • Authors: Mohamed G. Eltarabily, Abdulrahman Amer, Mohammad Farzamian, Fethi Bouksila, Mohamed Elkiki, Tarek Selim
      First page: 225
      Abstract: In this study, the temporal variation in soil salinity dynamics was monitored and analyzed using electromagnetic induction (EMI) in an agricultural area in Port Said, Egypt, which is at risk of soil salinization. To assess soil salinity, repeated soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) measurements were taken using an electromagnetic conductivity meter (CMD2) and inverted (using a time-lapse inversion algorithm) to generate electromagnetic conductivity images (EMCIs), representing soil electrical conductivity (σ) distribution. This process involved converting EMCI data into salinity cross-sections using a site-specific calibration equation that correlates σ with the electrical conductivity of saturated soil paste extract (ECe) for the collected soil samples. The study was performed from August 2021 to April 2023, involving six surveys during two agriculture seasons. The results demonstrated accurate prediction ability of soil salinity with an R2 value of 0.81. The soil salinity cross-sections generated on different dates observed changes in the soil salinity distribution. These changes can be attributed to shifts in irrigation water salinity resulting from canal lining, winter rainfall events, and variations in groundwater salinity. This approach is effective for evaluating agricultural management strategies in irrigated areas where it is necessary to continuously track soil salinity to avoid soil fertility degradation and a decrease in agricultural production and farmers’ income.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-11
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020225
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 226: Can Green Infrastructure Investment Reduce Urban
           Carbon Emissions:Empirical Evidence from China

    • Authors: Kunpeng Ai, Xiangwu Yan
      First page: 226
      Abstract: Green infrastructure (GI) plays a pivotal role in contemporary urban infrastructure. Green infrastructure investment (GII) provides a fresh perspective for controlling urban carbon emissions in the context of global climate change. Based on theoretical analysis, we employed panel data from Chinese cities to examine the effects and operating mechanisms of GII on urban carbon emissions. The research reveals that the incremental GII can notably decrease urban carbon emissions, and various robustness tests and endogeneity checks corroborate this finding. However, when considering the cumulative effect, the GII stocks do not appear to influence urban carbon emissions; GII mitigates urban carbon emissions by drawing in pollution control talents, improving the efficiency of household waste treatment, increasing urban green spaces, and heightening public attention to the environment. Relative to cities in the central-western region, northern cities, smaller cities, resource-based cities, smart pilot cities, and cities with a lesser environmental emphasis, GII is more effective in curbing carbon emissions in eastern cities, southern cities, larger cities, non-resource-intensive cities, cities not in the smart pilot initiative, and cities with a stronger environmental focus. This research enhances the understanding of GI’s environmental outcomes and the determinants of urban carbon emissions from an investment viewpoint. It also dissects the four operative mechanisms through which GII lowers urban carbon emissions, offering a novel interpretation of GII for the variance in carbon emission levels across cities with diverse traits.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-12
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020226
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 227: Analysis of Changes in Ecological Environment
           Quality and Influencing Factors in Chongqing Based on a Remote-Sensing
           Ecological Index Mode

    • Authors: Yizhuo Liu, Tinggang Zhou, Wenping Yu
      First page: 227
      Abstract: Chongqing is a large municipality in southwestern China, having the characteristics of a vast jurisdiction, complex topography, and a prominent dual urban–rural structure. It is vitally important to optimize the spatial layout of land and efficiency of natural resource allocation, achieve sustainable development, and conduct influence assessment and causation analysis in this region. Here, using the Google Earth Engine platform, we selected Landsat remote-sensing (RS) images from the period 2000–2020 and constructed a remote-sensing ecological index (RSEI) model. Considering the urban spatial pattern division in Chongqing, the Sen + Mann–Kendall analytical approach was employed to assess the fluctuating quality of the ecological environment in different sectors of Chongqing. Subsequently, single-factor and interaction detectors in the Geodetector software tool were used to conduct causation analysis on the RSEI, with the use of eight elements: elevation, slope, aspect, precipitation, temperature, population, land use, and nighttime lighting. Findings indicate that, over the course of the investigation period, the eco-quality in Chongqing displayed a pattern of degradation, succeeded by amelioration. The RSEI decreased from 0.700 in 2000 to 0.590 in 2007, and then gradually recovered to 0.716 in 2018. Overall, the eco-environment quality of Chongqing improved. Spatially, changes in the RSEI were consistent with the planning and positioning of the urban spatial pattern. The main new urban area and periphery of the central urban area showed a slight deterioration, while other regions showed marked improvement. The combined effect of any two elements enhanced the explanatory power of a single factor, with elevation, temperature, and land use being the strongest explanatory elements of eco-quality in Chongqing. The most influential factor explaining the spatial variation of the RSEI was determined to be the combined impact of elevation and land use. At the temporal scale, elements related to human activities showed the most evident trend in explanatory power.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-12
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020227
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 228: Anthropogenic Impact on the Terrestrial
           Environment in the Lake Dian Basin, Southwestern China during the Bronze
           Age and Ming–Qing period

    • Authors: Peilun Liu, Fengwen Liu, Gang Li, Yuejiao Li, Huihui Cao, Xiaorui Li
      First page: 228
      Abstract: The role of human activity in shaping the terrestrial environment has been a core scientific issue of interest across various disciplines. However, it remains unclear whether there are significant differences in the patterns of the anthropogenic impact on the terrestrial environment in terms of spatial and temporal dimensions, and we are yet to identify the underlying factors that have driven it. Here, we present an analysis of sporopollen and geochemical proxies from a section of the Anjiangbei site (AJB) on the Yunnan Plateau, spanning the Ming–Qing period, in order to explore the spatio-temporal variation in the anthropogenic impact on the terrestrial environment in the Lake Dian basin. Integrating the reported multidisciplinary evidence, we aim to reveal the influencing factors of anthropogenic impact. Our results show that there were remarkable differences in anthropogenic impact on the terrestrial environment in the Lake Dian basin between the Late Bronze Age and the Ming–Qing period. Changes in crop vegetation and the forest were all affected by human activity in the Lake Dian basin during the two periods, and were more evident during the Ming–Qing period. The heavy metal pollution in the soil was obvious during the Ming–Qing period. The increase in the intensity of human activity, especially the rise in population, could be attributed to changes in the hydrological environment in the Lake Dian basin during the Late Bronze Age and to geopolitical change during the Ming–Qing period. This study reveals the different patterns in human impact on the terrestrial environment in the Lake Dian basin during the Late Bronze Age and the Ming–Qing period, providing new evidence to enable a deeper understanding of past human–environment interactions on the Yunnan Plateau.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-12
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020228
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 229: Interactive Effects of Ecological Land
           Agglomeration and Habitat Quality on Soil Erosion in the Jinsha River
           Basin, China

    • Authors: Bo Wen, Chenxi Liu, Xu Tian, Qi Zhang, Shaolie Huang, Yanyuan Zhang
      First page: 229
      Abstract: Soil erosion is a significant global environmental issue and a crucial aspect of global change. Exploring the interactive effect of ecological land agglomeration and habitat quality on soil erosion can effectively guide the positive intervention of ecological restoration activities. The study calculated the comprehensive ecological land agglomeration with Fragstats 4.2 and the habitat quality with InVEST 3.7.0 for the years 2000, 2010, and 2020 within the Jinsha River Basin in Yunnan, China. In addition, the RUSLE model was utilized to calculate soil erosion in the study area. The Geographic and Temporally Weighted Regression (GTWR) model was employed to obtain the regression coefficients and their spatial and temporal variations. The findings of this study revealed the following: (1) During the study period, there was an overall 29.06% reduction in the soil erosion modulus with an annual rate of 1.70% reduction on average, accompanied by an increase in both the comprehensive ecological land agglomeration and habitat quality. Soil erosion was more severe in the eastern regions than in the western ones and the other two indicators were higher in the northeast and southwest. (2) The GTWR results demonstrate that comprehensive ecological land agglomeration and habitat quality were negatively correlated with soil erosion, with results of −0.1383 and 0.0021, respectively. However, in northwest regions, there was a significant positive correlation between habitat quality and soil erosion. (3) The interaction term between comprehensive ecological land agglomeration and habitat quality was significantly negatively correlated with soil erosion with a result of −0.0299, and the interaction coefficients have regional variations. This study offers valuable guidance for land-use development and soil and water conservation in the Jinsha River Basin.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-12
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020229
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 230: Decision Support Systems in Forestry and
           Tree-Planting Practices and the Prioritization of Ecosystem Services: A
           Review

    • Authors: Neelesh Yadav, Shrey Rakholia, Reuven Yosef
      First page: 230
      Abstract: In this study, tree-selection/plantation decision support systems (DSSs) were reviewed and evaluated against essential objectives in the available literature. We verified whether existing DSSs leverage multiple data sources and available online resources such as web interfaces. We compared the existing DSSs, and in this study mainly focused on five main objectives that DSSs can consider in tree selection, including (a) climate resilience, (b) infrastructure/space optimization, (c) agroforestry, (d) ecosystem services, and (e) urban sustainability. The climate resilience of tree species and urban sustainability are relatively rarely taken into account in existing systems, which can be integrated holistically in future DSS tools. Based on this review, deep neural networks (DNNs) are recommended to achieve trade-offs between complex objectives such as maximizing ecosystem services, the climate resilience of tree species, agroforestry conservation, and other benefits.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-12
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020230
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 231: Spatiotemporal Evolution, Spatial Agglomeration
           and Convergence of Environmental Governance in China—A Comparative
           Analysis Based on a Basin Perspective

    • Authors: Mengzhi Xu, Shixin Luan, Xuan Gao, Huachun Wang
      First page: 231
      Abstract: Scientifically measuring the level of environmental governance (EGL) and understanding its spatial convergence has important reference value for ecological governance. In this paper, the global entropy method is applied to measure the EGL of 284 prefecture-level cities in China from 2007 to 2019, which are divided into three major river basins, including the Yellow River, Yangtze River, and Pearl River, to observe the spatial–temporal evolutionary characterization through a standard deviation ellipse model. The coefficient of variation and the spatial econometric model are the tools used to conduct the spatial convergence test. The results are as follows: (1) China’s EGL is low overall, though it is fluctuating upward at low magnitude, and the three major river basins follow the ranking: The Pearl River Basin > The Yangtze River Basin > The Yellow River Basin. (2) Spatially, the distribution pattern of China’s EGL changes from “scattered and sporadic” to “multipolar core”. (3) The center of China’s environmental governance was concentrated in the east from 2007 to 2019, and the EGL in the midstream and downstream regions of the three major river basins increased rapidly. (4) Environmental governance in China has significant absolute and conditional β-convergence characteristics, as do the three major basins, while the ranking of convergence speed remains “Yangtze River Basin > Yellow River Basin > Pearl River Basin”. Of these, economic development accelerated the convergence rate of environmental governance in China and its three major river basins; financial pressure significantly inhibited the convergence of the EGL of the Yellow River Basin. The improvement of the EGL in the Pearl River Basin was also negatively influenced by the industrial structure.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-12
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020231
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 232: Estimating Stream Bank and Bed Erosion and
           Deposition with Innovative and Traditional Methods

    • Authors: Paschalis Koutalakis, Georgios Gkiatas, Michael Xinogalos, Valasia Iakovoglou, Iordanis Kasapidis, Georgios Pagonis, Anastasia Savvopoulou, Konstantinos Krikopoulos, Theodoros Klepousniotis, George N. Zaimes
      First page: 232
      Abstract: Understanding the contributions of stream bank and bed erosion will allow us to implement the most effective management practices. The objective of this study was to assess different methods to measure bank and bed erosion at different scales, specifically the watershed, reach and plot. Innovative and traditional methods were utilized. At the watershed scale, indices based on free satellite images were used. For the reach scale, indices were used, but the images with higher accuracy were purchased and captured by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). At the plot scale, erosion pins, cross-sections and laser scanning were applied. The watershed scale analysis showcased “hot spots”. These “hot spots” were reaches vulnerable to erosion and deposition. The indices of the purchased images were applied to these “hot spots” and allowed us to narrow the length of the reaches where UAV flights took place. These flight images located where erosion and deposition occurred. Finally, at the plot scale, laser scanning provided more detailed and accurate data at a greater scale compared to the traditional methods. The implementation of these methods allows us to find the areas vulnerable to erosion and deposition. These are the areas where nature-based solutions should be implemented to effectively mitigate erosion problems.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-13
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020232
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 233: Multi-Scenario Simulation of Ecosystems Based on
           Adaptive Restoration to Promote Human–Nature Harmony: A Case Study
           of Loess Hills Micro-Watershed

    • Authors: Qiang Li, Xueyi Shi, Zhongqiu Zhao, Qingqing Wu
      First page: 233
      Abstract: The ecological environment in loess hilly regions is fragile, and the contradiction between the development of human society and ecological environment protection is becoming more and more prominent with the intensification of human interference. In order to give full play to the role of ecosystem adaptation in ecological restoration, this study seeks natural conditions that are suitable for the stable existence of ecosystems in the Wanhuigou catchment using the reference ecosystem method and uses these conditions as constraints of the GeoSOS-FLUS model for multi-scenario simulation. Based on ecosystem service value and ecological compensation mechanisms, the comprehensive benefits of different scenarios are compared, and economic development is taken into account while ensuring that ecological protection remains a priority. The results show the following: (1) The unstable ecosystems concentrated on a gentle slope (5–15°) at altitudes of 1201–1379 m, 1201–1594 m, 1379–1715 m and 1715–1856 m are suitable for restoration to farmland, shrub, grassland and forest ecosystems, respectively, and the change characteristics of soil and vegetation communities also verify the above conclusions. (2) The scenario of agricultural development from 2020 to 2030 and the early stages from 2030 to 2050 is the best among the three scenarios, while the scenario of ecological protection is the best in the middle and late stages of 2030–2050. Formulating relevant policies and ecological protection measures according to the scenario of ecological protection is more conducive to promoting the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature. (3) Under the scenario of ecological protection, the unstable ecosystem distributed along the gentle slope (5–15°) of 1379–1483 m and 1483–1594 m achieves the most significant improvement in ecosystem service value by focusing on and giving priority to the restoration of natural conditions that are suitable for the stable existence of ecosystems. This study provides ideas and references for the formation of ecosystem restoration and development strategies for small watersheds in loess hilly regions, and it is of great significance for the promotion of a harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-13
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020233
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 234: Coupling Coordination Relationship and Driving
           Force Analysis between Gross Ecosystem Product and Regional Economic
           System in the Qinling Mountains, China

    • Authors: Pengtao Wang, Yuxuan Chen, Kang Liu, Xupu Li, Liwei Zhang, Le Chen, Tianjie Shao, Peilin Li, Guoqing Yang, Hui Wang, Shang Gao, Junping Yan
      First page: 234
      Abstract: As a new concept for systematically evaluating ecosystem services, Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP) provides an effective means to comprehensively reveal the overall status of the ecosystem, the impact of economic activities on the ecological environment, and the effectiveness of ecological protection efforts. GEP accounting has been conducted in various regions; however, GEP’s application in natural reserves still requires further exploration. Taking the Qinling Mountains as the research area, this paper aims to assess the relationship between GEP and economic development on the basis of the GEP accounting system. The results indicated that: (1) From 2010 to 2020, GEP tended to increase continuously and exhibited a distribution pattern with high value regions in the east and west, and low value regions in the north and south. (2) Over the years, the coupling coordination degree between GEP and GDP was in a consistent upward trend. In 2020, a good coupling coordination state between GEP and GDP was achieved in most districts and counties. (3) With the relative development between GEP and GDP, the social economy of most districts and counties lagged behind GEP in 2010. The number of districts and counties lagging in GEP in 2020 increased, while the number of regions with a balanced development of GEP and GDP was still relatively discouraging. (4) In general, elevation, contagion, temperature, population density, and precipitation were the main drivers of coupling coordination degree between GEP and GDP. If the relationship between economic development and ecological environmental protection can be reasonably balanced, it will further promote the sustainable development of nature reserves, and provide a scientific basis for sustainable policy-making in other similar areas.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-13
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020234
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 235: A Comparative Evaluation of Ecosystem Services
           Provided by Street Trees in Seoul for the Suggestion of Social Equity

    • Authors: Yongwan Choi, Jessica Machado, Gunwoo Kim
      First page: 235
      Abstract: Cities must overcome their limitations on quantitative growth by pursuing sustainable development. Road-centered development leads to social problems, including inequality, during urban expansion. This study focuses on quantifying the ecosystem services provided by street trees in the Gangnam and Gangbuk Districts of Seoul, South Korea. This research utilized public data and field surveys conducted between April and August 2023, which is the best time to grow coniferous and deciduous trees. The results helped quantify the improvement in the air quality and ecological economic value from the perspective of plant species structure and carbon storage. The street trees in Gangnam stored 3691.61 t (metric tons) and sequestered 359.45 t of carbon; removed 2.28 t of air pollutants; and reduced 3977.46 m3 of rainwater runoff annually. In contrast, the street trees in Gangbuk stored 831.61 t and sequestered 74.97 t of carbon; removed 0.4 t of air pollutants; and annually reduced rainwater runoff by 1491.74 m3. By quantifying the ecosystem services of street trees, this study showed a gap in the supply of ecosystem services, which are relatively poor in economically poor areas, thus contributing to a more holistic understanding of urban growth and advocating for inclusive and socially equitable development strategies and management policies in Seoul.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020235
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 236: A Nature-Based Approach Using Felled Burnt Logs
           to Enhance Forest Recovery Post-Fire and Reduce Erosion Phenomena in the
           Mediterranean Area

    • Authors: Giuseppe Bombino, Daniela D’Agostino, Pasquale A. Marziliano, Pedro Pérez Cutillas, Salvatore Praticò, Andrea R. Proto, Leonardo M. Manti, Giuseppina Lofaro, Santo M. Zimbone
      First page: 236
      Abstract: The easy implementation of a nature-based solution (NBS) to address a prompt stabilisation of burnt areas may be crucial in the Mediterranean forest environment. A plot scale hydrological and ecological survey was conducted in a pine forest of the Aspromonte Massif (southern Italy) affected by a high fire severity in summer 2021. The hydrological response to 30 rainfall event groups is analysed by monitoring nine sloping plots distributed into three plot blocks (forested according to the pre-fire situation, burnt with randomly directed felled logs and burnt with manually felled logs redirected along contour lines). The hydrological response of bare soil is mitigated by about 30% through the combined effects of the NBS and the vegetation cover by pioneer species. Although the regeneration of Pinus radiata is scarcer in the arranged plots, the spontaneous vegetation, once gone, prepares better edaphic conditions for the triggering of forest dynamics assured by the auto-succession of Pinus radiata. In terms of woody mechanical resistance, NBS durability is compatible with the time required for seedlings to regenerate the forest ecosystem. The results achieved so far encourage further research on higher slopes and complementary aspects (vegetal and animal biodiversity, economic factors, etc.).
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020236
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 237: Older Is Not Necessarily Better: Decolonizing
           Ifugao History through the Archaeology of the Rice Terraces

    • Authors: Stephen B. Acabado, Marlon M. Martin
      First page: 237
      Abstract: This study examines the intersection of archaeological data and community narratives in interpreting the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Long regarded as 2000-year-old symbols of an uncolonized cultural past, recent research challenges this view, suggesting a 16th-century origin coinciding with Spanish contact. The longstanding characterization of the Ifugao Rice Terraces as 2000-year-old monuments cemented a perception of Ifugao culture as static and unchanging, overshadowing the dynamic cultural practices that have persisted and evolved over the centuries. It is crucial to recognize that these terraces are not frozen in time but are active representations of Ifugao’s living culture, which has continually adapted to social, environmental, and historical changes while maintaining its distinct identity. This paradigm shift, supported by radiocarbon dating and ethnohistorical analysis, aligns more closely with local oral histories and portrays the Ifugao not as passive inheritors of tradition but as active participants in their history. We argue for the integration of scientific data with community stories, presenting a holistic understanding of the terraces as dynamic elements of Ifugao resilience and identity. The findings advocate a move away from romanticized historical interpretations toward a narrative that respects the complexity and adaptability of Indigenous cultural landscapes.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020237
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 238: Regional Policies, Practices, Tools, and
           Strategies to Implement Polycentric Development: Comparative Case Studies
           of Portland, Seattle, and Denver

    • Authors: Reid Ewing, Torrey Lyons, Seyed Hassan Ameli, John Hersey, Justyna Kaniewska
      First page: 238
      Abstract: Many of the larger US metropolitan regions promote polycentric development as a way of fostering livability, accessibility, and sustainability. Polycentric urban structures can increase transit ridership, promote active transportation, and decrease vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and CO2 emissions. Although many regions include ambitious polycentric aspirations in their plans, only a few follow up with rigorous implementation and see their efforts come to fruition. The topic of implementation is also widely omitted from scholarly inquiry. This research aims to explore three examples of successful implementation of urban polycentricity: Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Denver, Colorado. Each region employs a very distinct polycentric development model, but each relies heavily on its regional governance organization for direction, guidance, and even command in the implementation process. To understand specific strategies and methods used by each region, the authors conducted interviews with metropolitan planning organizations, central cities, and transit agencies in the three regions and used qualitative techniques to analyze the interview transcripts and collected documents. As regional governance organizations play a crucial role in implementing regional plans, their policies and practices were also investigated by the authors. Based on collected data and insights, we conclude that the three regions are great examples of an advanced implementation of polycentric development. This research can be helpful to other US metropolitan regions that wish to promote polycentric development. The lessons learned from the three case studies can provide guidance and possible paths to successful implementation
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-15
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020238
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 239: A Simulation of the Spatial Expansion Process of
           Shrinking Cities Based on the Concept of Smart Shrinkage: A Case Study of
           the City of Baishan

    • Authors: Wancong Li, Hong Li, Feilong Hao, Zhiqiang Feng, Shijun Wang
      First page: 239
      Abstract: The coexistence of urban expansion and shrinkage in China has become increasingly apparent; therefore, the current strategic model of growth-oriented urban planning as the top-level design needs to be adjusted. This paper focuses on the city of Baishan, which is a typical shrinking city in China, and explores the feasibility of implementing the concept of smart shrinkage planning in shrinking cities in China by constructing a coupled PLUS-SD model. The results demonstrate the following conclusions: (1) The overall simulation of the coupled PLUS-SD model is superior to that of the PLUS model. In Baishan, the areas with the most changes in construction land will be located at the edges of the landforms by 2030. (2) Using the traditional planning scenario would only exacerbate the rate of construction land expansion in Baishan, deepening the incongruity between the city’s population and construction land. (3) The smart shrinkage scenario will require strict control of the scale of construction land and optimization of the structure of the urban construction land, which would push the city in the direction of healthy and sustainable development. (4) The concept of smart shrinkage planning is a scientific and feasible plan for realizing the efficient and sustainable use of construction land in shrinking cities.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-15
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020239
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 240: Spatio-Temporal Changes and Habitats of Rare and
           Endangered Species in Yunnan Province Based on MaxEnt Model

    • Authors: Yiwei Lian, Yang Bai, Zhongde Huang, Maroof Ali, Jie Wang, Haoran Chen
      First page: 240
      Abstract: Biodiversity is crucial for ecosystem functioning, but it is rapidly declining due to human activities and climate change. Protecting biodiversity has become a key priority for global environmental conservation actions. Rare and endangered species have a great impact on the ecosystem, yet due to their limited survival capacity, they are more prone to extinction, thus exerting a significant impact on biodiversity. However, current research reveals a lack of information concerning the potential distribution and changes of these species. This study used the maximum entropy model to predict the present and future potential habitats of rare and endangered species in Yunnan Province. After superimposing model results, four richness regions are divided by the natural breakpoint method and analyzed. Existing protected areas are compared with hotspots, and the land-use composition of hotspots is also analyzed. The results revealed that, in both current and future scenarios, rare and endangered species in Yunnan Province are primarily found in the western mountainous region, the Xishuangbanna–Wenshan high temperature area, and the Kunming–Qujing dense vegetation cover area. These species are also expanding their distribution towards the western mountainous area. However, under the low carbon emission scenario (RCP2.6), these species will spread from the high abundance regions to the low altitude hotspots by 2070. In the high carbon emissions scenario (RCP8.5), there will be fewer high abundance areas in 2070 than in 2050. The transfer matrix analysis reveals regional richness variations over time. Furthermore, the analysis revealed significant conservation gaps and found that existing hotspot areas were heavily affected by human activities. To improve conservation efficiency, it is necessary to enhance the protection of existing hotspots in Yunnan Province. Climate change plays a significant role in species migration, with precipitation levels being a key factor. The necessary actions should be taken to address the insufficient protection, resolve conflicts between human activities and land use in critical areas, and formulate effective strategies for adapting to future climate changes. Yunnan Province, with its rich species resources, has the potential to become a global innovator in biodiversity conservation by implementing improved conservation strategies.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020240
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 241: Has the Establishment of High-Tech Zones
           Improved Urban Economic Resilience' Evidence from Prefecture-Level Cities
           in China

    • Authors: Ruoxi Yu, Xingneng Xia, Tao Huang, Sheng Zhang, Wenguang Zhou
      First page: 241
      Abstract: The establishment of high-tech zones in China represents a significant policy tool aimed at fostering urban scientific and technological innovation while ensuring steady and sustainable economic growth. Using high-tech zones as a quasi-natural experiment and 233 prefecture-level cities in China from 1990 to 2021 as a research sample, this article constructs a difference-in-difference model to test the impact of high-tech zones on urban economic resilience. Our findings reveal several key insights. First, high-tech zones play a crucial role in enhancing urban economic resilience, which is robust across multiple tests. Second, there is significant variation in the influence of high-tech zones on urban economic resilience. Large cities, cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YEB), and eastern cities are more affected than other cities. Third, improving urban innovation ability and optimizing resource allocation are important ways through which high-tech zones influence urban economic resilience. These findings contribute significantly to the evaluation of the high-tech zones policy and form empirical evidence of the policy arrangements’ regional-level impact on economic resilience.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020241
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 242: The Value of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in
           Stormwater Management: A Case Study of a Traditional Village

    • Authors: Jiaxin Li, Wuzhong Zhou, Cong Tao
      First page: 242
      Abstract: In recent years, floods have occurred frequently in urban and rural areas around the world, causing heavy casualties and property damage. In contrast, some traditional Chinese villages have never flooded. It is hypothesized that these villages, because of their long-term adaptations to their environment, hold necessary ecological knowledge regarding stormwater management so that damaging flooding can be avoided. Previous studies on the traditional ecological knowledge regarding stormwater management in traditional Chinese villages are mostly qualitative studies, and these fail in their evaluation of the functional performance of stormwater management facilities and measures. Therefore, we use the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) in our quantitative evaluation of stormwater management in Zhuge, a traditional Chinese village, so as to rationally analyze the traditional ecological knowledge regarding stormwater management in traditional Chinese villages. In order to analyze the functions and efficiency of stormwater management facilities such as ponds, canals, and permeable pavement in Zhuge Village, this study sets out four scenarios: the No Pond Scenario (NO-PO), the No Canal Scenario (NO-CO), the No Permeable Pavement Scenario (NO-PP), and the actual Current Scenario (CS). The SWMM is used to simulate and quantitatively analyze the stormwater hydrological processes of the four scenarios in different rainfall return periods. The following conclusions emerged from our evaluation of the approaches used in Zhuge Village: (1) The rainwater regulation system composed of ponds, canals, and permeable pavement can play a dual role in alleviating rainstorm disasters and fully storing rainwater, achieving the flexible allocation of rainwater resources. It can effectively alleviate the problem of uneven time and space of local rainfall in shallow, hilly areas, reflecting the traditional ecological wisdom of residents in adapting to the local natural environment. (2) As a rainwater regulation device, ponds are very effective in storing water and mitigating periods of intense runoff. (3) The main function of canals is to rapidly drain water and balance rainwater resources. (4) The main function of permeable pavement is to increase rainwater infiltration and reduce the peak runoff and runoff. (5) The use of the SWMM proved effective in both quantifying the results as well as elucidating stormwater management strategies.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020242
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 243: Impacts of Changing Livestock Farming Practices
           on the Biocultural Heritage and Landscape Configuration of Italian
           Anti-Apennine

    • Authors: Riccardo Primi, Paolo Viola, Carlo Maria Rossi, Stefano Ripert, Maria Nicolina Ripa, Raffaello Spina, Bruno Ronchi
      First page: 243
      Abstract: This research article focuses on the evolution of a Mediterranean landscapes and the intricate interplay between natural and human-induced processes in the context of the Italian Anti-Apennine mountains. The study employs a multi-temporal approach to analyze changes in land use and landscape ecology, livestock activities, and agro-pastoral practices over seven decades. We noted a 18% decrease in animal units, particularly in goat and pig farming, accompanied by a 10% reduction in horse populations. Farmers’ adaptation strategies involve increasing animals per farm, aligning with broader agricultural trends toward intensification and specialization. In parallel, we observed a 22% reduction in grassland surfaces juxtaposed with an overall 15% increase in woodlands and shrublands, a 13% decreasing trend in habitat edge, and an overall 18% increase in patches aggregation at the landscape scale. The decline in anthropogenic pressures linked to depopulation triggered secondary successions, resulting in a 25% increase in homogeneous closed woodlands. These landscape alterations contribute to a 19% decrease in ecosystem heterogeneity and complexity, favoring ecological connectivity for forest-linked species but posing challenges for open meadow species. This, coupled with the loss of biocultural heritage, including traditional settlements dating back to the Bronze Age and Roman times, as well as pastoral traditions and knowledge, underscores the need to rethink future development strategies with a focus on retaining younger generations and preventing the loss of crucial ecosystem services.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020243
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 244: GIS-Based Analysis of the Regional Typology of
           Neolithic Archaeological Cultures in the Taihu Lake Region of China

    • Authors: Lin Yang, Yang Zhao, Wenjing Yuan, Xin Jia
      First page: 244
      Abstract: The study of the evolution of regional typology of archaeological cultures is essential in understanding the trajectory of cultural evolution from a temporal and spatial perspective. In this paper, we focused on the Taihu Lake region, one of the six major regional typologies of Neolithic archaeological cultures in China. By utilizing archaeological site data from the Neolithic Era in this region, our study investigates the evolution of typologies in archaeological cultures at both regional and sub-regional scales. From a broad perspective, quantitative methods were used to explore the cultural evolution process in the Taihu Lake region. The degree of social integration and intercultural inheritance can be reflected through the size of the site and the superimposition of cultural layers. In addition, climate and environmental data were combined to investigate its driving factors. Moreover, GIS (Geographic Information System) analysis methods were used to cluster and partition the cultures in the Taihu Lake region. By identifying distinct groups of sites, it is possible to deconstruct and analyze the interior of the cultures to study their distribution patterns and to explore the exchanges and expansions within the cultures. By integrating both research approaches, our study provides a comprehensive analysis of the evolutionary characteristics of the regional typology of archaeological cultures within the Taihu Lake region. These findings contribute to the development of quantitative methods for studying the evolutionary trajectory of archaeological cultural systems.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020244
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 245: Sensitivity of Multi-Criteria Analysis Methods
           in Rural Land Consolidation Project Ranking

    • Authors: Goran Marinković, Zoran Ilić, Žarko Nestorović, Marko Božić, Vladimir Bulatović
      First page: 245
      Abstract: Decisions around distributing available funds among potential land consolidation projects require a thorough analysis in order to maximize the effects of land consolidation. In order to avoid choosing the wrong land consolidation projects, different methods can be used. Generally, there are two possible groups of methods: one based on a qualitative approach (DELPHI; SWOT) and one based on a quantitative approach (AHP, VIKOR, SAW, TOPSIS, etc.). In this research, the focus was on the sensitivity of the resulting rankings affected by varying the input data in multi-criteria analysis methods, with an emphasis on the variation in the weight and the choice of criteria. This research was motivated by the subjective character of the choice of criteria and their weighting before applying the multi-criteria analysis methods. Four methods were included (AHP, TOPSIS, VIKOR, and SAW) for the multi-criteria analysis, with three ways of defining weights (consistent, modified, or quasi-consistent and freely determined without taking consistency into account), in order to determine the influence of the different methods on the final ranking. The weights were defined only by an acceptable interval of values. The sensitivity of the methods was investigated using the differences in the obtained rankings between each method. A case study is provided on real data, and the results are discussed. The results showed a relatively small variance and possible equal rankings of projects by means of statistical analyses. This finding opens up the possibility of the valuation of projects instead of simple rankings.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020245
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 246: Substantiation of Estimation Methods of
           Technogenic Noise Impact in Cadastral Value Determination of Land Plots

    • Authors: Elena Bykowa, Ivan Raguzin
      First page: 246
      Abstract: This article presents a substantiation of methods for assessing the impact of anthropogenic noise pollution for land taxation. Statistical analyses have been carried out in order to establish the dependence of the market value of land plots for residential development in St. Petersburg on noise pollution caused by transport infrastructure facilities. The obtained data allowed us to conclude that in the modern conditions of the imperfect market, the considered factor is externalized. When finding the dependence, it can be included in the economic–mathematical model of cadastral value determination as an internal factor of the market, thus ensuring the principle of fairness of taxation. The lack of market reaction dictates the need to internalize negative environmental externalities through state regulation of land redistribution or redistribution of the tax burden between land rightholders and rightholders of objects that create noise.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020246
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 247: Fixability–Flexibility Relations in
           Sustainable Territorial Spatial Planning in China: A Review from the
           Food–Energy–Water Nexus Perspective

    • Authors: Liping Shan, Chuyi Zhang, Tianxiao Zhou, Yuzhe Wu, Liang Zhang, Jiaming Shan
      First page: 247
      Abstract: Territorial spatial planning involves fixability and flexibility in different driving factors related to control and development orientation, and they play an important role in regional sustainable development, especially in developing countries such as China. With rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, China has been impacted by conflicts between development and protection in territorial space. To integrate the contradictions among different territorial spatial planning measures, planners and scholars have started to focus on studies regarding fixability–flexibility relationships and integration. However, the relationship between and integration of fixability and flexibility in territorial spatial planning have yet to be clearly summarised. This paper explores an innovative research direction for the fixability–flexibility relations in territorial spatial planning from a new perspective, the Food–Energy–Water Nexus, which is a dynamic and comprehensive framework for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) studies. This paper covers the existing research on fixability and flexibility in territorial spatial planning. Moreover, after summarising the conflicts of fixability and flexibility, the dialectical relationship between and the integration of fixability and flexibility are researched.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020247
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 248: Study on the Spatial Arrangement of Urban
           Parkland under the Perspective of Equity—Taking Harbin Main City as
           an Example

    • Authors: Jun Zhang, Jiawei Li
      First page: 248
      Abstract: The connotation and measurement standard of “fairness” in parkland planning is closely related to the level of urban development and residents’ needs, with solid realism and dynamics, and it is still a complex problem to control accurately in planning. Therefore, to conduct a more comprehensive study, taking the main urban area of Harbin as an example, this paper combined urban development background and practical problems at different stages and, based on POI and AOI data, divided the connotation of “equity” in park green space planning into two levels: “spatial equity” and “social equity”. Based on these two levels of fairness, the research framework of urban park green space layout is constructed. Kernel density estimation and GIS-based network analysis were used to study the spatial layout and accessibility of urban parkland. The ability to match supply and demand for parkland in the study area as a whole was analyzed using a gridded two-step moving search method, as well as the degree of equity in the enjoyment of urban parkland by vulnerable groups including the elderly and children using the Lorenz curve with the Gini coefficient, the share index, and the entropy of the locality. The results show that: (1) the parkland is concentrated in the seven main urban areas of the two–two junctions, and the cohesion distribution trend is outside the distribution. (2) Motorized vehicles have the best 15-min accessibility for travel, but it still does not cover all the parkland. (3) Supply and demand within the region are unsatisfactory, with the area with the strongest supply and demand capacity for parkland accounting for only 3.19% of the total area. (4) The Gini coefficient of parkland enjoyed by the residents of Harbin city center is 0.407, with a massive gap in the overall distribution. In addition, the share index of vulnerable groups of the elderly and children all have share indices below 1, and the results of the analysis of locational entropy indicate that the level of street park green space resources enjoyed by these two groups belongs to the low socio-spatial equity pattern, which is not balanced. This study investigates the spatial layout of urban parkland from two equity levels, which can provide new ideas for the equity study of urban green space planning.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020248
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 249: The Interconnectivity and Spatio-Temporal
           Evolution of Rail Transit Network Based on Multi-Element Flows: A Case
           Study of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Urban Agglomeration, China

    • Authors: Xinyu Luan, Pengcheng Xiang, Fuyuan Jia
      First page: 249
      Abstract: For intercity transportation within urban agglomerations, rail transit interconnectivity not only stimulates city-to-city interactions but also facilitates the networking of urban spaces. Crucially, comprehending the spatial network of urban agglomerations needs a focus on rail transit interconnectivity. Drawing on the space of flows theory, this study establishes a framework to evaluate rail transit interconnectivity and the spatial structure of urban agglomerations, utilizing the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration as a case study. The objective of this study is to explore the impact of rail transit interconnectivity on the spatial structure in the urban agglomeration. Firstly, it establishes a coupled concept of urban quality and line quality to elucidate the interaction between rail transits and urban development. Secondly, it employs the AHP-CRITIC-TOPSIS and modified gravity model to evaluate the interconnectivity degree of rail transits and visualize the network. Thirdly, based on the multi-element flows facilitated by rail transit interconnectivity, the evolution of the spatial structure within the urban agglomeration is quantified using social network analysis. The study findings are as follows: (1) From 2010 to 2021, the interconnectivity degree of rail transit in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration experienced substantial growth, emphasizing the correlation between interconnectivity and the city hierarchy within the urban agglomeration. (2) The interconnectivity degree of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration shows an uneven pattern of “three cores and numerous weak links,” characterized by spatial polarization. (3) Rail transit interconnectivity contributes to shaping the spatial structure of urban agglomerations in terms of interconnectivity, polycentricity, and integration, although the enhancement of polycentricity is limited. The framework developed in this study can be extensively employed to investigate the interplay between rail transit interconnectivity and the spatial structure of urban agglomerations, thereby promoting the sustainability of regional planning.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020249
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 250: The Impact of Commercial-Industry Development of
           Urban Vitality: A Study on the Central Urban Area of Guangzhou Using
           Multisource Data

    • Authors: Lixin Liu, Yanjun Dong, Wei Lang, Huiyu Yang, Bin Wang
      First page: 250
      Abstract: Urban commercial centers play a critical role in the development of cities, and it is of significant relevance to research the influencing variables of the urban vitality of commercial centers to improve the quality of urban commercial centers. This study employs big data to construct a multiple linear regression model in order to uncover the spatial-distribution characteristics of urban vitality and commercial sectors in commercial centers within the primary urban region of Guangzhou. The findings indicate that the commercial sectors of life, business, finance, and leisure have a substantial influence on the fluctuation of pedestrian flow in commercial centers throughout the day. Conversely, public service commercial sectors do not have a significant impact on pedestrian flow. Furthermore, the effect of various commercial sectors on the vibrancy of urban commercial centers varies, and their performance differs on weekdays and holidays. Additionally, the level of integration among commercial sectors affects the vitality of the city’s commercial space. This research presents empirical facts that can be used to optimize the logical allocation of urban commercial resources in urban planning.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020250
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 251: The Impact of Dialect Diversity on Rent-Free
           Farmland Transfers: Evidence from Chinese Rural Household Surveys

    • Authors: Shangpu Li, Ye Jiang, Biliang Luo, Xiaodan Zheng
      First page: 251
      Abstract: The rent-free farmland transfer that exists widely in China’s rural areas is a topic worthy of attention. Particularly, the regional heterogeneity of its occurrences implies regional cultural heterogeneities. Using local dialects to proxy regional cultural features, this study applies econometric methods to examine the impacts of dialect diversity on rent-free farmland transfers. It also considers possible mechanisms through a mediation analysis, based on a combined two-year rural household survey dataset from the Guangdong and Jiangxi Provinces in 2015 and 2016. Robust estimation results reveal that dialect diversity increases the probability of rent-free farmland transfers at the household and village levels. According to the mediation analysis, dialect diversity influences villages’ farmland abandonment, rural farmland market development, and the flexibility of farmland transfer contracts, which further affects rent-free farmland transfer. Rent-free farmland transfer depends on social trust and contracts’ self-fulfilling advantages. Therefore, cultural and traditional factors should be taken into consideration, which would form beneficial interactions between the selections of rural farmland institutional arrangement and land rights policy implementations.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020251
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 252: Military Activity Impact on Vegetation in
           Pannonian Dry Sandy Grasslands

    • Authors: Márta Bajnok, Károly Penksza, Attila Fűrész, Péter Penksza, Péter Csontos, Szilárd Szentes, Ferenc Stilling, Eszter Saláta-Falusi, Márta Fuchs, Caleb Melenya, Judit Házi, Dániel Balogh, Zsombor Wagenhoffer
      First page: 252
      Abstract: The conservation of dry sandy grasslands is a global issue because of the restoration and conservation of endangered ecosystems to provide a sufficient amount of forage under warming and drying climatic conditions. Our aim was to explore the impact of military activity on sandy grasslands in Hungary. The sample areas chosen were the Little Hungarian Plain (I. and II.) and the Great Hungarian Plain (III.), consisting abandoned, restored areas; still-active military exercise fields; and shooting ranges. In each sample area, six to ten coenological surveys were made. Based on our survey, the closed natural sandy grassland was documented only in the Little Hungarian Plain and were found rich in species. The open sandy grassland was described in all studied sites, Festuca vaginata appeared in all of them, while Festuca pseudovaginata was observed only in the Great Hungarian Plain. In the open sandy grassland, the natural vegetation had the highest cover value (78.8%), the sowed grassland area had the least cover value (53.3%), while the III. sample area was also poor in coverage (56.5%) but consisted of a natural species composition favorable for restoration. Our results confirmed the indirect role of military activity in the successful habitat conservation of Pannonian dry sandy grassland ecosystems.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020252
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 253: Theoretical Logic and Implementation Path of
           Comprehensive Land Consolidation for Promoting Common Prosperity: A Case
           Study of Ningbo City

    • Authors: Xiaoping Zhou, Yu Lv, Jieyu Zou, Xiaokun Gu
      First page: 253
      Abstract: Eliminating poverty and achieving social justice are global concerns. China has focused on common prosperity. Comprehensive land consolidation is a potential policy tool that can contribute to common prosperity, but its effectiveness and implementation methods are yet to be verified and discussed. Therefore, we construct an analytical framework to understand how comprehensive land consolidation promotes common prosperity. The pilot area for comprehensive land consolidation in Ningbo City is used as a qualitative case study. The research results indicate that comprehensive land consolidation focuses on development and sharing to promote high-quality socio-economic development, social fairness, and justice. The paths for achieving development included the following: (1) a network governance structure consisting of multiple entities to enhance land governance; (2) various consolidation activities were conducted at the town scale to optimize the functionality and spatial pattern of public spaces; and (3) enabling the flow of urban and rural factors for improved resource allocation efficiency and providing an impetus for industrial development. The paths for achieving sharing included clarifying collective land ownership and promoting land transactions to provide diverse land values and ensure a shared distribution. This research provides new insights applicable to other Chinese cities and numerous developing countries engaged in land consolidation to address social distribution issues.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020253
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 254: Enhancing Urban Landscape Design: A GAN-Based
           Approach for Rapid Color Rendering of Park Sketches

    • Authors: Ran Chen, Jing Zhao, Xueqi Yao, Yueheng He, Yuting Li, Zeke Lian, Zhengqi Han, Xingjian Yi, Haoran Li
      First page: 254
      Abstract: In urban ecological development, the effective planning and design of living spaces are crucial. Traditional color plan rendering methods, mainly using generative adversarial networks (GANs), rely heavily on edge extraction. This often leads to the loss of important details from hand-drawn drafts, significantly affecting the portrayal of the designer’s key concepts. This issue is especially critical in complex park planning. To address this, our study introduces a system based on conditional GANs. This system rapidly converts black-and-white park sketches into comprehensive color designs. We also employ a data augmentation strategy to enhance the quality of the output. The research reveals: (1) Our model efficiently produces designs suitable for industrial applications. (2) The GAN-based data augmentation improves the data volume, leading to enhanced rendering effects. (3) Our unique approach of direct rendering from sketches offers a novel method in urban planning and design. This study aims to enhance the rendering aspect of an intelligent workflow for landscape design. More efficient rendering techniques will reduce the iteration time of early design solutions and promote the iterative speed of designers’ thinking, thus improving the speed and efficiency of the whole design process.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020254
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 255: Analysis of Urban Congestion Traceability: The
           Role of the Built Environment

    • Authors: Chenguang Li, Duo Wang, Hong Chen, Enze Liu
      First page: 255
      Abstract: Analyzing the factors influencing traffic congestion is essential for urban planning and coordinated development. Previous research frequently focuses on the internal aspects of traffic systems, often overlooking the impact of external factors on congestion sources. Therefore, this study utilizes a geospatial dataset and mobile signaling data, firstly applying the Fuzzy C-Means (FCM) algorithm to identify congested roads of different levels and trace the localization of travelers’ origins on regional congested roads. Furthermore, it employs the LightGBM method to study the influence of the built environment of various congestion sources on network-level congestion. The findings are as follows: (1) There is a positive correlation between traffic congestion and geographical location, with congestion predominantly caused by a few specific plots and demonstrating a concentrated trend in city centers. (2) Residential population density is the most critical factor, accounting for over 12% of the congestion contribution, followed by road density and working population density. (3) Both residential and working population densities show a non-linear positive correlation with congestion contribution, while the mixture of land use displays a non-linear V-shaped influence. Additionally, when residential population density is between 8000 and 11,000, it notably exacerbates congestion contribution. Significantly, by emphasizing land use considerations in traffic system analysis, these findings illuminate the intricate linkages between urban planning and traffic congestion, advocating for a more comprehensive approach to urban development strategies.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020255
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 256: Spatial-Temporal Heterogeneity of Ecosystem
           Service Value Driven by Nature-Human Activity-Policy in a Representative
           Fragile Karst Trough Valley, SW China

    • Authors: Cheng Zeng, Gaoning Zhang, Tianyang Li, Binghui He, Dengyu Zhang
      First page: 256
      Abstract: Most studies on the ecosystem service value (ESV) only focus on spatial/temporal heterogeneity or single driving effects, but little is known about the combined effects of nature-human activity-policy on ESV in the fragile karst areas. This study aimed to investigate the spatial-temporal heterogeneity of ESV between 1990 and 2020 in a representative karst trough valley in SW China. The dynamic degree of land use, the land-use transfer matrix, sensitive analyses, Geo-Detector, and Hot- and cold-spots analyses were used to determine the interactions between ESV and the natural, human activity, and policy-driving factors. The results showed that from 1990 to 2020, forestland accounted for more than 62.32% of the total area, and construction land increased continuously as a result of urbanization. The conversion from forestland to cropland dominated the land-use transfer. The ESV decreased sharply between 1990 and 2000 and slowly increased from 2000 to 2020, causing a total reduction of 562.91 million yuan in ESV, due largely to the occupation of forestland and grassland by cropland. Soil type (8.00%) had the largest explanation rate for the spatial-temporal heterogeneity of ESV, followed by population density (7.71%) and altitude (6.34%). Policy factors not only markedly influenced the ecosystem structure and function and tradeoff and synergy but also regulated their interactions with other driving factors. Our results have great significance for understanding the interaction effect of natural sources and human activities on changes in ESV in karst areas.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020256
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 257: Using Different Extraction Methods to Estimate
           Soil Salinity and Salt Type Changes and Their Effects on Soil Inorganic
           Carbon in Plowed Desert–Sierozem Soil

    • Authors: Kang Peng, Fang Zhang, Zhidong Shao
      First page: 257
      Abstract: Understanding the actual soil salt ion content and salt type is one of the important prerequisites for determining the nature of saline soils and their development and utilization in drylands. Desert–sierozem soils are widely distributed in the plains between the northern piedmont of the Tianshan Mountains and the Gurbantunggut Desert in Xinjiang, Northwest China, which contain abundant calcium sulfate (gypsum) and calcium carbonate and are high-quality arable land resources for agriculture. These soils have been extensively reclaimed for farmland in recent decades. In this study, 10 plots of desert–sierozem soils with different tillage years in the Qitai Oasis plain area in the northern piedmont of Tianshan Mountain were studied. Three soil profiles were excavated in each sample plot with a depth of 1.2 m. A total of 30 farmland profiles were dug up and sampling was conducted according to the soil occurrence layers of the farmland. All the soil samples were predominantly sandy in texture, with more than 92% of the soil particles distributed between 0.05 and 0.25 mm, and less than 8% between 0.002 and 0.05 mm. Conventional water extraction (CWE) and intensified water extraction (IWE) were adopted to extract the water-soluble salt ions content of K+, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl−, SO42−, HCO3− and CO32−, and this study compared the extraction results using two different methods with varying extraction strengths. Additionally, the calcium sulfate and calcium carbonate contents were obtained using the chemical extraction and mineral assay methods, respectively. Differences in the salts and salt types in desert–sierozem soils with different tillage years were analyzed, and the effect of calcium sulfate on the inorganic carbon sinks in plowed desert–sierozem soil was demonstrated. The findings indicated that the standard conventional extraction procedure involving a 5:1 water–soil ratio and 3 min of shaking was inadequate for accurately measuring the soil salt content in high calcium sulfate content desert–sierozem soils. With the IWE method, by increasing the water–soil ratio, prolonging the shaking time, and grinding the particles finer, the amount of water-soluble salts extracted using the IWE method was 5.83 times higher than that of the conventional method. Among them, the average content of IWE-Mg2+ increased by 123.41 mg kg−1 compared to CWE-Mg2+, the average content of IWE-Ca2+ was 3.82 times higher than CWE-Ca2+, with an average increase of 2931.59 mg kg−1, and the IWE-SO42− content was 5.96 times higher than CWE-SO42−, with an average increase of 8658.95 mg kg−1. A markedly negative correlation (p < 0.01) was observed between calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate in desert–sierozem soils after tillage. The calcium sulfate content consistently decreased and calcium carbonate increased with an increasing number of tillage years. The pedogenic calcium carbonate content in desert–sierozem soils increased by an average of 10.86 g kg−1 after more than 40 years of cultivation, and the transfer of Ca2+ from calcium sulfate to calcium carbonate was identified as the cause of the increase in the soil inorganic carbon sink. Overall, a new method for extracting water-soluble salts was utilized for aridisols, which commonly consist of complex salt types. The results elucidate the changes in salinity within plowed desert–sierozem soils as well as the impact of soil salt on soil inorganic carbon sinks. Based on our research, desert–sierozem soils are well suited for agricultural farming because they contain high levels of sulfate, which is one of the important inorganic nutrients essential for crops, and it also provides a source of calcium for increasing inorganic carbon sinks. This study serves as a reference and scientific basis for soil carbon cycles in arid zones.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020257
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 258: Exploring Integrative Development of Urban
           Agglomeration from the Perspective of Urban Symbiosis and
           Production–Living–Ecological Function

    • Authors: Sijia Lin, Chun Li, Yanbo Li, Liding Chen
      First page: 258
      Abstract: Integrative development is an effective way to enhance urban potential and implement resource-optimal relocation, especially in urban agglomeration regions. Conventionally, the evaluation of urban integration is usually studied from one aspect of urban interaction intensity or urban functional similarity, but considering both together can better reflect the integrative condition of urban agglomeration. This paper introduces the symbiosis theory into the exploration of urban integration. The production–living–ecological function is taken to analyze urban function, and the improved radiation model is adopted to measure urban interaction. Under the framework of symbiosis theory, we integrate urban function and urban interaction to indicate the integrative condition of urban agglomeration from a production–living–ecological aspect. Urban agglomeration in the Central Yunnan Urban Agglomeration is taken as the study area. The results show that (1) spatial variations occur in high-value areas with distinct functions. The east emphasizes production and living, while the west leans towards ecology. (2) Urban agglomeration is in its early developmental stages without stable symbiosis. Interactions among counties mostly show sporadic point symbiosis, lacking stability. It mainly radiates outward from the central area, with more stable interactions in high-value areas, often causing inter-city competition. (3) Urban agglomeration integration is generally low, with distinct high-value production and ecological areas. The central, eastern, and southern regions exhibit strong production and living interactions, while the west benefits from ecological interactions. These findings can offer some insights for informing relevant policies and fostering the integrated development of urban agglomerations.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020258
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 259: Land Cover Changes and Driving Factors in the
           Source Regions of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers over the Past 40 Years

    • Authors: Xiuyan Zhang, Yuhui Yang, Haoyue Gao, Shu Xu, Jianming Feng, Tianling Qin
      First page: 259
      Abstract: As a climate-sensitive region of the Tibetan Plateau, the source regions of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers (SRYYRs) urgently require an analysis of land cover change (LUCCs) over a long period, high temporal resolution, and high spatial resolution. This study utilizes nearly 40 years of land cover, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), climate, and geomorphological data, applying methods including a land transfer matrix, slope trend analysis, correlation analysis, and landscape pattern indices to analyze the spatial and temporal changes, composition, layout, and quality of the local land cover and the factors. The findings reveal that (1) the land cover area change rate was 8.96% over the past 40 years, the unutilized land area decreased by 24.49%, and the grassland area increased by 6.37%. The changes were obvious at the junction of the two source regions and the southeast side of the source region of the Yellow River. (2) the landscape pattern was more centralized and diversified. The number of low-cover grassland patches increased by 12.92%. (3) The region is still dominated by medium- and low-cover vegetation, with the mean annual NDVI increasing at a rate of 0.006/10a, and the rate of change after 2000 is three times higher than previously. (4) The degree of land cover change is greater in the middle altitudes, semisunny aspects, steepest slopes, and middle-relief mountains. Additionally, 76.8% of the region’s vegetation growth is dominated by mean annual temperatures. This study provides fundamental data and theory for understanding LUCCs and the driving factors in alpine plateau regions.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020259
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 260: Spatiotemporal Characteristics of Land Cover
           Change in the Yellow River Basin over the Past Millennium

    • Authors: Yafei Wang, Fan Yang, Fanneng He
      First page: 260
      Abstract: Investigating the ecological and environmental impacts stemming from historical land use and land cover change (LUCC) holds paramount importance in systematically comprehending the fundamental human-land relationship, a pivotal focus within geographical research. The Yellow River Basin (YRB), often referred to as the cradle of Chinese civilization, ranks as the fifth-largest river basin globally. Early inhabitants made significant alterations to the landscape, resulting in substantial damage to natural vegetation, giving rise to prominent regional ecological challenges. By now, the examination of historical LUCC in the YRB over the past millennium remains in the qualitative research stage, primarily due to the limited availability of high-confidence gridded historical LUCC data. This study aims to advance the current historical LUCC research in the YRB from primarily qualitative analysis to an exploration incorporating timing, positioning, and quantification. Based on reconstructed historical cropland, forest, and grassland grid data of 10 km × 10 km from 1000 AD to 2000 AD, the degree of cropland development and the depletion of forests and grasslands were calculated, respectively. Then, the kernel density method was employed for spatiotemporal analysis and interpretation of dynamic changes in land cover. Subsequently, a cartographic visualization depicting the migration trajectories of the land cover gravity centers was generated, allowing for an assessment of the distance and direction of the centroids’ movement of cropland, forest, and grassland. The results indicate that the cropland coverage in the YRB escalated from the initial 11.65% to 29.97%, while the forest and grassland coverage dropped from 63.36% to 44.49%. The distribution of cultivated land continually expanded outward from the southeast of the Loess Plateau and the southwest of the North China Plain. All three types of land cover experienced a westward shift in their gravity centers between 1000 and 2000 AD. Besides the population growth and technological advancements, the regime shifts induced by wars, along with land use policies in distinct periods, always served as the predominant factors influencing the conversion between different land covers. This research will present a paradigmatic regional case study contributing to the investigation of historical changes in land use and land cover. Additionally, it will offer historical perspectives beneficial for the advancement of China’s objectives in “Ecological Conservation and High-Quality Development of the Yellow River Basin”.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020260
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 261: Measuring Perceived Walkability at the City
           Scale Using Open Data

    • Authors: Yang Ye, Chaozhi Jia, Stephan Winter
      First page: 261
      Abstract: The walkability of the built environment has been shown to be critical to the health of residents, and open data have been widely used to assess walkability. However, previous research has focused on the relationship between the built environment and walking behavior rather than perceived walkability, and there is a lack of systematic research on walkability at the urban scale using open data. This paper presents a methodological framework for systematically measuring and assessing perceived walkability at the urban scale, considering general and specific features. The walkability indices are obtained using variables from open data or calculated automatically through machine learning and algorithms to ensure they can be evaluated at a larger urban scale. The proposed method is applied to Harbin, China, to assess the perceived walkability of streets using hundreds of thousands of street view images and points of interest obtained from open data. The results are compared with a subjective evaluation of walkability to validate the proposed method. The results demonstrate that measures of the urban built environment can describe perceived walkability. Thus, the proposed framework shows promise for assessing the walkability of urban spaces, supporting policy proposals, and establishing design guidelines for optimising urban spaces.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020261
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 262: The Impact of Internet Use on Land Productivity:
           Evidence from China Land Economy Survey

    • Authors: Xiang Deng, Jie Peng, Chunlin Wan
      First page: 262
      Abstract: Enhancing land productivity is a crucial strategy for addressing key sustainable development issues, such as poverty reduction and ensuring food security. Farmers’ Internet use behavior offers the potential to improve land productivity. However, relatively little is known about the association between Internet use and land productivity. To fill this void, this study examines the impact of Internet use on land productivity and its mechanisms. The results indicate that farmers’ use of the Internet has a positive impact on improving agricultural land productivity. Internet use increases land productivity by 12.3%, and the conclusion still holds after a series of robustness tests and endogeneity tests. Heterogeneity analysis indicates that Internet use significantly enhances land productivity in the central and northern parts of Jiangsu Province, while it does not have the same effect in the province’s southern regions. Without the addition of county fixed effects, the central sample regression results show that the coefficient for Internet use is 0.165 and significant at the 10% confidence level. When county fixed effects are added, the coefficient decreases to 0.117 and is not significant. The coefficient on Internet use for the northern sample is 0.128 and is significant at the 5% confidence level. Mechanistic analyses demonstrate that Internet use also enhances land productivity primarily by expanding the cultivated land area, facilitating mechanized production, and strengthening farmers’ social networks. The results of the study indicate that the positive effects of Internet use in improving land productivity should be fully released by strengthening the communication infrastructure, further enhancing farmers’ Internet use capacity, improving the land transfer system, upgrading the socialized service level of agricultural machinery, and strengthening agricultural financial support.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020262
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
  • Land, Vol. 13, Pages 263: Spatial–Temporal Evolution Analysis of the
           Development of Jingdang and Famen Townships in the Vicinity of the Capital
           City Site of the Western Zhou Dynasty in China

    • Authors: Jian Chen, Kai Wang, Yingqiang Yuan, Peiyao Li, Lixin Niu, Jiangning Song, Yanlong Zhang
      First page: 263
      Abstract: This study aimed to explore the evolution of Jingdang and Famen towns near the Zhouyuan site, the capital city site of the Western Zhou Dynasty in China, to elucidate the relationship between township development and the essential ancient relics conservation areas. Based on the remote sensing satellite images from 1982 to 2022, combining with historical demographic data, this study used four methods, including land use classification, land use transfer matrix, landscape pattern center of gravity changes, and population count statistics, to study the spatial–temporal evolution of land, population, and ecology in the region over the past 40 years. The results showed that under the strict relic conservation regimen, these two towns are in a declining stage. To improve their decaying status, some potential strategies valuable for township development are proposed to balance the relationship between relic conservation and township development for their mutual benefit and coexistence.
      Citation: Land
      PubDate: 2024-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/land13020263
      Issue No: Vol. 13, No. 2 (2024)
       
 
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