Browsing Faculty of Science and Engineering by Subjects
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A multicriteria approach to evaluating habitat change in urban areas: an example from the Black Country (UK)THE BOOK: The pressure on land resources in densely populated industrialized countries is now immense. Multifunctional management is therefore a prerequisite for the sustainable use of landscapes, and the only general strategy that may address the problems created by constantly growing demands on resources arising from production, residence, dumping of waste, habitat, ecosystem services, and recreation. This volume focuses on the discussion and research recommendations relating to three different aspects of future landscape research concerning planning and management: Monitoring Multifunctional Landscapes; Biodiversity Versus Landscape Diversity in Multifunctional Landscapes; and Complexity of Landscape Management. (WIT Press)
A Simple Method for Predicting the Consequences of Land Management in Urban HabitatsLand management in urban areas is characterized by the diversity of its goals and its physical expression in the landscape, as well as by the frequency and often rapidity of change. Deliberate or accidental landscape alterations lead to changes in habitat, some of which may be viewed as environmentally beneficial, others as detrimental. Evaluating what is there and how changes may fit into the landscape context is therefore essential if informed land-management decisions are to be made. The method presented here uses a simple ecological evaluation technique, employing a restricted number of evaluation criteria, to gather a spatially complete data set. A geographical information system (GIS) is then used to combine the resulting scores into a habitat value index (HVI). Using examples from Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom, existing real-world data are then applied to land-management scenarios to predict probable landscape ecological consequences of habitat alteration. The method provides an ecologically relevant, spatially complete evaluation of a large, diverse area in a short period of time. This means that contextual effects of land-management decisions can be quickly visualized and remedial or mitigating measures incorporated at an early stage without the requirement for complex modeling and prior to the detailed ecological survey. The strengths of the method lie in providing a detailed information baseline that evaluates all habitats, not just the traditional “quality” habitats, in a manner that is accessible to all potential users—from interested individuals to professional planners. (Springer Verlag)
Field Case Studies of Soil Organic Matter Sequestration in Lithuania and the UK.Investigations have assessed the environmental benefits of soil organic matter (SOM) storage at two long-term European experimental research sites: (i) SOM data from a soil conservation (set-aside) site in the UK and (ii) SOM data from a carbon sequestration benchmarking site in Lithuania. The first case study (Hilton, UK) illustrates the environmental benefits of changes in SOM content before and after the adoption of set-aside, a recognized soil conservation technique. Ten run-off plots (7–15° gradients) were put to ley in 1991. Run-off and erosion rates decreased to tolerable levels once ~30% vegetation cover had established and remained low (mean of 69 plot years 0.21 t ha–1 year–1, SD 0.14). Meanwhile, SOM content increased consistently and significantly on the set-aside plots (mean of 2.22% by weight in 14 years) and soil erodibility significantly decreased. Results suggest using grass-leys for set-aside is a viable soil conservation technique, which may also contribute to carbon sequestration. The second case study (Kaltinenai, Lithuania) addresses the issue of comparing international SOM databases to assist carbon modelling and carbon sequestration estimates. Five analytical approaches have been used to calculate SOM. Linear correlation and paired regression equations were used to calculate the various techniques. Correlation coefficients varied between r = 0.83–0.98 (n = 92, P<0.001). Based on the strength and significance of these relationships, it is proposed that simple linear or more complex paired regression equations can be confidently employed to recalculate SOM data between various analytical methodologies. However, it also demonstrates the potential difficulty of international carbon benchmarking, as part of the global policy to ameliorate climate change.
Soil Organic Matter Changes in Lithuanian Soils: Experiences and ResultsData has been obtained from sandy loam Eutric Albeluvisol-ABe at the Kaltinenai Research Station of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture on the undulating topography of Western Lithuania. Results from 18 years of investigations show significant increases in soil organic matter (SOM) content under grass-grain crop rotations compared with field and grain-grass crop rotations, which thus provides evidence for carbon sequestration in soil.