Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Natural Resources and Conservation

A comprehensive study to understand the relationship of urbanization and population density with GRACE ΔTWS for selected study regions in India during 2003-2017

Amritendu Mukherjee, Parthasarathy Ramachandran

Published: 2020-10-24
Subjects: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Hydrology, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Planetary Hydrology, Remote Sensing, Sustainability, Water Resource Management

For the time period of January'2003 to January'2017, this pan-India study investigates the relationship of urbanization and population density with Ground Water Storage (GWS) indicated by Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) derived terrestrial water storage changes (

Transitioning Machine Learning from Theory to Practice in Natural Resources Management

Sheila M. Saia, Natalie G. Nelson, Anders S. Huseth, Khara Grieger, Brian J. Reich

Published: 2020-10-22
Subjects: Agriculture, Computer Sciences, Environmental Education, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Forest Management, Forest Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Water Resource Management

Advances in sensing and computation have accelerated at unprecedented rates and scales, in turn creating new opportunities for natural resources managers to improve adaptive and predictive management practices by coupling large environmental datasets with machine learning (ML). Yet, to date, ML models often remain inaccessible to managers working outside of academic research. To identify [...]

A continental-scale assessment of density, size, distribution, and historical trends of Australian farm dams

Martino E. Malerba, Nicholas Wright, Peter Macreadie

Published: 2020-09-01
Subjects: Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Water Resource Management

Australia is the second driest continent on Earth and freshwater is, therefore, a critical policy concern. Farm dams are ubiquitous and drive AU$17.7 billion of agricultural value, yet there has never been a formal census of Australian dams. In this study, we present a continental-scale assessment on density, distribution, and historical trends of farm dams in each State and Territory of [...]

Comment: The effect of post-conflict transition on deforestation in protected areas in Colombia

Daniel Schoenig, Jerome Dupras, Christian Messier

Published: 2020-08-20
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

A recent study on Colombian protected areas has found an increase in deforestation after ending armed conflict. The authors propose several drivers behind this trend and take their findings as proof of how these drivers specifically affect protected areas and render them particularly vulnerable to deforestation during post-conflict transition. However, after conducting an extended analysis of the [...]

Crop residues are a key feedstock to bioeconomy but available methods for their estimation are highly uncertain

Shivesh Kishore Karan, Lorie Hamelin

Published: 2020-07-29
Subjects: Agriculture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Resource Economics, Natural Resources and Conservation, Other Earth Sciences, Other Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sustainability

Crop residues are acknowledged as a key biomass resource to feed tomorrow’s sustainable bioeconomy. Yet, the quantification of these residues at large geographical scales is primarily reliant upon generic statistical estimations based on empirical functions linking the residues production to the primary crop yield. These useful yet unquestioned functions are developed either using direct evidence [...]

Overview of recent land cover changes in the biodiversity hotspots

Xiangping Hu, Bo Huang, Francesca Verones, Otavio Cavalett, Francesco Cherubini

Published: 2020-07-26
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sustainability

Biodiversity hotspots are the most biologically rich, yet threatened, terrestrial regions. From 1992 to 2015, they underwent 148 Mha of land cover changes, including forest losses (56 Mha, of which 40 Mha caused by agricultural expansion), declines of shrubland or savannah (23 Mha), and urbanization (10 Mha). The three largest losses in forest areas occurred in Sundaland, Indo-Burma, and [...]

Towards local bioeconomy: A stepwise framework for high-resolution spatial quantification of forestry residues

Shivesh Kishore Karan, Lorie Hamelin

Published: 2020-07-08
Subjects: Education, Engineering, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Other Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sustainability

In the ambition of a transition from fossil carbon use, forestry residues are attracting considerable attention as a feedstock for the future bioeconomy. However, there is a limited spatially explicit understanding of their availability. Confronted with limited resources for extensive field measurement campaigns, there are also limited discussions on the best practices towards a harmonized [...]

Evaluating single and multi-date Landsat classifications of land-cover in a seasonally dry tropical forest

João Maria de Andrade, John Elton Brito Leite Cunha, João Nailson de Castro Silva, Iana Alexandra Alves Rufino, Carlos de Oliveira Galvão

Published: 2020-05-29
Subjects: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Other Civil and Environmental Engineering, Other Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Accurate information on the land cover is crucial for efficient monitoring and development of environmental studies in the Brazilian Caatinga forest. It is the largest tropical seasonal forest in South America, presenting high biodiversity and is under intense anthropogenic disturbance. Caatingas land cover is heterogeneous, and rainfall is its primary phenological regulator, presenting mainly [...]

Success at the farm-level in payments for ecosystem services: monetary incentives, participatory processes and institutional adaptation all matter

Geoff Wells

Published: 2020-04-13
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

While payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes are increasingly common, in most cases, their effectiveness has lagged behind initial expectations. A major debate exists around whether performance can be improved by prioritising project design features that align with the theoretical, economistic model of PES, or whether, where necessary, it is more important for projects to depart from this [...]

Social as much as environmental: the drivers of tree biomass in smallholder forest landscape restoration programmes

Geoff Wells

Published: 2020-04-13
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

A major challenge for forest landscape restoration initiatives is the lack of quantitative evidence on how social factors drive environmental outcomes. Here we conduct a transdisciplinary quantitative analysis of the environmental and social drivers of tree biomass accumulation across 639 smallholder farms restoring native tree species in Mexico, Uganda and Mozambique. We use environmental and [...]

Saturation excess overland flow accelerates the spread of a generalist soil-borne pathogen

Jean V Wilkening, Enrique Cardillo, Enrique Abad, Sally E Thompson

Published: 2020-03-27
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Hydrology, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Plant pathogens are a major agent of disturbance in ecosystems worldwide. Disturbance by disease can alter the hydrological function of affected ecosystems. However, many plant pathogens are also sensitive to soil moisture and can be propagated by the transport of infectious tissue or reproductive structures in surface flow, so that hydrological processes can drive pathogen infection. These [...]

Use of geochemical fingerprints to trace sediment sources in an agriculture catchment of Argentina

Romina Torres Astorga, Yanina Garcias, Gisela Borgatello, Hugo Velasco, Román Padilla, Gerd Dercon, Lionel Mabit

Published: 2020-03-04
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Soil erosion and associated sediment redistribution are key environmental problems in Central Argentina. Specific land uses and management practices, such as intensive grazing and crop cultivation, are considered significantly driving and accelerating these processes. This research focuses on the identification of suitable soil tracers from hot spots of land degradation and sediment fate in an [...]

Feedback between drought and deforestation in the Amazon

Arie Staal, Bernardo M. Flores, Ana Paula Aguiar, Joyce H.C. Bosmans, Ingo Fetzer, Obbe A. Tuinenburg

Published: 2020-01-09
Subjects: Atmospheric Sciences, Climate, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Hydrology, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sustainability

Deforestation and drought are among the greatest environmental pressures on the Amazon rainforest, possibly destabilizing the forest-climate system. Deforestation in the Amazon reduces rainfall regionally, while this deforestation itself has been reported to be facilitated by droughts. Here we quantify the interactions between drought and deforestation spatially across the Amazon during the early [...]

Lower threshold for marsh drowning suggests loss of microtidal marshes regardless of sediment supply

Orencio Duran Vinent, Ellen Herbert, Matthew L. Kirwan

Published: 2019-10-10
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geomorphology, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Salt marshes are simultaneously among the most valuable and vulnerable ecosystems in the world. We use a simplified formulation for sediment transport across marshes to explain why marshes are most vulnerable to sea level rise (SLR) in microtidal environments. We find inorganic sediment decay length scales with tidal range so that inorganic deposition is very low in the interior of microtidal [...]

Information-theoretic Portfolio Decision Model for Optimal Flood Management

Matteo Convertino, Antonio Annis, Fernando Nardi

Published: 2019-06-27
Subjects: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computational Engineering, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Health and Protection, Environmental Sciences, Geomorphology, Hydraulic Engineering, Hydrology, Life Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering, Other Civil and Environmental Engineering, Other Engineering, Other Environmental Sciences, Other Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Probability, Risk Analysis, Statistics and Probability, Sustainability, Systems Engineering, Water Resource Management

The increasing impact of flooding urges more effective flood management strategies to guarantee sustainable ecosystem development. Recent catastrophes underline the importance of avoiding local flood management, but characterizing large scale basin wide approaches for systemic flood risk management. Here we introduce an information-theoretic Portfolio Decision Model (iPDM) for the optimization of [...]

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