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  • 1.
    Dahlberg, Annika
    School of Life and Environmental Sciences (Geography), MTB, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.
    Interpretations of Environmental change and diversity:  A critical approach to indications of degradation: the case of Kalakamate, north-east Botswana2000In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 11, no 6, p. 549-562Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies of environmental change and degradation in semi!arid Africa often present contradictory results of the magnitude, severity, causes and effects of observed changes. Central questions are how findings may be generalized and extrapolated, how perceptions of the environment are recognized and analysed, and how value-judgement terms are defined and used. Emerging theories about dryland ecosystem dynamics, and ideas on interdisciplinary research, formed the background for a geographical study of the environmental history of an agropastoral communal area in North East District, Botswana. Here a comprehensive and discursive summary of the main conclusions of this study is presented. Using methods from the social and natural sciences, environmental outcomes were linked to different 'types' of change, such as effects of isolated events, of cyclic variation, and of trends. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the area has been described as severely degraded, but the present results contradict previous descriptions and instead describe a temporally fluctuating, and spatially heterogeneous, environment with few signs of deterioration. Many changes were caused by isolated physical and social events\ while others occurred in cycles[ The few long-term 'causative' trends identified showed only small environmental impact. Several variables used as degradation indicators were identified, but found to constitute natural phases in the interaction of biophysical and socio!economic processes. The local understanding of environmental change corresponds quite closely with recent scientific thinking, and this study definitely supports the need for reevaluations of past 'truths' about environmental change in semi-arid Africa.

  • 2.
    Enfors, Elin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
    Gordon, Line
    Analysing resilience in dryland agro-ecosystems: A case study of the Makanya catchment in Tanzania over the past 50 years2007In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 18, no 6, p. 680-696Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3. Engström, Rebecka
    et al.
    Howells, Mark
    Mörtberg, Ulla
    Destouni, Georgia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Multi-functionality of nature-based and other urban sustainability solutions: New York City study2018In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 29, no 10, p. 3653-3662Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In an increasingly urban world, developing sustainable cities is crucial for global sustainability. Urban nature-based solutions (NBS), such as green infrastructure, are often promoted for their potential to provide several urban services. These include stormwater mitigation, improving energy efficiency of buildings, and carbon emissions mitigation, but few studies have compared the multifunctionality of NBS to conventional urban solutions providing similar services. Fewer yet have acknowledged the indirect resource (specifically climate, land, energy, water [CLEW] nexus) impacts that these solutions may have. This paper analyzes these aspects, employing a simple CLEW nexus accounting framework, and attempts a consistent comparison across different resource systems. The comparison includes direct and indirect impacts of a set of stylizedand diversesolutions, each with different primary objectives: green roofs, representing a multifunctional urban NBS; permeable pavements targeting mitigation of stormwater flows; window retrofits targeting energy efficiency; and rooftop PV installations targeting CO2 emissions mitigation. The results highlight both the direct and total (CLEW nexus) impacts of green roofs on stormwater retention, energy use, and CO2 emissions. However, also for the studied conventional solutions with primarily a single direct function, CLEW nexus impacts spread across all measured dimensions (energy, water, and CO2) to varying degrees. Although the numerical results are indicative and uncertainty needs to be further assessed, we suggest that the development of this type of multifunctional, multisystem assessment can assist urban sustainability planning, with comprehensive and consistent comparison of diverse (NBS and conventional) solutions.

  • 4.
    Groß, Elisabeth
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Mård, Johanna
    Kalantari, Zahra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Bring, Arvid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Links between Nordic and Arctic hydroclimate and vegetation changes: Contribution to possible landscape-scale nature-based solutions2018In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 29, no 10, p. 3663-3673Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Nordic and Arctic regions, the rapidly warming climate sustains hydroclimatic and vegetation changes in the landscape. There is evidence for an increase in vegetation density in some regions, a trend that is expected as a response to increasing temperature and precipitation. If the hydroclimatic changes are linked to vegetation response, it could be viewed as a landscape-scale nature-based solution (NBS) that could moderate the runoff response, as denser vegetation should lead to increased evapotranspiration and lower runoff. In this paper, we investigate and compare hydroclimatic changes over a set of basins in the Nordic region and northwest America and compare with changes in vegetation density, analyzed using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for three time periods: 1973-1978, 1993-1998, and 2013-2016. Over the period of the 1970s to 1990s, the hydroclimate became warmer and wetter and vegetation density increased, but over a later period from the 1990s to 2010s, vegetation density decreased, despite a continuing warming and wetting of the climate. Although there was a tendency for runoff to decrease in basins where vegetation density increased, the relation between precipitation and runoff was much stronger. Overall, we found weak evidence for vegetation density changes, driven by hydroclimate, to act as NBS on the landscape scale over the studied regions. However, as hydroclimatic changes interact with vegetation changes and their ensuing hydrological responses in complex ways, more detailed investigations are needed to determine the potential NBS effect on the landscape scale across Nordic and Arctic regions.

  • 5.
    Jaramillo, Fernando
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Baccard, Matthieu
    Narinesingh, Pramenath
    Gaskin, Susan
    Cooper, Vincent
    Assessing the Role of a Limestone Quarry as Sediment Source in a Developing Tropical Catchment2016In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 1064-1074Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Impact assessments on river systems of the combined effect of bed and suspended sediment loads from quarries are difficult to find. In this study, bed and suspended loads were measured to determine the impact of a 20-ha limestone quarry on the river system of its 5,000-ha steep, diverse land use/land cover but mostly forested catchment. A network of hydrologic and sediment monitoring instruments was deployed over the catchment during two separate study periods when sediment loadings were measured from captured storms. Results showed that the quarry stood to make a disproportionately large contribution to the catchment's estimated 2.1 Mg ha(-1) yr(-1) suspended sediment load. Large storm events contributed most of the loadings with five events supplying 92% of total loadings at the outlet. A paired method approach to compare suspended sediment loads between two subcatchments showed that during eight storm events, the quarry yielded between 2 and 49.2 Mg ha(-1) per event, whereas the forest never yielded more than 0.1 Mg ha(-1). Furthermore, the contribution of sediments from the quarry to bed load was more than 75% at a section located 1.2 km downstream. Future management activities to reduce sediment and bed loads, not only from this catchment but also from all others with similar land use/land covers, should focus on improving quarry operations.

  • 6.
    Kalantari, Zahra
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Santos Ferreira, Carla Sofia
    Walsh, Rory Peter Dominic
    Dinis Ferreira, António José
    Destouni, Georgia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    URBANIZATION DEVELOPMENT UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE: HYDROLOGICAL RESPONSES IN A PERI-URBAN MEDITERRANEAN CATCHMENT2017In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 28, no 7, p. 2207-2221Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Relatively few studies have so far investigated the hydrological impacts of urbanization in Mediterranean catchments, and particularly in peri-urban catchments experiencing relatively rapid and large changes in their land-use mosaic. This study uses data-based model simulations to investigate such impacts, with the Ribeira dos Covoes catchment in Portugal as a concrete Mediterranean peri-urban catchment example. We distinguish the impacts of urbanization from those of climatic change on the water flux partitioning and connectivity in the catchment over the period 1958-2013. Decrease in precipitation over this period has primarily driven decreases in annual runoff and actual evapotranspiration, while the urbanization development has primarily changed the relative flux partitioning and connectivity pattern in the catchment. The relative contribution of overland flow to annual and seasonal runoff has increased, keeping the absolute overland flow more or less intact, while the baseflow contribution to the stream network has decreased. Methodologically, the present simulation approach provides a relevant means for distinguishing main drivers of change in hydrological flux partitioning and connectivity under concurrent urbanization and climatic changes.

  • 7.
    Klintenberg, Patrik
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Verlinden, Alex
    Water points and their influence on grazing resources in central northern Namibia2008In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 1-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Debate among scientists about ecological dynamics and appropriate management of semi-arid rangelands has led to a challenge of received wisdoms of range management and pastoral development in dryland Africa. In our study, we investigated impacts of grazing on grass composition around permanent water points along a pipeline and around a traditional hand-dug well in an important grazing area in central northern Namibia. Grass species abundance and selected environmental variables sampled along transects radiating out from these water points were analysed using Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Significant grazing-induced changes, manifested by palatable perennial grasses being replaced by less palatable annual grasses, were identified around water points along the pipeline. There annual grasses Schmidtia kalihariensis and Aristida stipioides dominate the vegetation as far as 5 km from the water points. No significant grazing-induced changes in grass composition were observed around the hand-dug well. Private ownership leading to stronger control of access to traditional wells compared to the open access water points along the pipeline seems to be a key factor preventing overutilisation of grazing resources around the former.

  • 8.
    Ouedraogo, Issa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Burkina Faso.
    Barron, Jennie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Sri Lanka.
    Tumbo, Siza D.
    Kahimba, Frederic C.
    Land Cover Transition in Northern Tanzania2016In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 682-692Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Land conversion in sub-Saharan Africa has profound biophysical, ecological, political and social consequences for human well-being and ecosystem services. Understanding the process of land cover changes and transitions is essential for good ecosystem management policy that would lead to improved agricultural production, human well-being and ecosystems health. This study aimed to assess land cover transitions in a typical semi-arid degraded agro-ecosystems environment within the Pangani river basin in northern Tanzania. Three Landsat images spanning over 30years were used to detect random and systematic patterns of land cover transition in a landscape dominated by crop and livestock farming. Results revealed that current land cover transition is driven by a systematic process of change dominated by the following: (i) transition from degraded land to sparse bushland (108%); (ii) conversion from sparse bushland to dense bushland in lowland areas (60%); (iii) conversion from bushland to forest (48%); and (iv) conversion from dense bushland to cropland in the highlands (45%). Agricultural lands under water harvesting technology adoption show a high degree of persistence (60-80%) between time slices. This suggests that there is a trend in land-use change towards vegetation improvement in the catchment with a continuous increase in the adoption of water harvesting technologies for crop and livestock farming. This can be interpreted as a sign of agricultural intensification and vegetation regrowth in the catchment.

  • 9. Pan, Haozhi
    et al.
    Deal, Brian
    Destouni, Georgia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Zhang, Yalei
    Kalantari, Zahra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Sociohydrology modeling for complex urban environments in support of integrated land and water resource management practices2018In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 29, no 10, p. 3639-3652Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper argues that a systems' thinking and explicit modeling approach is needed to address noted weaknesses (in terms of practicality and usefulness) in integrated water resource management. A process of coupling complex regional land use, economy, and water system interactions in integrated modeling is demonstrated with proof-of-concept applications to two urban cases (Chicago and Stockholm). In this uniquely coupled systems model, urban land use scenarios are considered a complex urban system represented by dynamic systems models of land use, economics, and water with a focus on urban environments that include drivers and system feedbacks with implications focused on urban water systems. The integrated model results reveal that the physical availability of land for economic activities (forecasted via a bottom-up land use change model) and their locations differ sharply from top-down sectoral-based economic forecasts. This shows that both human systems (economic and land use planning) and natural systems (land use limitations and associated water implications) need to be considered in order to accurately account for system(s) impacts. For example, flood zone regulations divert land use to other locations, whereas land cover changes can greatly affect the water infiltration characteristics of land surfaces and thereby alter hydrological outcomes. Our results indicate that modeling social and natural processes using a systems approach can provide a more comprehensive understanding of coupled causal mechanisms, impacts, and feedbacks in applications of integrated water resource management.

  • 10.
    Quin, Andrew
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Water Centre for Innovation, Sweden.
    Destouni, Georgia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Large-scale comparison of flow-variability dampening by lakes and wetlands in the landscape2018In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 29, no 10, p. 3617-3627Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Considering the potential of wetlands to dampen temporal variability of water flow through the landscape, they are increasingly considered as possible nature-based solutions to mitigate risks of flooding and drought. In this study, we investigate flow variability by means of a flow dampening factor and use observation data from 1984 to 2013 for 82 Swedish catchments to statistically and comparatively analyze the large-scale effects on this factor of multiple wetlands and lakes in the landscape. The results show good correlation between large-scale flow dampening and relative area of lakes and floodplain wetlands within a catchment. An increase in relative area up to around 15% for lakes and 0.5% for floodplain wetlands lowers the temporal standard deviation of runoff (R) to around 10%-15% of that for precipitation (P), compared with a common flow-variability dampening of around 35% for catchments with lake-wetland area close to zero. Further increase in these relative areas, or in those of wetland types other than floodplain wetlands, has little or no flow dampening effect. The results indicate that the large-scale flow dampening effect of lakes and floodplain wetlands is mainly due to their water-storage capacity and less due to their possible effects on the partitioning of P between R and evapotranspiration. Overall, the results emphasize the importance of accounting for the problem scale and relative water-storage capacity of wetlands when considering their large-scale efficiency as possible nature-based solutions for large-scale flow-variability regulation in whole catchments.

  • 11.
    Thorslund, Josefin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Cohen, Matthew J.
    Jawitz, James W.
    Destouni, Georgia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Creed, Irena F.
    Rains, Mark C.
    Badiou, Pascal
    Jarsjö, Jerker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Solute evidence for hydrological connectivity of geographically isolated wetlands2018In: Land Degradation and Development, ISSN 1085-3278, E-ISSN 1099-145X, Vol. 29, no 11, p. 3954-3962Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hydrological connectivity describes the water-mediated transfer of mass, energy, and organisms between landscape elements and is the foundation for understanding how individual elements such as wetlands and streams integrate to support ecosystem services and nature-based solutions in the landscape. Hydrological connectivity of geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs)-that is, wetlands without persistent surface water connections-is particularly poorly understood. To better understand GIW hydrological connectivity, we use a novel chloride mass-balance approach to quantify the local runoff generation (defined as precipitation minus evapotranspiration, assuming negligible long-term water storage) for 260 GIW subcatchments across North America. To evaluate hydrological connectivity, we compare the estimated local runoff from GIW subcatchments with the catchment-average runoff. These comparisons provide three novel insights regarding the magnitude and variability of GIW hydrological connectivity. First, across 10 study regions, GIW subcatchments generate runoff at 120% of the mean catchment rate, implying they are well-connected elements of the larger hydrologic landscape. Second, there is substantial heterogeneity in runoff generation among GIW subcatchments, which may enable support for a wide array of ecosystem functions and services. Finally, observed heterogeneity in runoff generation was largely uncorrelated to simple linear geographic predictors, indicating that GIW landscape position cannot reliably predict hydrological connectivity. In stark contrast to a priori legal assumptions that GIWs exhibit low or no hydrological connectivity, our results suggest that GIW subcatchments are active landscape features in runoff generation.

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