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Selection: with tag agricultural-resources [184 articles] 


Natural climate solutions

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (16 October 2017), 201710465,


[Significance] Most nations recently agreed to hold global average temperature rise to well below 2 °C. We examine how much climate mitigation nature can contribute to this goal with a comprehensive analysis of “natural climate solutions” (NCS): 20 conservation, restoration, and/or improved land management actions that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across global forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. We show that NCS can provide over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to stabilize ...


Biodiversity conservation: the key is reducing meat consumption

Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 536 (December 2015), pp. 419-431,


The consumption of animal-sourced food products by humans is one of the most powerful negative forces affecting the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems and biological diversity. Livestock production is the single largest driver of habitat loss, and both livestock and feedstock production are increasing in developing tropical countries where the majority of biological diversity resides. Bushmeat consumption in Africa and southeastern Asia, as well as the high growth-rate of per capita livestock consumption in China are of special concern. The projected land ...


Risk to plant health of Flavescence dorée for the EU territory

EFSA Journal, Vol. 14, No. 12. (December 2016), 4603,


Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Plant Health (PLH) performed a quantitative analysis of the risk posed by the Flavescence dorée phytoplasma (FDp) in the EU territory. Three scenarios were analysed, one with current measures in place (scenario A0), one designed to improve grapevine propagation material phytosanitary status (scenario A1) and one with reinforced eradication and containment (scenario A2). The potential for entry is limited, FDp being almost non-existent outside the EU. FDp and its major ...


  1. ACRP, 2013. VitisClim Modelling epidemiological and economic consequences of Grapevine Flavescence dorée phytoplasma to Austrian viticulture under a climate change scenario. Final Report, .
  2. AGRI4CAST, online. Interpolated Meteorological Data. Available online: .
  3. Bagnoli, B., Gargani, E., 2011. Survey on Scaphoideus titanus egg distribution on grapevine. IOBC/WPRS Bulletin, 67, 233–237.
  4. Belli, G., Fortusini, A., Osler, R., 1978. Present knowledge on diseases of the

Archetypical patterns and trajectories of land systems in Europe

Regional Environmental Change (2015), pp. 1-18,


Assessments of land-system change have dominantly focused on conversions among broad land-use categories, whereas intensity changes within these categories have received less attention. Considering that both modes of land change typically result in diverse patterns and trajectories of land-system change, there is a need to develop approaches to reduce this complexity. Using Europe as a case study, we applied a clustering approach based on self-organising maps and 12 land-use indicators to map (1) land-system archetypes for the year 2006, defined as ...


New crop pest takes Africa at lightning speed

Science, Vol. 356, No. 6337. (04 May 2017), pp. 473-474,


The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is marching across Africa and destroying maize fields with an astonishing speed, after arriving from the Western Hemisphere at least 16 months ago. The damage to maize could total $3 billion in the next 12 months. Eventually, damage could be limited with a range of pest-management techniques, including plant extracts such as neem oil or biopesticides based on viruses that infect armyworms. Parasitoid wasps could serve as biological control. Planting insect-repellant legumes alongside the maize seems ...


Network analysis reveals why Xylella fastidiosa will persist in Europe

Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, No. 1. (6 March 2017),


The insect vector borne bacterium Xylella fastidiosa was first detected in olive trees in Southern Italy in 2013, and identified as the main culprit behind the ‘olive quick decline syndrome’. Since then, the disease has spread rapidly through Italy’s main olive oil producing region. The epidemiology of the outbreak is largely unstudied, with the list of X. fastidiosa hosts and vectors in Europe likely incomplete, and the role humans play in dispersal unknown. These knowledge gaps have led to management strategies ...


Deadly new wheat disease threatens Europe’s crops

Nature, Vol. 542, No. 7640. (2 February 2017), pp. 145-146,


Researchers caution that stem rust may have returned to world’s largest wheat-producing region. [Excerpt] [...] Last year, the stem rust destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of crops in Sicily. What’s particularly troubling, the researchers say, is that GRRC (Global Rust Reference Center) tests suggest the pathogen can infect dozens of laboratory-grown strains of wheat, including hardy varieties that are usually highly resistant to disease. The team is now studying whether commercial crops are just as susceptible. [\n] Adding further concern, the centres ...


Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/873 of 1 June 2016 amending Regulation (EC) No 690/2008 recognising protected zones exposed to particular plant health risks in the Community

Official Journal of the European Union, Vol. 59, No. L 145. (June 2016), pp. 10-17
Keywords: agricultural-resources   anthonomus-grandis   bemisia-tabaci   cephalcia-lariciphila   ceratocystis-platani   cryphonectria-parasitica   curtobacterium-flaccumfaciens   daktulosphaira-vitifoliae   dendroctonus-micans   dryocosmus-kuriphilus   eli-identifier   erwinia-amylovora   european-commission   european-union   forest-pests   forest-resources   fungal-diseases   gilpinia-hercyniae   globodera-pallida   globodera-rostochiensis   glomerella-gossypii   gonipterus-scutellatus   gremmeniella-abietina   hypoxylon-mammatum   ips-amitinus   ips-cembrae   ips-duplicatus   ips-sexdentatus   ips-typographus   legislation   leptinotarsa-decemlineata   liriomyza-bryoniae   paysandisia-archon   plant-diseases   plant-pests   protection   rhynchophorus-ferrugineus   sternochetus-mangiferae   thaumetopoea-pityocampa   thaumetopoea-processionea   tree-diseases   xanthomonas-arboricola  


[Excerpt] [:Article 1] Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 690/2008 [\n] Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 690/2008 is replaced by the text set out in the Annex to this Regulation. [:Article 2] Entry into force and application [\n] This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 1 May 2016. [\n] [...] ...


Commission Regulation (EC) No 690/2008 of 4 July 2008 recognising protected zones exposed to particular plant health risks in the Community (Recast)

Official Journal of the European Union, Vol. 51, No. L 193. (July 2008), pp. 1-6


[Excerpt] [:Article 1] The zones in the Community listed in Annex I are recognised as protected zones within the meaning of the first subparagraph of Article 2(1)(h) of Directive 2000/29/EC, in respect of the harmful organism(s) listed against their names in Annex I to this Regulation. [:Article 2] Directive 2001/32/EC, as amended by the acts listed in Annex II, Part A, is repealed, without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States relating to the time-limits for transposition into national law and application of the ...


Methodological approach for the assessment of environmental effects of agroforestry at the landscape scale

Ecological Engineering, Vol. 29, No. 4. (April 2007), pp. 450-462,


Silvoarable agroforestry, the deliberate combined use of trees and arable crops on the same area of land, has been proposed in order to improve the environmental performance of agricultural systems in Europe. Based on existing models and algorithms, we developed a method to predict the environmental effects of SAF at a farm and landscape scale. The method is comprised of an assessment of soil erosion, nitrogen leaching, carbon sequestration, and landscape diversity and allowed the comparison of the environmental performance of ...


Involve social scientists in defining the Anthropocene

Nature, Vol. 540, No. 7632. (7 December 2016), pp. 192-193,


The causes of Earth's transition are human and social, write Erle Ellis and colleagues, so scholars from those disciplines must be included in its formalization. ...


Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities

Nature (30 November 2016),


Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss1, 2. Alongside reductions in local species diversity, biotic homogenization at larger spatial scales is of great concern for conservation. Biotic homogenization means a decrease in β-diversity (the compositional dissimilarity between sites). Most studies have investigated losses in local (α)-diversity1, 3 and neglected biodiversity loss at larger spatial scales. Studies addressing β-diversity have focused on single or a few organism groups (for example, ref. 4), and it is thus unknown whether land-use intensification ...


Climate change impact modelling needs to include cross-sectoral interactions

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 6, No. 9. (23 May 2016), pp. 885-890,


Climate change impact assessments often apply models of individual sectors such as agriculture, forestry and water use without considering interactions between these sectors. This is likely to lead to misrepresentation of impacts, and consequently to poor decisions about climate adaptation. However, no published research assesses the differences between impacts simulated by single-sector and integrated models. Here we compare 14 indicators derived from a set of impact models run within single-sector and integrated frameworks across a range of climate and socio-economic scenarios ...


Anthropogenic effects on global mean fire size

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 24, No. 5. (2015), 589,


Wildland fires are an important agent in the earth’s system. Multiple efforts are currently in progress to better represent wildland fires in earth system models. Although wildland fires are a natural disturbance factor, humans have an important effect on fire occurrence by directly igniting and suppressing fires and indirectly influencing fire behaviour by changing land cover and landscape structure. Although these factors are recognised, their quantitative effect on fire growth and burned area are not well understood and therefore only partly ...


Ecosystem service supply and vulnerability to global change in Europe

Science, Vol. 310, No. 5752. (25 November 2005), pp. 1333-1337,


Global change will alter the supply of ecosystem services that are vital for human well-being. To investigate ecosystem service supply during the 21st century, we used a range of ecosystem models and scenarios of climate and land-use change to conduct a Europe-wide assessment. Large changes in climate and land use typically resulted in large changes in ecosystem service supply. Some of these trends may be positive (for example, increases in forest area and productivity) or offer opportunities (for example, “surplus land” ...


The development of environmental thinking in economics

Environmental Values, Vol. 8, No. 4. (November 1999), pp. 413-435,


There has always been a sub-group of established economists trying to convey an environmental critique of the mainstream. This paper traces their thinking into the late 20th century via the development of associations and journals in the USA and Europe. There is clearly a divergence between the conformity to neo-classical economics favoured by resource and environmental economists and the acceptance of more radical critiques apparent in ecological economics. Thus, the progressive elements of ecological economics are increasingly incompatible with those practising ...


The economic possibilities of conservation

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 27, No. 3. (01 May 1913), pp. 497-519,


[Excerpt] It is desirable to confine the idea of conservation to its original application to natural resources. Even in this sense the concept as developed in the conservation movement comprises several distinct purposes, which are not clearly separated in the popular mind. In the first place, it expresses a demand for a fair distribution of the natural resources not yet alienated. [\n] [...] The real heart of the conservation problem presents an issue which taxes the resources of economic theory to the utmost. ...


Green and blue water demand from large-scale land acquisitions in Africa

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 41. (11 October 2016), pp. 11471-11476,


[Significance] Freshwater appropriation can have vast impacts, depending on management and scale of water use. Since 2000, foreign investors have contracted an area the size of the United Kingdom in Africa, leading to increased pressure on water resources. Here we couple site-specific water demand for the crops planted there to the efficiency of different irrigation systems, while relating these estimates to local water availability. This approach enables us to identify “hotspot” areas of freshwater use where crops demand more water from irrigation ...


A multi-criteria optimisation of scenarios for the protection of water resources in Europe: support to the EU blueprint to safeguard Europe's waters



A modelling environment has been developed to assess optimum combinations of water retention measures, water savings measures, and nutrient reduction measures for continental Europe. This modelling environment consists of linking the agricultural CAPRI model, the LUMP land use model, the LISFLOOD water quantity model, the EPIC water quality model, the LISQUAL combined water quantity, quality and hydro-economic model, and a multi-criteria optimisation routine. Simulations have been carried out to assess the effects of water retention measures, water savings measures, and nutrient ...


Analysis of the energetic flows through the SEBAL application to the assessment of the actual evapotranspiration in a Napa Valley vineyard California (USA)

In Clima e agricoltura: strategie di adattamento e mitigazione, Vol. 12 (June 2009), 56


The use of water resources is constantly growing in agriculture industry and the reduction of the this resource is due by both anthropogenic and climate factors. Under this perspective it is necessary to develop monitoring systems able to forecast the consumption of water. The knowledge of the actual water demand of a crop is therefore strategic for the rational use of resources and to improve the quality of the crop production. Recent applications of remote sensing in agriculture provide a valuable contribution to release this purpose, besides the integration of remotely sensed ...


Comparison between energy balance and mass balance models for actual evapotranspiration assessment

In Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XI, Vol. 7472 (2009), 747212,


The assessment of the water needs for a specific crop has a fundamental importance in the management of water resources. The application of empirical models able to retrieve estimates of the actual evapotranspiration (ETa) to assess the need for water could give a valid tool for the planning of water supply, avoiding unnecessary water losses. In this context, two independent models for estimating actual evapotranspiration were compared. The first model is based on an energy balance and uses remotely sensed data ...


Impacts of natural disasters in agriculture, rangeland and forestry: an overview

In Natural Disasters and Extreme Events in Agriculture (2005), pp. 1-22,


Natural disasters play a major role in agricultural development and the economic cost associated with all natural disasters has increased 14 fold since the 1950s. Natural disasters are classified into hydro-meteorological and geophysical disasters. Definitions of various types of hydrometeorological disasters such as floods, droughts, cyclones, forest fires, heatwaves were presented. Evidence available from different parts of the world showed that there is a rising trend in the occurrence of natural disasters from 1993 to 2002. Impacts of droughts, cyclones, floods, ...


The bio-economy concept and knowledge base in a public goods and farmer perspective

Bio-based and Applied Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1. (2012), pp. 47-63


Currently an industrial perspective dominates the EU policy framework for a European bio-economy. The Commission’s proposal on the bio-economy emphasises greater resource-efficiency, largely within an industrial perspective on global economic competitiveness, benefiting capital-intensive industries at higher levels of the value chain. However a responsible bio-economy must initially address the sustainable use of resources. Many farmers are not only commodity producers but also providers of quality food and managers of the eco-system. A public goods-oriented bio-economy emphasises agro-ecological methods, organic and low ...


The charcoal vision: a win–win–win scenario for simultaneously producing bioenergy, permanently sequestering carbon, while improving soil and water quality

Agronomy Journal, Vol. 100, No. 1. (2008), 178,


Processing biomass through a distributed network of fast pyrolyzers may be a sustainable platform for producing energy from biomass. Fast pyrolyzers thermally transform biomass into bio-oil, syngas, and charcoal. The syngas could provide the energy needs of the pyrolyzer. Bio-oil is an energy raw material (∼17 MJ kg−1) that can be burned to generate heat or shipped to a refinery for processing into transportation fuels. Charcoal could also be used to generate energy; however, application of the charcoal co-product to soils ...


Social semantics: altruism, cooperation, mutualism, strong reciprocity and group selection

Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 20, No. 2. (1 March 2007), pp. 415-432,


From an evolutionary perspective, social behaviours are those which have fitness consequences for both the individual that performs the behaviour, and another individual. Over the last 43 years, a huge theoretical and empirical literature has developed on this topic. However, progress is often hindered by poor communication between scientists, with different people using the same term to mean different things, or different terms to mean the same thing. This can obscure what is biologically important, and what is not. The potential for ...


Plant responses to increasing CO2 reduce estimates of climate impacts on drought severity

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 36. (06 September 2016), pp. 10019-10024,


[Significance] We show that the water savings that plants experience under high CO2 conditions compensate for much of the effect of warmer temperatures, keeping the amount of water on land, on average, higher than we would predict with common drought metrics, and with a different spatial pattern. The implications of plants needing less water under high CO2 reaches beyond drought prediction to the assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, wildfire risk, and vegetation dynamics. [Abstract] Rising atmospheric CO2 will make Earth ...


Smallholder farmers' perceptions of climate change and the roles of trees and agroforestry in climate risk adaptation: evidence from Bohol, Philippines

Agroforestry Systems, Vol. 90, No. 3. (2016), pp. 521-540,


Recent studies have highlighted the importance of trees and agroforestry in climate change adaptation and mitigation. This paper analyzes how farmers, members of their households, and community leaders in the Wahig–Inabanga watershed, Bohol province in the Philippines perceive of climate change, and define and value the roles of trees in coping with climate risks. Focus group discussions revealed that farmers and community leaders had observed changes in rainfall and temperature over the years. They also had positive perceptions of tree roles ...


From local scenarios to national maps: a participatory framework for envisioning the future of Tanzania

Ecology and Society, Vol. 21, No. 3. (2016),


Tackling societal and environmental challenges requires new approaches that connect top-down global oversight with bottom-up subnational knowledge. We present a novel framework for participatory development of spatially explicit scenarios at national scale that model socioeconomic and environmental dynamics by reconciling local stakeholder perspectives and national spatial data. We illustrate results generated by this approach and evaluate its potential to contribute to a greater understanding of the relationship between development pathways and sustainability. Using the lens of land use and land cover ...


Can Apulia's olive trees be saved?

Science, Vol. 353, No. 6297. (2016), pp. 346-348,


On 21 October 2013, the Italian phytosanitary service notified the European Commission (EC) that the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa had been detected in olive trees near Gallipoli, a tourist destination in Italy's southern region of Apulia (1). This xylem-limited bacterium is spread by insect vectors and causes disease in crops such as grapevines, citrus, coffee, and almond; various ornamentals; and trees such as oaks, elms, and sycamores. Because of the risks of X. fastidiosa being introduced, established, and spread throughout Europe, ...


Evaluation of MODIS albedo product (MCD43A) over grassland, agriculture and forest surface types during dormant and snow-covered periods

Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 140 (January 2014), pp. 60-77,


[Highlights] [::] We evaluated the MCD43A Albedo during dormant and snow covered period. [::] Spatial representativeness analysis is necessary for the albedo evaluation. [::] MODIS albedo performs well during vegetation dormancy and snow cover. [Abstract] This study assesses the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) BRDF/albedo 8 day standard product and products from the daily Direct Broadcast BRDF/albedo algorithm, and shows that these products agree well with ground-based albedo measurements during the more difficult periods of vegetation dormancy and snow cover. Cropland, grassland, deciduous and coniferous forests are ...


Testing estimation of water surface in Italian rice district from MODIS satellite data

International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Vol. 52 (October 2016), pp. 284-295,


[Highlights] [::] Landsat 8 is a valid data set to recognise flooded rice parcels. [::] MODIS data can be used to estimate flooding fraction (FF) at 1 × 1 km resolution. [::] MODIS NDVI can be used to mask unreliable FF predictions. [::] Spatio-temporal dynamics of water management within Italian rice district are clearly depictable from FF maps. [Abstract] Recent changes in rice crop management within Northern Italy rice district led to a reduction of seeding in flooding condition, which may have an impact on reservoir water ...


Determining landscape fine fuel moisture content of the Kilmore East ‘Black Saturday’ wildfire using spatially-extended point-based models

Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol. 40 (February 2013), pp. 98-108,


[Abstract] Fuel moisture is the most dynamic component of bushfire fuels. It varies rapidly both spatially and temporally and plays a significant role in determining the behaviour and spread of bushfires, particularly through combustibility and ease of ignition of dead fine fuels (i.e. particle diameter <6 mm). The Kilmore East fire in Victoria, Australia, on 7 February, 2009 (“Black Saturday”) was the most destructive bushfire in Australia's history. Its behaviour was characterised by mass spotting (the launch, transport and landing of burning ...


A geometric solar radiation model with applications in agriculture and forestry

Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Vol. 37, No. 1-3. (December 2002), pp. 25-35,


Incoming solar radiation (insolation) is fundamental to most physical and biophysical processes because of its role in energy and water balance. We calculated insolation maps from digital elevation models, using an insolation model that accounts for atmospheric conditions, elevation, surface orientation, and influences of surrounding topography. Herein, we focus on the application of this insolation model for spatial interpolation of soil temperature measurements over complex topography at landscape scales. Existing interpolation techniques generally apply only at continental or broad regional scales ...


Early farmers from across Europe directly descended from Neolithic Aegeans

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 25. (21 June 2016), pp. 6886-6891,


[Significance] One of the most enduring and widely debated questions in prehistoric archaeology concerns the origins of Europe’s earliest farmers: Were they the descendants of local hunter-gatherers, or did they migrate from southwestern Asia, where farming began? We recover genome-wide DNA sequences from early farmers on both the European and Asian sides of the Aegean to reveal an unbroken chain of ancestry leading from central and southwestern Europe back to Greece and northwestern Anatolia. Our study provides the coup de grâce to ...


Uncertainty in soil data can outweigh climate impact signals in global crop yield simulations

Nature Communications, Vol. 7 (21 June 2016), 11872,


Global gridded crop models (GGCMs) are increasingly used for agro-environmental assessments and estimates of climate change impacts on food production. Recently, the influence of climate data and weather variability on GGCM outcomes has come under detailed scrutiny, unlike the influence of soil data. Here we compare yield variability caused by the soil type selected for GGCM simulations to weather-induced yield variability. Without fertilizer application, soil-type-related yield variability generally outweighs the simulated inter-annual variability in yield due to weather. Increasing applications of ...


Understorey plant species richness and composition in metropolitan forest archipelagos: effects of forest size, adjacent land use and distance to the edge

Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 15, No. 1. (January 2006), pp. 50-62,


[Aim] To address the relative role of adjacent land use, distance to forest edge, forest size and their interactions on understorey plant species richness and composition in perimetropolitan forests. [Location] The metropolitan area of Barcelona, north-eastern Spain. [Methods]  Twenty sampling sites were distributed in two forest size-categories: small forest patches (8–90 ha) and large forest areas (> 18,000 ha). For each forest-size category, five sites were placed adjacent to crops and five sites adjacent to urban areas. Vascular plant species were recorded and human ...


A unified cropland layer at 250 m for global agriculture monitoring

Data, Vol. 1, No. 1. (19 March 2016), 3,


Accurate and timely information on the global cropland extent is critical for food security monitoring, water management and earth system modeling. Principally, it allows for analyzing satellite image time-series to assess the crop conditions and permits isolation of the agricultural component to focus on food security and impacts of various climatic scenarios. However, despite its critical importance, accurate information on the spatial extent, cropland mapping with remote sensing imagery remains a major challenge. Following an exhaustive identification and collection of existing ...


Production of global land cover data – GLCNMO2008

Journal of Geography and Geology, Vol. 6, No. 3. (20 July 2014),


A fifteen-second global land cover dataset –– GLCNMO2008 (or GLCNMO version 2) was produced by the authors in the Global Mapping Project coordinated by the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM). The primary source data of this land cover mapping were 23-period, 16-day composite, 7-band, 500-m MODIS data of 2008. GLCNMO2008 has 20 land cover classes, within which 14 classes were mapped by supervised classification. Training data for supervised classification consisting of about 2,000 polygons were collected globally using Google ...


Root exudates drive interspecific facilitation by enhancing nodulation and N2 fixation

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 23. (07 June 2016), pp. 6496-6501,


[Significance] Plant diversity often leads to an increase in ecosystem productivity, but the underpinning mechanisms remain poorly understood. We found that faba bean/maize intercropping enhances productivity, nodulation, and N2 fixation of faba bean through interspecific root interactions. We provide a mechanism explaining how maize promotes N2 fixation of faba bean, where root exudates from maize increase root hair deformation and nodulation in faba bean, double exudation of flavonoids (signaling compounds for rhizobia), and up-regulate the expression of a chalcone–flavanone isomerase gene involved ...


Wolf diet in an agricultural landscape of north-eastern Turkey

Mammalia, Vol. 80, No. 3. (1 January 2016),


In this study, we investigated wolf feeding ecology in Kars province, north-eastern Turkey, by analysing 72 scat samples collected in spring 2013. Ongoing camera trap surveys suggest that large wild ungulates are exceptionally rare in the region. On the contrary, livestock is abundant. Accordingly, scats analysis revealed that livestock constituted most of the biomass intake for wolves, although small mammals were the most frequent prey items. Wild ungulates were occasional prey, and although wolves make use of the main village garbage ...


Humans on Earth: global extents of anthropogenic land cover from remote sensing



This review provides a perspective of the current state of the art in remote sensing of anthropogenic land cover and human-modified landscapes at global scales. The fact that humans have adapted to almost all of Earth’s environments, yet remain strongly clustered within each of these environments influences both the nature of anthropogenic impact on Earth’s landscapes and the challenges of mapping it. Remote sensing provides a consistent synoptic view of these environments by mapping the land cover associated with the anthropogenic ...


Does land degradation increase poverty in developing countries?

PLoS ONE, Vol. 11, No. 5. (11 May 2016), e0152973,


Land degradation is a global problem that particularly impacts the poor rural inhabitants of low and middle-income countries. We improve upon existing literature by estimating the extent of rural populations in 2000 and 2010 globally on degrading and improving agricultural land, taking into account the role of market access, and analyzing the resulting impacts on poverty. Using a variety of spatially referenced datasets, we estimate that 1.33 billion people worldwide in 2000 were located on degrading agricultural land (DAL), of which ...


Fire history and the global carbon budget: a 1°x 1° fire history reconstruction for the 20th century

Global Change Biology, Vol. 11, No. 3. (March 2005), pp. 398-420,


A yearly global fire history is a prerequisite for quantifying the contribution of previous fires to the past and present global carbon budget. Vegetation fires can have both direct (combustion) and long-term indirect effects on the carbon cycle. Every fire influences the ecosystem carbon budget for many years, as a consequence of internal reorganization, decomposition of dead biomass, and regrowth. We used a two-step process to estimate these effects. First we synthesized the available data available for the 1980s or 1990s ...


Habitat destruction: death by a thousand cuts

In Conservation Biology for All (01 January 2010), pp. 73-87,


[Excerpt] Humankind has dramatically transformed much of the Earth’s surface and its natural ecosystems. This process is not new—it has been ongoing for millennia—but it has accelerated sharply over the last two centuries, and especially in the last several decades. [\n] Today, the loss and degradation of natural habitats can be likened to a war of attrition. Many natural ecosystems are being progressively razed, bulldozed, and felled by axes or chainsaws, until only small scraps of their original extent survive. Forests have been hit especially hard: the global area of forests has been reduced ...


Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity

Nature, Vol. 478, No. 7369. (14 September 2011), pp. 378-381,


Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests where both species diversity and human pressures on natural environments are high. The rapid conversion of tropical forests for agriculture, timber production and other uses has generated vast, human-dominated landscapes with potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity. Today, few truly undisturbed tropical forests exist, whereas those degraded by repeated logging and fires, as well as secondary and plantation forests, are rapidly expanding. Here we provide a global assessment of the impact ...


Breeding technologies to increase crop production in a changing world

Science, Vol. 327, No. 5967. (2010), pp. 818-822,


To feed the several billion people living on this planet, the production of high-quality food must increase with reduced inputs, but this accomplishment will be particularly challenging in the face of global environmental change. Plant breeders need to focus on traits with the greatest potential to increase yield. Hence, new technologies must be developed to accelerate breeding through improving genotyping and phenotyping methods and by increasing the available genetic diversity in breeding germplasm. The most gain will come from delivering these ...


A thirsty world

Science, Vol. 313, No. 5790. (2006), pp. 1067-1067,


[Excerpt] The search for fresh water—to drink, to bathe in, to irrigate crops—is a problem as old as civilization. Across the ages, cities have thrived where the supply is abundant and collapsed in the face of drought. Remarkably, despite the technological progress characterizing the modern era and the fact that most of Earth's surface is covered by oceans, the availability of fresh water remains a pressing concern throughout the world. In this special section, we highlight some of the diverse contemporary ...


Do biofuel policies seek to cut emissions by cutting food?

Science, Vol. 347, No. 6229. (2015), pp. 1420-1422,


Debates about biofuels tend to focus separately on estimates of adverse effects on food security, poverty, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions driven by land-use change (LUC) (1–4). These estimates often rely on global agriculture and land-use models. Because models differ substantially in their estimates of each of these adverse effects (2, 3, 5), some argue that each individual effect is too uncertain to influence policy (6, 7). Yet these arguments fail to recognize the trade-offs; much of the uncertainty is only ...


Exploring the biophysical option space for feeding the world without deforestation

Nature Communications, Vol. 7 (19 April 2016), 11382,


Safeguarding the world’s remaining forests is a high-priority goal. We assess the biophysical option space for feeding the world in 2050 in a hypothetical zero-deforestation world. We systematically combine realistic assumptions on future yields, agricultural areas, livestock feed and human diets. For each scenario, we determine whether the supply of crop products meets the demand and whether the grazing intensity stays within plausible limits. We find that many options exist to meet the global food supply in 2050 without deforestation, even ...

Visual summary


Evaluating pesticide degradation in the environment: blind spots and emerging opportunities

Science, Vol. 341, No. 6147. (2013), pp. 752-758,


The benefits of global pesticide use come at the cost of their widespread occurrence in the environment. An array of abiotic and biotic transformations effectively removes pesticides from the environment, but may give rise to potentially hazardous transformation products. Despite a large body of pesticide degradation data from regulatory testing and decades of pesticide research, it remains difficult to anticipate the extent and pathways of pesticide degradation under specific field conditions. Here, we review the major scientific challenges in doing so ...

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Full-text and abstracts of the publications indexed by the INRMM meta-information database are copyrighted by the respective publishers/authors. They are subject to all applicable copyright protection. The conditions of use of each indexed publication is defined by its copyright owner. Please, be aware that the indexed meta-information entirely relies on voluntary work and constitutes a quite incomplete and not homogeneous work-in-progress.
INRMM-MiD was experimentally established by the Maieutike Research Initiative in 2008 and then improved with the help of several volunteers (with a major technical upgrade in 2011). This new integrated interface is operational since 2014.