Recent Submissions

  • Journal Article

    Land-use choices follow profitability at the expense of ecological functions in Indonesian smallholder landscapes 

    Clough, Yann; Krishna, Vijesh V.; Corre, Marife D.; Darras, Kevin; Denmead, Lisa H.; Meijide, Ana; Moser, Stefan; Musshoff, Oliver; Steinebach, Stefanie; Veldkamp, Edzo; et al.
    Allen, KaraBarnes, Andrew D.Breidenbach, NatalieBrose, UlrichBuchori, DamayantiDaniel, RolfFinkeldey, ReinerHarahap, IdhamHertel, DietrichHoltkamp, A. MareikeHörandl, ElviraIrawan, BambangJaya, I. Nengah SuratiJochum, MalteKlarner, BernhardKnohl, AlexanderKotowska, Martyna M.Krashevska, ValentynaKreft, HolgerKurniawan, SyahrulLeuschner, ChristophMaraun, MarkMelati, Dian NurainiOpfermann, NicolePérez-Cruzado, CésarPrabowo, Walesa EdhoRembold, KatjaRizali, AkhmadRubiana, RatnaSchneider, DominikTjitrosoedirdjo, Sri SudarmiyatiTjoa, AiyenTscharntke, TejaScheu, Stefan
    Nature Communications 2016; 7
    Smallholder-dominated agricultural mosaic landscapes are highlighted as model production systems that deliver both economic and ecological goods in tropical agricultural landscapes, but trade-offs underlying current land-use dynamics are poorly known. Here, using the most comprehensive quantification of land-use change and associated bundles of ecosystem functions, services and economic benefits to date, we show that Indonesian smallholders predominantly choose farm portfolios with high economic productivity but low ecological value. The more profitable oil palm and rubber monocultures replace forests and agroforests critical for maintaining above- and below-ground ecological functions and the diversity of most taxa. Between the monocultures, the higher economic performance of oil palm over rubber comes with the reliance on fertilizer inputs and with increased nutrient leaching losses. Strategies to achieve an ecological-economic balance and a sustainable management of tropical smallholder landscapes must be prioritized to avoid further environmental degradation.
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  • Journal Article

    Economic and ecological trade-offs of agricultural specialization at different spatial scales 

    Klasen, Stephan; Meyer, Katrin M.; Dislich, Claudia; Euler, Michael; Faust, Heiko; Gatto, Marcel; Hettig, Elisabeth; Melati, Dian N.; Jaya, I. Nengah Surati; Otten, Fenna; et al.
    Pérez-Cruzado, CésarSteinebach, StefanieTarigan, SuriaWiegand, Kerstin
    Ecological Economics 2016; 122 p.111-120
    Specialization in agricultural systems can lead to trade-offs between economic gains and ecosystem functions. We suggest and explore a conceptual framework in which economic gains can be maximized when production activities are specialized at increasingly broader scales (from the household to the village, region or above), particularly when markets for outputs and inputs function well. Conversely,more specialization likely reduces biodiversity and significantly limits ecosystem functions. When agricultural specialization increases and moves to broader scales as a result of improved infrastructure and markets or other drivers, ecosystem functions can also be endangered at broader spatial scales. Policies to improve agricultural incomes may influence the level of specialization at different scales and thus affect the severity of the trade-offs. This paper takes Jambi province in Indonesia, a current hotspot of rubber and oil palm monoculture, as a case study to illustrate these issues.We empirically show that the level of specialization differs across scales with higher specialization at household and village levels and higher diversification towards the province level. We discuss ways to resolve trade-offs between economic gains and ecological costs, including landscape design, targeted policies, and adoption of longterm perspectives.
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  • Journal Article

    Fast Growing Plantations for Wood Production – Integration of Ecological Effects and Economic Perspectives 

    Bredemeier, Michael; Busch, Gerald; Hartmann, Linda; Jansen, Martin; Richter, Falk; Lamersdorf, Norbert P.
    Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 2015; 3 p.1-14: Art. 72
    Biomass crops are perceived as a feasible means to substitute sizeable amounts of fossil fuel in the future. A prospect of CO2 reduction (resp. CO2 neutrality) is credited to biomass fuels, and thus a potential contribution to mitigate climate change. Short rotation coppices (SRCs) with fast growing poplar and willow trees are an option for producing high yields of woody biomass, which is suitable for both energetic and material use. One negative effect that comes along with the establishment of SRC may be a decrease in groundwater recharge, because high rates of transpiration and interception are anticipated. Therefore, it is important to measure, analyze, and model the effects of SRC-planting on landscape water budgets. To analyze the effects on the water budget, a poplar SRC plot was studied by measuring hydrological parameters to be used in the hydrological model WaSim. Results reveal very low or even missing ground water recharge for SRC compared to agricultural land use or grassland, especially succeeding dry years. However, this strong effect on plot level is moderated on the larger spatial scale of catchment level, for which the modeling was also performed. In addition to water, nutrient fluxes and budgets were studied. Nitrogen is still a crucial issue in today’s agriculture. Intensive fertilization or increased applications of manure from concentrated livestock breeding are often leading to high loads of nitrate leaching, or enhanced N2O emissions to the atmosphere on arable crop fields. SRC or agroforestry systems on former crop land may offer an option to decrease such N losses, while simultaneously producing woody biomass. This is mainly due to the generally smaller N requirements of woody vegetation, which usually entail no need for any fertilization. The trees supply deep and permanent rooting systems, which can be regarded as a “safety net” to prevent nutrient leaching. Thus, SRC altogether can help to diminish N eutrophication. It is important to offer viable and attractive economic perspectives to farmers and other land managers besides of the potential ecological benefits of SRCs. For this reason, an integrated tool for scenario analysis was developed within the BEST project (“BEAST – Bio-Energy Allocation and Scenario Tool”). It combines ecological assessments with calculations of economic revenue as a basis for a participative regional dialog on sustainable land use and climate protection goals. Results show a substantial capacity for providing renewable energy from economically competitive arable SRC sites while generating ecological synergies.
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  • Journal Article

    Implementing REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation): evidence on governance, evaluation and impacts from the REDD-ALERT project 

    Matthews, Robin B.; van Noordwijk, Meine; Lambin, Eric; Meyfroidt, Patrick; Gupta, Joyeeta; Verchot, Louis; Hergoualc’h, Kristell; Veldkamp, Edzo
    Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
    he REDD-ALERT (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation from Alternative Land Uses in the Rainforests of the Tropics) project started in 2009 and finished in 2012, and had the aim of evaluating mechanisms that translate international-level agreements into instruments that would help change the behaviour of land users while minimising adverse repercussions on their livelihoods. Findings showed that some developing tropical countries have recently been through a forest transition, thus shifting from declining to expanding forests at a national scale. However, in most of these (e.g. Vietnam), a significant part of the recent increase in national forest cover is associated with an increase in importation of food and timber products from abroad, representing leakage of carbon stocks across international borders. Avoiding deforestation and restoring forests will require a mixture of regulatory approaches, emerging market-based instruments, suasive options, and hybrid management measures. Policy analysis and modelling work showed the high degree of complexity at local levels and highlighted the need to take this heterogeneity into account—it is unlikely that there will be a one size fits all approach to make Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) work. Significant progress was made in the quantification of carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes following land-use change in the tropics, contributing to narrower confidence intervals on peat-based emissions and their reporting standards. There are indications that there is only a short and relatively small window of opportunity of making REDD+ work—these included the fact that forest-related emissions as a fraction of total global GHG emissions have been decreasing over time due to the increase in fossil fuel emissions, and that the cost efficiency of REDD+ may be much less than originally thought due to the need to factor in safeguard costs, transaction costs and monitoring costs. Nevertheless, REDD+ has raised global awareness of the world’s forests and the factors affecting them, and future developments should contribute to the emergence of new landscape-based approaches to protecting a wider range of ecosystem services.
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  • Journal Article

    Identification of markers associated with bacterial blight resistance loci in cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] 

    Agbicodo, E. M.; Fatokun, C. A.; Bandyopadhyay, R.; Wydra, K.; Diop, N. N.; Muchero, W.; Ehlers, J. D.; Roberts, P. A.; Close, T. J.; Visser, R. G. F.; et al.
    Linden, C. G.
    Euphytica 2010; 175(2) p.215-226
    Cowpea bacterial blight (CoBB), caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vignicola (Xav), is a worldwide major disease of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.]. Among different strategies to control the disease including cultural practices, intercropping, application of chemicals, and sowing pathogen-free seeds, planting of cowpea genotypes with resistance to the pathogen would be the most attractive option to the resource poor cowpea farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Breeding resistance cultivars would be facilitated by marker-assisted selection (MAS). In order to identify loci with effects on resistance to this pathogen and map QTLs controlling resistance to CoBB, eleven cowpea genotypes were screened for resistance to bacterial blight using 2 virulent Xav18 and Xav19 strains isolated from Kano (Nigeria). Two cowpea genotypes Danila and Tvu7778 were identified to contrast in their responses to foliar disease expression following leaf infection with pathogen. A set of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) comprising 113 individuals derived from Danila (resistant parent) and Tvu7778 (susceptible parent) were infected with CoBB using leaf inoculation method. The experiments were conducted under greenhouse conditions (2007 and 2008) and disease severity was visually assessed using a scale where 0 = no disease and 4 = maximum susceptibility with leaf drop. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genetic map with 282 SNP markers constructed from the same RIL population was used to perform QTL analysis. Using Kruskall-Wallis and Multiple-QTL model of MapQTL 5, three QTLs, CoBB-1, CoBB-2 and CoBB-3 were identified on linkage group LG3, LG5 and LG9 respectively showing that potential resistance candidate genes cosegregated with CoBB resistance phenotypes. Two of the QTLs CoBB-1, CoBB-2 were consistently confirmed in the two experiments accounting for up to 22.1 and to 17.4% respectively for the first and second experiments. Whereas CoBB-3 was only discovered for the first experiment (2007) with less phenotypic variation explained of about 10%. Our results represent a resource for molecular marker development that can be used for marker assisted selection of bacterial blight resistance in cowpea.
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