Part of the book: Remote Sensing
The study employs a Fourier transform analysis approach to assess the land-cover changes in a mountainous Mediterranean protected area using multi-temporal satellite images. Harmonic analysis was applied to a time series of Landsat satellite images acquired from 1984 to 2008 to extract information about land cover status with a vegetation spectral index, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Ancillary cartographic information depicting land cover classes and the enlargement of the protected area over time (i.e., maps showing the original delineation in 1995 and subsequent enlargement in 2007) were employed as additional factors to understand vegetation-cover changes. Significant differences in the NDVI and harmonic components values were observed with respect to both factors. The application of the Fourier transform was particularly successful to extract subtle information. The harmonic analysis of the NDVI time series revealed valuable information about the evolution of the landscape. The initially protected area (northern sector) seems more affected by human activities than the southern sector (enlarged area in 2007) as revealed by the analysis of the first harmonic component that was closely related with vegetation coverage. Rural abandonment is a major driver of land-cover changes in the study area.
Part of the book: Landscape Ecology
Soil vulnerability is the capacity of one or more of the ecological functions of the soil system to be harmed. It is a complex concept which requires the identification of multiple environmental factors and land management at different temporal and space scales. The employment of geospatial information with good update capabilities could be a satisfactory tool to assess potential soil vulnerability changes in large areas. This chapter presents the application of two land degradation case studies which is simple, synoptic, and suitable for continuous monitoring model based on the fuzzy logic. The model combines topography and vegetation status information to assess soil vulnerability to land degradation. Topographic parameters were obtained from digital elevation models (DEM), and vegetation status information was derived from the computation of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) satellite images. This spectral index provides relevance and is updated for each scene, evidences about the biomass and soil productivity, and vegetation density cover or vegetation stress (e.g., forest fires, droughts). Modeled output maps are suitable for temporal change analysis, which allows the identification of the effect of land management practices, soil and vegetation regeneration, or climate effects.
Part of the book: Modern Fuzzy Control Systems and Its Applications
This chapter provided an overview of the physical properties of soils and their importance on the mobility of water and nutrients and the development of a vegetation cover. It also gives some examples of why the use of agricultural residues can affect positively soil physical properties. The incorporation of agricultural wastes can be a sustainable practice to improve soil characteristics, favoring a model of zero waste in agricultural production and allowing better management of soils. We review and analyze the effect of the use as amendments of different agricultural residues, on physical properties of the soil (e.g., bulk density, porosity, and saturated hydraulic conductivity), especially related to the movement of water in the soil.
Part of the book: Agricultural Waste and Residues
Changes in agriculture are associated to the availability of resources and the economic and social demands. One of the more important transformations is to change rainfed into irrigated crops to increase the yield. In most of the cases, water resource and irrigation reservoirs are needed to maintain the yield. However, evaporation from ponds can be an important economic loss and an unsustainable strategy for water management, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Efficient methods for water storage should be established. In this study, a selected area located close to the city of Cartagena (Murcia) and the south of Alicante (Spain) has been studied, where there was an important transformation from rainfed to irrigated crops. Because of the high temperatures and insolation, the increment of the number of reservoirs detected by using remote sensing data and GIS tools may be inefficient for water management. The characterization of these reservoirs, to quantify the potential loss of water due to evaporation, has been done. The use of these tools for analysis could be interesting to find more efficient storage solutions (i.e., better spatial distribution of reservoirs, an increment of depth, and reduction of surface exposure) for improving the water storage and management.
Part of the book: Satellite Information Classification and Interpretation
The European Union (EU) is one of the major producers of municipal solid wastes and has a common policy based on circular economy to reuse the wastes. However, there are differences between countries and the methods for disposal and treatments. Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be composted and recycled as a source of plant nutrients and improves soil properties. This chapter analyzed the production in the EU and the effects on plant nutrients and environmental pollutants when MSW is added to the soil. The origin of the waste and the compost-like output (CLO) derived is important to determine the expectative of nutrient availability and other possible risks. MSW is so heterogeneous, but after a good pretreatment, an organic-rich matter mix can be composted giving a stabilized organic matter. The addition of the CLO to the soils can improve the nutrient status and favor the bioavailability of nutrients (macronutrients and micronutrients). In general, an increment of N and P was found in the soils. Moreover, important micronutrient availability (Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn) has been described. However, the presence of pollutants and their mobility should be considered as an environmental risk.
Part of the book: Municipal Solid Waste Management