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Vagen T.-G.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Winowiecki L.A.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013

Current methods for assessing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks are generally not well suited for understanding variations in SOC stocks in landscapes. This is due to the tedious and time-consuming nature of the sampling methods most commonly used to collect bulk density cores, which limits repeatability across large areas, particularly where information is needed on the spatial dynamics of SOC stocks at scales relevant to management and for spatially explicit targeting of climate change mitigation options. In the current study, approaches were explored for (i) field-based estimates of SOC stocks and (ii) mapping of SOC stocks at moderate to high resolution on the basis of data from four widely contrasting ecosystems in East Africa. Estimated SOC stocks for 0-30 cm depth varied both within and between sites, with site averages ranging from 2 to 8 kg m-2. The differences in SOC stocks were determined in part by rainfall, but more importantly by sand content. Results also indicate that managing soil erosion is a key strategy for reducing SOC loss and hence in mitigation of climate change in these landscapes. Further, maps were developed on the basis of satellite image reflectance data with multiple R-squared values of 0.65 for the independent validation data set, showing variations in SOC stocks across these landscapes. These maps allow for spatially explicit targeting of potential climate change mitigation efforts through soil carbon sequestration, which is one option for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Further, the maps can be used to monitor the impacts of such mitigation efforts over time. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Luedeling E.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Temperate fruit and nut species require exposure to chilling conditions in winter to break dormancy and produce high yields. Adequate winter chill is an important site characteristic for commercial orchard operations, and quantifying chill is crucial for orchard management. Climate change may impact winter chill. With a view to adapting orchards to climate change, this review assesses the state of knowledge in modelling winter chill and the performance of various modelling approaches. It then goes on to present assessments of past and projected future changes in winter chill for fruit growing regions and discusses potential adaptation strategies. Some of the most common approaches to modelling chill, in particular the Chilling Hours approach, are very sensitive to temperature increases, and have also been found to perform poorly, especially in warm growing regions. The Dynamic Model offers a more complex but also more accurate alternative, and use of this model is recommended. Chill changes projected with the Dynamic Model are typically much less severe than those estimated with other models. Nevertheless, projections of future chill consistently indicate substantial losses for the warmest growing regions, while temperate regions will experience relatively little change, and cold regions may even see chill increases. Growers can adapt to lower chill by introducing low-chill cultivars, by influencing orchard microclimates and by applying rest-breaking chemicals. Given substantial knowledge gaps in tree dormancy, accurate models are still a long way off. Since timely adaptation is essential for growers of long-lived high-value perennials, alternative ways of adaptation planning are needed. Climate analogues, which are present-day manifestations of future projected climates, can be used for identifying and testing future-adapted species and cultivars. Horticultural researchers and practitioners should work towards the development and widespread adoption of better chill accumulation and dormancy models, for facilitating quantitatively appropriate adaptation planning. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-01 | Award Amount: 8.01M | Year: 2014

Agroforestry is the practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal systems to benefit from the resulting ecological and economic interactions. AGFORWARD (AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development) is a four-year project, developed by 23 organisations at the forefront of agroforestry research, practice and promotion in Europe, with the goal of promoting appropriate agroforestry practices that advance sustainable rural development. The project will i) increase our understanding of existing, and new extensive and intensive agroforestry systems in Europe; ii) identify, develop and demonstrate innovations to improve the ecosystem service benefits and viability of agroforestry systems in Europe using participatory research, iii) develop better adapted designs and practices for the different soil and climatic conditions of Europe, and iv) promote the wide adoption of sustainable agroforestry systems. Successful and sustainable agroforestry practices are best developed by farmers and land owners working in partnership with researchers, extension staff, and other rural businesses. AGFORWARD will facilitate 33 participative agroforestry research and development stakeholder groups to improve the resilience of i) existing agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value such as the dehesa and montado; and ii) olive, traditional orchard, and other high value tree systems, and the sustainability of iii) arable and iv) livestock systems with the integration of trees. Using existing bio-economic models, AGFORWARD will evaluate and adapt the innovations to improve the delivery of positive ecosystem services and business profitability at farm- and landscape-scales across Europe. By using and developing existing European fora, such as the European Agroforestry Federation, AGFORWARD will implement an informative and effective promotion programme to benefit the European economy, environment and society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2010.3.1.1-4 | Award Amount: 2.46M | Year: 2011

The WHaTeR project aims to contribute to the development of appropriate water harvesting techniques (WHTs). These WHTs should be sustainable under dynamic global and regional pressure, and strengthen rainfed agriculture, improve rural livelihood and increase food production and security in Sub-Saharan Africa. In total 3 European and 5 African organisations will be involved; namely VU University Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Newcastle University (United Kingdom), Stockholm Resilience Centre (Sweden), University of Kwazulu Natal (South Africa), Sokoine University (Tanzania), Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network (Kenya), National Institute for Environment and Agricultural Research (Burkina Faso) and Arba Minch University (Ethiopia). Project activities will be divided over 14 Work Packages. The first Work Package covers project management and the second comprises a situation analysis - through revisits to water harvesting sites in 15 African countries studied previously by participating organisations . The next four Work Packages focus on detailed research and technology development activities on cross-cutting themes (environmental sustainability; technology development; livelihood improvement; uptake and upscaling; and global and regional impact) and will be conducted together with four country-based Work Packages (in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania). One Work Package will concentrate on stakeholder communication and outreaching activities, and the final Work Packages consists of synthesis and dissemination of project results, inclduing production of guidelines for WHTs. The project will spend an estimated 74% of the budget on RTD, 13% on other costs related to stakeholder workshops and outreaching and 13% on project management. The expected impacts of the project comprise technology support for farmers, development of stakeholder communication networks, innovative water harvesting systems, tools for impact assessment, upstream-downstream land use, and policy support for integrated water management and adaptation to climate change to promote EU and African strategies on strengthening rainfed agriculture, food security and livelihoods.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2010.1.1.6-1 | Award Amount: 4.29M | Year: 2011

At COP15 in Copenhagen one outcome was a commitment to develop a mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing carbon stocks (REDD\). There is, however, only a limited research basis for such a mechanism particularly with regard to the need for understanding and monitoring the impact of REDD\ activities on climate effectiveness, cost efficiency, equity and co-benefits. I-REDD\ will approach these challenges from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. The overall objective will be to obtain an improved understanding of how the implementation of REDD\ mechanisms may 1) reduce emissions of GHG and maintain or enhance existing stocks of carbon in vegetation and soil of various land cover types; 2) impact livelihoods and welfare of local farming communities and differences between communities; 3) impact biodiversity conservation, and 4) provide a realistic framework for monitoring, reporting and verification of REDD\, including the importance of governance and accountability at multiple levels. To complement other research initiatives we propose to work in the uplands of Southeast Asia in the Heart of Borneo, Kalimantan, Indonesia, and in the northern parts of Lao PDR and Vietnam, and Yunnan in Southwest China. Rapid land use transitions from forest and shifting cultivation to other, more intensive land use systems and widespread forest degradation are occurring in these areas, making the potential for REDD\ particularly pronounced. Moreover, REDD\ may considerably impact on local economies, because of the high population densities in the region. The partners in I-REDD\ are leading research institutions in Europe and Southeast Asia, international research organizations, an NGO and an SME. The consortium has a strong emphasis on local dissemination and capacity development in order to ensure that project results influence REDD\ policy development at local, national and global level.

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