Open access•Journal•ISSN: 2071-1050
About: Sustainability is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Sustainability & Sustainable development. It has an ISSN identifier of 2071-1050. It is also open access. Over the lifetime, 42270 publication(s) have been published receiving 398726 citation(s). The journal is also known as: resilience & ecological sustainability.
22 Dec 2015-Sustainability
Abstract: The sustainable performance of foundations of various urban buildings and infrastructures is strongly affected by groundwater level (GWL), as GWL causes changes in the stress state within soil. In the present study, the components affecting GWL were investigated, focusing on the effects of precipitation and river stage. These components were analyzed using a six-year database established for hydrological and groundwater monitoring data. Five study regions for which daily measured precipitation, river stage, and GWL data were available were compared. Different periods of precipitation, geographical characteristics, and local surface conditions were considered in the analysis. The results indicated that key influence components on GWL are different depending on the hydrological, geological, and geographical characteristics of the target regions. River stage had the strongest influence on GWL in urban areas near large rivers with a high ratio of paved surface. In rural areas, where the paved surface area ratio and soil permeability were low, the moving average showed a closer correlation to GWL than river stage. A moving average-based method to predict GWL variation with time was proposed for regions with a low ratio of paved surface area and low permeability soils.
17 Feb 2015-Sustainability
Abstract: Heavy metals are natural constituents of the environment, but indiscriminate use for human purposes has altered their geochemical cycles and biochemical balance. This results in excess release of heavy metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, zinc etc. into natural resources like the soil and aquatic environments. Prolonged exposure and higher accumulation of such heavy metals can have deleterious health effects on human life and aquatic biota. The role of microorganisms and plants in biotransformation of heavy metals into nontoxic forms is well-documented, and understanding the molecular mechanism of metal accumulation has numerous biotechnological implications for bioremediation of metal-contaminated sites. In view of this, the present review investigates the abilities of microorganisms and plants in terms of tolerance and degradation of heavy metals. Also, advances in bioremediation technologies and strategies to explore these immense and valuable biological resources for bioremediation are discussed. An assessment of the current status of technology deployment and suggestions for future bioremediation research has also been included. Finally, there is a discussion of the genetic and molecular basis of metal tolerance in microbes, with special reference to the genomics of heavy metal accumulator plants and the identification of functional genes involved in tolerance and detoxification.
Mateusz Lewandowski1•Institutions (1)
18 Jan 2016-Sustainability
Abstract: Switching from the current linear model of economy to a circular one has recently attracted increased attention from major global companies e.g., Google, Unilever, Renault, and policymakers attending the World Economic Forum. The reasons for this are the huge financial, social and environmental benefits. However, the global shift from one model of economy to another also concerns smaller companies on a micro-level. Thus, comprehensive knowledge on designing circular business models is needed to stimulate and foster implementation of the circular economy. Existing business models for the circular economy have limited transferability and there is no comprehensive framework supporting every kind of company in designing a circular business model. This study employs a literature review to identify and classify the circular economy characteristics according to a business model structure. The investigation in the eight sub-domains of research on circular business models was used to redefine the components of the business model canvas in the context of the circular economy. Two new components—the take-back system and adoption factors—have been identified, thereby leading to the conceptualization of an extended framework for the circular business model canvas. Additionally, the triple fit challenge has been recognized as an enabler of the transition towards a circular business model. Some directions for further research have been outlined, as well.
Matteo Vizzarri1, Lorenzo Sallustio1, Davide Travaglini2, Francesca Bottalico2 +8 more•Institutions (4)
21 Feb 2017-Sustainability
Abstract: In recent decades, Mediterranean landscapes have been affected by human-induced drivers, such as land use and climate change. Forest ecosystems and landscapes have been particularly affected in mountainous regions due to limited management and stewardship, especially in remote areas. Therefore, there is a need to set up new strategies to enhance ecosystem services in forested areas which, in turn, will benefit local communities and economies. In this study, we implemented a new approach—Multiscale Mapping of Ecosystem Services (MIMOSE)—to assess ecosystem services in Mediterranean forests located in a mountainous region of Italy. We spatially assessed timber provision and carbon sequestration according to three forest management strategies: business-as-usual, maximizing economic values, and prioritizing conservation. Sustainable strategies for forest planning were identified at the landscape scale. We found that (i) timber provision is a conflicting service, especially when adaptation strategies are promoted; (ii) the most balanced set of forest ecosystem services is achieved through prioritizing conservation; and (iii) the ecosystem services availability is enhanced by optimizing the spatial allocation of different management strategies. Our approach is suitable to support landscape planning for balancing forest ecosystem potentialities while respecting local community needs and promoting sustainable development goals in the Mediterranean area.
Topics: Ecosystem services (66%), Sustainable forest management (66%), Ecosystem management (64%) ...read more
Rattan Lal1•Institutions (1)
13 May 2015-Sustainability
Abstract: Feeding the world population, 7.3 billion in 2015 and projected to increase to 9.5 billion by 2050, necessitates an increase in agricultural production of ~70% between 2005 and 2050. Soil degradation, characterized by decline in quality and decrease in ecosystem goods and services, is a major constraint to achieving the required increase in agricultural production. Soil is a non-renewable resource on human time scales with its vulnerability to degradation depending on complex interactions between processes, factors and causes occurring at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Among the major soil degradation processes are accelerated erosion, depletion of the soil organic carbon (SOC) pool and loss in biodiversity, loss of soil fertility and elemental imbalance, acidification and salinization. Soil degradation trends can be reversed by conversion to a restorative land use and adoption of recommended management practices. The strategy is to minimize soil erosion, create positive SOC and N budgets, enhance activity and species diversity of soil biota (micro, meso, and macro), and improve structural stability and pore geometry. Improving soil quality (i.e., increasing SOC pool, improving soil structure, enhancing soil fertility) can reduce risks of soil degradation (physical, chemical, biological and ecological) while improving the environment. Increasing the SOC pool to above the critical level (10 to 15 g/kg) is essential to set-in-motion the restorative trends. Site-specific techniques of restoring soil quality include conservation agriculture, integrated nutrient management, continuous vegetative cover such as residue mulch and cover cropping, and controlled grazing at appropriate stocking rates. The strategy is to produce “more from less” by reducing losses and increasing soil, water, and nutrient use efficiency.