2016 Feb 01

Trade-off relationship between modern agriculture and biodiversity: Heavy consolidation work has a long-term negative impact on plant species diversity

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Highlights: • Land consolidation is one of the major land-use changes in Japanese agricultural systems. • We examined the relationship between the occurrences of farmland consolidation and threatened plant species across Japan at the prefecture scale. • Results show that areas containing records of threatened plant species had rarely experienced consolidation. • We concluded that consolidated farmland areas have experienced/undergone a long-term negative impact on plant species diversity. Authors: Takeshi Osawaa, Kazunori Kohyamaa, Hiromune Mitsuhashi Journal: Land Use Policy 54: 78-84.(2016) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2016.02.001

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2015 Nov 07

Straw biochar hastens organic matter degradation and produces nutrient-rich compost

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Highlights: • Straw biochar improved water-soluble nutrient ions contents during composting. • Straw biochar enhanced the degradation of organic matter and maturity. • The product with biochar addition became mature after composting for 42 days. • A final concentration of 10–15% straw biochar was optimal. Authors: Jining Zhang, Guifa Chen, Huifeng Sun, Sheng Zhou*, Guoyan Zou Journal: Bioresource Technology, 200:876-883 (2016) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2015.11.016

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2015 Oct 31

Contribution of soil moisture to seasonal and annual variations of soil CO2 efflux in a humid cool-temperate oak-birch forest in central Japan

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Abstract: To quantify the contribution of soil moisture to seasonal and annual variations in soil CO2 efflux in a cool-humid deciduous broadleaf forest, we measured soil CO2 efflux during the snow-free seasons of 2005–2008 using an automated chamber technique. This worked much better than manual chambers employing the same steady-state through-flow method. Soil CO2 efflux (g C m−2 period−1) during the snow-free season ranged from 979.8 ± 49.0 in 2005 to 1131.2 ± 56.6 in 2008 with a coefficient variation of 6.4 % among the 4 years. We established two-parameter (soil temperature and moisture) empirical models, finding that while soil temperature and moisture explained 69–86 % and 10–13 % of the temporal...

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2015 Oct 27

Potential impacts of information disclosure designed to motivate Japanese consumers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions on choice of shopping method for daily foods and drinks

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Abstract: Information disclosure associated with carbon dioxide emissions of goods or services may be useful for stimulating consumers to make choices to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The scope of this study was to analyze the potential impact of information disclosure on consumer choices of daily shopping method through an internet survey of Japanese residents (2630 subjects). Japanese consumers were shown to have a preference for low carbon dioxide emissions in their choice of daily shopping method. Awareness of responsibility and intention to act were identified as crucial influences on consumer willingness to reduce carbon dioxide. Supporting information such as comparative presentation...

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2015 Apr 28

Development of weighting factors for G20 countries—explore the dif-ference in environmental awareness between developed and emerging countries

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Abstract Purpose: Weighting is one of the steps involved in LCIA. This enables us to integrate various environmental impacts and facilitates the interpretation of environmental information. Many different weighting methodologies have already been proposed, and the results of many case studies with a single index have been published. LIME2 (Itsubo et al. Int J Life Cycle Assess 17(4):488-498, 2012) developed weighting factors for four different areas of protection that reflect environmental awareness among the Japanese public. This method has already been widely used in Japan, but difficulties exist universally using the Japanese weighting factors around the world. It is presumed that...

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2013 Aug 14

Deviations between observed and RothC-simulated Δ14C values despite improved IOM initialization

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Summary: The 14C contents and the carbon (C) pool sizes for Rothamsted Carbon (RothC) model pools and soil fractions determined by physical separation and subsequent chemical oxidation were directly compared for an agricultural topsoil (Dystric Cambisol) from a long-term experimental field in central Japan. The RothC model was run from 1975 to 2009 and the C concentration and Δ14C value of each pool and for the bulk soil were compared with the physical fractions that have been, according to literature, suggested as corresponding with model pools. When compared with the default estimate of the inert organic matter (IOM) pool size...

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2010 Oct 31

A Rural Revitalization Scheme in Japan Utilizing Biochar and Eco-Branding: The Carbon Minus Project, Kameoka City

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Abstract: Like rural areas in many countries, Japanese rural society is experiencing decline in all spheres (depopulation, aging, lack of economic opportunity, and so on). Uncertainty in the future viability of agricultural livelihoods coupled with the collapse of the forestry sector has decreased the ecological resilience of the Japanese countryside, increasing overgrown forests, habitat and biodiversity loss, and costly wildlife damage to crops. As these rural crises are compounded by the climate crisis, the need for multifunctional solutions that increase the sustainability of rural society and environment as well as promote a shift to a low-carbon economy is great. Biochar...

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