Preview

GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

Advanced search

Scientific and applied peer-reviewed journal

Aim of the journal “GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY” published in English is to illuminate related interdisciplinary scientific fields, many new approaches and methods along with a wide range of their practical applications. This goal covers a broad spectrum of scientific research areas and also considers contemporary and widely used research methods, such as geoinformatics, cartography, remote sensing (including from space), geophysics, geochemistry, etc.

In the areas of “GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, and SUSTAINABILITY” a new challenge to structure accumulated knowledge, to describe inner relations, and to form spheres of influence between different disciplines has emerged. The scope of the GES is to publish original and innovative papers that will substantially improve, in a theoretical, conceptual or empirical way the quality of research, learning, teaching and applying geography, as well as in promoting the significance of geography as a discipline.

The main sections of the journal are the theory of geography and ecology, the theory of sustainable development, use of natural resources, natural resources assessment, global and regional changes of environment and climate, social-economical geography, ecological regional planning, sustainable regional development, applied aspects of geography and ecology, geoinformatics and ecological cartography, ecological problems of oil and gas sector, nature conservations, health and environment, and education for sustainable development.

Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse. The printed version contains color figures . Color reproduction in print is free of charge of all accepted articles. Journal publishes 4 issues per year, each issue 120–150 pages long. Manuscripts are  submitted and peer-reviewed in an on-line mode.

 

Current issue

Vol 15, No 1 (2022)
View or download the full issue PDF

RESEARCH PAPER 

6-13 346
Abstract

Disposal of production and consumption waste is a worldwide problem. Despite the experience of foreign countries, waste disposal practice in the Russian Federation remains at the level of the 1970s. The method of waste burial at landfill sites prevails, leading to a loss of secondary resources and the appearance of sites of accumulated environmental damage, which is connected with the lack of a clear legal framework for waste management activities. Analysis of waste accumulation standards for apartment buildings in 20 regions of the Russian Federation showed that the difference in accumulation standards can vary by 2.32 times (from 0.125 m3 in the Kursk region to 0.279 m3 in the Voronezh region). At the same time, the difference in the cost of solid waste removal services can be varied by 2.74 times from 51.55 rubles in the Altai Territory (on average in the region) to 141.45 rubles in the Tyumen region. At the same time, the share of the population with incomes below the subsistence minimum in different regions reaches 7 - 36%. This is largely due to the critically low recovery of secondary materials (about 7%). The capacity of landfills in the regions of the European part of Russia (where more than 2/3 of the population lives) is almost exhausted. Many landfills of solid waste are objects of accumulated environmental damage. The decision to introduce the «institute» of “regional environmental operators”, which was adopted at the level of the Russian Federation to implement the waste management reform, has not, yet had any positive effect. Given the constant deficit of the consolidated budgets of most regions, the high level of poverty and the lack of state support, the prospects for waste management reform indicate the need for additional efforts on the part of the state, business and society.

 

14-25 204
Abstract

In this paper, we describe an experiment of complex power grid structure and wind and sleet mapping of territory using two different network indices: standard edge betweenness centrality and new author’s index – electrical grid centrality. Such analysis of the network allows to identify power lines with high load which could be vulnerable elements of the power grid. It is very important for strategic planning of power grids to reduce the risk of accidents by distributing loads across several lines so that they will be able to reserve each other. As a case territory for this research, we took the Ural united power system in Russia which is greatly exposed to different sleet and wind according to the statistics of the power grid operator. The degree of natural hazard consequences could be compensated by the network structure through alternative paths of energy supply or vice versa – increased if they are absent. At the same time, in this paper we consider that power grids have their own features from the graph theory point of view, for example multiple (parallel) edges, branches, different types of vertices. The existing index of edge betweenness centrality does not perfectly cope with them. We compare two indices characterizing power line importance within the system – betweenness centrality and electrical grid centrality and analyze the network structure features together with the spatial distribution of sleet and wind. As a result, we could identify bottlenecks in the study network. According to this study the most vulnerable power lines were detected, for example 500 kV Iriklinskaya CHP – Gazovaya and 500 kV Yuzhnouralskaya CHP-2 – Shagol power lines, that supply big cities such as Chelyabinsk and Orenburg and a bunch of industries around them.

 

26-34 182
Abstract

The requirements of the debris flows’ parameters assessments vary from country to country. They are based on different theoretical and empirical constructions and are validated by data from different regions. This makes difficult comparison of the reported results on estimated debris flows activity and extent. The Russian normative documents for the debris flows’ parameters calculations are based on empirically-measured parameters in wide range of geological and climatic conditions at the territory of former USSR, but still not cover all the possible conditions of debris flow formation. An attempt was made to check applicability of the Russian empirical constructions for the conditions of the debris flows formation in Yunnan, China, where unique long-term dataset of debris flows characteristics is collected by the Dongchuan Debris Flow Observation and Research Station. The results show, that in general the accepted in Russia methodology of calculation of the parameters of debris flows of certain probability corresponded well to the observed in Dongchuan debris flows characteristics. Some discrepancies (in the average debris flow depth) can be explained by unknown exact return period of the actually observed debris flows. This allowed to conclude that the presently adopted empirical dependencies based on country-wide (USSR) empirical data can be extrapolated up to the monsoon climate and geological conditions of Yunnan province.

35-45 333
Abstract

We analyzed four years field observations (2017–2020) of soil CO2 efflux from Chernozems of arable and foreststeppe ecosystems of Kursk region (Russia), which correspond to the period of the maximal current warming. Three wellknown simulation models of different structure and variable sets (DNDC, RothC, T&P) and nonparametric regression analysis were used to estimate annual CO2 emission from soil and contributions of constant and sporadic controls. The applied models satisfactorily predict both the rate of annual soil CO2 emission and its seasonal dynamics on arable Chernozems. However, while RothC is suitable for the whole set of crops considered, DNDC is most suitable for cereals and T&R for bare soils only. A comparison of the contributions of permanent and sporadic factors to soil respiration showed that on an inter-annual scale soil temperature and moisture are less important than yearly crop rotation in Chernozem plowlands, making the latter the most important predictor apart from general land-use type. Although the combination of significant permanent and sporadic factors is able to explain 41% of the soil CO2 emission variance, the leading involvement of spatial controls prevents the construction of quantitative regression models that are able to make forecasts, requiring the use of more sophisticated simulation models (i.e. RothC) in this case. However, the use of the latter does not yet solve the problem of predicting soil CO2 emission and its net balance in forest-covered or steppe areas of Chernozem forest-steppe landscape.

46-52 87
Abstract

The article presents a comparative analysis of the seasonal development of introduced plants in the weather conditions of Eastern Transbaikalia for the growing periods from 2014 to 2019. The results presented are taken from 6-year phenological observations conducted in the arboretum of the Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology and Cryology SB RAS. We constructed the phenological spectra of the studied objects by year. We studied the main phenological indicators of vegetation the East Asian forest-steppe and Manchurian-Daurian preboreal species. We analyzed the meteorological data: the mean daily air temperatures and precipitation for the months of the growing season (2014–2019), and the sum of active temperatures and precipitation for this period. The data on the dynamics of the development of shrubby plant species in conditions of Eastern Transbaikalia for 2014–2019 indicate that plants respond adaptively to changes in weather conditions. Hereditary and physiological characteristics showed that the introduced plants are characterized as cold-resistant and drought-resistant. Corylus heterophylla and Armeniaca sibirica are most sensitive to temperature extremes in spring, in contrast to Euonymus maackii, which were stable. Low above-zero air temperatures in spring and a large amount of precipitation encourage plants to pass the development stages (phenophases) faster than in dry and warm weather (Corylus heterophylla, Armeniaca sibirica). At the same time, low temperatures (frosts) in spring with a wet period at the time of flowering negatively affect the further fruit formation in Corylus heterophylla individuals. Rainy or cloudy days reduce the color intensity of the autumn leaves, and cool, dry, and sunny weather contributes to the autumn color scheme. Armeniaca sibirica and Corylus heterophylla are variable in terms of the onset of the main phenophases; individuals of the Euonymus maackii species have minimal individual variability. The longest growing seasons on the phenological spectrum were registered in 2014 and 2018–2019 (in Corylus heterophylla individuals – 190 days), which contributes to the accumulation of more phytomass. The shortest growing season was registered in 2015 (Armeniaca sibirica – 150 days).

53-60 59
Abstract

Natural differences in the regional development of Russia are presented in many legislative acts dedicated to the Russian Far North. In contrast, the unique nature and complexity of mountainous and high-mountain territories are protected only by a few regional acts. The reason for this lies in the complexity and multicomponent criteria required for assigning these territories the status of protected areas and in the fact that their boundaries do not correspond with administrative boundaries. The main materials underlying the article are legal documents (regulations, laws, etc.) concerning the institutionalization of the northern and mountainous territories. A comparative analysis of regional policy in relation to mountainous and northern territories takes into account similar criteria, such as vegetation types and patterns, forest borders or crop frontiers. Almost two-thirds of the territory of Russia refers to the North and more than half of the territory is occupied by mountains. The first attempts to institutionalize the North were undertaken in the 1930s, while the programmes for the development of mountainous territories gained legal support only at the end of 20th century and only in some regions. The most important difference between the institutionalization of the North and the mountains is the fact that the state initiated the creation of special legal conditions for the North. In the case of the mountains, the initiator was the public, initially at the regional level. Currently, three constituent entities of the Russian Federation adopted laws on mountain areas, but so far there are no all-Russian laws. The main lobbyists are the North Caucasian regions, while the Siberian regions (with the exception of the Altai Republic) are rather passive in discussing mountain issues. The elaborated legislation for the North seems to be closely related to the potential and realised income from natural resource extraction. For this reason, corresponding legislation for the mountain regions is not expected particularly soon, due to the lack of legal resources. Efforts aimed to provide legal support for mechanisms that compensate the socio-economic discrepancies between mountainous areas and more developed “flat places” should take into account the experience of institutionalizing the Northern territories of the Russian Federation.

61-69 74
Abstract

Seagrasses are representatives of the families Cymodoceaceae, Posidoniaceae, Zosteraceae, Hydrocharitaceae (Monocotylendoneae - Alismatales), adapted to growing in seawaters and all their important life circle events are taking place under the water including pollination and distribution of diasporas. Seagrasses are widespread in the littoral areas of the World Ocean, except for Antarctica, and play an important ecosystem role. Due to the insufficiently studied history of dispersal and formation of modern seagrasses habitats, we carried out a phylogenetic analysis of representatives of the families Cymodoceaceae (Amphibolis, Halodule, Syringodium, Cymodocea, and Thalassodendron), Posidoniaceae (Posidonia), Zosteraceae (Zostera, and Phyllospadix), and Hydrocharitaceae (Enhalus, Halophila, and Thalassia). The cladograms constructed based on molecular data analysis of the 5.8S ribosomal RNA and ribulose–1,5–bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit genes are used as the basis for reconstructing the history of dispersal of the studied taxa. It is found that the main stages of dispersal of selected groups of seagrasses took place in the Late Cretaceous period. The main track of historical distribution is largely predetermined by the modern ranges of almost all genera of seagrasses, stretches from the southwestern waters of eastern Gondwana to the northwestern waters of the Eurasian part of Laurasia. The main route of movement of diasporas and seagrasses populations was the Tethys water area, which was modified in the Late Mesozoic and early Cenozoic. It was revealed that the main method of dispersal of seagrasses was long-distance dispersal, which is confirmed by both molecular genetic data and very fast (on a geological time scale) processes of penetration into new water areas, and analysis of the features of dissemination of modern representatives. An alternative vicar scenario was proposed only for the reconstruction of the formation of the Posidonia range.

70-77 114
Abstract

Studying ecosystems using remote sensing technologies is very relevant since it checks the accuracy of the results of modern research. This study aims to monitor environmental changes in ecosystems of the Shahdagh National Park and its surrounding areas in Azerbaijan using Sentinel 2A MSI data. The study aimed to examine and monitor changes in vegetation, water resources, and drought conditions of the study area in recent years. For analyzing and observing these ecosystems Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), and Normalized Difference Drought Index (NDDI) were calculated using multi-band methods. Obtained indices were compared and changes were investigated analyzing satellite-derived methods. For proper monitoring and assessment of relevant ecosystems, there had been determined 3,825 fishnet points for the study area. This made it possible to compare and coordinate the results of the indices more accurately. After linking fishnet points to raster indices, classification had been made for measuring ecosystems indicators. Vegetation assessments revealed a partial expansion of sparse vegetation or bare rocks, river valleys, as well as nival, subnival, and partial subalpine meadows from 15.1% to 18.1%. Another growth indicator is a significant increase of dense forest ecosystems from 2.3% to 9.2%. According to the results decreases are observed in sparse forests, arable lands, pastures, and shrubs, which are more sensitive to anthropogenic factors. Monitoring of the indices shows that low-humidity areas increase as droughts intensify, especially in plain areas. Finally, the study revealed that the introduction of a specially protected regime within the national park makes ecosystems more sustainable.

 

78-86 77
Abstract

The Arab peninsula suffers from intense wadi erosion, which is been expressed by a dense net of wadis that are correlated by overland flows to their surrounded landforms (e.g. loess slopes and rocky grounds). Therefore, the study hypothesized that the wadi reclamation will affect all these correlated landforms. The following objectives were defined: determining the influence of check damming, savanna tree plantation, and grazing on the wadi ‘Aboveground net primary production’ (ANPP) and determining the influence of wadi ANPP on neighboured area state. Two sites were studied: Project Wadi Atir (PWA) and Rahma. PWA site is located adjacent to Hura Bedouin municipality. The soil is loessial with a dense wadis net. In 2011 the area was leased to the PWA association for its agricultural utilization and conservation. The second site is located on Yeroham hills, Hanegev highland. The area is settled by Bedouin for the El-Azzazma tribe (Rahma village). Half of the area is covered by a 1-2m loess layer, while the other is exposed limestone. Two measurements were carried out to determine the ANPP, manual measurement of the herbaceous biomass weight and SAVI imaging. The finding for both methods indicates a yearly annual increase of 100-150% of ANPP. In addition, a tight correlation was found between the ANPP of the reclaimed wadi and an increase ANPP of 200-450% in the 4m neighboured areal slot. The study of Rahma reveals a positive ANPP feedback loop between the wadi shape, check dams location, and the grazing regime. The study principles may suit wadies all over the Arab peninsula.

87-101 72
Abstract

The purpose of the article was to analyze the spatial spread of COVID-2019 in the regions of Russia in comparison with European countries in 2020–21 from a transport-geographical point of view. The article reveals interregional differences in the number of cases and the incidence (sickness) rate as of August 1, 2021 for individual regions of Russia. The coronavirus entered two Russian regions directly from Wuhan (China) and eight regions from Northern Italy. The first virus carriers arrived by air transport, which was the main means of spreading the epidemic. Spatial diffusion of COVID-2019 in Russia was extremely uneven with epicenters in the large cities. In the early stages the coronavirus spread in an exclusively hierarchical way through the established extensive air communication system. The later stages of its spread were characterized by mixed diffusion with the dominance of the hierarchical form. COVID-2019 has six gradations of the incidence (sickness) rate expressed in the number of cases per 1 million inhabitants: very high (more than 140), high (90–140), moderate (70–90), medium (45–70), low (20–45), very low (6–20). For the Russian regions the most typical were low (51 regions) and medium (20 regions) incidence rates – 60% and 23.5% (84% in total), respectively. The incidence rate, according to official data from Rospotrebnadzor (Russian Agency of Consumer Supervision), is 38% lower than in European countries. The average number of Russian cases in the first seven months of 2021 was 1.8 times more than for the entire 2020.

102-111 132
Abstract

The analysis of the Late Pleistocene small mammals’ faunas from the three cultural layers of the Late Palaeolithic site Byki 7 (the Seim River basin) consist of a combination of steppe and tundra species. Steppe species definitely prevail and include Ochotona pusilla, Marmota bobac, Spermophilus sp., Spalax microphthalmus, Ellobius talpinus, Lagurus lagurus and Lasiopodomys (Stenocranius) gregalis. Tundra species (collared lemming and Siberian lemming) are only represented by a small amount of remains. The lack of forest dwellers in the Byki 7 small mammal assemblage indicates of the absence of a continuous forest zone on the Central Russian Plain during the end of the Valdai glaciation. The Eurasian geographical distribution of the Rodentia and Lagomorpha species represented in the Byki–7 assemblages, have been reconstructed for the period of deposition of the site. Radiocarbon dates indicate that the multilayer Late Palaeolithic Byki 7 site correlates with the second part of the Valdai Glaciation Maximum cooling (LGM) (22–17 ka BP). Based on the small mammal data the former palaeoenvironmental conditions of the non-analogue periglacial tundra-steppe are reconstructed.

112-121 105
Abstract

Lime is one of the effective agents for reducing the phytoavailability of metals in contaminated acidic soils. However, previous studies have shown that lime alone cannot reduce metal phytotoxicity to the desired extent in such soils. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of different amendment combinations (lime with and without Feand/or Mn-based amendments) on plant growth. A sample of Histosol (0-5 cm) was collected around a Cu/Ni smelter near Monchegorsk, Murmansk region, exhibiting total Cu and Ni concentrations in the soil of 6418 and 2293 mg kg-1, respectively. Likewise, a sample of forest litter (0-15 cm) was collected around a Cu smelter near Revda, Sverdlovsk region, exhibiting total Cu concentration in the soil of 5704 mg kg-1. Fe-Mn oxides were sourced from ferromanganese nodules in the Gulf of Finland, and iron powder was used as a precursor for iron oxides. Perennial ryegrass was grown in pots for 21 days under controlled laboratory conditions. Two dolomite doses were tested: 5% w/w (giving a soil pH of 6.5) and 20% w/w (giving a soil pH of 7.4). Over-liming stunted plant growth; therefore, the dolomite dose was set at 5% in the further experiments of the study. Importantly, the addition of 0.5% and 1% of Fe-Mn-oxides or iron powder did not improve the efficacy of the lime amendment in promoting plant growth in the soils. Therefore, the issue of reducing plant exposure to metals remained unresolved in the soils under study.

122-129 74
Abstract

Lapland pine (Pinus sylvestris var. lapponica Hartm.) is a geographical and climatic ecotype and subspecies of Pinus sylvestris L. It is widespread in the north of Eurasia. Its height growth is interconnected with both climatic parameters and the state of the habitat of pine trees. Long-term data on height growth indices of Lapland pine from various humid biogeocenoses of three specially protected natural territories of Northwestern Russia were studied. Also, sixteen basic climatic parameters averaged over the growth period of the examined trees were calculated for these regions. The comparison of different climatic parameters and pine stand height growth in various biogeocenoses was made using cluster analysis. It was established that the mean daily average temperature in January (-9.4°C, -10.4°C, -16.1°C in the Kivach, Polar Circle and Pechora-Ilych Reserves respectively) and the amount of precipitation in spring and early summer periods have a primary influence on the cluster similarity of the Lapland pine height growth in Northwestern Russia. The similarity of soil and biocenotic conditions also influenced the similarity of Lapland pine height growth indices, but had a lower rank within the two main clusters distinguished by climatic values. Our studies showed that it is possible to identify the rank influence of the most significant climatic factors and biogeocenotic conditions on the pine height growth using cluster analysis.

130-140 225
Abstract

Urban vegetation has a decisive role in sustaining homogeneous Land Surface Temperature (LST) in a built-up environment. However, urban areas are facing rapid changes in land use/land cover (LULC) over the last few decades as green cover is being replaced by built-up structures. Consequently, LST is increasing and urban heat island (UHI) effects are expanding. In this context, this study was organized to assess urban green cover changes in Lahore and their impact on LST and UHI effects. For this, climate data was collected from the Pakistan Meteorological Department and Landsat images were acquired from Earth Explorer. LULC and LST maps were generated for 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020 in ArcGIS 10.8. Also, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Built-up Index (NDBI) were computed to analyze the effects of vegetation and built-up areas on LST and UHI. The study found that over the last three decades, built-up area increased 113.85% by removing 392.78 km2 of green cover in the study area. Similarly, a rapid expansion of the high LST range and UHI effects was found towards the eastern and southern parts of the study area. Moreover, a negative correlation was found between LST and NDVI, whereas the correlation between LST and NDBI was found to be positive. Therefore, it was concluded that the continuation of green cover reduction is highly damaging because this might render the city more fragile ecologically. So, the study calls the attention of the responsible authorities for suitable measures against continuous green cover loss in the study area.

141-149 201
Abstract

The concept of ecosystem services (ES) is increasingly used to analyze the relationships and interactions between humans and nature. Understanding the ecosystem services’ flow and the ecosystems’ capacity to generate these services is an essential element in considering the sustainability of ecosystem uses and the development of ecosystem accounts. For such purpose, we conduct spatially explicit analyses of nine ecosystem services in the Maamora forest, Morocco. The ecosystem services included are timber and industry wood harvest, firewood harvest, cork gathering, forage production, acorn gathering, forest carbon storage, and recreational hiking. Results make it possible to distinguish between the forest capacity to provide ecosystem services from their current use (demand) and assess them quantitatively. It came out that both capacity and flow differ in spatial extent as well as in quantity. Distinguishing capacity and flow of ES also provided an estimate of over-or under-utilization of services, and offer the possibility to map the ecosystem service provision hotspots (SPA) and degraded SPHs. The respective assessment of capacity and flux in a space-explicit manner can therefore support the monitoring of the forest ecosystem use sustainability.

150-158 157
Abstract

The large-scale socio-economic and political changes that have taken place in the post-Soviet space since the early 1990s have led to cardinal transformations of the economy and settlement in the former Soviet republics. The purpose of the study is to identify patterns and main features of the transformation of the environmental situation in the old and new capitals of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The subject of this article is the ecological transformation in former and modern capitals of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which was affected not only by post-Soviet changes but also by the transfer of capital functions from Almaty to Nur-Sultan. For a comprehensive analysis of the situation, the state of atmospheric air, water, soil and green spaces were considered. Quantitative calculations and qualitative assessment of the ecological situation showed that the environmental situation of both cities in 2020 was very similar, but the environmental state transformation index does not reach the level of Almaty due to the higher self-cleaning potential of the city and a newer and, accordingly, more environmentally friendly traffic flow. In two cities over the past 20 years, we registered a negative trend in impact level on water sources: a decrease in water consumption in Almaty by 45%, in Nur-Sultan by 27% since 2000. Modernization of plumbing and sewerage systems can reduce water leaks and improve wastewater transport to wastewater treatment plants. In 1998–2020, the environmental situation in Nur-Sultan changed much faster than in Almaty due to the low base effect and the transfer of capital functions because of the emissions from motor transport. However, for Almaty and Nur-Sultan, it can be concluded that the environmental situation by 2020 had been deteriorating much faster than it improved after the collapse of the USSR.

News

2021-09-24

GES JOURNAL KEEPS THE 1st PLACE IN ELIBRARY SCIENCE INDEX 2020!

The Geography Environment, Sustainability journal keeps the 1st place in Elibrary SCIENCE INDEX for 2020 for the second year in a row. Our journal is a leader in both thematic topics: Geography and Environmental protection, human ecology.

We would like to acknowledge all your great contributions to the journal as our editors, reviewers, authors, and readers. We are looking forward to working with you in the upcoming future.

2021-02-15

NEW SPECIAL ISSUE ON COVID-19 STUDIES

We would like to announce a new Special Issue; "Geography of the COVID-19 pandemic: public health, economic and environmental consequences"

A special issue of GES is devoted to assessing the scale of the coronavirus pandemic, analyzing the main mechanisms of its impact on the economy and socio-economic consequences in different geographical settings, medical and social problems, and the pandemic impact on the environment and air quality.
More News...


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.