Managing agricultural change for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean upland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In Europe, land use changes follow public policies, and particularly the Common Agricultural Policy. To predict the effect of policies on agricultural practices, landscape, and ultimately biodiversity, requires understanding of the interactions between social, economic and ecological dynamics at regional scale. We studied by means of prospective scenarios the possible effects of agricultural changes on biodiversity in a Mediterranean upland. This area is characterised by extensive grasslands that have been maintained for centuries by agriculture and are now threatened by tree and shrub encroachment. We built four scenarios that describe possible changes in agricultural EU policies by 2030. We selected 15 bird species on the basis of a high natural heritage responsibility of the study area for these species and 45 plant species on the same basis plus local rarity and habitat vulnerability. We analysed how these species were affected by the four scenarios by considering changes in their habitats. For each scenario, we analysed the driving forces that determine land use changes. Landscape dynamics was modelled with a Generalised Linear Model combining environmental and land use factors. Most of the 60 selected species depend on open habitats. Only the scenario where public support was only granted if it provided environmental services had a positive impact on open habitats and their associated biodiversity. This 'natural heritage' scenario was also rated positively by local stakeholders. This approach sheds light on the interest of inter/transdisciplinary studies, scenarios, and stakeholder involvement in the definition of public policies for biodiversity conservation.

Details

Authors
  • Jocelyn Fonderflick
  • Jacques Lepart
  • Paul Caplat
  • Max Debussche
  • Pascal Marty
External organisations
  • Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE)
  • University of Queensland
  • French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences – Prague
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sciences

Keywords

  • Agriculture, Conservation planning, Interdisciplinary, Land use, Landscape management, Scenarios
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-746
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume143
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes