52 research outputs found

    Vermessene Vielfalt

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    Die biologische Vielfalt (BiodiversitĂ€t) auf unserem Planeten ist nicht nur beeindruckend, sondern auch von existenzieller Bedeutung fĂŒr das Leben und Wohlergehen der Menschheit. Die Erhaltung der BiodiversitĂ€t stellt eine der grĂ¶ĂŸten globalen Herausforderungen fĂŒr das 21. Jh. dar. Sowohl internationale Vertragswerke, wie die von ĂŒber 190 Staaten ratifizierte BiodiversitĂ€tskonvention, als auch nationale Gesetze und Strategien setzen sich einen umfassenden Schutz der biologischen Vielfalt zum Ziel. Die Indikatoren-Sets GefĂ€ĂŸpflanzenvielfalt und Naturdistanz sind Beispiele, wie der Einfluss unterschiedlicher Landnutzungsformen auf die BiodiversitĂ€t beschrieben und rĂ€umlich dargestellt werden kann. Diese Indikatoren wurden im Rahmen des transdisziplinĂ€ren Projektes „Werkzeuge fĂŒr Modelle einer nachhaltigen Wirtschaft“ (2008-2011) erstmals flĂ€chendeckend fĂŒr ganz Österreich berechnet und öffentlich zur VerfĂŒgung gestellt (www.landnutzung.at). In einem Folgeprojekt wurden diese Indikatoren dazu verwendet, die Auswirkungen von Klimawandel und Politikmaßnahmen auf die BiodiversitĂ€t im Jahre 2040 zu bewerten. HierfĂŒr wurde ein interdisziplinĂ€rer und integrativer Modellverbund geschaffen, der rĂ€umlich detaillierte Analysen unterschiedlicher Politik- und Klimaszenarien und der daraus resultierenden Landnutzung ermöglicht. Dabei zeigte sich, dass Auswirkungen regional sehr stark variieren und sich von den Ergebnissen auf nationaler Ebene betrĂ€chtlich unterscheiden können. Das unterstreicht die Bedeutung einer rĂ€umlich hochaufgelösten Betrachtung

    The effect of riparian forest on landscape connectivity for the EPT community across European regions

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    Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichop- tera are three orders of freshwater macroinvertebrates with a short terrestrial adult life-stage that they use to disperse by flying upstream. This aerial dispersal can be assisted by native riparian forest, but regional variation has not yet been empirically tested. In this study we compared the EPT community of 153 sampling sites located in freshwater streams in four European regions (Central Plains, Central Highlands, Alps, Iberia). In each site, we assessed the EPT com- munity dispersal ability using the Species Flying Pro- pensity index. We also calculated the native decidu- ous forest cover in the riparian buffer and several environmental stressors such as saprobic pollution or catchment anthropization. Finally, we tested which of these parameters have a significant effect on the EPT community. In the Central Highlands and in Iberia, the share of weak dispersers increased with native deciduous forest cover, indicating a positive effect on dispersal of EPTs. In the Central Plains and the Alps, no such effect was found. We conclude that the effect of native deciduous forest depends on regional land- scape characteristics and the regional species pool, but considering the dispersal of the regional EPT communities is needed to create effective river man- agement policies.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Copper and zinc as a window to past agricultural land-use.

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    Abstract Intensive agricultural management significantly affects soil chemical properties. Such impacts, depending on the intensity of agronomic practices, might persist for several decades. We tested how current soil properties, especially heavy metal concentrations, reflect the land-use history over a 24,000 ha area dominated by intensive apple orchards and viticulture (South Tyrol, ITA). We combined georeferenced soil analyses with land-use maps from 1850 to 2010 in a space-for-time approach to detect the accumulation rates of copper and zinc and understand how present-day soil heavy metal concentrations reflect land-use history. Soils under vineyards since the 1850s showed the highest available copper concentration (median of 314.0 mg kg-1, accumulation rate between 19.4 and 41.3 mg kg-1·10 y-1). Zinc reached the highest concentration in the same land-use type (median of 32.5 mg kg-1, accumulation rate between 1.8 and 4.4 mg kg-1·10 y-1). Using a random forest approach on 44,132 soil samples, we extrapolated land-use history on the permanent crop area of the region, reaching an accuracy of 0.72. This suggests that combining current soil analysis, historical management information, and machine learning models provides a valuable tool to predict land-use history and understand management legacies

    Good Pastures, Good Meadows: Mountain Farmers’ Assessment, Perceptions on Ecosystem Services, and Proposals for Biodiversity Management

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    An ongoing decrease in habitat and species diversity is occurring in many areas across Europe, including in grasslands in mountain areas, calling for adapted biodiversity management and measures. In this context, we carried out 79 interviews with grassland farmers in five alpine mountain regions in Germany, France, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. We analyzed farmers’ perceptions about the functions and services of their grasslands, how they qualify “good” grasslands, which grassland management practices have changed over the last 10 years, and proposals to increase species diversity on the farm. They related them primarily to cultural ecosystem services, secondly to provisioning services, and thirdly to regulating and supporting services. Good pastures or meadows were mostly related to composition, quality of forage and productivity, structural criteria, and certain characteristics of soils and topography. The measures for increasing biodiversity that were most frequently proposed were upgrading of forest edges, planting hedges or fruit trees, less or late grassland cutting, reduction or omission of fertilization, and more general extensification of farm productions. Factors hindering the implementation of these measures were mainly increased workload, insufficient time, and a lack of financial means or support to cover additional costs for biodiversity management. These factors have to be taken specifically into account for future policies for enhanced biodiversity management of grasslands, also beyond mountainous areas. Overall, we found that farmers have good but varying knowledge about biodiversity management of their grasslands, but also different perspectives on how to improve it. Here, local initiatives that bring together farmers and flora or fauna specialists to exchange knowledge could be designed and used in participatory pilot schemes to enhance the implementation of improved biodiversity management

    are interest groups different in the factors determining landscape preferences

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    In the last decades, rural landscape in Europe has evolved from an agricultural by-product to an important public good. This development creates not only new challenges to farming practices, it also makes participation and public involvement an indispensable tool for sustainable landscape planning. This is especially true for many European mountain regions, where tourism represents an important source of income and conflicts between locals' and tourists' interests should be avoided. In our study, we analyze whether discrepancies in the perception of the Alpine landscape can be located between locals and tourists and, if these differences exist, in which aspects these two groups are differing. A model employing three general factors able to describe landscape preferences regardless of the personal background is suggested and validated by confirmatory factor analysis. Our major finding shows that an attractive landscape for tourists does not have to be contradictory to a landscape that supports a high living quality for locals. Compromises in landscape planning between locals' and tourists' requirements seem often not to be necessary as they, generally, do not differ in the way they experience and assess the landscape

    A simple biodiversity assessment scheme supporting nature-friendly farm management

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    Farmers are important actors for regional development and biodiversity protection. Agri-environment-climate measures (AECM) are therefore a central tool of the European Union to support its biodiversity conservation policy. AECM generally reward farmers for fulfilling predefined management actions or avoiding specific practices. In contrast, result oriented AECM are intended to reward farmers for the outcome of nature friendly management practices. This approach gives more flexibility in management and hence promotes farmers engagement and autonomy. Besides educational activities and agricultural advisory services farmers need user friendly tools to assess biodiversity in order to meet result oriented AECM. Thus, we present a biodiversity assessment scheme for farmland using a set of indicators, which covers different aspects of biodiversity (flower colour index, butterfly abundance, landscape structuring degree, patch diversity index, aggregated biodiversity index) and can be applied at different spatial scales. The assessment scheme is applied on 44 farms in five countries (France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Austria). To evaluate its appropriateness the relationship between the indicators and land-use intensity and plant species richness is investigated. Grasslands with low land-use intensity are more colourful grasslands, have significantly more butterflies and a higher aggregated biodiversity index than moderately and intensively used grasslands. The influence of management intensity on the landscape structuring degree is not significant. All indicators correlate with plant species richness at all spatial scales. The proposed assessment scheme serves as a tool for the detection of differences in biodiversity resulting from land-use practices, and can assist the monitoring of ROMs

    Ergebnisorientierte Massnahmen zur Förderung der BiodiversitĂ€t in der Berglandwirtschaft - Ein Handbuch fĂŒr die Politik

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    Das Handbuch enthĂ€lt: - Eine EinfĂŒhrung in ergebnisorientierte Massnahmen Projekt MERIT - Einen Überblick ĂŒber die Vor- und Nachteile ergebnisorientierte Massnahmen - Wissenschaftlich fundierte Empfehlungen fĂŒr die Gestaltung, Umsetzung und Governance ergebnisorientierter BiodiversitĂ€tsfördermassnahmen in der Berglandwirtschaft - Beispiel von ergebnisorientierten Massnahmen in Europ

    Result-oriented Measures for Biodiversity in Mountain Farming - A Policy Handbook

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    The handbook includes: - An introduction to result-oriented measures - An overview of the advantages and disadvantages of result-oriented measures - Specific recommendations for the design, implementation and governance of resultoriented measures for biodiversity in mountain farming - Examples of result-oriented measures that have been implemente

    Effects of land use and climate on carbon and nitrogen pool partitioning in European mountain grasslands

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    European mountain grasslands are increasingly affected by land-use changes and climate, which have been suggested to exert important controls on grassland carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools. However, so far there has been no synthetic study on whether and how land-use changes and climate interactively affect the partitioning of these pools amongst the different grassland compartments. We analyzed the partitioning of C and N pools of 36 European mountain grasslands differing in land-use and climate with respect to above- and belowground phytomass, litter and topsoil (top 23 cm). We found that a reduction of management intensity and the abandonment of hay meadows and pastures increased above-ground phytomass, root mass and litter as well as their respective C and N pools, concurrently decreasing the fractional contribution of the topsoil to the total organic carbon pool. These changes were strongly driven by the cessation of cutting and grazing, a shift in plant functional groups and a related reduction in litter quality. Across all grasslands studied, variation in the impact of land management on the topsoil N pool and C/N-ratio were mainly explained by soil clay content combined with pH. Across the grasslands, below-ground phytomass as well as phytomass- and litter C concentrations were inversely related to the mean annual temperature; furthermore, C/N- ratios of phytomass and litter increased with decreasing mean annual precipitation. Within the topsoil compartment, C concentrations decreased from colder to warmer sites, and increased with increasing precipitation. Climate generally influenced effects of land use on C and N pools mainly through mean annual temperature and less through mean an- nual precipitation. We conclude that site-specific conditions need to be considered for understanding the effects of land use and of current and future climate changes on grassland C and N pools.Peer reviewe