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Landuse as Foundation for Ecological Restoration - Development of a methodological Framework
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Landuse as Foundation for Ecological Restoration - Development of a methodological Framework

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The aim of the work presented is to develop and test a framework for projects combining ecological restoration with the needs of agriculture in remote, disadvantaged regions. The target is to stop ...

The aim of the work presented is to develop and test a framework for projects combining ecological restoration with the needs of agriculture in remote, disadvantaged regions. The target is to stop unwanted processes such as encroachment of shrubs and reforestation, resulting in a degradation of the traditional cultural landscape through controlled grazing with small ruminants
(sheep and goats) allowing farmers an economically viable development.

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Landuse as Foundation for Ecological Restoration - Development of a methodological Framework Landuse as Foundation for Ecological Restoration - Development of a methodological Framework Presentation Transcript

  • Landuse as Foundation for Ecological Restoration - Development of a methodological Framework Albin Blaschka, Thomas Guggenberger Agricultural Research and Education Centre Raumberg-Gumpenstein Ecological Restoration and Sustainable Development Establishing Links Across Frontiers 7th SER European Conference on Ecological Restoration - Avignon, 23-27 August 2010
  • Hypothesis Land use forms the basic connection between people and landscape, which is, at least partly, formalized in the theory of ecosystem goods and services
  • Overall aim of the project
    • Development and test of a methodological, integrated framework combining ecological restoration of alpine pastures with agriculture ( pasturing of sheep) in disadvantaged regions, allowing farmers an economically viable development thus helping to preserve and restore an important part of the alpine cultural landscape
  • Defining restoration targets, considerations
    • Ecological and economic grounds
    • Biotope/Plant community level
      • Pasture: Grass dominated biotopes
      • Feeding for sheep
      • Percentage of cover of dwarf shrubs
      • Nutritional status to be reached (depending on the sheep in the flock)
    • Landscape level
      • Tourism: Summer and winter
      • Forestry
  • Methods
    • Pasture Evaluation Model (PEM):
    • ...a multivariate data-model to estimate the feed quantity and quality of an alpine pasture
    • Blaschka, A. & Guggenberger, T. (2009): 7th EFITA conference, Wageningen, the Netherlands, 6-8 July 2009:
    • Decision support for grazing management – Evaluation of suitability and estimation of potential on alpine pasture for sheep and goats
    • GIS and Remote Sensing
    • Implementation of Adaptive Management practices (cf. Johnson 1999)
    • Targeted pasturing , realising the need for a multifunctional land use
  • Study Area
    • Magenta coloured: Total study area
    • Red coloured: Pasturing area
      • 85 ha ski runs and sub-alpine heath
      • Beginning encroachment and reforestation
  • Conceptual Framework
    • Farmer : Optimisation of feeding, well-being of animals (profit)
    • Landowner : Land management, Optimisation of vegetation
    • Externals : Optimisation of additional benefit
    • Shepherd : guiding the flock, point of intersection for all interests
    Converging vs. Conflicting interests: Analysis of stakeholders & Key system components
  • Feeding versus Restoration Restoration defined as Function - A first heuristic approach
    • Extent of flock: 0.75 ha (75 GVE)
    • 2 times per year
    • Speed: 25 m / hour
    Phase 1: 0,023 LAU/ha/year Phase 2: 0,046 LAU/ha/year Phase 3: 0,069 LAU/ha/year Phase 4: 0,092 LAU/ha/year 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 LAU ha Hours 8760 x Intensity is the key factor: LAU per area and time unit
  • Feeding versus Restoration Restoration defined as Function - A first heuristic approach LAU = Large Animal Unit (500kg live weight, one sheep older 1 year = 0.15 LAU) ME = Metabolizable Energy
  • Botanical Assessments
    • Factorial design with 4 replicates
    • Releveés of frequency (Raunkiaer 1934); four levels:
      • No treatment/pasturing,
      • low intensity/browsing,
      • high intensity
      • mowing followed by high intensity pasturing
  • Example: Vegetation Structure Intensive pasturing (September 2008) Intensive pasturing (July 2009) Pearson's Chi-squared test: X-squared = 18.6106, df = 4, p-value = 0.0009372
  • Formulation of nutrition Parameter: Need of Energy in percent (hourly basis) Yield / ha / year (PEM) LAU / ha / year 11,8 * (hours/24) (11,8 kg: Need of feed Dry Matter / LAU / day)
  • Restoration targets and scenarios Pasture Evaluation Model
    • Climax Scenario: No animal husbandry in mountainous regions anymore, encroachment of shrubs, reforestation is happening. Additionally, because of climate change, timber line is moving up (cf. H AGN 2008; T ASSER & T APPEINER 2008)
    • Full Use Scenario: The potential of the landscape for pasturing is used (rich pastures, poor pastures, heath/shrubs), independently from altitude
    • Containment Scenario: The potential of the landscape is used, but only in the lower areas (up to 1950 msm, a possible future timber line in the projct area, G UGGENBERGER 2007)
    • Minimum Scenario: Only rich and poor pastures are used, if they are easily accessible and suitable for sheep pasturing. Reforestation overtakes heaths
  • Scenarios... (Data derived from the PEM, remote sensing data: SPOT5) Minimum Containment Full use
  • Reaching the targets (Data derived from the PEM)
  • Synthesis
    • Landscape management and connected initiatives need a multifunctional approach
      • Science as basis
      • Participatory approach/Stakeholder involvement to get acceptance of measures taken
    • Two concepts/frameworks proved to be of value:
      • Ecosystem goods and services
      • Adaptive Management
    • Development of scenarios is a useful tool to transport facts and explain processes
  • Thank you for your attention!