Skip to navigation Skip to content

MANECO

The project will build on a 10-year experimental case study at a landscape scale to assess the effects of alternative sheep densities on ES in alpine cultural landscapes, and identify stakeholder ES preferences.

Managing ecosystem services in low alpine cultural landscapes through livestock grazing

Current tree-lines in Norway are heavily depressed by land uses associated with traditional (agri-) cultural practices, but reduced intensity of land use and a warmer climate can interact to cause an advance of the tree-line.

Sheep are by far the most important large herbivore in alpine and subalpine areas in southern Norway, acting as a driver of multiple ecosystem services (ES) including provisioning services (meat, trees), regulating services (tree-line encroachment, carbon) cultural services (e.g. landscapes important to traditions, outdoor life), supporting services (clean water, soil productivity) as well as biodiversity.

Ecosystem Services

The ecosystem services framework provides a basis for assessing relationships and trade-offs between different services.  Different stakeholders within management institutions and professional bodies representing areas such as agriculture, environment and cultural heritage often have different priorities on potential services, their benefits and trade-offs, and these need to be understood and explicitly addressed.

Assessing a common stakeholder perspective will serve to underpin the management of sheep in alpine landscapes where conflicting interests seem to have hampered management priorities. Currently, clear management guidelines regarding livestock densities in alpine lands (including both protected and unprotected regions) do not exist, even though both high (overgrazing) and low (encroachment) are considered as threats to a range of ES.    

Project Aim

The project will build on a 10-year experimental case study at a landscape scale to assess the effects of alternative sheep densities on ES in alpine cultural landscapes, and identify stakeholder ES preferences.

Project Objectives and Methodology

The project is organised into 5 interrelated WPs (see overview in Fig. 1). The first two will assess effects of grazing and climate change on key ecosystem properties that are essential for the services provided: nutrient dynamics (WP1) and birch encroachment (WP2). Thirdly, the relationships between multiple ES will be examined and an assessment of ES for alpine grazing landscapes carried out (WP3). The project will more specifically identify cultural and social services in alpine cultural landscapes in a separate WP (4). Fifth, we will identify stakeholders ES preferences based on this assessment in alpine cultural landscapes (WP5).

With this approach our project will provide an evidence basis to promote a sustainable management of alpine cultural landscapes and grazing livestock in a warmer climate as well as challenging different stakeholders to contribute to a common understanding of the management policy needed.

Ongoing Findings

Publications are listed here.

Key Contact

Katrina Brown

The project time ran from January 2012 to December 2014 and was funded by the Norwegian Research Council.
 

This project is a continuation of 11 years research on the ecological effects of sheep grazing in alpine ecosystems led by Atle Mysterud, CEES, UIO. Read more about this research here. This current project involves partners from a range of partners, more information on the partners can be found here.

Project Information
Project Type: 
Archived Project

Research

Areas of Interest


Printed from /research/projects/MANECO on 21/07/19 05:53:22 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.