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Model-based analysis of the environmental impacts of grazing management on Eastern Mediterranean ecosystems in Jordan

  • Eastern Mediterranean ecosystems are prone to desertification when under grazing pressure. Therefore, management of grazing intensity plays a crucial role to avoid or to diminish land degradation and to sustain both livelihoods and ecosystem functioning. The dynamic land-use model LandSHIFT was applied to a case study on the country level for Jordan. The impacts of different stocking densities on the environment were assessed through a set of simulation experiments for various combinations of climate input and assumptions about the development of livestock numbers. Indicators used for the analysis include a set of landscape metrics to account for habitat fragmentation and the "Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production" (HANPP), i.e., the difference between the amount of net primary production (NPP) that would be available in a natural ecosystem and the amount of NPP that remains under human management. Additionally, the potential of the economic valuation of ecosystem services, including landscape and grazing services, as anEastern Mediterranean ecosystems are prone to desertification when under grazing pressure. Therefore, management of grazing intensity plays a crucial role to avoid or to diminish land degradation and to sustain both livelihoods and ecosystem functioning. The dynamic land-use model LandSHIFT was applied to a case study on the country level for Jordan. The impacts of different stocking densities on the environment were assessed through a set of simulation experiments for various combinations of climate input and assumptions about the development of livestock numbers. Indicators used for the analysis include a set of landscape metrics to account for habitat fragmentation and the "Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production" (HANPP), i.e., the difference between the amount of net primary production (NPP) that would be available in a natural ecosystem and the amount of NPP that remains under human management. Additionally, the potential of the economic valuation of ecosystem services, including landscape and grazing services, as an analysis concept was explored. We found that lower management intensities had a positive effect on HANPP but at the same time resulted in a strong increase of grazing area. This effect was even more pronounced under climate change due to a predominantly negative effect on the biomass productivity of grazing land. Also Landscape metrics tend to indicate decreasing habitat fragmentation as a consequence of lower grazing pressure. The valuation of ecosystem services revealed that low grazing intensity can lead to a comparatively higher economic value on the country level average. The results from our study underline the importance of considering grazing management as an important factor to manage dry-land ecosystems in a sustainable manner.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Rüdiger Schaldach, Florian Wimmer, Jennifer Koch, Jan Volland, Katja Geissler, Martin Köchy
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.11.024
ISSN:0301-4797 (print)
ISSN:1095-8630 (online)
Parent Title (English):Journal of environmental management
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Climate change; Ecosystem service value; Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production (HANPP); Land-use modeling; Landscape metrics; Sustainable management of Mediterranean grazing land
Volume:127
Issue:9
Pagenumber:12
First Page:S84
Last Page:S95
Funder:German Federal Ministry of Education and Research [FKZ 01LW0502]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert