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Wood pastures of Europe: Geographic coverage, social–ecological values, conservation management, and policy implications

Written by Tamás Réka on Jan. 21, 2016

Wood pastures are archetypes of High Nature Value Farmlands in Europe and hold exceptional ecological, social, and cultural values. Yet, wood pastures have been through a sharp decline all over Europe,mainly due to processes of agricultural intensification and abandonment. Recently, wood pastures have found increasing attention from conservation science and policy across Europe.

In this paper we:

(I)  Perform the first pan-European assessment of wood pastures, considering individual countries and biogeographic regions,

(II) Present the ecological and social–cultural values of a wide diversity of wood pasture systems in Europe,

(III) Outline management challenges around wood pastures, and

(IV) Provide insights for the policy agenda targeting wood pastures in Europe. We estimate that wood pastures cover an area of approximately 203,000 km2 in the European Union (EU). 

Read the full article here:  cms_page_media/2016/1/21/Wood pastures of Europe_lIpVIR9.pdf