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A Contextual Analysis of Land-Use and Vegetation Changes in Two Wooded Pastures in the Swiss Jura Mountains

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dc.contributor.author Chételat, Joël
dc.contributor.author Kalbermatten, Michael
dc.contributor.author Lannas, Kathryn S. M.
dc.contributor.author Spiegelberger, Thomas
dc.contributor.author Wettstein, Jean-Bruno
dc.contributor.author Gillet, François
dc.contributor.author Peringer, Alexander
dc.contributor.author Buttler, Alexandre
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-13T16:06:23Z
dc.date.available 2013-05-13T16:06:23Z
dc.date.issued 2013 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8815
dc.description.abstract "This study examines the effects of land-use policies and natural events on the evolution of two wooded pastures in the Jura Mountains in Switzerland between 1934 and 2000. The socioeconomic context and the local conditions were seen as major driving forces influencing land management practices which in turn redefined land-use policies. We studied the dynamics of the Jura Mountains’ wooded pastures, combining a thorough knowledge of the historic context with aerial image analysis. Besides pointing out general milestones in the evolution of Swiss land policy, we compiled chronicles on the management for both study sites on the basis of archives and interviews. Aerial images taken at time intervals of approximately 15 years were chosen to identify land-cover changes. The method used to analyze them relied on a structural classification of phytocoenoses, thus allowing the determination of four categories of tree-cover densities ranging from unwooded pastures to ungrazed forest. We reported overall aerial changes for each tree density class as well as spatial transitions from one category to another. The combination of spatial statistics with qualitative data depicting the evolution of the historic context gives a better understanding of the land-use changes and their rationale. The most important changes in tree density occurred during World War II and resulted in a more open landscape. The intensive use of wooded pastures during the war was the consequence of a high demand for wood and food resources. Postwar protectionist regulations, agricultural subsidies, and technical improvements maintained considerable pressure on wooded pastures. Storms and drought episodes further exacerbated this process in some areas. The trend then reversed from the 1970s onwards because of the limitations put on milk production and the falling price of wood. This resulted in a more extensive use of pastures, leading to tree encroachment. However, remote sites were more impacted than pastures closer to inhabited areas, which exhibited a trend towards more segregation between grassland and densely wooded pastures. With both extensification and segregation of land use, the complex vegetation mosaic and the landscape diversity that characterize wooded pastures are threatened but still offer good economic opportunities that call for differentiated management strategies." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.subject landscape change en_US
dc.subject land tenure and use--policy en_US
dc.subject pastoralism en_US
dc.subject woodlands en_US
dc.subject resource management en_US
dc.title A Contextual Analysis of Land-Use and Vegetation Changes in Two Wooded Pastures in the Swiss Jura Mountains en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.type.methodology Case Study en_US
dc.coverage.region Europe en_US
dc.coverage.country Switzerland en_US
dc.subject.sector Land Tenure & Use en_US
dc.identifier.citationjournal Ecology and Society en_US
dc.identifier.citationvolume 18 en_US
dc.identifier.citationnumber 1 en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth March en_US

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