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Studying the effect of organic farming on rural landscapes: Issues of methodology and scale

Levin, Gregor (2004) Studying the effect of organic farming on rural landscapes: Issues of methodology and scale. In: Cristováo, Artur (Ed.) Proceedings of the Sixth European IFSA Symposium, European Farming and Society In Search of a New Social Contract - Learning to Manage Change, UTAD, Portugal, 2, pp. 325-334.

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Implying changes in land use practices, the conversion from conventional to organic farming has a potential effect on the spatial arrangement of land cover and thus on structure and content of natural and semi-natural landscape elements. Several studies point to that organic farming has a positive effect on the content of natural and semi-natural elements in Danish and other European landscapes. However, these findings seem biased by inadequate sampling methods and narrow spatial and temporal study scales. On the contrary, the few studies using more comprehensive samples and broader scales, indicate that variations in the content of natural and semi-natural landscape elements are influenced by regional and local biophysical variations in relation to the localisation of organic farms rather than by organic or conventional farming as such. Consequently, in the context of a current Danish research project on this issue, this paper argues for two supplementing methodological approaches. The first, using national datasets on landscape features, farm characteristics and biophysical conditions. The second, using aerial photos for the last 5 decades together with agricultural statistics, questionnaires and biophysical base maps within larger continuous case areas.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:organic farming, landscape change, temporal scale, spatial scale
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Landscape and recreation
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.5 Nature quality in organic farming
Deposited By: Levin, PhD Geography Gregor
ID Code:3846
Deposited On:26 Oct 2004
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:30
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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