- Journal Details
- First Published
- 20 Jun 2008
- Publication timeframe
- 3 times per year
- Open Access
Integrative Research and Transdisciplinary Knowledge Production: A Review of Barriers and Bridges
Page range: 14 - 40
Contemporary policies about use of natural resources clearly pronounce sustainable development towards the goal sustainability as a focal objective. A key challenge for research is to support improvements and management by evaluation of sustainability policy implementation, i.e. outcomes on the ground and the social process in actual landscapes. However, while a landscape consists of integrated social and ecological subsystems and should thus be treated as a holistic unit or system, most research and postgraduate training is disciplinary. This means that very few researchers are equipped to solve problems or contribute to solutions in the non-academic world. There is thus a need for universities to learn integrative (interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary) research and knowledge production that meets complex challenges related to sustainable development and sustainability issues as for example management and governance of natural resources. In this paper I review the background, concepts and the barriers and bridges to integrative research and knowledge production. As a base for evaluation and development of integrative research projects I propose a normative model for integrative knowledge production processes. This was done through a literature review and a study of an integrative research project. I discuss how transdisciplinary research about landscapes and to solve complex sustainability issues can be designed, viz. (1) there is a need for a common understanding of different types of integrative research, (2) an outspoken aim to develop socially robust knowledge, (3) a model for transdisciplinary collaborative learning processes, and (4) a funding scheme that include academic and non-academic participants and matches the long process of partnership building during the full knowledge production process, from problem identification/definition to an improvement or a management solution.
- Open Access
Natura 2000 Sites as an Asset for Rural Development: The German-Czech Ore Mountains Green Network Project
Page range: 41 - 58
Environmental quality and attractive landscapes are becoming ever more important as factors for the quality of life and the economy. Valuable ecosystems, often designated as protected areas, can be a precondition for sustainable rural development by providing the basis of various forms of economic activity. This applies also to the Ore Mountains which are characterized by outstanding natural assets and a typical cultural landscape on both sides of the border between the German state of Saxony and the Czech region of Northern Bohemia. They contain many NATURA 2000 sites, some of them extensive complexes which in some case straddle the border.
Starting from a SWOT analysis, which shows the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the region, the assessment of the main economic, ecological and socio-cultural functions and potentials of the NATURA 2000 ascertained a wide variety of ecosystem services which such protected areas provide. In many cases, there are various hitherto unused potentials, which offer opportunities for further development, e.g. for sampling medicinal plants, or for eco-tourism. There are also cases of overexploitation, e.g. by tourism: the trampling of sensitive vegetation, or disturbance of such animals as the black grouse (
On the basis of these results, the opportunities and risks for enhancing synergies between nature conservation and rural development are discussed. Favorable product-marketing, eco-tourism, and environmental education can improve acceptance for sustainable landscape management, especially among land users.
- Ecosystem services
- Environmental education
- Black grouse
- Open Access
Driving Forces, Threats and Trends Relating to Mosaics in Agricultural Landscape in Slovakia
Page range: 59 - 72
The present cultural landscape is a result of development which has been carried out for several thousand years. The land - use changes, driving forces, threats and trends relating to agricultural landscape mosaics in Slovakia were studied using examples of model areas with preserved landscape mosaics: the villages Zuberec - Habovka, Liptovská Teplička, Osturňa and the town of Svätý Jur.
The primary land cover of the Slovak republic was mostly forest. The outstanding feature of the landscape, as a result of settlement, deforestation and colonisation, was a landscape characterised by a high biodiversity and cultural mosaic because of the heterogeneity of land forms and cover, relief segmentation, and a variety of farming products. The most important interventions in the landscape started in the second half of the 20th century. Intensification of agriculture was linked with collectivisation and removal of hedges and riparian vegetation, decreasing the mosaic of arable fields, grasslands and woods. Landscape mosaics were transformed into large fields. Only in less accessible, less fertile localities was the original agricultural landscape partially preserved, and did not lose the shape of a cultural-historical countryside. At the same time, partial abandonment and reforestation has started as a consequence of changes in employment patterns and the decline of populations.
After 1990 the landscape was partly retrospectively diversified by virtue of land restitution. Although the decline of the traditional use of farmland is noticeable in Slovakia, in some regions local inhabitants are strongly linked to traditional land use. In less accessible, less fertile localities, abandonment of traditional agriculture and succession dominance of forest continues. The challenge to maintain the original agrarian landscape could be supported by agro-environmental schemes. However, localities with beneficial geographical positions are threatened. The town of Svätý Jur faces non-regulated urbanisation, old vineyards are being replaced by new villas and houses for recreation. The villages of Zuberec - Habovka face non regulated tourism. The marginal sites, Osturňa, Liptovská Teplička are threatened by abandonment and the subsequent overgrowth by woody vegetation.
- historical agricultural landscape
- developmental trends
- Open Access
Biosphere Reserves - Suggested Model of the Institution of Commons (Case study of the Šumava Biosphere Reserve)
Page range: 73 - 89
An attempt to address the interdependence between human economies and natural ecosystems has been articulated in ecological economics, among others, in terms of ecosystem services. Introducing ecosystem services yields positive result in the sense that the theoretical concept of cultural landscape has been complemented by the more or less effective political scheme, suitable as a basis for practical decision making. Nevertheless, practical management of ecosystem services on landscape scale is a rather complex task. The concept of
- Biosphere reserve
- Institution of commons
- Rural tourism
- Šumava Mts
- Open Access
Assessing the Change in Cover of Non-Indigenous Dwarf-Pine Using Aerial Photographs, a Case Study from the Hrubý Jeseník Mts., the Sudetes
Page range: 90 - 104
In addition to ongoing climate change, alpine ecosystems are also threatened by the expansion of non-indigenous species. Expansion of dwarf pine (
- Hrubý Jeseník
- object-based classification
- aerial photographs