From Abandoned Farmland to Self-Sustaining Forests: Challenges and Solutions
In a global context dominated by forest loss and degradation, farmland abandonment may constitute a unique opportunity to restore native forest systems and forest ecosystem services. In Europe, 16 million hectares of agricultural land may be released by 2020, according to recent scenarios of land-use change (Keenleyside and others 2010). Farmland abandonment tends to occur in areas where agricultural activities lost economical viability, namely in areas of marginal farmland and in degraded land (Keenleyside and others 2010). The potential impacts of farmland abandonment for biodiversity conservation and the delivery of ecosystem services will vary according to the local environmental and cultural context. The responses to avoid or minimize impacts of abandonment should take into consideration both the environmental conditions of the ecosystem and the economic viability of the restoration or management approach (Chazdon 2008; Benayas and others 2007). In Europe, responses to the threat...
KeywordsEcosystem Service Biodiversity Conservation Abandoned Farmland Forest Ecosystem Service Farmland Abandonment
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