Barriers and Bridges for Landscape Stewardship and Knowledge Production to Sustain Functional Green Infrastructures

  • Per AngelstamEmail author
  • Marine Elbakidze
  • Anna Lawrence
  • Michael Manton
  • Viesturs Melecis
  • Ajith H. Perera


Sustainable landscapes and regions require both stewardship and management to sustain the composition, structure and function of ecosystems as a base for delivering human benefits. This complex is captured by the topic of ecosystem services. To deliver these, the concept green (or blue) infrastructure emerged as a tool for spatial planning of networks of natural and semi-natural areas. Such planning requires evidence-based knowledge about both ecological and social systems. For ecosystems, states and trends need be monitored, and improved knowledge must be developed about ecological tipping points for assessment of sustainability, as well as measures for conservation, management and restoration of representative habitat networks for biodiversity and human well-being, i.e. green infrastructures. For social systems, barriers and bridges for stakeholders’ involvement in stewardship and management at multiple levels of governance and spatial scales must be understood. This dual approach requires collaboration among natural and human sciences (i.e. humanities and social sciences) researchers, practitioners and stakeholders. This chapter identifies barriers for place-based collaborative knowledge production and learning and discusses how to bridge them in social-ecological systems. We review results from: (1) long-term place-based initiatives aiming at knowledge production and learning about how to sustain ecosystem services and (2) experiences of human and natural scientists, practitioners and stakeholders about how to bridge barriers for knowledge production and learning. Then, we discuss how coordination and integration of researchers’ and stakeholders’ contributions can be improved through learning by evaluation and traditional knowledge. Seven key actions to promote multilevel learning within and among networks of place-based initiatives aiming at sustainable landscapes are comparative studies, learning by evaluation, landscape approach as tool, train students and professionals to become reflective practitioners, integrated spatial planning, define performance targets for green infrastructure functionality and building a multilevel infrastructure of landscape approach initiatives.


Landscape approach Case study Learning by evaluation Reflective practitioner Spatial planning Zoning Performance target Transdisciplinary research Social-ecological system Model Forest Biosphere Reserve LTSER platform 



This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council Formas (grant number 2011-1737) to Per Angelstam and by the Swedish Institute (grant number 10976/2013) to Marine Elbakidze. We thank Peter Besseau, Lars Laestadius and the editors for constructive and stimulating reviews.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Per Angelstam
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marine Elbakidze
    • 1
  • Anna Lawrence
    • 2
  • Michael Manton
    • 3
  • Viesturs Melecis
    • 4
  • Ajith H. Perera
    • 5
  1. 1.School for Forest Management, Swedish University of Agricultural SciencesSkinnskattebergSweden
  2. 2.Scottish School of ForestryUniversity of Highlands and IslandsInvernessUK
  3. 3.Faculty of Forest Science and EcologyAleksandras Stulginskis UniversityKaunasLithuania
  4. 4.Institute of BiologyUniversity of LatviaSalaspilsLatvia
  5. 5.Ontario Forest Research InstituteSault Ste. MarieCanada

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