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Interdisciplinary Analysis of Hedgerow Network Landscapes’ Sustainability

Landscape Research

Abstract

Hedgerows with pollarded trees are still emblematically shaping many agricultural landscapes in Western Europe; they are part of our heritage but their future is uncertain due to the enlargement of fields and loss of firewood use. As a consequence the sustainability of these agricultural landscapes is questioned. We studied changes in hedgerow management in a long-term ecological site in Brittany, France with an interdisciplinary approach. Importance, spatial distribution and relationship with the agricultural system have been assessed over 11 years in three contrasted hedgerow network landscapes, while management practices and farmers' perception were studied from an anthropological point of view. Two apparently opposed trends were found: first, an apparent decrease in the interest of farmers for hedgerows witnessed by the diminishing of the rate of pruning; second, changing attitudes of farmers not necessarily toward hedgerow abandonment but rather toward the production of novel shapes for pruned trees.

Author(s): Lotfi, A; Javelle, A; Baudry, J; Burel, F

Journal: Landscape Research

Year: 2010

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