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Multivariate analysis of landscape changes and farm characteristics in a study area in central Jutland, Denmark

Ecological Modelling

Abstract

The industrialisation and intensification of agriculture over the last 50 years had a negative impact on landscape diversity and habitat values. During the last two decades, farmers have become increasingly engaged in landscape activities, to maintain or create habitats on their property. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between landscape changes in rural areas and farm characteristics. In addition, the results are used to determine if farms with certain farm characteristics or combinations of characteristics can be related to different patterns of landscape changes. The analysis is based on a case study of the landscape activities carried out by 104 farmers between 1990 and 1995 in two parishes in central Jutland, Denmark. A multivariate analysis, consisting of a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and cluster analysis, is used to identify groups of farmers with distinct farm characteristics and landscape activities. The results indicate that 57% of the farms in the study area had engaged in landscape activities. Hedgerow planting and removal, and water point digging and cleaning were the most popular activities in terms of number of farmers involved. The planting of Christmas trees and cultivation of permanent grassland covered the largest area. In total, the activities concerned 125 ha or 1.5% of the study area. A parameter to parameter relationship could be identified between some landscape activities and farm characteristics. In particular, forest removal was closely related to intensive arable production while a range of activities were correlated with hobby farm characteristics. The results indicate that a range of motives influence farmers' landscape activities and that more information is needed to understand and model complex decision-making processes. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Kristensen, SP

Journal: Ecological Modelling

Year: 2003

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