The vegetation of hedgerows in changing agricultural landscapes - past and present patterns
|Kathrin Litza 2022 Dissertation The vegetation of hedgerows in changing agricultural landscapes - Past and present patterns.pdf||Kathrin Litza 2022 Dissertation The vegetation of hedgerows in changing agricultural landscapes - Past and present patterns||7.09 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
|Other Titles:||Die Vegetation von Wallhecken (Knicks) in sich verändernden landwirtschaftlich geprägten Landschaften - Früher und heute||Authors:||Litza, Kathrin||Supervisor:||Diekmann, Martin||1. Expert:||Diekmann, Martin||Experts:||Bernhardt-Römermann, Markus||Abstract:||
Hedgerows, a prominent landscape element across the oceanic regions of Western and Central Europe, separate agricultural fields and offer near-natural wooded habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. The majority of today’s hedgerows were created in the 18th and 19th centuries during the Enclosure Acts, when a shortage of wood led to the planting of hedgerows as living fences. To keep them healthy and stock-proof, the hedgerow’s shrub layer needed to be regularly managed, with the management technique employed depending on regional traditions. The intensification of agriculture taking place over the past several decades changed the European cultural landscape - with severe consequences for its biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Hedgerow management was increasingly neglected and large parts of the European hedgerow network were removed during the land consolidation of the 1960s to 1980s. Since then few new hedgerows have been planted, leaving fragmented habitats and a cleared landscape. When managed properly, hedgerows provide important ecosystem services, such as linking otherwise isolated habitats, reducing erosion by wind and water, and protecting adjacent fields and cattle from strong weather conditions. Today, hedgerows are valued for their ecological and amenity functions and are protected in most European regions.
This thesis studies the vegetation of hedgerows and which factors influence their biodiversity. The patterns found were analysed on different temporal as well as spatial scales to include past and present effects, e.g. of management, agriculture, landscape structure and climate. We demonstrated that hedgerows provide a diverse habitat for various plant species, but are under considerable threat by agricultural intensification, habitat loss and climate change. Nature conservation efforts and appropriate management, however, can preserve hedgerows as key elements for the biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.
|Keywords:||extinction debt; hedgerow density; vegetation ecology; hedgerow width; climate change; colonisation credit; resurvey; acidification; eutrophication; habitat loss; Ellenberg indicator values; historical ecology||Issue Date:||11-Jul-2022||Type:||Dissertation||DOI:||10.26092/elib/1780||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-elib62184||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||Fachbereich 02: Biologie/Chemie (FB 02)|
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checked on Dec 5, 2022
checked on Dec 5, 2022
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