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Economic determinants of biodiversity change over a 400 year period in the Scottish uplands

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Author Info

  • Angelopoulos, Konstantinos
  • Davies, Althea
  • Hamilton, Alastair
  • Hanley, Nicholas
  • Ross, Alasdair
  • Tinch, Dugald
  • Watson, Fiona

Abstract

This study shows how data from very different disciplines can be combined to address questions relevant to contemporary conservation and understanding. This novel, interdisciplinary approach provides new insights into the role of economic factors as a driver of biodiversity loss in the uplands. Biodiversity levels have varied considerably over 400 years, partly as a function of land management, suggesting that establishing baselines or "natural" target levels for biodiversity is likely to be problematic. Changes in livestock grazing pressures brought about by changes in prices had statistically significant effects on estimated plant diversity, as did land abandonment. This suggests that longterm management of upland areas for the conservation of diversity should focus on grazing pressures as a key policy attribute. Another policy implication is that drastic cuts in grazing pressures - such as might occur under current reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy - can have adverse biodiversity con sequences.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/531
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Stirling, Division of Economics in its series Stirling Economics Discussion Papers with number 2008-01.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2008-01

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Postal: Division of Economics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
Phone: +44 (0)1786 467473
Fax: +44 (0)1786 467469
Web page: http://www.econ.stir.ac.uk/
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Related research

Keywords: palynological richness; uplands; pollen analysis; panel data models; interdisciplinary studies; historical studies; grazing pressures; economic factors;

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