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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Davies, Althea & Hamilton, Alastair & Hanley, Nicholas & Ross, Alasdair & Tinch, Dugald & Watson, Fiona, 2008. "Economic determinants of biodiversity change over a 400 year period in the Scottish uplands," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-01, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2008-01
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/531
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    Cited by:

    1. O'Rourke Eileen & Kramm Nadine, 2012. "High nature value (HNV) farming and the management of upland diversity. A review," European Countryside, De Gruyter Open, vol. 4(2), pages 116-133, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic factors; grazing pressures; historical studies; interdisciplinary studies; panel data models; pollen analysis; uplands; palynological r ichness;

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