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Sustainable Land-use Practices in European Mountain Regions under Global Change: an Integrated Research Approach

Robert Huber, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Harald Bugmann, ETH Zurich
Alexandre Buttler, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL; Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Andreas Rigling, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL


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This Special Feature on sustainable land-use practices in European mountain regions presents results from the inter- and transdisciplinary research project MOUNTLAND. The goal was to investigate the sensitivity of the provision of ecosystem services to both climatic and land-use changes and to suggest alternative policies and governance structures for mitigating the impact of such changes and enhancing sustainable management practices in mountain regions. The individual articles provide: (1) new scientific findings regarding the impacts of climate and land-use changes on ecosystem processes in three sensitive mountain regions of Switzerland; (2) an assessment of the feedback effects arising from changing socioeconomic and political conditions, land use, and adaptation to climate change, using modeling techniques and transdisciplinary stakeholder interactions; and (3) suggestions for alternative policy solutions to ensure sustainable land use in mountain regions. In our synthesis of the project, we provide insights from the ecological, socioeconomic, and political sciences in the context of human-environment interactions in mountain regions. The innovation of this Special Feature lies in the fact that all articles present truly inter- or transdisciplinary research, ranging from natural sciences to economics and political sciences, based on an overarching set of unifying research questions.

Key words

adaptation; climate change; ecosystem services; experiments; interdisciplinary research; land-use change; management; modeling; transdisciplinary research

Copyright © 2013 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087