A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2020) | Viewed by 10892
To deal with complex challenges, such as the impacts of climate change or land use change, complex approaches are required. Management approaches which focus on small spatial units, for example farm plots, or which single out specific functions or ecosystem services, such as productivity or protectivity to the exclusion of others, are no match for these challenges. Landscape approaches, on the other hand, address multiple objectives at the same time across scales. The term ‘multifunctional landscapes’ acknowledges that functional diversity is an inherent or desired quality of such landscapes. Sustainable multifunctional landscapes are managed for the maintenance or restoration of functional diversity, with the aim of maintaining a full range of ecosystem services.
Landscapes are dynamic entities which change according to the influence of environmental, socio-economic, cultural and political factors. While some historic land use practices have been able to maintain or even enhance multifunctionality in landscapes, current trends of land use change lead towards homogenization of landscapes and reduction in ecosystem services. The transformation of formerly diverse cultural landscapes in the mountain regions of tropical Asia into landscapes dominated by single crops, under the influence of markets and development policies, is a case in point.
To counter such trends, Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS), such as agroforestry systems which combine trees with crops and/or farm animals, are promoted with the aim of attaining multifunctionality on the farm level and within multifunctional mosaic landscapes.Prof. Dr. Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt
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