How does land management contribute to the resilience of Mediterranean forests and rangelands? A participatory assessment

Jucker Riva, Matteo; Baeza, Jaime; Bautista, Susana; Christoforou, Michalakis; Daliakopoulos, Ioannis N.; Hadjimitsis, Diofantos; Keizer, Jan Jacob; Liniger, Hanspeter; Quaranta, Giovanni; Ribeiro, Cristina; Salvia, Rosanna; Tsanis, Ioannis K.; Urgeghe, Anna M.; Valdecantos, Alejandro; Schwilch, Gudrun (2018). How does land management contribute to the resilience of Mediterranean forests and rangelands? A participatory assessment. Land degradation & development, 29(10), pp. 3721-3735. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 10.1002/ldr.3104

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In Mediterranean forests and rangelands, the supply of important ecosystem services can decrease or cease as a consequence of disturbances and climatic oscillations. Land managers can sometimes prevent or mitigate the negative effects of disturbances through appropriate land management choices. In this study, we assess the contribution of land management practices (LMPs) to the resilience of eight Mediterranean forests and rangelands to multiple disturbances. The study uses a transdisciplinary approach, involving scientists, land managers, and local administrators. Data about disturbances, ecosystem services, the role of LMPs, and the resistance of LMPs to disturbances are combined using a semiquantitative index and analysed to evaluate how the LMPs implemented are suited to the disturbances affecting each study site. Our results indicate that the practices analysed are particularly effective in improving resilience of ecosystems against wildfires and torrential rainfalls. However, droughts are more difficult to address, and the examined practices were heavily affected by their occurrence. Tree planting appears to be highly affected by disturbances. Practices that selectively reduce the amount of vegetation appear to be beneficial in fostering recovery of ecosystems. Our assessment also suggests that it is particularly difficult to increase resilience to droughts and fires simultaneously. Practices that aimed to mitigate the impact of land use did not always prove valuable in terms of resilience. Finally, study sites that included efforts to address disturbances in their management objectives also displayed practices making the biggest contribution to resilience.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Sustainable Land Management

Graduate School:

International Graduate School North-South (IGS North-South)

UniBE Contributor:

Jucker Riva, Matteo; Liniger, Hanspeter and Schwilch, Gudrun


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
900 History > 910 Geography & travel




John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


[423] Catastrophic shifts in drylands Official URL
[803] Cluster: Land Resources




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2019 11:24

Last Modified:

04 Nov 2019 18:46

Publisher DOI:





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