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The sheep in wolf‘s clothing? Recognizing threats for land degradation in Iceland using state-and-transition models

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dc.contributor Háskóli Íslands
dc.contributor University of Iceland
dc.contributor Landbúnaðarháskóli Íslands
dc.contributor Agricultural University of Iceland
dc.contributor.author Barrio, Isabel C
dc.contributor.author Hik, D.S.
dc.contributor.author Þórrsson, Jóhann
dc.contributor.author Svavarsdóttir, Kristín
dc.contributor.author Marteinsdóttir, Bryndís
dc.contributor.author Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala
dc.date.accessioned 2018-05-29T14:01:27Z
dc.date.available 2018-05-29T14:01:27Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.citation Barrio IC, Hik DS, Thórsson J,Svavarsdóttir K, Marteinsdóttir B, Jónsdóttir IS. The sheep inwolf's clothing? Recognizing threats for land degradation inIceland using state‐and‐transition models. Land Degrad Dev.2018;1–12. doi:10.1002/ldr.2978
dc.identifier.issn 1085-3278
dc.identifier.issn 1099-145X (eISSN)
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/736
dc.description.abstract Land degradation and extensive soil erosion are serious environmental concerns in Iceland. Natural processes associated with a harsh climate and frequent volcanic activity have shaped Icelandic landscapes. However, following human settlement and the introduction of livestock in the 9th century the extent of soil erosion rapidly escalated. Despite increased restoration and afforestation efforts and a considerable reduction in sheep numbers during the late 20th century, many Icelandic rangelands remain in poor condition. A deeper understanding of the ecology of these dynamic landscapes is needed, and state-and-transition models (STMs) can provide a useful conceptual framework. STMs have been developed for ecosystems worldwide to guide research, monitoring and management, but have been used at relatively small spatial scales and have not been extensively applied to high-latitude rangelands. Integrating the best available knowledge, we develop STMs for rangelands in Iceland, where sheep grazing is often regarded as a main driver of degradation. We use STMs at a country-wide scale for three time periods with different historical human influence, from pre-settlement to present days. We also apply our general STM to a case study in the central highlands of Iceland to illustrate the potential application of these models at scales relevant to management. Our STMs identify the set of possible states, transitions and thresholds in these ecosystems and their changes over time, and suggest increasing complexity in recent times. This approach can help identify important knowledge gaps and inform management efforts and monitoring programmes, by identifying realistic and achievable conservation and restoration goals.
dc.description.sponsorship I. C. B. was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship funded by theIcelandic Research Fund (Rannsóknasjóður, grant 152468‐051) andAXA Research Fund (15‐AXA‐PDOC‐307). D. S. H. recieved supportfrom the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada),and ISJ from the University of Iceland Research Fund.
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
dc.relation.ispartofseries Land Degradation and Development
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject Adaptive monitoring
dc.subject Land management
dc.subject Rangeland
dc.subject Sheep grazing
dc.subject Landeyðing
dc.subject Jarðvegseyðing
dc.subject Landnýting
dc.subject Beitilönd
dc.title The sheep in wolf‘s clothing? Recognizing threats for land degradation in Iceland using state-and-transition models
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.journal Land Degradation and Development
dc.identifier.doi 10.1002/ldr.2978
dc.contributor.department Líf- og umhverfisvísindastofnun (HÍ)
dc.contributor.department Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences (UI)
dc.contributor.school Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
dc.contributor.school School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)

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