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A comparison between lowland arable landscapes in Great Britain with those in a Baltic State, Estonia

Bunce, R.G.H.; Sepp, K.; Kikas, T.; Wood, C.M.. 2017 A comparison between lowland arable landscapes in Great Britain with those in a Baltic State, Estonia. In: 25 Years of Landscape Ecology, Manchester, 27-29 June 2017. (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

Although Estonia is at about the same latitude as Shetland – Lerwick is at 60.15 and Tallinn is at 59.44- the country has many intensively managed arable landscapes with a few raised bogs and a high forest cover. This is partly because of more extensive fertile soils, and partly because the climate is more suitable to arable farming. It is therefore a useful exercise to examine the structure and composition of these landscapes and to compare them with similar situations in Great Britain (GB) to determine whether intensive agriculture has produced convergent landscapes. In GB an Environmental classification was used to separate the flat plains of East Anglia, with a relatively continental climate and fertile soils and associated intensive arable agriculture; from the rest of the country with more variable altitudinal ranges and soils. In Estonia, with less pronounced environmental gradients, a project on defining High Nature Value farmland provided a reliable estimate of the distribution and character of intensively managed agricultural land. The methodology involves an expert system to identify the landscape ecological character of agricultural land and will be described in the paper. The databases available from the two countries will be analyzed to provide quantitative descriptions of the structure and composition of the relevant landscapes in the two countries. From field observation, it is apparent that similar methods of intensive agriculture have produced comparable prairie type landscapes. These have resulted from the removal of linear features, small habitat patches and point elements for increased agricultural efficiency.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: A paper presented at the 2017 ialeUK Annual Conference.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 30 Jun 2017 16:02 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517236

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