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Case studies

CSA1 Lowland Ferrara (Emilia-Romangna, Italy)

It is an intensive agricultural area which was reclamated at the beginning of the XX Century (1909-1925). Landscape is characterized by plain topography (elevation -4 +19 m a.s.l.), wet areas (ponds, artificial canals, sluices), the River Po (the largest in Italy) and the coastal zone (Adriatic Sea). Agricultural systems are: intensive cereal production (maize production about 100 q ha-1), specialized orchards and horticulture. The main interests of the case study are the trade-offs between agriculture and the stability of reclamated lands, and the synergies between the different land-use options (naturalistic areas, coastal tourism, cultural heritage, agriculture).

CSA2 Nature Park “Maerkische Schweiz” (Brandenburg, Germany)

It is located in Maerkisch Oderland District (NUTS 3) The central area of the Nature park ‘Maerkische Schweiz’ is characterized by hilly terrain of glacial origin (max. elevation 150 m), and features a diverse, semi-open landscape with farmland, forests and lakes. In the peripheral area, there are lowlands and a flood plain with extensive arable and permanent grassland. With sandy and loamy soils with low soil fertility (except flood plain area), low precipitation (< 600 mm/year) the biophysical conditions are less favoured. Land use in the central part is dominated by forestry and livestock farming on extensive grassland, while in the periphery cropping for food, fodder and energy use prevail. The nature park was established due to its landscape amenities, its biodiversity and its historical villages, has well established tourism (mainly , daytrips & outdoor recreation (~60,000 arrivals and ~250,000 overnight stays) and benefits from its proximity to Berlin (3.4 Mio. inhabitants).

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CSA3 “Mittleres Ennstal” (Styria, Austria)

The CSA Austria is located in the north-east of Styria in Austria. The study region covers 252,18 km² and consists of four municipalities. Two of the municipalities (Aigen and Stainach) will be combined to represent a typical valley situation of the “Mittleres Ennstal”. The other two municipalities (Oppenberg and Pürgg-Trautenfels) represent the situation of two side valleys that - on each side of the main valley “Mittleres Ennstal” – reach into high alpine locations. The geomorphic and climatic conditions in the study region are multifaceted: The region expands from the valley floor of the river Enns (640m.a.A) up to the mountain top of the Grimming (2.351m.a.A) and is characterised by sheer rock walls and block heaps in the region of the northern limestone alps as well as of gentle mountainous formations. Also temperature and precipitation show a significant variance. Average yearly temperatures reach from 5,6 to 7,3°C, average yearly precipitation from 549 to 719 mm. Agricultural land use takes place as grass- and arable land in the valley, the higher regions are characterized by alpine meadows, pastures and forests.

CSA4 Winterswijk Municipality (Netherlands)

The case study area is located in the Eastern part of the Netherlands in the municipality of Winterswijk. Winterswijk is part of the province of Gelderland, which is situated in the Achterhoek. Winterswijk covers 138km², it is the largest municipality in the Netherland. The region is recognised as a distinctive rural landscape in the Netherlands and is protected under Dutch law (Nationaal Landschap).

Past socio-economic conditions have largely shaped the so called Coulisse landscape in Winterswijk, with farmers constrained to small and dispersed agricultural plots. As a result the region has remained forested by Dutch standards, with hedgerows enclosing small agricultural fields.

Land use: Agricultural accounts for 10% of the income for the residents of Winterswijk and 74% of the land use (101km²). The agricultural system is oriented toward milk production with mostly grazing (grasslands) and corn fodder crops grown.

CSA5 Montoro (Andalusia, Spain)

The area of study covers 586 km², with elevations range from 140 m to 790 m a.s.l. It includes four main land uses: Natural Park (27,272 ha), olive groves (20,009 ha), dehesa (4,855 ha) and specialist cereals, oilseed and vegetables (3,645 ha).

Olive groves are the main agricultural activity of many municipalities of southern Spain. Being located in highly sensitive environmental areas they have a net contribution to rural tourism and brand added value of the olive oil. Olive groves in mountain areas contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, prevent soil erosion and wildfires and promote rural tourism linked to a more valuable landscape from the citizen point of view. Since this is the main source of employment, direct and indirect, in many municipalities there is also a risk of depopulation of these rural areas due to the land abandonment.

The dehesa (grassland with scattered trees, mainly Quercus ilex) represents a sustainable agricultural system combining the preservation of the environment with extensive agricultural and livestock production. The management of this ecosystem can prevent the decay of the trees due to the fungus Pytophthora.

The Natural Park includes olive groves with lower yields in steeped lands with management restrictions due to the park environmental regulation. The main flow of services comes from the preservation of the habitat of one umbrella species, the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), the most threatened carnivorous species in Europe.

The fourth area, the cereals and oilseed crops, represents a typical Mediterranean agricultural system with low agrochemical inputs and low labour demand.

ARRIAZA, M. y NEKHAY, O. (2010). Metodología multicriterio para la integración de las preferencias de la sociedad en la gestión del territorio agrícola: Aplicación al olivar de baja producción. Analistas Económicos de Andalucía, Málaga. Mención especial del XI Premio Unicaja de Investigación Agraria. ISBN: 978-84-92443-07-9.

NEKHAY, O., ARRIAZA, M. and GUZMÁN-ÁLVAREZ, J.R. (2009). Spatial analysis of the suitability of olive plantations for wildlife habitat restoration. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 65(1), 49-64. ISSN: 0168-1699. DOI:10.1016/j.compag.2008.07.012.

NEKHAY, O. and ARRIAZA, M. (2009). Restoration of abandoned agricultural lands toward umbrella species habitats. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 7(2), 375-389.

NEKHAY, O., ARRIAZA, M. and BOERBOOM, L. (2009). Evaluation of erosion risk using Analytic Network Process and GIS: a case study from Spanish mountain olive plantations. Journal of Environmental Management 90(10), 3091-3104. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2009.04.022.

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CSA6 General Chlapowski Landscape Park (Wielkopolskie, Poland)

The area of the park, which was established in 1.992, is 17.220 hectares, of which about 2.500 ha are covered by forests and 1885 ha by waters and river catchments. Farming is the dominating activity on the remaining part of the area. Farms in the region vary in terms of size (small and large coexist) and intensity of production. The park is located in the central-western part of the Poland on the flat surface, with relatively small hills up to 95m above sea level. The main goals for the park are to protect cultural and agricultural landscapes and to promote modern, sustainable ways of farming in optimally arranged agricultural landscape.

The region in which the park is located is famous for landscape engineering establishments of gen. Dezydery Chlapowski (XIX th century) – rows of trees protecting fields from wind to mitigate soil erosion. The Park is ‘managed’ by the Research Station of the Department of Agricultural and Forest Environment of the Polish Academy of Science.

Risk mitigation (windbreaks – rows of trees) protecting from erosion, reducing water deficit, etc., drinking water provision, biodiversity, recreation and tourism opportunities are the main services of the landscape in the case study area.

CSA7 Eğirdir (Isparta, Turkey)

The case study area, Eğirdir, is located in the Southwest part of the Turkey, in the municipality of Eğirdir. Eğirdir is part of the province of Isparta. Eğirdir covers 1.227 km² and has about 19,500 habitants. The region is recognised with Lake Eğirdir which is the 4th biggest lake in Turkey. Eğirdir lies between Lake Eğirdir and the Mount Sivri, and contains a castle built during the times of Lydia and restored during the Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks.

Main income sources of Eğirdir are agriculture and tourism. The region is famous with apple and cherry production; very close to rose gardens, Kovada National Park and Davraz Ski Center. Eğirdir has been one of the plot areas of the Project on Environmentally Based Agricultural Land Protection implemented by Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

CSA8 Pazardzhik Region (Bulgaria)

Landscape is characterized by different topography - mountain region - 57.1 % forest, 35.6 % - agricultural land (elevation 100 + 1000 m). The landscape is varied area: mountainous (parts and Ihtimanska Sredna Gora, Western Rhodopes and Rila) and flat (Pazardzhik- Plovdiv field, representing the western part of the Upper Thracian Valley), the River Mariza (the largest in Byulgaria) and many artificial lakes and thermal waters.

Agricultural systems are: cereal production (the main rice producer region), vegetables and potatoes, vine growing, oil-supply crops and orchards grassland, milk production, low-intensive sheep and beef production, landscape conservation. Mixed features, with hill and mountain areas associated to agri-tourism, local food chains. Additionally geo-thermal water sources are suitable for developing spa tourism.

The main interest of the case study is the synergies between different land use options (naturalistic areas, spa and rural tourism, agriculture).

CSA9 Northern Corsica (France)

Northern Corsica is a mountainous territory which embraces 4500 sq km with 160 000 inhabitants. its elevation vary from the sea level to 2720 m (Monte Cintu). Roughly said the landscape can be divided in 4 types, each one corresponding with a range of altitude: the coastal plain intensively cultivated, the hills coverage by low scrubs and rangelands (200 - 500 m), the chestnut mountains (500 -800), the high mountains (800 m to the top).

The population, once concentrated in the medium mountain has been going down to the coast and now most of people live in coastal cities, village and suburbs for 50 years. The rich agricultural past of the mountain has been replaced by a very extensive agricultural farming systems based on rangeland utilization or by abandon.

Fire of scrubs and forest is one of the main environmental issues. The role of shepherd in fire prevention is still unclear. Tourism activity, once limited to the coast tends to extends to some places of the internal area.

The main agricultural firming systems are vine oriented (351) or specialized in citrus and other permanent crops (361) in the plains.

In the rangelands livestock of sheep, goats cattle are dominants, with different combination of species (48) or specialized in cattle (460)

In the chestnut area farmers breed pigs self transformed in dry salison (900 non classified holdings).