Land use/Land cover change; Landscape dynamics; Alpine agriculture; Switzerland; Pastureland; agricultural history; environmental history; historical ecology
Bürgi Matthias, Silbernagel Janet, Wu Jango, Kienast Felix (2015), Linking ecosystem services with landscape history, in Landscape Ecology
, 30(1), 11-20.
Bürgi Matthias, Wunderli Rahel, Furrer Benno (2013), Die Entstehung der modernen Alpwirtschaft, in Lauber Stefan et al. (ed.), Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL; Zürich-Reckenholz, Forschu, Birmensdorf, 37-53.
Lauber Stefan et al. (ed.) (2013), Zukunft der Schweizer Alpwirtschaft: Fakten, Analysen und Denkanstösse aus dem Forschungsprogramm AlpFUTUR
, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL; Forschungsanstalt Ag, Birmensdorf; Zürich-Reckenholz.
Alpine pasture farming shapes the landscape in the Swiss Alps on more than 5’000km2, i.e., one eighth of the total surface of Switzerland. Alpine pastures are high in cultural, ecological and economic values, but they are undergoing rapid changes, mainly due to the integration of alpine agriculture in a global marked for agricultural products. We propose to study the development of alpine pasture farming since 1880 regarding land use, land cover and landscape change. We are especially interested in finding out how the diversity of alpine pasture landscapes in Switzerland changed in the study period, i.e., if they became more diverse or more homogenous. This interdisciplinary assessment will allow to evaluate the often heard general statement that globalization leads to homogenization at an empirical example. In the study proposed, we will combine methods and approaches from landscape research and from historical sciences in an integrated research framework. We will reconstruct the land use history based on secondary literature and targeted archival research for Switzerland and specifically for six case study regions located in alpine pasture landscapes across Switzerland. For the same areas, we will reconstruct land cover changes based on historical topographic maps. Within the case study regions, aerial and terrestrial photographs, and possibly fieldwork will supplement the data collection. We will then assess the driving forces of land use and land cover change based on a procedure developed in the group of the main applicant (Bürgi et al. 2004, Schneeberger et al. 2007a) and we finally will be able to asses whether land-use and land-cover became more homogenous during the study period. With this project we will contribute to the inter- and transdisciplinary research program AlpFUTUR (www.alpfutur.ch), which develops scenarios of future alpine pasture farming in Switzerland.