Wenche Dramstad

Head of Department/Head of Research

(+47) 906 44 113
wenche.dramstad@nibio.no

Place
Ås R9

Visiting address
Raveien 9, 1430 Ås

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Abstract

The amount of rented farmland in Norway has increased steadily since the 1950s. Concerns have been raised questioning whether farmland is treated less well by tenants compared to landowners. This study aims to investigate how farmers perceive their treatment of rented farmland, which factors impact their decisionmaking related to this and if farmers are concerned about farmland elements that are less important for productivity but mainly of interest for cultural heritage or environmental management reasons. Semi-structured interviews with a group of randomly selected farmers were carried out in an area dominated by intensive agriculture. Independent of, for example, amount of rented land or duration of the rental agreement, all farmers agreed that rented land was treated well. A strong competition for farmland in combination with farmers being dependent on renting land was the most important reason. Results from this study may be transferrable to other farming areas, at least where competition for farmland is comparable. We do suggest, however, that any further research on treatment of rented farmland in Norway should take a regional approach, since national statistics may cover significant regional differences.

Abstract

Agricultural landscapes are products of farming activity in the past and present. They are everyday landscapes for many people and are important for outdoor recreation. Many plant and animal species find their habitat in these landscapes, and a high number of cultural heritage sites can also be found there. At the same time, agricultural landscapes are continuously subject to change. To ensure sufficient information on how these landscapes change, a national monitoring programme with the acronym “3Q” was initiated in 1998, to document status, continuity and change in agricultural landscapes in Norway. The Division of Survey and Statistics at NIBIO is responsible for the programme.

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Abstract

The main objective of this work was to analyse how increased harvesting for bioenergy production might affect other Ecosystem Services (ES) in two Norwegian municipalities (Ringsaker and Voss). The aim was to identify locations where synergies or conflicts between ES could be expected. The spatial distribution of eight different ES (3 provision, 3 regulation and 2 cultural services) was modelled using information provided by land use spatial databases and additional data sources. Model parameters were set by integrating existing research and expert knowledge. Maps showing the level of provision of ES were analysed using a moving window to analyse scale dependence in the spatial distribution of ES provision. Map algebra was then used to identify areas providing multiple ES, thus defining the most important areas on which to focus the management of both synergies and trade-offs. Finally, specific ‘binary bundles’ maps, where bioenergy provision was compared with each of the other ES, were developed. The methodology proved its utility to assess the compatibility of bioenergy uses with other services. This straightforward approach is readily replicable in other regions and can be used as a decision support tool for planning and designing provision areas, and to ensure sustainable forest management approaches.

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Abstract

As the human population grows and its influence on the environment continually increases, sustainability is again on the policy agenda. At the same time there is increasing awareness of the need for more environmentally attuned landscape planning. Nevertheless, researchers have recognized that many research findings are not applied in real life management or practice. We argue that the lack of incorporating ecological knowledge into landscape planning is partly caused by a communication gap between ecologists and planners and designers. In this article we suggest one approach of how this communication gap could be minimized. We link landscape ecological concepts relevant for land use planning to a well-known planning and design concept, the Emerald Necklace. We argue that applying the Emerald Necklace concept in a planning process can have several possible positive contributions. First, it will necessitate thinking on a landscape scale, i.e., putting the focus not only on individual planning project areas, but also on the ways in which these are linked to the surrounding landscape. Further, it will help identify priority areas from an ecological perspective. Finally, it will emphasize the importance of heterogeneity of habitats and connectivity of the blue-green infrastructure during the planning process. In addition, and equally important, the concept provides abundant opportunities for creative design. We hope using the Emerald Necklace will contribute to improved dialogue and understanding between the professions involved in planning processes.

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Abstract

Aim: Identify where bioeconomic development would best be located to maximise both local resources and the reusable waste from potentially collaborating sectors. We seek to answer the questions like Where are the best locations for bioeconomic clusters and how should this be assessed? What are the tradeoffs, how can they be mapped and described, and are there any general major obstacles? What are the conditions that would aid in developing a smart bioeconomy and what are the spatial implications of different developments?

Abstract

Increased forest biomass production for bioenergy will have various consequences for landscape scenery, depending on both the landscape features present and the character and intensity of the silvicultural and harvesting methods used. We review forest preference research carried out in Finland, Sweden and Norway, and discuss these findings in relation to bioenergy production in boreal forest ecosystems. Some production methods and related operations incur negative reactions among the public, e.g. stump harvesting, dense plantation, soil preparation, road construction, the use of non-native species, and partly also harvest of current non-productive forests. Positive visual effects of bioenergy production tend to be linked to harvesting methods such as tending, thinning, selective logging and residue harvesting that enhance both stand and landscape openness, and visual and physical accessibility. Relatively large differences in findings between studies underline the importance of local contextual knowledge about landscape values and how people use the particular landscape where different forms of bioenergy production will occur. This scientific knowledge may be used to formulate guiding principles for visual management of boreal forest bioenergy landscapes.

Abstract

Part of the Vega archipelago in north-western Norway is a cultural landscape listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its buffer zone comprises most of the main island of Vega, where agriculture is an important land use. The authors describe interdisciplinary research carried out in the buffer zone. The research revealed the significant role of agriculture for the maintenance of the traditional open coastal landscape. The finding was further underlined by the fact that many visitors to the site never reach the outer archipelago, which is the core of the listed site. Based on interpretations of aerial photographs, land cover maps were produced for three cross-sections in time (1965, 1986, and 2009). A further reclassification of the land cover was performed to capture the change in openness due to change in land cover. Viewshed maps of each building found on the aerial photographs were overlain with the openness classes to capture the visual consequences of the buildings due to changes in land cover. A marked decrease in open land surrounding the buildings was found in the study area, which comprised Holand and Floa-Kjul in Vega Municipality, which in turn comprises the islands of the Vega archipelago. The regrowth of the land seemed to be happening regardless of building category

Abstract

This review identifies ‘successful’ policies for biodiversity, cultural heritage, and landscape scenery and recreation in Austria, France, Bavaria (Germany), Wales (UK), and Switzerland, and a comparison with current efforts in Norway. All of these countries face similar risks and challenges, mostly with regard to mountain areas. Sources used for the analysis were the evaluations of the national Rural Development Plans, and the midway evaluation and national ex-post evaluations of the CAP programme period 2000–2006. An evaluation of the Swiss Direct Payment System was available from 2009, as well as information about further development from 2011. Scientific papers and other official reports by, e.g., the OECD, the European Commission and the European Environmental Agency, were used as well. Expert interviews were conducted by telephone and e-mail. Measures deemed particularly successful often had very specific aims, included local information, appeared to involve fairly simple application and organization requirements, were developed and designed in cooperation with farmers and were adapted to local characteristics or challenges. Measures considered less successful were criticized for being unfair in terms of regional repartition of grants, for lacking transparency, for being applied only to small areas, and for requiring a great deal of organization and implementation work. In terms of future developments of the Norwegian agricultural and agri-environmental subsidy system we recommend examining the following particular policies more closely: the Organic Farming scheme in Austria, the Welsh whole-farm scheme Tir Gofal, and the Austrian, Bavarian and Swiss measures for cultural landscape maintenance. Since no ‘best practice’ or ‘standard design’ of agricultural support schemes has been recognized on an international level to date, an enhanced evaluation system will be as important as new and adjusted schemes. Monitoring data suitable for comparison should be collected, based on internationally defined indicators. For the time being, we suggest “double-tracked” agri-environmental support: mainly measures that have proved to be effective; but also measures where positive effects are considered very likely due to well-known cause-effect relationships, even though they may not yet have been thoroughly documented and approved, e.g. because of their long-term character or due to weaknesses in monitoring and evaluation.

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Abstract

In 2012, the Norwegian Environmental Agency funded an extension to the Global Pollination Project, coordinated by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) to expand the number of connected countries from 7 fully participating to in total 13 countries. This international effort seeks to build capacity for pollination studies and add to the knowledge base for the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). IPBES is currently conducting its first fast track case study on pollination. Specifically, the Global Pollination Project implements the “Protocol to detect and assess pollination deficits in crops: a handbook for its use” (Vaissière et al. 2011), developed through the FAO. The proto-col outlines a unified method to investigate pollination and measure pollination deficits in vari-ous agricultural systems around the world. NINA (the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) was tasked with setting up a Norwegian collaboration to implement the protocol in Norway, to analyse its applicability to Nordic conditions and evaluate its strength in relation to alternative research strategies. The present report is the result of this effort. This report does not communicate the final results of the analyses, as they will be conducted in the two larger “host-projects” that made the implementation of the protocol possible. Instead, it outlines the rationale of the protocol, and evaluates its potential for providing management rel-evant information on pollination deficits, with particular emphasis on Norway. We discuss the state and trends of pollination dependent crops in Norway, as a background for the need for pollination in Norwegian Agriculture. The protocol is general enough to be applied to a wide variety of settings, and we did not expe-rience any fundamental problems of implementing it in a Nordic setting. We did however notice challenges to an effective implementation, which might be especially pronounced in a Norwe-gian or Scandinavian setting. First, it can be difficult to find a wide enough range of factors that influence pollinators to efficiently analyse the importance of pollination without resorting to ma-nipulative treatments. For example, the amount of flower resources and fragmentation of habi-tat are factors known to influence pollinators. But many crops are spatially aggregated to rela-tively narrow valleys and therefore experience similar surroundings. Secondly, it can be chal-lenging to find enough replicate farms since Norway is a relatively small agricultural nation. Thirdly, pollinators in Norway (as in many other parts of the world) are intractably linked to ag-ricultural and animal husbandry practices that provide a diversity of flowering resources neces-sary for pollinating insects, yet these practices and resulting resources in the surrounding land-scape is not sufficiently captured by the survey protocol. The protocol is designed to estimate differences in yield given differences in pollination, and various methods are available to approach optimal pollination, that acts as benchmark. Esti-mating the effect of pollination on yield is the foundation to understanding the status of pollina-tion deficits for any crop. The protocol appears to be a successful effort to create a unified standard of measuring pollination and pollination deficits by this definition. It thus marks a great improvement for pollination research in agriculture internationally. Pollination, Ecosystem services, Bees, Bumble bees, Pollination deficit Protocol, FAO, IPBES, Policy, apple, red clover, Norway, pollinering, økosystemtjenester, bier, humler, protokoll for polline-ringsunderskudd, FAO, IPBES, eple, rødkløver

Abstract

Background & Aim: Land-use regimes and their changes, as well as landscape heterogeneity are key determinants of the distribution and composition of species in cultural landscapes. In European agricultural landscapes, habitat loss due to both abandonment and intensification of agriculture fields are major causes for the decline of species diversity. Landscapes that are diverse in habitats and species are important to maintain basic ecosystem functions and services as, for instance, pollination or habitat preservation. In Norway, semi-natural species-rich habitats, such as agricultural grasslands, often occur in mosaics with forests and crop fields. This research studies key information for design of conservation plans focused on these habitats, addressing how landscape structure and land-use history affect the distribution, richness and composition of species in species-rich grasslands across geographical regions. Material & Methods: We recorded vegetation (species occurrence and cover) in agricultural grasslands with varying intensity and type of use from 569 plots of 8 x 8 m size systematically distributed throughout Norway (from 64 to 78 °N latitude). To identify the most important driving factors of species diversity and composition we explored the combined effects of historic and current land-use and the spatial landscape configuration of nearby land cover types (e.g. minimum distance to or area of neighbouring wetland, forest, cultivated land) taking into account the effects of grazing, elevation, and moisture conditions. Non-metrical multidimensional scaling (NMDS) was applied to identify the most important drivers of species composition. We used Generalized Additive Mixed Models to test the relationship of these drivers with patterns in species richness. Main results & Interpretations: NMDS revealed species composition to be explained most by the distance to surface cultivated land and transportation corridors (r=0.905, p<0.001 and r=-0.982, p<0.001; 1. NMDS axis) as well as shape of the patch in which the vegetation plot is embedded (patch shape) and grazing intensity (r=0.988, p<0.001 and r=-0.952, p<0.001; 2. NMDS axis). Observed patterns in species richness were statistically significantly linked to the combined effects of elevation, grazing intensity, historical land-use, patch shape, distance to transportation corridors and forest, and area of nearest wetland. Our results demonstrate the importance of a variety of factors influencing the species composition and richness in Norwegian grasslands. We found that both the landscape element harbouring the observed plot and also the surrounding landscape structure and intensity of land-use are important determinants of species diversity. The fact that distance to more intensively managed agricultural land is one of the strongest explanatory facts signals how effects of agricultural management practices reaches outside the field itself and into adjacent landscape elements. This suggests that the entire landscape needs to be taken into consideration when management of a particular habitat patch is planned.

Abstract

For a quarter of a century, sustainable development has been on the political and research agendas. Within the field of landscape ecology, a wide array of research has documented the effects of alternative land uses, analysed driving forces of land use change and developed tools for measuring such changes, to mention but a few developments. There have also been great advances in technology and data management. Nevertheless, unsustainable land use continues to occur and the science of landscape ecology has had less influence on landscape change than aimed for. In this paper we use Norwegian examples to discuss some of the reasons for this. We examine mismatches in the spatial and temporal scales considered by scientists, decision-makers and those who carry out land use change, consider how this and other factors hinder effective communication between scientists and practitioners, and urge for a stronger focus on what it is that motivates people to action. We suggest that the concept of landscape services can be useful not only for researchers but also provide valuable communication and planning tools. Finally, we suggest more emphasis on applying adaptive management in landscape ecology to help close the gaps, both between researchers and policy and, even more crucially, between researchers and practitioners.

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Abstract

Landscapes reflect both historic and current cultural and socio-economic activities of human societies. Accordingly, as human societies change, the landscape changes as well. Agriculture is the main driver of landscape changes in the Czech Republic. Therefore, it is necessary to devote special attention to agricultural practices and define simple but effective steps to improve landscape mosaics towards a sustainable development. In this study, regional information about historic changes in landscape structure was studied to (1) identify the trends in land use/cover development since 1940 to 2010 and (2) determine the impact of land use change on the resulting heterogeneity of the landscape. The overall purpose was to find areas of compromise which would allow strengthening of landscape structure and thus stabilize its functions. We specified trends of land use/cover development in 15 catchments with varying agriculture intensity. We digitalized aerial photographs from 1940, 1960, and 1990 and orthophotomaps from 2010. Then, we used a heterogeneity index to define landscape heterogeneity in all catchments and time horizons. The results of our research confirmed increasing tillage effort in intensively cultivated areas, support of secondary succession processes in marginalized areas, and overall increase in forest area. Our study found that simplification and homogenization of the landscape mosaic took place in all studied areas, with the steepest decline found in areas with high agriculture intensity. However, linear vegetation proved to be a suitable starting point for a targeted effort to increase heterogeneity and thus seemed to be crucial for sustainable development of landscape functions in agroecosystems.

Abstract

The centennial volume of this journal provides a fitting time to stop and reflect. Do we know where we are heading? Are we progressing in the right direction? Having studied landscape change for some years, we have seen the tremendous power of engagement that can be found in landscapes. Landscape is a theme that most people easily relate to. At the same time, landscape research has provided many appropriate tools for documenting landscape change and the effects of change. Yet in spite of public engagement and scientific knowledge, we still find many examples of negative landscape developments. In this paper we reflect on the applications of landscape research and the issue of communicating scientific findings to policy, management, landowners and the general public. Do we need a greater focus on communication to achieve sustainable landscape development?

Abstract

Protected Landscapes (PLs) are increasingly used in Norway to conserve cultural (human modified) landscapes. In many cases the maintenance of agricultural activities in PLs is required to preserve landscape character. Whilst research exists on land conservation policies in general, the particular effects of PL on management and adjustment of the farms involved have not received attention in the literature. We present results from a questionnaire sent to owners of agricultural land within PLs in Norway. Whilst landowners were divided upon the effects of PLs on farm management, the economic situation of the farm was little affected. Furthermore, changes in farm management after the establishment of a PL did not seem to have been driven by the establishment of the PLs per se. Most importantly, farm management changes were related to potential options to develop the farm and its land. A statistical model showed that PL-farms did not differ significantly from farms outside PL in the development of their land use or animal husbandry. Our findings thus indicate that the establishment of PL played a minor role as a driving force of changes in farm management and farm income.

Abstract

The coastal heath region along the western coast of Norway, dominated by Calluna vulgaris, is undergoing rapid change. Vegetation changes are caused by changes in management, including reduced frequency or abandonment of periodic heath burning and reduced cutting and grazing. The islands of Froan, in the outermost part of Sør-Trøndelag County in mid-western Norway, are dominated by coastal heath in a state of recession due to reduced traditional land use. The coastal heath is acknowledged as vulnerable and valuable by national environmental authorities, and local landscape management is supported by different national subsidies. The authors mapped the vegetation on Froan and used rule-based GIS-modelling to predict the relative potential for future vegetation changes. The model was based on a range of map layers, including management themes such as history of heath burning and peat removal, current practices of sheep grazing, and also themes derived from the vegetation map, such as soil nutrients, soil moisture and present management status. The resulting model output provides relative probabilities of future changes under different land-use scenarios, and highlights where management efforts should be focused in order to maintain the traditional landscape character.

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Abstract

Norwegian agriculture has, as in most western-European countries, gone through several periods of change during the last 100 years. Pronounced changes have occurred in production systems and the spatial organisation of farm land, as well as agricultural policy. During the last 50 years, official statistics document a marked decline in the number of active farms. This decline has caused concern, as Norway traditionally has had an agricultural policy that emphasises self-sufficiency and rural settlement. Yet statistics also show that the amount of agricultural land in use has remained the same. This is usually explained through a larger proportion of tenanted land, as technological progress has allowed production levels to be maintained with a smaller workforce. Studies elsewhere in Europe show, however, that tenancy may not promote the same levels of investment and landscape management as owner occupation. To assess the potential impact of this change on Norway's landscape (and its value as both a cultural and tourism resource) we analyse tenancy patterns in Norwegian agriculture between 1999 and 2003. In particular we note that, even if owner occupation remains strong nationally, when the statistics are broken down by municipality, tenancy has increased significantly in some areas. This has left large areas of land managed as tenancies by a relatively small number of farmers, including parts of the iconic west coast fjords. We conclude therefore that further work is urgently required to establish whether the effects of tenancy seen elsewhere apply to Norway, whether this exposes key landscapes to increased risk of abandonment and if so what appropriate political responses there could be.

Abstract

The level of support to Norwegian agriculture is partly justified with reference to agriculture’s multifunctionality. The concept of multifunctionality involves the provision of so-called “public goods» by agriculture, in addition to the production of food and fibre. Examples of these public goods include cultural landscape, biodiversity, ecological functions, cultural heritage, the viability of rural areas, and food security. The overall aim of the research project “Operationalization of multifunctionality using the CAPRI modeling system» is to study the effects of policy instruments on agriculture’s multifunctionality by defining quantitative indicators for selected elements of agriculture’s multifunctionality that can be implemented in the agricultural sector model CAPRI. This working paper takes a first step towards the appropriate regionalization when multifunctionality is concerned. The current regionalization of the CAPRI model is at the county level. This approach fails when multifunctionality is concerned, because many issues of multifunctionaliy (e.g., cultural landscape aspects) are independent of administrative borders at that level. As the aim of the overall project is to study the effects of policy instruments on agriculture’s multifunctionality, it is important to design regions within the CAPRI model that to a greater extent exhibit similar characteristics with respect to aspects of agriculture’s multifunctionality. Accordingly, it is reasonable to assume that policy changes will have quite similar effects on the multifunctionality indicators within each of these CAPRI regions. This task has been addressed by performing a cluster analysis by which Norwegian municipalities have been grouped with respect to their performance on variables that are expected to describe different aspects of the multifunctionality of agriculture. This information will then later on be used to regionalize the CAPRI model accordingly. […]

Abstract

This report contains all papers presented at the OECD Expert meeting in Oslo October 7th - 9th 2002, in addition to the list of participants. The topic of the meeting was the development of landscape indicators. In brief, the Expert Meeting agreed that interested OECD Member countries should consider the following recommendations; • Invest in the scientific understanding and further development of an indicator framework for agricultural landscapes, representing the linkages between landscape structure, function and management, • Build upon the existing national and international experiences in policy monitoring, evaluation and predictive scenarios, • Encourage pro-active collaboration, information exchange and methodological integration, • Contribute to, and cooperate with, other international initiatives related to developing agricultural landscape indicators, • Establish an informal expert network to follow up recommendations of the meeting.