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Article

Applying Spatial Analysis to Create Modern Rich Pictures for Grassland Health Analysis

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Department of Agricultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7674, New Zealand
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Centre of Excellence Designing Future Productive Landscapes, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7674, New Zealand
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Department of Soil & Physical Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7674, New Zealand
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School of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7674, New Zealand
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AgResearch Limited Invermay Agricultural Centre, Puddle Alley, Private Bag 50014, Mosgiel 9053, New Zealand
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Scion, 49 Sala Street, Private Bag 3020, Rotorua 3046, New Zealand
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tommaso Caloiero
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11535; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011535
Received: 27 August 2021 / Revised: 1 October 2021 / Accepted: 13 October 2021 / Published: 19 October 2021
Grasslands are complex and heterogeneous ecosystems, and their health can be defined by the cumulative ability of their components to evolve, adapt, and maintain their integrity in the presence of stress/disturbance and provide ecosystem services. Herein, a design approach is used to generate alternative and multifunctional pastoral livestock production systems that enhance grassland health. As a way of understanding the complexity of grasslands and initiating the design process using systems thinking, rich pictures emerge as a useful method. As rich pictures are subjective views, geographic information systems (GIS) could be applied to improve the veracity of their outcomes, as both techniques are forms of an analytical process. This paper reports the application of GIS to a case study of a high-country farm to generate and combine different thematic maps to create a modern rich picture. The rich picture is a combination of remote sensing data (altitude, slope, aspects, and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)), and on-the-ground data (plant species distribution and diversity and soil chemical, biological, and physical parameters). Layers were combined using a multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) based on the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to create a final rich picture. The results highlight dissimilarities in perceptions of what underpins ‘grassland health’ between researchers in different fields and with different perspectives. The use of GIS produced a modern rich picture that enhanced the understanding of grassland health and allowed for the identification of gaps, values, and possibilities for future research work. View Full-Text
Keywords: design; pastoralism; systems thinking; geographic information systems; health design; pastoralism; systems thinking; geographic information systems; health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pereira, F.C.; Smith, C.M.S.; Maxwell, T.M.R.; Charters, S.M.; Logan, C.M.; Donovan, M.; Jayathunga, S.; Gregorini, P. Applying Spatial Analysis to Create Modern Rich Pictures for Grassland Health Analysis. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11535. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011535

AMA Style

Pereira FC, Smith CMS, Maxwell TMR, Charters SM, Logan CM, Donovan M, Jayathunga S, Gregorini P. Applying Spatial Analysis to Create Modern Rich Pictures for Grassland Health Analysis. Sustainability. 2021; 13(20):11535. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011535

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pereira, Fabiellen C., Carol M.S. Smith, Thomas M.R. Maxwell, Stuart M. Charters, Chris M. Logan, Mitchell Donovan, Sadeepa Jayathunga, and Pablo Gregorini. 2021. "Applying Spatial Analysis to Create Modern Rich Pictures for Grassland Health Analysis" Sustainability 13, no. 20: 11535. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011535

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