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Open AccessArticle

The Role of Transdisciplinary Research for Agricultural Climate Change Adaptation Strategies

Department of Sociology, Mountain Agriculture Research Unit, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Institute of Hydrology and Water Resources Management, Leibniz Universität Hannover, 30167 Hannover, Germany
Institute of Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1180 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2018, 8(11), 237;
Received: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 24 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change in Agriculture: Impacts and Adaptations)
While science widely acknowledges the necessity of climate change adaptation (CCA), concrete strategies for CCA by major land-use actor groups at a local level are largely missing. Immediate economic challenges often prevent the establishment of long-term collective strategies. However, collective decisions on a communal level regarding land use are crucial for CCA strategies, given the interdependencies of farming with forestry, tourism, and other economic sectors, especially in mountain areas. This paper presents inter- and trans-disciplinary learning processes, which have evolved into a project modelling the hydrological effects of combined future climate and land-use changes based on the combined scenarios of climate and socio-economic change in an Alpine valley (Brixental in Tyrol/Austria). Locally adapted scenarios illustrate future land-use changes as a result of both climate change and different socio-economic developments. The hydrological results show how an increase in the forested area reduces streamflow (as a measure of water availability) in the long term. For local stakeholders, the process demonstrated clearly the interdependence of different economic sectors and the necessity for collective action at a regional level to influence socio-economic development. Moreover, it made them aware that local decisions on future land use may influence the effects of climate change. Consistent storylines helped stakeholders to visualize a desired future and to see their scope of influence. The transdisciplinary research process allowed local stakeholders to translate the hydrological modelling results into a concrete local CCA strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change adaptation; scenarios; hydrological modelling; participation; transdisciplinary research climate change adaptation; scenarios; hydrological modelling; participation; transdisciplinary research
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Schermer, M.; Stotten, R.; Strasser, U.; Meißl, G.; Marke, T.; Förster, K.; Formayer, H. The Role of Transdisciplinary Research for Agricultural Climate Change Adaptation Strategies. Agronomy 2018, 8, 237.

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