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Key Roles for Landscape Ecology in Transformative Agriculture Using Aotearoa—New Zealand as a Case Example

Farmed Landscapes Research Centre, School of Agriculture and Environment, College of Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North 4474, New Zealand
Land 2020, 9(5), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050146
Received: 5 April 2020 / Revised: 7 May 2020 / Accepted: 8 May 2020 / Published: 11 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Roles for Landscape Ecology in Future Farming Systems)
Aotearoa—New Zealand (NZ) is internationally renowned for picturesque landscapes and agricultural products. Agricultural intensification has been economically beneficial to NZ but has implications for its clean green image. Contaminated waterways, high carbon emissions, and extensive soil erosion demonstrate the downside of high stocking rates and land clearing. Transformative farming systems are required to address the challenge of balancing production with the environment. Whilst navigating through the process of change, farmers need to be supported to make informed decisions at the farm and landscape scale. Landscape ecology (LE) is ideally positioned to inform the development of future farming landscapes and provide a scientific context to the criteria against which land-related information can be evaluated. However, to do this effectively, LE needs to demonstrate that it can link theory with practice. Using NZ as a case example, this paper discusses the key roles for LE in future farming systems. It looks at the way LE can help quantify the state of the landscape, provide support towards the co-creation of alternative futures, and assist with the inclusion of land-related information into design and planning to ensure mitigation and adaption responses assist in the transformation of farming systems for sustainable outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: future farming systems; sustainable landscapes; landscape planning; environmental challenges; transdisciplinary future farming systems; sustainable landscapes; landscape planning; environmental challenges; transdisciplinary
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Pearson, D. Key Roles for Landscape Ecology in Transformative Agriculture Using Aotearoa—New Zealand as a Case Example. Land 2020, 9, 146.

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