Special Issue "Cultural Landscapes Preservation and Social–Ecological Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Geography and Social Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. María Fe Schmitz
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid 28040, Spain
Interests: landscape ecology; cultural landscapes; biocultural diversity; social-ecological systems; rural–urban gradients; traditional ecological knowledge; protected areas
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristina Herrero-Jáuregui
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution; Complutense University of Madrid; Madrid 28040; Spain
Interests: social-ecological systems; landscape metrics; land use changes; cultural landscapes; rural development; urban ecology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cultural landscapes are the result of social-ecological processes that have co-evolved throughout history, shaping high-value sustainable systems. The current processes of global change, such as agricultural intensification, rural abandonment, urban sprawl, and socio-economic dynamics, are threatening cultural landscapes worldwide. Whereas this loss is often unstoppable because of rapid and irreversible social-ecological changes, there are also examples where rationale protection measures can preserve cultural landscapes while promoting the sustainability of social-ecological systems. However, not all conservation policymaking processes consider the value of cultural landscapes, which makes their preservation even more difficult. Indeed, conservation policies focused on the wilderness paradigm are often counterproductive to conserve highly valuable cultural landscapes.

The Journal of Sustainability is hosting a Special Issue entitled “Cultural Landscapes Preservation and Social-Ecological Sustainability”. Studies are welcome that formulate innovative theoretical and methodological approaches that are focused on management strategies for preserving cultural landscapes and natural heritage. Contributions on the following themes are of particular interest, although other relevant topics will also be considered:

  • Models of cultural landscapes transitions—change trajectories of social metabolism and land use;
  • Sustainability of social-ecological and cultural tourism-based systems;
  • Social-ecological approach for the establishment and management of protected areas to preserve cultural landscapes;
  • Development of tools based on social-ecological interactions for land planning, protection, management, and decision-making of cultural landscapes;
  • Perception and valuation of cultural landscapes;
  • Ethics of preservation and conservation paradigms;
  • Resilience of cultural landscapes—tipping points and social-ecological sustainability;
  • Ecosystems services provided by cultural landscapes.

Dr. María Fe Schmitz
Dr. Cristina Herrero de Jáuregui
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Multifunctional landscapes
  • Natural and cultural heritage
  • Management of protected areas
  • Preservation of nature
  • Naturalness and culturalness
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Social-ecological resilience
  • Land-use change
  • Land intensification
  • Rural abandonment

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Open AccessEditorial
Cultural Landscape Preservation and Social–Ecological Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2593; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052593 - 01 Mar 2021
Abstract
Cultural landscapes are the result of social–ecological processes that have co-evolved throughout history, shaping high-value sustainable systems [...] Full article
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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Protected Landscapes in Spain: Reasons for Protection and Sustainability of Conservation Management
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6913; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176913 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 551
Abstract
Landscape conservation efforts in many European countries focus on cultural landscapes, which are part of the cultural identity of people, have a great heritage significance, improve the living standards of local populations and provide valuable cultural biodiversity. However, despite a wide arrange of [...] Read more.
Landscape conservation efforts in many European countries focus on cultural landscapes, which are part of the cultural identity of people, have a great heritage significance, improve the living standards of local populations and provide valuable cultural biodiversity. However, despite a wide arrange of protective measures, the management of preserved areas is seldom effective for the protection of cultural landscapes. Through a multi-approach analysis, we characterise the main heritage attributes of 17 Protected Landscapes in Spain and assess their management effectiveness by quantifying the evolution of the spatial pattern inside and outside protected landscapes. Our method has proven useful to quantitatively describe the spatial-temporal patterns of change of the protected and unprotected landscapes studied. We highlight the following results: (i) the concepts of uniqueness and naturalness are not appropriate to preserve cultural landscapes; (ii) the land protection approach currently adopted is not useful for the protection of cultural landscapes, particularly of the most rural ones; (iii) the landscapes studied with greater rural features can be considered as “paper parks”. We recommend that different protection measures focused on the needs and desires of the rural population are taken into account in order to protect cultural landscapes that are shaped by traditional rural activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Integration of Campsites in Cultural Landscapes: Architectural Actions on the Catalan Coast, Spain
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6499; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166499 - 12 Aug 2020
Viewed by 449
Abstract
Over the last 60 years, the development of tourism in Spain has produced an unprecedented occupation of the territory. Urban growth, hotels and infrastructures have transformed much of the natural environment. This phenomenon has irreversibly altered conditions of regions with great landscape value, [...] Read more.
Over the last 60 years, the development of tourism in Spain has produced an unprecedented occupation of the territory. Urban growth, hotels and infrastructures have transformed much of the natural environment. This phenomenon has irreversibly altered conditions of regions with great landscape value, putting their cultural heritage at risk. Yet, the campsite is a model of tourist settlement based on shared living in the open natural space. It promotes minimal and temporary interventions in the territory, by means of transportable accommodations with precise occupations of place, leaving a slight footprint. Therefore, architecture contributes to affording the order and services that these individual artifacts cannot provide by themselves. In terms of slight land occupation and natural qualities preservation, the campsite has proven to be one of the most responsible tourist models. It is an opportunity for the future: a resource for landscape integration and local dynamics reactivation. We present a set of architectural actions for the integration of campsites in cultural landscapes along the Catalan coast. These are recommendations catalogued by means of a diagnosis tool that proposes strategies at different levels, from enclosure to lodgings. Focusing on end-users, this research fosters cultural identity preservation and responsible communal living in nature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Sustainable Development of Urban Cultural Heritage Gardens Based on Tourists’ Perception: A Case Study of Tokyo’s Cultural Heritage Gardens
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166315 - 05 Aug 2020
Viewed by 820
Abstract
For the cultural heritage gardens in the urban environment, modern high-rise buildings inevitably change their original landscape and form a new landscape experience with visual impact. Whether cultural heritage gardens and modern cities can coexist harmoniously is one of the critical issues to [...] Read more.
For the cultural heritage gardens in the urban environment, modern high-rise buildings inevitably change their original landscape and form a new landscape experience with visual impact. Whether cultural heritage gardens and modern cities can coexist harmoniously is one of the critical issues to achieve their sustainable development. This research aimed to find an indicator of landscape morphology, which can predict the visitor’s cognition for such cultural landscape forms. This study surveyed tourists’ preferences in six selected cultural heritage gardens in Tokyo. We used hemispheric panoramas to calculate the view factors of certain elements of the landscape at the observation points. The results showed that Sky View Factor was a positive predictor of tourists’ preference, and this predictability did not change significantly with the attributes of tourists. We also found that tourists’ attitudes towards the high-rise buildings outside the gardens have become more tolerant and diverse. These findings could be applied to predict visitors’ perception preference of cultural heritage landscape in the context of urban renewal, contributing to the sustainable development of cultural heritage landscape and urbanization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land-Use Changes of Historical Rural Landscape—Heritage, Protection, and Sustainable Ecotourism: Case Study of Slovak Exclave Čív (Piliscsév) in Komárom-Esztergom County (Hungary)
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6048; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156048 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 690
Abstract
The landscape surrounding the village of Čív (Piliscsév in Hungarian) in the north of the Komárom-Esztergom County is part of the cultural heritage of the Slovaks in Hungary. This paper discusses the issue of the Čív landscape changes in the context of its [...] Read more.
The landscape surrounding the village of Čív (Piliscsév in Hungarian) in the north of the Komárom-Esztergom County is part of the cultural heritage of the Slovaks in Hungary. This paper discusses the issue of the Čív landscape changes in the context of its use (historical land use). Between 1701 and 1709, new inhabitants began cultivating the desolated landscape of the Dorog Basin, which is surrounded by the Pilis Mountains. This paper aims to characterize the Slovak exclave Čív land use with an emphasis on the period from the beginning of the 18th century (Slovak colonization of the analyzed territory) to 2019. These findings subsequently lead to the evaluation of the stability of the cultural-historical landscape as an essential condition for the development of ecotourism in the cultural landscape. The study results show that a long-term stable cultural landscape has a similar potential for the development of ecotourism as a natural landscape (wilderness). Research conclusions were aimed at creating three proposals for the cultural landscape management of the study area, conceived by the fundamental pillars of ecotourism, which would lead to its stable and sustainable use in ecotourism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Analysis of Urban Fluvial Landscapes in the Centre of Spain, Their Characterization, Values and Interventions
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4661; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114661 - 07 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
River areas are undoubtedly among the most valuable territorial areas in Europe, not only in terms of their eco-landscape and use but also, culturally. However, there is currently a sharp reduction in the extension and increase of deterioration of riverbanks around the world. [...] Read more.
River areas are undoubtedly among the most valuable territorial areas in Europe, not only in terms of their eco-landscape and use but also, culturally. However, there is currently a sharp reduction in the extension and increase of deterioration of riverbanks around the world. A substantial part of losses and deterioration are associated with the artificialization of the territories, derived mainly from a less than respectful urbanization around these landscapes. Urban and peri-urban riverbanks are landscapes in expansion due to the continuous growth of built-up spaces. Therefore, they should be areas of preferential consideration, especially in territories with a marked tendency to dryness, like the centre of the Iberian Peninsula. This article aims to contribute to our understanding of these spaces through the study of four distinct cases in the centre of the peninsula, in particular: the river Manzanares running through the city of Madrid, the river Tagus in Toledo and running through Talavera de la Reina, and the river Henares in Guadalajara. Three of the four urban water courses analyzed are zones of special interest for waterfowl: they sustain a winter population that varies between 745 and 1529 birds and they provide a home to some globally threatened species. The density of the riparian birds is also very high during winter, these values oscillating between a mean of 141.16 and 240.12 birds/10 ha. It should be noted that the diversity of this group of birds in the four regions studies is also high (H > 2.4 nats). The article also examines the interventions and the urban planning criteria applied to these urban and peri-urban river spaces, inferring the need to reassess urban planning in river areas to ensure it is compatible with their operation, values and possible uses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Decolonizing Pathways to Sustainability: Lessons Learned from Three Inuit Communities in NunatuKavut, Canada
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4419; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114419 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
Community led planning is necessary for Inuit to self-determine on their lands and to ensure the preservation of cultural landscapes and the sustainability of social-ecological systems that they are a part of. The sustainability efforts of three Inuit communities in Labrador during a [...] Read more.
Community led planning is necessary for Inuit to self-determine on their lands and to ensure the preservation of cultural landscapes and the sustainability of social-ecological systems that they are a part of. The sustainability efforts of three Inuit communities in Labrador during a Community Governance and Sustainability Initiative were guided by a decolonized and strength-based planning framework, including the values of Inuit in this study. This paper demonstrates that Inuit led planning efforts can strengthen community sustainability planning interests and potential. We situate the experiences of NunatuKavut Inuit within, and contribute to, the existing body of scholarly decolonization and sustainability literature. For many Indigenous people, including Inuit, decolonization is connected to inherent rights to self-determination. The findings suggest that decolonizing efforts must be understood and actualized within an Indigenous led research and sustainability planning paradigm that facilitates autonomous decision making and that is place based. Further, this study illustrates five predominant results regarding Inuit in planning for community sustainability that support sustainable self-determination. These include: inter and cross community sharing; identification of community strengths; strengthened community capacity; re-connection to community and culture; and the possibility for identification of sustainability goals to begin implementation through community led governance and planning processes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Placetelling® as a Strategic Tool for Promoting Niche Tourism to Islands: The Case of Cape Verde
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4333; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104333 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 659
Abstract
This paper reports on the experience of the first Placetelling® training course in Santo Antão and Santiago, Cape Verde, promoted by Società Geografica Italiana and Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso. Placetelling® is a particular type of storytelling of places that promotes [...] Read more.
This paper reports on the experience of the first Placetelling® training course in Santo Antão and Santiago, Cape Verde, promoted by Società Geografica Italiana and Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso. Placetelling® is a particular type of storytelling of places that promotes local development and helps to develop a sense of identity and belonging among the members of the community. Indeed, Placetelling® supports local communities to become directly engaged in the preservation of their common legacy in order to transmit it to coming generations. Tourism is the field where Placetelling® can best express its potential. This is particularly true for what concerns tourism to islands. The paper shows the first results of what we can define as a “maieutic reworking of local heritage” in Cape Verde, through the sharing of narrative and symbolic artifacts. Special attention will be dedicated to some crucial issues: The involvement of stakeholders through the lenses of empowerment, the discrepancies between how sense of identity is perceived by the locals and how it is communicated to tourists, and how and to what extent Placetelling® can change stakeholders’ awareness of their own cultural heritage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Different Worldviews as Impediments to Integrated Nature and Cultural Heritage Conservation Management: Experiences from Protected Areas in Northern Sweden
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3533; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093533 - 26 Apr 2020
Viewed by 718
Abstract
In the management of protected nature areas, arguments are being raised for increasingly integrated approaches. Despite an explicit ambition from the responsible managing governmental agencies, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Swedish National Heritage Board, attempts to initiate and increase the degree of integrated [...] Read more.
In the management of protected nature areas, arguments are being raised for increasingly integrated approaches. Despite an explicit ambition from the responsible managing governmental agencies, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Swedish National Heritage Board, attempts to initiate and increase the degree of integrated nature and cultural heritage conservation management in the Swedish mountains are failing. The delivery of environmental policy through the Swedish National Environmental Objective called Magnificent Mountains is dependent on increased collaboration between the state and local stakeholders. This study, using a group model building approach, maps out the system’s dynamic interactions between nature perceptions, values and the objectives of managing agencies and local stakeholders. It is identified that the dominance of a wilderness discourse influences both the objectives and management of the protected areas. This wilderness discourse functions as a barrier against including cultural heritage conservation aspects and local stakeholders in management, as wilderness-influenced objectives are defining protected areas as environments “untouched” by humans. A wilderness objective reduces the need for local knowledge and participation in environmental management. In reality, protected areas depend, to varying degrees, on the continuation of traditional land-use practices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Heritage Conservation and Rapid Urbanization: Insights from Surat, India
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062172 - 11 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1299
Abstract
Currently, heritage is challenged in the Indian city of Surat due to diverse pressures, including rapid urbanization, increasing housing demand, and socio-cultural and climate changes. Where rapid demographic growth of urban areas is happening, heritage is disappearing at an alarming rate. Despite some [...] Read more.
Currently, heritage is challenged in the Indian city of Surat due to diverse pressures, including rapid urbanization, increasing housing demand, and socio-cultural and climate changes. Where rapid demographic growth of urban areas is happening, heritage is disappearing at an alarming rate. Despite some efforts from the local government, urban cultural heritage is being neglected and historic buildings keep being replaced by ordinary concrete buildings at a worryingly rapid pace. Discussions of challenges and issues of Surat’s urban area is supported by a qualitative dataset, including in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus groups with local policy makers, planners, and heritage experts, triangulated by observation and a photo-survey of two historic areas. Findings from this study reveal a myriad of challenges such as: inadequacy of urban conservation management policies and processes focused on heritage, absence of skills, training, and resources amongst decision makers and persistent conflict and competition between heritage conservation needs and developers’ interests. Furthermore, the values and significance of Surat’s tangible and intangible heritage is not fully recognized by its citizens and heritage stakeholders. A crucial opportunity exists for Surat to maximize the potential of heritage and reinforce urban identity for its present and future generations. Surat’s context is representative of general trends and conservation challenges and therefore recommendations developed in this study hold the potential to offer interesting insights to the wider planners and conservationists’ international community. This paper recommends thoughtful integration of sustainable heritage urban conservation into local urban development frameworks and the establishment of approaches that recognize the plurality of heritage values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toward Sustainability of South African Small-Scale Fisheries Leveraging ICT Transformation Pathways
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020743 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 851
Abstract
Though Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been employed in small-scale fisheries (SSFs) globally, they are seldom systematically explored for the ways in which they facilitate equality, democracy and sustainability. Our study explored how ICTs in South African small-scale fisheries are leveraged towards [...] Read more.
Though Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been employed in small-scale fisheries (SSFs) globally, they are seldom systematically explored for the ways in which they facilitate equality, democracy and sustainability. Our study explored how ICTs in South African small-scale fisheries are leveraged towards value chain upgrading, collective action and institutional sustainability—key issues that influence small-scale fishery contributions to marine resource sustainability. We held a participatory workshop as part of ongoing research in the town of Lambert’s Bay, South Africa, in collaboration with small-scale fishers and the Abalobi ICT project. We mapped fisher value chain challenges and explored the role of ICT-driven transformation pathways, adopting Wright’s ‘Real Utopian’ framework as the lens through which to explore equality, democracy and institutional sustainability. We found Abalobi’s ICT platform had the potential to facilitate deeper meanings of democracy that incorporate socio-economic reform, collective action and institutional sustainability in South Africa’s small-scale fisheries. Where fishers are not engaged beyond passive generators of data, this had the potential to undermine the goals of increasing power parity between small-scale fisheries and other stakeholders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
What Difference Does Public Participation Make? An Alternative Futures Assessment Based on the Development Preferences for Cultural Landscape Corridor Planning in the Silk Roads Area, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6525; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226525 - 19 Nov 2019
Viewed by 792
Abstract
Landscape corridor planning (LCP) has become a widespread practice for promoting sustainable regional development. This highly complex planning process covers many policy and planning issues concerning the local landscape, and ideally involves the people who live in the area to be developed. In [...] Read more.
Landscape corridor planning (LCP) has become a widespread practice for promoting sustainable regional development. This highly complex planning process covers many policy and planning issues concerning the local landscape, and ideally involves the people who live in the area to be developed. In China, regional planners and administrators encourage the development of landscape corridor planning. However, the current LCP process rarely considers ideas from local residents, and public participation is not recognized as beneficial to planning outcomes. We use a specific Chinese case of LCP to analyze how citizen involvement may enrich sustainable spatial planning in respect to ideas considered and solutions developed. To this end, we compare a recently approved landscape corridor plan that was created without public participation with alternative solutions for the same landscape corridor, developed with the involvement of local residents. These alternatives were then evaluated by professional planners who had been involved in the initial planning process. We demonstrate concrete differences between planning solutions developed with and without public participation. Further, we show that collaborative processes can minimize spatial conflicts. Finally, we demonstrate that public participation does indeed contribute to innovations that could enrich the corridor plan that had been produced exclusively by the decision-makers. The paper closes with a discussion of difficulties that might accompany the involvement of local residents during sustainable LCP in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Spatial Analysis and Sustainability of Rural Cultural Landscapes: Linpan Settlements in China’s Chengdu Plain
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4431; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164431 - 16 Aug 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Amid rapid urbanization and globalization, rural zones in many countries have undergone dramatic shifts. Although the future development of cultural landscapes is clear, their planning and management are uncertain. The Chengdu Plain is one of the most prosperous in China, which is home [...] Read more.
Amid rapid urbanization and globalization, rural zones in many countries have undergone dramatic shifts. Although the future development of cultural landscapes is clear, their planning and management are uncertain. The Chengdu Plain is one of the most prosperous in China, which is home to well-developed irrigation and drainage systems, with the earliest history of planting found in Sichuan Province. The Chengdu Plain’s unique farming landscape is an important human resource that represents the natural integration of the material and spiritual forms in the farming era. This study takes the unique farming settlements in Dujiangyan Irrigation District as the research object and analyzes the culture, human environment, and spatial order of the Linpan settlement based on the system theory. From the hierarchical structure of each individual Linpan settlement to the spatial layout of the Linpan community, the changes in the relationship between humans and land in the farming area are explored to explain the sustainability of the rural cultural landscape. With long-term field research, the rural geographic information database is built as a basis for the identification and classification of Linpan Cultural landscape types. The results show that between 2005−2018, the Linpan of Juyuan Town illustrated a decreasing trend, and about six Linpan settlements disappeared per square kilometer. The change in the type of Linpan landscape is spatially unbalanced, which is mainly due to the difference between regional development and residents’ needs. This study introduces the concept of “demand” and “restriction” in sustainable development to explore a future strategy of maintaining the cultural landscape, which is expected to provide a basis for future policy formulation to protect the traditional rural landscape. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
Spatial Distribution Patterns and Ethnobotanical Knowledge of Farmland Demarcation Tree Species: A Case Study in the Niyodo River Area, Japan
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010348 - 01 Jan 2020
Viewed by 890
Abstract
Isolated trees in farmlands serve various ecological functions, but their distribution patterns and planting history are often unknown. Here, we examined the spatial distribution, uses, and folk nomenclature of farmland demarcation trees planted in the Niyodo River area in Japan. Hierarchical clustering using [...] Read more.
Isolated trees in farmlands serve various ecological functions, but their distribution patterns and planting history are often unknown. Here, we examined the spatial distribution, uses, and folk nomenclature of farmland demarcation trees planted in the Niyodo River area in Japan. Hierarchical clustering using the data from 33 locations distinguished four tree composition groups characterized by the combination of Euonymus japonicus, Ligustrum obtusifolium, Deutzia crenata, and Celtis sinensis. Near the upper to middle reaches of the river, the group characterized by E. japonicus dominated. Near the middle to lower reaches, the group characterized by L. obtusifolium occurred relatively frequently. The other two groups were found sporadically near the upper to lower reaches. The locally unique plant name nezu, used for L. obtusifolium, seems to have originated from a word meaning “the tree does not sleep and keeps the watch” in Japanese. In the study area, D. crenata was one of the plant species utilized for the sticks (magozue) used in traditional funeral ceremonies, which might help to explain why local people maintain D. crenata around homesteads as a demarcation tree. These findings highlight both the commonalities and uniqueness of demarcation tree culture in different regions of Japan and contribute to deepening our understanding of agricultural heritage. Full article
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