European Wood-pastures in Transition: A Social-ecological Approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

European Wood-pastures in Transition

A Social-ecological Approach, 1st Edition

Edited by Tibor Hartel, Tobias Plieninger


322 pages | 69 B/W Illus.

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Wood-pastures are important elements of European cultural identity and have an exceptional ecological value, yet they are in decline all over Europe. The structure of wood-pastures is strongly influenced by grazing and multiple other land uses and by local and regional environmental conditions.

This book examines the diverse expressions of wood-pastures across Europe. It provides a new perspective, using a social-ecological framework to explore social and ecological values, governing institutions, threats and conservation approaches. It explores the major drivers of decline, which are shown to be related to accelerated cultural, institutional and developmental changes occurring across Europe over the past century. Case studies are included from North-Western, Southern, and Eastern Europe.

Written by renowned scholars and conservationists, the book contributes to developing better, locally adapted conservation policies and management approaches for wood-pastures.


"Wood-pastures in their remarkable variety have not had the attention they merit in Europe. The authors of this book bring their richness to life by combining historical as well as ecological and sociological approaches, with some authoritative case histories. It is an important step forward in the literature."David Baldock, Executive Director, Institute for European Environmental Policy.

"Tibor Hartel and Tobias Plieninger have put together a wonderful volume on European Wood-Pastures in Transition: A Social-Ecological Approach. The book, at the front of social-ecological research, is a most timely and valuable contribution to a deeper understanding of stewardship of social-ecological systems and the services they generate."Carl Folke, Professor and Director, Beijer Institute, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Science Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.

"In a world where agriculture is becoming synonymous with laser-directed plow lines steering crop bed planting, this book opens our eyes to a different farming that is part of nature, with woodlands that provide sustenance for generations, often with breathtaking beauty and resilience. Expert and insightful analyses are offered of complex systems where trees and grass, culture and ecology, tradition and science give rise to sustainable agricultural systems."Lynn Huntsinger, Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California at Berkeley.

"This book is ultimately an outstanding and alluring call to action for efforts to balance the ecological, economic, institutional, cultural and social components of wood-pastures that are required to guarantee the long term preservation of these landscapes in Europe."Agroforestry Systems, R. A. Correia, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction

1. The Social and Ecological Dimensions of Wood-pastures

Tibor Hartel and Tobias Plieninger

2. Diversity, Threats and Conservation of European Wood-pastures

Erwin Bergmeier and Marlene Roellig

3. Wood-pastures as Examples of European High Nature Value Landscapes – Functions and Differentiations According to Farming

Rainer Oppermann

Part 2: History and Change

4. The Origins and History of Medieval Wood-pastures

Dolly Jørgensen and Peter Quelch

5. Recent Dynamics of Evergreen Oak Wood-pastures in South-Western Iberia

Augusta Costa, Manuel Madeira, José Lima Santos and Tobias Plieninger

5.1 Wood-pasture Profile: Monroy, Spain

Tobias Plieninger

6. Ecological Patterns and Processes at Various Spatio-temporal Scales in Wood-pastures of the Swiss Jura Mountains and Adaptation to Climate Change

Alexandre Buttler and Alexander Peringer

6.1. Wood-pasture Profile: Musella, Italy

Matteo Garbarino

Part 3: Biodiversity and Ecology

7. Plant and Vegetation Diversity in European Wood-pastures

Matteo Garbarino and Erwin Bergmeier

7.1 Wood-pasture Profile: Saaremaa, Estonia

Marlene Roellig and Marek Sammul

8. Wood-pastures as Reservoirs for Invertebrates

Steven Falk

8.1. Wood-pasture Profile: Hatfield Forest, England

Keith Kirby

9. Grazing as a Tool for Wood-pasture Restoration and Management

Jan Van Uytvanck and Kris Verheyen

9.1 Wood-pasture Profile: East Vättern Scarp, Sweden

Simon Jakobsson and Regina Lindborg

Part 4: Socio-cultural Values

10. Social-cultural Values of Oak Wood-pastures and Transhumance in Greece

Thanasis Kizos

10.1 Wood-pasture Profile: Western Lesvos, Greece

Thanasis Kizos

11. The Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Managing Wood-pastures

Anna Varga and Zsolt Molnár

11.1 Wood-pasture Profile: Csokonyavisonta, Hungary

Anna Varga

12. Mapping Ancient and other Trees of Special Interest: UK citizens’ Contribution to World Tree Heritage

Jill Butler

Part 5: Governance Institutions

13. Wood-pasture Management in Southern Transylvania (Romania): from Communal to Where?

Laura Sutcliffe, Kinga Öllerer and Marlene Roellig

13.1 Wood-pasture Profile: Breite, Romania

Tibor Hartel

14. Common Management of Wood-pastures and Sustainable Regional Development in the Southern Black Forest (Germany)

Claudia Bieling and Werner Konold

14.1 Wood-pasture Profile: Southern Black Forest, Germany

Claudia Bieling

15. Institutional Arrangements of Wood-pasture Management: Past and Present (UK)

Keith J. Kirby and Suzanne C. Perry

Part 6: Synthesis

16. Wood-pastures and the Greening of the Common Agricultural Policy

Guy Beaufoy

17. European Wood-pastures in Transition: Lessons for Science, Conservation and Policy Development in High Nature Value Landscapes

Tobias Plieninger and Tibor Hartel

About the Editors

Tibor Hartel is Associate Professor in the Environmental Science Department at Sapientia University of Transylvania, Romania, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Conservation Biology: Europe Section. His research focuses on rural landscapes from Eastern Europe. He studies wood-pastures in Romania and has been involved in a number of management and educational activities targeting wood-pastures and old trees.

Tobias Plieninger is Associate Professor at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is interested in the study of the driving forces, processes and patterns of changes in human-shaped landscapes. His research integrates natural and social science approaches to landscape ecology and conservation.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecosystems & Habitats / Forests & Rainforests
NATURE / Ecosystems & Habitats / Plains & Prairies
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Forestry