Comparison of landscape features in organic and conventional farming systems.

J.D. van Mansvelt, D.J. Stobbelaar, K. Hendriks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Four organic (biodynamic) farms coupled with conventional farms from their neighbourhood in The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, and 3 organic farms and 4 conventional farms from the West Friesean region in The Netherlands were evaluated to compare their impact on landscape diversity. Materials used were soil-, water-, land use- and land-property maps, interviews with the farmers, repeated (several days) visits to the farms, allowing to make temporal transects, photographs and pictures of the farm-couples and their surroundings. Presence of diverse land use types, woody elements (plantings) and visual elements (vertical and horizontal coherence, colours and forms) were analysed. The results show that the diversity of landscapes and farming system was greater in organic farms. It regards to the land-use types, crops, livestock, plantings (hedges, solitary shrubs and trees), flora, sensorial information (more forms, colours, smells, sounds, spatial experiences) and labour (more onfarm processing and more people involved). Also, all forms of coherence were found to be greater in organic farms. In terms of landscape diversity the organic types of agriculture have a good potential for positive contributions to a sustainable agro-landscape management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)209-227
    JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
    Volume41
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Keywords

    • landscape
    • landscape ecology
    • physical planning
    • land use
    • zoning
    • alternative farming
    • organic farming

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