Perception of livestock ecosystem services in grazing areas

G. Leroy*, I. Hoffmann, T. From, S.J. Hiemstra, G. Gandini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates how the ecosystem services (ES) linked to livestock grazing are perceived across countries. A total of 82 case studies collected from 42 countries via survey (53.7% cases from Europe and 46.3% from outside of Europe) have been analysed through a multivariate approach. In all, 18 non-provisioning ES were considered. Overall, the reported impacts of livestock grazing on the different ES were much more positive than negative. Notably, a large proportion of respondents reported either positive or very positive impacts for some cultural ES, namely cultural, historic and natural heritage (84%), knowledge systems and educational values (77%), landscape values (74%), and for some supporting and regulating ES, namely habitat provision (66%), nutrient cycling (65%), and bush encroachment/fire control (66%). Based on multiple regression analysis, geographic origin, stakeholder type and species category, as well as protection status of the grazing area, had significant effects on the perception of the impacts. Respondents reported those impacts as more positive in Europe, in protected areas and where several species were present in the grazing area. A significantly larger proportion of respondents reported recognition of ES provided by the grazing livestock population in European countries (40.9%) compared with non-European countries (23.7%). Based on the survey responses it appears that in non-European countries absence of formal recognition, especially by policy makers, is a major challenge for the continued provision of ES in grazing systems. In Europe, where such recognition is already often included in legislation, the long-term sustainability of related policies and incentives to provide such services is viewed as a major issue by the respondents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2627-2638
JournalAnimal
Volume12
Issue number12
Early online date14 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • breed
  • multivariate analysis
  • survey
  • sustainability

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