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Title: The role of Romanian pastoralists in conserving agricultural biodiversity
Author: Huband, Sally
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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This interdisciplinary research combines ecology with social anthropology and uses a case study of a Romanian mountain village to investigate the role of pastoralists in conserving agricultural biodiversity. More specifically, the aim of the ecological aspect of the research is to analyse the relationship between land management practices and the butterfly fauna of hay meadows. Butterflies were chosen as the focus of the ecological component of this work in light of their ability to act as indicators of the state of semi-natural habitats. The results indicate that the current spectrum of hay meadow management intensities conserves a range of butterfly species associated with semi-natural grassland habitats. The number of species declines as management intensity increases and this trend indicates that intensification in management beyond current levels would lead to a comparatively depauperate butterfly fauna. However, the cessation of hay production in the village, which in the long term also causes a decline in the number of butterfly species, is a more probable scenario, taking into account the constraints of the natural environment and the likely decrease in the need for smallholdings to act as a livelihood ‘safety net’. A more pressing social factor that threatens the functioning of the livestock production cycle is the rejection of shepherding as a livelihood. The development of measures aimed at conserving semi-natural grasslands and their associated species needs to take a holistic approach to supporting the functioning of the livestock production systems that sustain these habitats. The social factors that act as a constraint on the functioning of the systems must be addressed but it is also important to capitalise on the cultural elements of pastoralism that may slow the trend of abandonment and may potentially increase the uptake of voluntary conservation schemes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available