Military land use and the impact on landscape: A study of land use history on Danish Defence sites

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  • Stig Roar Svenningsen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Billedsamlingen, Danmark
  • Gregor Levin
  • Mads Linnet Perner, Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Billedsamlingen, Danmark
Counting for as much as 6 % of Earth’s terrestrial surface, military land use constitutes an important share of human
land use. Yet, only few studies analyse the general impact of military land use on land-scape and biodiversity. This
article presents a countrywide study of land use, land use change and biodi-versity content on all Danish defence sites
larger than 10 hectares, comprising roughly 40,000 hectares or 1 % of the Danish terrestrial area. Based on
interpretation of historical maps, land use history was ana-lysed for the period from the 1870’s to the present.
Furthermore, available national data were applied to assess present land use and biodiversity content within and in the
surrounding of defence sites. The his-torical analysis revealed six typical trajectories of land use change. In terms of
total area, the two most important were conservation of open, semi-natural habitat types (47 %) and change from
agriculture to open, semi-natural habitat types (34 %). Results also show, that for sites characterised by these two land
use change trajectories, present proportions of open semi-natural habitats as well as biodiversity con-tents are
significantly higher within the sites compared to their surroundings. It is concluded that military land use in most cases
had a significant beneficial impact on present day land cover composition and biodiversity.
TidsskriftLand Use Policy
Sider (fra-til)114-126
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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