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Selected Publication:

Niedertscheider, M; Gingrich, S; Erb, KH.
(2012): Changes in land use in South Africa between 1961 and 2006: an integrated socio-ecological analysis based on the human appropriation of net primary production framework
REG ENVIRON CHANGE. 2012; 12(4): 715-727. FullText FullText_BOKU

The interrelation between land-use change and socioeconomic changes is complex and highly dynamic. We here present an assessment of the human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) in Republic of South Africa (RSA) between 1961 and 2006. HANPP is an integrated socio-ecological accounting framework that traces changes in ecosystems resulting from anthropogenic activities (harvest and land conversions) and allows to study ecological, social and economic driving forces and constraints of long-term land-use changes. We use South Africa, with its history of the rise and collapse of the Apartheid regime, as an example for an analysis of HANPP trajectories in the background of major governance shifts, and base our analysis on the best available statistical datasets, specific analyses and model results. Surprisingly, land cover as well as HANPP in the RSA remained relatively constant between 1961 and 2006, with HANPP values oscillating between 21 and 25% and of the potential NPP. However, through our analysis of the components of HANPP and their interrelations, striking turning points throughout the last five decades become evident. This allows us to discern three distinct periods, each of the phases characterized by distinct HANPP trajectories. Throughout the entire period, a trend of decoupling of HANPP from population growth could be achieved through considerable gains in land-use efficiency. The HANPP analysis reveals that this prevailing trend of increasing land-use efficiency, based on technological improvements and biomass trade, came to a halt in the xxxcrisisxxx phase and immediately recovered afterwards.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Erb Karlheinz
Gingrich Simone
Niedertscheider Maria

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
South Africa
Land use
Biomass extraction
Agricultural change
Biomass flows

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