Agricultural landscapes, ecosystem services and regional competitiveness-Assessing drivers and mechanisms in nine European case study areas

Schaller L., Targetti S., Villanueva A. J., Zasada I., Kantelhardt J., Arriaza M., ...More

LAND USE POLICY, vol.76, pp.735-745, 2018 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 76
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.03.001
  • Journal Name: LAND USE POLICY
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.735-745
  • Keywords: Analytic Network Process, Rural competitiveness, Stakeholders, Participatory approach, Landscape valorisation, Common Agricultural Policy, ANALYTIC NETWORK PROCESS, DECISION-MAKING, OLIVE GROVES, PUBLIC-GOODS, MANAGEMENT, IMPACT, POLICY, MODEL
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: No


Agricultural landscapes affect regional development and competitiveness in a way far beyond the production of agricultural commodities. However, comprehensive assessments of the relevant cause-effects between agricultural landscape and regional competitiveness are complex and they require a range of ecological, economic and social aspects to be considered. This study proposes an stakeholder-based 'Analytic Network Process' applied in nine European case-study areas in order to assess the role of economic actors, ecosystem services, socioeconomic benefits and regional competitiveness in the agricultural landscape system. The results reveal that agricultural food production is still perceived as a major element for creating value from landscapes. However in some case studies, the importance of non-marketable, socio-cultural and environmental public good-type ecosystem services outweighs the importance of agricultural production. Region-specific variations of cause-effect relationships are discussed and a range of drivers, related to biophysical conditions, land-use patterns, agricultural management and remoteness are identified. Our study reveals the perception of non-monetary services and their impact on regional competitiveness and provides considerations on entry points for rural policies promoting landscape valorisation.