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Link, P.M., Schleupner, C.. Agricultural land use changes in Eiderstedt: historic developments and future plans. In: Gönnert, G., Pflüger, B., Bremer, J.-A. (eds.). Von der Geoarchäologie über die Küstendynamik zum Küstenzonenmanagement. Coastline Reports (9), pp. 197-206. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


The Eiderstedt peninsula in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) has a long tradition as agricultural land. In the past, the landscape has been generally dominated by extensively used grassland. These grassland areas are home to many bird species, so that Eiderstedt can be considered to be one of the most important bird habitats in Schleswig-Holstein. Ongoing changes in the structure of the regional agriculture towards an intensified dairy production and the growth of biofuels call for a conversion of large shares of grassland to arable farm land. However, these plans are fiercely debated because a strong decline in grassland area is likely to have a considerable ecological impact on domestic meadowbird species. In this study, these problems accompanying an extensive land use change on Eiderstedt are explored. Three possible scenarios of transformations of agricultural land are developed which can be applied to determine the possible impacts of such conversions.

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