Management of ecological entities in agricultural landscapes is often challenged by a complex ownershipstructure governed by a cadastral system dictated by agricultural interests and historical land usepractices. The cadastral division is suspected to obstruct the deliverance of ecosystem services (ES) fromthe landscape. The objective of this analysis is to quantify the cadastral fragmentation of selectedlandscape-scale ES. Contiguous ecological units and landscape entities as designated in Danish municipalplanning were analyzed. The designations comprised the existing ES represented by EU Natura2000 areas, drinking water protection areas and valuable landscapes, and potential ES in areas designatedfor potential wetlands, afforestation and recreational trails. In each designated area the cadastralstructure in terms of number of units, size, and number of affected properties was analyzed. In all cases alarge number of rather small (mean area <10 ha) cadastral units with different owners characterize thedesignated areas providing particular ES. Accordingly large numbers of properties were affected by thedesignations. The reasons for the high numbers of cadastral units pertain to the historical background ofthe cadaster as a tool of optimizing agricultural production. This suggests inherited difficulties inimposing a uniform management regime in cases where regulatory tools are dependent on the attitude ofthe individual land owner. Difficulties are also arising in situations where potential ES are to be unfoldedin spatial explicit contexts; all landowners must be aligned in terms of new regulation if the particularservice is to be released simultaneously and uniformly in a spatial defined area. It is concluded that soundecosystem and landscape management that follows boundaries defined by natural phenomenon isimpeded by cadastral divisions.
Vejre, H., Vesterager, J. P., Andersen, P. S., Olafsson, A. S., Brandt, J., & Dalgaard, T. (2015). Does cadastral division of area-based ecosystem services obstruct comprehensive management. Ecological Modelling, 295, 176-187. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.09.027