Ecological impacts and mitigation strategies for rural land management

Virginia Dale, Steve Archer, Michael Chang, Dennis Ojima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Land-use change and land-management practices affect a variety of ecological processes. Land-use impacts on ecological processes include local extirpations, introductions of new species, changes in land-cover extent, changes in juxtaposition of landcover types, changes to disturbance regimes, changes in vegetation structure and composition, and effects on air, water, and light quality, and noise pollution. Effects of land-use changes on ecological processes are discussed with special reference to changes in rural environments. Our premise is that better understanding of ecological processes improves land management. Mitigation strategies are presented with respect to management of initial ecological conditions, of the changes themselves, and of the altered system. The paper focuses on proactive environmental management efforts and identifies key research issues as (1) quantifying land-use legacies, (2) determining conditions under which land use modifies impacts of other stressors, (3) identifying conditions under which deleterious impacts can be avoided, (4) understanding cumulative impacts of land-use change, (5) improving our understanding of how land use alters resistance or susceptibility to invasion and impacts of pollutants, (6) crafting socioeconomically reasonable incentives for restoring or reducing effects of land-use practices, and (7) accelerating the integration of social and ecological sciences

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1879-1892
Number of pages14
JournalEcological Applications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Aggressive species
  • Biomass
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Cumulative impacts
  • Disturbance
  • Invasion
  • Land cover
  • Land use
  • Legacy
  • Pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology


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