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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Shieling Areas: Historical Grazing Pressures and Landscape Responses in Northern Iceland
Authors: Brown, Jennifer
Simpson, Ian
Morrison, Stuart
Adderley, W Paul
Tisdall, Eileen
Vésteinsson, Orri
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Keywords: Shieling areas
Land degradation
Landscape sensitivity
Issue Date: Feb-2012
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Brown J, Simpson I, Morrison S, Adderley WP, Tisdall E & Vésteinsson O (2012) Shieling Areas: Historical Grazing Pressures and Landscape Responses in Northern Iceland, Human Ecology, 40 (1), pp. 81-99.
Abstract: Historical domestic livestock grazing in sensitivelandscapes has commonly been regarded as a major cause ofland degradation in Iceland. Shieling areas, where milkinglivestock were taken to pasture for the summer, representedone element of grazing management and in this paper weconsider the extent to which historical shieling-based grazingpressure contributed to land degradation. Based on a grazingmodel to assess pressures and tephrochronology -based soilaccumulation rates allied to micromorphology as a proxy forland degradation, our findings suggest that the shieling system contributed to the maintenance of upland vegetationcover and related productivity levels without causing landdegradation from settlement through to ca. AD 1300. As landdegradation accelerated from ca. AD 1477 it is likely thatshieling management continued to operate effectively contributingto the overall resilience of livestock farming.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Stirling
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Institute of Archaeology, Iceland

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