Paradise lost — transformation of the gully landscape in South-East Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHamre, L. N., Rydgren, K., Incerti, C., Hjorth-Johansen, I., & Simonsen, K. S. (2020). Paradise lost — transformation of the gully landscape in South-East Norway. Landscape Research, 1-13. 10.1080/01426397.2020.1847263
In the last 50–60 years, agricultural intensification and later urban development have threatened the rare and valuable gully landscape formed on marine clay. We studied landscape changes in eastern Akershus county in south-east Norway, which has one of the world’s largest concentrations of marine gullies. Interpretation of aerial photos showed that about 25% of the gully area has been lost. Only 39.5% of the remaining area is original gullies, and 60.5% of the area has been affected by landscape change. The largest loss of gully area was between 1955 and 1991, mainly through land levelling and transformation to intensively managed agricultural landscape. The most densely populated areas also lost gullies to residential areas and industry. Gullies support high plant and animal diversity, and future management should be based on landscape ecological principles. Gully fragments should also be preserved to maintain connectivity between the many different habitats belonging to the gullies.