Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Land sharing complements land sparing in the conservation of disturbance-dependent species

Tälle, Malin; Öckinger, Erik; Löfroth, Therese; Pettersson, Lars B.; Smith, Henrik G.; Stjernman, Martin; Ranius, Thomas


Alteration of natural disturbances in human-modified landscapes has resulted in many disturbance-dependent species becoming rare. Conservation of such species requires efforts to maintain or recreate disturbance regimes. We compared benefits of confining efforts to habitats in protected areas (a form of land sparing) versus integrating them with general management of production land (a form of land sharing), using two examples: fire in forests and grazing in semi-natural grasslands. We reviewed empirical studies from the temperate northern hemisphere assessing effects of disturbances in protected and non-protected areas, and compiled information from organisations governing and implementing disturbances in Sweden. We found advantages with protection of areas related to temporal continuity and quality of disturbances, but the spatial extent of disturbances is higher on production land. This suggests that an approach where land sparing is complemented with land sharing will be most effective for preservation of disturbance-dependent species in forests and semi-natural grasslands.


Fire; Forest; Grazing; Mowing; Protected area; Semi-natural grassland

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2023, Volume: 52, number: 3, pages: 571-584