A1 Journal article (refereed)
Semi-natural habitats in the European boreal region : Caught in the socio-ecological extinction vortex? (2022)

Herzon, I., Raatikainen, K. J., Helm, A., Rūsiņa, S., Wehn, S., & Eriksson, O. (2022). Semi-natural habitats in the European boreal region : Caught in the socio-ecological extinction vortex?. Ambio, 51(8), 1753-1763. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-022-01705-3

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Herzon, Irina; Raatikainen, Kaisa J.; Helm, Aveliina; Rūsiņa, Solvita; Wehn, Sølvi; Eriksson, Ove

Journal or series: Ambio

ISSN: 0044-7447

eISSN: 1654-7209

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 12/02/2022

Volume: 51

Issue number: 8

Pages range: 1753-1763

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-022-01705-3

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/79824


We propose to consider semi-natural habitats—hotspots for biodiversity—being caught in a socio-ecological extinction vortex, similar to the phenomenon described for species threatened with extinction. These habitats are essentially socioecological systems, in which socioeconomic drivers are interlinked with ecological processes. We identify four highly interlinked and mutually reinforcing socio-economic processes, pertaining to the importance of semi-natural habitats for (i) agricultural production, (ii) policy, research and development; (iii) vocational education in the fields of agricultural sciences and (iv) public’s experiences with semi-natural habitats. Evidence from six countries in the boreal region demonstrates that recent slowing down or even reversal of two processes are insufficient to stop the extinction vortex phenomenon. We suggest research directions to ascertain the phenomenon, monitor its development and develop proactive actions to weaken the vortex. It is highly plausible that interventions directed at most, if not all, of the key vortex processes are needed to reverse the overall deteriorating trends of a socio-ecological system.

Keywords: agricultural environment; agricultural landscape; traditional biotope; meadows; woodland pastures; biodiversity; habitat; loss of nature; nature conservation

Free keywords: agriculture; biodiversity; conservation; farmland; socio-ecological systems

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:48