Explored and unexplored topics in mountain livestock farming scientific literature

Anna Zuliani, Georgios Arsenos, Alberto Bernués, Guilio Cozzi, Peter Dovc, Matthias Gauly, O Holand, B Martin, C Morgan-Davies, M.K. Schneider, W Zollitsch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Mountain areas represent more than 40% of European land. In the mountains, the primary sector has a key role in terms of employment, livelihood structures in rural communities, landscape management and conservation and provision of high quality food products. In addition, mountain farming is tightly bound to High Value Nature areas since farming activities significantly contribute to the maintenance of biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services, due to their low-input/extensive character. However, these features limit productivity which impairs the economic viability of mountain agriculture, despite its pivotal role in providing key services for society. The new EAAP Mountain Livestock Farming Working Group performed a review of the existing scientific literature to investigate explored and unexplored topics in Mountain Livestock Farming (MLF) research. An electronic search on literature published from 1960 to 2017 was carried out using Scopus database. A string of key words Livestock and
Farm and Mountain was chosen to retrieve the most relevant scientific papers. A total of 545 papers were identified. The year with more publications was 2014 with 47 papers. During this timeframe, 20 peer reviewed scientific journals have published at least 5 papers related to MLF. Text mining analysis on the 547 available abstracts aimed at identifying the most frequent words used in these papers. Most of them were dealing with livestock management (e.g. sheep, cattle, transhumance, stocking density) and with landscape management (e.g. land, forest, grazing, water). Fewer papers were targeting socio-economic (e.g. livelihood quality and income) and environmental sustainability issues (e.g. climate change, biodiversity). The results of this exercise highlight a growing interest towards mountain farming related topics by the scientific community and reveal the need to build on current knowledge by engaging with new disciplines and expertise in order to strengthen the key role of MLF for the survival of agroecosystems and local communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
EditorsScientific Committee
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-8686-890-2
ISBN (Print)978-90-8686-339-6
Publication statusPrint publication - 2019
Event70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 26 Aug 201930 Aug 2019


Conference70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science


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