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Stakeholders’ perception of the relevance of water and sediment connectivity in water and land management.

Smetanová, A. and Paton, E. and Maynard, C. and Tindale, S. and Fernández-Getino, A. and Marqués Pérez, M. J. and Bracken, L. and Le Bissonnais, Y. and Keesstra, S. (2018) 'Stakeholders’ perception of the relevance of water and sediment connectivity in water and land management.', Land Degradation and Development, 29 (6). pp. 1833-1844.


Using concepts of connectivity in challenges regarding land and water management (flooding, erosion, nutrient leaching, landslides) can only be fully harnessed if knowledge is communicated well between scientists and stakeholders. Proper communication requires prior understanding of end‐users' perception of connectivity as a useful framework. Therefore, we analysed (i) perceptions of ‘connectivity’ for stakeholders involved in water and land management across Europe, (ii) potential for stakeholders to apply connectivity‐related measures in their management decisions, (iii) stakeholders’ biggest challenges in water and land management, and (iv) stakeholders' expectations for future ‘connectivity’ research agendas. We studied 85 questionnaires from 19 countries using a grounded theory approach. One‐third of stakeholders understood connectivity in its scientific context, while 39% perceived connectivity indirectly through their personal experiences (e.g., water and sediment fluxes and erosion). Half of stakeholders’ perceived links and challenges were related to availability of data and methods, communication, and institutions or policy, while others believed they were related to water quality and quantity, soil erosion and quality, and climate change. Half of the stakeholders considered connectivity management important, and one‐third showed high interest in managing connectivity. Adopting connectivity into management is hindered by institutional‐ and policy‐based management limitations, insufficient data and methods, and ineffective knowledge transfer. Explicitly considering heterogeneity of stakeholder perceptions is required for projects regarding management of connectivity at European, national and local scales.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Smetanová, A., Paton, E., Maynard, C., Tindale, S., Fernández-Getino, A., Marqués Pérez, M. J., Bracken, L., Le Bissonnais, Y. & Keesstra, S. (2018). Stakeholders’ Perception of the Relevance of Water and Sediment Connectivity in Water and Land Management. Land Degradation and Development, 29(6): 1833-1844, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:11 March 2018
Date deposited:27 March 2018
Date of first online publication:25 March 2018
Date first made open access:25 September 2018

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