Farmland ownership fragmentation is one of the important drivers of land-use changes. It is a process that in its extreme form can essentially limit land management sustainability. Based on a typology of land degradation and its causes, this process is here classified for the first time as an underlying cause which through tenure insecurity causes land degradation in five types (water erosion, wind erosion, soil compaction, reduction of organic matter, and nutrient depletion). A review of relevant literature enables the further presentation of a list of 21 types of land degradation and another extensive list of the 37 most common causes of land degradation. This work further presents an overview of harmful consequences of high farmland ownership fragmentation, and possibilities for remedying the effects. These possibilities consist of eliminating or mitigating those causes accelerating the fragmentation process, defragmenting current land ownership, and remedying the effects brought by this process.
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Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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