Mountain Mediterranean landscape evolution caused by the abandonment of traditional primary activities: a study of the Spanish Central Pyrenees

Mountain Mediterranean landscape evolution caused by the abandonment of traditional primary... This paper analyses changes in plant cover in a valley of the Spanish Central Pyrenees during the second half of the 20th century. The role played by the extensification of farming activities in this process has been examined. The method used was based on evolutionary mapping of the plant cover, application of landscape indices and spatial analysis of livestock pressure. Throughout the century the stocking rate in the valley has decreased dramatically and sheep have been replaced by cattle. Most crop areas have been abandoned, and these areas have gone through a revegetation process (involving both natural vegetation and forest plantation). Nowadays the forest is the most abundant element. The study shows that both agricultural set-aside and the stocking rate decrease have led to a more natural landscape. Finally, the positive and negative effects of extensification and the changes in vegetation patterns associated with it are debated. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Applied Geography Elsevier

Mountain Mediterranean landscape evolution caused by the abandonment of traditional primary activities: a study of the Spanish Central Pyrenees

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0143-6228
eISSN
1873-7730
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.apgeog.2004.11.001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper analyses changes in plant cover in a valley of the Spanish Central Pyrenees during the second half of the 20th century. The role played by the extensification of farming activities in this process has been examined. The method used was based on evolutionary mapping of the plant cover, application of landscape indices and spatial analysis of livestock pressure. Throughout the century the stocking rate in the valley has decreased dramatically and sheep have been replaced by cattle. Most crop areas have been abandoned, and these areas have gone through a revegetation process (involving both natural vegetation and forest plantation). Nowadays the forest is the most abundant element. The study shows that both agricultural set-aside and the stocking rate decrease have led to a more natural landscape. Finally, the positive and negative effects of extensification and the changes in vegetation patterns associated with it are debated.

Journal

Applied GeographyElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2005

References

  • The fractal geometry of nature
    Mandelbrot, B.B.
  • Managing degraded landscape after farmland abandonment in the Central Spanish Pyrenees
    Molinillo, M.; Lasanta, T.; García-Ruiz, J.M.
  • Species diversity patterns in Mediterranean grassland
    Montalvo, J.; Casado, M.A.; Levassor, C.; Pineda, F.D.
  • From pattern to process: Landscape fragmentation and the analysis of land use/land cover change
    Nagendra, H.; Munroe, D.K.; Southworth, J.
  • Seasonal dynamics of Mediterranean pasture seed banks along environmental gradients
    Ortega, M.; Levassor, C.; Peco, B.

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