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Application of a dynamic model using agronomic and economic data to evaluate the sustainability of the olive grove landscape of Estepa (Andalusia, Spain)

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Rodríguez Sousa, Antonio Alberto and Barandica Fernández, Jesús María and Sanz-Cañada, Javier and Rescia Perazzo, Alejandro Javier (2019) Application of a dynamic model using agronomic and economic data to evaluate the sustainability of the olive grove landscape of Estepa (Andalusia, Spain). Landscape Ecology, 34 (7). pp. 1547-1563. ISSN 1572-9761

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10980-019-00773-3



Abstract

Context
In the Andalusia region (Spain), olive grove agro-systems cover a wide area, forming social-ecological landscapes. Recent socioeconomic changes have increased the vulnerability of these landscapes, resulting in the abandonment and intensification of farms. The provision of the main ecosystem services of these landscapes have thus been degraded.

Objectives
To analyse the sustainability of an olive grove social-ecological landscape in Andalusia. Specifically, to develop a quantitative model proposing land planning and management scenarios, considering abandonment, production and economic benefits of olive crops in different conditions of erosion and management.

Methods
We applied a dynamic model using agronomic and economic data, to evaluate different types of olive management. We considered different levels of erosion, the loss of production related to this erosion, and useful life spans for each type of management. We simulated scenarios for the long-term assessment of dynamics of crops, abandonment rate, production and benefits.

Results
(a) There was a loss of productive lands and benefits in the medium term in the more intensive crops. (b) Scenarios that partially incorporated ecological management proved to be more sustainable without economic subsidies. (c) The spatial combination of integrated, intensive and ecological plots was sustainable, and was well balanced from an economic, productive and ecological point of view.

Conclusions
Scenarios that partially incorporate ecological management allowed the best economic and environmental balance. However, to ensure the sustainability of olive landscapes, farmers should be financially rewarded for their role in the conservation of ecosystem services through landscape stewardship and direct environmental payments.

Resumen (otros idiomas)

En Andalucía (España), los agro-sistemas de olivar conforman paisajes socioecológicos de amplia extensión e importancia económica. Sin embargo, en las últimas décadas dichos sistemas se han abandonado o intensificado debido a su vulnerabilidad económica. Ante esta situación, donde el aporte de servicios ecosistémicos por parte del olivar se está viendo alterada, se analizó la Comarca olivarera de Estepa (Sevilla) mediante el diseño de escenarios a medio-largo plazo con la finalidad de evaluar su sostenibilidad. Mediante la simulación de las dimensiones productivas, económicas y medio-ambientales de diferentes gestiones (integrada, intensiva, altamente intensiva y ecológica), nuestros resultados mostraron un efecto negativo de la intensificación para con la cantidad de hectáreas agrícolas fértiles, junto a un incremento de la rentabilidad en aquéllos escenarios con parcelas de cultivo ecológico. Por tanto, para alcanzar un modelo equilibrado, es necesario plantear una gestión espacial mixta en base a los patrones de usos y coberturas del suelo, además de fomentar el incentivo de pagos ambientales con la finalidad de maximizar la viabilidad del olivar en el tiempo.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Common Agricultural Policy, Landscape services, Management scenarios, Soil erosion, Sustainable olive grove management
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Botany
Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
ID Code:56909
Deposited On:04 Sep 2019 17:11
Last Modified:05 Sep 2019 08:05

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