Changes in land uses and management in two Nature Reserves in Spain: Evaluating the social–ecological resilience of cultural landscapes



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Rescia Perazzo, Alejandro Javier and Willaarts, Bárbara A. and Schmitz García, María Fe and Aguilera, Pedro A. (2010) Changes in land uses and management in two Nature Reserves in Spain: Evaluating the social–ecological resilience of cultural landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning, 98 . pp. 26-35. ISSN 0169-2046

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In the last decades, changes in land use and management have led to the degradation of many cultural landscapes in European rural areas. Such degradation has had relevant consequences for local populations, landscape functionality, and the maintenance of ecosystem services. Many of these cultural rural landscapes are linked to Nature Reserves, therefore having an increase in conservation interest. We analysed and compared the landscape changes of two Nature Reserves in Spain, ‘Sierra Norte de Sevilla’ Natural Park (SNSNP) and ‘Urdaibai’ Biosphere Reserve (UBR) over the last 50 years. Results showed that the SNSNP landscape has undergone little spatial changes over time while UBR has suffered significant transformations. We have also assessed how these landscape changes are related to the loss of resilience observed in both Nature Reserves. In SNSNP, resilience degradation is mainly due to socioeconomic changes. The low profitability of current land use has accentuated rural migration, increasing local population aging and reducing social opportunities. This fact has significantly decreased the capacity of the system to cope with changes. In UBR, landscape changes have degraded the ecological resilience of the system. The homogenization of the landscape has increased the vulnerability of UBR to the spread of disturbance, resulting in a loss of land use diversity. We suggest that effective management of cultural landscapes, understood as social–ecological systems, should integrate both, the social and ecological components. This management should be adaptive and involve the active participation of local population. Sustainable tourism and hunting are emerging as challenging alternatives.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cultural landscapes conservation, Ecosystem services, Integrated social–ecological management, Landscape changes, Landscape indices, Multiple landscape functions
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
ID Code:56670
Deposited On:01 Aug 2019 18:22
Last Modified:01 Aug 2019 18:22

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