Land-use changes in a small watershed in the Mediterranean landscape (SE Spain): environmental implications of a shift towards subtropical crops

V.H. Duran Zuazo, C.R. Rodriguez Pleguezuelo, J.R. Francia Martinez, F.J. Martin Peinado, J. de Graaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Resource use and watershed management have become an increasingly important issue, stressing the need to find appropriate management approaches for improving agricultural landscapes. We analysed land-use changes from 1978 to 2007 in a representative watershed of Almuñécar (SE Spain). In 1978 the watershed consisted of 64.2% almond, 24.7% fallow land, 6.7% vineyard, 1.9% olive and 2.5% other uses. In 2007 much of the traditional orchards had disappeared, leaving only 17% almond and 0.6% vineyard. Not less than 29.8% had become shrubland and another 24.6% abandoned cropland. However, much of the land is now under subtropical crops: 19.2% avocado (Persea americana M.), 3.9% mango (Mangifera indica L.), 2.4% loquat (Eriobotrya japonica L.) and 1.1% cherimoya (Annona cherimola M.). This intensively irrigated agriculture with subtropical trees on terraces could exacerbate watershed degradation and could become a core problem with implications for sustainable resource use. The abandonment of traditional terraces with rainfed crops has led to the re-emergence of spontaneous native vegetation, promoting a denser plant cover and subsequent decrease in erosion. Therefore, highlighting the need for implementing sustainable conservation practices is crucial as part of future agricultural support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
JournalJournal of Land Use Science
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Land-use changes in a small watershed in the Mediterranean landscape (SE Spain): environmental implications of a shift towards subtropical crops'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this