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Title: An historical ecological assessment of land-use evolution and observed landscape change in an arid aeolian sedimentary system
Authors: Marrero-Rodríguez, Néstor
García-Romero, Leví 
Sánchez-García, María José 
Hernández-Calvento, Luis 
Perez-Chacon Espino, María Emma 
UNESCO Clasification: 250507 Geografía física
250607 Geomorfología
250604 Geología ambiental
Keywords: Aeolian Landforms
Environmental Changes
Historical Ecology
Human Impact
Land Ownership, et al
Issue Date: 2020
Journal: Science of the Total Environment 
Abstract: Coastal areas worldwide are undergoing major changes and degradation due to a set of combined natural and anthropogenic stressors. In arid aeolian sedimentary systems these changes can be even more acute given their sensitivity to perturbances in landscape dynamics. While in many such areas recent (20 year) observations have been made regarding measurable differences in dune coverage and stability, few studies have assessed and quantified the long-term relationships of transitioning exploitation and land-use changes in order to fully evaluate their importance. Land management, therefore, does not always benefit from the more holistic picture that a combined deeper time historical ecology and geographical approach provides and can contribute to decision making. The Jandía isthmus, in Fuerteventura (Canary Islands, Spain) presented an ideal field laboratory in which to assess these phenomena in actual conditions and test a combined methodology using historical and current sources (historical documents, aerial photographs, orthophotos, LiDAR data, field work and oral sources). By doing so, different phases of land exploitation associated with changing land ownership were identified and the consequences of each on the dune system assessed. It is concluded that the transition from traditional land uses (livestock and fuel extraction) to more recent ones (aggregate extraction, construction of new roads and urban-touristic resorts, and some recreational uses) has altered aeolian sedimentary transport, inducing stabilization of the landforms, as well as producing significant changes in the vegetation. The wider application of this type of study can benefit the many other areas worldwide that are facing similar pressures.
ISSN: 0048-9697
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137087
Source: Science of the Total Environment [ISSN 0048-9697], v. 716
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