Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 510242
Title Ecosystem responses to land abandonment in Western Mediterranean Mountains
Author(s) Romero-Díaz, Asunción; Ruiz-Sinoga, José Damián; Robledano-Aymerich, Francisco; Brevik, Eric C.; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio
Source Catena 149 (2017). - ISSN 0341-8162 - p. 824 - 835.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2016.08.013
Department(s) Soil Physics and Land Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2017
Keyword(s) Erosion - Human impact - Infiltration - Mediterranean - Soil quality - Vegetative recovery
Abstract

Agricultural expansion in the Mediterranean resulted in plant and soil degradation due to the intensive use, climate conditions, and rugged terrain. After abandonment, the recovery of vegetation contributed to improvement in soil quality from a hydrological, pedological and geomorphological point of view. This paper shows three examples of ecosystem evolution in abandoned fields in Valencia, Murcia and Andalucia and the application of different methodological approaches that resulted in similar findings. In Valencia, the main responses were the recovery of vegetation after land abandonment and an increase in organic matter and infiltration capacity of soils. In Murcia, with the exception of some terraced areas on marls, where erosion processes following abandonment were important, land abandonment resulted in vegetation recovery, improved soil properties, and reduced surface wash and soil losses. In Andalucia, research along climatological gradients showed the relationship between vegetation patterns and soil moisture and the control that climate exerts on hydrological and erosive behaviour. The experimental research conducted in three different regions in Western Mediterranean demonstrated that abandonment can result in recovery of the geo-ecosystem as vegetation and soil quality improvements were shown. The marls areas in Murcia were the exception with low soil quality and low vegetation cover, and as a consequence showed evidence of high erosion rates after abandonment.

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