JME 2005

JME 2005


The Cultural Park as a Platform Connecting Human Ecology with Cultural Landscape
José Manuel de Mascarenhas, Filipe Themudo Barata

A cultural park is a model of active participation which aim and applicability concern the conservation and valorization of cultural landscapes; the improvement of rural population quality of life; land’s memories preservation; sustainable development new practices; new areas of knowledge and apprenticeship. So, cultural park it’s a tool relying the main aspects of human heritage: the connection between mankind and its natural environment and the footprints and marks that he spread in the landscape. This platform of intervention is particularly important what Mediterranean landscapes concern because they are disturbance-dependent features modified by anthropogenic factors since millennia and its ecodiversity is particularly threatened. Therefore finding out and developing new means of land management, including conservation of nature policies, is a central issue specially in the context of the actual rural world paradigm, where farmers need to move towards multifunctional activities and society is demanding both a broad spectrum of products and a high environmental and landscape quality level. Cultural parks is a contribute to an holistic approach to the landscape values understanding where ecological and natural values play a relevant role, increasing citizenship among landowners and public in general. With Cultural Park concept we just intend to find out a meeting point of many studies we work with. Through two case-studies (Évora and Viseu regions) we intend to illustrate the referred model that can contribute to local development favouring the presence of man in landscape.

Keywords: landscape management, rural development, heritage, ecodiversity, citizenship

Isoprenoid emissions and physiological activities of Mediterranean macchia vegetation
R. Baraldi, F. Rapparini, O. Facini, D. Spano, P. Duce

The emissions of volatile organic compounds, VOC, from plants have strong relevance for plant physiology, plant ecology and atmospheric chemistry. We report here the emission rates and the ecophysiological behaviour of the Mediterranean plant species Chamaerops humilis L., Pistacia lentiscus L. and Juniperus phoenicea L. Emission measurements made by means of a dynamic branch enclosure under field condition indicated that Chamaerops humilis is a strong emitter of isoprene at a diurnal rate of 41.4 ng m-2 s-1. Lower daily emission rates were measured for the monoterpene emitter shrubs P. lentiscus (13.9 ng m-2 s-1) and J. phoenicea (4.1 ng m-2 s-1) compared to C. humilis. A good correlation was found between isoprenoid emission rate and temperature. Monoterpene emission from the reservoir of Pistacia and Juniperus and isoprene released by Chamaerops leaves enhanced during periods of increasing irradiation and temperature in the middle of the day. The daily trends of photosynthesis showed higher values at morning and a greater CO2 assimilation in Pistacia lentiscus leaves compared to the other species. For leaf transpiration we observed a slight decrease in the afternoon in Chamaerops leaves and a fairly constant transpiration in the other two shrubs. Xylem water potential measurements indicated that all the species were not subjected to a severe drought stress.

Keywords: VOC, isoprenoids, isoprene, monoterpene, emission, Mediterranean ecosystem, Pistacia lentiscus, Juniperus

When inhabitants photograph their landscapes to prepare a local sustainable development project: new perspectives for the organisation of local participatory discussion groups
Michelin Y., Lelli L., Paradis S.

In rural areas, the taking into account of landscape in a development project is difficult. Some of them think that landscape appreciation is kept to specialists, others that landscape management concerns only famous places and the majority of inhabitants meet difficulties to express their opinion only by words. In order to get to their actual opinion and to help them to share their points of view about landscape preferences, we have experimented a survey method on landscape’s representations through photographs taken by the inhabitants and elective people, using disposable cameras in different areas of French Massif central and south of France. Each actor took pictures of « their » landscape answering thematic questions. It seems that the landscape perception in old historical regions (Corbières, Comminges) presents more human elements (monuments and anthropised places) than in « rough » mountain areas where forest, water, grazing areas with a natural aspect are prevailing. Then, the photographic tool appears to be useful for understanding and defining the ordinary landscapes, in their emotional, identity, aesthetic, dynamic, heritage and project dimensions, contributing to thoughts on territorial identity. This work opens new perspectives for the organisation of local participatory discussion groups and gives indications about the way the landscape is constructed and integrated in the mind of people who are mainly forgot during the unfolding process of development projects.

Keywords: Landscape‘s representations, landscape planning, local development.


Wildfire risk mapping: considering environmental change in space and time

James D.A. Millington

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been used to model and assess wildfire risk in Mediterranean environments at a local landscape scale. Here, two GIS models are presented; one previously proposed (Salas and Chuvieco 1994), and one extended upon this incorporating an index of patch contiguity to consider the spatial configuration of the landscape. Both models suggest that wildfire risk has increased in the study area, SPA 56 ‘Encinares del río Alberche y Cofio’ (central Spain), driven largely by processes associated with agricultural abandonment. However, results suggest that the extended model is better suited to highlight changes in the spatial structure of the landscape (i.e. increased homogeneity). Both models are used to examine potential changes in future wildfire risk via a logistic regression model that predicts future land cover from observed changes. Results suggest wildfire risk will continue to rise across the landscape in the future. Methodologies such as the one presented here could be used in other landscapes to quickly assess wildfire risk and its change due to environmental change.

Keywords: wildfire risk assessment, GIS, modelling, land cover configuration, Spain, environmental change


Soil Erosion on Abandoned Fields in Mediterranean Mountains – Monitoring of Processes and Development

Prof. Dr. Johannes B. Ries

Abandoned fields as a result of the land use change can frequently be found in the Mediterranean Mountains. In comparison to arable land they demonstrate heterogenic geomorphodynamic processes which vary greatly over small spaces. Their activity and development are difficult to record. Due to linear erosion between the dwarf shrubs the soil erosion patterns show big differences depending on vegetation structure and sheep trails. The study was carried out in two Mediterranean Mountain landscapes in Northeast Spain: In the Pre-Pyrenees, runoff under matorral of dense Genista scorpius on Hypercalcic Calcisols with rock fragment cover remains high (runoff coefficients up to 62%). Soil erosion rates are scattered (1 g m-2 up to 29 g m-2/ 30 min simulated rainfall). In the Flysch-Area of the Central Pyrenees (dense matorral of Genista scorpius, dense herbaceous cover of Brachypodium, Stagnic Regosols with stone cover of siltstone fragments), runoff coefficients are lower (up to 35%), soil erosion also, with rates not higher than 11 g m-2. In both landscapes by far the highest values were found in sheep trails (up to 66%, 334 g m-2). In order to examine the interdependence of vegetation dynamics and soil erosion a largescale testplot monitoring is used to document the factors of vegetation cover and process activity. Short-term changes can be recorded and relationship in the development made clear. It can be shown that the increase or decrease in vegetation cover does not generally lead to stabilisation or intensification of soil erosion. Only a dense vegetation cover above 60% correlates with stability in the process activity although linear erosion forms are still active.

Keywords: Runoff, soil erosion, matorral, abandoned fields


Spatial Distribution of Soils and their Properties as Indicators of Degradation/Regradation Processes in a Highly Disturbed Mediterranean Mountain Catchment

M. Seeger, M.-P. Errea-Abad & N. Lana-Renault

Mediterranean mountain environments have been intensively used for hundreds of years. Nowadays, extensification of land-use has lead to a homogenisation of landscape and processes as runoff generation, erosion and vegetation succession. Nevertheless, soils may show a high spatial variability, depending on topographical and lithological conditions and the actual vegetation and land-use status. So they can be used as indicators for the capability of rehabilitation of the landscape, its functions and the processes related. The indicators may be 1) chemical and physical properties and 2) the soil moisture dynamics during the year. The results from a headwater catchment in the Flysch-Area of the Central Spanish Pyrenees are presented. The soils show a high variability between the shady and the sunny aspect, but also inside these areas. The shady aspect is covered by deep Kastanozems and Phaeozems, as well as with Regosols. Mostly they show well structured topsoil with an enrichment of organic matter. On the sunny aspect Calcaric Regosols and Leptosols, with high active erosion dynamics can be found. Nutrient losses during the agricultural period, as well as the reduction of water storing capacity are important features of these soils. The valley bottoms are covered with Cambisols and Luvisols , showing vertic and stagnic conditions as well as high erosion and accumulation. Soil moisture reflects development conditions of the soils. Those with evidence of actual degradation processes tend to dry out rapidly whilst stable soils show slowly changes of soil moisture. These processes are intensively linked to the actual land-use.

Keywords: soils, land degradation, erosion, land abandonment, Mediterranean Mountains


Landscape Ecological Indicators – Application to the monitoring system of sete cidades special land use plan

Cadete, J., J. Xavier, I. Ramos, H. Calado, J. Porteiro & A. Medeiros

The village of Sete Cidades and its surrounding landscape are considered to be the most important tourist attraction of the Azores archipelago. However, the landscape and its values are at risk. The lakes show an advanced state of eutrophication, due to an increasing agricultural use of the basin as pastureland for milk production. A Special Land Use Plan for this area (POBHLSC) was prepared and within the framework of a INTERREG-IIIB program, a Pilot Study on the Integrated Management of Sete Cidades Landscape is being carried out. This aims at the definition of a monitoring system that will enable the periodic evaluation of future landscape dynamics within the context of the plan. After its approval, the plan will regulate the future land uses, and therefore it may have a considerable impact on the landscape features. Even though there is not much experience available on landscape monitoring and development of landscape indicators systems in Portugal, this pilot study aims at providing an approach as a basis to a future systematic use. The approach is built on a recently produced landscape unit map and the formulation of a suitable set of landscape indicators, structured according to the OECD Agri-environmental indicator model. This paper presents the adopted methodological approach by focusing on the landscape indicators development and its integration in a monitoring system, which is based on a GIS.