- Dettagli della rivista
- Pubblicato per la prima volta
- 20 Jun 2008
- Periodo di pubblicazione
- 3 volte all'anno
- Accesso libero
The Soundscape Approach for the Assessment and Conservation of Mediterranean Landscapes: Principles and Case Studies
Pagine: 10 - 22
The fine-grained mosaic of natural and human-modified patches that characterizes the Mediterranean region has created a multifaceted system that is difficult to investigate using traditional ecological techniques. In this context, sounds have been found to be the optimum model to provide indirect and timely information about the state of ecosystems. The sonic nature of the environment (the soundscape) represents an important component of the landscape, and the new discipline of soundscape ecology has recently been shown to have appropriate tools for investigating the complexity of the environment. In the last decade, technological advances in the acoustic field have led researchers to carry out wide-scale and long-term ecological research using new and efficient tools, such as digital low cost sound recorders, and autonomous software and metrics. Particularly in the Mediterranean region, where land transformation occurs at a very rapid rate, soundscape analysis may represent an efficient tool with which to:1) track transformations in the community balance, 2) indicate the most acoustically complex parts (bioacoustic hotspots) of the land mosaic, 3) prevent environmental degradation, and 4) decide whether protection or restoration actions are most appropriate.
Conserving the quality of Mediterranean sounds means preserving the natural dynamics of its animal populations and also involves maintaining the cultural heritage, human identity, and the spiritual values of the area.
- soundscape ecology
- Mediterranean landscape
- acoustic diversity
- Accesso libero
Landscape Change in Mediterranean Farmlands: Impacts of Land Abandonment on Cultivation Terraces in Portofino (Italy) and Lesvos (Greece)
Pagine: 23 - 44
The Mediterranean landscape has been rapidly changing over the past decades. Many regions saw a population decline, which resulted in changing land use, abandonment of marginal lands and colonisation by shrubs and tree species. Typical features like farming terraces, olive yards, and upland grasslands have been decreasing over the past 50 years. This results in a declining biodiversity and loss of traditional Mediterranean landscapes. In this paper we assess the landscape changes that took place in two areas, in Portofino, on the Italian Riviera, and Lesvos, a Greek island near the Turkish coast. We compared land use maps and aerial photographs over the past decades to quantify the land use changes in these two areas. Additional information was acquired from farmers’ interviews and literature. We found that changes are related to societal changes in the appraisal of agricultural land uses, and to the urban expansion, tourism and recreation. These diffuse processes are a result of policy measures and autonomous societal transformations. This is confirmed by the results of two interview surveys: between 1999 and 2012 agricultural land use in Portofino regional Park and buffer zone further marginalised, and the associated landscape changes are perceived as a substantial loss of character and identity. This problem is emblematic for large parts of the Mediterranean. Comparing different landscapes reveal similar processes of landscape change, which can be related to similar driving forces. Based on such comparisons, we learn about possible trajectories of change, and ask for a comprehensive approach to land use management.
- cultural landscape
- land use
- driving forces
- Accesso libero
Land Managers’ Heterogeneity in Mediterranean Landscapes - Consistencies and Contradictions Between Attitudes and Behaviors
Pagine: 45 - 74
European rural landscapes face today several changes, which might indicate that an ongoing transition process is taking place. While these transition processes have been mainly addressed for Western Europe and landscapes dominated by intensive agriculture, they remain to be understood in Southern Europe, where large areas are occupied by extensive farming systems, maintaining a distinctive landscape character. However in Mediterranean areas, new ways of managing the land arise, no longer by the conventional farmers alone but also by a multiplicity of other land managers. Nevertheless, the dominant discourse in the farm sector, both in politics and in individuals, is still focused on production. Therefore to better assess the potential of land managers to adapt to changes and to meet the expectations that society articulates towards the farming sector, a description of the land managers’ diversity deserves a renewed attention. A number of questions remain unanswered or only partially answered. Which land managers are contributing more to the changes happening? Which are the drivers that encourage or prevent innovation and changes in the holdings? Do all farmers behave in the same way? Does the attitudes-thoughts get translated into actual behavior-actions? In order to answer these questions a land managers’ typology anchored on the multifunctional transition framework is proposed. It aims to understand which land manager type contributes more to the multifunctional transition bounded by non-productivist and productivist strategies in place. This typology exploits the combination between the behaviors-action in the holding and the expressed attitudes-thoughts. To achieve this typology, 373 questionnaires were completed by land managers in South Portugal. Results reveal in some cases inconsistencies between land managers attitudes and their action, in an opposite sense to what has been earlier identified in Northwestern Europe, and reflecting the heterogeneity of Mediterranean agriculture and land ownership. Thus, an understanding of the land managers types will lead us to a better understanding of what are land managers looking for in the landscape they use. This knowledge can support better oriented policies and management decision, certainly more easily accepted by land managers since their views, behaviors, attitudes and opinions are taken in consideration.
- Land Managers
- Accesso libero
Pagine: 75 - 90
The road network in Cyprus has seen an 88% increase in the last 20 years. This expansion has not been followed by any kind of assessment on the effects of the network on nature conservation. This is the first island-wide quantitative assessment of the size, character (surface types), pervasiveness and distribution of the road system with particular reference to Natura 2000 network on the island. We mapped roadless areas (i.e. areas at least one km away from nearest road) for the whole island and examined the spatial distribution with respect to Natura 2000. We tested the relationship between overall road density and road density of different road categories within terrestrial Natura 2000 sites to four zones which were defined on the basis of landform, principal land use and ownership. We employed three indices i.e. effective mesh size, splitting and division to measure fragmentation caused by the road network within Natura 2000 and investigated the relationship between road density and the above fragmentation metrics. Mean road density in Cyprus is 2.3 km/km2 which is comparable to road density values recorded in other Mediterranean countries such as France, Spain and Italy, which have much larger area and population. Roadless areas cover 4.5% of the island, and despite being scattered 80% is found within Natura 2000, which demonstrates the added value of the network for nature conservation. Road expansion has taken place throughout the island with the same intensity irrespectively of the zones examined. Fragmentation has been lower in sites on mountainous areas where sites are larger and under state ownership. Road density is negatively correlated (r = - 0.383, p = 0.05) with effective mesh size and positively correlated with both landscape division (r = 0.376, p = 0.05) and splitting index (r = 0.376, p = 0.05). Results corroborate that spatial configuration is an important property of the road network in addition to traffic load, length and density.With the shift from site based conservation to landscape level there is a challenge for integrating technical, human and ecological requirements into infrastructure planning.
- Road Density
- Accesso libero
Natural Ecosystem-Units in Israel and the Palestinian Authority - Representativeness in Protected Areas and Suggested Solutions for Biodiversity Conservation
Pagine: 91 - 109
The geographic location of Israel and the Palestinian Authorityon the border between Mediterranean and desert climate, and the strong topographic and geomorphological variation resulting from its position on the Great African Rift Valley, combine to sustain a great diversity of landscapes in a very small country. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the protected areas in Israel and the Palestinian Authority adequately represent the range of landscapes and ecosystems in the region.
Altogether, we defined 23 natural ecosystem-units in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, of which 17 are terrestrial landscapes and 6 are aquatic systems. In considering the adequacy of coverage in protected areas, we mapped Israel and the Palestinian Authority landscapes according to a set of environmental factors (climatic, geomorphological, geological and botanical) that we believe most effectively distinguish landscape types in this region. When the separation between adjacent units relies on sharp topographic or edaphic change in the landscape, the mapped units can be separated by a clear and sharp line. When adjacent units are actually a gradient of continuous environmental conditions the separation lines relied mostly on botanic characteristics.
The main land use categories in this analysis were urban areas, agricultural areas, nature reserves, national parks and forest reserves. For the first time in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, we quantified the different landscape types under the different categories of land use. This process, known as systematic conservation planning, allowed us to detect natural landscapes that are underrepresented in protected areas, and can guide decision makers to establish or improve management for the better representation of biodiversity.
- Systematic conservation planning
- land use
- mapping ecosystems
- biodiversity conservation
- representativeness in protected areas
- Accesso libero
Mapping Human Induced Landscape Changes in Israel Between the end of the 19Th Century and the Beginning of the 21Th Century
Pagine: 110 - 145
This paper examines changes in Israel's landscape by comparing two time periods, 1881 and 2011. For this purpose we compared land cover derived from the Palestine Exploration Fund historical map to a present land cover map that was compiled from 38 different present-day GIS layers. The research aims were (1) to quantitatively examine what were the changes in Israel's landscape between 1881 and 2011; (2) to identify and explain spatial patterns in these landscape changes. Landscape transformation was categorized into five classes: 'residual bare' (no change in natural vegetation, mostly in desert areas); 'residual' (i.e. remnant; no change in natural vegetation class); 'transformed' (changes between different natural vegetation areas); 'replaced' (area which became managed); 'removed' (no or minimal natural vegetation). We found that only 21% of the area retained similar landscape classes as in the past, with the largest changes taking place in ecoregions that were favorable for developing agriculture - Jezreel Valley and the Sharon Plain. Two physical factors had a strong effect on the type of change in the landscape: (1) most of the agricultural areas and human settlements were found in areas ranging between 400-600 mm/year (2) natural land cover features were more common in areas with steeper slopes. We found that the majority of protected areas, 54.6%, are comprised of remnant vegetation classes (i.e. residual transformation class) however more than half of protected areas are located in desert areas and are thus biased in their representation of land cover classes.
- historical maps
- land cover/use
- landscape transformation/changes