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Título

Woody plant encroachment following grazing abandonment in the subalpine belt: a case study in northern Spain

AutorSanjuán, Yasmina ; Arnáez, José; Beguería, Santiago ; Lana-Renault, Noemí ; Lasanta Martínez, Teodoro ; Gómez-Villar, Amelia; Álvarez-Martínez, Javier; Coba-Pérez, Paz; García-Ruiz, José María
Palabras claveWoody encroachment
Subalpine belt
Deforestation
Land use/land cover changes
Land abandonmen
Fecha de publicaciónabr-2018
EditorSpringer
CitaciónSanjuán Y, Arnáez J, Beguería S, Lana-Renault N, Lasanta T, Gómez-Villar A, Álvarez-Martínez J, Coba-Pérez P, García-Ruiz JM. Woody plant encroachment following grazing abandonment in the subalpine belt: a case study in northern Spain. Regional Environmental Change 18 (4): 1103–1115 (2018)
ResumenThe montane and subalpine belts in European mountains were affected by intense land use/land cover changes during the twentieth century. In the case of the subalpine belt, most European mountains were affected by complex deforestation processes from Neolithic times, leading to the expansion of summer grasslands to support grazing by transhumant sheep and goats flocks. This resulted in an altitudinal reduction of the tree line and the occurrence of severe soil erosion and shallow landsliding. The intense livestock pressure over centuries explains why the landscape remained without major change until the middle of the twentieth century. Since then, depopulation, land abandonment, and the disappearance of the transhumant system have resulted in a marked decline in livestock numbers and subsequent encroachment of shrubs and trees in the subalpine belt. The Urbión Mountains (Iberian Range, northern Spain) provides one of the clearest examples in the Iberian Peninsula, where there was intense deforestation since the Neolithic period to enlarge the area of subalpine summer grasslands. The recent reversal of this situation in the last decades led to (i) a marked trend to dense forest, which resulted in an average 200 m altitudinal advance, and (ii) the spatial contraction of shrublands, which have been replaced by dense forest in the highest areas. Changes will continue in the future, possibly enhanced by global warming.
Descripción31 Pags.- 4 Tabls- 6 Figs. The definitive version is available at: https://link.springer.com/journal/10113
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-017-1245-y
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/163554
DOI10.1007/s10113-017-1245-y
ISSN1436-3798
E-ISSN1436-378X
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