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Agricultural trajectories in a Mediterranean mountain region (Priorat, NE Spain) as a consequence of vineyard conversion plans

Published on Jan 1, 2009in Land Degradation & Development 7.27
· DOI :10.1002/ldr.856
R. Cots-Folch6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Lleida),
J. A. Martínez-Casasnovas26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Lleida),
M. C. Ramos25
Estimated H-index: 25
(University of Lleida)
In mountain regions of Mediterranean European countries, recent economic and technologic changes have involved the intensification of crops, based on heavy land levelling and/or terracing, and the abandonment or marginalization of traditional land use management. These trends have been reinforced by the subsidy policies of the European Union. The objectives of the present research were: (a) to contribute to the understanding of agricultural trajectories and farming systems that are entirely transforming the social and environmental characteristics of Mediterranean mountain areas, focusing on the analysis of the main agricultural trajectories in a sample area of this environment (the Priorat region, NE Spain) over the last 20 years (1986–2005); and (b) to analyse the farming systems that coexist in the region with regard to the landscape impacts they involve and the influence of CAP subsidies in each one. A methodological approach based on the combination of multivariate statistical techniques was used to obtain a better knowledge of the heterogeneity of farming systems on a local scale. The results show that, although most farms cultivate a mosaic of traditional crops and have small mechanized areas, a minority group follows a high intensification and specialization strategy based on new mechanized-terraced vineyards. This group only comprises 12 per cent of the farmers in the region, but owns 61 per cent of the new vineyard plantations and 42 per cent of the total agricultural land, receiving most of the subsidies from the EU vineyard conversion and restructuring policy (68 per cent of total Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies assigned to the region). Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • References (36)
  • Citations (23)
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David Kleijn48
Estimated H-index: 48
(Wageningen University and Research Centre),
Frank Berendse71
Estimated H-index: 71
(Wageningen University and Research Centre)
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Estimated H-index: 2
(Wageningen University and Research Centre)
Roughly 20% of the European Union's farmland is under some form of agri-environment scheme to counteract the negative impacts of modern agriculture on the environment1. The associated costs represent about 4% (1.7 billion euros) of the European Union's total expenditure on the Common Agricultural Policy and are expected to rise to 10% in the near future2. Although agri-environment schemes have been implemented in various countries for well over a decade, to date no reliable, sufficiently replica...
543 Citations Source Cite
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J.P. Lesschen16
Estimated H-index: 16
Peter H. Verburg77
Estimated H-index: 77
Steven J. Staal19
Estimated H-index: 19
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R.H.G. Jongman24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Wageningen University and Research Centre)
The rural landscapes of Europe are in both a homogenisation and a fragmentations process. Regional differences are disappearing due to the dominating equalising impact of the worldwide market. If regional differences are not maintained and protected then the cultural landscapes of Europe and their biological diversity will decline and only remnants will remain. Models on agricultural management and data on landscape changes from all Europe confirm this. Regional differences have to be maintained...
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Published on May 1, 2006in Land Degradation & Development 7.27
Harriet Allen8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Cambridge),
R. E. Randall1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Girton College)
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Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Cambridge)
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Laure Maton3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Institut national de la recherche agronomique),
Delphine Leenhardt15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Institut national de la recherche agronomique)
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Estimated H-index: 19
(Institut national de la recherche agronomique)
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Paul F. Donald33
Estimated H-index: 33
(The Lodge),
Fiona J. Sanderson5
Estimated H-index: 5
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Estimated H-index: 2
(BirdLife International)
Abstract Between 1990 and 2000, farmland birds showed a significant decline across Europe, a trend not shared by bird assemblages of other habitats over the same period. Mean trends for each farmland species in the period 1990–2000 were positively correlated with trends over the period 1970–1990, and there was little change in population trajectory for most species over the 30-year period. Of the 58 species classed by an independent assessment as being primarily birds of farmland, 41 showed nega...
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Helen Caraveli4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Athens University of Economics and Business)
Abstract Despite the low degree of production intensification relatively to northern countries, rising overall trends in the intensification process are apparent in the plains of the lowland of Mediterranean countries, following the extensification (in the sense of abandonment of traditional/extensive production systems) in mountainous communes. This development, which implied a number of other changes in the Mediterranean farm sectors and was strengthened by the CAP, has had serious negative im...
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Estimated H-index: 5
(Spanish National Research Council),
Teodora Lasanta1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Spanish National Research Council)
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Estimated H-index: 8
(Spanish National Research Council)
Land-use changes affecting Mediterranean mountains represent the intensification of use in valley bottoms, accompanied by land-use conflicts, and a generalized abandonment of the hillslopes, which in the past were perfectly integrated in the system of land management. Farmland abandonment, reforestation, diminution of the livestock pressure and substitution of cereal crops by meadows are the most outstanding features of the recent land-use changes. The question is whether the new spatial organis...
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Published on Feb 1, 2002in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 3.54
George C. Zalidis19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Aristotle University of Thessaloniki),
Stamatis Stamatiadis13
Estimated H-index: 13
(American Museum of Natural History)
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Estimated H-index: 4
(Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
In countries around the Mediterranean basin, the degradation of soil and water resources is a serious threat for the human welfare and the natural environment as a result of the unique climate, topography, soil characteristics, and peculiarities of agriculture. The detrimental effects of agricultural practices on soil quality include, erosion, desertification, salinization, compaction, and pollution. The resultant impacts on water resources include pollution due to nutrient and pesticide leachin...
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Estimated H-index: 28
(Ghent University)
Landscapes change because they are the expression of the dynamic interaction between natural and cultural forces in the environment. Cultural landscapes are the result of consecutive reorganization of the land in order to adapt its use and spatial structure better to the changing societal demands. Particularly in Europe, history has recorded many successive and even devastating landscape changes, which have left barely any relics today. Today, the changes are seen as a menace, as a negative evol...
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Estimated H-index: 10
(Slovak Academy of Sciences),
Pavol Kenderessy4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Slovak Academy of Sciences)
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Estimated H-index: 9
Csilla Hudek3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Corvinus University of Budapest),
Freddy Rey9
Estimated H-index: 9
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Agata Novara22
Estimated H-index: 22
Luciano Gristina18
Estimated H-index: 18
+ 2 AuthorsArtemi Cerdà58
Estimated H-index: 58
(University of Valencia)
Abstract Mediterranean crops favor high erosion rates. Vineyards use to reach the highest soil and water losses due to the lack of vegetation cover. A topographical approach by means of the use of vineyards poles as fixed reference point as erosion markers allowed to quantify high and non-sustainable soil erosion rates on the Sicilian vineyards during 9 years. In order to develop strategies to control the soil losses, seven land managements were selected and applied in a typical blanc wine grape...
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Estimated H-index: 2
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Estimated H-index: 15
(Institut national de la recherche agronomique)
In agriculture and environmental sustainability research, assessment of local diversity of individual farm dynamics and farmers' behaviors appears of special interest for enlightening changes in ecological, social, and economical functions related to farming in rural communities and landscapes. It also includes challenges due to current methodology limitations. In this study, we developed a method for assessing the variety in individual change trajectories since 1950 of farms in a case study are...
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Philippe Martin11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Agro ParisTech),
Alexandre Joannon12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Institut national de la recherche agronomique),
Nicolas Piskiewicz1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Agro ParisTech)
This article proposes the use of a new model, DIAR (Diagnostic Agronomique du Ruissellement, or Agronomic Assessment of Runoff), for the prediction of the timing of the risk of runoff. DIAR is dedicated to loamy soils which are very sensitive to surface crusting, leading to runoff, soil erosion and muddy flows. The approach is proposed for the north-western European loess belt regions where muddy flows severely impact human activities. The likelihood of runoff is assessed from the sequence of so...
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Background and aims Plant species can have a major effect on erosion dynamics and soil losses by retaining sediment transported during concentrated runoff. Identifying plant functional traits that influence and predict a species ability for sediment trapping is therefore of great interest, especially to improve management and restoration of degraded lands.
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This work analyses land cover changes occurring between 1990 and 2000 within a Natural Protected Area, southwest of Madrid (Spain). We develop a new methodology that considers the net change in different land cover categories in each municipality of the study area. Our methodology, which uses Factorial Correspondence Analysis, allows identification of the most important changes at the municipality level and groups the municipalities where land use dynamics are similar. This method is a powerful ...
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Estimated H-index: 9
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Only recently have erosion models begun to be used in research work in Cuba, specifically the USLE and the thematic cartography of factors in a GIS framework without using a specific model. It therefore becomes necessary to include simulation models for karst regions that make possible an integral assessment of the specific types of soil erosion in those environments and take into consideration the effects of climate change in soil management systems. Morphometric analysis of karst doline absorp...
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Estimated H-index: 2
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Estimated H-index: 15
In the Pyrenees National Park (France), as in other European mountain areas, the decline of agriculture and the reforestation of agricultural landscapes depress many assets of local importance for rural development. In comparison with other mountain areas, the relatively high capacity of Pyrenean family farms to survive is being increasingly challenged by growing uncertainties in the local and global social-economic environment. Rural development stakeholders thus place increasing value on the m...
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Marta Debolini8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies),
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Estimated H-index: 24
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Estimated H-index: 29
(Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies)
Land-use changes (LUCs) can be defined as the result of the direct action of the stakeholders in a particular area and natural or human driving forces. LUCs can influence various processes within the landscape and can have an impact on landscape functions. An analysis of the impact of LUCs on landscape processes can help to focus future rural policies. LUCs in Mediterranean areas particularly affect landscape functions because of their agro-pedoclimatical characteristics. The aims of this work a...
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