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Ecosystem services and social—ecological resilience in transhumance cultural landscapes: Learning from the past, looking for a future


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All over the world, efforts are being made to preserve landscapes facing fundamental change as a consequence of widespread agricultural intensification, land abandonment and urbanisation. The 'cultural landscape' and 'resilience' approaches have, until now, largely been viewed as distinct methods for understanding the effects of these dynamics and the ways in which they might be adapted or managed. This book brings together these two perspectives, providing new insights into the social-ecological resilience of cultural landscapes by coming to terms with, and challenging, the concepts of 'driving forces', 'thresholds', 'adaptive cycles' and 'adaptive management'. By linking these research communities, this book develops a new perspective on landscape changes. Based on firm conceptual contributions and rich case studies from Europe, the Americas and Australia, it will appeal to anyone interested in analysing and managing change in human-shaped environments in the context of sustainability.
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[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
Ecosystem services and socialecological
resilience in transhumance cultural
landscapes: learning from the past,
looking for a future
elisa oteros-rozas, jose´a. gonza´lez,
berta marti´n-lo´pez, ce´sar a. lo´pez and carlos montes
Transhumance is a seasonal migration of livestock between summer
pastures (highlands, usually northerly latitudes) and winter pastures (lowlands,
southerly latitudes). Matching a herds need for forage with seasonal peaks in
pasture availability assures the best year-round supply of feed for the animals
(Manzano-Baena & Casas, 2010; Ruiz & Ruiz, 1986). Transhumance is one of the
many customary practices developed by ancient Mediterranean societies to
cope with an unpredictable and highly fluctuating climate. It creates a cultural
landscape that includes a complex mosaic of habitats, each varying in extent
and productivity during the year. In addition, transhumance creates social
interactions and connections that would not occur without it. The social and
ecological characteristics of transhumance landscapes, in turn, shape the eco-
system services they provide.
In Spain, transhumance reached its peak during the Middle Ages with the
official formation of the Council of the Mesta, an association of transhumant
livestock herders whose main objective was to defend their rights in the con-
flicts with sedentary farmers and local livestock raisers as they migrated among
seasonal pastures. During its peak, the number of sheep involved in these
movements came to be almost four million, with herds covering distances of
up to 700 km along a network of drove roads protected from damage and
intrusion, twice a year. With the breakdown of the Merino breed monopoly
Resilience and the Cultural Landscape, eds. T. Plieninger and C. Bieling. Published by
Cambridge University Press. ©Cambridge University Press 2012.
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
and its valuable wool during the nineteenth century, a continuous decline of
transhumance in Spain began. During the twentieth century, the use of rail
transport has gradually taken the place of herding along drove roads.
Nevertheless, transhumance in Spain has made it into the twenty-first cen-
tury, although on a much smaller scale and with a different structure. Winter
and summer pasturelands are still connected by a well-established system of
drove roads that was granted legal protection in 1995, in recognition of the
services the system provides for the maintenance of extensive grazing and local
breeds as well as ecological corridors, while acting to link society and nature
´mez Sal & Lorente, 2004). This network extends over c. 125 000 km and
occupies c. 422 000 ha (0.83% of the country), and is formed by royal drove
roads (can
˜adas reales), whose legal width is c. 75 m, and smaller trails known as
cordeles (c. 37 m) and veredas (c. 20 m wide).
In this chapter, we use the ecosystem services framework to analyse how
transhumant practices contribute to resilience building. In doing so, we:
(1) characterise the whole range of ecosystem services provided by transhu-
mance cultural landscapes at different scales; (2) discuss the links between the
ecosystem services identified and socialecological resilience, and (3) address
how resilience building works in practice in transhumance landscapes.
Finally, we provide some insights for the overall management of cultural
Conceptual framework: resilience in transhumance
cultural landscapes
Transhumance landscapes can be considered cultural landscapes that
have been shaped over many centuries of pastoral activities through the adap-
tation of herder management practices to a harsh and highly fluctuating envi-
ronment (Herzog et al., 2005). To analyse resilience in transhumance cultural
landscapes, we first developed a conceptual framework based on complex
systems and resilience theory (Berkes et al., 2003; Folke, 2006). In this context,
transhumance landscapes can be understood as socialecological networks
(Janssen et al., 2006), that is, networks of biophysical and social flows generated
and maintained by the movement of shepherds and livestock. Under this frame-
work, socialecological resilience is understood as the capacity of the trans-
humance landscape to absorb recurrent disturbances so as to retain essential
structures, processes and feedbacks (Walker et al., 2004). We assume that part of
this capacity lies in the capability of transhumance landscapes to continue to
deliver ecosystem services that are essential for human livelihoods and societal
development (Adger et al., 2005).
Ecosystem services and social–ecological resilience 243
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
Following Carpenter et al. (2001), to assess a systems resilience, one must
specify which system configuration and which disturbances are of interest; in
other words, the resilience of whatand to what. In our case study, we will
analyse the resilience of the transhumance landscape (conceived as a complex
socialecological network) to external drivers of change like economic market
forces, agricultural policy changes, sociocultural and institutional changes asso-
ciated with globalisation, as well as direct drivers such as climate change and
other environmental external disturbances.
We assume that the current transhumance landscape configuration, based
on the maintenance of livestock movements on foot, configures a desirable
state. We therefore consider socialecological resilience as a positive emergent
property of the system, with resilience building as an objective to be promoted
in the face of global environmental change.
The Conquense Royal Drove Road as a case study
The transhumance landscape of the Conquense Royal Drove Road
(CRDR) comprises a summering area located in the eastern part of Montes
Universales (Teruel, Guadalajara and Cuenca provinces), a wintering area
located in southeastern Sierra Morena and the southern fields of La Mancha,
and the drove road itself, which crosses the central Iberian plateau (mostly in
the provinces of Cuenca and Ciudad Real) (Figure 14.1).
The summering area is characterised by semi-deciduous and coniferous for-
ests (largely transformed by humans in pine plantations), mixed with patches of
fodder crops. Winter pasturelands are more dispersed and are located in low-
lands characterised by a typical Mediterranean dehesa landscape (Plieninger &
Bieling, Chapter 1). Finally, the drove road consists of a 75-m wide and approx-
imately 410-km long corridor crossing predominantly cultivated areas (mostly
vineyards, sunflowers, cereals and olives).
From July to November, sheep flocks and cattle herds avoid the hot and dry
Mediterranean summer by staying in the high mountainous areas, where they
find refuge, food and water. In early November, when the snow begins to cover
mountain pasturelands, most herds start a 25 to 30 day journey, crossing the
central plateau on foot, moving towards the warmer pasturelands of the winter-
ing areas located at southern latitudes and lower altitudes, where livestock
remains for about six months before returning to the north in early June
(Figure 14.1).
Even though not all ecosystem services identified are directly linked to trans-
humance, the maintenance of transhumance landscapes is. Pasturelands and
agrosilvopastoral systems in the summering area are strongly dependent on the
244 Elisa Oteros-Rozas, et al.
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
presence of livestock and climatic limitations make any other type of cattle or
sheep management very difficult. In fact, the generalised decline of transhu-
mance in some municipalities has come together with the disappearance of any
livestock farming practices. In the wintering area (as in most of the Iberian
Peninsula), dehesas are suffering deterioration in two ways. The forest cycle has
been disrupted and oak stands are aging due to failure of tree regeneration
(Plieninger, 2007). This process has been connected to the overexploitation of
estates, which is partially caused by the sedentarisation of previously trans-
humant herds. As for the CRDR, it is reasonably well maintained because
there are livestock drives twice a year, but most of the drove roads in Spain
have deteriorated severely due to abandonment.
According to official livestock movement permits granted in 2009, a total of
87 shepherds with 57 769 heads of sheep were transhumant in our study area.
This represents a reduction of 60% in the number of shepherds and 55% in the
number of animals compared to the figures recorded in the same area 17 years
ago (Bacaicoa et al., 1993). Moreover, most current transhumant shepherds use
Conquense Royal Drove Road
Castilla-La Mancha
Spain Castilla-La Mancha
Conquense Royal Drove Road
0 50 100 km
Figure 14.1. The transhumance network of the Conquense Royal Drove Road,
including summering and wintering areas. Design: L. Jansen.
Ecosystem services and social–ecological resilience 245
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
trucks to move their livestock, with only 15 shepherds with 8886 sheep and six
shepherds with 1184 heads of cattle (for meat and for bullfighting) walking the
CRDR on foot in 2009.
To identify the range of ecosystem services associated with the different
areas of the transhumance landscape, comprising the wintering and sum-
mering pasturelands as well as the drove road, a thorough literature review
and 58 semistructured interviews with key informants were carried out
(February to September 2009). Interview partners were selected through a
snowball method and included: shepherds, 33%; farmers, 21%; hunters, 19%;
decision makers, 23%; employees from the tertiary sector, 8%; researchers
from academia, 6% (Figure 14.2). The acknowledgement of ecosystem serv-
ices directly or indirectly dependent on transhumance was achieved by
comparing scenarios with and without transhumance, where all other var-
iables were as similar as possible (biogeographic locations, ecological con-
ditions, sociocultural realities and economic conditions; Oteros-Rozas et al.,
unpublished data).
The discussion regarding the links between ecosystem services and social
ecological resilience in transhumance landscapes is based on three pillars.
Firstly, a literature review has been carried out. Secondly, an expert panel (five
Ecosystem services
Apiculture Food 16.67 6.90
0.00 0.00
10.34 0.00
6.90 0.00
3.45 14.29
Feed for livestock Food
Food from agriculture Food
Food from livestock Food
Gathering Food
Manure -
Textiles Ornamental resources
Wood Fibre
Fire prevention Human disasters regulation
Aesthetic landscape Aesthetic value
Tranquillity Aesthetic value
Way of exchange Cultural diversity
Cultural identity Cultural diversity
Spiritual value Spiritual value
Traditional ecological knowledge Knowledge systems
Scientific knowledge Knowledge systems
Environmental education Educational values
Nature tourism Recreation and ecotourism
Rural tourism Recreation and ecotourism
Recreational hunting Recreation and ecotourism
Bullfighting Recreation and ecotourism
Seed dispersal -
Soil fertility Soil formation
Species control Pest regulation
Tree regeneration -
MA Summering Drove road Wintering
Figure 14.2. Percentages of interviewees that acknowledged each ecosystem service
in the three areas (related to the total of interviewees; n=58). MA, Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment classification (2005).
246 Elisa Oteros-Rozas, et al.
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
researchers from academia and two members of environmental NGOs) and,
thirdly, the authorsreview of historical trends of transhumance in the study
area were used to better understand these links for the case of transhumance, to
identify critical tipping points and to analyse how the system has responded to
disturbances and coped with external drivers of change. Finally, throughout the
investigation, participant observation of researchers accompanying herders
during transhumant journeys along the drove road for three years and living
together in the summering area for months has been a key source for a deeper
understanding of the links between transhumance, ecosystem services and
Socialecological resilience and ecosystem services in
transhumance landscapes
Changes in ecosystem structure and processes alter the resilience of
socialecological systems and this has profound consequences for services that
humans derive from ecosystems (Chapin et al., 2000). Resilient socialecological
systems are able to absorb large impacts without change in fundamental ways
and, therefore, they can cope, adapt or reorganise without loss on their capacity
to generate ecosystem services (Folke et al., 2002). Hence, it is expected that
there is a strong link between socialecological resilience and the ecosystem
services associated with transhumant practices.
A total of 25 ecosystem services were acknowledged by experts and inter-
viewees in the three areas that conform to the network (summering, wintering
and across the CRDR; Figure 14.1). Of these, eight were classified (MA, 2005) as
provisioning services, five as regulating services and twelve as cultural services
(Figure 14.2). In addition, biodiversity conservation was acknowledged and
evaluated as a support for maintaining ecosystem services flows.
A discussion follows here on the links between ecosystem services provided
by transhumance landscapes and socialecological resilience.
Provisioning services
Provisioning services are critical for resilience as they contribute to
food sovereignty and allow a diversification of sources of income for local
people (Adger, 2000). Interviewees from the summering area, more frequently
than elsewhere (summering area: 27%; drove road: 13%; wintering area: 5%),
acknowledged provisioning services, as this is the original core zone for the
transhumance along the CRDR. The local population has been historically
linked to extensive livestock practices and this is still an important economic
activity in the area.
Ecosystem services and social–ecological resilience 247
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Food production is now the main objective of transhumant practices. Although
satisfaction of basic dietary needs of pastoralists does not rely on their own
production of food, the economic sustenance of pastoral families is completely
dependent on it. Some transhumant families also have home gardens and/or
hens, therefore diversifying their sources of food and income and reducing
their vulnerability to market changes and the impact of future climatic changes.
Both gardens and chickens benefit from the side products of pastoral production.
In addition, gathering of wild plants was identified by 22% of respondents as an
important ecosystem service. In the three areas, people collect mushrooms,
asparagus and other wild plants from their grazing areas and particularly along
the drove road. Some of these products (especially mushrooms) can fetch quite
high prices in the local markets (e.g. up to 35 Euro/kg for Boletus edulis).
The risk of decreasing functionalities and provision of services in specific
food systems becomes high when a society has been heavily affected by a
weakened or attenuated public sector and a loss of market structures (Pingali
et al., 2005). We believe that transhumance is a good example of this.
Conversations of herders witnessed during participant observation as well as
the interviews allowed us to identify some of the main drivers of change: global
economic competition and the loss of local markets for products, together with
sanitary and legislative restrictions (mainly from the EU), have forced shepherds
to enlarge their herds in order to achieve economic profitability and, therefore,
to face new challenges (e.g. more difficulties for moving, necessity of larger
grazing areas and more labour).
Regulating services
Regulating services have been related largely to ecological resilience,
especially in terms of human disasters regulation, nutrient cycling, and soil
formation and ecological connectivity (MA, 2005). The most frequently recog-
nised regulating service in this case study was fire prevention (51% on average), a
service highly related to livestock consumption of inflammable biomass. Soil
fertility provided by livestock manure in the drove road (17%) and wintering
areas (42%) and tree regeneration (29% on average; mainly holm oaks in dehesas
and pines in the summering area) were also mentioned (Figure 14.2).
The importance of fire prevention associated to consumption of inflammable
vegetal material by grazers has largely been documented (e.g. Folke, 2006;
´z-Mirazo et al., 2011). The recent decrease in grazing pressure due to the
abandonment of livestock farming is one of the major land use changes that has
led to the recovery of vegetation (Le Houe
´rou, 1993) and the increase in accu-
mulated fuel (Rego, 1992). As a consequence of the abandonment of land and
traditional practices, fire events have increased and landscapes are becoming
248 Elisa Oteros-Rozas, et al.
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
more homogeneous (Moreno & Oechel, 1994) and, therefore, more vulnerable to
environmental changes.
Extensive and mobile livestock contributes to soil fertility, increasing pro-
ductivity (Go
´mez Sal, 2003). For instance, as herders explained in the interviews,
the customary practice of redileo (extensively applied in dehesas and still in use)
is crucial to control soil fertility. It consists of enclosing sheep in a limited area at
night in order to fertilise the soil with their dung and moving this enclosure
every three or four days.
Additionally, as was mentioned before, transhumance is contributing to
maintaining dehesas in wintering areas, not only by guaranteeing the presence
of extensive livestock systems (against current trends of abandonment or over-
exploitation) but also by avoiding the impact of year-round grazing pressure on
holm oak renewal, which is the worst current threat to the continuity of these
ecosystems (Pulido & Dı
´az, 2005)
Finally, Bunce et al. (2006) found that drove roads acted in the past as
ecological corridors for connectivity, but further research is required to deter-
mine their current and future role because of the widespread disruption that
has taken place in the network. Livestock drove roads are a special case of
ecological corridors, the structure of which usually includes other types of
linear elements, such as tracks, hedgerows, fences, rivers, etc. (Bunce et al.,
2006). The conservation of their structure and their use by the livestock, in
connection with the extensive system of pasturelands, may determine their
role for conserving species and ecosystem functioning (Pineda et al., 1991). We
suggest that, through the dispersal of seeds (Manzano & Malo, 2006) and spores
by livestock as well as the association of this mobile livestock with insects and
birds, the network of drove roads has an interesting optional value: contribu-
ting to the connectivity of protected areas in the face of current patterns of
climate change.
Cultural services
Cultural services are important for socialecological resilience because
of their direct contribution to social and cultural capital building and mainte-
nance (e.g. Folke et al., 2005). A wide diversity of cultural services was acknowl-
edged in this study case (12 services perceived by 22% of interviewees, on
average). During the field work, it became clear that cultural identity is the
essence of transhumance survival today. This identity was widely recognised
and recalled during the interviews (acknowledged by 34% of the interviewees,
on average), especially in the summering area (50%) and during participant
observation. Both from the societys and the pastoralistspoints of view, identity
factors are grounded on peoples sensitivity and we believe they constitute
Ecosystem services and social–ecological resilience 249
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
powerful tools for the reinforcement of the sense of placein transhumance
Traditional ecological knowledge (as defined in Berkes et al., 2000) is embed-
ded in the local culture and environment; it is dynamic, constantly adjusted and
adapted to new circumstances, evolving through a combination of long-term
ecological understanding and learning from crises and mistakes (Berkes &
Turner 2006; Olsson & Folke 2001). It increases the capacity of socialecological
systems to deal with crises and maintain resource flows in changing and uncer-
tain conditions (Berkes et al., 2000; Folke et al., 2003; Olsson et al., 2004). This
ecosystem service was acknowledged by 40% of the interviewees, on average.
Participant observation during the transhumant travel and in the summering
and wintering areas revealed that, currently, the transhumant model relies
heavily on the transmission of traditional knowledge for coping with uncer-
tainty, as limitations in pasture and water availability are frequent. Especially
while travelling, herders deal with many small perturbations (crossing high-
ways and cities, unexpected fires, conflicts with local farmers, etc.). Other
aspects of traditional ecological knowledge are those associated with the noma-
dic lifestyle during spring and autumn trips (i.e. camp setting, ways of cooking,
legends and stories told during the journey, plant gathering and rabbit hunting),
which constitutes an opportunity for its transmission to younger generations
and for a social networking mechanism.
Recreation services associated with transhumant practices are currently
gaining importance because the drove road serves as an open public space for
leisure activities and as an environmental education asset. The folkloric aspects
of this traditional practice are very appealing for the society, and some tourism
enterprises in Spain have taken advantage of this fact. We believe that recre-
ation activities can be a social asset for environmental awareness, reinforcing
social support for transhumance activities, enhancing socialecological resil-
ience, and as a way of transmitting traditional ecological knowledge. Social
acknowledgment of the importance of transhumance shown by other people
to pastoralists contributes to reinforce their self-esteem, encouraging young-
sters to engage.
Transhumance in the Iberian Peninsula has traditionally connected very
different and disparate populations, cultures and ways of life, meaning a cul-
tural way of exchange. Human communities benefit from the exploitation of
ecological edges (Turner et al., 2003), and we believe the drove road can be
considered as a continuous edge that increases the diversity of ecological and
cultural capital upon which people can draw for their livelihoods. Human
societies living on the edge, both ecologically and geographically, in terms of
their access to the resources of two or more ecosystems, are likely to be more
250 Elisa Oteros-Rozas, et al.
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
flexible and resilient than people experiencing more homogeneous environ-
ments (Turner et al., 2003). Local societies of the transhumance landscape are
benefiting from their social interaction and synergies wherein people exchange
material goods and learn from one another. This so called edge effectadds
value to transhumance because it brings together people, ideas and institutions
(McCay, 2000), making people from different ecological and cultural areas share
and interact.
Biodiversity conservation
In addition to the previously mentioned ecosystem services, biodiver-
sity conservation was widely recognised by interviewees as a benefit provided by
the system. Biodiversity conservation positively affects resilience in two ways:
(1) by harbouring a wide range of species that are potential colonists to repopu-
late disturbed regions, and (2) by triggering ecological processes and therefore
ecosystem services and functions through diverse functional groups (Chapin
et al., 1997).
In the same way, herbivore movements increase resilience by: (1) affecting
communities and ecosystems as a consequence of direct and indirect effects on
other above- and belowground consumers, predators and nutrient cycles, and
providing plants with opportunities for regrowth, and (2) creating mosaics of
patches with varied functions, incrementing habitat heterogeneity and land-
scape diversity (Coughenour, 2007). Moreover, Adger et al. (2005) argue that
biodiversity enhances resilience if species or functional groups respond differ-
ently to environmental fluctuations, so that declines in one group (or one
species) are compensated by increases in another. In any case, in dynamic land-
scapes such as cultural landscapes, biological diversity provides insurance,
flexibility and risk spreading across scales (Folke, 2006).
Large herbivores may act as keystone species that determine diversity for the
rest of the system. Herbivore movements, either through ecological engineering
(Jones et al., 1994) or through landscaping (Sinclair, 2003), result in patch
dynamics that derive in meta-stability or persistence at large scales. Some of
these effects involve generation of spatial heterogeneity, biodiversity maintain-
ing and spatial food webs (Coughenour, 2007).
Finally, the resilience of ecosystems also depends on the ecological memory
provided by mobile link species and their support areas, generating buffer
capacity and opportunity for reorganisation (Folke, 2006). Through these pro-
cesses and interactions, herbivore movements effectively integrate landscape
subelements into a landscape meta-ecosystem, for instance, forming a social
ecological network (Lundberg & Moberg, 2003).
Ecosystem services and social–ecological resilience 251
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
History of socialecological resilience
in transhumance landscapes
As we will elucidate here, both human or social nodes and nonhuman
or ecological nodes in transhumance landscapes plus their connections have,
presumably, passed through different crises, thus reinventing the network. In
our opinion, transhumance in the CRDR has been demonstrated to be a highly
resilient system, having survived many disturbances of diverse origin and mag-
nitude without losing its main essence and functionality. From this viewpoint,
looking into past crises and the response behaviour of the socialecological
network when confronted with disturbances can help to not only understand
the evolution and structure of present transhumance landscapes in the
Mediterranean basin but also analyse possible future scenarios under conditions
of global environmental change.
Folke et al. (2003) proposed four elements for building resilience in social
ecological systems: (1) learning to live with change and uncertainty; (2) nurtur-
ing diversity for reorganisation and renewal; (3) combining different types of
knowledge for learning, and (4) creating opportunity for self-organisation. As we
will discuss as follows, transhumance landscapes have survived for centuries
incorporating these four elements and, looking into the future, these will
probably be important determinants.
The loss of the Spanish monopoly of wool production in Europe after the
Napoleonic Wars (c.1800) resulted in a sharp decline in the number of sheep and
a crisis of related institutions (Ruiz & Ruiz, 1986). As a consequence, trans-
humant livestock rearing redirected the economic outcome from textiles to
food production. Current trends in global markets (e.g. Chinese emergent textile
industry caused a ~30%45% annual increase in wool prices during the last three
years, and up to a 95% increase in 2011) might reallocate economic value in
wool. Market fluctuations, social changes, historical conflicts, changing policies
and weather uncertainty have sculptured the resilience of transhumance land-
scapes, demonstrating their capacity for learning to live with change and
In 1943, livestock began to be transported by train (Abella´n, 1979; Bacaicoa
et al., 1993), as this allowed herders to avoid the difficulties and uncertainties of
the one-month walking trips and had lower costs. For about 60 years, the train
was the most common means of transportation until road networks were
improved and enlarged during the last decades of the twentieth century, mak-
ing the use of truck transportation more comfortable both for animals and
shepherds (Manzano-Baena & Casas, 2010; Ruiz & Ruiz, 1986). As soon as the
state railway company decided to eliminate livestock trains, most shepherds
252 Elisa Oteros-Rozas, et al.
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
chose truck transport for transhumance (Bacaicoa et al., 1993). However, some
shepherds explained how they regained local knowledge about the drove road
by learning from elder shepherds who had walked it, and they went back to
transhumance on foot. The survival of socialecological memory after a change
caused by the external factor of railway development, along with the good
condition of the drove road, may have allowed this reorganisation of the system.
Recent increases in the price of oil (and, therefore, in truck transportation
costs) and of fodder have stimulated other shepherds to return to transhumance
on foot. As they explain, the fact that the drove road is still in use has encour-
aged them and made a small revitalisation possible. In this context, we believe
that social and ecological memory provides the framework for coping with new
challenges and threats, and a diversity of available strategies offers a chance for
reorganisation and renewal.
In 2006, a few cases of bluetongue disease were recorded in some countries,
and preventive sanitary restrictions were applied all around Europe, limiting
livestock movements. This drastically reduced the numbers of transhumant
shepherds and livestock (according to official livestock movement permits
granted by local agrarian offices). However, in spite of the many social and
economic difficulties that livestock rearing is currently facing in Spain (accord-
ing to shepherds), we have witnessed a recovery in the number of transhumant
herds in the last three years. We consider that contemporary interest stemming
from various sources, including a renewed political and management concern
for the activity, the interest in organic products by consumers and nature
tourists, and the relevance for historical, ethnological, anthropological and
ecological research, combined with local knowledge and interest in this historic
system, are supporting efforts for a proper valuation of transhumance land-
scapes by combining different kinds of knowledge (i.e. experimental and expe-
riential knowledge).
We believe that the flexibility of transhumant pastoralists and their ability to
cooperate in order to use existing social, economic and political structures as
well as newones (such as the commercialisation of their products within
sustainable consumer networks, official quality certifications and the creation
of associations) will determine the future resilience of the transhumance land-
scape. Creating opportunities for self organisation, in the form of strengthening
social networks, reinforcing transhumance institutions and empowering indi-
viduals so as to ensure a constant flow of demand, a proper valuation of products
and social and institutional support to transhumant practices, is probably the
most important challenge for their future.
Economic, social and ecological disturbances have forced system compo-
nents to adapt by learning (e.g. improving pastoraliststechniques) or by
Ecosystem services and social–ecological resilience 253
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
selection (e.g. some pastoralists go bankrupt). Individuals, their social rela-
tions and social networks are the glue that holds together adaptive gover-
nance (Folke, 2006). We have witnessed (like Galvin et al., 2007) how
pastoralists with the strongest social capital (e.g. large transhumant families
in which members help each other) have been and still demonstrate to be the
best able to withstand disturbance. In this sense, the recovery of the tradi-
tional practice of moving livestock on foot is being possible now only where a
strong network of mutual support betweenpastoralistsismaintained(McCay,
Insights for resilience management in cultural landscapes
Some insights and management implications for a wider context can be
derived from the presented case study. We consider that major external drivers
are threatening socialecological resilience in the Mediterranean basin, partic-
ularly: the specialisation and intensification of agroecosystems, the loss of
medium-impact traditional agrarian practices such as transhumance, and the
increase of dependence on external economic subsidies (Evaluacio
´n de los
Ecosistemas del Milenio de Espan˜ a, 2011). Fraser (2007) found that these three
factors stand out as common in historic cases where different environmental
problems caused famine. Even though the Spanish context is not likely to suffer
from such a critical scenario, we suggest that reflection is needed on whether
current policies are contributing to the enhancement or to the reduction of
socialecological resilience in transhumance landscapes.
In this sense, we propose some intervention strategies that might increase
the resilience of transhumance cultural landscapes and that could also be
applied to other extensive agroecosystems:
(1) Strengthening the diversity of income sources for extensive, customary
and small-scale farmers and the diversity of ecosystem services provided
by the cultural landscape they safeguard so that society would better
value these activities. The diversification of new touristic offers, for
example, can be an optional value for the future. In case of deep
economic crisis affecting provisioning services, a diversity of income
sources could be an insurance against bankruptcy, thus guaranteeing
the survival of transhumance.
(2) Capturing socialecological value in the market values of products
derived from agrarian extensive systems and public financial support
schemes so that economic profitability is ensured. The increasing
pressures of globalised trade and international markets and the
254 Elisa Oteros-Rozas, et al.
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resulting competition with more intensified systems are among the
main drivers behind transhumance decline. The meat produced by
transhumant herds has not yet been certified or tagged under any
official entity. Considering that it has been recognised as having
particularly beneficial organoleptic qualities (Alegre, personal
communication, 2002), it could easily be commercialised through
alternative and high quality market networks.
(3) Improving social recognition of ecosystem services associated with
cultural landscapes dependent on traditional practices so that it could
impact positively on the maintenance of these activities. Education and
communication strategies (e.g. environmental education,
documentaries and museums) aiming to promote public awareness can
contribute to the necessary sociocultural changes for a sustainable
(4) Reinforcing social capital through rebuilding local institutions; building
on small-farmersability to adapt and reorganise; assisting them to
better understand new opportunities of commercialisation networks;
supporting local trade arrangements and interaction between local
populations and small-farmers; reconstructing the capacity of
communities to find rapid, flexible solutions to problems and to balance
power among the various interest groups and stakeholders, and
safeguarding traditional ecological knowledge and its transmission to
new generations.
(5) Protecting the commons, like communal pasturelands and the drove
roads network so that these resources stay accessible to farmers and
shepherds. Most of transhumant pastoralists and extensive peasants in
general are landless and, therefore, rely on the access to communal
territories in order to make their movement on foot possible and their
activity viable and economically profitable.
(6) Developing new institutional frameworks for adaptive governance
seems critical for enhancing resilience in cultural landscapes.
Conventional command-and-controlmanagement practices that have
prevailed in the recent past should be set aside in favour of more
adaptive (learning by doing) comanagement approaches (Holling &
Meffe, 1996). This entails the sharing of management power and
responsibility through multiple institutional links involving both
horizontal and vertical cross-scale interactions (government agencies,
NGOs, local communities, user groups) and the building of mutual trust
among the partners through feedback learning. Moreover, taking into
account that the ecological and social processes that determine
Ecosystem services and social–ecological resilience 255
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
landscape dynamics occur at different scales, new polycentric
governance schemes (Ostrom, 1998), with multi-level, nested
institutional arrangements, should be developed to manage the
complexity that lies behind cultural landscapes, while promoting
innovation, learning and adaptation. In the face of climate change,
adaptation and flexibility of institutions to allow mobility will be
The disappearance of livestock movements has increased vulnerability
of cultural landscapes associated with transhumant practices. Transhumance
constitutes an important enhancer of socialecological resilience in
Mediterranean cultural landscapes through the provision of a wide range of
ecosystem services. This traditional livestock raising system provides a good
example of the importance of wider acknowledgement and visibility of exten-
sive agrarian practices.
Attention should be paid to traditional management practices, such as trans-
humance, that safeguard the valuable cultural landscape as an integral part of
sustainable land use and provide flexibility and mobility in response to climate
variability. In this sense, the ecosystem services framework can be very useful
for elucidating these benefits.
Figure 14.3. A herd of 2600 sheep moving along the Conquense Royal Drove
Road on their way back to the summering areas (Serranı
´a de Cuenca). Photo:
E. A. Oteros-Rozas.
256 Elisa Oteros-Rozas, et al.
[242–260] 25.6.2012 8:34PM
In the context of uncertainty that accompanies the global environmental
change, the resilience framework can facilitate the understanding of the role
traditional practices can play in the future. The study of socialecological resil-
ience in cultural landscapes related to traditional practices provides us with a
look into the past, allowing us to learn from past crises and adaptations and to
include this knowledge in forthcoming decisions. Both the cultural landscapes
and the socialecological resilience toolboxes can help in dealing with complexity
and uncertainty when looking for a future in a changing world. Surely systems
such as transhumance that have developed in response to climatic uncertainty
have much to offer (Figure 14.3).
We acknowledge the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and
Marine Affairs of Spain for financing this research (#079/RN08/02.1). We thank
all respondents, local institutions, the NGO Trashumancia y Naturaleza and all the
shepherds, especially transhumants, whose teachings and shared experiences
have guided us.
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... To follow up on this transhumance research, it is recommended to study the state of drove roads (including Royal Drove Roads) in Spain, as several key areas such as lack of water, absence or degradation of facilities, and intrusions of different types in the Royal Drove Road have been mentioned by the herding couple. Highly advisable would be to include conclusions on necessary or desirable actions from the public administrationas not a lot of detailed research is available (but see, e.g., Laboratorio de Socio-Ecosistemas (2013) and Oteros-Rozas et al. (2012). In terms of further linguistic research, it is recommended to investigate, for example, in the Western part of Spain, where long-distance transhumance takes place over other Royal Drive Roads, connecting different summering and wintering areas, and as such compare to the findings of this chapter. ...
This chapter focuses on current herding languages of long-distance transhumance (the seasonal movement of a cowherd) between cattle farms in Teruel and Jaén (Spain). In this case study, a small transhumance community journeys up to a month, twice a year, cultivating relationships with each other, the herd animals, and the drove roads’ environments. To approach the herding practices, case study fieldwork is performed: both ethnography, as well as a more recent exercise of cognitive map-making, and discussing those with the herding couple that forms the core of this herding community. Parting from non-representational theory, maps are understood here as the end result of map-making, a performance that is possible thanks to the practice of so many transhumant herding voyages. As a whole, the map-making exercise was successful in that the route was reimagined from memory in significant detail. An explanation for that is that rather than improvising like nomads, this particular transhumance community travels over an established route: the 400-km-long, 75-m-wide Royal Drove Road of Cuenca that has been legally protected for many centuries already and the herding community have performed their journeys in this drove road for decades, bodily and mindfully incorporating the transhumant environment. The participatory maps show a practical use of language. Discussing the maps provided more linguistic detail than the maps themselves. The participants chose to draw significant sections, departure, and arrival, the presence of drinking water and fresh pastures (often in resting places), and elements that seriously endanger the well-being of the herd. However, many notable features and events remained largely absent in this exercise of cognitive mapping. Depending on the aim of the research, it is recommended to use cognitive map-making as a part of a mixed-method research strategy including more language-based methods.
... Moreover, traditional management is being substituted by more intensive systems, such as commercial conifer forestlands, with the consequent loss of flora and fauna associated to Quercus forests (Taboada et al., 2006). Another traditional practice worth mentioning for its positive ecological outcomes is the transhumance, an ancestral pastoral practice consisting of seasonal moving of livestock to graze on higher pastures in summer, which arguably contributes to species biodiversity by increasing landscape complexity through the creation of grassland-woodland habitat mosaics (Oteros-Rozas et al., 2012;Orlandi et al., 2016). ...
With a terrestrial surface increasingly dominated by human activities, conservation scholars nowadays seek to reconcile extractive land uses, such as low-intensity agriculture, forestry or agroforestry, with biodiversity conservation. This approach has been widely adopted by the international forestry community, which advocates for implementing management strategies both favourable to forest biodiversity and economically profitable. Along these lines, considerable attention is being given to the potential of traditional community management for guaranteeing long-term forest-related resources conservation. Here, we extend this line of research to explore whether certain local forms of use and governance of traditional community forests contribute to the conservation of biodiversity-rich habitats by examining the historical evolution of collective property regimes in Spain. The establishment of a political and economic framework by the late eighteen century that did not recognize community ownership as a form of property, largely disrupted the traditional management systems of Spanish community forests, offering a unique context to analyse the ecological consequences of replacing traditional forms of forest use by other management systems. Results of our historical analysis illustrate that the abolition of traditional uses had negative ecological consequences. In the short term, the privatization of forest commons resulted in a decline of forest cover due to the cut of the woodlots acquired by the new owners, causing flooding and soil erosion. In the long term, the limitation of traditional land uses due to State interventionism of the forest commons not privatized seems to have favoured the decline of biodiversity-rich semi-natural habitats dependent on human practices and the simplification of the rural landscape mosaic. These findings further support the idea that traditional community management can provide useful insights for designing forest management strategies reconciling economic benefits and forest biodiversity conservation. Additionally, the historical evolution detailed in this manuscript helps to understand the multiple legacies of community-ownership forests recognized in Spanish present-day legal code.
... Transhumance, defined as the seasonal movement of livestock between two places in the search for water and forage (White, 1926;Stenning, 1957;Nyssen et al., 2009;Oteros-Rozas et al., 2012;Nyssen et al., 2018), has been a common farming system implemented in several parts of the world (Ruiz & Ruiz, 1986). It is still one of the live- lihood strategies of rural communities in many regions of the world (Mwangi, 2005;Moktan et al., 2008) and is mainly practised in most European mountainous areas (Dodgshon & Olsson, 2007) and central parts of North America (Stoffle & Evans, 1976). ...
A full understanding of the concept of landscape plays a paramount role in sustainable management of natural resources and an increase of landscape studies. However, little is known about the concept of landscape, landscape research and its application in Ethiopia. Hence, the overall objective of this paper is to explore the concept of landscape and review available literatures on landscape research in Ethiopia and to identify research gaps. A questionnaire (n = 30) was administered to explore the concept of landscape. A systematic review of available studies on landscape and related concepts has also been made. Out of the 398 papers in which the terms 'landscape' and 'Ethiopia' appeared in the title, keywords or abstract, 26 papers, having 10 or more keywords related to landscape research were included in this in-depth review. An exploratory study of art and media has been made to examine the perception of artists on landscapes. The results of the study show that the perception of Ethiopian artists on landscape is highly associated with concept of the landscape. The findings of the survey also reveal that the meaning of the term landscape differs semantically. The findings of the review also indicate that landscape studies carried out in Ethiopia do not fully cover the holistic concept of landscape as they mostly focus more on physical features of the landscape. Moreover, the interdisciplinary approach that integrates landscape ecology, perception and history, which is important for understanding landscapes and landscape changes, is also lacking. Generally, the concept of landscape seems to be misconceived in most studies undertaken in Ethiopia, mainly because it is interchangeably used with land use and land cover. Hence, there is a need for a better understanding of the concept of landscape and the applications of a holistic landscape approach.
... Transhumance, defined as the seasonal movement of livestock between two places in the search for water and forage (White, 1926;Stenning, 1957;Nyssen et al., 2009;Oteros-Rozas et al., 2012;Nyssen et al., 2018), has been a common farming system implemented in several parts of the world (Ruiz & Ruiz, 1986). It is still one of the livelihood strategies of rural communities in many regions of the world (Mwangi, 2005;Moktan et al., 2008) and is mainly practised in most European mountainous areas (Dodgshon & Olsson, 2007) and central parts of North America (Stoffle & Evans, 1976). ...
Transhumance between the Afar lowlands and Tigray escarpments has been a common practice in northern Ethiopia. However, the impact of transhumance on landscape changes in the marginal grabens has not been significantly researched. Hence, this study aims to understand the process of transhumance and the linkages between social and biophysical aspects of the graben landscapes of northern Ethiopia. Google Earth (2010−2016) and Landsat Imageries (1995−2015) were used to analyse the spatio‐temporal landscape changes. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was applied to measure the change in vegetation cover. Interview and Focus Group Discussions were used to collect perceptions of communities on transhumance and landscape change. The findings reveal that transhumance caused conflicts between the lowlanders and highlanders, which in turn led to displacement of communities. Consequently, the NDVI value of the abandoned settlement increased over time. Conversely, the analysis of Google Earth Imageries and NDVI values show that vegetation cover of the new settlement has decreased. Moreover, the NDVI values of the transhumance areas showed little increase due to the establishments of exclosures in the escarpments. The findings of this study can, therefore, be used to develop targeted interventions aimed at solving transhumance‐induced conflicts, displacement of communities and conservation of natural resources.
... Notwithstanding, in the Cantabrian Mountains, the importance of preserving traditionally managed landscapes, related to acceptable levels of livestock production and traditional farming practices, as valuable sources of ecosystem services has been stated in previous studies (Rescia et al. 2010;Morán-Ordóñez et al. 2013b). However, the expansion of shrublands and forests into semi-natural grazing systems mainly occurred during 1990-2000 at both local and regional scales, and the decrease in actual use drove a strong impact on the potential supply of livestock, consistent with other studies (Oteros-Rozas et al. 2012). At the same time, these changes in land cover and livestock use might compromise these landscapes and their capacity as suppliers of ecosystem services. ...
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Land abandonment and the loss of traditional farming practices are thought to control land cover dynamics, and hence the ecosystem service supply in traditionally managed mountain landscapes. We evaluate the impact of land cover changes in Cantabrian Mountains (NW Spain), over 1990–2012, on the potential supply capacity of ecosystem services (regulating, provisioning, and cultural) at both regional and local scales. We also analyze trends in the use of ecosystem services at the local scale. Land cover changes were estimated from CORINE Land Cover database. Patterns of potential ecosystem service supply were assessed by applying an ecosystem service supply capacity matrix and trends in their actual use by using field data. Main trajectories of land cover change encompassed woody vegetation spread in semi-natural open systems and agricultural expansion in the most suitable areas. The capacity of landscape to provide ecosystem services improved during 1990–2012 at both scales. We detected trade-offs between the potential supply of ecosystem services associated to natural systems and those linked to traditional land uses, at both regional and local scales. Changes in the potential supply of ecosystem services matched trends in ecosystem service use. This study could help develop future scenarios to address upcoming challenges in ecosystem service supply.
... Transhumance is often associated with the production of some crops, although primarily for herders' subsistence use rather than for markets (Jones 2005). The ancient Mediterranean societies developed transhumance to cope with an unpredictable and highly fluctuating climate (Oteros-Rozas et al. 2012). Common features of transhumance are flexibility, complexity and the utilisation of complementarities in space (between habitats/landscapes) and time (between seasons) (Herzog et al. 2005). ...
Grazing-based livestock production, named pastoralism, is classified into nomadism, transhumance and agro-pastoralism. Transhumance is characterised by the seasonal and recurring movement of livestock whereby seasonal grazing areas and routes for livestock movement are fixed. All grazing based livestock production systems including transhumance are constrained globally for a variety of reasons. The major threats to the system are globalisation, nationalisation or privatisation of rangelands, national parks and community forestry policies restricting free grazing and shortage of labour. The collapse or decline of such social-ecological systems (SESs), which have existed for over 1000s years, often induces adverse impacts on societies and ecosystems. Here we review the literature on transhumance, and discuss reasons for transhumance, and the associated advantages and disadvantages of livestock movement in transhumance. Our review also focuses on how the integration of crop and livestock production in transhumance derives mutual benefits. The review indicates that the seasonal movement of livestock is an ecological necessity in areas with harsh climates and low pasture production. Transhumance is also a herders’ adaptive management to adjust to variable grazing resources and environmental conditions. The disadvantages of seasonal movement of livestock such as greater herding labour required and expenditure of more energy for livestock, are far outweighed by the ecological advantages. Some of these are: to minimise grazing competition and to protect rangeland pastures from being overgrazed. Our review also indicates that the integration of crop and livestock production derives mutual benefits and contributes for their enhanced sustainability.
Transhumance is an ancient form of pastoralism involving the traditional use of natural resources. Nowadays, the routes that characterised it are disappearing. Only a few fragments of the old pathways still survive in some European countries. In Southern Italy, transhumance developed along grassy paths named Tratturi. The paper aims to determine the potential of ancient transhumance routes in Italian inner areas’ development, by verifying their state of preservation and their possible connections with economic activities located along the paths. Methodologies employed rely on orthophotos interpretation with GIS software, and statistical analysis, in particular correspondence analysis and correlation analysis. Results show that Tratturi land uses have changed over time, often with negative impacts on the preservation of the paths. Ancient transhumance routes are currently threatened by renaturation processes, which follow the progressive abandonment of grazing and the spread of intensive agriculture. Tratturi could play a very important role in regional growth, but the analyses highlight how they are not able to contribute to the development of new economic activities related to their exploitation. The findings suggest the need to implement public policies for inner areas’ growth based on the potential deriving from the preservation, recovery and enhancement of Tratturi.
Transhumance, from Latin trans (across) and humus (ground), is a term used for the seasonal voyage that herders undertake with a herd, as available affordances grow and diminish over time, following seasonal, climatological and hydrological rhythms. In this paper I seek to explore the rhythmic nature of eventful long-distance transhumant voyaging through rural Spain. While this practice may well provide substantial ecological benefits for the environment and wellbeing of herd animals and herders, walked transhumance is carried out mainly because of the marginal position that cattle owners find themselves in. Instead of the more expensive option of transporting sheep and cows twice a year by truck (day journeys), some choose to enact a four-week-long journey by foot over centurial, legally protected drove ways. Transhumant herding involves a wide range of practices: from camping to way-finding, and from guarding to curing herd animals. To approach these ancient, yet extraordinary happenings, I engaged ethnographically with a herding community. This allowed me to develop a rhythmanalysis in which organic eurhyth-mia of interrelated seasonal, daily, and communal rhythms define transhumant mobilities, while arrhythmia occur less frequently, and isorhythmia are mostly absent. By way of dressage, which takes place at the micro-scale, herders develop corporeal capacities for sensing herding happenings (including upcoming danger, weather changes, animal behaviour, etc.). Long-distance transhumance can be considered a paradigm case for rethinking relationships between mobility, work, and landscape.
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Landscape researchers tend to reduce the diversity of tangible heritage to physical aspects of cultural landscapes, from the wealth of intangible heritage they focus on land-use practices which have a direct and visible impact on the landscape. We suggest a comprehensive assessment of both tangible and intangible heritage, in order to more accurately assess the interconnection of local identity and the shaping of cultural landscapes. As an example, we looked at Saxon culture and cultural landscapes in southern Transylvania (Romania), where we assessed features of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, identified their resilience and the driving forces of their change. Our analysis, based on 74 interviews with residents in ten villages in southern Transylvania, showed a high resilience of tangible heritage and a low resilience of intangible heritage. A major factor responsible for changes in the Saxon heritage was a decline in the population at the end of the Cold War, due to migration, driven by political and economic factors. We conclude by discussing the specific merits of such an analysis for integrated landscape management.
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Chapter 2 of the Regional Assessment Report of IPBES Europe and Central Asia
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Spain presents exceptional ecological conditions for mobile pastoralism. Its semi-arid climate and its geography combine large biomass production in different places of the country at different times of the year. This creates an ecological rationale for the migration of large herbivores that was continued after the domestication of ruminants. Mobile livestock herding in Spain, known as transhumance, has been especially related to sheep husbandry and fine wool production and has been very important in the country’s past. In spite of a decline in mobile pastoralism from the 19th century onwards, its traces are still clear in Spanish legislation as well as in Spanish animal husbandry practices. But what are the reasons for this past importance? Why has mobile pastoralism declined and why, nevertheless, has it survived? In this paper we analyse the causes for its existence and for its past importance in Spain, and we describe the decline experienced in the two last centuries and present the present situation of transhumance and its future prospects
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This article defines social resilience as the ability of groups or communities to cope with external stresses and disturbances as a result of social, political and environmental change. This definition highlights social resilience in relation to the concept of ecological resilience which is a characteristic of ecosystems to maintain themselves in the face of disturbance. There is a clear link between social and ecological resilience, particularly for social groups or communities that are dependent on ecological and environmental resources for their livelihoods. But it is not clear whether resilient ecosystems enable resilient communities in such situations. This article examines whether resilience is a useful characteristic for describing the social and economic situation of social groups and explores potential links between social resilience and ecological resilience. The origins of this interdisciplinary study in human ecology, ecological economics and rural sociology are reviewed, and a study of the impacts of ecological change on a resourcedependent community in contemporary coastal Vietnam in terms of the resilience of its institutions is outlined.
Interactions between organisms are a major determinant of the distribution and abundance of species. Ecology textbooks (e.g., Ricklefs 1984, Krebs 1985, Begon et al. 1990) summarise these important interactions as intra- and interspecific competition for abiotic and biotic resources, predation, parasitism and mutualism. Conspicuously lacking from the list of key processes in most text books is the role that many organisms play in the creation, modification and maintenance of habitats. These activities do not involve direct trophic interactions between species, but they are nevertheless important and common. The ecological literature is rich in examples of habitat modification by organisms, some of which have been extensively studied (e.g. Thayer 1979, Naiman et al. 1988).
Livestock grazing of fuelbreaks is a silvopastoral practice which is promoted in several Mediterranean regions with the objective of improving wildfire prevention. In the grazed fuelbreak network in Andalusia (Spain), over 2000ha of fuelbreaks were characterized and grazing in them was evaluated in 2008 and 2009. The grazing evaluation was based on several visual assessments of the utilization rate of vegetation by livestock and the general grazing level observed. These parameters were employed to classify fuelbreaks into four levels of accomplishment of the grazing objectives, both through individual assessments (2008) and with the aid of an automatic procedure based on discriminant analysis (2009). The accuracy of the automatic classification functions for 2009 reached 86%. This value remained high (82%) when only the parameter with the most discriminatory power (the mean general grazing level) and predefined thresholds were employed. Based on these results, a streamlined monitoring system is proposed to evaluate grazing in fuelbreaks. Regarding fuelbreak characteristics, larger shrub volumes were found to negatively affect the accomplishment of grazing objectives. For fuelbreak surface area, distance to animal shelter and mean steepness, the data were non-conclusive. Both goat and sheep flocks demonstrated their effectiveness in reducing fuel loads.
Successful regeneration of holm oaks is the key to the conservation of the outstanding biodiversity levels in Spanish dehesa parklands. However, low densities of regeneration were measured in this study. The threshold for livestock stocking levels supporting regeneration was below all figures presently found in the dehesas. In the analysis of stand structure, a positive relationship between tree age and the age of agro-silvo-pastoral use of the dehesas was detected. This suggests that the forest cycle has been disrupted, and stands may dissolve gradually. Regeneration failure is an implicit component of this agroforestry system. An analysis of long-term abandoned dehesas situated at roadsides showed that holm oak stands are able to recover if grazing and cultivation are set aside. In a mail survey, managers of private large landholdings highly appreciated having holm oaks on their land, both for income- and non-income-related motivations, e.g. for the preservation of real estate value or family tradition. Land managers identified over-maturity of stands and regeneration failure among the top five problems of dehesas. Conservation policy should be directed towards incentive schemes, environmental education, and technical assistance.
Indigenous groups offer alternative knowledge and perspectives based on their own locally developed practices of resource use. We surveyed the international lit- erature to focus on the role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in monitoring, responding to, and managing ecosystem processes and functions, with special attention to ecological resilience. Case studies revealed that there exists a diversity of local or traditional practices for ecosystem management. These include multiple species management, resource rotation, succession management, landscape patchiness management, and other ways of responding to and managing pulses and ecological surprises. Social mechanisms behind these traditional practices include a number of adaptations for the generation, accumulation, and transmission of knowledge; the use of local institutions to provide leaders/stewards and rules for social regulation; mechanisms for cultural internalization of traditional practices; and the devel- opment of appropriate world views and cultural values. Some traditional knowledge and management systems were characterized by the use of local ecological knowledge to in- terpret and respond to feedbacks from the environment to guide the direction of resource management. These traditional systems had certain similarities to adaptive management with its emphasis on feedback learning, and its treatment of uncertainty and unpredictability intrinsic to all ecosystems.
Chaparral is an evergreen, sclerophyllous, and highly flammable vegetation that occupies large areas of California, Baja California, and parts of Arizona (Hanes 1977; Keeley and Keeley 1988). Natural and human-made fires are a recurrent phenomenon in chaparral (Byrne et al. 1977; Keeley 1982). Chaparral ecosystems are composed of a variety of shrub species with different regeneration modes after fire. It is thought that plant characteristics and life-cycle traits of many species in this ecosystem have evolved, in part, as a result of the selective pressure of fire (Hanes 1977; Keeley and Keeley 1988).