Land use dynamics in the dehesas in the Sierra Morena (Spain): the role of diverse management strategies to cope with the drivers of change

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Land use dynamics in the dehesas in the Sierra Morena (Spain): the role of diverse management strategies to cope with the drivers of change

The dehesa in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula represents both a unique agrosilvopastoral land-use and a rural social-ecological system. Over the last 60 years, the dehesa has experienced profound modifications of its overall structure, affecting the resilience of the system. Based on land change analysis combined with interviews with land managers, the paper gives insights on how the dehesa has been modified by the combination of land-users' strategies and driving forces on different scales, using a political-ecological approach. The results of the cross-scale analysis suggest that land dynamics are highly differentiated spatially and temporally due to a diversity of management strategies and actors' attitudes towards conservation and innovation. The development of the dehesa has to come along with an active use of its resources. Furthermore, European policy for agriculture and local development must be sensible to regional land-use system's idiosyncrasy as they are the key factors for the dehesa's future.

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