Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Huelva Is Swallowing Up Coastal Lagoons In Doņana, Spanish Scientists Find

Date:
October 7, 2009
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
A team of Spanish scientists from a variety of fields has analyzed the effects of human activity on the peridunal lagoons in the Doņana National Park. Results show that the lagoons are in the process of regressing, largely due to the extraction of underground water for the Matalascaņas tourist resort (Huelva). Moreover, the natural effects of the ecosystem itself are further aggravating the situation.

This is the Zahillo Lagoon in Doņana National Park (Huelva).
Credit: Pablo García Murillo / SINC

A team of Spanish scientists from a variety of fields has analysed the effects of human activity on the peridunal lagoons in the Doņana National Park. Results show that the lagoons are in the process of regressing, largely due to the extraction of underground water for the Matalascaņas tourist resort (Huelva). Moreover, the natural effects of the ecosystem itself are further aggravating the situation.

Botanists, limnologists and climatologists from the University of Seville (US) have developed a botanical monitoring methodology which combines botanical studies with documents from past centuries, historical maps, data on the use of the land, microrelief and recent climate trends. The aim of the study, which was published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science, was to investigate the changes in the perilagoonal vegetation in Doņana and ascertain their impact.

Arturo Sousa, the main author of the study and a researcher from the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology at the US explained the main conclusion of the study: "The lagoons are in the process of regressing, particularly due to the extraction of underground water for the Matalascaņas tourist resort, a coastal development complex that is right on the edge of the Doņana National Park, a short distance from the lagoons".

The surface and morphology of the lagoons in Doņana has changed over the last two centuries, according to the analyses of perilagoonal vegetation. The research confirms that the lagoons were reduced by 70.7% between 1920 and 1987.

The new methodology is based on the changes in perilagoonal vegetation and allows researchers to study the anthropological impact on the lagoons practically in real time, "and the possible negative effect that Global Warming may have on them in the future," the botanist adds.

Natural Effects also Negative

In the past, climate trends also had a negative impact on the lagoons in Doņana. "Before human activity in the area escalated, the lagoons had already begun a slow process of regression and desiccation linked to the advance of dunes, coinciding with the driest phases of the climate period known as the "Little Ice Age" (from the beginning of the 14th century to halfway through the 19th century), and probably also due to the start of the current process of global warming", Sousa says.

The coastal lagoons in Doņana have always been at the centre of public opinion and their conservation is of great interest. After reconstructing their evolution, the researchers confirm that the reactivation of mobile dune fronts is responsible for blocking and filling the original lagoons with sea sand. According to the experts, this could have occurred during the driest periods of the Little Ice Age in Andalusia. "If the frequency and duration of dry periods increases, together with droughts in general, the desiccation and disappearance of lagoons could become more widespread, not only in south western Europe, but also in other Mediterranean coastal ecosystems," Sousa warns.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sousa, Arturo; García-Murillo, Pablo; Morales, Julia; García-Barrķn, Leoncio. Anthropogenic and natural effects on the coastal lagoons in the southwest of Spain (Donana National Park). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 2009; 66 (7): 1508 DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsp106

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Huelva Is Swallowing Up Coastal Lagoons In Doņana, Spanish Scientists Find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124729.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2009, October 7). Huelva Is Swallowing Up Coastal Lagoons In Doņana, Spanish Scientists Find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124729.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Huelva Is Swallowing Up Coastal Lagoons In Doņana, Spanish Scientists Find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124729.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) — Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins