Results show that the lagoons are in the process of regressing, largely due to the extraction of underground water for the Matalascañas 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 Doñana 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 to SINC: "The lagoons are in the process of regressing, particularly due to the extraction of underground water for the Matalascañas tourist resort, a coastal development complex that is right on the edge of the Doñana National Park, a short distance from the lagoons".
The surface and morphology of the lagoons in Doñana 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 Doñana. "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 Doñana 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.
Sousa, Arturo; García-Murillo, Pablo; Morales, Julia; García-Barrón, Leoncio. "Anthropogenic and natural effects on the coastal lagoons in the southwest of Spain (Doñana National Park)" Ices Journal of Marine Science 66(7): 1508-1514 agosto de 2009.
SINC | EurekAlert!
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences