Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Huelva is swallowing up coastal lagoons in Doñana

09.10.2009
A team of Spanish scientists from a variety of fields has analysed the effects of human activity on the peridunal lagoons in the Doñana National Park.

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.

References:

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!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt

nachricht Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>