The landscape of Sierra Nevada

by David García del Amo

This month has been published finally the book: “The Landscape of Sierra Nevada. A unique laboratory of global processes in Spain”. 

The Sierra Nevada hosted the last glaciers in southern Europe. Today, it is one of the most important centers of plant diversity in the western Mediterranean and one of the most outstanding in Europe. Its ecological characteristics have allowed it to be designated as a Natural Park, National Park and Biosphere Reserve. This massif has ideal conditions to analyze past environments as well as the effects of global change on ecosystems. This book brings an interdisciplinary approach that summarize all the scientific knowledge about this massif, from the geomorphological and ecological perspectives to the understanding of Sierra Nevada as a social-ecological system, including also recent spatial adaptive management and Open Science initiatives.

David García del Amo y Victoria Reyes García collaborated to this project with the chapter “Local Ecological knowledge and the sustainable co-management of Sierra Nevada social-ecological system”. In this chapter, they analyzed the importance of LEK of local communities of Sierra Nevada to preserve the ecological conditions and landscape of Sierra Nevada. In their assessment, they presented the historical co-evolution of local communities and the ecosystems of Sierra Nevada, and how traditional agropastoral activities, including traditional water management, have modeled the landscape of Sierra Nevada. Along with this chapter, they presented how different drivers of change have been eroding traditional activities of these communities and the LEK associated, but also how these activities could contribute with the management and conservation objectives.

Figure 1 (left). A) Acequia de careo without water to carry out repair works. B) Members of Bérchules´ irrigation community clearing an acequia de careo. C) Aliviadero on the side. D) Aliviadero overflow and flow limiter. E) Partidor of acequia de careo of the Poqueira ravine. F) Water catchment for an acequia de careo. G) Acequia de careo of Bérchules.

Figure 2 (right). A) Shepherd milking in a traditional way, B) Farmer with patatas de la sierra, C) Shepherd with his flock D) Traditional braiding with esparto, E) Old farmer using a traditional tool

Link to the book: here!