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The Landscape of the Dehesa in the Sierra Morena of Jaén (Spain) – the Transition from Traditional to New Land Uses

Landscape Online | Volume 43 | 2015 | Pages: 1-15| DOI:10.3097/LO.201543 | Published: October 19th, 2015


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The Landscape of the Dehesa in the Sierra Morena of Jaén (Spain) – the Transition from Traditional to New Land Uses

Antonia Paniza Cabrera1*

University of Jaén. Physical Geography Section, Department of Anthropology, Geography and History. Campus de las Lagunillas s/n; 23071, Jaén, Spain. Email: apaniza@ujaen.es

This paper tracks the evolution of the area covered by the dehesa in Sierra Morena from the mid 20th century to the present day, in an attempt to identify those areas in which traditional land uses still hold sway and others in which new land uses are appearing in relation to emerging business activities. These new uses have brought about an important transformation in the landscape of the dehesa, which in some areas is being replaced by other more profitable forms of land use, in particular with olive groves. In many areas where the dehesa still exists, livestock farming has been replaced by hunting, which has led to internal changes in the structure of the dehesa with an increase in scrubland. Another emerging land use is tourism-related activities, which many farmers now use to complement their income from livestock and which help preserve the traditional landscape of the dehesa.

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