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Huelva is swallowing up coastal lagoons in Doñana
Date:10/9/2009

A team of Spanish scientists from a variety of fields has analysed the effects of human activity on the peridunal lagoons in the Doana National Park. Results show that the lagoons are in the process of regressing, largely due to the extraction of underground water for the Matalascaas 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 Doana 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 Matalascaas tourist resort, a coastal development complex that is right on the edge of the Doana National Park, a short distance from the lagoons".

The surface and morphology of the lagoons in Doana 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 Doana. "Before hu
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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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Huelva is swallowing up coastal lagoons in Doñana
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