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Deliberative mapping of ecosystem services within and around Doñana National Park (SW Spain) in relation to land use change


The establishment of protected areas is one of the main strategies for preserving biodiversity from land use transformation. However, a great number of protected areas are becoming isolated due to land use changes in their surroundings. We analyzed quantitatively land use changes from 1956 to 2007 inside and around one of the most emblematic protected areas in Europe, the Doñana protected area. Next, stakeholders mapped social values for current ecosystem service delivery with an expert workshop. Using the maps from the workshop, we mapped six ecosystem service spatial indicators: Service Provision Hotspots, Provisioning, Regulating, Cultural, Richness and Decline. Then, we performed nonparametric and multivariate statistical analyses to study the associations between land uses, ecosystem service indicators and protection category. Our results confirm the isolation of the Doñana protected area as intense land use changes occurred outside it (increase in irrigated agricultural lands and urbanized areas and decrease in wetlands surface). Furthermore, land uses and the protection category have an effect on ecosystem service delivery as food from agriculture is the main ecosystem service supplied outside the protected area, and regulating and cultural services are mainly delivered inside the protected area. We discuss how the social values for ecosystem services match with previous ecosystem service evaluations that described the existence of conservation versus development planning strategy in the area. Our study highlights the adequacy of the social value approach as a first step toward ecosystem service spatial evaluation.

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Doñana social-ecological system


Principal component analysis


Service Provision Hotspots


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The authors wish to thank all of the participants in the workshops and Teresa Agudo from the Doñana Protected Area for helping with the organization of the workshop. Thanks are also due to Marina García Llorente, and Cesar López Santiago from the Social-Ecological Systems Laboratory and to Javier Moreno and Javier Escalera from Pablo Olavide University for assisting in the preparation and development of the workshop. Thanks are also due to two anonymous reviewers of the previous version of the manuscript. The funding for this study was provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain (018/2009), the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [project CGL2011-30266 and Subprogram Inncorpora-Torres Quevedo 2011)] and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (the National Programme for Training Human Resources).

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Correspondence to Ignacio Palomo.

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Palomo, I., Martín-López, B., Zorrilla-Miras, P. et al. Deliberative mapping of ecosystem services within and around Doñana National Park (SW Spain) in relation to land use change. Reg Environ Change 14, 237–251 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-013-0488-5

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  • Conservation planning
  • Participation
  • Priority areas
  • Social values
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Trade-offs