Habitats

 

Doñana's Biodiversity Monitoring Program estimates regularly the distribution, extent and conservation status of the main habitat units present in Doñana, using a combination of large-scale remote sensing data (Landsat data series, available since 1975) and detailed remote-sensing data (multi- and hyper-spectral images taken from drones) validated with ground-truthing data collected each year at permanent plots. These include:


4.1. Terrestrial vegetation cover: changes in the cover of the main types of forest and shrub vegetation present in the Doñana National Park are monitored at 5-year intervals. This information is derived from a supervised classification of Landsat images, validated with ground-truthing data taken at permanent plots. See  protocol  and summary of data. Request raw data.  

4.2 Juniper and pine-juniper forest the monitoring of the juniper forests currently includes data from six 10x10 m plots where the size (height, width and length) of the crown, the foliar damage and the intensity of flowering of the adults, as well as the number of seedlings and seedlings (juveniles 0.25 m < height < 1 m) are recorded. These variables were also measured in pine-juniper forests on the Marismillas between 2006 and 2012, in eleven 10x10m plots, but were discontinued due to the plowing of the plots. See protocol and  summary of data. Request raw data. 

4.3. Scrubscrub vegetation is monitored in 21 permanent plots of 15×15m (11 in dry scrub, 4 in intermediate scrub, and 6 in wet scrub). Within each plot, the cover of each shrub species is measured in three transects of 10m.  These measurements provide estimates of the cover and number of individuals per species, the proportion of bare ground, species richness, and biological diversity by plot. See protocol and a summary of data. Request raw data. 

4.4. Gallery forest: the gallery forest of La Rocina Stream is monitored in 10 circular plots (15-m diameter), where the cover and density of each shrub and tree species is registered. See protocol and summary data. Request raw data


4.5. Coark oak forest and herony: cork oak forests represent a major conservation concern at Doñana - where they are a keystone species, providing key food resources and nesting substrate to many animal species, most important Doñana's tree heronry ("pajarera"). In the sandy substrates of the National and Natural Park, cork oaks are typically associated to areas of groundwater discharge - where the water table approaches the surface and falls within the reach of the cork oak's roots. However, recruitment rates have been low for decades and the aging trees that remain are subjected to increasing mortality. The oak-tree monitoring program currently includes a yearly survey of tree occupation (by large nesting birds), survival, health (using a defoliation index) and reproductive yield (acorn production and subsequent predation) of 126 adult trees present in or nearby the Doñana heronry. It also includes biannual measurements of tree dendrometry, i.e. the DBH, height and horizontal canopy size (length and width). See protocol and a summary of data. Request raw data. 

4.6. Changes in land use around the Doñana National Park: changes in land use around the Natironal Park of Doñana: changes in land use and cover have been monitored every 4 years since 1991, comparing it with the thematic cartography published by the Junta de Andalucía in its Plant Uses and Covers Map (Environmental Information Network of Andalusia - REDIAM - Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development). The cartography have 112 use classes, of which 85 are present in the Protected Areas of Doñana. The first map was drawn up in 1991, collecting all the variability of the natural and anthropic vegetation covers, as well as the sheets of water and urban soils. The comparison between consequent maps is based on the generation of spatial transition matrices. See protocol and summary of data. Request raw data. See protocol and a summary of data. Request raw data. 


4.7 Habitats of Community Interest (HIC): one of the keys to Doñana exceptional biodiversity is the high diversity of habitats. These habitats are largely determined by the dominant vegetation, to the point of being defined in EU's environmental legislation - the Habitats Directive. In the Doñana Natural Area, a total of 33 'Habitats of Community Interest (HIC)' are identified, of which 8 are considered priority. 15x15m plots located in three different HICs are monitored:

1. Dunes with Malcolmietalia grasslands (2230).

2. Mediterranean temporary ponds (3170).

3. Mediterranean wet meadows of tall grasses of Molinion-Holoschoenion (6420).

Within each plot, descriptive measurements of the community, relative abundance data of the different species present, direct counts of individuals of protected species and impact assessment are taken, such as the quantification of the effect of herbivory on the present community. See protocolo. Request raw data.