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Mediterranean Mountain Environments



Mediterranean Mountain Environments

Ioannis Vogiatzakis

ISBN: 978-1-118-34398-2 July 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 240 Pages

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Mediterranean mountains exhibit many similarities in their biotic ecological, physical and environmental characteristics. There are also many differences in terms of their human colonization pattern, historic land uses and current anthopogenic pressures. 

This book provides an introduction to these environments of mountainous areas in the Mediterranean and their changes in time and space in relation to both natural and cultural factors.

Mediterranean Mountain Environments places its emphasis on physical geography while adopting an integrated approach to the whole subject area. The book draws examples from a wide range of environments, demonstrating the interaction between human and physical processes responsible for shaping mountain areas. Risks and conflicts, as well as methods and tools for the conservation and management of both the natural and cultural environment are covered in the light of future challenges for the sustainable development of the Mediterranean mountains.

  • Emphasis on both mainland and island mountain ranges
  • Combines natural and cultural approach in the topic
  • Integrated approach: facing future challenges based on the study and understanding of the historical processes that have shaped the Mediterranean mountains
  • Key references at the end of each chapter
List of contributors xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xv

1 Introduction to the Mediterranean mountain environments 1
Ioannis N. Vogiatzakis

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Setting the scene 3

1.3 The character of the Mediterranean mountains 6

References 9

2 Quaternary environmental history 11
A.M. Mannion

2.1 Introduction 11

2.2 The pre-Quaternary period 12

2.3 The Quaternary period 15

2.4 The Holocene 27

2.5 Conclusion 29

References 30

3 Glacial history 35
Philip D. Hughes

3.1 Introduction 35

3.2 Pleistocene glaciations in the Mediterranean mountains 37

3.3 Modern and recent glaciers in the Mediterranean mountains 52

3.4 Conclusion 56

References 56

4 Landforms and soils 65
Maria Teresa Melis and Stefano Loddo

4.1 Introduction 65

4.2 Geomorphological processes in the Mediterranean mountain region 65

4.3 Geological setting 66

4.4 Soil characteristics of Mediterranean landscape units 67

4.5 Northern Mediterranean mountain landscapes: from the Pyrenees to the Hellenids 70

4.6 Eastern Mediterranean mountains: the Lebanon Mountains 72

4.7 Southern Mediterranean mountains: Atlas Mountains and Iberian Baetic Cordillera 74

4.8 Characteristic mountain landscapes of the Mediterranean islands 78

4.9 Conclusion 83

References 83

5 Climate and hydrology 87
Carmen de Jong, Ibrahim Gürer, Alon Rimmer, Amin Shaban and Mark Williams

5.1 Introduction 87

5.2 Climate and physical characteristics 90

5.3 Vulnerability of water resources to climate change 103

5.4 Adaptation strategies 106

5.5 Conclusion 108

References 109

6 Biogeography 115
Ioannis N. Vogiatzakis

6.1 Introduction to mountain biogeography 115

6.2 Vegetation 118

6.3 Flora 124

6.4 Fauna 127

6.5 Conservation in Mediterranean mountains 129

6.6 Conclusion 131

References 132

7 Cultural geographies 137
Veronica della Dora and Theano S. Terkenli

7.1 Introduction 137

7.2 Mythical mountains 139

7.3 Theophanic mountains 142

7.4 ‘Traditional’ mountains 148

7.5 Commodified mountains 151

7.6 Conclusion 154

References 155

8 Land use changes 159
Vasilios P. Papanastasis

8.1 Introduction 159

8.2 Drivers of land use changes 160

8.3 Major land uses and their historical evolution 162

8.4 Recent land use changes 167

8.5 Discussion 173

8.6 Conclusion 178

8.7 Acknowledgements 178

References 179

9 Climate change and its impact 185
D. Nogués-Bravo, J.I. López-Moreno and S.M. Vicente-Serrano

9.1 Introduction 185

9.2 Climate change in Mediterranean mountains 186

9.3 Cryosphere changes in the Mediterranean mountains 190

9.4 Hydrosphere changes in the Mediterranean mountains 191

9.5 Biosphere changes in the Mediterranean mountains 192

9.6 Conclusion 197

References 198

10 Conclusions 201
Ioannis N. Vogiatzakis

10.1 Introduction 201

10.2 Environmental challenges in Mediterranean mountains 202

10.3 Adaptation and protection 205

10.4 Conclusion 208

References 208

Index 211

“This framework could be a useful starting point for a future edition of this book, which could truly be a textbook with chapters on both physical and human geography, drawing together all of the knowledge deriving from research in the mountains of all of the countries of the region, including Algeria, Cyprus, Lebanon, Turkey, and the countries of the West Balkans, which rarely feature in this book.”  (Mountain Research and Development, 1 August 2013)

“It will provide ideal reading for students, perhaps as the textbook for a field course.”  (Frontiers of Biogeography, 1 December 2012)