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García-Novo, F., Fernandez Lo Faso, R., Garcia Sevilla, D.. Restoration of an ancient dune system enhancing landscape perception. In: Isermann, M., Kiehl, K. (eds.). Restoration of Coastal Ecosystems. Coastline Reports (7), pp. 61-67. EUCC - The Coastal Union , Leiden, 2007.


The Doñana National and Natural Parks (SW Spain) present two distinct substrates: the marshes, a silted-up former estuary, and the sands, a Pleistocene detritic formation of gravels, which has been repeatedly covered by dune mantles. The last historical dune-building period occurred during the Little Ice Age (XVI to XIX Centuries) with repeated pulses of dune advance and stability reaching to the El Partido stream watershed to the N of the Parks. The successional response of vegetation developed a cork oak forest with scattered wild olives and elms and dense scrub vegetation. Ashes and willows grew along stream banks. Early in the XX Century scrub was cleared and umbrella pines were planted, although some of the area was reserved for crops. By 1970, to further expand agriculture, most trees in the area had been removed and the old dune morphology was partially erased by wind blow. In 2004, the Spanish Ministry of Environment bought some 4,000 ha of El Partido watershed for ecological restoration in the framework of the Doñana 2005 Project, a large hydrology and landscape plan for the restoration of the Doñana Parks. The landscape restoration of the watershed now under way includes forestation and plantation of native scrub to reconstruct plant communities in order to support threatened vertebrate populations. However, the old dunes are subject to a different treatment with the purpose of recovering their primeval vegetation and to make them more noticeable in the landscape. The paper briefly describes the vegetation, hydrology, and ecological history of the area focusing on the restoration of the ancient dunes and the enhancement of their visual perception.

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