Farmlands in Andalusia (agricultural land)

Human-created habitats that can support rich biodiversity, especially in pseudosteppes.

The crops of Andalusia are very varied. Simplifying, they can be divided into two groups: perennial plantations of fruit trees (orchads) and herbaceous crops (fields), mainly grasses. Agriculture greatly affects biodiversity, especially according to the mode of production and whether these crops appear in small plots or large monocultures.

Perennial crops: fruit trees

The most abundant fruit trees in Andalusia are typical of the Mediterranean climate.

  • Olive tree (Olea europaea)
  • Almond tree (Prunus amygdaloides)
  • Citrus (Citrus spec.)
  • Vine (Vitis vinifera)
  • Avocados (Persea americana), mangoes (Mangifera indica) and other tropical fruits
  • Chestnut (Castanea sativa).

The flowering of fruit trees. It is the most spectacular for its prolonged phenology throughout the year.

Chesnut forms naturalized orchads with very old and large trees. It is an deciduous species limited to the wettest Andalusian mountain ranges.

Almond trees bloom in January or February and constitute an important source of nectar for hymenoptera and butterflies during.

Vineyards host small populations of alzacolas (Cercotrichas galactotes).

Ecological olive trees in the serrania de Ronda

Ecologically produced olive trees lined with sheep sorrel (Oxalis acetosella), a perennial particularly invasive on disturbed agricultural soils: a dense ground cover of yellow flowers very decorative during winter.

chestnut trees, copper forest, Castanea sativa

Golden foiling of chestnut trees (Castanea sativa). One of the most favorable biotopes for forest birds in Andalusia.

Farmlands in Andalusia: fields and steppe birds

Farmlands in Andalusia: very large fields of cereal, an ecosystem favorable to populations of steppe birds, among the most endangered of European ornithofauna.

green fields and meadows in spring

At the end of winter, the fields and meadows are intensely green … a sight as ephemeral as it is attractive for the inhabitants of the most arid European region.

Annual crops: cereals and other herbaceous

  • Wheat (Triticum spec.)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
  • Cotton (Gossypium spec.)
  • Rice (Oryza sativa)

The harvest and crop rotation maintain a simplified vegetation of herbaceous strata comparable to some extent to the great plains of Asia. These pseudo-steppes are very favorable to steppe birds: great bustards (Otis tard), little bustards (Tetrax tetrax), lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), etc.

On the other hand, the rice paddies of Seville are regularly flooded in autumn for their cultivation and also receive numerous seagulls and waders.

One of the beautiful discoveries of my stop in Cordoba: the location of a fairly dense population of rufous-tailed scrub robins in the countryside near Fernán Núñez. This not very shy insectivorous species is becoming exceedingly rare.

Florent Prunier

G3-Guides