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Open AccessArticle

How Attractive Is Upland Olive Groves Landscape? Application of the Analytic Hierarchy Process and GIS in Southern Spain

1
Department of Economics, Universidad Loyola Andalucia, C/Escritor Castilla Aguayo, 4, Cordoba 14004, Spain
2
Institute of Agricultural and Fishery Research and Training (IFAPA), Centro “Alameda del Obispo”, Avenida Menéndez Pidal, s/n, Apartado 3092, Córdoba 14080, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hossein Azadi
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111160
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
The upland olive groves of Andalusia (Southern Spain) are an example of fragile landscape from an ecological point of view. The wildfire and soil erosion risks that can result in the desertification of the area are the main components of fragility. This paper focuses on the visual quality assessment of this agricultural system as a mean to their economic and environmental sustainability. The case study is represented by the upland olive groves of the municipality of Montoro where rural tourism is an important economic activity. We carried out a personal interview survey on 480 citizens to determine their visual preferences regarding three representative types of olive plantation landscape to be transferred to landscape level through a Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) multicriteria decision-making technique was the method used to derive preferences from the survey. The results suggest that olive farming systems with grass vegetation cover between the trees are the preferred landscape type (0.42), followed very closely by the non-productive olive groves (0.41). The conventional olive farming system was the least preferred landscape (0.17). The visual quality map presents five categories, revealing that most of the olive groves in the study area belong to the very low visual quality category (93% of the total area). View Full-Text
Keywords: landscape visual quality; sustainable land use management, olive groves; Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP); GIS; Spain landscape visual quality; sustainable land use management, olive groves; Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP); GIS; Spain
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Nekhay, O.; Arriaza, M. How Attractive Is Upland Olive Groves Landscape? Application of the Analytic Hierarchy Process and GIS in Southern Spain. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1160.

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