Extensive range-based livestock production has suffered a sharp decrease in Mediterranean Spain in recent decades due to two opposing trends in land use: progressive abandonment of practices in marginal rural areas and land use intensification in more productive areas. In this study, we explored the visions of key stakeholders on the current and future situation of silvopastoral systems in the Sierra Morena mountain range of southern Spain, where extensive livestock grazing is declining because of competition with other more profitable activities, such as intensive olive groves and game hunting. We performed a discourse analysis using Q methodology and evaluated the existing relationships of information exchange and conflict among local institutions such as farmer's associations, the provincial council, and conservation organizations using social network analysis. Semistructured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders representing local formal and nonformal institutions involved in extensive livestock production. Results showed three distinct discourses among stakeholders related to profitability, conservation, and modernization. There was a strong consensus on the management strategies that should be promoted to support extensive livestock production and preserve the associated silvopastoral systems. Social networks revealed high cohesion and communication exchange and a low level of conflict among stakeholders, with few exceptions. The low influence of livestock producers on policy decision making largely hinders the development of participatory management schemes. Nevertheless, similarities among the visions and opinions of different institutions suggest that new possibilities might emerge for silvopastoral systems through the collaboration among the different socioeconomic sectors present in the area.
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