During the second half of the 20th century farming systems in hilly and mountainous areas of Mediterranean Europe were progressively abandoned and the forest cover subsequently re-expanded. This paper investigates the environmental impacts of land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes on hydrological ecosystem functions (HEFs) in the Upper Alento River Catchment (UARC) in southern Italy. We document the human-driven post-war landscape in 1955 with its maximum expansion of pasture and crops. By 1998 forest cover had doubled and cropland had roughly halved due to decades of land abandonment and reduction in human pressure. In 2015 secondary forests occupied about 70% of the catchment and orchards about 20%. The 1998 land-use scenario was implemented within the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) model which was calibrated and validated by direct water yield measurements recorded in the period 1995–2004 in the water reservoir delimited by an earth-dam located at the UARC outlet. Numerical simulations, assumed under “steady” climate conditions, offer “pseudo-realistic” scenarios that help interpret differences in water budget and sediment transport when the 1998 land-use scenario is compared to those of 1955 and 2015. With reference to funding opportunities offered by the European Union in the recent decades, this study provides some practical guidance on the impact of cropland reconversion on HEFs and on measures to mitigate soil erosion in this Mediterranean area. Viewed from the demand-side perspective, natural re-expansion of forest and afforestation reduce water yield and increase actual evapotranspiration. However, our modeling results are framed also within a supply-side approach examining the sensitivity of water yield to precipitation.

Assessing long-term impact of land-use change on hydrological ecosystem functions in a Mediterranean upland agro-forestry catchment / Nasta, Paolo; Palladino, Mario; Nadia, Ursino; Saracino, Antonio; Sommella, Angelo; Romano, Nunzio. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 605-606:(2017), pp. 1070-1082. [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.008]

Assessing long-term impact of land-use change on hydrological ecosystem functions in a Mediterranean upland agro-forestry catchment.

NASTA, PAOLO;PALLADINO, MARIO;SARACINO, ANTONIO;SOMMELLA, ANGELO;ROMANO, NUNZIO
Supervision
2017

Abstract

During the second half of the 20th century farming systems in hilly and mountainous areas of Mediterranean Europe were progressively abandoned and the forest cover subsequently re-expanded. This paper investigates the environmental impacts of land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes on hydrological ecosystem functions (HEFs) in the Upper Alento River Catchment (UARC) in southern Italy. We document the human-driven post-war landscape in 1955 with its maximum expansion of pasture and crops. By 1998 forest cover had doubled and cropland had roughly halved due to decades of land abandonment and reduction in human pressure. In 2015 secondary forests occupied about 70% of the catchment and orchards about 20%. The 1998 land-use scenario was implemented within the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) model which was calibrated and validated by direct water yield measurements recorded in the period 1995–2004 in the water reservoir delimited by an earth-dam located at the UARC outlet. Numerical simulations, assumed under “steady” climate conditions, offer “pseudo-realistic” scenarios that help interpret differences in water budget and sediment transport when the 1998 land-use scenario is compared to those of 1955 and 2015. With reference to funding opportunities offered by the European Union in the recent decades, this study provides some practical guidance on the impact of cropland reconversion on HEFs and on measures to mitigate soil erosion in this Mediterranean area. Viewed from the demand-side perspective, natural re-expansion of forest and afforestation reduce water yield and increase actual evapotranspiration. However, our modeling results are framed also within a supply-side approach examining the sensitivity of water yield to precipitation.
2017
Assessing long-term impact of land-use change on hydrological ecosystem functions in a Mediterranean upland agro-forestry catchment / Nasta, Paolo; Palladino, Mario; Nadia, Ursino; Saracino, Antonio; Sommella, Angelo; Romano, Nunzio. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 605-606:(2017), pp. 1070-1082. [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.008]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/680712
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