Forest Area Changes in Cinque Terre National Park in the Last 80 Years. Consequences on Landslides and Forest Fire Risks | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
Março 2021
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© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Cinque Terre, one of the most important Italian cultural landscapes, has not been spared from depopulation and agricultural abandonment processes, that involved many rural areas in Europe, as a consequence of socio-economic transformations that occurred after WWII. Depopulation of rural areas, especially in mountains or in terraced areas, caused significant environmental consequences, such as the decrease of biodiversity, the landscape homogenization, the increase of hydrogeological and forest fires risks. Cinque Terre National Park (5TNP) was established in 1999, and, differently from other Italian National Parks, not just for protecting natural habitats, but mainly to preserve, restore and valorize the historical terraced landscape. Moreover, the area is a UNESCO cultural landscape site and it is partly protected by three Sites of Community Importance. The research intended to investigate the transformations that have affected forested areas inside the 5TNP in the period 1936–2018, also highlighting the connections with hydrogeological and forest fires risks, as a support for the Park planning strategies and the conservation of the UNESCO site. Results highlighted that 37% of the current forests are the consequence of dry stones terraces abandonment that occurred in the twentieth century, with negative effects on the stability of steep slopes, hydrogeological risk, forest fires and on the conservation of a unique cultural landscape. This confirms the current national trend showing no deforestation occurring, but rather a continuous increase of forests on abandoned land. While 5TNP policies and actions are effectively aimed at pursuing an equilibrium between cultivated areas and forests, the Sites of Community Importance located inside the Park mainly focuses on the conservation of “natural habitats”, even if the current vegetation is also the result of secondary successions on former cultivated land. The research highlighted the need to valorize “cultural values” in forest planning as well as the importance of forest history for an accurate planning of forest resources in protected areas.

Autores e editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Santoro, Antonio
Venturi, Martina
Piras, Francesco
Fiore, Beatrice
Corrieri, Federica
Agnoletti, Mauro


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