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Agricultural landscape evolution

The project, that is just finished, concerned the multitemporal study of the land use in some areas of the Park, where the end of the agricultural and pastoral activities caused evident phenomena of recolonization by spontaneous vegetation. The areas chosen cover 7685 ha and are: the Northeast Majella, between Serramonacesca and Pennapiedimonte; Caramanico Terme - Sant’Eufemia a Majella; Passo San Leonardo; Campo di Giove - Piano Cerreto.

The analysis was based on different points. On the one hand the interpretation of orthorectified, historical (1954) and current (2007) aerial photographs, that is an operation for which a grant of 18 months was assigned and it was integrated with on-the-spot investigations and interviews, which aimed to register the ground truth surveys and to verify the interpretation of the images. On the other hand the field studies about the existing vegetation in its different land use categories.

The photointerpretation and the production of interpretation maps of the vegetation mosaic were carried out with GIS software, on a scale of 1:10000, with the smallest mapping unit area of 0,1 ha and using the land use/cover CORINE Land Cover classification. The legend of the Land Use Map of Abruzzi Region, instead, was used for artificial surfaces. For wooded areas not only the major forest species, but also the cover density were observed.

On the whole, an accentuated transformation of the agricultural areas into grasslands, shrub vegetation associations and woods was registered in all areas, in particular in the wooded and agricultural ones. In all areas broadleaf forests have increased in terms of surface but also of structural complexity. Reforestations with conifers have also increased, in particular in the Northeast Majella. The agricultural surfaces used have lived a remarkable decrease from 35% to 50%.

Image of agricultural landscape in the Park
Image of agricultural landscape in the Park
Image of agricultural landscape of Pescocostanzo
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