Traditional landscape and rural development: comparative study in three terraced areas in northern, central and southern Italy to evaluate the efficacy of GAEC standard 4.4 of cross compliance

Italian Journal of Agronomy. 2011;6(1s) DOI 10.4081/ija.2011.6.s1.e16


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Journal Title: Italian Journal of Agronomy

ISSN: 1125-4718 (Print); 2039-6805 (Online)

Publisher: PAGEPress Publications

Society/Institution: SIA

LCC Subject Category: Agriculture: Plant culture

Country of publisher: Italy

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Mauro Agnoletti (University of Florence)
Giovanni Cargnello (CRA-VIT Agricultural Research Council)
Lorenzo Gardin
Antonio Santoro (University of Florence)
Paolo Bazzoffi (CRA-ABP Agricultural Research Council)
Luigi Sansone (CRA-VIT Agricultural Research Council)
Luciano Pezza (CRA-VIT Agricultural Research Council)
Nicola Belfiore (CRA-VIT Agricultural Research Council)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

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Time From Submission to Publication: 10 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The recent National Strategic Plan 2007-2013 has introduced landscape as a strategic objective of the rural sector. This represents a minor revolution in the way of visualizing the role of the landscape, together with that of agriculture and the rural territory as a whole, and demonstrates the importance of treating the landscape with a systematic point of view. As part of the Efficond project, three sample areas have been identified, each of about 800-1000 hectares, in zones with important historical - cultural landscapes that are included in the National Catalogue of Historical Rural Landscapes. For each sample area a methodology has been applied, defined Historical Cultural Evaluation Approach, developed as part of a project for the monitoring of the Tuscan landscape that we have simplified and adapted. This methodology is based on the consideration that the landscape is the result of the centuries-old interaction between man and the environment, and so to define an element of the landscape as characteristic it is necessary to evaluate the land use dynamics and landscape changes that took place in the past, identifying those that have persisted for a long time, are slowly evolving or stabilized. The study of the historical landscape, which in the proposed methodology refers to the 50’s, has been done through the interpretation and analysis of aerial photographs taken on the GAI flight in 1954, and has allowed the characteristic, traditional and historical elements of that landscape to be identified and an insight to be gained into the cultural identity of the area. Through the creation of specific indices of density and intensity of the terracing obtained by photo-interpretation, field surveys and GIS elaborations, it was possible to classify the sample areas for this specific and important landscape element, compare the results in two periods and evaluate their frequency in the territory. Multi-temporal comparative analysis is being used increasingly often, especially for the study of territories of value, and in our case has been accompanied both by mapping of the landscape dynamics, which identifies the areas subject to transformations in the considered period, and by tables and figures that allow the evolution of a unit of land use to be followed, observing how this has evolved over time. The evaluation of these evolutionary dynamics has then been integrated with a set of indices, in part borrowed from landscape ecology, and in part specifically developed for areas historically shaped by man, which demonstrate that the landscape has become less fragmented and that the layout of fields has been adapted to a different agricultural model that has profoundly changed the structure of the traditional landscape. The efficacy of the laws protecting the characteristic elements of the landscape is strictly linked to the maintenance of its diversity and typicality and conservation of the complexity of the landscape mosaic. Its evaluation necessitates a historical analysis of the evolutionary dynamics conducted at a purely local level.