With its variety of natural habitats and abundance of plant and animal species, the Presidential Estate of Castelporziano is a coastal area of great interest for the conservation of local biodiversity. However, past reclamation works and drainage systems have altered the original ecological status towards drier conditions, making the ecosystem more sensitive to environmental impacts. Moreover, intense urbanization and over-exploitation of groundwater in the surroundings, and decrease in annual rainfalls and higher average temperatures occurring over the past two decades, are likely to cause seawater intrusion into the groundwater and land degradation. Assessing for the environmental sensitivity of Castelporziano to land degradation and desertification is essential to understand the effectiveness of the current environmental policy. To this aim we adopted the MEDALUS methodology Kosmas et al. (Methodology for mapping Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) to Desertification, 31–47, 1999), widely recognized and applied in different environmental contexts and on different scales (national, regional, sub-regional). This methodology allows the classification of land in critical, fragile and potentially sensitive areas. The results identify 25 % of the area as not affected by desertification and only 3 % under threat, while the majority (72 %) falls within the intermediate classes of potential fragility. Considering the environmental policies and actions of protection applied to the Castelporziano area this widespread situation of potential fragility was not expected. © 2014, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

Assessing desertification vulnerability on a local scale: the Castelporziano study case (central Italy)

Iannetta M.;Menegoni P.;Trotta C.
2015

Abstract

With its variety of natural habitats and abundance of plant and animal species, the Presidential Estate of Castelporziano is a coastal area of great interest for the conservation of local biodiversity. However, past reclamation works and drainage systems have altered the original ecological status towards drier conditions, making the ecosystem more sensitive to environmental impacts. Moreover, intense urbanization and over-exploitation of groundwater in the surroundings, and decrease in annual rainfalls and higher average temperatures occurring over the past two decades, are likely to cause seawater intrusion into the groundwater and land degradation. Assessing for the environmental sensitivity of Castelporziano to land degradation and desertification is essential to understand the effectiveness of the current environmental policy. To this aim we adopted the MEDALUS methodology Kosmas et al. (Methodology for mapping Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) to Desertification, 31–47, 1999), widely recognized and applied in different environmental contexts and on different scales (national, regional, sub-regional). This methodology allows the classification of land in critical, fragile and potentially sensitive areas. The results identify 25 % of the area as not affected by desertification and only 3 % under threat, while the majority (72 %) falls within the intermediate classes of potential fragility. Considering the environmental policies and actions of protection applied to the Castelporziano area this widespread situation of potential fragility was not expected. © 2014, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.
Land degradation;MEDALUS project;Desertification;Environmental Sensitive Areas (ESA)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/2166
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