The landscape of river deltas and coastal wetlands is under a continuous alteration due the combined effects of human and natural factors. The aim of the study is to analyze the Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) changes and associated Ecosystem Services (ESs) of a protected wetland area in the Po river delta (Northern Italy). A combination of methodologies which take into account both the assessment of socio-economic benefits (approach of ESs) and the monitoring of ecosystems attributes (LULC change analysis using transition matrices TMs) were used by comparing the changes observed during two periods (1954-1976 and 1976-2008) described by different environmental protection governance. The period 1954-1976 is described by extensive land reclamations while the period 1976-2008 by significant efforts for applying environmental protection measures. The results highlighted an extensive loss of vegetated wetlands due to direct human interventions (croplands and urban areas expansion) during the first period. The direct human intervention was significantly reduced during the second period. However, vegetated wetlands losses did not follow an analogous reduction probably due to indirect human interventions and natural factors. TMs identified the exact LULC conversions while the ESs approach highlighted the significant economic impact of vegetated wetlands' losses. Waste treatment was the most important ES of the specific system providing approximately 70 % of the estimated natural capital value. The proposed combination of the selected methods (TMs and ESs) provides a detailed description of landscape changes and their economic impact, which can be used as decision support tool for landscape conservation policies.

Land use change effects on ecosystem services of river deltas and coastal wetlands : case study in Volano–Mesola–Goro in Po river delta (Italy)

Gaglio, Mattias;Gissi, Elena;
2016-01-01

Abstract

The landscape of river deltas and coastal wetlands is under a continuous alteration due the combined effects of human and natural factors. The aim of the study is to analyze the Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) changes and associated Ecosystem Services (ESs) of a protected wetland area in the Po river delta (Northern Italy). A combination of methodologies which take into account both the assessment of socio-economic benefits (approach of ESs) and the monitoring of ecosystems attributes (LULC change analysis using transition matrices TMs) were used by comparing the changes observed during two periods (1954-1976 and 1976-2008) described by different environmental protection governance. The period 1954-1976 is described by extensive land reclamations while the period 1976-2008 by significant efforts for applying environmental protection measures. The results highlighted an extensive loss of vegetated wetlands due to direct human interventions (croplands and urban areas expansion) during the first period. The direct human intervention was significantly reduced during the second period. However, vegetated wetlands losses did not follow an analogous reduction probably due to indirect human interventions and natural factors. TMs identified the exact LULC conversions while the ESs approach highlighted the significant economic impact of vegetated wetlands' losses. Waste treatment was the most important ES of the specific system providing approximately 70 % of the estimated natural capital value. The proposed combination of the selected methods (TMs and ESs) provides a detailed description of landscape changes and their economic impact, which can be used as decision support tool for landscape conservation policies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11578/266115
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