Land Cover (LC) and Land Use (LU) changes are usually considered as one change, limiting the understanding of their individual effects on Ecosystem Services (ESs). The aim of this study is to investigate the different effects of LC change and LU intensification on four regulating ESs (carbon storage, water regulation and supply, nitrogen retention) using the InVEST model in the mountainous Adige river basin (Northern Italy) during 1960–2012. The role of establishing protected areas (PAs) in the four regulating ESs was also investigated. The results showed that pasture abandonment and agricultural intensification were the most important LC and LU changes, respectively. The total value of crops’ production raised four times, mainly due to agricultural intensification (increase of fertilization rates), while nitrogen losses increased threefold during 1960–2012. Significant changes on carbon storage and water balance components were not observed due to LC and LU changes at basin scale. The results highlighted the tradeoff between crop production and nitrogen losses that affect water quality regulation. PAs establishment was not enough to mitigate nitrogen losses. The results of the study highlighted that LC change and LU intensification should be considered separately to better understand the consequences of anthropogenic impact on regulating ESs.

Land use intensification rather than land cover change affects regulating services in the mountainous Adige river basin (Italy)

Gaglio M.
Primo
;
Aschonitis V.
Secondo
;
Castaldelli G.
Penultimo
;
Fano E. A.
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

Land Cover (LC) and Land Use (LU) changes are usually considered as one change, limiting the understanding of their individual effects on Ecosystem Services (ESs). The aim of this study is to investigate the different effects of LC change and LU intensification on four regulating ESs (carbon storage, water regulation and supply, nitrogen retention) using the InVEST model in the mountainous Adige river basin (Northern Italy) during 1960–2012. The role of establishing protected areas (PAs) in the four regulating ESs was also investigated. The results showed that pasture abandonment and agricultural intensification were the most important LC and LU changes, respectively. The total value of crops’ production raised four times, mainly due to agricultural intensification (increase of fertilization rates), while nitrogen losses increased threefold during 1960–2012. Significant changes on carbon storage and water balance components were not observed due to LC and LU changes at basin scale. The results highlighted the tradeoff between crop production and nitrogen losses that affect water quality regulation. PAs establishment was not enough to mitigate nitrogen losses. The results of the study highlighted that LC change and LU intensification should be considered separately to better understand the consequences of anthropogenic impact on regulating ESs.
2020
Gaglio, M.; Aschonitis, V.; Castaldelli, G.; Fano, E. A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2421344
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