During the last century the landscape of the Po delta (Italy), one of the most important European deltaic areas, was strongly altered by extended land reclamation and land use intensification. Consequently, the loss of the lowland forested area that was once extended along the region’s coast took place. The present study aims to evaluate the ecosystem services provided by the Bosco Mesola woodland, a remnant-forested area of 1,058 ha located on an agriculture-dominated landscape, nowadays protected as a National Nature Reserve. Five ecosystem services were selected and evaluated both in biophysical and monetary terms, including provisioning (firewood production for industrial bioenergy and households’ heating purposes), regulating (air quality and climate regulation by carbon storage), and cultural services (eco-tourism), using experimental and collected data and modeling. The results underlined that the Reserve provides services for a total 10.4 M€ yr-1 and stores carbon for an estimated value of 7.2 M€. Notably, regulating services, such as air quality regulation (i.e. PM10 and O3 removal) accounts for 98.5% of the total annual value. While raising the issue related to the identification and conservation of ESs with no direct market value, whose socio-political and applicative fields have great relevance, this study demonstrates that remnant forests are exceptional providers of ecosystem services that can significantly contribute to reaching multiple sustainable development goals and whose preservation is largely remarked in EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. In this regard, the integration of different methods and data sources for ES assessment allow to capture a comprehensive range of ESs that may properly support the decision process.

A “reserve” of regulating services: The importance of a remnant protected forest for human well-being in the Po delta (Italy)

Gaglio M.
Primo
;
Muresan A. N.
Secondo
;
Cavicchi D.;Fano E. A.
Penultimo
;
Castaldelli G.
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

During the last century the landscape of the Po delta (Italy), one of the most important European deltaic areas, was strongly altered by extended land reclamation and land use intensification. Consequently, the loss of the lowland forested area that was once extended along the region’s coast took place. The present study aims to evaluate the ecosystem services provided by the Bosco Mesola woodland, a remnant-forested area of 1,058 ha located on an agriculture-dominated landscape, nowadays protected as a National Nature Reserve. Five ecosystem services were selected and evaluated both in biophysical and monetary terms, including provisioning (firewood production for industrial bioenergy and households’ heating purposes), regulating (air quality and climate regulation by carbon storage), and cultural services (eco-tourism), using experimental and collected data and modeling. The results underlined that the Reserve provides services for a total 10.4 M€ yr-1 and stores carbon for an estimated value of 7.2 M€. Notably, regulating services, such as air quality regulation (i.e. PM10 and O3 removal) accounts for 98.5% of the total annual value. While raising the issue related to the identification and conservation of ESs with no direct market value, whose socio-political and applicative fields have great relevance, this study demonstrates that remnant forests are exceptional providers of ecosystem services that can significantly contribute to reaching multiple sustainable development goals and whose preservation is largely remarked in EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. In this regard, the integration of different methods and data sources for ES assessment allow to capture a comprehensive range of ESs that may properly support the decision process.
2023
Gaglio, M.; Muresan, A. N.; Sebastiani, A.; Cavicchi, D.; Fano, E. A.; Castaldelli, G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2520830
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