Human activities impose a transformation of the extra-urban land that may lead to the modification of the frail equilibrium of whole ecosystems. Sound planning strategies should be therefore pursued, employing a multidisciplinary approach that should take into account geographical, environmental and landscape factors as variables interacting among themselves and with the social and economic aspects. In order to simultaneously analyse all these properties, tools able to manage, interpret and integrate several data are necessary. The present research has been developed using a geographical information system applied to historical maps in order to assess the environmental impact of land use transformation, with a special emphasis on the atmospheric carbon dioxide balance. The analysis was focused on the transformation of a rural area in Southern Italy along the last 138 years, due to the change of and use through the introduction of corn and fruit orchards increasingly substituting olive trees and forested surfaces. The results showed that the cultivation conversion caused a loss of CO2 fixation value, that was accompanied by heavy emission of greenhouse effect gas in the atmosphere by urban settlements too. A sound rural land management should efficiently balance environmental pollution determined by the economic development; the methodology employed in the present case study could properly be transported into other areas, and the resulting analysis extended to different rural context.

Historical Cartography and GIS for the Analysis of Carbon Balance in Rural Environment: a Study Case in Southern Italy

PICUNO, Pietro
2006

Abstract

Human activities impose a transformation of the extra-urban land that may lead to the modification of the frail equilibrium of whole ecosystems. Sound planning strategies should be therefore pursued, employing a multidisciplinary approach that should take into account geographical, environmental and landscape factors as variables interacting among themselves and with the social and economic aspects. In order to simultaneously analyse all these properties, tools able to manage, interpret and integrate several data are necessary. The present research has been developed using a geographical information system applied to historical maps in order to assess the environmental impact of land use transformation, with a special emphasis on the atmospheric carbon dioxide balance. The analysis was focused on the transformation of a rural area in Southern Italy along the last 138 years, due to the change of and use through the introduction of corn and fruit orchards increasingly substituting olive trees and forested surfaces. The results showed that the cultivation conversion caused a loss of CO2 fixation value, that was accompanied by heavy emission of greenhouse effect gas in the atmosphere by urban settlements too. A sound rural land management should efficiently balance environmental pollution determined by the economic development; the methodology employed in the present case study could properly be transported into other areas, and the resulting analysis extended to different rural context.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/2730
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