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Fitosociologia 48 (2) 2011

pag. 65-76: Methodological aspects for the evaluation of the quality of agro-ecosystems and landscapes that give rise

D. Galdenzi, S. Pesaresi, L. Colosi, E. Biondi

Department of Agricolture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy; email: d.galdenzi@univpm.it

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abstract

Agriculture is a sector where current efforts for conservation of biodiversity at international and national levels are focussed, according to the requirements of the sustainable policies. Agricultural intensification and concomitant land abandonment in the less favoured areas have impacted strongly on the environment, and consequently, have had worrying effects on biodiversity. In Europe, the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) is a valuable tool for the preservation of biodiversity, while the reformed Common Agricultural Policy provides important instruments towards the direct management of biodiversity. In the future, the reformed Common Agricultural Policy is going to be based on a first “greener” pillar that is more evenly shared, with a second pillar that will focus on competitiveness and innovation, on climate change, and on the environment. Thus the assessment of the quality of agro-ecosystems through the use of the bioindicators that indicate their status becomes a fundamental need for the monitoring of farmlands at the European Community level. This study defines a methodology that provides cartography-based estimations of the quality of agro-ecosystems (using ArcGIS 9.1). This methodology uses information relating to the quality of the soil and the vegetation types in the area under study (here, the Conero Regional Natural Park). The Synvegetation Naturalness Index and the Simpson’s Diversity Index are here combined and integrated, to allow the evaluation and implementation of management decisions based on the values of these indices. These choices must necessarily be compared with the dynamic serial processes, for which a simulation of farmland transformation over time is presented.

keywords

Phytosociology, Synvegetation Naturalness Index, Simpson’s Diversity Index, Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, management of rural landscape, Conero Regional Natural Park, dynamic processes