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Land system change in Italy from 1884 to 2007: Analysing the North-South divergence on the basis of an integrated indicator framework.

Niedertscheider M, Erb K - Land use policy (2014)

Bottom Line: Our results show that national HANPP has been declining from 78% of natural productivity before WWII to 56% in 2007, indicating a declining land -use induced pressure on biomass flows over time.Although we found a significant difference between the Northern and Southern region in the absolute levels of several land use indicators related to biomass appropriation, the overarching trends of land system change were remarkably similar in both regions.This suggests that underlying drivers of land system change, such as policies aimed at land-use intensification and structural change were equally dominating land system trajectories in the North and South of Italy, not withstanding their socio-ecological divergences.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna, Alpen-Adria Universität, Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT

Over the past centuries, land systems in Italy experienced fundamental shifts, owing to the availability of new energy forms, population surges, and technological progress. The 20th century was characterized by massive productivity increases, accompanied by gradual land abandonment and the return of forest land. We here analyze 120 years of land system change in Italy, applying the human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) framework, a metric for socio-economic pressures on terrestrial ecosystems. HANPP allows integrating ecological with societal perspectives, by systematically quantifying (a) biomass harvest and (b) the difference between potential productivity of ecosystems and current productivity induced by land use processes, such as land conversion, or land degradation. Besides assessing national trends we calculated HANPP separately for the Italian North and South between 1934 and 2007, in order to scrutinize if high regional discrepancies in terms of natural and socio-economic preconditions translate into diverging land system trajectories. Our results show that national HANPP has been declining from 78% of natural productivity before WWII to 56% in 2007, indicating a declining land -use induced pressure on biomass flows over time. Simultaneously, biomass harvest increased by around 26% due to agricultural intensification, despite shrinking croplands. Although we found a significant difference between the Northern and Southern region in the absolute levels of several land use indicators related to biomass appropriation, the overarching trends of land system change were remarkably similar in both regions. This suggests that underlying drivers of land system change, such as policies aimed at land-use intensification and structural change were equally dominating land system trajectories in the North and South of Italy, not withstanding their socio-ecological divergences.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Indicators of land system change in the Italian North and South from 1934 to 2007. HANPP indicators: (a) HANPP as percentage of NPPpot, (b) HANPP per person, (c) NPPact per m2 and year. Indicators of input intensity: d) HANPPharv per m2 of land, (e) cropland HANPPharv per m2 of cropland (HANPPharv/m2/year), (f) livestock density (number of animals per km2 of grazing land). Indicators of output intensity: (g) Nitrogen use per m2 of cropland (kg nutrients applied per unit of cropland), (h) tractor density on cropland (numbers of tractors per unit of cropland), (i) agricultural workers as percentage of the total population. Efficiency indicators: (j) HANPPharv as percentage of HANPP (HANPP efficiency), (k) Nitrogen productivity (HANPPharv per kg Nitrogen input), (l) agricultural labour productivity (HANPPharv per agricultural worker).
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fig0020: Indicators of land system change in the Italian North and South from 1934 to 2007. HANPP indicators: (a) HANPP as percentage of NPPpot, (b) HANPP per person, (c) NPPact per m2 and year. Indicators of input intensity: d) HANPPharv per m2 of land, (e) cropland HANPPharv per m2 of cropland (HANPPharv/m2/year), (f) livestock density (number of animals per km2 of grazing land). Indicators of output intensity: (g) Nitrogen use per m2 of cropland (kg nutrients applied per unit of cropland), (h) tractor density on cropland (numbers of tractors per unit of cropland), (i) agricultural workers as percentage of the total population. Efficiency indicators: (j) HANPPharv as percentage of HANPP (HANPP efficiency), (k) Nitrogen productivity (HANPPharv per kg Nitrogen input), (l) agricultural labour productivity (HANPPharv per agricultural worker).

Mentions: HANPP indicators depicted in Fig. 4 show striking similarities between the two regions with regard to land-use change, in particular to annual change rates, despite difference in absolute levels (see also Fig. 3, SI). HANPP as % of potential productivity (NPPpot, Fig. 4a) declined from around 75% around WWII in both regions to 58% in 2007 in the South and to 52% in the North. The highest levels were witnessed in 1950 in both regions (77% in the North, 79% in the South). HANPP per person and year was at similar levels in both regions until the mid1990s (Fig. 4b), decreasing from 1.7 tC/cap/year in the pre-WWII period to 1.1 tC/cap/year in 2007 in the South and to 0.9 tC/cap/year in the North. Actual NPP per m2 and year (Fig. 4c) increased by 65% from 1934 to 2007 in the South and by 34% in the North. However, NPPact remained at a level of nearly 1/3 higher (average between 1934 and 2007) in the North than in the South.


Land system change in Italy from 1884 to 2007: Analysing the North-South divergence on the basis of an integrated indicator framework.

Niedertscheider M, Erb K - Land use policy (2014)

Indicators of land system change in the Italian North and South from 1934 to 2007. HANPP indicators: (a) HANPP as percentage of NPPpot, (b) HANPP per person, (c) NPPact per m2 and year. Indicators of input intensity: d) HANPPharv per m2 of land, (e) cropland HANPPharv per m2 of cropland (HANPPharv/m2/year), (f) livestock density (number of animals per km2 of grazing land). Indicators of output intensity: (g) Nitrogen use per m2 of cropland (kg nutrients applied per unit of cropland), (h) tractor density on cropland (numbers of tractors per unit of cropland), (i) agricultural workers as percentage of the total population. Efficiency indicators: (j) HANPPharv as percentage of HANPP (HANPP efficiency), (k) Nitrogen productivity (HANPPharv per kg Nitrogen input), (l) agricultural labour productivity (HANPPharv per agricultural worker).
© Copyright Policy - CC BY-NC-ND
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4375606&req=5

fig0020: Indicators of land system change in the Italian North and South from 1934 to 2007. HANPP indicators: (a) HANPP as percentage of NPPpot, (b) HANPP per person, (c) NPPact per m2 and year. Indicators of input intensity: d) HANPPharv per m2 of land, (e) cropland HANPPharv per m2 of cropland (HANPPharv/m2/year), (f) livestock density (number of animals per km2 of grazing land). Indicators of output intensity: (g) Nitrogen use per m2 of cropland (kg nutrients applied per unit of cropland), (h) tractor density on cropland (numbers of tractors per unit of cropland), (i) agricultural workers as percentage of the total population. Efficiency indicators: (j) HANPPharv as percentage of HANPP (HANPP efficiency), (k) Nitrogen productivity (HANPPharv per kg Nitrogen input), (l) agricultural labour productivity (HANPPharv per agricultural worker).
Mentions: HANPP indicators depicted in Fig. 4 show striking similarities between the two regions with regard to land-use change, in particular to annual change rates, despite difference in absolute levels (see also Fig. 3, SI). HANPP as % of potential productivity (NPPpot, Fig. 4a) declined from around 75% around WWII in both regions to 58% in 2007 in the South and to 52% in the North. The highest levels were witnessed in 1950 in both regions (77% in the North, 79% in the South). HANPP per person and year was at similar levels in both regions until the mid1990s (Fig. 4b), decreasing from 1.7 tC/cap/year in the pre-WWII period to 1.1 tC/cap/year in 2007 in the South and to 0.9 tC/cap/year in the North. Actual NPP per m2 and year (Fig. 4c) increased by 65% from 1934 to 2007 in the South and by 34% in the North. However, NPPact remained at a level of nearly 1/3 higher (average between 1934 and 2007) in the North than in the South.

Bottom Line: Our results show that national HANPP has been declining from 78% of natural productivity before WWII to 56% in 2007, indicating a declining land -use induced pressure on biomass flows over time.Although we found a significant difference between the Northern and Southern region in the absolute levels of several land use indicators related to biomass appropriation, the overarching trends of land system change were remarkably similar in both regions.This suggests that underlying drivers of land system change, such as policies aimed at land-use intensification and structural change were equally dominating land system trajectories in the North and South of Italy, not withstanding their socio-ecological divergences.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna, Alpen-Adria Universität, Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT

Over the past centuries, land systems in Italy experienced fundamental shifts, owing to the availability of new energy forms, population surges, and technological progress. The 20th century was characterized by massive productivity increases, accompanied by gradual land abandonment and the return of forest land. We here analyze 120 years of land system change in Italy, applying the human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) framework, a metric for socio-economic pressures on terrestrial ecosystems. HANPP allows integrating ecological with societal perspectives, by systematically quantifying (a) biomass harvest and (b) the difference between potential productivity of ecosystems and current productivity induced by land use processes, such as land conversion, or land degradation. Besides assessing national trends we calculated HANPP separately for the Italian North and South between 1934 and 2007, in order to scrutinize if high regional discrepancies in terms of natural and socio-economic preconditions translate into diverging land system trajectories. Our results show that national HANPP has been declining from 78% of natural productivity before WWII to 56% in 2007, indicating a declining land -use induced pressure on biomass flows over time. Simultaneously, biomass harvest increased by around 26% due to agricultural intensification, despite shrinking croplands. Although we found a significant difference between the Northern and Southern region in the absolute levels of several land use indicators related to biomass appropriation, the overarching trends of land system change were remarkably similar in both regions. This suggests that underlying drivers of land system change, such as policies aimed at land-use intensification and structural change were equally dominating land system trajectories in the North and South of Italy, not withstanding their socio-ecological divergences.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus