The coastal deltaic environments represent mobile geomorphic systems highly sensitive to any type of environmental change, especially those deriving from human activities that influence the landscape structure and, consequently, the ecological processes. Most of the world’s coastal wetlands are located in the delta and host natural ecosystems of great ecological and economic value. Until the beginning of the last century, most coastal areas escaped human impacts as they were sites of marshes and ponds with a high incidence of malaria. In recent decades, land reclamation and the development of tourism industries, together with rising sea levels, have exposed these areas to multiple and complex disturbance agents. The changes induced by remediation have also significantly influenced the landscape on different time and scales, and above all the hydrographic system that supplies sediments to the delta plains and beaches, resulting in accelerated coastal erosion, impoverishment of the coastal environment and degradation of habitats. The present study focused on morphological, hydraulic and land use changes that have occurred over the last 150 years in the northern Campania plain, along the eastern Tyrrhenian Sea. The analysis of historical cartography, collected, digitized and analyzed in the GIS environment, has allowed us to obtain: (1) a qualitative reconstruction of landscape changes over the last 150 years; (2) a reconstruction of land reclamation works; (3) the quantification of the resulting changes in land use and morphological configuration over the last 100 years. Since the reclamation works, which began in the 16th century, this area recorded rapid economic development and growth in urbanization, increased above all in the last 100 years. The analysis of the landscape allowed the evaluation and quantification of the main land use dynamics, highlighting the relationships between land reclamation, urbanization growth and land use changes. The main composition of the landscape underwent important changes until the beginning of 1900, when the reclamation works completed the channeling of most secondary courses of the coastal plain. This favored the development of agriculture and farming which were the main drivers of changes in the landscape structure. The fragmentation and complexity of the landscape increased between the 1960s and 1990s. Since the 1970s the built-up areas expanded at an accelerated rate along the coastal plain, at the expense of the beach-dune system, and along the river’s course. The negative sedimentary balance resulting from the reclamation works on the river courses, together with the interventions along the Volturno river basin, resulted in an accelerated and severe coastal erosion. The overgrowth of urban areas towards the sea, combined with the intensification of agricultural and tourism activities, has led over time to the loss of high quality ecosystems such as the wet coastal environment, the retrodunal lacustrine area and, in most cases, also the beach-dune system. The integration of landscape analysis and historical information highlights the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to land management and provides important indications for environmental requalification.

From the Bourbon reclamation to the present landscape structure of the Volturno River coastal plain (northern Campania).

Ruberti D.
;
Vigliotti M.
2018

Abstract

The coastal deltaic environments represent mobile geomorphic systems highly sensitive to any type of environmental change, especially those deriving from human activities that influence the landscape structure and, consequently, the ecological processes. Most of the world’s coastal wetlands are located in the delta and host natural ecosystems of great ecological and economic value. Until the beginning of the last century, most coastal areas escaped human impacts as they were sites of marshes and ponds with a high incidence of malaria. In recent decades, land reclamation and the development of tourism industries, together with rising sea levels, have exposed these areas to multiple and complex disturbance agents. The changes induced by remediation have also significantly influenced the landscape on different time and scales, and above all the hydrographic system that supplies sediments to the delta plains and beaches, resulting in accelerated coastal erosion, impoverishment of the coastal environment and degradation of habitats. The present study focused on morphological, hydraulic and land use changes that have occurred over the last 150 years in the northern Campania plain, along the eastern Tyrrhenian Sea. The analysis of historical cartography, collected, digitized and analyzed in the GIS environment, has allowed us to obtain: (1) a qualitative reconstruction of landscape changes over the last 150 years; (2) a reconstruction of land reclamation works; (3) the quantification of the resulting changes in land use and morphological configuration over the last 100 years. Since the reclamation works, which began in the 16th century, this area recorded rapid economic development and growth in urbanization, increased above all in the last 100 years. The analysis of the landscape allowed the evaluation and quantification of the main land use dynamics, highlighting the relationships between land reclamation, urbanization growth and land use changes. The main composition of the landscape underwent important changes until the beginning of 1900, when the reclamation works completed the channeling of most secondary courses of the coastal plain. This favored the development of agriculture and farming which were the main drivers of changes in the landscape structure. The fragmentation and complexity of the landscape increased between the 1960s and 1990s. Since the 1970s the built-up areas expanded at an accelerated rate along the coastal plain, at the expense of the beach-dune system, and along the river’s course. The negative sedimentary balance resulting from the reclamation works on the river courses, together with the interventions along the Volturno river basin, resulted in an accelerated and severe coastal erosion. The overgrowth of urban areas towards the sea, combined with the intensification of agricultural and tourism activities, has led over time to the loss of high quality ecosystems such as the wet coastal environment, the retrodunal lacustrine area and, in most cases, also the beach-dune system. The integration of landscape analysis and historical information highlights the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to land management and provides important indications for environmental requalification.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/402520
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