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Implications of decadal changes in precipitation and land use policy to soil erosion in Basilicata, Italy


, : Implications of decadal changes in precipitation and land use policy to soil erosion in Basilicata, Italy. Catena (Giessen) 65(2): 138-151

This paper examines the implications of changes in precipitation and land use to soil erosion from 1955 to 2002 in Basilicata, a hilly portion of southern Italy. Analysis of daily precipitation records reveals statistically significant trends using both non-parametric and parametric approaches. The inter-annual variability of precipitation increases in intensity; primarily between October and January. From 1955 to 2000, the length of dry spells greatly increased, while wet days decreased. A land use change map was produced for the three study areas using aerial photos (1955) and orthophotos (1997 and 2002), integrated with field surveys. Results show that land use is highly dynamic in Basilicata, especially due to the application of the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) measures. The EU policies resulted in reclamation of badlands and degraded grasslands for agriculture, principally the cultivation of durum wheat. This farming practice and the abandonment of some of the remodeled areas have increased the risk of soil erosion and desertification processes, and is manifest in land degradation by rill networks and gullying.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2005.11.005


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