Cropland diversity was the focus of this work to support regional policy in a land planning perspective for the development of both the agriculture and renewable energy sectors. Considering the Capitanata region (South of Italy) as a case study, the land share-out in agricultural crops have been assessed by using two different approaches: a) multi-year census data and b) land use/land cover digital maps through GIS assisted techniques. In the first case, the smallest land unit was the administrative municipality while in the second, it was the cell of a grid having a regular sized mesh (3 km) superimposed to the digital map. The share of the cultivated surfaces among the main crop categories was computed with reference to the region as a whole and its geographical subregions, the latter statistically determined according to the main characters in their crop composition. Thereafter, the Shannon ’s Diversity Index was applied to the crop share of cultivated areas. Finally, a potential scenario of possible land use changes due to the introduction of energy crops was presented, according to defined land conversion criteria, in order to improve the crop spatial diversity, particularly in those sub-regions where lower diversity levels were previously detected. An attempt in describing and explaining the dynamic traits of cropland diversity was performed. The essential elements resulting from the analysis were: 1) The stronger the environmental constraints, the narrower is the crop choice and the consequent crop diversity. 2) By eliminating the link between support payments and production, the EU-CAP “decoupling ” scheme had positive effects in terms of cropland diversity. Further reinforcing effects are probably expected by strengthening the CAP rural development and the agro-environmental measures. The “greening ” scheme applied in the last CAP programming period (2014 –2020) is probably acting in the same direction. 3) Through a simulated new planning scenario, a limited but well-targeted agroenergy land conversion may produce a significant improvement in cropland diversity even though not necessarily translated in a lower environmental burden due to agriculture, at least immediately. Diversification is the sign of a progressive reorientation of agriculture towards a multifunctional activity that combines producing quality food, maintaining rural livelihoods and landscapes, promoting environmental stewardship, preserving biodiversity, establishing a better agro-ecosystem functioning. In this respect, the scope of the work was to provide a planning case study at regional scale in order to promote a reconciling approach between productive and ecological services of agriculture, coming from a diversified and multifunctional agricultural system made of both food- and energy-crops.

Agricultural “greening” and cropland diversification trends: Potential contribution of agroenergy crops in Capitanata (South Italy).

• Monteleone Massimo
;
Cammerino A. R. B.;Libutti Angela
2017

Abstract

Cropland diversity was the focus of this work to support regional policy in a land planning perspective for the development of both the agriculture and renewable energy sectors. Considering the Capitanata region (South of Italy) as a case study, the land share-out in agricultural crops have been assessed by using two different approaches: a) multi-year census data and b) land use/land cover digital maps through GIS assisted techniques. In the first case, the smallest land unit was the administrative municipality while in the second, it was the cell of a grid having a regular sized mesh (3 km) superimposed to the digital map. The share of the cultivated surfaces among the main crop categories was computed with reference to the region as a whole and its geographical subregions, the latter statistically determined according to the main characters in their crop composition. Thereafter, the Shannon ’s Diversity Index was applied to the crop share of cultivated areas. Finally, a potential scenario of possible land use changes due to the introduction of energy crops was presented, according to defined land conversion criteria, in order to improve the crop spatial diversity, particularly in those sub-regions where lower diversity levels were previously detected. An attempt in describing and explaining the dynamic traits of cropland diversity was performed. The essential elements resulting from the analysis were: 1) The stronger the environmental constraints, the narrower is the crop choice and the consequent crop diversity. 2) By eliminating the link between support payments and production, the EU-CAP “decoupling ” scheme had positive effects in terms of cropland diversity. Further reinforcing effects are probably expected by strengthening the CAP rural development and the agro-environmental measures. The “greening ” scheme applied in the last CAP programming period (2014 –2020) is probably acting in the same direction. 3) Through a simulated new planning scenario, a limited but well-targeted agroenergy land conversion may produce a significant improvement in cropland diversity even though not necessarily translated in a lower environmental burden due to agriculture, at least immediately. Diversification is the sign of a progressive reorientation of agriculture towards a multifunctional activity that combines producing quality food, maintaining rural livelihoods and landscapes, promoting environmental stewardship, preserving biodiversity, establishing a better agro-ecosystem functioning. In this respect, the scope of the work was to provide a planning case study at regional scale in order to promote a reconciling approach between productive and ecological services of agriculture, coming from a diversified and multifunctional agricultural system made of both food- and energy-crops.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/365726
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