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Multi-temporal analysis of energetic fluxes in the Maremma (Italy) landscape between XIX and XX century

Author(s): Santoro A | Agnoletti M

Journal: Forest@
ISSN 1824-0119

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 199;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Social metabolism | Input/output analysis | Energy consumption | Energy flows | Agro-ecosystem | Landscape

Using the energy flow account and the input/output analysis is possible to assess the “energetic sustainability” of landscape, in order to define policies as well as planning and management tools of the rural territory. The study area is the municipality of Castagneto Carducci, located on the Tuscan coastline, in the Leghorn district. The area, 14.000 hectares wide, is characterized by wooded hills in the inner part, a narrow dunal band along the coastline with mixed pine woods, and a flat area in the middle where all the major infrastructures and agricultural activities are located. The economy is based on tourism and on high quality wine production. The energy balance is not only referred to the present situation, but we have carried out the balances for the years 1832 and 1954, in order to assess the energy use evolution through the last 180 years, according to a multitemporal methodology develop for monitoring the dynamics of Tuscan landscape The energy balances examine all the energy flows result from the various activities in agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry. The study area must be considered as a close system, and we have to value the energy flows between the inside and the outside of this system, and how this energy is used inside of it. The three periods show different landscapes, due to the different socio-economic situation. In 1832 we find a traditional agricultural structure, based on large estate and on mezzadria management; in 1954 the mezzadria gives way to the diffusion of industrial agriculture and animal husbandry, while olive orchards became one of the main elements of the landscape. From the ’70s we attend at the proliferation of vineyards, and in few years Castagneto will become the area where some of the best Italian wines are produced (Sassicaia, Ornellaia). The wooded areas have undergone a dramatic change in their spatial location, specific composition, density and structure, but the extension remains the same, and it is approximately the half of the total communal area. In the 19th century the system was completely self-reliant about the production and the use of energy, but, with the intensification of agriculture after the Second World War, the local system consume more energy then it is produced, because of the energy imports coming from outside. Using a lot of energy brings to high productivity, but also to a less energetic efficiency compared to the 19th century and to a degradation of the landscape. The wooded areas can have an important role in mitigating the energy inefficiency, although only few of these are periodically managed; wooded areas and agricultural areas are not managed together, but they seems to be two different worlds, there is a lack of integrated approach.
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