Reforestation effects in dry areas of Sardinia. Environmental modifications related to desertification processes

Livio Bianchi, Gianfranco Calamini, Enrico Gregori, Marco Paci, Andrea Tani, Giovanni Zorn


This paper deals with the evaluation of the effects of conifer plantation in three different areas of Central Sardinia (Italy). In each location, a planted lot was compared with an adjacent area covered by natural shrub vegetation (Mediterranean

Macchia). The consequences of plantation in terms of biomass production, biodiversity, litter accumulation and properties of soil profiles were evaluated. This study clearly shows positive effects of reforestation on standing biomass and its diversity, and emphasizes the important role of forest plantation in promoting and speeding up the evolutive dynamics in Mediterranean ecosystems. The interpretation of results about the capacity of the ecosystem to store organic matter and that of the soil to accept rainfall water is rather uncertain; with this regards, only at Montes the planted lot performed better than the Macchia. A complete assessment of the overall effects of forest plantation in the remaining locations is hampered by the presence of several concomitant factors, like site preparation, thinnings and fire occurrence.




Biomass; biodiversity; afforestation

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