Assessment of afforestation as a tool to recompose the ecological landscape

Gherardo Chirici, Piermaria Corona, Marco Marchetti, Mario Vannuccini


Afforestation is a suitable measure to recompose the ecological landscape within agricultural areas. In light of this, it is necessary that afforestation planning and design take into account the complexity of the relationships among the different landscape elements. To such an end, an innovative assessment procedure is proposed and a study case is presented here. The t001 set is a spatial index that jointly considers both functional and structural aspects of the landscape, and its potential structure if undisturbed. The index is builded upon three components: the territorial biopotential (sensu Ingegnoli, 1993), the relative coverage of the ecologically coherent tree species, and the fractal dimension of landscape patches. The index can be calculated at three scale levels (patch, land use/cover class, whole landscape); in the latter case, it can be seen as a parameter of the organizational metacomplexity of the analyzed system. The proposed procedure was tested within a reafforested agricultural area in the periurban belt of Rome (Italy). It proved to satisfactorily quantify and locate both positive and negative ecological landscape effects exerted by the established forest plantations.


afforestation; ecological landscape;

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