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Title: Indirect validation of the Environmental Sensitive Area Index using soil degradation indicators: a country-scale approach
Authors: Salvati, Luca
Ferrara, Carlotta
Corona, Piermaria
Keywords: Environmental indicators;ESA;Desertification;Land vulnerability
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Salvati, L. et al. 2015. Indirect validation of the Environmental Sensitive Area Index using soil degradation indicators: a country-scale approach. "Ecological Indicators" 57: 360–365
The Environmental Sensitivity Area Index (ESAI) is one of the most used frameworks to monitor land vulnerability to degradation in southern Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East. ESAI outputs were
validated on the field at both local and regional scales, but a country or continental scale validation is still missing. Using nonparametric correlations and multivariate statistics, the present study contrasts
the spatial distribution of the ESAI over 8100 local municipalities in Italy with 12 soil variables assessing
individual soil attributes, soil degradation processes and the overall soil quality. Three supplementary
variables assessing elevation, latitude and the urban–rural gradient have been also considered in the
analysis. The ESAI correlated with both soil attributes (topsoil organic carbon) and degradation processes
(soil contamination risk, landslide risk, grazing pressure and agricultural mechanization, considered a
predisposing factor to soil compaction) varying in intensity along the elevation gradient. The approach illustrated provides an indirect evaluation of the reliability of the ESAI as a multidomain indicator of land vulnerability to degradation in the mediterranean region
ISSN: 1470-160X
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.03.038
Appears in Collections:DiSAFRi - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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