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Title: A comprehensive insight into the geography of forest cover in Italy: Exploring the importance of socioeconomic local contexts
Authors: Ferrara, Carlotta
Carlucci, Margherita
Grigoriadis, Efstathios
Corona, Piermaria
Salvati, Luca
Keywords: Forest land;Socioeconomic profile;Indicator;Southern Europe;Land-use change
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Ferrara, C. et al. 2017. A comprehensive insight into the geography of forest cover in Italy: Exploring the importance of socioeconomic local contexts."Forest Policy and Economics" 75: 12–22
Forest cover is a key attribute of local communities and affects the spatial organization of any given region.
Changes in forest cover are influenced by spatially-varying biophysical and anthropogenic factors mainly associated with urban-rural, coastal-inland and elevation gradients. The present study investigates the relationship between the socioeconomic structure of local communities and selected indicators of forest landscape in Italy,
including change in forest area over time (2000−2012), using an exploratory multivariate analysis based on
principal component analysis, hierarchical clustering and discriminant analysis. We assess the importance of socio-spatial structures, economic dynamics and demographic patterns in the geography of forest cover, expansion and loss, considering 149 statistical indicators that are used to evaluate the multiple dimensions of sustainable
development. The results point to agriculture, income, education and labour market indicators as a key predictors of contexts with high forest cover and moderate changes in forest area (both gain and loss) from those with low forest cover and marked changes in forest area. High forest cover in rural districts was spatially associated with local communities featuring depopulation, unemployment, low educational levels and subsistence agriculture. These factors consolidate land abandonment and soil erosion. The highest rate of change in forest
area was observed in economically-growing, accessible local contexts with dynamic socio-demographic profiles. Integrated environmental and socioeconomic policies for sustainable development are required to incorporate forest cover and changes in wooded area as pivotal variables and may benefit from a better understanding of the role of local communities in forest management.
ISSN: 1389-9341
Appears in Collections:DIBAF - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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