Assessment of Soil Protection to Support Forest Planning: an Experience in Southern Italy

  • Fabrizio Ferretti Consiglio per la Ricerca e sperimentazione in Agricoltura – Apennine Forestry Research Unit (CRA-SFA), Via Bellini 8, 86170 Isernia.
  • Paolo Cantiani Consiglio per la Ricerca e sperimentazione in Agricoltura– Research Centre for Forest Ecology and Silviculture (CRA-SEL), Via S. Margherita 80, 52100 Arezzo.
  • Isabella De Meo Consiglio per la Ricerca e sperimentazione in Agricoltura-Agrobiology and Pedology Centre (ABP), D'Azeglio 30, 50121 Firenze.
  • Alessandro Paletto Consiglio per la Ricerca e sperimentazione in Agricoltura- Forest Monitoring and Planning Research Unit (CRA-MPF), Nicolini 6, 38100 Villazzano, Trento.


Aim of study: to support landscape planning when soil-erosion control and water cycle regulation represent relevant issues for forest management. A methodological approach - based on simplified index – is proposed in order to assess the protective efficacy of forests on soils (indirect protection). This method is aimed at supporting technicians who are requested to define the most suitable management guidelines and silvicultural treatments.
Area of study: Southern Apennines (Alto Agri district – Basilicata Region - Italy), where a landscape planning experimentation was implemented.
Material and Methods: The data to estimate the parameters used for the simplified index calculation are retrieved from a non aligned systematic forest inventory. The method considers: 1) the tendency towards instability, 2) the protective action of forest cover and 3) different silvicultural options.
Main results: For the analysed forest categories, the results indicate the situations in which hydrogeological hazard is high. The cross-reading of these data with the values based on years of partial and total uncovering of the ground according to different silvicultural options (for each forest category in the reference period of 100 years) has supported the definition of silviculture treatments and management options suitable for the considered forest formations.
Research highlights: The proposed method can effectively support technicians in the field by highlighting situations of major hazard risk. Thanks to the joined assessment of different silvicultural options for each forest category, a series of silvicultural treatments, capable of better protecting the soil, can be already defined in the field survey phase.

Key words: Alto Agri district (Italy); Forest Landscape Management Planning (FLMP); management; silvicultural treatment; protective function and soil erosion.


Download data is not yet available.


Aboal JR, Jiménez MS, Morales D, 2000. Effects of thinning on throughfall in Canary Islands pine forest – the role of fog. J Hydrol 238(3-4): 218-230.

Agnoloni S, Bianchi M, Bianchetto E, Cantiani P, De Meo I, Dibari C, Ferretti F, 2009. I piani forestali territoriali di indirizzo: una proposta metodologica. Forest@ 6: 140- 147 [online: 2009-05-19]. URL:

Baskent EZ, Yolasi maz HA, 2000. Exploring the Concept of a Forest Landscape Management Paradigm. Turk J Agric For 24: 443-452.

Bastien Y, Hein S, Chavane A, 2005. Sylviculture du Hetre: contraintes, enjeux, orientations de gestion. Rev Forest Fr 2: 111-122.

Bebi P, Kienast F, Schönenberger W, 2001. Assessing structures in mountain forests as a basis for investigating the forests' dynamics and protective function. Forest Ecol Manag 145: 3-14.

Berger F, Rey F, 2004. Mountain protection forests against natural hazards and risks: new french developments by integrating forests in risk zoning. Nat Hazards 33: 395-404.

Brang P, Schönenberger W, Frehner M, Schwitter R, Thormann JJ, Wasser B, 2006. Management of protection forests in the European Alps: an overview. For Snow Landsc Res 80: 23-44.

Calder LR, 1990. Evaporation in the Uplands. Wiley, New York, USA. 148 pp.

Cantiani P, Amorini E, Piovosi M, 2006. Effect of standard density release on canopy cover recovery and shoot growth in Turkey oak coppice forest. Annali CRA ISSEL 33: 9-20.

Cantiani P, De Meo I, Ferretti F, Paletto A, 2010. Forest functions evaluation to support forest landscape management planning. Forestry Ideas 16, 1(39): 44-51.

Carrara A, Cardinali M, Guzzetti F, 1992. Uncertainty in assessing landslide hazard and risk. ITC Journal 2: 172-183.

Chang M, 2006. Forest Hydrology: an introduction to water and forests, 2ed ed. Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL, USA.

Chauvin C, Renaud JP, Rupé C, Leclerc D, 1994. Stabilité et gestion des forêts de protection. ONF – Bulletin Technique 27: 37-52.

Cosandey C, Andreassian V, Martin C, Didon-Lescot JF, Lavabre J, Folton N et al., 2005. The hydrological impact of the mediterranean forest: a review of French research. J Hydrol 301: 235-249.

Crockford RH, Richardson DP, 1990. Partitioning of rainfall in an eucalyptus forest and pine plantation in southern Australia: IV The relationship of interception and canopy storage capacity, the interception of these forests, and the effect on interception of thinning the pine plantation. Hydrol Process 4: 168-188.

Cutini A, 2006. Coppice conversion cuts, coppicing and standards density: effects on canopy properties of Turkey oak coppice stands. Annali CRA ISSEL 33: 21-30.

Cubbage F, Harou P, Sillsa E, 2007. Policy instruments to enhance multi-functional forest management. Forest Policy Econ 9(7): 833-851.

De Dios VR, Fisher C, Colinas C, 2007. Climate change effects on Mediterranean forests and preventive measures. New forests 33(1): 29-40.

EEA, 2009. 2009.

Guida D, Guida M, Iaccarino G, Metcalf G, Vallario A, Vecchio V et al., 1979. Il bacino del Mingardo (Cilento): evoluzione geomorfologica, fenomeni franosi e rischio a franare. Geologia Applicata e Idrogeologia XIV: 119-198.

Hewlett JD, 1982. Principles of forest hydrology. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA.

Kenneth WT, 1996. A water quality education and technical assistance program for California Rangelands, Rangeland Watershed Program. UC Cooperative Extension and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Korhonen L, Korhonen KT, Rautiainen M, Stenberg P, 2006. Estimation of forest canopy cover: a comparison of field measurement techniques. Silva Fenn 40(4): 577- 588.

Lemmon PE, 1956. A spherical densiometer for estimating forest overstory density. Forest Science 2(4): 314-320.

Llorens P, Domingo F, 2007. Rainfall partitioning by vegetation under Mediterranean conditions. A review of studies in Europe. J Hydrol 335: 37-54.

Malcolm DC, Mason WL, Clarcke GC, 2001. The transformation of conifer forests in Britain – regeneration, gap size and sivicultural systems. Forest Ecol Manag 151: 7- 23.

MCPFE, 2007. Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe Liaison Unit Warsaw. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2007 – State of Europe's Forests 2007: the MCPFE report on sustainable forest management in Europe. Warsaw 2007.

Megahan WF, 1979. Effects of forest practices on runoff and erosion. Istituto di Ecologia e Selvicoltura, Università di Padova, Italy.

Motta R, Haudemand JC, 2000. Protective forests and silvicultural stability. Mt Res Dev 20: 74-81.[0180:PFASS]2.0.CO;2

Paletto A, Ferretti F, Cantiani P, De Meo I, 2012. Multi-functional approach in forest landscape management planning: an application in Southern Italy. Forest Sys 21(1): 68-80.

Paletto A, Tosi V, 2009. Forest canopy cover and canopy closure: comparison of assessment techniques. Eur J For Res 128: 265-272.

Perrin H, 1954. Sylviculture (Tome II). Le traitement des forets. Theorie et pratique des techniques sylvicoles. ENEF. 429 pp.

Planins¸ek S˘, Finér L, Del Campo A, Alcázar J, Vega-García, C, Dimitrov D, Capuliak J, 2011. Adjustment of forest management strategies to changing climate. In: Forest management and the water cycle. Springer Netherlands. pp: 313-329.

Scarascia Mugnozza G, Oswald H, Piussi P, Radoglou K, 2000. Forests of the Mediterranean region: gaps in knownledge and research needs. Forest Ecol Manag 132(1): 97-109.

Schmithüsen F, 2007. Multifunctional forestry practices as a land use strategy to meet increasing private and public demands in modern societies. Journal of Forest Science 53(6): 290-298.

Scrinzi G, Gregori E, Giannetti F, Galvagni D, Zorn G, Colle G et al., 2006. Un modello di valutazione della funzionalità protettiva del bosco per la pianificazione forestale: la componente stabilità dei versanti rispetto ai fenomeni franosi superficiali. Forest@ 3: 98-155. [online: 2006-03-17].

Wang XP, Li XR, Zhang JG, Zhang ZS, Berndtsson R, 2005. Measurement of rainfall interception by xerophytic shrubs in re-vegetated sand dunes. Hydrolog Sci J 50: 897-910.

Waring RH, Running SW, 1998. Forest ecosystems: analysis at multiple scales, 2nd ed. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.

How to Cite
FerrettiF., CantianiP., De MeoI., & PalettoA. (2014). Assessment of Soil Protection to Support Forest Planning: an Experience in Southern Italy. Forest Systems, 23(1), 44-51.
Research Articles