Abbandono del territorio e dissesto idrogeologico in Appennino bolognese: analisi delle dinamiche e degli interventi di gestione idraulico-forestale


The abandonment of less productive fields and agro-forest activities has occured in the last decades, interesting large mountain areas in all mediterranean basin. Until the fifties, agricultural practices dealt mainly with soil surface and surface runoff control systems. However, the apparent sustainability of soil use results often in contrast with historical documents, witnessing heavy hydrogeological instability, in naturally fragile areas. The research focused on the dynamics and effects of post-coltural land abandonment in a critical mountain area of the Reno River. The Reno River rappresents a typical Tuscan-Emilian Apennines Watershed where soil erosion occurs under very different conditions depending on interactions between land use, climate, geomorphology and lithology. Landslides are largely rappresented, due to the diffusion of clay hill slopes. Recent researches suggest that climatic variability will increase as a consequence of global climate change, resulting in greater frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, which could increase rates of erosion, landslides reactivations and diffusion of calanchive basins. As far as hill slopes are concerned, instability is today basically due to intrinsic factors, as the Apennine range is a rather young formation, in geological terms, and is mainly formed by sedimentary rocks with high occurrence of clays. Therefore landslides and rockfalls are very frequent, while surface soil erosion is generally low and anyway concentrated in the low Apennine, where intensive farming is still economically worth. The study, supported by GIS use, analyses the main fisical characteristics of the area and the historical changes of land use, and focalizes the dynamics of spontaneous reafforestation. Futhermore, the research studies the results of soil bioengineering and surface water control solutions for the restablishment of landslides occured in the last period. Infact soil bioengineering has been recently used in different situations in order to consolidate slopes and hillsides and prevent erosion; when applied, it gave good results, both in terms of engineering efficiency and vegetational development, expecially if combined with a good hydraulic control, thus proving to be an actual alternative to other techniques with heavier environmental impacts. Research into the specific site features and the use of proper plant species is vital to the success of bioengineering works.