Changes in agricultural land use affecting future soil redistribution patterns: A case study in southern tuscany (ITALY)

M. Debolini*, J.M. Schoorl, A.J.A.M. Temme, M. Galli, E. Bonari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Land-use changes (LUCs) can be defined as the result of the direct action of the stakeholders in a particular area and natural or human driving forces. LUCs can influence various processes within the landscape and can have an impact on landscape functions. An analysis of the impact of LUCs on landscape processes can help to focus future rural policies. LUCs in Mediterranean areas particularly affect landscape functions because of their agro-pedoclimatical characteristics. The aims of this work are as follows: (i) to characterise LUCs in the last 11¿years in a typical Mediterranean area, the Trasubbie river basin (southern Tuscany, Italy); (ii) to extrapolate these changes and create spatially explicit LUC scenarios for the near future; and (iii) to simulate how and where the predicted LUCs may affect soil redistribution. We carried out an analysis of LUCs within the study area and used the trends to propose alternative scenarios for 2013. For these years, we spatially allocated land use (using the Conversions of Land Use and its Effects model) and used a landscape process model (landscape process modelling at multi-dimensions and scales) to assess soil redistribution patterns. Land use in the study area changed almost linearly between 1996 and 2007, with cereals and annual fodder crops decreasing, and vineyards, perennial pastures and land abandonment increasing. Our LUC scenario extrapolates these dynamics to make predictions for 2013. A comparison of LAPSUS results between LUC and baseline scenarios for 2013 showed an increase in terms of net soil loss and total erosion, and a decrease in terms of sediment delivery ratio.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-586
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • ne spain
  • landscape evolution
  • driving forces
  • sediment yield
  • erosion
  • model
  • management
  • region
  • abandonment
  • catchment


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