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Land use change and forest carbon sink assessment in an Alpine mountain area of the Veneto Region (northeast Italy)

  • Valle, E. D.
  • Lamedica, S.
  • Pilli, R.
  • Anfodillo, T.

In this study, the authors analysed the variation of forest land cover in a mountain area of Veneto Region in northeast Italy. The analysis was done by comparing orthorectified aerial photographs taken in 1991 with orthophotos dated 2003, using photo interpretation of points with casual distribution on sample areas, according to a stratified sampling. The study yielded a statistically relevant increment of about 0.095% (ie about 42 ha) of forestland only up to 1500 m above sea level compared with the estimated forest cover for 1990, highlighting that this low increase was mainly due to abandoned grazing; the forest surface area estimate in 1990 was affected by a standard error of approximately 2.8%. The authors then estimated the carbon sink in the areas where forests had expanded. This was achieved by collecting biometric data in the field, and then using allometric functions. The annual carbon sink was estimated as 0.69 Mg ha-1 year-1.

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