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Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 13887-13903;

Features Analysis of Dry Stone Walls of Tuscany (Italy)

Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems, University of Florence, Via San Bonaventura, Florence 13-50134, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tiziano Gomiero
Received: 7 August 2015 / Revised: 18 September 2015 / Accepted: 8 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issues on Soil Management and Conservation)
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Terraced systems currently represent an indubitable added value for Tuscany, as well as for other Italian regions and for several Mediterranean countries. This value goes beyond their original function of hosting new areas for cultivation. The hydrological functions performed by these systems, including control of erosion, stabilisation of the slopes, prolongation of runoff times and the possible reduction of the volumes of surface runoff, are well-known. In addition, they also play a strategic role in the conservation of biodiversity and in maintaining local identity. At a national level, the terraced agricultural systems fall within the scope of actions scheduled in the National Strategic Plan for Rural Development 2007–2013, and the standards of Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs) envisages that they be maintained through the granting of economic aid as laid down in the Rural Development Plans 2007–2013 and 2014–2020. Eighteen sample areas, previously selected on the basis of the terracing intensity index (defined as the ratio between the lines representing the walls and the surface of 1 ha), were subjected for on-site surveys to determine the geo-typological features through the identification and measurement of the main technical-construction parameters of the dry stone walls. This analysis also enabled assessments of the overall state of conservation of the dry stone walls in order to suggest operations for safeguarding and protection. View Full-Text
Keywords: dry stone walls; economic/environmental/cultural values; typological features; state of conservation dry stone walls; economic/environmental/cultural values; typological features; state of conservation

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Agnoletti, M.; Conti, L.; Frezza, L.; Monti, M.; Santoro, A. Features Analysis of Dry Stone Walls of Tuscany (Italy). Sustainability 2015, 7, 13887-13903.

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