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Article

The Long-Term Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on the Hydro-Morphology of the Reno River Catchment (Northern Italy)

1
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum—University of Bologna, Viale Giuseppe Fanin 50, 40127 Bologna, Italy
2
Reno Catchment Technical Service, Emilia-Romagna Region, 40100 Bologna, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(9), 1831; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091831
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 26 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 3 September 2019
Anthropogenic activities, and in particular land use/land cover (LULC) changes, have a considerable effect on rivers’ flow rates and their morphologies. A representative example of those changes and resulting impacts on the fluvial environment is the Reno Mountain Basin (RMB), located in Northern Italy. Characterized by forest exploitation and agricultural production until World War II, today the RMB consists predominantly of meadows, forests and uncultivated land, as a result of agricultural land abandonment. This study focuses on the changes of the Reno river’s morphology since the 1950s, with an objective of analyzing the factors that caused and influenced those changes. The factors considered were LULC changes, the Reno river flow rate and suspended sediment yield, and local climate data (precipitation and temperature). It was concluded that LUCL changes caused some important modifications in the riparian corridor, riverbed size, and river flow rate. A 40–80% reduction in the river bed area was observed, vegetation developed in the riparian buffer strips, and the river channel changed from braided to a single channel. The main causes identified are reductions in the river flow rate and suspended sediment yield (−36% and −38%, respectively), while climate change did not have a significant effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: farmland abandonment; LULC changes; climate change; runoff/suspended sediment changes; river morphology dynamics; Italian Apennines farmland abandonment; LULC changes; climate change; runoff/suspended sediment changes; river morphology dynamics; Italian Apennines
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pavanelli, D.; Cavazza, C.; Lavrnić, S.; Toscano, A. The Long-Term Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on the Hydro-Morphology of the Reno River Catchment (Northern Italy). Water 2019, 11, 1831. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091831

AMA Style

Pavanelli D, Cavazza C, Lavrnić S, Toscano A. The Long-Term Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on the Hydro-Morphology of the Reno River Catchment (Northern Italy). Water. 2019; 11(9):1831. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091831

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pavanelli, Donatella; Cavazza, Claudio; Lavrnić, Stevo; Toscano, Attilio. 2019. "The Long-Term Effects of Land Use and Climate Changes on the Hydro-Morphology of the Reno River Catchment (Northern Italy)" Water 11, no. 9: 1831. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091831

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