A multidisciplinary and multiscale interpretative model to plan and manage traditional chestnut landscape in Italy

M.G. Mellano, P. Gullino, F. Larcher, G.L. Beccaro
Chestnut groves represent a particular kind of agricultural landscape. In Italy, thousands of hectares of chestnut forest represent a dominant and irreplaceable part of the landscape and environment of the Alps and Apennines mountains. The spread of the species Castanea sativa contributed to characterize the Italian mountainous landscape. The current traits of chestnut groves and their location are the result of the process of regression of chestnut cultivation on a regional scale. Despite this, a modest area of traditional chestnut groves is still preserved in some valleys of Piedmont. The research proposed an innovative approach for planning and managing traditional chestnut landscape in order to characterize and evaluate these sites. In this paper, the first preliminary results will be shown. Firstly, for identifying traditional landscape features, a historical study was performed. Ancient documents found in historical private and public archives and libraries were examined. Then, for identifying shared strategies, policies and practices a participatory approach was applied. The results showed that multidisciplinary approach allowed us to compare historical results with participatory insights. Regarding the valorisation and maintenance of traditional landscape features, the most important aspects are: 1. local forestry policies directed towards supporting chestnut growers' income, 2. the need for new and specifically trained chestnut growers, and 3. socio-economical needs. This methodological approach could be included in the future landscape planning programs and used to plan and manage the traditional chestnut landscape.
Mellano, M.G., Gullino, P., Larcher, F. and Beccaro, G.L. (2018). A multidisciplinary and multiscale interpretative model to plan and manage traditional chestnut landscape in Italy. Acta Hortic. 1220, 121-124
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1220.18
Castanea sativa Mill., participatory study, historical landscape, landscape scenarios, landscape planning

Acta Horticulturae