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Reconnecting Local Development and Land Quality: Demographic Dynamics and Landscape Transformations in Agricultural Districts at Risk of Desertification in Southern Italy

G. Egidi, G. Quaranta, L. Salvati


Land degradation is related to biophysical conditions and human factors influencing the potential for local development. The present study investigates long-term trends in selected socioeconomic variables that contribute to reduce land quality in an agricultural district exposed to desertification risk in Campania region, Southern Italy. The study area is representative of landscape transformations leading to fragmentation of the complex land-use mosaic. Taken as a powerful driver of land degradation reflecting both long-term and short-term landscape transformations, population dynamics in the study area were reconnected with local development paths and environmental quality trends. A fine tuning of developmental policies with measures addressing land conservation is necessary to assure long-term sustainability of intensively farmed districts.


agriculture; natural conservation; population trends; economically disadvantaged districts; Mediterranean Europe.

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