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Cumulative Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Anthropogenic Impacts in the Protected Area of the Gran Paradiso National Park in the NW Alps, Italy

TitleCumulative Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Anthropogenic Impacts in the Protected Area of the Gran Paradiso National Park in the NW Alps, Italy
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsRichiardi, Chiara, Minciardi Maria Rita, Siniscalco Consolata, and Adamo Maria
Type of ArticleArticle

Anthropogenic threats are responsible for habitat degradation and biodiversity decline. The mapping of the distribution and intensity of threats to biodiversity can be useful for informing efficient planning in protected areas. In this study, we propose a cumulative spatial and temporal analysis of anthropogenic impacts insisting on an alpine protected area, the Gran Paradiso National Park. The applied methodology starts with the construction of a spatial and temporal dataset of anthropogenic impacts and normalization based on relative intensity. The impacts analyzed include overgrazing, helicopter flights, road networks, built-up areas, worksites, derivations and discharges, sports activities, and dams and hydroelectric power plants. Each impact was assigned a weight based on its temporal persistence. Threats maps obtained from the collected, normalized, and weighted geodata are thus obtained. Finally, the risk map is calculated by combining the impact map with the vulnerability map, estimated through the methodology outlined in the Green Guidelines of the Metropolitan City of Turin. The risk map obtained was cross-referenced with the Park’s cartography to highlight any critical issues to specific habitats. Results show that most of the territory falls in low-risk (63%) or no-risk (35%) areas. However, there are some habitats that are totally or nearly totally affected by some degree of risk, although different to zero, such as the “Lentic waters with aquatic vegetation [incl. cod. 3130]”, the “Lentic waters partially buried”, the “Mountain pine forests (Pinus uncinata) [cod. 9430]”, and the “Mixed hygrophilous woods of broad-leaved trees [incl. cod. 91E0]”. This study highlights both the potential of these analyses, which enable informed management and planning of the fruition of protected areas, and the limitations of such approaches, which require in-depth knowledge of the territory and ecosystems and how they respond to threats in order to refine the model and obtain realistic maps. © 2023 by the authors.


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Citation KeyRichiardi2023