iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Monitoring spatial and temporal pattern of Paneveggio forest (northern Italy) from 1859 to 2006

C Tattoni (1)   , M Ciolli (1), F Ferretti (2), MG Cantiani (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 3, Issue 3, Pages 72-80 (2010)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0530-003
Published: May 17, 2010 - Copyright © 2010 SISEF

Research Articles

This paper presents the results of a forest cover analysis over a time span of 150 years in a protected area of Eastern Trentino (Northern Italy), Paneveggio Pale di S. Martino Nature Park. With the aid of Grass GIS two historical maps (1859 and 1936) and a set of aerial photographs taken from 1945 to 2006 have been analysed, orthorectified and classified with a supervised method, in order to derive a series of forest cover maps. Techniques applied and problems encountered in using heterogeneous material are discussed. The research shows that from 1859 to the present the increase of forest cover is about 25%, due to the reduced impact of forestry and farming. Timberline dynamics have also been considered; an average growth of about 1 m/year has been estimated for the last 150 years and the data have been compared with the timberline cartography and to field surveys. Timberline estimation for recent years appears to be affected mainly by lower human pressure while the relationship with climate changes is difficult to evaluate. Landscape metrics were used to quantify the changes in forest fragmentation and to identify three core areas that have remained unchanged over time. This case study fills a gap of knowledge about the history of forest cover in the area, shows how multi temporal analysis can support protected area management. This study has been requested by the Park managers, a sign t that landscape planners are becoming aware of past landscape importance.


Forest cover change, Timberline, Alps, Historical landscape, Landscape change, Aerial photography, Historical forestry maps, Spatial pattern, Park management, GIS

Authors’ address

C Tattoni
M Ciolli
MG Cantiani
Laboratorio di Ecologia, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale, Università degli Studi di Trento, v. Mesiano 77, I-38123 Trento (Italy)
F Ferretti
Unità di ricerca per la Gestione dei Sistemi Forestali dell’Appennino, CRA, v. Bellini 8, I-86170 Isernia (Italy)

Corresponding author



Tattoni C, Ciolli M, Ferretti F, Cantiani MG (2010). Monitoring spatial and temporal pattern of Paneveggio forest (northern Italy) from 1859 to 2006. iForest 3: 72-80. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0530-003

Paper history

Received: Nov 24, 2009
Accepted: Feb 05, 2010

First online: May 17, 2010
Publication Date: May 17, 2010
Publication Time: 3.37 months

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