Sweet chestnut has been for many centuries fundamental for the Italian mountainous economies, where this kind of forest was traditionally managed in short rotation to rapidly produce wood biomass. Due to the social and economic changes, which made such management scheme unprofitable especially on the steep and remote slopes, such practice has been mainly abandoned and most of chestnut forests became over-aged and very dense, causing an increase of localized slope instability. In this work the effect of over-aged chestnut coppice forests on shallow landslides was analysed by evaluating and comparing mechanical contribution to soil shear strength provided by root systems in differently managed chestnut stands. The study area is located in Valcuvia (Lombardy Prealps) where three different stands, one managed and the others abandoned (over 40 year aged), established on cohesionless slopes (quaternary moraine deposits) were chosen having care to select homogeneous conditions in terms of substrate, aspect and elevation. As slope steepness strongly affects forestry practices and steeper stands are more frequently abandoned, the considered stands have different terrain inclination, 30-35° in abandoned stands and 13° in the managed one. Slope stability of the three sites was evaluated by applying the infinite slope approach accounting for additional root cohesion and tree surcharge. Additional root cohesion was estimated through the Fiber Boundle Model approach by collecting roots in the field and measuring their resistance in laboratory, and by measuring root diameter and density distribution with depth by the wall technique method. The results, as expected, showed that over-aging does not affect root mechanical properties, whereas it significantly affects root distribution within the soil. In terms of slope stability, when steepness exceeds 35°, instability phenomena can be triggered by high level of soil saturation in the case of over-aged forests, whereas for less extreme cases chestnut forests, although over-aged, are able and fundamental to guarantee safe conditions.
|Titolo:||The contribution of chestnut coppice forests on slope stability in abandoned territory : a case study|
|Data di pubblicazione:||9-set-2013|
|Parole Chiave:||root cohesion ; slope stability ; sweet chestnut|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/08 - Idraulica Agraria e Sistemazioni Idraulico-Forestali|
|Enti collegati al convegno:||Italian Society of Agricultural Engineering|
|Citazione:||The contribution of chestnut coppice forests on slope stability in abandoned territory : a case study / C. Vergani, C. Bassanelli, L. Rossi, E. A. Chiaradia, G. B. Bischetti. ((Intervento presentato al 10. convegno AIIA13 : Horizons in agricultural, forestry and biosystems engineering tenutosi a Viterbo nel 2013.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|