“Syntropic agroforestry”, also known as “Successional Agroforestry” (SA), is a well-known approach in agroforestry. Developed in Latin America, it imitates the natural succession and stratification of the ecosystem. In this complex system, crops and trees are planted in “consortia” communities that cover the whole sequence of natural successional steps (from pioneer species to primary forest species), and which become increasingly harmonious over time. Despite the growing interest among practitioners and scientists, in Europe and Latin America, there is a lack of data and large-scale research on such complex agroforestry systems. In this respect, RVF (Regenerating Villa Fortuna) represents a great opportunity, as an experimental system focusing on SA in San Salvatore Monferrato (province of Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy). The RVF research aims to monitor the SA processes starting from day 0 of the regeneration of approx' 20 ha of abandoned, previously cultivated, land (Figure 1), and continuing the experiment long-term (min 10 yrs). The research aims to study how successful SA is as an eco-efficient farming system in the Mediterranean area. The main goals are to recover the local biodiversity and to provide more ecosystem services. RVF will investigate the environmental, social and economic aspects of this farming approach, and compare the results with other agroecosystems in the study area. The research will start by selecting the plant communities to be cultivated, imitating the natural succession in the Mediterranean area, and then will move on to monitoring the biodiversity, the physiological status of the plants, yield, and the socio-economic impacts, in order to arrive at an integrated environmental socio-economic report of the whole approach. The parameters and indicators that have been chosen are very diverse, due to the huge number of desired variables; these include: traditional soil Physico-chemical parameters, flora, the stress tolerances of the cultivated plants, nutrient efficiency, the frequency of the presence of pollinator insects, and yield in terms of quantity and quality. Moreover, a molecular approach will be implemented through the application of DNA metabarcoding on the soil environmental DNA, in order to study the progressive development of the soil communities and their interactions (Bacteria, Fungi and Metazoans). In addition, raw materials will be used efficiently in order to assess the energy consumed and the inputoutput balance of the system; for this step, life-cycle assessment analysis will be applied to the whole system.

Regenerating Villa Fortuna (RVF) - An experimental Mediterranean complex agroforestry system

Alali S;
2021

Abstract

“Syntropic agroforestry”, also known as “Successional Agroforestry” (SA), is a well-known approach in agroforestry. Developed in Latin America, it imitates the natural succession and stratification of the ecosystem. In this complex system, crops and trees are planted in “consortia” communities that cover the whole sequence of natural successional steps (from pioneer species to primary forest species), and which become increasingly harmonious over time. Despite the growing interest among practitioners and scientists, in Europe and Latin America, there is a lack of data and large-scale research on such complex agroforestry systems. In this respect, RVF (Regenerating Villa Fortuna) represents a great opportunity, as an experimental system focusing on SA in San Salvatore Monferrato (province of Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy). The RVF research aims to monitor the SA processes starting from day 0 of the regeneration of approx' 20 ha of abandoned, previously cultivated, land (Figure 1), and continuing the experiment long-term (min 10 yrs). The research aims to study how successful SA is as an eco-efficient farming system in the Mediterranean area. The main goals are to recover the local biodiversity and to provide more ecosystem services. RVF will investigate the environmental, social and economic aspects of this farming approach, and compare the results with other agroecosystems in the study area. The research will start by selecting the plant communities to be cultivated, imitating the natural succession in the Mediterranean area, and then will move on to monitoring the biodiversity, the physiological status of the plants, yield, and the socio-economic impacts, in order to arrive at an integrated environmental socio-economic report of the whole approach. The parameters and indicators that have been chosen are very diverse, due to the huge number of desired variables; these include: traditional soil Physico-chemical parameters, flora, the stress tolerances of the cultivated plants, nutrient efficiency, the frequency of the presence of pollinator insects, and yield in terms of quantity and quality. Moreover, a molecular approach will be implemented through the application of DNA metabarcoding on the soil environmental DNA, in order to study the progressive development of the soil communities and their interactions (Bacteria, Fungi and Metazoans). In addition, raw materials will be used efficiently in order to assess the energy consumed and the inputoutput balance of the system; for this step, life-cycle assessment analysis will be applied to the whole system.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11379/555523
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