Barbera and Biasi - The traditional fruit tree and vine’s landscapes: the actual meaning of land-use typologies belonging to the past

Giuseppe Barbera1 e Rita Biasi2*
1 Dipartimento DEMETRA, Università di Palermo
2 Dipartimento di Produzione Vegetale, Università della Tuscia

nsegna_

Key words: biodiversity, multifunctionality, cultural landscape, traditional agricultural practices, sustainability.

nsegna_

Abstract

nsegna_

Italy represents one of the most suitable environment for fruit trees and vines and since the origin of their domestication and introduction in extremely varying environments, depending on the species adaptability and local culture, a complex mosaic of landscapes has been originated by Nature, farmers or gardeners. In the study of the landscape it must be considered that the relationship among fruit trees or vines and landscapes represents a precious aspect of the Italian culture and has been studied by History, represented in Art and Literature, analyzed by science like Architecture and Agronomy, but at first has been created by Agriculture. Owing to the evolution of the relationship land and farmers, the development of agricultural practices, the change of marked requirements and objectives, different agricultural landscapes have been created, each having an unique meaning and functions. Nonetheless, the physiognomy of tree cropping systems has changed rapidly starting from half of the past century because of the introduction of new genetic resources, the change in the meaning of the product’s quality, the industrialization of the agronomic technique. These recent developments have turned out in loss of landscape diversity, biodiversity erosion, environment resources depletion. The actual physiognomy of the Italian countryside, from the plan to the most represented mountain areas, is characterized by modern and traditional agricultural landscapes, not even distinguished, frequently overlaid. They represent the “forms” of the today’s arboriculture visible in the historic and contemporary gardens, in the remnants of the coltura promiscua, in the polycultural growing systems, as well as in the specialized orchards. The contemporary landscape of fruit trees and vines witnesses its history, characters and functions particularly in terms of biological and environmental diversity maintenance. This review is focused on the traditional fruit tree and vine’s landscapes still well rooted in the Italian agricultural landscape, but differently conserved, managed and perceived. The aim of the historical excursus is to go through their development phases and to underline the changing functions. A survey of the multifunctionality recognisable in the traditional agricultural landscape, in particular their role in the preservation of environmental resources, agro-ecosystems functionality, landscape diversity and cultural memory justifies the interest in the preservation and valorisation of these productive landscapes and of the traditional agricultural techniques, thank to which they are maintained. The preserving strategies adopted in the European countries as well as the modern study approaches based on multidisciplinary methodologies are also analysed.

nsegna_

 Download (members only)

Download full article

Barbera e Biasi.pdf