image/svg+xml157 IX/2/2018 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu The disappearance of cultural landscapes: the case of wooded-meadows in the Ligurian Apennines (NW Italy) Chiara Molinari a* , Carlo Montanari b a Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, 22362 Lund, Sweden b Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Genoa, Corso Europa 26, 16132 Genoa, Italy 1. Introduction The management system commonly known as “wooded-meadows” consists of a multifunctional use of vegetation resources that has been widespread in Europe (particularly in the region around the Baltic Sea, and in the mountains of central and southern Europe) since the Neolithic (Sigaut, 1982; Rasmussen, 1990; Maggi, Nisbet, 2000). Wooded- meadows are generally defned as meadows with trees, or a combination of trees, grassland and tall-herb vegetation. Trees typically cover 10–50% of the ground, while 80–90% can be mowed (Kull et al ., 2003). Wooded-meadows were originally managed with a series of cyclical tasks (Figure 1) including: (a) the collection of fallen and dead branches in spring, later used for fuel; (b) mowing and grazing during summer; (c) the collection of secondary products ( e.g. berries, mushrooms, medicinal herbs, etc. ) in autumn; (d) making sheaves from branches and twigs (after hay-making), later dried and used for cattle and sheep fodder in winter; (e) coppicing, pollarding and cutting of trees in winter (Moreno, Raggio, 1990; Read, 2000; Grove, Rackham, 2001). The outcome of such an extensive form of land-use was a highly productive system providing wood, grass, leaf-hay and fruits, with a consequent maintenance of fertility and increase of species diversity (Kukk, Kull, 1997; Peterken, 2017).Within this context, our main aim was to better understand the main consequences of this land-use practice on vegetation structure and composition in the past. By means of an interdisciplinary approach, we studied three diferent sites located in eastern Ligurian Apennines (Figure 2), an area where the management of wooded-meadows was widespread between the Middle Ages and the frst half of the 19 th century, but which has since disappeared (Moreno, 1990; Lowe et al ., 1994; Davite, Moreno, 1996; Moreno, Poggi, 1996; Cevasco, 2007). Volume IX ● Issue 2/2018 ● Pages 157 –167 *Corresponding author. E-mail: chiara.molinari@nateko.lu.se ARTICLE INFO Article history: Received: 30 th May 2018Accepted: 29 th November 2018 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.24916/iansa.2018.2.3 Key words: pollen and charcoal analyseshistorical topographic maps and documentshistorical aerial and ground level photosnatural resources management Fagus sylvatica L. ABSTRACT The “wooded-meadows system” is a multifunctional use of vegetation resources widespread in Europe since the Neolithic, and well documented in the Ligurian Apennines (NW Italy) between the Middle Ages and the frst half of the 19 th century. The management of wooded-meadows included: collection of fallen and dead branches in spring, later used for fuel; mowing and grazing in summer; collection of secondary products; making sheaves from branches in autumn, later used as cattle and sheep fodder; coppicing, pollarding and cutting of trees in winter.Three sites located in eastern Ligurian Apennines were studied by means of an interdisciplinary approach in order to better understand the impact and the consequences of this historical land- use practice on vegetation structure and composition. In particular, based on specifc features of palynological diagrams, it was possible to conclude that (compared to the post-cultural phase) when the wooded-meadows system was in use, all the sites were characterized by: (1) lower pollen percentages of trees; (2) higher pollen percentages of shrubs and herbs; (3) higher percentages of anthropogenic pollen indicators; (4) higher values of palynological richness.This research also represents a contribution to issues of nature-conservation policy for the preservation of cultural landscapes.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2018 ● IX/2 ● 157–167 Chiara Molinari, Carlo Montanari: The disappearance of cultural landscapes: the case of wooded-meadows in the Ligurian Apennines (NW Italy) 158 2. Methodology2.1 Site selection and description 2.1.1 Pian della Cavalla UTM 32T, WGS84: 518570 E; 4936939 N, 1267 m asl, Figures 2 and 3a. This site is located in the Trebbia Valley, eastern Ligurian Apennines. Today the site is a hay meadow, with scattered beech groves, characterised by the presence of a small pond, completely dry in summer. The grassland is rich in Poaceae ( i.e. Brachypodium rupestre Hudson, Festuca pratensis L., Phleum pratense L., Avenella fexuosa (L.) Drejer) and many other herb species such as Genista tinctoria L., Asphodelus albus Mill., Hypericum perforatum L., Leucanthemum vulgare Lam., Arnica montana L., Valeriana ofcinalis L., Orchis mascula L. and Narcissus poeticus L. The small pond hosts species typical of temporary wet soils such as Carex vesicaria L., Carex vulpina L., Heleocharis palustris (L.) Roem. & Schult, Galium palustre L., Ranunculus repens L. and Potentilla erecta (L.) Raeuschel. 2.1.2 Lago della Nava UTM 32T, WGS84: 523975 E; 4929041 N, 1165 m asl, Figures. 2 and 3b. This site is located on the watershed between the Trebbia and Aveto Valleys, eastern Ligurian Apennines. Currently the sampling site is a temporary pond, dry in summer, dominated by Polygonum arenastrum Boreau and Spergularia rubra (L.) C. Presl. The surrounding vegetation is characterized by Fagus sylvatica L. woodlands, with presence of Acer pseudoplatanus L . , Sorbus aria (L.) Crantz, S. aucuparia L., Fraxinus ornus L., Laburnum alpinum (Miller) Berchtold et Presl, Quercus cerri s L., Pyrus piraster Burgsd., Prunus avium L., Salix caprea L. In open areas, shrubs such as Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull, Genista pilosa L., Juniperus communis L. , Prunus spinosa L., Crataegus monogyna Jacq., Rosa canina L., Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Cytisus scoparius (L.) are also common. Of particular interest, between the post-medieval period and the frst half of the 20 th century, the area was part of an extensive network of transhumance routes. Furthermore, today the site is located inside the SIC-