, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 297–310 | Cite as

Combining Environmental Factors and Agriculturalists’ Observations of Environmental Changes in the Traditional Terrace System of the Amalfi Coast (Southern Italy)

  • Valentina SavoEmail author
  • Giulia Caneva
  • Will McClatchey
  • David Reedy
  • Luca Salvati


Terraces are traditional engineered ecosystems that affect the hydro-geological equilibrium, slope stability, and local communities. The aims of this paper are (i) identifying environmental factors that affect terrace stability in the Amalfi Coast, (ii) defining agriculturalists’ observations on environmental changes within that system and (iii) exploring potentiality of these observations to better define conservation strategies. All available data on physical and ecological factors recognized to affect the terrace system were collected and analyzed. Interviews were conducted with agriculturalists to obtain long-term observations on environmental factors that interact with this system. Landslides are more frequent where rainfall is high and during winter. Fires have an uneven annual distribution, with higher frequency during summers. Agriculturalists detailed complex interactions among environmental factors, economic elements, and terraces. These observations represent a valuable resource for defining causes and effects of abandonment and for better addressing conservation strategies.


Cultural landscape Engineered ecosystems Local Ecological Knowledge 



We would like to thank the “Comunità Montana Monti Lattari” for supporting this research within the project “La valorizzazione delle specie vegetali tipiche della Costiera amalfitana con potenzialità economiche”.

Supplementary material

13280_2013_433_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (16 kb)
List of questions for the interviews with local agriculturists (PDF 17 kb)
13280_2013_433_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (121 kb)
Position of the interviews and summary of the information on informants (PDF 121 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Savo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Giulia Caneva
    • 2
  • Will McClatchey
    • 3
    • 4
  • David Reedy
    • 3
    • 4
  • Luca Salvati
    • 5
  1. 1.Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems and ManagementSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Department of ScienceUniversity of Roma TreRomeItaly
  3. 3.Botanical Research Institute of TexasFort WorthUSA
  4. 4.Department of BotanyUniversity of Hawai`i at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  5. 5.Unit of Climatology and Meteorology Applied to AgricultureItalian National Agricultural Research CouncilRomeItaly

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