Chestnut Management Practice as Tool for Natural and Cultural Landscaping

  • Giacomo Tagliaferri
  • Sara Di LonardoEmail author
Part of the Environmental History book series (ENVHIS, volume 5)


Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) is one of the most economically multipurpose species of the Mediterranean region, important not only for the production of fruit and timber, but also for its contribution to landscape and environment and its socio-economic and cultural value as eco-cultural niche. For these reasons, chestnut management is today discussed since certain practices could affect soil properties and also be associated with losses of biological and cultural diversity, included provision of socio-cultural and environmental services. The objective of this work is to evaluate management options in chestnut coppices and of how much they could represent a choice from both plant ecophysiology and cultural point of views. Soil and plant ecophysiology measurements were performed in Tuscan Apennine areas before and after two cutting methods. Data showed that pollarded tree physiology was similar to pruning tree one’s when it was wet but it was statistically different in the summer seasons affecting also soil water retention characteristics. These results demonstrated the importance of these measures in describing and indicating tree functional status. Moreover, the silvicultural practices modified not only the ecosystem attributes and the canopy cover characteristics but they also transformed the forest perception, an important factor to consider if expecting to engage local people in making a contribution for active landscaping.


Castanea sativa Mill. Plant ecophysiology Soil measurements Eco-cultural niche Silvicultural practices People perception of forest Biocultural diversity 


  1. Arnaud MT, Chassany JP, Dejean R, Ribart J, Queno L (1997) Economic and ecological consequences of the disappearance of traditional practices related to chestnut groves. J Environ Manage 49:373–391. doi: 10.1006/jema.1995.0120 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bender O (2010) Sweet chestnut cultures in the Southern Alps: conservation and regional development. Eco Mont-J Protect Mt Areas Res Manage 2(1):5–14. doi: 10.1553/eco.mont-2-1s5 Google Scholar
  3. Bréda N, Granier A, Aussenac G (1995) Effects of thinning on soil and tree water relations, transpiration and growth in an oak forest (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.). Tree Physiol 15:295–306CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Conedera M, Stanga P, Oester B, Bachmann P (2001) Different post-culture dynamics in abandoned chestnut orchards and coppices. For Snow Landsc Res 76(3):487–492Google Scholar
  5. Conedera M, Krebs P, Tinner W, Pradella M, Torriani D (2004) The cultivation of Castanea sativa (Mill.) in Europe, from its origin to its diffusion on a continental scale. Veg Hist Archaeobot 13:161–179. doi: 10.1007/s00334-004-0038-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cubera E, Moreno G (2007) Effect of single Quercus ilex trees upon spatial and seasonal changes in soil water content in dehesas of central Western Spain. Ann Sci 64:355–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eriksson G, Pliura A, Fernandez-Lopez J, Zas R, Silva RB, Villani F, Bucci G, Casasoli M, Cherubini M, Lauteri M, Mattioni C, Monteverdi C, Sansotta A, Garrod G, Mavrogiannis M, Scarpa R, Spalato F, Aravanoupoulos P, Alizoti E, Drouzas A (2005) Management of genetic resources of the multi-purpose tree species Castanea sativa mill. Acta Hortic 693:373–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. IPCC (2007) Summary for policymakers. In: Climate Change, IPCCGoogle Scholar
  9. Macfarlane C, Lardner T, Patterson K, Grigg AH (2010) A new model for predicting understorey leaf area from biomass in eucalypt forest to test the ecohydrological equilibrium theory. Methods Ecol Evol 1:371–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Martins A, Raimundo F, Borges O, Linhares I, Sousa V, Coutinho JP, Gomes-Laranjo J, Madeira M (2010) Effects of soil management practices and irrigation on plant water relations and productivity of chestnut stands under Mediterranean conditions. Plant Soil 327(1–2):57–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Moreno G, Obrador JJ, García E, Cubera E, Montero MJ, Pulido F, Dupraz C (2007) Driving competitive and facilitative interactions in oak dehesas through management practices. Agrofor Syst 70:25–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Okuda T (2005) Systematics and health effects of chemically distinct tannins in medicinal plants. Phytochemistry 66:2012–2031. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2005.04.023 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Padgett-Johnson M, Williams LE, Walker MA (2000) The influence of Vitis riparia rootstock on water relations gas exchange of Vitis vinifera cv. Carignane scion under non-irrigated conditions. Am J Enol Viticult 51:137–143Google Scholar
  14. Pallardy SG, Pereira JS, Parker WC (1991) Measuring the status of water in forest trees. In: Hinckley TM, Lassoie JP (eds) Techniques and approaches in forest tree ecophysiology. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 27–76Google Scholar
  15. Pinkard EA, Beadle CL, Davidson NJ, Battaglia M (1998) Photosynthetic responses of Eucalyptus nitens (Deane and Maiden) Maiden to green pruning. Trees Struct Funct 12:119–129Google Scholar
  16. Quentin AAPOG, Beadle CL, Pinkard EL, Worldege D (2011) Responses of transpiration and canopy conductance to partial defoliation of Eucalyptus globulus trees. Agric For Meteorol 151:356–364Google Scholar
  17. Romane F, Houssard C (1995) The sustainability of chestnut ecosystem. In: Romane F (ed) Sustainability of Mediterranean ecosystems. Case study of the chestnut forest, Report EUR 15727 EN, European Commission, DG XII, Brussels, Ecosystems Research, Report 19, pp 173–176. Accessed 1 Nov 2014
  18. Slatyer RO (1967) Plant-water relationships. Academic Press, London, p 366Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biometeorology-National Research Council (IBIMET-CNR)FlorenceItaly

Personalised recommendations