A Historical GIS Approach to Document Wetlands Lost in Northeastern Italy

Authors: Silvia Elena Piovan*, University of Padova, Marco Filippini, University of Padova, Michael Edward Hodgson, University of South Carolina
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Cartography
Keywords: wetlands, historical maps, GIS, alluvial plain, ecosystem
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: 8224, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Wetlands provide important ecosystem services and play a fundamental role in the biodiversity and economy of a region. Wetlands are protected by the Ramsar Convention and regulated and valorized, in different ways, by local and/or regional protection agency and laws. The objectives of this work were: 1) to perform a survey of both historic and present-day wetlands in the province of Padova (northeastern Italy) using historical cartography (1882 map of the province of Padova by O. Morelli) and recent aerial orthophotos (2015), 2) to provide a first estimation of the extraordinary loss of wetlands in this province due mostly to land reclamation processes of the last century, and 3) to discuss the prospects for further historical wetlands analysis based on additional historic maps (1776, 1801, 1862, 1882, 1980) for a key area called Bassa Padovana (Padova’s lowland). All quantitative analysis were performed through the use of GIS. An overall goal was to improve our knowledge on present day and historical wetlands in the alluvial plain in the Veneto Region, whose official data are incomplete. Additionally, this research contributes to the discussion of isolated wetlands and their unique role in the ecosystems.

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