Environmental units of the Stelvio National Park as basis for its planning
The Stelvio National Paik (Italian Central Alps) presents a very complex landscape, due to anthropic impact and wide altitude range. Using the holistic landscape ecology approach together with synthesis cartography, the Park was divided into elementary environmental units: that is, areas of relative ecological homogeneity having a characteristic arrangement of ecosystems. Mapping of the environmental units is based on analytic data regarding lithology. morphology, pedology, climatology, vegetation, fauna, soil use and type of human establishment. The redundancy of the environmental units facilitated their reduction to only 37 types. The naturalistic-aesthetic and historical-cultural evaluation of the environmental units employed criteria (naturalness, rarity. renewability. beauty and diversity) to which were assigned ordinal scales of value. Use of binary values allowed quantification of the criteria related to the types of environmental unit and thus their division by multivariate analysis into 4 relatively homogenous groups. Cartographic rendition of these 4 groups of types led to the production of a map of preliminary Park zoning, in which it is possible to distinguish 4 functional zones, as requested by the Italian law for national parks.
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