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Climate Aridity and Land Use Changes: A Regional-Scale Analysis
L. Salvati, 1 L. Perini 2 , A. Sabbi, 2 Sofia Bajocco 2

1  Italian Council for Research in Agriculture, Centre for Plant‐Soil Relationships (CRA‐RPS), Via della Navicella 2‐4, I‐00184, Rome, Italy
2  Italian Council for Research in Agriculture, Unit of Climatology and Meteorology Applied to Agriculture (CRA‐CMA), Via del Caravita 7a, I‐00186, Rome, Italy

Published: 19 September 2011 by Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing) in Geographical Research
Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing), Volume 50; 10.1111/j.1745-5871.2011.00723.x
Abstract: In recent years, aridity and drought have become crucial issues at the global scale because of their environmental and socio‐economic implications. On the one hand, aridity causes a reduction in the biological and economic productivity of terrestrial ecosystems, and represents a serious threat to ecological, biogeochemical, and hydrological processes. On the other hand, human use (and abuse) of vulnerable dry land ecosystems may lead to unsustainable land management. Based on these considerations, this paper analyses the recent land cover changes observed in Latium (Italy) during the exceptionally dry period 2000–2007. More than 50% of the area investigated was classified as dry in 2004–2007 compared with 0% in 2000–2003. Moreover, climatic aridity impacted differently on semi‐natural, agricultural, and built‐up land. These findings illustrate a possible scenario for suburban Mediterranean regions: increasing aridity (mainly due to rising temperatures) mainly impacting on peri‐urban land.
Keywords: climate change, land cover, Aridity, Urbanrural Fringe, Latium, Italy

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