Among the main invasive species, the wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the most responsible for soil degradation in Europe and many Italian regions. At the same time, the stable presence of this species in agricultural areas has induced a conflict with humans, causing economic losses, environmental degradation and also social issues. A clear quantification of the potential damages (in terms of soil bioturbation) of this species at large scale is, however, still obscure. The purpose of this research is to analyse the role of wild boars as a geomorphologic agent, presenting a general diagnostic framework regarding the geomorphic impact of this species, classifying and mapping potential sediment hotspots and their likely connection to rivers and road networks. Accordingly, a record of wild boar damage types is first presented, and their possible interaction with hydrological and geomorphological processes is described. Then, a pilot case study is discussed on mapping and quantifying wild boar damages in a hilly agricultural landscape located in northeast Italy. The wild boar damages were geolocalized using a geographical positioning system (GPS) in two years of intensive field campaigns among agricultural fields involved in wild boar damaging activities. For each damaged area (total 406), several measures of soil erosion depth were taken and the degradation surface of interest mapped for a total of 10 150 measures. The volume of removed soil was then estimated, considering the average depth of damages previously recorded. Finally, the Index of Connectivity was applied to provide a classification of the considered damages based on their connection to both river and road networks. The results indicate that the ongoing uncontrolled wild boar expansion may not affect crops only or be a risk for people, but can also increase soil erosion, with a potential connection to hydrographic networks and human infrastructures.

The geomorphologic forcing of wild boars

Mauri L.;Tarolli P.
2019

Abstract

Among the main invasive species, the wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the most responsible for soil degradation in Europe and many Italian regions. At the same time, the stable presence of this species in agricultural areas has induced a conflict with humans, causing economic losses, environmental degradation and also social issues. A clear quantification of the potential damages (in terms of soil bioturbation) of this species at large scale is, however, still obscure. The purpose of this research is to analyse the role of wild boars as a geomorphologic agent, presenting a general diagnostic framework regarding the geomorphic impact of this species, classifying and mapping potential sediment hotspots and their likely connection to rivers and road networks. Accordingly, a record of wild boar damage types is first presented, and their possible interaction with hydrological and geomorphological processes is described. Then, a pilot case study is discussed on mapping and quantifying wild boar damages in a hilly agricultural landscape located in northeast Italy. The wild boar damages were geolocalized using a geographical positioning system (GPS) in two years of intensive field campaigns among agricultural fields involved in wild boar damaging activities. For each damaged area (total 406), several measures of soil erosion depth were taken and the degradation surface of interest mapped for a total of 10 150 measures. The volume of removed soil was then estimated, considering the average depth of damages previously recorded. Finally, the Index of Connectivity was applied to provide a classification of the considered damages based on their connection to both river and road networks. The results indicate that the ongoing uncontrolled wild boar expansion may not affect crops only or be a risk for people, but can also increase soil erosion, with a potential connection to hydrographic networks and human infrastructures.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3310545
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