Sustainability of agricultural and natural systems

Analysis and conservation of biodiversity on different investigative scales


The research activity consists of analysing the different components which characterise and determine the biodiversity of a territorial system, by analysing vegetation and flora, describing biodiversity, and landscape analysis (also using GIS and aerial photos). The data are used to calculate indexes and indicators for monitoring and planning protection and management of biodiversity at the local and area level.

This kind of activity concentrates on the biodiversity components which support the productive stability of farms, and is the conceptual base of an activity carried out with the Department of Integrated Pest Management set up in 2007, as part of Integrated Weed Management, with analysis of the agro-ecosystem components responsible for functional biodiversity (of plants and arthropods) in citrus groves in Morocco and Basilicata (Bernalda). 

Starting: 2.01.2004
Scheduled ending: 23.09.2019
Real ending: 23.09.2019


  • To analyse and quantify the biodiversity of territorial systems at different levels (from the farm level to the vast area level) with its different natural components (natural areas, wild species) and cultivated components (cultivated varieties and species);
  • To monitor biodiversity in order to plan recovery and conservation at the territorial and local level.
  • To investigate the components of biodiversity which support the productive stability of farms, to provide concrete indications for improving production.


Biodiversity of a system is both an indicator of environmental sustainability and a resource to protect. For this reason it is inevitable the study of the sustainability of agricultural systems should consider and measure biodiversity, especially because of the importance biodiversity has for the local economies of the countries with which we cooperate. 



·        To contribute to spreading Organic Agriculture in the territory and at the level of the Protected Areas and SIC;

·        Tools for  biodiversity management in the  management plans of the protected areas;

·        Tool for management of territorial planning;

·        Tool for environmental description;

·        Enhancement of local varieties and those at risk of genetic erosion

·        Support for enhancement of local  crops.



  • Strengths

This research has made it possible to develop a series of collaborations still in progress with some authorities managing protected areas, such as:

Torre Guaceto StateNature Reserve (Brindisi Province)

Porto Selvaggio and Palude del Capitano Regional Natural Park (Lecce Province).

The proposed analysis connects the local and farm level with the territorial level and makes it possible to calculate monitoring indicators to help decision-making processes for the implementation of specific “packages” of measures in the management plans of protected areas. This kind of analysis would also provide effective support for wide area territorial planning for the definition of the Territorial Ecological Networks.

  • Weaknesses

To draw the attention of the Regional government institutions and to provide institutional support in Wide Area planning.

Reference person/s: Calabrese Generosa Jenny / Ladisa Gaetano /
Institutions involved:
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