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Soil quality, local communities and the territorial context: Exploring a latent nexus?

Soil quality, local communities and the territorial context: Exploring a latent nexus? Soil degradation is increasingly threatening Mediterranean-type ecosystems and the interplay between natural and anthropogenic factors affects (and is in turn influenced by) soil quality. Rural areas with poor soils are characterised by a socioeconomic profile featuring poverty, unemployment and subsidence agriculture. These factors may trigger, in the long term, a downward spiral leading to soil resource depletion. The present study explores on a municipal scale the spatial relationship between an index of soil quality and potential degradation and 121 supplementary indicators (population structure and dynamics, human settlements, job market and education, income and consumption patterns, agriculture and rural development, environment and territory). Results indicate that the socioeconomic profile of high- and lowvulnerability municipalities diverged for specific indicators dealing with agriculture, income, education and labour market. An in-depth knowledge of the socioeconomic context may inform effective policies of soil conservation and sustainable land management on a local scale. Keywords: soil; population dynamics; socioeconomic structure; exploratory analysis; municipality; Italy. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Salvati, L. (2015) `: Exploring a latent nexus?', Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp.83­102. Biographical notes: Luca Salvati, PhD, is researcher at Italian National Council of Agricultural http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development Inderscience Publishers

Soil quality, local communities and the territorial context: Exploring a latent nexus?

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Publisher
Inderscience Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © Inderscience Publishers
ISSN
1740-8822
eISSN
1740-8830
DOI
10.1504/IJISD.2015.067352
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Soil degradation is increasingly threatening Mediterranean-type ecosystems and the interplay between natural and anthropogenic factors affects (and is in turn influenced by) soil quality. Rural areas with poor soils are characterised by a socioeconomic profile featuring poverty, unemployment and subsidence agriculture. These factors may trigger, in the long term, a downward spiral leading to soil resource depletion. The present study explores on a municipal scale the spatial relationship between an index of soil quality and potential degradation and 121 supplementary indicators (population structure and dynamics, human settlements, job market and education, income and consumption patterns, agriculture and rural development, environment and territory). Results indicate that the socioeconomic profile of high- and lowvulnerability municipalities diverged for specific indicators dealing with agriculture, income, education and labour market. An in-depth knowledge of the socioeconomic context may inform effective policies of soil conservation and sustainable land management on a local scale. Keywords: soil; population dynamics; socioeconomic structure; exploratory analysis; municipality; Italy. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Salvati, L. (2015) `: Exploring a latent nexus?', Int. J. Innovation and Sustainable Development, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp.83­102. Biographical notes: Luca Salvati, PhD, is researcher at Italian National Council of Agricultural

Journal

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable DevelopmentInderscience Publishers

Published: Jan 1, 2015

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