Moving toward the north? The spatial shift of olive groves in Italy

Gambella F., Bianchini L., Cecchini M., Egidi G., Ferrara A., Salvati L., Colantoni A., Morea D. (2021): Moving toward the north? The spatial shift of olive groves in Italy. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 67: 129–135.

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Southern Europe is becoming a hotspot for climate change. Appropriate mechanisation is necessary for reducing soil compacting in such contexts. The olive tree distribution – a typical Mediterranean crop – showed a well-defined latitude gradient with progressive decline moving towards the north. Climate change, however, has supposed to cause a significant shift towards the north in the geographical range of olive trees. Our study analyses the spatial distribution of the olive tree area in Italy, a region within the species' ecological range apart from the Northern region, which is now becoming progressively specialised in this crop because of local warming. Results indicate that olive cultivated area increased in Northern Italy, especially in flat districts and upland areas, while decreasing (more or less rapidly) in central and southern Italy because of land abandonment.

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