The enhancement of cultural landscapes in mountain environments: An artificial channel history (Torrent-Neuf, Canton Valais, Switzerland) and the role of trees as natural archives of water flow changes

Irene Bollati, Emmanuel Reynard, Davide Cagnin, Manuela Pelfini

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/AGS.4137

Abstract

Cultural landscapes represent one of the best examples of the interaction between human and natural environment and cultural trails are an effective way for their valorization. The Torrent-Neuf (Canton Valais, Switzerland) is a cultural trail realized in 2009 along one of the artificial channels used in the region since Medieval times to move water resources from tributary valleys to irrigated lands. Slope instability processes and high maintenance costs provoked the abandonment of the artificial channel in 1934. In 2005 water flow was restored in it. Dendrochronological analyses, carried out on trees growing along the artificial channel banks, allowed collecting information about natural and man-induced hydrological changes, contributing to increase the global value of the whole area.

Keywords

cultural landscape; tree rings; geomorphological processes; Bisses (artificial channels); cultural trails; Swiss Alps

Full Text:

PDF

References

Aakala, T., Kuuluvainen, T. 2011: Summer droughts depress radial growth of Picea abies in pristine taiga of the Arkhangelsk province, northwestern Russia. Dendrochronologia 29-2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2010.07.001

Abrams, M. D., Ruffner, C. M., Morgan, T. A. 1998: Tree-ring response to drought across species and contrasting sites in the ridge and valley of central Pennsylvania. Forest Science 44-4.

Barnett, T. P., Adam, J. C., Lettenmaier, D. P. 2005: Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions. Nature 438. DOI: https:/doi.org/10.1038/nature04141

Battipaglia, G., Saurer, M., Cherubini, P., Siegwolf, R. T. W., Cotrufo, M. F. 2009: Tree rings indicate different drought resistance of a native (Abies alba Mill.) and a nonnative (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) species co-occurring at a dry site in Southern Italy. Forest Ecology and Management 257-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.10.015

Benayas, J. R., Martins, A., Nicolau, J. M., Schulz, J. J. 2007: Abandonment of agricultural land: an overview of drivers and consequences. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources 2-57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1079/PAVSNNR20072057

Bollati, I., Pelfini, M., Pellegrini, L., Bazzi, A., Duci, G. 2011: Active geomorphosite and educational application: a didactical itinerary along Trebbia river (Northern Apennines Italy). Les géosciences au service de la société. Géovision 37.

Bollati, I., Della Seta, M., Pelfini, M., Del Monte, M., Fredi, P., Palmieri, E. L. 2012: Dendrochronological and geomorphological investigations to assess water erosion and mass wasting processes in the Apennines of Southern Tuscany (Italy). Catena 90. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2011.11.005

Bollati, I., Reynard, E., Lupia Palmieri, E., Pelfini, M. 2016: Runoff impact on active geomorphosites in unconsolidated substrate. A comparison between landforms in glacial and marine clay sediments: two case studies from the Swiss Alps and the Italian Apennines. Geoheritage 8-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12371-015-0161-0

Bratt, G. 1995: Bisses of Valais: the Man-made watercourses in Switzerland. Gerrards Cross.

Büntgen, U., Bellwald, I., Kalbermatten, H., Schmidhalter, M., Frank, D. C., Freund, H., Esper, J. 2006: 700 years of settlement and building history in the Lötschental, Switzerland. Erdkunde 60-2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3112/erdkunde.2006.02.02

Burczyk, J., Giertych, M. 1991: Response of Norway Spruce (Picea-Abies [L] Karst) annual increments to drought for various provenances and locations. Silvae Genetica 40, 3-4.

Cendrero, A., Panizza, M. 1999: Geomorphology and environmental impact assessment: an introduction. Supplementi di Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria 3-3.

Cook, E. R. 1985: A time series approach to tree-ring standardization. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Arizona. Tucson.

Coratza, P., De Waele, J. 2012: Geomorphosites and natural hazards: teaching the importance of geomorphology in society. Geoheritage 4-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12371-012-0058-0

Diolaiuti, G., Smiraglia, C., Pelfini, M., Belò, M., Pavan, M., Vassena, G. 2006: The recent evolution of an Alpine glacier used for summer skiing (Vedretta Piana, Stelvio Pass, Italy). Cold Regions Science and Technology 44-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2005.11.006

Diolaiuti, G., Smiraglia, C. 2010: Changing glaciers in a changing climate: how vanishing geomorphosites have been driving deep changes in mountain landscapes and environments. Géomorphologie 16-2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/geomorphologie.7882

Eckstein, D., Bauch, J. 1969: Beitrag zur Rationalisierung eines dendrochronologischen Verfahrens und zur Analyse seiner Aussagesicherheit. Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt 88-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02741777

Evans, S. G., Clague, J. J. 1994: Recent climatic change and catastrophic geomorphic processes in mountain environments. Geomorphology 10-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0169-555X(94)90011-6

Fan, P., Xie, Y., Qi, J., Chen, J., Huang, H. 2014: Vulnerability of a coupled natural and human system in a changing environment: dynamics of Lanzhou’s urban landscape. Landscape Ecology 29-10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-014-0061-8

Fritts, H. C. 1976: Tree Rings and Climate. London

Garavaglia, V., Diolaiuti, G., Smiraglia, C., Pasquale, V., Pelfini, M. 2012: Evaluating tourist perception of environmental changes as a contribution to managing natural resources in glacierized areas: a case study of the Forni glacier (Stelvio National Park, Italian Alps). Environmental Management 50-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-012-9948-9

Garavaglia, V., Pelfini, M. 2011: Glacial geomorphosites and related landforms: A proposal for a dendrogeomorphological approach and educational trails. Geoheritage 3-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12371-010-0027-4

Garbarino, M., Lingua, E., Nagel, T. A., Godone, D., Motta, R. 2010: Patterns of larch establishment following deglaciation of Ventina glacier, Central Italian Alps. Forest Ecology and Management 259-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.11.016

Goudie, A. 2013: The human impact on the natural environment: Past, present, and future. Hoboken.

Gregori, L. 2011: Bagnoregio la ‘città che muore’: paleografia e storia di un ‘geomorfosito’. La cartografia 27.

Gryc, V., Hacura, J., Vavrík, H., Urban, J., Gebauer, R. 2012: Monitoring of xylem formation in Picea abies under drought stress influence. Dendrobiology 67.

Hauge, L. 1988: Galdane, Laerdal, Western Norway–management and restoration of the cultural landscape. The Cultural landscape: past, present and future. Cambridge.

Hidalgo, R., Borsdorf, A., San Martín, G. 2014: Socio-spatial change in the world heritage site Valparaíso. Erde 145-4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.12854/erde-145-20

Holmes, R. L., Adams, R. K., Fritts, H. C. 1986: Tree-ring chronologies of North America: California, Eastern Oregon and Northern Great Basin with procedures used in the chronology development work including user manual for computer program COFECHA and ARSTAN. Chronology Series 6, University of Arizona, Laboratory of tree-ring research. Tucson.

Internet 1: http://www.torrent-neuf.ch (20. 6. 2016).

Latocha, A. 2015: Past human activities recorded in the landscape: A case study from the Glenveagh National Park, Ireland. Landscape Research 40-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2013.829807

Lehmann, L. 1913: L’irrigation dans le Valais. Paris.

Leonelli, G., Pelfini, M., Morra Di Cella, U. 2009: Detecting climatic treelines in the Italian Alps: The influence of geomorphological factors and human impacts. Physical Geography 30-4.

Leonelli, G., Battipaglia, G., Siegwolf, R. T. W., Saurer, M., Morra Di Cella, U., Cherubini, P., Pelfini, M. 2012: Climatic isotope signals in tree rings masked by air pollution: A case study conducted along the Mont Blanc Tunnel access road (Western Alps, Italy). Atmospheric Environment 61. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.07.023

Liang, E., Xuemei, S., Zhaochen, K., Jinxing, L. 2003: The extreme drought in the 1920s and its effect on tree growth deduced from tree ring analysis: a case study in North China. Annual of Forest Science 60. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/forest:2003007

Mäkinen, H., Nöjd, P., Mielikäinen, K. 2001: Climatic signal in annual growth variation in damaged and healthy stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) in Southern Finland. Trees 15-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s004680100089

Mariétan, I. 1934: Le bisse de Savièse. Bulletin Murithienne 51.

Mariétan, I. 1948: Les bisses. La lutte pour l’eau en Valais. Neuchâtel.

Mariétan, I. 1961: Notes de sciences naturelles sur Savièse et le Sanetsch. Bulletin Murithienne 78.

Masson, H., Herb, R., Steck, A. 1980: Helvetic Alps of Western Switzerland. Geology of Switzerland, part B. Basel.

McEwan, R. W., Mc Carthy, B. C. 2008: Anthropogenic disturbance and the formation of oak savanna in central Kentucky, USA. Journal of Biogeography 35-5. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2007.01857.x

Meteoswiss – CLIMAP-net, 2016. Internet 1: http://www.meteoswiss.admin.ch/home/services-and-publications/beratung-und-service/datenportal-fuer-experten.html (20. 6. 2016).

Michelet, J. 1998: Etudes des risques naturels prévisibles dans le face N-W du Prabé. Projet de réfection du Bisse du Torrent-Neuf, Institut de Géographie, Université de Lausanne. Lausanne.

Modrzynski, J., Eriksson, G. 2002: Response of Picea abies populations from elevational transects in the Polish Sudety and Carpathian mountains to simulated drought stress. Forest Ecology and Management 165, 1–3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(01)00651-X

Niţă, A., Buttler, A., Rozylowicz, L., Pătru-Stupariu, I. 2015: Perception and use of landscape concepts in the procedure of Environmental Impact Assessment: Case study–Switzerland and Romania. Land Use Policy 44. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.12.006

Ogle, K., Whitham, T. G., Cobb, N. S. 2000: Tree-ring variation in pinyon predicts likelihood of death following severe drought. Ecology 81-11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(2000)081[3237:TRVIPP]2.0.CO;2

Panizza, M., Piacente, S. 2003: Geomorfologia culturale. Bologna.

Papilloud, J. H. 1999: L’épopée des bisses. Les Bisses du Valais. Sierre.

Pelfini, M., Santilli, M. 2006: Dendrogeomorphological analyses on exposed roots along two mountain hiking trails in the Central Italian Alps. Geografiska Annaler Series A 88-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2006.00297.x

Pelfini, M., Brandolini, P., Carton, A., Piccazzo, M. 2009: Geotourist trails: a geomorphological risk-impact analysis. Geomorphosites. München.

Piao, S., Ciais, P., Huang, Y., Shen, Z., Peng, S., Li, J., Fang, J. 2010: The impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in China. Nature 467. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09364

Reynard, E. 1995: L’irrigation par les bisses en Valais. Approche géographique. Annales Valaisannes 70.

Reynard, E. 2008: Les bisses du Valais, un exemple de gestion durable de l'eau? Lémaniques 69.

Reynard, E., Varone, P., Reynard, D., Vernez, P. 2012: Le Torrent-Neuf de Savièse, un patrimoine remis en valeur. Savièse.

Rigling, A., Bräkera, O. U., Forster, A. T., Schweingruber, F. H. 2003: Effects of irrigation on diameter growth and vertical resin duct production in Pinus Sylvestris L. on dry sites in the Central Alps, Switzerland. Forest Ecology and Management 175, 1–3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(02)00136-6

Rinn, F. 1996: TSAP. Time Series Analysis and Presentation, Version 3.0. Reference Manual. Heidelberg.

Röpke, A., Stobbe, A., Oeggl, K., Kalis, A. J., Tinner, W. 2011: Late-Holocene land-use history and environmental changes at the high altitudes of St Antönien (Switzerland, Northern Alps): combined evidence from pollen, soil and tree-ring analyses. The Holocene 21-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683610385727

Schirpke, U., Hölzler, S., Leitinger, G., Bacher, M., Tappeiner, U., Tasser, E. 2013: Can We Model the scenic beauty of an alpine landscape? Sustainability 5-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su5031080

Schmid, R. 1935: Ancien bisse de Savièse: Tunnel du Muzerin. Martigny.

Schmidt, B. 1987: Ein dendrochronologischer Befund zum Bau der Stadtmauer der Colonia Ulpia Traiana. Bonner Jahrbuch 187.

Schweizer, R., Reynard, E. 2011: La gestion d'un réseau complexe d'irrigation en 2010: L'exemple du coteau de Savièse. Les Bisses, Economie, Société, Patrimoine. Sion.

Serra, P., Pons, X., Saurí, D. 2008: Land-cover and land-use change in a Mediterranean landscape: a spatial analysis of driving forces integrating biophysical and human factors. Applied Geography 28-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2008.02.001

Smrekar, A., Polajnar Horvat, K., Erhartič, B. 2016: The beauty of landforms. Acta geographica Slovenica 56-2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/AGS.3039

Stara, K., Tsiakiris, R., Wong, J. L. 2015: Valuing trees in a changing cultural landscape: A case study from Northwestern Greece. Human Ecology 43-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-014-9706-0

Tarolli, P., Preti, F., Romano, N. 2014: Terraced landscapes: from an old best practice to a potential hazard for soil degradation due to land abandonment. Anthropocene 6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ancene.2014.03.002

UNESCO, 2012. Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Paris.

Zhang, Y. L., Zhang, J., Zhang, H. L., Cheng, S. W., Guo, Y. R., Ma, J. H., Sun, J. R. 2015: The impact of the cognition of landscape experience on tourist environmental conservation behaviours. Journal of Mountain Science 12-2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-014-3150-x



DOI: https://doi.org/10.3986/AGS.4137

Copyright (c) 2019 Acta geographica Slovenica

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

© Acta geographica Slovenica | P. B. 306, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia | ags@zrc-sazu.si | tel: +386 1 470 65 09