Long-Term Simulations of Nature-Based Solution Effects on Runoff and Soil Losses in a Flat Agricultural Area within The Massaciuccoli Catchment (Central Italy)

Published: 4 April 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/r3hr22jrck.1
Antonio Pignalosa


Nature-Based Solutions (NBSs) are applied worldwide to mitigate the impact of industrial agriculture on sediment and nutrient losses; however, their effectiveness depends on site-specific aspects such as surficial hydrology, soil permeability and erodibility. This study analyzed the effects of vegetative buffer strips (VBSs) and winter cover crops (CCs) in a land reclamation area of Central Tuscany (IT) by modelling water and soil dynamics at a very detailed scale with an innovative approach based on high-resolution input data. To this aim, SWAT+, comprising the qGIS plugin QSWAT+ + v.2.0.6 (Dile et al., 2021) and SWAT+ Editor v.2.0.4 (Bieger et al., 2017), was applied on digital terrain models (DTMs) from close-range photogrammetry, land-cover mapping, real crop rotations and a detailed calendar of farming practices. NBS behavior was modelled in two test areas with uniform geomorphological settings but different soil types and crop rotations. NBS effects were compared with a control scenario (without NBS) and evaluated under future climatic conditions. Modelling input data consists of: 1) digital terrain models at proper scale as raster files with a 20*20cm cell size (here divided according to the two test areas and named Gioia_DEM.tif and Studiati_DEM.tif); 2) soil maps here named Soils.tif encompassing both test areas; 3) user soil data in the form of a soil lookup table (Table_lookup_soils) and a soil properties table (Table_usersoil.csv) 4) land use maps here named Landuse.tif encompassing both test areas; 5) user-defined land use data in the form of a land use lookup table (Table_lookup_landuse.csv) and a plant properties table (Table_user_plant.csv) 6) user-defined management operation schedules comprising both baseline and NBS scenarios, including a lookup table with brief descriptions (Table_lookup_managment_sch.csv) and the sequences of agrotechnical operations (Table_managment_sch_op.csv) 4) weather data for the current climatic condition (period 2010-2015), recorded at the Metato weather station, included in the archive; 5) weather data for long-term future conditions (period 2094-2099) downscaled and calibrated based on historical data at Metato, Lido di Camaiore and Strettoia weather stations, for the RCP IPCC 4.5 (RCP 4.5 weather.zip) and RCP IPCC 8.5 scenarios (RCP 8.5 weather.zip). Softwares used for runoff and soil erosion are the qGIS 3.16 plugin QSWAT+ v.2.0.6 (Dile et al., 2021) and standalone software SWAT+ Editor v.2.0.4 (Bieger et al., 2017) both available at https://swatplus.gitbook.io/docs/installation


Steps to reproduce

Modelling steps are reported in: Pignalosa A. Silvestri N., Pugliese F., Corniello A., Gerundo C., Del Seppia N., Lucchesi M., Coiscini N., De Paola F., Giugni M., (Submitted). Long-Term Simulations of Nature-Based Solution Effects on Runoff and Soil Losses in a Flat Agricultural Area within The Massaciuccoli Catchment (Central Italy). Water Resource Research Dile, Y. T., Daggupati, P., George, C., Srinivasan, R., & Arnold, J. (2016). Introducing a new open source GIS user interface for the SWAT model. Environmental Modelling and Software, 85, 129–138. Dile, Y. T., Srinivasan, R., & George, C. (2021, February). QGIS Interface for SWAT+: QSWAT+.


Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II


Soil Erosion, Climate Change, Surface Runoff, Natural Hazard