An article on the LIFE PASTORALP project, entitled Pasture areas in the Gran Paradiso National Park, was recently published in the Journal of Maps.
Mountain pastures are essential for maintainig biodiversity and local economies. Despite the great value and fragility of these ecosystems, an up-to-date overview of extent and type of alpine pastures is lacking in many areas of the Alps. In this study, the interpretation of ancillary information combined with expeditious field campaigns, and the harmonization of classification methodologies allowed us to: (1) define the spatial extent of mountain pastures; (2) identify the non-grazeable percentage in these areas; (3) Characterize and map pasture types within the Gran Paradiso National Park (Italy), where 4596 ha of grazeable areas were mapped. Among the 13 categories identified, the three most represented in the park are Bare thermophile grasslands (38%), Nardus swards (20%), and Alpine intermediate grasslands (18%). The maps obtained in this study are useful for animal management during the grazing season, and have the capability of geographically assessing potential forage avaibility through modeling and remote sensing data.