Bonis catchment, Calabria (Italy)

The Bonis experimental watershed is located in the mountain area of Sila Greca (39°25’15’’N, 16°12’38’’W), in the Calabria region (southern Italy). The catchment has a surface of 1.39 km2 and a mean elevation of 1131 m above sea level. Almost 93% of the total area is covered by forest stand, dominated by about 50 year old Calabrian pine (Pinus laricio Poiret) forests. There are also small stands of chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) and riparian forests of common alder (Alnus glutinosa L.). Finally, a small portion of the catchment (about 6% of the drainage area) has no tree cover and is largely devoid of vegetation.

Chestnut and pines forest in the Bonis catchment.

Pine forest in the Bonis catchment.

The basin was instrumented in 1986. Rainfall was measured by three mechanical rain gauges (with a tipping bucket), 20 minute span interval, located at the basin outlet (Outlet: 975 m a.s.l.) and at representative sites within the north-eastern (Petrarella: 1258 m a.s.l.) and southwestern (Don Bruno: 1175 m a.s.l.) parts of the catchment. Runoff was measured at the catchment outlet using a Thomson weir (capable of measuring discharges up to 17 m3/s) at the end of a gauging structure comprising a concrete-lined channel and equipped with a mechanical stage recorder. Finally, in May 2003 a tower for the measurement of fluxes with the Eddy covariance technique was installed in a plantation of 44-year old Laricio pines, in Cozzarella – Don Bruno location.

Thomson weir to measure river discharge.

Recently, within the purview of two projects new gauges have been installed and others are going to be installed within the time span of INNOMED. In particular, two meteorological station have been installed at the basin outlet (Outlet: 975 m a.s.l.) and in the north-eastern area of the basin (Petrarella: 1258 m a.s.l.). Moreover, a Multiparameter Sonde has been installed in the concrete-lined channel. Finally, a new Eddy covariance tower is going to be constructed.

A selective thinning was carried out in 1993. On average, density was reduced by 55% (38% in low density stands, and 69% in high density stands).

Objectives in the INNOMED project in the Bonis catchment are to simulate the water balance of the Bonis catchment under different land use / management scenarios, combined with climate change forcings to quantify the effect of alternative management options on the land-water cycle. To this purpose, the FEST spatially distributed hydrological model will be used. Field campaigns will be carried out in order to characterize soil properties within the Bonis catchment. We aim to implement/couple a module for forest simulation within the FEST model.



Peristerona River catchment

Experimental farms and research forest areas

Experimental farms and forest areas