Parco della Murgia – Sito agro-forestale

Parco della Murgia

Site description

The Murge calcareous plateau has a relevant environmental importance since it represents a part of land which is scarcely populated inside the crowded Puglia. Besides the fact that there are not many residents, the territory, especially the North-Western part, has been changed deeply by man for the past centuries, so much that all the forests that used to cover it became grass and some type of Mediterranean pseudo-steppe, which has been destroyed by excessive number of kettle and massive water and wind erosion which often exposes calcareous rocks. Furthermore, in recent times, parts of meadows underwent a mechanical usage of the soil which has been changed into agriculture. In this landscape, some forests remained, which came from reforestation of the past century, whose purpose was to protect coastal towns from flooding and to favor soil recovery. This reforestation, mainly made up of Mediterranean conifer, are not well maintained, they are dense and not evolved as far as a normal ecological offspring is concerned. It is without doubt that reforestation was successful, even if with reduced biodiversity, and the soil growth process and organic carbon had been reactivated, so that new forestry species are slowly coming back to life.
As a consequence to these changes determined by a comeback in forest vegetation in Murgia, scientific and technical basis for an appropriate plantation of woods, reforestation and bushes inside the Murgia territory need to be set up, without changing its basic elements and improving its microclimate, productivity and its biodiversity.

murge_1As a consequence of the anthropic impact, secondary ecosystems originated, the dry steppe meadows (pseudo Mediterranean steppe) with Stipa austroitalica, which have peculiar characteristics for its biodiversity and constitute an important habitat which is protected by European regulations. Much of the vegetation are rare in Italy and witness a geographical connection of Puglia with the lands facing on the opposite side of the Adriatic Sea. People have been trying to protect and preserve this habitat.
For this reason, it is relevant to study ecological dynamics and interaction between biosphere-atmosphere in this environment, taking care of both its vegetation and its steppe meadows. Inside this site, where the CNR- IBAF Institute will operate, fire prevention is crucial, since it is very frequent in this environment, and fire emissions will also be monitored.

 

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