Conservation of Apennine beech forests with Abies alba Apennine beech forests with Abies alba SIC Pigelleto - M. Amiata


Beech-woods populations with abies alba are not very common in the mountains of the Tuscan Appennines, and those where autochthonous abies alba grows are quite rare and limited to rather small areas.

In the Site of Community Interest (SIC) which is the object of the project there is a beech-wood with autochthonous abies alba, which is still conserved due to an occasional management which kept this conifer more and more marginally. These lands are now abandoned, since when the minor discontinuous utilisation which was carried out in the past stopped, and this resulted in the cancellation of the processes of natural regeneration of abies alba. Moreover, as plantations with silver firs of unknown origin were recently executed, a serious risk of genetic erosion of the relict autochthonous population may occur.

In the SIC there are also habitats of beech-wood with taxus and ilex, where especially the yews are reduced to a few ones because of the cuttings which were made in the past, in order to use this wood in cabinet-making. Thus it is necessary to increase the expansion of this species, replanting it in the beech-woods from where it disappeared.

In the land of the SIC there are also some special interesting species, such as Salamandrina terdigitata which, according to recent studies, is threatened by the reduction of adequate environment and disturbed by management activities.

The aim of the project LIFE is to strengthen the presence of abies alba in the beech-wood, encouraging a prolonged persistence of this species, and also to reduce the risk of genetic erosion due to free pollination through plantations of allochthonous silver firs.

Actions and means involved

The following actions will be performed:

Expected results