RESILFOR (REstoring SILver-fir FORest)
LIFE08 NAT /IT/000371



The forests vegetating in the Apennine area, are the result of expansion and shrinking processes due to climate dynamics which have occurred over millennia and centuries. As far as many tree species are concerned, the Italian Apennine mountains have turned out to be a place of refuge after the succession of glacial and post-glacial periods. The silver fir, a conifer tree, which has seen a significant expansion in the period following the last ice age, has recorded, in recent times, a greater regression of its distribution area due to several factors, including a selective intervention by man and the atmospheric humidity reduction. The human factor then, has undoubtedly been the main cause of this species extensive reduction, even though the climate change is the basis of a reduced ability of this species to naturally invade the forests with the vegetative regeneration. These two factors have led to a growing scarcity of the species that has been preserved in its original characteristics in those locations where the climate freshness along with the human conservative activity have allowed its preservation. Forecasts which can now be given about the future climatic characteristics are not forseeing any improvement whatsoever, on the contrary, this species can find itself in real danger of regression, due to the climate change of the next decades. If forecasts will come true, the isotherms will grow up at about 11 meters of altitude and 2-3 kilometres of latitude per year. This will lead, within the next 20 years, to optimal thermal conditions for this species, the altitude of which ranges from 800 and 900 metres above sea level, found in the range of phytoclimatic Castanetum cold-Fagetum, at altitudes higher than 200 meters, or between 1100 and 1200 metres above sea level.

The LIFE Resilfor project is intending to carry out an activity aimed at identifying mitigation  measures as well as  optimal areas for the Silver Fir vegetative regeneration so that it will be possible to undertake a Silver Fir preservation program regarding as well the habitats of European interest connected to this species.

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