Possible origin and demographic asset of a population of Quercus trojana Webb subsp. trojana(Fagaceae) in the wood of Ficuzza (Palermo, Sicily). The first record of Macedonian oak in Sicily isreported. The finding consists of 73 adult and 4 young individuals. A morphometric analysis of allof them, along with an assessment of their phytosanitary status was carried out. They all growbetween 700 and 850 m a.s.l. on a 2,30 ha area, characterized by a land mosaic of shrubland and forestpatches. Notwithstanding two years of researches, no ultimate proof has been found on theiralien status. On this purpose, several alternative hypothesis are formulated and their strengths andweaknesses are discussed. Considering that the environmental conditions of Ficuzza fit very well theecological requirements of Quercus trojana, even the native status of local population cannot betotally rejected. On the other hand, many data support its recent introduction. In fact, according tointerviews to old forest workers, archive documents and aerial photos, most part of the trees of thisarea have been planted just few years after the end of the Second World War, and dendrochronologicalanalyses have pointed out that the biggest Macedonian oaks of Sicily are no more than 50-60years old. Whatever the origin of local Macedonian oak population is, the presence of natural renovationtestifies, at least, its full naturalisation within the Sicilian territory.
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|