The use of species in plantations: renaturalisation and reforestation in Sicily

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Afforestation and reforestation activities in Sicily have been widespread in the last century, in order to increase the forest cover that was seriously reduced in the former centuries. Notwithstanding this, Sicily is still characterized by only the 12% of the regional surface covered by woods and forest. The reforestation in the last century was carried out using conifers and eucalypts, just in order to ensure a quick protection of slopes and pastureland, coping diffuse erosion events, and those intervention had a remarkable success.Nowadays, the target of enlarging the forest areas in the island is still compulsive, but the use of species, considering the actual knowledge and nature consciousness has been completely reassessed basing on the indigenous species.In this view, in order to develop an useful tool for forest plantation planning, in the last regional forest plan the entire regional area was analyzed and ecologically homogeneous areas have been identified to join and target arboriculture and/or forestation plantation activities, to choose tree and shrub species for different environments. The resulted tool was a map of ecologically homogeneous areas and a selection of species suitable for reforestation. After ten years of implementation and operative use it is useful to enhance those tools by completing the analysis with a specific study aimed to detail the correct use of indigenous species of trees and shrubs.In this work we examined the above described Regional Plan tools and considered the most recent studies on indigenous flora in order to develop a more detailed and locally suitable guide lines to use species both in reforestation and in restoration activities. This last topic is actually compulsory, because of the need of renaturalisation of conifers and eucalypts plantations, that is one of the main target of forestry in Sicily.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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