Qanat, gebbie and water sources: the last refuge for the malacologicanfreshwater fauna in Palermo (Sicily, Italy)

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review


The surroundings of Palermo were characterized, over the centuries, by the presence of manynatural environments of great ecological and faunal importance. These environments wereplaced in a context characterized by minimal and sustainable urban development and largeagriculture areas, dedicated to the development of tree crops such as citrus and orchards. Thesecrops were supported by an imposing irrigation system that, using natural resources such aswatercourses, wells and springs, collected and distributed water in soils through tanks, gebbie,qanat, irrigation channels (saje), etc. Fresh water mollusks, like many other animal and vegetableorganisms, spread from the natural freshwater environments in this artificial water system,thus creating a unique and varied ecosystem. The subsequent urban development of the city ofPalermo and the destruction of many of those natural environments has further enhanced theecological role of the artificial freshwater systems as an important refuge for the native faunaand flora. In the present study, we report on freshwater molluscs observed in the territory ofMicciulla, a large relict area occupied almost entirely by an old citrus, now located inside thecity of Palermo. In this area there are some springs, an extensive array of artificial freshwaterto irrigate the crops, and the qanat Savagnone located in the “Camera dello Scirocco”. Theresults obtained by census of different populations of freshwater mollusks confirm the importanceof these environments and the growing role they play as the last refuges for faunaand flora originally linked to natural humid environments.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)279-310
Numero di pagine32
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017


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