A journey to Sicily: old growth forest of Quercus pubescens in habitat 91AA*

with No Comments

At the beginning of April 2019, the team of Ente Gestione per i Parchi e Biodiversità-Romagna ( MAR) composed by Massimiliano Costa, Gabriele Cassani and Serena Petroncini accompanied by Mr. Jóska Fidlóczky, went to the island of Sicily, in the province of Palermo (Italy). The plan was to visit some unique and important sites of old-growth forests of Quercus pubescens in habitat 91AA. Contacts were previously taken with the Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo who did a first research and survey about old-growth forests in Sicily. The first visited site was Bosco della Ficuzza, within the Nature Reserve “Bosco della Ficuzza, Rocca Busambra, Bosco del Cappelliere e Gorgo del Drago” ITA020007 (ZSC), (lat. 37°857 87; long. 13°.429 19). The forest is in the location Contrada Fanuso , municipality of Godrano (Palermo), and lies at a mean altitude of 1000m. Bosco della Ficuzza is a Quercus pubescens old-growth forest abandoned since many years. The presence of laying deadwood , stumps and snags is abundant and well evident, the vegetation biodiversity is quite high. The journey continued to Punta Tannure, San Vito lo Capo Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro ZSC ITA010017 (lat. 38°.149 85’; long. 12°.776 88), a location in the province of Trapani. The colleague of the University of Palermo guided us to an interesting place of rupicolous flora widespread in a scree at the edge of a wood, a similar situation to the ecotones of the woods of habitat 91AA and cliffs of Gypsum Vein Park. The visit ended with the last site, Santa Maria del Bosco, in the municipality of Contessa Entellina (Palermo) Regional Park, Monti Sicani ITA020035 (ZSC)(lat. 37°.7029; long. 13°.19230). The forest of Quercus pubescens is inside a list of candidate old-growth.