Action C5 Increasing eco-efficiency forest habitat in ZS1site

It is probable, based on studies, that Z. sicula is a typical species of forest habitats, characterized by complex floristic composition and structure. The two current populations rather live in a habitat consisting of open formations and simplified low shrubs, the result of a prolonged and heavy human pressure.

The population of Bosco Pisano, after several years of more or less efficient protection from grazing, showed an increase of floristic and structural complexity of the current community, a process (secondary succession), which provides a series of intermediate stages more or less long and complex. However, in view of the greater adaptability (thermo-xerophilous) of shrub species present, it is possible that in the medium term, there is no excessive competition of these species against Zelkova sicula.

In theory, these species are theoretically intended to regress, to make way for a community tree made from more environmentally stable Cork oak, Holm oak, Oak, Olive, Hackberry, Ash, etc.., under which Zelkova sicula is supposed to enjoy of greater integration. These processes can be protracted, even decades, and on the basis of current knowledge it is not possible to prefigure their fulfillment. From this follows the need to undertake a program of monitoring the dynamics of vegetation, as foreseen in E.3

In order to recreate the environmental conditions for the conservation of the species, it is essential, for a
sufficiently large neighborhood area around ZS1 population, accelerate recovery phases of forest cover in order to reduce the intermediate stages characterized by phase shrubs.

The action provides for the exclusive use of species produced in the actions C.2 and C.3. It will be based on the most modern principles of natural forestry and water saving (see Action C.4). Particular attention will be paid to the mode of plantation, encouraging the creation of hedges and randomly distributed
groups of plants in areas of 500-2000 m2, in order to obtain a greater variety of microhabitats. The surface area will cover an area of ​​10 hectares and include the area surrounding the population of Bosco Pisano. Will be used at least 1000 plants per hectare, in varying proportions, of the following species: Cork Oak, Oak, Holm, Olive, Hackberry, Phillyrea, Buckthorn, Terebinth, Hawthorn.

There will be cultivation, like hoeing and cleanup, for the 3 years after planting, restoration of any failed areas for the next 2 years and irrigation till the affirmation of the final maps.

The project will also involve the removal of groups of non-native species such as Eucalyptus, Pine and Cypress introduced during reforestation of the '70s.

The action, carried out by DRAFD, will begin in the second year of the project.