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Grasslands publications search: Italy and Malta

Italian and Maltese publications are below:

Websites | Projects: Biodiversity | Projects: Management | Projects: Restoration | Projects: Survey and Monitoring | Publications: Biodiversity | Publications: Management | Publications: Restoration | Publications: Survey and monitoring | Publications: Miscellaneous


Italian Ministry of the Environment

Overview: Direct link to the web pages of the Italian Ministry of the Environment for the Natura 2000 network. The website includes direct links to all national laws and decrees for the enforcement and implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives, including guidelines for the management of the Natura 2000 sites.

Italy: Decree on minimum uniform criteria for the identification of conservation measures for SACs and SPAs

Overview: Direct link to the Decree of the Ministry of the Environment and of the Protection of the Territory and the Sea (17 October 2007) on minimum uniform criteria for the identification of conservation measures for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA)

Italy: Guidelines for the management of Natura 2000 sites

Overview: These sites host the Decree of the Ministry of the Environment and of the Protection of the Territory (3 September 2002) with guidelines for the implementation of the national and Community strategy for the protection of nature and biodiversity, as foreseen by the Habitats Directive (Dir. 92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (Dir. 2009/147/EC). The guidelines are aimed at supporting the identification of technically and legally appropriate conservation measures, which include the management plans for the Natura 2000 sites. These guidelines are based on measuring standardised indicators of landscape mosaic complexity and organization, flora and vegetation quality, forest quality, faunistic and hydrobiological features, disturbance, environmental degradation and socio-economic aspects.
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Italian Ministry of the Environment: biodiversity in dry zones

Overview: Direct link to policy measures of the Ministry of the Environment concerning biodiversity in dry zones. The site focuses on Action Theme 8, i.e. on the role that grassland ecosystems might play in the protection of dry zones, within the overall strategy of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity (PEBLDS).The implementation of the Natura 2000 network and the measures to protect it are under the responsibility of the regional administrations and of two autonomous provinces (Trento and Bolzano). Not all administrations have relevant and updated information on their website. Below is a sample of the Regions whose website provides useful information on distribution of the Natura 2000 sites, with particular reference to the distribution and the management of grasslands.

Italy: Lombardia Region

Overview: Information on Natura 2000 can be found under the heading "Tematiche" on top left of the main page, and then under "Rete Natura 2000" on bottom left of the next page. The sites also include a link (under the option "elenco") to the list of habitat types occurring in the Region, with information on conservation status, trends and management indications, plus a distribution map for each habitat. At bottom left, a report with a summary is available in pdf format. This report is the result of an SCI survey carried out in 2005.
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Italy: Emilia-Romagna Region

Overview: The page contains a description of the Natura 2000 network in the Region, plus links to general information (option 'inquadramento', which shows that grasslands represent 8.2% of the territory protected by Natura 2000), legislation (option 'Normativa'), summary of data (option 'Dati riepilogativi', with a list of habitats occurring in the Region, some of which are grasslands), cartography (option 'Cartografia interattiva'), literature (option 'Bibliografia') and useful links (option 'Indirizzi utili').

Italy: Trento Autonomous Province

Overview: The page contains a link to a list of habitats, including those related to grasslands. Each one is linked to a specific file per habitat with a description of the habitat and maps showing its occurrence on the territory.

Italy: Bolzano-Alto Adige Autonomous Province

Overview: On the page "Natura 2000 Habitats in Alto Adige", a detailed dedicated account for each habitat type, including grasslands, is provided.

Malta: Ministry of Rural Affairs and the Environment

Overview: Website of the Ministry of Rural Affairs and the Environment, the competent political authority in Malta for nature conservation. The site gives information about the ministry and its mission, other bodies involved in environmental policy and implementation in Malta, laws and treaties etc. The technical implementation of nature conservation policy is charged to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA).

Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA)

Overview: The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) has a number of tasks. Within its Environment Protection Directorate, the Nature Protection Unit is responsible for biodiversity and nature conservation. Within the general website of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA), this page concerns technical environmental matters: environmental impact assessments, environment audits, permits, enforcement etc.

Italian Ministry of the Environment

Overview: This link to the web ages of the Italian Ministry of the Environment is followed by direct links to the various site typologies which gather together the different habitat types of the Habitats Directive. For each group of sites, information on habitat types and their features, indicators, potential threats and management indications, are provided:

Lombardia Region for the Natura 2000

Overview: Link to the habitat types "natural and semi-natural grasslands" on the website of the Lombardia Region for the Natura 2000 network. From this page it is possible to access the files for each single habitat type, displayed by Natura 2000 code, for instance:

Bolzano-Alto Adige Autonomous Province

Overview: Link to the Bolzano-Alto Adige Autonomous Province, describing Natura 2000 habitats in Alto Adige. A detailed dedicated account for each habitat type, including grasslands, is provided, with information on status, species associated with the habitat type, and management.

Pavia University - Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Biological Conservation

Overview: Main activities of the laboratory concern interactions between plant species and between plants and climate, including plant management, with particular attention to rare and threatened species and communities. The laboratory also participates as partner in several international nature conservation projects, some of which funded by the EU's RTD framework programmes.

Italian Phytosociology Society

Overview: Link to the proceedings of the congress of the Italian Phytosociology Society (Società Italiana di Fitosociologia, S.I.Fs.), held in Milan in September 2000. Most of the abstracts of the meeting are available on the main page, which includes direct links to the web page relative to each article.

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Projects: Biodiversity

LIFE project: Conservation actions in NATURA 2000 sites managed by the State Forest Service

Overview: The Italian Forestry Corps is responsible for the management of an important network of State Nature Reserves, which in many cases include Natura 2000 sites. These protected areas are scattered over the Italian peninsula from the Alps to Calabria and host many habitats of EU importance, amongst which grasslands. The main goal of this project is to guarantee a long-term, satisfactory conservation status of the biodiversity heritage in 34 Natura 2000 sites. The actions are tailored according to the specific environmental conditions of each site.

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Projects: Management

LIFE project: Biocenosis restoration in Valvestino Corno della Marogna

Overview: Val Vestino and Corno della Marogna are adjoining Natura 2000 sites on the mountain slopes above Lake Garda, in northern Italy. There was an earlier project in these sites, 'Biocenosis requalification in Valvestino-Corno della Marogna (LIFE97 NAT/IT/004108)'. This project included measures to help reconstitute the submontane grassland biotopes that were once found in the Alto Garda Bresciano nature park. It was expected that this would in turn encourage the return of top predators such as the lynx, the golden eagle and the vulture, and the perenniality of the populations which did establish themselves, as well as safeguarding the preservation and recovery of rare plant species. Through the project described in these web pages, the Lombardy regional forestry agency intends to continue and develop the actions started in project LIFE97 NAT/IT/004108, which was completed successfully in 2001. This follow-up project 'Biocenosis restoration in Valvestino Corno della Marogna (LIFE03 NAT/IT/000147)' began after 2003 and is still on-going. To maintain and restore grasslands, mowing and controlled grazing will be carried out in new areas, while selective felling will be continued to improve forest habitats. This should in turn benefit also the fauna - from predators, such as large carnivores and birds of prey, to herbivores.

LIFE project: Strategic area of Pian della Faggeta

Overview: Direct link to the web pages of the project: 'Strategic area of Pian della Faggeta: urgent actions for protection of priority habitats and planning of the agricultural and tourist activities (LIFE97 NAT/IT/004145)'. The project aimed at promoting an interconnected package of measures to safeguard the Natura 2000 site and its Festuco-Brometalia grasslands. In particular, ten hectares of land were purchased in order to allow ferns to be cut, measures to regulate grazing to be applied and to prevent possible illicit constructions. A study of maximum permissible stocking densities was carried out. On the basis of the data gathered, management plans were elaborated for the pastures allowing rational management of grazing.

LIFE project: Petrifying springs and semi-natural dry grasslands in Valle San Croce e Valle del Curone

Overview: Project on Petrifying springs and semi-natural dry grasslands in Valle San Croce e Valle del Curone (LIFE00 NAT/IT/007266) is the continuation of a previous, similar project carried out in the Valle San Croce and Valle del Curone, an area which links the industrial plateau of the Milan hinterland to the pre-Alpine hilly and mountainous districts. This earlier project, 'Valle del Curone - Valle San Croce : protection of priority habitats (LIFE98 NAT/IT/005037)', focused on Festuco-Brometalia grasslands. One of its main objectives, relative to the conservation of Festuco-Brometalia, was the definition of a management model, so as to cast conservation in economically sustainable terms, taking into account the avifauna associated with this habitat type. Concrete measures carried out for the restoration of Festuco-Brometalia consisted of cutting and mowing a total area of 15 ha (5 ha more than foreseen). Donkeys were also used, as a form of controlled grazing. Moreover, a total of 1.5 km of the pathway system was rearranged to reduce the impact of excessive trampling on the Festuco-Brometalia priority habitat. The main objectives of the second project included the maintenance and conservation of the steppic grasslands by involving farmers, and the distribution of information on these as yet little-known habitats. A management plan was drawn up for the steppic grasslands and action was undertaken to conserve the steppic grasslands by integrating them into current agricultural practices.

LIFE project: Protection of biodiversity in Tuscan Valtiberina

Overview: The project 'Protection of biodiversity in Tuscan Valtiberina (LIFE98 NAT/IT/005125)' aimed at protecting and increasing biodiversity inside 5 Natura 2000 sites along the Tiber River in the Tuscany Region. It targeted the preservation of the semi-natural dry grasslands, to be achieved by dampening the effects of erosion by means of appropriate land restoration engineering, by rendering grazing more sustainable and by limiting the influx of tourists. In particular, mowing and grazing management were reintroduced, through the involvement of local farmers, to halt the reduction of the surface covered by Festuco-Brometalia grasslands. One of the essential aspects of the project was a search for a methodology to solve the problems encountered here, which could also be employed on a larger scale elsewhere.

LIFE Project: Alpe Veglia and Alpe Devero

Overview: The project 'LIFE Alpe Veglia and Alpe Devero: actions to conserve mountain grasslands and peatlands (LIFE02NAT/IT/8574) included a series of actions for habitat management, including temporary fencing and establishing drinking troughs for cattle and wild ungulates to avoid trampling and overgrazing; maintaining and diverting mountain paths, building footbridges and wardening to prevent human trampling; cutting invading bushes on Nardus grasslands; and managing mountain hay meadows. The areas covered by the actions are 300 ha of Nardus grasslands, 20 ha of bogs and fens, 50 ha of mountain hay meadows and 200 ha of Alpine heaths. Public awareness actions for the conservation of mountain grasslands and peatlands were carried out targeting local people and tourists.
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LIFE Project: Conservation of the Tuscan Apennines mountain grasslands

Overview: The project is directed at preserving the animal and plant communities of the mountain grasslands dominated by Nardus stricta, which characterise the crest of the Tuscan Apennines, at a height of about 1400 m above sea level. The conservation objectives were achieved by drawing up and carrying out management plans aimed at a rational use of pastures. The project also worked to achieve higher levels of biodiversity in the grassland communities and to restore abandoned areas in order to impede re-colonisation by shrub species which are tending to invade these areas. To this end, sylvicultural measures were applied in adjacent forest communities to favour the development of Nardus grasslands and attempts were made to re-naturalise the juniper communities. Finally, initiatives were launched to raise awareness and disseminate information through the organisation of workshops and seminars on pasture management.

Conservation of bats and their foraging habitats

Overview: Webpage of the project 'Conservation of bats and their foraging habitats at R.N.O. Onferno and the homonymous SIC (LIFE00 NAT/IT/007216). One of the main objectives of this project was the introduction of a better management of grasslands through controlled grazing by local breeds of sheep and cattle in order to favour species which are the prey of bats. However, such experimental controlled grazing could not be implemented because it was neither feasible nor cost-effective, due to logistic reasons. The beneficiary replaced this action by periodic mowing and sowing, thus reaching the same expected results in terms of an increase of grasslands and a reduction of shrubs. As a result, the surface of the Annex I Habitats Directive habitats "semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia)" was enlarged from 12.3 ha to 39.2 ha.

LIFE Project: National Park of Stelvio

Overview: Established in 1935, Stelvio is Italy's biggest national park, bordering on the Swiss Engadin park. The area affected by the LIFE project 'National Park of Stelvio : Urgent measures for nature conservation (LIFE96 NAT/IT/003074)' is an Alpine valley at an altitude of between 2,400 and 3,400 metres. The project prevented the sale of municipal land which included priority grassland habitats to private buyers by acquire the right to use the land for 99 years. In all, 500 hectares were acquired and brought under conservation management, consisting of Alpine meadows and sections with rhododendron and Pinus mugo thickets. On this land, measures to regulate the tourist influx, such as the construction of observation platforms and new paths, were taken as well as measures to restrict grazing.

LIFE Project: Safeguarding ecologically interesting habitats inside the Colli Euganei

Overview: The goal of the project - the conservation of the Annex I Habitats Directive habitats within the Colli Euganei park - is one of the objectives of the Rural Development Plan for the Veneto Region. The project took place in eight Natura 2000 sites inside the park. Grasslands are among the priority habitats targeted by the project, which also included karstic calcareous grasslands. Through the project, the Colli Euganei park will guarantee the long-term sustainable management of grasslands and hydrophilous vegetation on Annex I of the Habitats Directive by preparing and implementing management plans for these habitats. Grasslands will also be cleared of invasive alien species, and periodically mowed.

LIFE Project: Safeguarding and exhibiting the peatbogs in Danta (Cadore)

Overview: Natural and human threats are seriously affecting the survival of several habitats in the Natura 2000 site targeted by this project. Several actions will be carried out there. Amongst others they cover Nardus grasslands and other meadows which are threatened by the invasion of reed beds and woody plants. Work foreseen includes cutting and removing the reeds.

LIFE Project: Protection and utilisation of the sites of the Mont Avic Park

Overview: The Mont Avic nature park contains three Natura 2000 sites which include Alpine habitats where the vegetation is damaged by excessive livestock grazing. For this reason the main aims of the LlFE project 'Protection and utilisation of the sites of the Mont Avic Park included in the Nature 2000 Programme (LIFE96 NAT/IT/003052)', were to control and channel tourist access and maintain traditional livestock grazing so as to guarantee the conservation of threatened habitats. Grazing with a low livestock density is beneficial for the conservation of biodiversity in these grassland habitats, which allows local residents to practice a sustainable use of the pastures. As a result, mobile fences (electric conductor strips) were placed over a total of 1250 m in five sites. These fences allowed the pressure of livestock on pasture and bogs to be reduced.

LIFE Projects at Monte Labbro and Upper Albegna Valley

Overview: Monte Amiata is a massif located in the southern part of Tuscany, whose western slopes include the Natura 2000 site of Monte Labbro and Alta Valle dell'Albegna, The Monte Labbro and Alta Valle dell'Albegna projects are part of a broader effort by different public and private authorities to conserve the area, and to ensure that it is managed in a way which is compatible with its special environmental and socio-economic characteristics. The aim of the first project, 'Monte Labbro and Upper Albegna Valley, conservation and management (LIFE99 NAT/IT/006229)', which began in 1999 and was successfully concluded in 2003, was to protect various habitats and species of Community interest in the area, particularly the priority ones, either through direct action or by involving interest groups operating in the area. The main measures to tackle and reduce the various threats included the purchase of land and the elimination of exotic trees, so as to guarantee the short- and long-term maintenance of landscapes including the priority habitat 6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco Brometalia) with important orchid populations, and the habitat 5130 Juniperus communis formations on heaths or calcareous grasslands.The objective of the second project, 'Protection of habitats and raptors in M. Labbro and Upper Albegna Valley (LIFE04 NAT/IT/000173)', which began in 2004, is to continue the removal of infesting exotic species from the semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates and from the Juniperus communis formations on heaths or calcareous grasslands. The objective of the removal is to preserve these habitats and re-open foraging areas for birds of prey. Links: and

LIFE Project: Actions to preserve the NATURA 2000 sites in Alta Tuscia Viterbese

Overview: The Alta Tuscia Viterbese, in central Italy, is characterised by a volcanic landscape with a unique mosaic of valuable habitats which are included in seven Natura 2000 sites, targeted by the project. The rupicolous grasslands of the Alysso-Sedion albi association, the semi-natural grasslands with orchids of the Festuco-Brometalia association, and the pseudo-steppe of the Thero-Brachypodietea are only a few examples of the priority habitats on Annex I of the Habitats Directive which are present in the area. The Viterbo Province wants to start the process for the ecologically appropriate and sustainable management of the Alta Tuscia Viterbese. For this purpose, amongst the other actions in the project, periodic mowing of the grasslands is foreseen. A similar project 'Urgent actions for the protection of the Sardinian steppic habitats (LIFE96 NAT/IT/003165)', created a protected reserve of 80 hectares in one of the most untouched parts of Sardinia, the Ozieri plain, to safeguard the Thero-Brachypodietea relics found there, at places where intensive agriculture and livestock raising had not completely transformed the land and traditional farming practices compatible with the original ecological balance were still being carried out. Detailed management plans, which dealt with aspects such as the frequency of mowing, the regime for leaving land fallow, the density of livestock and the preservation of strips and patches of vegetation, were drawn up.

Malga Modello

Overview: The project "Malga Modello" has been carried out in the Dolomiti Bellunesi national park. This project seeks to define and promote good farming practices for the management of grasslands.

LIFE Projects at Park of Campo dei Fiori

Overview: One of the main targets of the projects carried out in the Campo dei Fiori park, was to prepare and apply a model for the management of forests and dry meadows and to preserve the caves and the existing bat populations. The measures carried out for the oligotrophic grasslands included drawing up a model for differential mowing, which was then tried out in pilot areas. The model was designed to be applicable for this type of habitat both in the Campo dei Fiori park and in othe,r similar Alpine foothill zones. The projects also covered a series of actions to conserve the habitats and species of Community interest which can be found in the Campo dei Fiori, including management plans and actions to manage the grassland habitats by mowing.

Projects: Restoration

Projects at Area della Gravine

Overview: Web pages concerning successive projects in the Area della Gravine, a complex of deep calcareous gorges and plateaux with grassland plains, which extends over 15,000 hectares in Apulia. Apulia hosts one third of all steppe grasslands in Italy. The first project links to the LIFE-Nature project 'NATURA 2000 network in Italy: management models (LIFE99 NAT/IT/006279)', as part of which the Ministry of the Environment prepared a management plan for the Natura 2000 site "Area delle Gravine". This site is a protected area with a high density of human population, mostly farmers. The particular value of its grasslands is due to the origin of the plant communities, characterised by rare, endemic species. However the grassland area has been rapidly shrinking and in the last twenty years approximately 20,000 hectares have disappeared. This is particularly due to overgrazing and quarrying for limestone and, more recently, the growth of tourism and infrastructure. The second project is a direct link to the web pages of the project 'Safeguarding Thero - Brachypodietea habitat in the SIC Area delle Gravine (LIFE03 NAT/IT/000134)'. The primary objective of this project is the restoration of the Thero-Brachypodietea grasslands which cover over ten per cent of the Area della Gravine . Cutting, mowing and planting of indigenous plant and tree species will be carried out on an area of 200 hectares. An additional 25 hectares of the same habitat adjoining the site will be purchased in order to guarantee continuity of the habitats. A seed bank will be created in order to ensure the conservation of genetic biodiversity. The project also foresees creation of a small plant nursery for educational purposes and erecting information panels along a 6 kilometre nature trail.

LIFE Project: Restoration of grassland habitats in the Monte Gemelli, Monte Guffone

Overview: The main objective of the project 'Restoration of grassland habitats in the Monte Gemelli, Monte Guffone SIC (LIFE99 NAT/IT/006237)' was to restore and then to maintain the open secondary meadows in the proposed Natura 2000 site Monte Gemelli and Monte Guffone, which is located in the National Park of the Casentinesi forests, on the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. The site is particularly important for the conservation of dry semi-natural grasslands on a calcareous substrate and for Juniperus communis, which covers areas of calcareous grassland. The alarming disappearance of grassland at the site is principally due, as in other mountain areas of the Mediterranean, to the abandonment of farming. Grasslands then turn into scrubland, populated by Rosa canina and Spartium junceum, and Quercus pubescens woodland. These changes are threatening the survival of many bird populations and contributing to a loss of biodiversity. Among the main results obtained by the project, about 25 ha of secondary grasslands were restored, including lowland hay meadows (Alopecurus pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis) and sub-continental steppic grasslands on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia). The result is particularly important considering the scarcity of this type of habitat within the area covered by the project, which consists of 85% woodland. The recovery and maintenance of open areas also favours several bird species on Annex I of the Birds Directive, among which the woodlark Lullula arborea and the red-backed shrike Lanius collurio.

LIFE Project: HABIO: Biodiversity protection in Calvana-Monferrato

Overview: This is a LIFE-Nature project carried out by the Province of Prato, Tuscany. The project aimed at restoring grassland and juniper habitats, whilst conserving the Festuco-Brometalia habitat with its orchids, and the bird communities associated with these grassland environments. This would be achieved by purchasing (100 ha), leasing (35 ha) and acquiring the right of use (90 ha) to land, mowing hilltop grasslands, restoring grassland damaged by cross-country vehicles and restricting grazing. Bird populations would be monitored and grassland areas would be managed with a view to their conservation. The website includes a good description of the project actions and the objectives. Some pages, amongst which a summary of the project and the description of the habitat types involved in the project (grasslands included) and relevant threats, are also in English. Details for contacts for further info are given.

LIFE Project: Naturalistic management in the Bitto Valley of Gerola

Overview: The project's objectives were the restoration and improvement of habitats of Community interest through the implementation of measures to be used as a model for the management of natural and semi-natural habitats in the Orobie Valtellinesi park. Reversing the degeneration of the high-altitude meadows was to be realised by using best-practice restoration techniques and by regulating livestock grazing. The measures to be realised were aimed at reducing erosion, and at helping herbivorous birds by increasing the food resources available to them. Restoration and cutting of vegetation in the grazing areas was carried out on 30 ha.

Life Project: RISMA - Environmental Revision of Natural Reserve Sasso Malascarpa

Overview: The Lombardy Region's forestry agency, beneficiary of this LIFE project, had set itself 5 overall goals targeting the restoration of habitats and the re-establishment of optimum conditions for wildlife at this site. To restore the sub-montane grasslands and safeguard nesting opportunities for passerine birds, the project foresaw managing grazing and carrying out one-off measures. As one of these measures, the stability of the slopes was improved through soil engineering works to shore them up. The elimination of shrubs from the limestone cliffs helped create more favourable conditions for the endemic species of the grassland habitat. Mowing the grasslands permitted the semi-natural habitat 'sub-montane grasslands' to be restored. The project collaborated with other parks (Parco Regionale Campo dei Fiori and Parco Regionale Montevecchia e Valle del Curone).

LIFE Project: Springs of the river Stella

Overview: The project is aimed at preserving various habitats and improving the conditions for rare and endemic species, taking into consideration the various threats and ecological dynamics acting on the site. Conservation measures also included the following habitat types: Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clay soils (Molinion Caeruleae), and semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) with important orchid sites. Habitat restoration, carried out on 20 ha of agricultural land, consisted of sowing indigenous species typical of water meadows, controlling invasive species and creating a wetland. The project also halted the invasion by shrubs of the Annex I Habitats Directive habitat Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clay soils (Molinion Caeruleae). A similar project in the same Region (Friuli-Venezia Giulia), 'Integrated plan of action to protect two Natura 2000 sites (LIFE98 NAT/IT/005112)' intended to introduce an integrated system of wildlife management and forest grazing into two Natura 2000 sites in the Tarvisio forest, a strategically located area where the borders of Italy, Austria and Slovenia meet. One of the principal targets was the elaboration of a management plan accompanied by a series of actions geared towards the preservation of the 7 habitats and 14 species of Community interest occurring there. In particular, actions carried out included restoring more than 16 ha of grassland through cutting shrubs in six grassland sites (called "malghe"), and sowing 14 ha of grasses in pasturelands.

LIFE Project: Beigua - urgent interventions for priority grasslands

Overview: The Monte Beigua is a mountainous area in the Ligurian Apennines, located within Italy's high-risk zone for wildfires. These fires, always caused by human actions, are, together with erosion, leading to the degradation of the grass swards, which in turn is altering the plant communities of the meadows, opening the way for invading species to spread at the expense of the more ecologically relevant ones. The meadows are also affected by overgrazing by sheep. The project drew up management plans for the Annex I Habitats Directive habitats "dry heaths", "sub-continental steppe grassland", "species rich Nardus grasslands" and "calcareous fens". Some of the actions foreseen in these management plans, such as restoration of firebreaks and the elimination of invasive vegetation, were carried out during the project.

LIFE Project: Habitat preservation in Dolomiti Bellunesi

Overview: The aim of the project is to protect priority habitats on Annex I of the Habitats Directive within the Dolomiti Bellunesi national park, and the species of Community interest linked to them. These habitats are currently affected by several factors which are contributing to their gradual disappearance. For example, shrubs are progressively invading the grassland habitats, while the abandonment of pastures is resulting in a loss of biodiversity in the areas covered by dwarf mountain pine and Rhododendron hirsutum. Therefore, favourable conservation status of grasslands will be achieved through removal of weeds and invading trees and shrubs. This will be followed by a campaign to encourage local farmers to take up grazing of alpine pastures again and the promotion of sustainable land use. Selective felling of trees and creating clearings in dwarf mountain pine stands will increase biodiversity by re-opening grassland patches and favouring the presence of associated rare plant species. An action plan will be drawn up for the management of the grasslands.
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LIFE Project: Integrated management of Insubric-Prealpine habitats

Overview: This project was carried out in the Monte Barro Regional Park, an isolated group of mountains in the hilly region near Lake Como. The Park is characterised by the Insubric meadows, which offer a wide variety of flowering species and many birds, particularly during the migration period. The park management intended to improve the meadows of natural and semi-natural origin, whose conservation status had been deteriorating due to the abandonment of agricultural activities in recent decades and the occurrence of fires. As a result of the project, 44 ha of grasslands have been restored.

LIFE Project: Toce River: conservation of riparian habitats in favour of breeding and migratory birds

Overview: The project target is the conservation, rehabilitation and extension of the river and riverbank habitats along a stretch of the river Toce. Among the main objectives, it aimed at improving the conservation status of 70 ha of grasslands and of 25 ha of dry meadows.

LIFE Project: Concerted action for biodiversity on the Veneto coast

Overview: The Regional Agricultural Board of the Veneto Region, which manages the 13 sites targeted by the project, intends to mitigate the impact of human pressure on the biodiversity of this part of the Adriatic coast. The objective is to reinforce the ecological connection between the 13 sites and to manage them as a coherent network. The conservation of hygrophilous grasslands and wetlands behind the dune belt will be ensured through engineering work to allow proper management of the water levels. Arid grasslands and fossil dune habitats will be restored through the elimination of exotic plant species and the removal of rubbish which has accumulated over the years. Elimination of exotic species will be carried out also in forest habitats, together with the selective felling of pine plantations, in order to favour the spread of grassland habitats. A scientific monitoring programme will provide data to assess the effects on habitats and species of the actions carried out. A similar project, 'Protection of sea and coastline habitats in SCIs along the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy (LIFE99 NAT/IT/006275)' aimed at limiting the damage caused by human activity, particularly tourism, in coastal Natura 2000 sites of Campania-Calabria. For instance, in the Torre Salsa site beach tourism was one of the main causes of the degradation of the dune system, which included several habitats, among them the Brachypodietalia dune grasslands with annuals and pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea association. The infrastructures realised during the project (fences, paths and parking areas) substantially reduced the trampling of the dunes, and their vegetation started to recover.

LIFE Project: Urgent actions for conservation of pSCI Orbetello Lagoon

Overview: The main objective of the project was to stop the impact of intensive farming on the areas surrounding the lagoon and the resulting ecological damage to the site's flora and fauna. The main task was to acquire 77 ha of intensely cultivated land around the lagoon, and change the land use from drained cultivated land to wet grasslands, ponds and plots of riparian wood.

Projects: Survey and Monitoring

LIFE Project: NATURA 2000 network in Italy: management models

Overview: In order to homogenise the various data compiled to date, information on the Natura 2000 sites were analysed by the project with the aim of identifing useful features for type classification by using descriptors (ecological and socio-economic). Next, general guidelines for carrying out plans to manage each type of SCI/SPA (including those with grassland), were prepared. These guidelines have been used to prepare and adopt management plans for 9 SCI, 3 in the Alps, 5 in the Mediterranean and 1 in continental Italy, covering a total of 58,000 hectares.

LIFE Project: RETICNET: Five SCIs for the conservation of wetlands and main habitats

Overview: The body responsible for the project, the Lombardy Regional Forestry and Agriculture Service, will begin managing 5 Natura 2000 sites as a network. As a first step, a GIS database will be set up in order to define the location and state of conservation of the habitats, identify priority areas for intervention and provide data for the site management plans. These will be adopted and implemented by local authorities on behalf of the regional administration. Habitat management actions will be based on the most urgent conservation needs, and include mowing Nardus grasslands.

LIFE Project: Control of the effectiveness of management measures on grasslands for the conservation of invertebrate biodiversity

Overview: A project currently being implemented by the "Sottostazione Sud delle Alpi di Bellinzona" an Italian national institute for research on the environment and sustainable land management. It includes information on objectives, methodology and outputs of the project.

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Publications: Biodiversity

Bassignana M., Bozzo F., Gusmeroli F., Kasal A., Ligabue M., Orlandi D., Parente G., 2003. 'Specific biodiversity in Alpine meadows at different degrees of utilisation intensity', Proceedings of the 19th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, La Rochelle (F), 1010-1011.

Cerabolini B., 1997. 'Aspetti floristici e fitosociologici delle praterie insubriche'. In: Atti del seminario permanente sulla gestione delle praterie e dei prati di interesse naturalistico. Monte Barro (LC) 25-26 Ottobre 1996. Quaderni del Parco Monte Barro, 4:15-35.

Abstract: Publication on the botanical and phytosociological aspects of Insubric meadow grasslands.

Ceriani R.M., Cerabolini B., De Andreis R., Tosca A., 2000. 'Stato di fatto sullo studio della biologia riproduttiva di specie vegetali del Monte Barro'. Seminario permanente per la gestione delle praterie e dei prati di interesse naturalistico, 20 settembre 2000.

Abstract:Report on the state of the art in studies of the reproductive biology of plant species found on mountain grasslands in Monte Barro.

Ceriani R., Cerabolini B., 2004. 'Tasso di accrescimento relativo (RGR) e parametri associati in specie delle praterie delle rocce carbonatiche'. In: 99° Congresso Società Botanica Italiana, Torino, 22-24 settembre 2004, 198

Abstract:Study on the relative growth rate and associated parameters of grasslands species on carbonaceous rocks.

Dall'Antonia P., Giunti M., 2002. 'Tutela della biodiversità nella Valtiberina Toscana: piccola guida degli ambiente, della flora e della fauna'. Provincia di Arezzo, Piazza della Libertà 3, 52100 Arezzo, 48 pgs.

Abstract:Publication on the biodiversity of the Tiber valley in Tuscany, including its Festuco-Brometalia grasslands: fauna, flora and ecosystems.

De Luca D., Ota D., Rondi A., 2002. 'Vegetazione e flora delle Risorgive dello Stella', Regione Autonoma Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Direzione Regionale dei Parchi, Via di Toppo 41, 33100 Udine, 46 pgs.

Abstract:Publication on the vegetation (including Molinia and Festuco-Brometalia grasslands) and flora of the Risorgive dello Stella regional park in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Leonardi C., 1997. 'Prime considerazioni sull'entomofauna delle praterie del M.Barro', 1998. In: Villa M. (a cura di), Gestione delle praterie e dei prati di interesse naturalistico, Atti del seminario permanente, 25-26 ottobre 1996. Quaderni del Parco Monte Barro, n.4, Parco Monte Barro, Oggiono, 1998: pp. 115-128.

Abstract:This publication gives an initial report on the entomofauna of the Monte Barro grasslands

Research journal "Plant Biosystems" edited by the Italian Botanical Society (Societa' Botanica Italiana).

Abstract: The journal is open to papers dealing with all aspects of plant biology, systematics and ecology. Abstract are available free of charge, but payment is requested to download the full articles. Links:

Ripartizione e Paesaggio. 2001. Natura 2000 in Alto Adige, 256 pages.

Abstract: This book focuses on the Habitats Directive and gives details on the sites proposed for the "Natura 2000" network in Alto Adige.

Roggero P.P., Bagella S., 2005. 'Grasslands diversity conservation in the central Apennines (Italy)'. XVII International Botanical Congress. Vienna

Schembri P. J., Lanfranco E., Farrugia P., Schembri S., Sultana J. 1987. Localities with Conservation value in the Maltese Islands, 30 pages, Environment Division, Ministry of Education, La Valletta.

Abstract: This is a succinct but thorough scientific assessment of all localities in Malta which have conservation value. These include a number of localities with grassland species.

Technical journal of the Italian Botanical Society (Societa' Botanica Italiana), the "Informatore Botanico Italiano", ISSN 0020-0697.

Abstract:This journal includes original papers on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning with special attention to the Italian situation. All issues from 2002 to 2005 are freely available as pdf or jpg files.

Various authors, 2002, 'Uccelli delle praterie appenniniche', Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, 2002, Monte Falterona (Campigna), Via Guido Brocchi 7, 52015 Pratovecchio (AR), 24 pgs.

Abstract:Description of bird species associated with the meadow grasslands of the Apennines.

Viciani D., Gabellini A., 2000 - 'Contributo alla conoscenza della vegetazione del Pratomagno (Toscana orientale): le praterie di crinale ed il complesso forestale regionale del versante casentinese'. In: Webbia, 55 (2): 297-316 (con 14 tabelle fuori testo).

Abstract:Report on research into the vegetation of meadow grasslands in Pratomagno (eastern Tuscany).

Viciani D., B. Foggi, A. Gabellini, D. Rocchini, 2002 - 'Contributo alla conoscenza delle praterie su substrati ultramafici dell'Alta Valtiberina (Toscana orientale, Italia)'. In: Fitosociologia, 39 (1): 127-134.

Abstract:Report on research into the vegetation of meadow grasslands on ultramafic rocks in the upper Tiber valley.

Publications: Management

Argenti G., Sabatini S., Staglianò N., 2001. 'Principali tecniche di indagine sui prati e sui pascoli per la loro gestione equilibrata'. Sherwood, n. 66, 5 pp.

Abstract: Main investigation techniques for meadows and pastures in order to define a sound management of these grasslands.

Argenti G., Talamucci P., Staglianò N., Gusmeroli F., 1996. 'Primi risultati sulla possibilità di riequilibrio di sistemi pastorali attraverso la transumanza tra ambienti mediterranei e alpini'. In: Rivista di Agronomia, n 3 Suppl., 408-413.

Abstract: Report on first results of pasture management through transhumance grazing moving between Alpine and Mediterranean environments.

Bagella S., 2001 - 'Gestione e conservazione delle praterie dell'Appennino umbro-marchigiano'. In: a cura di G.F. Greppi e G. Enne: Atti del 36° Simposio Internazionale di Zootecnia "Prodotti di origine animale: qualità e valorizzazione del territorio" Portonovo (Ancona) 27 Aprile 2001: 1-8.

Abstract: Management and conservation of Apennine meadow grasslands.

Bagella S., Roggero P.P., 2004. 'Integrating phytosociological and agronomic analysis to support the sustainable management of Mediterranean grasslands'. Fitosociologia 41(1) suppl. 1: 101-107

Borchi S. (a cura di), Conservazione delle praterie montane dell'Appennino toscano. Atti del Convegno finale del progetto LIFE Natura NAT/IT/7239, Poppi 27 ottobre 2005: 71-123. Comunità Montana del Casentino, Arti Grafiche Cianferoni, Stia.

Abstract: Proceedings of the final conference of the LIFE Nature project NAT/IT/7239 "Conservation of mountain grassland pastures in the Tuscan Apennines". Publication includes several useful technical contributions concerning grassland management in Italy.

Brusa G., Raimondi B., 2003. 'Rupi calcaree nel Parco Campo dei Fiori (VA): caratterizzazione floristico-vegetazionale e criteri di gestione'. In: Villa M. (Ed.), Atti del Seminario Permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico", Monte Barro (LC), (25 marzo 2003). Quaderni del Parco del Monte Barro 6: 53-58

Abstract: Publication on the limestone cliffs of the Campo dei Fiori nature park, their floristic-vegetational characteristics and criteria for their management.

Cerabolini B., Ceriani R.M., 2003. 'L'analisi dei modelli funzionali nell'impostazione della gestione della vegetazione delle praterie del M. Barro'. In: Atti del Seminario Permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico", Monte Barro (LC), 25 marzo 2003.

Abstract: Report analysing functional models for the elaboration of grassland management for the Monte Barro meadows.

Ciancio O., Corona P., Marchetti M., Nocentini S., 2002. 'Linee guida per la gestione sostenibile delle risorse forestali e pastorali nei Parchi Nazionali'. Accademia Italiana di Scienze Forestali, Firenze, 2002, 300 pp.

Abstract: Publication on guidelines for the sustainable management of grazing areas and forest resources inside Italian national parks.

Gusmeroli F., 2002. 'Il processo di abbandono dell'attività pastorale nelle malghe alpine e i suoi effetti sul sistema vegetazionale'. In: Società Italiana per il Progresso della Zootecnia. 37° Simposio Internazionale di Zootecnia: Zootecnia di Montagna: valorizzazione della Agricoltura Biologica e del Territorio. Madonna di Campiglio (TN), 19 April 2002, 31-45.

Abstract: Study about the abandonment of pastoral activity on Alpine grasslands and the consequent effects on the vegetation.

La Mela Veca DS, Clementi G, Cullotta S, Maetzke F, Traina G. 2006. Analisi dello stato di conservazione degli habitat Natura 2000 nel Sito di Interesse Comunitario "ITA040005 - Monte Cammarata, Contrada Salaci, Monti Sicani (Sicilia Centro-occidentale)". - Analysis of habitat conservation in the SIC Natura 2000 "ITA040005 - Monte Cammarata, Contrada Salaci, Monti Sicani (Sicily, Italy) Forest@ 3 (2): 222-237.

Abstract: The paper reports on the results of applying, at a pilot site in Sicily, the guidelines for the management of Natura 2000 sites drawn up by the Italian Ministry of the Environment. Grasslands, which cover 25.7% of the area studied, represent the most important habitat and are in a good conservation status.

Management plan for the SCI Stagno di Cagliari, Saline di Macchiareddu, Laguna di Santa Gilla

Abstract: The management plan for the SCI ITB040023 "Stagno di Cagliari, Saline di Macchiareddu, Laguna di Santa Gilla" was drawn up in 2006 by the office of the associated municipalities Assemini-Cagliari-Capoterra-Elmas, for the management of the SCI. It includes, under the heading "Relazioni interventi Piano di Gestione" a section titled "Relazione illustrativa per l'acquisto di terreni in località Piscina Diegu" relative to the acquisition of land properties in Piscina Diegu, aimed at preserving grasslands. The purpose of the acquisition and the activities foreseen, are reported, together with foreseen cost.

Management plan of the Natura 2000 SCI Monte Sole

Abstract: The management plan of the Natura 2000 SCI Monte Sole. The plan is available in two parts at the bottom of the web page. It includes indications for the management of grasslands and some references to grassland-relevant actions carried out within the project "Pellegrino" (see above under 'Projects- restoration')

Moretti, M.; Patocchi, N.; Zambelli, N., 2001: 'Gestione dei prati magri del Monte San Giorgio (Ticino, Svizzera). Verifica degli interventi 1994-1998 tramite tre gruppi faunistici: ropaloceri, ortotteri, ragni.' - Boll. Soc. tic. Sci. nat. 77: 35-51

Abstract: Report assessing the management of oligotrophic meadows on Monte S. Giorgio (Ticino Canton, Switzerland), using three invertebrates as indicators.

Pierce S., De Andreis R., Scaccabarozza D., Ceriani R: Cerabolini B., 2004.'La conservazione delle orchidee del Monte Barro'. In: Atti del seminario permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico", Monte Barro (LC), 7 giugno 2004, Quaderni del Parco del Monte Barro 7: 103-110.

Abstract: Conservation of orchids in the grasslands of Monte Barro.

Technical journal of the Society for the Study and the Promotion of the Alpine Livestock Husbandry Systems (Società per lo Studio e la Valorizzazione dei Sistemi Zootecnici Alpini).

Abstract: Three issues are available of the journals "Quaderni della SoZooAlp". From the above link, it is possible to download either the entire issue or each individual contribution as pdf file.

Villa M. (a cura di), 1997. Atti del Seminario Permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico" Monte Barro 25-26 ottobre 1996. Quaderni del Parco Monte Barro, 4, 1997. Consorzio Parco Monte Barro, Oggiono, 1998: pp. 1-143.

Abstract: Proceedings of the permanent seminar "Management of grasslands of conservation interest"

Villa M. (a cura di), 2001. Atti del Seminario Permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico" Monte Barro, 20 settembre 2000. Quaderni del Parco Monte Barro, 5, 2001. Consorzio Parco Monte Barro, Oggiono, 2001: pp. 1-143.

Abstract: Proceedings of the permanent seminar "Management of grasslands of conservation interest"

Villa M. (a cura di), 2003. Atti del Seminario Permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico" Monte Barro, 25 marzo 2003. Quaderni del Parco Monte Barro, 6, 2003. Consorzio Parco Monte Barro, Oggiono, 2003: pp. 1-143.

Abstract: Proceedings of the permanent seminar "Management of grasslands of conservation interest"

Villa M. (a cura di), 2001. Atti del Seminario Permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico" Monte Barro, 7 giugno 2004. Quaderni del Parco Monte Barro, 7, 2004. Consorzio Parco Monte Barro, Oggiono, 2004: pp. 1-143.

Abstract: Proceedings of the permanent seminar "Management of grasslands of conservation interest"

Publications: Restoration

Action Plan for the conservation and the enhancement of the priority natural and semi-natural habitats "Apennine beech forest with Taxus and Ilex" and "Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia- important orchid sites)".

Abstract: The plan refers to the habitats present in the SCI IT9110003 "Monte Cornacchia-Bosco di Faeto". The measures listed in the Plan include the conservation and development of grassland steppic zones through the realisation of ecotones.

Argenti G, Staglianò N, Borreani G, Tabacco E, Bozzo F, Lamesso M, Paoletti R, Locatelli C, Rossini F, Cereti C F, Umbertini G, Scotton M, Piccinin L (2004). 'L'evoluzione della vegetazione delle piste da sci inerbite in diversi contesti ambientali'. In: "Quaderni di divulgazione scientifica", Volume 2, (Piano E ed), Lodi, pp. 27-33.

Abstract: Report on the evolution, within different environmental contexts, of grassland vegetation on restored ski runs.

Bozzo F., Gusmeroli F., Marguerettaz O., Orlandi D., Parente G., 1996. 'Valutazione di miscugli da prato-pascolo in ambienti alpini italiani'. Rivista di Agronomia, 2, 186-197.

Abstract: Publication assessing different mixtures of grassland seeds used in Italian Alpine environments.

Castiglioni A., Lo Pinto M., 2001. 'Primi risultati di produzione di seme di graminacee autoctone'. In: Atti del II° Meeting Internazionale del Volontariato Ecologico Campo dei Fiori, Plesio, Vertemate con Minoprio, Morbegno, 26-29 settembre 2001. Quaderni delle Guardie Ecologiche. Regione Lombardia, Servizio Volontario di Vigilanza Ecologica. Oggiono. pp. 85-89.

Abstract: Report giving first data on the production of seeds of indigenous grass species.

Castiglioni A., Colombo A., Tosca A., Gusmeroli F., Ribas E, 2003. 'Preliminary tests for the cultivation of plants for grasslands and pasture restoration in the Alps (Livigno, Valtellina, Italy)'. Abstracts book from the symposium 'Prospects of forestry development', Banja Luka 23-25, 133.

Cerabolini B., Ceriani R. M., De Andreis R., Tosca A., 1999. 'Test di germinazione comparativi su specie delle praterie prealpine ad elevata biodiversità: primi risultati'. In: Atti del 94° Congresso della Società Botanica Italiana, Ferrara, 22-25 settembre 1999.

Abstract: Report on tests of the germination of Pre-alpine grasslands species.

Cerabolini B., Ceriani R.M., 2000. 'Progetto per la propagazione di piante erbacee autoctone delle praterie carbonatiche delle Prealpi Lombarde'. MinoprioInforma, anno XIV, n°1: 6.

Abstract: Report on a project for the propagation of indigenous grasses of the calcareous grasslands of the Lombard Pre-alpine zone.

Cerabolini B., Ceriani R.M., De Andreis R., Raimondi B., Tosca A., Villa M., 2000. 'Coltivazione ex situ di specie delle praterie prealpine ad elevata biodiversità'. Società Italiana di Fitosociologia, Praterie naturali e seminaturali: sintassonomia, ecologia e gestione, Milano, 14 - 15 settembre 2000.

Abstract: Report on ex situ reproduction of plant species of high nature value grasslands in the Pre-Alps.

Ceriani R.M., Cerabolini B., De Andreis R., Frangi P., Tosca A., Villa M., 2000. 'Coltivazione in vaso di specie erbacee perenni delle praterie prealpine: primi risultati'. In: Atti V giornate scientifiche S.O.I. (Società Orticolturale Italiana) Sirmione- 28-30 marzo 2000.

Abstract: Report on first results with the artificial reproduction of perennial grasses of Pre-alpine grasslands.

De Andreis R., Tosca A., Cerabolini B., Ceriani R.M., 2000. 'Conservazione ex situ della biodiversità di specie vegetali rare o endemiche: caratterizzazione della variabilità genetica e moltiplicazione in vitro'. Seminario permanente per la gestione delle praterie e dei prati di interesse naturalistico, 20 settembre 2000.

Abstract: Report on ex situ conservation of rare or endemic plants: assessment of the genetic variability and in vitro reproduction.

De Andreis R., Ceriani R.M., Tosca A., Cerabolini B., 1999. 'Germinazione in vitro di specie erbacee autoctone di interesse conservazionistico'. In: Atti XLIII Convegno Annuale della Società Italiana Genetica Agraria, Molveno (TN) 22-25 settembre 1999.

Abstract: Report on in vitro reproduction of indigenous grass species of conservation concern.

De Andreis R., Tosca A., Cerabolini B., Ceriani R.M., Frangi P., Villa M., 2000. 'Studio della germinazione in vitro di specie delle praterie prealpine'. Conservazione ex situ ed etica delle reintroduzioni, Milano 9-10 Giugno 2000.

Abstract: Study on in vitro germination of Pre-alpine grassland species.

Gusmeroli F., Gianoncelli C. , Della Marianna G., 1994. 'Il recupero di cotiche erbose degradate in ambiente di fondovalle alpino: effetti agronomici e riflessi ambientali della concimazione minerale'. Ed. Amministrazione Provinciale di Sondrio, Bonazzi Grafica Sondrio. pp 74.

Abstract: Publication on restoration of degraded grasslands in Alpine valleys: agronomic and environmental effects of applying mineral fertilizers.

Gusmeroli F., Della Marianna G., 1997. 'Il recupero di cotiche erbose degradate in ambiente alpino: effetti agronomici e riflessi ambientali della concimazione inorganica'. Ed Amministrazione Provinciale di Sondrio, Tipografia Bettini Sondrio, pp 63.

Abstract: Publication on restoration of degraded grasslands in Alpine valleys: agronomic and environmental effects of applying inorganic fertilizers.

Gusmeroli F., Della Marianna G., 1999. 'Effetti agronomici e riflessi ecologici di interventi ammendanti e fertilizzanti su un pascolo a nardo'. In: Agricoltura e Ricerca, 179, 75-86.

Abstract: Report on the agronomic and ecological effects of applying fertilisers to Nardus grasslands.

Krautzer B, Peratoner G, Bozzo F (2004). 'Specie erbacee idonee al sito. Produzione di seme ed utilizzo per l'inerbimento in ambiente montano'. Provincia di Pordenone, Pordenone.

Abstract: Report on producing of seeds of suitable grasses for restoring mountain habitats and using them in practice.

Lombardy Seed Bank (LSB) for habitat restoration and plant biodiversity conservation (in Italian).

Abstract: The availability of local native seeds for habitat restoration is a critical issue in the management of damaged ecosystems. Yet seeds are normally unavailable and therefore imported from other areas, causing "genetic pollution", contradicting the European Union, national and regional guidelines which recommend the use of native species of local provenance in habitat restoration and management operations. The seeds of rare and/or threatened species, adequately stored in germ plasm banks, could be used in the future for reintroduction actions or restoration projects.

Argenti G, Albertosi A, Quilghini G. 2006. Analisi di inerbimenti di frane eseguiti con seme di origine autoctona nel Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona e Campigna, Forest@ 3 (2): 183-190.

Abstract: This paper reports the results of a study carried out on several landslides, re-vegetated in different years, within an area located in the Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna National Park. In these sites the re-vegetation activities were carried out using a mixture of native seeds collected from nearby natural grasslands. The aim of this work was to evaluate the success of the grass cover recovery and to obtain information on the evolution of the species composition in the restored plant community. Data collection was targeted at assessing the ground cover, the presence of the different species, the botanic richness and the re-colonization by indigenous species.

Perini D., De Andreis R., Ceriani R., Cerabolini B., 2004. 'La riqualificazione floristica delle praterie del Monte Barro nell'ambito del progetto LIFE Natura "Gestione integrata di ambienti prealpino-insubrici": analisi di genetica molecolare'. In: Atti del seminario permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico", Monte Barro (LC), 7 giugno 2004, Quaderni del Parco del Monte Barro 7: 91-102.

Abstract: Report on practical experiences, through the implementation of a LIFE-Nature project, with the restoration of the flora in the Monte Barro meadows.

Various authors, 1999, 'Il Progetto LIFE Natura Interventi urgenti per habitat prativi prioritari del Parco Naturale Regionale del Beigua'. L.I.P.U., Via Trento 49, 43100 Parma, 24 pgs.

Abstract: Report on the experience acquired by a LIFE-Nature project with actions to restore the habitat types "sub-continental steppe grassland", "species rich Nardus grasslands" and "calcareous fens" in the Beigua regional nature park (Liguria).

Publications: Survey and monitoring

Argenti G, Bianchetto E, Ferretti F, Giulietti V, Milandri M, Pelleri F, Romagnoli P, Signorini MA, Venturi E. 2006. Caratterizzazione di un'area pascoliva in fase di abbandono attualmente utilizzata in modo estensivo (S. Paolo in Alpe - S. Sofia, FC) Forest@ 3 (3): 387-396.

Abstract:This paper reports the first results of an investigation carried out within the research project "Study and improvement of woods and shrubbery derived from abandoned agricultural areas" (RiSelvItalia Project). The study allowed a reconstruction to be made of the dynamic evolution of vegetation from grasslands to woods. Moreover it proposes some guidelines for a multi-purpose exploitation of the site, taking into account not only economic aspects, but also the conservation of the environment and the landscape.

Bagella S., 2000 - 'Indagini integrate fitosociologiche e fitopastorali per la gestione delle praterie dell'Appennino umbro-marchigiano'. Congresso della Società Italiana di Fitosociologia. Milano, 13-15 settembre 2000.

Abstract: Report on integrated phytosociological and pastoral-technical surveys for the management of grasslands in the Apennines.

Bagella S., 2001 - 'La carta fitosociologica e fitopastorale: uno strumento per la gestione delle praterie'. Atti del Congresso della Società Italiana di Fitosociologia. Lipari, 13-15 giugno 2001.

Abstract: Report on the phytosociological and pastoral-technical map as a tool for the management of grasslands.

Ceriani R.M., Cerabolini B., 2003. 'The functional approach in the analysis of herbaceous communities: an example from highly biodiverse Pre-alpine grasslands'. In: Acts 4th Conference on Biochemistry, Ecophysiology and Population Biology of

Abstract: Alpine and Polar Plants, Trins (Austria), 9-11 July 2003. Institute of Botany, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck.

Ceriani R., Luzzaro A., Cerabolini B., 2004. 'L'approccio funzionale nello studio delle comunità: l'esempio delle praterie prealpine ad alta biodiversità'. In: 99° Congresso Società Botanica Italiana, Torino, 22-24 settembre 2004, 197.

Abstract: Publication on the functional approach in the study of plant communities, using Pre-alpine grasslands with high biodiversity as example.

Gusmeroli F., Pozzoli L., Arosio G., Pozzi M., Tamburini A., 2000. 'Caratterizzazione floristica ed ecologica della vegetazione pascoliva dell'Alpe Mola (Edolo-BS)'. In: Atti del Convegno MIPAF Attualità e prospettive della foraggicoltura alpina. Asiago, 29-30 settembre 1998. Rivista di Agronomia 34, n 1 Suppl., 149-154.

Abstract: Report on the botanical and ecological characteristics of grazed vegetation in the Mola Alps (Brescia).

Habitat dell'Emilia-Romagna - Manuale per il riconoscimento secondo il metodo europeo CORINE biotopes,

Abstract: Book that describes habitats occurring in the Emilia Romagna Region, and how to recognise them in the field using the CORINE-Biotopes methodology. It is freely available under "entra nell'ipertesto". For each habitat type a brief description is provided, together with an extensive bibliography.

IPLA, 2003. 'Guida al riconoscimento di ambienti e specie della direttiva Habitat in Piemonte', Regione Piemonte, Settore Pianificazione Aree Protette, Torino.

Abstract: This is an identification guide for habitats and species of the Habitats Directive in Piedmont.

Moretti, M.; Patocchi N.; Zimbelli, N., 2000: 'Verifica degli interventi di gestione dei prati magri del Monte Generoso (Ticino, Svizzera) in base all'analisi di ropaloceri, ortotteri e ragni: risultati del primo controllo dopo cinque anni di gestione'. - In: Villa, M. (ed.) Atti del seminario permanente per la gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico. Monte Barro, 20 Sept. 2000. 103-113.

Abstract: Publication on assessing the effects of managing oligotrophic meadows on Monte Generoso (Ticino Canton, Switzerland) through the analysis of three invertebrate indicator species: results of the first survey after 5 years of management.

Perini D., 2003. 'Analisi di genetica molecolare di piante endemiche delle prealpi meridionali'. In: Atti del Seminario Permanente "Gestione delle praterie di interesse naturalistico", Monte Barro (LC), 25 marzo 2003. Consorzio Parco Monte Barro. Quaderni del Parco Monte Barro, n°6:5-10.

Abstract: Genetic analysis of endemic plant species found in the southern pre-Alps.

Raimondi B., Cattaneo M., Cerabolini B., Preatoni D., Ceriani R.M., De Andreis R., 2000. 'Cartografia della vegetazione e applicazione di indici di qualità ambientale relativamente al territorio della provincia di Varese'. In: Società Italiana di Fitosociologia, Praterie naturali e seminaturali: sintassonomia, ecologia e gestione, Milano, 14 - 15 settembre 2000.

Abstract: Study on mapping vegetation and applying an environmental quality index to natural and semi-natural grasslands in the Varese province.

Viciani D., 2000 - 'La valutazione della qualità degli aspetti floristico-vegetazionali negli Studi di Impatto Ambientale: una metodologia semplificata'. Inform. Bot. Ital., 31 (1-3): 213-217. (1999).

Abstract: Article on a simplified methodology for evaluating the quality of botanical and vegetational aspects in environmental impact assessments.

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Publications: Miscellaneous

Annicchiarico P., Bozzo F., Parente G., Gusmeroli F., Mair V., Marguerettaz O., Orlandi D., 1995. 'Analysis of adaptation of grass/legume mixtures to Italian alpine and subalpine zones through an additive main effects and multiplicative interaction model'. Grass and Forage Science, 50, 405-413.

Bagella S., Roggero P.P., 2002 - 'Seasonal distribution of the production of Apennine grasslands described as a function of sward height'. In: Atti del seminario FAO- CIHEAM "Evolution of sheep and goat production systems: future of extensive systems and changes in society". Alghero, 3-6 aprile 2002/Options méditerranéennes. Serie A: Seminaries méditerranéens 61: 123-127.

Bagella S., Roggero P.P., 'Analisi spazio-temporale della produzione di praterie nell'Appennino umbro-marchigiano (Italia)'. Inf. Bot. Ital. 35(2): 309-320.

Abstract: Spatial-temporal analysis of grassland-based farm production in Apennine meadows in Umbria and Marche.

Baracchini, M. L. 2007. Aree agricole ad alto valore naturale: iniziative europee. In: Aree agricole ad alto valore naturalistico: individuazione, conservazione, valorizzazione'. Atti Workshop APAT, 2007.

Abstract: Environmental issues are now a central issue in agricultural policy, and farm production processes ought to severely reduce their impact in order to guarantee the protection of biodiversity. In order to identify the criteria for the identification, management and conservation of such areas, the APAT organised a preliminary meeting with the stakeholders concerned.

Chiarucci, A., Viciani, D., Winter, C., Diekmann, M., 2006 - 'Effects of productivity on species-area curves in herbaceous vegetation: evidence from experimental and observational data'. Oikos 115: 475-483.

Gusmeroli F., Della Marianna G., Maffescioni R., 1994. 'Il pascolo: una risorsa per la montagna'. Ed. Amministrazione Provinciale di Sondrio, Bonazzi Grafica Sondrio, 53-92.

Abstract: Publication on the economic and social value of pasturing for mountain districts.

Gusmeroli F., Della Marianna G., 2000. 'Il paesaggio vegetale della Valle delle Mine: pastoralismo ed ecoturismo'. Ed. Amministrazione Provinciale di Sondrio, Tipografia Bettini Sondrio, pp 55.

Abstract: Publication on the grassland landscape of the Valle delle Mine and the scope for livestock farming and eco-tourism.

Mariani L., Bocchi S., Boschetti M., Gusmeroli F., Casarini R., 2005. 'Modello di simulazione dinamica della produzione vegetale di pascoli in ambiente alpino'. In: Atti Ricerca e Innovazione per le produzioni vegetali e la gestione delle risorse agro-ambientali / Marcella Giuliani e Giuseppe Gatta. Intervento presentato al XXXVI. Convegno della Società Italiana di Agronomia, Foggia. Società Italiana di Agronomia e Università degli Studi di Foggia, 2005. - ISBN 88-7427-010-0. - p. 222-224.

Abstract: Presentation of a model for dynamic simulation of plant production in Alpine pastures.

Paoletti R., Gusmeroli F., Locatelli C., Della Marianna G., Berardo N., 1996. 'European cultivars of Italian ryegrass in an Alpine lowland (Valtellina): adaptation, earliness, dry matter yield and quality'. Proceedings of the 16th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Grado (Gorizia), Italy, September 15-19 1996. In Grassland Science in Europe, 1, 559-563.

Picchi, S., Scalera R., Zaghi D. 2006. Il bilancio di LIFE Natura in Italia - Indicazioni e prospettive per il futuro, Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio - Direzione Generale Protezione della Natura, Rome, 224 pgs.

Abstract:The book includes a comprehensive analysis of the contribution made by the 156 LIFE Nature projects financed in Italy in the period 1992-2005, to the conservation of biodiversity in Italy. Grasslands were targeted by about 40 projects, some of which are described in a specific section of the book dealing with habitats.

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