Ensuring the survival of endangered
plants in the Mediterranean


Ph.D. Summer School (Marghine-Goceano, 2012 September 25-28th)

25th September 2012

In the morning, after a brief introduction of the course held by G. Bacchetta (University of Cagliari), E. Farris (University of Sassari) and G. Fenu (University of Cagliari) proceeded with a lecture on “Forest ecosystems of Sardinia”. Then, it was the turn of A. Abis (Autonomous Region of Sardinia) with a presentation concerning the “The Regional Forestry and Environmental Plan” and, finally, C. Pontecorvo (University of Cagliari) who delivered a lecture on “Natura 2000 forest habitats monitoring in Sardinia: technical aspects and problems”.

After the lunch break, the excursion to Mount Rasu (1.259 m a.s.l.) took place through the mesophilous oak wood of Sos Nibberos. While wandering in the wooden area of Sos Nibberos it was possible to collect fruits of Ilex aquifolium from scattered individuals. Then, it happened to collect the fruits of Smyrnium perfoliatum subsp. rotundifolium, a rather common annual species that is part of the herbaceous layer of the Glechomo sardoae-Quercetum congestae association. The Glechomo sardoae-Quercetum congestae, an association that characterizes many wooden areas of the Marghine-Goceano in oceanic pluviseasonal temperate submediterranean bioclimate, in Sos Nibberos is substituted by the European Yew wood (Polysticho setiferi-Taxetum baccatae) in the northern-exposed and colder sides. As regards, the Taxus baccata woods in Sos Nibberos are characterized by ancient individuals that shelter with their huge mass most of the solar radiation, thus practically leaving the soil in semidarkness. This condition seems to be, or to be at least part of, the main factor on the basis of the scarcity of Taxus seedlings in this wood that could replace mature and over-mature trees. Finally, along the way back, it was possible to collect the fruit of the narrow endemics Rubus arrigonii.

After dinner, it was the time to watch a beautiful presentation by E. Farris and R. Paddeu (freelance photographer) concerning the main floristic, vegetation and fauna aspects of the Marghine-Goceano area.

26th September 2012

The whole day has been dedicated to the lecture session. In the morning it was first the turn of S. Burrascano (University La Sapienza) who delivered a lecture on “Biodiversity conservation and forest management: the case of the ancient forests”. Then followed M. D’Angelo (Forest Agency of Sardinia) with a presentation concerning “Forest management planning at local level in Sardinia; implementing “provisions” of the Forest and Environmental Regional Plan”. Subsequently, E. Farris presented the work titled “Biodiversity conservation in the forest context: the study case of Goceano” while, the first half of the day ended with a lecture by F. Navarro and N. Jiménez (Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera) on the “Forestation techniques in agricultural landscape, forest management and biodiversity conservation in SE Spain”.

In the evening, after the lunch break, E. Mattana (University of Cagliari) held a lecture on “Survey techniques”.

27th  September 2012

Early in the morning we have transferred some klicks far from our accommodation in Monte Pisanu to the Pabude Parc where we first directed to the gorge of Mularza Noa. There it was possible to collect fruits from Acer monspessulanum and Sorbus torminalis, taxa that are both not so frequent in Sardinia. Leaving Mularza Noa behind, after having collected the fruits of Rubus ulmifolius, the next stage in the excursion was a visit in the close Nuraghe Ortakis, a beautiful as well as enigmatic testimony of the ancient population that inhabited these lands in the pre-roman era, reachable through a half an hour walk across a wood of Quercus dalechampii. From Nuraghe Ortakis it was possible to descend down to the underlying gorge where, close to a stream, the only population of Ribes multiflorum subsp. sandalioticum in the Marghine-Goceano area and the only population in the whole Sardinian region of Lonicera etrusca grow. Concerning Ribes multiflorum subsp. sandalioticum it was clear for all how this population, that lay isolated from the richer ones in Mount Limbara, Supramonte and Gennargentu massifs, needs a fast decision on the possible way to be preserved. Climbing the slope we reappeared in the overtopping plain where the vehicles were waiting to take us to the next stage, Punta Palai for a visit to its lookout tower where personnel of the Forest Agency of Sardinia continuously monitor the surrounding landscape for fires.

The lunch break took place at Badde Salighes, near to Villa Piercy. Of course, a visit to the garden of Villa Piercy was mandatory as well as the harvest of the fruits of Sambucus ebulus. that grows in a fairly numerous individuals in the proximity and those of a small population of Anthriscus sp. in the close wood.

After lunch, we directed towards the complex of Mount Artu close to Illorai where we could explore the forest area of Sa Pruna-Sa Cariasa. This holm oak forest, an example of the transition between the series of Galio scabri-Quercetum ilicis ilicetosum aquifolii to that of the Saniculo europaeae-Quercetum ilicis, is one of the most ancient Quercus ilex wood in Sardinia and offered us the possibility to admire an uncontaminated woodland environment, almost without any signs of human intervention. Moreover we remained struck by the majesty of some ancient individuals of oak while, in the meantime, we took advantage of the presence of Pyrus pyraster, Pyrus spinosa, Prunus spinosa, Sorbus torminalis and Rubus ulmifolius collecting their fruits.

28th September 2012

Also the last day in the Marghine-Goceano area was fully devoted to excursions. In particular, in the morning we were taken to Foresta Anela where we began the ascension to the top of Punta Masiennera (1156 m a.s.l.). Along the climb we could cross some typical association of the copse wood such as the Saniculo europaeae-Quercetum ilicis, the mantle communities of the Crataego monogynae-Pyretum spinosae and the Crataego monogynae-Aceretum monspessulani below Punta Masiennera, the shrublands of the Genisto desoleanae-Ericetum arboreae and, just at the top, the garrigue of the dell’Armerio sardoae-Genistetum desoleanae. There, while enjoying the astounding panorama surrounding us, we collected the seeds of Dianthus ichnusae subsp. toddei, endemic taxon that can only be found in the Goceano.

Descending from Punta Masiennera, we walked through the mesophile prairies characterized by the presence of Festuca morisiana and Lotus corniculatus subsp. alpinus just before getting on the way back to Foresta Anela where we had lunch and, since we were at it, we collected Arctium minus and Malus cfr. sylvestris.

Posted at Mar 06, 2013 | By : | Tags : Summer SchoolSardinia