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Über dieses Buch

The Bosco della Mesola represents one of the few remnants of coastal woodlands in Italy. A nature reserve was established in this area in 1977. No detailed checklists of the vascular flora of the nature reserve have been compiled since then. So, there was an urgent need to fill this gap. This book contains a critical updated checklist of the vascular flora in the Bosco della Mesola Nature Reserve. It also allows quantitative comparisons with a previous checklist dating back to the 1960s in order to detect temporal changes in the vascular flora over 60 years. We believe that this book represents a milestone for scientists and all people involved in nature conservation and management in this area and in similar territories in other countries. The readerships can also include high-school students and non-professional botany amateurs.



Chapter 1. Introduction

The Bosco della Mesola (44°50′ N, 12°15′ E, 1058 ha), also called Boscone della Mesola or Gran Bosco della Mesola, is one of the main relics of lowland forest currently preserved in Italy. It is located in the southern deltaic lobe of Po, the longest Italian river, close to the Adriatic coast in North-Eastern Italy (Fig. 1.1). The Bosco della Mesola lies on geologically very recent terrain, consisting in fine-grained aeolian dune fields of late Medieval-Renaissance age (Stefani and Vincenzi 2005). Ground morphology is characterized by a system of topographic lows and highs formed of dune ridges with maximum elevation of about 7 m above sea level and dune slacks with minimum elevation of about 2 m below sea level. The orientation of the dune ridges is about 50° N, recording the direction of the dominant north-eastern winter wind, the so-called ‘bora’ (Fig. 1.1). Water supply to the nature reserve mainly originates from a network of canals providing freshwater from surrounding areas. However, the local aquifer is in hydraulic connection with the sea. This area has experienced strong subsidence especially since the half of the twentieth century when the subsidence rates strongly increased mainly due to anthropic causes, especially extraction of methane-bearing water, overexploitation of freshwater and riverbed deepening (Simeoni and Corbau 2009; Corbau et al. 2019). This implied a loss in altimetric elevation of about 2.5 m (Bondesan et al. 1995) and almost quintupled the rates of salt-wedge intrusion from the sea. Saltwater currently affects the topographic lows in the south-eastern part of the Nature Reserve (Gerdol et al. 2018).
Alessandro Alessandrini, Giampaolo Balboni, Lisa Brancaleoni, Renato Gerdol, Giovanni Nobili, Mauro Pellizzari, Filippo Piccoli, Michele Ravaglioli

Chapter 2. Flora

The botanical exploration of Bosco della Mesola started at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The first stages of the exploration were part of pioneer floristic research over the whole Ferrara Province (Revedin 1909) and the coastal territory (Béguinot 1910, 1916). These two authors listed many species and provided general information about Bosco della Mesola and surrounding areas. More general overviews about flora, vegetation, environment and forestry in Bosco della Mesola were published about 40 years later (Patrone 1951; Carullo 1953; Albanese 1958; Jedlowski 1960).
Alessandro Alessandrini, Giampaolo Balboni, Lisa Brancaleoni, Renato Gerdol, Giovanni Nobili, Mauro Pellizzari, Filippo Piccoli, Michele Ravaglioli


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