Several plant species of EU importance, listed in the annexes of the Habitats Directive, are found in the Majella, Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise national parks and the Sirente Velino regional park. The species are under threat for several reasons. In particular, they are adversely affected by the growing impact of tourism, resulting in the unsustainable exploitation of the environment and its resources. Other factors include: the (illegal) collection of plants by tourists and locals; poor management and exploitation of pastures and grasslands through grazing and mowing; forest fires; and the natural dynamics of vegetation encroachment, the latter of which is leading to a general increase of the forested areas in the project sites.The main project objective of FLORANET LIFE is to improve the conservation status of several plant species of EU concern, and listed in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive, with particular emphasis on three priority species for conservation: Astragalus aquilanus, Klasea lycopifolia, and Jacobea vulgaris subsp. gotlandica. The other target species are: Iris marsica, Adonis distorta, Androsace mathildae and Cypripedium calceolus.The target areas cover Natura 2000 network sites in three of the main protected areas of the Apennines i.e., the above-mentioned Majella, Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise national parks, and the Sirente Velino regional park.In line with Italy’s National Strategy of Biodiversity, in-situ conservation activities, along with a variety of ex situ conservation measures, will be carried out on Cypripedium calceolus, Adonis distorta, Androsace mathildae, Iris marsica and Astragalus aquilanus in the Majella National Park; on Klasea lycopifolia, Jacobaea vulgaris subsp. gotlandica, Astragalus aquilanus and Adonis distorta in Sirente-Velino regional park; and on Cypripedium calceolus and Iris marsica in the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise national parks.Measures to protect the sites from grazing, mowing and tourism will be considered, along with the adoption of environmentally-friendly restoration techniques, including the production of plants grown ex-situ, analysis of germination processes of the germplasm of the targeted species, propagation in nursery and the cultivation in botanical gardens.Finally, the project aims to increase awareness about the conservation issues in the target areas, particularly among local people and visitors to the parks.Expected results: The project is expected to contribute to improving the conservation status of the target species of EU interest. A number of in-situ and ex-situ conservation measures will have been implemented including:
The collection of propagule (seeds, roots, fruits or other plant parts); and
Propagation in nurseries of a minimum number of 3 220 plants obtained from seeds and through micropropagation (plant tissue cultures aimed at producing around 200 plants of Adonis distorta, Androsace mathildae and Cypripedium calceolus).
Further measures achieved will include:
Removal of invasive trees and shrubs on a total surface of 12.5 ha in the target protected areas;
Placing of fences and shelters to ensure the protection of the sites under threat by extensive tourist activities, grazing and other human impacts;
Restocking and reintroduction of new populations of rare plants;
Promotion of best practices (for example regarding mowing); and
Implementation of sound management measures, including the re-definition of the boundaries of the relevant Natura 2000 sites.
Coordinator: Ente Parco Nazionale della Majella
Start Date: 2016-07-18/End Date: 2020-09-30