Completion of the New Fencing System

In the summer of 2021, the new fencing system to protect the 30 trees of the population and the established natural renewal was completed. 1800 chestnut poles (2.50 meters high) were used, and over 3.5 kilometers were enclosed with netting and metal wires. The protected area was expanded to cover a total surface of 14000 m2 around the Abies nebrodensis plants.

Phytosanitary surveys

Phytosanitary investigations on trees in the natural population have been completed. These investigations included inspections of the foliage, sampling of branches affected by disorders (blight, needle reddening and loss, chlorosis) and isolation of fungal microorganisms have been carried out. Outcomes showed that the disturbances observed are related to the severe environmental conditions which Abies nebrodensis is experiencing, and, together with the fungal community observed on the symptomatic and healthy needles (consisting mainly of weak pathogens and saprophytes,) indicate that the species is able to cope with the restrictions of its habitat.

Setting up reforestation plots

The planting out of the selected seedlings in the 10 areas chosen for the reforestation has started in spring 2023. The figures below show the repopulation nuclei set up in Favarotti (Isnello) and Mandarini (Petralia Sottana). Two-meter-high fences provide protection for the 300 Abies nebrodensis plants in the installations.


In the photo below, a newly planted Abies nebrodensis seedling is circled in red, while the arrows indicate the two broom plants (Spartium junceum) placed inside the hole to protect the fir seedling.

Inauguration of the Seed Bank and Cryobank

The inauguration of the Seed Bank and Cryobank developed within the framework of the LIFE4FIR project took place on July 21, 2023, in the presence of the Mayor of Polizzi Generosa, Gandolfo Librizzi, and the Councilor for Environmental Policies, Gaetano Bellavia, as well as researchers from IBE-CNR and the University of Palermo who developed the protocols and procedures. The biobank is managed by an employee of the Madonie Park Authority who has previously participated in a specific training session for this purpose.

The workshop ‘Monitoraggio fitosanitario e la conservazione di Abies nebrodensis’ of the LIFE4FIR project – Palermo, 28 November 2023

The workshop ‘Monitoraggio fitosanitario e la conservazione di Abies nebrodensis’ (Phytosanitary monitoring and the conservation of Abies nebrodensis) organized by the LIFE4FIR project was held at the Sala Lanza of the Museum System of the University of Palermo (here is the programme).

The event aimed to inform and update administrators, managers of protected areas, professionals, and students about the health status of trees in the natural population, environmental stresses, and the importance of monitoring for the management and adoption of adequate protection measures for the species.

LIFE4FIR at DIDACTA 2023 – Catania, 12-14 October 2023

The Madonie Park Authority attended the stand of the protected areas of the Sicilian Region at DIDACTA, a fair dedicated to the world of education and training. The event provided an opportunity to disseminate the themes addressed by the LIFE4FIR project to an audience that is not specifically scientific but rather more general and specialized in the training of potential scientists of tomorrow.

LIFE4FIR at the 118th Congress of the Italian Botanical Society – Pisa, 13-16 September 2023

The LIFE4FIR Project was presented at the 118th Congress of the Italian Botanical Society through the poster “Propagation techniques of Abies nebrodensis by the side-veneer graft” (Sgadari et al.).

The event provided an excellent opportunity to present the results and best practices of the LIFE4FIR project to researchers and professionals in the field.

LIFE4FIR at the XIV National Congress on Biodiversity – Lecce (Italy), 13-15 September 2023

At the XIV National Congress on Biodiversity held in Lecce from September 13 to 15, researchers from the LIFE4FIR project presented two oral presentations:

The event represented a valuable opportunity to reach the scientific audience and promote the activities and best practices developed during the LIFE4FIR project.