During March-April 2022 the trees of the natural population were propagated by grafting, in order to set up the clonal orchard.
Thanks to the protocol developed within the LIFE4FIR project, a much higher success and survival rate of the seedlings was obtained compared to previous experiences.
The LIFE4FIR project consortium organized a technical course on the grafting of Abies Nebrodensis at the Piano Noce nursery on 18 November 2021, where the IBE-CNR experts gave a theoretical and practical lesson to the technicians and workers of the Region and the Madonie Park Authority.
The course was designed with the aim of providing brief basic notions on the vegetative propagation of conifers and the practice of grafting the Madonie fir, in order to promote the conservation of the species through the creation of a clonal arboretum.
Here are some photos taken during the event.
The LIFE4FIR project consortium met again in Sicily in November 2021 for the periodic monitoring meeting (agenda available here). A two day full of activities!
During the first day, the beneficiaries and the external monitor met in the beautiful headquarters of the municipality of Polizzi Generosa to discuss the results obtained and the activities planned for the coming months.
In the afternoon, after the meeting, the participants moved for a visit to the Seed Bank set up inside the Abies Nebrodensis Museum, in the municipality of Polizzi Generosa.
During the visit it was possible to observe the first samples of seeds stored for conservation: this activity is of fundamental importance for the maintenance of the germplasm of the species.
The second day was dedicated to an excursion to the original settlement of Abies nebrodensis. The walk along the path of the Abies was organized to show to the monitor the interventions carried out, with particular attention to the installation of the new fencing system around the trees and the video surveillance system.
On Saturday 5th May, the ‘Germogli in Città’ event was organized in Piazza del Duomo in Messina to celebrate the World Environment Day. On this occasion, the Ente Parco delle Madonie prepared a space for the presentation and promotion of the Life4fir project, through the distribution of gadgets, brochures, hats, pencils and the assignment of some young plants of Abies nebrodensis delivered directly by the president of the Park Authority, Dr. Angelo Merlino.
The remote sensing via drone of the LIFE4FIR project
At the beginning of October 2020 the survey of the Abies nebrodensis natural are was carried out using a drone equipped with multispectral cameras. Remote sensing allows the monitoring of the health of trees and habitat through the measure of the radiation reflected by the vegetation.
During the drone flight, panoramic shots of the habitat and of the individual trees of the Abies nebrodensis population were acquired.
Tree n. 8
Trees n. 10 ed 11
Tree n. 12
Trees n. 16 e 17
Tree n. 19
Phytosanitary monitoring and laboratory activities of LIFE4FIR project
Phytosanitary surveys were carried out in November 2019 and in October 2020. Trees were subjected to a careful visual examination to evaluate their vegetative condition based on observations of the crown shape and transparency, turning foliage, presence of declining, desiccated or damaged parts, occurrence of lesions.
Laboratory analysis for LIFE4FIR monitoring activities
Laboratory analysis of collected samples were conducted through: observations under stereomicroscope, isolation and culture of fungal colonies and their genetic characterization through PCR amplification and sequencing of target loci for their identification. This allowed identification of the fungal microflora associated with the observed alterations and to detect the possible presence of harmful pathogens.
The activities of the LIFE4FIR project continue, despite the significant difficulties related to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, in October 2020 the beneficiaries of the project met in Sicily, in order to hold the periodic coordination meeting. In addition to the updating for the 12 months of the project, being in Sicily the beneficiaries had live visits to the sites involved in the LIFE4FIR project.
Here are some photos taken during these activities.
During the technical and financial monitoring meeting held last October 12th in the restored rooms of the ancient library at the Botanical Garden of Palermo.
The LIFE4FIR group during the visit to the Abies nebrodensis Museum set up inside the town hall of Polizzi Generosa. The museum will host the cryobank foreseen in the project.
Approaching specimen no. 12 during the monitoring of the vegetative and sanitary conditions last October.
Taking samples from specimen no. 12 for laboratory observations and analyses.
Transit on the stony ground between the Vallone Madonna degli Angeli and Monte Scalone.
In front of tree n. 1, the most remote of the population.
The fruiting that occurred in 2020 was particularly abundant. The cones collected from the individual treeswere placed in boxes at the Piano Noce nursery, awaiting extraction of seeds.