The LIFE4FIR project consortium met on 7th November in Spain for the periodic monitoring meeting. The meeting was organized by the University of Seville at the Santo Domingo Convent in Ronda, Málaga.
During the first day, the beneficiaries and the external monitor met in the beautiful venue to discuss the technical results obtained, the dissemination activities carried out, and to monitor the financial aspects. The meeting was a precious opportunity to manage the critical aspects of the project and discuss the activities to be completed in the coming months.
Afterwards, two days of visits to the Abies Pinsapo populations in the “Pinsapar Sierra de Las Nieves” forest and the “Pinsapar de Junqueras” forest were organised, followed by a visit to the nursery where the seedlings of this species are propagated.
On 10 November 2022, the University of Seville organized an open day for students. During the meeting, the technical-scientific issues relating to the conservation of threatened Mediterranean fir trees were addressed, referring to the experience of the LIFE4FIR project.
The Italian and Spanish researchers involved in the project and some political authorities took part in the meeting (here the program of the event).
On 7 November 2022, a replication event was held in Ronda (Spain) to promote the LIFE4FIR project and the LIFE programme, in its thirtieth year.
During the event, issues relating to the conservation strategies implemented in the project were addressed, as well as possible solutions to be adopted and applied also to other species of conifers at risk of extinction (here the programme of the event).
The event hosted Roberto Danti, coordinator of the project, Montserrat Arista from the University of Seville (beneficiary of the project) and representatives of Spanish institutions involved in the conservation of biodiversity of Abies pinsapo and other species: Jose López Quintanilla, Regional Coordinator (Junta de Andalucía ) of the Abies pinsapo conservation project; Rafael Haro, Director of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park; Antonio Rivas, Director of the El Castillejo Botanical Garden.
On 17 May 2022, the beneficiaries of LIFE4FIR met for the progress meeting of the 30 months of the project, which has entered its second half (2019-2023).
The meeting was organized in the Domenico Lanza Room of the Palermo Botanical Garden. The activities carried out were presented and the progress of the technical and dissemination activities discussed, as well as the monitoring of the financial aspects.
The room dedicated to the seedbank and the cryo-bank was set up at the MAN (Museum of Abies nebrodensis) in Polizzi Generosa.
Instrumentation and safety devices were installed and the seed bank went into operation at the beginning of 2022. Seeds batches are progressively added to the collection stored at -18 degrees Celsius. The cryobank is expected to be fully operational in Spring 2023.
The team of CNR-IPSP presented the LIFE4FIR project during the 116th Congress of the Italian Botanical Society, held online from 8 to 10 September 2021.
CNR prepared an abstract titled “Identification and removal of exotic fir trees for in situ preservation of Abies nebrodensis – Rosario Schicchi, Filippo Amato, Giuseppe Di Noto, Anna Geraci, Gaetano La Placa, Stefano Secci, Roberto Danti” and presented a video for disseminating the contents of the LIFE4FIR project to the scientific audience of the event.
The team of CNR-IPSP presented the LIFE4FIR project during the XIII Italian Conference on Biodiversity, held online from 7 to 9 September 2021.
This event represented an important opportunity to disseminate to a specialised audience the objectives, activities and expected results of the LIFE4FIR project: LIFE4FIR could represent a virtuous model to be replicated for the protection of other endangered species.
Below are the recordings of the two speeches held by Dr. Roberto Danti and Dr. Waed Tarraf, who presented the LIFE4FIR project and related activities.
On May 25 2021, the Life4fir project delegates met the Mayor of Polizzi Generosa, Gandolfo Librizzi, to define the matter related to the management of the cryobank under construction at the premises of the Abies Nebrodensis Museum, located in the Town Hall.
In the photo from the left: Prof.sa Maria Antonietta Germanà; Dr. Maurizio Lambardi; the Mayor Dr. Gandolfo Librizzi; Dr. Roberto Danti (Life4fir coordinator) and Dr. Peppuccio Bonomo in front of the dewar supplied for storing samples of seeds, pollen, isolated embryos and embryogenic callus lines of Abies nebodensis in liquid nitrogen.
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.
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