Monte Rufeno LAZ1 - Italy
Monte Rufeno LAZ1
Monte Rufeno LTER
Parent Site Name
Monte Rufeno LAZ1 is a monitoring plot within Mediterranean Forests LTER Italy site (parent site); it belongs to the Italian branch of the ICP Forests Network and it has been included in LTER Europe since 2007. Monte Rufeno (690 m asl) is part of the typical hilly landscape of northern Lazio, which suffered intense exploitation in the past by man. The dominant tree species is the oak (Quercus cerris L.). For a long time and up until the 1960s, the extensive oak woods were subjected to coppice cutting for the production of firewood. With the interruption of the practice of the cut, the forest stands have suffered a progressive aging and present themselves today as predominantly monospecific woods and monoplanes. There are also reforestations of conifers. Peculiarities of the territory are the water richness and the accentuated dynamism linked to the landslides. Monte Rufeno LAZ1 has been active as a monitoring plot since 1995. Data collection is carried out in collaboration with several organizations and universities. The research site is included in the Monte Rufeno Regional Natural Reserve.
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
The set of parameters studied at this area represents a valid basis for the deepening of specific "case studies" concerning the physiological responses of vegetation to the variations of their physical-chemical and biological life environment (hence the denomination of "intensive" monitoring in reference to level II monitoring). Climatic extremes, whose frequency and intensity are expected to rise locally, due to global changes, have an increasing impact on the health and vitality of forests. Significant events occurred in the springs of 2016 and 2017, when extensive late frosts affected the Apennine beech forests, and in summer 2017 with extensive desiccation and mortality in the forests of central Italy following a strong wave of heat and drought. These events are a warning sign for the health and integrity of forests. Data coming from this monitoring plot are frequently asked by students, reasearchers and technicians and lately have been also used to facilitate participation of the general public in natural sciences, through dissemination events in the field.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information