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Plant cover evolution and naturalisation of revegetated ski runs in an Apennine ski resort (Italy)

DOI: 10.3832/ifor0511-002

Keywords: Revegetation , Botanical composition , Native species , Floristic richness

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Abstract:

Revegetation on ski runs is performed to limit soil erosion, to reduce visual impact and to lengthen the duration of snow cover. Commercial forage mixtures are often used and the mid-long term aim is to obtain a high level of colonisation by species of the local flora to ensure the ecological integration of restored areas. The naturalisation of the artificial canopy is affected in a remarkable way by the local environmental conditions and by management of the swards. To contribute to the knowledge of this process, data collected in an Apennine ski resort on several ski runs revegetated in different years and located at different elevations (from 1020 to 1745 m a.s.l.) are reported. Botanical analyses were also conducted on natural areas located at different altitudes and close to the ski tracks to assess the level of naturalisation reached by the artificial canopy. Results showed the effectiveness of the revegetations performed, even though they were carried out with very simple mixtures. Data collection allowed to evaluate the rapidity of the naturalisation process which is mainly affected by the height of the ski slope and years since sowing. Evolution of swards over time demonstrated that, in the environment studied, characterised by low altitude, the speed of colonisation by native species is considerably higher than that reported in previous studies carried out in different alpine environments located at upper elevations.

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