Assisted migration of autochtonous Abies alba in habitat 9220 *


RESILFOR - Restoration of forests dominated by beeches with Silver Fir in the Apennines between Tuscany and Marche

LIFE08 NAT/IT/000371

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Introduction of autochthonous silver fir genotypes in Apennine beech woods.

Marcello Miozzo



Insert in beech forests nucleus of redissemination of silver fir of proven genetic heritage representative of local autochthonous populations and with a certain adaptive capacity to climate change. For this reason, assisted migration techniques of native silver fir have been developed in order to expand and reconstitute portions of habitat 9220* "Beech forests of the Apennines with Abies alba".

Good Practice Description

In the reforestations that took place in the past in the central Apennines, fir trees from central Europe were used mostly, contributing to the general genetic regression of indigenous peoples.

By "assisted migration" we mean a set of techniques that imply knowledge of a genetic, nursery and silvicultural nature. With this technique, the ReSilFor project created arboretums with seedlings derived from native "mother plants".

The first phase concerns the monitoring of the genetic biodiversity of the residual indigenous populations, in order to choose "mother plants" above all among those with significant plastic behavior with respect to climatic conditions. From these the scions are collected for the production of seedlings with grafting technique. After 3 years these are planted in beech woods with stable characteristics suitable for the growth of silver fir trees, in holes of about 500 m² with a suitably thinned circular crown. Protection from nibbling and punctual crop care must also be provided in the first 5-10 years after implantation.

Territorial Context

Central Italian Apennines in the Tuscany and Marche regions. These are mountainous reliefs characterized by fragmented sedimentary rocks with deep and fertile soils. The forest areas are located between 1000 and 1500 m asl. From a climatic point of view, all areas have a Mediterranean climate with rainfall patterns in the spring autumn periods and with partial water deficits in the summer periods.

Replicability conditions

To achieve this good practice, it is necessary to have: scientific staff experienced in genetic analysis and phenological monitoring; of a well-equipped nursery (both for infrastructures and for specialized personnel) to produce grafted fir seedlings, operators and forestry technicians who prepare and implement the plant and subsequent cultivation care. This makes this practice replicable and sustainable only for specific contexts and to ensure the conservation of genetic heritages threatened by human action and climate change.

Dissemination material

From the GoProFor database, in the final part of the sheet, it is possible to download material related to the project and in particular a final technical report, the Laymans report and also a video on the grafting technique.