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Life Friuli Fens - Conservation and restoration of calcareous fens in Friuli

(1) Life Friuli Fens - S. Zanini

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European interesting species and endemic plants

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Species from the red book of the flora of Italy

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Glacials relicts

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Other typical plants

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PHOTO GALLERY
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LIFE FRIULI FENS

For the variety of habitats in such a limited area, the flora of the three SICs is extremely different and interesting, especially taking into consideration the great anthropization of the plains in the north of Italy.
For the geographical position of the sites, their geological history, the pedological peculiarities and the climatic characters of the habitats, such floristic richness can not be found in any other similar wet area. One of the most interesting features of this flora is the presence of numerous species which are typical of the mountain areas. They came to the lowlands during glaciations and they still survive there thanks to the cool climate, which is due to the presence of spring water at an even temperature. These species, such as Pinguicula alpina, Parnassia palustris, Primula farinosa, Tofieldia calyculata, Carex davalliana, Eriophorum latifolium, are especially present in alkaline fens but some of them, such as Gentiana verna, Gentiana utriculosa, Gentianella pilosa, Gymnadenia odoratissima,  also occur on damp meadows.
The climatic changes after the last glaciations contributed to the differentiation of various endemic species, which make absolutely peculiar the flora of these fens. Armeria helodes, Erucastrum palustre, Euphrasia marchesettii, Centaurea forojuliensis probably changed in the immediate post-ice age as a consequence of the ecological isolation of the area,  which differs from the surrounding lowlands, especially for its fresher alkaline oligotrophic soils.
Besides, the flora is also enriched by species of eastern distribution such as Plantago altissima, Allium suaveolens and Thalictrum lucidu, which are typical of Molinia damp lowlands, but also by southern species such as Holoschoenus vulgaris and Orchis laxiflora.
In the three sites there is 100% of the world population of Armeria helodes, a species of priority community interest, and 98% of the population of Erucastrum palustre (Annex II) and the main populations of Euphrasia marchesettii (Annex II).
Besides the endemic species, the flora of the area also includes some of the rarest species of the Italian flora: the orchid Liparis loeseii, species of community interest which is highly endangered in Italy, and Anagallis tenella, tiny primrose typical of the Atlantic area and almost extinct in the national territory, which is still present in a few spots of the Resurgence area.
There are also other endangered or rare species, because of climatic changes and the reduction of wet habitats, such as Allium suaveolens, Baldellia ranunculoides, Cirsium canum, Gentiana pneumonanthe, Hippuris vulgaris, Hottonia palustris, Orchis palustris, Plantago altissima, Senecio paludosus, Senecio fontanicola, Sesleria uliginosa, Spiranthes aestivalis, Utricularia australis.
On the whole, in the project area there are 20 species included in the Red Data Book of Plants in Italy.

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