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

Life Friuli Fens

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introduction

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Cladium fen

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alkaline fen

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wet meadow

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dry meadow

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waters

LIFE FRIULI FENS

wet meadow

 

The Molinia wet meadows was been a transition belt of resurgences area between the alkaline fen and the dry meadows, but they were almost completely replaced by agricultural crops.
The wet meadow is setting on flat land, usually composed by a peat layer directly placed on gravelly or gravel-silt deposits, generally not flooded but often saturated by water table. The content of calcium and magnesium is still very high, while the level of nitrogen and phosphorus is very low. In some cases the association covers higher clay bumps and in this case the soil is more draining, subject to summer drought and more rich in nutrients.
The molinietus is a vegetal association created and maintained through mowings (perhaps in the past through the pasture), whose frequency and time of intervention shape physiognomy and floristic composition.
Molinia caerulea is invariably the dominant species, especially in the lack of mowings, but the association can be very rich in species, some of which almost always present, such as monocotyledonous Holoschoenus vulgaris, Juncus subnodulosus and some dicotyledonous as Gentiana pneumonanthe, Laserpitium prutenicum, Lysimachia vulgaris, Serratula tinctoria, Sanguisorba officinalis, Thalictrum lucidum.
In the meadows that are in contact with the fens, the water table remains high during the year and are well represented manyspecies strongly hygrophilous as Cladium mariscus, Cirsium palustre, Carex davalliana, Carex panicea, Parnassia palustris, Epipactis palustris, Tofieldia calyculata, Dactylorhiza majalis, etc.).
A typical physiognomic aspect of molinietus vegetation of the resurgences area is the abundant spring blooms of Gladiolus palustris, specie of Community interest, and the spectacular autumn flowering of Allium suaveolens, which make these areas colored until late October.
In molinietus on land richer in clay, most fertile and dry, often are found additional species as Betonica officinalis, Genista tinctoria, Succisa pratensis and especially Anthericum ramosum and Allium carinatum whose blooms characterize vegetation during the summer. In the land higher than the water table, in which it is verified the leaching of bases, can also be found acid species as Potentillaerecta, Calluna vulgaris and Genista germanica.
By fito-sociologic point of view, wet meadows on peat of resurgences area belong to Plantagini altissimae-Molinietum caeruleae Marchiori and Sburlino 1982.
There are also some wet meadows fragments, isolated within the agricultural areas, characterized by the dominance of Iris sibirica, Hemerocallis lilio-asphodelus and Cirsium canum, which was very common in these areas but that has been transformed everywhere in arable.
The wet meadows have suffered the water table lowering and the mowings lack which have greatly reduced the diversity of vegetal associations in behalf of Molinia, while the species most oligotrophics that need more light and calcium- rich water (as the species of Community interest Euphrasia marchesettii) have disappeared from many of their sites.

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