After two years, on Friday, September 30th, the project’s nursery will be inaugurated. Over 1000 pots have been worked on, from seed germination to planting them in situ and in the 152 tanks that form the LG4B letters.
In a heavily anthropized territory such as the Po Valley, the reintroduction of biodiversity is a task that requires research and experimentation, as well as excellent synergy among the different actors who manage the process in the natural context in which they operate.
The synergy implemented by the LIFEGREEN4BLUE project involves the academic world, specifically the DISTAL department of UNIBO, and the Renana Reclamation Consortium, committed to reintroducing native plant species along the artificial canals managed by the consortium itself.
The goal is to design “according to nature” by adopting win-win solutions that combine the safeguarding and restoration of local ecosystem biodiversity with the hydraulic safety of the canals and wetlands. Through the creation of 9 stepping stones – 9 stops along the canals where rare and endangered native aquatic plants can find refuge – 60 km of artificial canals will be transformed into ecological corridors to support local habitats.
One of the components of this “biodiversity supply chain” is the nursery, created under the scientific direction of DISTAL in an area owned by the Renana Reclamation Consortium, Tabaccaia, located in the Valli di Argenta. Thus, after 2 years of the project and the contribution of 1043 pots of aquatic and hydrophilic native plants, the nursery is open to the public with more than 150 tanks that house plants to be propagated in the stepping stones sites along the canals.
But how did they get here?
The work began with research and study of the local context and the adjacent wetlands to identify and catalog native plants.
A first important result was achieved with the collection of seeds from different species: Phragmites australis, Typha latifolia, Glyceria maxima, Ceraophyllyum demersum, Myriophyllum spicatum… Among these, the most common in marshy environments is Typha, which, however, is also sharply decreasing compared to the past due to the anthropization of the territory. This is why its reintroduction is essential: because, thanks to its root system, it can contribute to the maintenance of embankments, and also because it is also capable of a useful phytodepurative action on water.
Once collected, the seeds were germinated in the UNIBO greenhouses to experiment with the most efficient methods for germination and following propagation. Germination, in fact, is one of the most delicate phases of the plant’s life, and in the case of aquatic species, it is difficult to carry out in a greenhouse. If we add to this that for many canal plants, the life cycle is unknown, the possibility of a careful and controlled environment becomes crucial to be able to identify the most suitable conditions to wake the seed from dormancy.
After verifying their correct germination, the plants were then ready to be transferred to the area designated for the nursery, repotted, or planted. A job that saw 1034 pots with seedlings of 29 different species relocated in stages from the UNIBO greenhouses to Tabaccaia, and starting tomorrow, they will welcome the public organized into 152 tanks that form the LG4B letters, located in a welcoming space in harmony with the surrounding environment.
A biodiversity heritage ready to populate the canal banks.
We look forward to seeing you on Friday, September 30th at 11:30 am, at Via Cardinala 1, Campotto di Argenta (FE).