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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Situated along the Mediterranean coast of Italy to the west of Pisa between Viareggio and Livorno in the Tuscany Region, this Biosphere Reserve contains a rich biodiversity comprising natural and semi-natural plains habitats, including dunes, wetlands, mesophytic woodlands and pinewoods, and agricultural zones with hedges. These habitats contain some rare species that have disappeared from most of Italy and the Mediterranean region. Plains woodlands that are rare in Italy cover here extensive areas.

The protection of dune environments is one of the main goals of the Biosphere Reserve. The coastal dunes are of great interest due to the presence of sand-consolidating pioneer flora, endemic species and specialized animal species. The dunes are connected with the inland habitats through multiple symbiotic relationships, the principal one being the protection they provide for woods against the strong sea winds. The wetlands can extend for several hundred hectares (for example the Massaciuccoli marsh, Lame di fuori), and they ensure the reproduction of numerous rare bird species such as the purple heron (Ardea purpurea), great bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis). In the areas further inland there are vast tracts of land historically used for agriculture, developed in past centuries from swamp areas. The flora in these areas follows the rhythm of soil tillage, cultivation management, animal breeding and other agricultural activities.

Some 11,000 people, mainly of Italian origin, live in the Biosphere Reserve. This figure rises to 315,000 in summer due to an important influx of tourists. The main economic activities include mainly traditional agriculture, manufacturing (shipyards) or ex manufacturing areas (quarries, tips), and tourism.The “Selva Pisana” lowland is characterized by a complex mosaic of intensive and dynamic economic systems. Three towns and important logistic infrastructures are in the vicinity as well as a dense network of agricultural, forestry, industrial and craft enterprises, and tertiary sectors. The environmental sustainability of this region was estimated by a method named the “ecological footprint”.

There is an overall Plan for the Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli Regional Park, which is implemented through several Management Plans (five detailed management plans for the estates which make up the Regional park). These plans are connected to the Urban plan and regulation of the Municipality of Pisa, which covers the areas of the Biosphere Reserve, which are not part of the Regional Park. The Ente Parco Regionale Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli is responsible for implementation of the overall Biosphere Reserve.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrub; coastal dunes and wetlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Sand dunes and strands characterized by Agropyron junceum, Ammophila litoralis, Cakile maritima etc.; Forest with Acer campestre, Alnus glutinosa, Arbutus unedo etc.; Wetlands including Arthrocnemum glaucum, Calystegia sepium, Carex spp. etc.; Agricultural areas with maize, durum wheat, alfalfa, winter wheat, soybean, sunflower, sugar beet, barley, spinach, etc.
  Location   43°43'00"N; 10°17'38"E (Central point)
43°52'33.21"N; 10°17'15.07"E (Northern limit)
43°38'16.31"N; 10°25'28.35"E (Eastern limit)
43°34'49.85"N; 10°17'54.26"E (Southern limit)
43°51'04.63"N; 10°14'09.63"E (Western limit)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   2,440,519
  Core area(s)   2457,30
  Buffer zone(s)   10257,50
  Transition area(s) when given   11691 (of which marine: 934)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)  
  Year designated   2004
  Administrative authorities   Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli Regional Park Organisation, Ente Parco Regionale Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli, reporting to Regione Toscana
  Brief description   The zonation aims at promoting conservation and compatible development, as defined for the different areas in the Regional Park Plan, which was approved in 1989. The core areas are natural reserves of great naturalistic importance in which only study, teaching, monitoring and re-naturalisation activities are allowed, under the supervision of the Park Scientific Committee. The buffer zones are wooded areas, strands and wetlands (plus agricultural areas of environmental reclamation) where low impact management activities are allowed (forestry, wetland maintenance, extensive organic or integrated agriculture) with the aim of protecting the core areas and at the same time providing operative examples of sustainable, natural management. The transition areas are agricultural areas, building renovation zones, strand reclamation zones, campsites etc., where traditional agricultural and tourist activities are carried out under the technical control of the Park organization.

Geology; Geomorphology; Hydrological studies; Plan for forestry management; In situ collection of mycorrhizal fungus in dune ecosystems for the conservation of genetic diversity; Mapping of lichens; Research and monitoring of the bittern (Botaurus stellaris) population; Icthyofauna management and monitoring of pike (Esox lucius) and carp (Cyprinus carpio); Monitoring of impacts of disturbance on fauna; Geobotanical and palynological studies; Identification of pathogenic agents of the American red prawn (Procambarus clarkij); Experimentation by means of enclosures in the Massaciuccoli Lake; Determining nesting and wintering bird populations; Research and monitoring of the freshwater turtle (Emys orbicularis) and other amphibious species; Research on the fallow deer (Dama dama) population; Veterinary research on animal health. Agricultural projects include for example: Studies on effects of rotation, nitrogen fertilization, and/or soil tillage techniques on different crops such as wheat, soya, maize; Application of tools for sustainable agricultural production; Studies on methods of organic agriculture; Comparison of fertilisers to check the effect on production, and on soil factors; Physical control of weed flora in spinach crop. The role of agroforestry resources and management of agro-ecosystems in trapping atmospheric CO2;; Trials in pelleting of different biomasses;; mMilk production in dairy breeds and Evaluation of sheep milk quality Socio-economic research include: Experimentation on construction material and component sustainability; Economic study on fee system for a regulated access in some natural areas: Study on social value of the San Rossore racecourse; Study for the creation of a “Park of the Music” near Lago di Massaciuccoli, on the musical value for the site; Study on traditional products such as pine kernals, and pecorino cheese and their importance to emphasize traditional activities, in order to increase their market value.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, acidic deposition/acid rain, geology, geomorphology, hydrology, soil.
  Biodiversity   Amphibians, biodiversity, birds, coastal/marine, conservation, dune systems, ecosystem assessment, fauna, fishes, flora, freshwater/inland water, fungi, genetic resources, invertebrates/insects/spiders, lichens, mammals, modelling, monitoring/methodologies, natural resources, perturbations/resilience/vulnerability, pests/diseases, plants, population genetics/population dynamics, species inventorying/inventory, wetlands.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, agroforestry, cultural aspects, economic studies, economically important species, energy production systems/alternative energy, forestry, monitoring methodologies, resource use, social/socio-economic aspects, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   Interdisciplinary studies, management issues, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation, sustainable development/sustainable use.
  Contact address   Francesca Logli
Ente parco regionale Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli
Loc. Cascine Vecchie di San Rossore56122 Pisa
56122 Pisa
  Telephone   (39.050) 539344
  Fax   (39.050) 533650
  Web site
  Contact address   Sergio Paglialunga
Ente parco regionale Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli
Loc. Cascine Vecchie di San Rossore
56122 Pisa
  Telephone   (39.050) 539361
  Fax   (39.050) 533650
  Web site

Last updated: 18/09/2007

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