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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

Last updated: 18/09/2007

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