Conservation of the Macedonian oak (Quercus trojana) at its westernmost boundaries


Abstract: The Murgia Materana regional park is located in the Basilicata region, Italy, extending on a surface of 8000 ha circa. In addition to habitats such as Mediterranean pseudo-steppe and Mediterranean bush, it presents relatively large clusters of the Macedonian oak (Quercus trojana). The park is thought to constitute the westernmost point of the distribution of the Macedonian oak. In the past years, we conducted a census of the Macedonian oak trees present in the area, with an evaluation of plant health. The majority of the trees are located on the higher altitude zones of the park. We detected that large veteran trees (DBH > 200 cm) are predominantly found in the vicinities of ancient large farms ("masserie"). We established wildfires to be the principal threat to the survival of this species in the area. In order to reintroduce individuals in fire-damaged zones, we collected and planted acorns from a selection of individuals. At the present time, we are about to transfer the samplings in the wild.

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