ACTION  C.2: Habitat recovery: bush trimming and realisation of temporary ponds

The Action aims at promoting forest renewal in the two project sites by limiting shrub spreading and burying of temporary ponds (habitat 3170*). The ponds are also restored by carrying out specific excavation works.

Selective shrub cutting and restoration of the floodplain oak woodland

Weeds and invasive shrubs are removed, especially Rubus species. In contrast, the regeneration of the typical tree species of the floodplain oak woodland, such as Quercus cerris, Q. pubescens, Fraxinus ornus, is preserved. In Palo Laziale, the trimming is carried out for about 40 ha in the central part of the Natura 2000 site. In Nestos Delta shrub removal is carried out in 40 hectares of habitat 91E0* as well as around two of the eight temporary ponds because invasive shrub species are encroaching. Restoring the habitat includes clearing the vegetation that covers and falls into the temporary ponds. The shrub removal is beneficial for the survival of the associated EU species Emys orbicularis, Testudo hermanni and Callimorpha  quadripunctaria*.

Two consecutive interventions are planned:

  • a) a first intervention is carried out at the initial stage of the Project. The activity targets bigger individuals to eliminate about 70% of the shrubs to facilitate seedling growth. Total elimination of the bushes may cause excessive soil exposure, excessive soil evapotranspiration and damage to forest renewal.
  • b) a second intervention is planned one year after the first intervention to eliminate residual shrubs, that still compete with the emerging seedlings.

This Action is made possible by the results of action A5 which give detailed information on the localisation and the plant typologies that have to be removed, as well as the extent of the shrub- cutting work required.

Shrub-cutting and digging out of new temporary ponds

In Palo Laziale, three circular areas of about 0.13 ha each (a total of 0.4 hectares) are identified for the implementation of new temporary ponds. The identification is supported by the topographic relief and the soil analysis carried out in Action A2 and A3, respectively. The topographic survey provides suitable areas where the meteoric water flow converges optimally, allowing a natural filling of the ponds during the wet season, while the soil survey indicates soils with a waterproof clay substrate, which is indispensable for the persistence of the ponds. The vegetation covering these sites eliminated and, then, a maximum of 50 cm-excavation is carried out to implement the temporary ponds. The same methodology is applied in Nestos Delta to create a new temporary pond, at a site to be defined, covering an area of 0,1 ha. Keystone species are introduced in the ponds through the activities planned in Action C6, and plant experts will monitor the progress of vegetation.

Shrub-cutting in the construction area

In the area where the water tank will be set up (Action C3), it will be necessary to eliminate the vegetation. This intervention will be carried out in an area of approximately 2,200 m2 that will be precisely identified after the preparation of the Action Plan (Action C3), and according to action A2. The cutting will be performed using non-invasive mechanical appliances by a team of forest workers under the supervision of one Forestry Technician (expert in the field of forestry management). The resulting material will be used to produce organic fertiliser and mulch that will be reused on-site.

Fencing of temporary ponds

Permanent open wooden pole fences of chestnut-wood posts 8-10 cm in diameter are established around the eight ponds of Nestos Delta, with a total perimeter of about 800 m. Fencing access control is needed to prevent vehicle traffic which is the main cause of disturbance and degradation of the target habitat. Specifications are to be provided at the beginning of this Action through the cooperation with the Forestry Service and IMFE.

Signboards

Establishment of signboards with information about the project, Natura 2000 and target habitats and species is implemented at the main entrances of the two sites, at the fenced ponds and inside the priority habitat 91E0*.

Beneficiary responsible for implementation:

ARSIAL is responsible for the implementation of the Action in Palo Laziale.

HSPN and IMFE cooperate in Nestos Delta.

ARSIAL commits:

  • a Foresty Technician (internal) to provide scientific supervision on the plan for the shrub-cutting works;
  • a Forestry Technician (external) with in-depth knowledge and documented experience in the field of forest ecosystems and GIS to draft a detailed plan for the bush-cutting work and to coordinate the entire cutting and digging process.
  • a team of forest workers (external) for implementing the shrub-cutting (40 ha) and digging of the new ponds (0.40 ha). They will use non-invasive eco-friendly practices. The resulting material will be used to produce organic fertiliser and mulch to be reused on-site.

HSPN commits a Technical Officer to supervise the realisation of the fence of the temporary ponds of Nestos.

IMFE commits a Forestry Technician to plan and supervise the bush-trimming activities.

IMFE commits a Forestry Technician to plan and supervise the bush-trimming activities.

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