Wood of S. Maria La Stella (ITA070021)
Site type: SAC - Special Conservation Area
Code: ITA070021 - Hectares: 133
It is a very rugged hilly area affected by old lava flows with altitudes between 300 and 400 m. The bioclimate is of the thermo-Mediterranean type
upper with lower subhumid ombroclimate. Widespread are the wood formations with deciduous oaks, sometimes mixed with holm oaks. Among these woods prevail. A
Quercus dalechampii, while less frequent are those of Quercus virgiliana. In the more open and degraded areas, Genista aetnensis thickets are found.
4.2Quality and importance
This site has a certain naturalistic interest as it still retains examples of woodland vegetation typical of the low Etnean altitudes. These formations
in fact they have now completely disappeared due to the urbanization and agricultural exploitation of the Etna foothills. There are also several here
entities that in the regional area are rare or considered to be of significant phytogeographic interest, in turn mentioned in the list in section 3.3 (D).
The importance of the site, despite its high degree of anthropization and its relative degradation, derives from being one of the few wooded strips of low altitude
on the eastern side of Etna. It represents a remnant of the now mythical Bosco di Aci, which still at the beginning of the 800th century covered, in the opinion of RECUPERO (1815),
a wide strip of the eastern side of Etna. These strips currently represent the only natural areas where a portion of much more has been preserved
rich and articulated woodland fauna of the Etna foothills and represent refuge sites for numerous species of Vertebrates that would otherwise disappear
from the whole area. The strategic importance of the site for the protection of biodiversity is therefore completely evident
Ministerial data: Natura 2000 form
Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero
Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily
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