Fiumefreddo River Nature Reserve (ITA070002)
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Technical Information

Fiumefreddo River Nature Reserve (ITA070002)

Site type: SAC - Special Conservation Area

Code: ITA070001 - Hectares: 108


Other Site Characteristics

The site includes a perennial watercourse fed by groundwater springs that extends for about a kilometer and a half from the mouth. The waters are very cold and before they were captured for urban water supply they were quite deep and affected by a strong current. The Fiumefreddo River flows into the sandy Ionian coast north of Catania, within the lower subhumid thermo-Mediterranean bioclimatic belt. Hygrophilous vegetation develops along the watercourse, both submerged in Ranunculus penicillatus and amphibious in Apium nodiflorum and Nasturtium officinale. A large stretch of the banks is home to a helophyte vegetation rich in Phragmites australis and various species of Carex. In the more nitrified stretches of the banks, on the other hand, a subnitrophilous vegetation is found in Angelica sylvestris.

4.2Quality and importance

It is an area of ​​high naturalistic value due to the presence of very specialized and rare species and plant communities linked to the cold and deep waters of the Fiumefreddo river. Most of these hygrophilous vegetational aspects are very rare in Sicily and deserve careful protection. Also significant is the location near the source of one of the few Sicilian colonies of Cyperus papyrus. There are also several entities that in the regional area are rare or considered to be of significant phytogeographic interest, in turn mentioned in the list reported in section 3.3 (D). a peculiar fauna, which is influenced by these conditions and is much richer and more diversified than that of other streams and lowland rivers, especially as regards the freshwater invertebrates or typical of floodplain areas. In fact, there are many endemic and / or rare and very localized species that can only be found in hilly and mountainous altitudes in Sicily, but which here find conditions suitable for their survival.


Source: Ministry of the Environment Natura 2000 form

Ministerial data:  Natura 2000 form

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Photo: web

Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily

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