The tree heath (Erica arborea L.), a small evergreen tree found in the Mediterranean region and parts of Eastern and Central Africa, produces lignotubers that are highly valued for making smoking pipes. The Peloritani Mountains of northeastern Sicily are historically one of the most important areas in Italy for the production of these high quality lignotubers, known as briar root wood. In the past, tree heath shrublands were also an important source of charcoal. Erica arborea utilisation has declined dramatically during the past century, mostly due to the decreasing demand for smoking pipes, as well as the increasing frequency of wildfires and large-scale afforestation activities in this region. Until recent decades, Erica arborea management (grub felling), which represented an important economic activity for some local communities, also contributed to wildfire prevention by maintaining low heath tree cover which helped to inhibit fire spread. The majority of Erica arborea maquis is currently found on State-owned lands where traditional harvesting practices (i.e., uprooting trees) is discouraged, leading to higher density stands more susceptible to fire. At present, the tree heath industry is in sharp decline, with irregular management of the resource and poor commercial value of heath root wood due in part to frequent fires. Recently social trends and the establishment of new protected areas in tree heath shrublands discourage the utilization of Erica arborea and the conservation of the material culture and landscape associated with its management. It is proposed that tree heath cultivation be continued only in those areas best suited in order to preserve its cultural and environmental roles, and that forest management practices be improved to increase the economic viability of tree heath grub felling activities.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Titolo:||The role of traditional Erica arborea L. management practices in maintaining northeastern Sicily’s cultural landscape|
|Autori:||LA MANTIA, T; GIAIMI, G; LA MELA VECA, DS; PASTA, S|
|Tipologia:||Articolo su rivista|
|Citazione:||LA MANTIA, T., GIAIMI, G., LA MELA VECA, D.S., & PASTA, S. (2007). The role of traditional Erica arborea L. management practices in maintaining northeastern Sicily’s cultural landscape. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, 249, 61-70.|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.foreco.2007.05.029|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su rivista|