#ICOScapes | Castelporziano 2 (Italy) | Greenhouse gas observations

The experimental site of Castelporziano falls into a very large estate. It’s a 6000 hectare estate between the cost of the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Rome. It’s a hot spot for biodiversity, very well preserved. In particular, the experimental tower behind me is located in the middle of a holm oak forest. which is one of the most relevant climates, ecosystems that occur in the low Mediterranean area. As you can see, this is a tower fully equipped for micro-meteorological flux measurements. and we are doing our best to make it compliant with all ICOS protocols. The peculiarity of this area is that not only it’s a very relevant site for nature conservations but also for history. because in this area, there are a lot of Roman ruins. In the very old times there were villas of Roman Emperors. Nearby here there was a harbor, it was very famous for trade. So there were a lot of important manufactures and villas disseminated inside the estate. Right here where the tower is, you can see some stones. These are parts of Roman bricks. So, this site is very important for our cultural heritage in Italy. The site of Castelporziano, to my knowledge, is one of the most southern sites in Europe. And also one of the most threatened sites by climate change. Especially Italy is one the countries which has experienced the most extreme events. Even in this period we are experiencing one of the warmest summers. Every year it looks like one of the warmest summers. It seems like we are really living a period of history in which climate change is occurring. So it’s good that we have a site that can track what’s going on and how our forests behave in response to these changes. Long-term ecological networks are more than ever necessary. My expectation is that this network enlarges to more Mediterranean countries. Because it’s very important to have a bunch of sites. One single site may not be enough to determine, to explain the climate change effect on our forest. but I advocate that in the future more countries will join ICOS and within the same country more sites will be equipped to converge into a very relevant ecological network.

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