Castelporziano Reserve

Last DEIMS-SDR update: 14.06.2024

Contact: Daniele Cecca
Operating organization: CNR – Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET) CNR – Institute for Agriculture and Forestry Systems in the Mediterranean (ISAFoM) CNR – Institute of bioeconomy (IBE) CREA – Forestry and Wood ISPRA – Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research ISS – Italian National Institute of Health IZSLT – Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio e Toscana IZSS – Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Sardegna IZSUM – Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Umbria and Marche University of Rome Sapienza – Department of Biology and Biotechnologies University of Rome Sapienza – Department of Earth Sciences (DES) University of Sassari – Department of Veterinary Medicine University of Tuscia – Department of Agricolutre and Forest Sciences
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The Presidential Estate of Castelporziano stretches itself over an area of about 6100 ha and is located approximately 24 km from the city of Rome. The territory is characterized by remarkable natural features. It shows most of the typical Mediterranean ecosystems (relict strips of lowland forest with hygrophilous vegetation, deciduous and evergreen mixed oak woods, Mediterranean scrub, dune vegetation). Until recently (2019), there were large surfaces of stone pine unfortunately destroyed by the combined action of alien pest Toumeyella parvicornis with Tomicus destruens, the main pest of Mediterranean pine forests. Inside the Estate, there are two Special Areas of Conservation (SACs): one concerning the coastal strip (IT6030027) and the other one concerning hygrophulous oak-woods (IT6030028). In addition to including the two SACs, the Estate is in its entirety Special Protection Area (SPA – IT 6030084). From a botanical point of view this area, together with the neighbouring Castelfusano territory, represents what remains of the vast forest system that covered the entire delta of the Tiber and the surrounding areas. The land is mostly flat, but in the North there are modest reliefs that are not higher than 85 m. on sea level. A complex set of ancient dunes and a chain of more recent dunes stretch out along the coastline. There are many temporary and permanent natural pools and wetland areas with seasonal floodings caused by meteoric water and groundwater, which usually dry out during summer and represent sites with the greatest biodiversity. From an ecological point of view, those “relict wetland areas” play actually a very important role for biodiversity because of plant species which are typical of hydrosoil and in the past were widespread but have now almost disappeared.

Natural pool surrounded by vegetation

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