Woods and forests are among the largest and most complex ecosystems on our planet. Biologists believe that they host more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals and plants.
If not attacked by man they are able to endure in time and self-sustain. Mature woods can be compared to vaults where biodiversity is preserved; they are a kind of genetic heritage bank. In addition to plants in a wood also live mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and mushrooms. The wealth of species and the network that binds them determine the level of naturalness of a forest. The more complex and structured this is, the more its naturalistic value is greater, as its ability to react to external disturbances.
We all know that woods are a source of work and income, especially for marginal areas, and can encourage the development of local crafts. Woodcutters, sawmills and joineries are involved in the wood supply chain. The wood, however, is not only a simple set of trees from which you can get timber but it is also of much more useful to man. It provides ecosystem and social â€ťservicesâ€ť which are difficult to quantify economically. A forest accentuates the beauty of a place and can play an important role for phisical and psychological well-being. We all feel, in fact, particular emotions in observing the different shades of the green of the leaves in spring or the spots of colors that trees take on in autumn.
Woods then slow down the outflow and the speed of the water (following the rains) which is first absorbed by the soil and then slowly released. They therefore reduce the risk of flooding and prevent soil erosion. Their presence, especially in hilly and mountainous areas, is a protection against landslides and avalanches.
The forest produce oxygen, mitigates the temperature range and therefore the climate of the area in which it is located slows down the speed of the wind and improves air quality by retaining dust and pollutants. It also stores CO2 (one of the greenhouse gases).
The typical wood that dominates the municipal territory of Capolona is composed mainly of Downy Oak (Quercus pubescens), Cerro (Quercus cerris), Holm Oak (Quercus ilex), Hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia) and Chestnut(Castanea sativa) and is â€śgovernedâ€ť to coppice.
The term â€ścoppiceâ€ť comes from the latin â€ścaeduus â€“ caedereâ€ť che significa â€śto cutâ€ť.
Here, as in the rest of the peninsula, the wood has always been cut at intervals of 10-40 years depending on whether you wanted to get firewood, pallets or beams.
The trees we see are largely â€śshootsâ€ť and originate from the â€śstumpsâ€ť. The emission of buds that than develop into shoots, is a natural phenomenon led man to cut the plants to create stumps from which one or more shoots emerged. With the razionalization of the process, the cultivation of coppice has become established.
There is a strong difference between man-made forests and natural forests. The latter are composed of trees of different species, ages and sizes. Trees grow naturally, die and decompose. The coppice government selects the species of greatest economic interest and fastest growing.
In Italy the wooded area has almost doubled in less than a century, mainly thanks to the abandonment of the fields, and pastures that have been recolonized, due to a spontaneous process linked to the vegetational dynamics, first by the shrubs and then by the trees.
Currently the forests cover almost 38% of the national territory.