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Macchia Mediterranea

Sardinia, the Mediterranean maquis and the local eco-system, the Region, Anglona, Valledoria.

SardegnaThe vegetation of an area is closely linked to the general and local weather conditions, the variety of indigenous species, and to the effects that urbanization has on the area and the community.

Thanks to the most well-known geographical classifications, we know that the Earth is divided into five main climatic areas each of which corresponds to the distribution of a particular category of plant.

These are the main categories:

Megatherms -  these are plant which need a lot of heat and humidity.
Microtherms -  plants that need little heat during the summer period and which can tolerate winter cold.

Hekistotherms -  arctic and antartic vegetation, these grow in extremely cold temperatures, usually outside the limits of arboreal vegetation.
Xerophytes – this is the name for plants tht grow in areas with heat and moderate humidity, they are plants adapted to arid environments, characterised by long periods of drought.

On the basis of this  classification of vegetation, we can identify the five great climatic sectors:

Humid tropical climate – these coincide with areas where megatherm plants are found.

Arid climates – linked to xerophyte plants.
Hot-temperate climates  - where mesotherms are found,

Northern climates – these are the areas where microtherm plants live.

Polar zones – the homes of hekistotherm plants.

In Sardinia we enjoy a completely Mediterranean climate.

This is the result of a transition between the temperate European climate and the arid tropical climate of North Africa.

This climate is characterised by rainfall concentrated mainly during the winter period and hot dry summers.

In order to survive the arid summer conditions, the local vegetation has developed mechanisms that allow plants to reduce the loss of water and in some cases, the activation of defence mechanisms that allow them to better tolerate the higher temperatures and any bush fires that may occur.
In actual fact, the majority of perennial plants, such as broad-leafs (cork oak, holm oak and downey oak) unlike most coniferous plants, will give out pollens after a fire has passed, which will allow them to colonize the surrounding ground in a short space of time, thus reducing the possibility of other perhaps foreign species from getting a foothold into the land during the period after the fire.

Sardegna - Ciao ValledoriaThe characteristics of the earth are also important, such as the presence of shallow poorly evolved soils, with little in the way of organic substances, or with a preponderance of surface rocks.

When we talk about the Mediterranean environment, this means we are referring to an area that is  more or less homogenous from the climatic pedological and morphological point of view.

As a result of differences in terms of latitude, altitude and exposure, the Mediterranean region  can in fact be divided even further into more specific sectors, but here the reader is advised to look for further in-depth reading on the Net or elsewhere.

The prevalent vegetal association therefore in our area is the “ Mediterranean maquis, or scrub”, most generally made up by varieties of plant that for the most part are evergreen, (like the Myrtle, Lentisk, or mastic tree, Arbutus or strawberry tree, Heather, Rosemary etc.), with tough coriaceous leaves and dense and interwoven undergrowth, where the wildlife has a precious habitat in which to feed, hide and make nests and lairs.

The Mediterranean maquis is characterised by its floristic makeup, which varies notably from place to place, as for example in Anglona, noted for the formation of areas covered with arbutus, heather, carob, oleaster, or wild olive and juniper.

In general the maquis or scrub  present is quite low, including formations with a height of around 1,5-2 metres consisting of phillyrea, lentisk, cistus etc.( always in areas that have not been widely invaded by plants common to urban areas).

The decay and degradation of the Mediterranean maquis has led to the formation of the garrigue as represented by species such as wild lavender, cistus, rosmary, multi-flowering heather and others.
The typical landscape has extremely ancient origins, and has undergone profound and radical changes due to human activity (cutting, fires, grazing, human settlements, agriculture) until it is now just the dominant element of the coastlines and a part of the interior.

Currently, the  development and protection of the Mediterranean maquis is of great importance should we wish to safeguard traditions, endemisms, quality products and the sustainable use of resources.

As a specific indigenous example, Anglona has a particular area named S.I.C. Foci del Coghinas (Site of Community Interest), which refers to a protected area along the terminal stretch of the river, a source of important biodiversity  and general significance in environmental terms.

This is where the river develops its lagoon, and the entire important dunal system which extends for over ten kilometres along the coast and is one of the principal systems in North Sardinia.

Here the Mediterranean maquis is characterised by a variety of species, including the Rosa Marina, helichrysum, and the lavender cotton plant, a psammofilous coastal vegetation, and by different types of scrub and brush of notable naturalistic merit.
The final stretch of the river, in the Valledoria area is characterised by tamaricacea and phragmites, while the underwater section of the beaches is populated by posidonia oceanica, or sea grass.

So here, what we would like to point out for your holidays, is the existence of a protected eco-system, right on your doorstep, which wants to be better known and which deserves respect and care in order to protect and maintain it.

Our territory has an important wealth of biotypes currently present and protected species.

So come to Sardinia, come to Valledoria, help us to grow and improve this corner of the world, the result will available to everyone.

Ciao Valledoria
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Ciao Valledoria - Environment protection no profit association - Responsible tourism promotion - Valledoria (SS) - Italy