The Trebbia Valley vegetation
The High Trebbia Valley
vegetation is rich and various and it mainly features woods such as beech woods and chestnut woods. Other kind of vegetable formations are lawns, bushes, and the vegetation typical of damp zones: each featuring their own characteristics, and each giving us useful indications about the Trebbia Valley enviroment, their history and exploitation.
The low barren lands of ling and meat heather covers up wide areas and constitute a common type of vegetation on elevated zones, along with juniper
bushes.High barren lands are dominated by the coalmen broom , rather diffuse on clayey grounds and in brushwoods of wild blackthorn.
There are different types of grassy formations due to the composition of species, the type of ground, the underlying rock, the climatic conditions and man’s exploitation.
As a matter of fact grassy formations often come from oak or beechtree woods man turned into lawns and pastures.
Grasslands on the most elevated areas feature species typical on Alps and Appennines (arnica
...) or species which can survive to the winter by means of bulbs and tubers; also grasses, orchids and liliaceouses abound here.
The number of some species such as thistles, carlines, nard tends to increase for they are not eaten by livestock.
Mowed lawns are present at lower quotas, on alluvial grounds or terraced fields.
These lawns are affected by environment conditions, by climate and by the exploitation of the ground; therefore they can give either a good forage, or a very bad one if they are invaded by bushes; in well-groomed lawns, richer of forage plants, the high oat, the odorous little straw, the “mazzolina” grass, the five-finger, the red clover and the taraxacum
Where the ground is scarcer, rocks appear on the surface more frequently and weather conditions are more arid: on warm and sunny slopes, one can find poor pastures dominated by bromine, “brachipodio”, fescues, sage of the lawns and rock roses.
The rocky vegetation is made of pioneer species which colonise rock cracks and rock ravines where not much soil is to be found.
In the areas where the ground erosion is intense and strips of outcropped rocks are wide, the vegetable coverage is discontinuous and vegetation is constituted by the bromine, from the “brachipodio”, from the “risino”, from the broom of Salzmann, from the woodland carnation.
The vegetation, populating these kinds of environments, includes species with high ability to retain ground and debris preparing a suitable environment for more complex and evolved vegetations.
Damp zones are not frequent in the territory, for this reason it is worth mentioning their vegetation.
The most interesting area is the basin of lake Marcotto, a small peat bog, where dense populations of straw swamp and clover dominate; along the borders wide pillows of musks and sphagnums develop where the “rosolida”, several “carici” and the here’s tail grow.
VEGETATION OF PATHS AND LITTLE WALLS
In areas close to roads, paths or muletracks there are numerous species featuring a strong resistance to trampling, dust, and sun exposure. The vegetation is typically spotty, where cockles, plantains, little straws and taraxaca dominate.
On dry walls, which support terraced fields and borders for muletracker, stones are covered by lichens and musks, while in cracks the grass rust, the spleenwort, the false licorice and superior plants as the saxifrage, the “meringia”, the ivy and different grasses are present. In the sunniest lines one can frequently meet the thyme.
(Article based upon the publication "naturalistic Itineraries" by the High Val Trebbia Mountainous Community )