The woods of the Majella Park
The woods are about 39% of the surface of the Park and are of great importance from an ecological point of view, as they are structurally evolved plant formations. In the Majella Park the deciduous forest prevails, which can be traced back to two main types: - i broad-leaved woods with the dominance of the downy oak, the black hornbeam or turkey oak, especially in the hilly and sub-mountainous strips, from low altitudes up to 1000 meters; - the beech forests, which are the most extensive formations in the Majella Park and are between 800 -900 and 1800 meters.In these environments the various species of the wolf, the wild cat and the Martora find refuge and nourishment. Among the various birds we find the goshawk and hawk that make their nests in the beech-woods and also the Balia dal Collare and the woodpecker Dalmatino that find nourishment in the woods rich in trees. The evergreen vegetation is constituted by the black pine, which is localized in some rocky areas, and by the holm oaks, situated on the slopes at lower altitudes. The Majella Park Authority works to improve both the structure and function of the woods, to fight fires and to conserve rare species.
The grasslands of the Majella Park
Grasslands are plant formations that are made up of herbs, usually perennials. They occupy an area of approximately 29.5% of the protected area of the Park. Generally the graminaceous shrubs that belong to different genera are known, including Bromus, Sesleria, Stipa, etc. Depending on their use, which influences floristic differentiation , the prairies are divided into pastures, meadows-pastures and hay meadows. The pastures are linked to the morphologies of the slopes, while the meadows and pastures are mainly found on flat or slightly steep surfaces and mainly in the various karst plateaus. In spring the grasslands host many birds that use them as a place for resting and feeding. In summer there are rare species such as the wagtail, the stiaccino and the beccafichi that nest in these environments. The grasslands are important for biodiversity as they have a great wealth of species and host orchids and many endemic and rare species such as the Majella cornflower which it is exclusive to the Park.
The flora of the Majella Park
The flora existing in the Majella National Park is characterized by a great wealth. There are over 2100 species and subspecies surveyed, that is about 65% of the abruzzo flora. The Park's flora is also known for its originality. There are 5 exclusive species of the protected area including the Soldanella del Calcare, the Pinguicola di Fiori or the Ranuncolo multidentato. Of great interest of phytogeographic type are those relict species, which were once much more widespread. Among the wrecks that date back to the Tertiary, that is the vegetation called "laurifille", which was present here millions of years ago, we remember the Holly and the Dafne laurella. In the Majella Park there are also the glacial relicts, which were very widespread during the various glaciations and are represented, especially at high altitudes, by the Alpine poppy, the Alpine Camedrio, the Alpine Star etc. The Balkan relict is well represented, especially at high altitudes: there are numerous species distributed on the banks of the Adriatic: we remember the famous Apennine Edelweiss, the Apennine genepim, the Dinarica gentian, etc.
Majella Park: The agricultural landscape of the Majella Park
Agriculture in the Majella area was born around the fifth millennium BC Since then, man exercises control over the territory and modifies the environment for his own needs. Over the years, human activities have expanded greatly and man has "built" an agricultural landscape that preserves evidence of past eras. Large surfaces are characterized by imposing heaps of stones, the result of the laborious work of the so-called "spietramento". The traditional architecture is represented by the well-known dry stone walls or by the stone huts built by man for his activities. In the Majella Park the territory has a morphological complexity that determines an agricultural landscape articulated in diversified and varied forms. In the valley bottom there is a dynamic agriculture, with the presence of vineyards and vegetable gardens. In the hilly areas the cultivation of the olive is dominant, instead in the highlands there are large areas that are cultivated with cereals alternated with forage meadows. For centuries pastoralism has been the main activity in inland areas, especially in piedmont areas and on slopes that are exposed to the south.