The detection of biotic and abiotic adversity and plant-health protection in the woods
the diseases of the woods are the result of an altered state of balance between the plants and other biotic and abiotic factors that make up the natural systems. The agents of forestry plants disease are, mostly caused by other biotic factors forming natural ecosystems to which they belong. Natural Forest top-soil rarely are subject to sudden parasitic infections. The introduction of pathogenic entities extraneous to the ecosystem or his alteration because of the action of natural and often anthropic factors are the main causes of the pre-existing ecological balanceís rupture, who may result in state of decay and may also cause a high percentage of death risk (F. MORIONDO introduction to forestry pathology, 1999 UTET magazines).
Also the insects are integral part of their forest ecosystems and play an important role in their operation and development. However, when their presence reaches high levels of infestation they may strongly influence on the growth and functions carried out by forestry plants.
man activities leading to genetic decline because of the use of commercially finest trees, the soil degradation, the abandonment or mismanagement of the woods, in several cases, have reduced or compromised the vitality and the intrinsic natural defenses of forestry population, predisposing animals and vegetables to adversity. To "deterioration of wood" phenomena, frequently reported in recent years, researchers associate also the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. In that regard, among all regions belonging to Mediterranean basin, water stress has a strong impact on forestís health and it is the main responsible factor of "wasting oaks disease" widespread in Europe, United States and in vast areas of Asian forests.
Not less important is to be considered, moreover, the effect of air pollution on the weakening of forest ecosystems and, therefore, on their health.
The geographical position of Sicily, the increase of trade exchanges from "globalization" and the implementation of Community legislation and international agreements (agenda 2000, the Kyoto protocol, etc.) to encourage reforestation cases, determine movements of plants between different areas and, unfortunately, of new pests, who are often devastating formations forestry.
The problems connected with biotic and abiotic adversity effects on the state of health and vitality of forests require careful and constant vigilance of our forest heritage in order to give protection and, therefore, preservation and improvement of sustainable forest managementís principles.
In this context we can insert the recent constitution, inside the DRAFD department, of UOB n.3 - Phyto-sanitary Defense of woods, original structure for the Sicilian regional administration, whose wide-ranging technical-scientific competences are given below.
- Phytosanitary monitoring of wooden vegetation and protected natural areas managed by regional company ARFD, with particular reference to infectious diseases and harmful animal bodies already present, of recent or feared introduction.
- Constitution and regular updating of the phytopathological regional forest Inventory.
- Phyto-sanitary vigilance of forest-tree nurseries and defenses strategies organization.
- Activation of Community, national and regional legislation, international agreements and conventions concerning the monitoring and protection of forests, with particular reference to atmospheric pollution and consecutive effects on wooden vegetation and also protected natural areas managed by ARFD.
- Phytopathologic diagnostic and identification of animal organisms harmful to plants forestry, to trees and to ornamental plants.
- Phytopathologic surveillance of trees and ornamental plants of regional importance and protection assistance organization.
- Investigations and studies on the presence and spread of biotic and abiotic adversity of the woods.
- Applied research and experimental activities on the biology and ecology of Animal bodies and harmful Plants to forestry plants, on the guests reports -harmful organism-environmental factors and on Phytosanitary strategies for defense.
- Training, information, technical assistance, advice and dissemination concerning the activities of competence.
- proposal formulations, initiatives, operational programs and cooperation with other institutions operating in the context of the competenceís activities.