Scientific Research

 

The WWF affiliated Oasis La Malcontenta e il Lupo focuses on scientific research and conservation of species and genetic diversity.

The Oasis WWF La Malcontenta e il Lupo is a protected area encompassing several habitats of naturalistic value. It is home to a wide variety of environments rich in biodiversity: typical wetland environments, naturally evolving forests, climatic inversion phenomena, and ecosystems hosting flora and fauna of considerable interest, including the abundant presence of wild orchids.

The protection and maintenance of biodiversity is the main mission, as well as the scientific dissemination of the research that will be carried out and the communication aimed at the knowledge of wildlife.

The WWF Oasis La Malcontenta e il Lupo was created with the idea of becoming a reference point for Natural Sciences

for scientific research carried out by this faculty and pertaining to various universities, as well as for inter-faculty research with an environmental focus. The WWF Oasis is therefore also open to thesis researchers from the faculties of Natural Sciences.

 

Some of the scientific collaborations of the Oasis WWF La Malcontenta e il Lupo:

WildUmbria

We are an association founded in 2015 by a group of young enthusiasts with extensive professional experience in zoology and veterinary medicine.

Our mission is to promote environmental and wildlife management in Umbria, collaborating with public bodies, private individuals, citizens and other associations.
Since 2017 we have been granted by the Region of Umbria, the service of recovering injured wildlife or wildlife in difficulty on the entire regional territory, with 24H on call, seven days a week.

http://wildumbria.it 



Life Imagine

Life Project of the Umbria Region in collaboration with the University of Perugia, University of L'Aquila, University of Camerino - School of Architecture and Design (SAD), Comunità Ambiente Srl, Regional Forestry Agency - AFOR, University of Sassari, Studio Naturalistico Hyla srl, Monti Sibillini National Park.The Oasis WWF La Malcontenta e il Lupo collaborates in monitoring actions through photo-trapping.

https://www.lifeimagine.eu

CONSERVATION AREAS

Conservation areas are protected zones that are not normally open to the public and play a role of primary importance, as they protect areas of great naturalistic value and are useful for scientific research. This is why the woods of the WWF Oasis La Malcontenta e il Lupo have a naturally evolving management: because nature is studied as it naturally evolves, lives, only under these conditions can we truly understand how it behaves, and we can thus make important discoveries involving our own life and health. Old trees and forests, floristic entities that are rare or at the limit of their distribution range, well-preserved ecosystems protected at European level are just some of the reasons why an environment is “conserved”. It is also conserved to enrich neighbouring environments, to rebalance other ecosystems, so that, in the end, everyone can enjoy it, and each form of life can benefit from the other in complete respect.

WWF OASIS

Oases protect wildlife, botanical species, preserve nature. The environment is a resource for all, it improves our quality of life. Studying it creates new possibilities in the field of scientific, medical and technological discoveries. By protecting the environment we protect ourselves. We promote a world in which human beings live in harmony with nature.

What is a naturally evolving forest

"Unlike managed and cultivated forests, naturally evolving forests are characterized by the presence of trees in different growth stages.

In these dynamic and constantly renewing ecosystems, old and senescent trees facing a slow and relentless decay caused by natural disturbances lead to the accumulation of large amounts of deadwood which comes in various forms: standing dead trees, fallen trees, windthrown trees of various sizes, broken branches, pieces of trunks, and stumps.


In natural forests, the abundance of deadwood was considered for a long time an indicator of environmental degradation. However, today we know for sure that deadwood is an essential component to maintain and enhance biodiversity for its key role in activating several ecological processes and as a crucial microhabitat for hundreds of vertebrate and invertebrate species playing important functional roles in the woodland ecosystem.


Thus, trees don’t only play a crucial role while they are alive, but also beyond their own biological life cycle. If we observe carefully, we will see that the standing or fallen dead trees are teeming with life and are full of insects and other invertebrates accelerating the decomposition process.

In forests, deadwood in different stages of decomposition is inhabited by several species of invertebrates, fungi, bryophytes, lichens, amphibians, birds and mammals depending on it or using it as a source of nourishment or as a shelter.

Xylophagous insects – that is, insects feeding on deadwood – are among the first “residents” inhabiting trees: standing dead trees or trunks, enjoying a better exposure to sunlight also in winter, become refuges and habitats for an extraordinary number of organisms.
Fungi, bacteria, and other organisms finish the job by decomposing the vegetal debris. Among the most efficient decomposers there are the lignicolous fungi, which decompose the woody debris and release in the forest litter nutrients and organic substances, useful for the life and development of all vegetal organisms. This process contributes to the forest renewal, working as an ideal ecological niche for the germination and development of many tree species.


Therefore, besides being a fundamental element for biodiversity, deadwood also plays a key role in the nutrient cycle, representing an important carbon reservoir and, at the same time, a reserve of energy that is made available again.

Finally, the tree debris on the ground protects the soil from erosion, by limiting the action of water, holding humidity, and offering an efficient protection from frost.

As a consequence, the long series of events and actions following one another in forests until the decay and decomposition of deadwood – the result of the several and surprising relationships existing among various species – are to protect and preserve. (Taken from “From dead wood, the life of the forest” www.faggetevetuste.it).