Alpine pastures

Alpine pastures
The summits of some mountains are crowned by wide open pastures.
These alpine meadows are probably not natural, but are more likely to be the result of earlier pasturing of animals and of deforestation.
In fact, on the northern slopes of the Apennines the beech should grow up to 1700-1800 metres above sea level, an altitude beyond that of all the major peaks of our province. Centuries of reducing the area under forest to create more pasture have left their indelible mark on these mountains. When the pastures ceased to be used, the woodland struggled to recover the land lost on account of the wind, the frost, and the impoverishment of the soil, in some parts also subject to intense erosion.
On the highest ground it is the bilberry and the dwarf juniper that have occupied the ground. The young beeches begin to grow among the grass and the low shrubs of the pastures.
The secondary pastures found on our peaks may be rich in food sources. The grassy meadows are full of gramineae (fescue or festuca, bluegrass, etc.) and legumes (clover).
As the grass has grown so much now that the pastures are no longer exploited, species of interest from a conservationist point of view, such as the Nigritella nigra are finding it difficult to develop.

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