Castagni Parlanti project
The trees are finally able to communicate in real time with all of us, highlighting their needs
Parco Didattico Sperimentale del Castagno (Carisbo) – Granaglione (BO), Italy | 2 September 2019 – 31 March 2022
Different ways of recovering chestnut plants are being evaluated, with verification of the results also by means of equipment (called TreeTalker ®) that measure and transmit in real time the state of health of the plant and the carbon absorbed by it, as well as equipment positioned on the ground that detects the way in which the soil evolves and “breathes”. Assessment of the ecological footprint of chestnut restoration to fruit cultivation within a forest matrix, in terms of carbon fixation and sequestration in the soil-plant system, water use and land cover. Obtainment of operational indications for an effective and sustainable chestnut forest management for combined wood and fruit production. Restoration of chestunts to fruit cultivation and selection of a subset of plants. The chestnut trees will be continuously monitored with the innovative TreeTalker system and, for validation, partly also with Monitoring PAM sensors. The large amount of data received from plants will be crossed with a set of climatic and environmental variables. Data analysis will lead to a deeper understanding of the interaction between chestnut growing, forest management and the environment. The contents will be made accessible to forest operators, experts and citizens / students through targeted methods: meetings and conferences, internal portal, application downloadable on smartphones and training programs.
The main tool we will use is the TreeTalker®: a set of low-power miniaturized sensors that are applied to the trees to continuously monitor, through the collection of many data and parameters, their health status and that of the surrounding environment.
This is not an operation for scientists only: some training cycles will transfer the skills developed to forestry companies and all interested parties, whereas a web portal (https://www.castagniparlanti.it) and a downloadable application free of charge (“Castagni Parlanti”) is to families and schools, to monitor simple health data of the 48 plants involved in the project, “adopt” one of them and even visit them in person at the Chestnut Grove, which can be visited on reservation. How shall we recognize “our” favorite chestnut? It is easy: each plant participating in the project bears the name of a famous scientist, clearly visible.
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Editor’s Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.