Endemic Plants Can Be Resources for Mountain Agro-Ecosystems: The Case of Sanguisorba dodecandra Moretti


Giupponi L., Leoni V., Gianoncelli C,. Tamburini A., Giorgi A.


Sanguisorba dodecandra Moretti is an endemic plant of the Alps of the Lombardy region (Northern Italy). Differently from most endemic species, this plant grows in diverse environments, and it is often very abundant and a distinctive element of some mountain and sub-alpine agro-ecosystems. The ecological features and the role of this species in some mountain agricultural activities are poorly investigated. This article shows the results of a synecological analysis of S. dodecandra and the evaluation of its functional strategy. Furthermore, its forage value was investigated and melissopalynological analysis was used to characterize the honey produced in an area where this species grows. The ecological analysis defined this plant as euriecious and ruderal/competitive-ruderal strategist. Bromatological analysis showed a good forage value, confirming the ethnobotanical knowledge concerning this species. In fact, it has good protein content (12.92 ± 1.89%) and non-fiber carbohydrates (47.12 ± 3.62%) in pre-flowering. S. dodecandra pollen was identified as a “frequent pollen” in the honey, showing that this plant is attractive to honeybees. This research allowed a deeper knowledge of S. dodecandra ecology and showed that this species is a resource for traditional and sustainable agricultural activities of the Lombardy Alps such as pastoralism and beekeeping.

Mountain plant resource; endemic plant; mountain agro-ecosystems; forage value; honey; functional strategy; synecology; pollen; honeybees; Orobic Alps
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