Riparian vegetation is a fundamental element of the river ecosystem and carries out significant ecosystem functions (protective, naturalistic, productive and recreational) ranging from the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, from watercourse safety to the maintenance of ecological corridors. The evaluation of these functions is a fundamental first step for the planning of ordinary maintenance (systematic, efficient and long-lasting) of watercourses and takes place through the monitoring of the evolution over time of the flora colonizing watercourse banks and margins.

The thesis will take place over a period of a minimum of 6-8 months and will require the undergraduate to improve his or her abilities in collecting data in the field (from a botanical, forestry and engineering point of view), in the organization of information and in the drawing up of a final summary.

In particular, relevés will focus on the recognition of pioneer species, on the measurement of the main characteristics of vegetation (size, age, mechanical characteristics such as trunk flexion and root reinforcement as appropriate), and in the estimation of the granulometry of deposits on watercourse margins. Subsequently, ecological indices and/or watercourse models will be applied to estimate solid transport and flood risk in the area.

The study area will include the riparian areas of some Valle Camonica streams including the Grigna stream (Esine, BS), Dezzo (Darfo Boario Terme, BS), Ogliolo (Aprica, SO) and Oglio (Edolo-Sonico, BS).

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