THE FOREST AND ITS BIODIVERSITY
Valle di Lodano has a high forest coverage up to the higher elevations, where the alpine pastures are well visible despite the rapid advancement of vegetation. Although at times intense, logging activities ended in the early 1960s and the forest has been gradually regenerating itself through natural evolution.
The forest’s main benefit from Castèll along the Ri dala Vall stream until the valley floor is that of protecting settlements and agricultural land from natural disasters. In the rest of the valley it functions as an integral part of nature, hence the importance of promoting and enhancing biodiversity.
Because of Valle di Lodano’s heterogeneous morphology, its forests are diverse. The lower hill belt is dominated by chestnut groves and pioneer birch forests; and the mild climate in gorges and screes hosts small-leaved lime trees, while the most exposed and arid areas are home to oak trees. The montane belt is dominated by beech: especially on the left-hand side of the valley there are almost pure beech woods with mature specimen; on the opposite shadier side the beech is mingled with the silver fir, increasing in number after years of intense logging. The subalpine belt is dominated by larch, although below Alp da Canaa and around Alp da Nagairón Norway spruce is also present.
Scientific research revealed different forest typologies, among which: the silver fir-Norway spruce forest near Casgèira, particularly well-preserved and therefore rare in Vallemaggia; the Norway spruce forest in its subalpine variation on blocks near Sciüpa d Nagairón; and the birch forest in its alluvial variation with goat willow and larch near Castèll. There are also some interesting tree species, such as the large-leaved lime, the black and grey alders, the alpine laburnum, and the yew.