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Insubric Ecosystems

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Head: Dr. Marco Conedera 

The name Insubria derives from a pre-Roman population occupying the geographical area between the Po River and the Monte Ceneri. In the present time the name is used for indicating the region extending from Lago d'Orta in the West, to Lago di Garda in the East, which is characterized by a mild and wet climate. Due to its particular biogeographical position, this region does not only host a highly diverse flora and fauna with important endemisms, but also a great cultural and historical diversity. In the recent past, the area has been exposed to important socio-cultural changes with dramatic effects on the land use and on the cultural and biological diversity in space and time. For these reasons, Insubria can be considered an ideal model region to assess the effects of global change on cultural and biotic diversity and ecosystem function.

The Insubric Ecosystems Group aims understanding the ecological and cultural component of such biogeographic transition regions and their role in driving biological and cultural diversity. Dynamics and changes are investigated from geo-historical perspectives and at different biotic levels (from the species, to the population and community composition) and interpreted in the light of different socio-cultural context.

Main research topics are the chestnut forests and cultivation, forest fire history and ecology, invasive organisms, biodiversity in disturbed and urban ecosystems.