The concrete conservation actions depend on the preparatory actions and are those that directly improve (or slow/halt the decline of) the conservation status of the species, habitats and ecosystems targeted. They occur all over the Park surface and affect all types of habitat here included.
Halt dissemination and plant management in the most vulnerable natural areas
The ailanthus control is extremely difficult because its large reproductive capacity and propagation, in particular because the production of numerous root suckers and the development of a difficult eradicable root system. The species reacts negatively to the cut, pushing promptly a large number of jets that increase the density of the plant. In fact, the cut remove the canopy and the aerial part, but leaves intact the root system. The chemical method is the most effective for the control of the species, but, especially when applied in a natural protected area, it has several disadvantages e.g. environmental pollution; risks for operators, animals and plants; prohibition of the application in some protected areas. Thanks to previous studies, a combining mechanical and chemical methods, giving herbicides directly into the unwanted plants trunk have been developed and tested. Such techniques (injection, skinning and cutting followed by application of herbicide, endotherapy) allow maximum localization and efficacy of the product, the absence of drift, minimum lending volume (few ml for large plants), minimum dispersion in the environment and then reduced impact on the environment and operators, many other advantages such as the ability to be used in areas of both natural and anthropic. The control systems used are also extensible to other species and other natural and human environments at both national and European level. Conservation actions, which will be under construction for the all duration of the project, consisting in the execution of operations of elimination of invasive species by personnel ARIF in cooperation and coordination with personnel ISPA-CNR. The interventions are aimed primarily at stopping the spread of the seeds before eliminating female plants and to protect as a priority most vulnerable natural areas.
Ailanthus eradication will be realized in all Alta Murgia National Park by means of an innovative eco-friendly and low-impact strategy, based on low volume application to the stem. To plants census and mapping, manage treatment and monitor the infestation of ailanthus in the whole park, a mapping method based on an innovative system assisted by satellite maps ( software APIS-Maps) has been created.
To date, Ailanthus altissima plants have been eradicated from private and state property in the Park. Eradication operations were also carried out in jazzi, renovated farmhouses and ruins
Demonstration on other invasive alien woody species
The control systems used for the ailanthus can be extended to other species and to other environments at both national and European level. These techniques will be employed experimentally on Robinia pseudoacacia, the second most common weed tree in the park after the ailanthus
Trunks recovery and disposal
Ailanthus plants suffer cutting. This can be done immediately before application of the herbicide or a year after the treatment in the case of techniques of decortication, injection and endotherapy.
Strengthening control treatments
After the end of all operations, if necessary, or where it will be ascertained the presence of new shoots in the areas already treated, will be performed treatments of completion in order to eliminate the plants definitively