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An interactive flora of the Rilke trail and the cliffs of Duino
(NE Italy, Province of Trieste)

Pier Luigi Nimis, Stefano Martellos, Andrea Moro, Elena Pittao
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Images by Andrea Moro

This guide originates from a scientific-educational initiative of the Municipality of Duino Aurisina - Občina Devin Nabrežina, carried out in collaboration with the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Trieste. The Municipality is the Manager Organ of the Regional Nature Reserve of the Falesie di Duino, established by the Regional Law 30.09.1996 n. 42. This guide was created thanks to the funding of the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia - Central Infrastructures and Territory Department - Landscape and Biodiversity Service, pursuant to Regional Law. n. 42/1996. The Reserve includes a high and steep limestone cliff, a small portion of the Karst Plateau and the adjacent marine area for a total surface of 107 hectares. The Reserve is of great naturalistic interest, since it is placed at the transition from the Central European to the Mediterranean biogeographical domains, hosting Central European, Illyrian-Balkan and Mediterranean plant and animal species, with a particularly high biodiversity. The Cliffs of Duino are the only station of the endemic Centaurea kartschiana, a plant that grows on the part of the cliffs closest to the sea, and the surrounding areas are home to one of the northernmost relics of Mediterranean scrubland in Europe. One of the initiatives promoted by the Municipal Administration to enhance the Reserve is the creation of an IT tool that allows visitors to walk inside the Reserve, and in particular along the Rilke trail, being able to easily identify plants and flowers by simply holding a tablet or a mobile phone in their hands. This guide is available in different versions: on the web (with two interfaces, one dichotomous, one with multiple choice), for CD-Rom, in a printable version, and in a version for mobile phones, downloadable through the free application KeyToNature (for both iOS and Android devices). Thanks to this innovative approach, the guide will allow many to reach a 'true' knowledge of biodiversity, which often arouses curiosity, respect and interest, using an effective and powerful means for the dissemination of the environmental gems of one of the most important biotopes of the Region. The initiative also allows the creation of educational projects for schools of all levels.
The guide, which includes 586 infrageneric taxa (incl. some of the woody plants most often grown in gardens) is currently available in Italian (with notes to the species) and English (without notes).
Special thanks are due to Prof. Livio Poldini and Dr. Marisa Vidali, of the University of Trieste, who provided an updated list of wild species, and to Dr. Ing. Marco Cartagine and the nature guide Alessandro Fattori, of the Municipality Duino Aurisina, who collaborated for the success of the initiative.



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