Monti di Trapani

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Cultural landscapes, with their agricultural ecosystems, are the place where the biodiversity of wild plants has been preserved and biodiversity of cultivates plants was generated. The current richness of fruit trees varieties is the result of a millennial process of introduction and domestication occurred in different historical periods and, therefore, closely linked to the people who come through Sicily.


Documentaries are a great way to record project activities, creating a historical record of an event. They gave us the possibility to combine several media, such as images, audio, text, maps, charts, interviews, etc, in a short and pleasant format that easily attracts user attention, conveying the message.


The University of Palermo team, with Dr. Flavia Pinzari of CRA-RPS of Rome, is studying past landscapes using ancient soil horizons as archaeological records. The project aims at evaluating the biodiversity of no longer existing environments, in order to reconstruct the past agroecosystems. One of the approach used in the study consisted in the selective sampling of buried paleo-soil horizons for the search of “testimonials” or useful archaeobotanical "indicators" that can tell something about past environments and peculiar ecosystems no longer present.

MEMOLA organises a a round table in Sicily to catalogue and promote the ancient local fruit cultivation and their traditional practices of grafting. The meeting involved Giuseppe Bazan and Rosario Schicchi from the University of Palermo and the Rural Development and Territorial of Sicily.

Seminars and workshops

Seminars and workshops are an essential part of the consortium approach to scientific research. We use them to involve professionist, private companies, organizations, local and regional policy makers over agriculture, territorial planning, rural development and cultural heritage, sharing differente working techniques and specific methodologies. The practical side of these activities let us embrace very different fields, from advanced IT tecniques to tradtional skills and know-how, adding often an important socioeconomic value.


In Monti di Trapani, ethnographic interviews were crucial for the identification of the hydraulic sources (springs, fountains, etc), place names and landuse distribution.

Senior farmers engaged in dialogue and shared their knowledge with researchers and younger farmers on reproducing original cultivars and repair an injured tree.


Plants play a significant role in the human history. One o the cradles of Civilization took place in the wild geographic range of wild ancestor of Mediterranean Cultivated Plants. Domestication of plants was the prior condition to the rise of human civilization and its demographic growth. Moreover, human history has gravitated to the possession of certain plant products, so many times the plants and their products can be considered as one of the fundamental reasons of development and relationship between populations. 


Local development

The socioeconomic impact is a priority in project actions. We believe in the social utility of our research and we have a responsibility as scientists. Cultural landscapes are the result of a coevolutionary process and, in the case of mountain areas, have shown enormous resilience and efficiency throughout history. However, at present, many of these systems are in the process of abandonment and marginalized in a highly economic context.



MEMOLA partners’ participate in numerous conferences organized by project members as well as other scientific meetings of local or international level. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the project, interventions cover areas such as history and archeology, agronomy, soil science, botany, anthropology, heritage protection, citizen participation, education, land use planning and natural resources management.