Mulas M, Francesconi AHD
Abstract: Wild olive (Olea europaea L. var. oleaster Hoffmg et Link) plants grow spontaneously in many areas of the Mediterranean basin. This species is a typical component of the Mediterranean maquis. Due to its good ecological adaptation, its vegetative habitus can range from small bush to high tree. Sometimes, relatively large woods can be made of wild olive trees. In spite of its wide diffusion, wild olive has been poorly studied as a forestry species and, above all, no selections are available to enhance its use in ecological forestry or in wood arboriculture. From 1997 to 1999 a research was conducted on the ecology of wild olive plants in Sardinia and on the phenotypical characterisation of the variability present on natural populations. The goal was to collect information for a subsequent mass selection programme of cultivars characterised by: good agamic and seed propagation ability, good vegetative vigour, high growth rate, good ecological competitiveness in terms of fruiting abundance and seed germination percentage, regular trunk morphology adequate to maximize income in terms of valuable wood production, and good quality of extractable wood assortments. More than 80 accessions were collected in 10 different places and their main morphological and propagation characteristics were evaluated. The natural populations of wild olive plants in Sardinia presented a high phenotypical variability for many characters. This will be extremely useful for a subsequent selection of cultivars for forestry uses.
Citazione: Mulas M, Francesconi AHD (1999). Wild olive (Olea europaea L.) as a forestry species . 2° Congresso Nazionale SISEF, Bologna, 20 – 22 Ott 1999, Contributo no. #c2.6.24