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Wetlands

There are not extended wetlands within the Park, as the mountains, which are mainly constituted by calcareous rock, are subject to karst topography: a lot of rainwater and of water resulting from the melting snow leaks in the subsoil and gets to the surface through springs placed at the foot of big elevations.

Among the main water courses we should remember the Orta River, the Orfento River, the Lavino and Foro Rivers in the northern sector, the Aventino River in the eastern sector, and the Vella River in the western sector.

The limpid and rich-in-fish waters of the Orfento and Orta Rivers were the last shelter of the Abruzzo Otter, and – especially in the secondary branches – they're still the ideal habitat of the white-throated Dipper, as well as of many amphibians.

The only permanent stretches of water are the Ticino Lake at Campo di Giove and the little Battista Lake on Pizzi Mounts. Those are inhabited by different kinds of rare plants, like some big sedges, the water chickweed, the star duckweed, the southern adderstongue and the grey willow, but they are also an important habitat for migrating birds, like ducks, herons, storks and some charadriiformes birds.

Big and rare sedges are present also near holes and canals cutting through the Maggiori Plateaus, where some of those form peculiar groups, now relict, which were very diffused during ice ages of the Quaternary era like the C. nigra subsp. nigra,  and the C. tomentosa.

In the Park the wood riparian vegetation is characterized mainly by groups with predominance of willows: in the trees formations the white willow, in the shrub formations the purple willow, the rosemary willow and the Apennine willow. Those formations, especially during the spring migration, represent a stepping area for many birds that find there a shelter and some food, as well as often ideal sites for nesting.

Other biological communities in humid environments are of helophytic vegetation (herbaceous plants with an underwater part), mainly formed by common reed, common bulrush, Sparganium erectum (the simplest bur-reed) and marked glyceria, and the hydrophytic vegetation, mainly formed by buttercups with thin leaves and Potamogeton polygonifolius.

Image of Arsiccia Carafa
Image of a flower
Image of a stream
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