Brief description of outdoor tours

Field session I
Monday 8th July
Afternoon excursion to Elona Gorge (Natura 2000 site)
The aim was to get the participants familiar with the area’s landscape and scenery, the flora and habitat types. Reference was made to the protection status (Natura 2000 site of Elona gorge) and the importance of endemic plant Taxa.

Field session II
Tuesday 9th July
Daily tour in the area of Moustos wetland and northern Parnon (Natura 2000 site of Parnon)
The aim was to show the participants important natural ecosystems such as the montane forests that are conserved or exploited. They could observe the succession of the different types of Mediterranean vegetation, according to the rise of altitude, as well as the landscape complexity moving from the lowlands to the highlands on Parnonas. The tour continued inside the Natura 2000 priority habitat types of the black pine (Pinus nigra) and Syrian juniper (Juniperus drupacea) .Later on,the tour continued through lush coniferous and broadleaved woodland to the traditional village of Kastanitsa where extensive chestnut (Castanea sativa) stands occurred.

Field session III
Wednesday 10th July
Daily tour in the region of southern Parnon.
The aim was to familiarize the participants with the thermophilous vegetation of evergreen broadleaves and phrygana and their use as rangeland in the area of Tsitalia near Leonidio and Zarakas (the southernmost limit of the region visited). Particular attention was paid to overgrazing by goats and subsequent soil degradation and desertification.

Field session IV
Thursday 11th July
Morning excursion to Vaskina plateau.
It is an extensive rangeland close to Leonidio which suffers from land abandonment and simultaneously alteration of land use. The aim was to show to the participants traditional livestock raising practices.There was presentation of grazing management status and discussion on the impact of grazing regarding natural ecosystems,vegetation and biodiversity.

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