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    Area of the forest where trees thin out or are lost. This forms a turf in which various ecosystems, called heliophilic environments, can proliferate due to direct solar radiation. The philosopher Heidegger uses the metaphor of the clearing to describe the sudden brightness in which a wayfarer wandering in the midst of a dense forest can find himself, comparable to the enlightenment of reason.

    Ecosystem Services

    Set of benefits, in economic-financial terms, that a healthy biological system - such as a forest or even a lone tree - is able to provide to a given land or urban context. They fall into four macro-categories: life support (nutrient cycling, soil formation and habitat healthiness); provisioning (food, potable water, energy, raw materials, medicinal or genetic resources); regulation (of climate, tides and flooding, water purification or hydrogeological balance); cultural values (aesthetic, spiritual, educational and recreational). ES’s are not yet adequately quantified, in comparable terms with economic services and manufacturing capital, although the world's economies would suffer a major setback without their life support.


    A very numerous family of plants, also known as leguminosae. They are very hardy plants, with rapid growth cycles. Through a bacterium, Rhizobium leguminosarum, they are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen, making their presence essential for the sustainability of agro-ecosystems. This large family includes Mimosa, Robinia, Vicia, Broom, Wisteria, Alfalfa and Clover.

    Enciclopedia Britannica

    Foreste Urbane

    Powerful NbS that support human life and natural ecosystems within the urbanized context. They provide multiple environmental, social, and economic benefits, including carbon sequestration and storage, reduction of heat island effects, and flood containment. They improve human health, both physical and mental, as long as limiting energy consumption and providing shelter for wildlife by offering food and shade.

    Mother Tree

    The elder trees of a forest, around which the underground networks of roots and mycorrhizae are organized. These monumental trees, being taller and storing more sunlight, send their carbon to younger trees to help them develop, including those of other species, preserving biodiversity.

    The studies of S. Simard, Forest ecology professor @ University of British Columbia (CA)


    Special type of symbiotic connection occurring underground between fungi and tree roots. Through these symbioses, two or more organisms can exchange nutrients or ally in defense against environmental stress and diseases. Some fossil remains testify to the existence of endomycorrhizae on earth as early as 450 million years ago, at the same time as the first forms of plant life appeared. Mycorrhizae are believed to have been instrumental in the process of creating the temperate ecosystems in which human beings later developed. The best known mycorrhizal symbioses, for culinary reasons, are those between truffles and oaks or porcini and chestnut trees.

    Nature-based Solutions (NBS)

    Strategic solutions based on proper planning of ecosystems in urban or suburban areas. They can help improve the living conditions of an area, mitigate costs spent on public health, aggregate the community, or plan a wide-range territory. Designing NbS necessarily begins with a study of the area in which they want to be applied, aimed to highlight distinctive features, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and risks on which to focus design attention.

    Terra preta

    Particular type of soil of anthropogenic origin. Typical of the Amazon basin, terra preta (that means black soil from the Portuguese) has a very dark color, due to fertilization that took place in the pre-Columbian period, with organic material and vegetable carbon. From some scientific studies it appears that these lands have self-healing abilities, growing at the rate of 1 cm per year for millennia.

    Top Soil

    Surface layer of the soil, on average the first 20-30 cm. It is therefore a very important factor in terms of remediation of polluted areas, as it is the main route of exposure by dermal contact, ingestion or inhalation. In German legislation it is the benchmark for risk analysis aimed at making an area usable once again.