Here is a brief presentation of this exceptional site, now a State Nature Reserve.
Bosco Fontana represents what remains of a much larger area, formerly owned by the Gonzaga. After the second half of the 1600s, with the fall of the Duchy, the forest was abandoned until it became a headquarters of the Austrians in 1700. In the following decades it underwent constant threats of destruction, until it became part of the Forest State Property in 1910 and was declared a National Monument in 1921.
85% of the 236 hectares of the Reserve is now occupied by the forest. Remaining from prairie and a small wetland. The Reserve represents one of the last relict testimonies of the lowland meso-hygrophilous broad-leaved forests that covered the Po Valley with ample continuity up to about 2000 years ago.
Scientific research in the State Reserve is constantly monitored and carried out directly by the “Bosco Fontana” CNCB. The main issues he deals with are development of studies on forest management and on the role of dead wood in forest ecosystem and associated fauna (saproxylic fauna). In addition, the staff is engaged in the research carried out on the site of the International LTER Network (Long Term Ecological Research), in the monitoring carried out on the Level II area of the CONECOFOR National Network (FORestry ECOsystems Control) and in the analysis of forest dynamics.