Deiana, Vitale (2013) La Macchia a corbezzolo (Arbutus unedo L., Ericaceae): aspetti botanici, prodotti e potenzialità economiche in Sardegna. Doctoral Thesis.
This research focuses on evolutionary dynamics, phenological trend, nectar secretion and intraspecific fruit variability of Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo L.), evaluated in five areas of Sardinia. It also deals with the bitter honey, of which Sardinia is one of the largest producers in the world. Evolutionary dynamics showed that anthropogenic activity is the main disturbance factor in Mediterranean environment, leading to the current landscape, characterized by evergreen sclerophyllic species, among which Strawberry Tree is frequently dominant. Analysis of phenology and nectar secretion allowed to identify an interesting area for the prolonged flowering and abundant secretion and to determine the best time to place the hives. This will be very useful for beekeepers, to optimize and streamline their business. Analysis of the phenolic compounds of honey and nectar allowed to differentiate the two products and to discriminate (100%) the years of production of honey. Mineral analysis of fruits and honeys allowed to discriminate the products according to their place of origin. Fruit morpho-biometric analysis showed considerable carpologic variability for the species, detecting new forms and a variety not yet reported. The results represent a good start to define Strawberry Tree fruit variability protection and conservation strategies in Sardinia and the bitter honey, which could greatly benefit from the acquisition of a quality label in the future (PDO, PGI).
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