Natural environment

Geographical context

The “Torbiere del Sebino” nature reserve belongs to the region of Lombardy and is managed by a Consortium between Province of Brescia, Mountain Community of the Sebino and local municipal authorities (Iseo – Provaglio d’Iseo – Corte Franca).

Situated south of Lake Iseo, the reserve includes:

  • the Lame (a vast stretch of water hemmed in by banks, a result of cutting of a peat bogs);
  • the Lamette (a kind of marshy lagoon to the north, on the lake);
  • some basins of water to the south and west (resulting from the excavation of clay pits);
  • some meadows and adjacent cultivated fields.

The Reserve has a total area of about 360 hectares. The whole of this area is of great interest because of its size, its location (the morainic anphitheatre of Franciacorta and the Sebino), for its caracteristics of green damp area with outstanding value of natural scenary, for its history and for certain historical and artistic features in the neighbourhood, particularly the Monastery of Saint Peter in Lamosa.

Hydro-biological characteristics

The water supply is guaranteed by rain, infiltrations and probable underground springs, by the Fontanino Spring (once conspicuous and now reduced to a small spring which flows into a lateral basin) and by several modest streams which, along their course, receive industrial, agricoltural and several waste, and represent a very grave problem. The outlet of water occurs through evaporation. Before the institution of the Reserve there was also artificial removal for agricultural purposes (by means of private pumps) and consistent withdrawal by the Oglio Consortium which was authorized to manage a pumping station on the bog. The body of water contained in the Lame is not very deep (maximum 5m), has high summer temperatures, freezes in the winter and there is very little change of water. These circumstances (except for the last but one) facilitate eutrophication (disappearance of oxygen due to excessive presence of nutrients and therefore disappearance of all forms of life: this would appear to be demonstrated by the limited transparency, the high percentage of nutrients (phosphorus), an algae biomass and a high level of clorophill. However, the enviroment does not present dangerous levels of eutrophication: perhaps this is avoided by the constant winds which combined with the shallow water level of the basins constantly stir the water, oxygenating it. In some canals of the Lamette eutrophication is more evident. Chemical analysis has shown a tendency towards alcalinity, average conductability and calcium prevalence. Little chemical pollution has been noted, but this situation could deteriorate in view of the nature of the streams which flow into the bog: the southern basins which receive the Ri stream (which flows through Franciacorta collecting industrial and agricoltural waste) and the residues of a battery chicken farm, are in a more precarious condition. The enviroment is rich in plankton and benthos; the zooplankton is of particolar interest, including species which are not very common in northen Italy waters.