After passing the Canapine path, we find ourselves in verdant countryside hidden among poplar and willow groves. In the midst of these, we can catch a glimpse of a large three-trunked tree covered in ivy under which we can see the springs of Santa Liberata. The waters of Santa Liberata and other small springs originate from the Gran Sasso aquifer and are home to a biodiversity very different from that of the Pescara Springs, which are instead fed by the ridge of Mount Sirente. The discovery of these species adds value to this internationally important spring ecosystem and highlights its extreme vulnerability. These species are, in fact, particularly sensitive to decreasing flow rates as well as to clogging of interstitial spaces. Important are the numbers related to biodiversity: over 2000 species estimated, around 200 species new to the region as well as numerous species new to science. Today, however, the source of Santa Liberata is not easily accessible as the path has some problems such as brambles and nettles that impede passage. A targeted cleaning operation would therefore be necessary to remove all the brambles and obstructing plants and reopen access to the springs of Santa Liberata.
Authors: Jacopo Galli e Antonio Antonucci
work-school project (2019): Liceo Scientifico Amedeo Di Savoia (Popoli)