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The National Research Council Institute of Biometeorology of Bologna (IBIMET-CNR) carried out a study aimed to the safeguard of autochthonous cultivars, through the census of secular olive tree plants, belonging to varieties at extinction risk or located in sites with historical or landscape add value in the Province of Bologna (North Italy) with particular attention to phytometric characters, sanitary status of the plants and the relation with their location characteristics. The presence of ancient plants in a specific site may indicate the absence of limiting factors for olive trees development. Considering the environmental factor values of these locations, a classification of the territory in classes of suitability for the cultivation was defined, with the support of a Geographic Information System (GIS). Ancient olive trees data were also collected and catalogued in an internet site (http://olivisecolari.ibimet.cnr.it) where it is possible to reach a virtual journey through studied olive trees. All plants are supplied with a phytometric card and a visualization on a map providing the exact location. The GIS elaboration of the environmental factors considered for the definition of the suitable lands for olive trees cultivation, identified 3556 ha as suitable, of which 972 ha highly suitable belonging to class I, where olive trees cultivation could be profitable because of suitable land morphology and the possibility of a good mechanization due to low field slopes.
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