A few kilometers south of the city of Ravenna is one of the most important nature reserves on the Emilia-Romagna coast. With its total extension of 1256 hectares, of which about 64 hectares of retro-dunes coastal strip, it represents a habitat rich in species, both animal and vegetable. In the river mouth area, in fact, there are important transition habitat both hydrological (fresh, brackish and marine waters) and geomorphological (wooded, dune and shoreline system). From a conservation point of view, the Foce Bevano area constitutes a reserve not only for migratory and nesting poultry species, but also for marine species, including molluscs and crustaceans of commercial interest.

Consisting of a complex mosaic of different habitats, all of particular naturalistic value, the Bevano river mouth presents a high environmental interest, because it is the last example of meandering estuary of the upper Adriatic and, to date, is protected by numerous landscape and naturalistic constraints: Ramsar Area, Site of Community Importance (SIC), Special Protection Area (SPA), Ravenna Coastal Dune Nature Reserve and part of the Po Delta Regional Park Station. The Bevano river originates at an altitude of 180 m above sea level, in the locality of Trebbo, in the hills of Bertinoro and, after a path of 34 km flows into the Adriatic between the localities of Lido di Dante and Lido di Classe (Montanari and Marasmi, 2013). The site includes about 5 km of coastal dunes, behind which are the state-owned pine forests of the Ramazzotti and Savio sections, planted starting in 1881. Almost all types of northern Adriatic halophilous vegetation are present in this area. The inner basins with shallower waters dry up during the summer, giving rise to mudflats where the annual halophilous communities typical of these environments settle. The terminal stretch of the river is characterized by a variety of sandy and muddy bottoms that are home to natural Pacific oyster (Magallana gigas) beds which house a high marine biodiversity and protect the riverbanks. The seabed is also rich in estuarine shrimps (Upogebia pusilla) and Manila clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) (Abbiati et al., 2019).



Bevano river mouth: on the left bottom sediment grain size and organic matter; on the right main benthic assemblages (UTM33 WGS84, base map Google Earth April 2, 2018).

The seabed in front of the mouth is sandy and home to rich benthic communities and natural populations of clams (Chamelea gallina), a species of high commercial importance. For this reason, it is believed that this coastal marine area would deserve strict protection, like already occurs in the land side (Abbiati et al., 2019).


Bevano marine coastal area: on the left fine sand distribution; on the right the distribution of the clam Chamelea gallina (UTM33 WGS84, base map Google Maps).



Abbiati M, Ponti M, Mugnai F, Turicchia E, Rinaldi A, Modugno S, Ferrari CR, Mazziotti C, Benzi M, Martini P, Riccardi E (2019) Caratterizzazione dell'area di foce del Torrente Bevano e individuazione delle strategie di conservazione e valorizzazione delle aree di nursery per specie protette e d'interesse commerciale (Report progetto FLAG Regione Emilia-Romagna), Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali, Università di Bologna, Ravenna, Italia https://zenodo.org/record/4016598#.YOL-SEzONpg 

Montanari R, Marasmi C (2013) Foce Bevano. Stato dell’area naturale protetta e prospettive per una sua gestione integrata e sostenibile. Servizio Difesa del Suolo della Costa e Bonifica, Regione Emilia-Romagna