Rosetta S. Elkin
The ancient city of Ostia and its migrating coast illuminates the long-term regimes of retreat and urbanization, and the role of major reforestation projects. Historically, farmers planted pine forests along shorelines, in order to protect their land from salt spray. While some of these areas are now at or below sea level, others have persisted and naturalized. Although many individual projects are now fragmented, Pinus picea and its associations are evidence that plants can harness the relentless events of the weather. This case study will sample the origins of Pinus pinea as a species emblematic of Rome, and further into to its evolution as a major forestation species along the western shorelines. The case of Italian Stone Pine will explore the varied ages, adaptive forms and changing behaviors along the Ostia shorelines, in order to help articulate a broader role for plants when characterizing future coastal development in the context of changing climates.