Glaciers are among the most effective and complete archives of the past. Their existence is threatened by the increase of air temperature that in the Alps is twice the average of the global one.
The POLLiCE (from POLLen and iCE) project aims to sample and analyze the plant component – pollen, bark, leaves, branches – archived in the ice, at depths never reached before in Italy within this kind of studies. The classical morphological-based analysis is here performed alongside the sequencing of informative DNA traits, focusing on the biological remains captured within the ice of Mandrone glacier in the Adamello Brenta Natural Park. The glacier was selected on the basis of its width – 17 square kilometers – and depth – 240 m estimated – which make it the widest and deepest Italian glacier. The sampling site is located at 3200 m a.s.l., in the central part of a glacial area (Pian di Neve), where the sequence of seasons is expected to be conserved by the ice layers.
The POLLiCE project is the result of the synergy among different partners, who intend to explore the glaciers from a cross-cutting perspective, facing chemical investigation together with a study on the evolution and transformation of the landscape, by capitalizing economic and human resources.