Naturalistic Museum of the Tuscan Archipelago – NAT LAB

The NAT-LAB is the naturalistic museum located in the English Fort of Portoferraio, realized in 2019 by WBA in collaboration with the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.

 

The NAT-LAB hosts important entomological, zoological and botanical collections from the Tuscan Archipelago and was born from the desire to preserve the extraordinary environmental heritage of the Park. In the NAT-LAB, the visitor can explore biodiversity by passing through the three kingdoms of earth, water and air. In fact, 4 rooms have been set up in the museum, one dedicated to the naturalists who made history and the other three to the three kingdoms just mentioned.

 

The visit experience was designed to be engaging through the implementation of a multimedia path with the use of tablets and apps (NatLab available for Android and Apple). The multimedia path allows the visitors to deepen, through the use of viewers, the knowledge of the alien species of the archipelago territory, making visitors virtual sentinels of biodiversity. Through augmented reality, the visitors learn to recognize the alien species of the Park, to find them in the surrounding environment and to assess the environmental risks and threats associated with their spread.

Room 1 – Naturalists in history

In the first room 6 important naturalists of history await the visitors and welcome them with a phrase that has distinguished their studies.

Room 2 – Water room

In this room the 7 islands of the Tuscan Archipelago are represented, and it is highlighted that water is a limiting factor for the dispersion and diffusion of species, as it constitutes a “physical” obstacle that causes the species that live here and they reproduce, they tend to become separate species due to the lack of contact with individuals of different populations. Furthermore, the room hosts a stylized “freshwater cascade”, where it is possible to find species characteristic of these environments, which are very important as bioindicators.

Room 3 – Earth room

This room shows a cross-section of the terrestrial environment with all the animals that live above and below the ground, outlining almost all the natural trophic rings.

Room 4 – Air room

This room houses all those representatives of small fauna, which are considered excellent flyers, such as species of significant butterflies for the Tuscan Archipelago, Dragonflies, Wasps and Antlions. In this room a projector projects images of birds from the Tuscan Archipelago, making the visit even more impressive. In a niche there is a panel that explains the importance of pollinators and the honeybee. This importance is represented, with two dishes containing food, a situation “with” the presence of pollinators and a situation “without” pollinators. The presence of these very important insects makes it possible to bring many types of food to the table, while their lack or in extremis, their disappearance, would greatly reduce food biodiversity, cereals and very few other self-pollinating plants.


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