Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia L.): a multipurpose species with an important role in land reclamation.
Elaeagnus angustifolia L. (Russian olive, oleaster) is generally regarded as a useful species across its distribution range. The aim of this review paper was to highlight the species' multiple uses, especially in forest land reclamation. Data regarding the taxonomy, chorology, ecological requirements and biological characteristics were also presented. Even if it is listed as an invasive species in many countries worldwide, Russian olive is one of the most common used species for improvement by afforestation of several categories of degraded terrains, especially the salt-affected and arid lands. It is also very appreciated in folk medicine, human and animal alimentation, cosmetics and landscape architecture. Due to its tendency to spread and colonize bare terrains or areas where it is not desired, a carefully monitoring of cultures with this species is more than necessary. In the perspective of contemporary climate change, characterized by higher temperatures and lower rainfall, Russian olive could gain more attention from foresters, ecologists and land managers who should develop an integrated management plan for this species.