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Plant Sociology numero 54 (2)

pag. 51-64: The third report on the conservation status of habitats (Directive 92/43/EEC) in Italy: processes, methodologies, results and comments

L. Zivkovic1, E. Biondi1, S. Pesaresi1, C. Lasen2, G. Spampinato3, P. Angelini4

1Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (D3A), Marche Politechnic University, Via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona, Italy.

2Via Mutten 27, I-32032 Arson di Feltre (BL), Italy.

3Department of Agriculture, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, Località Feo di Vito, I-89124 Reggio Calabria, Italy.

4ISPRA, Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, I-00144 Rome, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2017542/06

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abstract

We present the third report (2007-2012) on the conservation status of habitats in Italy, made according to Art. ex 17 of Directive 92/43/EEC. We describe, analyze and comment the data relating to the distribution and conservation status of terrestrial habitats on the Italian territory and for each biogeographic region. These data are affected by the scale of investigation planned by the European Union and by the lack of consistent and objective information methods; however they allow to obtain a view of biodiversity in Italy, although incomplete, and provide a valuable guidance for developing environment’s protection and management policies. The large amount of information collected is an important source of georeferenced data with information on the distribution and habitat trends. The analysis of the habitats distribution shows that the largest number of habitats is mainly located in mountainous areas. The reporting data offer a snapshot of the Italian territory characterized by a biodiversity of habitats well distributed throughout the country and in particular in the Natura 2000 sites. The conservation status of habitats is not always satisfactory. Additional longterm monitoring programs are needed, at local, regional or sub-regional scales to allow administrators to properly manage the focal points of their territories. We also propose to make changes in the Habitats Directive increasing the number of habitats to be protected and reassigning the priority of the same at national and sub-national level. We also propose to identify, inside the biogeographical regions, subsectors with a major ecological significance which can be more useful to interpret the habitats. Finally we consider the fragility of many habitats subjected to the effects of global warming and of urban and infrastructure development.

keywords

changes in the Habitats Directive, conservation status of Habitat, Directive 92/43/EEC, distribution of Habitat, global warming, Italy, monitoring of Habitat, Natura 2000 Reporting, third report