Fitosociologia 41 (1) S1 2004

pag. 3-13: Phytosociology and Biodiversity: an undissociable relationship

J. Loidi

Department of Plant Biology and Ecology (Botany), University of the Basque Country, Ap. 644, E-48080 Bilbao; email:

A general review of the ideas and concepts concerning biological diversity is carried out in the first part of this paper. The importance of biodiversity and its role in the ecosystems is considered and the types of biodiversity and some procedures and formulae to assess it are analyzed as well as the factors which influence this parameter in ecosystems. The second part focuses on the relation of vegetation and biodiversity and particularly on the elements of biological diversity contained in the phytosociological information. The advantages of using the relevés data sets and the phytosociological vegetation maps for assessing biodiversity are highlighted: low cost, methodological homogeneity, size and extent of the data set. The attributes of the phytosociological data permit an assessment of the alpha, beta and gamma diversities in the local and habitat scale and the integrated or dynamiczonal phytosociology can be used to analyze diversity at landscape or regional scale.

pag. 15-20: Alpha and Beta Diversity in Central European Beech Forests

W. Willner, D. Moser & G. Grabherr

Institute of Ecology and Conservation Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, A – 1090 Vienna, Austria; e-mail:

Recently, the beech forests of southern Central Europe (including large parts of the Illyrian region) have been syntaxonomically revised, using a TURBOVEG database containing more than 5800 relevés, mainly from Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. The same TURBOVEG database was used to calculate patterns of alpha and beta diversity within beech forests. A strong correlation between local species richness and soil pH was found. Beta diversity is related with area and the number of associations therein.

pag. 21-25: The map of the vegetation series of Italy

C. Blasi, G. Filibeck, R. Frondoni, L. Rosati & D. Smiraglia

Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, I-00185 Roma

We present the methodology developed for mapping the vegetation series of Italy (at scale 1:250,000) in the frame of the project “Completion of Basic Naturalistic Knowledge”, funded by the Italian Ministry of the Environment. A hierarchical land classification is combined with expert knowledge of vegetation dynamics and phytosociological field data. The Map of the Vegetation Series is an essential tool for ecological planning and land management.

pag. 27-42: La vegetazione acquatica e palustre dell’Italia nord-orientale. 1 – La classe Lemnetea Tüxen ex O. Bolòs et Masclans 1955

G. Sburlino1, M. Tomasella2, G. Oriolo2 & L. Poldini2

1Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Campo Celestia 2737b, I-30122 Venezia; e-mail:

2Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Trieste, via L. Giorgieri 10, I-34127 Trieste; e-mail:,

Aquatic and marsh vegetation of the north-eastern Italy. 1 – The class Lemnetea Tüxen ex O. Bolòs et Masclans 1955. The pleustophytic vegetation belonging to Lemnetea in north-eastern Italy is described. Five associations and four plant communities have been identified, belonging to four alliances and two orders. Information about their floristic composition, syntaxonomy, synphysionomy, synecology and synchorology are given. Hydrogeological factors cause the presence of a greater number of syntaxa in the central-western sector of the investigated area.

pag. 43-51: Identification des habitats côtiers de la Directive Habitats présents en France

F. Bioret1, M. Glémarec2 & J.-M. Géhu3

1Géomer UMR 6554, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, IUEM, place Copernic, F-29280 Plouzané

231 rue des Lilas, F-29200 Brest

316 rue de l’Eglise, F-80860 Nouvion en Ponthieu

Identification of coastal habitats of the Habitats Directive present in France. Within the context of the setting up of the european Habitats directive, the coastal habitats handbook have been realized according to a double scientific and technical approach. 31 generic coastal habitats (8 marine habitats and 23 terrestrial habitats) have been described, gathering 105 elementary habitats. This handbook represents a reference document for the elaboration of Natura 2000 sites management plans.

pag. 53-78: The vegetal landscape of the Republic of San Marino

E. Biondi1 & I. Vagge2

1Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali e delle Produzioni vegetali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, I- 60131 Ancona;

2Dipartimento di Produzione Vegetale, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 2, I-20133 Milano; e-mail:

Here we present a phytosociological study of the vegetal landscape of the territory of the Republic of San Marino, situated in the northern Apennines, where it covers 61 km2. The bioclimate belongs to the subMediterranean variant of the temperate macrobioclimate.
The vegetal landscape is here examined in relation to the characteristics of the substratum upon which it develops. On the calcareous heights, positioned on a short ridge that culminates in the peaks of Monte Titano (750 m), the forest vegetation belongs to the association of Lamiastro-Ostryetum carpinifoliae on the coldest aspects, and to the association Stellario holosteae-Quercetum pubescentis on those that are warmer. We also present the substitution phytocoenoses that are in dynamic connection with the woods. In the rocky sector of the calcareous ridge, the vegetation follows the morphology and micromorphology of the substratum, forming vegetational mosaics that are particularly complex and present rare vegetal associations, among which there is the association Crepido titani-Brassicetum robertianae colonising limited vertical portions of the calcareous cliffs, and the association Teucrio flavi-Ephedretum majoris, which is found on the microterraces that alternate with the cliffs.
On the calcareous-marl conglomerate substrata and the molasses of Monte Cerreto, in part occupied by a wood that is now degraded, which is thought to be potentially referable to the association Aceri obtusati-Quercetum cerris. There is a particular vegetation coverage of Erica arborea and Ulex europaeus ssp. europaeus (this last species finds the eastern limits of its area in the location of San Marino) that is referred to the new association Crataego monogynae-Ulicetum europaei of the Rhamno-Prunetea
The greater part of the territory of this State is formed of clay hills that have been subjected to the phenomena of rapid erosion of the substratum that has led to the formation of badlands. The vegetation is differentiated into the pioneering vegetal communities already seen for the badlands of the nearby Marecchia Valley, with the associations: Hainardio cylindricae-Salsoletum sodae, Elytrigio athericae-Artemisietum cretaceae and Arundinetum plinianae. In the areas that are no longer cultivated, however, vegetation of the association Senecio erucifolii-Inuletum viscosae has developed. The study of the description of the vegetal landscape of San Marino Republic is completed by the analysis of the fragmentary river formations and the nitrophilic and anthropogenic formations.

pag. 79-83: Unità di vegetazione naturale potenziale e incidenza degli incendi nell’isola di Ponza (Italia centrale)

A.Stanisci1, S. Feola2, M.L. Carranza1, D. Balteanu1 & C. Blasi2

1Dip. Scienze e Tecnologie dell’Ambiente e del Territorio, Università del Molise, Via Mazzini 8, I-86170 Isernia; email:

2Dip. Biologia Vegetale, Università “La Sapienza”, P.le A.Moro 5, I-00185 Roma

Potential natural vegetation units and fire frequency in Ponza island (central Italy). Aims of the paper are the classification of the landscape of Ponza island using physical features and vegetation series distribution, and the evaluation of the fire frequency and the relative effects on vegetation recover for each land unit.
A land units map was realised in GIS environment, following the hierarchical land classification approach: 3 land systems, 4 land facets and 6 land units inside the Mediterrean bioclimatic region were singled out.
75 phytosociological relevés were carried out and 6 main potential natural vegetation types were identified: Quercenion virgilianae series, Erico-Quercetum ilicis series, Fraxino-Ulmenion minoris series, and the phytotoposequences of coastal cliffs, screes, and sand dunes. Fire frequency was calculated for each potential natural vegetation unit (period 1978-2001) and the highest percentage of fires was recorded in northern slopes of hills, mainly during the period August- October.
Furthermore, the current research has pointed out that woods currently cover very small surfaces because of the high incidence of fires and that the terraces could play an important role to preserve soil and make easier the vegetation recover.

pag. 85-89: Patterns of plant diversity and endemicity in the vegetation of North-East Alicante (E Spain)

R. Pérez-Badia, I. Febrer-Peiró & F. Fernández-González

Facultad de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. Carlos III s/n., E- 45071 Toledo

A study of the floristic and vegetational diversity in the North-East of Alicante (region of La Marina Alta, Eastern Spain) has been carried out. The catalogue of the vascular flora was analyzed according to species attributes related to life form and distribution ranges. The relevé data set was analyzed by clustering techniques to obtain floristically homogeneous habitat types and the corresponding character species with significant indicator values. The results of these analyses show the patterns of distribution among habitats of different plant species groups relevant for conservation purposes.

pag. 91-100: Análisis fitosociológico de los bosques de oyamel [Abies religiosa (H.B.K .) Cham. & Schlecht.] de la Sierra de Angangueo, Región Central de México

J. Giménez de Azcárate1 & M. I. Ramírez2

1Departamento de Botánica, Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, E- 27002 Lugo; email:

2Departamento de Geografía Física, Instituto de Geografía, UNAM, México DF., México

Following phytosociological methodology (Braun-Blanquet approach) oyamel (Abies religiosa) forests, located at supratropical belt of the Angangueo range (Central Region of the Transversal Volcanic Sistem), are studied. The associations Sibthorpio repentis-Abietetum religiosae and Cleyero integrifoliae-Abietetum religiosae are characterized and floristicaly differenciated. From those associations a total of 30 releves are presented. Some aspects linked with their structure, composition, ecology and distribution are commented, and the comparations with other similar forest formations are established. Finally the effects of perturbations on these forests and on the landscape are analysed.

pag. 101-107: Integrating phytosociological and agronomic analysis to support the sustainable management of Mediterranean grasslands

S. Bagella1 & P. P. Roggero2

1Dipartimento di Botanica ed Ecologia vegetale, Università di Sassari, via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari; email:

2Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali e delle Produzioni Vegetali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via S. Allende, 60132 Ancona; email:

The paper analyses the integration of different methodologies for assessing the grazing value of grasslands, aimed at supporting decisions for their sustainable management, that is, the long term preservation of their productive potential. The attribution of an agronomic value (specific index) to each species can be used for a preliminary evaluation of their productive potential. It can be also considered a first step in the exploitation of data already available from studies made on grasslands using a range of approaches, among them phytosociological tables. A data base file containing a collection of Specific indices for 1796 taxa, based on evaluations made by different authors, who applied the Grazing Value method in a range of environments in the Mediterranean area, has been made available on the web site (download area, ricerca).

pag. 109-116: Cartography and diachronic analysis of the vegetation of S’Ena Arrubia Lagoon (Centre- Western Sardinia)

E. Biondi1, R. Filigheddu2 & E. Farris2

1Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali e delle Produzioni Vegetali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona; e-mail:

2Dipartimento di Botanica ed Ecologia vegetale, Università degli Studi di Sassari, via Muroni 25, I-07100 Sassari; email:;

The vegetation map of S’Ena Arrubia Lagoon in centre-western Sardinia (1: 2,500 scale) is presented and some diachronic remarks are made by referring to historical data available. The main object of this cartography, after a research on the biotope vegetation, is to allow the biomonitoring of an extremely important site for the biodiversity conservation (Protected Area: S.I.C., Z.P.S., I.B.A.), which is to use for an ecologically aware management.

pag. 117-123: Linee guida per una banca dati delle aree sensibili: il ruolo dell’analisi fitosociologica

M. Pellizzari1, G. Sala2, A. Ferioli2

1Università di Ferrara, Dip. delle Risorse Naturali e Culturali, Corso Porta Mare 2, I – 44100 Ferrara; e-mail:

2ARPA Ferrara, Corso della Giovecca 169, I – 44100 Ferrara

The role of phytosociology for a database of the “sensitive areas”. The project of a Sensitive Areas Database (BDAS) aims to collect information of environmental care about: status of sites, current dynamic trends, levels of actual and future impacts, effects of environmental policies. One may consider as “sensitive areas” the territorial bounds with both high environmental value and adverse factors threatening the environment. The geographical spotting of sensitive areas requires the selection of OGU – Operational Geographical Units, to overcome the bonds of administratìve boundaries.
Among the environmental data the knowledge of the status of vegetatìon becomes the main priority, concentrating on the plant communities. To test the database we chose as a specimen the coastal area of the Provinces of Ferrara and Ravenna, where they coexist within the same OGU high environmental value (the Po Delta Park) and strong pressure (the System coupling port and chemical industries near Ravenna).
The vegetational data provide a list of habitats as vegetation units. A “care index” was applied to each habitat, to implement quantitative and qualitative data sets; among the parameters chosen we enclosed evaluations about effective rarity, structure, anthropic interference and so on. The testing of the care index provides a specimen to apply the guide lines to other sensitive areas of Italy, so that BDAS will become complete by those requirements and will be available for environmental planning and management.

pag. 125-141: Halophilous vegetation of Olbia pond system (NE-Sardinia)

E. Biondi1, E. Brugiapaglia2, E. Farris3, R. Filigheddu3 & Z. Secchi3

1Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali e delle Produzioni Vegetali, via Brecce Bianche, 1 – 60131 Ancona; e-mail:

2Servizio Aree Naturali Protette, Regione Marche, via Tiziano 44, I-60100 Ancona; e-mail:

3Università degli Studi di Sassari, Dipartimento di Botanica ed Ecologia vegetale, via Muroni 25, I -07100 Sassari; email:;;

Authors report some results about a phytosociological study concerning the wetlands to the south of Olbia (Gallura, north-eastern Sardinia).
Vegetation analysis allowed to detect 21 associations, among them two are new and denominated Halimiono portulacoidis-Limoniastretum monopetali ass. nova and Ephedro fragilis-Pistacietum lentisci ass. nova. Among them, the association Halimiono portulacoidis-Limoniastretum monopetali shows a particular phytogeographical interest, because it sets the Limoniastrum monopetalum vegetation in the only Sardinian station of this shrubby Plumbaginacea.
From a syntaxonomic point of view, described syntaxa are included in 9 vegetation classes.
Plant landscape of the area was reconstructed by the study of chain contacts among different communities, placed in space according to humidity and salinity gradients, determined by substratum texture and micromorphology. On the basis of phytocoenotic diversity stressed by this research, this study area is believed to be deserving of protection aiming at conserving and managing its populations and plant communities.

pag. 143-154: Aplicación de análisis multivariables a los bosques ibéricos de Quercus pyrenaica

G. S. Entrocassi, R. G. Gavilán & D. Sánchez-Mata

Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, E-28040 Madrid; e-mail:

A multivariate approach of the Iberian Quercus pyrenaica forests. A syntaxonomical review of the Iberian Peninsula Quercus pyrenaica forests was done by means of numerical methods. Due to the number of phytosociological relevés (521, more than 800 species) the original matrix was subdivided in four smaller matrices. Classifications (using van der Maarel index and Minimum Variance method) and ordinations (PcoA) were applied to those matrices. Results showed homogeneous groups from different points of view: floristic, biogeographical and bioclimatic that corresponded to some syntaxa already described. However, other groups more heterogeneous, from a geographical point of view, were also extracted. Their phytosociological interpretation was more difficult and furthermore studies will allow us to check our present interpretation.

pag. 155-170: The badland vegetation of the northern-central Apennines (Italy)

E. Biondi & S. Pesaresi

Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali e delle Produzioni Vegetali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona; e-mail:

We present here a syntaxonomic revision of the vegetation of the badlands of the Northern-Central Apennines. Badlands are argillaceous-pelitic areas that are affected by processes of rapid soil erosion, caused by the surface water. After a summary of previous studies and of the syntaxonomic schemes used, we present the methodology used for this study, which provides comparisons between phytosociological tables. We conclude that the perennial vegetation of the calanchi should be referred to the class Artemisietea, of the order Agropyretalia repentis and the alliance Inulo viscosae-Agropyrion repentis, within which it is possible to recognise the suballiances Inulo viscosae-Agropyrenion repentis of the non-halophilous aspects, and Podospermo laciniati-Elytrigenion athericae specifically for the more halophilous conditions of the more pioneering aspects of the vegetation. The annual vegetation can instead be included in the class Saginetea maritimae, of the order Frankenietalia pulverulentae and the alliance Hordeion marini. For each association, a brief description and a distribution map are included.

pag. 171-178: Studio fitosociologico delle cenosi a Carex microcarpa Bertol. ex Moris della Sardegna meridionale

G. Bacchetta & L. Mossa

Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Viale S. Ignazio 13, I-09123 Cagliari; e-mail:;

Phytosociological study on Carex microcarpa Bertol. ex Moris communities in southern Sardinia (Italy). Results of a phytosociological study on Carex microcarpa Bertol. ex Moris communities in southern Sardinia (Italy), are herein presented. For the vegetation analysis ten phytosociological relevés, five soil profiles and a bioclimatic analysis on thermopluviometric stations present in Sulcis-Iglesiente and Sarrabus-Gerrei regions, were carried out. All data were elaborated and subsequently submitted to multivariate statistical analysis. This permitted to recognize two principal groups that correspond with to two different subassociations which are vicarious in relation to the substrate and its physical chemistry features. All relevés are referable to the Hyperico hircini-Caricetum microcarpae ass. nova. In particular those of the former group belong to the typical subassociation oenanthetosum crocatae subass. nova. and those of the second one to adiantetosum capilli-veneris subass. nova. The typical subassociation develops on deep, very rich in humus, from subalkaline to neutral and with limited slope soils. The adiantetosum capilli-veneris subassociation develops on very wet substrate, it is characteristic of dripping rocks and spring areas. The communities are syntaxonomically related to the Sardo-Corsican endemic alliance Caricion microcarpae.

pag. 179-185: A phytosociological analysis of the formations of Ulex europaeus L. of the North-Western Apennines (Italy)

I. Vagge1, E. Biondi2, J. Izco3 & M. Pinzi2

1Dipartimento di Produzione Vegetale, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 2, I-20133 Milano; e-mail:

2Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali e delle Produzioni vegetali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona; e-mail:

3Departamento de Botánica, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Avda. Vigo s/n., E-15782 Santiago de Compostela:

We here present a phytosociological study of the formations of Ulex europaeus present in the North-Western Apennines, in the Regions of Liguria and Tuscany, that have been included in the new association Cytiso villosi-Ulicetum europaei.

pag. 187-191: Biodiversity, Rural Landscape and Environmental policy in Agriculture

A. Finco & M. Pollonara

Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Agrarie ed Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona; e-mail:

Since the 1992 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) recognized the need for contributing to an environmentally sustainable form of agriculture production and management. The increasing intensification of agriculture has involved the abandonment of zones historically defined as semi natural pasture lands and the decay of traditional rural landscape in the agriculture system. This constitutes a serious danger for the conservation of biodiversity and landscape.
The agri-environmental policies are a instrument which provide by subsidies to payments for commitments going beyond good agricultural practice, landscape and biodiversity improvement.

pag. 193-196: Development of molecular tools for the identification of free nitrogen-fixing bacteria: a contribution to the disclosure of soil microbial biodiversity

L. Aquilanti, I. Mannazzu & F. Clementi

DiSA Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona; e-mail:

The preservation of microbial biodiversity offers indisputable benefits, both from an environmental and an economic point of view, due to the essential role of micro-organisms in the environment, and to their huge biotechnological potentiality.
Free nitrogen fixing bacteria (FNFB) represent a group of micro-organisms broadly dispersed in soil, water and sediments, which give a remarkable contribution to nitrogen fixation in the biosphere and could be usefully exploited as biological fertilisers and for other biotechnological applications. With the aim of providing a new, powerful tool for the study of these micro-organisms isolated from soil, we developed a method based on the 16S rDNA Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA) which was successfully used in order to identify 59 isolates from soils of central Italy.