Fitosociologia 44 (1) 2007

pag. 3-10: Thoughts on the ecology and syntaxonomy of some vegetation typologies of the Mediterranean coast

E. Biondi

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

We here present and discuss some considerations around the syntaxonomic collocation of the vegetation that has developed along both the sandy and rocky coasts of the Mediterranean. In particular, for the sandy coasts, after a consideration of the general distribution of the various vegetation typologies of the dune systems, there is an analysis of the ecological and syntaxonomic aspects of the chamaephitic vegetation of the alliance Crucianellion maritimae. This concludes that this alliance cannot be attributed to the class Ammophiletea, as has been recently proposed in the introduction to the vegetation of Spain and Portugal, but to the class Helichryso-Crucianelletea maritimae. For the vegetation of the rocky cliffs, after the presentation of its distribution according to a general scheme, the aspects of the rupicolous halotolerant vegetation that are proposed to be included in the new order Senecetalia cinereae, for which the type is the alliance Anthyllidion barbae-jovis, will be discussed in detail. The other aspects of the rocky vegetation that are discussed are those regarding the primary and subprimary garrigue of the summit sectors of the coast of the order Helichrysetalia italici, within which the creation of a new alliance Helichrysion litorei is proposed, which includes the garrigue of southern Italy.

pag. 11-16: Ecologia della duna: ritmo fenologico delle specie psammofile

L. Gratani, M.F. Crescente & L. Varone

Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale, Università “La Sapienza”, P.le A. Moro 5, I-00185 Roma: e-mail:

Phenological trend of psammophilous species. The phenological behaviour of the most representative species of the psammophilous vegetation was analysed in two traits of the latial coast: the dune system inside the Presidential Estate of Castelporziano (S-SW of Rome) and inside the Circeo National Park (S-SE of Rome). Phenological observations were carried out on Cakile maritima Scop., Agropyron junceum (L.) Beauv., Sporobolus pungens (Schreber) Kunth, Cyperus kalli (Forsskål) Murb., Ammophila littoralis (Beauv.) Rothm., Ononis variegata L., Pancratium maritimum L., Eryngium maritimum L., Calystegia soldanella (L.) R.Br., Crucianella maritima L. and Anthemis maritima L. The influence of air temperature and rainfall on phenology was analysed; air temperature influenced in particular the beginning of the vegetative activity and the relative growth rate (RGR). The growth of the species happened in late winter, flowering in spring followed by fruiting. A new vegetative activity was monitored in autumn. The phenological trend of the psammophilous vegetation seemed to be an adaptative strategy to the climatic stresses of this environment.
The forecast increase of air temperature and the conversion of natural landscapes, including coastal zones, might produce a global change in the structure and functioning of the ecosystems, including species extinctions, in particular of those most sensitive to changing environmental factors.

pag. 17-31: Valutazione della qualità degli habitat della costa sedimentaria (Laguna di Marano e Grado) e della costa a falesie (Costiera triestina): applicazione del metodo EsAmbI

M. Tomasella, M. Vidali, G. Oriolo, L. Poldini, S. Comin & R. Giorgi1

Università degli Studi di Trieste, Dipartimento di Biologia, Via L. Giorgieri 10, I-34127, Trieste; e-mail:

1Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia, Servizio di Valutazione di Impatto Ambientale, Via Giulia 75/1, I-34126, Trieste; e-mail:

Appraisal of habitat quality of sedimentary coast (Grado and Marano Lagoon) and cliff coast (Costiera triestina): EsAmbI method application. Within a cooperation between the Department of Biology (University of Trieste) and the regional administration of Friuli Venezia Giulia a catalogue of habitats, a catalogue of indicators of the environmental state and a appraisal model of Value (VAE) and Sensibility (SEA) were defined. The list of the habitats is based on the phytosociological method but it also makes reference to “Corine Biotopes”, to “EUNIS” that and to the Annex of the Directive “Habitats” (43/92). These habitats can be considered the base of Environmental Impact Assessment, also in Natura 2000 sites (Art. 6, 43/92), at the scale of 1:10.000. The model, which considered several parameters of VAE and SEA, is applied both to floristic and habitat level. All the considered parameters are opportunely synthesized through the a modified index of Story-Villa. The application of the method in two sensitive areas of the coastal system of Friuli Venezia Giulia (“Grado and Marano Lagoon” and “Costiera Triestina”) allowed a detail analysis on Value (VAE) and Sensibility (SEA), based on the flora and on the intrinsic properties of habitats.

pag. 33-48: Aspetti vegetazionali e morfo-sedimentologici dei campi dunari di Platamona-Marritiza con particolare riguardo all’area di Marina di Sorso (Sardegna settentrionale)

I. Vagge1, N. Corradi2, M. Ferrari2, I. Balduzzi2 & L. M. Mariotti2

1Di.Pro.Ve., Università degli studi di Milano, Via Celoria 2, I-20133 Milano

2Dip.Te.Ris., Università degli studi di Genova, Europa 26, I-16132 Genova

This paper presents the results of the study of the Marina di Sorso coastal tract that lies within the Platona-Marritza physiographical unit (north-western Sardinia).
The bibliographical data, the elaboration of the the remote sensing data and the morphological and vegetational studies revealed that the ecosystem of the area between Platamona and Marritza, and specifically that of Marina di Sorso, is in crisis due to both natural and anthropic causes.
Despite the general degradation, the area has very interesting natural characteristics and corrective action could bring about better conservation of the dunal patrimony and the mitigation of the effects of erosion.

pag. 49-58: Qualità e grado di conservazione del paesaggio vegetale del litorale sabbioso del Veneto (Italia settentrionale)

G. Buffa1, L. Filesi2, U. Gamper1 & G. Sburlino1

1Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Venezia, Campo Celestia 2737/b, I – 30122 Venezia; e-mail:

2Dipartimento di Pianificazione, Università IUAV di Venezia, Santa Croce 1957, I – 30135 Venezia

Quality and conservation status of the vegetational landscape in the sandy coastal areas of the Veneto Region (Northern Italy). The North-Adriatic sandy coastal system plays a very important role for nature and biodiversity conservation in the whole Mediterranean basin, because of its particular geomorphologic, climatic and phytogeographic features. One of the most important traits is the richness of endemites, together with Mediterranean, dealpine and eastern species, in a system where a specialized but widely distributed flora generally occurs. However, the most remarkable characteristic is the large number of plant communities and their seral and successional contacts; these features, along with the high biogeographic value of communities, enhance the interest for the conservation of this area. We evaluated quality and conservation status of the vegetational landscape taking into account criteria concerning both communities and their species composition. We also considered the abundance of ruderal and alien species within the flora of each plant community, as an indirect measure of conservation status. At the landscape level, we took into account on one hand, the presence of the different communities, and on the other one the coherence of the seral and successional contacts.

pag. 59-65: Stato attuale dei litorali del Veneto

G. Caniglia

Dipartimento di Biologia dell’Università di Padova, Via U. Bassi 58/b, I-35131 Padova; e-mail: 

Current conditions of Venetian coasts. After some considerations on the plasticity of coastal environments, one short review on the state of their conservation, from the “scanni” of the Po delta until the outlet of the Tagliamento river, is described.

pag. 67-76: Comunità vegetali rare e minacciate delle stazioni ravennati del Parco del Delta del Po (Regione Emilia-Romagna)

N. Merloni1 & F. Piccoli2

1Piazza A.Costa 15, I-48015 Cervia (RA); e-mail:

2Dipartimento di Biologia ed Evoluzione, Università di Ferrara, Corso Ercole I d’Este 32, I-44100 Ferrara; e-mail:

Rare and threatened plant communities of the Ravenna province sites of the Park of the Po Delta (Emilia-Romagna Region). We present here an outline of the most threatened plant communities of the coastal territory of the Ravenna province, for the most part included in the Regional Park of the Po Delta (Emilia-Romagna Region). It concerns a complex landscape related to the particular geographical situation, instability, changes in the territory and human activities. This varied territory includes sand dunes, saltmarsh ponds, freshwater ponds, grey dunes and related dune slacks. The vegetation types we consider particularly rare or in critical condition are marked with an asterisk in the final syntaxonomical scheme.

pag. 77-82: La vegetazione della Salina di Comacchio (Ferrara, Parco del Delta del Po): ripristino ecologico e conservazione degli habitat

M. Pellizzari1,  C. Barbieri2, G. Caramori2, G.A. Pagnoni2 & F. Piccoli1

1Università di Ferrara, Dip. Biologia ed Evoluzione, Corso Ercole I d’Este 32, I – 44100, Ferrara; e-mail:

2Istituto Delta di Ecologia Applicata, Via G. Puccini 29, I – 44100, Ferrara; e-mail:

The Comacchio Saltworks vegetation (Ferrara, Po Delta Park): ecological restoration and habitats conservation. The salt production into Comacchio Saltworks (Ferrara, Po Delta) began with traditional systems maybe 2000 years ago; the industrial production were obtained from 1810 until 1984. After the end of salt production the saltworks were leaved to the natural recolonisation, many halophilous habitats settled down and many animals choosed this biotope with a new semi-natural landscape.
Animal and plant features induced scientists to investigate it, and local administrations to protect the biotope, including in the Po Delta Regional Park, and then with a LIFE Nature Project for ecological restoration and habitats conservation. The actions include studies on the floristic and vegetational traits before and after the works for restoration; the results led to the realisation of a vegetation map digitally mastered.
The main communities identified on the basin banks and plains are typical of saltmarshes, as like as halophilous scrubs (Sarcocornietea fruticosae), mediterranean salt meadows (Juncetea maritimi) and glasswort swards (Thero-Salicornietea). In the last year we have recognized some new communities of Saginetea maritimae.
The studies of a pool of scientists involved into the LIFE Project have guided to a management plan, to guarantee the achievement of the Project aims and goals, mainly to maintain the species and habitats biodiversity and to preserve the biotope from adverse natural events or human impacts.

pag. 83-93: Riqualificazione di habitat costieri nel SIC e ZPS “Ortazzo, Ortazzino, foce del Torrente Bevano”: interventi per una fruizione sostenibile

M. Costa1, P. Molducci2 & P. Rigoni3

1Provincia di Ravenna, Piazza Caduti per la Libertà 2/4, I-48100 Ravenna; e-mail:

2Studio Verde Associazione Professionale, Via Schio 47/49, I-47100 Forlì; e-mail:

3Studio Associato Silva, Via Mazzini 9/2, I-40137 Bologna; e-mail:

The project suggested the valorization and the protection of the natural environment succession from the sea to the inland, and the promotion of a kind of touristic use founded on the environmental education, the ecological didactics, the scientific, naturalistic and cultural knowledge of the places and on the correct man-environment relationship. The previewed actions have been the following:
– The restoration of the inner hydraulic circulation for the optimization of the hydraulic management of the Ortazzo swamp.
– The realization of several backs inside of the Ortazzo swamp for the breeding of Laridae and Sternidae.
– The reorder and the regulation of the pedestrian accesses to the beach.
– The restoration of the dunes by sandy landfill and its consolidation with herbaceous species.
– The building of an observation tower close to the confluence between Fosso Ghiaia and Bevano.
– The realization of pedestrian and biking tracks, inside of the Pineta Demaniale Sez. Savio.
– The predisposition of studies and researches such as: elaboration of a vegetation map and a model of hydraulic management of the Ortazzo swamp; wood fires management plan; sustainable touristic use plan.

pag. 95-104: Gli habitat costieri ed insulari della Toscana: conoscenze attuali, prospettive e vulnerabilità

D. Viciani1, C. Angiolini2 & B. Foggi1

1Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale, Università di Firenze, via La Pira 4, I-50121 Firenze; e-mail:;

2Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali “G. Sarfatti”, via P.A. Mattioli 4, I–53100 Siena;

The coast and island habitats of Tuscany: present situation, vulnerability and perspectives. A synthetic data set drawn from a Tuscan regional project (Repertorio Naturalistico Toscano) intended to individuate sites with habitats of European and regional importance in its territory, focused on coast and island habitat of conservation interest is reported and discussed. A synthetic method to assess habitat evaluation in terms of quality and vulnerability is illustrated. Finally, some scientific-vegetation investigations and management actions of active conservation resulted from basic knowledge studies are briefly presented.

pag. 105-110: Stato delle conoscenze e alterazioni indotte dal disturbo sulle fitocenosi delle coste sabbiose laziali

S. Ercole, A. Acosta1 & C. Blasi2

Dipartimento Difesa della Natura, Agenzia per la Protezione dell’Ambiente e per i Servizi Tecnici, via Curtatone, 3, 00185 Roma; e-mail:

1Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Roma Tre, V.le Marconi 446, 00146 Roma

2Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale, Università di Roma La Sapienza, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma

Knowledge and alterations caused by disturbance of sandy coastal phytocoenoses of Lazio. In this paper we discuss the effects of disturbance on the plant communities of fixed and mobile dunes. Human driven alterations may act on these environments modifying the entire ecosystem, including both biotic and abiotic components, and transforming the structure and composition of the community. In order to interpret these alterations the comparison between Actual Real Vegetation and Potential Natural Vegetation results very useful. Presently the Actual Real Vegetation along our coasts differs increasingly from the Potential one and provides, therefore, a useful reference for the evaluation of the conservation state of a site. Moreover the understanding of the role of substitution phytocoenoses, the interpretation of spatial and floristic alterations of the communities, in addition to an attention for the morphological transformations of the system, may also be useful for such an evaluation.

pag. 111-116: La protezione dell’ecosistema dunale a Focene (Litorale romano)

F. Converio, G. Fanelli & M.G. Villani

WWF Lazio, Via Allegri 1, I-00198 Roma; e-mail:

Conservation of dune ecosistem in Focene (Roman coast). In 2001 WWF begun an intervention of dune restoration and protection in the area of Focene (in the coast SW of Rome), funded by the local authorities (Comune di Fiumicino). The area of Focene hosts a rich dunal flora, but the environmental situation is quite different from that of similar projects in other areas: 1) the area is strongly urbanized; 2) there is a severe erosional process, a problem that is becoming of general concern all around the Mediterranean with rising sea levels following global climate change; 3) the morphology of the dune shows a series of low dune ridges and scarce prescence of Ammophila littoralis, that exists only back in the dune system in low sites. The restoration focussed on planting species resistant such as Otanthus maritimus and Pancratium maritimum, cultivated in an appositely projected garden, discarding Ammophila littoralis, that develops poorly in this situation, reduction of trampling with fencing, and reconstruction of dune geomorphology. In general, dune restoration project should take into account local condition with detailed studies of the potential situation, and should emphasize facilitation of the regeneration of the dune system with a “soft” approach.

pag. 117-127: Indagine sulla qualità ambientale della costa dell’Abruzzo meridionale e del Molise (Adriatico centrale) su base floristico-vegetazionale

A.R. Frattaroli1,  A. Acosta2, G. Ciaschetti1, L.  Di Martino1, G. Pirone1 & A. Stanisci 3

1Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Università degli Studi de L’Aquila, Via Vetoio Loc. Coppito, I – 67100 L’Aquila: e-mail:

2Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, V.le Marconi 446, I – 00146 Roma

3Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie per l’Ambiente e il Territorio, Università degli Studi del Molise, Via Mazzini 8, I– 86170 Isernia

The aim of this study is to analyse the environmental quality of a tract of the Adriatic coastal systems using floristic and vegetation parameters. The study area includes the Abruzzo (67 km) and Molise (35 km) coasts and comprises 19 quadrants (Base Units) following the European Cartographic system; however, only 9 quadrants showed a representative coastal habitat. 26 vegetation types (phytosociological associations) were identified and the environmental quality was defined using the following parameters: community rarity, azonality, psammophilous sequence, species distribution, and the occurrence of endemic species, endangered species and alien and ruderal taxa. Results show that the analysed coastal systems are not always well preserved from human disturbance, even if in some quadrants the coastal communties zonation is almost complete with high values of environmental quality.

pag. 129-137: Il censimento della flora vascolare degli ambienti dunali costieri dell’Italia centrale

C.F. Izzi1, A. Acosta1, M.L. Carranza2, G. Ciaschetti3, F. Conti4, L. Di Martino3, G. D’Orazio3, A. Frattaroli3, G. Pirone3 & A. Stanisci2

1Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, V.le Marconi 446, I–00146 Roma; e-mail:

2Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie per l’Ambiente e il Territorio, Università degli Studi del Molise, C.da Fonte Lappone, I–86090-Pesche (IS); e-mail:

3Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Università degli Studi de L’Aquila, Via Vetoio Loc. Coppito, I – 67100 L’Aquila; e-mail:

4Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Università di Camerino – Centro Ricerche Floristiche dell’Appennino, Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga, S. Colombo, I –67021 Barisciano (AQ); e-mail:

Sampling the vascular flora in coastal dune ecosystems of Central Italy. This study examined the current distribution of the wild species growing on coastal dunes in central Italy (Lazio, Abruzzo and Molise Regions). The floristic sampling was carried out following the European Cartographic Project protocol. Major trends in wild plant distribution in coastal dunes were identified, furthermore life form and chorological spectra were shown. High floristic diversity with consistent numbers of non-native species were found. Finally, differences between the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic coast were described.

pag. 139-155: Zona costiera del Salento: cambiamenti degli habitat prioritari, d’interesse comunitario e d’interesse regionale negli ultimi 50 anni. Il tratto di costa ionica di Porto Cesareo come caso di studio

L. Beccarisi, P. Ernandes & V. Zuccarello

Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, strada provinciale Lecce-Monteroni, polo Ecotekne, 73100 Lecce; e-mail:,,

This research has been carried out in three phases: 1) definition of Salento coastal zone; 2) analysis of the vegetational trasformations in the coastal trait of the territory of Porto Cesareo; 3) interpretation of the results in a conservation point of view. At first, the delimitation of territorial neighbourhood in order to define the coastal zone was conducted. This was made considering the anthropic and vegetational characteristics of the landscape. This zone was delimitated throught a spatial analysis based on the vegetation and land-use maps, at the 1:10000 scale, referred to five coastal sites. So the coastal zone is rapresented by a 500 m buffer from the coastal line. Second, the typification of actual vegetation in this trait of coast was made throught sampling and analysis of phytosociological reléve. The spatialization of point data was made throught the photointerpretation of orthorectyfied aereal photos; in this way a choroplate vegetation map was produced at the 1:10000 scale. The vegetation maps since 1943 were made throught visual interpretation of hystorical aerial photos. Throught the overlay of themes the vegetational trasformation map and the inerent trasformation matrix were produced. Third, the vegetation maps related to each year were reclassified in according to habitat categories refered to CEE/92/43 Habitat Directive and P.U.T.T./p of Apulia Region (L.R. 5/95). 1) Priority habitat, 2) habitat of comunity interest, 3) of regional interest and 4) without environmental value were identified. Thought the map overlay the habitat trasformation map and the related trasformation matrix were producted. As results, after the laws of environmental conservations in this region, an increase of coverage of habitat of regional interest was registered. This represents a transition from priority habitat to habitat of regional interest, so to a fewer naturalistic value habitat.

pag. 157-164: Conservazione ex situ e in situ della biodiversità vegetale dell’Area Marina Protetta di Capo Carbonara (Sardegna sud-orientale)

G. Bacchetta, G. Fenu, E. Mattana, F. Meloni & L. Podda

Centro Conservazione Biodiversità (CCB), Dipartimento Scienze Botaniche, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Viale S. Ignazio 13, I-09123 Cagliari;

The first results of the project “Plant Biodiversity Conservation in the Protected Marine Area of Capo Carbonara (PMA)” are illustrated. This initiative, promoted by the CCB and the Municipality of Villasimius (CA), was funded for three-year period (2005/07) by the Ministry of the Environment and Territory protection. The project provides the study, monitoring and conservation of the coastal habitat, principally on all the Sites of Communitary Importance (pSIC) of the Villasimius Municipality territory, in order to plan a harmonic development between coastal and sea areas unifying the environmental protection secured by the PMA with that relatives to the Natura 2000 network.
During the first year there were started ecological, floristic-sociological and chorological studies, in order to value the actual state of conservation and have a possibility to propose adequate measures for a sustainable management.
In order to guarantee the effective plant biodiversity conservation, the following ex situ
The project provides also actions directed to sensitize the population, local and non, on the thematics of the conservation and the sustainable development of the territory.
actions have been made: collection, study and conservation for a long time of the seed of selected species in the structures of the Sardinian Seed Bank (BG-SAR), according to international procedures and protocols. At the end of the first year the seed harvest was completed relatively to all the species with a greater risk of extinction.

pag. 165-180: Gli habitat terrestri costieri e litorali della Sardegna settentrionale: verifica della loro attribuzione sintassonomica ai sensi della Direttiva 43/92/CEE “Habitat”

E. Farris, S. Pisanu, Z. Secchi, S. Bagella, M. Urbani & R. Filigheddu

Dipartimento di Botanica ed Ecologia vegetale, Università di Sassari, Via Muroni 25, I – 07100 Sassari, Italia; e-mail:;

Coastal and littoral terrestrial habitats of Northern Sardinia: verification of their syntaxonomic attribution following the 43/92/EEC Habitat Directive – In this work we talk about coastal and littoral terrestrial habitats and plant communities in Northern Sardinia. We check the right attribution of different plant communities to their habitat type, among those indicated in the Annexe I of the 43/92/EEC Habitat Directive, and the coherence between the Natura 2000 Network and the tested habitat presence in the study area. Finally, some critical examples, regarding either the interpretation or the application of the Habitat Directive, are discussed.
In the study area 16 community habitats have been detected, and among them three are priority habitats (1510*, 2250* and 2270*).
15 habitats are confirmed, been mentioned in at least one Natura 2000 formulary, instead, habitat 2220 is here reported for the first time in Northern Sardinia.
The presence in the study area of 5 habitats mentioned in Natura 2000 formularies (1310, 2110, 2120, 2240 and 5410) is not confirmed.
The percentage of high threatened habitats in the study area (37.5%) is higher than the national one (24%). On the other hand the percentage of low risk habitats in coastal areas of Northern Sardinia (37.5%) is lower than the Italian one (48%). These considerations give priority to the conservation of the coastal and littoral areas in Northern Sardinia. Finally, the discussion of some critical applicative examples bring us to ask for a really needed Habitat Directive Annexe I revision.