Plant Sociology 49 (1) 2012

pag. 5-37: Diagnosis and syntaxonomic interpretation of Annex I Habitats (Dir. 92/43/EEC) in Italy at the alliance level

E. Biondi1, S. Burrascano2, S. Casavecchia1, R. Copiz2, E. Del Vico2, D. Galdenzi1, D. Gigante3, C. Lasen4, G. Spampinato5, R. Venanzoni3, L. Zivkovic1 & C. Blasi2

1Dip. Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche – I-60131 Ancona

2Dip. Biologia Ambientale, Università “La Sapienza” – Piazzale Aldo Moro 5 – I-00185 Roma

3Dip. Biologia Applicata, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Borgo XX giugno, 74 – I-06121 Perugia

4Via Mutten, 27, I-32032 Arson di Feltre (BL)

5Dip. Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Forestali ed Ambientali, Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Località Feo di Vito – I-89124 Reggio Calabria

doi: 10.7338/pls2012491/01

Starting from the recently produced Italian Habitats interpretation Manual (, a thorough diagnosis of the Annex I Habitats recorded in the Italian territory is reported, selecting the alliance level as the most suitable standard phytosociological rank for a detailed nationwide overview. In order to solve a number of well-known problems, arising from the definitions reported in the European EUR/27 Manual, each Habitat has been assigned a short, exhaustive although concise diagnostic sentences which contains its most significant ecologic features, with specific reference to the peculiarities of the Italian territory. Biogeographic, synecological (mainly bioclimatic, morphological, geologic/edaphic), structural and floristic characteristics of each Habitat are pointed out. When the rarity or vulnerability status has been considered worthy of priority at the national scale, it has been indicated.
The 131 Habitats listed for Italy, which represent only partially the Italian biodiversity, have been referred to 268 alliances. A complete syntaxonomic framework is reported in order to offer a robust although still improvable phytosociological ground. The paper aims at standing as a reference document for Natura 2000 knowledge and management in Italy; it also represents a large-scale, expert-revised tool to allow supra-national comparisons and support future implementation of the Annex I.

pag. 39-53: Phytosociological overview of the Italian Alnus incana-rich riparian woods

G. Sburlino1, L. Poldini2, C. Andreis3, L. Giovagnoli4 & S. Tasinazzo5

1Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’ Foscari University, Campo Celestia 2737b, I-30122 Venezia

2Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Via L. Giorgeri 10, I-3417 Trieste

3Department of Bioscience, University of Milano, Via Celoria 26, I-20133 Milano

4Via Orione 14, I-36055 Nove (Vicenza)

5Via Pascoli 7, I-36100 Vicenza

doi: 10.7338/pls2012491/02

On the basis of data both new and coming from the literature, the Italian grey alder riparian woods were studied from the syntaxonomic point of view. The floristic-sociological analysis of 119 relevés coming from northern Italy and the comparison with phytosociological tables from neighboring areas (Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, southern Germany and Switzerland) pointed out the occurrence of two distinct associations belonging to Alnion incanae and Fagetalia: the colline-submontane Primulo vulgaris-Alnetum incanae ass. nova and the montane-high montane Aceri-Alnetum incanae. Both these associations are distributed throughout northern Italy and reach their southern limit of distribution in the Tuscan-Emilian Appenines.

pag. 55-80: Vegetation of mowed and trampled habitats of a rural hilly area (Marche Region – central Italy)

A. Lancioni & F. Taffetani

Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche 60131 Ancona, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2012491/03

We present a phytosociological analysis of mowed and trampled habitats of a rural hilly area in the provinces of Ancona and Macerata, in the Marche Region (central Italy). The study revealed five coenoses: Ranunculetum neapolitano-velutini and Lolio perennis-Plantaginetum majoris belonging to the class Molinio-ArrhenathereteaMedicago hispidae-Vulpietum ligusticae of the class Stellarietea mediaePoetum annuae and Coronopodo procumbentis-Sclerochloetum durae of the class Polygono-Poetea. The first and the third of these six coenoses are proposed as new associations. Three new subassociations, five variants and a facies were also identified. We have interpreted the ecological significance of each of these coenoses through the application of a floristic-vegetational indices system. This method is specifically designed for application to rural contexts. The vegetation communities characterised by the highest evolution level (according to the Index of Maturity, IM) are those also characterised by the highest floristic richness (according to the Index of Floristic Biodiversity, IFB). These coenoses are managed by periodic mowing (class Molinio-Arrhenatheretea). The less mature and botanically poorest vegetation communities are those that have been disturbed more by trampling and soil compaction (class Polygono-Poetea). Finally, we have rebuilt the spatial succession of the vegetation communities detectable on the dirt roads, and we have illustrated the relationships between the land use, morphology and ecology of these phytocoenoses.

pag. 81-90: Bioclimatic map of the Dominican Republic

E. Cano1, A. Cano-Ortiz2, S. Del Río González3, J. Alatorre Cobos1 & A. Veloz4

1Dpto. Dpto. Biología Animal, Vegetal y Ecología. Botánica. Universidad de Jaén. Paraje las Lagunillas s/n. 23071 Jaén (España).

2Departamento Sostenibilidad Interra. Ingeniería y Recursos SL. Plaza España, 317,5. C.P.27004. Salamanca. España.

3Dpto. de Biodiversidad y Gestión Ambiental (Área de Botánica). Instituto de Ganadería de Montaña (Centro Mixto CSIC-ULE). Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales. Universidad de León. Campus de Vegazana, s/n. E-24071 León (España).

4Jardín Botánico Rafael Ma. Moscoso de Santo Domingo. República Dominicana.

doi: 10.7338/pls2012491/04

The location of the Dominican Republic between parallels 17° and 19° north means it has a tropical macroclimate. The Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti belong to the island of Hispaniola, which has three bioclimates: tropical pluvial, tropical pluviseasonal and tropical xeric (Rivas-Martínez 2007). Io values are always higher than 1. The minimum Io value is 1.1 (semiarid) in A. Sisal, at an altitude of 40 m, and the maximum Io value is 19.7 (hyperhumid) in Loma Casabito (cordillera Central) at 1,430 m. (Cano et al., 2009b). It/Itc values range between 187 in V. Nuevo (cordillera Central) and 799 in Jimaní (province of Independencia). If we apply the criterion of Rivas-Martínez (2007), the recorded It/Itc values merely confirm that the thermotype ranges between infratropical and mesotropical on the island of Hispaniola. The absence of weather stations above 1,500 m makes it impossible to estimate the It/Itc value. The weather station in V. Nuevo only shows data for 9 years and, consequently, the recorded It/Itc value of 187 (supratropical) is not significant. However, altitudes higher than 1,500 m are frequent, Pico Duarte, 3,175 m, being the highest peak. Winter temperatures drop below 0 °C in these mountain areas. This fact, together with the absence of moisture-laden trade winds above 2,000 m and the presence of forests of Pinus occidentalis have led us (Cano et al. (2011) to propose a tropical pluviseasonal bioclimate with a supratropical thermotype for Hispaniola.

pag. 91-112: Phytosociological analysis of the grasslands of Montagna dei Fiori (central Italy) and syntaxonomic review of the class Festuco-Brometea in the Apennines

E. Biondi & D. Galdenzi

Department of Nutritional, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2012491/05

This article consists of two main parts. The first part presents a phytosociological study of the secondary grasslands of Montagna dei Fiori (1814 m a.s.l.), within the National Park of Gran Sasso and the Laga Mountains, in Abruzzo, central Italy. The second part provides a suggested syntaxonomic review of the Apennine grassland communities belonging to the class Festuco-Brometea.
As far as the first part is concerned, the vegetation analysis was conducted on 38 phytosociological relevés. These were analysed statistically using cluster analysis, fuzzy analysis, and principal component analysis, and are compared with published relevés of similar grassland phytocoenoses. Five plant associations were identified, four of which are newly described: one belongs to the class Nardetea strictae (Campanulo micranthae-Nardetum strictae) and the last three to the class Festuco-Brometea (Cerastio suffruticosi-Brachypodietum genuensisAstragalo depressi-Koelerietum splendentis and Festuco circummediterraneae-Achilletum tomentosae).
In the second part, regarding the syntaxonomic review of the class Festuca-Brometea, the synchorological meaning of the recent classifications of the Italian forest communities is discussed at the alliance and order levels in order to highlight the strong link between forest communities of the Italian peninsula and the eastern communities (Balkan). As the secondary grasslands derived by substitution from the forest communities, it seems logical to consider the chorological origin of the two formations as similar since they are dynamically linked, as well as their floristic composition also justify. Thus, it is proposed to include the meso-xerophilous and xerophilous basophilous grasslands of the Apennines in the order Scorzonero villosae-Chrysopogonetalia grylli, within which there are defined the new Apennine alliance, Phleo ambigui-Bromion erecti This alliance was previously considered as invalid because its nomenclatural type, that is the association Asperulo purpureo-Brometum erecti, had an invalid and illegitimate name. Because recently the association was validly re-proposed by Di Pietro (2011), the alliance Phleo ambigui-Bromion erecti is here newly reproposed. Of this new alliance the following three new suballiances have been recognised Phleo ambigui-Bromenion erectiBrachypodenion genuensis e Sideritidenion italicae.
The alliance Phleo ambigui-Bromion erecti, is distributed along the northern Apennines, except for the western-most parts (Liguria and a part of northern Tuscany), on the whole of the central Apennines, and part of the southern Apennines (the boundary is in the Basilicata Region).
In the southern-most part of the calcareous Appennines there is the endemic alliance Hippocrepido glaucae-Stipion austroitalicae in which two new suballiances have recognised: Hippocrepido glaucae-Stipienion austroitalicae and Violo pseudogracilis-Bromopsienion caprinae, which is obtained by reduction of the alliance Violo pseudogracilis-Bromopsion caprinae.
Moreover, the validity of the order Brometalia erecti Koch 1926 is confirmed and the order Artemisio albae-Brometalia erecti Ubaldi ex Dengler & Mucina in Mucina et al. 2009, proposed by Mucina et al. (2009), is rejected because, on the basis of the nomenclatural priority, it is illegitimate. Therefore the suborder Artemisio albae-Bromenalia erecti of the order Brometalia erecti is considered to be re-proposed, and the new syn-range, comprising the sub-Mediterranean area of France and the north-western Italy (Liguria and a part of northern Tuscany), is indicated.