Plant Sociology 49 (2) 2012

pag. 3-28: Phytosociological characterization of the Juniperus phoenicea L. subsp. turbinata (Guss.) Nyman formations in the Italo-Tyrrhenian Province (Mediterranean Region)

L. Gianguzzi, V. Ilardi, O. Cardella, D. Cusimano, P. Cuttonaro & S. Romano

Department of Environmental Biology and Biodiversity, University of Palermo, Via Archirafi 38 – I-90123 Palermo – Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/01

The Juniperus phoenicea subsp. turbinata formations of the Italo-Tyrrhenian biogeographical province (Mediterranean Region), are analyzed on the basis of literature data and unpublished relevés. The floristic-synecological characterization of the identified phytocoenoses, confirmed by multivariate analysis on a synoptic basis, has allowed their breakdown in four different alliances of the order Pistacio lentisci-Rhamnetalia alaterni: 1) Periplocion angustifoliae, with the association Periploco angustifoliae-Juniperetum turbinatae; 2) Juniperion turbinatae, with the associations Junipero turbinatae-Quercetum callipriniRusco aculeati-Quercetum callipriniPhillyreo angustifoliae-Juniperetum turbinataeAsparago albi-Juniperetum turbinataeAsparago acutifolii-Juniperetum macrocarpae subass. juniperetosum turbinatae; 3) Oleo sylvestris-Ceratonion siliquae, with the associations Oleo sylvestris-Juniperetum turbinataeChamaeropo humilis-Juniperetum turbinataeEuphorbio characiae-Juniperetum turbinataeTeucrio fruticantis-Juniperetum turbinataeCalicotomo infestae-Juniperetum turbinatae and Ampelodesmo mauritanici-Juniperetum turbinatae; 4) Ericion arboreae, with the only association Erico arboreae-Juniperetum turbinatae. The following new syntaxa are also described: a) Oleo sylvestris-Juniperetum turbinatae loniceretosum implexae subass. nova (various coastal localities of Corsica); b) Calicotomo infestae-Juniperetum turbinatae typicum (southern and western coasts of Sicily) and phlomidetosum fruticosae subass. nova (coasts of southern Calabria); c) Ampelodesmo mauritanici-Juniperetum turbinatae ass. nova, in turn diversified in the myrtetosum communis subass. nova (Calabrian-Lucanian coastal belt, at Maratea, and Sorrentine-Amalfitana Peninsula, in Campania) and cistetosum cretici subass. nova (located in the hinterland of Sicily, on Sicani Mountains).

pag. 29-48: The vegetation of the upper and middle River Tiber (Central Italy)

L. Lastrucci, F. Landucci, V. Gonnelli, R. Barocco, B. Foggi & R. Venanzoni

1Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Florence, Via La Pira 4, 50121 Florence (Italy)
2Department of Applied Biology, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06121 Perugia (Italy)
3Istituto Professionale di Stato per l’Agricoltura e l’Ambiente “A.M. Camaiti”, Loc. Belvedere, 52036 Pieve S. Stefano
(Arezzo, Italy)

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/02

The vegetation of the upper and middle course of the River Tiber (Tuscany and Umbria, Central Italy) was studied according to the phytosociological method. 39 different associations/communities included in 10 classes were identified, one new aquatic association and two new subassociations characterized by the occurrence of Potamogeton schweinfurthii were described. Some coenoses, dominated by species of scientific and conservation interest such as Typha minimaSchoenoplectus pungensCarex elataJuncus subnodulosus or Isolepis cernua were recognized. Despite the human pressures and the presence of some alien species, several Habitats in the study area are considered important for nature conservation by the European Directive 92/43/EEC or by the Regional Legislation.

pag. 49-58: Hymenostylio recurvirostri-Pinguiculetum poldinii ass. nova in the Valbrenta ravines (Venetian Prealps): a new palaeoendemic plant association belonging to the class Adiantetea Br.-Bl. 1948

L. Giovagnoli & S. Tasinazzo

¹Via Orione 14, 36055 Nove (VI)
²Via Gioberti 6, 36100 Vicenza (VI)

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/03

The paper presents some new remarkable findings of Pinguicula poldinii in the ravines and canyons of the Valbrenta (Venetian Prealps). The stands of this rare species are distributed along an unglaciated characteristic area which preserves important endemisms. The consistence, composition and ecology of the proposed new endemic phytocoenosis Hymenostylio recurvirostri-Pinguiculetum poldinii, belonging to Adiantion, are evaluated by means of 12 relevés. The role of ravines and canyons located into refuge massifs of southeastern Alps during the Last Glacial Maximum, where calciphilous species survived, is shown out.

pag. 59-69: The phytosociological and syndynamical mapping for the identification of High Nature Value Farmland

D. Galdenzi, S. Pesaresi, S. Casavecchia, L. Zivkovic & E. Biondi

Department of Agricolture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131, Ancona, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/04

Rural activities have led to profound changes over the centuries of natural environment in Italy as in the rest of Europe by helping to define landscape mosaics in some cases very rich in biodiversity and habitats. In recent decades, however, the biodiversity of these ecosystems has been seriously compromise because of many variables, such as the intensification of agricultural production, land abandonment and the advancement of the urbanized areas. These changes have resulted in an uncontrollable loss of biodiversity and have been made evident also by an increase in hydro-geological instability, exacerbated by global climate changes in progress.
In order to reverse this process and restore the naturalness and heterogeneity of farmlands, European policies have implemented strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in agriculture. In this context, it has been suggested the need to counter the abandonment of land, mainly undertaken on the mountain and high-hilly areas, as a result of their economic marginalization, where the majority of Natura 2000 sites occurs. The E.U. introduced the concept of High Nature Value farmland (HNVf) to describe broad types of farming that, because of their characteristics, are inherently high in biodiversity. Typically, these are low-intensity farming systems harbouring high diversity of species and habitats, also of high conservation interest.
In general, HNV farmlands have been identified on the basis of the integration of land cover data (Corine Land Cover), agronomic and economic data relating to farm (FADN) and data regarding the distribution of flora and fauna species.
In this article, the criterion to identify and classify HNVf is based on the current and potential vegetation cover data obtainable from different integrated vegetation maps. For this purpose, in fact, the knowledge of the vegetation and the natural dynamics is proposed as an effective methodology for identifying and classifying high nature value farmlands since it is based on the documented ability of plant associations to act as bioindicators.
We propose a cartographic-based methodological approach based on the use of vegetation data from which it is possible to synthesize and derive bioindicators able to quantify and qualify the levels of naturalness and landscape diversity of agroecosystems distributed on a territory and, therefore, to identify the HNV farmlands.
As a case study, we have considered the Marche Region located in Central Italy, on the Adriatic coast, for which we have very important vegetation data.

pag. 71-79: VegItaly: Technical features, crucial issues and some solutions

D. Gigante1, A.T.R. Acosta2, E. Agrillo3, F. Attorre3, V.E. Cambria3, S. Casavecchia4, A. Chiarucci5, E. Del Vico3, M. De Sanctis3, L. Facioni3, F. Geri5, R. Guarino6, S. Landi5, F. Landucci1, D. Lucarini8, E. Panfili9, S. Pesaresi4, I. Prisco2, L. Rosati7, F. Spada3, R. Venanzoni1

1Department of Applied Biology, University of Perugia, 06121 Perugia, Italy
2Department of Environmental Biology, University of Rome 3, 00145 Roma, Italy
3Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Roma, Italy
4Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, 60131 Ancona, Italy
5Department of Environmental Science ‘G. Sarfatti’, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
6Department of Environmental Biology and Biodiversity, University of Palermo, 90123 Palermo, Italy
7Department of Biology DBAF, University of Basilicata, 85100 Potenza, Italy
8Museum-Botanical Garden, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, MC, Italy
9Aspix Consultancy Company, 06023 Gualdo Tadino, PG, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/05

VegItaly is at present the largest Italian vegetation database. It is the result of a collaborative project aspiring to represent a major reference for the Italian vegetation scientists. The paper emphasizes its benefits for phytosociological data management and describes the solutions adopted to solve several technical problems, like the treatment of different vegetation stratification systems, the conversion of vegetation cover values, taxonomic and syntaxonomic issues, data import and access. The structure of the taxonomic list produced to support the storing of data is described. It allows an easy management of synonymic relationships and is constantly updated according to new publications and revisions. Issues related to data import from different formats have been solved by developing assistant software VegImport and TabImport, which are based on the most used formats in vegetation plot archiving. Bibliographic sources are managed according to the LISY standard and include descriptive geographic information, bibliographic and syntaxonomic reference. Distinct data access regimes can be selected by VegItaly’s users: visible, partly visible, invisible. Compared with the original project outline, many fundamental parts of the database structure have been fully built up, although several utilities still have to be developed or improved.

pag. 81-87: Towards the Hellenic National Vegetation Database: VegHellas

P. Dimopoulos1, I. Tsiripidis2, E. Bergmeier3, G. Fotiadis4, K. Theodoropoulos5, T. Raus6, M. Panitsa1, A. S. Kallimanis1, K. V. Sýkora7, L. Mucina8

1Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, University of Western Greece, Agrinio, Greece
2School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
3Albrecht von Haller Institute of Plant Sciences, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
4Department of Forestry and Management of Natural Environment, Technological Education Institute of Lamia, Karpenisi, Greece
5School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
6Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
7Department of Environmental Sciences, Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
8Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin Institute for Biodiversity and Climate, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/06

Recently a new initiative was launched aimed at building a central database to hold all so far published and unpublished relevés available in Greece – the Hellenic National Vegetation Database (VegHellas). All literature sources, widely dispersed and often poorly accessible, containing vegetation relevés from Greece have been compiled and stored in a bibliographical database. To date this database houses more than 200 references. Between 1944 and 2011, more than 30,000 phytosociological relevés were made in Greece, and these are stored either as hard copies or electronically. Currently, data on more than 22,000 vegetation plots, entered in the TURBOVEG database system are georeferenced to a certain level of precision (e.g. mountain range, mountain peak, specific locality, island, phytogeographical region, grid cell 10 x 10 km etc.). Plant nomenclatural problems, such as the use of different synonyms for the same taxon by different researchers in different years will be solved using the standardized Hellenic Vascular Plant Checklist (HVPC), currently close to completion. This checklist will offer a scientific basis for consistent nomenclatural reference. A database with chorological, life-form and other plant-trait information for each taxon, will also be linked to the vegetation-plot records. This will allow using VegHellas not only as a tool for the formulation of a national system of vegetation classification, but also in multiple applications in ecological, biogeographical and applied environmental research. The preparation of a syntaxonomic overview of the vegetation of Greece is currently in progress.
Following the basic principles of the checklist of high-rank syntaxa of the European vegetation, the Hellenic syntaxa checklist will be produced down to the syntaxonomic level of alliance to serve as a precursor of a full syntaxonomic checklist including all associations.

pag. 89-95: The Iberian and Macaronesian Vegetation Information System (SIVIM,, five years of online vegetation’s data publishing

X. Font1, N. Pérez-García1, I. Biurrun2, F. Fernández-González3, C. Lence4

1Department of Plant Biology, University of Barcelona, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain
2Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of Basque Country, E-48080 Bilbao, Spain
3Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, E-45071 Toledo, Spain
4Department of Environmental Management and Biodiversity, University of León, E-24072 León, Spain

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/07

The SIVIM website was born six years ago. After a first stage of fast growing, the number of queries to its database has currently surpassed 100,000 per year. SIVIM offers its users the opportunity to access to large datasets facilitating phytosociological reviews, plant conservation management and taxonomic chorological studies, amongst others. Therefore, the number of scientific papers and books as well as other websites that cite our website is enlarged everyday. New data have been constantly brought into the project, which means that more than 130,000 phytosociological relevés are currently accessible, storing more than two million specific floristic observations. According to the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD), and taking into account the number of computerized relevés, SIVIM is the fourth largest database in the world.
New analysis tools have been developed during this year, among them the on line calculation of species and syntaxa’s fidelity values, and a new remarkable tool to model the potential distribution of taxa and syntaxa (based on the maximum entropy algorithm), and their future trends in response to climate change (projections for the years 2020, 2050, and 2080). We should also emphasize ZamiaDroid, the latest integration within the project, which allows querying SIVIM by mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). With respect to programming, we implemented a new system so that users can report errors directly to SIVIM administrators.
Concerning future actions, we aim to develop an online expert system in order to survey and classify vegetation communities and to open SIVIM to participative projects, especially those related to photography of plants and vegetation types. The SIVIM project has been funded by two research projects, CGL2006-13421-C04 (2007-2009) and CGL2009-13317-C03 (2010-2012), consecutively.

pag. 97-99: The project VegFrance: towards a national vegetation database for France

A. Bonis & J.-B. Bouzillé

UMR EcoBio, CNRS-Université Rennes I, UEB-OSU Rennes, Campus Beaulieu, FR-35042 Rennes Cedex, France

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/08

The project VegFrance is presently designed in order to elaborate a national vegetation database covering all vegetation types and regions. Launched in January 2012, this project is commonly led by Research Institutions as National Center for Scientific Research (UMS3468, BBEES & UMR 6553 ECOBIO), the Museum National Histoire Naturelle (Service du Patrimoine naturel), Fédération Conservatoires Botaniques Nationaux, the French association for Phytosociology and the Ministry of Ecology. The projected database will integrate three main types of dataset: syntaxa reflecting the national classification, relevés describing the vegetation at the landscape level (i.e. synphytosociological relevés) and analytical relevés or any plots which properly describe vegetation. This project is developed in strong connection with the European Vegetation Survey and with the national project for producing a vegetation map (CarHab).