Plant Sociology 50 (2) 2013

pag. 5-37: The vegetation of the Maddalena Mountains (Southern Italy)

  1. Fascetti1, G. Pirone2, L. Rosati1

1School of Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Environment, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano 10 – I-85100, Potenza, Italy
2Department of Environmental Science, University of L’Aquila, Piazzale Salvatore Tommasi 1 – I-67100, Coppito (AQ), Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2013502/01

Using the data contained in the Lucanian Vegetation Database, the focus of our paper is the vegetation classification of the Maddalena mountains, a calcareous range not previously surveyed, placed between the Basilicata and Southern Campania regions. By using multivariate and phytosociological analyses we detected the presence of seven types of broad leaved forests: four of these (Anemono apenninae-Fagetum sylvaticaeAro lucani-Aceretum lobeliiPhysospermo verticillati-Quercetum cerridisSeslerio autumnalis-Aceretum obtusati) are formerly associated with the Southern Apennines, meanwhile three are herein described as new associations (Aceri neapolitani-Quercetum virgilianaeRoso spinosissimae-Quercetum dalechampiiGeranio versicoloris-Populetum tremulae). Shrublands are referred to Cytision sessilifolii and Pruno-Rubion (Rhamno-Prunetea) and a new association is described (Roso squarrosae-Rubetum ulmifolii). Dry grasslands (Anthemido creticae-Stipetum austroitalicae) belonging to Festuco-Brometea (Phleo-Bromion) and garrigues (Onosmo lucanae-Lomelosietum crenatae) of Cisto-Micromerietea (Cisto-Ericion) are also described as new syntaxa.

pag. 39-46: Impact of soil texture on plant communities of Raphanus raphanistrum L.

  1. Cano-Ortiz1, S. Del Río González2, C. J. Pinto Gomes3

1Departamento Sostenibilidad Interra. Ingeniería y Recursos SL. Plaza España, 317,5. E-27004, Salamanca, España.
2Departamento 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.
3Departamento de Paisagem, Ambiente e Ordenamento / Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas (ICAAM). Universidade de Évora (Portugal), Rua Romão Ramalho 59, P-7000-671, Évora, Portugal

doi: 10.7338/pls2013502/02

Our soil study of the chromic soils located in the strip of land between Sierra Morena and the Guadalquivir Valley reveals a pH-value close to neutral in 25 samples. The pH-values are close to 5.5 only in the samples taken from the arenosols of the granitic batholith of Los Pedroches. However, it is the percentage of clay, sand and silt that explains the occurrence of grassland dominated by Raphanus raphanistrum, in the company of species with a psammophilous character such as Linaria sparteaLinaria amethystea and Brassica barrelieri.
Our soil analysis reveals the presence of acid or base-poor soils. Consequently, the community of 
Raphanus raphanistrum found there displays an acidophilous, neutro-basophilous and subarenicolous character. Different types of sabulicolous plant communities appear as a result of the gradation of the soil texture. Since the Raphanus communities cannot be considered as genuinely sabulicolous, we have coined the term ‘subarenicolous’ to describe any plant community whose optimum sand content lies between 50% and 70%. The community of Linaria spartea and Raphanus raphanistrum is neutro-basophilous and is found in at least the Marianic-Monchiquensean and North Hispalensean sectors. The floristic composition of the association is made up of Raphanus raphanistrumLinaria sparteaLinaria amethysteaMedicago polymorphaHordeum leporinumBromus diandrusBrassica barrelieri.

pag. 47-56: Application of the floristic-vegetational indexes system for the evaluation of the environmental quality of a semi-natural area of the Po Valley (Piacenza, Italy)

  1. Giupponi1, C. Corti1, P. Manfredi2, C. Cassinari3

1Istituto di Agronomia, Genetica e Coltivazioni erbacee, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, I-29122 Piacenza, Italy
2m.c.m. Ecosistemi s.r.l., località Faggiola s.n.c., I-29027 Gariga di Podenzano, Piacenza, Italy
3Istituto di Chimica Agraria ed Ambientale, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, via Emilia Parmense 84, I-29122 Piacenza, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2013502/03

The floristic-vegetational indexes proposed by Taffetani & Rismondo (2009) and updated by Rismondo et al. (2011) were used to assess the environmental quality of a semi-natural area located on the outskirts of Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna, Italy), the site of a closed landfill of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). This method was created and perfected to analyze the ecological functionality of agro-ecosystems and permits simple and rapid measurement of the ecological characteristics and grade of dynamic evolution of the phytocoenoses. These indexes were applied to the vegetation of the different sectors that make up the study area and from the results obtained it was possible to identify those with the worst environmental quality and to formulate some proposals for action aimed at improving them environmentally. In particular an interruption in the evolution of the landfill vegetation was found, due to the chemical-physical characteristics of the cover soil which is compact and of limited depth. The application of the Taffetani & Rismondo (2009) indexes to a real case has also allowed evaluation of their practicality and the information content obtained.

pag. 57-77: Phytocoenotic diversity of the N-Adriatic coastal sand dunes – The herbaceous communities of the fixed dunes and the vegetation of the interdunal wetlands

  1. Sburlino1, G. Buffa1, L. Filesi2, U. Gamper3, L. Ghirelli4

1Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’ Foscari University, Campo Celestia 2737b, I-30122 Venezia, Italy
2Department of Design and Planning in Complex Environments, University Iuav of Venice, Santa Croce 1957, Ca’ Tron, I-30135 Venezia, Italy
3Autonomous Province of Bolzano – Alto Adige, Office of Landscape Ecology, Via Renon 11, I-39100 Bolzano, Italy
4Via Roma 38, I-35020 Masera` di Padova, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2013502/04

The hemicryptophytic, chamaephytic and therophytic communities which inhabit the fixed sand dunes of the N-Adriatic coast, along with those of the interdunal wetlands, have been studied from the phytosociological point of view. The floristic-sociological analysis focuses on the syntaxonomic discussion of the xerophilous communities; in this context, the following new syntaxa have been described: Syntrichio ruraliformis-Lomelosion argenteaeTortulo-Scabiosetum typicum and Sileno conicae-Avellinietum michelii. In regards to the dune slack vegetation, the study points out the occurrence in the coastal area of two rare inland microtherm communities (Plantagini altissimae-Molinietum caeruleae and Erucastro-Schoenetum nigricantis). As already stated in previous papers, the originality of this sector of the Mediterranean basin is highlighted as a result of both bioclimatic and phytogeographic factors, which confer to this area a unique character in the European context.

pag. 79-91: The geosynphytosociological approach as a tool for agriculture innovation: the study case of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) cultivation suitability assessment in the Macerata district (central Italy)

  1. Catorci1, S. Cesaretti2, F. M. Tardella1

1School of Environmental Sciences, University of Camerino, Via Pontoni 5, I-62032 Camerino (MC), Italy, Spin-off of the University of Camerino, L.go Decio Filipponi 30/A, Palazzo Costa, I-62028 Sarnano (MC), Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2013502/05

The maintenance of open areas as grasslands and croplands has become a vital issue addressed to biodiversity conservation. For this purpose, innovation in agricultural activities may be a key factor. To achieve this goal, it is essential to identify the agronomic suitability and the most appropriate spatial pattern for the proposed cultivation. Therefore, the definition of land suitability classes and of their boundaries is a key step. For this purpose we used the phytosociological approach since it is based on an ecological definition and hierarchical classification of plant communities and landscapes and can be considered as an indirect way to assess the variation of the environmental conditions. Starting from the Marche Region vegetation geo-database, for each vegetation series a draft of the main ecological factors matching with the ecological needs of Crocus sativus L. was carried out. Afterwards, two intermediate maps were drawn: the “Climatic suitability map” and the “Soil suitability map”. Finally, the “Crocus sativus cultivation suitability map” was drawn by overlapping these two maps. Results were tested by agronomic experimentations. The synphytosociological approach proved to be a very valuable method. In fact, the areas belonging to the highlighted different suitability classes (that is the different vegetation series) showed substantial differences in the saffron productivity. Moreover using the vegetation mapping procedures also the definition of the borders of each suitability class has been easily solved at the landscape scale.

pag. 93-112: Mediterranean temporary wet systems in inland Central Italy: ecological and phytosociological features

  1. Gigante, F. Maneli, R. Venanzoni

Department of Applied Biology, University of Perugia, Borgo XX giugno, 74, I-06121 Perugia, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2013502/06

The results of a study about Mediterranean temporary wet habitats in central inland Italy are here presented. The surveyed phytocoenoses are developed in pools and waterlogged soils and each of them is characterized by different depth and duration of the flooded period. The plant communities have been analysed by applying Braun-Blanquet’s approach and carrying out 95 phytosociological relevés. The use of multivariate analysis allowed the identification of eight main vegetation types, which have been referred to the classes Isoëto-JunceteaLittorelleteaAgrostietea stoloniferae and Phragmito-Magnocaricetea. Four new associations are described: Junco tenageiae-Solenopsietum laurentiae ass. nova, Hypochoerido glabrae-Cicendietum filiformis ass. nova, Callitricho brutiae-Ranunculetum ophioglossifolii ass. nova, Callitricho brutiae-Juncetum bulbosi ass. nova, and four new subassociations: Serapio-Isoëtetum histricis Pedrotti 1982 lotetosum angustissimi subass. nova, Solenopsio laurentiae-Juncetum pygmaei V. Silva & Galán de Mera in V. Silva, Galán de Mera & Sérgio 2008 isolepidetosum cernuae subass. nova, Alismo lanceolatae-Gratioletum officinalis Biondi & Bagella 2005 juncetosum conglomerati subass. nova, Callitricho brutiae-Ranunculetum ophioglossifolii ass. nova glycerietosum fluitantis subass. nova. The floristic diversity of the identified plant communities has been analysed, considering species number, species density per m2, Shannon’s and Evenness Indexes. The stand’s features have also been analysed, taking into account the minimum sampling area and the vegetation total cover values, and measuring in the fields pH values and O2 content in the water. With regard to these parameters, the statistical significance of the differences among the detected vegetation types has been tested. The high floristic relevance of these systems is emphasized by the presence of some rare, localized and/or threatened species and Habitats from 92/43/EEC Directive’s Annex I. The great coenotic diversity has been interpreted by applying the concept of microgeosigmetum.