Plant Sociology 51 (2) S1 2014

pag. 7-18: Notes on the vegetation diversity on the Adriatic and Ionian Italian coasts: the dunes and cliffs

  1. Pirone

Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences (MESVA), University of L’Aquila, Via Vetoio, Coppito, I-67100
L’Aquila, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/01

After a brief introduction of the environmental conditions and some phytogeographic, climate and geomorphological notes, the Italian Adriatic and Ionian coastal vegetation is described briefly, considering that of the dunes and cliffs.

pag. 19-24: The state of Ionian-Adriatic coastal habitats: the database of “Carta della Natura” System of Italy

D. Ceralli1, P. Angelini1, R. Augello1, R. Bagnaia1, P. Bianco1, R. Capogrossi1, L. Laureti1 & G. Oriolo2

1Dip. Difesa della Natura, ISPRA Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, Via V. Brancati 60 I-00144 Roma, Italy.
2Via Roma, 50 I-34174 Monfalcone, GO, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/02 

Aim of this work is to provide a national scale synthesis of useful data for conservation status assessment of Italian Adriatic – Ionian coastal habitats.
Basing on the data provided by the Carta della Natura information system it has been possible to consider about 70% of the Ionian and Adriatic coastlines. Initially all the patches included in a buffer of 500 meters from the coastline has been extracted from regional habitat maps and for each habitat type has been calculated: total and mean surface area, number of biotopes. After that the study focus on threatened coastal habitats, considering the classification used by the Carta della Natura system.
Taking into account the Ecological Value index, about 90% of Natural habitat biotopes fall into “high” and “very high” classes. Comparing these data with “Environmental Fragility” classes distribution it is possible to highlight a set of habitat types at higher risk of degradation. Representative coastal habitats are included in this set. Risky conditions are due to high Ecological Value and Environmental Fragility indexes, involving factors such as fragmentation, rarity, suitability to host threatened species, and to important anthropogenic pressures. Many biotopes at risky conditions are
already included in protected areas. For this reason particularly attention should be given to the success of management tools.

pag. 25-32: Syntaxonomic considerations of the Mediterranean vegetation dominated by perennial psammophilous graminaceous plants

E. Biondi & D. Galdenzi

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Brecce Bianche I-60131, Ancona, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/03

The vegetation dominated by perennial psammophilous grasses along the Mediterranean coasts is reviewed and updated according to the new concepts, with particular reference to the European grasses. First, the class of the dune psammophilous vegetation that is already indicated in the Vegetation Prodrome of Italy with the name of Ammophiletea is updated to Euphorbio paraliae-Ammophiletea australis. Thus, the dune vegetation of the central and northern Atlantic is distinguished in syntaxonomic terms from that of the similar Mediterranean and south-Atlantic formations. This separation is carried out at the order level, by recognizing the order Elymetalia arenarii for the north-European Atlantic coasts and the order Ammophiletalia australis for the Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic coasts. For the Mediterranean area is also recognized the order Elymetalia gigantei, for the Pontic zone and specifically for the Black Sea coasts and the Marmara Sea areas.
The main aim of this revision is therefore recognition of the syntaxa that make up the hierarchical scheme proposed for the Mediterranean Basin, with the definition of the alliance Ammophilion australis for the vegetation of the white dunes, the alliance Agropyrion juncei for that of the embryonic dunes and the alliance Elymion gigantei for that of the Pontic dunes. In terms of the alliance Ammophilion australis, the suballiance Ammophilenion australis is recognized for the European thermo-Atlantic and Mediterranean coastal areas except for the coasts of north Africa and the new suballiance Silene succulentae-Ammophilenion australis is described for the Mediterranean part of north Africa. For the alliance Agropyrion farcti that defines the vegetation that shows the richest biodiversity of the whole system, four suballiances are recognized. Of these, two are ‘structural system’, even if they are well characterised in ecological and floristic terms, and two are biogeographic. The first two of the suballiances are Sporobolenion arenarii, which includes the first perennial vegetation of the first parts of embryonic dunes directly reached by seawater, and Elymo farcti-Otanthenion maritimi suball. nova, which includes the vegetation of the inner parts of the embryonic dunes characterised by reduced mobility of the sandy substrate. Defined in chorological terms, the two suballiances within the Mediterranean Basin are: the suballiance Agropyrenion farcti, which includes the European psammophilous communities from the Iberian Peninsula to the Balkan one up to the Pontic Region except for the Crete and Cyprus Islands; and the suballiance Sileno succulentae-Elymenion farcti suball. nova, which includes the communities of the north African Mediterranean coast. Finally, within the order Elymetalia gigantei, the alliance Elymion gigantei is recognized for the psammophilous vegetation of the Pontic dunes.

pag. 33-38: The 3rd Italian Report under art.17 of the Habitats Directive for plants: main outcomes with a focus

V. Giacanelli1, S. Ercole1 & G. Oriolo2

1Dip. Difesa della Natura, ISPRA Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, Via V. Brancati 60 I-00144 Roma, Italy.
2Via Roma, 50 I-34174 Monfalcone, GO, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/04 

The Article 17 of the Habitats Directive (HD) requires that every six years Member States of the European Union report on implementation of the directive, including the assessment of the conservation status of the species and habitats of community interest recorded in the whole national territory. The 3rd Italian National Report (reporting period 2007-2012) was completed in 2013. A summary of data requested, assessment methodology and main outcomes for plant species is presented. The results show a negative status for half of the Italian plant taxa listed under HD. Critical conditions of species living in coastal areas, particularly vulnerable to human pressures, are confirmed, with unfavourable conservation status in 85% of cases. In addition for these species inadequate future prospects and decreasing trend can be expected. In this paper a survey of the status of the HD Adriatic coastal species (Stipa veneta Moraldo, Centaurea kartschiana Scop., Salicornia veneta Pignatti & Lausi, Kosteletzkya pentacarpos (L.) Ledeb.) is presented.

pag. 39-46: Monitoring of threatened plants in the ‘Sentina’ Natural Reserve (Marche, Italy)

  1. Bracchetti & F. Conti

Scuola di Bioscienze e Medicina Veterinaria, Unità di Ricerca e Didattica di San Benedetto del Tronto (URDIS), Università di Camerino, Via A. Scipioni 6, I-60074 San Benedetto del Tronto (AP), Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/05

Among the plants of conservation interest in the ‘Sentina’ Natural Reserve, monitoring was carried out based on the red lists, the plant rarity, and the importance of their habitat. The following taxa were chosen for the monitoring from 2007 to 2012: Ranunculus peltatus subsp. baudotii, Euphorbia terracina, Carex extensa, Rumex palustris, Elytrigia juncea subsp. juncea, Spartina versicolor, Eryngium maritimum, Artemisia caerulescens subsp. caerulescens, Medicago marina, Salicornia perennans subsp. perennans, Crypsis schoenoides, Crypsis aculeata, and Halimione portulacoides.
Following this monitoring, management activities that will be useful for the conservation of the flora of the Natural Reserve are here proposed.

pag. 47-50: The Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) and the preservation of the dune environment on the coast of Senigallia and Montemarciano (Central Italy): activities carried out and future

M. Mencarelli1, F. Morici1, M. Morganti1 & C. Sebastianelli2

1Studio Naturalistico Diatomea, Via 28 settembre 28 I-60019, Senigallia (AN), Italy.
2Associazione A.R.C.A., Viale Bonopera 52 I-60019, Senigallia (AN), Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/06

In the Marche region (Central Italy) the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) is considered as a breeding, migratory and irregular wintering species. In Senigallia it breeds in three different areas: Cesano e Cesanella (North litoral) and Marzocca (South litoral). Since 2009 is regularly carried out the monitoring of Kentish plover along the coast of Senigallia and Montemarciano, where since 2011 there are some breeding pairs. In collaboration with local governments over the last four years have taken some conservation strategies for the protection of the breeding population that also affect the dune habitat protection. In the study period there was an increase in the number of breeding pairs and a strong increase in the number of young fledged (96.6%). The trend shows that we moved from 10-12 pairs in 2009 to 21-22 in 2012 and 2013. Compared to 2008 (8 nests) there was an increase of 72.4% of the nests found. In many cases along the coast south of Marzocca, have been selected as a place of deposition, the roofs of bathing.

pag. 51-56: EU habitats monitoring along the coastal dunes of the LTER sites of Abruzzo and Molise (Italy)

A. Stanisci1, A.T.R. Acosta2, M.L. Carranza1, M. de Chiro3, S. Del Vecchio2, L. Di Martino4, A.R. Frattaroli3, S. Fusco5, C.F. Izzi5, G. Pirone3 & I. Prisco2

1Dip. Bioscienze e Territorio, Università degli Studi del Molise, Termoli I-86039 (CB), Italy.
2Dip. Scienze, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, Roma I-00146, Italy.
3Dip. Medicina Clinica, Sanità Pubblica , Scienze della Vita e dell’Ambiente, Università degli Studi dell’Aquila, I-67100, Italy.
4Parco Nazionale della Majella, Località Badia, I-67039 Sulmona (AQ), Italy.
5Centro Studi Demetra Projects – Dip. Bioscienze e Territorio, Università degli Studi del Molise, Termoli I-86039 (CB), Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/07 

The Italian LTER network is an integrated and shared system for ecosystem monitoring (Long Term Ecological Research-Italy). The research sites of Abruzzo and Molise are part of the LTER site 20 “Coastal sand dunes in central Italy” ( and include 5 S.C.I. along the central Italy Adriatic coastline. The paper aims to carry out a short review of the main results recently achieved through the dune vegetation monitoring in these LTER sites and proposes a synthesis on the species composition (focal and alien species occurrence) and the spatial distribution of dune EU habitats.
We recorded 17 EU dune habitats, 4 of them are priority habitats (2250*, 2270*, 3170*, 1510*). Results suggest that many EU habitats are still locally widespread, with the exception of wet slacks and evergreen woods, occurring only in residual small patches. Moreover all EU habitats host several invasive alien species and only in salt marshes they are almost absent, because of the occurrence of extreme salinity. This natural heritage is therefore vulnerable and further efforts should be made to reduce the impacts of human pressure, through increased awareness of environmental issues and the education on ecosystem services provided by the natural landscape of coastal dunes.

pag. 57-64: Contribution to the knowledge of the coastal vegetation of Abruzzo (central Adriatic)

G. Pirone1, G. Ciaschetti2, L. Di Martino2, K. Cianfaglione3, T. Giallonardo1 & A.R. Frattaroli1

1Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences (MESVA), University of L’Aquila, Via Vetoio, Coppito
I-67100 L’Aquila, Italy.
2Majella National Park, Via Badia 28 I-67039 Sulmona, AQ, Italy.
3School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine University of Camerino, Via Pontoni 5 I-62032 Camerino, MC, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/08 

We report here on very rare associations (7) of the Abruzzo coast that are unusual for this Region (16). Moreover, we propose a new association of the alliance Crucianellion maritimae.

pag. 65-72: The endangered or extinct vegetal communities along the Abruzzo coast

G. Pirone1, G. Ciaschetti2, L. Di Martino2, K. Cianfaglione3, T. Giallonardo1 & A.R. Frattaroli1

1Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences (MESVA), University of L’Aquila, Via Vetoio, Coppito, I-67100 L’Aquila, Italy.
2Majella National Park, Via Badia 28, I-67039 Sulmona (AQ), Italy.
3School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine University of Camerino, Via Pontoni 5, I-62032, Camerino (MC) Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/09 

After a brief introduction on the causes of the degradation and the conservation status of Abruzzo coast, we highlight the dynamics of the coastalvegetation systems in Abruzzo over the past 35 years. This is provided through a comparison between the previous situation, as documented by the data in the literature, and the current situation. The study highlights a worrying loss of phytocoenotic biodiversity that affects large sections of the coast, with the extinction of very rare halophilic plant associations not only for Abruzzo, but also throughout the central-southern Adriatic coast. On a positive note, we highlight the presence of newly established plant communities for some of the coastal segments.

pag. 73-80: Relevant aspects of the Abruzzo coast transformation during last centuries (Central Adriatic Italy)

K. Cianfaglione1, G. Damiani2, B. Schirone2, G. Pirone3, G. Ciaschetti4, A. Manzi5, P.L. Di Felice6, A. Colazilli7 & T. Marras2

1School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, Via Pontoni 5 – I-62032, Camerino (MC), Italy.
2D.A.F.N.E. Department, Tuscia University. Via San Camillo De Lellis s.n.c I-01100, Viterbo (VT), Italy.
3University of L’Aquila. Località Coppito I-67100, L’Aquila, Italy.
4Majella National Park, Via Badia 28 I-67039, Sulmona (AQ), Italy.
5Centro di ricerche floristiche dell’Appennino, Via Provinciale km 4,2 I-67021, Barisciano (AQ), Italy.
6Sorgenti del Pescara Nature Reserve, Via Decondre 103 I-65026, Popoli (PE), Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2014512S1/10 

The aim of this study is to shed light on plant physiognomy and landscape changes which have characterized the Abruzzo coast in the past, analysing different historical documents in order to join the information with those related to the actual vegetation focusing on some events and historical processes which influenced the modification of the landscape, causing a huge spillover on natural environment and relapse of the soil use. The existence of different types of coastal woodlands is documented by some texts and geographic maps showing that in the past centuries the Abruzzo coast was covered by thick and impervious forests named “selvae”, which were integral part of the economy of local populations, mostly based on non-wood products. About the past plant physiognomy, most of the available information are fragmentary, but a few well detailed documents give an acceptable representation of some plant formations, as in the case of large coastal pine woods, which have been remodeled and reshaped over time, even with reforestation and are today restricted in small areas. Many documents are also important to prove the close link between these formations and the daily life of local people in the past, underlining at the same time their cultural and historical-environmental value. The study of this documentation is also useful for the analysis of those species whose presence status is nowadays considered critical or cryptic, as well as for the study of introduced species which are now historicized in the landscape and in some cases have become typical.