Plant Sociology 52 (2) 2015

pag. 3-56: Flora and vegetation of the European-network “Natura 2000” habitats of Naxos island (GR4220014) and of nearby islets Mikres Kyklades (GR4220013), Central Aegean (Greece)

M. Sarika, I. Bazos, S. Zervou, A. Christopoulou

Department of Ecology and Systematics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, 15784 Athens, Greece.

doi: 10.7338/pls2015522/01 

Vegetation of the European-network ‘Natura 2000’ conservation areas of Naxos island and of nearby islets Mikres Kyklades, including calcareous rocky slope, maquis, phrygana, coastal cliff, dune, marshland, wet meadow, reed bed and aquatic habitats, was studied during 2000. The flora of the investigated regions consists of 365 taxa belonging to 78 families and 247 genera, some of which are endemic or rare in Greece. The majority of the represented in the life form spectrum taxa are Therophytes, Hemicryptophytes, Geophytes and Chamaephytes. From a chorological point of view, the Mediterranean element outweighs the rest, followed by the most diverse group of widespread taxa. The macrophytic vegetation was analysed following the Braun-Blanquet method. Twenty nine plant communities-among them one described for the first time (Theligono cynocrambis-Parietarietum lusitanicae), belonging to nineteen alliances, eighteen orders and fifteen phytosociological classes, were found. The distinguished vegetation units are described, presented in phytosociological tables and compared with similar communities from other Mediterranean countries. In the study area seventeen habitat types were delimited through the assessment of the dominant vegetation types, of which fifteen are listed in Annex I of the 92/43/EU Habitats Directive and two (934A, 1260) are additional Hellenic habitat types (not included in the Directive). Among them three (1150, 2250, 3170) are considered as priority habitat types, while the Hellenic habitat type 1260 is considered as rare in the Natura 2000 sites of Greece.

pag. 57-68: A contribution to the knowledge of the Moroccan forest ecosystems: association of Quercetum rotundifolio-suberis ass. nova in the Central Plateau of Morocco

A. Chkhichekh1, A. El Aboudi1, A. Aafi2, N. Wahid3, A. Benabid4

1Laboratoire de botanique, mycologie et environnement, Faculté des Sciences de Rabat-Agdal, BP 1014 RP, Maroc.

2Centre de Recherche Forestière, BP 763, Agdal-Rabat, Maroc.

3Département de sciences de la vie, Faculté des sciences et techniques, Université Sultane Moulay Slimane, Beni-Mellal, Maroc.

4École Nationale Forestière d’Ingénieurs, Salé. Assanabile, Villa n°10, Route de Mehdya, BP 11160, Salé – Maroc.

doi: 10.7338/pls2015522/02

This work results as an in-depth study of mixed cork-oak, by the necessity to profound the knowledge of Moroccan forest ecosystems, particularly in the Central Plateau. Accordingly, we describe a new association of the cork-oak forest subhumid, thermomediterranean and mesomediterranean, named Quercetum rotundifolio-suberis ass. nova and two new subassociations consecutively named Quercetum rotundifolio-suberis chamaeropetosum humilis subass. nova and Quercetum rotundifolio-suberis cistetosum libanotidis subass. nova. Their floristic and ecologic particularities are exposed.

pag. 69-78: The bryophyte vegetation of the Mediterranean temporary ponds in Italy

M. Puglisi1, P. Minissale1, S. Sciandrello2, M. Privitera1

1Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, I-95125 Catania, Italy.

2Centre for the Conservation and Management of Nature and Agroecosystems (Cutgana), University of Catania,
I-95123 Catania, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2015522/03

A phytosociological investigation on the bryophytes of the Mediterranean temporary ponds in some territories of the insular and Central-Southern peninsular Italy (Latium, Campania, Sicily, Sardinia) is here presented. By combination of multivariate and phytosociological analyses we detected the presence of six communities of which two new records from Italy and two new associations. They are Riccietum gougetianaeRiccietum canaliculatae ass. nova and Riccio sorocarpae-Funarietum fascicularis subass. fossombronietosum, referable to the class Barbuletea unguiculataePleuridio acuminati-Archidietum alternifolii ass. nova of the class Cladonio digitatae-Lepidozietea reptantis, the community with Campylopus introflexus of to class Ceratodono piliferi-Polytrichetea piliferi and Ricciocarpetum natantis of the class Lemnetea minoris. For the peculiarity of the communities and the occurrence of some species of phytogeographycal interest, the bryophytes should be more considered in the management and conservation policies.

pag. 79-94: Vegetation dynamics in Pinus nigra Arnold subsp. nigra 100 years after reforestation: two case studies in the central Apennines

C. Ottaviani1, G. Tesei1, S. Ballelli2, G. Iorio3, S. Montecchiari1, M. Allegrezza1

1Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, Via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona, Italy.

2School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, Via Pontoni 5, I-62032 Camerino (MC), Italy.

3Valnerina Mountain Community, Via A. Manzoni, 06046 Norcia (PG), Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2015522/04

We present here an integrated structural and floristic-vegetational study performed in two representative Pinus nigra subsp. nigra reforestation areas located within Natura 2000 protected areas in the central Apennines, as a mesotemperate thermotype. The aim was to determine the restoration state a century from the reforestation, in terms of a vegetation dynamics study. A diachronic analysis was also performed using data from the literature from a previous phytosociological study in 1973 in the same areas, and considering the adjacent native woods as the control. Although these two reforestation areas had similar ecology and vegetation, this comparison revealed modest structural and flora differences that are mainly related to geographical and topographical factors. This diachronic analysis highlights the structural and flora changes in the reforestation areas considered, and thus the structural and floristic-vegetation stages of the succession that was represented by the plant communities towards Ostrya carpinifolia forests (association, Scutellario-Ostryetum carpinifoliae) in 1973 and 2012. The minor coverage of conifers that was recorded for the two investigated sites corresponds to an increase in the nemoral species of the class Querco-Fagetea and to a widespread decline in ecotone and grassland species. Although the same trend is seen for the structural and floristic-vegetation dynamics, the differences that emerged from the comparison between these two reforestation areas are confirmed by the diachronic analysis. The status of the restoration is a function of the native woods, and thus is a function of the reference site. In this sense, we can consider that for the two sites the restoration status was similar, but not the same, because only within each site can the coenoses in 1973 and 2012 be considered as the developmental stages of the same dynamic process. However, if we consider the situation before reforestation, as derived from the historical documents, it can be seen that the natural vegetation dynamics was favoured, or at least accelerated, in the topographic positions that guaranteed greater edaphic humidity conditions. On the basis of the data obtained, we can say that 100 years after reforestation these two areas produced ecological conditions that guaranteed ingression of the nemoral species that were present in the surrounding woods, with their more than adequate regeneration. As well as representing an essential knowledge base for planning of future silvicultural actions, the knowledge acquired can provide useful indications of auto-ecological features of the species involved in dynamic restoration processes.

pag. 95-100: Temporal changes in Adriatic coastal dunes: results from a short term vegetation monitoring

I. Prisco1, A. Stanisci2, A.T.R. Acosta1

1Dipartimento di Scienze, Università Roma Tre, Viale G. Marconi 446, I-00146 Roma (RM), Italy.

2Dipartimento Bioscienze e Territorio, Università del Molise, Via Duca degli Abruzzi, I-86039 Termoli (CB), Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2015522/05

Sandy beaches surrounding the Molise coast, facing to the Adriatic sea, are relatively well preserved if compared with other Italian littorals. In this study we present the results from a short term monitoring analyses of coastal habitats (six/eight-years) using permanent transects as part of the LTER network (Long Term Ecological Research-Italy). Vegetation monitoring was carried out along 4 belt transects along the beach-inland ecological gradient, following the coastal zonation and ranging from pioneer annual communities on the beach to Mediterranean scrubs on fixed dunes. Plant communities were sampled in contiguous 1 m x 1 m plots using a 1-10 ordinal transform scale to estimates the species’ cover-abundance. All transects were conducted in sites subjected to a similar touristic pressure. Through cluster analysis we identified 5 Habitats of community interest: Annual vegetation of drift lines (Habitat 1210), Embryonic shifting dunes (Habitat 2110), Shifting dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria (Habitat 2120), Malcolmietalia dune grasslands (Habitat 2230) and Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp. (Habitat 2250). Main temporal changes were probably related to different erosion/accretion processes acting in each transect: two transects were relatively stable (without evident coastal erosion nor accretion processes), one suffered a strong retreat while the last transect showed a slight accretion process. Moreover, our study evidences that, as coastal plant communities are highly dynamic systems, even relatively short time periods could offer useful insights of annual vegetation trends.

pag. 101-120: Post-fire regeneration of Calicotome villosa (Poiret) Link. and vegetation analysis

M. Galié, R. Gasparri, R.M. Perta, E. Biondi, N. Biscotti, S. Pesaresi, S. Casavecchia

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

doi: 10.7338/pls2015522/06

Calicotome villosa (Poiret) Link. is a leguminous deciduous shrub that is often associated with disturbance processes, such as fires. This species is characterised by a primary dormancy imposed by its water-impermeable seed coat. In the present study, the germination rate of untreated seeds was low (10%), whereas high germination rates were achieved with different scarification techniques. Germination tests demonstrated that seeds of C. villosa do not require exposure to high temperatures to germinate. Indeed the highest germination rate (97%) was obtained with mechanical scarification, by chipping the seed coat with a scalpel. Therefore, the effects of fire on dormancy breakage only arises from the scarification of the seed  coat that is necessary for germination of the majority of seeds. This suggests that under natural conditions, few seeds germinate during non-fire years. This will contribute to maintenance of the population, whereas most of the seeds accumulate in the soil seed bank and can then germinate when a fire occurs and they are released from dormancy. This vegetation analysis leads to better definition of the environment and geographic context in which plant communities dominated by C. villosa develop. The phytosociological study focused primarily on the formations in the Gargano area, where relevés were carried out 4 years and 8 years after the widespread fires. The seeds for the study of seed germination were collected in this area. These unpublished relevés were compared with other relevés attributed to several Italian localities, such as the association Pistacio lentisci–Calicotometum villosae described for north-west Sardinia, and with relevés of the Sardinian association Phagnalo saxatili–Calicotometum villosae. This analysis led to recognition of some new associations: Spartio juncei–Calicotometum villosae; Teucrio fruticantis–Calicotometum villosae; Euphorbio dendroidis–Calicotometum villosae; Phagnalo saxatili–Calicotometum villosae typicum and asparagetosum stipularis. The relevés from Gargano were attributed to the new association Pino halepensis–Calicotometum villosae. The syntaxonomic attribution to the higher hierarchical levels refers the Tyrrhenian community to the new suballiance Pistacio lentisci-Calicotomenion villosae of the alliance Ericion arboreae (Pistacio lentisci–Rhamnetalia alaterni and Quercetea ilicis). The new Adriatic association Pino halepensis–Calicotometum villosae is related to the Balcanic alliance Cisto cretici–Ericion manipuliflorae, of the order Cisto cretici–Ericetalia manipuliflorae, and of the class Cisto cretici–Micromerietea julianae. The conclusions thus highlight the dissimilarities between the two vegetation classification systems. The suballiance Pistacio lentisci-Calicotomenion villosae is important in order to complete the western Mediterranean hierarchical system. Indeed, the communities belonging to the new suballiance are formed by both fast resprouting species (Pistacia lentiscus, Erica arborea, Myrtus communis and Arbutus unedo) and regenerative species by seed (Calicotome villosa, C. spinosa, Cistus sp. pl., Pinus halepensis etc.).