Plant Sociology 53 (1) 2016

pag. 3-4: Plaque in memory of Jean-Marie Géhu in Camerino

F. Pedrotti

University of Camerino

doi: 10.7338/pls2016531/01

pag. 5-43: Contribution to the phytosociological characterization of the forest vegetation of the Sicani Mountains (inland of north-western Sicily)

L. Gianguzzi1 , P. Cuttonaro1, D. Cusimano1, S. Romano2

1Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Via Archirafi 38, I-90123 Palermo, Italy.

2Department of Earth and Marine Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2016531/02

The results of a phytosociological survey on the main forest vegetation aspects of the Sicani Mountains (inland of north-western Sicily), in turn included in the homonymous Regional Park recently established, are presented. This expansive territory (43,687 hectares), located between the
Agrigento and Palermo provinces, is mainly composed by carbonate and silico-carbonate formations of the Sicani Units, whose highest peaks are represented by Mount Cammarata (1578 m a.s.l.), Mount delle Rose (1436 m), Pizzo Cangialoso (1420 m) and Mount Pernice (1393 m). Under the bioclimatic aspect, the area falls within the thermo- and supramediterranean belts, with ombrotype ranging from upper dry (annual average rainfall of about 550 mm) in the southern and western slopes, to upper subhumid (annual average rainfall of 800-1000 mm) – sometimes tending towards the wet – in the cacuminal part of the aforecited elevations. Many plant communities were identified and surveyed, several of which are described as new syntaxa; in particular they are some maquis associations [1) Rhamno alaterni-Euphorbietum dendroidis Géhu & Biondi 1997, with the subassociations typicumphlomidetosum fruticosae (Brullo & Marcenò 1985) comb. nov., rhamnetosum oleoidis (Brullo & Marcenò 1985) comb. nov., celtidetosum aetnensis (Brullo & Marcenò 1985) comb. nov., euphorbietosum bivonae (Gianguzzi, Ilardi & Raimondo 1996) comb. nov.; 2) Ampelodesmo mauritanici-Juniperetum turbinatae Gianguzzi et al. 2012, with the subass. cistetosum cretici Gianguzzi et al. 2012; 3) Asparago albi-Artemisietum arborescentis ass. nova; 4) Euphorbio characiae-Anagyridetum phoetidis ass. nova, with the subass. asparagetosum albae subass. nova and loniceretosum implexae subass. nova; 5) Pistacio terebinthi-Celtidetum aetnensis Gianguzzi, Cusimano & Romano 2014, subass. typicum and phlomidetosum fruticosae Gianguzzi, Cusimano & Romano 2014)], a laurel oak community [Acantho mollis-Lauretum nobilis Gianguzzi, D’Amico & Romano 2010], some holm oak communities [7) Ampelodesmo mauritanici-Quercetum ilicis ass. nova hoc loco, with the subass.
typicum subass. nova and viburnetosum tini subass. nova); 8) Sorbo torminalis-Quercetum ilicis ass. nova], some deciduous oak communities with Quercus virgiliana [9) Oleo oleaster-Quercetum virgilianae Brullo 1984; 10) Sorbo torminalis-Quercetum virgilianae Brullo, Minissale, Signorello & Spampinato 1996], a maple community with Acer pseudoplatanus [11) Sorbo graecae-Aceretum pseudoplatani Gianguzzi & La Mantia 2004], a riparian community with Salix sp. pl. [12) Salicetum albo-pedicellatae Brullo & Spampinato 1990] and some shrubby mantles [13) Hyperico majoris-Rubetum ulmifolii ass. nova; 14) Roso corymbiferae-Rubetum ulmifolii ass. nova; 15) Euphorbio characiae-Prunetum spinosae ass. nova; 16) Roso siculae-Prunetum spinosae ass. nova; 17) Crataegetum laciniatae Brullo & Marcenò in Brullo 1984]. A new alliance with a Tyrrhenian
centre of gravitation (Asparago acutifolii-Laurion nobilis, in turn ascribed to the class Quercetea ilicis and to the order Quercetalia ilicis), within which the Laurus nobilis microwoods gravitating in the Italo-Tyrrhenian biogeographical Province are framed, is also proposed.

pag. 45-54: Vegetation outlines of a debris-covered glacier descending below the treeline

D. Tampucci1, C. Citterio1, M. Gobbi2, M. Caccianiga1

1Department of Biosciences, University of Milan, Via Celoria 26, I-20133 Milano, Italy.

2Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology, MUSE – Museo delle Scienze, Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza 3, I-38123 Trento, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2016531/03

Debris-covered glaciers are glaciers with the ablation zone covered by a debris layer, which are able to persist below the treeline and to support plant life. These landforms are increasing on many mountain regions of the world as consequence of climate change, providing new habitat for plant colonization, but their vegetation features are still little known. Our aim was to describe the vegetation of an alpine debris-covered glacier descending below the treeline (Belvedere: Western Italian Alps) and compare it with those of the adjacent iceless moraine and stable slope. Our hypothesis was that plant community of the supraglacial debris differs from those of the surrounding landforms for the presence of cold-adapted species. Data were collected by phytosociological method performing 45 relevés of 25 m². Plant communities were compared by a cluster analysis based on the presence/absence species matrix; species relative frequencies for each landform were calculated. The cluster analysis clearly separated three plant assemblages, each corresponding with one of the investigated landforms. Unlike the iceless moraine, debris-covered glacier stands out for the presence of cold-adapted species typically widespread in the alpine and nival belts (e.g. Poa laxa and Cerastium pedunculatum), allowing them to survive below their normal altitudinal distribution, where the stable slopes host subalpine woodlands and shrublands.

pag. 55-81: Phytocoenotic diversity of the NE-Adriatic island of Olib.

N. Jasprica1, M. Milović2, S. Kovačić3, V. Stamenković3

1Institute for Marine and Coastal Research, University of Dubrovnik, P.O. Box 83, HR-20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia.

2“Antun Vrančić“ Grammar School, Put Gimnazije 64, HR-22000 Šibenik, Croatia.

3Botanical Garden, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Marulićev trg 9a, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

doi: 10.7338/pls2016531/04 

The vegetation of the north-eastern Adriatic island of Olib (26.13 km2) was studied in 2015. From a total of 99 phytosociological relevés, 33 floristically and ecologically distinctive vegetation communities were identified and described (30 associations and 3 stands) within 28 alliances, 27 orders and 23 vegetation classes. Altogether, 18 NATURA 2000 habitat types were recognized. The study revealed the great phytocoenotic diversity and the high biogeographical value of the study area.

pag. 83-90: Altitudinal patterns of floral morphologies in dry calcareous grasslands

E. Fantinato1, M. Giovanetti2, S. Del Vecchio1, G. Buffa1

1Department of Environmental Science, Informatics and Statistics, University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Venice, Italy.

2Scientific Research and Consultancy, Via Paradiso 27, 36026 Pojana Maggiore, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2016531/05 

A central goal in vegetation ecology is the identification of processes that influence species assemblage and distribution within a community. Among the wide variety of biotic interactions, plant-pollinator interactions are assumed to have a marked influence on plant communities assemblage and dynamics. The aim of this work was to verify if in dry grasslands there is a non random distribution of different blossom types along an altitudinal gradient, which may exert a selective pressure on both plants and insects, as well as on their mutualistic relationships. We sampled 85 plots in pre-alpine and hilly reliefs of the Veneto Region, finding that different blossom morphologies were patterned along the altitudinal gradient. Wind blossom type was dominant at low altitude while disk shaped flowers prevailed at high altitude. Our study revealed that altitude might affect species assemblage in dry grassland communities not only by selecting plant species according to their tolerance to different environmental conditions, but also according to their floral morphology, evoking the possibility of an indirect pollination filtering to occur.

pag. 91-104: Germination pattern of Salicornia patula as an adaptation to enviromental conditions of the specific populations

R. Gasparri1, S. Casavecchia1, M. Galié1, S. Pesaresi1, P. Soriano2, E. Estrelles2, E. Biondi1

1Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, 60131 Ancona, Italy.

2ICBiBE-Jardí Botànic, University of Valencia, Calle Quart 80, 46008 Valencia, Spain.

doi: 10.7338/pls2016531/06 

Salicornia patula Duval-Jouve is a diploid species that usually shows a small bushy growth form. It is an important component of the halophytic annual pioneer vegetation of salt marshes. This hyper-saline vegetation is rare and threatened by a wide variety of pressures (tourist and industrial practices, coast management, invasive species) in the European Mediterranean area. S. patula is a characteristic species in the habitat 1310 “Salicornia and other annuals colonizing mud and sand”. This paper shows an analysis (by GLM and PCA) on the germination response to temperature and salinity of three populations of S. patula from different localities (Italy, Spain and Croatia) in order to identify the key factors controlling germination phases for the implementation of projects on conservation and environmental restoration of the hypersaline environments. We assessed the interspecific competitiveness of species related to several localities. The germination of S. patula was mainly influenced by temperature and salinity and secondly by the site of collection of seeds. In fact, even though S. patula optimal temperature range was between 25 and 35° C, the pattern of the germination response curve shows three distinct levels induced by the site of collection of seeds. For salinity, S. patula showed the ability to germinate at high salinities even in this case with distinct levels induced by the site of collection of seeds. This might suggest an adaptation of S. patula to the different sites bioclimatic conditions here estimated by summer and annual aridity. The population of Sentina Natural Regional Reserve had higher percentages of germination under saline conditions than the other populations. The seeds of the population from Blace were less salt tolerant than those of the populations from Sentina and Girona in the recovery responses. In conclusion, the local environmental conditions, especially Io and Ios2, are important variables to characterize and diversify the seed germination behavior in the three populations. In addition, S. patula seeds are able to germinate in high percentages in a rather wide range of temperature and salt concentration. Thus, it can be stated that the S. patula populations studied can be easily multiplied and successfully used for projects on conservation and environmental restoration of hypersaline environments.