Plant Sociology 53 (2) 2016

pag. 3-18: Post-abandonment dynamic on Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean perennial grasslands: the edge vegetation of the new class Charybdido pancratii-Asphodeletea ramosi

E. Biondi, S. Pesaresi, D. Galdenzi, R. Gasparri, N. Biscotti, G. Del Viscio, S. Casavecchia

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (D3A), Marche Politechnic University – I-60131 Ancona, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2016532/01

A phytosociological study that was mainly aimed at describing the dynamic processes of Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean perennial secondary grasslands is presented here, using the concepts tested previously for similar grasslands in temperate zones. The study was carried out in two different geographic areas: the Gargano peninsula, and the central Apennines between Marche and Umbria. Thirty-six phytosociological surveys were analyzed using cluster analysis. The study highlights that after the abandonment of agro-pastoral activities, in the ecotone zone between the grassland and the wood mantle, macrophytic, nitrophilous and sub-nitrophilous species spread rapidly. These species have underground organs of propagation (e.g., rhizomes, bulbs) that are mostly toxic to herbivorous animals, such as Asphodelus spp., Charybdis spp., Ferula spp., Thapsia spp., Asphodeline spp.. The communities that have participated in these processes are attributed to the new class Charybdido pancratii-Asphodeletea ramosi, within which the new order Asphodeletalia ramosi is described. This order includes four alliances: Charybdido pancratii-Asphodelion ramosiAsphodelo ramosi-Ferulion communis, and Asphodelion fistulosi in the Mediterranean area; and Asphodelino luteae-Ferulion glaucae in the sub-Mediterranean area. Overall, six new associations and a new sub-association, feruletosum glaucae of the association Cephalario leucanthae-Saturejetum montanae, are described. Furthermore, the international literature on secondary perennial grasslands of much of the Mediterranean basin (i.e., Europe, north Africa, the Middle East) was studied to define the occurrence in these territories of the species considered to be important in the described dynamic processes. We can conclude that the same processes observed in the present study area occur across the whole Mediterranean basin.

pag. 19-40: The microgeosimetum of the Colli Berici Oligocene barrier-reef (NE-Italy)

S. Tasinazzo

Via Gioberti, 6, I-36100 Vicenza, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2016532/02

Communities inhabiting different microhabitat of limestone cliffs outcropping in the Colli Berici (NE-Italy) were studied with a phytosociological approach. This rock face system is original both from a geological point of view – being a Venetian Oligocene facies occurring only in this area – and as regards floristic emergencies and plant communities. Biogeographic and bioclimatic factors give the Oligocene barrier-reef unique traits determining the existence of peculiar and often endemic coenoses. Hence, some new associations are described: Junco bufonii-Polypogonetum monspeliensisCampanulo carnicae-Athamantetum turbithParietario judaicae-Stellarietum pallidaeCeltido australis-Fraxinetum orni. With regard to the coenose characterised by the stenoendemic Saxifraga berica, it had been necessary to describe the new association Saxifragetum bericae in place of the precedently published Adianto-Saxifragetum bericae which has to be rejected as a nomen dubium.

pag. 41-46: A contribution to the knowledge of the Moroccan Central Plateau plant communities

Y. Dallahi1, A. El Aboudi1, A. Aafi2

1Laboratoire de botanique, mycologie et environnement, département de biologie, Faculté des sciences, Université Mohamed V, Rabat B.P 1014 RP, Maroc

2École Nationale Forestière d’Ingénieurs, Salé. BP 511, Salé – Maroc

doi: 10.7338/pls2016532/03

This work consists on a thorough phytosociological study and particularly the ecosystems of the Site of Biological and Ecological Interest (SBEI) of Kharouba, harboring some of the most beautiful Tetraclinis stands (Tetraclinis articulata (Vahl) Masters) at national level. This study allowed us to identify a new association called Rhoo pentaphyllae-Pistacietum lentisci ass. nova. We present in this article its floristic and ecologic particularities.

pag. 47-58: VIOLA – the vegetation database of the central Apennines: structure, current status and usefulness for monitoring EU habitats (92/43/EEC)

A. Evangelista1, L. Frate1, A. Stinca2,  M.L. Carranza1, A. Stanisci1

1Envix-Lab, Dipartimento di Bioscienze e Territorio, Università degli Studi del Molise, Contrada Fonte Lappone, I-86090, Pesche (IS), Italy

2Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Università 100, I-80055 Portici (NA)

doi: 10.7338/pls2016532/04

In this paper we describe VIOLA (VegetatIOn of centraL Apennines), a database of high mountain vegetation relevés in the Central Apennines (Italy). We explore the general features of the data collected, specifically the variation in plot size, time range of the relevés and geographical position accuracy. VIOLA gathers a representative number of relevés from 7 Annex I habitats sensu Habitat Directive (92/43/EEC) (4060, 4070*, 6170, 6210, 6230*, 8120 and 8210). We characterize the dataset in terms of the total number of relevés, the total number of species, the most abundant species, the total number of endemics, the total number of phytosociological alliances and the most abundant alliance. For each habitat, life form and chorotype spectra were also calculated using the species frequency. In total, we collected 1,687 relevés including both published and unpublished phytosociological information collected above an altitude of 1,600 m a.s.l. in the Central Apennines (Gran Sasso, Majella, Monti del Matese, Monti della Meta and Velino massifs). The oldest relevés back to 1955, whereas the newest ones to 2014. A total of 45% of the relevés were recorded with the exact GPS coordinates, and 55% were referred to general description of the localities (toponyms); most of the relevés (77.8%) are between 10 and 100 m2 wide. The Alpine and subalpine calcareous grasslands (6170) and the Calcareous and calcshist screes (8120), with over 50% and almost 20% of the relevés, respectively, are the most represented Annex I EU habitats in the database. Our results highlight that the stalked hemicryptophytes and Southern Europe Orophilous dominate in all EU habitats. Endemics are present in all habitats but higher percentages occur in Calcareous and calcshist screes, followed by Calcareous rocky slopes and Alpine and subalpine calcareous grasslands. Based on our results, we can confirm the value and usefulness of large vegetation databases for supporting theoretical and applied vegetation and ecological studies at different scales.

pag. 59-76: Brachypodium rupestre (Host) Roem. & Schult. herbaceous communities of heliophilous edge in the Trifolio medii-Geranietea sanguinei Müller 1962 class

M. Allegrezza1, E. Biondi1, S. Ballelli2, G. Tesei1, C. Ottaviani1, S. Zitti1

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

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

doi: 10.7338/pls2016532/05

This phytosociological study defines the heliophilous edges dominated by Brachypodium rupestre of different areas of central-southern Italy, from a lower Supratemperate thermotype to a lower Mesotemperate thermotype. This has allowed the description of four new syntaxa of the order Asphodeletalia macrocarpi that help to extend its biogeographic, bioclimatic and landscaping areal distribution. In particular, for the Supratemperate thermotype of the Apennine limestone areas, two new associations are recognized: Tanaceto corymbosi-Brachypodietum rupestris and Laserpitio siculi-Brachypodietum rupestris, which are included in the suborder Senecio scopolii-Brachypodienalia genuensis and alliance Luzulo sieberi-Brachypodion genuensis. For the sub-Mediterranean areas, the new suborder Dorycnio herbacei-Brachypodienalia rupestris (order Asphodeletalia macrocarpi) is proposed, with the new alliance Dorycnio herbacei-Brachypodion rupestris as the typus. The two new associations, Galio erecti-Brachypodietum rupestris (ass. typus) and Bituminario bituminosae-Brachypodietum rupestris can be referred to this new alliance. The new suborder Dorycnio herbacei-Brachypodienalia rupestris groups together the heliophilous, mesophilous and anthropogenic edges, dominated by Brachypodium rupestre of the Mesotemperate thermotype of subcoastal, pre-Apennine and infra-Apennine sub-Mediterranean territories of central and southern Italy. The optimum development of this new suborder is on non-calcareous lithologies and deep soils, in dynamic link with the grasslands of Polygalo mediterraneae-Bromion erecti, where Brachypodium rupestre is a transgressive species. Dorycnio herbacei-Brachypodienalia rupestris is vicarious in the sub-Mediterranean areas, with the calcareous Apennine suborders Senecio scopolii-Brachypodienalia genuensis and Asphodelenalia macrocarpi. This study of the dynamic and chain contacts has made it possible to define the ecological position of the plant communities described here, and to clarify the reference dynamic landscape and complete the main landscape units described for central-southern Italy. On the basis of these analyses it is possible to define for central and southern Italy three suborders of the order Asphodeletalia macrocarpiAsphodelenalia macrocarpi (suborder typus) for the heliophilous edges with Asphodelus macrocarpus of the Supratemperate thermotype of the Apennine sector; Senecio scopolii-Brachypodienalia for the calcareous communities with Brachypodium genuense/Brachypodium rupestre dominant for the Supratemperate thermotype; and Dorycnio herbacei-Brachypodienalia rupestris for the heliophilous edges with Brachypodium rupestre dominant for the sub-Mediterranean subcoastal, pre-Apennine and infra-Apennine territories.

pag. 77-87: A methodological protocol for Annex I Habitats monitoring: the contribution of Vegetation science

D. Gigante1, F. Attorre2, R. Venanzoni1, A.T.R. Acosta3, E. Agrillo4, M. Aleffi5, N. Alessi6, M. Allegrezza7, P. Angelini8, C. Angiolini9, S. Assini10, M.M. Azzella2, S. Bagella11, E. Biondi7, R. Bolpagni12, G. Bonari9, F. Bracco10, S. Brullo13, G. Buffa14, E. Carli2, G. Caruso15, S. Casavecchia7, L. Casella8, B.E.L. Cerabolini16, G. Ciaschetti17, R. Copiz2, M. Cutini3, S. Del Vecchio14, E. Del Vico2, L. Di Martino17, L. Facioni2, G. Fanelli2, B. Foggi18, A.R. Frattaroli19, D. Galdenzi7, C. Gangale20, R. Gasparri7, P. Genovesi8, L. Gianguzzi21, F. Gironi22, G. Giusso Del Galdo23, M. Gualmini24, R. Guarino25, C. Lasen26, L. Lastrucci18, F. Maneli1, S. Pasta27, B. Paura28, E.V. Perrino29, A. Petraglia12, G. Pirone19, S. Poponessi1, I. Prisco3, M. Puglisi23, S. Ravera30, G. Sburlino31, S. Sciandrello23, A. Selvaggi32, F. Spada4, G. Spampinato33, S. Strumia34, M. Tomaselli12, V. Tomaselli35, D. Uzunov36, D. Viciani18, M. Villani37, R.P. Wagensommer1, S. Zitti7

1Department of Chemistry, Biology e Biotechnology, University of Perugia – I-06121 Perugia, Italy.

2Department of Environmental Biology, ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome – I-00185 Rome, Italy.

3Department of Science, University ‘Roma Tre’ – I-00146 Rome, Italy.

4Department of Environmental Biology, Botanical Garden, ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome – I-00165 Rome, Italy.

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

6Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano – I-39100 Bozen-Bolzano, Italy.

7Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (D3A), Marche Politechnic University – I-60131 Ancona, Italy.

8ISPRA, Institute for Environmental Protection and Research – I-00144 Rome, Italy.

9Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena – I-53100 Siena, Italy.

10Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia – I-27100 Pavia, Italy.

11Department of Science for Nature and Environmental Resources, University of Sassari – I-07100 Sassari, Italy.

12Department of Life Sciences, University of Parma – I-43124 Parma, Italy.

13Department of Botany, University of Catania – I-95125 Catania, Italy.

14Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, ‘Ca’ Foscari’ University of Venice – I-30171 Venice, Italy.

15Via Caracciolo 21 – I-88100 Catanzaro Lido (CZ), Italy.

16Department of Theoretical and Applied Sciences, University of Insubria – I-21100 Varese, Italy.

17Majella National Park, Botanical Office, loc. Badia Morronese – I-67039 Sulmona (AQ), Italy.

18Department of Biology, University of Florence – I-50121 Florence, Italy.

19Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila – I-67100 L’Aquila, Italy.

20Natural History Museum of Calabria and Botanical Garden, University of Calabria – I-87036 Rende (CZ), Italy.

21Department of Agricultural and Forest Science, University of Palermo – I-90123 Palermo, Italy.

22Vox Naturae, via Sant’Antonio, 24 – I-23038 Valdidentro (SO), Italy.

23Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania – I-95125 Catania, Italy.

24Via Montegrappa, 33 – I-41026 Pavullo nel Frignano (MO), Italy.

25Department STEBICEF, University of Palermo – I-90123 Palermo, Italy.

26Via Mutten, 27 – I-32032 Arson di Feltre (BL), Italy.

27Department of Biology, University of Fribourg – CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.

28Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences, University of Molise – I-86100 Campobasso, Italy.

29CIHEAM, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari – I-70010 Valenzano (BA), Italy.

30Italian Lichen Society – I-10123 Torino, Italy.

31‘Ca’ Foscari’ University of Venice – I-30123 Venice, Italy.

32IPLA, Institute for Wood Plants and Environment – I-10132 Torino, Italy.

33Department of Agriculture, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria – I-89124 Reggio Calabria, Italy.

34Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, ‘Second University’ of Napoli – I-81100 Caserta, Italy.

35CNR-IBBR, National Research Council of Italy – Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources – I-70126 Bari, Italy.

36CHLORA sas, Via Spirito Santo, 33 – I-87037 San Fili (CS), Italy.

37Botanical Garden, University of Padova – I-35122 Padova, Italy.

doi: 10.7338/pls2016532/06

The methodological foundations of the recently published Manual for Annex I Habitats monitoring in Italy, edited by the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) with the scientific support of the Italian Society for Vegetation Science (SISV), are here presented, discussed and related to the most consolidated and acknowledged scientific advances in the field of Vegetation science. The proposed methodologies aim at offering simple, yet effective, protocols and procedures towards a harmonized data collection, by way of standardized and shared technical tools, resulting in comparable evaluations of the conservation status of Annex I Habitats. The methodological framework was developed by experts including a large team of members of the SISV. Big efforts were deployed to provide indicators and parameters for biodiversity monitoring able to catch its complexity, yet simple enough to be easily measured. Diagnosis and syntaxonomical correspondences of Habitat types, sampling procedure, plot size, distribution mapping, typical species are among the principal issues here examined through a widely shared scientific discussion. The final product is a comprehensive Manual, which offers practical but scientifically sound methodological tools for an efficient and effective monitoring of Annex I Habitats. The importance of bridging across the science-policy interface is emphasized, in a general will to improve the impact of Vegetation science on conservation policy development in Europe.